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Everything posted by jamijoy

  1. We have five kids, ages 4-12 and no, we don't have double of anything. We might fix plates differently than other families though. Dh and I sit next to each other on one end with all of the serving dishes on our end of the table. I keep all of the plates in a pile at my place rather than have them set at each place before meals. Dh and I dish out the food for everyone except my 12 year old's food (he sits next to me and can reach the food) and pass their plates to them. That includes any buttering or syrup or anything like that as well as cutting their food up if needed. Salt and pepper could be passed to our older kids, but they don't really care for it. If a child wants seconds on something that needs a condiment, we will pass it down for them to do it themselves, depending on what it is. (real maple syrup they don't get to do on their own (too expensive and they tend to pour too much); butter, pb, jam, etc. the older kids (8, 10 & 12) can do on their own, sometimes our 5 year old as well. We don't seem to spend a lot of time or trouble passing items, so it doesn't seem that we need double of items. That's just more for us to put on the table and clear off the table and store, lol. We will see how it goes as everyone gets older and capable of doing things themselves, but since I don't think our family will grow in number, I don't think we will need to double up in the future either.
  2. We bought our family Seven Wonders for Christmas this year and it's a huge hit for us also. We ended up watching You Tube videos to figure out how to play it though because we didn't quite get the instructions. We bought Ticket to Ride last year for Christmas for our family and it is still played quite often. I bought the alien and dinosaur expansion pack this year for Christmas and that has added some more fun to it. Another favorite is Journeys of Paul. Those three games get played the most in our home.
  3. No, I would not spend $500 on Tamiflu. No way.
  4. We use Singapore (workbooks only) though level 6B grade and then switch to Saxon for Algebra and beyond.
  5. I understand what you're saying. Florida has free pre-kindergarten and it's five days a week. I am also in MOPS and my dd5 was sad when her friends stopped coming last year because they started going to school everyday at 4 years old. She got over it once our co-op started and she had her own "school" class with other friends. I still take her to MOPS and she's five now, but she's fine with playing with all the 3 year olds since my other dd is 3. There are not any kids there older than 3 except for her though so I can see how you lost a lot of playmates for your dd once other kids her age started preschool. We attended a large co-op in Texas and they started a new rule one year where you had to have a school-aged kid to participate in co-op. There were so many preschoolers there and some of them had school aged siblings in the public schools and the parents brought only their preschoolers to the co-op, so it was pretty obvious that there were no plans to homeschool these kids. I'm not exactly sure why the rule was needed, maybe because the preschool classes were so large with those kids added in also? I don't get why your local group would do that with the support group though. There are many families in ours that have both school aged and preschool aged kids, myself included. I don't see how it would hurt to include those with only preschool-aged kids unless the group participation was just so big that it was hard to take everyone who wanted to participate on field trips. They may have their reasons though. I don't think the support that homeschool groups provide is only for educational related issues. I don't have much trouble with that part of homeschooling. It's the adult conversation that I crave from homeschool support groups, especially when my dh is deployed. ...being able to talk with other women for a break to spending everyday, all day with my dear children. You are right though, all of your friends with kids your age are not in that situation because they sent their preschoolers off to school, so you have to find support for that somewhere else. As much as I love MOPS and other preschool aged groups we've been too, the majority of the moms there don't understand why I don't put my 4 year olds and older in school.
