• Freedom,  Learning,  Self-Directed Learning,  Teens

    The Day My Teen Built His Own Computer

    If you’re not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you’re determined to learn, no one can stop you. -Unknown It happened. The Amazon cart filled with computer parts for well over a month was finally emptied. On his 15th birthday, the money he saved from summer jobs combined with monetary birthday gifts from family and friends was enough to fulfill the goal he set months ago. What? An actual, working computer? But how? These were absolutely my questions too. When he first started talking about the idea I remember thinking, “Yea. Ok.” Then I drifted off wondering many things…Am I going to need to hire someone? Am…

  • Living with Children,  Parenting

    Creating Peace around the Palate: Understanding “Picky” Eaters

    Food is the great connector–the center of gatherings, celebrations, services, and parties. We bake to show our appreciation. We cook to support an ailing family member or neighbor. Entire industries are built around growing, preparing, delivering, packaging, decorating, and gifting foods.  There is such an abundance in our country that billions of dollars worth of food is tossed out or left on the ground to rot each year.  In our heart of hearts, we know this is wrong. We wish it wasn’t this way and we do our part to stock the local pantries or donate to organizations that feed the hungry. With people literally dying to eat, at home and…

  • Babies,  Books,  Learning,  Parenting,  Teens

    Raising Humans? 7 Books Every Child Wants you to Read

      It is extraordinary that the most important job in the world, raising a child, is an untrained position. -Richard Grossman, Ph.D.   When I was around 11 or 12 I found several books my Mom had been reading that caused me feelings of worry, confusion, and possibly even a little panic. The exact titles escape me, but they were on topics about children and drug use. When I realized she was reading books to understand her own child, one of my brothers who had been in a wrestling match with life since he was born, I was struck with this uncomfortable truth that parents quite possibly have no idea what…

  • Books,  Parenting,  Social Changes,  Teens

    Teens Need you to Read This

    “It has become a cultural cliché that raising adolescents is the most difficult part of parenting. It’s common to joke that when kids are in their teens they are sullen, uncommunicative, more interested in their phones than in their parents and generally hard to take. But this negative trope about adolescents misses the incredible opportunity to positively shape a kid’s brain and future life course during this period of development.” As a former teenager myself and now a parent of one, I found this article to be a mixture of redemption and hope; a nice wake up call to parents and educators everywhere to change the conversations we are having about…

  • Books,  Parenting,  Social Changes,  Teens

    What if kids could test out of school?

    According to the author of “Teen 2.0: Saving our Children and Families from the Torment of Adolescence” that’s exactly what we should be doing. Teens are in limbo. They aren’t given enough rights to be independent, but they are fully capable of handling their lives and in many cases better than those who are actually deemed adults.  The arbitrary age laws can really depress potential. In his book, Robert Epstein, outlines profound, totally unexpected suggestions for our society to consider in order to free our young people and give them the power to reach their full potential. We see delinquent behaviors because kids feel trapped, controlled, and unappreciated. We have dumbed…