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  1. That's about what I expected. Well, if there's any chance the clutch might be fertile, you could always let them hatch, but in a tiny tank that's asking for trouble (and lots of dead baby snails, and possibly fish, too, when all the extra waste throws the ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels off). Just scrape the clutch off the glass with a knife or razor blade, the sooner the better. As the clutch dries over the first day or two after being laid, it will harden quite a bit and could be much more difficult to remove if you leave it. The good thing about this type of snail is that birth control is easy... just destroy the clutches as they appear. They can't "take over a tank" without your knowledge like the common pest snails. They're also tons of fun... ours used to like "para-snailing" down the flow from the filters. They'd let go of the tank wall right under the filter, "float" down with their foot extended, and then work their way up the wall and do it again and again. If you *do* want to try to hatch some of the clutch, I'd suggest using a razor to remove 3/4s of it so you don't get overpopulated. Don't let the eggs get soaked; they need to stay above the water line so they don't drown. They'll hatch in somewhere from 2-4 weeks. The babies are teeny-tiny, about the size of a pin-head. PM me if you want more info.
  2. Ok, first of all, is this one of the large, air-breathing snails, somewhere from dime-sized in diameter or up? If so, those snails are single-gender, not hermaphroditic. They can store sperm for ages, though. What do the eggs look like? Are they above or below the water line? Pics? (We used to own snails and raised many of them from eggs in our 55-gal aquarium. Thus the questions...)
  3. Rats. Definitely rats. They have such fun and distinctive personalities. I never had a rat bite me, even when startled, unlike the long line of mice, gerbils, and hamsters we had as children. Our humane society is always looking for homes for a rat or three. It's a great place to start if you're looking for one.
  4. DS8 says COOL! He wants a ball python now. To add to the rest of the wanted menagerie list. *sigh* I finally convinced him baby komodos were a no-go.
  5. My 8yo DS, who made me promise to get him a reptile once we move BTW, saw the photo loading and said "awwww, CUTE!!!!" Now I'll spend the next week reminding him that we can't have komodo dragons as pets, no matter how many cage designs he comes up with. :D
  6. His math scores were higher than I expected. And, surprise surprise... when I sat him down this morning for a mid-year evaluation of where we're going and what he'd like to change... his first request was "harder math!!!" While I was always good at math, I never loved it, so this is a tough one for me. I looked at the reports again, and realized that his "predicted national percentile rank" scores (based on the CogAT, from what I understand) were all low compared to his actual scores. The difference between the two was 15-25 points on most of the sections. Oy... I thought testing would give me at least a starting point for answering my (and others') questions... in reality, it's just raised more questions. Thanks for the suggestion on inferences workbooks! I'll probably try to pick up a few from Amazon or Scholastic (digital downloads) if I can. Are there any you used that you'd recommend?
  7. I had my 8yo, somewhat accellerated 3rd grader tested with the ITBS/CogAT last month. Results were just posted online. There were a few surprises, and some results that have me going :confused1: . First, a smidge of random background info: -- This was his first-ever standardized test. -- We did a bit of prep with a Spectrum test prep book for the ITBS, but nothing for the CogAT. -- A family friend who happens to be a special ed teacher administered the tests since I don't have a degree. -- We had to pack the administration of the entire ITBS and CogAT into 3 days due to scheduling conflicts. -- We haven't had DS evaluated, but I suspect he has ADHD like his father/older 1/2 brother. So far, I've just accommodated his issues at home, but we're considering pursuing formal evaluation at this point. -- I know DS is creative/bright/etc. but I'm not sure if he's "just" bright, really gifted but limited by the (possible) ADHD, or what. -- He finished most of the sections in about 1/2 to 3/4s of the allotted time, barring one -- one of the quantitative reasoning sections on the CogAT. He only completed 2/3s of those questions and went into total melt-down when the timer went off before he was done. -- He did not use scratch paper or a calculator on any of the allowed sections. His lowest score on the ITBS was Listening at stanine 6/percentile 61. DH commented, "Well, we already knew he doesn't listen." :glare: DH's choice of humor aside, I was expecting that score to be lower than all the others based on my knowledge of DS's