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AngelaNYC

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Everything posted by AngelaNYC

  1. We sleep over my parents' house on Christmas Eve and we all still get a stocking - with our names in gold glitter script across the top of each one (omg, and new pajamas from her every Christmas Eve, lol). My mother will never let that tradition go. Kitchen items, face wash, makeup, headphones, extra batteries, little ornaments, etc,... and a big ol' orange in the toe.
  2. We unschooled for a long time. When the kids asked for more structure, we added some, but technically, since it was the kids' idea, they created their own schedules, and helped choose what books they'd like to use, we, in fact, were (are?) still unschooling. Here's what we did/do: We started with the kids' interests. Together we made a big list of what they liked to do. My kids had everything on there from playground to gardening to copywork to science experiments. The list was a great suggestion guideline and I kept it on my fridge. The more I let the kids take the lead, the more academics got done (believe it or not). My dd never had a real writing lesson in her life (she started homeschooling in 3rd grade), but enjoyed keeping a diary, writing letters to celebrities (and getting responses!), making shopping lists for me, writing poems and songs, and creating "blueprints" for things she invented. That's it. (When she eventually was accepted to one of the best high schools in the city she got all As on her English papers - go figure that one out, lol). For math, she would pick out her own cheapo workbooks at Barnes & Noble and do them when she felt like it. Same with Science and History. She hated any kind of formal reading, but still did a ton in various ways. Her homeschooled best friend started a girls book club that she loved - and she finally read books! (In high school, she enjoyed the assigned books). She was also part of a homeschool geography club where she did oral presentations on a different topic each month - and all the families enjoyed a potluck of that country's cuisine. The kids did the reports themselves (or with a friend) and helped choose and cook the dishes. We did 4-5 field trips a month with the homeschool group and by ourselves. The kids would bring colored pencils and sketchpads to the Met Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History. We went to the Hall of Science often (my job gave me a corporate membership). She was on a dance competition team (from age 7 to 18) where she had a ton of friends, up to 16 hours a week of classes, and early morning competitions that were never an issue. At home she got to sleep as late as she wanted, but still could get up at 5am for a 7:30am dance routine. All the amazing experiences and freedom she had as an unschooler shaped who she was in high school (independent, confident, and outgoing). My son got to unschool as well. We started with a loose Charlotte Mason curriculum when he was 7 (as per his request) and he loved it, but it was done in a very relaxed way on his terms. So again, technically, I feel we were (are) still unschooling :001_cool: . Ds and I have tried various schedules over the years and I realize he does best with a minimal amount of formal academics. He always loved being read to, loved fables, and stories about vikings. I knew he had dyslexia when he was 8, so I let him lead the way with reading, added a few fun multi-sensoral "games" and workbooks, and he understood there was no pressure. Now at 13, no one can even tell he ever had reading issues. Go figure (I believe it was the lack of any pressure, demands, and expectations. Actually, this is true for any successful unschooling). Most of our homeschool days were and are spent on field trips, extra-curriculars, and fostering his interests in any way possible. His future goals include college, so he makes sure math gets done (he loves Saxon). Right now he also focuses mainly on science, poetry, and computers (he just coded an entire game with no help, just his own research). He's also spending a LOT of time helping a friend with a great dog shelter charity (loading and unloading food, blankets, toys, etc., visiting various dog and cat shelters, and fundraising like crazy). Unschooling is actually more parent-heavy than parent-led homeschooling (despite what you may have heard, lol). You have to be very in-tune with your child's interests, learning style, and opportunities in your area. I love the analogy that an unschooling parent is like the host when a friend comes to your city. You already know what they might like, so you have a notebook full of things to do and places to see. You obviously don't force your friend to do something, but offer lots of great suggestions - and do a lot of things together! You're their tour guide. What I've noticed is that homeschooled kids - especially unschooled kids - are more receptive to ideas and open to new experiences. Without coercion, education becomes a truly amazing experience for the whole family. I found it very stress-free. I kept my own record of everything the kids did and learned and everywhere they went. We had a "curriculum in retrospect" that would rival anything I could have carefully (and stressfully) planned. As far as measuring growth, every few months I would look at the typical course of study from worldbook and mark off everything covered - it was usually more than 80% of the entire list by the end of the year. If it was less, I'd incorporate those topics into discussions, field trips, and/or documentaries (retention is so much better like this!). Ds is my last homeschooler. He, like my girls, had the option to attend high school or not. He chose to be unschooled throughout his high school years. He wouldn't think of giving up the life he has, lol. I'm really excited about all the experiences and opportunities out there for him now that he's a teen.
  3. 9 out of 10 years we had at least one of our kids in school while the other(s) was homeschooling. It worked out fine.
  4. We have a 6ft green artificial half tree - white lights (pre-lit) and this year we went with gold stars, red/burgundy and white/cream ornaments, red bead garland, candy canes, and a delicate gold star on top. (The half-tree is perfect for my NYC apartment). We've always done the sentimental and homemade ornaments through the years, but wanted something different this year. I love it.
  5. Here's a free grammar site that can probably be used for all grades: http://www.dailygrammar.com/archive.html
  6. This year we are using the Holt Science & Technology series: Physical Science and a bunch of living books for history (ancient Greeks and Romans).
