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About teachermom2834

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  1. I was having awful trouble sleeping and waking up with neck pain for about a year before I decided I might need a new pillow. Apparently a $5 pillow from Big Lots doesn’t last 20 years. Who knew? (This is one of those things I think of when I realize growing up poor really leaves some scars. Never occurred to me that someone would replace a pillow. Ever. ) We had been married twenty years and I know we had never replaced a pillow from our first apartment when we were broke. Anyways, I went to Target and nearly broke down in tears looking at pillows. I was willing to spend the money but how do I know what kind of pillow I like? Down? Foam? What firmness? How the heck do I know? Poor people don’t know these things. I was so flustered I bought one that was some kind of combo of foam and down for about $60. I love it and it made all the difference in my sleep and neck pain. I can’t believe I suffered so long. We also bought a couple My Pillows on the BOGO deal. We like those but my combo one from Target is our favorite. My dh wants one but Target isn’t selling the exact one right now so I need to search for something similar.
  2. My kids haven’t really struggled much with the transition. I would advise you to stay very plugged in initially to make sure your student really understands and follows through on everything and help him manage his time with the goal being that he finds his groove and can be more independent soon. Being too hands off in the beginning can get him off on the wrong foot. I don’t think it is a huge transition but it is a change and some hand holding through the transition should pay off long term.
  3. It can be hard to land a summer job. So many places don’t want to train someone they know is leaving. My oldest ds picked up summer jobs in warehouses. These weren’t technically short term positions but they are always hiring and so desperate for help they were willing to take someone on just to get three months work out of him. We have a significant number of unskilled labor jobs in our area that really will hire anyone who can pass a drug test and give them a shot. The turnover is so high. It is hard work and not even a bit fun but the money and hours were good and it was worth it for my ds. He made a lot of money to get him through the rest of the year.
  4. My 10th grader took it. He has taken it before but this was the one that we are going to really assess the results and make a plan for prep or possibly consider the SAT. So this is one that will inform some decisions going forward. He will have some scores he is trying to hit for automatic merit aid to potential colleges so we’ll know how much work we have to do. We will see!
  5. I got rid of so many books when we moved. I’d been homeschooling ten years worth 4 kids and I bought way too many books. I sold them for next to nothing each and made almost $1000 at a couple books sales and taking the rest to a used book store. I have not regretted it. It was so much more than we could handle. Getting rid of them was a huge job and one i’m glad we’ll never have to tackle again. My mom saved books and they seemed to crumble and fall apart when she gave them to my kids. I’m sure they could be stored better than she did but they did not stand up to the years.
  6. In my mind UAH is the front runner for my 2021 grad. He is interested too and friends we have that have visited have told him he will love the campus. It will probably be our first visit for him next year. Would be nice if he just falls in love and makes for an easy college search. LOL.
  7. My ds had a really bad roommate situation this year (freshman year). He endured it way too long. Finally about a month into second semester he requested a room change. He had it in 24 hours and in a much better situation. It would be worth it even for the short time left. Mine should have changed rooms long ago.
  8. My boys are now junior in college, freshman in college, 10th grade, and my dd is in 5th. Everyone was always homeschooled but it looked different for everyone. I always pulled everything together myself using WTM recommendations and using available classes at the local co-op. When my dd was in K the boys were in 5th, 8th, and 10th. At that point I just wanted a box for my dd so I could stop trying to do it all myself and because I was very focused on the big kids. My oldest two did a couple online classes, co-op, dual enrollment, and traditional mom led classes at home. My current 10th grader is my most driven teen and he has wanted mostly online classes from MPOA and WTMA. He is moving on to de next year. I will admit I think my dd is getting the best education of all my kids but that is not just because of MP. We think MP is great but she also has the benefit of one on one that the older kids never had to that degree. I am also a better teacher and mom than I was a decade ago. I am wiser and more relaxed and not trying to keep three little boys on task with a baby/toddler in the mix. We also moved and lost co-op and much extracurricular access which means we stay home more and are more focused on our daily school without school time interruptions. My dd isn't into video games (which we always limited but the boys did play some), has no tablet or device, and reads and listens to audio books constantly. She just consumes books in a way my other kids (though they liked to read) never did. She is an eager learner, much more so than my older dc at her age. All that to say that we like MP alot but I really can't compare quality and outcome vs. what I did for my other kids. There are too many other variables. I have one compliant nerdy little girl getting all my attention vs. 3 rambunctious boys each settling for 1/4 of me. KWIM? It just isn't an apples to apples comparison. All that to say- my boys were all over the place but they turned out just fine. The oldest is doing very well in college and in preparation for a career and thinks homeschooling was great for him. My second ds was a difficult student and honestly did not do nearly what I would have hoped and planned for him in high school and what he did get done was pulling teeth. But he is doing well too! He is a freshman in college out of state (actually a sophomore from de credits) and is doing well for himself. He has to work hard for good grades because he didn't learn all he should have in high school. (For example, his business classes are difficult for him because he is having to learn math he should have gotten in high school but he didn't apply himself). He wishes he had made more effort in high school but he is making up for it now. My third ds who is still in high school is doing great and very independent. So, there is no one way this thing needs to be done and there is quite a margin for error to still turn out competent kids. I felt organized at the time but looking back I feel like I was all over the place and just trying to keep my head above water. But we kept at it. Day after day, week after week, year after year. Some good. Some not so good. But it all worked out just fine!
  9. Yes. My 10 yo dd is finishing up the 5th grade MP Core and she has been in the MP program since K so it is all she has ever known. We both really like the whole curriculum and do it without substitution. So it is what dd is used to. We really like it and I am amazed how much she has learned. But, a couple of things to note : we use the whole MP Core and the subjects really fit together and emphasize common themes so not sure how any one piece works on its own, and also I am very hands on with my dd. She is the baby of my family and my boys are grown so she gets my full attention. I don’t hand any of it to her to just go do. I think that makes a big difference and would be hard if I had more students to juggle.
