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About ClemsonDana

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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  1. One of my kids has loved the older kid versions of kiwi crate. My book-lover has enjoyed Reading Bug Box.
  2. A friend shared this today and I thought I'd pass it on for those of you who like to look at numbers...
  3. @daijobu the kids are mostly not middle class - I volunteer at an afterschool program where the parents pay on a sliding scale, and our church has participated in buying Christmas gifts for the kids that attend. The kids are taught reading skills, and they get worksheets that include content but the kids don't seem to know much. On the flip side, keeping their attention to do a lab demonstration or a field trip would be difficult. They have science and history content in their reading comprehension and vocab, but writing sentences using the words 'chlorophyll' and 'photosynthesis' doesn't really translate to knowing it without wallowing in it a bit. Most of the kids don't seem particularly curious about anything. I do remember one day when they were doing something goofy at snack time and I commented about people just being giant tubes and they were kind of intrigued by that, so I explained...but it was memorable for being rare. Some of the kids have learned math well enough, but I have spent exhausting hours trying to do equivalent fractions or long division with kids who can't multiply or divide one digit numbers correctly. Others are doing quite well - they may just be doing the algorithms, but they can do typical-for-their-grade work correctly. So many of the kids are good kids but they don't seem to see any relevance to anything that they're learning, and the ones who are having particular difficulties just fall more and more behind. Probably 1/3-1/2 of the kids have been held back a grade, and I can 't object because they were behind where they needed to be. Prior to this mess, I had been planning to talk with the director about trying to do some sort of math facts games boot camp over the summer, because I can't imagine some of these kids continuing on to middle school math while, every time they need to divide by 6, they have to count up 1,2,3,4,5,6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12... while counting each 6 on their fingers and trying to also use fingers to remember how many 6s they have. Of course, some kids have their facts and are using them, but for many of them there is a lot of resistance to thinking about how to do anything. I know all kids have these moments...or even months...but for so many to be like this for years on end...
  4. My 14yo didn't want to give up any floor space, but we had to move him out of the twin once he was taller than 6 feet - he just didn't fit. We ended up with a twin XL. We would have happily gotten him at least a full, but he'd rather have the space in the room. My daughter has always had a full - these days it's a low loft and her bookcase, her American Girl dolls, and a blanket where she sits to do a lot of her school work live underneath. You might also consider a lofted bed with a bed turned perpendicular underneath to make an L, maybe in a corner of the room, instead of a traditional stacked bunk. My daughter's loft, for example, is a bed frame on a detachable loft base so at some point we might choose to unloft it. This might let you swap out the bottom for a full or twin XL in the future if you need to.
  5. My husband has had success with chiropractic care at different times. Following a minor injury he went to a physical therapist, who said that chiropractic adjustment physically manipulates things that are misaligned, and exercises from a physical therapist can train the muscles to keep things where they belong. In our area, clinics often have both and they work together. At this point, my husband has a very short daily set of exercises that he does for maintenance - like 5 minutes morning and night - that seem to be enough to keep him in good shape, pain-wise. If he has problems (overuse, being stuck in seat during long flights/drives) then he does a longer set of exercises. He's thankful for the instant relief that chirpractors often provided, and also relieved that he can mostly maintain things at home now. I can't speak to whether sit ups or push ups would help - I know that movement is usually good, even just walking - but I'm startled that anybody would think that push-ups and sit-ups are not appropriate for kids. They're a standard part of PE classes, and my kids have done many as part of sport and martial arts training.
  6. I'm trying to understand, on a practical level, how things like shorter school days and 2 shifts of students will decrease student contact. I understand how they'll help within the school, but in many locations the kids won't be at home with a parent the rest of the time - they'll be in group before or after school care. How will busses work? I'd guess that alternating days would work better for that, and there would be less shuttling of kids if they did school vs daycare on alternating days since adding a midday drop-off and pick-up would make it impossible to clean busses in between (busses can't run 2-3 routes to get kids to school, 2-3 to get them home, then repeat the same process with an afternoon shift without being in constant use). This would look different in places where many students walk or are dropped off by parents. But, locally we have relatively few cases so I wouldn't be surprised if school starts back somewhat normally.
