High School

Someone Get Me a Xanax, It’s Finals Time

Look closely at that photo: On Friday she was barfing her guts out with the 24 hour flu; the bucket’s…

Middle School

Middle School is Almost Over – We Made It Through the Wilderness

First Day of Middle School I’m so lucky. I have a fairly uncomplicated kid.    Now that middle school is…

Middle School

Every Body Eats! Unleashing Katie’s Passion for Learning

Yeah, it sounds nuts. What the heck am I talking about? When I learned a long time ago that neuron…

Middle School

It’s Grassroots Baby – One Otter at a Time! Join the campaign!

Um, yeah. Katie pretending to be a fish. Don’t ask. I am a fan of Kickstarter. If you don’t know…

Middle School

Blog Action Day 2012 – The Power of We is the Key to Successful Parenting

There is nothing that rings more true for a single mom. I chose to be a single mom. When I…

Middle School

Perspectives on a Memorial: Take Back Santa Cruz for Shannon Collins

I just got back from the Take Back Santa Cruz walk to honor the memory of Shannon Collins. The sound of…

Middle School

Unlearning Parenting

“Mom, you have to stop,” Katie tells me firmly but still calmly. Thank goodness she’s patient. “You know,” I said,…

Middle School

They tell me 50 is the new 30. I don’t think so.

I turn 50 tomorrow. I was fine with it until about six months ago went it felt like everything went…

Middle School

Holy Crap! I’ve Turned into a Curmudgeon

Um, no stopping in the red zone! Jeez. I am way too cool and too hip to be such a…

Middle School

An Open Letter to Team Sports Folks: Please Don’t Sacrifice the Virgins!

Katie has never participated on a team sport. Yep. Totally true. She thought she might do soccer but on the…

Middle School

Out Here in The Middle: Changing America One Parent at a Time

Patricia Heaton as Frankie Heck on ABC’s The Middle. I was extremely moved by the events in Arizona last weekend…

Middle School

What Movies Should Every Kid See for “Cultural Intelligence”

I am talking pop-culture here. Those movies we have all seen that people reference in comedy routines. I am not…

Middle School

Five Things You Should NOT Ask the Kids This Holiday Season

Yeah, that’s a Menorah ANDa Christmas tree. We get around. Katie was groaning the other day about going to another…

Middle School

Ahh Facebook: The Strange (Dangerous?) Case of Tweens Online

Last year, Facebook was all the rage among the fifth grade crowd. Why? Farmville. No more no less – sending…

Middle School

Relieving the Pain: When 11-Year Olds Start Cutting

Katie’s home room teacher rocks. She not only teaching language arts, but she also brings in lots of life lessons…

Middle School

Report Cards Came Out Yesterday – Publicly. Do Students Have a Right to Privacy?

Okay, so I need to say a bit more about grades. After my last blog about Katie’s addiction – which…

Middle School

My Daughter Became an Addict in Sixth Grade

I was there the first time she used. I actually gave her access to her drug without realizing what I…

Middle School

Students Helping Students: They Can Lift Each Other Up (Academically)

The coolest thing happened yesterday. I didn’t expect it to be cool. I thought it was going to be a…

Middle School

Restore Sanity to Halloween: The Ultimate Socialist Holiday!

I love Halloween. It’s colorful, creative and usually good fun. But there are weird conversations going on this year about…

Middle School

First Middle School Dance Comes with Instructions! You Gotta See This!

While I was watching the Giants take game three last night, Katie was focusing on “groking” what she had learned…

Middle School

Tween-age Grousing: This Strange Behavior Has Hidden Meaning

Ever since school started this fall, Katie has come home with weird stories about new behaviors she’s experiencing now that…

Middle School

The Sheer Pain of Being a Tween: So Simple but So Awful

I woke up yesterday fired up. Fall – my favorite time of year! I had scoped out an event at…

Middle School

Blog Action Day: Save Water, Take a Dirt Bath

Katie created this award-winning poster for our local water utility. We know water is a limited resource. And I have…

