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Everything posted by IsabelC

  1. We have watched both of those, and enjoyed them both. I'm very attached to the BBC Shakespeare movies, as they are what I watched first in school and university, but the newer ones do, of course, have better production values. The 1999 one is a little bit more sexual/sensual, and I think there was a brief bit of nudity (not FF), but nothing graphic or unsuitable for kids IMO.
  2. I've always understood that phrase to mean, more or less, as school-like as possible while not actually going to school. So a very structured schedule, lots of subjects, textbooks and/or workbooks, and trying to stay 'on grade' according to the student's age, and maybe even looking like a school (eg kids sit at desks in a row). When talking about an imaginary spectrum of home education approaches, I would see school-at-home on one end, and radical unschooling on the other end, with most families positioned somewhere between those. Obviously that interpretation is somewhat simplistic, and doesn't adequately capture the huge variety of styles that work for different people, but it's useful as a shorthand. I know that some unschoolers use school-at-home in a derogatory sense, but for me it's pretty neutral, as I'm super not into judging what other people could or should do with their children.
  3. I have a burning desire to spend many hours researching home ed stuff. This may or may not have something to do with the fact that I have a major assignment for uni due in tomorrow. @ Junie I hope your Ms.15 thoroughly enjoyed her camp and is also happy to be home
  4. Good morning/night, 9.30am here, got up at the ungodly time of 5.45 to look out for the eclipse, but the moon wasn’t even visible. Dragged girls out of bed for swim training and orchestra rehearsal (the bloke has taken them today). Took another hour or two to get teen boy up so he can make me coffee. Nagged him to clean out his trombone more regularly after reading an article about the disgusting stuff that can grow inside of brass instruments. Evil dog dug a muddy hole and got totally filthy right after I had washed him off. Have my schoolwork to do for the rest of today in between laundry and other boring stuff meditative tasks. Sorry you’re tired and achey Slache ?
  5. Hi all, I am 2.5 weeks from finishing up my graduate diploma in psychology. Thinking of continuing on to grad dip advanced, which I need to get into Masters program, but very conflicted as it does limit what I can do for / with my kids. As they are now 15, 13, and almost 10, I had really hoped that they would be a bit more independent by now, so I could give them a list of tasks to complete while I am studying, but often it doesn’t happen. I’d love to hear how other people going back to school while still home educating manage to achieve a good balance. So far I have managed by taking lots of time off between subjects, but that makes my progress slow.
  6. My kids actually quite like flashcards. Just today we made a set for memorising major and relative minor key signatures. We usually just go through them and the kid gets to hold whichever ones they got right, then we go through again, and repeat until the student has all the cards.
  7. Our dog is crazy most of the time because our new neighbors have four little dogs who yap a lot. We are at wits end trying to stop him barking every time they are outside. Yay for Camp NaNo goal in sight, that is awesome! I thought an apricot was techically a type of plum, so plumcot sounds a weird thing. Thinking of getting a math tutor for Mr. 15 as we keep finding things in his book that I either forgot or never learned in the first place. Naturally my teen says this is a terrible idea, and he should quit math instead.
  8. Your cat sounds brave! Are racoons a major pest? I have never seen one of course, but they look sort of cute!
  9. If you are still after info, I am happy to talk about the Tasmanian system, where I have been home educating for almost ten years ?
  10. I would opt for all in person lessons if you can manage it, but if that is too much travel / stress / toddler wrangling, then go the other option, as they’d still get some in person lessons. Major technique issues usually come from either an incompetent teacher, or a completely self taught student.
  11. Hi, nice to see a few familiar faces after not being here for a while... lots of pages to catch up on though!
  12. If your child were serious about piano, then yes, lesson length should increase as she progresses. However, if your tween is playing as a hobby and not wanting to work towards exams or competitions, it is fine to stay with shorter lessons (and shorter practice sessions at home). You will need to make the situation clear to the teacher, and then it is up to her/him whether that is something they are prepared to work with. There may be some teachers who only want to take on 'serious' students, and of course that is their right. But many teachers will be willing to work with your preferences / requirements as long as these are clearly communicated, and are understanding of students who enjoy piano but don't want to make it their main thing. (It's no different (from the teacher's perspective) from having a student who is learning piano as a third instrument, for example.) You just have to understand that progress will be slower if it takes three or four lessons to get through everything your daughter is working on.
  13. I use the OC or not, depending on the sentence I'm writing. I don't understand why people get worked up about it, and either insist on using it, or refuse to use it. There's no virtue in senseless consistency. Commas are meant to make your sentence clearer, so put one in if it adds meaning or clarity, and don't if it doesn't.
  14. I don't have any problem with the kids knowing, once they are mature enough to understand basics such as the fact that accommodation and groceries needing to be paid for before toys and books, and the fact that 'not being able to afford' a luxury item does not mean we can't afford food.
