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DianeW88

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Everything posted by DianeW88

  1. I used AW for my youngest in kindergarten. It was fun, but some of the read-alouds were above his head at five. Some he enjoyed quite a bit. I tweaked it a lot, but overall, I wasn't completely sold on it. Fast forward three years.... My dd (high school) wanted to study European history and was browsing through the WP catalog and told me she thought their "Royals to Revolution" program was what she wanted. We decided to get it along with their high school LA 3 program and so far we've loved it. The readings mesh with the material, the books are interesting and we're both learning quite a bit. Next year I will get American Story 1 for my youngest and my dd will do the TOG units that correspond with that time period. Diane W. married 22 years homeschooling 3 kiddos for 16 years
  2. I haven't done their other LA programs. I was using the WTM guidelines for the most part for LA previous to this year. However, the readers that WP uses for the younger LA programs I have used independently with my youngest (because I disliked the Veritas Press ones that came with their program so much). I loved the readers. They were fun, engaging, and my son adored them. Barnes & Noble carries them, so you can always go and check them out before you buy if you prefer. Diane W. married for 22 years homeschooling 3 kiddos for 16 years
  3. Wow....you MADE the dolls??? I'm impressed. I would have just bought a couple of corn husk dolls from Michaels, put a nametag on them that said, "Guy Fawkes" and called it good. :lol: Diane W. married for 22 years homeschooling 3 kiddos for 16 years
  4. WP does have assignments, but there aren't any "workbooks" per se with the themed programs. They do have "Make Your Own" worksheets based on the individual themes. The course I am teaching now, "Royals to Revolution" has an "Exhibit the World's Fair" component, which is project based work geared for high schoolers to do independently. There is also a classical composers and art appreciation part of the course that we've really enjoyed. The lessons are presented in more of an outline form, like Sonlight. I tweak it here and there and add what I like and remove what I don't. WP has samples of their lesson plans on their website, so you can get an idea of how it's organized. They also give video/DVD suggestions and websites which really add to the lessons, IMO. In addition to their theme unit, I'm also using their "British Literature" LA course for my dd. She's liking that as well. It's more a "sampling" of British Lit., but I am changing it and doing the complete work if it is something I feel is really important to read in its entirety. Also wanted to say that I also have used TOG in the past and will probably use the last 2 units from their Year 3 and the first two units from their Year 4 for the base of my dd's senior year starting in the fall. Diane W. married for 22 years homeschooling 3 kiddos for 16 years
  5. I'm always happy to talk about homeschooling and my curriculum! I'm a curriculum junkie and this feeds my habit. LOL Sorry in advance for the length of this post. Lets see: I have 3 children....DS 19 (graduated and serving a church mission), DD 17 (finishing up her "junior year") and our happy surprise, DS 9 (finishing up 3rd grade). My curriculum choices have evolved from years of researching, investing, buying and using the stuff. When we first began, the choices were pretty limited to Abeka, Bob Jones, KONOS and Calvert. We went with Calvert from K-4th with my oldest. They are actually quite classical in their approach and their teacher manuals really taught me how to teach. Then one day, we were working on a "read the chapter, answer the questions at the end" assignment with my son and he sighed and said, "Mom, I really hate this. And, I'm not learning anything. I forget it all as soon as I finish the chapter." Yikes! My first thought was, "Oh no, I have to do KONOS!" :lol: So, I started with a KONOS unit study over the summer just to see if I could do it. My kids LOVED it. They didn't even know they were doing school. So, I bit the bullet, bought KONOS, went and got a TON of books on Charlotte Mason theory, Waldorf, hands-on learning and the Well Trained Mind (which had just been published) and dug in. I sat outside everyday with my highlighter and a large glass of something cold and caffeinated and read, read, read. When I'd finished, I looked over the highlighted section of everything that really resonated with me and formed my "educational philosophy". LOL It's basically that I think a child's education needs to be rigorous and thorough, but that does NOT mean it has to be dry and boring. I think most young children learn best by hands-on methods and so unit studies became my way of teaching what would be called "classical material". With my elementary kids, we read engaging "real" books, we dig into our topics through experiential learning...we cook, we play, we sing, we get messy, we glue, we paint, we laugh and we make learning fun. I am much more concerned with the process than the product at this stage. I want my