Madame President, Our Teacher

The primary role of parents applies also to teachers and world leaders: Dear Madame President [though of course, you may turn out to be a man]: Teaching and teacher education have traditionally been viewed as women’s work and practiced by women. Like nursing, teaching has never been taken seriously among the more august professions…. I […]

Homeschool Moments: Dishing Out BOF, Dealing with Prejudice

Overcoming prejudice and distrust is not a one-time attitude adjustment, but a continuing journey in the company of people who are not like us, but who may become our civic friends. Such a strategy might go a long way toward more important goals: building a supportive environment for homeschoolers, and reinvigorating the varied practices of education & learning in America today.

On Manifestoes

So here are some manifestos of the present day on books, education, faith, and civic life. Though their weight for good or ill, for much or little, is as yet unknown, these are some of the words that will shepherd us into our shared future.

The Hundred-Mile Diet Map and More

in which we are still looking for the mouse.

A new map of food sources within a hundred miles of Madison, Wisconsin, shows kind of connection and sharing that will allow us as human societies to learn to be conscious of and take responsibility for the earthly places in which we live and move.

Family, Heroes, and History

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Reading Aldo Leopold

One thing that Aldo Leopold did to become great was find, and use, his voice. His family was in many ways similar to mine and to thousands of others here in Wisconsin; his famous shack seemed completely familiar to us–just like Grandad’s place up north. But he made a difference in the world by figuring out what he had to say that was worth saying, and saying it wisely and well.

Writing Tips from Hobgoblins, Pandas, and Doves

The fantastically helpful Janice Campbell has reviewed Miss Thistlebottom’s Hobgoblins: The Careful Writer’s Guide to the Taboos, Bugbears, and Outmoded Rules of English Usage; Lynn Truss’ (or is that Truss’s?) aggressive panda is back for the kids in Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference!, and from his first year English […]

What Are Blogs? Not Monologues but Conversations

Perhaps the best thing about the web, and the blogosphere in particular, is that it enables you to connect with like-minded people you might never meet otherwise. –Kriss M. at Circle M Farm On January 27th, 2008, Reading Circle Books will host its first group! In her wonderful invitation to our first Reading Circle, Kriss […]

Learning Like Magic

It makes a sensational, controversial headline: A Harry Potter-centered curriculum boosts a failing school into the top 5 percent. Students must recite a spell (“numerus subtracticus”) when answering math questions. But on closer inspection, this turns out not to be just a school carried off into frightening conformity to the current fad. Whatever you may […]

Of Lists and Learning

At their best, the lists are intended to be guiding abstractions of something deeper and much more complex than any list: the collected wisdom and practice of a whole community, whether of mathematicians, writers, historians, or scientists. That knowledge is fully present only in the community itself, and distilling it into a list is a deeply self-reflective exercise for practitioners in any field of human activity.