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La Condessa

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Everything posted by La Condessa

  1. My sister has a college degree in genealogy, and my mom has gotten really into it, too. A few years ago I came for a visit and somewhat skeptically joined them working at it, because it was what they really wanted to do. It was awesome! It’s like a big treasure hunt, poring over old documents, trying to decipher the “code†(mix of German and Latin written in the old Gothic alphabet). And you can grow to feel so connected to the people you “discoverâ€â€”I especially do to one family who had 14 children, and only three of them survived to adulthood. Every few years the plague would come through and kill two or three of their kids. Of the survivors, one became the local priest, my direct line grandma immigrated to America, and one brother settled down in the same town and had fourteen children of his own. I guess they had to be that prolific just for the family to make it from one generation to the next. I also have a grandmother who has been an avid genealogist for many decades, so we know a ton about our family history on that side. I’m a direct decendent of Eleanor of Aquitaine through John Lackland. And a Hessian mercenary in the Civil War who defected and stayed in the US. And a pair of very wealthy plantation owners in the 1800s South who met the Mormon missionaries, converted, set all their slaves free, and headed off in a covered wagon to the Rocky Mountains.
  2. Those in AU or the UK, do you foresee illegal guns becoming more of a problem in your countries as they are rapidly becoming easier and cheaper to make at home? Or do you think that the very rareness of firearms in your countries will help the police to stay on top of finding and destroying these weapons?
  3. The LDS church has family history centers all over where you can use Ancestry.com for free. They also have volunteers to help if you want.
  4. I think it really depends what your state’s legal requirements for private schools are. There were some homeschool moms who formed a private school in the town south of here many years ago, and it’s still going strong. (But a normal teachers-teach-the-kids-on-location school, not teaching at home). They were religious homeschoolers whose #1 goal was to keep their kids out of the bad public schools, and they kept having other parents ask if they could pay them to homeschool their children, too. They make good money running their little Christian school out of a church during the week, but I know they have to follow certain rules from the state, like kids must be on campus for a certain number of hours per day. Private schools regulations vary from state to state as much as homeschooling regulations do. I know that the private school requirements are simpler in CA than here. My kids are enrolled with a public charter that gives us homeschooling money, and we prove “attendance†by providing lesson plans and a work sample each week. These schools are uncommon in my state, but they got their unconventional (for here) methods approved. Technically, my kids are public school students in a town on the other side of the state, where they fund their tiny rural school with the excess funds from the charter school students. (Win-win as far as I’m concerned). I’ve been toying with the idea of trying to start a similar charter here—that model could save our struggling schools, for which the local population votes down every funding measure. It just looks like so much work to get it set up, though, that I don’t know if I can simultaneously manage all that and homeschooling my own kids in the manner I want.
  5. I followed a similar concept, but with weekly dividers in binders. It was a big bother to be constantly adjusting subjects forward and back as the kids grasped some concepts more quickly or slowly than planned for. Now I still prepare all the worksheets similarly, but I have them organized by subject in order of use. I just transfer over approximately a few weeks’ worth of pages to the kids’ binders whenever that subject is getting low, and this allows me to have the ease of the advance prep that the file system allows while still allowing the flexibility for my kids to move at their own paces.
  6. I don't bother with the workbook, unless a kid seems to need extra practice on a particular subject. The workbook contains lots of simple repetition of the concepts covered in the textbook, so I use it for only things they don't seem to get yet after covering the textbook. The IP books practice the same concepts, but in more interesting ways that take things a step further. My kids do Singapore Textbook, IP and CWP and Beast, but we will shorten and skip things from Singapore when it isn't offering anything new or challenging--often if it is a topic that BA has touched on, we will skip the textbook entirely and sections from IP where the questions are fairly repetitive. Occasionally they will do only CWP for a chapter. We've never needed to skip anything from BA, because even when the math subjects are review, the questions always offer something interesting or different about the way it is applied to stretch their brains.
  7. Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and of course, the best ever: The Hobbit ETA: the trilogy Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, and Dragondrums and the Enchanted Forest Chronicles: Dealing with Dragons, Searching for Dragons, and Calling on Dragons
  8. No, 5 is slated for some time this summer. 3 & 4 are April, and 2 is supposed to be sometime around or shortly after the level 2 books are all out. Dd1 is halfway through 4, so I was figuring roughly from next school year.
  9. I think I saw a while ago they were saying you could do memberships by the year or by the month.
  10. I didn't say I thought it was unreasonable--Beast Academy is so awesome, they could charge whatever they want--just that it is untenable for my family.
