Muzzles, Snouts or Beaks

  Yesterday, on the way to music lessons, there was a lively conversation in the car between my six-year old and my nine-year old about whether the word muzzle and snout could be used interchangeably. Ben is a huge reader, and he was saying that a writer will use muzzle instead of snout sometimes, and then other times talk about a snout. At first I … Continue reading Muzzles, Snouts or Beaks

Where to from here?

For the last week, I’ve been mulling over the reckless idea of a Singleness of Purpose. It floors me, the thought. I’ve been wondering about it almost nonstop – as if the quest for a Singleness of Purpose has been my purpose lately. Who are the people who seem to have one? People who dedicate large swaths of time to writing a book, who research … Continue reading Where to from here?

Books, Bookshelves, Gluttony, Desire, and Breakdowns

Yesterday, I shared this update on my personal Facebook page: I have a problem. I am not a civilized reader. I read like a glutton or a hoodlum – gobbling what I can from as many books as I can all at the same time. It’s a disaster. It is not calm. It is not ladylike. I’m a depraved book junkie. It is hopeless, I’m … Continue reading Books, Bookshelves, Gluttony, Desire, and Breakdowns

Lesson Plan Hijack – for all the Right Reasons

Normally, the boys get to sleep in on weekends. But today, we are meeting family for breakfast out at Patty’s Diner in Gold Hill, for the best Chicken Fried Steaks in the world. It is important to get there early to get a table. As Ben was still groggy, and just barely waking up, he said, “Hey Mom, have you ever wondered who invented writing? … Continue reading Lesson Plan Hijack – for all the Right Reasons

No Cookie Cutter Solutions

This is not a cookie cutter situation, where we can prescribe a common solution to a standard situation. This is Ben and this is me, and when Bean comes into the mix next year, it will be even more exciting. Ben is an artist, so our exploration of all things historical, scientific and literature-related focus on how art fits into these things. Bean is interested … Continue reading No Cookie Cutter Solutions

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

Freakiest Science Day Ever – My Hairs Won’t Stop Standing on End

To preface, let me say that some people will be offended by this. Others will be horrified. I was horrified, to be honest. I could barely watch. I got up and started folding laundry, but Ben watched intently through the whole first and second videos. But first, a little background. Ben has been building werewolves lately. In fact, he spent a solid ten hours on … Continue reading Freakiest Science Day Ever – My Hairs Won’t Stop Standing on End

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