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Everything posted by black_midori

  1. We used to have people "forage" in our front yard - now THAT I consider just downright wrong (seriously - they'd stop & hop our fence to grab apricots and peaches that were inside the fence line, along with our house). It has scarred us forever... we are considering planting fruit and nut trees at our new place, and I am trying to locate them in a place where people aren't as likely to sneak over and steal them! For the preserve, though - I wouldn't fret. It probably was against their rules, but if there wasn't anything posted and there wasn't a ranger advising people then apparently they don't take it that seriously. The last nature preserve I went to, we were told by 3 different rangers not to touch anything (ANYthing - trees, twigs, broken bottles, etc) and we had to watch a 15 minute video about the area... and not touching anything! Lol
  2. I sincerely recommend that you take him in for some sort of evaluation or doctor discussion and ALSO that you change his diet immediately. For such a child, I would allow absolutely NO sugar right off the bat, and then I would start adjusting more from there (for instance, food dyes are supposed to be big culprits in causing such behavior so I would avoid those). Then I would look into sleep habits - when does he go to bed? How long does he sleep for? Does he sleep solid or in bits and pieces? I'd tell him that his behavior makes it clear to me that he needs to get more sleep and that from here on out he would be going to bed 1 hour earlier every night until he could control himself. In any day that he had a fit, I would knock that bed time up by 1/2 an hour - and I would be calm but SUPER strict about this!! None of that "oh but tonight we have to go out to xyz activity and can't get to bed until late" - your mental health and his mental health are far more important than any activity you may do. Only rarely do either of my boys act like that (6yo & 8yo), and it is almost always due to 1 of 3 things: - not enough sleep - too much sugar - feeling sick (the 6yo was always a bit grumpy and sick to the stomach for quite awhile, in fact - without full blown tantrums - until we realized he was gluten intolerant & started adjusting his diet) When such behavior DOES start to pick up, I enforce longer sleep-times and drop out sugar (drinks/treats/other) and that generally takes care of the problem within a few days.
  3. We've done 2 different ways, and both have had their pros & cons! :) 1) Done the next thing in the book & just started a new book at the end. - the definite benefit of this is that the scheduling is super-easy!! Most of the books we used were 36 week schedules, but we started them at different times & paced differently through some (for instance, sometimes we'd want to do an extra math lesson or grammar or something). We just kept going indefinitely and never really had much concern for what grade level we might or might not be in at the time in that particular book. - the biggest con, and the reason I stopped this, is that we never finished any given school year in any define, noticeable way. This isn't necessarily a con for some people (and I didn't think it would be for us, either), but I felt like I needed some sort of closure every once in a while. I had an overall end-goal, but I didn't have a yearly end-goal - and I decided I needed one. I wanted to pick a day & plan to have everything done by that day for the "school year", then take a couple week break & start up a new year. 2) Determined how many weeks exactly will be in your school year & spread the material of a 36 week program to match your "year". - the benefit of this is that we definitely have a solid, full "year". We start the year on X date and end the year on Y date, and HOORAH we are done with 2nd grade!! Congrats, here's a celebration dinner, let's take a little break before we move on!! :) - An additional HUGE benefit, to me, is that I "found time". There were so many subjects that I wasn't doing much in just because I felt like my time was always full. When I sat down and actually saw how much time was technically needed to make it through X book in X number of weeks, it turned out I only needed to do it few times a week to get it done in a reasonable time. If I cut certain subjects down to 2-3 times a week, for instance, I could then ADD or ENLARGE time spent on other subjects!! Silly & obvious, I know, but I was caught up in the drive of just plowing through each book for main subjects & hadn't thought about it much. - another benefit is that you move at a fairly set pace & can generally accommodate multiple children in that pace. Doing #1 worked out great when I only had 1 student, and worked out fairly well when I had 2 students in totally different grade levels. I don't think it would work out nearly as well now, with 4 students over 3 grade levels, and multiple over-lapping subjects. If ds6 goes at his own pace in math, for instance, he would quickly overlap ds8 and I would have to be teaching the same math book twice, in 2 different places for 3 different students. Much easier to keep ds6 on a steady keel with independent other math instead. - the drawback is that you don't progress nearly as quickly through some things as you otherwise might. Ds6 originally shot through a grade level in rapid-time, because I just did the next thing & went along with the next book. I didn't want to hold him back, really, but I didn't want to just keep