The train is rolling into the station on our big passage writing project. As my co-conspirator partner-in-crime colleague cautions, it’s too soon to uncork the champagne. There is still work to do, of course, in the immortal words of the Isley Brothers. We have two other projects we’re working on, too, so one train arrives for the […]


We all use shorthand communication. As much as I like to talk, there are times when I don’t want to explain every single little detail of every single little thought process (in the immortal words of Voltaire, the secret of being a bore is to tell everything), and instead rely on the person I’m talking […]

The Ritual of Reading

I’ve been slow to embrace e-books. My first exposure came late: it was the textbooks I received as pdfs when, in 2009, I enrolled in prerequisite classes for sommelier certification. (I can’t say I greeted the innovation with enthusiasm. Nor did the other students, all of whom printed out the whole dang thing to put […]

File Under: Use with Caution, Cross-Referenced to: There’s No Such Thing as Free

I understand why literature that is in the public domain finds favor in the eyes of assessment and curriculum publishing companies: 1. It’s free! Who doesn’t like free stuff? Besides, even when the content itself is free, the company still has to sink a lot of money into it. Passage selection, data entry, researching copyright […]

Start Where You Are

The first time my second daughter began to read To Kill a Mockingbird, she gave up within ten pages. She was in the fifth grade. The reading was so difficult that she got no pleasure from it. When she read it last year, in the 7th grade, she loved it. When we started the homeschooling, […]