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Everything posted by 1shortmomto4

  1. My ds works at Target. They've been trying to keep ahead of the minimum wage by offering hourly pay at the latest proposed amounts and have been the past few years. So each time they raise this "wage" the employee's hours are cut. They tend to make the same (or less) but they are working far less hours. This helps keep Target from having to cover any kind of medical plan assistance and the employee continues to be underemployed. He has worked there for 5 years (allowed him to take leave to attend college and come back for breaks and once COVID hit and all the "professional" jobs in his field of interest closed off he has remained there) and over those years each and every time they mandated a pay raise those hours were cut. At $15 and climbing, in this area of the country those salaries are coming way too close to the new teacher who is required to have a Masters Degree for a license - so at what point is a minimum wage too much versus jobs that require high level degrees but get paid about the same?
  2. The other posters are way better at giving the best advice and paths to consider but I've got a question -- your child has only begun Kindergarten this fall? You said he turned 6 in June and you decided to homeschool. When did you start the 100 lessons? Unfortunately, just because that program may have worked for your other children, it just might not be a fit for your ds' learning style. I remember that book and it was not a good fit for my dyslexic child. They need a lot of review and various approaches/interactions with the letters and sounds which I don't believe that program does. I know many recommend Barton albeit effective but it is costly. There are other options out there that might produce better results - especially if you have to/are waiting for any special testing. I have had great success with All About Reading and many like Logic of English. I actually think the new program Sonlight released this year looks like a great program, too. I have 4 kids and all 4 have issues - some better than others - and not a genetic link to be found anywhere. In our case, my dh is a Desert Storm veteran and they are finally listening to us that these kids have been affected by something their veteran Dad/Mom was exposed to or vaccinated against. It is hard. Some days are better than others. I truly understand those frustrations. ((hugs))
  3. Sorry for not responding sooner - I have checked the box to get notifications but I've received none. Argh! We had done about the first 11/12 lessons of Algebra 1 and every day was just a major struggle (caveat to this would be not really knowing that I was dealing with ADHD). I then tried to take a break and have him work through some Khan Academy lessons that correlated to the topics studied but not a good fit. So, rather than bogging down more, I felt it would be best to just take a break from the subject because otherwise our relationship was going to suffer and thought, well, some people are good at Algebra, some are good at Geometry and some are good at both. My dd hated Algebra but once we hit geometry she took off skillwise and then soared through Algebra and college level math (and even scored a perfect score on a required math exam for teacher licensure - go figure). Well, he did really well with Geometry and that built his confidence up so when we finished that I decided to go back to Algebra 1 because we hadn't completed nearly enough to say "done" and move on. Picked up where we left off at that point but he had no retention, no I remember that, nope - even worse than when we stopped the first time but he does have an attitude of wanting to learn it so I suggested we restart from the beginning and work faster or slower as needed. Great - until we took the break. I think there is a certain level of PTSD there and building that confidence back up is going to be challenging. I have always worked with him on a white board and writing things for him and we did eventually get to where he was able to do it and I am fine with starting that process from start once again. It is so baffling in trying to help him because he's able to do deep logic type problems and when he was much younger he understood algebra concepts as he joined in with one of the older brothers when we did Hands On Algebra but now - ugh! I'll have to look at Dimensions and Lial's, too. I've used MM once when he was younger trying to cement the fraction struggle and it didn't produce the results (a combo of Key to and Right Start Fractions did the trick 😉 ) I'm almost tempted to add on a consumer type math in addition to the Algebra just to keep the basics fresh and perhaps faster recall speeds.
