The Song of Hiawatha Essays

In The Song of Hiawatha, the main character is a strong leader called Hiawatha.  He is like any other hero, in that he has “superpowers.”  He owns moccasins that, when he runs, with every footstep he goes a mile.  His mittens make him quite strong.  He marries Minnehaha, but she dies.  He ends up being…

My Life in France

In 2015, my husband and I watched the film Julie and Julia. I thought that “Julie” was whiny and unlikable. Despite all of Amy Adams’s efforts to make Julie adorable, I thought that the real life character being portrayed on the screen was dull and forgettable. But, I loved her concept. I thought that her…

Great Courses: Watercolor

Work In Progress This post is a work in progress. I am posting now, rather than waiting until I have more things to report, because I have gotten three questions about this course in the last week. I thought that it might make sense to put something quick and dirty up now and then plan…

Temple of the Holy Spirit

I want to tell you about a book I am reading, The Catholic Table, by Emily Stimpson Chapman. This book is fortifying me in an interesting way right now. I have really loathed my body this year. It is rare for me to mention that out loud. Typically I don’t talk about my body or…

The Blueberry Pie Elf

When the delicious smell of the baking blueberry pie stole out from the oven, the little elf sniffed. He wanted that blueberry pie so much that he almost got his nose caught in the oven door. Elmer is a house elf after my own heart! I too truly love blueberry pie, dear Elmer. I understand….

Masarik Family Fall Clipboards

A number of friends have asked what our school clipboards look like right now. In the last month I have been asking a lot of questions about technique and planning tools in our online homeschool community. I have benefitted from a lot of very good advice from those conversations. I think that our current clipboards…

The Great Train Robbery

On May 15, 1855, the crime of the century was perpetrated by turning lead into gold. Enacting a highly sophisticated bait and switch, Edward Agar, William Pierce, Jeremy Forsyth, and James Burgess were able to steal £12,000 in gold which was being transported from London to Paris. This highly publicized crime, the Great Gold Robbery,…

The Practical Princess

The Practical Princess by Jay Williams surprised me. Before reading it, I assumed that it was going to be yet another addition to the current craze of feminist reimaginings of fairy tales. I wasn’t entirely wrong about that, however, I was wrong about how I would feel about that. The other day in our book…

Tumtum and Nutmeg

“Once there were two married mice called Mr. and Mrs. Nutmouse, and they lived in great style.” That is a great opening line for a children’s book! Children immediately know who and what the main characters are – married mice, that they live in such a way that we might be interested in knowing more…

Last of the Mohicans

This summer, about six weeks before school was going to start, I was asked to teach a literature class for a small group of teen girls.  “Literature” is a dauntingly broad subject.  Where to focus? Based on what some of the students had already read, I decided on American Literature.  How to go about that?…