pummeling through material like that! To take any subject and put it over our school year (45 weeks), I just take a "relevant" number from the selection & divide it by 45. The relevant number depends on the selection - examples: - Math: RightStartA had 77 lessons, I think, so I do 77/45 = 1.7 - I basically need to do 2 lessons a week (I'll finish a bit early - can throw in pure RS Game days or practice worksheets somewhere in there). - Math: Math Mammoth 1b has approx 125 pages - 125/45 = 2.77 so I do basically 3 pages a week - What your X grader needs to know has xx pages - xx/45=y - Shurley English has I think 5 lessons each week for 28 weeks. I multiply 5*28=140; 140/45=3.1, so I do about 3 lessons a week. I plug the above into a spreadsheet & then I determine exactly WHAT lessons I will be doing each week over the year. I then print a form for each week, fill in what needs to be done that week from the master sheet & check it off as I go. 3) Actually, this upcoming year I'm doing a bit of a mix of both of the above! I'm using Sonlight for certain things, so my spreadsheet is basically already done. Rather than tweaking it much, I plan to just do "the next day", which will take a 36 week schedule and stretch it over 45 (since they've already done most of the work for me, I figured I'd just write dates in up at the top). For the "extra" subjects, I plan to just find out approximately how many lessons I might need to do to get through it and then play it by ear, just doing the next lesson in the book (like Spanish, Science). For Math, I will be using RightStart again and will just divide out the number of lessons over 45 weeks.
  4. :iagree: Around here, the few Mom & Pop type stores I've tried to shop at have pretty much made me shop exclusively at large chain stores. The prices are generally cheaper & the selection generally much better, anyway, and they tend to keep the stores neat & clean & "nice looking" & bug free (yes. yuck.).
  5. I felt like the games were not nearly scheduled enough in RS A or B, honestly. They'd have one every once in awhile, and I would do them at that time, but it wasn't that often. Then I'd come here & read posts about how often other people were playing these games and think "huh - I would have done them more if they'd scheduled them more...". :)
  6. Wow - that is a ridiculous situation, all around. There is absolutely NO WAY your daughter should be on that 3yo (or practically any 3yo). Good trainers won't even start a horse under saddle until the horse is AT LEAST 2.5 and more often 3 or later (some of this depends on the breed of horse - some are stockier younger, some take much longer to grow into themselves). Once started under saddle, the majority of young horses would not be ready for inexperience riders for several years. That is why a good "solid" horse for your average rider is usually over 6/7 years old. In this I would consider anyone with under, say, 5 years of dealing with a variety of horses & situations as inexperienced in the realm of newly trained horses. At 1 year and 2 months of lessons, I would completely consider your daughter as inexperienced for such a situation (even if she were riding 2 times a week that entire time), especially since the majority of that riding was done quite a long time ago. It takes a certain period of time (months of consistent riding, at least) to build up the proper muscles to sit the general rythme of your horse well. To approach another point mentioned - to some extent I actually agree (in part) with your trainer that learning how to truly RIDE a horse requires that you ride a horse who does NOT do everything for you. Now, there are obvious limits to that (safety being a major one, of course). I don't ride in shows, and I don't ride "pretty" anymore (long gone are the years!) but I know a lot about horses & can get mine to do a lot of things (I have 5 and give lessons on occasion). I truly do think that if you spend all your riding career learning how to ride "pretty" on a horse that goes around the arena nicely whether you are on its back or not... you lose out on a lot of true learning (the kind of learning that I, personally, am interested in teaching). When you ride a horse that tests you (as almost all horses will, outside of the limited arena of school horses - and really, almost all of those school horses have one quirk or another that you learn to deal with) you learn to cope better with behavior issues & gradually learn to deal with them better & better. This is very important, if you plan to ride outside of a fairly limited environment. Those behavior issues, however, should NEVER be so extreme (buck, kick, rear, run off) unless that is the type of behavior you are specifically trying to learn about (something you might do as a more advanced rider, with MUCH more specific instruction as to dealing with it). Usually, these behaviors will be more of "barn sour", "gate sour", "requires more leg than hand", "gets tired & starts bobbing head unless you do xyz", etc. So, I would say that the situation you are in is terrible and leave ASAP! However, the concept that you need to ride a horse that has problems to learn to deal with problems definitely, IMO, has a basis in truth. This depends, of course, on what your end-goal in riding is - if all your daughter wants to do is ride a fully trained school horse in a local show, then cool, learn to ride "pretty" and direct the horse. Absolutely you need to learn a lot of that anyway, regardless of what type of riding you eventually do!
