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  1. Can anyone recommend readers that are similar to the CLE series? My daughter has read the first and second grade readers (she's just finishing up Happy Hearts) and likes them, but I think she needs more practice at the second grade level before going on to the third grade readers. I love that the CLE stories are somewhat devotional in nature, so I'd prefer a Christian curriculum, but if you have recommendations of other series that have fun, engaging stories, that would work too. I'm more interested in the stories than the workbooks, since we do the workbooks only sporadically. Thank you!
  2. I think part of it has been caused by school (I have noticed that her classmates frequently do the babyish voice thing). I think the other part is that her silly behavior gets a reaction out of her 3 y.o. sister. I don't think she is doing it for attention from me. We spend quite a bit of time together, and keep busy with interesting things. I have a friend who homeschools, and her dd of a similar age is tough at this point, too, so I'm not convinced that school is completely the root cause, but it certainly didn't help with behavior this year. That being said, I would love to homeschool, and I think it would alleviate some of it. Dh is opposed to it, so I am slowly fighting the battle with him. When she's a teenager, I'll probably be wishing my problems with her were this little, but it is still driving me a bit nuts!
  3. My dd has always been mature for her age and generally well behaved. She just finished first grade in public school and her behavior has gone down the tubes since last fall. Some of the behaviors I am concerned about are speaking in a babyish tone of voice, asking obnoxious questions just to be silly, and making annoying noises. There are times when she is still very well behaved, but when she's just around the house with us, the behavior is tough to put up with. She was far more mature at age 5 than she is now at age 7. Any advice?
  4. I am thinking of starting dd with lessons for a second instrument. We already do Suzuki violin. She wants to learn harp, too. I love the Suzuki method but wonder if we should make the harp lessons a little less intense and go with traditional (not Suzuki) for harp. What have your experiences been in doing lessons for two instruments? My dd is 7 and has been doing violin for 3+ years now.
  5. Do I really need the teacher's guide for MCT Grammar Island? The samples of it online don't look all that useful. Thanks!
  6. We joined a church a few years ago that we like quite a bit. The people are very nice and easy to get along with and we like the pastor's sermons quite a bit. I got really frustrated recently because they are changing the format of the Sunday School. Instead of having one teacher for each classroom for the whole year, they are several different teachers rotating throughout the school year. So one teacher would be there in September, and then another in October, and so on. Some of the people on the list of teachers I do not even know and others are people who infrequently come to church. I know the intent of this system was to get more parents involved, but I am really worked up because it is so very inconsistent (my kids do much better in a consistent environment), AND, I feel like some of these people were signed up as teachers somewhat unwillingly and are doing it because they feel obliged, not because they love children and want to teach them. My dh thinks I'm overreacting, but I am really upset about this and I feel like it's not a good set-up. I don't want to be known as a complainer, but should I bring this concern up to the church? Thanks for any advice!
  7. How do you do this? My kids are generally well-behaved, nice children. I spend a lot of time talking about and encouraging good behavior. But I'm worried that as they get older, they will start to develop a sense of superiority. Take manner of dress, for example. I have my kids dress in relatively modest outfits. When my daughter asks why, what do I say? The real answer is that I don't want her dressing trashy and attracting the wrong type of attention as she gets older. But I don't want her to translate that into her thinking tha tour neighbor's kid must be a trashy person because she wears a two-piece bathing suit. What about when we see someone with facial piercings? How do I explain that I don't think it is appropriate without disparaging the person? Behavior is similar. I feel like my daughter is starting to look down on kids who don't behave well. Kids who are rowdy or talk out of turn or are nasty to other kids (some of which is normal kid stuff, and some of which is out of line). She sees this behavior and we discuss why it is not appropriate but I feel like my dd is starting to think of these kids as "bad kids." I want my kids to know right from wrong and I expect/enforce appropriate language and dress (as defined by me), but I don't want them walking around thinking they're better than others because they stick to the rules. Any thoughts?
