The Talking Stick Blog

News, Updates, Program Recaps, and Homeschooling Information

PROBLEM SOLVING #1: A New Group of Students

March 2, 2017 As I prepare for today’s math circle, I realize that I am in a privileged position of utmost responsibility: only one person in this group of six has ever been to a math circle before. For years, the majority of students in our circles have participated for years. I hope I am up to the task. FUNCTION…

Read More→

Open House: Wednesday, March 15th

Talking Stick is hosting an open house on Wednesday, March 15th, from 10am-12pm. Stop by to talk to staff and participants about our programs for homeschoolers ages 4-17. We will be hosting the entire open house at our Garden Classroom. We have several families attending with young people in different age groups, so we are planning to have all ages, all programs…

Read More→

FERMAT 3 and 4: Proofs Proofs and Proofs

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT NUMBER IN THE WORLD? The students came up with a list that includes just about everything that mathematicians say is important. (Non-mathematicians have a completely different list, though!) What would a mathematician say is the most important type of number in the world? This was tougher. Lots of conjectures. I finally used some leading questions…

Read More→

Fermat 1 and 2: From Trial and Error into Proof

(October 31 and November 7, 2016) “What are the greatest human accomplishments in history?” I asked at session one of our teen math circle. The students generated a list on the board. “What made them great accomplishments?” I asked. The students gave reasons for the greatness of each accomplishment listed. We did the same for a narrower version of the…

Read More→


There’s been a rare sighting of the elusive homeschooling teenager in their natural habitat! So many homeschooled youth choose the road more traveled: high school. Many cite fear of not being able to get into college with a homeschooling diploma that Mom created on Photoshop. Some are looking for academics that their parents simply cannot provide, some are seeking out…

Read More→

Rational Tangles Weeks 3 and 4

WEEK THREE Voting on How to Proceed with Conjectures: R wasn’t here last week, so the students did a brief recap for her of what we did last time, which was testing their conjectures for which mathematical operation the move “Rotate” represented. “I’ve been thinking about the rotate thing, and maybe it’s multiple operations, not just one thing,” M mused….

Read More→

Math Circle: Rational Tangles 1 and 2

So we’re two weeks into the Rational Tangles math circle. Rational Tangles is an activity within the mathematical realm of knot theory where the students tangle and untangle ropes to uncover mathematical properties. With students this age (12-13), topics such as negative numbers, geometry (rotations, reflections, transformations), strategies to test conjectures, order of operations, mathematical operations, adding and subtracting fractions, reducing,…

Read More→

A Mixed Bag

I had a very good “education”; a prestigious Quaker school, a top-rated high school, the Ivy Leagues. And then, complete alienation from mainstream education.

Beyond Homeschooling

Flexibility in academic work is one of the many benefits of choosing to homeschool. You can learn to read when you are developmentally ready, be exposed to mathematical concepts through experiences, and write poems in the woods. What gets less attention is the emotional/developmental/social aspects of human existence. The effects that traditional schools have on these aspects are primarily negative….

Read More→

The Unique Value of Talking Stick: The Facilitator

Over the years at Talking Stick I have come to realize what is the most important aspect of the work we do: The Facilitation. The physical environment, the materials used and the content offered pale in comparison to the integral nature of the quality of the adult facilitation. The people who currently work and those who have worked in the…

Read More→