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Everything posted by tdbates78

  1. Wow. You both are amazing. Truly! Thank you. You've given me a lot to think about. I need to become more versed in the terminology! I'm sure there is a much more articulate way to express my concerns but you both get it and for that I thank you. She is very smart. At home it's almost easy to forget that she has the diagnosis. When I pulled my daughter out of public school, because she wasn't getting what she needed and had so much anxiety, she immediately thrived and I naively thought I could get a firm grasp on some of her ASD tendencies and work through them with her myself. And in many ways I have. But as she's gotten older, and as the work becomes more demanding, some of those things are becoming more glaringly obvious. I do like BJU but I don't know if it's enough. Funny you should mention it because right now I have four tabs open while I research language arts curriculum. I've checked into Evan Moor in the past, and liked what I saw, but always wondered if it was enough.I I will absolutely look into it again. I don't like the BJU writing so I skip those chapters. She seems to do well enough on the daily work but I definitely have to work with her. She has never been an independent worker. I'm taking notes on everything mentioned and plan on doing lots of research. I will do whatever I can on my part. I am going to get her an evaluation as well. She had an IEP in school, and some therapy before she started public school, but it's been awhile. She was doing speech for years but stopped recently based on her progress. It sounds like we, or rather the therapist, was perhaps focusing on the wrong kind of speech. Thank you for all of the suggestions! I'm grabbing a cup of coffee and will be looking into each one.
  2. Hey everyone! So one of my twins has been previously diagnosed with Autism Level 1. I pulled her out of PS in 1st grade and we are almost finished with our 3rd grade year. She still very much struggles with reading comprehension. She can read just fine, and reads above grade level. But comprehension has always been a struggle. We are currently taking our required annual standardized test, the Iowa, and she bombed the reading comprehension portion. She did okay last year because the answers themselves were usually somewhere in the paragraph, word for word. But this year they are supposed to pull out answers based on the overall context and tone of the story. As an ASD child she sees things very black and white and has a difficult time forming a conclusion on her own. She can't seem to guess or understand the mood of the reading either, so questions about how someone may be feeling (sad, happy, anxious etc) goes right over her head. And she has an inability to guess what may happen next even though, to most of us, the answer would be rather obvious. I'm at a loss as to how to help her. We have a reading comprehension workbook that we do a few times a week. She hates it. Usually I have to end up reading the passage to her and then, sometimes, she can answer the questions. When she reads it sounds like a lot of run-on sentences. She doesn't pause for punctuation or change her voice to coincide with the story. I don't know how to force someone to comprehend what they are reading. I'm wondering if therapy would help, but if so what kind of therapy? Any advice or wisdom anyone wants to share?
  3. For naturally stunning I would hightail to the Swiss Alps. I've traveled fairly extensively and the Bernese Oberland tops my list for the most beautiful area I've ever been. It's a long flight. To each their own. I've flown to Europe for only 3 nights one and 4 nights twice so I wouldn't hesitate to fly for a week. I've never lost a day due to sheer exhaustion but I know how to handle jet lag. Depends on what you like to do though. We all have differing opinions on how we would like to spend a vacation. A beach and tropical getaway would do nothing for me personally. What about maybe somewhere in South America? It would still be in your time zone. Buenos Aires? The Canadian Rockies sounds wonderful as well. If you want a feel of Europe but much closer check out Quebec City and Montreal if you haven't been.
  4. It's difficult even with a family of 4 to find hotel rooms large enough to accommodate us. In Venice that involved squeezing two extra twin beds along the walls in our hotel room to make a "quadruple room". So we usually use airbnb or VRBO to find apartments if we are staying for 3 or more days. This was our second trip to Europe as a family (a few years ago we did Switzerland, the Alsace-Lorraine, Paris and Bavaria) and rented two-bedroom apartments in every location except Paris, which was a one-nighter. As a bonus the apartments are usually cheaper than hotels and come with kitchens. Our two bedroom apartment in Ribeauville, in the Alsace in France, was less than 100 euro a night. as an example
  5. I'm sorry you have to cancel your vacation plans and it sounds like you made the right decision. I only have my 9 year old twins, but it's been trial and error figuring out what everyone likes. We take a large vacation every year. Just got back from Italy a few weeks ago. My girls loved Rome. liked Venice okay but found the hill towns in Umbria boring. As annoying as that was, I think my 9 year old self would have thought the same. We, as a family, did not like Disney and are not beach people so it is helpful that we have more similar interests. If Colorado was still an option I would have thrown out the suggestion of something like Keystone or another resort where there are plenty of activities for young children (and childcare and day camps) and plenty of hiking, fishing and scenery for your oldest.
