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Everything posted by black_midori

  1. So - the 11yo didn't come in and ask for undies because she wanted to not get her own wet and couldn't be bothered to go next door... she actually came in & saw "ultra-cool-big-girl-undies" while hanging out with your daughter, knew they were accessible to your daughter (same drawer as her play clothes) and then asked to use them? That's not nearly so weird. She just saw cool stuff & wanted in! :D Not much different from teenager girls swapping cool shoes, jewelry, shirts, etc - just that by the time you hit teenager you probably realize it is a little over-the-top to ask for undies (and maybe have your own cool ones, then?).
  2. Level 1, but you will go through it very quickly. No later than Level 2 - it covers the majority of the things from Level 1 (just not in as great detail) in the first few lessons then moves on to more rules. AAS is very rule based, not grade-level based - you pretty much have to start at or near the beginning no matter what grade they are. I have gone through level 3 with my now-3rd grader, but this semester we have a 3rd grader who hasn't done it before and I started again at Level 1 with him. We went through it SUPER fast, though - finished in less than a month and moved to level 2. We will go through level 2 much slower, but I still anticipate finishing both level 2 and level 3 during the next 9 months. If the money is a problem buying 1 & 2, or you won't be able to re-use 1, you could start with 2 - but you'll have to teach the extra letter sounds and a few of the rules on your own. If you are able to re-use with another student, I'd definitely just buy 1.
  3. Corn tacos with grilled steak & fillings and a side of nachos with gooey cheese! "Breakfast for dinner" if they are a fun family - omelets, hash browns, sausage. Steak with potatoes and a side of zucchini with onion in sour cream. Strawberries in chocolate for dessert. If kids are coming, the "Annie's gluten free mac & cheese" is pretty yummy (you just buy a box of it instead of regular mac n cheese - I get it at the health food store). I served it earlier this week to 1 GF & 3 non-GF kids and they ate up the entire box!! :)
  4. :iagree: (add very vigorous nodding!) Last semester I did 1st & 2nd - it didn't take that much TIME (once planning was done) but there was VERY little "independent work". In fact, most of 1 kid's independent stuff was taken up doing non-independent stuff with the other! We still could get both grades done in 4 or fewer hours 4 days a week. This semester I am doing 1st, 2nd & 2 3rd graders - and the amount of time it is taking me is staggering! Of course, I just started a couple of weeks ago and I'm gradually getting more exact with my times (incorporating 2 additional kids). However, it still takes a good 5-6 hours 4 days a week of SOLID, NON-STOP *me* time - and it is exhausting! Pretty much EVERY spare minute that 1 is doing independent work is taken up working with another. The snack break & beginning lunch break I spend making lunch, the end of lunch break I spend cleaning up. I feel like I don't stop moving from 9am to 4pm, and that is without anything additional beyond schooling. I also work 20 hours a week and take care of horses daily. I think the overall proposition of homeschooling can definitely be done in conjunction with work, but I think you will need to very carefully plan as teacher-free as possible and still expect to be very hands-on for most of the period you do schooling. That said, with those ages and just 2 kids you can probably spread it out over 5-6 days and just need to have solid focus for 2-3 hours a day with their independent work basically being "play a fun imaginative game & let mom work"! :D Also, don't be surprised if other household items start to fall behind as you try to adjust to everything. It is hard to catch up on meal planning & weeding & mowing & laundry when you are already run ragged doing everything else!! Lol - ok, now can you tell I'm just tired? :lol: I wouldn't change it for the world, though!
  5. Pocketknife admiring? Can that be a hobby? lol - that's what my 8yo likes! Maybe someday I can turn that into actual carving... My 6 & 8yo boys also like: playing with legos, doing imaginative play of all sorts of very specific, recurring situations, and drawing (generally as a part of the imaginative play). I don't know that any of those things count as hobbies, but they sure do get very involved in them & they take up most free time... :)
  6. I'd vote for a poll option of "I prefer they are willing to try most anything new and we do it in such a way that there is little waste".
