Many years ago, I wrote an article for this paper about home-schooling. I came away with a deep sense of awe about what these teacher-parents had decided to take on and what they managed to accomplish with their kids. I also experienced clarity that this would not be my path. I didn’t have the aptitude or desire. Thank goodness, I thought, that will never, ever be me. Flash forward seven years – to this incredibly weird and scary time that we are all in – and my never-a-dream has become reality. With the announcement that school buildings would stay closed for the rest of the year, and at-home learning would be a thing, parents everywhere geared up for the grind. Except what I am doing could not really be called homeschooling because I am not schooling anyone. Which I suppose is … [Read more...] about What’s the right word for home learning?
As a parent, I understand the value of a preemptive strategy. When it came time to sign up my son for the etiquette class I wanted him to take, I just signed him up months ahead of time and then told him about it 12 hours before the first class to keep complaining to a minimum. Was he happy about it? Quite the opposite. Did he have enough time to really dig his heels in and refuse to put on a coat and tie? Negative. But that’s parenting. The variance notification process with Houston's Planning and Development department is something else entirely, but I feel like the process follows some of my same tactics – although as I found out, it’s all perfectly legal. Take the story we published last week about the proposed apartment development that Hines is seeking to build on 34th … [Read more...] about Denson: When following the rules isn’t enough
Every spring the non-profit organization Children at Risk releases their Texas School Guide for HISD and surrounding school districts – giving each school a letter grade – and each year I’m ambivalent about covering it. That’s because over the past seven years freelancing at The Leader I’ve visited with a lot of dynamic principals and been inside a lot of schools with tireless teachers and enthusiastic students. Some of these schools have worked hard to prove their worth to the surrounding communities. Increasing numbers of them have active groups of parent volunteers who chose to send their kids to their neighborhood school and are spending hundreds of unpaid hours to build something special, not just for their child but for all of them. Then the rankings come out and these same … [Read more...] about School rankings rankle parents
I’ve thought a lot about kids in restaurants, most of all my own. We have to eat, right? And until that blissful time that we can leave them alone at home, or unless we spring for a babysitter, the kids are coming with us. I want us all to enjoy our meal, and by all of us, I mean the other diners too. It’s the death stare of another patron that I’m looking to avoid at all costs. To do that, I have some loose ‘rules’ that I hope will achieve that. I also think a restaurant with a patio allows my kids a little freer range. My husband disagrees. So did another diner last year at a local joint with a patio. Death stare not averted. The kids’ perimeter of movement went down to zero. Recently, I thought about this again when a post on a neighborhood Facebook page gave not only a restaurant … [Read more...] about Kids and restaurants, do they go together?
I don’t write many editorials for The Leader. Only when the spirit – or the publisher – calls. The first one I did in 2012 was about a subject I felt very passionate about. Called ‘Imagining commercial potential in her little corner of the world’, the article still lives online. Interestingly, it’s the first thing that comes up under a Google search for my name. As a near neighbor to the corner of 43rd and Rosslyn since 2004, I was continually bummed to see that nothing ever really took off at that corner. As I mentioned in my first piece, I was optimistic when a Super Cuts moved in at 4301 Rosslyn Road. Any tenant was going to get my business. Then after about a week, there was a fire. Then nothing for 13 years. I wasn’t exactly young when I started writing for The Leader but I was … [Read more...] about What will it take to move the needle at 43rd and Rosslyn?