children to love to learn. I want it to be an exciting adventure. Please note: this does not translate into huge projects, crafts or field trips every day. Some days it's worksheets only. But we do read something engaging every day. So....in real life...if we are doing a unit study on birds (we did this in first grade), we set up bird feeders in our yard, we study a whole chicken (before I throw it in the crockpot), we examine feathers with a magnifying glass and discuss their qualities (Why are they hollow? Why are there downy feathers and flight feathers? Why does water bead on them?), we study bird eating and migratory habits, we go to the nature center near our home for a field trip, we read about John Audubon, go on a picnic with our nature notebooks and try to sketch birds in the wild as he did. We get immersed in our subject and I allow my kids to investigate and explore...even if it's a bit messy. For my older kids, I expect product, not just process. So, with Winter Promise (or KONOS high school curriculum...I've used and loved both), it is still a loosely based unit study, but the topics are deeper and the questions require more mature thought and, obviously, more rigorous work. One of the questions in the KONOS "Ancient Worlds" curriculum for high school led to a very lively dinner table discussion. We had been learning about ancient Egypt and the mummies and how they were on display in the Cairo museum. The question posed was, "How would you feel if a future civilization dug up George Washington or Abraham Lincoln and removed him from his tomb and put his body on display in a museum? Would it be ok? Would it only be ok if several thousand years have passed? Would it never be ok?" In high school, I want to develop my child's reasoning and communication skills through topics such as logic, debate and good, strong writing. I didn't make transcripts, because our state and private universities here in Utah are very friendly to home schoolers. They suggested taking a couple of on-line college courses while my kids were in high school (most of them offer independent study options here) and they would evaluate them based on how well they performed in those courses. My daughter does want to attend college and she will take the ACT (what our universities here prefer) and a few online courses starting in the fall. For science this year, we have used "Friendly Chemistry" (Rainbow carries it). My dd didn't really like Apologia and her grandpa has a PhD in Organic Chem, so he helps her with that. She will probably take an online science course for her senior year. For Math we use VideoText. It has worked extremely well for her. She likes the way the concepts are presented and she just goes at her own speed. I love that every. single. problem. is completely worked out in the solutions manual. Every step, not just the answer. That alone sold me on it. Well, that and Cathy Duffy's recommendation. :D As far as Winter Promise, my dd was very interested in their "Royals to Revolution" course. She wanted to study European History and that seemed to fit the bill. I had tried Animal Worlds with my youngest and we liked it, but it didn't wow me. I really do like the high school program though. I love their reading material and we are both learning quite a bit. WP's choices for literature are great, too. My dd is slightly dyslexic and she still prefers me to read aloud, because the words start swimming on the page if she has to do a lot of independent reading. I have yet to find a curriculum that has been perfectly written to my standards :lol:, so I've just accepted that I will need to tweak whatever I choose. And, since I have more curriculum than a booth at a homeschool convention.....I can do that. (Hello, my name is Diane and I am addicted to curriculum) For next year, my dd wants to concentrate on American history....her favorite and mine. So, I'm planning on getting American Story 1 from WP and using it in conjunction with KONOS (which I already own) so that my little one can tag along. For my dd, I will probably write out my own lesson plans using KONOS American History and books from Veritas Press. I always look at curriculum like a buffet....pick and choose what I like from it and discard the rest without a shred of guilt. Hope I answered what you were asking. Please feel free to ask more if there's something I can clarify. Diane W. married 22 years homeschooling 3 kiddos for 16 years
  6. I used it when my youngest was in first grade (he's in third grade now). I loved the worksheets and teacher's manual, etc. HATED the readers. Absolutely detested them. Couldn't use them. They were so contrived (IMO) and their forced use of whatever vowel sounds or blends a particular story focused on left the actual text of the reader VERY dry and almost nonsensical. It also bugged me that in the one on the Civil War, they changed Stonewall Jackson's name to "Rock" because the children hadn't come to long vowel sounds yet. :001_huh: So, I used the worksheets (except for the ones pertaining to the readers), sang the songs and played the games....but substitued other beginning readers that I liked better. Diane W. married 22 years homeschooling 3 kiddos for 16 years
