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Sweet Home Alabama

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Everything posted by Sweet Home Alabama

  1. TexasMom, thank you for responding. I agree with you. Hoping the OP's chicken situation can be resolved. :) Quill, just be very cautious if you decide to try the red lamp.
  2. Last winter, we thought we would help our six grown chickens stay warm in their 4X8X8 coup by using a red heat lamp. (It is the same one we used with them when they were tiny chicks.) It made them start attacking each other! These are our first chickens, so I called my dad to ask him about what happened. Because he grew up on the farm he confirmed for us that the color red makes them aggressive. As soon as we removed the red light, they returned to normal behavior. I would be very concerned about using a red light.
  3. Jann, your brother and family are in my prayers. Isaiah 26:3 :grouphug:
  4. I have a few rambling thoughts on this subject. They might be worth reading, or not. :blushing: Just thought I'd put them out there in case it might help. This is my 13th year homeschooling. I graduated my oldest last May, and I have sons in 11th and 8th grades this year. I tried Apples and Pears which was wonderful while it lasted, but I didn't see long-lasting results. I tried How to Teach Spelling which looks very thorough. There are workbooks that go along with the teachers manual HTTS. This program is very rules/phonics based, but we got bogged down with this curriculum. I also used Spelling Power. I liked this to a degree, but I wanted to to group its word lists according to real spelling rules. I tried but disliked Megawords. This surprised me because it was so popular around here for a while. I never found a spelling program that really worked with my kids. Looking back, I wish I had simply used the words that they misspelled in their writing as their "spelling" words. Taking just a few words at a time like this focuses on the words they use most often and also keeps spelling class manageable. I totally realize the need to teach phonics. Yet, I'm not convinced that formal curriculum is always the way to go-at least in the beginning or for a struggling student. I think for a struggling student, small successes with just a word or two or three slowly over time might be more effective. This is very parent intensive- at least to begin with. Decoding is hard for some kids. Oh! I remember the very first spelling that I used with kids when they were in K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, grades.... Explode the Code. Now that was wonderful. It is for the very youngest grades, but the simplicity made learning easy. I think a previous poster has the right idea about using games. I really don't know about dyslexic games, but when she wrote about this it reminded me of music. I grew up with my mom teaching piano lessons. Some of her students could "hear" the difference between notes and hum a certain pitch. They could recognize if notes were trending higher or lower or louder/softer on the keyboard, etc... Other students could not distinguish differences like these. My mom would just consistantly play listening games with her students, and overtime, some of the ones who had trouble in the beginning would eventually make progress. I just wonder if similar decoding issues are true with spelling because some kids have trouble with spelling and others do not. Sometimes, time, practice, and maturity help with these and many other kinds of issues. I learned a highly valuable lesson about homeschooling when my kids and I began this adventure. I learned it the hard way, too. The lesson was "readiness". The lesson is simply this: If a student is READY (has the skills needed) to learn a certain thing, then learning will happen. If a student is not ready to learn a certain skill, if he does not have the necessary skill set in hand, he can't/won't learn. The parent can teach, teach, teach, followed by beating her head against a wall, followed by tears of frustration, but that student will not learn the lesson until he/she is "ready". Once I realized this, my homeschooling was a more effective and happy experience both for my children and for myself. Patience, time, love, and small successes along the way will help a beginning struggling speller. After this kind of TLC, you may be able to use a more formal curriculum. I realize that this is not at all the kind of answer the op asked for. I hope, however, this stream of thought from my experience in homeschooling will spark some encouragement.
