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Everything posted by Kipling

  1. I will be teaching a literature class at a co-op next year to 7th, 8th, and 9th graders. Our literature will follow the 4th year of the WTM recommendations (modern), and when we're studying WWII, I'm trying to decide if we should read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom or Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. Has anyone read these books with their middle/young high school students? Which would you recommend we choose? Or do you have another book to throw into the consideration?
  2. We use Logos Latin, and it works well for us. We don't get the DVDs, just the student and teacher books, and it's something we can do together. It's focus is more on vocabulary and less on fluency, which was what I was looking for. My oldest started Logos Latin in 5th grade (because we tried something else first), and my middle started in 4th grade; both have done well. We've done Latin I and Latin II, and my oldest will be moving on to a modern language this year.
  3. My husband started the Trail Life group we are involved in. Feel free to PM me any questions.
  4. Thank you! All of mine needed new jeans, so this was great!
  5. Tocomail is a safe, free email program for kids. messages that are received from "unauthorized" senders are kept in quarantine until the parent can approve them. Once approved, the kids can then read the messages. The kids or parents can put in an address book of approved addresses, and they can add more as new messages come in. My kids have been using it for a few months, and I have been pleased with it.
  6. This. Vacuuming is the key. Getting rid of fleas will not happen overnight. No matter what kind of chemical you use to treat the animals, you will still have eggs in the house hatching more fleas. We had a flea infestation a couple of years ago, but we got rid of it by vacuuming regularly (probably not every day, but at least every other day). We keep on current dog on Advantage which prevents new fleas from coming into the house.
  7. I think that just depends on the individual troops. Trail Life USA does have a complete program for elementary, middle, and high school aged boys. Our local troop has quite a few 6-9th grade boys, and they have a handbook and receive awards for completed items. The troop has two boys who transferred from BSA, and they were able to receive credit for the work done in BSA. However, I believe some troops have selected to only start with the younger ages for precisely the reason you stated - many current boy scouts are not going to switch at this point in their lives, and few boys join a scouting group of any kind for the first time when they are in high school. Congratulations on your son's progress. Eagle Scout is an awesome achievement.
  8. I recognize that people will have different responses to this news, and I don't want to stir up any arguments. However, if you are interested in something like Scouts, but you are disappointed with BSA's recent policy changes, I would encourage you to look into Trail Life USA. It started in 2013 and has been growing by leaps and bounds across the nation. My husband and son have been involved in a local Trail Life troop for over a year and love it. You can find out more on their website and also see if a troop is located near you. http://www.traillifeusa.com/ (If you support BSA's decisions, then just ignore this post. Please don't pull it into a huge argument. People want different things in scouting groups for their boys, and my intention in posting it to let people know about another option.)
  9. I'm not really seeing the issue here. Your in-laws gave him an iPad. You wouldn't have gotten him one. Find a balance that makes you happy. Let him play on it for 30 minutes a day, or only weekends, or only in the car, or whatever restrictions work for you and then take it away when it is not that time. Think of it like food: if your in-laws were to give him a giant basket of candy, you would let him eat the candy, but you would only allow it in reasonable quantities at approved times (I assume). You wouldn't let him keep the basket of candy in his room to have access to it whenever he wants. Same is true for the iPad. You've been given lots of good safety advice: turn off wifi, set passwords, etc. Make a folder of games for your child and explain the rules to him.
  10. We used Apologia Chem and physics this year with my 6th and 4th grader. They liked it, but of all the apologia elementary series, this has probably been their least favorite. In my opinion, it might be a little advanced for a 3rd grader.
  11. I'll second the recommendation for Fred Howard park (we lived in Tampa for 12 years). I love the Gulf beaches so much more than the Atlantic beaches. The water is so much calmer.
  12. I purchased a paperback textbook for my dd. It is extremely thick, and it doesn't seem like it will hold up well, especially since it has to last for two more children after this one. My biggest concern is pages coming loose from the binding. What do you recommend for helping preserve the book - covering it with contact paper? Cutting off the spine and spiral binding it? Something else? Please help me make this thing more durable.