  7. Some very good ideas, except I had to laugh at the above - isn't one of the big problems with online dating that sometimes the people you meet are using false names or ages?? I'd be happier just NOT USING a last name and give an age range. For instance, just a first name and last initial with age 35-40 or something. Seems a little more honest - and I try to give honesty in the hopes of getting it! :)
  8. My FIL used the RC with a nephew for a year quite awhile ago now, and I think it was a reasonable fit for that situation at that time. He kept the program for me to use with my kids, but I ended up going a different route for a large variety of reasons. The main things that I remember from when he was doing it are: -He always sat at a table in the room with N. He did not do anything else distracting (TV, phone, moving around, etc - I don't remember if he read). He was available immediately should any questions arise. As I recall, this was right out of Robinson's description of his own homeschool setup (where all the kids where in the same room with him while he worked). -They did very intensive work, much more so than I currently do with my own kids. It was math, reading & writing (I don't remember exact times, but an hour or two of each?). The math has been discussed in full above, but as I recall he read the literature (some out loud, maybe? not sure) and then proceeded to write detailed summaries about the literature, which my FIL then corrected in red ink & gave back to him. -They stayed away from sugar and somewhat from TV and computers (although not to the draconian extent that RC says to stay away from it). I think that has got to be a huge benefit to most kids, homeschooled or not. I wish in some ways I were up to being as hard & strict about this (although obviously I'm not, or I would just do it). - My nephew did well. He had been doing poorly at school, which is why his dad pulled him & asked my FIL to educate him for awhile. He was already 12 or so at the time, so past a lot of the issues discussed. I think a lot of his success was truly due to just being away from harmful peers, a low-quality school, sugar and TV/Computers (some). He also had someone who truly CARED about how well he did sitting right there caring. Overall, I think it was a benefit for him. - My FIL wouldn't have been interested in teaching most other methods (as I can say from current knowledge!). The "read, write, do the math textbook" method worked well for him, as a teacher. I have tried to get him to participate in schooling now with my younger kids, and he easily gets frustrated & doesn't make progress with them. If they were willing to calmly sit & read & write & do the work without drama, as my nephew was willing to do with RC, things might go better! lol. That said, RC is not *MY* teaching style at all. I didn't truly take the knowledge in the spirit it was written, either - Robinson truly IS very hard-core about a lot of the things in there that he absolutely thinks you should or shouldn't do (from reading his own informational items). Many times while reading through it, I would comment sarcastically to my husband about various things he said (about homeschooling philosophy & his method). I still did plan to actually implement, in my own way, a lot of the "general gist" that I got out of it though. It just turned out... that's not my style! lol. We are actually moving more literature based this year, although it will be teacher-led discussions & short copywork / dictation / narration work, such as that done in WWE. I didn't like his book list as much as I thought I would. I LOVED some of the books (favorites of mine, or classics), but a lot of the ones in the younger years I genuinely didn't like - they were long, hard to read & hard to follow, even for me (an avid reader). SO... All that said, I must add - based on comments here, I looked up Robinson on google on a whim. I found this link to his 2010 interview (obviously COMPLETELY not related to original topic of his methods!!). I must say that I respect him much less after seeing this video, and would be double-checking every book on his book list to make sure no crazy stuff leaked through... :( VERY bizarre! http://thepoliticalcarnival.net/2010/10/07/video-rachel-maddowart-robinson-showdown/
