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Everything posted by WTMCassandra

  1. I am a retired homeschooler who has gone back to work. My coworker is concerned about her 2nd grade daughter’s reading levels. Specifically, my coworker says her daughter has trouble recognizing different forms of a word. My guess is that the public school is not teaching phonics, which I think would help skills like that. Schools in our state are now closed. With all the turmoil, I’m suggesting to my coworker that an online phonics game might be the most palatable way to improve skills. What say ye, hive mind? Am I on the right track? What are the best online phonics games? I’ve been out of the loop for a long time. I’d appreciate your wisdom. Thanks, WTMCassandra (a blast from the past)
  2. I have given up on trying to be polite to telemarketers. Most of the time I try to edge in by saying "Not interested" and immediately hanging up (inevitably while they are still talking).
  3. I'm in the "pay for half" camp, or possibly "pay for 1/3."
  4. I have had an iPhone 2, 4, and now, 6. I have had just a silicon case, but with my newest phone I treated myself to a Pad and Quill case that looks like a book. I also typically use screen protectors--on this one I have a glass one. I am careful with my phone, so perhaps I'm not the best person to ask, but I have never had my glass crack or shatter.
  5. Another good book, from a Christian perspective, is Foolproofing Your Life by Jan Silvious.
  6. There is one definitive internet article that has always stood out as a huge help. It's posted many places, but here's one: http://parrishmiller.com/narcissists.html It also has a good book list in a red window on the right side.
  7. I, too, am finding myself trending more toward minimalist tendencies that war against my staunch bibliophile state. I have waffled on what to do. I have culled homeschooling K-8 books and kept only favorites (although that is still a couple of bookshelves worth *sigh*). I have culled picture books down to one shelf that I hope grandchildren will want. I culled fiction a long time ago but ended up buying some of it back (favorites). I have a Kindle Paperwhite and use it when I don't have access to a paper book, but it's still, by far, my second choice. I was about to do another big round of culling about a year ago when I discovered that you don't actually own Kindle books and that they can rescind them any time. This gave me pause and caused me some consternation. I've felt kind of stuck, since. So, I'm currently in limbo. I think I need to do some more culling. But it's painful. I'd rather cull almost anything else (and have).
  8. Numb3rs Foyle's War Midsomer Murders (BBC murder mystery cop show) Call the Midwife
  9. I joined the boards around 1999, I think, shortly after they started. I found WTM at the 1999 HEAV convention when it was in publication, with just one proof copy on the table, and a string of covers above the booth, and SWB sitting there, alone. People, she was alone and had time for my incessant questions! Now at any given convention, the line at the booth is 20 people deep, LOL. These boards have been my lifeline (sometimes my only one) through three different moves, two coasts, and a zillion confusing life stages. I can see the finish line now on my homeschooling journey, but I still need these boards as much as ever. Curriculum, handling life, child discipline, knowing I'm not crazy because someone else out there has similar experiences, how to handle learning differences, bOOks, tEa, and little things, even down to comparing the number of bookcases we each have. I don't post that much these days, but I always read, almost every day. I guess I'm a WTM voyeur. I know what threads to avoid posting on because they're just going to go south, LOL. But if someone has a question and I know the answer, I do my best to take the time to do so, because so many have done so for me. Thank you, SWB, for allowing the space to create an enduring community. Through all of the banning of posts and people, this community has stood strong. Hosting this site for almost twenty years? Expensive, I'm sure. Creating a true community? Priceless.
  10. I'm thinking of using this for this coming school year, and the study guide isn't out yet. Does anyone have any essay ideas for this book yet?
  11. My daughter wants to take some CLEP tests. I am ordering the overall study guide from College Board, but it sounds like one should go third party for preparing for specific tests. Are REA guides any good? Some people recommend Princeton Review, but I'm not a fan of their SAT guides. Are the CLEP ones better? I'm a little dubious of online study monthly resources. Are these truly better? Any experience with SpeedyPrep or InstantCert? It's hard to find objective reviews. What am I missing?
  12. Um. I would get in trouble at your house daily. :leaving: I guess I'm a member of Walking-While-Reading Anonymous. (But I don't really want to quit . . .) :huh:
  13. In the realm of "ones SWB said were great but drove you batty," I respectfully request that Writing Strands be removed. I bought and sold various volumes three separate times, a couple of years apart each, and one year sat myself down in my used homeschool bookstore and looked through every. volume. trying to see how many lessons I would actually use. When I went through the whole series and found I would only want to teach 2-3 lessons per book, I gave up for good. Inclusion of this series has always been a puzzler for me. In the early years, I know that separate writing curricula were an elusive species, and I remember that Norton didn't allow you to put R&S in the first edition. However, Writing Strands does not at all mesh with the overall strategy for writing that you have so articulately written about (and that framework has been of way more value to me than any curricula could have been). Writing Strands focuses so much on creative writing, which you so (rightly, I think) discuss as something either your student will like or not, not something required to be taught formally, like expository writing needs to be. I had always HATED creative writing, and I had one child that hated it even more than I did. And my other child would do it on her own and the Writing Strands exercises were fun but provided very little to no expository writing instruction. So, I have never understood how Writing Strands fit in with the overall philosophy of the WTM, and after repeated tries, it was a complete no-go in my homeschool. I used Classical Writing for a while, and the Lost Tools of Writing fit a niche for a while (the absolute best on teaching the canon of invention, IMHO), but over the long haul, it was your framework for writing instruction in the various versions of WTM (I own all three) that was the most successful for us. Almost everything else you have ever recommended has been good fits for us, but Writing Strands was the only sour note. In other news, I now have a graduating senior and a rising junior who hit their writing milestones just when you said they would, even though I was nervous sometimes because your framework seemed so "non-standard." But it works terrifically, and I am tremendously grateful. Thank you for all you have contributed to the homeschooling community!
