Grey in the Greyness of Dawn

“Slowly, almost hesitatingly, the train moved on as if it wanted to spare its passengers the dreadful realization as long as possible: Auschwitz!”With the progressive dawn, the outlines of an immense camp became visible: long stretches of several rows of barbed wire fences; watch towers; searchlights; and long columns of ragged human figures, grey in the greyness of dawn, trekking along the straight desolate roads, … Continue reading Grey in the Greyness of Dawn

Thurston Howell, the Third, and the Study of Europe in the Middle Ages

It’s a bit of a stretch, yes? I mean, I know that I’ve heard Thurston Howell, III (of Gilligan’s Island fame, for those too young to remember) speak of his ancestors, but this is a bit ridiculous. Let it never be said that we tried to be remotely non-ridiculous in our approach to learning. Sometimes it’s the only way to make information stick in our … Continue reading Thurston Howell, the Third, and the Study of Europe in the Middle Ages

Loving Language Right Down to the Shape of the Letters

Eloquence in words, and turns of phrase, must start with a reverence for the letters themselves; then the words, the sounds, the rhythms and rhymes, the haunting juxtapositions, the intertwining of heart within the lines. All this begins, I believe, with learning the tools, holding them each separately, seeing their singular beauty, and then learning to pair them together beautifully. * * * * * Tracing … Continue reading Loving Language Right Down to the Shape of the Letters

The World at our Fingertips and the Challenge of Brevity

After a day filled with highs and lows, as I suppose is the standard fare of parenting, I got a chance to go to the grocery store on my own. That trip included a detour into Barnes and Noble for a quick look-see, and finding a table of Beyond Drop-Dead Gorgeous reference materials on sale for 75% Off!!! The Atlas is mind-boggling. It is a … Continue reading The World at our Fingertips and the Challenge of Brevity

Icebergs & Invercargill – What we did Friday Night

It was the worst night in recent history. It was the night the world reeled to learn that 20 first-graders and 6 adults at an Elementary School had been gunned down. It had been a day of tears and outrage, along with confusion and sorrow. It was also the day we had been given the news that we need to have my 8-year old go … Continue reading Icebergs & Invercargill – What we did Friday Night

The Red, Black & White I was not Expecting This Season

Over dinner tonight, I was informed that the boys had been watching The History Channel‘s show, American Pickers, and were introduced to a flag with a Swastika on it. Sharp intake of breath. My husband explained that he paused the show and had a teachable moment with my 5- and 8-year old to explain (again) the idea of planting seeds of hate vs. planting seeds … Continue reading The Red, Black & White I was not Expecting This Season