  9. During a regular day, I generally allocate 4 hours to do a 1st & 2nd grader (but we usually spent somewhat less than that, except on co-op day). It is really hard to try and pin down a specific number of hours of day that will fit for each person - so much depends on the teacher, the student & the situation! Teaching 1 student will go faster than teaching 2, for instance, but teaching 2 that can be combined should go quite a bit faster than teaching 2 where everything needs to be separate. Some people include things in their daily time that other people consider everyday life (for instance, reading time or PE time or cooking with mom time). Some kids do better to have a very structured day, so having SOMETHING listed most of the day long is better than packing it all in to a smaller time-frame. Some of those people might be doing the same amount of work as someone with a 3 hour day but have it scheduled out to a 6 hour day, for example. Some kids just want to plow through the work and get it all done, so they will take what might be one person's 5 hour day and cram it into a 3 hour day. Just to say - it is nice & interesting to know what people do, but it is also very important to know WHY they do it! Personally, I have 2 kids in 2 grades that can have several subjects combined (and a few subjects I thought we could combine ended up having to be done separately). We do include read-alouds as part of that time but do not include private reading or bedtime reading. We do not include general creativity (mine consider that a LARGE part of the day of play) or outdoor activity. :) ETA - my now-6yo would have been a kid who took 3 hours and crammed it into 1 or so, if he had been an only child. Even with 2, if I start by 9ish I should be done by lunch-time! So I think finishing up by 1 is plenty long.
  10. I think that the point is that we should assume that pretty much anything written about pretty much any topic has bias - so we DO know that they are biased. Assume that someone has a dispute with something in pretty much everything spoken or written, and you probably won't be far wrong. I suppose if you read a topic that you have concerns about causing your children particular harm due to the bias, you should dig deeper and pre-read the book (or at least commentaries about the book). Make sure your child has an open-door policy for discussing troubling material. Make sure to provide alternative view-points as you go along. I generally will stop in the middle of a book that discusses something I am particularly against & educate my kids about the reasons I am against it (and the reasons the writer might be for it!). It can range from something silly (this is a rhyming book, and those 2 words don't truly rhyme when said correctly!) to something deep (can you see how hurtful what this character is saying to that one can be?). We all bring our own biases to the table to compete with the writers' (and eventually with our kids' as well!).
  11. I think it sounds perfectly reasonable. It would be nice doing it at your house, of course, but do-able even at theirs. I would probably bring dd with me for at least most of the week (maybe a part of each day, or 2 days a week, or something). I would even consider paying her a small amount to watch the baby while you do school with ds (not much, obviously, since this is to earn money). There's no reason she can't do her work there as well. It sounds like the biggest hassle would be bus-time; I'd consider going over every morning & then running baby back to your house for the 3 hours their son is at school, then back over there to pick him up and stay. Is there any way he can get off on a bus that goes by your house instead? I guess the driving around time could cause problems, since that could get expensive. Have you talked with them about doing homeschool K with their son? He's only 5 - it would be pretty easy to go grab both kids & bring them to your house for the day...
