Kathy Donchak

I write about nature, family, creativity, and wellbeing.

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Navigating Growth: A Journey Through Homeschooling and Literature

When heaven is about to confer a great responsibility on any man, it will exercise his mind with suffering, subject his sinews and bones to hard work, expose his body to hunger, put him to poverty, place obstacles in the paths of his deeds, so as to stimulate his mind, harden his nature, and improve wherever he is incompetent. ~MENG TZU (MENCIUS), fourth century BCE1, The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure by Greg...

7 months ago • 1 min read

Let us begin by clearing up the old confusion between the man who loves learning and the man who loves reading, and point out that there is no connexion whatever between the two. A learned man is a sedentary, concentrated, solitary enthusiast, who searches through books to discover some particular grain of truth upon which he has set his heart. If the passion for reading conquers him, his gains dwindle and vanish between his fingers. A reader, on the other hand, must check the desire for...

10 months ago • 1 min read

What does it mean to have a voice? ~ When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice, Terry Tempest Williams There is a little free library in my neighborhood. It tells us so much about the people we live nearby but may never know. The sustainable home design book, the nature novels, the cookbooks, and the books on faith all give us insight into the people that walk and drive our streets. Anything goes, and no one is offended. It is the perfect antidote to the challenges to free thought...

10 months ago • 1 min read

Image by Nicolas Messifet “People can tell you to keep your mouth shut, but that doesn't stop you from having your own opinion.” ― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl This month teachers are busy studying pedagogy, human development, tasks, and knowledge for the coming school year to form a community of learners and meet the needs of all students without losing their footing in a rapidly changing environment. As a mother of two independent learners, I ask myself, what do they want to learn?...

10 months ago • 1 min read

I am a mother who writes in the dark hours before dawn. Invited by storms and flashes of light, I sit on the porch and take in the cool air and soft rain, let go of tension, and become a part of the soft palette of spring. I write to understand myself and see the life I am living. To honor this gift of motherhood by remembering who I am so that in the light of day, I can help them know that who they are is all they ever need to be.

about 1 year ago • 1 min read

“What is this curious assumption, widely shared … that while writing, a writer can identify himself as one who is writing? The consciousness of oneself as oneself causes a short circuit, and the light goes out...If I am writing fiction, I am being invented. I cannot retain any awareness of identity. The two states of being are antithetical. The author is not at a steering wheel: “I am driving this car. I command its movements. I can make it go wherever I please.” This assertion of identity is...

about 1 year ago • 1 min read

The best weapon of a democracy is free speech. ~Nelson Mandela I spent last week at a library conference in Austin, Texas. I walked the aisles of books, draped in banners and tape. I read the silent protests on t-shirts and totes. I know one thing for sure. You cannot steal someone's freedom of thought, no matter how hard you try. They will stand in line for hours for the chance to meet and support the author that inspires them and scares you. They will seek out ways around your fear, to read...

about 1 year ago • 1 min read

What do you do for living? We spend so much of our adult lives defining ourselves by the way we exist in the material world that we can easily mistake survival for living. So, I ask you, dear friends, what do you do for living? What is essential to your life to be one well-lived? For me: family, bird song, and a garden to share with friends will do nicely. Be well, Kathy

over 1 year ago • 1 min read

“Sometimes I think, were I just a little rougher made, I would go altogether to the woods—to my work entirely, and solitude, a few friends, books, my dogs, all things peaceful, ready for meditation and industry—if for no other reason than to escape the heart-jamming damages and discouragements of the worlds mean spirits. But, no use. Even the most solitudinous of us is communal by habit, and indeed by commitment to the bravest of our dreams, which is to make a moral world. The whirlwind of...

over 1 year ago • 3 min read
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