“I’m Not Creative,” and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves

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“Poetry often enters through the window of irrelevance.” — M.C. Richards

I can’t draw, so I’m not creative. The word “creative” is only for people who identify as artists, or who have God-given gifts in the arts that are obvious to everyone. I bought this story hook, line, and sinker at very young age, and held onto it until well into my forties.  Whenever I heard, “Everyone is creative” or similar, I always thought that was such bullshit.  Continue reading

Decluttering Via the KonMari Method: Clothing Purge

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This week, I bid farewell to my perennial half-assed, unfinished and unsustainable decluttering efforts and started what I’m determined will be a massive and complete purge of our house and a total overhaul of our STUFF habits. I’m doing it right this time with the intention of never doing it again. No doubt, there are many ways to do it right. I’ve chosen the “KonMari method” detailed in that little book in the picture by Marie Kondo. The gist of her method is:   Continue reading

Killing the Clutter Beast. Because in my house, it cannot be tamed.

The kitchen crap pile.

The kitchen crap pile.

“If you take care of the small things, the big things will take care of themselves. You can gain more control over your life by paying closer attention to the little things.” –Emily Dickinson

We went on a family vacation a couple months ago and I was thinking about why it’s so freeing to be on vacation. I only work part-time and I love my job, so it’s not about not being at work. And it’s not like you’re relieved of all your normal responsibilities when you’re traveling with kids. A lot of the moment-to-moment stuff we do is the same no matter where we are—keeping everyone clothed, fed and out of the ER. There are the obvious reasons why vacation is awesome–the excitement and fun of exploring new places, spending time with old friends, and all four of us being together for a whole week. But there seemed to be even more to it than all that, and then it dawned on me. Continue reading

What I’ve Learned from Our First Year Homeschooling, Part 2: Hmmm…This is a Lot Like Midwifery!

 Boy 1 making a comic book

Boy 1 making a comic book

“Certainty does not propel me—wonder does.” –Persephone Brown

Structure and freedom. Routine and flexibility.   Finding the right mix of these elements for my son (and for me!) has been my greatest homeschooling challenge. By “challenge,” I mean I have agonized over this and at times felt overwhelmed with self-doubt and uncertainty.

After 7 months of living it on top of 6 months research and preparation, I think I have finally come up with some preliminary answers to the question, “What homeschooling approach is best for my child and our family?” The short answer is: eclectic and evolving. Continue reading