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Everything posted by pehp

  1. I may be biased b/c I am an attorney, so homeschool laws do not freak me out. I don't really see HSLDA as providing much personal protection; I think they are more like a blanket lobbying and advocacy group, and that's alright and has its place. They may help individual homeschoolers w/ legal issues, but they are not obligated to do so. I have a friend who needed their services but after years of paying them, she was declined b/c she was divorced, and they cited a conflict of interest (since her husband used to also be a member/pay the dues as a family with her). HSLDA is not incorrect in their analysis of that situation, to my way of thinking, but it was a disappointment to this lady. I guess I'd just figure out why you'd want to join, and go from there. I know nothing about their college counseling services, so perhaps that would be useful!
  2. I typically try to get in the most basic of basics before they get into serious play, but have been known to let the playtime ride for a while if they are really engaged. I believe play is the work of a child, in some ways, and it's healthy and good. At these ages (mine are 8 & 5) it doesn't hurt us to have flexibility w/ our academic work....my children still have a morning chore regimen that never changes.
  3. I noticed this around Christmastime. Around November I actually contacted them with a huge gripe b/c something I needed was a day late, and they gave me a credit. I'm going to pay attention this year and if it continues I will gripe again. Ordering Monday and getting an order on Friday is in NO WAY "two day shipping." On the other hand, a gift I ordered on a Tues afternoon before Christmas was delivered to my MIL the NEXT MORNING! So, who knows.
  4. Explode the Code workbooks, my own very laid back phonics instruction, Singapore's Essential math plus c-rods and playing with numbers, and reading many books.
  5. My son is 8. He has earned money outside our home for pet sitting and flower watering for our neighbors. His biggest cash has been made by selling his artwork. He has several hundred dollars so far and is contemplating using it to start an egg business. We shall see.😉 We pay him a small weekly allowance and also pay for help....mostly in the garden and flower beds in summer. Sometimes if I need a mental health break I will pay him a few dollars to 'babysit' his sister while I hide in my bedroom!
  6. Hmm, this is tough. Yogurt topped with granola/nuts? Smoothies? Toast with nut butter or melted cheese? Those are the first things that come to mind. Also if you made pizzas in advance and cut them into smaller pieces and froze them...I see nothing wrong w/ pizza for breakfast (like, bread + cheese + veggies). My own kids eat, on low-prep mornings, either scrambled eggs w/ cheese or plain Greek yogurt w/ nuts. (We're a gluten-free group here.) Once a week I bake a pan of baked oatmeal and they have that (w/ toppings--peanut butter, yogurt). And once a week I'll mix up a batch of waffle or pancake batter and just make as much as they want to eat each morning. I do prepare their food every morning, though. If I couldn't I'd have to teach the 8 year old to scramble eggs!
  7. Go back and read my post! You will feel better!!!! ;) (It's just math and reading....and yeah, I'll force some copywork down some throats too....) Sometimes I think if you've found your rest and peace in your own plan, the best thing to do is ignore everything else!!
  8. I think by that definition I have been a purist until this year. We started Miquon in first grade. In second I wondered if we needed a different approach and tried R&S for a little while (along WITH the Miquon). A month or two of that was enough to show me that Miquon was enough for us. This year, just the past month or so, I'm starting to add in a little Singapore, more for familiarity with that program as I look to the future, not b/c I need to supplement Miquon or replace it. I just know it will end, and we'll need something else, so I'm experimenting w/ Singapore. One thing we do is a little Calculadders (just a sheet of math drill) a couple days a week. I keep this very low-key and sometimes I skip it entirely. Unlike previous posters, I have not sailed through the program. We definitely take our sweet time. We may do only HALF a page on some days. Some days I skip it (homeschooling heresy there, but that's what it is). My son is not super-inclined to math, and needs a lot of gentle encouragement, and I've found that going slowly and making sure he totally grasps the concepts is more helpful for us. I do think some children could move at a faster pace. Just not my son! My daughter just turned 5 and I've already bought ALL her Miquon books so we will certainly be doing it again with her.
