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About Penelope

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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  1. A One online school we have used requires exams to be proctored. In one class, tests were taken in real time in class, the parent had to be visually present for the entire time. In others, the student could take the exam when they and their parents wished, but the parent had to sign the exam paper to verify that they proctored. In all cases, a password was sent to parent email only so that only the parent could unlock the exam. Not convenient when you have younger kids, but I think it’s completely reasonable. Of course it is still possible to cheat, by parent enabling or kid blatantly getting around all the obstacles, but less likely. I treat all exams the same whether I have to sign something or not. We print or open up on the computer, with all books, notes, and devices in another room, and I sit right there for the duration. I suppose it would possible to cheat on regular work for online classes just as it is for school; I can’t realistically monitor every bit of their work that closely. But at least it would be pretty evident on testing if they were doing that. And of course we have conversations about academic integrity. It’s not about doing the right thing only when someone is watching.
  2. That’s funny, I was thinking that I don’t see them much anymore. I figured it was because for years, they were the only well-known brand with a wider more natural footbed. Now there are others and you don’t have to have a local “crunchier” shoe store to get them since there is online shopping.
  3. Yes, he does, and that is his experience. But his college teaching was at a public university back in the nineties, when the population of home educated college students was arguably very different than it is today. Then I think more recently he teaches at a Christian university which is going to select for certain populations. As well, these days students who are homeschooled might seek out his classes because of his relationship with the homeschooling community, another self-selecting group. There may also be a difference in students who opt for a community college vs a four year school.
  4. I don’t know if that information is available to the public (individual colleges might track that data), but this is a blog that comments on homeschooling research. There is quite a bit that is done in the educational world that goes beyond the things one usually sees quoted by homeschooler speakers and blogs, and some of it is very interesting. The author of this blog also wrote a well-researched book on the history of homeschooling in the U.S.
  5. Yes. They aren’t more amazing over all. If they are at all, it is probably largely due to socioeconomic factors of homeschoolers vs the average of everyone else. But also, why do they have to be more amazing? It feels like because there are a few who have stood out and get lots of attention, all our kids are supposed to be amazing. Because it’s an alternative choice and there are these kinds of comments out there about how homeschoolers are better, there is more scrutiny. But a lot of them are going to be average, because that is just how it works. Hopefully they can use some of the advantages of homeschooling to be the best “them”, and hopefully the disadvantages balance out in the wash.
  6. I used their Lit one year. We really enjoyed that year. As you said, we didn’t use everything exactly as they said, and I added and subtracted books and parts of books. But it was helpful for paper topics and pacing, and for weeks when I was busier. I only purchased a couple of the Lit guides where I felt comprehension questions would actually be helpful. For that year it was Dante and one or two of the Shakespeare plays. I can’t really remember too much about them, but I thought they were pretty good. Not all in depth (the guide questions for discussions and essay had stronger questions), but did involve some inference and some why questions. I wouldn’t have wanted them for every book. We used the conference talks; they were scheduled as an intro to the year, and for that they were okay. I probably enjoyed the more than my student. For that year they are pretty old and the audio quality is not great. And of course they reflect a Catholic religious perspective, if that isn’t clear to anyone reading.
  7. I wouldn’t say bad service, but just expected problems from ordering something like that online. I received a pair that looked nothing on me like they looked on the site, on my photo (and I “tried them on” with two different photos). I don’t think I will order from them again. Walmart is fairly inexpensive for in-person service, and at least I can be sure what I’m getting.
  8. I’m really behind, but here is a response discussing this study from two physicians who are members of the Academy for Breastfeeding Medicine. And another: I appreciated this quote from the first link. Its good to remember that when talking about the choice to formula feed, not all women have that same choice. Just as some women feel pressured into breastfeeding, many others are still pushed into using formula, either by their families and communities, medical professionals with suboptimal advice, and maybe most especially by work situations like not having enough maternity leave to estabish a milk supply, and inadequate time and place to pump. I finally finished watching the video. While it is good to discuss the issue, the video came across as a huge oversimplification. I can already “hear” reactions to pieces like this. “See? It doesn’t make any difference. So for goodness sake, put your shirt down and let grandma give the kid a bottle and get back to work.” Complete with a look of disgust, for some. It is still not easy to nurse your child, particularly past the newborn stage, in all parts of the world. Once upon a time it was probably more often the wealthy parents who used formula or wet nurses. Now in some places we have the reverse, for various reasons.
  9. Again, if you are really interested, google the position statements of the Academy or Breastfeeding Medicine, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, the American Academy of Family Physicians. Plenty of links within those. Yes in the developed world. Way too many to list. Not my job to convince anybody. Outlandish argument. That made me smile.
