Posts by bette

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Published on: Author: bette 3 Comments

Kids have been dropping out of high school since there have been high schools, but our dropout “problem” is relatively new. At the age of 11, my grandfather, John Alfred “Benny” Benson, was sent to work on a stranger’s farm in the next county when his mother died.  His father, Otto Benson, an Iowa farmer… Continue reading

What’s a Filter Bubble? Reflections on Red, Blue, and Shades of Purple

Published on: Author: bette 6 Comments

Terms like “Fake News” and “Filter Bubbles” are making it difficult for us to figure out what’s really happening in the world these days. People seem to be blaming social media … but like any other new phenomenon, technology like this is neither good nor bad in itself – it’s how we use it that… Continue reading

Brevity Works: Learning from Donald Trump

Published on: Author: bette 22 Comments

I don’t Tweet and I will probably never make much use of my Twitter account. That being said, I keep flashing back to something my good friend Deb Tucker tried to get me to learn when Tweeting first became a fad.  Bette, she told me, it would be very good for you to learn to… Continue reading

Beyond the End: Touring Facebook

Published on: Author: bette 12 Comments

They say that every ending is a new beginning.  I’m not really sure if “they” really say that … but it’s a thought that has occurred to me a great many times over the years.   The first time was in 1986 when my kids and I were on our way to a family reunion… Continue reading

A Vision Dimmed

Published on: Author: bette 5 Comments

As I write, I am listening to a teacher’s voice, on-line, conducting a live lesson intended to prepare a group of homeschooled fourth graders for their state testing.  These children have been pulled out of the public school system for many reasons.  Some are the children of free-spirited parents who are raising their children on… Continue reading

Reflections on Voices and Values – June 4, 1999

Published on: Author: bette 1 Comment

Even though I wrote “Breakfast at McDonald’s:Reflections on Voices and Values” in 1999, I still remember the thoughts that were running through my mind that day like it was yesterday.  I don’t think I ever shared it with anyone except Molly’s mother because I felt like it was too negative, too pessimistic.  I felt that… Continue reading

Resolutions in Retrospect – Dec. 30, 1998

Published on: Author: bette 2 Comments

I just now read through “Resolutions in Retrospect” for the first time in many years.  I’ve skimmed through it as I’ve been going through my old writing … but haven’t really thought about what I discovered that New Year’s Eve in 1998. That was over 17 years ago!  I’ve taken time between Thanksgiving and Christmas… Continue reading

A Poem for Olivia – Jan. 29, 2014

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I wrote this poem the day after my daughter called to tell us that she was pregnant.  On January 28, 2014 and we were in our RV at Lake Cahuilla in La Quinta, California.  The news came as a shock for many reasons, and I’m afraid that my tone on the phone was not one… Continue reading

Parenting on Purpose – March 1998

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I wrote this piece during Spring Break in 1998 just after meeting my first nephew, Tanner.  Tanner was 6 months old.  Less than a month ago, on May 27, 2016, I got to watch Tanner giving the Salutatorian address at Oakmont High School in Roseville, CA.  He’s off to Cal Tech in the fall …… Continue reading

Reorganizing – A Simpler Way

Published on: Author: bette 1 Comment

I’ve been back in Brookings for a week and finally feel settled enough to get back to these blogs.  As I was moving books from one shelf to another and filling a couple of boxes to donate to the library, a book that I’ve had for many years caught my eye. It’s called A Simpler Way… Continue reading

Focus on the Children – December 1998

Published on: Author: bette 4 Comments

Jesus says nothing about focusing on the family.  In fact, he said quite the opposite.  A quick Google search for the question “What did Jesus say about family?” led me to pages and pages of sites that try to dispel the literal interpretation of Luke 14:22-27 where He says we must “hate” our family to… Continue reading

Meanderings … and the Common Core Writing Standards

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  Writing for me is a process, an internal conversation – a way to process my thoughts. I started this blog in 2009 for two reasons. One was to capture some of those random thoughts, and the other was to learn about “web logs” … or as I found out they were called: blogs.  Edublogs… Continue reading

What’s an Evangelical Voting Bloc?