  7. We are using their "Royals to Revolution" right now with my high schooler and she loves it. I only order the guides from them, not the actual books (unless they're unavailable anywhere else), and that seems to work better. I get all the books from Amazon, which I really like, because I usually stagger the order with what I need for the first ten weeks of the program, then the next ten weeks and so on. It's a little easier on the pocketbook that way. I also combine Winterpromise with KONOS and we have done some AMAZING unit studies that way! Diane W. married for 22 years homeschooling 3 kiddos for 16 years
  8. We loved "Write Shop", too! Easy to use and really taught my kids to write well. Rainbow Resource carries it. Diane W. married for 22 years homeschooling 3 kiddos for 16 years
  9. I second Ken Burns. Also, "Liberty" by PBS. The History Channel and the Biography Channel have really great profiles of individual presidents. We also used the PBS series of presidential biographies this past year and loved them. Diane W. married for 22 years homeschooling 3 kiddos for 16 years
  10. Konos has a wonderful one that we used last year and LOVED it. It is a complete American History course, but you could just start with the second half of the year. We did it over two years, because we enjoyed it so much. It is a download only from their website. Diane W. married 22 years homeschooling 3 kiddos for 16 years
  11. I've been homeschooling for 16 years, and over time, I've taken what I liked from Waldorf, Charlotte Mason and Classical Ed and come up with my own ecclectic combination of those three philosophies. It probably doesn't sound pretty, but it works for us. And, seriously, that's what is most important with any curriculum. Make it work for you. And, don't throw the baby out with the bath water. How's that for a homeschooling philosophy??? :lol: Diane W. married 22 years homeschooling 3 kiddos for 16 years
  12. I did this with a wall around the fireplace in my family room and I LOVE it! Our wall started out white, too, and I didn't use a primer. I did however, end up using SIX coats of Laura Ashley "Berry #6" paint. It turned out perfectly though. And, 9 years later....I still love it. After I did my red wall....four of my neighbors who saw it went and did the same thing in their houses. So I guess it looks good. :lol: Diane W. married 22 years homeschooling 3 kiddos for 16 years
  13. Your entire family is in our prayers. :grouphug: Diane W.
  14. Oh, no!! I'm so, so sorry for your heartbreak, Kari. :grouphug: Prayers for comfort and peace for all of your family. Diane W.
  15. It should say in the packet info, but generally after you've taken your seventh pill (in a row), you're safe. Diane W. married for 22 years homeschooling 3 kids for 16 years
  16. Awww, how wonderful!! Newborns are the best. Congratulations!! :) Diane W.
  17. I may have missed this, but how old is the baby? If he is less than 8 weeks, I would call the doc to check first. You can piggyback Tylenol and Motrin, but honestly....103 isn't that high for a young child, and some docs don't recommend that anymore....too many bad drug reactions. You can give Motrin every 6 hours. More important than how high the fever goes is how the child is acting. If a child with a fever plays, smiles and is happy...then don't worry. Honestly, I would be more worried about a child with a temp of 99.5 that was listless and unresponsive. Fever is the body's natural response to fighting infection. It is not evil in and of itself. It is a signal that the body is doing exactly what it should be doing. If you blunt the fever, you will blunt the body's infection fighting power. So, if the baby is acting fine....tell your sister not to be fever phobic. Diane W. (pediatric nurse)
  18. The vaccines that were in question regarding autistic behavior were the ones given between 15-18 months. If those did not affect her at that time or shortly there after, I would not look to vaccines as the cause. Diane W. married for 22 years homeschooling 3 kiddos for 16 years
  19. You know, this is such a controversial topic, even among medical professionals, that you will always get dissenting opinions, no matter what you do or say. I would print out his schedule and ask your pediatrician what he thinks. Some of the vaccines are put together in one shot, and it's almost impossible to get them in separate vaccines. My OB tested me for antibodies to rubella when I was planning a pregnancy, because the efficacy of that vaccine can wane with time, and I was found not to have sufficient immunity. He couldn't even get a single shot of rubella, so I just got the MMR vaccine again. You could also look back and get just the recommended shots from about 10-15 years ago for your little ones. That covers all the baddies (whooping cough, Hib, etc.) and leaves out the newer vaccines. My rule with vaccines (as well as drugs) is not to use something that hasn't been on the market for less than five years....unless it's a matter of life and death, of course. Talk it over with your pediatrician. If he brushes you off or won't listen to a delayed vax request.....I would choose another pediatrician. Hope that helps a bit. Diane W.
