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Everything posted by LMD

  1. Yes, this is what I do too. We go our own way a lot with math. I've seen enough k-6/7/8 math sequences now that I'm pretty confident of the skills needed before algebra. That means I'm no longer beholden to the number/sequence on the books. I can jump between beast academy and miquon and singapore and mep and math mammoth and life of fred and khan academy and homemade worksheets (I could go on, I have more on my shelves 😂...), depending on what skill we're working on and how my child is grasping it. E.g. for math today with my third grader, we went through an old math competition paper. We worked the hard problems together, with manipulatives, and he ended up making an octahedron out of paper (we needed to make a clear distinction between counting edges and faces in a stacked octahedron tower). Todays main skills to practice were, general arithmetic, problem solving, careful reading and understanding of word problems, geometric and spatial sense, and persistence. Again, I care more about them having a good sense of mathematical concepts and being able to apply them in real life. I don't care one bit about finishing books or tests or grades. I want them to feel confident in their own skills, in their growing abilities to affect change in their world. Okay, I do care a little about tests for one of my kids, because he needs to practice the skill of calm under pressure 😂
  2. I agree with the previous posters, they need time. If their days are packed with school and structured classes, they don't have time to be out of the box. I really don't care at all about grades. Not one bit. It's family priorities and thinking of your child as a whole person. What I want for my children is, yes, an excellent education, but not at the expense of an excellent childhood. Each family has their own unique strengths. How we are out of the box, we live on 20 acres and my children spend a lot of time outdoors. They chop wood and look after animals and do plenty of farm-y chores. We are off grid and still building our house so they get plenty of interesting experiences. I try to keep our school day short-ish (done by 12/1pm for anyone under 10/11, done by 3pm for everyone else). We severely limit afternoon/evening activities so that they literally have hours every afternoon to do whatever they want, we only have one evening commitment a week and that is new (my oldest, age 14, does orchestra one night a week) I guess the way I think about what's important to me, and how I divide up our time, is, 1. Excellent and efficient schooling. Charlotte masony, short lessons, rich feast. 2. Real work and responsibilities. Character development, part of a family, meaningful work etc. 3. Free time. Time to think, try, explore, play, follow interests, etc. Leisure and depressure.
  3. Yes, this stuff is great. Worms are totally not a big deal here (we had it once and the choc medicine did the trick very quickly and easily. All my kids were fine taking it) But, to the op, I get pretty cranky about people bringing sickness into my home. I'd probably be upset at their rudeness but too chicken to cancel, maybe we would come down with a sickness of our own and cancel...
  4. My 8th grader does around 5 hours a day. We are... sort of rigorous? I do count music practice as school time because it is not optional in our home and also because she wants it to be a priority. She pretty much does her list in the order she chooses, but basically it washes out to (roughly) an hour each for math, LA and violin. Then about 40 mins on 3 other things like science, history or another elective subject. She is very independent minded though so wants a lot of control over her subjects. I say sort of rigorous because I have high standards but have to deal with the moody teen in front of me 😄
  5. I think some people are trained to see the flags differently. Instead of seeing red flag = danger, they see red flag = familiar/home/comfort/love I am a fairly decent judge of character in some circumstances, dh is very good in other circumstances. Between us we can be sufficiently suspicious 😄
  6. If sister is a decent sort, who keeps a decent relationship with quill, I'm quite sure she wouldn't see quill struggling under the burden of solo elder care and simply shrug that her hurt is more important. I wouldn't do that to my sister. I wouldn't leave my no contact mother on the streets. Nor would I throw my kids and dh under the emotionally abusive bus for either of them. Exactly what that will look like, I don't know yet. I can't see my sister suddenly taking on the care of our father either, I guess we worked it out well to have a parent each to deal with! 😄 Quill should be able to set her own boundaries regarding how much care she can handle, and she should be able to be honest with her sister when she needs help.
  7. I'm sorry for the difficult situation in your family atm Quill. I agree with whichever posters said that pressuring (not purposely, I'm sure!) your sister to just make peace for the holidays will backfire. Whatever your kind intentions, no matter how careful your wording, the wound is too raw and this will likely read as dismissive of her hurt and siding with your parents. I'm no contact with our mother, and my sister is somewhat estranged with our father. We kind of have opposite relationships with each parent 😄 how this works in real life is, I do not talk about our mother or ask about her - nor do I get upset if sister talks about her. Sister invites me to events, lets me know if mother will be there, and doesn't take my answer personally. We tend to do big holidays with our respective in-laws and the contact parent tagging along if possible (ie, our mother goes along to my sister's in-laws Christmas lunch) and then catch up separately. But, we are quite a way out from the original hurt and I know that it was tough on my sister, I know she felt immense pressure to fix things. I guess I'd just advise to let your sister have her space and her feelings. Don't try to fix things. Make peace with the fact that this holiday season will not be what you hoped it would and try to see the joy in the options you do have. Maybe this is a good year to start a new tradition with your sister's family?
