My son’s first cello teacher, Gilda Barston, died when he was 10. He warms up every day with a short song she taught him for getting his fingers in tune. He’s been playing the exercise for so long that it’s no longer an intonation exercise as much as a prayer. A prayer to teaching, I think. Read more
Public schools in the US are a living history lesson about social class. Grouping by age teaches kids to be sorted according to birth. Sounding bells teaches kids to become factory workers. Our high school math curricula teaches kids how to win the Cold War. Read more
In high school, I took French and German, and in college I took Hebrew. I spent four months in Israel studying Hebrew and three months in France learning ten french words for chicken coop. So I’m coming to this conversation with a bias in favor of learning a second language. Read more
This year I made a big change in how we homeschool. Up to now, I let them learn whatever they want, and when they needed help, I hired an expert: skateboard lessons, pottery lessons, and biology. And I taught the kids myself if I thought I’d enjoy it, like violin, and Hebrew and boogie boarding. Read more
Have I written here yet about my favorite day of homeschooling? Because if I have, delete that post from memory, because today is my new favorite day.
My son is taking the AP chemistry test in Germantown, PA. It’s 45 minutes from where we live because public schools won’t let my son participate in their AP testing. (Because, in case anyone needs to be reminded, public schools do not have to serve their community, they only have to do what the law says they have to do.) Read more
Most of the “bad readers” are boys. This makes sense because most of the “bad dodgeball players” are girls. We don’t get up in arms about how girls don’t like dodgeball. Do we get tutors for the girls to tell them how to aim for the head while pretending not to be aiming for the head? Read more
I took the dog to Swarthmore. I didn’t initially. At first I told the boys we were each taking one backpack. And the cello, and the violin, and my laptop. Read more
We are studying architecture this week. I can’t remember the last time both my kids studied the same thing at once. Well, I guess in the olden days, when they were 6 and 9 and played Minecraft all day, you could say they were studying the same thing. But it’s been a while. Read more
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