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Everything posted by Momling

  1. We have the complete DVD and love them! Like the previous poster said... Some songs are better than others, but all are catchy.
  2. Momling


    We love A Child's Introduction to Poetry because, along with some very good poems, it also gives some vocabulary and background to talk about poetry. It's also very playful... http://www.amazon.com/Childs-Introduction-Poetry-Mountains-Battles/dp/1579122825/ref=pd_sim_b_1
  3. We only had an afternoon in Savannah, on a road trip last year... but, I highly recommend taking a bus tour of the town to get a feel for it and learn a bit of history. Our tour guide was hilarious! There were several hop-on-hop-off bus tours to choose from.
  4. This is a very noble and achievable goal -- I totally disagree that it is unhealthy! It is just an issue of shopping more carefully than you might usually shop. Check out the "Tightwad Gazette" from the library and you'll get a billion great ideas.
  5. It sounds like the silent reading will come soon for your daughter... I'd guess another few months and she'll be reading silently. As for the missing words, there are certainly exercises you can do (and I'm guessing your phonics book will be a help), though ultimately, it may just be a developmental thing that will come with time and practice. In order to really focus on those little words, you could, for instance, take a sentence from her fairy book and mix up the words and see if she can put it in order. Or you could have her count the number of times the word 'she' (or whatever) comes up in a paragraph. Or you could read the book together -- you reading all words except those that she forgets -- which she can read. Or you could photocopy a page and white out all the little words, and have her put them back into the text. As for punctuation, you could ask her to stop and take a breath after every sentence. Or read a short paragraph to her and ask her to read it again to you with the same intonation and pauses.
  6. I am new to needing to supplement... but no, what I'm doing in the evenings with my girls is totally not what they are doing in school. School is pretty much a pleasant daycare kind of experience, but completely lacking in substance. I'm providing the science, math and history that she's missing.
  7. Ooh -- also, if he's starting jr. high, make sure he knows how to open a locker.
  8. Though obvious to most of us, you might want to point out to him that the entire grading system is all about 'points'. He'll get points for participating, for turning in assignments, for scoring highly on tests... The more points he earns -- the better his grade.
  9. :iagree: Maybe those strangers were just from Connecticut? We just moved from CT to OR and the difference is just amazing... I really found there was a pervasive culture of aggression in CT that is completely absent here in the pacific northwest.
  10. Could it all just be coming down to an issue of power? You might try to hand over a little more sense of power to him. Something like "You choose whether you want to do the addition or the subtraction problems". Also, in our house giving a 'finishing time' to work really helps too. So instead of saying "Start your math now.", try saying "Your math needs to be finished by 11:30. You can start it now or later and you can take as long as you want, as long as it's done by then..." and then stop nagging. If that doesn't work, you might try having a fun activity follow the less-fun activity so that the longer he takes, the shorter time he has with the fun activity.
  11. Over the years, I've come to the conclusion that I don't need to feel guilty that I don't like to play with my kids. I mean, if a parent likes to get down on their hands and knees and play-pretend or whatever... that's great! But if it's not your style, it's really okay to find other ways to have a good time. We spend a lot of time doing stuff together -- reading, playing board games, cooking, going places (shops, parks, libraries, etc...) but I don't think it's necessary for me to be a playmate. One positive side effect of this is that my girls have become very good at entertaining themselves. They are independent and creative and don't need an adult to engage them in play. They also learned very early how to do things like pump their legs on a swing or how to go up to other children and ask if they'd like to play...
  12. In his favor, English is said to be an accusative default language (other Germanic and Romance languages are not...). So, weirdly, our native English speaking brains are just naturally set up to default to accusative when it's not clear which pronoun to use. You can try to change it, but it's probably hopeless... He's in good company though, the phrase (with quotes) of "me and him are" has 211,000 google hits. :o Poor me... *Poor I Who, me??? *Who, I?? Dear me... *Dear I Lucky us! *Lucky we! Lucky them! *Lucky they!
