Self-Judgment and Hamlet's Mutiny

Self-Judgment and Hamlet's Mutiny

My last blog post on The Hovel is dated April 17, 2017 – over one year ago. There are plenty of reasons and justifications for my silence: I’ve been busy working on more pressing projects, Ian and I moved across the country again, we bought our first house, etc., etc. If I’m honest, though, there’s one sad underlying cause for my lack of productivity that trumps all the other excuses: I have become Hamlet…

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On "Getting the Right Answers" to Socratic Questions

On "Getting the Right Answers" to Socratic Questions

One of my favorite, daily tasks at CenterForLit is answering emails from parents and educators who write with questions about literature and homeschooling. I look forward to these conversations, albeit virtual, because I remember the isolation endemic in much of my own homeschooling work...

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On Faith, Hope, and Fear

On Faith, Hope, and Fear

January and February were difficult months for us Andrews types. The new year brought with it two car accidents, a health drama, and a broken furnace in the coldest week of the season. I would love to report that we handled it all with faces “set like flint,” hearts full of faith, and unflappable confidence in God’s goodness, but that wouldn’t be honest... 

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Sculpture and Sabbath in Jeremiah

Sculpture and Sabbath in Jeremiah

Making Jeremiah the prophet relevant to modern day high school students is a neat trick, and I’d like to have a long talk with the teacher who can pull it off.  The problem is Jeremiah’s preoccupation with idolatry, the crafting and worshiping of wooden statues. The entire prophecy is a diatribe against this practice, and since few of my students are pagan sculptors, they have a hard time relating...

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The In-Between

The In-Between

I’ve been reading a lot of children’s literature recently, due to my role as an Elementary Lit teacher here at CenterForLit. We just finished reading C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and I was struck by the youngest brother, Edmund’s, character development. Not a baby any longer to be coddled by his mother or sister, but not yet mature enough to claim a leader’s role like Peter, Edmund is half-baked, sullen, and in-process...

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Fall Pinterest Fails and the Messy Real

Fall Pinterest Fails and the Messy Real

Fall has officially arrived here in northeast Washington. As the air adopts a chill, we are barreling towards the season of harvest parties and hay rides, hot chocolate and flushed faces, pumpkins and apple-cider. Tradition holds that this season affords us all a glowing opportunity to throw open our homes to company. Thanks to Pinterest, we have a vivid picture in our minds of the model autumnal home: decorated but not cluttered, festive but not garish, tidy but just the right amount of “lived in.” If you’re anything like me, you are already laboring under the weight of this impossible standard...

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Running the Race: A Lit Lesson in Preparation for Labor Day

Running the Race: A Lit Lesson in Preparation for Labor Day

Man, that Apostle Paul must have been a lit teacher! Consider how well he chose his metaphors: In a passage of Scripture that is being intoned and memorized by homeschooling parents all over the world this week, he urges his readers to“run in such a way as to get the prize…Go into strict training…to get a crown that will last forever” (I Corinthians 9:24-25).Is there any better image to describe the upcoming year than a race...

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Of Lists and Laws: Busy Lives and Back-to-School Plans

Of Lists and Laws: Busy Lives and Back-to-School Plans

August is upon us, and if you’re anything like me, in addition to the sunshine and heat, it brings with it a crushing realization that the long list of summer to-dos that we penned with great hope in late May is not going to be accomplished.  Mine sits before me, a glaring accusation... 

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"Another Golgotha"

"Another Golgotha"

Holding my breath, suffocated by the burning odor of bleach, I took up my sponge against the scarred and yellowed linoleum of my first apartment’s kitchen. The war raged long. Arms weary, knees bruised, I scrubbed like my life depended on it. And when I rinsed the host of suds at the end of a long afternoon…the floor did not look any cleaner. 

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