  13. Thanks for all the advice. My purpose for a co-op is both cultivation of friendships and enrichment. I'm not looking for something that is primarily academic, although I do like the idea of 1-2 quality academic classes for high school (ie. science with labs). For the past two years, co-op A has provided enough enrichment for my kids, but looking ahead to the future, I see that becoming a problem. I don't think I will be happy with co-op A as my kids enter high school (which isn't too far away). Even looking at this coming year, my son's classes at co-op A will be photography and writing. Photography is fine, but he doesn't need writing instruction at co-op. We cover that at home very thoroughly. At co-op B, he would probably take classes like karate, art, or logic & problem solving. I like the fact that B offers choices of classes. After talking it over with the kids yesterday, and looking at your responses, I am now trying to decide between options B or C. I think B is a better long-term fit for our family, and I would rather join sooner than later to give my oldest dd a chance to start developing friendships at the group where we plan to stay through high school (yes, I recognize that it may not be a good fit, and I will be flexible. I just like to plan ahead). My son is on board with option B, but oldest dd doesn't want to leave her friends. (On a side note, dd's two friends at co-op A might not even be returning next year. For one, the family is putting their house on the market in the summer, and if/whenever it sells, they are moving to the other side of the country. For the other, the family is undecided about returning to the co-op. Maintaining that friendship outside of co-op will be difficult practically because we live about an hour away from them). So, for the sake of oldest dd, I am trying to figure out how crazy it would be to do two co-ops next year. :willy_nilly:
  14. My son sees his co-op A friends outside of co-op, but my 11-year old daughter does not. From my adult perspective, I know that they will make new friends, and that's why I'm not bound to co-op A. We have visited co-op B, and my kids liked the classes, but when I ask what they want to do next year, they pick A because of their friends (which is totally understandable). I guess I'm trying to decide what's more important.
  15. I'm looking at two co-ops for next year, and I can't decide between them. My kids will be 12, 10, and 6 next school year, and I want a co-op that offers them a chance to develop friendships and do some activities that are different than what we do at home. We have been a part of co-op A for two years, but I'm attracted by what co-op B has to offer. Co-op A: Kids are divided into graded levels (K&1, 2nd&3rd, 4th&5th, 6th-8th, 9-12th). They meet for half a day one day a week, and the moms sign up to teach whichever grade levels and topics they want. Some subjects have been/will be art, photography, science experiments, missionaries, writing, and logic. Pros: kids are together for the whole time and develop nice friendships, and some classes offer good enrichment. Cons: not all the moms are great classroom teachers, so while some classes are good, some are "duds," there is no choice in what classes your kids take, the middle school and high school classes are a little haphazard in what they offer (parents don't really want to teach those), and it doesn't seem to retain families as the kids get older. Co-op B: meets one day a week for the whole day, but classes are offered "a la carte," so parents can bring their kids for as many or as few classes as they want. Classes are generally divided into grade levels, but with some overlap, for example, one class might be offered to only grades 2&3, but another class might be open to grades 1-5 (based on subject, space, and ability to integrate wide age ranges). Parents who want and feel competent teach classes, while other parents simply drop off their kids and pay a monthly tuition per class. Classes include writing, chorus, drama, art, high school sciences, elementary science experiments, etc. Outside people are brought in to teach some classes like ballet and karate. Money is not really a factor here. Co-op A is just a minor registration fee. At coop B, parents pay per class, so that gets expensive, but if we do co-op B, I will teach, and should make enough money to pay for my kids' classes. What it really boils down to is that my kids like co-op A because they have some friends there, but I like co-op B better because of what it has to offer. So what do you choose? The group that's comfortable and has friends or the group that might be a better long-term option for our family since there's more for middle and high school kids?
  16. I grew up with boxers. The breed is great with children. They're kind of goofy dogs with very endearing traits. My mom and I like to say they never really outgrow their puppy-hood. Overall, I love boxers and think they're a great family dog. Two potential negatives would be: They can be hyper, so plenty of exercise and good training are important. And, as great as they are with kids, they aren't always great with other dogs. They can be kind of territorial or possessive (this is not true of all boxers, but is my observation of the ones I have known). The boxer my mom currently has is great with my kids, even though we don't see her that often; however, the dog will snap at and start fights with our dog (normally when food - or the mere thought of food - is concerned). Quite likely, a puppy raised with another dog will be less likely to have this problem. Regarding health, they are prone to cancer as they get older. They also don't have a super long life span. The last two my mom had lived less than 10 years, although the one we had when I was a child lived to be 13.
  17. I haven't read all the replies, just sharing my experience. My son has trouble pronouncing several sounds. At first, we thought he would outgrow it, then we tried working on the sounds at home. Finally, after making some progress, but hitting a plateau, we took him for an evaluation at the local public school. Now, I take him to the school once a week and the SLP works with him one-on-one for 30 minutes. She gives him "homework" to practice during the week. He is making steady progress, and we are pleased with the process. FWIW, He is not registered at the school and doesn't have an IEP (his is called "plan of services" or something like that because he is not a student). I know in the two states where I have lived, the local school districts will do evaluations and offer speech/language services for preschool aged kids.
  18. I have to bring a dish to a church Easter egg hunt, and I'm signed up for a breakfast casserole. I want to use real potatoes, but most of the recipes I'm finding use packaged refrigerated/frozen hash brown potatoes. Can I substitute regular potatoes, and if so, should I do anything to prepare them? Or, do any of you have a recipe to suggest? Thanks!
