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Everything posted by dmmetler

  1. Disability services probably would have told you if this was an option, but at some colleges, it is possible for student health to hold a prescription and for the student to stop by and refill a smaller supply from that supply, or even just take them daily. It’s used a lot for meds that need to be kept cold, but not frozen (like insulin) because the little refrigerators aren’t as stable as big ones, but could be used for something like ADHD meds or opioid pain meds which have a high risk of theft.
  2. And in some cases, we may have one child who needs an alternative, but another for whom public schools are the least bad option. I know families who have two or more kids split between public, private, online charter, and homeschooling.
  3. The community center officially opened registration for my Fall semester piano lessons today :)! It’s getting real...

  4. It can apparently use regular vivofit bands
  5. If you have cheer gyms, check there for dance classes. Often they offer more the dance team style dance, and also would offer flexibility and conditioning which would be helpful. It’s not ballet, but it might be a good option to at least move a bit and get some dance vocabulary. And they may be able to do daytime privates.
  6. I have a similar profile (finally DX’s with dyspraxia in my 20’s), and my speech therapist graduated me at age 11 with a similar statement. At age 13, I asked to go back because I was running into problems with social speech (part of my disability is that under stress I block in words-I know what I want to say, but for whatever neurological reason, my brain will NOT let me say it), so they did a re-eval and I started speech through high school. Truthfully, for me, the most valuable part of it was that it gave me a couple of days a week that I had a block of time that I was in a quiet place with only a few people, and the chance to explain what I was struggling with. I still don’t have some sounds reliably, but those years of language work are probably why I am able to function as an adult in a profession that relies on verbal communications. And I am very sure that my speech therapist was a major reason I made it through high school relatively emotionally intact. All that is to say-speech is more than articulation. And middle/high school ages is when “hard to understand under stress” can really start to be a social barrier.
  7. Again, probably not an option in Jan, but for Cheer Nationals the after hours wristband was $40. You would be sharing the park with a bunch of teens, but it looks like the same list, and lines were short to walk on (as far as I could tell, most of the teens spent their time pulling body positions in front of locations to take photos for Instagram, so the parents and little kids mostly rode rides). So definitely check with everyone you know who has kids who do travel or school sports, band, dance team, etc-maybe you’ll get lucky and there is an event you can piggyback on.
  8. Only if they can afford to do it. I can tell you that when I teach classes for homeschoolers, I tend to have to think of it as a volunteer opportunity, because honestly, I am lucky to clear my expenses. Homeschool classes are usually much smaller, so there is less income coming in, and I can’t cut much beyond that. The amount I can charge and get homeschooled kids is so low that I cannot afford to rent a room to host the class. And because of the wide age range that it often takes to get enough kids to hold a class at all, often parents who want actual instruction put their kids in the after school classes because they can be more focused, even though they cost more. I did it for co-ops when DD was still actively participating, but I now only offer clubs (which are things my DD wants and are basically for her, her friends, and a few other kids who want to try it out each year) and private lessons/tutoring during the school day. I think almost every dance studio, music program, gymnastics gym, etc has tried to offer homeschool classes,and most haven’f lasted more than a few semesters/sessions. Even when they already had the building and were not paying rent on a per hour basis, as I do, the money coming in is not enough to pay the expenses. An excellent science program limped along a few years, but it was the after school crowd that paid to keep their doors open, and a significant number of the homeschool classes just didn’t form (for years I did my best to recruit and arm twist enough parents to sign up so DD could do it). My BK coached a homeschool gymnastics class that never had more than 3 kids. They tried for almost 2 years to “grow the program” and it never did. Most of the ones that have lasted are those subsidized by churches, where they are not paying room rent, which isn’t necessarily a good choice for a secular homeschooler. I’m not saying that the CA plan should be adopted nationwide, but the fact is, more parents who can afford to pay for more classes, wherever the funds come from means that there will be more classes. As a homeschool mom, I can afford to teach a class that barely covers my costs at a co-op when I have a child taking another class at the co-op from a teacher who is barely covering her costs. But a business owner who is trying to actually stay in the black and make a living cannot do that. I am guessing there are far more people paying for their kids to take physics from someone who actually teaches physics using their voucher than people using their vouchers to go to Disneyland and calling it physics.
  9. He should have someone to drive him home, even if he isn’t sedated. Sometimes student health can provide transport or help arrange it. DH has a tube in one ear permanently and needs it replaced, and dizziness and headaches are pretty common immediately afterwards because of the change in pressure. It resolves within a few hours to a day, but you don’t want to count on being the lucky one who doesn’t get that symptom.