  15. Improvising is useful and (for most kids) fun, but it is by no means essential for all piano learners. So if he has no interest, don't try to make him do it. But if he would like to improvise but just can't figure out how, you could make it easier for him by structuring it. Eg "play this but choose a different tempo" (or make a funny last note, or whatever is a small enough difference he can handle). Or if he's a visual thinker, use imagery "That sounds like a fairy tiptoing, can you play it like an elephant this time?". Just to get him used to the idea of variation. Later, once he has basic technique happening, show him how to do a 12 bar jazz/blues sequence and just put a few long notes over it, so he has an improv formula he can build on.
  16. Here is our list of regular commitments, I am interested in what others think, would you judge it to be 'too much'? Or is it fine, as long as the kids enjoy it? Monday Ms 12 Girl Guides (4 hrs - she is in two groups) Tuesday Ms 12 swim training sessions morning and evening Ms 9 violin lesson, circus class, and swimming lesson Mr 14 theatre company rehearsal Wednesday Ms 12 art lesson, vocal lesson (fortnightly, alternate weeks) Ms 9 Girl Guides Mr 14 & Ms 12 concert band Thursday Ms 12 swim training sessions morning and evening Mr 14 drama class and theatre company rehearsal Ms 9 riding lesson (fortnightly) Friday Home ed group (fortnightly, all kids) Ms 12 swim training Ms 9 swimming lesson Saturday Mr 14 trombone lesson (fortnightly) Ms 12 swim training, riding lesson (fortnightly) Ms 9 orchestra, drama class
  17. You have certain relations or friends who would normally interact with your children regularly, but you have discovered that these people have a whole range of beliefs or attitudes that you personally consider wrong, offensive and/or potentially harmful to your children. Would you try to reduce or avoid contact? Continue contact but always stay with your children so you can be aware of what's happening and possibly intervene? Not worry because you trust your kids not to succumb to any bad influences? And is there a particular age or stage at which you would stop trying to protect them from such influences?
  18. I would find it very difficult to make an estimate. There are minimum standards for all registered home educators where I am, so those people are by definition doing an adequate job, otherwise they wouldn't have gotten approved. There are a number of families who choose not to register, instead home schooling or unschooling 'under the radar'. While, of course, being unregistered doesn't necessarily mean the kids aren't learning adequately (in fact I know that there are some unregistered students doing amazing stuff), it's possible that a small number of those are experiencing some degree of educational neglect. But if I were a betting person, I'd be willing to bet a shedload of money that there are far more children not learning enough in schools than there are at home.
  19. We have three kids and we're done. We were always going to have three, because I wanted 3 or 4 while my partner wanted 2 or 3 (and yes, we agreed on this before we even got married). I wanted to have the first one before age 30 and the last one before 35, and that's what happened. However I don't view that age as some kind of magical cutoff. Every woman is different, and one woman can have a safer, healthier pregnancy at 40 than another woman at 30. I think the number and timing of children is a personal decision to be made by each woman, in consultation with her spouse/partner (and her health professionals if applicable).
  20. You and his teacher need to work together on this problem. Firstly, your kiddo needs practice goals that are reasonably achievable within his typical practice time. It's always going to result in frustration if the teacher assigns a list of work that would take 90 minutes per day to achieve, and you only want to allocate 20 minutes per day to piano practice. Secondly, the student needs to learn a variety of effective practice techniques. If something is taking an hour, and it should only take half an hour, then most likely he is using the wrong technique (or just repeating the piece over and over with no particular practice technique). Learning HOW TO PRACTICE for maximum results should be part of music lessons from the very beginning. If your child is very perfectionist, you might need to ask the teacher to specify limits (eg "spend no more than 2 hours on this piece over the coming week, and if it's still not working, wait till next lesson so I can show you some different ways to approach it"). Finally, you might need to experiment a bit to find the ideal practice routine for the child. Eg, some kids like to tackle their challenging stuff first, and finish off with something easy at the end of the practice session; whereas other students like to do the easiest stuff first because that makes it less difficult to start the practice session. Also some children can concentrate better with two or more short practices instead of one longer session (eg morning practice is repertoire, afternoon practice is sight reading and technical work).
  21. I have found that the longer we home educate, the less I feel that we need to fit into a particular category of home educators. I know what our family values and principles are. I know what works for my kids' learning-wise (at least right now). I know how much structure I can maintain and how much 'go with the flow' I can tolerate. I know how much control I am comfortable with handing over to the kids, and what issues I am prepared to put my foot down on. I have given up caring that we don't neatly match any one approach.
  22. sorry no idea why my post double up
  23. Well done on raising a young woman who knows what she does and doesn't want, and is confident enough to assert herself in an appropriate and respectful way. She is much more likely to have fulfilling relationships in store if she already understands that she doesn't owe anything to people she dates, and that it's always OK to say no.
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