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About astralweaver

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  1. Jim Dale also does the audio for the James Herriot Treasury for Children. His performance of “only one woof” comes to mind for me often. If you’re a fan of the Outlander books then you’ll love the reader, Davina Porter. She does a wonderful job. Porter has also done several of the Sharon Shinn books in the “Samaria” series and a bunch of Marion Zimmer Bradley books. I particularly love a performer named Luke Daniels, he read all nine of the Iron Druid Chronicles and I almost enjoy listening to him more than reading them myself.
  2. So, it’s been a few weeks, and I’ve done a lot of reading/researching/thinking. And thank you all for the helpful suggestions. I am not a crafty person by nature and I didn’t want to just change everything we’re currently doing for some other whole system. I did spend some time considering Oak Meadow but I ultimately decided the tweaking I would do would undermine its cohesiveness. This is what I’ve decided: 1. I did appreciate Lori’s suggestion to just add on instead of tossing things. My daughter particularly thought science would be more fun than it is, so I’ve gotten the Blossom and Root geology year. I won’t really follow it’s order, but it has tons of neat hands-on crafts and ideas that I can plug into my daughter’s current reading. They’re fun but not throw away or busy work. I got the corresponding nature studies add on as well because I suspect that she would enjoy it. It’s organized in a way that I feel is easy to implement. 2. I’d never heard of Arttango before but thank you for suggesting it Fararr. It is perfect. Exactly what I need for having direct art lessons. It’s so clear for me, as a non-artist, that my other daughter and I have started doing it too! 3. I’m dropping her history readings entirely. She’s almost 9. If it’s such a pain in the bottom then I have plenty of time for her to mature. I’m not interested in ruining it as a subject. I’ve gotten the 3rd grade literature pack from Blossom and Root and it has a read these “two chapters and do this craft” type approach while utilizing more creative forms of narration. I don’t want to let her off the hook for narration because I think it’s an important skill for later academics, but I’ve basically been enforcing what now seems to me to be the most boring version of narrating and there isn’t any reason for that. Additionally, B&R does a “cultures and religions” cross disciplinary type of thing that seems like a light social studies unit, which I’ve decided is good enough to finish the school year with. I’m considering going with MBTP social studies but maybe in fourth grade. 4. I took Lori’s suggestion to add baking on to our poetry tea afternoons and that has been a huge hit. We have done some quick breads and some cookies and we are trying brownies next week. We start after lunch is cleaned up, I talk her through the recipe and stand there coaching while she does as much as she can. She’s super into it. I let her browse my Pinterest for ideas. So, to summarize, hands on lit and science, added organized art lessons and nature study, practice baking for poetry tea. I’m hoping to see an improvement in her feelings about and engagement with school. Thanks again (x1,000,000).
  3. Well you’ve all given me lots to research, thank you. I’m going to do some reading and thinking and come back with some follow up questions.
  4. I don’t know what I’m looking for. My 8 (almost 9) year old has confessed to her dad in the car the other day that school is soooooo boring. This is not a new complaint from her, however, she is finally starting to be able to pin down what she doesn’t like. She has never really liked history and slogs through it because I make her. She feels like she is never good at narrating (and yes, she has been more challenged by this than her older sister). And she asked her dad why we never do fun crafts or art anymore? Now, we do art, but we aren’t a craft heavy family, we are a book heavy family, and her father knows this. So he asked her what kinds of crafts and art does she want to do? She sort of mumbled out a “You remember. When we had the barn and made candles and butter and stained valentines glass!” She’s thinking of her Kindergarten year, when I did the Simple Seasons program from Wee Folk Art. She wants more school like that. What are some craft-heavy programs out there for the 3rd/4th grade cusp? Who does learning via art and activities? Thanks.
  5. I just wanted to give thanks for all of your advice. We’ve continued on in this vein and I’m really happy I switched. She’s improving so much, especially with the Math facts.
