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Everything posted by dcurry

  1. We use a Panasonic auto-stop electric pencil sharpener, and it's the best I've ever used. It plugs in, no batteries. Before this one was given to me (used), we didn't have a decent one and I thought I had tried them all. I didn't see it on Amazon- it's small & rectangular (grey/black) I don't see a model number or I'd post one. I wish I could be of more help. I would trust Panasonic after this one, though.
  2. You could tell them that you are moving because you need both of your daughters to be in the same troop. I probably wouldn't elaborate any more than that, but you do need to let them know you'll still be leading a troop and that you will be around. Do they have someone new already to take over for you?
  3. It is true that there are many opportunities at a large church. There are more than enough resources available for both you and your children. On the other hand, it is easy to get lost in a large church. It is easy enough to attend without getting involved. It would be really overwhelming for my children to be in such large classes. It would be really overwhelming for me to deal with crowds when we attended. It's a personal preference. It is possible to be very involved in a large church, as it is a smaller one. It's easier to "slip through the cracks" in a larger one, but also easier to find the services/support you are looking for.
  4. You don't really need materials yet for his age. If he's testing so high and is already reading, I'd just keep reading aloud to him (for pronunciation, vocabulary & comprehension skills), and work on addition & subtraction facts (that will help him much later). If he can count to 100, you're good in the math dept. through Kindergarten. If he's interested, you could get a kindergarten workbook (any) and go through that with him. My daughter was reading in kindergarten, and I just got her a huge workbook that had all the subjects and she worked through it whenever she wanted to (which was every day for a couple pages). She read the directions herself, and then did the pages- which was easy for her to do, but gave her something to do and made sure I didn't miss anything she should have known (like telling time, etc). (That was a hard year for us because of a younger child who needed special attention and a baby). If it's not required in your state to have him enrolled in school next year, you might just want another year of enjoying him and doing whatever you both find fun. Especially with two toddlers in the house. :)
  5. I'm not sure how many toys, etc. you have, but that may play into who gets the bonus room. Your daughter & baby could share one room. The younger boys should share a room with different bedtimes, and the oldest probably needs his own space. If your oldest has the bonus room, you may tell him that it is the playroom & his sleeping room so that your daughter & he can both play in there w/o the younger children getting into small parts. If it's as big as my sister's bonus room, it's big enough to even put a room divider in if he wants and separate the play space from the sleeping/changing space. We have a 15yob, 13yog, and three boys 10, 8, and 6. I'd love for my oldest to have his own room (he would too), but for now, my 13 yo daughter gets the tiny room by herself, and my 4 boys share a room. We are working on a room divider for their room- my oldest has a loft bed and his stuff on his half of the room. The other half of the room has a bunk & trundle bed for the three younger boys, and their dressers/toys are in the closet. It's very squished in there, but it's what we have for now. They do have some trouble getting to sleep at night, but I try to stagger bedtimes too.
  6. We've only done a couple- Astronomy, and Zoology 1 (flying creatures). We are doing Zoology 2 (swimming creatures) next year. My kids have loved all of them. They are also very hand's-on. If you get the notebook, there will be some writing and cut & fold books to do that are fun. We have avoided Botany because it seemed uninteresting to me, but I know someone who did that one and said it was really good. There appear to be hands-on activities for all of them. I think Astronomy was my favorite so far.
  7. :iagree: For that age, 2 hours/day OR a "field trip" would be plenty. I'd skip formal school on any day you are out for the morning. I didn't do formal school with my 5 year old this year. We read when we had the opportunity, and he sat in on brothers science & history. But I do understand the stress/pressure you feel for your first. Relax & enjoy your time with him at least for another couple of years.
  8. You & your husband need to respect her parenting decisions. Encouraging a teenager to deliberately and secretly go against her parents wishes is much more serious than slipping a 3 year old a sip of diet coke. However, even this small thing causes you to give your mom the "stink eye". It's the idea of undermining the parent's authority in either case. If you & your dh take off for an hour or two to see Harry Potter and then join the rest of the family, it shouldn't need to be a huge issue. I wouldn't encourage any of them to do something that's against their conscience. And family may need to be more important than Harry Potter.
  9. For some kids, it would work. You could always start them out together in everything, and then if the youngest falls behind or gets overwhelmed you could re-evaluate at that time. If he is interested & wants to participate, I'd just plan on teaching them together. Certainly include him in everything aside from reading, math, and maybe writing. But it's possible he'd keep up with those, too.
