essays in print and audio

“Connecting the Dots”

home/school/life magazine

Spring 2016

In which I recognize all my kids have learned in the back seat of the car and while dancing down the cereal aisle


“When We Were Young”

home/school/life magazine

Winter 2016

In which I flash back to 1996, when I still wore little black skirts and decided to homeschool


“Listening to Lily”

home/school/life magazine

Fall 2015

In which my daughter figures out who she is by hopping up on the counter and talking to her mama


“The Meaty Stuff”

home/school/life magazine

Summer 2015

In which my kid turns a serious project into something fun, and I work through my disappointment by washing dishes


“The Duomo”

home/school/life magazine

Spring 2015

In which I struggle with whether to let my kid quit a project, or pushing him to continue


“Game Boy”

home/school/life magazine

Winter 2015

In which I wonder where my kid’s lifelong love of games will lead


“Dear Just-Beginning-to-Homeschool Me”

home/school/life magazine

Fall 2014

In which I offer advice to my seventeen-years-ago self


“Wonder a Lot” (links to full column)

home/school/life magazine

Summer 2014

In which I admit that seventeen years of homeschooling have provoked more wondering than answers


“For the Love of Lemony Snicket”

Literary Mama

April 2014

In which I describe how my kids learned to write from a master, on the way to getting the rabbit spayed


Series of guest posts: Rhythm of the Home blog

January 2013

“When He’s Here”: In which I get mopey about my oldest going back to college.
“At the Table”: In which I proclaim my love for my kitchen table.
“Talking Books”: In which I argue that kids interrupting during read-alouds is a good thing.
“The Writing Process”: In which I go meta and write about writing.


“Why Seth Godin and Other Education Reformers Shouldn’t Dismiss Homeschooling”

The Innovative Educator

April 2012

In which I argue with Seth Godin and invite him over for coffee.


“How Do Kids REALLY Learn to Write?

Life Learning Magazine

March/April 2012

In which I gather many of my beliefs about kids and writing into a single handy-dandy package.


“The Girl She Means to Be”

get born! magazine

Fall 2010

In which my daughter longs to sing on stage, and I long to know how to help her.

“Be Your Own Best Teacher”

(originally titled “Homeschooling My MFA”)

Natural Life Magazine

November-December 2009

In which I look back on nearly twenty years of trying to teach myself to write–and realize that what I’ve been doing looks a lot like what my kids do as homeschoolers.

“The Never At Home Homeschoolers”–link opens a PDF file

(originally titled “How to Homeschool”)


May-June 2008

In which I describe my family’s homeschooling adventures in the guise of a how-to manual. Not that I would ever actually tell anyone how to homeschool–after more than eighteen years, I’m still figuring it out for myself. The essay’s style was shamelessly ripped-off from Lorrie Moore’s brilliant short story “How to Become a Writer.” Do read the original.

“Knitting: A Love Story”

Cast-On podcast

Episode 41

In which I allow myself to fall in love with knitting–and worry that my writing will get jealous.