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Everything posted by jamijoy

  1. :iagree: We vacationed to Washington DC once and stayed at a hotel near the Roslyn Metro station in Arlington, VA. I'd wait on the elevator rather than go down that sucker. And I insisted that my kids go down with me (my dh thought I was nuts). Up was okay though. The elevator was broken down one day and I had to go down the escalator and I had to close my eyes and hold on tight. I'm also one who must fold the towels seams in. And after I fold it in thirds at the end, it must be put away without the side with the ends facing out. It's very important. Another weird thing I do like to do...peel dried glue. When I'm sitting there waiting for my kids to finish an assignment, I'll squeeze the glue bottle just enough to let some run down the sides. The next day I get to peel it off. :D I also HATE driving through long tunnels. I think my spacial vision or whatever gets messed up because I feel like I'm not moving but the tunnel walls are. If you've been on the Buzz Lightyear ride at Disney, the end where all the stars looks like they are moving at you really fast...that's how I feel when I drive through tunnels. I have to count to keep myself calm and really focus on driving. I really really try to avoid long tunnels. I can't stand when people don't line glasses up in nice rows in their cupboard. If I am ever staying over at a family member's house and help with the dishes, I'll straighten their glasses. I just can not leave them misaligned. I'm sure there are more but that's enough for now. :)
  2. We're doing school. :001_smile: That's one reason I homeschool...so we can do the fun stuff when everybody else is not.
  3. We LOVE our trampoline. We bought a cheap 12 foot one from Walmart I believe. It gets used daily when it's not over 90 degrees, so not much use in the summer; the pad gets too hot. We had one in Texas and had to replace the net after an especially hot summer because it became brittle and tore badly. We also had to replace the pad that covers the springs. We found good deals on new ones on Ebay or Amazon...$50-ish dollars each I believe. When we moved and bought our house in Florida, we told the insurance company we had a trampoline and they approved our insurance application. They called a few months later and said they were not supposed to approve it because of the trampoline and we had to get rid of it. We told them too bad, we weren't getting rid of it and changed insurance companies after our term or whatever expired. Our insurance went up $12 a year with the new company. It is such a great energy outlet for my kids and so worth it.
  4. My husband is in the Air Force and trying to fit in a vacation between his deployments was more important that working with the school schedule. He went on 2 1/2 month rotations back then with them happening two to three times a year. This is one of the reasons we started homeschooling. My oldest son went to public school in kinder and first. We took him out of first grade for two weeks to go visit family. We lived in Nebraska at the time with family in Florida, so we met our family at Disney World and made a real vacation out of visiting family. With four days of driving, we didn't want to make the trip shorter than two weeks. His teacher gave us what worksheets he could make up and we had no problem taking him out. And I won't go to Disney World when public school is out on vacation. :)
  5. We also did Apologia Astronomy in one semester and we enjoyed doing it. We did most of the science experiments also and picked and chose from the note booking journal (with a 3rd & 5th grader). We'll be doing Apologia Botany this year. A friend who just did it last school year really enjoyed it, so I'm trying not to go into it with a negative attitude. :sleep: We'll also be doing Botany in one semester.
  6. If it were me (we have five kids, ages 2-11), I'd stay in a hotel. Traveling that far is hard enough without the hassle of doing the tent thing with a bunch of little kids. You never know how you are going to sleep in a tent and then have to get on the road again possibly not well rested. If we are staying in a hotel for one night, we'll just get a regular room, put the kids in one bed or on the floor on blankets (they are not picky) and bring a pack and play for the youngest one. We aren't asked how many are in the room, and we don't tell. (Bad example to follow, yes.) On the other hand, we've only traveled far enough to need a hotel for one night along the way.
  7. I keep a Word document of moving tips since we move quite often.. Here are some for when you move yourself... To pack drawers (silverware, utensils, pens, extra toiletries, spices, junk drawer, any other group of small items), buy the two gallon size Ziploc bags and pour the whole drawer in. Of course, now I have the contents of two different junk drawers still in bags in a cabinet. :tongue_smilie: Pack a "first night" box (or two) and label it with something special. I like colored duct tape. This box should include bedding, towels, toiletries, change of clothes, etc.) Label each box with which room it belongs to, or even more detailed than that. Colored duct tape could also work for this (a different color for each room), but that gets pricey. Leave clothes on hangers if possible. Place the screws and bolts of taken apart items (tables, beds, mirrors, etc.) in Ziploc bags and LABEL the bags. Either tape the bags to the items or collect them all and put them into a small storage box or larger Ziploc bag together. Include remotes in this bag. Put the beds together and make them earlier in the day so that when you are ready to collapse from exhaustion, it will be already done. Good luck with your move!
