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Kay in Cal

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Posts posted by Kay in Cal

  1. Oops, once again I was unclear. What I meant to ask was, would you personally never send your children to a public university, even a prestigious one?


    In all the talk about people pulling thier children from public schools, I never understood that those same people would also not use public universitites, but I guess that makes sense. If you want a truly religious education, then a religious university would be the way to go.


    I'm not dissing religious education--I have a seminary M. Div. I just am curious about the opposition to public universities.

  2. I'm happy for everyone to have choices... it's just worked out well for us that the public homeschool option exists.


    Can I ask a question I've never even thought about before... would you thus not use any public university? I went to a private school myself, but here in California it seems like places like UCLA, Berkely, etc are some of the best schools in the state.

  3. We're one of those families in CA that uses a public charter (and I even know several other old-timers on this board). We started registering independantly, but when we moved to San Diego from Los Angeles last year decided to try a charter.


    It has worked out great for us. I haven't changed a thing in what we are doing. Admittedly, we use secular curricula. We are a family of faith, but we do separate bible study and devotion time. I pay for those books, and they aren't covered by any subject area that the state cares about.


    The best part has been the organized field trips and supplemental classes (art, PE, and Spanish). I don't feel any less like a homeschooler, even though my current set of books was paid for by the school district. Our once a month "check in" when we turn in a calendar with listed activities just is not that invasive, and probably is enough to prevent educational neglect if that were an issue in some families.


    However, I don't have any ethical or philosophical issues with public education as such, just with the way it is implemented. If "teach your kids yourself and we'll support that with funding" becomes the norm for public school, that's OK by me. I'm happy to have my government provide services. I can tell you from time I spent as a missionary in Kazakhstan that living in a country with no government regulations (or services) isn't really all that great. I like having the freedom to homeschool as I like, and the public charter hasn't impinged on our experience at all.


    That said, when my boys get into high school and the requirements start to get more specific, we'll probably go back to doing it on our own. Acceleration issues are challenging in any setting. I think we'll most likely go the community college route. Which is also public school.

  4. I'm really not the mean food police mom or anything. I think we eat average to healthy meals--I want more veggies and salad, my dh wants more fried foods. My kids also have an occasional fast food run and eat donuts at church and whatever they are served as a guest. They eat thier halloween candy--at least until I get the leftovers to church.


    But in our home "snack" means intentional sustenance to give you adequate nutrition until your next meal. Yogurt. Fruit. Cheese and crackers. Maybe even corn chips and guacamole. We do sometimes eat candy, as it "Hey, I want a piece of candy!" -- but that's entertainment, not snacking.


    This year I've been getting more involved in cub scouts (I got sucked into being a den mother) and have been helping once a week with our church afternoon program for elementary kids. When asked to bring snacks kids invariably bring: candy. Red vines. Sour patch kids. Those dippy frosting cup things. At a recent even when kids brought their favorite snacks, my boys brought cheese quesadillas and pretzles, respectively. Everyone else (of 18 kids) brought candy--except one little girl who brought popcorn.


    Do 15 of every 18 kids really eat candy as a snack? My boys invariably come home hopped up on goofballs. I'm not usually a super grumpy health mom, but maybe I'm more out there than I thought.

  5. Thank you for all your responses! Today I was back at work, in the full swing of things at home... it really is amazing how I am "back to normal" so fast. Now to get ready for next month...


    Carol: I'm definitely going to check out the Borage oil. I still need to get in to see my doctor now that I've realized what is going on (duh!), but that sounds like something I could do right away. Also cutting out caffeine would be pretty easy--I don't drink that much soda or coffee, so I can just avoid it altogether for a while and see if that helps.


    Karyn: I'll pm you. I haven't found that much online other than general info, so I'd be interested to hear from someone who has had some experience with this.


    Carole: I don't think I've had my hormone levels checked at all, so I'll be sure to mention that when I go see my doc. She will want to do bloodwork, I know... and thyroid is probably a good thing to check.


    Kristen: I'm pretty willing to take whatever will work! At this point I just want to reclaim those days of the month. I'll ask my doctor about meds as well.


    Thank you thank you! It really was helpful to write this down and share it here. The only person who really knows what has been happening is my dh, and he has been great. He doesn't have that feminine insight and advice, though. I know that he'll have less to worry about if I can get this under control.


    Any other advice would be greatly appreciated!



  6. I feel like an idiot for never noticing it correlated with my cycle, but this year I've started having monthly bouts of anxiety/depression/despair that leave me bedridden and sobbing for 48-72 hours. I am shaking, confused, and almost hysterical. I've also had bouts of vertigo that started this past spring--again, the week before my period, but usually after the anxiety. This is NOT normal for me, and it was only last month that I realized I could go back through the year and that each time I had a "meltdown" was exactly 6 days before my period. Duh!


    I've always been fairly laissez-faire about tracking my cycle so I just never connected the two. Now I have my iPhone (yes, there's an app for that) and looking over my calendar it is so obvious. I've never even had "PMS" type symptoms before this year, so this is new to me. I'll be 40 next month.


    What should I do? I can't work, can't teach, can't do anything when I'm overwhelmed with this fear and sadness. I've had to cancel meetings, call in sick, let my dh do everything while I collapse. Even calling to change plans overwhelms me. I don't know how to explain my behavior to my friends and folks at church. Then, 2 days later--tonight, in fact--I'm better. Back to normal and jump into all the stuff that's piled up for several days. But it's scary bad. I'm already dreading next month! Someone tell me this can get better? What can I try? I'm pretty willing to do almost anything at this point.

  7. Interesting list. I would say that the words quixotic, astute, degradation, discernment, prodigious, incredulous, magnanimous, and obsequious are part of my active vocabulary. The rest would be part of my receptive vocabulary--I wouldn't have to look them up, but I most likely would not use them in conversation.