  6. I’m late to this thread but if you’re still searching for supplemental readers, you might want to check BYL level 5 and 6. She uses the 10 volume Hakim split over two years with a bunch of readers. You can look at the samples to see which correlates with which text. Here is the link to 5. Also the Beautiful Feet books curriculum does older level US history and you can check their supplemental readers. Don’t forget about Pandia Press too, and their try before you buy sample will list all or almost all the supplemental books they use. Scroll here, the US is near the bottom: You can also look through part 1 and 2 here: You can check by subject here (scroll down for older age books within each subject): Some historical fiction here: Last but not least, if planning all the things is making you nuts, just pick two or three and then give your 8th grader some choices. That age is old enough to take some ownership of their reading. To that end, if your 8th grader needs more guidance or independent writing, you could let them choose every few weeks from the Creek Edge Press task cards to work on, and that way they’d pick books to supplement the assignment. I hope this was helpful. I just went through this myself.
  7. Hi, I have a friend, a fellow homeschooling mama, who is going through a pretty terrible divorce. I have never been in a situation like hers and she is struggling with some serious feelings. It’s been 3 years since her husband left, and they finally got all the financial and custodial issues worked out legally this past summer. They were officially divorced last month. In all this time, she has tried her best to help her kids through it all. She hasn’t badmouthed him or the woman he left her for. She hasn’t complained about the months he refused to pay support to force her to go to work and give up homeschooling. She tries to make transfers between the two households comfortable and without drama. But it’s really hurting her to see her kids with her ex and the other woman. She feels so hurt still by what her did to her in the lead up to to their separation and worries that letting the kids be around the woman she considers a home wrecker is irresponsible of her as a parent. Her anger is growing so much right now after years of being only in survival mode that she wants to tell some of her kids some of the details. She has four, ages 16, 14, 10, and 7. The oldest is the only boy. I have counseled her not to. I’m not sure what she could gain from it and the ex is a really vindictive guy. If he takes it as my friend intervening in his current relationship he might take it out on her in legal stuff. I also worry that then the kids will feel all three of the adults in their life are messed up and willing to lay their burdens on them. The kids do know the facts about the break up but not most of the fall out on their mother. Also, since I’ve never been divorced and my parents never divorced, I feel unequipped to give advice on how the kids might feel and how it would affect their relationships. What I would like to know is this: 1) If you went through something like this, what were the best ways your friends comforted and supported you? 2) What are some book recommendations I could give her regarding the perspectives of children after divorces? 3) She has not gone to therapy and I really think she needs it. Her oldest child is in therapy but the others aren’t. I also have tried to look for divorce support groups for her. She’s not refusing those things but she’s so burdened and overwhelmed that she basically does no self-care at all. It’s all she can do to get through each minute of the day and no amount of my “put your oxygen mask on first” speeches has made any dent at all. I totally get why this is happening but what will need to happen for her to realize she needs these things. 4) What faith based resources might be useful? I’m an atheist, but she is an evangelical Christian. I met her after her marriage fell apart and I feel pretty sure that if we’d met before that we would never have become friends. She’s ... from money, and cares about appearances, and believed in the power of cheerfully carrying out your callings. I’m ... a mess. Really, no better way to put it. It’s all jeans and sci-fi t-shirts. I am on meds and in therapy for severe anxiety issues. But I like helping. And she needed help. So over the past couple of years we’ve bonded. She needs more than I can give her and though I don’t share her beliefs I can tell that’s where she wishes her help was coming from. Is there an organization for divorced Christian women, or books to read, or forums she can surf? Anyway, thanks for any insight. I love her kids and I care about her. My husband goes to fix stuff over there for her, I take the kids to do stuff a lot, and I listen to her vent and try not to judge her when I catch myself thinking, “how can you still love him when he was such an a-hole?” Where can she go from here?
  8. I’m switching one of my kids to Saxon 5/4. We did the first lesson today and I’d read the intro and set a timer for 5 minutes to do the Math Fact page listed in the warm up. She did that, we continued with the warm up and did the mental math and the word problem, then we did the lesson and all the practice problems. But now that I think about it, I’m second guessing myself. She did nowhere near all the facts on the sheet. She just worked for 5 minutes. I figure over time and daily practice she’ll increase. In other places the instructions say to do all the problems, which we did in the warm up, lesson practice, and mixed practice. Did I do it correctly or is she supposed to do all the fact practice problems? If so, it’ll take her a lot longer than 5 minutes to do.