  10. If it was a textbook, it is allowed to have some highlighting. But the sender is supposed to notify the receiver with that information before sending it. If you want it even with the stuff it has in it, I'd not put "with a problem" but would instead let them know in the part where it says, "Is there anything you'd like to tell the sender?" I'd put that I would have preferred to know about the highlighting & check marks before it was sent, and that they should let the receiver know next time. I'd also mention it in the part where it says, "Is there any other information you'd like paperbackswap to know". It's nice if they have that information so they can inform what to do for next time.
  11. :iagree: If a word is not part of their vocabulary, they are just trying to sound it out. Also, my kids were reading early, and much of their vocabulary building came from reading to themselves. So for my kids, it's common for them to mispronounce normal words that *are* part of their vocabulary since they read them before they heard them, and weren't corrected early on. We do correct mispronunciations when we hear them, which is a good reason to have them read out loud even after they are reading well. (Until at least 4th grade or so).
  12. Well.... I'm certain you're home by now... did you pick one? I guess you'd be too busy with the new pup to update. Or maybe I missed it?
  13. We are doing Zoology 1 now, and planning on Zoology 2 next year. I suppose if you are doing one lesson/week instead of taking 2 weeks to do a lesson, you could finish two books in one year. It depends too on how much time you devote to science and how much extra stuff you do (experiments, journals, etc). I'm sure your older one could get through two books in one year. You might want to spread out the reading for your younger one, though. My younger kids can sit through 1/2 a lesson's reading in one sitting, so if we did science daily, we could finish each lesson in a week. They are K, 2nd, and 4th grade this year.
  14. I like your pros. I don't see any cons. For one thing, you could always grab the books for the current subject and have her work at the dining room table while you are making lunch. Baby monitor for while the baby is sleeping. It would be a *great* place to store all of the reference materials, charts, timelines, books not currently being used, etc. without having them all over the house. If you have the option for a school room, I would certainly make one. Do the main teaching there during a time convenient for you. Let her do her reading & independent work upstairs at the table (unless she *wants* a quiet place to work away from everyone). My husband likes everything school-related confined to one room. He thinks it makes the home look cluttered and not "nice" when there is a timeline that runs all around the walls into the living room, etc.
  15. Thank you so much for the explanation about titers, and for your thoughts & comments. I am pro-vaccine, too, but am so hesitant to give them to two of my children. Seems they should have found a better way by now to minimize risk.
  16. The Exploring Creation series (Apologia) would be good for keeping them all together. However, you may want to have your 7th grade do the General Science independently. It's written for kids of that age to do by themselves, experiments and all. If you think he/she isn't up for it, then choose one of the younger series to do together. If you don't do it this year, they should do the general in 8th, and physical in 9th. My kids loved those books and did them independently in 7th & 8th grades. (I keep my K-6th grades together for Apologia, so still only teach one science). It doesn't really matter what order you go in for the younger books, but Astronomy is great for all ages (younger ones too), and I've heard that the Human Body is geared more towards the older ages. We're doing Flying Creatures of the 5th day and are really enjoying it. My younger boys are in K, 2, and 4th grades. We plan to do the Swimming Creatures next year. My daughter did Physical science this year on her own, and did the labs with our coop. (My oldest did the labs on his own at home with very little help). Hope that helps and that you find something they (and you) love.
  17. Thank you so much for the thoughts. I guess I should hold off (like I've been doing). It's only two of my children who are not up to date..... I still don't know what titers are, though. I'm assuming it's a blood test.
  18. What does this mean? A blood test to determine immunity?
  19. I was reading another thread about delayed vaccines. Some of my kids are up to date, but my 10 year old never had his kindergarten shots & later (because of autistic tendencies that took years of therapy to undo), and my now 6 year old only had up to his 6 month shots before we quit because of a "severe persistent reaction to the aluminum". He actually had to have outpatient surgery to remove the lump from his leg a year later. They called him a "highly reactive child". We haven't given him shots since. (Our dr. assured us there was no mercury/metals in them and that they were entirely safe, and then the reaction). (He also had autistic tendencies like no eye contact, etc, but not anymore). No dr. that I've talked with has been able to give me a good schedule or even to tell me whether I should continue shots with them. Should I catch my 10yo and 6yo up on their shots? Only certain ones? Opinions? I've researched a bunch, and am still in the "waiting" phase. Thanks.