  11. My kids have been super excited. I've been wondering how much to set aside from our charter funds to pay for it. On their facebook page, BA said that a year of BA online will be roughly equivalent to one year of books--but I was thinking per family, and it sounds like that is per kid (though they may offer a small sibling discount). Ugh. Oldest dd has another year of BA, and youngest son will have one or two years before he's ready for it. We've all been looking forward to it, but that would add up very fast--maybe $1200+ over the next five years or so? For an addendum to a $400+ (4 year) curriculum I've already purchased? That's just not going to be a possibility. They're going to be so disappointed. :(
  12. Ds2 has dictated: AAR is begun and he has started self-directed piano with Hoffmann
  13. I second the Dragon Box apps. Also, Reading Raven 1 and 2 are great fun and real learning for phonics. And Letter School is great.
  14. What about letting her finish up the year with WTM Academy AOPS Pre-Algebra? (Do they let students transfer in mid-way?) It's supposed to be slower and gentler than doing it through AOPS.
  15. La Condessa


    I have two who have used/are using OPGTR and two who are using AAR. OPGTR is simple, straightforward, and complete. You don't need to do anything else after it; the one book covers all levels of phonics. I love it. It's just my style. It has worked great for my dd1 and ds1, turning them into very strong readers. AAR is more fun, with all it's activities, but also takes a lot more time and a lot of work (for the kid, and also for the parent to prep everything). All levels are necessary. It has lots of pieces to keep track of. It costs an arm and a leg. And it works--for everyone, even kids for whom reading is a particular challenge, or who need kinesthetic learning to retain, or who are dyslexic. It is not my style at all. I hate all the fiddly little bits to keep in order, but I love it because it works, and has gotten my dyslexic daughter over the hump to where she is actually reading independently now, finally. Because is is so fun and incremental, and because I have it on hand from getting it for my dd2, I have started teaching my ds2 with it as well. I would not have bought such an expensive program just for him without an indicated need, but since we had it anyways, he is very much enjoying it. ETA: when I said that all levels of AAR are necessary, I meant levels 1 through 4. The pre-level is not necessary.
  16. I also have a little boy who is quite precocious at reading music and for whom the motor skills are much more hard won. I don't think there's anything wrong with letting an interested kid read music. Most kids are capable of developing the ability to play by ear younger than they are capable of learning to read music, so suzuki allows them to make progress in learning music through the channels they are developmentally ready for. Just like SWB encourages separating the skills of reading, handwriting, and dictating narrations instead of tying their progress together. But just because many kids are ready to learn to read before they are ready to learn to write doesn't mean that there is something wrong with letting the kid who is ready to learn to write first progress in their area of strength.
  17. I have a young cellist, but he's not as far along as yours. My ds5.5 started cello this October (he had to wait a year until we got into a charter to pay for his lessons), and is not taking the Suzuki route as there is no Suzuki cello teacher here. However, I've done some suzuki violin teaching (mostly my own kids, but a few friend's children, too), and the best thing I've found for helping little kids whose intonation and musicality lag behind their other skills is to continue to allow them to advance while continuously working on those things with their daily review of easier songs they already know well. My 2nd dd particularly could play the advancing songs, but she didn't sound very good for the same reasons. She just didn't care if her intonation was spot-on, or if her bow strayed too near the bridge, etc. We got past that by giving her a gummy bear "audience". I would line up six gummy bears to "watch", and we would pick one specific thing--I started with playing too near the bridge. And during her review songs (when she did not need to divide her attention between how to play and what to play), I would watch her bow and pop a gummy bear into my mouth each time she let the bow go too near the bridge. After her review was done, she got the rest of the gummy bears. I had been trying to work with her on her bowing for months. Suddenly, she had a reason to care about her bowing, and once she cared to try, she established the habit within about a week or two. Same thing with her intonation--but only one finger at a time. I watched that first finger like a hawk until the habit was well established, then added another finger, etc. If they just don't care themselves, sometimes you need to give them an external motivation. But I would not stop his progress in learning new songs. You can take it slowly by devoting less practice to new songs and more to review while working on those skills, but there is little more discouraging in learning an instrument than feeling like you are treading water and not allowed to learn anything new in your areas of strength because you have an area of weakness. Sometimes when I have had a child who was not ready for the next step in the Suzuki books, I have needed to step outside the Suzuki sequence of songs to allow them to keep the fun and motivation of learning new songs while having more time to shore up their skills. My preferred books for this are the "Strings, Fun and Easy" series--it looks like they have a cello line of books, too, though I don't know if they go far enough to be the right level for your son or not. http://stringsfunandeasy.com/shop/
  18. I found this quote in an old thread, and wanted to find out more for my sil who lives there. Rather than resurrecting a zombie thread, I thought I'd just start a new one. "There's something available in Idaho, too, but I can't remember what it's called. There is some oversight and you get a sum of money per year per child to use on curriculum and other educational things, like the pp said, ballet, karate, etc. I looked into it, and it's really not a lot of hoops to jump through. . ." What is this called? Is it a charter, or some other kind of program? I tried googling, but wasn't finding anything.
