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Michelle Conde

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About Michelle Conde

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    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

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  1. I read the guides and questions to them at that phase, and I start out mostly scribing for them and gradually transition to them doing more and more of the writing. That way neither being very young, nor the one’s dyslexia, or another’s fine motor skills being behind, ever slowed down their math learning. However, they can’t do Beast Academy Online until they can read the questions to themselves. My youngest is very motivated to work on his phonics specifically because he wants to do BA Online like his older siblings.
  2. Modern Hebrew for me. And if dd wanted to delve into Biblical Hebrew later, Modern Hebrew is a great foundation for it.
  3. I’m curious, too. My second dd has taken an interest in learning Hebrew. I think it’s too late to add much for this coming term, unless it’s something super easy to implement, but I would live to hear about some ideas for the future.
  4. How about Drawing to Learn Drawing? It’s the best thing I’ve seen for learning observational drawing skills.
  5. WOW. Those numbers are pretty stunning. One note—sometimes there may be more economical options for universities than state schools. My church has a private university that is half the cost of instate tuition for my state school, and much better ranked. And they offer some very good merit aid scholarships. Of course, the other side of that is that it is much harder to get into than state schools. I have a goal to give each kid the amount that tuition would cost there to apply towards whatever they decide to do with their higher educations, and am totally overwhelmed by that amount. But it’s more like $20k per kid than $200k.
  6. My oldest will be 5th this year. Wow! Here are our plans: Language Arts- MCT Voyage for grammar, writing, and poetics. Not sure whether to include the vocab component, especially since seeing that Essay Voyage includes quite a bit of vocab, too. Also R&S Spelling 5 and Spencerian handwriting. Math- AOPS Prealgebra & Singapore 6 CWP. My plan is to just intersperse the CWP in between AOPS chapters to give her a brain break. History- OUP The World in Ancient Times. I have the books, but I’m really not sure how to implement them. I’m also remembering all my earlier ideas for interesting things to do along with middle-level history, and I’m trying to decide if I’ll go nuts if I try to find time to incorporate those. (I have three more elementary students after her.) Geography- I have no idea. Science- BFSU II. Need to do a better job of getting this done this year. Foreign Language- CLRC online intermediate Latin class. Music- Piano lessons Art- probably just using different media for an hour every week or two.
  7. My youngest will be a Ker this Fall. How did that happen?! We’re going to sort-of-unschool like I did with my next-to-youngest. He did however much or little he chose, with the only stipulations being that if he wanted music lessons, he had to practice on schooldays, and he had to write something every week. Phonics—He’s doing All About Reading. I am considering adding the Happy Phonics games. (He may be dyslexic. We will see.) He is super motivated to learn to read so he can do Beast Academy Online like his older siblings. Math—Singapore Handwriting—HWOT Music—Suzuki violin lessons He’s very excited to get to start lessons with a “real” teacher (as opposed to mom). Tag-Alongs—He will join in however much he wants to with his older siblings on BFSU for science, SOTW1 for history, Spanish of some kind with his brother (Salsa maybe, tutor maybe, something else?), memory work, art.
  8. So we could use just the student book? That’s good to know. What do you think of the Classical Education Edition vs. the older version? We already have Ancient Rome well covered, so if the difference is primarily adding more about Rome, I don’t think we need that.
  9. We do MCT’s language arts here, and love it—with the exception of the vocabulary components. Building Language is fine, but the material covered is so basic while the output expected is really tough, especially considering that it comes before poetics are taught for that level in their recommended sequence. My oldest had a rough time with it, but I’ve learned and changed the order of the books and simplified the output requirements for my next two, and it’s going better. I thought the vocab would get better, as so many people here love Caesar’s English. Also, it looked like it actually taught words my dd didn’t already know, unlike most vocab programs I’ve seen marketed for her age. Last year I had oldest dd doing CE I, and she absolutely hated it. But I bought the ibook version because it was cheaper, and I was trying to get her to work on it independently. And I think maybe, possibly, that the delivery method and me pushing her to be independent instead of us snuggling up together to work on it like we normally do with MCT might have been the problem. So after much deliberation, I think we’re going to give it another shot with CE II, no ibook this time. What do we actually need? And which version? I usually buy just the teacher’s manual for the other components, will that work for CE?