Middle School

Working Hard for Smart Teachers Makes the Whole Difference

We are a month into school and Katie is humming, almost purring, with the challenge. Sure it’s been a lot…

Middle School

We Enter the World of Queen Bees and Wannabees (and Bullies)

Ahhh, bullies. We have managed to get through six years of school with very few incidents of bullying. But now…

Middle School

We’re Back! Five Things I Am Loving About Public School

Okay, so I talked about how much I miss home school and already ranted about one of the things that…

Middle School

Local County Fair Delivers Food, Fun and Self-Esteem

Where else can you see piggie butts! We are so very lucky to live in a county that still plays…

Middle School

I’ve Got the “Oh Crap We Are Back in Public School” Blues…

The “Study Nest” where it all happens! I know it’s temporary, it will pass, but today I got a kick…

Home School

10 Things I Miss About Home School: Part Two

Pat the real Hamster in a Littlest Pet Shop creation. Oh, a quiet morning – just like the old days…

Home School

10 Things I Miss About Home School: Part One

Last year was great. I really did like home school.  Sure it pushed me to my limits balancing work and…

Middle School

Day One: School Starts; Hello Sixth Grade!

After plenty of preparation and excitement, we managed to get the child off to school. Sure she was up at…

Middle School

A New Adventure Begins: Middle School – Public Middle School

I thought she was going to burst. It was 24 hours before school would actually start and the kid was…

Home School

Am I Stretching Things too Far? Home School Lessons from Farmville!?!

If you haven’t played Farmville yet, you’ve been warned! Don’t start! It’s totally addicting.  I initially started playing to learn…

Home School

Undercover Boss as Home School Curriculum – This is good stuff! (Worksheet Included!)

We started watching Undercover Boss with the very first episode. I was intrigued that the CEO of Waste Management was…

Home School

Henry Cowell State Park: Home School Scavenger Hunt

One year, I took Katie to Henry Cowell the first Sunday of every month and had her take pictures so…

Home School

The Home School Science Fair: The Results are In!

That’s right! We had us a Science Fair and it was great. Despite the hesitation and resistance expressed by the…

Home School

The Home School Science Fair: Are You Kidding Me?

I am not writing about the actual Science Fair – I will do that in an upcoming blog. Nope, tonight,…

Home School

Do boys and girls play differently? Oh yeah they do!

Today began so simply. Up early, bugged out to breakfast so the housekeeper could kick some butt. Took home school…

Home School

Life Aboard the USS Hornet: We Lived Like Sailors – Awesome!

Katie and I slept on the USS Hornet! Holy cow, talk about bringing history to life! It was a fantastic…

Home School

Fostering Independence (While I Take a Pill and Try to Stay Calm)

I figure one of the big “themes” of home school is letting Katie try to do things on her own….

Home School

Home School: With a little help from my friends…

One of the best things that happened in early winter is a friend joined us in home school. Jordan and…

Home School

Good Grief: Does Anyone Home School During the Holidays?

Yep. Last blog was November 16, 2009. Feels like a lifetime ago. Work got crazy, Thanksgiving was just around the…

Home School

Safari West: Best Animal Experience Ever

Unassuming. Intimate. Incredible. Those words barely begin to describe Safari West. (Click on any of the photos to see them…

Home School

Gold Rush Continues: Columbia State Park Takes Us Back in Time

(This is part two of two on our trip to Gold Country.)We arrived at Columbia State Park just as the…

Home School

Bringing the Gold Rush to Life: Hard Rock Mining and More!

(This is part one of two on our trip to Gold Country.) Living in California rocks. Um, hard rocks. Like…

Home School

Great Field Trip: Monterey Bay Aquarium Welcomes Homeschoolers

If you grow up in Santa Cruz County it’s inevitable you will end up going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium…

Home School

Public School “Deprogramming”: I Think We Did It!

At one of the first parent support groups, one of the things the experienced parents talked about was giving Katie…

Home School

Halloween Homeschool! The Legend of Sleepy Hollow & Trains!

We have the coolest place in Santa Cruz – it’s called Roaring Camp and they have old steam engine trains…

Home School

Bringing Amelia Earhart Back to Life

We are always looking for interesting ways to tie-things together so Katie can engage with a subject in different ways….