  8. It is hard to really do Montessori homeschool, because I think that a large part of the Montessori experience is having access to all the materials. And unless you have an unlimited budget and space to store things, it just won't work out. I would look at a place that offers Montessori materials and try to determine what your child would be most interested in. I purchased or made a dozen or so Montessori type materials. I like Montessori Services for practical life activities and Alison's Montessori for all other materials. I bought a movable alphabet, materials for transferring activities, materials for color mixing. I made things like counting activities and three part matching activities. Implementing the Montessori philosophy in your home is easier than getting all the materials. I guess I mean things like doing things that foster your child's independence (getting stools so your child can reach sinks, letting them help with cooking from a very young age, preparing little cleaning activities for them, etc.). Hope that helps!
  9. We did Math Mammoth 1A and B this past school year and now we are about to finish Singapore 1A, which we've been doing as a review for the summer (basically so dd6 doesn't forget all her math over the summer). I own the Instructor's Guide, but haven't referred to it at all for 1A. We really don't even use the textbook much. Do you think the Instructor's Guide and textbook are necessary for 1B if we are using it as a review? Or can we keep doing what we're doing and just using the workbook. Thanks for your opinions!
  10. I am having trouble finding good reading material for my dd6. She is an advanced reader, and can read independently around the 4th grade level. I'd like to find some books for her to read this summer in the 2nd-4th grade range. I get frustrated with the amount of low-quality reading materials out there. I'd like to stay away from the Junie B. Jones type of books. DD has already read quite a few of the Magic Tree House books. They are good practice for her reading, but IMO, they are not particularly well written. She has started reading some Geronimo Stilton books and I feel like those contain better writing and vocabulary, but still not what I'm looking for. I just want books that are more classic (but still easy enough for her to read independently). I want books that are well written and contain some difficult vocabulary, and that cover topics that are not so "fluffy." I am just afraid that if I don't start getting some better quality books for her to read, she'll be on the road to garbage books (Sweet Valley High, Babysitters Club, etc.). Which are fine once in a while, but I want most of what she reads to be high quality. Thanks for any recommendations!
  11. It is a very hard transition to go from eating processed, unhealthy foods to foods that are more healthy and natural. I think going gradually will make it easier and more doable. Maybe step 1 could be only eating fresh fruits or veggies for snacks. Another step could be having a breakfast that is made of a whole grain, a fruit, and some low-fat dairy. I have found these pretty easy to do. Another step could be making dinners that have no processed ingredients (for example, a rotisserie chicken, fresh broccoli, and some oven roasted potatoes). Or here is a recipe that I love (I use boneless, skinless thighs): http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Crispy-Rosemary-Chicken-and-Fries/Detail.aspx We eat pretty healthy and I'll be honest, I can't find a quinoa recipe that anyone in my family loves. This is the best I've found: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Quinoa-with-Asian-Flavors/Detail.aspx I think making slow and easy changes, like those I mentioned, will make it easier than suddenly making your family eat unusual things they are not used to and probably won't like at first. It just makes them long for the junk food more. Also, when I go to the grocery store, I strictly stick to my list and I also don't buy things that are processed. Then I am forced to snack on things and cook with foods that are healthy because that's pretty much all I have. You might want to try some other nut butters. I like almond butter on whole wheat toast with honey on top. Cashew butter is also good. I like the cookbook The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters. It has given me lost of ideas on how to cook fresh, unprocessed foods. Good luck, it has been very hard for me to make healthy foods that everyone in our house likes.
  12. I don't have an answer for you, but I must know where you get Finesse? I love Finesse and can't find it in any stores around me!
  13. Should I get the book, the flashcards, or both? And are they even appropriate for a first grader? She is a good reader and loves language. Thanks!
  14. I am a little confused about what I need to get started with WWE for my dd6. One of the reviewers on amazon said to get one or the other, but not both, when it comes to the workbook and the textbook. Can I get away with purchasing just the Level 1 workbook? Thanks!
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