  7. I changed mine too! Tulips across the street from Central Park.
  8. Thank you so much! I'm 45. Feeling weepy lately for no reason. This brightened my day :)
  9. I have one homeschooler - 13 y/o ds (8th grade). Formal academics usually take about 2 hours per day. We start at 2pm and we're done before 4. I'm trying to bump it up to 3 hours, though. Oh and we do a 4-day week, with Wednesdays for field trips or our restaurant adventure. I can't imagine taking longer than that. Both of us would go insane. Our formal academics include math, science, history, grammar, composition, literature (classic novels, Shakespeare, & poetry), art and music appreciation, nature study, citizenship, geography, religion, and Spanish. Some subjects are done 4x a week, some 3x, some 2x, and some 1x. Lessons are 15-20 minutes each (math and nature study are about 45 minutes each, weekly religion class is 75 minutes). Ds also does a lot of informal stuff, like health, PE, technology, practical arts, fine arts, and homeschool group activities. It all counts.
  10. GREAT first week of 8th grade! We're back to using Ambleside Online and I couldn't be happier. Here's a link to how our week went.
  11. LOL. Totally thought it was a euphemism. I even re-read it like this ---> Sorry, carry on...
  12. We initially started homeschooling because dd(now 18) was bored to tears in school. She was an incredibly precocious child (hit every milestone very early) who loved to learn any- and everything all day long (from about age 2 "doing workbook" was her favorite activity at home). But she was miserable in mainstream school and got in trouble a lot. I thought the district gifted school (full-time/self-contained) was the answer (25 kids were chosen out of over 2000 first graders), but 2 years there killed her love of learning. It was so sad to see her become indifferent to EVERYTHING. That's when I told her about homeschooling. She thought about it for 2 weeks and decided to give it a try. It was the best decision ever. It took a while to get my daughter back to the curious, determined kid who loved learning, but we got there - although she never did read for pleasure again, :sad: . She homeschooled for over 5 years (3rd grade to 8th grade) and chose to audition for some performing arts high schools. She got into the school of her dreams and just graduated this past June. She'll be attending a performing arts college in the fall. Homeschooling made her an incredibly amazing person academically, socially, and emotionally. She didn't miss school for a second. I say go for it!
  13. Umm, OK but the OP said her dd "doesn't want to be bothered with entirely changing every day", so if she's required to wear leos for her class than it's not a big deal to wear a leo all day. At my dd's performing arts high school many of the girls wore their leos all day (my dd did both depending on her mood). Not a big deal if you'd rather not be bothered changing.
  14. My dd will be coming up with all her own meals (no college plan). The main supermarket for her is a Trader Joe's right down the block from her housing. I got her a TD Go prepaid debit Visa card (which can also be used to take cash out of an ATM) that I can reload anytime. I plan on loading it with $100 every week. This is for food plus whatever else. I know she will cook sometimes in the dorm kitchen (but probably not very often). She'll be living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, so the options for grabbing something while she's out are endless. Her room has a mini-fridge and we're getting her a small microwave so at least she'll be able to eat the leftovers, lol.
  15. :iagree: My dd's school required leos and tights. A leo with thin straps that looks like a cami can be worn all day with another shirt over it (low v-neck or button down so you can see the leo is cute). Shorts, capris, a dance skirt - and even black tights can be quickly and easily pulled right on over the leo.
  16. What are your current local prices for: * a gallon of (dairy) milk? $3.09 (Costco) $4.29 (7-Eleven) * a gallon of almond milk? No idea, but it's over $3 a half-gallon * a pound of beef? $3.29 (ground beef) $1.99 on sale * a pound of boneless skinless chicken breasts? $2.59 * a pound of bananas? $0.44 (Aldi) * a head of lettuce? $1.29 (iceberg) * a loaf of wheat bread? $1.39 (generic whole wheat) * a box of icecream? $2.79 (store brand) Please also share (generally speaking) where you are from. Thanks! (I want to move somewhere better!) I live in New York City where it's said to be a high COL area. But after reading all the other regional prices I'm not so sure we're that high COL, lol.
  17. Nothing yet. Dd starts college near the end of October, so we have more time. She also doesn't get her room assignment until October so it could be a single or double. I do have a huge list though! We'll be buying a lot from dormco.com.
  18. We all went to dd17's dance Nationals in Atlantic City. She is starting a performing arts college in the fall and will be living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. A music video she's in was just released yesterday. She's been doing lots of paid work, including assisting a big choreographer at his regular and private classes, and in about 3 weeks she'll be a backup dancer at a large venue for a new singer. She's been taking hip hop and contemporary dance classes in Manhattan plus a few "heels" classes. It's been crazy but so exciting.
  19. I just started a retail job after 7 years of stressful cable sales. At the interview, I laid out the days and times I could work. They completely accommodated me. I've been there a month and I really like it. It's stress-free, fun, and "good-busy". The money isn't great, but not terrible, either.
  20. I just wanted to chime in here and say that homeschooling in NYC is so amazing. The resources and experiences are endless. The paperwork is really easy - the NYC district office never bothers you and they give the kids Metrocards to get around town for free. There are several very active homeschool groups, like NYCHEA, the homeschoolnewyork Yahoo group, and many others in the outerboroughs, Long Island, and nearby upstate. I've been homeschooling in the city since 2005, so feel free to ask more questions. :)
  21. I get up about 7, have coffee, straighten my hair, get dressed, drive dh and both dds to the subway, then drive to work (I start at 9am). On the 2 weekdays I don't go to work, I get up at 7:30, drive them to the subway, get back home by 8:15, and I relax and do nothing (until about 10 or 11 when I do laundry and clean for an hour or so).
  22. I feel that way now, too. We used Ambleside Online from grades 2-5 with ds, then veered away when I realized he needed more remedial reading help. I used a hodgepodge of programs that worked fine, but it felt chaotic and patchy. Now we are back to using AO again and I can't be happier. We plan on sticking with it for the long run.
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