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Everything posted by lewelma

  1. LOL. I'm not sure what we are arguing about. My older learned to write with a more black and white style based on facts. My younger learned to write with a more shades of grey style, more based in opinion. Both are very effective writers. Both focused on writing that would be most useful to them in their careers.
  2. Well, I'm thinking of my younger boy's work on geography, and if you wrote a paper with just facts, it would be a simplistic way to view the world, because the decisions that have to be made are based on opinions of what has more value -- culture, environment, economics, etc. And there is no right answer. You have to deal with grey. However, studying both ways of thinking is the ideal.
  3. I'm not sure I agree with this. People have opinions, and there is no truth when there are many opinions. You need to be able to argue your opinion even if it is not with facts. Arguing with facts is easy, but it is also a simplistic way to view the world. My older boy is top of his class at MIT, but he couldn't hold a candle to my younger boy who can see, understand, are articulate how different world views impact opinions. Here are two example paragraphs from a literary analysis essay that my younger wrote. The complexity is astonishing, and not something you will experience when writing science for the lay audience like my older did. I've argued above that literary analysis is not *necessary* for an English class, but I definitely think it is *sufficient*. Different strokes for different folks. Do what works for your child to make them a strong thinker and a strong writer. ------ In the last twelve chapters, Tom Sawyer creates an overly complicated plan of escape based on his misinterpretation of romantic novels, all the while “upgrading” Jim’s prison with rats, snakes, and spiders. As a part of being a “proper” prisoner, “every time a rat bit Jim he would get up and write a little in his journal whilst the ink was fresh.” Hanson states that “the careless brutality of that phrase is almost beyond belief.” He believes that these final chapters destroy the carefully created characterization of a deeply human Jim, and replaces it with “flat, cheap type.” He considers the ending of Huck Finn to be a failure from the point of view of Twain creating a strong moral individual. Jim has lost his dignity. He is now a “sub-human creature” who “bleeds fresh ink.” I agree with Hanson that these last chapters showcase a diminished Jim. We see his minstrel caricature through his obliging acceptance of the farcical machinations of Tom. Just like the Minstrel show, these scenes use buffoonery to entertain a white audience both inside the novel where Jim’s suffering entertains Tom, and outside the novel where Tom’s machinations provide amusement to the contemporaneous readership. However, I disagree with Hanson’s conclusion that the act of degrading Jim makes the ending a “failure.” Twain uses Tom’s conduct to make a commentary on post-war racial values. Tom knows that Jim is free, and yet extends his captivity in order to have petty amusement at Jim’s expense. Like Tom, contemporaneous readers knew slavery was a defunct institution. “But like Tom, most whites did not see this as a reason for changing the habits of a lifetime and actually starting to treat black people decently.” At the end of the book, Jim, like America’s Blacks in the Reconstruction period, is free and yet still enslaved. Tom does not view Jim as human or view his suffering as worthy of note. This is exemplified by Tom saying “I bet we can find a way that’s twice as long. There ain’t no hurry….It could be strung out as much as 80 year.” Twain was remarkably prescient in his estimation of how long “self-styled Redeemers” like Tom would be willing to prolong the abasement of Blacks. Tom was “rescuing” Jim by extending his captivity. Just like American whites during Reconstruction, Tom comfortably holds conflicting notions about Blacks -- he is both a self righteous rescuer while concurrently debasing Jim. Conclusion Twain portrayed Jim as a confusing mixture of both a minstrel stereotype and a deeply human character. He did this to expose white America’s ambiguity to Black humanity. By leaving Jim’s outcome in the final chapter unknown, Twain uses this allegory to showcase the uncertain future of American Blacks. Though legally emancipated, they were not truly free. As MacLeod states, “a genuine and meaningful freedom… is rooted in the practice of equality, and in the heart’s acknowledgment of common humanity.” I agree with her that through Jim, Twain contrasts freedom through emancipation with freedom through equality and acceptance. When on the river with Huck, Jim is a deeply human character who experiences the true meaning of freedom – equality. In contrast, even when emancipated by his owner Miss Watson in a self-righteous act, he literally remains in prison under guard and figuratively remains in the prison of a degraded caricature. To the reader, this sudden and unexpected emancipation feels on the surface like a happy ending, however we see that Jim is not yet free from racism and stereotyping. This ending is “a calculated and incisive dramatization of Twain’s bitterness at the self-righteous and limited gestures of commitment his society had made towards the true meaning of black liberation.” The treatment of Jim symbolizes this lack of effort to give Blacks equality and acceptance in the post war era. Contemporary readers see that although modern society has made efforts to improve racial discrimination: injustice and white complacency continues to this day. Readers finish The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn questioning their own prejudice and wondering if they are also guilty of propagating discrimination, intolerance, and repression of those less fortunate than themselves.
