• Learning,  Living with Children,  Play,  Self-Directed Learning,  Teens

    Game On!

    Making peace with and space for video gaming as part of the future The dark room is aglow with wall-sized projection screens. Eight computer monitors display the game Fortnite. Boys ranging in ages from 13-18 position themselves for battle— Battle Royale to be exact. Fixated on the screens before them, the countdown begins. Over the next 90 minutes, they will compete against one another for the $120 prize money at stake.  Only the faint whispers of a few spectators and the rapid clicks of computer mice are heard. Every so often an eliminated player lets out a moan or sighs. Some stop to stretch or get a drink of water…

  • Homeschool,  Learning,  Living with Children,  Play

    Games Make Learning Fun!

    We love to play games. Gaming has been a go-to activity since my kids were very young. Board games, card games, made-up games, video games, outdoor games, you name it, we have played it. Not only are games a great way to bond as a family, but they are also rich in learning opportunities. When I worked with children in the classroom, time and time again games were shown to be a conduit for teaching new skills in a fun and engaging way. As a tutor, I almost always found a way to turn the skills I was being paid to teach into a game-like activity. When there is intrigue,…

  • Homeschool,  Learning,  Living with Children,  Play,  Self-Directed Learning

    Pine Cone Bird Feeders: 4 easy steps

    We love birds. For years we have been observing them and putting up birdhouses in our backyard to provide shelter. We have also participated in FeederWatch and the Great Backyard Bird Count. If you haven’t heard of either of these, I encourage you to check them out. It is a great way to learn about the many birds living right under your nose and to help scientists track birds. My kids really enjoyed it, but truth be told, I may have come out as the true ‘bird nerd’. This weekend, we revived our neglected bird feeder and decided to also make pine cone feeders. They are super simple and pretty. Be aware, the…

  • Homeschool,  Play

    Funny Bones- A Craft Project

    I’m a sucker for a good craft so when I saw an idea for a skeleton that sticks to the front of the refrigerator that could be moved about, I had a feeling our family needed this.  We are constantly in and out of the kitchen making food and messes now we can make a skeleton dance. Who doesn’t like a little entertainment while waiting on your mom to make your pancakes? I shared the idea with my youngest and she was immediately sold. We got out our supplies and got to it. Total time to make? About 30 minutes. Total amount of fun? Up to you. You will need: white card…

  • Learning,  Living with Children,  Play

    Why Children Need Pets

    I grew up with pets. As a matter of fact, my rather impulsive (he probably thought of himself as forward thinking) Dad brought home a puppy to my two brothers the day my Mom brought me home from the hospital. Because you know, an infant and a puppy go hand in hand. I’m sure the adult conversations in the house that day were not pleasant. Nevertheless, Pierre the poodle and I grew up pals. We had many hours of cuddles and talks in the night when I was small. When I was in the sixth grade, he was put down. I do not remember all the details of his illness, but one…