  6. My children are on the other end of the spectrum. My 2nd grader spends about 10-15 minutes on Singapore 2B. My 4th grader spends about 15-20 minutes on Singapore 4A. They also both do math facts practice in the form of a worksheet of problems or an iPad game for about five minutes. My 7th grader spends about 35-50 minutes on Saxon Algebra 1. They typically don't dawdle and are pretty bright in math. A question out of curiosity, why do some of you use more than one math curriculum? We used only Singapore for my oldest until 6B and then switched to only Saxon and he aced the math portion of the CAT standardized test last year, so I feel like what they are doing is enough. But at the same time, I am a homeschool mom, so I do second guess myself sometimes. :001_smile:
  7. We are on our 6th year using My Father's World. We are in the 5th year of the history cycle and have used their kindergarten program three times and are using the first grade program for the third time. I really would be surprised if we ever used anything else. I have three kids in the history cycle right now, plus one using the first grade program and one three year old. (ages 12, 10, 7, 5.5 & 3 so not quite as challenging as your ages I'm guessing) My kids have pretty much always enjoyed the Bible, history and science books and activities that they include in the program (as do I). I have been able to easily adjust the level of work required with reading book basket books and the writing required for different grade levels. The daily grid format is a saving grace for me and is one of the best parts of the program. I follow it pretty closely for most everything. The exceptions would be art (God and the History of Art) and music. We read the art history from God and the History of Art but haven't done the drawing lessons since the second year we used it. The music cd biographies usually get skipped until the end of the year and I hurry and do them all. My kids don't really care for them but if you can't tell, they might be influenced a bit by me. :o My three middle kids have all learned to read using the kindergarten and first grade programs with no supplements other than extra crafts sometimes. I have heard that some people think it is "not enough" but it is short and gentle while to the point. It has worked for my kids with different learning styles. I have not gotten to the high school program yet (my oldest is in 7th grade) but I have seen success stories on the MFW message boards at their website. I actually have not tried any other curriculum because MFW is such a good fit for my family.
  8. I think I've got everything decided now: Bible: Awana Trek, *A Young Person’s Guide to Knowing God, *Tales of Persia, *Trial and Triumph, *In God We Trust Math: Saxon Algebra 1 History: *My Father's World 1850-Modern Times Science: Apologia General Science Language Arts: Progeny Press (Johnny Tremain, Swiss Family Robinson), All-in-One English, Writing Strands 4, Letter Writing Vocab: *English from the Roots Up Vol. 2 Art: *Draw and Write Through History, *Home Art Studio, Co-op Class Music: *Introduction to U.S. Composers CDs (Foster, Sousa, and Gershwin), *America’s Favorite Patriotic Songs Foreign Language: Florida Virtual School Spanish Logic: The Fallacy Detective, Perplexors: Level A & B PE: Co-op Class, Football Extras: Survival Skills (Co-op), Dance Mat Typing *combined with siblings We have our co-op on Friday mornings for three hours for about nine weeks where he'll be in p.e., art, and survival skills classes for the fall semester. I'm not sure what spring classes will be offered but I count these as fun extras anyways. This will be our first time using the Florida Virtual School (for Spanish). If it's a good experience, we'll likely use them for more elective classes in the future for as long as we live in Florida. I'm also having him read the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings books this summer and school year and MFW schedules several read-aloud books that we read throughout the year.
  9. My oldest son who just completed 6th grade used PLL for two years and ILL for three years (so all five years he used them). I haven't supplemented at all. He did a standardized test this year (he's only taken one one other time, two years ago) and he got above average (about 70%) on the test (no test prep for anything so it is truly just from PLL and ILL). I think I second guess using it every year because it is not what I am used to (though after five years, I should be used to it by now!) and I think maybe something else would be more exciting but I always end up sticking with it because I know the reasoning makes sense for MFW not recommending a grammar workbook every single year. Anyways, it wouldn't hurt to supplement, but I haven't found a need to.
  10. Another family with a positive review for Adventures. We used it for our first year of homeschooling (2nd grade) and thought it was really fun. We were also using MFW Kinder and both my kindergartner and my three year old wanted to do a lot of the things from Adventures. In fact, we liked it so much that we've stuck with MFW for five years now.
  11. We will be doing: math review using computer and iPad games four times a week continue writing letters to family once a week read aloud books read alone books lots of swimming (p.e., right?) We will also be listening to our composer biography cd's that we didn't get to during this school year but that will likely be on our two road trips we are planning.
  12. We've had a trampoline for about four years. It has a net and I allow 4 kids on at a time but not little kids with big kids. There are no flips or other fancy jumps allowed and we've never had a major injury but my kids are on that thing nearly everyday getting energy out. When our home insurance company approved us in our current home with the trampoline and then came back and said it was a mistake and we had to get rid of the trampoline, we switched to another insurance company instead. We also have a pool with a safety gate around it and have rules that my kids and their friends follow. I feel like we use common sense and my children are obedient as to our rules and we make sure their friends are also. However, my oldest son broke his hand when he tripped over his sister while playing tag in the front yard. He also split his forehead open on a camping trip when he tripped over a curb, hitting his head on a step and had to get 12 stitches. Those are the major injuries we've had over 12 years with five kids. (And I guess my oldest isn't the most agile boy, but he gets that from me.) We are pretty active and try to stay safe while still doing things we think are fun. We have had to replace our trampoline net twice because the sun dries it out so bad in the south that it tears easily, and we did only let one kid jump at a time (and no friends) in the few days we were waiting on the new net. If you get one, set rules, use a net, and that will likely reduce the chance of an injury I guess.