Published on: Author: bette 10 Comments

On January 24, 2016 I heard the political commentators on CNN talking about which of the candidates for the Republican nomination for President would win the “Evangelical Voting Bloc.”  I started this blog post that night, but I have not been able to let go of it and move on. It’s now September 5, 2016,… Continue reading

Leadership 2020

Published on: Author: bette 3 Comments

The children who were the focus for Leadership 2020 when I began writing about them in 1997 are no longer children.  Their children will soon take their places, and the efforts that were being made 15 years ago to replace a one-size-fits-all school system with one that would support the uniqueness of each individual child… Continue reading

Turning Points …

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Thirty years ago I attended a workshop called “Understanding the Middle School Circus.” My district was considering “reconfiguration.” That’s the term they used in the mid-1980’s when districts across the country were reassigning grade levels and changing junior high schools into middle schools. In my district and the K-6 elementary schools became K-5.  Middle school… Continue reading

Good Ideas – “Hackschooling”

Published on: Author: bette 2 Comments

Richard and I are back in Brookings and I’ve already spent many happy hours in my office above our motorhome garage.  This space has been little more than a storeroom since it was built – and it’s just now beginning to be used as we intended. The main reason we built this space was for… Continue reading

Living the RV Dream

Published on: Author: bette 4 Comments

Just after we left Brookings this year, Bruce Ellis posted a request on Facebook for articles he could publish in The South Coast Insider. Bruce started this paper as the Brookings Insider and it was intended to spotlight our wonderful community. His stated mission is:  “Keepin’ it Real and Spreadin’ the Love.” I remembered Bruce’s… Continue reading

Overcoming Writer’s Block: It’s Just Not that Hard

Published on: Author: bette 1 Comment

When I’m working with a student who is experiencing “writer’s block,” my advice is to just start writing.  Period.  Put the pencil on the paper and just start pushing it across the line.  If nothing else, just begin – “I don’t know what to write . . . I don’t know what to write .… Continue reading

Building Vocabulary Naturally

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I’ve been attending meetings of a local writers’ group.   The idea of meeting with people who consider themselves writers felt a little intimidating to me at first.  But now that I’ve attended two meetings,  I have realized how much fun it is talking to people who write simply because they love to write.  Writing is… Continue reading

A Vision Dimmed

Published on: Author: bette 5 Comments

As I write, I am listening to a teacher’s voice, on-line, conducting a live lesson intended to prepare a group of homeschooled fourth graders for their state testing.  These children have been pulled out of the public school system for many reasons.  Some are the children of free-spirited parents who are raising their children on… Continue reading

Some Things Stick: S.T.A.R. Problem Solving

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We’ve been sitting out in the middle of the desert about 5 miles from Quartzsite, Arizona for the past week and a half.    Today we’re leaving  for Lake Cahuilla – a little known County Park tucked directly behind PGA West in La Quinta, CA.   Quartzsite is a strange little town.  It’s almost a ghost… Continue reading

Creative Imagination

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We arrived in Quartzsite, Arizona yesterday and will be here for a couple of weeks for the “Really Big” RV show.  It’s a pretty amazing phenomenon:  thousands of RVer’s descend on this tiny border town every winter to “boon dock” on BLM land and escape the weather at home.  There’s not much to do here… Continue reading

Tests that Teach

Published on: Author: bette 1 Comment

I called my daughter this morning as she was on her way to take her final in Anatomy and Physiology at Redwood Community College in Eureka, CA.   She sounded relaxed and actually excited about taking the test two days early.    Her words were something like this:   “You would  like this guy, Mom . .… Continue reading

Project-Based Learning

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We’re on the road again and today find ourselves in Redwood City, California.  We parked the RV at Paul and Debbie’s house and have spent the past 11 days with the grandchildren:  Mason (7), Reese (5), and Miles (2).   I had a chance last week to spend some time at Adalante School, the Spanish… Continue reading

WELCOME to Meanderings!

Published on: Author: bette 5 Comments

  I’m starting this blog this morning for two reasons.   First, 2008 was a year of a great many changes for Richard (aka “Dick” or “Rich”) and I. After 10 years of pseudo-retirement, we have finally arranged our lives so that we can spend more time traveling.Last January we saw the movie “The Bucket… Continue reading