  4. I've been putting off continuing on with Algebra. We actually restarted the whole MUS Algebra 1 course last Spring and he did great and we were slowly progressing into the graphing lessons. He gets the whole quadrants and how to plot, etc. but then we stopped for summer break. He can solve the basic algebraic problems but when the answer is wrong he gets really frustrated. Definite ADHD so finding something that is engaging and keeping that attention is always the challenge. MUS had been working because it isn't distracting and the lessons and problems are short, for the most part. The year before we had started Algebra, got bogged down (he was retaining zip!) so I switched to Geometry thinking he needed to build his confidence back up. He did well but now I'm thinking we must go back to Algebra because I can't go to Algebra 2 because he hasn't even worked through the quadratic formula. I'm just wondering if there is something out there that would be a better fit. I've used the Key to Series before when he flat lined on fractions - outcome was ok. Took a combo of products to get the fraction skills cemented. He is such a whole to parts learner that mastery seemed to be key. Initially I thought stuff like Life of Fred would work but he gets bogged down in the story and loses focus. Saxon would be a disaster - too much drill. Doesn't like learning on the computer so anything computer-based is a no. He is one of people that solves these problems in his head - none of this write out the steps, etc. but then when he gets it wrong you can't help find where he messed up. Ugh! I'm wondering if I should use something like consumer math to practice all the basic math skills - but then, which one. I've wondered about that series Learn Math Fast. I feel like I'm letting him down on not preparing him with math he may or may not need for the college years. He has no clue what he enjoys and wants to pursue. He has always leaned towards something in the medical field but still doesn't motivated to work towards reaching that goal. Hard to explain. Sadly, this kiddo has had to take the backseat over the past few years so that I could help my two older sons that have major LDs launch into adulthood, but now I'm entirely focused on him and want to help him reach his goals. I just find myself chasing my tail on math -- any ideas?
  5. Try watching The Middle - a little gem that people didn't watch but really a very nice family show. We quote a line from that show all the time "fun comes to this house to die." Middle America family life.
  6. All employees have to wear them at Target. There is a nice, big sign stating you are supposed to wear a mask and they originally were going to staff a "kiosk" to hand out free masks for those that didn't have one but that lasted all of about 1 day. Occasionally they will play a recording in the store if a store worker/guest complains that people are wearing them around their neck or taking them off to encourage them to keep them on. There is a hired security guard that tells people they have to wear a mask to enter Walmart and I've asked if they've turned anyone away and I was told they turn away at least 10 people a day. They take them off inside the store.
  7. I highly recommend the Mathtacular word problems DVD and workbook. Yes, a bit hokey, but it did an excellent job of teaching the basics of how to break down a word problem to solve it in incremental steps - along with solving a little mystery. It gradually gets harder but it definitely helped my struggling learner learn and retain how to attack those pesky problems.
  8. My ds has been working retail since this all began. This particular brand of stores has consistently been slow to enact any of the rules and when they get announced at the corporate level it takes about 2 weeks before you see/experience the changes in the stores themselves. They were slow to enact social distancing and masks - which until August 1 - only the store employees must wear masks. There are big signs outside the store when you enter requesting that you wear a mask but it is not mandatory-until August 1. Not sure who they're going to put outside to enforce it so that should be interesting. At any rate, despite the slowness to respond to health guidelines, they've had, so far, 4 employees over the course of all these months test positive. They do send a text to employees telling them that a coworker tested positive and the date in which they last worked. Thankfully, they've been days my ds was not at work. I think considering the # of employees, and the slowness to enforce health guidelines, it is really good news that the numbers of sick employees is extremely minimal. We kept preparing for the worst - and I've got to 2 high risk candidates in my home but that was only adding to my ds' stress so we just focused on the positive. My ds has seen/heard nothing with regards to any contact tracing but did notice a few high level managers that disappeared for 2 weeks so maybe they were told to quarantine until in the clear.
