Adventures in Cimorelli Land

June 13, 2017

Curious about homeschooling? How to get started? What's it like? Does it work? Will I ruin my kids? Can I handle it? So many questions, so let's get to it! I've been homeschooling for 22 years officially, 28 years unofficially. My oldest is 28; in California, you don't have to legally start until the child is 6 years old. However, like a lot of homeschoolers, I see homeschooling as an extension of what I was already doing as soon as each child was born.

One of my jobs as a mom is to teach my children all kinds of things. Or maybe a better way to look at that I introduce them to a lot of things and then facilitate their learning. I showed them how to eat, walk, talk, get dressed, clean up after themselves, along with a million other things; homeschooling is just continuing on that path. I taught them the names of things, shapes, colors, letters, numbers, how to count, how to add and subtract, how to sound out words, we read lots of great books together, and just generally learned how the...

April 21, 2017

Learn the Art of Mastery and you will learn the art of extraordinary living. If you can become a master at one thing, you can use that same process to become a master at anything. It requires interest, determination, discipline, perseverance, and lots of practice. 

 Christina taking her mastery of physical movement to a new level on a paddle board.

I have had the pleasure of witnessing mastery with my children multiple times, and I have seen them transfer the steps to multiple interests. My oldest son, Michael, started mastering things at 2 years old, purely by accident. He was an extremely curious and hyper little boy, but he had a fascination with two things at 2 years old: power tools and music. My husband Mike and I used to watch "New Yankee Workshop" and "This Old House" when Michael was little. He was obsessed with those shows, and couldn't wait until they came on every night. He would watch with rapt attention while the host would describe what he was going to do next and which po...

April 20, 2017

I was pregnant with my first child in 1988, and I had never heard of homeschooling. One day when I was in my 9th month of pregnancy and in my usual spot lying on the couch, watching TV, and feeling like a beached whale, I was watching the precursor to Oprah, which was a popular talk show hosted by Phil Donahue. On that particular day, he had on the Colfax family from Northern California who had successfully homeschooled their four boys, two of whom were their own biological children, and the other two of whom were adopted and of different races. Clearly there was not a purely genetic edge with this family; they were doing something really interesting and, at that time, cutting edge. At the time of the show, their oldest three had gone on to Harvard on full-ride scholarships, with one becoming a doctor and the other two on their way to becoming lawyers. The fourth was interested in becoming a chef, so he was on a different path. 

1. Interest-led learning

The Colfax family h...

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