education

"Are you a boy or a girl?" How do you explain gender to a child?

“Are you a boy or a girl?” How do you explain gender to a child?

My kiddo is biologically male, but when kids ask him if he’s a boy or girl, he says, “I’m me. I’m a person.” Kids, however, don’t accept this answer and pester him to the point of tears. I don’t know how to tell him the difference between boys and girls, or if I want to tell him that there is a difference at all (besides anatomically).

How do you explain gender to a four-year-old?

16 ways to expand your brain with free online courses

Are you a potential brainiac who can read/watch/absorb via online methods? Then free online courses may just be your window to the world. Or even the way you can get a professional certificate or an actual degree. You can be the brains of the ball with these 16 sites to take free courses and/or explore free ways to learn. Learn what exactly? Think coding, technologies, languages, music theory, social sciences, arts, and tons of others. Some of these courses are even through Ivy League universities! For you, for your kids, for your book club… anyone can learn if they’ve got the drive and an internet connection. Let’s see the sites, shall we?

We’re beginning our journey as home schoolers

When I was pregnant with my son I felt as though there was an almost innate need for him to be home schooled. I had forgotten about it after I went through a very stressful birth with him. When he was 18 months and in Early Intervention for speech I revisited the idea. When I couldn’t find a curriculum or school system I agreed with in public, charter or Catholic school I ended up walking through this door of infinite possibilities — home schooling! Many people started to emerge and extend their hand towards us, offering trips to conventions, curriculum, catalogs, websites and help.

5 back to school lessons learned by a LGBTQ family

We are mere weeks away from our little one returning to school. Back-to-school supply ads and lists are dominating our dining table. Conversation about which backpack to use for school, which past classmates will be in this year’s class and how we prioritize homework and soccer are taking place daily. For our family, back to school also means that our family has another opportunity to come out, be seen and expand our circle of friends. Our little man is a remarkable soon-to-be second grader. He’s curious and friendly. He’s independent and playful. And he’s proud to his two mamas.

How I used physical sensations when explaining colours to a blind child

How do you explain the concept of colours to a small child who had never seen anything but black? When we got told that there was to be a blind child at our kindergarten class, we got sent to a course in how to best stimulate such a child. The number one thing we learned was to play with her other senses, which is often more developed than in people with normal eye sight.

I’m using Harry Potter to teach a first grader literacy skills

Just as caretakers have been surreptitiously sneaking veggies into kids’ favorite foods for eons, I have been hiding literacy skills in games and activities that center around JK Rowling’s brilliant, alluring universe. And it’s working. I might even say… it’s just like magic.

My wife experienced the death of a student as only a teacher can

My wife is an early childhood and special educator. She works with young students, most of whom are the same age or younger than our youngest daughter. One of those students, one whom she’s championed, advocated for, and supported for almost two years, passed away. The news, and the resulting heartache, are things she never could have prepared for, steeled herself to. The loss of this student has hit her profoundly.

Hackschooling Makes Me Happy: a 13-year-old talks about his education of choice

Logan LaPlante is 13 years old and he goes to what he calls “hackschool.” Its really not a school at all in the traditional sense. As Logan says, “Hackschooling is a mindset, not a system.” In this amazing TEDx talk, Logan sets forth a bold vision for education — one he lives everyday.