New math, old math, it’s all math

Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash

Well, we are rounding out our homeschooling experience into the month of May and the end of the school year, and we are all really starting to understand why regular school looked like it did during the month of May. Meaning that, when the kids were in public school, May was filled with a lot of field trips, and end-of-year picnics, and videos, and games. It was not one of your more academically rigorous months.

Now that I’m facing May trying to teach only two children, I have a lot more sympathy for regular school teachers who are stuck with…

Social studies to the rescue!

The North Dakota state capitol building. From Wikimedia.

Over the past year of homeschooling I will admit that we have spent more time on math, Spanish, and reading than we have spent on anything else.

Because I really want the boys to be at their best for those classes, those are normally the subjects we tackle during the morning, when they (theoretically) are best able to concentrate. So what do we do in the afternoons?

It depends. On nice days we do a lot of gym/physical education outside. But the afternoon is also when we tackle things like handwriting, language arts, science, art, and, of course, social studies.

Elizabeth Peratrovich was a tireless civil rights activist

Elizabeth Peratrovich: from the Alaska State Archives

In 1945 Alaska, it was seen as perfectly acceptable that a senator (Allen Shattuck, a senator of the territory) could stand up in a debate over a proposed law and say the following, in reference to members of Alaska Natives:

Who are these people, barely out of savagery, who want to associate with us whites, with 5,000 years of recorded civilization behind us?”

Thank goodness a member of the Alaskan Tlingit nation, a woman named Elizabeth Peratrovich, was there to reply to Senator Allen Shattuck’s crude question:

I would not have expected that I, who am barely out of savagery…

Still waiting for a stage of womanhood that isn’t horrific

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I have been in perimenopause for what feels like one hundred years.

Now, because I have done ridiculous amounts of Googling and reading about perimenopause, I know the average length of time women spend in it is about four years (although it can last for up to ten years).

Trust me: four years of perimenopause feels like one hundred.

As with most “female complaints,” perimenopause is not often talked about, acknowledged, or approached with any scientific rigor whatsoever. …

All board games, all the time

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

As noted last week, my boys and I had a discussion about going back to regular school next fall, and the consensus is that they want to go back.

And that’s okay, even though I was kind of willing (wanting?) our homeschooling experiment to go on for another year.

I’m not excited about getting the boys re-enrolled in the institution, but I’ve also decided that being grouchy about it won’t serve any kind of purpose whatsoever, and I should just maximize the enjoyable nature of our accidental homeschooling, for the few weeks of it we have left.

In accordance with…

Anxious people proven to really just be better informed

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Washington, D.C. — The American Psychological Association (APA) has announced that, as it works towards compiling and creating the sixth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), some of the more sweeping changes to be made will be in the classification of anxiety disorders.

The APA has been working on its DSM-6 for several years, although it is not yet known when it will be accepted and put into use. The current manual, the DSM-5, was adapted in 2013.

“Let’s face it, the whole world has changed in the past year,” stated Dr. Melvin Usborne, a…

Spring break passed in a blink

Photo by Izzy Park on Unsplash

We had a wonderful spring break, filled with scootering and leisurely picnic lunches and reading whatever we pleased.

And then, too soon, the time to go back to school came. Or, as my eldest says, but homeschooling is so HARD!

This always makes me chuckle, because we rarely spend a full seven hours per day doing schoolwork, which is the amount of time the boys used to spend in school every day. …

Or, happy ever after is no match for midlife crises

“The Lovers,” 1855, William Powell Frith, Art Institute of Chicago (Public Domain)

Sadness and Sassiness: The Pride and Prejudice Sequel

“But, Father…” wailed Charlotte.

“Enough!” shouted Darcy. “I went through this nonsense with your aunt Georgiana nearly twenty-five years ago and I’m not going to go through it with you! Bingley is your first cousin and you will not marry him. He’s an apple fallen far from two most excellent trees and is a wastrel with money. You will not be able to run away with him because I am locking you in your room.”

“I will find a way to free myself, father,” Charlotte retorted. When she was wild like this she looked nothing like her calm namesake, Charlotte…

Are you doing too much reading and too little writing?

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels

Have you heard this one before?

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” — Stephen King

The idea that aspiring writers must also be big readers is one that is propagated everywhere. In addition to luminaries like Stephen King spouting it, it is hammered home in every set of submission guidelines you read: “Read our publication to learn our tone before submitting.”

But is reading too much stopping me from being a writer?

Are you addicted to reading too?

I love to read. I always have and I always will. When…

Even though she died forty years ago

Photo by Manner Chuck JH News, USFWS on Pixnio.

Hey, Grandma, I still miss you.

Little Sarah. I’m so glad to see you’re not letting your mother give you that bowl cut anymore. Although you were still cute.

Thanks, Grandma. I was cute because I looked like you — so Mom tells me you said. The bowl cut was okay. I grew my hair long in high school and that looked ridiculous too.

You’ve got my thin hair.

No worries, Grandma, I’m not entering any pageants. Grandma? Sometimes I wonder what you’d think of the lives we live now.

What’s to think? Aren’t you just going along doing it?

Sarah Cords

“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything.” Author of “Bingeworthy British Television.” Fellow curmudgeons welcome at

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