  9. I’ve had it on our calendar for weeks. DH and I are seeing it tonight. We’re in Philly and the 6:30 and 7 shows were all sold out. We’re going to an 8:15.
  10. If you decide to try again then either try an audiobook or get a used version at a Half Priced Books or the library where you can check out the cover first. You may have to let it go though. I hope some of the other book ideas help.
  11. I have an almost 11 year old who has similar tastes, and she has enjoyed a lot of the things on Lori D.’s list (which is an awesome list). The year she was 9, she burned through the Pippi Longstocking books, as well as The Penderwicks, Harriet the Spy, Because of Winn-Dixie, Flora and Ulysses, Esperanza Rising and Alanna: The First Adventure (about a girl who switches with her male twin so she can be a knight, but preview for some content about Alanna developing in puberty). That year we also read a few that could be considered more traditional “girl” books but she really enjoyed and got a lot out of. These included Understood Betsy, The Princess and the Goblin, The Princess and Curdie, and Mary Poppins. Some books with a male protagonist or mostly male main characters that she liked or tolerated that year were The Wheel on the School, Wonder, The Phantom Tollbooth, and Otto of the Silver Hand. However, she really only liked male led stories if the characters were mostly animals. Things like the Tale of Despereaux, The Wind in the Willows, The Green Ember, or The Cricket in Times Square. Along with the excellent resources others gave you above, you can find a lot of great choices for your daughter spread throughout the years from the Build Your Library booklists and the Arrow and Boomerang selections from Bravewriter. ETA: I forgot the as she was 9-10 she loved the Diana Wynne Jones books, Patricia Wrede (mentioned above), several books by Jane Yolen, and other things by Kate DiCamillo. One of her favorites that is in constant re-read rotation is The Cats of Tanglewood Forest, about a girl who roams a forest, gets saved from disaster by a pack of cats, then goes on adventure with them. That one is really wonderful. I enjoyed it too. Charles de Lint has several other kids books that I’ve stuck on her “to read” list.
  12. Thank you so much for posting this! I ended up finding a PDF online with a pamphlet that has easy to print charts, so now my exercise resistant 5th grade daughter can just look at where she is and cross it off the chart. 3rd grade sister and I are doing it with her and I’ve named her our PE leader. So basically, I’m supervising, since it’s only 12 minutes and we are doing it right before lunch each day. I’m betting that if I do it with her all of 5th grade she’ll be able to maintain it independently in 6th. Here is the link to the PDF for anyone interested and I also found a YouTube video of a woman doing Day 1 of Level 1 in case you need an idea of what it’s supposed to look like. We’re doing the XBX since it’s just mom and two daughters but along with the 5BX it would be so easy to implement at a co-op.
  13. I can’t speak to what you should do from the perspective of WWE because we didn’t use that series, however, one of my kids frequently wanted to write her narrations at that age as well. She had different motivations about it so you might have to figure out what inspires your daughter. Sometimes, my girl just wanted to practice her “fancy writing” (cursive). So I’d write her narration on the white board and let her copy it. This eliminated the potential spelling dilemma. In other instances, she wanted to use her narration as a jumping off point for a story, so I would either encourage her to make up a play or act it out, or to do a drawn narration and let her go nuts adding details. Lastly, she had a big streak of “I can do it myself!” So I would just let her. I explained that she could ask me how to spell a word if she wanted to, otherwise, I’d just let her do it. The reason I went with that is because in CM circles, when kids are beginning regular written narrations, you don’t insist on correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar (at first). It’s about communicating their understanding of the info on paper. As the weeks go by and their written narrations become easier or more fluent, then you introduce the editing process. My kid stopped wanting to write narrations as she aged into second grade, but now in third, she’s starting to show interest again as she watches me work with older sister on her written narrations.
  14. An update: hubby was home for the weekend and so we got in some movie time. I finished dish rag number 1 and the ball will theoretically make two so I started a second one. Also, I had planned to school today but with hubby home he ended up doing stuff around the house. This always involves him interrupting whatever I’m doing a lot so I scrapped my plans. It rained a lot though so the kids didn’t head outside much and I taught my older daughter and her friend to finger knit. Here she is modeling the scarf she made for her doll, Oberon.
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