  13. I voted for takinis because that is what I wear most of the time and also what I buy my girls, ages 3 and 4, probably because that's what I wear. Their bellies can show; mine can not. I'm not sure what I'll think when they get older, but I'm thinking we'll try to stay with takinis. I grew up in south Florida and I remember being in middle school, trying to impress guys by walking around in my bikini. My experiences shape the way I parent and I was not a very good girl growing up so I tend to overcompensate with my parenting in the opposite way I was parented. (Yes, I know my children will be exposed to 'real' life one day, but it's a good thing if it's not as young as I was.) Anyways, we live in Florida, just minutes from the gulf beach, plus we have a pool, so from April until November-ish, my kids are in swim suits nearly everyday. Since we are on the gulf, the waves aren't as bad as the Atlantic coast in my experience. My boys wear swim shirts sometimes (it's up to them and it cuts down on sun screening time and cost) and they don't have a problem with swimming in them even though they are not tight. If they didn't hang them up to dry, they'll go without the next time. And my general rule is if the waves are big enough for surfing, we won't be going to that beach. Luckily, there is a barrier island here so we can swim at the sound beach which has virtually no waves even when the "big" beach does. I wear a takini with a skirted bottom and don't normally have a problem with it staying in place. Water parks are another issue...if I don't wear a one piece, there's no telling what I'll be showing off to onlookers when I've gone down some of those fast water slides. My boys also wear swim shirts (rash guards) for three reasons...we're there all day usually and it's better sun protection, it's skin protection on the water slides without tubes (they hurt sometimes!), and they all have bright turquoise swim shirts so I can spot them easily. I don't mind seeing others at the beach in bikinis...if I did, it'd be a big problem since we're there so much. What I do mind is a group of young women/older teens having a booty shaking contest in their skimpy bikinis as I'm walking by with my three sons and father in law last summer. Yuck and embarrassing.
  14. They had Algebra 1 Honors in 8th grade when I was there 15 or so years ago.
  15. Thanks for your reply. I didn't ever do the Saxon placement test for him, and now I wish I had. I feel like I just wasted a year of math. Bummer. I already started having him alternate doing two lessons a day one day (without the Mixed Practice) and then a day of one lesson with the Mixed Practice. Not recommended, I know, but he's pretty bored with the book and this is suiting him better.
  16. My son completed Singapore 6A/6B in 5th grade and I moved him to Saxon 8/7 this year for 6th, per recommendations that our main curriculum, MFW, gave. Through pretty much his whole math education over the years, he has done math on his own, either figuring out how to do it without instruction or reading the lesson himself to learn how (although I do tell him it's better to read through every lesson even if he thinks he knows how to do it). If he has ever asked me for help, he shoos me away after I get to the part he didn't quite get...so within a minute. LOL Anyways, someone recently told me that if he did Singapore 6A/B, he didn't need to do Pre-Algebra but move right to Saxon Algebra 1. Is this true? It has all come easily to him this year, but it does every year, so that didn't concern me. If this is correct, I'll kick myself for having him do both and will never tell him or he'd hold it against me forever. :lol: While he does very well at math, some days he still complains about how long it takes to do. Or maybe I don't want to know...we only have ten weeks left of Saxon 8/7. I could count it as a year of review? Ughhh.
