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About sweet2ndchance

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  1. Though it was for completely different reasons than what you are dealing with right now, my older kids went to public school after being homeschooled for most of their elementary/middleschool years. To me, it really was just a six of one, half dozen of another situation when it came to homeschooling problems vs. public school problems. It wasn't any easier or harder, it was just different. I went to a Spalding school when I was a kid and even as late as 4th grade I can remember being graded and watched on how I formed my letters and numbers. But in the middle school grades, they relaxed a lot on the Spalding instruction (K-8 elementary school but by 7th grade we did do Spalding in class anymore) I remember anytime I was bored in class or just killing time, I would experiment with different handwriting styles and try to mimic other's handwriting that I admired. I still can write using perfect strokes as described in WRTR but my regular daily handwriting is very legible but not perfectly formed every time. With my own kids, I teach them the proper way to form letters and numbers in K and first grade and insist on them doing it correctly. That's part of why the younger grades are so teacher intensive, you are instilling good habits and that takes time and consistent practice. I teach cursive in third grade if I didn't teach the child cursive first. But I don't force them to use cursive if they don't want to. If they can write in cursive and can read cursive, that's enough for me. I start letting them decide around 3rd/4th grade as long as they can write neatly and legibly, how they want to perfect their handwriting. Now if their handwriting gets illegible, I will remind them and make them practice the "right way" but if I can't tell by looking how they formed the letter or it is acceptably neat even if they didn't form the letter "the right way" I let it go after 3rd grade. It's just not a hill to die on for me as long as their writing is legible and I'm not willing to nag them over it. That's just my experience, FWIW. All my kids have gone through a phase or 3 of feigning forgetfulness to get out of doing work. First I assess why they are trying to get out of the work. Are they overtired? Over excited? Stressed? Anxious? Basically, is there some outside reason they are not wanting to do their work? If the answer to any of those is yes, then we might go back and do a review lesson and not new work or pull out a game to play for that subject instead of a lesson or if it is something that is really affecting them adversely, we might call it a mental healthy day and not do any more school at all. If I can rule out all of those outside factors as not being the reason, I take a look at the lesson itself and reassess whether or not they are really ready for the material. Even gifted kids hit road blocks and sometimes we just need to wait and practice skills they already have until their brains are ready to move on and there is nothing wrong with that but I found in my kids that feigning forgetfulness was sometimes a sign that the material was moving too fast and we needed to slow down a bit and let their brain catch up. Conversely, sometimes the opposite was true, they were bored to tears and didn't know how to tell me that they understood the concept and just wanted to move on. In that case, I assign a few problems and tell them if they can execute it perfectly without my help then we can skip ahead in the lessons. Or we trade roles and I have them teach me the lesson. If they can explain it to me (and I purposely make mistakes for them to correct me on) then they obviously know it and we can move on. If none of the above seems to be the problem, we have a talk about our roles and how we have to work together. I don't want to make them do things they don't want to do but I have a responsibility to teach them the things they need to know and they have the responsibility to learn them. Being difficult with each other just makes people irritable and an unpleasant experience for everyone. We decide together what needs to be done and what are appropriate consequences for being willfully difficult and not doing your work. This is not to say all my kids were obedient little angels that realized they were in the wrong and apologized and promised to work harder, far from it. But things did tend to go more smoothly when they felt listened to and their wants and needs were taken into account. Homeschooling is hard. Period. Spending all day with your children at home, where they are most comfortable and feel safe acting out their feelings is physically and emotionally draining. But at the end of the day, even on bad days, I still feel like I am giving them the best possible chance to be successful adults by homeschooling them, so I put my big girl panties on each morning and keep on trudging through each day.
  2. I crochet my own out of 100% cotton as well. I mostly use them as pot holders and under a hot pan to another burner that isn't on, on my glass stove top. It freaks me out to put a hot pan on an area of the glass that isn't hot. I've had more than one pyrex dish not react well to sudden temperature changes and I love my glass cooktop so I may be a wee bit over protective of it, lol. My favorite crocheted trivets are my chickens from this pattern.
