New Year, New You

Mythology has hundreds of stories of beings re-making themselves, becoming completely new, washing away all trauma and walking forth with a light heart. It seems to be a bit harder for mortals, but we can still attempt it. The New Year is our traditional time to take stock of our lives and decide on what […]

A Radical Ray of Sunshine

How does that saying go? “When life gives you lemons….” So the postponement of back-to-school has just thrown acid on your plans to return to normal life? (Normal, that is, life before 2020.) Once again marooned at home with antsy kids, probably you’d like to throttle whoever caused this mess. Wait a minute! Out of […]

Preventing Innumeracy With Knitting

Want another hint to prevent innumeracy (meaning, not automatically knowing how to add, multiply, estimate, and so on)? Borrow an idea from Waldorf Schools: stop worrying about reading and teach your kid to knit!  Think about it: knitting means you MUST count and you MUST multiply even if you don’t know what addition and multiplication […]

The Magic of Music

My third tip for avoiding learning problems (not to mention the special hell of being designated Special Ed)? Put that toddler to music! Yes, music. Get ’em dancing, singing, tumbling, clapping, stamping…have a ball!  Of all the multitudes of kids who have been through my program, and of the torrent of requests for help with […]

How to Avoid Learning Problems

My first tip for avoiding learning problems? Put that young learner on your lap and have fun together with a good book. My second tip? Be a role model for young learners by letting them see you engaged with a book–in your hand, NOT on-screen. (There’s already research showing that on-screen learning is far weaker […]

Reading Is First-Class Therapy

As a learning specialist, I’ve learned that by far the most common block to easy learning is auditory-processing deficit: the brain just doesn’t know how to organize the sounds of the language. Something gets missed in early childhood…or perhaps some trauma or accident disrupted the learning process. But this can be fixed! With help, even […]

A poem for the ancient pagan festival of Saturnalia

Saturnalia, the ancient pagan Roman festival from which many of our Christmas traditions spring, starts soon. And by “soon” I mean “tomorrow.” From December 17th to December 23rd, the festival dedicated to the god Saturn goes on, and revelry and merrymaking can be expected in Roman villas and pagan communes. Okay, I’m not sure about […]

All I Want for Christmas Is A Book

All I wanted for Christmas in the long-ago Fifties–besides a dog, natch!–was a book. A book of my very own, in which I could escape to other worlds and play with other beings, while actually safe and secure with my family at home. My first book was Grimm’s Fairy Tales–and boy oh boy, were those […]

There’s No Downside to a Book

Best medicine to protect our kids from the nightmarish reality their parents have to grapple with nowadays? It could be as simple, inexpensive and therapeutic as a book. Start your kids early with a family reading hour–why not? Kids imitate their parents; imagine the impact of seeing the grown-ups having fun with a book. So […]

Why You Should Plan for the Life You Want (Even in a Global Pandemic)

Life sucks sometimes, and it’s up to us to make things better. What’s the best way to make amazing things happen? To plan for them, of course! Okay, maybe you don’t agree with me. Allow me to try to convince you. Plan For The Life You Want I’m a planner at heart. Always have been. […]