  13. My guess is that the purpose of the testing is to screen for kids who need extra help with their reading. If your daughter clearly is a great reader and doesn't need any reading instruction, does it really matter what 'grade level' she reads at? And anyway... isn't the idea of a 'grade level' for reading pretty artificial to begin with?
  14. I understand that you feel this way... and maybe the community you raise your children in *is* less safe than the community that you grew up in. But the trend in the US and Canada and the UK is, in actuality, that life is safer and less violent today than in almost any other time in history. Consider over history... here's a chart showing the homicide rate per 100,000 in northern Europe (details at http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/ahr/111.1/monkkonen.html). In the US, crime was high around the 1930's and dropped in the 50's and rose in the 70's and 80's and dropped in the 90's. So assuming you were a kid in the 70's and 80's in the U.S., the crime rate is actually lower. I know when I was a kid, my parents didn't have access to the internet and didn't know about crime in other areas and they really sheltered me from knowledge about crime in our community... so it's easy for me to think back to my idyllic childhood and not recall examples of crime. But that didn't mean it didn't happen then... and it doesn't mean that it is a more dangerous time now. Whenever I start feeling worried, I like to take a look at websites like http://www.freerangekids.com to remind myself that there can be a balance between keeping kids safe and allowing kids to explore the world around them.
  15. My girls are 5 1/2 and 7 1/2. They bathe alone because they'd be too splashy otherwise. I help a bit with hair and make sure they've done the important bits... They don't do a great job of putting away laundry (the older one gets too distracted by looking at the 'made in' label and then finding places on the map or decides she needs to try on different outfits). They need supervision on the picking up of messy rooms.
  16. I'm not really sure... but, weirdly, the Polish word for slug and for snail are the same word: "slimak". They have no semantic distinction between what is definitely two creatures (in my mind)...
  17. Thank you all for your advice! We will lay out a schedule for our evening "lessons" (from bed -- it works for us...). I think that may make it seem a bit less random. I really appreciate the websites too - especially the science guy and geography suggestion. We do have an alternative school in town that is for part-time homeschoolers and I've put my daughter on the waiting list for it... We'll be able to pick and choose classes to take. But until that happens, we're kind of stuck at our pleasant (but completely non-academic) school.
  18. Our favorites are: Timez attack at http://www.bigbrainz.com/ (free download) Everything at http://www.brainpop.com (not free, but has a 5 day free trial) Basic reading at http://www.starfall.com Math manipulatives at http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/vlibrary.html
  19. Hi all, I've been lurking for a while, but I need some real person advice! We've just moved to a new state and I'm dissatisfied with the public school here. My 7.5 yr old has come from a wonderful content-rich montessori school and is now in the local public school. It's a progressive and wealthy community that apparently is totally against using textbooks or teaching any science or history or math at lower elementary. Coloring and basic phonics work and TERC investigations make up the majority of her day in a first-second combo class. Everyone is super friendly and except for the mind-numbing boredom, my daughter likes school... but as far as I can see, there is nothing she has learned. Or will be learning. All year. Or next. And this makes me really think about why I'm sending her to school and what the point of school really is. So I've started supplementing in the evenings... spending an hour or so snuggled in bed doing math or reading history. But what we're doing seems a bit haphazard. She reads and comprehends and has vocabulary (according to the reading specialist) at a high school level, so I'm not concerned about that. But I'm absolutely worried about math. In first grade last year she was working on multiplication and division and fractions and multiple digit addition and subtraction. Now her homework involves counting "the number of pockets that your family is wearing" or "reading the clock to the nearest hour". She's started forgetting all the stuff she did before (though to be fair, she sort of hated math). And she's dying for lessons in chemistry and history and geography and biology that she used to get... but I don't know how to fit in what she really wants to get. My options are to continue what I'm doing or to pull her out completely (though I work part-time and would face some family disagreement). What would you do in this situation? What would you recommend for math texts for a smart second grade girl who hates rote arithmetic but needs to practice? What texts would you recommend for a history buff or for a future scientist who needs a good challenge? Thanks!
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