  9. Miquon and I have been through it together (love first, then I was confused b/c my son seemed to hate it, now we are back together again and totally committed....)--here are my suggestions (and the above suggestions are great!) on the way we use it....I work my way sequentially through the books, just b/c it makes sense to me. Sometimes I skip a page if I don't like it. We always tear the page out of the book. I look at the Lab Annotations for that page if I'm puzzled by the lab sheet we're using. And here's the clincher that has been a deal breaker or maker for us: I don't just give the sheet to my child. A playful, exploratory child might take the c-rods and run with it, but my child doesn't like that (when I tried it that way my son loathed it!). So we sit together with the rods and sheet and discuss it. Sometimes it doesn't need much discussion and he goes for it. Sometimes we play with the concepts together. Sometimes I am more didactic. I don't try to schedule it simply because we might spend one day on one sheet, if the concept is more elusive for my son, and on another day we might roll through several pages. I try to observe his pace. I have to say I think my son's conceptual understanding is rock-solid. He does NOT recall math facts very well yet (we're doing some Calculadders to help with that--he likes C'ladders and thinks the worksheets are fun). But conceptually he GETS IT. He can visualize math. And it's not boring (we tried R&S for a while in second grade as I was attempting to brush him up on facts, but it was boring--effective, I am sure, but neither of us liked it much and I did a lot of skipping b/c the repetition seemed excessive to me).
  10. I hope you feel better soon!! I've been pondering this subject deeply! My son will be 9 and "fourth grade" and my daughter will be kindergarten-age. I'm going to be a little unorthodox during the 2016-17 year because I think I'm going to only use Miquon/Singapore for math and then for everything else read through our personal library. We have SO many amazing books (many inherited from my great-great aunt or grandmother, some from my own childhood, or passed along from my in-laws)--from poetry to art to science (these are newer books!) to Shakespeare (my grandfather's copy of Tales from Shakespeare!) to the My Book House collection to all sorts of fiction books (both older and newer) that it seems wrong for me to ignore them. We DO read them now, but I don't center my curriculum-planning around them. So I think it's going to be "read the home library year" plus math, and we'll continue to outsource art and piano lessons + do our weekly science class (those are for my son; daughter is only doing gymnastics so far). Of course I'll throw in copywork, narrations, and a little spelling, but no curricula for any of that. It's a rather exciting prospect--kind of liberating. We'll see how it goes!
  11. My dentist drives a Lexus and has a vacation house in Florida, so I sigh every time he suggests something (he can't stand the fact that I've still got my wisdom teeth! he is amazed that my teeth are so white just from Crest Whitestrips and not his 'trays'!), but we do the sealants (only on my son so far, as I think my daughter is too young), though our insurance doesn't cover it. I appreciate the preventative approach, I guess, esp. b/c we seem to have groove-y (ha) teeth (I have always been somewhat cavity-prone). Plus, he has been my dentist since I was about 12 years old and in spite of his luxury vehicles I do trust him. He did a lot of free dental work for my mother when she was alive and didn't have dental insurance, and has done free things for me before such as removing my amalgam fillings and replacing them--totally free, simply b/c he didn't want me to have mercury in my teeth. Plus, he engages in a lot of good-natured back and forth with me over things like x-rays and isn't ever tyrannical about anything. So, I go with the sealants.
  12. I don't watch TV, don't answer the phone most of the time (unless it's my husband, father, sister), don't wait until my house is perfect to do something creative, don't stay up until 2 am anymore (!), don't engage in a lot of spontaneous social activities, and don't leave the house every day (am careful w/ my errands, in other words). I also don't organize my children's days--I leave that up to them (in terms of what they'll do w/ their free time). And I don't feel guilty about taking a day off!
