For My Children, On Their First Day of Kindergarten

At the risk of saying what people like my former colleague Kyle Roberts have already said quite well, I’m going to share a rather personal blog post today — the first day of kindergarten for our twins. Dear Lena and Isaiah, Today I’ll try to find ways to say these things to you, but I know that … More For My Children, On Their First Day of Kindergarten

5 Things I’ve Learned about Teaching History to 5-Year Olds

While my job is to teach people about history, my vocation as a parent has made me realize that I know next to nothing about how to teach young children about history. But with our five-year old twins entering kindergarten this fall, I decided to spend this summer trying to understand how children might best learn about the past. Please take the … More 5 Things I’ve Learned about Teaching History to 5-Year Olds

Happy Fathers’ Day

For many, it seemed like a bit of trickery, a joke, a send-up for Will Rogers or Groucho Marx. So says religious studies scholar Leigh Eric Schmidt of Father’s Day, adding that while such an event “seemed all but inevitable” when Mother’s Day quickly became a sensation, “many people found it laughable.” A 1914 letter to the New York … More Happy Fathers’ Day

Happy Mothers’ Day

Normally, I’m pretty bad about recognizing Hallmark holidays, but today is no ordinary Mothers’ Day: it was 100 years ago this year that Pres. Woodrow Wilson first declared it a honorary holiday. (Annoying historian intrusion: Just days later, the U.S. Senate failed again to approve a constitutional amendment giving mothers and other women the right to … More Happy Mothers’ Day

The Prodigal Father

It’s a testament to the power of Jesus’ parables that you can hear one for what seems like the millionth time and still find something new in it to ponder. For example: the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), which was our lectionary text earlier this month. As familiar as it is, I sometimes … More The Prodigal Father