  6. I'm still trying to figure out what to do about writing next year for my twins, who will be in fourth grade. They are reluctant writers. We currently use WWE 2 but I want to switch next year. I'm considering IEW but also keep going back to EM Daily 6-Trait Writing. Would the EM be enough on it's own?
  7. I thought I was the only one who actually enjoys turbulence! For some reason it lulls me to sleep 🙂 On our long flight from Venice (Italy) to PHL last week I had 9 hours to do nothing and it was fairly relaxing as the flight was less than half full. I watched a few movies, read from my book and took a nap and my kids did the same. Had a glass of wine and lunch and a snack served to felt like a quasi spa day!
  8. Thank you all for easing my mind. I'm not worried about the test itself. I was dissapointed because it seemed as if we were somehow behind. Now that I know more about the tests I feel better. We spread the test out over a four day period and usually do something fun afterwards like playgrounds, ice cream or lunch. J-rap, are you in NC by any chance?
  9. I don't mind it. I don't love it but it doesn't really bother me too much. The actual getting on the plane before taking off is the annoying part. Dealing with long security lines, delayed flights, last minute gate changes, and the oh-so-fun running through the airport to make your connection...those are the things that stress me out. Flying is a means to an end. I love to travel, particularly abroad. So flying is pretty much my only option unless I want to take a boat. Just flew home from Italy last week. Long day of flying but so worth it.
  10. Maybe I should have just purchased the CAT. I was so worried about the material on the sample (online) test that I went back to Seton and ordered the Iowa. We usually spread the testing over a week so my girls won't get fatigued. Good suggestion about the Spectrum testing workbook. I may pick up a few of those. I don't know why I am so worried about it. I never anticipated homeschooling and when I pulled my girls out of PS (halfway through 1st grade) it was assumed that we would put them back in at some point. Now that I've been HSing for a few years and things are going so well I don't really see us putting them back in. So I guess I should just let it go. For some reason I felt like I really dropped the ball somewhere when I saw some of the questions on the sample test.
  11. My state requires standardized testing for homeschoolers annually, although the results are not submitted to anyone. So each year I dread it. My girls aren't good test takers and need lots of hand holding so I administer the test myself, in my own home, with an old fashioned paper booklet. So I just ordered a California Achievement Test sample and there are quite a few things on the sample test that we haven't covered yet this year and I'm kind of freaking out. We are "behind" in math because I switched curriculum three months into the school year. But otherwise I feel like we are on track and they should at least be on par with public schools for their grade (3rd)...but now I'm not so sure. I'm happy with our curriculum choices and I feel like my girls are learning just fine but I don't like feeling like they are behind. Does anyone else run into this problem? Do I need to be worried? I decided to go with the Iowa Form E, which we've used the past two years, so I do not have a sample of that test. Hopefully it will align more with what we have studied this year.
  12. We are traveling to Europe for vacation next week and this time around we are doing carry-on only. I have a Nikon DSLR with an additional zoom lens but they are heavy and take up quite a bit of space and need their own camera bag. I'm really considering purchasing one of the phone camera lens kits on Amazon. Something like this I'm not a professional photographer (far from it) and just want semi-decent vacation pictures. The reviews are pretty good for most kits. Anyone use these? If so, how is the quality? Are you satisfied?
  13. I'm in Charlotte. There is a very large, active homeschooling community here. There are things to do literally every day. I'm a member of about 15 different homeschooling facebook groups, including a homeschool hiking group, field trips, etc. I'm a secular homeschooler and there is a secular homeschooling facebook group. I believe there is a co-op but its north of Charlotte, too far from me. By and large this is the south and secular homeschoolers are in the minority. I don't let it deter me from doing things, but it can get a little awkward sometimes. I don't do co-ops because of it. We have great museums and there are always homeschooling events around town. Just in my area our local gymnastics studios and trampoline places have homeschool hours during the week. Our local YMCA (I'm in south Charlotte) has a homeschool academy with a lot of classes available each semester. My girls do an outdoor education class and PE and they are taking part in a field day next month. As far as legalities go, its so easy to homeschool here. I follow the guidelines but I've never been asked for anything. Nobody has asked for proof of standardized testing or attendance.
  14. Doughnuts! Sigh. I love a really good doughnut.....or five 😉 We have some really good local doughnut places around here and it's been a test to my willpower to avoid them. And roasted brussels sprouts. I can eat them like candy!
  15. I agree with how it feels inside my house versus outside. Last week it was in the mid-70s here but very humid due to rainy conditions and I turned on the AC. Right now it's low 80s and breezy so my windows are open and it feels great. At night is a different story. I need it to be on the cool side to sleep. So if its above, say, 72 in my house at bedtime I will turn the AC on.