  10. California cost of living requires that fees be inflated beyond what the market would accept in most areas. Housing costs in San Diego are 684% of what they are in Memphis. Overall COL is 110% more. And looking at the rates for group music classes at the site posted vs what I charge for similar homeschool classes here, honestly, they basically are charging the same amount I am, once you account for that 110% cost of living increase. And my guess is that they are paying far more for rent due to that 684%. I suspect it the case that the vouchers are making classes and opportunities MORE available to people who do not use charters, not raising the price. A class of 10 costs me the same as a class of 5 to run-but until I have classes of 10 reliably, I cannot lower the rate for each child because I need to cover those expenses-or cancel the class. I suspect what folks will see in CA is that these homeschool classes will get more expensive, not less, and that a lot of programs will end up dropping daytime classes.
  11. Athena’s has AP English lit, and I’ve heard it’s quite good. I believe Online G3 has an honors bio that uses an AP textbook, but is not an AP approved syllabus.
  12. This is likely not helpful for January, but when sports teams do events at WWOS, they have the opportunity to buy discounted tickets that cover a 2 week period around the event. For DD’s cheer Nationals last year, a 4 day park hopper was $250 for spectators/parents/siblings (and there is no requirement that spectators go to the actual competition-although the passes include WWOS admissions) The downside is that these are physically picked up at the event, so you would have to coordinate with someone who can buy them, have them list you as a spectator on their athlete’s registration, pick them up, and arrange to physically get the cards within the 2 weeks that they are good for.
  13. At 3x the tuition of VA tech for a VA resident, who are the only kids being asked to wait. I don’t think that taking a year at 3x the amount of tuition is going to be a good choice for most kids. And Sweet Briar, while a beautiful campus, has an acceptance rate currently that pretty much is the same as a community college.
  14. My nieces attended a school that did a big Sea World trip each year (local to them-they also did trips to Legoland and Disney)-and the kids weren’t allowed to ride rides until after 3:00-and a bus went back to the school at 3:00. Only those kids who had permission to stay later and an adult to supervise were allowed to stay later. And, no, they were not fundraising for these trips (although I do think the school probably got discounted rates). This was a STEM magnet, and it was part of their program.
  15. It’s fairly commonly used, along with Sine Nomine by Ralph Vaughn Williams
  16. I have one like that for herpetology, who is slowly transitioning and focusing on animal behavior and cognition, as well as education and outreach. The best thing we did was to start attending conferences, which let her connect with herpetologists and ecologists and people working in the field, and she got to hear the good, bad, and ugly of various paths and tracks. She also started to realize that the ecology stuff that really gets her emotionally fired up may not be the best place for her because it DOES get her so emotionally fired up and it's just plain hard on her. Other things we've done that might be of use: DD did a camp at Sea World focused on careers in biology-not just marine bio, but also things like animal nutrition, behavioral training, animal rescue, etc. It was a good experience, although she found it a little frustrating because most of her cabin was a group of girls who already knew each other. Look for state level professional orgs first-those tend to be the ones that will connect you with local fieldwork experiences. The state Wildlife and fisheries department may be an excellent resource. State and National parks often have good classes and opportunities-look for ones aimed for adults, not kids. Jpurnals are good. Go to any interesting talks for colleges nearby. Look for freshwater biology, icthyology, herpetology (there's a decent amount of overlap-to the point that herpetologists and icthyologists do their major US conference together annually), ecology, etc. Social media is also worth following, even if you do it as a parent and filter for your child. Dr. David Shippman @WhySharksMatter is a marine biologist who is very active on Twitter and FB, and does a lot of outreach. Sarah McAnulty @SarahMackAttack is a doctoral candidate working with squid, and is extremely active in science communication. She is the founder/creator of @SkypeAScientist, which connects students and classrooms with working scientists in the field, and is an excellent contact. She is also planning a scicomm tour to talk about squid this coming year, so you may be able to meet her in person. If she hasn't done the Athena's Jr Instructor Marine Bio classes, they'd be a good thing to do. She may well be beyond them, but it would let her get to know Emma, who has been on a similar path since she was your DD's age, and those classes seem to get a pretty good number of knowledgeable, passionate kids who just want people to understand them, so it's a nice, relatively inexpensive chance to talk with others who "Get it".
  17. Ugh... Can I vent? I am doing an online Class on early literacy for my teacher recertification, and honestly, the teaching examples are diving me nuts. Like if you want to teach phonics, teach phonics. Don’t read a relatively complex text and expect kids to internalize that jiggle and wiggle rhyme when you have not yet taught the kids enough skills to segment jig and wig....
