lend me some sugar — i am your neighbor

Surprise, we aren’t a big sports family and don’t watch a lot of games. But it was exciting that the Eagles were in the Super Bowl and Jason Douglass’ Danceadelphia, which has been the kids’ studio since they were preschoolers, ALWAYS goes ALL OUT for EVERYTHING for Philly kids. Jersey-burning? Yep. Greased pole? Yep. I…

reedy jawns

Usually called “St. Brigid’s Crosses” for those who honor her — and something I’ve made for years, and for which I’ve even written a tutorial before, for a children’s craft column, in 2012. I remember making them last year in the last hours of my birthday, using colored zipties — also a fun way to…

fashion machine

Thanks to a friend, the kids got to participate in a two-week rush of preparation and performance in this year’s Philadelphia Fringe Festival! FASHION MACHINE was a production created by Canada’s Theatre SKAM and in it, audience members could volunteer to be undressed, and lounge about in robes while kids in teams of two and…

a rainy friday of snakes

Thanks to this inspiring and energizing video by Vi Hart, I spent — eh — a little under thirty dollars? — and bought four dozen plastic articulated snakes. Oh, these will get use more than once — with a number of friends, I have no doubt. But our particularly weather-intrepid friends A and Z came…

twelve points

Last Christmas, we did a lot of geometry-related crafts. This year, we are just kinda late with our crafting and not as much of is is geometric. But I did love this one — with a template showing the kids where to evenly place each of the twelve points (they could have used two points,…

latin? check. fire safety? check .

Most people know we are the “Parade of Spirits” family (or, going back far enough, the “Krampuslauf Family”). Costuming, folklore, festal culture… soldering battery packs for LED lanterns… using big X-acto blades for cutting foam props… all part of our homeschooling experience. Claudia appeared this year as an amethyst geode — a costuming departure, to…

RITUAL

Months and months ago, we saw this call for single-sheet zines on the topic of “ritual”. The solicitation included a pattern for folding a single-sheet zine and this is, actually, what we used for the kids first zines — the “Six Simple Machines of Physics” and “Do Crystals Have Minds?” zines. But I really wanted…

homeschooling anniversary

I didn’t get to this post until after midnight — for obvious reasons — but our homeschooling anniversary is December FIRST, and here is what the kids spent it doing: Decorating Indy Hall for the holidays… Making God’s Eyes for Parade of Spirits, Liberty Lands with Lux Arati… Maybe a LITTLE nervous about doing the…

a year ago tonight

Was the last night of my life as a parent whose kids went to school. They came home on the afternoon of November 30th and Claudia asked me, “Can I say ‘damn’?” I said she could. “I’m never going back to that damned place,” she said. And Béla nodded. So that was it. Whatever I…

treasure island

When my dad died we inherited a large collection of classic children’s literature illustrated by N.C. Wyeth, and planned to use much of it for out-loud reading — taking turns within a book. The first book chosen by the kids was Treasure Island and Tucker read the first installment — and every installment after. I…

philly ‘zine fest!

Up until yesterday the kids thought ‘zines were just fine — they knew what their own looked like, and they knew what a shelf-full at Fantom Comics in D.C. looked like. But yesterday was the Philly ‘Zine Fest, and boy did that change things! WHAT an avalanche of fun. The kids brought the printouts they…

pinbox 3000, greek mythology version

Purchased many months ago at a Bread and Puppet performance, this tabletop, cardboard pinball-machine kit has been hanging out, not-quite-done, for some time now. The kids knew they wanted to personalize it and had decided on a theme of — surprise! — Greek Mythology. While they had begun printing images of gods online and gluing…