  10. I require some kind of music as part of my kids’ education, but paid lessons and more expensive instruments are privileges. They have to keep up their end (=practicing) in order to keep those. If they consistently would not practice without a fight, they would be doing something like free Hoffmann Academy Online lessons on our piano or recorder lessons off of YouTube. I went over our “deal” and literally shook hands with my then-five-year-old when he started cello lessons, and have at a few points reminded him that he does not have to practice his cello, but if he chooses to end the deal, the lessons and cello rental are part of that. I think it probably helps that each of my kids knows exactly what a complete practice includes. (They each have a practice book with written instructions. Dd8 & ds7 have theirs on charts to mark off with stickers. Dd10 has a required time, and we did have some issues with her wasting her time away until I made her do extra time afterwards a few times.) And I also use gummy bears as an incentive to practice well. They each get five gummy bears, or six if they do their practice without being reminded, and during their practice I will eat one of their gummy bears each time they have a bad attitude or won’t follow directions. This used some of my time when we first started it, and we were working on nipping some attitude issues in the bud, but rarely takes anything from me, now. The kids get them out themselves when they start their practice, and only rarely will I need to eat one if someone is whining that something is hard or about having to work longer on a piece that needs it. ETA: Not all three music teachers provide the written instructions. Two do, but dd8’s teacher doesn’t, so I got another practice book like ds’s and I write the teacher’s instructions in it myself. It seems like with a young student instructor, you could get some practice books and ask her to write down practice instructions for them.
  11. Also, oldest dd has decided on her own that she wants to take a break from gymnastics this summer, and the boys are done with baseball now, so I’m having second dd also take a break from horseback riding for this month. So that is saving us some expense and giving us some more time to get ready for the move. And I’ve been pretty successful with working on keeping our electric bill down so far this summer.
  12. We are buying a house this month. Our first, ever. (Eeeek!) All of our mortgage, taxes, insurance, etc. will come out to about what a same-sized rental house without its big yard does in our area. So our monthly budget won’t be much different, but things are tight this month with closing and moving costs. One good thing is that we will have over a week between the closing and the end of our rental contract to move everything in-town, so this move will be more relaxed than any I have ever done before. I am focusing on organizing and decluttering, and on trying to save some money on the household budget this month to help with moving costs. I’ve been meal planning and cooking from scratch and trying to use up the stuff in the freezer. I have the groceries for the rest of the week, and have spent $132 this month.
  13. I used to have boxes and boxes sorted by age and gender, but eventually we couldn’t afford the space any more. That, and I finally admitted to myself that we weren’t looking like having the big family of stair-stepped kids I’d always imagined. Now my 2 girls and 2 boys are each only one size away from their same-gender sibling, so the clothes go directly into either the younger sibling’s drawer, the trash, or to donate when it is time to move up sizes. I only store 1 box of baby items for sentimental value, 1 box of things I’ve found for cheap but the kids haven’t quite grown into yet, and one box of seasonal things like coats and soccer cleats. It is so much simpler.
  14. I have a giant excel file, 5 sheets with 36 pages each. Four sheets are weekly plans for each kid for the school year. I print these out each weekend for the next week and place them in the front of the kids' binders, and they mark off their work for the week as they complete it. I make these for the year during the summer before, but then they are easy to tweak as we go along by bumping individual subjects forward or back as needed. Nothing is by dates, just numbered by term and week for six six-week terms, so we can easily adjust as needed. The last sheet is for me, and includes all the things that I teach, plus memory work and read-alouds for morning time, etc. Each kid has their own binder with dividers for different subjects, and I print off all pages they're going to need for the school year the summer before, for subjects that have those. Some subjects just get blank paper. I will put what I estimate to be about 6 weeks worth of pages into their binders at once, and I also have some giant binders where I keep their blank print outs for later in the year. I also have a box where I collect all the supplies we are going to need for science and history projects for the year, because if I have to collect things when it is time to use them, it won't happen. Basically I just know that I am better at doing a lot of work on a big project all at once than I am at keeping with something smaller over a long time, so I do everything possible all at once in the summer to make things as easy to maintain as possible.
  15. It’s not a contraindication, but many, many doctors will refuse. I’ve had 3 pitocin-induced VBACs, but it took some doing. The first one was a near thing, as my blood pressure spiked and they told me I had to go to the hospital and have the baby then, and that the doctor would not induce so it would be another c-section—but the shift changed at the HMO hospital just after I got there, and the new doctor on shift was willing to let us try it. With the last two, my midwife helped me hunt for an OB who would do an induced VBAC, and I drove two hours to get to her for my deliveries.
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