  18. It wouldn’t have been on the list to visit if we hadn’t been there anyway, and I have a couple of friends who teach/work there :).
  19. I liked CMU (started in their early college program, but transferred to a school that gave me a free ride-they were pricey even in the 1980’s). I can’t say that I have ever seen anything from them at the conferences or in the journals DD follows, though. I suspect they would be a lot like GA tech-nice vibe, but not the best fit otherwise. They also are very, very picky on age. We visited Rochester for the JMIH last year. Since it took two plane changes to actually fly there (it was faster to drive to Toronto and get a direct flight to Memphis, which is why we spent several days in Toronto and visited UofT and YorkU), I don’t know that it would meet DD’s requirements. It’s definitely a nerdy school, though, and obviously does herp work, since you don’t put in to host the conference without local hosts. Although I think they were mostly focused on phylogenetics.
  20. I wonder if that is an SEC football thing? Most of the schools that have turned off DD are SEC schools, or SEC adjacent that really want to be SEC schools. Maybe farther North it is less an issue?
  21. We haven’t visited yet, but it sounds like one to check out :).
  22. And the right one might be fine. Arkansas State felt OK, and it’s a flagship. But Texas A&M, which definitely has the programs she wants, has managed to turn her off just from their mailings.
  23. It’s not, though. It’s kind of like the difference between a school that has a student organization for LGBQT+ on the website vs a campus where same sex couples feel just as accepted at holding hands and kissing before heading off to class as straight ones are. On a campus with a nerd culture, not everyone is a nerd, but no one is going to be surprised if you skip a football game to play D&D or read in the library (if there is a football team at all). Here’s her list from a couple of months ago.
  24. She wants to see that there are active organizations and groups on campus fairly publicly, just as our front as frats/sororities, sports, etc. At UAH, for example, there are gaming lounges in multiple buildings, both for video gaming and board/table gaming, signs up for Pokémon tournaments and cosplay clubs, and similar events. At UT, certain colleges had a similar feel. At UTK (one she didn’t like), everything revolves around football, and the whole feel is, but social in more of a social climbing sense. The whole school spirit thing kind of annoys her. It’s not just 1-2 electives. It is that some schools have biology departments that are focused on humans, primarily medical biology, or on molecular or cellular level biology, and some are focused on whole organisms. Some psychology departments are focused on turning out therapists or people to work in human relations and similar fields, others focus more on animal behavior and research. Not having specific classes in animal behavior isn’t as important as not having anyone actually working in that field as their research specialization who would be able to work with her and the freedom to shape her program into what is needed to apply to graduate school, not medical school.In general, colleges with agricultural schools or veterinary medicine schools are a better fit-but many of those are also the large, state, sports, school spirit focused schools where she feels like she doesn’t belong. DD’s mentors have strongly advised her to pick an undergraduate school the way you normally pick a grad school-find the lab she wants to be in and the PI she wants to work with and the projects she wants to be on, and work backwards.
  25. DD is working on narrowing down her list, and what it seems to come down to is the “vibe”. The schools she likes best are the ones where it is obvious that there is a thriving nerd culture. So far, the schools she’s felt that at are University of Toronto and UA-Huntsville. She does NOT like schools where sports is a major focus, especially football, and finds too much of the “sea of school color/mascot” effect a turnoff. This rules out most state flagships. My guess is that many of the schools on her list currently to check out may end up not having the “vibe” she wants. I suspect she can find Nerd culture anywhere, but she really wants a school where it is part of the overall culture. As an organismal biologist/psychologist most interested in animal cognition and behavior (especially of reptiles and amphibians), a lot of the more technically focused schools do not necessarily have the classes she wants. Georgia Tech, for example, has the nerd vibe, but not the right classes. Other things she needs is a campus/town where she does not need a car and fairly easy/accessible transportation back to Memphis. Air is fine-but there needs to be a way to get from campus to the airport without a lot of issues. She has pretty high stats, where most schools that are not a reach for everyone are likely to be a reasonable option. She is unlikely to qualify for much need based aid, so we’re looking for schools with good merit. Right now, almost all of the schools on her list are ones that have guaranteed or a significant amount of competitive merit aid available and where most search engines put them in the “safety” or “near Safety” categories, even with her middle school ACT scores. I actually would love to find one or two more “reach” schools other than Toronto, because I think she is aiming a bit low (although many of the schools do have honors programs that might provide the challenge she needs).
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