  13. We do stock up (tonight I stocked up on the leafy greens, almond milk, avocados, chocolate and perrier--you know, survivalist foods) because if we get two feet of snow, we are snowed in for several days. We live in a rural area off of a secondary road that *might* get plowed on Saturday. Our own road/driveway are hilly gravel and private (so, no state-supported snow plows here), and a neighbor will plow them...eventually. (He'll sometimes plow the lane before the secondary road is plowed!) In any case, a few years ago we were snowed in for a couple of weeks due to snow + ice + more snow and the temps never getting above freezing. *That* was unusual! It was the ice layers that made it impossible to get out. If I lived in walking distance of a store I'd probably barely even think about the groceries. As for things like snow shovels--no, we never buy new ones!
  14. Thanks--I like this!!--this is probably what I'd end up doing, if I ended up doing anything formal-ish. Actually I may have my husband do it--b/c he came up with the idea, and he'd do a better job at something like this than I would! It would be nice to have a simple, homemade book that we can reference later. (Says the woman who never keeps anything. Hmm.)
  15. I feel good b/c this is stuff we already do! He's actually quite well-versed on geography in general (the midwest is a little hazy, because...it's the midwest...) ---he has gained a fair amount of general knowledge from the maps we already have + his geopuzzles + our own travels) simply as a result of this...b/c it's basically how we school/learn. I like to keep things low-key like this. That's why I'm dreaming of a Material World-ish states book....shoot, I may have to just write it myself!! :)
  16. My oldest is 8, so I hold onto curricula pretty lightly. We've mostly stayed the same with math (Miquon--I've just started adding Singapore, which we are loving; I added in some R&S last year to supplement the Miquon but it was so boring and felt so rote to us that I just stuck w/ Miquon). I have used a couple different spelling (R&S last year, K12 this year)--but I honestly don't think spelling curriculum matters to me.... I can make anything work. I bought K12 LA this year b/c I wanted to try a K12 product and see what the online experience was like. It's underwhelming, so I have eliminated the parts I think are useless and we are just doing the parts that I think are good/helpful/enjoyable. Everything else for us is basically just books. I will happily ditch a book that doesn't engage us, or shelve it and wait until another year to read it. A couple of years ago when I attempted to do AO Year One with my son I ended up ditching nearly all of it. And we had a great year just the same! So, I do feel quite free to ditch things that don't work, but I don't find myself "curriculum-hopping" at this point. Just sort of adjusting and re-assessing, and I think it's a good thing! I think this might change as we age!
  17. I am a complete and total manual transmission snob. I had a man at a scrap metal dump once stand amazed at the way I backed a pickup truck up the side of a steep hill...he couldn't believe I could manage a manual so well. (I'm a little vain on this point, frankly...my father taught me and he taught me well.) I can wax eloquent on the beauty and elegance of driving a stick shift--the connection with the car, the control, the sheer FUN. Please put me in a little car with a stick shift and send me driving around these mountain roads--it's bliss, it's flow! Driving a manual transmission bores me. My husband doesn't see it the same way. He finds an automatic "easy." But my parents taught me that nothing worthwhile in life is ever easy. Including transmissions. In any event, YES!!!! my sweet children will learn the joys of the manual transmission!
  18. My husband checks the bathroom, waits until the coast is clear and takes our daughter with him. She's 5, so there's really no other alternative. And he's with her the entire time, so she's safe. And I can't imagine that she'd actually see anything other than men's backs if they did come in while he was in there with her!!!
  19. My husband recently suggested that we introduce a 'states study' for our son (after husband was horrified to learn about how Americans seriously lack geographical knowledge of their own country). I think it's a great idea! But most of what I've seen online focuses on "state bird" and "state flower" which is all good and well but my husband wants to focus more on geographical features of each state and the role the state plays in the country overall. We are pretty laid-back schoolers so formality and memorization are not going to be emphasized (and anyhow, my son is pretty good at geography thanks to Geopuzzles and my own desperate love of maps). So my question is--out there Somewhere, is there a nifty resource on the states that would fit the bill for us? I am almost daydreaming of something like Material World--pictorial, engaging, but containing some facts as well. My son is an excellent reader and has strong comprehension so it doesn't necessarily need to be something written to 8-year olds! Thanks!