  4. x-post #2 I'm going to summarize the approaches I take with the 3 big questions. 1) What am I supposed to know? This is not as obvious as you might think. Sure there might be things to memorize, techniques to master, concepts to understand. But assessments require more nuance than that. Are you supposed to relate ideas? Are you suppose to synthesize? Are you suppose to be insightful? These are the deeper questions to ask about what is expected of the student. These example questions are about what you *know* , but there is also the question as to how you are supposed to express it. How are you expected to show your work? How are you to organize your arguments? Are you to give examples, or refer to tables/equations/graphs? What does the style of writing for the subject look like? How much evidence do you need? etc... These are the questions that good students ask. And they vary by subject. I once read that there are 4 types of learning - analytical, interpretative, production, and synthesis (and obviously many courses fall under more than one category). For analytical subjects like math and physics, you need to know how to showing your work, how many word problems there will be, how to do investigations, how much time pressure is expected, how to *explain* in words complex ideas. For interpretative classes, like English or History, you need to know the requirements for good writing and thinking, things like what is insight look like? How do a make a good argument? How do I address the question? For production classes like French and Violin, you need to know the speed and accuracy expected. What should you be able to hear? What should you be able to produce? And Finally for synthesis courses, like Biology, what do you have to memorize? How are you expected to synthesize it? How do you make logical arguments? How do you interweave new ideas with memorized content? What do certain instructions mean, like explain, interpret, synthesize, categorize, evaluate? What exactly do you have to write to answer each of those types of questions? Step 1 of 'what am I supposed to know' is complex, and takes a lot of time to figure out for each different course you are taking. 2) What do I already know? You would think that kids would be able to state clearly what they know, but no, they really can't. They often think that if they are familiar with content, then they know it, and are surprised to find that they cannot explain it on a test, at all, especially not under time pressure. And often they think that if they have memorized the content, then they are done, when actually they need to synthesize what they have learned, or develop skill in making an argument. There is content and then there is skill. I can know all about French grammar, but not be able to speak properly. Skill must be identified and developed separately from content, but often concurrently. After you make the detailed list of what you need to know from step 1, you need to decide you level of mastery - poor, adequate, excellent. And you need to be honest. I often get kids to verbally explain something in full sentences, and if they can't, then they don't actually know it. 3) How do you get from what you know to what you need to know? This is what most people think of as actual study skills, but actually without steps 1 and 2, you don't actually have a clue what to study. I see this in students all the time. Not a clue. Once again, the goal is both learning the content and developing the skill in all 4 of the learning types - analytical, interpretative, production, and synthesis. For analytical, the content is the straight forward math. Can you do the work or not? But most students neglect problem solving skills, so that their word problem skills are very very poor. And their investigation skills are even weaker. I can go over how to develop problem solving skills in math if you want, as my focus is being a math tutor although I also tutor Bio, Chem, Physics, and English. For interpretative courses, you need to have certain formats down cold, so that your mind is free to develop insight. This is where books like "They Say, I Say" come in, and this is also the main purpose for speed writing under exam conditions, if you can write basic stuff fast, your mind is free to work at a higher level as the easy stuff is automated. Most students do not realize that you really do have to write many many practice exams under time pressure to get good at this. For Production courses, obviously drill drill drill. I don't teach production courses but I am sure that someone else can offer advice. And finally for synthesis courses, you must deal with the memory component in some fashion. Most students need this to be active, so writing or speaking to memorize, not just doing it in your head. But the part that most students do not know is that for synthesis subjects you need to practice how to write up answers to paragraph level questions. And the key here is to use the answers. Your answers should go into as great a depth and with the same organization as what the model answers look like. The gold is in the back of the book, assuming model answers have been provided. You need to see how complex you are expected to write an answer, with what detail, and with what linkages. Without a model to follow, you are flying blind. And in addition, there are often only about 20 types of questions you need to be able to explain for any test, so you better keep a list and track what is expected for each and which ones you have mastered. Synthesis subjects are typically the most difficult subjects for kids with executive function problems. Ok, got to run. Hope this helps. I haven't even started with time management, priorities, schedule making etc.....