  10. We use MP for everything so yes we also use the guides. We actually did all of the 5th and 6th grade lit guides this year because we just can’t drag out the books as long as the MP lesson guides call for and she wanted to keep going. We are in the last half of the last book now so we have done a lot of lit guides this year. I don’t think of the lit guides as workbooks really. They don’t have matching and crossword puzzles and that sort of thing. It is primarily comprehension and deeper discussion questions. We have just been doing them orally lately. The last two books have been Robin Hood and King Arthur and they are a little difficult. The questions quickly confirm to me that she is understanding the reading and the discussion questions dig deeper and really lead dd to make connections. It has not squashed enjoyment of reading but my sample size is one and she absolutely loves reading and vocabulary. There are enrichment activities for each chapter and I never want to fuss with them but my dd goes back and does them in her free time and sometimes she suggests we take a day to go back and do some of them. So she actually really enjoys them. While I don’t think lit guides are necessary in our case it has truly enhanced her experiences of the books.
  11. My ds plays baseball at a D3 school. Growing up on the travel ball circuit we knew most of the best players in the area and followed where they went to school. One thing we noticed over and over was kids and their families going anywhere they could play ball without looking at the rest of the school. Having a conversation with one mom was mind blowing to me. She was telling me excitedly how her graduating senior was going to play baseball at a good D2 school in our state. No scholarship but a roster spot had been offered. He had accepted and they were all thrilled. I congratulated her and was making chit chat and asking her about the school. She knew nothing about the school- including where it was located! She did not even know what part of the state the school was in. I am not kidding. Another mom had a kid get a D1 spot 10 hours from home and he didn’t like the school. She said they had no idea until he got there but it turns out it is a liberal arts school and he hates writing and reading. But he stayed because it was D1. And he did not even have a sizable scholarship and the family was well off. But it was D1! So many stories. Party kids who have no religious inclination at all going to conservative Christian schools. Kids going to schools that don’t have their major. Etc etc. And of course kids going to expensive schools they wouldn’t otherwise have chosen. In full disclosure, my ds was never good enough to play D1 in the south and he didn’t want to go far or go north where he would have been more competitive. His peers who were at his level of play did go to D2 schools but the D2 schools in our region just made zero sense for him academically or otherwise. He has loved his college baseball experience but he is truly a student first. He missed a whole off season to take an internship he was interested in. He lost playing time but he was comfortable with that choice. A couple times he did not travel midweek because of academic demands. He has always had an understanding with his coaches that he is committed to ball but he is a student first. They would love him to be 100% baseball committed but they all understand his career will end at graduation and he is trying to set up his real life. But even at the D3 level- when these kids are not going to go pro- so many athletes and their parents are so focused on the sport. After ds joined his team the kid that hosted him on his visit told him he was the strangest visit he ever hosted. It was because he asked all about academics and internships and job placement. Haha. So many players come to his school that are terrible fits. The school is tiny and the academics are harder than people expect because it isn’t that hard to get admitted. And it is super expensive without scholarships. I think there were 20 kids come in with his freshman class and I think there are six or seven left two years later. That is typical. It’s pretty wild. I used to love sports but I’ve soured on it after so many years and so many misplaced priorities. I’m glad my two still left at home have different interests.
  12. We went to a plant sale last weekend and came home with two blueberry bushes, a raspberry bush, a blackberry bush, and several strawberry plants. So I can move on from my obsessing about planting berries. Lol. I figure it was money well spent so that I can move on from obsessing about them. Actually taking care of them is mentally healthier for me. 🙂 Of course we came home with other odds and ends too (lettuce, peppers, etc) Now I really have most of what I plan to invest in for this year. We have some spots in the flower beds that need something but I’ll probably wait and pick stuff cheap off the clearance carts at Lowe’s. I did that last year and they came back to life and are gorgeous this year. My dd always likes to pick pitiful plants and try to love them back to life. So that is probably what the rest of our purchases will be. I still have two kids at home but my oldest two have left the nest and it has been hard on me. Not doubt all my babies in the garden are filling the void in some small way.
  13. I have two dc in college this year and both get a combination of merit and financial aid. They have not asked what we pay for each child. I assume the school uses what Fafsa spits out (not PROFILE schools) as far as what our efc is. So the Fafsa figures that out according to their calculations. I expect my second son’s financial aid grant to decrease when oldest graduates even though the reality is we pay close to nothing for the oldest and we won’t really be much better off. I realize you are talking about Yale, though, so they will not be straight Fafsa. But sometimes I reply because so many people lurk and could possibly use the information.
  14. My kids have actually been able to sign leases without all of that but my friend had to do pretty extensive paperwork to be the guarantor in her dd’s college apartment in Boston. All we had to do for my ds in FL was sign a form. No further info. But much lower cost. I don’t find it fishy but I do find it annoying and intrusive. I went to college in the 90’s when they would give college kids all kinds of credit and not require guarantors for apartments. I’m glad no one is signing my kids up for credit cards in the student union but I don’t like the idea of handing over all my personal info for a student apartment either. My oldest is going to be a senior and moving off campus for the first time. He and three friends are renting a house in a neighborhood nearby but definitely not typical student housing. The landlord has done reference checks, background, and credit checks on the guys and took them at their words for what their summer jobs will net. I was prepared to have to sign for him too but I appreciate the landlord doing his legwork and then giving them a shot without their parents getting involved.
  15. TN has no state income tax. I have family who is planning to move to TN from NY after retirement as their pension won’t be taxed. Low COL, mild weather, and the mountains.
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