  3. My youngest two son's both attended free pre-k through the public schools. My second to youngest son had an amazing pre-k teacher who I am still in touch with to this day. Youngest ds was born when second to youngest ds was in pre-k and ds brought the new baby in for "show and tell" when he was a few months old lol. Youngest ds has Childhood Apraxia of Speech so he qualified for an IEP and placement in the pre-k program as a handicapped student at age 3 instead of 4. Second to youngest ds didn't have any issues that required an IEP so he had to get a normal lottery slot for 4 year olds. Anyways, ods's amazing preschool teacher was still there and so excited to get to teach the little brother that ods had brought in for show and tell 3 years earlier but at the last minute she was offered a better job teaching 2nd grade and she took it, so youngest ds got a different pre-k teacher. This woman was an absolute nightmare. Among other things, she decided that the seat work that 3 - 4 year olds should do, from the first day of school until the last day, was practice writing their name every. single. day. on a photocopied half sheet of paper with their name in comic sans font and the rest of the page was blank. No lines. No tracers. No guidance from the aide or the teacher. No nothing. Her theory was "they will learn to write the letters in the way that is most comfortable to them". *facepalm* I didn't find this out until half way through the year and I was informed that even though he was one of the younger students in the class, he needed to work on writing his name. He was three, almost 4, and barely had the verbal skills of an 18 month old. His handwriting was the least of my worries back then. He is six now and I still have to correct his letter formation habits religiously or he will do things like make the two humps on the letter m and then go add a little tail at the top of the first hump. Something he was praised for by the pre-k teacher for his "attention to detail". *double facepalm". The fact that she couldn't see that her idea of seatwork was totally inappropriate for the mix of students she had should have been my first clue that we needed to just bring him straight home. When I found out that this was the norm even in kindergarten here, to not teach handwriting and just let the child develop their own strategies was definitely one of the deciding factors in the end. Now I see why my other ds's amazing teacher left. She used HWT in her pre-k class and didn't stress at all over whether or not they could write their names by the end of their pre-k year. If the nightmare pre-k teacher had tried to send home homework for ds, I probably would have completely lost it on her sooner.
  4. Lol, I hear people around where I live complain constantly about how "slow" shipping is and they would rather have the instant gratification of buying something in the store even if it isn't exactly what they wanted to buy. When you've lived overseas for any amount of time, wanted something you simply cannot buy in the country you are in and 2 - 3 weeks minimum is your new normal for shipping times, 1 - 3 days for shipping seems like such a small price to pay for getting the exact item you want, lol. I remember coming back from overseas and just being amazed at how quick things are shipped "nowadays" and that was in 2007! When we order from Amazon in the morning, if it ships from the DFW warehouse, it typically arrives the next afternoon. Any other Amazon warehouse and it take 2 - 4 days tops. We've had a few problems here and there but Amazon has always righted it in the end for us. We have been happy Prime members for close to 10 years now. I do have to say though that Prime Day was a bit disappointing this year which was just as well for us since unexpected expenses left us with no wiggle room for impulse purchases on Prime Day. I can also remember ordering books from Amazon when it was just a weirdly named online bookstore lol. There are lots of ways to get a discounted rate for Prime. Just google "Amazon Prime discount rate".
  5. Has she been to Platform 9 3/4 in King's Cross Station? It isn't really a whole afternoon kind of thing to go see it and take a picture of her pushing the trolley through the wall but it could be a fun thing to stop and do if you pass through the area while you are in London if you have a Harry Potter fan. I have a picture of me and the older kids from when we went to England years ago. Another neat thing we saw was Paddington Station and all the Paddington Bear related vendors and souvenirs. My kids were younger when we went so it was more exciting for them but if she has any nostalgia for Paddington Bear that could be a quick last stop on the train on the way back to Heathrow. We also wandered into The Clink Prison museum by chance one of the days we were wandering around London. Definitely a bit of macabre for your daughter without being too scary. My kids were all under the age of 7 when we went and they thought the museum was a hoot lol. There are some things you can try on and mess around with in one of the rooms and my kids decided to "try on" an all metal chastity belt lol. They thought it was a hat. *facepalm*
  6. I could see teaching him about calling someone ugly or fat. Wouldn't bother me. But they are just adjectives just like favorite, I suppose. Hmm... more social stuff to mull over and think about. He has said, "I don't like you Grandma" or "I don't like you Mom" or "I don't like you Dad". All my kids have said that or something like it at one point or another. We all have responded to him, and my older kids the same way, "That's ok, you are allowed to not like me but I still love you." Heck I've even told my husband and my kids at different points that I don't like them, though I tend to like to be more direct about it and say I don't like how you are acting right now or I don't like the choices you have made right now. But I can't say that I haven't just said I don't like you in the heat of the moment. I can still love someone with all my heart even when I don't like them so it doesn't seem out of line to me to let someone know when you don't like them. Now, my parents threw a royal hissy fit in grand, adult-size toddler fashion when I said that to them as a child and forced me to take it back and say I loved them. I won't say that doesn't color my perception.