  5. x-post. These are the first 2 posts from my executive function thread. It seems to me that she is going to need some explicit modelling of the process if she wants to get higher grades. Some kids figure it out on their own, others just don't. This is what I do with my tutor kids and with my younger boy who has struggled with study skills..... The first thing I do, is make sure that they pound on a single test, be completely and totally prepared, and ace it. To accomplish this, I evaluate what needs to be learned, organize their study, make daily lists, check up on their progress, mark off how much they have accomplished, discuss giving yourself buffer time in your study plan, do practice tests, organize materials in folders for them. I have no expectation that they can do *any* of this on their own. I have even been known to hold the flash cards for a kid (even 17 year old kids), and sit with them at the library as a friendly supervisor. Basically, I do ALL the executive function *for* them, and make sure they are so prepared as to ace the test. At this point the student knows what it feels like to be totally prepared for a test, and knows the effort it took to get there. This is step one. Next, is the gradual teaching of the *how* of executive function. This takes a *long* time for some students, as in working with me for 2 years. The key is not to expect them to be able to do it. Kids with executive function problems just can't. And nagging them or belittling them is NOT going to work. They have likely had this negative approach for all the years they have been in school. They are already used to also negative self-labelling. Some of my students have so much anxiety from failure due to executive function that they are cutting and drinking etc. To turn it around, these kids need to believe that they are not abnormal. *Many* students (as the original poster has noted) can't organize their way out of a box, it is fine to take time to learn the skill, rather than for someone to just tell you to fix it, now. I tell my students over and over that you must 1) figure out what you are supposed to know, 2) figure out what you actually know, 3) make a plan to get from one to the other. Most kids can do NONE of these 3 things. So you have to show them how to do each, and it is very very tricky to do it well, which is why most kids can't. Maize, I can go through the types of training I do with each of the 3, if you are interested. In this stage, you are working *with* the students to organize their study, in contrast to stage 1 where you do it all for them. Finally, you have the students organize their study while you watch. This step is often best done during exam season, so over the period of a month, and after you have already done at least 2 exam seasons *with* them. This stage is about making sure they do it on their own and about making sure that they are recognized for doing it (so lots of praise). Kids need to know that someone cares, that there is follow through, that they are not out there on their own before they are ready. Recognition is key -- Wow, you've got this. Oh, what a good idea, I hadn't thought of that, I'll use that with my other students. I love your use of color. Show me how you laid that out. Explain to me your system. Etc.
  6. Ah, well there are different kinds of knowledge. My mathy boy's black and white knowledge of maths and physics is complemented very well by his deep reading into literature and philosophy. I think these types of knowledge are complementary and make for a more whole person -- a person better to make decisions that impact the world. Science without ethics and compassion is dangerous.