  5. Ok... I'm going to share what we're planning. It's really different, but it fits my kid and our circumstances. Just a bit of background: My ds (16 yo) is going into 11th grade. He has always been fascinated with dinosaurs and biological wonders. He has always "studied" biology- he's wired to take life in from this viewpoint. To him, everything ties into biology somehow. He is an artist! He is never without a drawing pad and pencil. ALWAYS! He studied Conceptual Physics in 9th grade and Apologia Chemistry in 10th grade He thinks he wants to go into geology. If this pans out, I want him to take more science, and time is not on our side. He is going to do College Physics in 11th and an advanced chemistry (I wish I knew which one!) in 12th. He has not taken biology yet in high school, so I'm going to do half of biology in 11th and half in 12th. I know this sounds messy. It is what it is. So, this year, ds is going to use Thinkwell Biology CDs from Amazon as a spine. We'll cover half of the lesson plan this year and the other half in his senior year. He will take notes on the lectures. Then he will do a variety of activities to make the lecture material concrete in his mind. Things such as draw the ______ cycle, label the parts of ______, restate in your own words how _______ works. Answer end of chapter questions in _______ textbook. I have four secular biology books: Campbell's Biology 8th ed (I think), Campbell's Concepts and Connections (5th edition), Miller Levine Dragonfly, and Exploring the Way Life Works. He will use all of these books to get an overall feel for the concepts discussed in Thinkwell lectures. We are a Christian family, and I want ds to consider the Christian vs secular viewpoints. Based on Guest Hollow's suggestion, I have incorporated the Answers books. (I really dislike when Christian and secular scientists argue. It looks very childish.) However, these books will give ds a jumping off point for research. He will also Google search verses about Creation. This will become his Bible credit which is something our cover school requires. The notes and drawings ds will generate will go into a big 11x17 drawing book. It will be BEAUTIFUL when it is finished. It is called a BILL: Biology Illustrated Learning Log. See this website: http://www.thebiologyspace.com/home/For-Students/bill--the-biology-interactive-learning-log Also, I'm using Quarks biology lesson plans as a reference tool in conjunction with Thinkwell. She incorporates some videos and supplementary activities including labs. I don't really plan to test. Not in the traditional sense. Ds will show/tell what he is learning. I will expect his BILL to be done orderly and neatly. It may be helpful to note that Thinkwell is not an introductory biology. It can be used as AP. Because ds did a physics approach to science and because he is naturally biology-oriented, I wanted to kick biology up a notch. Also, the Thinkwell CDs from Amazon didn't automatically work on my computer. With much blood, sweat, and tears I figured out how to use them. I know this sounds strange. I won't try to explain except to say I had to use Windows Media Player to make them work. Using the CDs means I am only using the lectures on the CDs and NOT getting anything from the Thinkwell source. This also allows us to be able to take two school years to get biology done. It works for our needs. It may not be enough for others. I'm excited about biology. Doing it this way makes the course tailor-made for ds. It allows for him delving deeply into the concepts he is most interested in. Oh, I won't make him document every detail of the lectures. Only what he considers important or interesting. I want him to be proud of his BILL when biology is finished.
  6. I was glad to see this post this morning. I've most recently been considering joining FB. Our Scout troop uses it to keep in touch with member families. Also, colleges use it to communicate with parents, and I'm fairly certain we'll be facing this situation in the near future. I think it is inevitable that I'll need to join. BUT... I have concerns. I strongly dislike signing up for services that ask for personal information. (Dh handles the vast majority of this kind of thing. Yet the FB account would be mine, and I sort of feel like it would do me good to have the experience of signing up vs him signing me up.) Still, I feel like Big Brother would certainly be watching, and that feels very creepy to me. I read somewhere above about setting up a dummy account. What is this, and would this help ease my fears about joining FB? I would really appreciate comments directed at the privacy/Big Brother issues as well as the dummy account option. Thanks!!!
  7. Thanks again, everyone. I really appreciate your help! We bought the Dell from Best Buy that I linked to just a few minutes ago. Really hope it works well for her.
  8. We found this one. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/dell-inspiron-15-6-touch-screen-laptop-amd-a8-series-8gb-memory-1tb-hard-drive-gloss-black/4633609.p?id=1219783546056&skuId=4633609
  9. Thanks, everyone! Awesome suggestions. Here is some feedback: While dd is home, and she will be for freshman year, we have LIMITED internet at home. That means no Netflix, and only a little streaming. As for Mac, we've talked about that. Everything we have at home is Windows oriented. I mean everything.... (Well, dh's work phone is an iphone, and he hates it.) Switching to Mac is just not my dh's idea of fun, and he is the IT guy here. I just don't see us buying anything except Windows. We are members of Sams, but not Cosco. As for the Chromebook, I don't know a lot about them. I think they are mostly cloud based? I don't think that is what we want either, but thanks very much for the suggestion. So, still looking for Windows based and with an optical drive.....They are getting hard to find, unfortunately.
