No Tattling Here; Or: Social Skills

Over the years, I’ve heard a few parents complain about their kids tattling. Then again, I hear news stories in which something horrific happens and people are upset that someone knew beforehand and said nothing. I think the two go hand-in-hand, that one leads to the other, and I’ve never chastised my kids for tattling because of it. I don’t want them to ever think that they should stay quiet if there’s trouble brewing.

I was bullied greatly in school. We moved often, so I was always the new kid in school. I’d lived in other countries and even on a yacht, so I was very different. I was quiet and shy which didn’t help either. In seventh grade, I lived in an area along the Mexican border and my blonde Continue reading No Tattling Here; Or: Social Skills

Shakespeare Club

Shakespeare festival anonymous
At our Shakespeare festival: My daughter in a costume showing off her video made using Lego bricks that was her own version of the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet.

Three years ago, a mom in our group started a Shakespeare Club geared to kids of a wide variety of ages–from kindergartners to high school students. At first only our two families were involved, but I loved the idea of doing Shakespeare together. I’ll admit it–I hated Shakespeare when I was in school. I couldn’t understand much of what he wrote and dreamed of finding an interpreter to turn his words into English that I could understand. But as an adult, Continue reading Shakespeare Club

Calendar Math

Our 3 1/2 year old likes to count but he keeps skipping over fifteen. And he’s been asking questions about what we will be doing in the near future. So I decided it was time to pull out the magnetic  calendar I previously used, several years ago, with his older siblings . Little did I know the thrill this would give him. He loved putting the number magnets in counting order (and didn’t mind when I Continue reading Calendar Math

Setting the Record Straight

I was recently accused here on my blog, by someone who apparently doesn’t know me at all, of being lazy and neglecting lots of children who would be my students if I were still teaching in a school. (See the comments to my article  Why a Certified Teacher Would Homeschool )
I’d like to put the record straight. So forgive me if I talk a bit too much about myself here.

Yes, I’m a certified teacher who no longer teaches in a brick-and-mortar school. I quit teaching at a local public high school shortly Continue reading Setting the Record Straight

Oh My Word! Have a Little Faith in Yourself!

Ever want to reach through the computer and shake someone? Of course, you wouldn’t actually do it. Neither would I. But if I were to ever meet certain people in real life, I might have to remind myself a time or two that shaking them is not something I would do. This is one such instance.

A woman explained online that she wants to homeschool but plans to use a public school online program, a virtual school, to teach because she thinks she’s not smart enough to teach middle school math because she had to retake a college math course 3 times to pass it. Hello? Lady, you may have had to re-take the class, but you Continue reading Oh My Word! Have a Little Faith in Yourself!

Making Math Relevant (and perhaps fun, too)

Algebra Club? That will never work.

Or so I was told by a few people when I suggested the idea a few years ago. I envisioned a club, not a class, for homeschooled students; a supplement to studying algebra rather than a main source for learning algebra. We wouldn’t have a textbook, homework to grade, nor any quizzes and tests. Instead I envisioned this as a way to make algebra more fun by adding a social element to it, some bits of history trivia and stories, some hands-on activities, manipulatives and games that would work better with a group of children than with just my two teens alone. These were the parts of teaching math that I loved when I was a classroom teacher, but Continue reading Making Math Relevant (and perhaps fun, too)

Why a Certified Teacher Would Homeschool

Something I shared a four years ago with Rebecca Miller of The Sandwiched Homeschooler on why my husband and I would homeschool though we’re both certified teachers.
Cheryl
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Why a Certified Teacher Would Homeschool
Author: Cheryl Trzasko, Guest Blogger September 28, 2012

My husband and I are both certified teachers. He’s taught in public schools for many years. I taught in a variety of schools–private, public, even a Dept. of Defense School overseas–before becoming a parent. Some people don’t understand why certified teachers, whom they assume are the biggest supporters of public education, would want to homeschool Continue reading Why a Certified Teacher Would Homeschool

Time for Formal Reading Lessons?

A woman I know recently asked whether it was time to begin formal reading lessons for her preschooler. I realized, as I thought about how to answer her, that experience helps so much here. I have materials on hand to teach reading formally to my little guy who is now three and a half years old. But I’m sure that he isn’t really ready for the sorts of lessons those materials would push. Instead, I’ve stuck mostly to informal lessons because my goal at this point is to keep the learning fun; I want him to grow up loving reading and learning and wanting more. Continue reading Time for Formal Reading Lessons?

Unconventional World History Lessons

History textbooks can be an easy way to teach history, but they can be rather dry and boring and each comes with its own slant or bias. I want my children to have a broad understanding of the world and how our society became what it is today. I want them to know about their own country, but I also want them to have an understanding of other people and other cultures. After all, how can we expect Continue reading Unconventional World History Lessons