  10. It might be true in the US that most moms wouldn’t want to, but the reason I think what you bolded is because I have read studies from other countries where they do have more baby-friendly policies and support for new moms and have very high breastfeeding initiation rates. Something like 90% is what I remember, but that might not be exactly right. A majority, though. Just found that the CDC breastfeeding report 2016 says “ Highlights from the 2016 Breastfeeding Report Card show: Among infants born in 2013, 4 of 5 (81.1 percent) started out breastfeeding. This high percentage of babies who start out breastfeeding shows that most mothers want to breastfeed and are trying to do so. More than half (51.8 percent) of infants were breastfeeding at 6 months.”
  11. I can see why you might read it that way, but thanks for understanding it isn’t meant that way. Some people in the thread posted about significant struggles, and my issue was nothing like that and truly was ignorance, lack of information, whatever you want to call it, and tried to make that clear,Personal experience, that’s all. I do think that most moms, if they have the information and strong support, assuming no medical problems for mom or baby, will want to try breastfeeding, even if they aren’t able to continue. Some won’t, but I can’t speak for them. I know this is a touchy issue, maybe more especially if kids are still young and you are in the midst of things. Peace.
  12. I like anecdotes and it is fine if people make decisions based largely on them. We all do it to greater or lesser degrees. Part of being human. Not the same thing as studying public health issues among larger groups and looking at the numbers. Yes, there are problems inherent to this, too. We aren’t going to get all the answers we’d like. Information is incomplete, sometimes later partially or completely contradicted. But people do deserve the information available when making their choices. When the choice is made, there shouldn’t be shaming, but rather support. Babies get fed, the world moves on. But there are always new moms and new babies who need the information. That doesn’t end because someone had to or simply wanted to use formula and for whatever reason doesn’t feel great about it (even though I don’t think it is worth any mom’s time feeling bad about something like that). One of my kids got some formula, not because of any medical issues but just because of my ignorance. I don’t think that was great, but of course I dont think that child’s health is ruined. I do understand how someone who drove themselves crazy trying to breastfeed and still ended up not being able to would have a hard time with a message of Breast is Best. I am sure in their place I would think that obnoxious, too. But I also think expecting parents deserve honest information about their options. It is probably hard for health professionals to find a message that is going to resonate with everyone and still share the information. I think causes harm vs. health promoting is semantics. When the norm is one thing, then lacking that thing can potentially cause harm. You can say vegetables are health-promoting, or you can say that the lack of vegetables in your diet can result in disease. It’s how you look at it. You are right that we probably know more about direct harm from smoking. I don’t think they can be compared. I am not saying formula is anything like smoking, no way. Possibility of harm does not mean definite harm but is better stated as “increased risks” of certain things.
  13. You’re right, that isn’t helpful. Saying that statistically, one option is overall more health-promoting than another, is not At All the same thing as saying a baby on formula won’t be healthy, or even that the vast majority of babies on formula won’t be healthy.
  14. You are welcome to disagree, but this isn’t a debate citing sources back and forth. That’s just silly. The weight of the evidence suggests formula feeding is, on balance, inferior to breastfeeding. You can find numerous reviews by many reputable health organizations around the world by googling it if you really want sources or expert opinions. You saying it or citing a few sources or just not reading all of the available evidence doesn’t make your opinion so, and neither does me doing the same. It’s a discussion. Saying that there is a difference is not demonizing a different choice. It is just an objective statistical difference, not the same thing as taking about individual cases. We all make choices from time to time that are not the “best” by some objective standard, because it isn’t a perfect ideal world and best isn’t available to all of us all of the time. Examples given earlier plus others: education, food sources, pollutants in particular environments, knowledgeable medical specialists, the list goes on and on. That doesn’t change the reality that sometimes, one option is likely a little bit better than something else. You misread my post. I said that it looks like adding it isn’t having the same effects of getting it from breast milk. Maybe it’s still being looked at. If I were using formula at the present time, I’d want it to have DHA. I took some extra DHA when I was nursing my kids, but I don’t really know if that did any good either. I suspect not anything significant. Sometimes we don’t have enough information to say and err on the side of best thinking at the time, while trying to balance that and think ahead about potential unintended consequences.
  15. No, but it’s a processed, engineered food that is a replacement for what tiny humans are meant to be eating. And it’s the only food they get for five or six months. Agree that it isn’t steamed broccoli vs. onion rings. I thought of some more apt comparisons, though I think posting them is more likely to have someone offended and disagreeing with a silly analogy. But you can’t say that it isn’t going to harm a baby in any way. There is a lot of science indicating that statistically, there are potential short and long term harms. And that is from the little bit of the vast realm of human health that is known and can feasibly be looked at so far. I think in the future we will see a lot more on how breast milk vs formula affects the microbiome and on epigenetic changes affected by feeding patterns. Formula with DHA is an option, but hasn’t been shown to have to same effects that researchers think DHA from breast milk is having. Probably another case of breast milk, like many things in nutrition, where the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Breast milk is not just food, it is a body fluid that can’t be replicated by science. It’s also a little different in different women, changes through a feeding and through the day, changes with the age of the baby. Still, I do appreciate sincere efforts of manufacturers to improve infant formula when it is done for the reason better for the health of babies that use it and not mostly for marketing purposes.
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