Shoveling Mulch onto the Leaf-Mold of the Mind

When we built our house on this back corner of the neighborhood, we told the builders to leave as many trees as possible because the line of woods at the back of our property gives way to family land. We cleared out the underbrush to make it traversable and brought in loads of mulch to protect the barren ground from erosion. That was four years ago. Our back lawn is still a work in progress. We aerate and overseed season after season, trying to get enough grass to grow to choke out the weeds. The clay that they dug for the foundation just makes for poor soil. In the woods, however, all the mulch we put down has mixed with […]

Poetry (that’s not just) for Children

Confession: I enjoy poetry. Sure, I studied it in college, but more than analyzing and critiquing poems, I love to read them and hear them read. Poetry has a kind of music and expressiveness to it that delights my ears, and the powerful word combinations that condense a large idea into a few lines are an endless source of fascination. I want my children to love poetry, too, so we’ve been reading poetry together at the start of each school day. It’s one of our favorite parts of school, and when I finish reading, the kids invariably ask me to read more. (I often indulge them.) If you want to introduce your children to poetry but don’t know where to […]