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Everything posted by Momling

  1. My older daughter has flown without the unaccompanied minor service and changed flights and such. She did great. Because she was only 13, we talked a lot about what to do in different circumstances and I had a family on call in the Denver area where her next flight was. I think if there had been a problem though, she'd have preferred to hang out overnight in the airport than deal with meeting this old family friend and his kids. Luckily, there was no problem. This year, we'll have to drive to another airport (5 hrs away) to get the kids on a flight through southwest because United now requires UM service for 15 yr olds. My older will fly alone to French camp in MN and both the girls (age 12&14) will fly to San Diego together to comic con. Their uncle will pick them up. I LOVE that that they are so independent and responsible and capable! It bothers me that airlines like United are forcing parents to purchase this babysitting service for 15 yr olds (used to be 12+ was okay to fly alone, but it was changed a few months ago).
  2. My daughter loves Concordia language village for French. I don't know what they have for Chinese, but I'd definitely recommend the programs.
  3. We stayed once at the Laura ingalls homestead in De smet SD in a covered wagon. My girls loved it!
  4. No problem here on synthroid. I'd be surprised if it has anything to do with joints. I think it's easy to make a connection between taking a drug and a side effect when really you would have some joint pain regardless of whether you were on synthroid or not.
  5. Go to the Metropolitan museum of art and also visit Ellis island (with the tour of the old hospital if your kids are old enough and you have the time to book months in advance). Also, watch a Broadway show if you live in a small town like we do. The moma and the cloisters and the tenement museum are very interesting, but skipable with so little time.
  6. My 14 year old does a great job of dressing herself in cute, tasteful clothes. I never have to say anything. My 12 year old still needs some reminding about clothes that she has outgrown or are not weather appropriate or colors that clash or otherwise hurt my eyeballs, but she's pretty good. She's improved a lot in her ability to choose clothes that fit and look good. My 9 year old foster daughter (and the foster kids before her) have needed a lot of guidance. I typically go through the clothes they come with and set aside those that I can't tolerate or don't fit. I always take kids shopping to replace what I have removed. It's important to me that my kids wear cute age-appropriate clothes. I've never had a teenaged foster child so I thankfully haven't had to deal with an older child whose style and clothes don't fit with my ideas about how my kids should dress.
  7. I lived in Poland for a few years and my brother lived in Kraków for a year. Assume almost everything will be closed around Easter and you might be pleasantly surprised when it isn't. Kraków is gorgeous. In my opinion, Kraków is the most international and least Polish city in Poland. Definitely see the salt mines and Auschwitz and the castle.
  8. Key to fraction is a nice gentle fraction program. http://www.christianbook.com/key-to-fractions-books-1-4/pd/33100
  9. I have had periodic tingling and constant numbness and a sensation of heat in my hands and feet for several years and have felt that bizarre vibration feeling too. In the end, I spent a ton of money on MRI and some slightly painful tests involving needles and electrical currents and lots of blood work only to be told it isn't anything of consequence... Which is great! But kind of annoying to pay so much just for reassurance. Anyway, I hope your issues are nothing important too. Just be prepared that finding out what (if anything) is wrong may be an expensive endeavor! Also, don't google or obsess or you'll work yourself up unnecessarily.
  10. My daughter used Foersters for algebra 1 last school year and it was all fine until I'd found she'd forgotten much of it over the summer. I gave her the option to repeat algebra as a full year or to continue the original plan of geometry this year with an algebra review on the side. She wanted to do both the geometry and algebra at the same time. I chose Saxon for the algebra review simply because of the varied practice problems. Foerster had gone into greater depth and had much better word problems, but Saxon is ideal for a kid who seems to forget math quickly. I only have her do odds or evens of Saxon each day and she tolerates it well. I think it was a really good decision for her. We'll continue it through the summer so that she's confident and ready to go for algebra II (at the high school).
  11. We went last summer and I was kind of disappointed by Gettysburg. The visitors center and tour of the battlegrounds were awesome. I was put off by the town itself. I wanted a cool historic town, not a town lined with tacky ghost-hunter tours and racist souvenir shops containing offensive confederate and swastika flag gear. Also, when we were there, a constant throng of bikers kept roaring down the main street. It wasn't what I'd been hoping for.