  7. :iagree: This, exactly. You need an "other"! lol. I don't want my kids to be ultra-picky and refuse to try, but I also don't want waste. Choose the middle ground - give reasonable "test" amounts and see what the result is. I couldn't imagine giving a whole grapefruit to someone as their trial for a new food - what a ridiculous amount of waste! Eeew for grapefruit with random bites out of it, too. Just cut out a small test portion & have her try that.
  8. :iagree::iagree: Couldn't agree more!! I do it, but I'm also a CPA and I'm just plain better at it. We communicate & discuss large purchases, budget changes, etc but in general I just take care of it.
  9. I would tell him what you just told us, for starters. Then, together, come up with a NEW anniversary "standard", celebrating a new progression forward in marriage. Flowers is the old, painful marriage - what is the NEW, moving forward marriage? Dinner at a special restaurant that you do every year? (That's mine, btw! We do a specific Indian rest. every year since we moved to this new area 4 years ago) A box of chocolates? A couples massage? Think of something that you wish you had done some anniversary long ago and make THAT your "thing". Always wanted to go on a romantic getaway for a couple days on that special day? Set it up! Allow yourself some sadness. The innocent, trusting part of your marriage is over and that can't be forgotten - but that doesn't mean the marriage itself is over. You are communicating, together, and working on it - THAT is what can be celebrated.
  10. I didn't get anything out of the A-D; didn't even make it past B.
  11. To me, THIS is the core of it. We would fall firmly into your second category. We should be (economy & cost permitting) financially able to have our kids go to college if they desire. We both went to college and have degrees. I use mine (in a job that requires it) and dh does not (he would have been just as well off doing a sort of internship in his field) - however, he makes enough money to comfortably support our family (I work part-time for pleasure & "extras"). We feel that homeschooling is important enough that I forgo a lucrative wage to do so. This is primarily for academic reasons, although all our reasons tie together into family & academics. However, we will most likely NOT pay in full for our kids to go to college for several reasons: - We try very hard to avoid debt. We have no debt except for the house (which we are pushing to pay off sooner rather than later). We want to pass this philosophy along to our kids, which would be hard to do if we were willing to pay lots of money out that we didn't have in-hand for a college degree, particularly one that would not directly assist in some self-supporting end goal. - We will encourage our kids to go to college, but dh is ready proof that it isn't always the right thing to do if you don't have a specific end-goal. I wanted to be a CPA, so I needed a degree. Dh got a physics degree and ended up working in the auto industry and learned the skills he needed by basically doing a 2 week course in it with a business & then starting work under someone. He could have saved a mountain of debt for his parents and himself had he forgone college (to be fair, he wanted to be a college prof at first & just never went through with it). The core of it, though, is related to the above post. At some point, kids grow up and are SUPPOSED to make their own choices - society says this is 18yo. Kids think this is 18yo. Outside viewers think this is 18yo. It's hard to put my thought into exact words, but... - If you push regular math on an elementary school student, you are covering "academic basics". - If you push advanced math on a high school student, you are encouraging "academic excellence". - If you push college level math on a college student, you are "overstepping". So basically, I won't beggar myself & go into debt for my kids college because I think that at 18yo my job as an educator is pretty much done & it is time for them to start making relatively adult decisions. Will I assist them with those decisions if they desire? Absolutely. Will I even financially assist if I feel that they are making a rational adult decision that I agree with? Totally. Will I be willing to support them as they pursue a fluff degree & get a "cool college drinking experience"? No. My goal is to raise a young adult who is ready to get along in life and can make reasonable decisions about how to do so. If at 18yo they desperately want to be a rocket scientist & are willing to make huge personal sacrifices to do so, then I will completely support them (emotionally, not financially). If at 18yo they instead meet a woman they wish to marry and become a stay at home husband, I will support that as well. Our current desire is to assist our kids in their chosen careers by offering a matching deal. They work hard to earn the money necessary to pursue desires that we approve of and feel will further them as adults in this tough world and we will match those funds with our hard-earned money to assist. I want my kids to WANT to do what they want to do, and personal sacrifice by them is a large part of that. Yes, it would have to be something we approve of. If they work hard so that they can buy drugs, for instance, it's a no go. :lol: If they work at something that I do not support in principle, then I will not support it either. THEM, yes. That goal, no. I guess for me, the point is that I am willing to sacrifice potential wages and benefits for the next 12 years to try and create a happy, confident, academically capable adult. At 18yo, my job is done - they ARE an adult, and hopefully the sacrifices I make during those 12 years will have made them ready to act like one. Choosing to go or not to go to college or to do/not do a trade school or to go travel the world or to get married or to have kids or just to work at McDs - those are all ADULT decisions. They aren't my decisions any more - the 12 years was all put in to make an adult capable of making those decisions on their own & determining for themselves how to make it happen.