  9. I live in one of those zip codes the CDC is supposedly going to visit - actually I thought they were to start yesterday but haven't seen a thing. Now, in some reports they said they were only going to focus on families who were Spanish speaking - not sure how they were going to come up with which houses to visit. I'm not so sure I'm trusting those rising numbers because there was a big push for two weeks to test, test and test everywhere and anywhere - and they reported that they were backlogged in giving out the results to all those tests but meanwhile in the county next door where there have been numerous reports of high cases in the low income hispanic communities they aren't going door to door so that doesn't make any sense. They do have issues with the nursing homes and those numbers, that is for sure! Something is just not right here in my zip code and the two that neighbor me.
  10. Virginia is off the hook - and just wait because I believe it is going to get worse. It was only about 2 weeks ago in which providers were even offering the antibody testing and the question of the validity of the tests offered haven't even been discussed. I think there are a few labs that have been given approval for accuracy? Virginia was counting people as "new cases" each time the same person tested positive. If a person received a positive result on Monday and then for whatever reason were retested on Wednesday - that counted as 2 new cases for the state. So how many cases does my state really have? They started posting info positive results/number of tests per zip code - my zip equated to 40% of tests. The governor has been very very slow to get the ball rolling here - we are 49th (maybe 50th) in testing but how can that be. VA has always been at the top of all the "good" lists but, as of late, not so much. They are now focusing on providing a lot of free testing to all who want to drive up/walk up - do it yourself testing. There are two free testings events close to me on Monday so I guess by Wednesday/Thursday there will be record numbers of positive cases and the Governor will continue to keep this area locked down. People are done being locked down. The weekends come and the stores that they can shop in are flooded - and so are the parking lots - with used rubber gloves and masks just littered everywhere. Sorry to say but it looks like a third world country. I personally watched two women with their N95 masks and gloves exit Target, load up the car with their purchases and then use hand sanitizer over the gloves they had on and drive off with gloves and masks still on. Also saw a woman spray herself from head to toe with Lysol - a home health care provider ;-( My guess is this lack of testing and creative use of data results further enables the Federal government offices to remain closed so we continue to be unable to get our country moving once again.
  11. I've looked at DIVE numerous times over the years and just couldn't do it. I had a struggling student and just couldn't see it working for them. A lot of people recommend Conceptual Physics and other courses by Hewitt. I know you've cross-posted so perhaps they'll have some other suggestions that might work. I've had great success with the new versions of Apologia. They are now releasing a 3rd edition of Biology (they are offering 25% off at numerous stores across the internet) along with the video component and all the changes have been excellent in the ability to engage more students - those with various LD issues. I know many don't like Apologia - some say not enough rigor, etc. but having had 2 kids succeed thru college and do extremely well in their science courses; it did its job and then some. I do believe that sometimes it can hard to recommend a program/text/etc when dealing with a student with dyslexia because what works for one student is a flop for another because there is so much involved in how the brain processes from one student to the next. So many students with dyslexia typically have other dx that hamper their abilities even further and I've found science choices the hardest to choose.
  12. My dd teaches 2nd grade and she's actually more disappointed that she has only been allowed to give 1 hour on 1 day per week - nothing more. It took a month or more for the county to even allow that much interaction. The first day the kids all came on line 23 out of 26 was great for both the kids and her. They all felt like they had a purpose - even if they aren't allowed to teach anything new. The material must be a review of any already covered topic. She had to mute some mics a few times but it went great. Her biggest complaint - parents were doing the work for the kids - not the student. And you could see them doing it! I guess when they make all work optional, as well as attending the online meeting, people aren't necessarily putting in much effort. And sadly, the troublesome parent(s) before the closing are still the troublesome parent(s) during the closing. One parent was demanding a retake of a bunch of "tests" that she had to rewrite and allow student to take - grades were NOT going to change. She could see where the parent erased the kid's wrong answer and wrote in the correct one. I can't imagine what will happen should they shut down again sometime in the fall. My neighbor's grandchildren who live in the state but a different county have contact each day with their teacher and they text and meet online if they need help with any assignments - much different experience. The grandchildren are enjoying the work and the connection. Some areas are doing a great job and some, not so much. Just a side note but they did tracked down 2 of the 3 students that weren't attending - they had been given laptops and internet to be sure they could interact but parents have chosen not to participate and the 3rd student is missing - the family home is empty.
