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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Homeschooling & Education

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Grinding Away at Grad School

Here’s to all of the women in university and grad school out there, who need to balance work and family life… while they study either to better themselves or their career. It’s not easy. It takes more than a village. It takes either total isolation, peace and quiet—that’s never going to happen—or it takes an…

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Monday Mottoes – #55

“You’re not from around here, are you?” one of Petya’s coworkers asked him. “Not originally,” our almost-18-year-old agreed. “Most of the guys around here don’t like to work. They like getting a paycheck, just not working….” The man was old enough to be his father, and had a 14-year-old son that he wanted Petya to…

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The Russian Need to Speak French

It was the beginning of the 19th century and upper-class Russians spoke French… and hardly any Russian at all. Maybe a little to the family servants, but that was it. Some could not even read nor write in Russian. A friend of ours from Paris once gave me a beautiful, old book in French about…

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Top Ten Homeschooling Myths

Everyone’s heading back to school and questions arise when people hear that we’re homeschoolers. The following are some misconceptions, as though learning and homelife simply don’t mix…. Our children play all day and read dictionaries all night to study for spelling bees. We sleep in and let them stay in their jammies to study. The…

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Learning to Drive… in Other Languages

Our kids continue to study Russian Lite throughout the year. I take them through the paces, the key to our limited success being that we need dialogs which will engage them. In college, you can use the normal, “What are you studying?” and “Do you live in the dorm?”, but for now, we need more…

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School for the FAS Student

You may be dreading it. School is starting and you have a son or daughter with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Getting them the services they need often involves an uphill battle and and Individualized Education Plan (IEP – Special Ed). Hopefully, a regular high school diploma and not an IEP diploma will be earned, since…

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Even the Good Life Has Bumps in the Road

It’s not easy being moi. Required to complete a number of lectures this week, my son and I hurtled down the highway before the crack of dawn to visit yet another city, participate in seminars, and set off for our second house. At the dacha, we had more command performances for that evening. “Ouch!” I…

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Taking Classes with Your Teen

You have not experienced life to the fullest until you enroll in a class with your teen son or daughter. You have not learned how full your life used to be until you reduce yourself to tagging along with said son or daughter. I used to be his chauffeur. Then he learned to drive. I…

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Our Second Son Steps Out in Art

You all know about Petya, 17.5, recent high school grad headed for college in the fall, great internship-part time job, with another part-time job on the golf course which is his second-favorite sport after tennis. He’s got stuff going on right and left. His younger brother, not so much. Pasha is the same age, from…

locker lookz main

Back-to-School Bling

It’s almost one month until school begins in some locales, which means that back-to-school supplies are cropping up everywhere. Along with the usual notebooks, erasers, pens and pencils, I glimpsed a few new items that are worth reporting. Particularly for teen girls with an eye for bling. Let me tell you, this kind of stuff…

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