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newhsmom

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Everything posted by newhsmom

  1. My kids love games of all kinds. For Christmas this year, they got Fluxx, Catan, Exploding Kittens, and Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza. One of my favorite things about the Christmas break is all the time they have to play and just enjoy being together. I love the blog My Little Poppies for suggestions on gamschooling. https://my-little-poppies.com/gameschooling/
  2. I loved using Before Five in a Row with my older kids. With my youngest, I used The Homegrown Preschooler and A Year of Playing Skillfully. I would recommend the book (THP) for anyone because of the philosophy behind how to do the early years. It was such a game changer for my homeschool and I wished it had been available when my older kids were that age. In fact, the curriculum was so much fun that my older kids always begged to be involved with the preschooler's activities. I used the curriculum for three years with my littlest and definitely felt like I got my money's worth. I am always surprised when people describe it as a lot of work because that was not my experience. I just picked the activities that appealed to us and that I thought were doable with older kids in the mix and I let the rest go. If you buy the curriculum, there is a private FB page with loads of support and ideas from other moms.
  3. We vacationed in Houston a couple of summers ago. We bought the Houston City Pass and it was wonderful. We went to NASA, Museum of Natural Science, an aquarium, Houston Art Museum, and the Children's Museum. The museums in Houston are fantastic. The food was also a huge highlight of the trip. We didn't do any outdoor activities because it was entirely too hot.
  4. My oldest absolutely hated MM after doing RS A-E. I don't know if it was the format or the content. We ended up going to Singapore the following year, but she never loved anything the way she did RightStart. I know so many people have great success with MM, but that was not our experience.
  5. We have enjoyed playing the LOE games even though it isn't our phonics program. We haven't used all the games, but we have enjoyed the ones we have played. I felt like we needed to infuse some fun into our phonics program.
  6. I have a chest freezer and as soon as it goes out I will buy an upright freezer. I am a petite person and it is impossible for me to get things towards the bottom and even the middle sometimes. My MIL has an upright freezer and it is so much easier to use.
  7. I always start with humorous poetry because all kids enjoy humor. Some of our favorites include anything by Jack Prelutsky, Shel Silverstein, Douglas Florian, and Bruce Lansky. Our new favorite poetry book is I'm Just No Good at Rhyming by Chris Harris. https://www.amazon.com/Just-Good-Rhyming-Mischievous-Grown-Ups/dp/0316266574 I will then move to other styles of poetry, but my goal is to hook kids with poetry at a very early age and these books do not disappoint.
  8. We are enjoying Masterpiece Art Society. We pay a monthly fee ($20) to access everything on their site. You can come and go at any time without any kind of pressure. You might look at their art school portion it includes instruction on drawing, watercolor, acrylics, and pastels. Alisa Gratehouse (homeschool mom and owner) is adding art sessions all the time. I heard about it from another homeschool mom and she said it was very similar to what her child was getting in private art lessons. We are able to have every child in our house working on art every month for a relatively low price. It has been great for us, but I don't know if that is what you are looking for. https://masterpiecesociety.com/masterpiece-society-studio/
  9. Give yourself the freedom to ditch any read-aloud that isn't working for your family. There are just so many wonderful books out there to chose from. The only caveat I would give would be that some books are better through audiobook because of dialect etc, but some books are just not a good fit and that is completely okay.
  10. Have you ever read Sarah Mackenize's book Teaching from Rest? It was such a game-changer in my homeschooling journey. I used to feel in bondage to my schedule and of course, I could never keep up. She talks about starting with a time budget and then only filling it to 80%. If you don't factor in that kind of margin to your life, you will burn out. This homeschooling gig is a marathon, not a sprint. Not only is this book amazing, but Sarah's masterclass at the Read Aloud Revival on Focus and Align has been completely life-giving to this weary momma. Do I still have moments where I am drowning? Yes, but I am much more able to make adjustments now and rework the schedule to work for us.
  11. I think you have a solid plan. Jot it Down is so much fun, so I wouldn't skip it. I think JID is perfect for 2nd grade.
  12. I just stumbled upon this website that has a wealth of sensory activities. They have free downloads and also things available for purchase. I downloaded the free sensory activities and there is a ton of things you can try with kids that are sensory-seeking. Maybe this will help. https://www.mymundaneandmiraculouslife.com/
  13. For those ages, I would recommend Jot it Down and maybe a Quiver of Arrows. Brave Writer has brought so much delight to the early years for my younger children. I did things much differently with my older kids and I have so enjoyed Julie's approach for the early years. There is a great introduction to the entire Brave Writer lifestyle in the Jot it Down curriculum. Definitely look at the online samples because they give you a really good idea about what the program is like.