  20. I need something for my kids, too. I know there are cd's that cover math facts- I've heard just to put them on for 5 minutes/day or something. I was thinking about putting one on at night for them when they go to sleep. Anyone know of a good one that is not put to music? (I hear when it's with music, that they are getting it from a different part of their brain and then they always need to "hear" the music to get the facts). We need to master all of them, addition through division. I used to have them do drill with flashcards (with the answers showing) every day through the cards, and then play a game with my kids- I'd show a flashcard, whoever said the answer first got the card. When the pile was done, they would switch piles and review the ones they weren't fast at. If they both knew it so well that they tied, the card went in the middle and no-one had to review it. I probably need to do that again with my younger ones.
  21. :iagree: to all of the above. My husband went fishing with a friend (and ours & friend's teenagers) and was supposed to be back Sunday night or Monday morning and we waited until Tuesday afternoon to call someone. But I knew who he was with, license number, and the name & phone of the other guy's wife. We had a meeting on Tuesday to decide what to do, and we finally decided to file a "missing person's" report. We gave them all the info we had, and right after we did that, we got a call from a stranger who said he'd run into our husbands on the trail, that it was more difficult than expected, and they were on their way back out but were ok. Their cells didn't work in that remote area, so they'd given a message to someone to call once they got out. The police still went looking for them, because they said you can't take the word of a stranger once a report had been filed, even though it was probably what really had happened. It turned out ok, but now I make sure I have all the information before he leaves. And he knows that I panic if he's not back around the time he's supposed to be. It definitely opened up some lines of communication.
  22. I used this when my oldest two were in 3rd & 1st grades. We absolutely loved it. I held on to it to use with my younger ones, but we haven't gotten back to American History since. I would have to say that it was one of my very favorite curriculum that I've ever used. I still have their composition notebooks that we made that year. I followed the lesson plans exactly (I was fairly new to homeschooling), and not only did they love it and learn tons, but their books turned out really, really well. I've never used SOTW, though. So I can't compare. BF is definitely more "teacher intensive", but I would highly recommend it. I'd recommend doing all of your copying for the week ahead of time.
  23. I hear you and am on the same page. I also want my kids to know what other beliefs are, and why they believe what they believe. We use the texts that we find to be most accurate and that they find most interesting to learn from. I have found that Apologia does address the differing viewpoints (evolution vs. creation), and their lab teacher at our coop had them (for extra credit) write a paper with three points of evidence both for and against creation AND evolution. My son argued that there was *no* evidence for evolution. I told him that many people believe in evolution, and to go research it and find out why. I required him to do the paper- to look online, and to see for himself the arguments for opposing viewpoints, and then to write what *his* perspective was after viewing the evidence for both sides. We are using high school as a time to learn not only the required subjects, but to give them an understanding of the world they will be living in. My son also takes an online Great Books class that reads through the great books and then the teacher discusses with them the differing beliefs and how they compare to the Bible and what that teaches. This has been good for him as well. I do not choose secular texts just for the reason of exposing kids to different viewpoints. If I found a secular text that I thought taught the material well, we would use it. I have found that most secular science texts present evolution as fact, whereas the Apologia text actually teaches them that neither evolution nor creation can be scientifically proven as fact. I like to see someone who is willing to look at evidence rather than being threatened by evidence that goes against their beliefs.
  24. I've done both. My kids like to work out of their workbooks directly, but there are definitely pros and cons to both. Working IN the workbook- it is harder to write on the backs of the pages. This only works well when the pages are one-sided. Also, it tended to be more distracting for my kids- they wanted to look at the other pages, or work ahead a few problems while neglecting the page they were supposed to be working on. Also, there was more potential for stray pencil marks throughout, and I'm not sure why. They also needed to "find their place" each day, and if they did particularly poorly on a certain day, it was there staring at them the next day. Working from the worksheets- we usually just kept the workbook in tact in their desks or workspace, and then tore out the page right before working on it. At the end of the week, I'd keep just one for their sample folder, and then again at the end of the month, just keep one sample page. The rest get thrown away. At the end of the year I'd have no more than 10 pages per subject in their file. I actually prefer to do it this way. It's easier for them to concentrate on just one page, and they can put it flat on the desk.
  25. For *me*, I'd get the real books. Educational ones for all the kids to share. If it were going to be a gift for my teenage son who carries (and reads) 6 really fat books minimum at a time where-ever he goes, I'd opt for the kindle.
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