  10. The primary requirement: an (internal, built-in) optical drive. She loves to listen to CDs and watch DVD movies. Would prefer i7 or equivalent... AMD A8. 1T +/- is desirable. We're most used to Windows 7, but would consider more current technology. HP is OUT. Will not consider HP. Not sure what computer brands are most reliable now. My Lenovo Y570 is about 3 years old and has been wonderful, but I can't find one of these to buy for her.
  11. That's good to know.... I chose to go this route for two reasons.... we have limited internet service that isn't always dependable. I didn't want to HAVE to depend on internet for the online classes. Also, I want to take 2 years to do biology. I'm pairing biology with a full year of algebra-based physics in 11th grade and (if all goes according to plan) with an advanced chemistry in 12th grade. If I bought from Thinkwell, it would be way more expensive. I only paid $75 for these CDs. In some matter of speaking, you get what you pay for. :tongue_smilie:
  12. Thought I would post an update in case this ever helps anyone else. My Thinkwell CDs work now!!! Honestly, I'm not sure what happened. My dh downloaded VLC, but there was still no video motion when we tried to watch the Thinkwell CDs. He showed me that the videos could be watched (with complete motion :) ) through QuickTime or through VLC. Viewing this way, however, only showed the lecturer. When we did this, we could not see the entire presentation where the teacher shows notes. (The Thinkwell version has a 3-box area for viewing. One is for the actual lecturing. The other two show notes.) Oh, and we restarted the computer after downloading VLC..... that should have made a difference, right? Since I was facing using the videos through VLC, which I was SO thankful to have, I needed to be sure they were in the same order as the Thinkwell TOC from the CDs. That was becoming a chore. Most of them were in the right order, but some were not. I had been working on this job for several hours when I truly just happened to notice that the CD videos had full motion! Why it took a day or more to take effect, I have no idea. The important thing is that they are working! Andrea and Mark thanks for your help! ETA: Well, it's still a mystery. I sat down to plan biology and decided to check the videos. The video is static again. At least I know that they truly can work. Hopefully I'll be able to discover the trick. Would love some opinions to why they might work sometimes and not others.
  13. Thank you so much for the help, Andrea and Mark! Even though we can use the CDs as is, I really hope we can get the video working! :) My son tried to make it work yesterday, and dh will try later. Mark, we tried to download an update from the Thinkwell page. When we did, my CDs didn't work at all because they wanted me to register with a code. I tried to do this. I have an authorization code that came with my CDs. Yet, when we tried it, we got a message that it was invalid. The only thing we could do at that point was to uninstall the CDs and reinstall them. Then they worked again still without the video motion. I also tried two old computers, yet the computers themselves must be so messed up because neither of them worked enough for me to try the CDs. I have a QuickTime icon on my computer screen, so it looks like it's there. Seems like we need to update that? Given that the QuickTime and Multimedia names are on the Thinkwell box, that has to be a clue. Ultimately, I think the CDs are so old that they are not functioning on new equipment and even trying to run on the compatible 95, 98, 2000 versions, nothing changed. We're running out of ideas. Oh, I don't know if this would help, but since I can't register the CDs and use them that way, the other option is to click "Use offline". That's what we're doing. Do you see any red flags with that?
  14. I bought these Thinkwell Biology CDs from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Thinkwell-Biology-George-Wolfe-Next-Generation/dp/096783578X/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8 Technically, they work. But, the video does not flow. Instead there are static pictures. The audio is fine. The logos for macromedia and quicktime are on the back of the box. I'm just wondering if the problem has to do with these. I went to Thinkwell's webpage and found a way to upgrade, but that didn't work. I'm not actually purchasing their curriculum for $150. When I tried this upgrade, the CDs stopped working, and I had to uninstall and reinstall them. How do I make my CD video "flow"? Become animated? We could use them as is, but seeing movement REALLY makes a difference! Help! :)
  15. Ladies, thank you for the inspiration. Honestly, I just found out there were responses to my post. Earlier today I knew when it moved to the second page without responses. I figured it was a silly thing to ask. I wasnt going to bump it back up.Thanks for sharing about your at-home jobs. I'm going to look into the Web pages mentioned. One other thing that has crossed my mind... (This will sound so obvious, I know). I do watch for sales for things we normally buy, but I wonder what I could do (like couponing) to save money that would amount to an outside part-time income. Oh, it would require a lot more than just couponing, but the idea of finding significant ways to save that would feel like having more income. Thoughts?