  7. We loved Albuquerque, too. It depends on whether you like humidity or not. 🙂 It's a lot easier to garden in TN where it actually rains and you can get a couple of acres if that's what you want. On the other hand, a yard that is rock and a few drought-tolerant plants plus a tomato plant in a pot is a very low-maintenance lifestyle. I tend to be happy wherever I land, but I enjoyed my decade in ABQ and am content here in TN. I've lived in 10 states (one only for a summer, most for several years) and I've liked them all, so maybe I'm not the best gauge. 🙂
  8. East TN has all of that - we've been very happy here.
  9. Native Americans in the southwest have several different situations. Some of the 'lack of indoor plumbing' is poverty and extremely remote living - I don't know how you'd get modern running water to some of the areas. But, there are also pueblos that choose to live traditionally. There is one that has parts open to tourists where they explain their philosophy. They want to live traditionally, but want their kids to have opportunity if they want it. So, they set up the school with modern amenities like electricity and computers, but don't have electricity in their homes. It seems similar to the Amish in a way. I don't know how that fits with water, but they may primarily use traditional water storage methods, too.
  10. To add to earlier comments - I lived in NM for several years and worked as a researcher in the hospital system and taught at a community college in the area, so I absorbed a lot. There are a lot of issues on the reservation - obesity and kidney disease are present at very high levels. Figuring out how to get dialysis to everybody was a major concern. People also live very communaly. For instance, I heard a seminar about efforts to put dialysis clinics into the community centers so that there was multigenerational interaction even during medical treatment. Culturally, this makes sense. At one time my family hosted some kids on a church trip. They saw me put the baby to sleep in his crib and were appalled. They couldn't fathom that I would make a baby sleep in his own room. Clearly, these kids live in a much more dense situation even if people live in single-family dwellings. There is also a mix of people living in modern houses and traditional homes, which might not have individual rooms and make the spread of germs higher. One other thing that I wanted to comment on from a different post is that we have to look at both percentages and absolute numbers. LIke, in my county with multiple hospitals, there have been 37 hospitalizations for covid. Not 37 at once, 37 total. So, we have to look at the total number of 37 in addition to the thoughts that 1/2, or 10%, or whatever, of the patients are a in a particular age/demographic group. So, if we had levels such that 1000 people were infected and 20% wind up in the hospital at once, that might be a big deal, capacity-wise. But, if only 50 people are infected, 20% in the hospital would be well below capacity. The percentages let you make assumptions about how this would scale, but the absolute numbers matter, too.
  11. I am also a big believer in exposing kids to a broad range of information. We love museums, aquariums, etc - my kids saw many things while they were still in elementary school. For history/geography/science, we used the Core Knowledge sequence (there is nothing magical about this sequence, but it was the plan that we used). My kids are 3 years apart, so I didn't try to keep them together on content. But, we'd do the same sorts of units at the same time. We usually did a month of geography, then a month of world history, then a month of science, and then 2 weeks of music history. Then in the spring we did a month of science, a month of US history, a bit more science, 2 weeks of art history, and then field trips. The month timeline was basic - it could be anywhere from 3-8 weeks, with adjustments as needed. So, even if the kids were doing different things, they'd both be doing physical science, the human body, or US history at the same time, but learning about different aspects. I would assemble a basket of books and let them pick things to read, or read to them. We liked starting a unit with The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That books. For ecology, we like the One Small Square series. Illustrated books by Biesty were fun. In other words, I had content that I might want to address, like plants, or planets, or insects, but we didn't have to do much besides read about it. We also used some PBS - The Cat in the Hat knows a lot about that was a popular show, as was Dinosaur Train and Wild Kratts. The Magic School Bus also had both TV and book versions. I'm sure there are different ones now. We didn't use a textbook for science until middle school (and not every year in middle school).