  8. Hmm, it sounds like you're trying all the usual things. Are you still catching up with those 6 homeschool family friends? How well did the families get on? Were you similar in your family philosophies/homeschool goals? Or is the fortnightly co-op and church the only current social time they're getting? August to now isn't really that long to make friends - if it's fortnightly, has it only been 6/7/8 sessions? - especially if the time is super structured. Are you quite extroverted or looking for community for yourself too? What I did/do is cultivate friendships with the like minded families, I prioritised them in my time budget. Quality over quantity. If you want to teach those subjects, even one family is enough. Do any of them want to learn Greek too? But yes, it's a constant juggle. My kids would always like more time with their friends but reality has to be understood! We are also fairly rural, we have 2 homeschool groups now, each is fortnightly (on opposite weeks) - 1 is more older kids, unstructured and support for me. The other is more co-op like and younger kids, but I run it so I only do exactly what I want to do. As they get older it takes care of itself a little more, they grow closer with their own friends and can chat/visit without it being a big family deal. But really, it is okay to just be with family/siblings for a good portion of your time. Down time and family time are important too, they have their whole lives to work on friendships. Don't fall into the trap of romanticizing childhood friendships, focus on what you do have. It sounds to me like you're doing great!
  9. You have my sympathies op. My dd is 14 now but that whiny sulky stroppy attitude nearly did our heads in. Fwiw, I don't think missing coop is too harsh a punishment. But, it is an oft repeated refrain around here that kindness starts at home. If you act like a brat at home, I sure won't be taking you out in public. You don't get to save your best behaviour for friends and treat family like crap. No way. Hugs! Parenting ain't for the faint hearted.
  10. If it's aops pre algebra, ch 2 is notoriously brutal!
  11. It's very hipster, often goes with a bearded* and sockless (cropped pants) groom... My sister had no phones for photos at her wedding last year. They say it in a nice way 'we are just so thrilled to share the day with yoooouuuu' so I didn't take any photos. It was okay, in the realm of minor eyebrow raise but not actual annoyance. All the extraneous people in my life who know my sister but didn't go (my children and inlaws) were quite disappointed that I had no photos to share. It did seem to involve the photographer, though I have no idea if it was a contract. The photographer put all the photos up on a link a couple of weeks later, and we could download any we wanted. *My (lovely) brother in law doesn't have a beard 😄
  12. My oldest boy is 12. He literally goes and chops wood every morning before we start school. 😄
  13. I was hoping someone had some more reviews of this. I went and had a look and it is intriguing... they actually have the language we're learning...
  14. We do run into this issue too. We just don't have room in our schedule to commit to organised sports. We try to get to the pool - I'd like to say weekly/biweekly but in reality we're lucky to go once a month. The kids do a lot of at home stuff, intentional physical work (wood chopping, lawn mowing etc) as well as incidental (running around playing, walking, bike riding etc). It is an issue for us because it is an issue for me. Dd and I keep planning to do walks/jogs but we both give up too fast... that's my fault.
  15. We presently have a non traditional home set up, and my husband frequently works non traditional hours... mealtime etiquette is very hit and miss in my home. My children can pass for non-feral in public eating situations! *ponders the link between haphazard meal time structure and messy kitchen/house* As for 'how to make sure they understand what firm means' - you have to put in the training. Plan a light week where your priority is to run the mother's helper through the scenarios. Show her (and your kids) what you expect. Debrief after each shift. And pay her for her time.
  16. This is so helpful, like everything you post, thanks Ruth! I do have one question, if your resource doesn't have (inane) questions like this, how do you come up with questions to answer? My 8th grader is self studying interest based science, mainly through narrative sources and clinical books, but I'm stuck at how to get that next level output - so far it's mostly discussion and notebooking/summary pages. I have one of your older posts about science fair project process bookmarked - off to re-read it now!
