endlessly fascinating me

I'm here and I'm blogging for 30 days in a row

Published by Lori Pickert on November 1, 2011 at 08:53 PM

If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one. — Russian proverb

So, blogging hasn’t been my forte in 2011.

I don’t know how other people do it, but I had reached the point where I really couldn’t keep blogging until I sat down and wrote the book. The book, the book I’d been thinking about when I started this blog.

Blogging and booking are both writing, but a blog, after years, becomes an unwieldy collection of posts that you struggle to keep track of so that when someone e-mails a question, you can say, “These posts might help.” And then there’s the problem of beginning to repeat yourself — or, more commonly, you should repeat yourself (because new people keep wandering in) but you hate to, so you don’t, and then those people are confused. It’s a whole thing.

I started the blog because I was thinking about writing a book, and then the blogging was so satisfying I shoved the book onto the back burner where it stayed until the bottom of the pot turned black.

To chase my one rabbit, I had to focus all my attention on it, so that’s what I did.

But I plan to be here and blog every day of November. By the end of the month, I should be able to show you the book I finished while I was conspicuously absent — Project-Based Homeschooling: Mentoring Self-Directed Learners. Yay! There’s even a nice, fresh, new website in the works to go with the book.

I’ll tell you all about it.

Was it worth the wait? Hello? Anyone still there?

Imagination on demand

Published by Lori Pickert on May 12, 2009 at 12:02 PM

Hope everyone had a lovely Mothers Day! (Including all you mums from outside the U.S.!)

The above photo was taken at the botanical gardens where I enjoyed a lovely day being fêted, as is my due.

An interesting bit from the end of the brief but powerful open thread over the busy weekend:

…I speak of imagination, the neglected stepchild of American education. — Elliot Eisner

“imagination, the neglected stepchild of American education” — Oh, how it pained me to read that sentence! Our country started with such creativity and spark and ingenuity … and to think that we have gotten to a point of being so prosperous and able yet also neglecting our duty to teach our children well … so sad. Yet the quote inspires me…Jen

The problem with imagination and American education isn’t that it is completely ignored — it’s that school thinks they can train it like a domestic animal and bring it out only when they want it, and then make it jump through hoops on command.

You invented your own way of doing this math problem? No, we don’t want that; you’re confusing things. You’re writing a poem today —be creative. You want to use these math materials to make up a game you thought of yourself? I’m sorry, we don’t have time for that. Do the assignment. Remember the book that I chose and told you to read? Well, whether you enjoyed it or not, whether it spoke to you or not, I now want you to make a diorama about it. It’s due on friday; use your imagination.

We know this isn’t how imagination works. It’s not how it works for us, as adults. But we consistently make choices for children that absolutely defy what we know about ourselves. … — Me


My holiday wish for you

Published by Lori Pickert on December 7, 2008 at 05:09 PM

Do less. Enjoy it more.


Published by Lori Pickert on June 5, 2008 at 03:31 AM


The creek flooded its banks and made a temporary lake behind our house.

The temporary lake brought a new temporary pet — a baby snapping turtle. With the woods and the creek in your backyard, it’s easy to adopt a little bit of wildlife, watch it, feed it, learn about it, then let it go again.

Last year we found a box turtle just getting into the road and brought him home for a couple of weeks, then carefully returned him exactly where we found him — except, you know, about 12 feet further on his way, on the other side of the road. Turtles are so slow, and pickups so fast.

For it was rather exciting. The little dry ditches in which Piglet had nosed about so often had become streams, the little streams across which he had splashed were rivers, and the river, between whose steep banks they had played so happily, had sprawled out of its own bed and was taking up so much room everywhere, that Piglet was beginning to wonder whether it would be coming into his bed soon.



Published by Lori Pickert on June 2, 2008 at 12:00 AM


Right now just about everything is calling more loudly than the computer and the blog.

There’s the garden, the landscaping, the toads, the frogs, the flowers, the berries, the clouds, the breeze, the trees, the anthills, the garden snakes, the kites, the lake.

It’s a rising chorus not unlike the peepers and tree frogs who are so loud in the creek at night we have to close the windows to sleep. All the glories of spring, demanding our attention. It’s absolutely deafening.

Soon it will be 95 degrees and we’ll retreat to the cool indoors every day around noon, and things will pick up again around here. I actually taught an art class this week (that wasn’t rained out!) and remembered to bring the camera, so I’ll have that to share.

But for the moment, just imagine the sound of the screen door slamming. We’re on our way out. But we’ll be back in soon.

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. — Margaret Atwood