  12. It's legal here and it's not my thing because it makes me ravenously hungry and terribly sleepy. And obesity and somnolence are not my goals. Also, I have too many responsibilities right now. Maybe when the kids are out of the house though? As for others, my parents and grandparents have been users in later life and I think it generally has improved their enjoyment of life and relieved their pain and so I don't have a problem with it.
  13. Any of Eva Ibbotson's kids books (not the YA romance, but the fantasy ones.)
  14. My girls have a relationship that has seen a lot of change. There have been times in which they were totally disinterested in each other, and times (like now) where they hang out like best friends. I think they get closest when they have no other friends available. Travel and camping trips can artificially create this. Also, they seem to bond particularly well when they can join forces in opposition to something else. Like us parents! Or the cruelty of having to clean the kitchen. Or right now we have a particularly difficult foster daughter and they tend to retreat when things get rough for her and they hang out together.
  15. DBQ stands for document based question (though I've also heard data based question). They are essay questions used on tests like the AP history tests and regents exams in NY. A student is given background info and a selection of primary source documents about a topic and an essay question to answer. I like DBQs because the essay topics are limited and I want my daughter to be able to interpret primary sources and include them as evidence in her arguments, but her ability to do primary source research and the time it takes to do it is not realistic at 8th grade. So it's nice to have the essays and documents right there and ready to be assigned. Stanford reading like a historian is useful for this too, but isn't as oriented towards essays. We usually set aside three days to do an essay. My daughter usually spends one history lesson on interpreting the documents and creating a thesis statement and outline for her essay. The next day she'll crank out the essay (usually about 1.5-2 typed pages. Maybe 3-7 paragraphs.). The third day I have her revise it. We use this book: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0825159040/ref=pd_aw_fbt_14_img_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1A1S6SX5RP8V1QPXCH5Q
  16. Not many young kids will be interested in the topic, knowledgeable about the historical context or able to identify with the characters. So while you *can* do it and nothing terrible will happen, it wouldn't be my first choice. There are a lot of more accessible classics than a tale of two cities.
  17. I'm all for enrolling kids in activities that give them exercise or social experiences, but don't forget the benefit of him learning how to entertain himself without your attention - being self-sufficient and not expecting of other's attention will be a benefit in the long run. Also, grade level is a little bit arbitrary and in kindergarten there will be kids who don't know their alphabet and kids able to read adult length novels and a good kindergarten teacher is used to it. Homeschooling can be great too. It's nice to have options -- and like the previous posted said, you can always change your mind.
  18. We like American odyssey. It's aimed at high school but we used it in 7th and 8th grade. My daughter either wrote outlines or answered the 3-5 "key questions" in paragraph form. We supplemented with Stanford Reading like a historian, crash course US History, DBQs, pbs American experience and other stuff.
  19. I absolutely think that spelling is important, but I think you'll find that it often lags behind reading development. That said, if I wanted to teach spelling to a first grader, I'd probably use explode the code and think of it as both reading and spelling and handwriting practice. You wouldn't want to start at the beginning of the series with a child already reading. Alternatively we have had success with Apples and Pears (start with book A - it ramps up quickly).
  20. We did SM 6. A switch to MM 6 would work too or move to another program. There's still plenty to learn in SM 6 and with the CWP, plenty of challenge. I don't think the push towards pre-algebra following a fifth grade math program makes sense for most kids.
  21. My daughter did Foersters last year, but somehow managed to retain less than I expected when starting geometry. I looked for all sorts of review books and ended up going with Saxon Algebra 1. It has been perfect for her. It's not as deep as Foersters and focuses much more on process rather than concept. That's actually what she needed for a second year since many of her mistakes are silly errors and she just needs practice and review. Anyway, she just does odds one day and evens the next, so 15 problems per day. We'll finish it over the summer. I know she'll do great starting algebra II next fall.
  22. Math mammoth for similar math approach. Galore Park SYRWL Maths for similar colorful, non-intimidating looking book AOPS for similar perception of rigor Why not finish Singapore 5b, 6a and 6b though? CWP and IP books could make it even more substantial!
  23. I got lucky and have great teeth, but my older daughter did not. With an underbite, crowding and impacted canines, she's needed a lot of work. My younger daughter may have a little crowding and may have braces for cosmetic reasons, but I think her teeth are probably fine. We might just give her the option and see what she wants. The orthodontist recommends it, but her teeth look okay to me. I don't think it should be too pricy or long if she chooses to do it, unlike my older daughter's treatment.
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