  17. This is how it would go with my 8th grader, with added eye rolling and 'duh's...
  18. If you're done with homeschooling, that is okay! You don't have to keep going if you don't want to. What does your husband say about the behaviour of his sons? Does he step in? I have similar aged boys (12 & 9- the 9 year old isn't an easy kid), while they can be annoying and rambunctious and lazy and messy and..., and not much work gets done when I'm out of sight- unless they're separated, your boys' behaviour does sound a bit extreme to me. My first instinct would be to pare down school work and stuff to manageable levels. I would give them a pencil case each and fine them if they need to replace anything due to neglect or misuse (fine with either money or jobs, replace an eraser with sweeping the floor, that kind of thing) - even let them pick out or personalise their own case. I wouldn't give them access to the nice markers, I would put them far away and let them know that until they respect my things they can't touch them. What did you enjoy about homeschooling them? Get some of that back! Make it a priority. Go back to read alouds and Lego and narrations (no answer book to cheat from 😉) for a while. How are they with non-school tasks/behaviour? Is this an issue mostly only with the school part of their day, or a generalised issue?
  19. I am so very sorry Spryte. Well done for believing and advocating for your mom! Prayers for your mom, for healing and peace.
  20. My 14 year old still needs to be prodded awake with a barge pole, from behind safety glass, at ridiculously-late-o'clock... I can't blame her, I'm a night owl and would muuuuuch rather still be asleep too! Sorry! #nothelpful
  21. I actually know a homeschooler who took up welding and now designs and makes historically accurate pieces for a local interactive museum... I have an 8th grader and know that the dragging feet/attitude is real... real annoying! I agree with the previous posters that using the at home time for following his interests is perfect. I would let him have a lot of say in that, probably come up with a weekly plan/goal setting list over the weekend together. I might also start assigning some inspiring biographies of people who had to work hard and diligently to achieve their passion 😉 If it helps, we ended up rejigging our homeschool to suit my eighth grader better, with the things she is passionate about as priorities (violin - focus on exams and teaching a beginner, baking - she's working through a French culinary institute course, neuroscience - started with some narrative books and moving through more clinical cases and anatomy, and maths - she still likes AOPS) and the less loved stuff in more palatable or 'just get it done' ways - history is just interest led reading and notebooking, literature and writing is through tutoring from a friend, languages is just in a holding pattern with duolingo. She's quite solid in grammar/vocab/spelling etc so I'm letting that take a back seat while we ride out this phase, she still joins us for dictation/poetry/Shakespeare in our family morning time. I'm more interested in her learning to manage her own time, have self discipline to finish something hard, manage her moods, while still keeping a spark of curiosity! It is hard, and I think that getting him to work diligently on stuff he hates during the day is realistically more of a longer term goal. Let him work with his hands, let him feel competent and successful, let him grow and calm a bit more. Let him spend time with his dad - that is such a gift! Yes, get dad to take him on as an 'apprentice' in projects!
  22. Right there with ya. I have a 14 and a 12 year old... Bedtime, well, I enforce a quiet house time. She is free to read/draw/whatever quietly in her own room. This may be different if we didn't have younger siblings in close quarters. Screen time, we are pretty strict. She doesn't have her own phone or anything. She uses a tablet/computer with permission. She chats to her friends using apps on my phone. We are on the more strict end of this spectrum and I'm happy with that. Eta - we are less strict with tv and movies etc but, with our family/home set up, this is usually more of a family together thing rather than an individual thing. Unless she wants to watch something that the littles can't and I'll facilitate that sometimes (for example, currently she watches a few episodes of Stranger Things on her own each week - dh and I vetted it first - but 3hrs a week doesn't overtake the other 7hrs with family, if that makes sense) Spending time with family is something we prioritize. Also downtime. Homeschool means this is much easier to balance for us. Class choices, again, homeschooling, but I'm pretty open to letting her choose with the caveat that she actually puts in the work. If she doesn't put in the effort of owning and being responsible for her education beyond just picking what looks fun, then it shows she's not actually at that level of responsibility yet and I'll step back in and make certain choices for her. This is something that's taken a bit of back and forthing over the past year. We talk a lot about where she wants to head and what choices to make now wrt that. But at only 14 I feel like she still has time. My 12 year old is still not independent with school choices yet, but we'll move more in that direction over the next year.
  23. Since you used he in your post, I'm going to assume he identified as a gender non conforming guy, which I think is great! I also think it's good that his workplace is supporting that. I assume they also work to foster a welcoming environment for all their employees, including the female ones. I've seen Mx (pronounced like mix) as a gender neutral title. I think bathroom debates get really... tribal, and so I'm not getting into it.
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