  7. But he is a child, that's why it upset me that he was being told he couldn't express who his favorite person was. I guess maybe because when I say things, I don't have a hidden message or agenda that's why I don't get it? If I say something out loud, it is exactly what I meant, no more, no less. I've hurt people's feelings before just expressing an opinion and it's very often because there is some underlying meaning that they took from it but wasn't even on my radar. I suck at deducing other people's hidden meaning which I guess is why this bothered me in the first place. I have a really hard time extrapolating the bolded from saying so-and-so is my favorite person. Especially when the statement came from a child. But I know I have issues with social cues so I guess I learned something new today.
  8. I can be taught the rules but I have a habit of either being too black or white with it or I can apply the rules in one situation but not another or I can apply it but that doesn't mean I understand it lol.
  9. He came in from playing about 30 minutes ago and asked if he could go with Grandma to her nail appointment. So he's probably talking the salon people's ears off by now and will probably be having a Happy Meal for dinner with Grandma. :-)
  10. I have driven dh nuts before trying to understand social things that just don't make sense to me lol. Social things are absolutely mind boggling to me but I can explain calculus or computer coding or some complex science-y thing I read about to you all day long. ;-) But people and how they work are a complete mystery lol. I was also the kid that had to be forced to go play with kids my age. I would rather read a book. Or play with younger kids who aren't as complicated. Or do just about anything else. lol Thanks for being patient with me. :-)
  11. Interesting point. Hmm... maybe. I can understand how playing favorites with kids or grandkids can hurt. But when it's just a friend situation, I have more trouble understanding why it would hurt someone's feelings. We all have people and friends we would prefer to spend time with over others but you don't get to pick your family so feeling hurt because it feels like one is more loved or less loved by a family member isn't as hard for me to understand. But I guess I can kinda see what Grandma might have been trying to do there. She is the queen of explaining things badly. lol
  12. Guilty as charged. :-S There is a ton bothering me. More than Grandma's comment. More than the medical stuff. More than I feel comfortable discussing with most people. A lot on my plate right now is an understatement. Thanks for reminding me to not take it all out on Grandma. :-)
  13. All my social shortcomings because of my past and mental health diagnoses and I can perfectly understand why the guy with the pool is his favorite lol! It's hard for me to understand why other people would not. But social cues and what not are just plain hard for me, period. It's probably a big part of why I'm so introverted lol. And see, this I struggle to understand, lol. I know the rule is that it is not polite but why would Sally's feelings be hurt? That doesn't make sense to me. So Bob is his favorite friend, that doesn't mean Sally isn't his friend too. I know that social rules say that it's not polite to say things like that but since it wouldn't hurt my feelings I don't understand why it would hurt Sally's feelings if he wasn't saying that he won't play with her because Bob is his favorite. And it is things like this that make people ask me if I'm on the spectrum. And the answer is yes, it is very likely that I have Asperger's but I was never diagnosed as a child. Ds has quite a few Aspie-like quirks as well. Which might be why he seemed baffled by Grandma's statement too when he told us about it. Thanks for taking the time to reply. Even if I struggle to understand some things, I do know that you are right and it is an accepted social norm and part of my hang up might just be that I was chided as a child for saying similar things, much more harshly than Grandma did, and I want to protect him from what I experienced as a child.
  14. You're right. Putting it that way does help me see that this is more my hang up because my parents were in the habit of guilt trips and manipulating us kids. I think this might have just hit a little to close to my issues that I don't ever want my kids to understand or experience. She does have some very old fashioned ideas of how to raise kids but I don't think she would ever intentionally do something to hurt ds in any way. Hence the reason we let him spend so much time with her in the first place versus other relatives. That's possible. I guess I forget sometimes that normal mentally well people project sometimes too, not just the narcissists I've had to deal with in my life. I've definitely calmed down a lot since Monday but it was one of those things that I can't do anything about the other things going on in my life right now but this is something I can definitely do something about... but I do know that's not always the right answer. And I do know that my past often wildly skews my perspectives. Thanks for being my "therapists" until insurance can get their act together and start paying for my therapy again. :-)
  15. *Hugs* You are more invested in your children's education than most parents. Good enough is good enough. ;-) You will make mistakes, everyone does but he will not fail at life because his math curriculum could have been better for him. I say this as someone who has grown children and has spent plenty of sleepless nights wondering if I was really doing the best I could do by my kids. I made mistakes. They struggled in places. Since we can't go back and do things differently to find out if they wouldn't have struggled if I did something different, I just have to accept that it is what it is. None of them have failed, in fact they have come out stronger for it and thrived as young adults. I still have one at home young enough to be homeschooled, I do still worry sometimes but I will admit that it is easier going through this time knowing that none of my older kids have failed due to my mistakes. I wish I could let you walk in my shoes for a while so that you can know that it will be okay no matter what math curriculum you choose. ;-)
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