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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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Crunching Numbers for My Kids

With so much talk of STEM studies (science, technology, engineering and math) for US students, I can tell you first-hand that not all students are buying into the greater need for science-based learning. In our family, I work to reverse that trend, if not for high school, then perhaps for college or even life-long learning….

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We Are Now Legal Homeschoolers

Illegal immigrants, illegal workers, illegal earnings… illegal homeschoolers. Every year we try to comply with the rules and regulations given for homeschooling families in our area, knowing that only about 10% of those who educate their children at home ever register with the government. In a city with a whole lot of government going on,…

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Free Russian Language Lessons

Our four high school and college-age kids were taken by us to visit a kind Russian head-of-department at a prestigious university. He gave 30 minutes of his time to discuss with them the fact that Russian has just come up as #2 on the Strategic Languages List and how the US State Department cannot get…

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Our Russian-American Kids Voted

So proud of our three oldest children, two of whom voted for the first time in this year’s early elections. The discussions regarding candidates and showing the kids how to research candidates’ statements and records bordered on the hysterical at times, but we got through it. If ever there was a case for changing the…

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Monday Mottoes – #162

Winston Churchill, born into an aristocratic family, experienced his own fair share of struggles. As Lord Admiral of the British Navy during WWI, he took responsibility for the Battle of Gallipoli, a bold plan which the Navy did not implement, but resulted in his resignation. In his absence from political office, Churchill wrote about the…

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Petya’s First Scholarly Presentation

It was amazing. Spectacular. Stellar. Yet, as is often the case, it did not appear that all was going to be well during his first scholarly presentation. The research paper was excellent. Once 30-some pages, he needed to mercilessly slice and dice the manuscript to 9 pages in order to fit into the 20-minute time…

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Where Have All the Real Books Gone?

You know me: old-world, old-school.  Low-tech.  That’s why I like books— I read them, I write them, I collect them.  Real books, sewn bindings, dust and all, not electronic books.  I receive them as gifts, people bring me unusual copies and first editions and those written in several languages. Love it. But it can be…

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Inward Strength to Withstand Stress

I was never one to watch Star Wars, but the fictional Jedi Master Yoda apparently dispensed his wisdom throughout. If ever there is a need for wisdom, it’s for our generation that has been ruled by mindsets such as, “If it feels good — do it”, “Go with the flow”, stemming out of an even…

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My Adult Merit Badges

I was never a girl scout. Adventuresome, yes. Athletic, yes. Lots of field trips and fun, cooking, crafts and friendships, yes. But, merit badges? No. Think of all the fun that could have been! I went to the girl scout site. It appears that the awards are called “badges”. My dad and brother were part…

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Research Paper Checklist

On the younger side of the spectrum, we have three high schoolers from tenth to twelfth grade. They need to improve on their basic research and response papers. The fact that they came from Russia at later ages and that we continue to retain their Russian can work against them at times. But we work…