Contextualized Learning

Wisdom From a Seasoned Homeschool Mom

“Ditch what ‘school work’ does not seem to add value in exchange for real edification out in the world. Learn from people who are passionate and want to share that with your kids! By giving your children such tremendous exposure, they will have a greater ability to understand what they are passionate about in addition […]

California Places

Urban Wildlife in the City of Angels

Lions, in Los Angeles? Last week I had the great fortune to come speak about urban wildlife in my youngest son’s 3rd grade class at Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts. The school is located in a unique place within Los Angeles, close to the LA River. Ever since I heard about the challenges […]

Contextualized Learning

Organic STEM Learning: DIY Go-Kart Project

I had this one on my mind for a while before starting anything: I thought it would be great to make a go-kart with my kids—fun to build, fun to drive. But I hesitated because I didn’t want to pursue something canned and boring. I wanted us to get our hands dirty: something that could […]

Contextualized Learning

Giving up my idea of a “normal education,”

and creating resources for an inspiring one. Ten years ago we were looking at educational options for our kindergartener and noticing the elementary school choices were like a trip to Baskin Robbin’s 31 Flavors. There were lots of combinations and permutations in that ice cream freezer. One factor my husband and I thought was super […]

California History

Looking to visit a California Gold Rush town? Columbia State Historic Park’s Your Ticket!

Here’s another post related to travel.  Where is my mind these days?  Obviously in other places! This post is for families looking for a great Gold Rush boomtown to learn more about California history.  My pick:  Columbia State Historic Park.  The first time I went there, I was in the 3rd grade or so.  (My […]

California Places

Must See Los Angeles Architecture for Kids

Again, I digress from some of my recent homeschool info topics to explore a niche very particular to Los Angeles.  Because…I truly love architecture.  Some of my favorite memories from my childhood were touring historic homes in Los Angeles.  I can still remember the wonderful smells of those old homes. As we homeschooled, I knew […]

Contextualized Learning

Why Early Culture Learning is so Doggone Important

I am a firm believer in early culture learning; kids stretching to learn more about how, why, where other families live. Why do I believe this so strongly?  I attended a private parochial school through the 6th grade. At this school, families were mostly white and affluent; they had most of what they wanted — […]

Contextualized Learning

Out of Marble, Students Emerge

I have been reading John Taylor Gatto’s book, Dumbing Us Down.  One of the things I love about this book is a metaphor he introduces for education. He remembers early on in his teaching, he viewed his role as an educator like that of a painter, where paint is added to a blank canvas to […]

Contextualized Learning

Organic Learning: Developing Our Kids Carrier Shells

The Morro Bay Shell Shop is the subject of many fond memories going back to my childhood. On one of my excursions there as an adult, a particular shell caught my eye: An ordinary mollusk shell…with shells from other creatures glued to the top. Why had someone gone to the trouble of doing that, and […]

Building an Organic Factual Framework for Students

In education today, there is a raging tug of war. On the one hand, there are schools and teachers that ask students to learn extensive facts and demonstrate their learning proficiency through tests. In other educational environments, teachers encourage self-expression so that no set of rules is ever stated – the truth is whatever the […]