  12. Something similar happened when we were buyers! We drove 4 hours with my 70+yo in-laws and 2 little kids to look at houses in one area that we had pre-set with the realtor in town to look at. Unfortunately, none of them were "right" - so we started stretching into new areas & were able to see a few more houses. Still, nothing quite clicked... until we found one 1/2 an hour South that was almost perfect (from the photots/info) and decided to check it out. It was WAY further South than we planned, so we certainly hadn't set up anything in advance!! When the realtor called, the owner told us that the house was under contract with negotiations in progress, but that if we really wanted to come by and see it we could. We did see it, and decided it was just right for our needs - but we had to make an offer that day in order to cut out the other negotiations. So, we did - and we've lived here happily for 4 years now! :) I am grateful that she let us all come look (she was home) and that she talked frankly with us about the situation (apparently she really didn't like the other buyer - he was rude & forceful & causing problems).
  13. I just got this within the last month & the learning curve is pretty impressive - but I liked it so much on trial that I went ahead and bought the full version yesterday. I spent the first 2-3 days working very at learning it, but after I got the hang of a few major things I was pleased with the performance & capabilities. I know it is commonly said to start small - but somehow I ended up doing an entire year's lesson plan for 4 kids in 3 grade levels over the course of the first week in use, so if you are good with programs & ready to throw some good solid hours at it... :D
  14. Volcanos!! My ds8 enjoyed his so much last year that this year we are doing them again for 4 kids. We start from scratch & the kids do every part! - Make a paper mache volcano base by using a water bottle & wrapping it with a "cone" of construction paper then using newspaper in gooey paper mache stuff to wrap it all up. (This year, I even had the kids make the gooey stuff - we boiled 1 part flour to 5 parts water & they did the measuring & stirring with fractions split between 4 kids, so we got in a good math lesson!) - When the cone dries in a few days, paint over it with a good water-sealing paint (if the top layer of the paper mache is regular printer paper instead of newspaper it is supposed to paint better - I am trying it out!). - Have the kids create the lava mixture with experimentation to determine exactly how to mix it & how much of each thing to use (the best mixture seems to be mixing the red dye and the vinegar separately, maybe with some dish soap, and then adding it to the baking soda). We experimented with this in clear small cups on a small scale while our volcanos were drying. - Put the baking soda into the water bottle (after base is dried & painted) and add the vinegar/red dye/soap mixture and enjoy!! Make sure to do it on a cookie sheet! :) Ds8 loved this SO MUCH last year that the next few weeks he made his own eruption pretty much every day (and several times a day if friends were there to admire it). He became very proficient at mixing & exploding - lol! That volcano base lasted a REALLY long time, too - I think he may still have it around (although I've tried to throw it away several times in the last few months..).
  15. I recently bought DE (diatomaceous earth) to spread around the outside of the house & at a few points inside to try and kill the buggers. It is supposed to be like crawling through glass shards for them - opens little tiny cuts & dehydrates them so they die. I'm trying to avoid chemicals for a variety of reasons, so I haven't tried those. I just got it in the mail today, I think (big box by the front door!) so hopefully it will go well! I don't know if it would help you at all, but it might be worth a try?