    As a professional communicator, using advanced vocabulary is both useful and a hindrance. Whenever I use a big word in a sermon, I immediately restate it. It's a compromise I've reached after almost 20 years in the pulpit. So I'll write (and say) "I was incredulous. I could not believe it." I like using the word, yet my language doesn't exclude those whose vocabularies are not as large--many of my parishoners. When I write something that will be read it depends on context: is this a scholarly paper, a popular article, a facebook post, or a business letter?


    The hardest part I find is in spontaneous conversation, not at home, but at church. I have been asked for clarification when I have mentioned someone who is a "curmudgeon", or talked about a "conflagration"--both of which I would use with my family. I'm also very fond of the useful words whence/hence/whither/hither. Words are fun.






  8. OK, I wanted to post because this is not a curriculum I knew anything about or would have known to consider, but I found a copy at a local homeschool store and it was perfect for us. Traditional cursive handwriting (yes, loops and all), and comes in a Kindergarten level book (wide lines). It turned out to be perfect for both my boys--the 6 year old has great eye hand coordination and was ready to learn cursive. The 8 year old needed to move on to cursive, but has a very hard time with writing. The "K" level book has been perfect for him as well. His handwriting has improved amazingly!


    No frills, cheap. We do two pages a day which are in the traditional trace, then copy format.

  9. Wow! I had no clue that Poe was so controversial. We've read "Tell Tale Heart" aloud on Halloween night as a family. Spooky fun! I remember reading "Cask of Amontillado" at the age of 8 or 9 and really loving it. I can understand that not everyone's taste runs to the Gothic, but don't find it inappropriate in any way. I had to pull up a copy online and read it again... yep. Can't imagine it being forbidden to a middle schooler.


    That said, I hated "Lord of the Flies". I'd still let my kids read it, though.

  10. I highly recommend the open-enrollment EPGY math program. It is through Stanford university, online and child directed. It isn't a "high-frills" approach, just very thorough and mathematically challenging. My kids look forward to it every day. The pace is set by the child--the more they get correct, the fewer repetitions. It works well for my handwriting challenged, very bright 8 year old. My 6 year old who writes just fine enjoys it too--I don't think of him as "mathy" but he has moved at his own pace this year and is now working on his multiplication tables. That blew me away!


    There is a group over on the Accelerated Learner board that forms a "school" through which you can subscribe. Lots of info in old threads there.

  11. I agree... I think what is most important is that you are both happy with your system and that it works for your family.


    I've never met anyone homeschooling the way we are. My husband is the primary teacher three days a week. I teach one day a week and work full time, but not on a traditional schedule. He get's that one day off for his fun comic book store job. I do all the curriculum selection and research, he's not so into that part, but he obviously has a lot of input since he is the one who has to implement said curriculum. Some things we divide up--he always teaches Latin because he has the Latin background, I take anything poetry related or crafty. We believe that family learning is a lifestyle, and our "in it together" approach reflects that focus.

  12. I used FLL first (at an accelerated pace) before starting on GWG. My older son is just starting on GWG 5, and while grammar isn't his favorite subject he does it quickly, learns the material, and moves on.


    Younger son is still in the first half of FLL (we're on lesson 70, I think) and when we finish we'll pick up with GWG 3.

  13. We usually read the book together, and occasionally listen to the discs in the car. I also try to check out a selection of books from the library that relate to the topic that week... sometimes my boys read them, sometimes not. Sometimes they will ask me to read them aloud before bed. My older son will occasionally read SOTW as bedtime or freetime reading.


    My kids have their own iPods, and listen to SOTW for fun on their own time. SOTW rivals our collection of Jim Weiss CDs as the most popular listening for bed time or quiet time. They don't always listen to what we are studying, but this approach has led to my ds8 being very excited and interested in Napolean, even though we haven't "officially" gotten to him yet. He's done more independant reading on the subject because of the audiobooks.

  14. OK, I'm used to the "Why do you homeschool?" question from acquaintances, and have developed some go-to answers over the years.


    However, this week was asked twice, "Why do you teach Latin?" *


    I found myself starting to talk about the Trivium, the history of Latin as the basis for western education, how Latin prepares the mind for logic, Dorothy Sayers, Latin-Centered curiculum, our goal of being able to read original works in Latin... and it all tumbled out as too much. I have too much information to answer concisely or clearly and was caught unprepared. Two raised eyebrows ensued.


    So, if you teach Latin--give me a good, concise, understandable, non-snarky answer to give to someone who asks "Why?"




    *--Yes, I do know I don't have to give an explanation to anyone, but both of these persons were church friends and were honestly curious about the value of Latin, not just busybodies with nothing better to do than give me a hard time. Otherwise I would have come up with something like "Because we enjoy the tango, and hope to visit Latin America some day."

  15. Also, you can go back over any lectures/problems that were missed just to review. I usually check my kids' list of subjects covered every couple of months, and if there are ones that they scored low in, I sit with them and we do that section again together. You can also replay exactly what answers they gave by clicking on the green bubble on the calendar page for that day.

  16. Oh my, love love love it!!! The pictures don't do justice to how well put together the product is, and it is easy even for the craft-impaired. I love the printed binder for storage... and we've already hung up the century we are studying on the wall. This is our fourth year of history, but we've never done a timeline before and I was excited about how easy it is to start in the middle.


    All the extras are fantastic. I wasn't sure if I'd use the flip-ups that double-up the lines... but of course, I had a bunch of explorers for 1608, and used them right away. Because of the great design, I could even add one as an afterthought without undoing our work (I did say I was craft-impaired). Well worth the investment, IMHO.



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