  7. If it is helpful, here are my course descriptions. Notice my older boy did read a LOT of literature, and we discussed it a LOT. But the course descriptions show off all the rhetoric work that we did, both with the textbooks that we used and with the paper genres that he wrote. 19th-Century American and British Literature. (1 credit) This course covered American and British literature from the 19th century, with a focus on Gothic literature of the Victorian period including the differing approaches to gruesome, psychological, and supernatural horror. Course goals included familiarity with poetic and literary elements, the informal fallacies, and genres and themes. The course also focused on how to critically analyze essays with various patterns of development including narration, description, analogy, cause and effect, definition, and comparison essays. The course had a strong composition component focusing on analytical and persuasive essays. Textbook: Supernatural Horror in Literature, by Howard Lovecraft The Art of Argument: an Introduction to the Informal Fallacies, by Aaron Larsen Common threads: Core Readings by Method and Theme, by Ellen Repetto Literary analysis provided by introductions to each Penguin Classic edition Texts: Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley Dracula, by Bram Stoker Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte The Picture of Dorian Grey, by Oscar Wilde The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexane Dumas Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens Moby Dick, by Herman Melville The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain Late Victorian Gothic Tales, by various authors Selected short stories, by Edgar Allan Poe All short stories, by Howard Lovecraft Selected poems, by Emily Dickinson 20th-Century American and British Literature. (Blended course: Te Kura & self-study, 1 credit) This course covered American and British literature of the 20th Century with a focus on postmodern literature and its literary response to historical events and previous movements such as modernism. This course also analyzed rhetorical devices in academic writing using They Say, I Say, with a focus on how to integrate an argument within the larger context of what others have written. This course had a strong composition component focusing on response, expository, and research papers. The composition instruction was provided through Te Kura and satisfied the New Zealand 11th-grade English requirement. NCEA Level 2 exams and assessments: 14 NZ credits achieved with excellence Textbooks: They Say, I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, by Gerald Graff The Lively Art of Writing, by Lucile Payne Literary analysis provided by introductions to each Penguin Classic edition Texts: 1984, by George Orwell Titus Groan, by Mervyn Peake Catch 22, by Joseph Heller Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut The Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien Cold Comfort Farm, by Stella Gibbons Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, by John le Carré Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell House of Leaves, by Mark Danielewski The Luminaries, by Eleanor Catton Solaris, by Stanislaw Lem Science Fiction Hall of Fame, edited by Silverberg Selected short stories, by F. Scott Fitzgerald Selected short stories, by Ernest Hemingway Russian Literature. (Blended course: Te Kura and self-study, 1 credit) This course covered seminal Russian literature with the goal of identifying themes, ideas, and cultural contexts. Discussions focused on philosophical concepts such as free will, nihilism, and Freudian psychology, as well as dealing with questions such as the nature of historical evidence and the degree to which objectivity is possible. The course also contained a unit focused on the critical reading of classic and modern essays and the how each author built a persuasive argument. This course had a strong composition component including expository, analytical, and narrative essays with a focus on audience and purpose. The composition instruction was provided through Te Kura in preparation for NCEA Level 3 credits in 12th grade. Textbook: The Hedgehog and the Fox, by Isaiah Berlin The Art of Reading, by The Great Courses and Timothy Spurgin Literary analysis provided by introductions to each Penguin Classic edition Texts: The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov Selected short stories, by Nikolai Gogol Selected short stories, by Anton Chekhov World Literature – NCEA Level 3. (Blended course: Te Kura and self-study, 1 credit) This course focused on World Literature and featured representative works from various genres and periods. It examined how conventions and themes vary throughout the history of the novel, drama, and poetry; and how historical, literary, and personal contexts influenced each author. The course also compared and contrasted various productions of the same Shakespearean play to identify and appreciate different dramatic interpretations. This course had a strong composition component including analytical and expository essays, oral presentations, and a research paper. The composition instruction was provided through Te Kura and satisfied the New Zealand 12th grade English requirement. NCEA Level 3 exams and assessments: 6 NZ credits achieved with excellence 12 NZ credits in progress Textbooks: Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense, by Thomas Arp Literary analysis provided by introductions to each Penguin Classic edition. Texts: Candide, by Voltaire Faust, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck The Stranger, by Albert Camus The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway Slaughterhouse 5, by Kurt Vonnegut Labyrinth, by Jorge Luis Borges 100 years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, by Italio Calvino Film adaptations: The Tempest, by William Shakespeare Hamlet, by William Shakespeare 12th Night, by William Shakespeare Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare A Midsummer Night’s dream, by William Shakespeare As You Like It, by William Shakespeare Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare Henry V, by William Shakespeare Othello, by William Shakespeare
  8. My older boy's focus was on rhetoric, not literature. So we picked a number of genre's to mimic. For each genre we studied, we picked an essay we liked, photocopied it enlarged, cut it into paragraphs, and wrote all over it. The focus was on content, structure, and style. What content was used to support the thesis? How was it structured? How did the style used impact its persuasiveness. Then after spending 2 weeks (10 hours) on a single paper, he would write one of his own. We did this with many genres. The two books we used were Corbett "Classical rhetoric for the modern student" and "They say, I say: moves that matter". Both of these were recommended by SWB.
