California History

Reflections on a Covid World (Part 2 & 3)

As the summer stretches on, instead of the state of California opening up more, I see it hitting pause or reverting closer to the “Safer at Home” mandate. One of the things that helps me get through it all — the thought of online-only classes in fall, more economic downturn and fallout, parents that were […]

California History

Reflections on a Covid World (Part 1)

Today I had a strange experience. My boys and I biked to the post office in Pasadena to mail some books out. As we pulled up we noticed a trash can that was burning. A moment later I noticed an ambulance driving down the street, headed somewhere else. The fire had melted the trash bag […]

California Field Trips

The Ocean Deep

What were your moments, growing up where you experienced deep learning? Was it a speech you gave? Was it an away trip or camp you attended? Was it a super-fun class project? Was it a book you read that plunged you into a situation very different from your own? How many moments like these did […]

California History

Mobile-Making: An Art Form with New Possibilities for Education

One of the moments I have loved in teaching California history this year is seeing my students make their end-of-the-year mobiles. I could see a unique record of what they learned in their creations. Because of how much I believe in mobile-making, I thought it would behoove me to write an article on the history […]

California Camping

Places to see California Natural History

Our study of California has covered the eight major habitats of the Golden State. What exactly is a habitat? A habitat is physical space where particular plants or animals live; these plants and animals have a relationship with each other and are dependent on each other to survive. Habitats are often influenced by the level […]

California Field Trips

An Unusual California History Field Trip: Jurupa Cultural Center in Riverside

A True Interdisciplinary Resource If you are traveling to the Los Angeles area, don’t miss this out of the ordinary place. Interdisciplinary learning is rich: When earth science can be learned at the same time native animals and plants can be viewed, a new, rich picture emerges. You’ll know you are close when you see […]

Book Reviews

The Power of Story

One of the parts of our day that I really appreciate is — our read aloud. I have come to love this even more with the “Covid-19 World” we find ourselves in. Each morning: I get up, wake my kids up, eat breakfast, and find our story. This makes life doable for me. This is […]

Book Reviews

Day 11: How We Start Our School Day

The Power of Story This semester, my boys and I are learning about US history. In my effort to cut down busywork, we are focusing on doing things that matter in the simplest possible way–history as told through story. Currently we are reading Johnny Tremain together. It’s been a huge relief to simply sit down, […]

California History

Day 8: Adaptation

How is your family adapting to life? What are some new habits and daily routines? New Skills Here’s one our family has just employed. My software engineer husband is now cutting hair! Instead of spending the $30 to cut my oldest son’s hair, he is retooling and paving new ground — and fast becoming a […]

Covid Blog

Day 1: Even Cutting Up Fruit is Different

This series chronicles life under self-imposed Covid-19 quarantine. Last Thursday, my 10-year old son and I were in Smart and Final, stocking up. A quick glance at certain sections such as the depleted meat section, as well as the growing register line, suggested to me I should get busy in the store and buy things […]