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Everything posted by AngelaNYC

  1. My dream is a nice house in Astoria (Queens, NY) where I can walk to hundreds of restaurants and the best bakeries for a fresh loaf of bread and some pastries every morning, sidewalk cafes are everywhere, friendly neighbors on beautiful tree-lined streets are like family, and the N train takes 12 minutes to get to Manhattan where I can wander around doing something different every time. :001_tt1: :001_wub:
  2. Ds (15) schedule is pretty relaxed. He is up late skyping and gaming with 3 of his best friends (homeschooled friends we used to go on field trips with who don't live nearby anymore). He sleeps til 1 or 2pm (which is great since I work full-time now and get home at 7 - dh gets home around 6:15pm). 3 days a week he goes to Muay Thai classes. 2 different days a week he's at the Muay Thai gym helping at the kids classes. He'll be volunteering somewhere over the summer (zoo or animal hospital - applications and resumes are already out). The city gives him a student Metrocard so he can travel all over using public transportation for free. Schoolwork is done for a couple of hours in the evening 4-5 days a week. Once a week (or every other week) we go on our restaurant adventure, learning about other cultures via food (we've done Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, and Britain so far) or we head to Manhattan with a Groupon for something cool.
  3. In a nutshell: Most dance competitions have levels your child can compete in - variations of Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. Every dance in each of these levels gets a score from 3 judges on a variety of categories (musicality, costume, technique, etc). Each judge can score up to 100 points. There are total-score point ranges which determine what trophy or medal they get. It's usually some variation of Silver, Gold, High Gold, and Platinum. For example, a total point range of 246 to 260 would merit a Silver medal (or trophy or pin, plaque, etc with the words "silver winner" or something on it). A total point range of 261 to 275 would merit something that says "Gold" on it - and so on for High Gold, and Platinum (every comp is different). Dances are awarded in their own category (tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, etc) and age group - usually with a top 3. And then again for an overall top ten. This is why many competitions take all weekend: There are 2-4 levels, more than 10 categories and age groups, and these vary if its a solo or group - then the groups are broken down into categories, too - small groups, large groups, lines, productions, etc. And don't forget the "special" awards. These are for silly categories like "the fierce feet award" and "the funkiest costume award". And that is why it looks like everyone wins something - because they usually do.
  4. We liked this one: https://www.channelone.com/. Oldest dd went to a journalism high school and they watched it every morning in class. Ds liked it better than CNN Student News.
  5. My 9th grade unschooler is doing: Teaching Textbooks Algebra 2 Life of Fred High School Language Arts series No Fear Vocabulary Painless Life Science Short Lessons in World History TASC prep workbook Drawing fundamentals class at the community college Piano lessons Muay Thai kickboxing 3x/week Self study of 2D animation, music editing, tenor ukulele, and reptiles & birds.
  6. We're unschoolers and ds (14) is hellbent on attending certain colleges, so his preferred plan for 10th grade will most likely look something like this: Teaching Textbooks Algebra 2 (continuing from this year) Daily Sparks Writing No Fear Vocabulary Various novels and short stories of his choice Painless Chemistry and Painless Earth Science Biology and Chemistry lab work done at the science museum (5 minutes away) Short Lessons in World History SAT and TASC prep workbooks Muay Thai boxing classes (3x/week) Piano (lessons) and ukulele (self-trained) Lots of computer coding, programming, building, and gaming Self-study of 2D animation (reading bios of his idols, using software, workbooks, sketchbooks, and professional tools) Art, Technology, and/or English classes at the community college - 1 or more per semester (or more depending on how he likes the one he's doing this year) Many NYC field trips, Broadway/Off-Broadway theater, and restaurant visits
  7. We had a red and white VW bus, a red VW bug, and a blue station wagon with the wood paneling. Oy.
  8. We live in NYC and we love it. I can understand the country life when you have small children, but when my kids were tweens, teens, and older, they were so thankful to have endless options and resources at their disposal to follow their passions. We have the best of the best of everything here. We live in Queens which has more of a suburban feel. We have a front yard, backyard, and garage. We have 5 playgrounds, 2 libraries, 4 supermarkets, and a huge farmer's market all within less than a quarter-mile radius. We really don't even need a car. The kids ride the buses and subways all the time and hang out all over Manhattan for awesome homeschool classes, theater, restaurants, museums, parks, etc. The homeschool community is gigantic, too. I've lived in the country. I've also spent entire summers at our beach bungalow into my adulthood. But when the summer is over, boy is the country so excruciatingly boring. I could never live there. Thankfully my dh and kids feel the same way I do. So often I hear all of them saying how lucky and grateful they are to live in NYC (I swear they do) - especially after visiting someone outside the city. So, no country life for me. Ever.