  19. dd1 (4th) Math: Singapore 5 and BA5. If we finish those with more time, I think we'll do just Challenging Word Problems from Singapore 6. I'm also looking forward to Beast Academy Online coming out, and incorporating that into our schooling. English: Finish MCT Town, maybe start Voyage. R&S Spelling 4/5. She'll be done with our handwriting curriculum, so I think typing and/or calligraphy. Logic: Logic Liftoff Latin: Online class, don't know which option yet. German?: She's started asking to learn. I haven't decided what to do about this yet, as this has been dd2's "thing" this year, and I think it has been good for her to have an area she is proud of where she is not overshadowed by her siblings' accomplishments. Of course, dd2 would be the knowledgeable one that had a year on dd1 in the subject--at least at first. Hmm. Music: Piano lessons. She has also begun dabbling in violin; I'm not sure if this will grow to a full second instrument subject or not. dd2 (2nd) Math: Singapore 3B/4A and BA3. English: AAR 3/4, AAS 3/4, slowly introduce MCT Island. Calligraphy as she loves handwriting, and will have completed Pictures in Cursive. German: Skype tutor. Music: Violin, and continue self-directed piano with Hoffmann Academy. ds1 (1st) Math: Singapore 2 and BA2/3 English: Finish off OPGtR if he hasn't yet. R&S Spelling 2. HWOT K/1. Considering including him with MCT Island. Music: Cello lessons, and continue self-directed piano with Hoffmann Academy. ds2 (pre-K) Math: Singapore 1 English: Phonics, either OPG or AAR. HWOT K/maybe 1. Music: Violin with Mom. All: History: SOTW4 Science: Combination of Mystery Science, BFSU2, and possibly science fair again. P.E.: Probably all 4 will do soccer in the Fall, and something else (probably T-ball for boys, ? for girls) in the Spring.
  20. I just searched online. I googled for homeschool charter oregon, and then read through lots and lots of different pages. It was on a mommy blog that I found a list of charters that work with homeschoolers and what degree of control they allow. There were several that chose your curriculum for you or allowed you to pick from a short list. The one we signed up with was the only one with total freedom, including being allowed to use curriculum from religious publishers (we just can't use the school funds for religious curriculum; we have to pay for it ourselves).
  21. We are in a charter that provides funds for educational activities. These are way more common in some states than others, but if you search, you might be able to find something. There are very few in my state, so we were on the wait list for a year and a half before we got in, but it's been awesome for my kids to be able to do things like cello lessons and German tutoring since then.
  22. Ds5.5 is finishing Singapore 1a and doing Beast Academy 2a, working through OPG and reading picture books independently and Harry Potter with a parent, just finished HWOT's pre-K level, cello lessons, piano independently with Hoffmann, working on a science fair project on how people's pulses change when listening to different kinds of music, working with charcoals in art class, SOTW 3, and just finishing BFSU 1. These last three are done as a group with older sisters, and he usually, but not always, chooses to participate. We could be said to be "unschooling" kindergarten, in that it's all optional/kid-directed. I just make the time and materials available--though we do have an agreement in place that if we provide the cello lessons he wants, he will do the practice, and I have sometimes reminded him that if he doesn't keep his end of the agreement, our end is void. Also, I will occasionally make him do a little handwriting practice if he hasn't done any in a week or so.
  23. We met most of my last year's goals, so that's really nice to see, since I've honestly been feeling like I limped through most of 2017. Goals for 2018: DD almost 9: Reignite her special interest in ancient myth and language, as I feel my struggling, just-get-the-work-done attitude about school this past year has really hurt her love of those subjects. I need to make it fun again, or I think she won't want to do it any more, and she'll loose something that she loved. Mostly continue on as we have been in writing and math, but look for more outside activities/competitions she can participate in, as she really enjoys them and finds them motivating. Also, work with her on helping her set up a candy vending machine "business". DD7: Finally get her reading independently. Honestly, at this point, she's capable. But it takes her a lot of work, and she thinks that she can't do it. (We finally figured out this past year that she is compensating for dyslexia, and she has made slow and steady progress since adjusting teaching methods accordingly.) Also, continue to look for ways in which she can shine out of her siblings' shadows--German has been great for this. Calligraphy might be a good thing for this, too, as she enjoys handwriting--she has amazing cursive and will finish our full handwriting curriculum in a few months at most. DS5.5: Continue to hang on for dear life as he sets the pace in reading and math, while nudging him forward in handwriting. Continue to work on developing self-control and consideration for others. He has made some progress on dealing with his temper, but has a long way to go. Also, give him more opportunities to do sports. DS3.75: Give him the preschool time he needs to move forward at his own pace for math and violin. Potty train! Start phonics at some point. Don't forget cuddles and picture books. Oldest three together: Participate in a science fair. Enjoy school. Me: Don't let seasonal depression leach my motivation and our homeschool's fun.
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