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Everything posted by MommyThrice

  1. Been going to Red River, NM most summers for almost 20 years. Once Texas starts heating up in the spring, Red River is all I can think about. Even when I know it is miserably cold there in the winter, I want to go. We usually camp and sometimes rent a house. I almost ALWAYS look at property when I'm there... the town is so small I know absolutely every neighborhood and I even watch property listings from home. I've just never found the cabin that I want to spend the money on for a summer house. As much as I love it, I don't think I would ever live there full-time.
  2. Sounds like an easy decision. My middle son wants to buy his own personal cell phone now, so that even solved the problem of the extra device. Thanks for the input!
  3. So, Lara, do you leave the phone in the house for the kids when you are away?
  4. I'm almost ready to take the plunge. I'm paying $30/month for my land-line. I can add one more cell phone to my family plan for $10/month AND keep my existing phone number. Is there a good reason I shouldn't do this? Four of the five of us already have cell phones. My youngest, 14 yo, doesn't have a phone yet. I could get the 5th line for him, but then we would just be dropping our house phone. Or the 5th line could be the house phone, for now, and we could gradually switch all house phone calls over to my or husband's cell phone, then give the phone to the youngest. I'm just trying to think this through. BTW, land-line is VoIP, so I'm not giving up the dependability of a real, old-fashioned land-line.
  5. I had one when the kids were young b/c it was easy to clean, but I never really liked it. It was nice leather (and the pillows were attached) but the brown was boring and it was hot in the summer & cold in the winter. I tried colorful pillows, but they kept sliding off the slick leather. I sold it on Craigslist. With that money I bought a down-stuffed sofa, also on Craigslist, and had a linen slipcover made for it. It is amazingly comfortable and cute. I did go back and get a new leather chair.
  6. One of my kids had a down comforter that was ruined when we had a water leak. I replaced it with a (cheaper) down alternative. He thinks it's just as warm.
  7. Update... Took oldest to visit with his calculus teacher/co-op administrator/homeschool dad - for the 2nd time. Ds really respects him. He didn't mince any words and told ds that his dc grades demonstrate that he just doesn't give a crap. He didn't listen to any of ds excuses and explained that he is between (a) NMS, full-ride scholarship to Baylor (and possibly law school, too) or (b) he can be 2.9 GPA at community college. Those are the options before him. Not only did he give ds a "talking to", he also gave him some clear goals. In particular, ds agreed to a clear timeline of getting all scholarship application essays completed, reviewed by someone else, edited and submitted with time to spare. He agreed to do nothing else & not ask about any social events until it is completely done. Then he will have earned some time off to hang out with his friends. He also suggested ds talk to his Arabic professor about his grade (Same thing I've been suggesting all along, but then... moms are idiots, right?) Ds did that, and his professor changed his final grade (79) from a C to a B. Maybe because he got a 90 on the final, but probably just for asking. He will continue with Arabic 2 next semester, but he has agreed to audit the course (no grade/no credit). He doesn't need the credit b/c he will move back to Arabic 1 when (if) he goes to Baylor. This is really just for high school credit and to give him the foundation so he can do well in the class at college. He will take Composition 1 and Texas Government for dual credit this spring. Those should be easy for him. I am so very grateful to this dad for helping out once again! Ds seems to have taken it to heart. He needed the straight talk. Time will tell how it all works out.
  8. Almost all our heat is from our wood stove. It's a newer, very efficient stove, but we live out in the country and I don't have to buy wood. Buying fire wood might cost us more than our electric heat. I like to dry clothes on the line, too. It makes them smell better. But I use the dryer for my whites or, at least, run them through it after they are dry. I don't like crunchy underwear! Crock-pot or toaster oven so I don't heat up the big stove. It's gas, so doesn't cost much to heat, but we live in Texas and in the summer I don't want any more heat in the house. A/C is our major expense. And I'm constantly turning off lights.
  9. Something that hasn't been mentioned... officers DO NOT need probable cause IF you give them permission to search. Same with your home. If they ask if they can search, you should always say "no" (respectfully!) Saying "yes" allows them to go on a fishing expedition and use anything they find against you. If they do have probable cause, they can/will search even without your permission, but they very well may skip it without consent.