  8. Do you have any fun ideas for the last day of school? Ours is TOMORROW!!! :party: Some friends just happen to also be done tomorrow so they are coming over and we are going to the beach to celebrate and coming back to my house for lunch. (We actually only have one more assignment to do, so we'll be done early). I've looked for ideas on the internet but there doesn't seem to be many that apply for homeschoolers. I thought I'd put my kids lunch in a lunch sack and write "Happy Last Day of ___ Grade!" on it. We never eat lunch out of a sack, so that's kind of weird, but I thought it was cute. I think we'll also have a sundae bar after lunch. My kids like this frozen yogurt bar nearby but it's pretty stressful for me to take all my kids in without my hubby to help. There's five counters full of self-serve toppings and it's pretty overwhelming. Any more ideas?
  9. My son has a July birthday and we've decided to hold him back. He is at the older grade level with his work (so he's a 2nd grader doing 3rd grade work), is average size, and about average (maybe a little ahead) maturity, but I think he'd still benefit from an extra year at home when he's 18. I figure if he's still ahead in school work when he's older, he can start doing college courses in high school. Really, my fifth grader who is in the age appropriate grade level will have to do the same thing, so that's not an issue for me. I did notice when he was younger that he was a bit too mature compared to the kids he was in a class with, but it's gotten better now that he's a little older. He had a hard time when he followed the rules but the kids who were in his 'grade' level (it was pre-k) still weren't good at following the rules in games. Now that the kids at his level are older, it's evening out more. If your son is in a lot of activities with other kids, I think I'd hold him back so that his size and maturity doesn't become an issue. He can still continue with the advanced work...a big benefit of homeschooling. :)
  10. I know that learning a foreign language is a popular thing to do, but if you aren't going to learn to speak it fluently, is there a point? Will using Rosetta Stone or any other language program make us fluent in a language if we don't really have an opportunity to use it outside of our studies regularly? My dh took two years of german in high school and another two in college. He was never fluent and he has never used it for anything practical. He has retained some words but not enough to understand someone speaking or to speak it himself. Will having my kids study a language for years be worth it? Anyone with grown kids who learned a language as a child and still remember and are able to speak it fluently or even semi-fluently? If I start now, will they have to continue to study it every year to be able to keep it fresh? We are military and if I knew we were moving to a foreign country, I would definitely want my family to learn the language because we could use it, but so far, that hasn't been the case (unless you count Texas...:tongue_smilie:!) So, I'm not against studying a foreign language, and my husband wants me to start using Rosetta Stone Spanish with our children, but it's a lot of money and TIME (more important to me) to spend on it if there will be no long term retention. (BTW, I'm not counting Latin in the above...we will be studying that every year and having taken just three years in high school, I still can see the benefits of having taken it.)
  11. I'm glad you posted this because I hadn't thought of it before. I have a good handful of things that could have had some bad outcomes with my kids, so it's a bit comforting that others do as well (as long as they do end well). :sad:
  12. We do first grade with my kinder aged son (turned six in November). He's already reading, but we are still going through phonics with him, just to be sure of all the rules. We use MFW. He does math, phonics, reading (which is also history) and writing four days a week, which takes 30-45 minutes per day. He typically doesn't dawdle and we don't take breaks. I also have 2nd and 5th graders and my kinder (doing first grade work) usually joins them for any hands on science activities, but I don't require him too. He does his own science once a week, which takes 15-20 minutes. So I guess per week, I'd say 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Like I said, I also have two older kids (and two more ages 2 and 3), and my kinder aged son is already doing first grade work, so I think the times he spends on academics is sufficient for him. He does other random arts and crafts activities as well that I don't count towards school. And when I get around to music :blush:, it's for all of the kids together, but admittedly, that's not very often.
