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  1. I gave my cousin a Betty Crocker (you know the red one that has everything basic in it) cookbook when she graduated from College. I think it was well received and proved quite useful while she was starting out on her own. I know the one I have is still my most used recipe book even when I just need to remember how long to hard boil an egg. Or, maybe a book of all his favorite recipes mom makes or ones you know he could make easily. Got to keep those college grads fed. :)
  2. I had a similar situation as you last year, but my twins were the 4th graders and my singleton was a 1st grader. You're right, it will be a lot of trial and error to find what fits your family. I remember last year being somewhat difficult as I felt that everyone needed my attention at all times. I can't say I really had a schedule as it felt like it changed each day based on who needed me most. Things that worked for me were finding subjects they could do independently like handwritng/cursive, art, typing games, or reading, so that I could concentrate one-on-one with another child and keep the others working. When they finished a subject, they weren't quite mature enough to find something else school related to complete - much more fun to play:), so I started having my olders learn how to read my planning chart. That way they could reference it and move on to another subject if they were able without having to ask me. It was a great first step to studying more independently and made much fewer interruptions. I know some on this board have also had a lot of success with workboxes to keep their kids on track. If you search for it, I'm sure you'll find many threads about it. This year feels like a 180 degree turn. My olders are now 5th grade and probably do 75% of their work independently with me acting more as a planner and reviewer of their work. My younger (2nd grader) still needs me most of the time, but in reality it's only 2-3 hours a day, so very doable. I guess I'm saying that from my experience be prepared to be a little overwhelmed this year, but hang in there it does get easier. Best wishes this next year. Jennifer
  3. Great suggestions. Thanks! Jann, you're right -- I was just thinking today about how we should have more than texting in case of a real emergency. My dh found a way last night to text using our old iphone; I'll have to learn about google voice numbers. I didn't see where the tracfone minutes shifted or rolled over; I'll have to research that too. Looks like I have a lot more to look into. Thanks again for all the suggestions. You guys are great!
  4. You're right Pippen --Great thing to keep in mind. Do you know if there are prepaid plans for a year that are super cheap? The lowest tracfone card I saw was 400 minutes for $100. I don't think the kids will use even 30 minutes for the whole year at this point. I've even looked into Magic Jack or something like that, but can't imagine even using enough minutes to justify the $60-$70. Is there something that we can do through a 3rd gen. iphone without service (so basically like an ipod touch)? Maybe a site online or an app I could buy? I'd be fine with something that would allow them to just be able to text me and I could text them rather than having phone service if that's available. Any other thoughts?
  5. We're finally at a stage where I think the kids can stay at home by themselves for a short time. I'd like to start running quick errands while I leave the kids at home, however, I need a way for them to contact me in case of emergency. We got rid of our land line and use only my dh's and my cell phones, so I'm looking for a really cheap emergecy phone. I thought there were phones out there that were pay by the minute, but everything I'm seeing requires a monthly plan or a prepaid card that expires within 30 days. I know I can add them to our plan for $10/month, but was hoping for something even less than that since it really is just for emergencies. What do you all use? Any thoughts or suggestions? Maybe something through the internet? Thanks for your help, Jennifer
  6. I looked at the question in my dd's 4B and it appears that the rest of the directions are to "Draw the triangle and find the perimeter," so, I'm guessing she just wants you to draw it and measure the 3rd side. That side should measure 13. Then, adding the three sides would give you 30.
  7. Good point regentrude. Thanks for the replies Halcyon and Crimson Wife. I may be more open to using the calculator at some point in the future, but I think for now we'll stick with our paper and brains and hope we speed up as we learn more. Thanks again for helping me think this through!
  8. Thanks for the reply regentrude. You're right. Now that I'm thinking about it more closely, most of the problems are about simplifying the equations. He is really doing well with that, so maybe the calculator is not the right solution. I think the problems I was mostly thinking about using a calculator on were those that you narrow down the range, but then have to do trial and error to narrow down the range further (i.e. N is an integer such that N cubed equals 4913). He's great about knowing it's between 10 and 20, but then you try 15 cubed, too low, then he might try 16 cubed, still to low, etc. - not a huge amount of calculation, but it still takes time. I guess maybe I'm really just trying to find a way to make the process quicker as I can't see how we can get through this book in a year at the rate we're going (although he's younger, so I guess I probably shouldn't worry about us taking longer, maybe I just need to adjust my expectations). I have allowed him to skip the challenge exercises since he's also sitting in on our Mathcounts team meetings. I'm not sure if that's a good decision or not - do you have any insight on whether the challenge exercises are necessary? It's so nice to hear that you went all the way through Calculus without using a calculator, as I am really not a calculator fan. I guess we will just stay the course and see if things pick up as he gets more familiar with this method. All in all, he is really loving this curriculum and learning a lot. Thanks again.
  9. I'm curious when you start allowing the use of a calculator in math? My ds started AOPS pre-algebra this year and it is taking quite a while to complete the problems. I know they're supposed to take some time, but I'm wondering if we're at the stage where I should allow him to focus more on the problem solving and less on the mechanics by letting him use a calculator. Up to now, I've been very opposed to calculator use, since I wanted him to continue to strengthen his mental math. Now I'm wondering if we've arrived at the level where it's time to reconsider. Thoughts? What do you do? Thanks!
  10. I teach preschool science each year at our vacation bible school. You're going to have a fun time with this age group. I usually try to have a short story book, discussion time, and activity and/or craft. The more hands on, the more fun they have. I've found it best to do the activities in small groups with an adult for each group. Learning about animals and their habitats is always a hit, and it's so easy to find story books and crafts to extend the learning. The basics like water cycle, seeds, weather, body systems, etc all work well too, and you can find tons of activities online. And, don't forget the baking soda volcanoes - a must in our group. I used to stress that I had to have grand experiments, but I quickly realized how much the kids learn from the simplest things. There's just so much you can do at this age because everything is new. It's really fun to watch them discover. Hope you have a great year.
  11. Yea Laura! My dd tried HO last year and it just wasn't her style. We found your site and are going to start on your middle ages program this year. All the literature is exactly what I was looking for. We should be ready for your early modern next year. Excited to see you will have it on your site. Thanks for sharing and for all your hard work!
  12. My b/g twins are 10 and although we started out doing everything together, we are shifting toward different curriculum in certain subjects for each. They have very different strengths and I have to keep reminding myself that the benefit of homeschooling is to give individualized education -- even though they are the same age and even though keeping them together would be oh so much less work. There is definitely competition here and struggles when one catches on much more quickly than the other - another reason for the shift to separate curriculum. Overall, they're just typical brother and sister -- some days they're best friends, other days well, :glare: they aren't. I think hormones are starting to play a role too. So, these next few years should get very interesting.
  13. My kids got a magnetic mosaic toy that they still play with sometimes. Looks like they have it for a great price on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Orb-Factory-Magnetic-Mosaics-Kids/dp/B000J1CQ98/ref=sr_1_1?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1329009762&sr=1-1
  14. Just wanted to chime in that we use MCT (actually our second year) and really enjoy it. For Practice Island and Practice Town, I use it as dictation as well as analysis. I read the sentence a couple of times, have them say it back to me, and then write it on a sheet I made that has four lines for the four level analysis. This way I've killed two birds with one stone, and there is no need for the student books. We also purchased the first literature series and have not found it as exciting as I had hoped. It has fit the bill for us this year, but if I wanted to cut out something from the program, I would hold off ordering them. Let us know what you decide.
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