We’ve moved!

Quick note to everyone following this blog — I’ve moved over to a new website: http://realworldlearners.com. I’ve imported my list of followers from this blog, so you should continue receiving notifications of new posts over there.

pic of new website

A few reasons for my move:

  • I wanted my website to be more organized :). I set up the new site with pages for Math, Reading & Writing, and My bookshelf (an annotated list of books I recommend related to improving education). I will be adding pages for Science, Arts and Crafts, History, and excerpts of a book I’m writing — these pages will have links to all the posts I write on these topics so that they don’t disappear into the long list of blog posts.
  • I want to change my focus a little bit and make my website not just a blog about our family’s learning adventures but a source of recommended resources, inspiration, and digital products (free and paid) to help all students rediscover the joy of learning.
  • In line with this new direction, I will create and include more free printable pages in my posts. While I can’t individually teach or tutor on a large scale, I hope that the resources I share can foster happy math times in homes around the world :).
  • I want to help change the culture of Math Anxiety that our educational system produces. Learning is an integral and wonderful part of human experience and shouldn’t be used against students as a fear-inducing mechanism for promoting a one-size-fits-all, efficiency-based, tied-to-a-timeline agenda. We are all born with an unquenchable thirst for learning and understanding the world around us and how we relate to it — I want to foster that desire to ask questions and find answers in my own children and all students.
  • My blog (on the new website) will continue to be a record of my thoughts, research, and experience along these lines, and my website will be a homebase for resources I create along the way.
  • A self-hosted website just feels better than a “.wordpress.com” free blog as I continue forward. 🙂
  • Note: I’m leaving this blog as it is. I decided not to import it into the new website because I didn’t know if all the redirects would work, including all my pinterest pins that linked to this site — or if I would end up with slower page loading times from the redirects and a host of broken links since every internal link would have a new url. So instead I moved every post over by hand and changed every link individually. Not sure that was the best life choice … but it’s done and ready for you! 🙂 I may write occasional posts about lessons I’ve learned about blogging and running a small business from home … stay tuned!

Thank you all for following along! Feel free to take a look at the new site — it’s been a work in progress for a few weeks over here :).

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Parenting hacks: the toy conundrum

We haven’t mastered many parenting topics, but every once in a while we accidently run across a great trick that solves one of life’s little problems, at least temporarily.

Our latest and greatest discovery has been … the garbage can! Or at least the threat thereof ;). 

A bit of backstory here: the dreaded B word (BORED) has begun to surface in our house – the kind of bored where the boys throw every couch cushion and pillow on the floor, jump on them like little hooligans, then flop down and complain that there’s nothing to do. 

My response usually goes something like this:

Continue reading

Digital Marketing OVERWHELM … and my “No More Tears for Math” mission

For the past several months (maybe a year by now), I’ve been diving in deep trying to figure out how this online world of marketing works. I’ve been signing myself up for ALL the email lists and webinars and reading (almost) ALL the websites … pretty much doing everything except actually paying money to someone to show me how it all works.

There’s a lot of people out there who could definitely shortcut the circuit for me and get  me straight to the good stuff and help me set up a business in the virtual world. But I’m a little bit stubborn and a lot bit money-less. If everybody who figured this out did so on their own, why can’t I as well? <ha!> Continue reading

Crafts with Kids 101: My Aha! moment

We took the boys to a nearby children’s museum today, which is basically a “hu-normeous” (as my 4 y.o. calls it) building full of toys and activities for kids. We have a membership account with another local one, so we get 50% off several children’s museums in their network. This year we bought memberships passes to the zoo and the children’s museum, and between those two we have access to unlimited entertainment for the boys — well worth the price! 🙂 Continue reading

Math Monday: Tessellations

This week in our spontaneous preschool* math adventures we’ve encountered tessellations, patterns, observations, arts and crafts, and dragons. (*Almost everything explained here could easily be duplicated with students of all ages; in fact, older students would be able to better understand and experiment with these ideas.)

tips fortidyingyourcloset Continue reading

Silly Stories for kids: the Zoo Train Parade

Copy of Copy of autumn art fair

My 4 year old son and I sat down to brainstorm some more silly words (rhyming words or alliteration phrases or just plain silly sounds) and we (ok, mostly I) came up with this story. It’s fun to get him involved in the creative writing process so he can see how to get ideas flowing onto paper, then mash them all up and jumble them back together until they fall into place and you get a silly story. 🙂 That’s our official process at the moment.  Continue reading

On-the-go Storytime

Besides answering All the Questions, another fun activity we like to do on long car rides is make up silly stories. N and I got rolling (umm, no pun intended) on a pretty silly story the other day and he helped me recall it tonight so we could be authors and write our very own book.

autumn art fair (1) Continue reading

Math Monday: 10-frame math with seashells

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nothing better than doing math with seashells in paw patrol pajamas!

I’ll randomly do some 10-frame math activities with N (now 4 y.o.). We’ve used egg cartons, sketches on paper, “official” ten frame plastic trains, and now a large plastic floor mat with seashells and expo markers.

I was a math teacher for several years, so sometimes it’s a bit hard to contain my excitement about numbers and patterns and logic and anything else that’s even tangentially math related. (ha! pun intended.) Continue reading

Simple geography

CaptureToday turned out to be a bit of a geography day.

We found out that some friends were collecting the state stickers from those little mandarin oranges. Apparently if you can collect all of the 50 state stickers from the Halo oranges, you can win prizes. Continue reading