  10. Many thanks to everyone that replied to my "Ready to give up" post. Oldest ds would love to have a part-time job. He had one over the summer and enjoyed the independence. But I have some questions... 1) My biggest concern - how do they balance work and school? A job over the summer is one thing, but a job during school is quite another. Do you cut the course load to allow for work? Ds is having a hard time keeping up with school, so I'm afraid to give him more to do. But, then again, he's wasting tremendous amounts of time, so maybe he needs more work. 2) How do you handle the car situation? We're considering a "kids' car" for the three teen boys, but we're not there yet. We live a ways out of town so there is no public transportation. The closest stores are a good 15 minutes away. I've been reluctant to drive 15-20 minutes for my kids to work a 4-hour shift so they can spend more money on clothes and music. 3) How do you handle the money? Right now we pay for insurance & gas, but ds pretty much only drives to classes and back and an occasional errand for me. If he starts driving to earn money, he should probably be paying more of the costs. We made a deal with him early on that if he received a National Merit Scholarship (worth $100k or more) we would give him $10k for a car. It looks like he will get that, but we've been holding off until we are sure. I'm not sure when finalists are announced - soon I would guess - but maybe it's time to move forward with that. (And, I assure you, next two sons are watching. Middle son is already starting to prep for PSAT :-) 4) Would you consider volunteer work the same as paid work? Like most home school families, we're usually short on money. But it might be nice to have ds do volunteer work instead of paid to learn to give to others. He wants to be an attorney, so he and I would both like for him to work in that field. There is an attorney that has offered to pay him, but it's a little over an hour away. I think he could do volunteer work for our public defender's office and I think he would like that. This is a bit self-serving; one of the scholarships he's applying for is looking for this type of work. I'm just trying to weigh the pros / cons of each. I appreciate the feedback. Tracie
  11. Wintermom, I would love to do that. Dh won't or can't. He tells them to do something, then when they don't he never notices. Just today ds #1 went to coffee with a another man to ask if he could take his daughter to prom. When I found out about it (last night - dh has known all along) I asked dh if he told ds that he could go to the prom. Dh said no, they didn't even discuss that. Seems like it was an assumed "okay" or just up to the other dad. I'm okay with him going, but it seems to me he should at least ask first. Dh is in charge of math for one son only. He's done about 30% of what should have been done by Christmas. He just can't get them to work. I feel the pain long before dh does. You're right... They don't listen to mom anymore. I am pulling my hair out over here!
  12. Apparently, Lehman has also written Have a New Teenager by Friday. Reading it now. Thanks!
  13. I really don't want to farm out any more classes; I'm fine farming out math/science/foreign language, but I know I can teach literature & writing much better than any outside class I've seen. But if I can't make them actually do the work, I will have to do that. I cannot believe how much grief they can give me. Losing internet or cell phones prompts yelling rants. ALL the other kids get to text, go to social events, work out, manage their own time, etc... Future attorney was yelling at me the other day, so I sent him out of the house. He told me that taking away his cell phone and holding him "prisoner" was against the Geneva convention! :huh: And this was after he asked if I would let him move in with a friend. He was shocked to hear me say, "Sure." Then he decided he would rather stay home.
  14. I'm really feeling like a failure right now. I'm tired of pushing my three teen boys. I have worked so hard homeschooling them for the past 13 years, but they just don't seem to want what I want. Oldest DS, 18yo, is a National Merit Semi-Finalist. He wants to be an attorney and has won all kinds of speech, debate & moot court awards. He's smart & a pretty good writer, but he seems to have just given up. He has a pending scholarship to Baylor, but just won't put forth the effort to see it through to completion. (We don't have the money to send him w/o the scholarship.) He has completely dropped English for me this semester, so I've signed him up for a dual credit class. He will only have 1/2 English credit, but he doesn't care. He's been studying Arabic, but lied to us about it all semester and ended up with a "C" (that's with a 90 on his final!) This is the 3rd semester in a row he has gotten behind and lied about it. 3rd semester in a row I thought he would learn his lesson. His dual credit GPA is now down to a 2.9. He will need to maintain a 3.5 to keep his scholarship at Baylor, IF he gets it. All he can think about is working out and his social life. I don't know what happened to the smart, curious kid he used to be. DS #2, 16 yo, isn't much better. I can't get him to do his "mommy" classes. I'm farming out more and more to outside classes. DS #3, 14 yo, is my smart math/science guy. He isn't giving me as much grief yet, but he is getting and attitude. I just don't know what to do with them. I can't get them to do their school work, pick-up around the house, or even make their own lunch. If I don't make their lunch, they will just eat chips and cheese and leave it scattered around the kitchen. (Then go work out and drink a protein shake - brilliant!) I'm tired of picking up after them. And I'm tired of being pestered to take them to various social events when I can't get them to take care of their responsibilities! Is there a career in surfing the net and hanging out with friends? They can spend hours on the computer "doing school" and have nothing to show for it. I've given up on internet monitoring software b/c they can get around it. Now I've just moved all the computers into the main part of the house so they aren't behind closed doors. Really, I'm feeling like a failure as a homeschool mom. Even just as a mom. DH isn't much help. I've asked him for years to please step in and get some control over them. Nothing. I can't believe that I have worked this hard just to watch them fail. I would love to have just ONE day where they want to read something intelligent, my house is relatively clean, and we aren't arguing about something.
  15. My thoughts exactly. He does not want a career that has anything to do with math. Loves humanities, history, political science. He could POSSIBLY need calculus if he wants to study economics, but that's a long shot. Seems obvious he needs to go back and get the foundation. And now that the hive has confirmed my hunch... I'm at peace!