  9. Fair. I do think that no matter what genre you learn to write with, you will still have to learn the foundations of another genre to be able to write in it. It took my son 30 hours to learn what was required of literary analysis -- that the support that was needed in literary analysis was quotes, whereas it is facts in a lot of nonfiction essays. As for writing about 'squishy literary things', I actually think you are underselling the complexity of doing this well. My eyes were opened to how difficult literary analysis can be when my younger did a research paper on Huck Finn. The complexity was almost overwhelming and way way harder to deal with than writing a persuasive article in the Scientific American style.
  10. I love talking about designing courses to teach kids what they need to know. Hopefully, Gil will find this conversation useful. So, I'm mostly responding to Lori here, but also to others (it just got complicated trying to quote everyone separately). I firmly believe that a strong background in the humanities is required for a well-educated person. And my older, very mathy son, is *very* strong in the humanities. He has read more literature than any other person he has personally met. At least 100 classics in highschool, including very long books like War and Peace and 100 Years of Solitude. He is a powerful reader and thinker, and was named a Burchard Scholar for excellence in the humanities by the time he was a sophomore in university. But he did not learn to write on a diet of literary analysis. As mentioned, he learned to write using math proofs, which then easily converted to genres like the articles in Scientific American and the Economist. By his junior year, we realized that he needed to take the NZ national English exam to demonstrate to all the elite colleges that he was applying to that he could write. This exam is similar to the AP literature exam, where he had to write 3 literary analysis essays on 3 hours based on unfamiliar texts supplied on the day. Only 10% of students who take the exam earn an 'excellence', the equivalent of a 5 here. My son studied for 3 hours per day for TEN DAYS before the exam, and he earned an 'excellence.' That was all the literary analysis we ever did in his entire homeschooling career, he never wrote literary analysis essays before or after those 10 days. The reason that he could master this basic for of literary analysis so quickly was because he read so widely for hours and hours each day for more than a decade. In addition, he learned to write by writing what interested him. Motivation is incredibly important to learning. He was motivated to write math and he was motivated to write about science to a lay audience. These 2 types of writing gave him the strong foundation that all writing is based on, including literary analysis. The writing and thinking skills were completely transferable. Obviously, this goes the other way too -- that learning to write using literary analysis is transferable to other genres of writing that a student is more likely to see in their career (because very few people do literary analysis for a living). So from my point of view, the goal is to learn to write and to learn to analyze. Use whatever genre is most effective for your student.
  11. 30 years ago I was required to take a freshman writing class, but there were a lot to choose from. I took Persuasive writing in Biology. My older boy was also required to take a freshman writing class, and he took Ethics for Engineers. I agree with EKS that Literary analysis is a niche genre. The goal of all English classes is to learn to write and to analyse others' writings. But doing that with literature is just one way, and not the best way for a whole lot of kids.
  12. There are people here in NZ who are saying we should just open up and go like America and the UK. Somehow I just don't think they are thinking about these horrific numbers.
  13. I put two GPAs: one weighted and one unweighted. This dealt with the issue of scholarships that Lori brings up. I weighted as Lori lists in the above post. (Perhaps she told me what to do all those years ago! LOL). My ds did get a big scholarship to CMU, so it must have worked.
