Fulfilling a long-time goal to have backyard chickens (and more importantly, their eggs), we got ten baby chicks last week. Though I had no confidence in my ability to keep them alive, they’re thriving so far and I’ve even let my kids name them. The problem is, they’re like donuts—you go to Tractor Supply, pick … Continue reading What Color is Your Potato?
Busy week here at Frederick Spy Cat . . . er, Rescue Cat Academy. Timber Howligan would like to report that the two youngest recruits made it through boot camp and are off to their next assignment, infiltrating the animal rescue network and living off nothing but the bottle-fed handouts of total strangers. They're well … Continue reading Spy Cat Academy Update
"Faint of heart": Is it a metaphor or a metonym? Or maybe an idiom? I don’t know, but now I’ve got enough material for my daughter’s next two ELA classes. Even though I’m a writer, I’m no expert in teaching figurative language (fortunately, the Internet is). But that's what homeschooling is all about. It all … Continue reading Homeschooling—Not for the Faint of Heart
It's been over a year since my last blog post. Any blog post that begins with an apology for how long it's been since the previous one is doomed, so--no apologies here. Just the facts, and no excuses. If I haven't been blogging, what have I been doing? In the past year, I: parented two … Continue reading Why I don’t write (here)
I love helping kids make thing, but do kids need as much help as I think? I’m not going to be doing Maker Team this year, but I look back on the years I spent helping kids learn how to make, and I wonder how much of what we made was their vision, and how … Continue reading When is a bowl not a bowl?
So my daughter wanted a hovercraft. A lot of bad stories start that way, but this one has a happy ending. DIY Hovercraft are easy to build--we made ours in a couple hours from materials lying around our garage, repurposed from gathering wood dust, cobwebs, cat pee, etc. Many sites provide instructions; we followed some from Make … Continue reading DIY Leaf Blower Hovercraft (#Making)
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this is a real thing. I’m not the only one horrified by #Repealthe19th. It is not something that offends only Democrats, only Hillary supporters, or only women. I recognize that it is not a serious political trend, it’s just in the news precisely because we love to be … Continue reading “Some Trump supporters demand #Repealthe19th”
Timber Howligan Secret Agent Cat is a book about saving animals, and I have celebrated that in many ways. When I finished my first draft, I went to the local animal shelter and adopted two cats. They were on sale, real cheap-$1 each! Since then I’ve paid thousands of dollars in vet bills for them, … Continue reading How to Tell if You are Really a Cat Person
In the spirit of having a low-key December (I know that's not really a thing), I set modest goals before we packed up to go to my mom's last week. 1. Finish all the laundry--that's essential, because coming home to a stinky pile of clothes is not relaxing. 2. Pack--the kids packed their own clothes … Continue reading How to have a happy December
Does your child take his time picking out a book, and then even more time getting through it? Is she more than happy to read nothing, rather than a book she doesn't like? This article on Nerdy Book Club made me appreciate the Slow Readers in my family, and made me wonder if my Fast Reading … Continue reading The Bad Habits of Good Readers by Carol Jago