  20. We use ours as a reference book, mainly. Whenever we find some new critter in the backyard, we get it out and look it up. It's never failed us and we've always learned a lot using it. Diane W. married for 22 years homeschooling 3 kiddos for 16 years
  21. Mine are all fully vaxed. Working as a pediatric nurse, I saw one too many cases of children with whooping cough, measles and mumps that broke my heart. Are there risks with vaccines? Probably. Are they small? Definitely. Are there certain children that shouldn't receive vaccinations? Yes. It's not a perfect world and that's why we, as parents, should do all the research we can and come to a conclusion that works for our own individual families. What vaccines would I definitely give my kids? Meningitis...hands down, no debate. That disease can kill you in less than 24 hours with minimum of symptoms. I saw a child in our office that came in with a headache and a fever of 99.5....bacterial spinal meningitis. If the mom hadn't already had a well-check scheduled, that child would have died. Hib....again, no debate. This prevents certain types of flu, meningitis and epiglottitus which is another disease that kills suddenly and painfully. MMR...you can delay this one, but measles is no walk in the park. Plan on your child being seriously ill for 14 days with that one. It is on the rise and it does kill children. Mumps is harmless for the most part...although uncomfortable and painful. It can lead to nasty secondary infections and in some cases, cause sterility in men. Rubella is completely harmless for young children, but if you are pregnant and come in contact with a child who has rubella....your baby will be born with severe deformities. Not something I'd want to fool around with. Polio...this is a disease that will haunt you for the rest of your life if you get it. Not only do you risk paralysis with the initial infection, but it never leaves your body and will come back and attack you as "post polio syndrome" after age 50. You will then lose the use of your limbs as you struggle to fight this re-invasion of this horrible disease. Vaccines I have no problem delaying: Hepatitis...all of them. I do advocate getting them, but you don't need to have them as an infant. Chicken pox....this is a toss up for me. My two oldest got chicken pox naturally, because there was no vaccine at the time. The problem with the chicken pox virus is that it also never leaves your system and can come back and attack you as shingles. If you've ever known anyone who has had that....you know how awful that is. It is a herpes virus and it just settles into a set of nerves near your spine and lays dormant until something (stress, immune system weakness, etc) causes it to rear its ugly head again. I've also seen children hospitalized with chicken pox. My youngest got the vax. Gardasil...don't think it's been on the market long enough, and some of the side effects of that one are particularly nasty. I would wait until age 16 or older, unless you know your child is sexually active....or could be. Obviously this is just my opinion and you should definitely talk with your doctor about all vaccinations. Delayed schedules are a very reasonable request, and Dr. Sears has one you can print out on his website. They do give waaaay more vaccines than they even did 10 years ago and more than a couple at a time would give me pause. Not because I think it's an overload on a child's immune system, but because I wouldn't know which one they might have had a reaction to if they did. Also note that redness, a lump at the injection site or a slight fever (less than 101) is NOT considered a bad reaction. It is a sign that the child's immune system is working and doing what it is supposed to do. If you have a reaction that is more severe or persists longer than 48 hours after the shots, then call your ped. Of course call if your child is exhibiting any behavior that you think is unusual. As a precaution, I kept my children in or near the office for at least 15 minutes after the shots were administered. That way if they had an anaphylatic reaction to any ingredients in the vaccine...they would still be at the peds office. Most severe anaphylactic reactions will occur within that time period. Diane W. married 22 years homeschooling 3 kids for 16 years
  22. Well, I refer to every freeway in the US as "I-#".....except for the California freeways. Living there, I called them "the 5", "the 101", etc. Diane W.
  23. Pediatric nurse, here. What you are describing sounds like "pre-cordial catch syndrome". It is completely benign and very common in children and teens. In fact, my daughter has it. It is a sharp pain occuring in the chest area that makes it very hard for a child to breathe deeply. It comes and goes and generally resolves itself completely by the age of 25. Sometimes you can get relief by forcing a deep breath...even though it hurts...and the patient will feel a popping sound and the pain goes away. The cause is unknown, but the ped I worked for seemed to think it involved the pinching of a nerve in that area. My daughter's is worse when she's more active. Generally the pain is felt on the left side of the chest, but we've had patients with it on the right as well. If your pediatrician doesn't recommend any further testing (and they generally don't....the symptoms usually point to the diagnosis fairly clearly) and your still concerned, make an appointment with a pediatric cardiologist. If you google that term as well as "Texidor's Twinge" (it's other name), you'll find lots of info that will help you decide if that's what it sounds like is happening with your daughter. If it is.....don't worry at all. It's harmless. Diane W.
  24. LMHO....then I guess Ortho-Tri might not be the answer. :lol: My OB only prescribes the brand name version for his own personal reasons, so I'm totally unfamiliar with the generic equivalent. Hmmm, maybe she should try a steady dose of hormones all through the month rather than a tri-cyclic kind. Also, you really need to give the pills about 3-4 months. The breakthrough bleeding should calm down after that. And, is she taking them at night, right before she goes to bed? Sometimes that helps with the side effects, too. Diane W.
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