  17. My 6th grader: History: MFW Exploration to 1850 (Story of the World 3, George Washington's World and Exploring American History are the main history texts plus note booking, maps, and state info sheets and read-alouds) Science: Apologia Botany w/Notebooking Journal (for spring semester; we did a study on animals in the fall) Bible: Copying and discussing the book of James this year, Boy Have I Got Problems and Awana memorization Math: Saxon 8/7 English: Intermediate Language Lessons Writing: Writing Strands 4, Friday Family Letters Vocab: English from the Roots Up (review of Vol. 1) Spelling: Spelling Power (started the year with it anyways; he's a natural speller so we've sort of given it up for now) Art: God and the History of Art 2, Draw Write Now, Draw and Write through History Music: Composer biographies and music on CD Co-op: Elective type classes (science based this semester...science in the kitchen, science outdoors and science build-it are the class titles) History: 3-5 days a week Science: 2-3 days a week Bible: 5 days a week Math: 5 days a week English: 3 days a week Writing: 3 days a week Vocab: 1 day a week Spelling: on a hiatus :) Art: 2-3 days a week Music: 1 day a week Co-op: 1 day a week for 8 weeks per semester We spend about 2 1/2-3 hours straight doing school per day, math taking up about a third of it and Friday being a very light school day.
  18. If the question is asked when my kids are by themselves and not socializing with other people, then maybe it's valid. If they are actively playing (socializing) with other children in front of the person who asked the question, then it's obvious that that person didn't think about whether the question was valid before he/she asked it and maybe was just making conversation to gain more insight into homeschooling or to just make conversation period, which I am fine with. Sometimes I feel like I have to be defensive when asked that question though, which does get annoying sometimes. I just have to remind myself not to care what others think I guess. While the question may be valid with some families, it's not for the majority (or really any) that I know. If you're seeing homeschoolers out and about, it's likely because their parents don't lock them away in their house and keep them from socializing. Either way, if a parent doesn't want their children to socialize with most other children, that's their decision. While my kids are around other kids besides their siblings all the time, sometimes I'd like to keep them home more so they don't pick up the bad attitudes and behavior that they see other kids display. Not that they couldn't come up with it on their own :glare: (thinking of my 12 year old son here). Edited to add: I agree with an above poster that if we ask, "What do you mean by that?", it would be easier to know just what they want to know.
  19. We are using MFW Kinder for the third time and love it. I've taught two kids to begin to read using it which is proof to me that it is "enough" even though it's not a lot of seat work. If your child learns well and doesn't stall over school work, it won't even take an hour most days. I used the first edition for two children and am using the newer edition now and do like its set-up better, but the first one is still great if you end up doing that one instead. As for deluxe, we use the Cuseneirre (sp?) rods regularly and we use the dinosaur book, ant hill and butterfly house also. I have every intention of using the classical music cd but that doesn't get done very often. I started reading "For the Children's Sake" but never finished it. The literature kit is nice to have also if you don't want to piece it together yourself and don't have a great library.
  20. I voted regular clothes, but it's probably about 75% of the time regular clothes and 25% of the time pajamas. The kids in pull-ups at night (three youngest) get dressed every morning since they have to take the pull-up off, but I usually have to tell them/help them. My oldest gets dressed without being told to, makes his bed, keeps his room tidy...things no one else in our house does. :confused1: My 2nd ds and I are the most likely to be found in our pajamas until the afternoon if we haven't gone out at all that day. We never wear our pajamas in public though, and again, it's really just 1 or 2 times a week. :001_smile: I do brush my girls' hair everyday though.
  21. It wouldn't bother me. My dh and ds have the same first name. We decided on the name Matthew for our 2nd ds and before he was born, it registered to me that dh's sister's longtime boyfriend's name was Matt and maybe they'd like to use that name. They weren't married at the time but we all thought they would be one day. I asked if she knew if she was planning to use that name and she told me that she wasn't, that she had another name in mind. They got married, she changed her mind, and they named their son after the dad, Matthew, but he goes by his middle name. I don't mind at all, and probably still wouldn't if he went by Matthew. It'd be a little confusing, but they are eight years apart. My b-i-l, Matt, always mentions what a cool name that my son Matthew has. :coolgleamA: We named my youngest dd Anna and I never even thought about how dh's step-mom, who we have a great relationship with, is named Annie. We didn't name our dd after her at all (our kids came up with it), but she might think that maybe because we have named all of our kids after someone in our family (middle names). If anyone cares, it's all one-sided on them, because we picked names we like and are happy with them and don't care what others choose for their own kids. :)
  22. DS(11): Air Hogs remote control helicopter with battle thing here (I paid about half what it's listed at!) & Lego Dino set DS(9): Dino Lego set DS(7): Dino Lego set DD(4): Rainbow Teddy Bear here (A friend sent me a link to this website with products made by at-risk women around the world and my dd saw this bear when I was browsing the website and she talked about it everyday for a couple weeks.) DD(2): Plastic grocery cart We also got an xbox kinect as a gift from the grandparents combined and they really like that.