  13. My Matthew is my middle son. My oldest is Christopher and my youngest son is Gabriel. Happy Baby Naming!!!
  14. We're starting our fourth year with My Father's World. We love it! We used Adventures our first year and my kids (and I) really enjoyed it. We used a lot of the book basket books and we have several of our own states books as well. The state worksheets don't take very long to complete, maybe five minutes if I remember correctly. I'm surprised those would burn anyone out. I guess it just depends on the child though. We had an illustrated book that had one page per state with lots of "state _______" pictures on it (bird, flower, food, flag, fish, animal, etc). That was our main info for the actual state info rather than the state sheets, but we still did those. Remember that this year is an intro to United States history. If you stick with MFW, you'll cover U.S. history more in depth in years four and five of the cycle. Adventures is for 2nd and 3rd graders so it doesn't take a large portion of the day to complete, as 2nd and 3rd graders do not need to do school for very long at that age. My kids liked the read aloud books that are included in the deluxe package and have read them on their own since then. Have a fun year!
  15. I voted no, mainly because I have young kids that I don't want to have to worry about getting accidentally hurt by elementary aged kids. We tend to go to less busy parks or to parks with separate areas for young kids. When I was a kid, we could go up to the school during non-school hours and play on the playgrounds there. They weren't fenced in. Where we live now, all of the schools' playgrounds are fenced in and can't be used by the public. We do have access to a lot more parks than there was where I grew up so it's not a big deal. Plus, I'm sure they don't want to deal with graffiti and other vandalism like I see at some parks. :mad:
  16. We have friends coming over Saturday and are having chicken stir-fry, rice, and egg rolls. We've also done lasagna (or other pasta), garlic toast, steamed veggies, and salad before. Pizza. Delivery. :tongue_smilie: (Good friends.) Grilled burgers, hotdogs, veggies, and fruit. Grilled shish kababs, rice, steamed veggies, salad.
  17. Thanks. I looked at the customer comments on the website and it looks like people wear swim suits of sports bras underneath. I have sports bras that are the moisture control kind and I think that would work fine. I also saw that they have a rash guard with built in bra but from the comments, it wasn't very good. Too bad they don't have my size on clearance now. :glare:
  18. I have a few questions...do these rash guards for women have a built in bra area? I can't imagine wearing this shirt without support. It looks very loose on this model and if it's like the same kind of rash guard my kids wear, I'll have to pass!
  19. This is such a great suggestion for what to say. It works for many questions that people ask to try to put down your choices by making you defend them.
  20. Both churches we've been to VBS at had different "stations" that the classes traveled to (crafts, music, etc). Snacks was one of them, so the snack leaders just stayed in the same room and the kids came to them. That won't help you now, but maybe you could pass on the idea for next year. The years I've helped with VBS, I did 3rd grade leader, craft leader and preschool helper. It is all a lot of work!
  21. We had the same experience when my son was that age. I expected him to come up screaming but he laid there for a few seconds (waiting for something to hurt?), got up, and ran off. It was the recycled tire 'mulch' that he fell onto from about five feet high, right onto his tummy. The playgrounds here in south Texas are huge with high slides, monkey bars, firemen poles and normal swings. Breaking bones probably has to do with landing on your body parts in wrong positions, which can happen even on soft surfaces. I'm glad there is not cement under the playgrounds though. I do agree with us protecting our kids too much and I have to really make myself let them do fun stuff that could result in an injury. My instinct is to tell them to slow down when they are riding their bikes super fast, not climb so high in a tree, or not play tackle football in the backyard, but I usually catch myself and don't say anything and let them have fun being kids without a helicopter mama having a say in everything they do. It's hard, as that is my personality, but I just have to look at the parents I see who don't keep themselves from doing that to realize that I don't my kids to be raised that way.
  22. I just used Shutterfly for my youngest daughter's first year album and I LOVE it! They let you do custom layouts which they did not used to do. You can put pictures where ever you want, how big you want and put text and embellishments where ever you want as well. It's expensive and you can only have 100 pages max so it will not work for my annual family albums and I am still looking for somewhere to do that. I looked into Blurb since the prices seem good but you have to use their page layouts which I don't like. I'll have to look into Picaboo to see what they offer. Some of my friends use digital scrapbooking software and then send the pages to a printing website but when I tried that, the quality of the pages decreased. No one noticed at first but me, but it looked pixel-y. Maybe it was the program I was using or something. I'll keep an eye on this thread for more ideas.
  23. It has worked for my family to do the majority of school that needs me (history, spelling, science, art, Bible) during afternoon nap time. My kids have always been good at working straight through without breaks so we are able to get it done, plus I usually have time for a little break when before the girls wake up. The older boys do their more independant work (math, writing, english) in the morning. I may need to explain the concept for a minute or two but they don't need one on one the majority of the time, which would be hard with my little girls wanting my attention as well. I usually have to wait until we actually start school to figure out what is going to work the best.
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