  9. My 9th grade unschooler's current resources include: Various novels (incl. To Kill a Mockingbird and The Chosen) Life of Fred Language Arts series Paragraph editing workbooks TT Algebra 2 Short Lessons in World History Painless Life Science Painless Earth Science TASC and SAT prep workbooks 7-week drawing class at a community college (spring) Tons of NYC field trips and restaurants Plus all the interest-led self-study stuff, like: Soprano and tenor ukulele, Songwriting, Computer programming, Coding, Graphic design, Nutrition & fitness, 2D animation (using various software and supplies), and researching which colleges have the best Design program.
  10. I just bought the NABRE for reading and study. When I was young I owned the Jerusalem Bible and the Good News Bible.
  11. Dd (almost 22), from ages 15 to 21 worked part-time at various places: a pizzeria, Bed, Bath & Beyond (registry consultant), laundromat, and as a server in an ale house. Dd (19) has taught dance from age 14 (for free studio tuition) and now making money teaching every Saturday in a local competition studio and is an assistant to a big choreographer. From age 16 she has been in several music videos and other video projects. She's currently in her 2nd year at a dance conservatory in Manhattan. Ds (14) is not working yet, but he's dying to. So if something comes up he's in. :)
  12. My criteria for sending my kids to school was 1, if they really wanted to go and 2, if they could attend the best schools in the city (based on their interests). Dd1 loved writing and wanted to be a journalist, so I found a top-rated journalism-focused high school 15 minutes away. Dd2 wanted to go to a performing arts high school, so she auditioned and was accepted to the best public perf. arts high school in the country. Elementary and middle school would have been more of a challenge because the better schools in my area are not in my zone, based on a lottery, or very expensive.
  13. My dd tested into a full-time/self-contained gifted school (2 out of 25 public elementary schools in my district had these gifted programs. Each program had 25 seats. Teachers recommended several of their 1st grade kids to take the test for the G&T school. There were 3100 first-graders in my district, 400-500 were recommended to take the test, and there were only 50 G&T seats). The curriculum was about 1 year ahead of the mainstream classes and the kids has classes like: art studio, Spanish, piano, and science lab. The mainstream students graduate in 5th grade, the G&T kids are there until 8th grade (so it's also a G&T middle school). The G&T kids were the pride of the school and the principal didn't hide the favoritism. The program was even called "The Academy for the Intellectually Gifted" (no, we did not buy the t-shirt, lol). It's an amazing program and I do kinda wish it was a good fit for my dd. After 2 years she was just bored and chatty and lost interest in learning, so we started homeschooling. As a side note, she did go on to one of the best public high schools in my city with one of her best friends from 3rd grade who was in the G&T program til 8th grade.
  14. I'm Catholic and we have no problem with those who are attracted to the same sex. It's the sex part that's the problem for us. Any sex outside of sacramental marriage is a sin. So premarital sex, adultery, and homosexual sex are all sins. But I don't judge since I don't know what's in someone's heart.
  15. Dd's second year starts on Oct 19. Move in day is Oct 16 (and ends mid-February). She's in a dorm in NYC. It's such a pleasure driving her in because we pull up right in front and about 8 students unload my whole car into 2 huge, wheeled bins. It makes everything so quick and easy. Dd can't wait to get back there.
  16. Yes! We've been to dozens of children's theater shows, usually starting from when the kids were about 2. We've also taken the kids to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Barney, Rugrats, Pokemon, and Wiggles live shows, and a few Broadway shows: Lion King, Beauty & the Beast, & Movin' Out. As teens they've seen more Broadway shows: Shrek, Aladdin, Wicked, Scottsborough Boys, On the Town, and a few others. Youngest dd has gone to a bunch of live dance shows (ballets, contemporary company shows, Shaping Sound) since her preteen years. There will be a lot more where that came from since the kids have started to ask for only show tickets for birthdays and holidays (yay!).
