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Michelle Conde

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About Michelle Conde

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    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

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  1. Oh, we love Blueberries for Sal! And One Morning in Maine, and Time of Wonder as well. And really everything by Robert McCloskey. My super-sensitive little girl found bears less scary after reading Sal, because after all, Mother Bear is every bit as afraid of Little Sal as her mother is nervous of Little Bear.
  2. Going to homeschool swim at the rec center with the kids. That one month of temperate weather that only comes twice a year! Volunteering at the church orchard.
  3. I hope that they improved as they grew. The last time I saw one of them, she was a very young single mom of two, working as a grocery store cashier. I hope she has managed better for her kids than she received.
  4. They were young and stupid, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t also vicious and cruel. “Following the flow of group behavior” describes many of them, but not the ringleaders. The vast majority of nine and ten-year-old children have an understanding that others experience pain just like they do; in normal childhood development this occurs by about seven or eight at the latest. Bullying behavior is far more common than individuals lacking this essential cognitive development at this age. Hence, most bullies this age understand that their victims feel pain, but choose that behavior anyway. This is cruel. I do not hold any anger for them. They were stupid children making bad decisions, and we all make bad decisions sometimes, especially when we are young and lacking guidance. I even know now about the pain that one of my worst tormentors was going through in her family life at that time, that motivated her to take out her anger on a convenient target. But having sympathy and understanding for them does not mean that their actions weren’t vicious and cruel. ETA: I do look back on the adults at that school with frustration and complete incredulity at the things they allowed to go on right under their noses. I loved my teachers there as a child, but as an adult I have to wonder what on earth was wrong with those people.
  5. Sorry, I have no issue with your main point, but this bolded line—there are plenty of vicious and intentionally malicious 4th graders. Worst school year of my childhood. Which is related to my pet peeve in kid’s books. The children’s stories that most drive me nuts are the ones where a character is bullied/ostracized, but eventually goes on to “earn” the respect of the others through some great or heroic action, and then the others are sorry and accepting of their former victim. This theme is ubiquitous in children’s stories, like Lambert the Sheepish Lion and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Where are the books that teach that the victim’s self-worth is innate, that they do not need to prove or earn anything from their bullies, and the opinions of the bullies are worthless, at the end as well as the beginning? People should earn your respect by treating others with respect before their opinion matters to you. Dh finds it amusing that I go over this with the kids again every Christmas when Rudolph comes up, but the entirely wrong message about bullies is pushed on kids so much.
  6. I am really liking how easy Math Mammoth makes it to target gaps. That would probably be really valuable with my foster girls.
  7. I appreciate all the ideas for science and for math for my newer students. I’m planning on working my way down the thread checking out all the recommendations.
  8. I think they would probably see right through a ‘younger kids are tagging along with you’ line if the youngers are taking to the work more easily, which seems likely as they have had more preparation. I’m thinking maybe I can pitch it as, these aren’t grade level books, they just go in order, this is the first book, and those kids have already done this book—except that I am not planning on starting the 5th grader at the beginning. I like the idea of showing them the website age recommendations if they protest.
  9. Dd11 has been doing the Oxford University Press World in Ancient Times. Maybe she could just read the books and discuss them with me? Library books and documentary time sounds doable. I am definitely up for trying to make academics as simple as possible while we are dealing with all this, but we don’t have the option to not do school. It has to be either distance public school or the homeschool charter, and of the two, I definitely prefer the charter, but it does require that we do something for Language Arts, Math, History, and Science.
  10. We will be able to get more technology with charter school funds, though internet bandwidth will still be an issue. I wonder if the charter school would let us use some of the funds for better internet? We are rural here, and the only option better than what we have now is satellite internet. I’m definitely keeping dd9, ds8, and ds6 on BA Online—it’s their favorite part of school, and they can do it semi independently. Dd11 has been working on AOPS Prealgebra with me. I think AOPS’s independently paced option for the second half of Prealgebra might be good for her. Dd8 asked to do BA Online, too, after seeing the others enjoying it so much. She was at the end of her 2nd grade and I started her at the beginning of level 2. Her progress has been slow, but sticking well. I think staying with it will probably work for her, though I am open to other options, and for the other two girls as well.
  11. I’m afraid I don’t have any I can refer you to. Several years back I was doing a lot of reading up on education and I recall reading a study on this, but I can’t recall where.
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