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Everything posted by dmmetler

  1. The "good" news is that, honestly, nothing much happens in school at this time of year for a majority of kids before high school-and even at the high school level, it often is winding down pretty quick. So, you don't need to feel guilty as far as school goes right now. And even a few weeks will make the difference between "not viable" and a much higher chance of a positive outcome, with almost every day after that improving things. And I would rather see them be cautious and want to keep a close eye on you vs brushing you off and not taking it seriously. Praying that this next adjustment gets things where they should be for now.
  2. Most schools take at least a 2 week break over Christmas. Just call it winter break, have fun, enjoy yourself, and start in the new year-and I'd suggest at least a week after the other schools go back. You can easily give her a month break and not hurt anything.
  3. This year, it's an Absol Pokemon, which looks sort of like an angel dog. Our heritage topper is a lighted star, but between young cats and children, I think we've used it twice in 20 years or so.
  4. Here, there are a few trades magnet programs, but the kids still do a full high school core. So, you take acaemdic classes mostly, which might be somewhat tailored to the field, but only electives are focused on the trade. (So, for example, someone majoring in health professions would take anatomy and physiology as a science class, maybe psychology as one of their social science credits, etc). You go to a state technical college, community college with a trades program, or an apprenticeship program after that. And the trades programs often are more limited for students under age 18 than the academic ones. DD's college used to be a state technical school and offers both streams, but underage students cannot do the practical classes in many areas (so, they could take nutrition and dietetics, or restaurant management, but not culinary classes).
  5. I would agree with home monitoring blood pressure, and also protein. In my case, at least, those numbers actually tended to reduce anxiety-it was something I COULD do at home and keep up with the small changes. So much is out of control in a high risk pregnancy that, for me, anything I could control or keep up with myself helped. I'm glad you're out-and hope things stay stable from here on out.
  6. I think the thought is that right now, she is mostly leaving home for therapy and that is it, so that if she can get used to interacting with anyone else, that would be a step in the right direction, and that an individual lesson will be easier to deal with than a group of strange people. She'll be coming to my home studio, which is definitely not a particularly formal setting (especially since I also tutor early elementary math in there 🙂 ). But since I have the teen group, we could go either way if she's more comfortable in a group. I could also pretty easily set up a buddy lesson if she would feel less on the spot that way (and I have a student who would potentially work well at that). And there are always the cats-they seem to do a better job at reaching struggling kids than I do. I'm definitely going to get as much information from mom and keep in contact ongoing, so I can revise as needed, and I do have permission to talk directly with the therapist.
  7. I will be getting a new student in Jan to do general music. She's 11. She ended up pulled out of school due to emotional issues that eventually required inpatient evaluation, and transitioned to online classes, without class connects, but working with a teacher occasionally a few months back. She has stabilized quite a bit, but does not have social contacts really with anyone. Her therapist wants her to add a regular activity with an outside of the family and physically present person, where she has to leave the house and talk to them about something that isn't school, and in discussion, she wants to do drumming because she thinks it's not too hard and she can't mess it up. Her mom asked her pastor about it, and her pastor recommended me. In talking to Mom, the ideal would be to eventually transition her to my homeschool teen/tween group, which would give her a small group of homeschooled kids, and hopefully start building some social contacts, as well as hopefully give her another way to express emotions and something positive. Two of my kids are in the church that her family attends, so the hope would be that they could provide a bridge to the youth program there, and there are overlaps between my group and some of the other homeschool teen/tween activities, so hopefully that could provide a bridge to other social options. I am also approved as an educational service provider, so the school system will pay for her to have lessons with me and for materials. I'm thinking we'll start with steady beat activities, and go from there-I have some percussion/piano duet pieces that we can work on, and possibly try to work on the group pieces in parallel so she can transition in when she is ready (and maybe introduce her to the kids one or two at a time). I was wondering if any parents have any suggestions. I don't feel entirely qualified since I'm a teacher, not a therapist,but at the same time, I am what is available, and I want to give this child a positive experience.
  8. One thing I did last year was buy myself a bunch of reusable drawstring bags in different sizes for gifts. When a box arrives, I open it, stick it in a bag, and pin a nametag on it (and I am mostly reusing those from last year too). I did it last year for environmental reasons and to support a local person who was making and selling the bags, but it has helped this year a lot.
  9. We're 11 days out from our departure. DD is taking her last final today (as are many of the other students). She's getting very nervous, and afraid she is going to totally mess it up. Her session is really a prime time slot (my father commented that in his professional career, he has only had a mid-morning slot a few times, and that he has never had a student get that kind of positioning) which makes her even more nervous. It is also a little surrealistic to be packing summer clothes when it's snowing outside.