  23. While I wrapped most of the presents for my kids early, I only recently bought the special 'Santa' paper and didn't wrap those gifts until late last night. That's when I found out that the roll of pretty sparkly red paper was not enough for my kids' gifts from Santa (there was only one per kid!). I had to use scraps and tape them to the holes in the wrapping where there wasn't enough to cover in the back. The kids never noticed and you can't tell in the pictures. :coolgleamA: I bought the same doll for my girls, one that makes sounds and moves when you put the pacifier in its mouth. I must have only tested one in the store, because my younger daughter's didn't work. I changed the batteries and I could hear the motor running non-stop so it's actually not functioning properly. Dd was sad and I told her she could still play with it but she didn't want to. Looks like I'll be going to Walmart this week. Yikes. She didn't care for long though, so that wasn't too bad...just doing an exchange at Walmart will likely take forever this week. In addition, dh is deployed and I tried to juggle taking pictures, video taping, positioning the iPad so dh on Skype could see the kids, and helping to open/put together gifts this morning. And my oldest, who is usually such a big helper, has a broken hand and has a cast on it so he needs a lot of help himself. The opening of presents didn't go quite as organized as I had planned. Later today, my dd who is 4 1/2 and loves to do preschool asked to do school. I told her it was Christmas vacation and we weren't doing school today. She instantly got excited and thought we were going to see her cousin (since we took a vacation there last month) and when I tried to explain to her that Christmas vacation is actually just a break from school, and we weren't going anywhere, she got so upset that she started to cry in disappointment so I ended up doing preschool with her to make her happy. On Christmas. :laugh: I can already look back and find humor in all of this though, so it wasn't too bad.
  24. Another suggestion...you could find a like minded friend with a boy his age and exchange "play dates" (don't know what to call them for an 11 year old). For example, Tuesday afternoons you have one of his friends over for a few hours; Thursday afternoons, he goes to the friend's house for a few hours, or even more often if it's not burdensome. I've done that with a friend but we exchange all of our kids and we scheduled it every week so we didn't make other plans (just one exchange a week for us though). I think getting the group of kids together at the mosque or park or something is a good idea too, for a social time rather than school setting...teachers tend to want them to be quiet and not socialize. :001_smile: Maybe each parent could take turns supervising so you don't have to find things for your girls to do each time and could just drop him off. I also like the athletic training program idea for him since he sounds like he enjoys exerting himself.
  25. This was interesting as I'd never looked at our budget in percents before. I did have fun organizing it into Excel. :001_smile: This is out of net income... 29% Mortgage (We pay 4% of our income extra per month.) 15% Me (I go grocery shopping and get gas and the rest I use for random stuff...eating out, Target, etc) 13% Giving 12% Car Payment (We pay 5% of our income extra per month.) 6% Investments 5% Hubby (Mostly gas but also lunches out, uniforms, etc.) 4% Savings (We also put in money from deployments and use this for bigger non-budgeted things...extra-curriculars, vacations, holidays, major curriculum purchases, dental co-pays, car costs, etc.) 4% Utilities 3% Debt (Student Loan & CC) 3% Phone/Internet/Netflix 2.5% Car/Home Insurance 2% Life Insurance 1% Pool 0.5% Dental Insurance (No kids are in braces. Yet. :scared: We're planning to use the car payment money for braces in the future. Yikes.) 100% Total We had said before that we'd only pay cash for our vehicles. That was until my a/c went out early this year in my 11 year old Dodge-something-breaking-every-month-Durango SUV. We had just moved and used a huge chunk of savings on our house down payment so we decided it'd be worth it to take out a loan for the car and be rid of the old one. We switched to a mini-van (something I thought I'd never do) and I love it. :001_wub: I still wish we could have paid cash, but it is nice not to have a car breaking every month. (Seriously, like every month for five months in a row.)
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