  14. I did not give tests in my homeschool until the last 2 years when they had to take national exams. At that point, I taught my kids how to study. I felt that if my kids wanted to go to university, they needed to be able to test. And if they hated tests, then maybe they needed to find a different path to a career. My first thought, however, is that there are many different kinds of tests, and memorizing is only one skill among many that is being tested. From what I have read, there are 4 broad ways of learning: Analytical (math, physics), Production (foreign language, musical instruments), Analysis (English, History, Philosophy), and Synthesis (Biology, Organic chemistry). Clearly, there is overlap in many subjects (like economics), but only the Synthesis subjects require memorizing for a test. I made sure that each of my kids did ONE exam in a synthesis subject - organic chemistry -- where they had to memorize a bunch of stuff and then synthesize it into a whole on a test (the NZ national exams which are very hard, so it was quite a slog). I thought they needed to know what was required to memorize effectively, and I thought they needed to decide if it was for them. Because if it wasn't, there were other fields that they could go into that didn't require memorizing and synthesizing. Given this experience, my older boy has never taken a synthesis class in university, so there is no need to memorize. He takes maths and physics classes, and then he takes writing classes that have no final exams. So his focus is on skill acquisition rather than knowledge acquisition. My younger is planning to go into geography, which is a writing subject with more memory than something like math, but papers are written open book and at home. And if he takes a test, it is going to be an essay test where he is explaining what he knows rather than regurgitating memorized content. I tell you all this, because the grades you are giving with 100% or 92% sound like very picky, detailed, memory tests which are not reflective of university classes IMHO. So if you child doesn't do well on them, she can either pick a different major, or assume that university will be more about essay tests rather than multiple choice/fill in the blank/define type tests. In fact, my older boy now picks his classes based on the way he will be assessed because he knows he is better at 3 hour exams and papers and long homework sets, than he is with 1 hour tests. So he simply won't take any class that has 1 hour tests. And of course he does not take any classes that require any memorizing. Just a couple of things to think about. I've written an entire thread on the topic of study skills that is permanently posted at the top of the general board if you want to go take a look. Good luck! Ruth in NZ
  15. Gil, you do NOT have to do literary analysis to have a well educated kid. In fact, I would argue that there are better ways to do an 'English' class. 1) My first goal was to make my kids excellent writers in things that they would write. And they were never ever going to write literary analysis, so we didn't do it. 2) In addition, I wanted them to be able to analyze complicated writing so that they could parse out complicated arguments that were long chapters, whether that was science, history, philosophy, etc. Given these 2 goals, I filled them with *non-fiction* -- you absolutely do not have to do it with fiction. So my older boy for example studied how economist informational articles were written, and then wrote one. And he also analyzed how Scientific American agenda articles were written, and then wrote one. In contrast, my younger boy has gone after National Geographic, and creative nonfiction. This is a rhetoric class rather than a literature class, but as far as I am concerned, is way more valuable for my two kids. In addition, if they are motivated, they will learn more. Dragging a kid kicking and screaming through a class, is a recipe for wasting your time. As for fiction, my older loved reading classics, including things like War and Peace, and read literary analysis of it because he was interested in how the book was put together, but he had no interest in then *writing* literary analysis, and he had no need to learn this skill. My younger, in contrast, has no interest in reading classics. All he reads is fantasy books. Instead, he and I attack basically any good nonfiction article of any genre we run across. How is it effective? What techniques did the author use to persuade me? How is a hidden thesis then developed over many paragraphs? How do powerful speech writers use oral language to make their speeches memorable? And we watch good speakers, and compare and contrast how they effectively give their speeches. We also attack bad writers and bad speakers. What makes them bad? My goal is to create powerful writers and speakers. Because neither of my kids are going into literary analysis, that is simply not something we bothered with. You homeschool, so do what you think you need to do. And as for when to stop, once my younger boy has mastered the techniques in "they say, I say", then we are done. There are wonderful essays in that book that my son would like the ability to write. So that is our goal.