  14. What Brave Writer programs are you using? My 13 year old basically completes Faltering Ownership and Arrows/Boomerangs largely by herself. We do have discussions and she will come to me if you has any questions. For the most part, she is working independently. If that is not possible, then I have heard the BW classes are wonderful.
  15. I always think of picture books by Patricia Polacco to fit this category. Here is a list of pictures books on a 3rd-5th grade reading level- http://eclectic-homeschool.com/picture-books-as-reading-books-3rd-5th-grade-level/
  16. I was in bed for 8 solid days with the flu and had another 8 days of fatigue that followed. I had never had the flu and I was shocked by how long the recovery took because I am pretty physically fit. I had another friend who had it at the same time as me and she said her case was really mild and it wasn't any worse than having strep throat. I would listen to your own body because healthy people are developing pneumonia and even dying this year.
  17. I think it is definitely designed for ages 6 or 7 and up.
  18. I completed some of my graduate degree online and my experience is exactly this. It was so much more work than going in person because I had to participate so much more and the amount of reading was a killer. I can't see why an employer would discriminate against a degree completed online from a reputable school. Just be prepared for how difficult it can be.
  19. Thank you. I was off to look for this as well today.
  20. Our experience has been completely different. Yes, I hate the way that they never have membership open, but we have gotten so much out of the membership. We are very literature-based in our approach to homeschooling so seeing the authors has been such a hit with my kids. My kids range in age from 6-13. We have discovered so many new, up and coming authors that I wasn't familiar with, but there are also favorite authors that have been such a treat. The whole family workshops have been such a huge help with our writing because real authors and poets have come into our living room to model and share their writing process. I am amazed at how often ideas I have shared with my kids through our writing program (Brave Writer) have then been mentioned over and over by the visiting authors. I ask my kids ever so often if they still enjoy the membership and it is always an enthusiastic yes. Finding the RAR membership site has been a really unexpected gem in our homeschool journey. The nice thing is that you can join for a month for $15 and watch as many author visits, family workshops, and master classes as you want to and then cancel. I feel like Master Class on The Rule of Six is worth the $15 alone because it has been such a game changer for my homeschool. I loved her book Teaching from Rest, but the Master Class really helped me to take it one step further to become clear on my vision for homeschooling and to move forward with a solid plan.
  21. I totally agree with you that Read Aloud Revival should follow the same approach. I hate the way that membership to RAR is closed most of the year. Why? Hire more staff. It just baffles me because I always tell friends about it, but then they are frustrated that they can't join for 6 months. I love that with the Homeschool Alliance that you can come and go as your schedule allows. I am glad that you are enjoying it.
  22. I have been a member for about a year and it is totally worth it for me. It is very much like graduate school for the homeschooling parent. There is a commitment of time to really get the full benefit of The Alliance, but you can still benefit if you don't have a ton of time to invest. In the new format, it is going to be easier to see what the topics are and it should be easier to make an informed decision about whether it would be a fit. When I joined, I wasn't sure exactly what The Alliance included and I think with this new platform that they are trying to remedy that problem. There are several articles presented each month and monthly webinars about the content of the month. I feel Julie does a pretty good job of offering a wide range of topics that can definitely stretch you as a homeschooling parent. There are also activities that you can do with your kids every month around a particular topic and there is a self-care topic every month. If you are considering it, now is the time to jump in because they are offering some specials with the migration to the new platform. You can try it for a month and leave at any time.
  23. You could always go shorter gradually. If you like it shorter, then you could slowly go even shorter or leave it as it is. You could try a long bob (LOB) and see how that goes. My hair is very similar to yours and what I have noticed is that my hair needs some length to be able to curl because my curl pattern is in an S shape. If I cut my hair really short, I wouldn't have enough length to even have much of a curl, so I would probably have a lot more upkeep by way of flat ironing or using a curling iron. Pinterest is a great place for inspiration. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/175288610476410290/
  24. I think denim shirts look good with colored jeans or pants, white jeans, and maxi skirts. If you are going to wear a denim shirt with denim jeans, I would definitely vary the hues or it just looks like a jean suit. When I am not sure about a piece of clothing, I always go to Pinterest and type it in the search box. You can look at lots of different combinations and get some ideas of what might work. Here is an example of a few options: https://sheaffertoldmeto.com/tag/denim-shirt/ https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=denim%20shirt&rs=typed&term_meta[]=denim%7Ctyped&term_meta[]=shirt%7Ctyped
  25. We loved these when we are studying the Civil War. Interactive History Adventure https://www.amazon.com/Civil-War-Interactive-History-Adventure/dp/1429639105 Civil War Spies, Secret Missions, and Hidden Facts https://www.amazon.com/Top-Secret-Files-Missions-History/dp/1618212508/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1506647861&sr=1-1&keywords=civil+war+top+secret+files
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