patricia zaballos

writer

Forever obsessed with how people learn, my essays on the subject have appeared in Salon, Literary Mama, Life Learning Magazine, Mothering Magazine and elsewhere. For a few fun years I wrote a column for home/school/life magazine. Also, a guide for parents, Workshops Work! A Parent’s Guide to Facilitating Writer’s Workshops for Kids, because I’m the world’s most ridiculous cheerleader for workshops as an engine to make kids want to write. I’m currently at work on a collection of essays about my years as a homeschooling mother, which is not so much a homeschooling story but a fanatical plea to give all kids more agency in their learning and their lives.

homeschooling veteran

A former third-grade public school teacher, I went on to homeschool alongside my three now-grown kids for twenty years. Leading them into that wilderness, I pretty much thought I’d be the guide–I’d been a teacher, after all!–but my kids quickly upended everything I thought I knew about learning, teaching me to trust them and to follow their leads. I’ve written many, many posts on homeschooling and helping kids retain their creativity, with a particular focus on helping kids love writing, including the still viral-ish How Do Kids REALLY Learn to Write? On the homeschooling page I share my family’s story and have organized some highlights. Let’s chat at my free webinar series!

blogger

A believer in the notion that blogs are not dead, that they are, in fact, the last patch of internet not overrun by algorithms, I’ve kept Wonder Farm chugging along since 2008, before Instagram even existed. After years of writing about homeschooling and parenting, these days I also muse on writing, creativity, and life in the house among the redwoods with the long kitchen table, which my husband and I built 24 years ago here in Oakland, CA. Most months I write a newsletter-style post; please subscribe for email updates! If you wonder why the heck I call the place a Wonder Farm, here’s the story.