  14. I don't have time to read the other replies, but here's my knee-jerk response: Less of a internet cafe vibe and more of a study/quiet vibe. At least have a quiet room (a quiet 'area' still has lots of noise bleed in). Maybe a glass wall room for safety's sake. Don't get rid of more and more and more books to install more and more and more computers! Keep a balance. Don't get rid of classic children's literature. Limit graphic novels and teen faddish literature. Again, a balance. Yes, circulation numbers are important, but Newbery winners and the typically agreed upon children's classics should have a place on the shelf so new generations can discover them.
  15. I used Biblioplan for eight years--grammar and logic stages. I started using it when they first began and were sharing a table with SWB at the Virginia state convention. I'm not familiar with their more recent iterations, but I loved it.
  16. When you download the app and create an account, you enter payment information. So it just charges that every time you book a ride (also through the app). Our driver, after accepting the ride request, phoned me and had us describe ourselves. When you request the ride, and a driver accepts, it tells you what kind of car the driver has and a picture of the driver. So when he pulled up we knew it was the right person.
  17. I just used Uber for the first time on a trip a week ago, on my husband's recommendation. It was terrific, 1/3rd of the typical taxi fare, and I paid online (no cash involved). Satisfied customer, here, although my data sample is small ; ). My husband has used them several times on travel and recommends them highly.
  18. Introvert tips: Find the library. It's usually quiet. Also, in the morning, early afternoon, try bars for a little solitude. There's usually a gazillion bars and they are either closed or very quiet at that time of day (if they have the TV off, sigh). Look for classes that are smaller and quieter--one of our favorites was towel-folding into animal shapes. Don't plan to spend much time in the room--it's just a sleeping space, not a haven. Find quiet nooks and crannies in the ship for that. For your husband, agree on # of drinks per day, so you can anticipate what the cost will be. And usually when you dock somewhere, there is at least shopping within walking distance of the ship. Looking around and people-watching can take the place of excursions.
  19. My son would like to use this next year, and PHP doesn't have a study guide out for it (and won't anytime soon--I called). I'm used to coming up with essay topics, but my mind is kind of blank. Does anyone have ideas of essay topics for this book?
  20. This isn't competitive sports, but competitive speech and debate is a terrific outlet for the 12 - 18 set. There is a whole community associated with it, and my children, although they are not nearly as competitive as some, have grown tremendously through the experience. Some are very competitive and make it basically their life, and have a great time doing it.
  21. Unfortunately, while Jenrae's advice is good for "normal" people, I sadly don't think this girl is "normal." I don't think she will get hints or understand after a few times of you being "busy." I think you will have to be direct. This doesn't mean you need to be unkind, but, something like, "I know you've been through a lot. It's not normal to glom on to people you just met like you did with us. This can cause you to get hurt more. I think you need to see a counselor, not us. They are the ones who can help you." If you want to, you could offer to help her find one and take her to the first visit. But you'd have to be firm in telling her you will have to bow out after that.
  22. Why not try having the teen 'cc you when he sends the email question? I'm wondering if that might prompt the adult to respond. I think it stinks what's happening, though.
  23. You've gotten some good responses, but I want to add one thing. When I started introducing mine to literary analysis, I started out by discussing a favorite book my theory is that learning analysis and learning the book are two different skills at first, kind of like how forming a sentence and writing it down are two different skills at first when they are young.
  24. I'm sorry that I don't have time to reply in more depth, but I've read the thread and would like to add a few things. You are married to a philosopher. You are lucky because many husbands would not want to even go there. This can be to your advantage. Take this time while your children are small for both of you to read books, think deep thoughts about education, and put them on paper. What would an ideal education look like? The above-recommended WTM, Latin-Centered Curriculum 1st edition, Climbing Parnassus, anything by the CiRCE institute, are all terrific. Keep a commonplace book about education. Collect quotations. Both of you! Wallow in educational philosophy and theory. Hammer out your family's educational manifesto. You can work really hard on this in the next couple of years regardless of where you live. Create a vision for where you want to go (even if you aren't totally sure yet how to get there). Then, when your children are school age, look to see where you've ended up locality-wise, and evaluate what educational options are available to you there, and see how closely any of them match up to your educational philosophy. That will be your answer. And you (both of you) will be in a much better position to evaluate those choices, having done your homework ahead of time. Now, regarding those Greeks. You cannot lift one philosopher's words, or even a whole work, out of his society. Others have pointed out things about how this was theoretical, applied only to full citizens of the polis (white men, not women, slaves, commoners, etc.), meant to discuss education broadly, etc. But any philosopher must take the context into account when weighing philosophy, and that includes cultural context. However, that doesn't mean that the Greeks don't have things to contribute. People are writing whole rhetoric curricula (Classical Writing, Classical Composition, etc.) to unpack those ancient Greek educational curricula. Awesome stuff. About a community? I agree with someone upthread (sorry, can't remember who) that this becomes more of an issue in high school. It can be useful to have a group to do Socratic-style classes with. I also agree with other posters that your husband might be an excellent candidate to lead a small co-op of this kind when the children are older. When they are younger, honestly, I don't think anything beats the one-on-one tutorial model. There is just too much normal variation in young children to be able to do too much productively in groups. I'd save most of the "community" experiences for high school. And even in high school, I still think the one-on-one tutorial model is best for writing instruction. People's writing processes are so different. I remember teaching a high school writing co-op with only six students and struggling to provide what I considered to be appropriately differentiated instruction. The tutorial model is hands-down the most efficient. Think of the student-teacher ratio, LOL! I'm afraid that's about all I have time for right now, but this is an awesome thread. Welcome to the boards, and I wish you the best on your family's journey!
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