  13. I had to get creative real fast for my ds who wears hearing aides (and glasses so there is no real estate left behind the ear) and works in a store now requiring all employees to be masked - a shoe lace and the toggle off a pair of old snow boots (sometimes they are inside of coats). He runs the shoe lace through the straps and uses the toggle to secure it.
  14. My ds who works at Target. He makes it his mission for each shift to find that guest that really needs the help. The guest who was trampled on as others rushed in the door that morning to grab up all the paper and cleaning products - usually the elderly man or woman who becomes overwhelmed by the whole experience. They don't have someone to shop for them but had to come anyways. He finds that last package of TP, paper towels, eggs, etc. He gets them checked out quickly and back to their cars. Every shift he touches somebody's life in a positive way.
  15. I'm with the others - read read read. Many moons ago I did AAS with my ASD/dyslexic fellow and while AAS 1 was mostly great, it was very challenging as time went on. It is a great review of phonics skills and these kids tend to need a lot of review but it just seemed too much when I think back. We ended up stopping not far into Level 3 but I should have stopped sooner. Now, I will say that Spelling You See was wonderful in that it got my ds writing and triggered his creative side of the brain. I want to say Level 2 or 3 has a day in which the student uses the words and creates sentences and then can illustrate them - they have a storybook/lined page for them to work on. I didn't do that program as written because he (and his younger brother) wanted more time to write their own sentences which turned into stories and then to illustrate them so I just let them free to do that. I also didn't do the timed narrations, etc. It added stress that wasn't necessary so we just completed the whole paragraph on the last day of the week - no matter how long it took. This just seemed to be a less confrontational way to review the skills and allowed some time for my ds to complete work on his own and it also developed his creative side which I had tried to do with art class, crafts, etc. It opened up a new path in the brain which was very helpful in coping skills - especially now when everyone is so stressed. Note - I will say that All About Reading had a much more pleasant outcome and no where near the meltdowns and great retention.
  16. The Liberty physician? from the health center? If that is so, trust me, he was unable to diagnose an ear infection - twice. After the students returned from break they identified 4 students who had come from NY - they told them they had to go home or be quarantined - 2 went home, 2 went into quarantine. They then identified 7 students that had been around those 4 and told them - go home or go into quarantine. They went into quarantine. None have shown symptoms. None have been tested. There were 3 students - all living off campus that have been tested. 1 negative, 1 positive and 1 still unknown. Only 1 student actually visited that health center with any symptoms and only because he had established a doctor/patient relationship - he is a graduate student who has, since the fall lived off campus. There was a news story by the NYT I believe stating that 11 were sick with symptoms but that just wasn't the case. I'm not in favor or against. Everyone has their own opinions but I do believe there has been a fair amount of false reporting on this situation and it is just fueling panic and anger which isn't helpful to anyone. I've seen one to many stories making its rounds on the internet written by big news corporations that later are proven to be false or exaggerated. As for the new governor's orders - nothing has really changed. This is not going to be a big change on how Liberty is proceeding. People can still go to the stores, etc. and move around but not supposed to be in groups. Should cut down your shopping, etc. No beaches, parks, etc. but these were very same recommendations 2 weeks ago but now the police can be called and they can give you a ticket/fine/jail. After the Governor announced the stay at home orders people got in their cars and headed out to all the stores. I had no seen that much traffic for 2 weeks until 2 hours after that news conference. I had to pick up my ds who works at one of those big box stores and the place was full and people couldn't follow the signs to stand on the round dot to keep your distance, wait until the cashier calls you, etc. Customers were impatient as cashiers tried to wipe down surfaces before the next customer. It sure has brought the worst out in us - in the stores at least.
