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About teachermom2834

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  1. I had a situation today with my nearly 12 yo dd. I had to take ds, 17 yo, to a thing an hour away from home. That meant leaving dd for about four hours while I was 70 miles away and my dh was at work 35 miles away. What happened was our senior citizen neighbor was home. Dd took her lunch over and spent an hour and a half or so of the four hours there. It worked out okay. I would have left her but it was nice to find a compromise. All that to say I would have left an almost 12 yo dd home for four hours but I avoid it if possible. I think it is OK yet still not ideal. My dd is pretty responsible and mature. She would, however, get lonely for that long. Also, we have frequent solicitors come to the door and while she knows not to answer I think it can still be unsettling to have a stranger knocking at the door. So I just try to minimize the time spent home alone even though I’m pretty confident it is OK.
  2. Ds, who embraces being a nerd in our family, homeschool group, church group, etc. turned to me on the tour and said “Mom, I am the least nerdy person here.” LOL. He was right. UAH definitely has a different feel, that’s for sure. 🙂
  3. UAH will be my ds second choice even though we (dh, Ds, and I) really liked it and think it would be great for him. He will apply to at least four places, I think, but with UAH sitting in the #2 spot, I feel pretty good. There was really nothing, for him, not to like about it. He is also looking at the masters/overlapping the undergrad with scholarship money. Thanks for the report that looks like scholarships won’t change. We are operating on the premise “if things stay the same” for next year while fully aware they may not.
  4. My 2021 applicant isn’t going to enjoy this prompt either. Luckily his list of schools is very short and he shouldn’t have too many to write.
  5. My oldest ds had issues. He had an online teacher that was very happy to write one and she did write one but it was right down to the last minute. He did email her a reminder. I never really doubted she would do it but I am the type to worry until it is done and that one went right down to the deadline. He also had one who agreed just not do it. Actually, I think she did do it. The common app that year had something different where the letter writer would click submit and think they were done but there was actually one more screen to click through to complete it and actually submit it. One writer was positive she completed it but when we showed her it was not completed she went back in and figured out what she had to do to finish it. However, a de teacher who we assume had the same issue was not willing to go back in and finish it. Ds tried to talk to her and she just said she didn't have time. LOR have been tough for my kids. They don't have that many to choose from to start with and then the common app was a pain that year for people to deal with I guess. I dread it for next ds coming up.
  6. I could never ask my parents for money. My dad has helped out a couple times. Once when we had a long string of bad luck and then an expensive AC repair he offered to fix it. It was around $1000 I think. Another time we had an expensive car repair and he offered to pay half. He has paid for stuff for my kids and I know he gives my college kids help here and there that I never hear about. But I would have to be very desperate to ask. I would like to be more open with helping my kids. I’ve always told them to ask for help if they need it. We might not be able to but we might. I also offer help in other ways. We co-signed for my ds to get a decent car. Just being willing to do that helped him get a good rate. I really want to be available to my kids to help them as they launch, particularly. I have always tried to stress that our fortunes are all tied up together and we are all a team and we are stronger together than each staunchly independent. Since we are speaking about cars, that is one way I do hope to help my kids. I hope that we can give or sell for low cost to our kids our cars when we are done with them. Things like keeping decent cars in the family can help people out so much. I don’t see us trading in or selling our cars to strangers. I figure we have enough kids that anytime we are ready to get rid of a car there will be someone that could be helped out by it. I have thought a lot about this because I do want to change our family culture for the next generation. I do think about things like how to make sure things are mostly equal and how to manage expectations that it is not something that causes resentments. I actually think I’d be more reluctant to loan and I’d rather just gift any assistance. But I’m not sure how that will work out.
  7. I actually have come to the point where I make sure all our credit cards are payed off and I try not to worry too much about the installment loans with good interest rates. We can afford the payments and they will be paid off eventually. I do have times when I panic and start trying to figure out how to pay off all the installment loans early. But honestly they will get paid. It is different than a revolving debt that you can just not get ahead of. When I finally made peace with paying off the car loans and a personal loan we took for a home improvement on schedule and stopped trying to pay everything off early it allowed us to save up more of an emergency fund and allowed us to max out our HSA savings and put 6% in dh’s 401k to get the max company match. I know it is unpopular but carrying those debts and getting them paid off on schedule has allowed us to build wealth. I have had to remind myself of that as I wait for our tax refund. I am tempted to pay off our personal loan with it but there are really better uses for that big chunk of money and that loan will be paid off in November regardless. All that to say I don’t hate your dh’s attitude toward getting the cc taken care of and catching your breath and not fretting about the other loans. Debt stinks, no doubt. But sometimes you just need to ride it out a bit. There is only so much you can do, and only so much you can fret. But if you get the cc taken care of, then every month you will be making progress towards the others.