  10. When DD started at the community college at age 12, I waited on campus (to reassure the folks in admin), and it wasn't uncommon for a student to see me in the cafeteria or library and strike up a conversation because they had noticed her and wanted to know what the deal was. One sentence that almost always came up was "I wish I'd known that was an option. I would 't have (flunked out, gotten pregnant, started using drugs/alcohol, wasted my high school years, cut class so much, dropped out) had I known I could work hard, take the ACT, and do something real". These were mostly folks who were exactly the right age to have hit the whole race to the top, where the slogan on the billboards around the district was "Every Child, Every Day, College Bound", where vocational education was removed, and your entire worth as an individual was based on test scores that benefited the school more than the student and that forced lockstep progress. Every single one of them commented that they wished their parents had made it possible for them to move at their own pace and said I was doing the right thing. I have never heard any of the socialization or "let her be a kid" arguments from any of DD's community college fellow students. I am thankful my state has the reconnect program that lets adults get a 2 year certificate or degree tuition free-but I was a little shocked to discover how many individuals were essentially bored into quitting school, mentally if not physically.
  11. Ours are happily knocking the plush off the tree, but for the most part, aren't trying to climb and haven't knocked it over. Maybe by next year the two young ones will be as disinterested as the older two. The funny thing is that our mama cat will growl at them if she sees them near the tree-like "I know what you're thinking, and don't you dare do it!". They aren't her kittens, but she definitely hasn't lost her mom instincts :).
  12. There’s also the Portal, which seems to be a dedicated device designed to allow grandparents to video message via FB messenger.
  13. I’m hoping for rain-not for the trip, but just because you need it! And it would definitely be a little reassuring to my family as well-Between the reports of fires and now the volcano eruption in NZ, that’s becoming a focus for anxiety (which I suspect is more to do with the talk than smoke, but it’s easier to be concerned about volcanos and fires than admit that something you’ve been working towards for years is a bit intimidating...)
  14. Oh, no! I hope they get it figured out. I’m glad blood pressure is staying relatively stable.
  15. The Athena’s Academy creative writing classes are good for pulling writing out of kids and getting peer support/editing for that age.
  16. We are 12 days from leaving for Australia. I’ve been putting the trip on the back burner until finishing my piano recital/teaching semester, and I’m definitely feeling overwhelmed.
  17. Maybe do a math project? We saw this speaker at a math/science conference a few weeks ago, and I plan to do the project with BK2 after Christmas.
  18. We haven't gotten DD's scores yet. I hope they come here and not to the school she took the test at. Although, I suspect she'll end up under the cutoff due to the curve-she thinks she missed a couple on math just because she wasn't exactly sure what to do (a side effect of NOT having prepared).
  19. Well, I madethis cartoon, years ago, because of a friend's situation-her daughter wouldn't tell her what she wanted for Christmas because she said Santa already knew! It was definitely a "testing the theory that your parents are Santa" thing in that case. Sometimes, parents just can't win 🙂
  20. My DD is older, but since it's 1-1, it is far easier for the instructor to just wait or prompt (or have the child respond in English, then give them the words in Spanish to repeat) than it would be in a class setting. In DD's case, she had taken college Spanish dual enrollment, and could read/write in it pretty well, but really had never developed speaking skills, so the focus is all verbal communications. You can go in and see what instructors are available for the time you want, or go the other way and put in an instructor and then select their times. There are instructors that just work with specific age ranges/levels. You can also choose whether you want lessons substituted by another instructor if yours ends up being unavailable, which we do because since our goal is communications, being able to talk to a range of people is helpful, but you might not want to do with a younger child.
  21. HMMI has some virtual labs that might serve.
  22. Our rental is in Lanes Cove, so about 10km from the CBD, but there is a Woolworth's addressed on the same road that looks like it should be walkable.
  23. What about an ACT or SAT Subject test prep book? The ACT science test is really mostly a reading test, And the answers are multiple choice. You'd have to skip some sections due to graphs and charts, but a decent amount of the passages are articles, etc. The Critical reading would have some history passages as well, or maybe an SAT US history subject test book.
  24. The big thing I would change is to move somewhere with a bigger community for PG kids. Maybe not NYC or San Francisco, but possibly Minnesota or Houston. I think we’ve done a decent job meeting DD’s academic needs, but socially and emotionally, she’s been alone a lot.
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