  17. Perhaps getting more info from the actual source might be helpful: only 1 has tested positive and 1 pending. https://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=18495&mid=379372
  18. I'm not sure why Liberty has been what seems like the only school in VA not to close for the semester and go to online learning but I've seen a lot of social media complaining about parents wanting refunds for monies spent for the semester for housing and food. At one point, they were telling students that if you didn't have a course that required in-person learning (say nursing, PA - medical field) then they recommended that you not return and finish the courses online. Something changed along the way but not sure what. I will share that my ds graduated from there this past December and most of his senior courses were only offered online so why stay anyways? They had way more offerings and strength in their online courses before it was a "thing" so not sure why the push not to return to that for now. My dd, finishing her Masters at another VA school (GMU), went all online and the students have to be signed in and basically on camera during the full course time. They also tacked on another week of class work to make up for the extra week of Spring break they took to get things in order to teach online. They don't have a big online course system but maybe now they just might develop one. Their student health system is abysmal, to put it nicely. My ds had to visit twice over the 2 years he was there and they couldn't diagnose an ear infection! They would, in no way, be prepared for any kind of outbreak. And the excuse for internet - theirs is shoddy at best but perhaps with much less students using it then it might be able to handle the demand. My only guess is they had issues with the numerous foreign students who are on visas studying at the school; that could be the real issue. They don't have any financial problems as can be seen from their social media posts this week - they showcased two new big buildings (one is a basketball sports complex) they were opening in the Fall. The optics of how this playing out is not good, not good at all. And the Governor closed all elementary/high schools - public and private but didn't say a word about colleges.
  19. Fairfax has fireworks and Manassas has two - and if you go to the one on Signal Hill you experience that one along with the ones going off in Old Town. I've done the DC one a few times with kids - might be hard with a 1 year old because of the lateness and the crowds. Two options - going all the way into DC and yes, it is full of lots and lots and lots of people. Usually there always seems to be a big dangerous rain storm that comes out of nowhere and sends people running - not to scare you but have a plan - know where those museums are so you can shelter quickly. There will be security check points and it will be hot and humid. That time frame is just really very crowded with people but definitely an experience to remember. Other option is to find a place to park in Rosslyn (the Virginia side) by the Iwo Jima monument and enjoy the show. Better yet, see if there is an airbnb in that area because it would allow for much easier access to the city. Many people also finds spots along the side of the Potomac where, if you come super early and bring a picnic, you can find a place to park and be set for the evening but keep in mind -- all those people that came in to the city have to go back out of the city and traffic is BAD but then, so is the metro. I typically waited over an hour before we started the trek back. Traffic is probably the biggest challenge in the area along with parking options. Not sure what you are planning to do in Manassas - I'm having a hard time thinking there's a day's worth of activity and I live there 😉
  20. That is wonderful that you got to spend time with your dd. I'm thinking positive that the professor will give your dd a whole heaping of grace and all will work out - most of them are understanding but there are a few of them that make you shake your head. I've been thinking all day about ideas - especially around using your dd's talents - art. Do you live/have easy access to an art museum where she might be able to work teaching/assisting in a kid's camp? A community center where they offer summer courses might be another option for her to teach/assist. A camp counselor? Sometimes kids that struggle do better when working around young kids as they are much more accepting and form strong bonds which builds confidence. Michaels - the craft store? Hobby Lobby? Some of these even give classes so she could help/teach one and they also do summer drop in courses for kids. I know she loves writing but not coming up with options there - hmmm..... Could she work on a college class online over the summer while working through appointments? This might help if you keep the course load down to 12 credits. She may just need a break from course work, too. It is so hard trying to help these kids. My kids always joke that I'm that mom running along the sidelines from the commercial where the boy is playing football. My oldest finally graduated from college in December - something that 5 years ago we didn't think would or could happen but boy was the road long and winding and a few potholes along the way.