  12. :iagree: Beautifully put! Just what I was thinking but couldn't put into words. Honestly, by the middle of your post my guess was that you only had 1 child, and he was young. # of kids definitely matters! I only have 2, and I was WAY slacker on #2 than #1; I also let #2 go places with #1 that I wouldn't have let #1 go to alone. I would absolutely have had a 2yo with his 4yo bro up in a room at a friend's house (so long ago!) but definitely wouldn't have had his brother alone up there at that age. It kind of depends on the number of kids present, too - even you are saying that if fewer kids were around you would not have stuck so close. Hard situation - :grouphug:!! I don't think anyone did "wrong" here, though; I probably would have asked someone to come hang out with me or insisted that my young'un stay downstairs (whether he like it or not). Maybe tried to get ALL the under-3 group downstairs playing a fun kiddo game? Recommended to the hostess that she put a kiddy gate up at the top for when you are there alone? Recommended to the hostess that she invite fewer ppl over? :001_smile:
  13. I have a just-turned-6yo ds that recently finished 1st grade work & will be starting 2nd grade next month - I just call him 2nd grade, because the only people I am talking to about it are interested more in his academic level than his age-grade. If I were doing something based on age, like an extracurricular activity, I would just give an age & not even give a grade. For instance, in Cubscouts he can only just now start as a Tiger in the Fall because he had to be 6yo (regardless of grade). In your case, I would (in my own mind) consider them 1st & either K or pre-K depending on progress. In homeschooling circles, that is also how I would refer to them. In extracurricular activities, I would just say how old they are. In fact, I probably wouldn't even have to - every activity I've been involved in just gives an age-range of eligible kids & the only time you might discuss it is if your child is under the age range but fully capable of doing the activity and you want to talk them into it. The only activity I can think of where it might have mattered is 4h - they told me my 8yo could have been in the "main" program IF he had been in 3rd grade at the beginning of the year (but he was in 2nd).
  14. Can I approach it from the other side, for a minute? It really ISN'T fair that he is willing to play their games most of the time & they aren't willing to play his ever. When my kids (ds6&ds8) have friends over, I try to let them self-entertain as often as possible. However, I still step in periodically to guide them (ALL of them, friends included) into playing fairly. For instance, they have a friend who comes over that REALLY wants to play inside with cars & doesn't particularly care for a lot of the games (extreme legos, outside play, bizarre & very creative hands-on games, etc) that my kids want to play. He does, however, very sweetly play along most of the time with what they choose. Sometimes, though, I will find him sitting alone in the living room playing cars - and I will tell my kids quite frankly & clearly that "John Doe has been playing your games for awhile & it would be very kind of you to play his games now. So, no more talking about X,Y, or Z or running off outside, ok?" and guide them to sit and play his games. On the flip side, they have another friend that comes over & ONLY wants to play with older ds8 and leaves little bro on the sidelines most of the time (not wanting to play this boys games). I allow them to do this to some extent, as long as ds6 is content & they are not being deliberately hurtful, but periodically I will again step in and guide them all into playing something that ds6 wants to play instead of just their own thing. At this age, I think that it is perfectly acceptable to step in as a parent and make sure that everyone is clear about what is considered kind and "friendly" behavior. I WANT my kids to be aware that all people are different from them and they should behave accordingly. They know that around "A" they can talk about certain TV shows but around "B" they shouldn't (because he isn't allowed to watch them & it makes him feel bad, for instance). They know that "A" would love to choose from 20 different games but "B" needs 1 or 2 things to do or he gets overly confused. I'm not sure what I would say in your situation directly to your son - maybe something along the lines of "You're right, that's not fair. Maybe next time "A" is here, we can set it up so that you play his game for 15 minutes & then he plays your game for 15 minutes, and then everyone takes a popsicle break." Then find a friend who has a specific "like" similar to your son (legos, building blocks, math games, whatever) and set up a play-date with that friend where you personally take a firm hand in directly small tidbits of play. Not to say that you dictate all, but you perhaps set up a very exact game (here, let us all sit down together & put this lego figure together from these instructions - I'll stay right here & assist as needed!) that lasts a short time. Rinse & repeat... I think it might work better for him to be a more one-on-one, deliberately set up "game", since it sounds more difficult for him to slide into a group of kids all doing something casual...