  16. I consider me as making it - but I put "only halfway", since I don't really tuck the sheet down or anything fancy. Since my dh doesn't use the sheet & I do, I just throw it down on my side, pile pillows at the top, and toss the comforter over the whole deal. It's "made" to me!! :D
  17. *LOVE IT* for all my kids. I have used Levels 1,2 & 3 so far, and I will be buying 4 next year. Both of my sons are advanced readers & reasonable spellers, but I still found it very very good. Level 1 & 2 we went through super fast - definitely both in 1 school year for us (although I know at least 1 person who bogged down in letter sounds & ended up stuck there for a very long time; I think the child really was not ready to go through the program). Level 3 I did over a full school year, although I had to stretch it out by doing more review days than I had the previous 2 levels (probably for the best). I used the tiles extensively for level 1, occasionally for level 2, and I rarely used them for level 3. If you are using the tiles, I do highly recommend getting the magnets & investing in a large white board to hang on the wall - if I hadn't already been doing things on the white board for AAS, I probably would basically never have used the tiles (too much hassle! :D). I'm not sure what other accessories there are - I don't think we got anything else. We definitely didn't get the CD or boxes, and haven't needed them (I used just a cheap Walmart card box - fits the things fine, although the tops of the dividers get crushed some; if I have a rare question on sounds I go online for answers). I would get the tiles, magnets, dividers (wherever they come from - I can't remember now, but it seemed like I got them all the time so maybe they are in the student packs?), student pack (with all the cards - very impt, but I can get by with 1 for 3 students), and teacher's manual.
  18. I wouldn't worry about it very much, honestly, unless you actually end up having problems. I was concerned with my 2nd ds (now 6yo) because he has been obviously left-handed for a very long time & I wasn't sure how that would affect us... but it basically didn't affect us at all. I bought a few different books on left-handed writing & cursive, but didn't end up even reading them - he really just went right along on his own learning from how I taught his right-handed brother. The only thing I make sure of is that I have him write either on loose leaf paper or in a notebook with spiral on top so that he doesn't have to rest his arm on it. We must beat the statistics, because I have 2 people in my direct family LH & my dh has 2 in his direct family LH. :D FWIW, most of them use regular RH scissors & notebooks so I don't really worry much about that stuff. :)
  19. The cities I've been in for NM & TX both have a "summer meal" program that is usually just a "drop by xyz location at whatever time & pick up free food" deal. You don't have to show ID or proof of low income or anything - just find the area where it is being served and the time & go by! Also, I have some friends who take their kids to a local ymca camp where kids get free breakfast and lunch.
  20. I'm all for no neighbors - but it's partly so I can put my obnoxiously big garage out front!! lol :D Actually, it's dh's garage - my "requirement" is a large barn...:glare:
  21. Things that can be done to help: - more frequent dental cleanings. In general, people with excellent teeth can often get by with 1/yr, people with average teeth 2/yr, and people with poor teeth 3 or 4/yr. My dad is a periodontist & I worked for him for awhile - he generally so older people with well established bad teeth, and a lot of them did cleanings 4 times a year. - brush more often. 3 times a day isn't excessive! After every meal is perfectly reasonable! - floss more often (maybe not every 30 seconds, though :D). At least once a day, preferably more often. - I totally agree with xylitol gum & toothpaste (this is what we use) and other! - definitely talk with your dentist about a rx mouthwash.
  22. Great!! I'm glad she was so supportive. That is pretty typical of all of the co-op groups that I've been around - the leaders are homeschoolers & are generally very understanding of things like that. :)
  23. Um - I can't imagine that they would care, as long as he is co-operative and does the work assigned, and doesn't sit in there griping about how he already knows the stuff. How can it be wrong to get different perspectives? I just re-read & I'm not sure I understood the question - sorry! Could you clarify? What do you think would be unreasonable and rude? Simply attending the classes, know that he is already doing a lot of that? Or that you would only be doing 1 day of 3 instead of all?
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