  21. When my ds began at the local CC I went to the initial disability meeting (maybe I went to 2) until my ds was comfortable and understood the process. Since he is hearing impaired he was afraid he'd miss something that was being said that was important. Once he was familiar with the process he took over. Once he transferred to the university level I had one phone call interaction because the disability office was giving him the run around when he went to the office to explain that a professor was not honoring his MOA. Many colleges have now turned the whole disability process to computer screens and little to no interaction with the student. It used to be recommended that a student who had accommodations would meet early in the semester to introduce themselves and clarify what assistance they might need to be sure both sides understood the expectations. I suppose that now there is a push for privacy you don't do this much anymore which may not help the student in the long run - or the professor. Unfortunately, the laws and procedures in place for the elementary/middle/high school are not there for university students although they are working on them. These universities just don't have to do much if they don't want to and it is frustrating to say the least. While our kids need to take the helm and address and remediate their needs, it can be a lot harder in practice. I'm hoping your dd can get a helper to assist her getting organized, etc. and meet her needs. That would be great. The sad part is that many people don't have that extra money to pay for the help because they've paid for so many other things related to their kid's needs (therapy, testing, etc.) I think one thing that would probably be very important to address is reducing that course load to 12 credit hours. Yes, it will take longer to get through but the possibility of achieving the degree will be higher. I just wanted to add that after going back and reading your initial post I couldn't help but notice a lot of "we" in your post - is this we as in mom and dad or is this we as all 3 of you? I think it is important to be sure your dd is included in these decisions - what does she want to do? You want to build that confidence. It is good to have ideas but sometimes kids won't seek out options on their own because WE've thought it through for them, kwim?
  22. I totally understand your concerns as a parent to a few kids with major issues to include ASD. My ds earned his AA and then transferred to a university to finish his bachelors. The drive was 3 hours which was my limit. 3 hours up and 3 back and manageable in a day. I felt like I could get to him quickly if he needed help but 6 hours would definitely be of concern to me unless I had family that was closer and could help. One thing you may or may not have considered is what supports do these universities offer for your ds? I think that is probably about as important as the 6 hour drive. Bigger universities tend not to do a good job in supporting students that need a lot of support. It is one thing for all the accommodations to be on paper, but it is an entirely different thing in real life. As your ds transitions he most likely is going to need a lot of foundational support and he most likely won't be flying solo that first year - it may take 3 or almost to the end before he truly gains the confidence needed. I wish, like you, that these kids didn't struggle so and could easily adjust because then it would be manageable and reasonable and something to consider but it just isn't that easy for these young people. Maybe some conversations about why he was drawn to that school - since he's not sure about a degree path there must have been something else that drew his interest. Perhaps dig a little deeper into that (if possible) and maybe that draw could be found in the school closer to home and you just need to show him that it is, indeed, there, too. This is so hard. We want our kids to be successful and we want to give them the confidence but the consequences can be so overwhelming and great that it is hard to know how to proceed.
  23. Just remember - many universities do not do a great job in helping/assisting the student with disabilities. Very early on my ds' disability counselor at the CC level said not to expect much help or assistance despite all the rules in place to provide the required accommodations. This experience is great practice but be prepared. My ds finished his degree at a big Christian university and each and every semester was like pulling teeth to get the accommodations he needed to succeed. We chose this school because it appeared, on paper, to help those with hearing disabilities - turns out they are more focused on training people to sign but not help the deaf community. We found that some professors find the use of accommodations annoying and an unfair crutch along with some made up diagnosis added in - the last professor my ds had was a doozy. In the end my ds graduated and that is all that matters but it was a big hill to climb but it didn't need to be that way.
  24. Mathtacular by Sonlight - I think it is level 4 which is a complete series on word problems and how to solve. It has a cheesy (very cheesy) detective story that goes along with each lesson and then problems to work through gradually building upon the next one. Does a great job of presenting key words and how to eliminate info not needed and how to set up problems.
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