  16. My dh's new phone is on its way here by USPS. He is very frustrated and hoping it is already in NZ.
  17. The 19 cases are only in Auckland. The rest of NZ is still covid free ( and has been for 15 months). PM said that when Auckland drops back it's restrictions (possibly on Wednesday), it's regional border will stay so they will be unable to mingle with the rest of us until it is gone. Today they are at 83% vaccinated in Auckland (first dose), and assuming they will get all of them the second dose in the next 6 weeks. They have finally put a number out there-- they are going for 90 percent of over 12s. They have free taxis services, walk ins, and roaming vaccine busses. They are starting a friendly rivalry between regions for who has the higher percent and businesses are joining in the competition. All political parties are on the same side on this issue. Every day is push push push. Do your part and get vaccinated. Vaccines equal freedom. Protect the children. Etc.
  18. We ordered a latex bed from Australia (we are in NZ), but they were sourcing the Latex from Indonesia. The container with the latex didn't catch the ship due to the chaos of shipping in the region, so it sat on the dock in the tropical heat for a month. When it finally got to Australia, it got there the day before the lockdown happened, so it got delayed 4 weeks. This was just enough time that by the time it got to Auckland, it hit the Auckland lockdown, and got stuck for 3 more weeks. But we have finally gotten the bed!!!!
  19. Oh, sorry I see that you have started a new thread.
  20. Well, I know you don't like comparisons. But this is exactly like my younger son. He will not work alone, but also struggles to work with me. He very much wants to learn. You described him to a T, he "NEEDS the help and WANTS the help and has a ton of trouble actually USING the help." And you are right that it is a very difficult situation, and it is one that I have faced Every. Single. Day. for a decade. The difference is that I never had a back up plan of sending him to school because 2E and school don't go together AT ALL, so I had to find a way through. In the end my choice was to preserve our relationship, because I thought I could influence him more if we were close. And this has definitely been true.
  21. Ah, so like my younger boy who lacks motivation, and has his entire life. When he was 2, we would go to a friend's house and he would sit next to me for 2 hours doing *nothing*. It is in his personality. I have worked for 15 years now to get that motivation up to 4 hours per day for school work. That is all he is willing to do. That is all he can do. I have come to believe that he simply priortizes his life goals differently than me. For him, academics is a piece of his life, but not a big one, and I have worked hard to balance my slow and steady effort to get him to be more motivated with my desired to respect and honor his life choices.
  22. Older boy was like this, and I came to believe 'easy work' was like proof reading a telephone book to him. He could want to do it and he could try to do it, but it was just so easy and boring and horrible that there was no way that he could do it. It wasn't that he *wouldn't* is was that he *couldn't*. This was not a hill that I was willing to die on. I let his skills run 6 years ahead and only shored up his weaknesses to grade level. Perhaps you struggle with the inconsistent levels of the very gifted. By the age of 13, my older boy was 6 years ahead in math, 1 year behind in writing, and 4 years behind in Executive Function skills. Interacting with any person like this, let alone your own child, is confusing and exhausting. Things they should be able to do, the just cannot do. Don't be hard on yourself. Kids like this are hard.
  23. Reasonably well. They are taking a calculated risk and loosening Auckland's restrictions today by just a little. It appears that the cases are contained and mostly spreading in households or through known contacts. But they are also pushing vaccines super duper hard. Auckland hit 80% today (first doses), and they are trying to get it to 90% in 2 weeks when they meet again to consider dropping Auckland down to a even lower alert level. Until today, they have avoided giving a number, but they are now saying 90%+ is what they are after. We are still managing 1.5 % of the population getting a jab every. single. day. They are reiterating that they are NOT abandoning elimination, but they think that the long tail is very long but still manageable. The cases are still restricted to Auckland city only.
  24. I have a teacher friend who always said that "school is for the average kid." This is one of the reasons that I have never regretted schooling, because neither of my kids are average. My older is both incredibly motivated and profoundly gifted, and my younger is 2E. If I had to choose which one was more important to homeschool, I would say my younger. Twice exceptional just does NOT work in schools. I know for a fact that he would have dropped out as soon as he could have if he had been in school. And he would have thought he was stupid, and routed into a basic and ultimately unsatisfying career. I have saved him from this fate. But I do think my older would have found his way. He would have hated school, really despised it, but I still think he would have found his way to becoming a scientist.
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