Reflecting on the positives distance schooling delivered.

Distance learning was far from ideal. Who wasn’t angry that public schools couldn’t find a more creative solution to teaching? But, this article does not chronicle my complaints about the school year. As we prepare to return to two days of in-person school this week, it reflects the positives that stemmed from the experience.

Distance schooling with a view.

Remote learning naturally gave us the cherished freedom to learn from anywhere.

The kids logged in from Seattle, Palm Springs, Dallas, Arnold…I-5. …

How I got my kids to think about the five food groups at (most) every meal

A lesson on researching, analyzing, debating, and voting on federal, state and local elections and ballot measures.

For better or for worse, my children were consumed by the 2020 election. They peppered me with questions about a candidate or an issue. So when time came to fill out my ballot, I decided to do it with them.

The San Francisco ballot is a tome of propositions. In addition to federal, state and local offices, I voted on 12 state and 13 local ballot measures.

I add, I don’t vote willy nilly. Instead, I spend the time to read through the…

The perils of paying the credit card minimum after unabashed charging

Over the years I’ve had friends end up with massive credit card debt. My friends amassed the debt by spending unabashedly and then only paying the monthly minimum.

It’s not surprising a person might think it is fine to pay the credit card bill minimum. Paying the minimum is offered front and center on the bill.

In fact, the words “Pay the minimum” almost endear like a friend helping when you are in need. “Don’t worry about it. We all at times spend more than we have. …

The benefits of asking family to regularly practice drawing and singing with my children

Probably the easiest lessons taught this year were those taught by others in my family. My brother who illustrates for Netflix Animation resonated with the lessons on scale and point perspective. Likewise, my father-in-law, a former soloist for the Seattle Men’s Chorus, got a kick out of us trying to write a song to express ourselves during the pandemic.

While the goal of my lessons was to supplement distance learning with hands-on-learning, both possessed skills easily taught via weekly Zoom meetings. …

How I tried to implement the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People into my family

The story of how my kids convinced us to get a kitten

Tips on how to reduce your family’s energy bill

I like to think we care for our environment. We recycle and compost. Our electric car gets us around town. Groceries arrive home in reusable bags.

Yet, when I look at our electricity bill, I think, “Is this bill for real?” Our monthly bills suggest we could run a large industrial complex.

Over the years, I’ve made changes. Still the bill surprises. I had not enlisted the help of the family, so I thought a lesson on our family’s energy use could perhaps lead to a breakthrough.

“How much energy does our family use?

To enlist, we first studied the…

Talking sex with my five-year old.

Seeds you knew. You had planted and seen them grow. Yet, we’d never explored where seeds came from.

So we plucked flowers from our yard and looked closely at their ends. We observed the tiny stalks and caressed the pollen off them onto our fingertips. We took a closer look at flower images found through Google. And then under the morning sun bathing us by the window bay, we water colored a large bright flower head with anatomy in place.

An analytical lesson for children that presents data manipulation.

Our Bridgeview home offers expansive city and bridge views.

On finding a YouCubed lesson that invited us to look at the view, we quickly got to task. For five minutes under the early afternoon light we sat on deck stools watching as birds passed, neighbors strolled, cars zoomed. We should have worn sunscreen as it got hot.

Then we recorded the number of times one activity happened. One of the kids chose to count passing cars, busses and trucks. The other the color of cars passing Mike’s corner store.

After five minutes of data collection and bottoms drenched from the…

Jorge Robert

San Francisco stay-at-home dad of 3 writing the next chapter

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