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Holy crap we're hosting an exchange student — now what?!

My husband and I were recently approached by a friend coordinating host families for a three week long cultural exchange program for students from Spain this summer. We decided to go for it — it will be a neat experience for us, and it's a nice thing to do both for our friend and for the student who will be staying with us. The other day we got the email that we'd been approved as "host parents" and matched with a 17-year-old young man!

Oh shit: I really am old enough to have a teenager

When you're in the mix of diapers and tantrums and first grade plays and Toothfairy charades, you really can't envision your children as teenagers. We get caught up in the thick of life in the moment — as it should be — and it seems impossible to envision our kids as these independent, intellectually expressive beings.

Six tips for creating awesome care-packages for children away from home

While I was growing up, I spent a lot of time away from home. I can tell you now, whether I was away for school, camp, high school summer jobs or even when I moved on to university, nothing helped my homesickness and general well-being better than when I received a care package from home. I was recently helping a friend put together a package for her high school aged child studying abroad when I realized that not everyone was in situations growing up where they were receiving care-packages.

A Pi Day bonus: one teacher's thoughts on why math matters

"You'll need it to balance your checkbook" or "What if you wanted to re-paint a room of your house?" are phrases that we would often hear repeated to us when we asked "Why we will ever need any of this math?". While these uses are just as relevant as ever, these answers not only leave today's learners unsatisfied, but also do not address the essential needs of math in today's working world. As parents and caretakers, we should be careful to not confuse arithmetic with Mathematics.

It's Pi Day! Let's talk about how awesome math is for your kids

Growing up I was totally one of those kids that read early, talked early, all that jazz — but hated math. I can't even pretend that I just strongly disliked it, as my feelings were those of straight-up loathing. If I have to place the beginning of this hate-hate relationship, I can safely say it started when I got my first B in sixth grade in algebra.