  19. I often have trouble staying awake in church. One Sunday after service, another mom approached me and said that she had seen me sleeping and envied the way I could sleep sitting up without nodding/jerking my head, slumping over, or snoring.
  20. OP here. I understand what some of you are saying about how it is good to praise kids for finishing a school year. I get that. However, as I said in the OP, there will be an end-of-the-year program in which every class will get up and perform a song (or do a skit or present a slideshow, etc). So, the kindergarten kids will get up with their class (a mix of K & 1st) and sing a song and get applauded. There is already recognition in place to celebrate the end of the year for ALL the students in the coop, including a dinner after the program. What they're doing this year is adding a kindergarten graduation ceremony to the end of the program. So after all the class performances, the K-ers will march forward and get special recognition. That's what I have an issue with. Have they done anything to receive MORE praise than the first graders who share their class? or the third graders who also finished a school year? This isn't the right time and place for such an event. In general, I find Kindergarten graduations silly, but as part of a whole coop event, to give them special recognition seems wrong. The woman who organizes our coop does a great job, and I appreciate the work she puts into it. We really enjoy most aspects of the coop. As a leader, you're never going to be able to please everyone all the time, and this happens to be one of those times. It's not a knickers-twisted, panties-wadded kind of deal, but dh and I decided that dd would not participate in the K graduation. She'll still get her time on stage and recognition for finishing the year, but she'll remain with the rest of her class (the 1st graders) during the K graduation part.
  21. I appreciate everyone's thoughts. Of the three kindergarteners "graduating," I think the parents represent each point on the spectrum. One parent is excited and requesting it; one parent is ambivalent - it's cute, and they'll participate, but she never would have thought of it; and one parent thinks it trivializes real accomplishments. I happen to be the third parent, and I wanted to see if I was being totally unreasonable. I can understand the various points of view, and in the grand scheme of things, I don't think anyone is going to be harmed by the graduation ceremony. However, personally, I don't like the way that our modern society praises non-achievements. The graduation ceremony is optional, and dh and I have decided that our 5 year old will not participate (which is kind of awkward because it is part of the whole end-of-the-year program, and dd will be participating in the rest of the activities, but oh well).
  22. I'm curious to know what your thoughts are on kindergarten graduation ceremonies. As a general thing, what's your opinion - important, cute, silly, wrong, etc? You can just answer the poll, or if you want the specific background information leading to my question, here it is: We belong to a small-medium sized coop (about 60 kids) which meets once a week for elective-type classes taught by the moms. This year, they have been working to add several "school" features some of the moms are missing (a photographer came in to take school pictures, one class is making a yearbook for the group, etc). So, for our end-of-the-year program this spring, each class will do some kind of presentation (like normal), then we will have a graduation ceremony (this is new). The three kindergarteners will march forward in caps and gowns, do a little graduation song, and receive a diploma. Then, our high school senior will march forward and receive a diploma. If it makes any difference in your answers, those kindergartners will be performing earlier in the evening with their whole class (which is a mix of K & 1st). For the graduation ceremony, the kindergarteners will be pulled out separately. Also, parents are responsible for buying the cap and gown (~$30)
  23. When oldest dd was little and just starting out in dance, I felt like this! It seemed like every other month there was an additional fee. I assumed this was how they all were, but we took a break for a couple of years and then she danced again at a different studio. It was recommended to us, and I called in advance to inquire about fees. They only changed the monthly tuition and a one time costume rental fee of $25 (they had a huge supply of costumes that they owned and reused). During the first year, I kept waiting for them to start charging additional fees, but they never did. It was such a nicer experience for us, and frankly, the level of of instruction was higher as well. I would encourage you to look into other studios if you are unhappy with yours.
  24. I'm thinking of making a change to handwriting next year, and I'd like to have my oldest be involved in the decision making. We have been doing handwriting practice for years, and she can do decent cursive and decent print when she tries, which is practically never. Anyway, I'd like to give her some different handwriting styles that she can choose from to hopefully give her more ownership (and frankly, it's her handwriting. I want it to be neat and legible, but ultimately it's what she will be using for the rest of her life, so I want her to like it). Can you give me different styles to look into (and companies with penmanship books would be helpful too)?
  25. I have used several of the DVD lessons from Creating a Masterpiece. My kids and I think her videos are very good, and the projects end up really nice. We have never tried her oil pastel projects, but we have done several of the soft pastels and acrylics. Here's a link to her oil pastel projects, but if your kids are interested in art, I would encourage you to look into a variety of her DVDs. http://www.creatingamasterpiece.com/catalog/medium#oilpastel ETA: they don't sell DVDs anymore, just monthly and yearly online subscriptions.
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