  17. I agree with what Halcyon said about Brooklyn Heights. I haven't spent much time there but is sounds similar to many neighborhoods in Queens (Astoria, Douglaston, Forest Hills, Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Bayside, Whitestone). The further east you go in Queens, the more suburban it is and most people are in detached houses (with lots of yard space and a garage/driveway). But eastern Queens is a bus, then a train ride to Manhattan. Could take over an hour. Western Queens has trains right there so the commute is usually around 15-30 minutes. Also there are more 3-6 story apartment buildings in western Queens. Maybe about 30-40% of homes are houses (with garages/driveways and small yards - mostly semi-detached). Most people in Queens have cars. The alternate side parking really only sucks when you don't have your own driveway. Grocery stores are usually within 2-3 blocks from home. Many neighborhoods have parades (cultural, Halloween), Italian feasts, block parties, and street fairs. Libraries and big parks always have tons of free things for kids to do (swimming and tennis lessons, track & field, urban rangers, etc). Oh and if you want to go see Brooklyn, I suggest sticking only with Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights (Brighton Beach and Coney Island are ok too). NYC is weird in that the nicest neighborhoods are bordered by the more sketchier areas you want to avoid.
  18. We have a car. If we lived in Manhattan we wouldn't. We actually could do without one here in Queens since everything is in walking distance and buses and trains are everywhere if we needed it. It gets tiresome hearing NYC being called rude, super expensive, super crowded, smelly, noisy, etc. If it were this bad, no one would live here. I work for the cable company and I see first hand the amount of people moving here from the rest of the country, and it's a lot. Probably because it's awesome here. :) http://www.huffingto..._n_5521913.html http://www.timeout.c...-country-073015 http://www.businessi...he-world-2015-1 It was also voted as the greenest city a few years ago.
  19. I've lived in NYC my whole life and it's been nothing but wonderful. It got even better when I started homeschooling and I got to go places and do things I never knew about. The homeschool scene is incredibly active here, too. Are you planning on living in Manhattan or one of the other boroughs (Queens? Brooklyn?). I live in Queens and it's got a way more suburban feel to it. I have a backyard, front patio, garage, and washer and dryer in my house. We've had a garden in the backyard - some in the ground, some in containers (zucchini, eggplant, peppers, herbs - even watermelon, lol), a sandbox, and a pool. I can walk to everything and Manhattan is a 15-minute train ride. My apartment (2nd-floor of a 2-family home) is cozy for the 5 of us, but we love it. The kids always say they would never live in any other city. I go to Costco and Target all the time. Homeschooling requires some paperwork, but it's not a big deal and it's worth it. Daily life seems easier for me here in the city than for my mom way out in suburban Long Island. Ask me questions.
  20. LOL, just as a quick aside, it looks similar to the sample I created 10 years ago. I wanted to send something without grades, but still included what the regs asked for. And a more detailed IHIP could allow for these shorter quarterlies: http://homeschoolinginnewyorkcity.blogspot.com/2005/08/sample-quarterly-report.html
  21. NY State has a few regulations. In June you write a letter of intent to homeschool (just a quick few lines but must be sent every year) In August you send your intended plan of instruction (a general outline of subject topics is fine. Some send book titles. This should be less than a page long.) In even increments throughout the year you send quarterly reports of progress. (just basic info, like the student is progressing at a satisfactory level, maybe throw in a few arbitrary grades, and that you met the required hours of instruction for that quarter) Then in June you send an annual assessment. (Similar to the quarterlies, but more cumulative. Maybe throw in some highlights of the year. A peer review is ok, too. If it was a testing year for you, then a copy of the scores could serve as your annual assessment. Testing is required in NY is grades 5 & 7 - or 4,6, & 8 - and 9-12. These are usually administered at home by the parent and sent back to the testing company for scoring. Costs about $25-$35. Students may take tests at their local schools as well.) No meetings are required. No one comes to your house. You don't need a portfolio. And you can homeschool any way you like. Many districts in the state are laid back and accommodating (NYC being one of the better ones). And many are a bit hard-assed and strict about the regs. But it's really not a big deal and I don't think I spend more than an hour a year on paperwork.
  22. We loaded up dd's card with about $120 per week. I know it sounds like a lot, but there is no meal plan and her dorm is in Manhattan. She goes to the Trader Joe's around the corner for groceries, uses the public transportation often, and every now and then does get to enjoy some of the city life (restaurants, clubs, cultural venues and events, etc) - which I encourage. This year (her 2nd year starts in October) she'll be working on Saturdays (teaching dance), which will cut my weekly contribution by at least half.
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