  20. I have a friend who did a very relaxed homeschooling, sort of unschooling with some required books and papers, for her children. Her older child started CC around the age of 17, and concentrated in paralegal skills and now works as a paralegal and LOVES her job. Her younger child started CC math classes around 14. He graduated w/ his associate's degree at the age of 17ish and easily got into the top two math/engineering schools in our state; his CC math professors fell all over themselves over him because he was so smart and *into* math. So he'll graduate from college in 2 years w/ his degree in math, and then has already been guaranteed admission into the math master's program at his university. My idea for us is to start CC classes around the ages of 16ish, depending on our children's maturity levels and interests, and take that route into college studies, unless our children present us with specific interests which would require more formal work in a brick and mortar school earlier. (They're 8 and 5, so no clue what will unfold there!) We also plan to require our children to leave CC with a specific skill/certificate. It's funny because my friend did this with her children and I didn't even know about it until last week--her son chose electrical wiring. It is my opinion, and my experience, that too many high school graduates are entering college with no real skills other than the academic skills they hone in college. (See me raising my hand? Philosophy degree!) We want our children to have access to any college experience they want, but we also want them to have a marketable skill, whether it is HVAC, culinary, dental hygiene--whatever. Also, my friend began to pull together a 'high school' transcript for her son for the four-year university. She contacted the admissions dept w/ a question and they said she did not need to bother; his grades and experience in the community college program were sufficient, and they weren't going to bother with his high school transcripts. I was floored! (In a good way!) But I think it bodes well for homeschoolers in the future. In any case, I think it is a good idea to have these general requirements in one's mind and do plenty of research in advance to determine how to fit the unschool-y experience into an academic framework that makes sense to universities.
  21. Oh! I will offer another suggestion--introduce processed/pre-made GF foods one at a time, to see if there's going to be any negative reaction. For years I baked GF bread, but then decided to try one of the brand-name frozen varieties. It caused massive GI upset with some embarrassing side effects!!!! It took me a couple of weeks to identify why he was dealing with this new problem, but when I cut the frozen bread out, the problem ceased. I'm not sure what the offensive ingredient was. So--all that's to say--just take your time trying pre-made GF things!
  22. I worked in a selective small private university with a massive base of rich alumni. Legacies were definitely flagged. But if an applicant had an abysmal record and terrible SATs, the legacy wasn't going to make them a shoo-in. However, if they were on the edge of being admitted, it might help. MAYBE. The only time I think a legacy would actually make a huge difference, at least at the university where I worked, would be in the case of a massive, million-dollar donor. Their child would probably be given special preference. But these donors are few and far between, even at rich schools like the one where I worked, and most of those kids seemed to have strong grades and strong SAT scores anyhow, so they're not at the bottom of the heap anyhow, if that makes sense. I think your friend was being unrealistic.
  23. I carry a fairly small purse, too. And, don't judge, but I follow the Marie Kondo method of taking everything out. Every day. It is actually incredibly helpful b/c my purse doesn't become a big storage facility (which is a risk, always, with me!). I have a drawer in my bedroom where things are store in little compartments and each day when I leave the house I just open the drawer and choose what I'll need for the day. I carry my wallet, my keys, my phone all the time. (Also a couple of feminine supplies reside in a permanent interior zipper in case of emergency!) I often add a chapstick/lipstick, my planner, a pen, sunglasses or glasses, a handkerchief, checkbook, baggie of coupons, and Shout wipes, depending on the weather/outing/situation/etc. If I'm going to a child's lesson, I'll take knitting or sewing (but that goes in a separate, knitting/sewing totebag).
  24. I am not sure that I can narrow it down to one thing, but primarily I would say having a to-do list each day (not just for school, but also for life) + a weekly routine that makes sense in terms of both school and cleaning = peace/organization in my household. I can get more specific if you want, but that's probably my best general tip.
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