learning style, but wasn't sure how low it would be. His reading, language, and verbal (CogAT) scores were all great, with stanines ranging from 6-9. In all cases (except punctuation), the lower scores were related to inferential/analytical questions. I've seen this problem before... he has a great memory for things when he wants to, and can remember the slightest details from an interesting story, but has a terrible time making inferences. He's creative as all get-out, but appears to just vapor-lock when you ask him to guess something that's not stated literally in a passage he's read. I've never been able to figure out if it's that he can't guess what will happen, or if he sees too many options and can't/won't pick one. His math scores were, well, surprising. His math total would qualify him for Duke TIP if I wanted to enroll him. That's despite just finishing RS C and not yet starting RS D, with very little supplementation (some word problems, basically.) I was a bit blind-sided by this one... math is usually his "struggle" subject, attention and interest-wise. He had pacing issues on the CogAT (all taken the first day), so I'm not sure how much to trust the scores. On the other hand, they're reasonably where I expected them to be, relative to each other: highest on verbal, lowest on quantitative, non-verbal in between. All of that, and I haven't even gotten to a question yet. :blushing: How's this: Does this sound more like a bright, quirky kid with decent verbal skills, or a gifted kid with ADHD or other issues that need to be addressed so he can work at his true ability level? I know what my gut feeling is, but I'm not sure whether it's accurate. At this point, I'm thinking I seriously need to come up with the $$ for a full eval so I can stop second-guessing myself.
  8. We school pretty much year round, with a few planned breaks and days off as needed. Last year, we did 216 days. This year, we'll have done 96-100 days by Christmas, depending on whether we take any more days off between now and then. Our school "year" started July 1.
  9. Another option is the Zaner Bloser spelling lists. They have lists and worksheets online for grades 1-8. We've used levels 2 - 4 and are working on level 5 now. They're not random lists; most of them have some sort of organizational theme: spelling patterns, a few "common words" lists, months and days, etc.
  10. Try Lit2Go for free audio classics (also free pdf versions). They're all free, and so far all of the ones I've listened to with my boys have been very well done. For more modern books, no clue where to get them free.
  11. Oh, I'm very much the Evil Homeschool Mommy. DS didn't want to do school today. He's had 3 days of sneezing, runny nose, etc. from a VERY mild cold that hasn't slowed him down in the least and is clearly improving already. I, on the other hand, have been down for over a week and a half with the same cold, which for some reason decided to get comfortable in my sinuses and my lungs. I just want to crawl in bed and sleep. I feel terrible, but life circumstances (and my precocious 3yo) require that I be up and doing things. If I can work, then so can he, dang it. He's 3/4s of the way through his work for the day, and he finally stopped whining about an hour ago. :glare: I think I'm declaring tonight movie night, for my own sanity.
  12. A majority of the #10 cans sold by survival/storage companies are dehydrated or freeze dried foods. As long as you don't get them wet or contaminated in some way while opening the can to remove some for use, they'll be fine for days, possibly weeks depending.
  13. We have layers of "food preparedness". First: regular pantry, refrigerator, freezer. This is the stuff that we eat regularly. We have somewhere between 2-3 weeks of meals here, I'd guess, but it varies. Next: longer-term pantry stored in cool, dry part of basement, plus deep freezers (chest and upright). This is where all my bulk shopping buys go, then I "shop from my pantry" before grocery shopping. This keeps our supplies rotated and saves us tons of money. Although we're working on reducing it currently (planned move next spring), at peak stocking, we could probably make more than three months of meals, assuming electricity. Last: long-term storage goods. Although the general idea is to keep these on hand for emergencies, I open a can every once in a while for sampling and experimenting. There's no point in having it if, when we need it most, our boys (or ourselves!) won't eat it. So far, we haven't had any bombs. I highly recommend Augason Farms brand. It's available through Sam's Club (online) at decent prices, better than the company web site unless they're having a great sale. If you're going to go the bulk buckets route, definitely spring for gamma seal lids. They're amazing!
  14. The Hungry Year She's not alone, but she is trying to survive (and keep her little brothers alive) without adult help.
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