  15. I don't suppose the one sitting on the bed reading didn't feel good? I can almost picture a friend just telling her to run up & lie down on the bed for awhile until she felt better... and then once there flipping through a magazine while you chilled. No excuse for ripping a poster up, of course!
  16. :iagree: AND I would keep an eye on them to make sure there is no "weirdness" going on. It would be good to keep a general track of where they are, also! Our place is very big, so this can be hard - but the more kids there are (and the less trustworthy, depending on the kid) the more specific my rules & the more I tend to track things. I once had a number of friends & their kids over for a bday party and one of the oldest of the group (12yo boy) chose to wander off into the garage and use my dh's drill to drill into our garage wall (VERY close to an outlet, btw). I keep a much closer eye out, nowadays, and spell the rules out over & over every single time! :) "NO garage, NO tools, NO kids wandering by themselves", etc.
  17. Maybe she would enjoy a different genre? Horses, for instance: you should certainly try all the horse fiction books, the saddle club ones, the traditional favorites (Black Beauty, etc). You could also try books about horse care, horse raising, horse breeds. Maybe books about particular horses (Sea Biscuit), particularly ones that have movies associated with them. Veterinary care books, horse training, etc. ETA - I would take her to a nice bookstore someday (maybe even a used bookstore, if they still have those around) and just let you & her sit for a few hours & look at a variety of books. See what she glances at vs what she picks up & flips through. See what gets a few seconds vs a few minutes vs can't put down. No pressure, no "must pick xx", just "here are hundreds of books about subjects you may like - let's take a look!".
  18. Glad it went so painlessly!! Hopefully you'll have better luck this time around. I second a pp vote of rats - I've heard they make particularly hardy pets for kids wanting little critters; most of the others are just too prone to problems.
  19. Sounds perfect!! Don't buy something crazy expensive, since it is likely that what you buy won't be exactly what he wants - but the idea of buying him something special related to his hobby sounds just right to me! Just the knowledge that you are listening & aware & willing to go out on a limb has got to be beneficial.
  20. Blech. I mean, I know about them - my dh is on a healthy food kick, and he got them recently because they are supposed to be good for you in various ways. HE really likes them - particularly in things (he makes a coconut oil chocolate "bark" thing that he started to use them in). I think they are wretched - not sweet at all, weird texture, just not very tasty. They were alright in the bark. I wouldn't even consider giving it to my 6yo & 8yo as a snack - considering how picky they are, there is absolutely no way they would like them! :)
  21. We use Norton 360, and if I double click & open it there is an icon in the lower right corner that says "online family". If you click on that it gives you a place to either get more info & set it up or log in to your account. :)
  22. How about something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Catskill-Craftsmen-Video-Rack-Natural/dp/B002PY7PGG/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1338692211&sr=8-9 or this: http://www.amazon.com/Buddy-Products-Adjustable-Inches-0570-4/dp/B0013MYM6C/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1338692211&sr=8-14 I think you need to look for a book RACK rather than a book END - bookends that I've seen are all pretty much a variation on #2 (and I agree - they are a pain!). Unless they are SUPER heavy, the ones I've used all fall down. Maybe you could get something like this & cut the fronts off? It wouldn't be as strong, for sure, but it is cheap & might last a fair while if you are gentle... http://www.amazon.com/Bankers-Magazine-Holders-Letter-10723/dp/B000J09BKG/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1338692394&sr=8-14 These are cheap individually but don't hold as many - might depend on how many you get: http://www.amazon.com/Rubbermaid-96502ROS-Optimizers-Plastic-Magazine/dp/B00006IANT/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&qid=1338692462&sr=8-18
  23. Doesn't Sonlight have a forum specifically for their stuff? That would be a good 2nd place to check! :)
  24. Dh & I share, MIL & FIL share, 2 boys share. 6 people, 3 rooms. No probs... :)
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