  12. I think this is such a localized thing. Currently our positive test rate is less than 1%, and we're doing 2000+ tests/week. We've had 2 people hospitalized recently, but both have been discharged. We have 4 hospitals in town but one hospital set up a covid ward - I don't think we ever had more than 5 patients, unless we had some from other counties, and currently we have no covid patients. We have around half a million people in our region and have had 5 deaths and around 300 positive cases, although I'm sure there were some early ones that were missed before testing became widespread. The models actually predict that we're catching almost all of our cases, although obviously there could be a time of asymptomatic spread before they are caught. Our Phase 1 openings started over 2 weeks ago but the number of positive cases per day hasn't really changed, and ranges between 0 and 12 on any given day. In our state, the governor has a general plan that is similar to others, but for the 4 city/county regions with their own health departments, they can come up with their own plan. Our area is opening more quickly than the other 3 areas, which have had more cases. They seem to be doing some contact tracing - testing all coworkers of somebody who has tested positive - but I don't think they're going back and testing everybody that they might have encountered at the grocery store a week ago. If they had done something with a known risk - a masked exercise class or a haircut - I'd imagine they'd test those involved. It's an odd thing, though - knowing that there are some asymptomatic carriers, and yet, with testing widely available and yet mostly being done for people who think they might have reason to test (either feeling bad or known exposure) and still only having a 1% positive rate, the likelihood that you'd actually encounter one of the asymptomatic carriers is very small.
  13. At our co-op, you pay a family registration fee to the co-op and then each teacher is paid $X/month. Teachers pay a percentage of what they earn as 'rent' to the church that we meet in - it keeps the lights on, covers things like toilet paper, and is a small rent for the use of the space. There are no refunds for missed days - that would be a nightmare because some families decide to go on trips, etc - rent would be difficult to calculate, teachers wouldn't know how much they were going to earn..I can't imagine. People can be really flaky if they think they only have to pay for the classes that they feel like coming to - our violin teacher (not part of our co-op) has a rather draconian-sounding policy because families would randomly decide not to come to lessons, so she'd have a reserved spot, a waiting list, and nobody paying for the time, and I'd imagine that co-op could go the same way. We have up to 2 weeks of make-up at the end of the year to accommodate snow or flu (or, this year for the first time, flooding). After that you just miss. Most of the academic classes (a few in middle, many in high - elementary is all enrichment and there are some enrichment for every grade) are already using some sort of online platform so students who are absent can keep up. When we had the flood this year, I asked my students if they wanted a random week off in February or if they wanted to go online that week so that they didn't have to come back for an add-on day at the end. Unanimously, one class chose to stay on schedule and the other chose to add on at the end, so that's what I did. edited to add: if a teacher has to miss, they find a sub. We have several people willing to serve as subs (paid or as a favor) or you can bring in somebody else as long as you let somebody know. When I had jury duty, I ended up not having to miss but I now keep 2 PBS documentaries in my room - if a random mom gets drafted to keep an eye on my class, they can watch that and then do their work at home if that's what needs to happen. Our co-op is working out issues for next year - some parents don't want to do online classes, but at what point do we disallow a drop - 2 weeks of online, 2 months...?? If several parents decide that they don't want to pay for a class, the teacher may decide that it's not worthwhile to run a class for a small number of students...what happens if parents are counting on that course? We're leaning towards giving both teachers and families an option to drop if there is a long-term shutdown next year for elementary/enrichment classes, but having academic classes continue online. That way nobody loses a required class, most academic classes are online in some format anyway, and the truly onerous job of trying to teach a hands-on class (like cooking) online can be avoided if the teachers and parents don't want to do it. It's not perfect, but that's as far as we've gotten so far. And, it's been interesting because we are getting a lot of push to have a plan, but our area just started phase 1 reopenings 10 days ago and local private/public schools have announced nothing, do people expect the 10 mommas on our board to have this figured out first and everybody is going to follow our lead? 🙂
  14. I would assume allergies at this time of year. But, germs are everywhere.
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