  16. Our oldest graduated high school this year, and I'll only have two in school next year- 11th and 8th grades. It would be wonderful to have a job that I could do from home as our children graduate high school and start college. I'm just not sure what kinds of jobs would allow me to do this. My undergraduate degree was in psychology and my graduate degree was in elementary education, but my teaching certificate is LONG expired. I am not desiring full-time employment. I would just like to help boost family finances. I still want to be available to my boys while they are homeschooling. I almost hate asking about this. It sounds sort of unrealistic to me. I would consider actually leaving the house for certain part-time work. Certainly tutoring would be an option. Not sure how to go about getting that started. I do not want to work retail or anything like that. I need work to be flexible as I would consider being a mom and homeschooler the priority. Any ideas?
  17. I'll second NCFCA. I don't know how close they are to you, but it is a great organization! We've been involved with this group for the last two years. When tournament time rolls around from January through May, you can get fatigued if you participate in more than one. Even one tournament can be tiring. Just be prepard for this.
  18. Wow, ladies, thanks! I had to run some errands and have been away for a couple of hours. I'll check these suggestions out.
  19. This board moves so FAST! :) Bumping back up...
  20. Thanks, ladies! I appreciate all of your suggestions! Pawz4me, the crib mattress idea is awesome. I would never have thought of that. Keep the ideas coming! :)
  21. Our current dog is the second one to use the dog bed we have. She has torn the cover with her claws when she dreams. Also, the insert absolutely stinks. She loves to swim in the creek, and even though we wipe her down almost dry, the stink is unavoidable. She is a long-haired golden retriever mix, so she's a big dog. The bed she is using came from LLBean about 18 years ago. I could get another one from them- I have coupon dollars that would help offset the cost, thankfully! I would also consider others. I would like a bed that has a washable cover and a waterproof/odorproof insert. Our dog is about 80 pounds, and her bed is about 2'x3'....so rather large. Would you all make suggestions for dog beds that I can research? Keeping the cost down is a benefit, of course, but getting one that is of good quality that will last is too. Thanks so much! ETA: The cover needs to be durable because of the hard dreaming our dog does. Keeping our dog's nails trimmed is a must because the dreaming. Our first dog had doggy dreams, but she never "ran" so hard in her sleep as this dog does! It is unbelievable how active this dog is in her sleep.
  22. Jane, we followed the syllabus that Dr. Hardin printed in the Parent Companion (I think). It is in one of the books, anyway. We did all the text except the anatomy/physiology chapters. Also, we only read/discussed the creation/evolution chapters. I would have prefered to do the entire book as written for all discussion and tests,but we saw early on that it would take more time than we had in our school year to do that at the rate we were working through the text. I have not seen any other syllabus for this course. I know that The Potters School uses this text for pre-AP Biology. I don't think they show the syllabus on their site, but you could email the teacher(s) to ask questions. I've done this before for classes I was interested in. They are generally very helpful.
  23. Please review this course for me. Ds would be taking Alg. II at the same time. Is this ok? He has been talking about geology as a major which is heavier on chemistry and physics than biology, so I'm changing gears. He completed the first Apologia Chemistry book in 10th grade this year. For the moment, I'm thinking we'll do this (or something similar) for 11th, and an algebra-based physics in 12th. (He used Hewitt's Conceptual Physics in 9th). I'm also thinking about spanning biology over 11th and 12th so that we work that in. Along with other college-prep courses we're planning, this will be a really full schedule for ds. He'll have Alg II in 11th and hopefully pre-cal in 12th. For the moment, I need feedback on Apologia Advanced Chemistry. If not this, what? You all know that I don't want to teach science! ;) I don't think BJU chemistry gives us the taste of AP. I'm not trying to necessarily do an all out AP class. I think ds needs more of an honors level. I think doing AAC at home would be a good balance.
  24. 8, are you using anything else with Thinkwell? I can't depend on using the online version. This is one reason that I'm trying to pair it with something else.
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