Home School

Show and Tell: Home School Style (this would never happen in public school!)

A couple of weeks ago Katie came home all excited because she found out she could bring one of her…

Home School

Hot Dog! The Kid’s a Grass Roots Activist! It’s all about 350!

We took two friends to lunch today downtown to the Saturn Cafe. It’s uber Santa Cruzy – a vegetarian restaurant…

Home School

Independence, Values and Helping Our Kids Find Their Way

I was born independent. My mom will swear to it. It was nature not nurture (I am sure my mom…

Home School

Rant: Are You Freaking Kidding Me? Fifth Grade Standards…

I’m interrupting this blog for a brief rant. We are relunctant home schoolers. I wasn’t my original plan. And Katie…

Home School

10 Things We Learned from the Great California ShakeOut

Since I lived through the Loma Prieta quake in 1989, I have a pretty good sense of what the heck…

Home School

Blog Action Day 2009: Kids Speak Out About Going Green

Since we now turn everything around here into a home school activity, I thought I would drag Katie into the…

Home School

This School Day Interrupted by THE WEATHER!

As this amazing storm continues to pound Northern California, Katie decided to do a little weather reporting. Of course, within…

Home School

The Great California ShakeOut: Earthquake Prep as Curriculum

In 1989, I was at the ball game when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit. Magnitude 7.2 or 6.8, I am…

Home School

Reflections: Home School Camping Trip – It Was Awesome!

We had a great time camping this weekend with the home school gang. In an effort to help us get…

Home School

Steve Wozniak Education and Creativity Talk: The Recording as Promised….

Here’s the link to the blog that has the recording for the Steve Wozniak event. He talked about education and…

Home School

Today’s Lesson: The Webkinz Economy!

Here’s hoping there are “educational” properties in Webkinz. Why? Because Katie has spent the better half of the week setting…

Home School

Reflections: Our Extended Family Delivers Lessons for Life

Before the rush to Sacramento to help my aunt, we had planned to join my mom’s sister and brother and…

Home School

Gramma Teaching? It’s all about Grocery Ads!

When we found out we had to rush up to Sacramento to help an ailing relative, of course I threw…

Home School

Steve Wozniak Danced Into Our Lives and I Missed It!

I totally blew it. I could have had the coolest “home school” experience for Katie and I choked because I…

Home School

Insomnia Sucks: Still Struggling to Find the Balance

It’s five in the morning. I have been awake for over an hour. I can’t sleep – maybe it’s some…

Home School

Reflections: I am Struggling with Work/Life Balance

My whole goal of this blog is to help me remember what we did and our experience of home school….

Home School

Scarier than Dying? “Public Speaking” at the Fair? 10-Year Old Style

In a rather cool move by our local County Fair, winners in the poetry contest are asked to come and…

Home School

Fair Update: Her Veggie Creature Won!

Just a quick follow-up to our veggie art story – we went to the fair today and she won! A…

Home School

Fighting at “Home” School – With an Amazing Resolution

I know this is probably a familiar story to any parent who home schools. The big fight(s) about getting the…

Home School

Best “School Work” Ever: Art Project for the County Fair

When Katie had a fever of 103.5 yesterday, I figured there was no way she was going to be able…

Home School

Reflections: Week Two – It’s So About Me!

Woohoo! We wrapped up the second week of home school and it was better than the first. Well, at least…

Home School

I Must be Doing Something Wrong, This is Too Much Fun

A year ago I was dealing with a total remodel (which means we moved out), a pair of seniors whom…

Home School

Discuss: Where Will Education be in Five Years?

I was at an all-day offsite today and that was one of the questions we tried to answer. I have…

Home School

Lesson Plan: Using Obama’s Speech to Teach, er um, Learn

Setting the (insane) controversy aside, I am going to have Katie watch and listen to Obama’s speech tomorrow. We won’t…

Education

When Kids Rock the Vote: Tech Educates, Unifies

Now that the elections in the U.S. are over, I am inspired by the culmination of what was a tedious,…