  16. Thank you all. I'm nervous to use Rover but I found a person that has close to a hundred glowing reviews, with many repeat and regular clients. From what little interaction I've had with her she seems really sweet. Fingers crossed it works out. I think that, with any service you are paying for, there will be good experiences and bad. And with hundreds of dog sitters on Rover just in my immediate area I'm sure there are more than a few duds. I think I fielded a few when I first started reaching out. We will be traveling out of the country and won't be easily reachable so I tried to find someone with lots of reviews and that seems to know what they are doing. I will click on the link but I will probably end up tipping her assuming we are happy. I'm hoping $20 or $30 will be sufficient!
  17. We are leaving for vacation next week and are using for the first time. Our dog will be staying with someone for a week and a half and I already prepaid via Rover. When I pick her up am I expected to give a tip? I never know when to tip anymore and it stresses me out!
  18. I've gone to a few just for the vendor halls. I think if I had another homeschooling mom/friend to go with I would be more interested in the workshops and listening to the speakers. Also we are a secular homeschooling family so not all of the workshops are of interest in the conventions nearby.
  19. I edited my original response. I left out an important word by mistake as I was typing quickly so we could leave for dinner. Lesson learned! I had intended to say that I don't believe that its NOT environmental. Otherwise not sure how it would explain how one identical twin could have ASD and the other not.
  20. Yikes. I meant to say I'm not convinced that it's not environmental. Typing too fast to so we could head out to dinner....sorry about that!
  21. I have identical twin girls. One has autism. The other does not. So I'm not so sure I believe it's not environmental. Nor do I think it has anything to do with my pregnancy. Edited to add *not* before environmental
  22. I agree. Where those calories come from makes a huge difference. I've used MFP in the past but I work out consistently five-six days a week and have for years so it would increase my calories based on my workouts and I had no problems following it. I'm on Keto now due to GI issues (SIBO and IBS) and my calories are lower than I've ever taken in on a daily basis but because those calories are coming from fat and protein, and not carbs, I actually feel pretty good. I don't track my calories but I use Carb Manager to track my carbs and find that my calories eaten are roughly 1500 per day. With my workouts I'm netting around 1100-1200 which typically would be way too low. I'm not looking to lose any more weight so I'm going to have to make some adjustments going forward but thats beside the point. If you are eating mainly carbs you will feel a crash at various times throughout the day. And I also agree with getting your blood checked. I tend to run low on Vit Bs so I take a super B complex which helps with my energy.
  23. We are in a similar situation around here. Either you live in an older house not within a neighborhood or you are in an HOA. There isn't much middle ground. Our HOA is $150 a year but it includes trash/recycling pick-up and maintenance/landscaping to the neighborhood entrance and greenway entrance. We have no amenities in this neighborhood other than the greenway entrance. I wouldn't mind paying a higher HOA if the neighborhood included amenities we would use like a pool, playground, walking trails etc. I would have a problem paying much more than I'm paying now if we aren't getting anything out of it other than some flowers around the entrance. My in-laws live in an HOA neighborhood of patio homes. Their HOA is $400 per quarter but it's extremely regulated. There are rules specifying how early they are allowed to put up holiday decorations, how long after that holiday before they have to be put away, what kinds of plants they can have in their flower beds, etc. I find that ridiculous but that's why I don't live there. I have a love/hate relationship with HOAs. I get why they are there, and I feel that it protects the neighborhood resale value. They put regulations in place to maintain the overall apearance and feel of the neighborhood. Sometimes they do a better job than others. I think it depends on who is on the HOA board. There were times in the past where it was ridiculous. We had a large hail storm several years back and many houses (ours included) had roof tiles blown off. Literally three days later we get a letter in the mail.
  24. Duh I never thought about audio books! I will have to give that a try!! I have a polyp on my voice box that may have to be surgically removed. This causes me to lose my voice very frequently so read-alouds are difficult for me to do. I love a good audio book! My girls are 9. One of them is really into pony/horse anything. Her current favorite is The Pony Club books. The other likes Kylie Jean books and fairy books. I have a list started but if anyone wants to give me some suggestions I would gladly take them!
  25. Thank you for the encouragement! I've been kind of weary thus far of forcing them to read anything just because I want them to love to read. We really struggled a few years ago when I pulled them out of first grade. The school would send home readers that my girls did not enjoy, and they had to read the same books all week. So I took them to the library and let them choose their own (appropriately challenging) books. Fortunately I am finding plenty of books that speak to their interests so I'm in the midst of creating a list right now. When starting out I'm going to try books slightly below their age levels (something like Sarah, Plain and Tall) because the chapters and book itself isn't too long, and work my way up from there. I think I'm also going to have them fill out a reading chart with a special incentive when they meet certain milestones (10 books read, 20, etc).
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