  16. Well, I've thought about it. I don't really know where to start. Have you done this with one of yours?
  17. Thanks for all the feedback. I'm thinking now about taking the fall semester to go back through Alg. 2 and see where he's struggling, maybe using Lial's Intermediate Algebra. I don't have the book with me now, but I'm assuming I can use some tests to pinpoint his weaknesses. Then spend the spring semester on geometry. My other two sons benefitted immensely from the first 1/3 of Jacobs Geometry, so I'll give that a try. Or maybe start with the geometry to give him a break from the algebra. He's not AT ALL happy about this!!!! Next summer he will re-take the PSAT prep class (that's his desire) which should help fill in any other gaps.
  18. He has always struggled with math, but this has been the hardest year for him. He has managed to keep an A/B average based on test scores, so it could be worse. He is not a linear thinker. When he sees a new math problem, he doesn't build on what he's learned previously... it's like he's reinventing the wheel every time. Sometimes I wish we could go back to the very beginning and have him take notes, but whenever we go back to foundations he gets very impatient and angry. He struggled with learning to read. He has struggled with foreign languages. Everything is hard for him AND he has a problem with working diligently. That's why I was kind of hoping to put him in an outside math class next year. I would love to have someone else giving him deadlines for a change. He will, at least, be taking some other outside classes next year. Looking back, I did spend almost a semester having oldest work through one of the Lial books - don't remember which one right now. Maybe I should give that a try with this one. Angie W. - I will make the time to help him. We've tried the Dive DVDs and Khan; he just needs a live person to help and answer questions. But it's very painful because he is so easily frustrated.
  19. I've always used 2nd ed. of Saxon everything. The Pre-Calc class uses Saxon Advanced math. I don't have those books b/c my oldest moved straight from Alg. 2 (10th grade) to college dual credit Trig and Pre-Calc (11th). He did well.
  20. My middle son is mathematically challenged. I know that. I'm taking deep breaths. But still... Last year was his sophomore year. He just turned 16. He struggled with Algebra 2. Really struggled. He couldn't finish Saxon Alg 2 by the end of the year, so he's been working over the summer with a tutor. The tutor is great and he's even given ds some supplemental problems to help prepare for the PSAT. Still, he isn't going to finish Alg. 2 by the start of next year and he's registered to take Pre-Calc from the same tutor. Tutor thinks it's okay since he's so close to the end of the book. I agree, but the problem isn't that he didn't finish, but I think he doesn't understand what he has finished. He has about an 87 average (I'm grading tests only). We have agreed to add an extra year of school. He has a June birthday and dh and I both agree that he isn't ready for junior-level work - academics/time managements/maturity/etc... He dropped his PSAT prep-class, partly b/c of time and partly b/c the math was a problem. His older brother will be a national merit finalist and this son would like to do the same. His goal, not mine. Sibling competition. There's probably no chance of that this year based on his practice scores, so he'll do the prep class next year. (BTW, older son added a school year too, although it was easier since he had a Sept. birthday, and it has really helped him! He's glad he did that.) So, I need advice. (1) Do I have him move on to Pre-Calc next year and hope for the best? Tutor wants him to go ahead with Pre-Calc in 10th (repeat year) then high school calculus in 11th, then a semester of college calculus in 12th and he's finished with math forever. I'm not sure he can do this. (2) Do I have him spend some more time on Algebra 2? If so, how? I've considered having him take dc college algebra, but I'm concerned about having that grade on his college transcript. I don't want to torture/punish him, but he does need to understand algebra. So, is it possible to move on to Pre-Calc? Or is that a bad idea? What would you do? I need to decide something very quickly! Thanks, Tracie
  21. 5 years PLUS law school? No wonder students can't organize their time and focus. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. I agree with LisaK. School hasn't gotten any harder, except for maybe more busy-work. We have somehow failed to teach our kids to just "do the next thing," then enjoy their free time with a clear conscience. I keep explaining this to my kids, but I don't think they want to hear it. Is it a problem with delayed gratification? I remember working as a software consultant (eons ago) where long hours were expected. Not increased productivity - just long hours. It was maddening! I could do my job in half the time of my co-workers, but I was expected to stay in the office to put more hours on the clock. I hope that isn't the norm today.
  22. So, 2 hours per credit hour is probably more realistic? I'm initiating mandatory study hall for this amount of time for awhile. Of course, extra study is acceptable!
  23. That might explain why taking 21 hours in electrical engineering my first semester at A&M wasn't such a good idea. I should probably be in therapy to work on forgiving that college counselor.
  24. Conventional wisdom says that for every hour class credit, you will need to study 2-3 hours outside of class. Is this realistic? Ds would like to take 10 hours in the fall. That would mean he would need to study 20-30 hours outside of class. That is only 3 classes (history, statistics & physics) so he still needs history & English at home. (Disclaimer: he took 6 hours this past fall and 4 in the spring. I have no idea how long he studied, but he's falling below a 3.5 GPA. That's why I'm asking) So, breaking down the time, I get... Class time: 10 hrs/wk Study time: 20-30 hr/wk History & English: 7.5 hrs/wk Class + study time: 37.5 to 47.5 hrs/wk For a full-time college student taking 18 hours, they would need to study 36 - 54 hours outside of class. Class + study = 54 to 72 hours per week. What am I missing here?
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