  8. It’s just different. I used to look at what the top students at our high performing high school were doing and think I had to do that too. I thought my dc would be taking all AP classes to try to keep up. My oldest did a couple AP with PA Homeschoolers and it was fine but just not for us. I used to think because my dc were good students that they would have to take honors/AP everything because they would if they were in school. But with my oldest we just figured out that just because he would be an all honors/AP kid in school didn’t mean that was the path to take at home. He had a good ACT and a solid high school education and has done very well in college. Without any impressive AP courses or scores. My next ds was not as eager as a student and would never have wanted a single AP. He did plenty of dual enrollment but they were easy gen eds so I’m sure no one was impressed. He got into college with scholarships too. My current junior likes online classes and has taken a regular high school lineup but nothing labeled “honors” by a provider and no APs. He has excellent test scores and I expect him to get in and get scholarships where he wants to go. Now my dc are not attending Ivy League or highly competitive schools. The first is at a tiny liberal arts college and the second is at a huge public university. My third will attend our state flagship. So, while the first is at a tiny school the other two will be attending major universities (ranked not in the top 20 but top 100). But the really important thing to note is that the vast majority of those public school kids with 10 APs will also attend the same kind of schools my boys do. So quite certainly my boys aren’t going to Harvard. But neither are most of those other kids. You need to have the homeschool you desire for your family. You can’t AP yourself into a top school. I will say good test scores are important but my kids got good-very good scores without all the pushing.
  9. My 11 yo dd and I are novice gardeners 🙂 we have a variety of perennials out front and we have experimented with various vegetables the last couple years. We will do peppers for sure. They do so well and are satisfying to grow. Last year we tried lettuce and loved that. We will do a big box of lettuce greens this year. We loved going outside and cutting our lunch salads. We also tried popcorn last year and that was fun. We were just talking today and the lettuce and popcorn were the big treats last year that we are looking forward to doing again. We discussed growing enough popcorn to give away to a few people in pretty jars as gifts. I also planted some berry bushes last year so maybe we’ll start to see something on those. We are starting to get excited.
  10. No. It wouldn't have occurred to me. I am just a rule follower and my parents were strict so if they found out I can't imagine how much trouble I would have been in. However, I did do something once that was so stupid I still think about it pretty regularly. (Sorry - Off topic!) I was sleeping over with a two friends and we went to a dance at a local high school (that we didn't attend). We got a ride there from one of the parents but we had no ride home. We still wanted to go, though, so we all told the parents we had a ride. When we left the dance on foot we starting walking toward the house we were staying at. (It was a long way. Not sure how far, now, but it was not the local high school. It was at least a town over so several miles). Our plan was just to walk and attempt to hitchhike. So there we were walking in the dark and attempting to hitchhike. The first car that stopped we didn't like so we declined to get in but then we got in a car with two young men. They drove us where we were going, though they did seem slightly annoyed that we really just wanted a ride and nothing else. What the heck? What a stupid thing to do. And we weren't stupid girls. It is what I always think about when I start to say that my kids would never do something. I think run of the mill sneaking out would be less dangerous than getting in cars with strangers! But I wouldn't have done that. Teenage brains.
  11. That is how I think of it too, honestly. They are just loud and all over the place and think they are hilarious (or justified if it is an emotional thing but usually mine were just loud and inappropriately energetic). I also had three boys in five years so it was ALOT at times. My dd is absolutely more thoughtful and able to discuss what is happening. And there is only one of her. But having survived three boys at a time, one girl seems a breeze.
  12. I have three big boys and my youngest is a dd about to turn 12. I realize the worst may be yet to come with my dd, but 12 for the boys was so much worse.
  13. She can't put them in order. Yes, she knows the individual letters and their names. It is one of those things that little kids learn (and really their parents brag about) so it is funny to me that she doesn't know it. Also, kids just don't need to look things up as often that are in alphabetical order so it is easily a skill she doesn't use often enough to have continual practice. I am realizing now that I should have figured it out because as much time as we spend in the library, she really struggles finding things on the shelves. Which has annoyed me but now I know why.
  14. My nearly 12 yo dd in in 6th grade. While not gifted she is a fantastic student. She carries a heavy workload and enjoys learning and has read more books than I could have ever kept up with. I discovered today that she does not know the alphabet. She got most of it while singing the song...but she really doesn't know the alphabet. 😳
  15. We also fund ours with payroll deductions and his employer makes a deposit about equal to half the deductible once a year. I really like ours. It means our monthly insurance deduction is lower and if we don't use healthcare we aren't paying for it. We put in the max allowed by the IRS. We have years where it has basically just kept up with our expenses but it is nice to have the separate account there when expenses come up. We had another stretch where we weren't using as much and enough built up in there to pay cash for my dd's braces. It felt like a big win to be able to pay for those up front and with tax free money. It is also great to draw on for all the glasses/contacts, etc my people go through. Sometimes things get tight here and in reworking the budget I think about backing off our HSA contributions but once I figure the taxes it is never worth it. It is alot easier to go get new glasses or see the doctor or whatever when that money is already set aside. I know I could set up my own savings for that purpose but we have alot going on and it just wouldn't happen.
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