Jump to content



  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by ShutterBug

  1. We spent an entire Sunday last month organizing ds's Legos. It was a HUGE pain...but well worth it. Now that he can find the pieces he wants he plays with his legos much more often :) . Now, we have a TON of Legos...I don't know how many you have or if you'll need this many categories. Ds also had categories that were important to him (mainly weapons and armor). You'll have to take into consideration the space you'll be using to organize them as well. Ds has a train table that he plays with them on and then a bookshelf for completed sets and other storage. Here's what how they are organized... Under the train table are 2 large under the bed storage containers that he can pull out and then push back in when he's done. The under the bed storage works well because they are shallower making for easier digging. One container is for regular ol' bricks of all shapes, colors and sizes and one is for large, irregular pieces that aren't bricks or flat pieces...stuff like rock walls, pillars or castle chunks. Also under the table is a good size container of all different size, shape and color flat pieces. On the shelves there is a large container with all of the base plates. There is also a large container of large misc. stuff (boats, doors, etc..) On the shelves and in various smaller containers are.. - mini-figures - weapons - armor - greenery (trees, vines, plant pieces) - wheels - windows and clear pieces - creature parts - small misc. items (money, gold, jewels, handcuffs, cups, flames, spiders, treasure chests, etc..) I'll try and take some pics to add later :) Jenn
  2. Here are the titles and Lexile ratings for the first ten books in the MTH series. Dinosaurs before Dark - 240 The Knight at Dawn - 310 Mummies in the Morning - 230 Pirates Past Noon - 290 Night of the Ninjas - 280 Afternoon on the Amazon - 290 Sunset of the Sabertooth - 310 Midnight on the Moon - 320 Dolphins at Daybreak - 350 Ghost Town at Sundown - 350 Here is the Lexile level map.. http://www.lexile.com/m/uploads/maps/Lexile-Map.pdf First grade lexile ratings range from 200 to about 370. The very bottom for the second grade lexile ratings tier is 360. This corresponds with my own personal experience. We don't live in a particularly high area for intellectual ability and the average student is reading MTH books by the end of first grade at the latest. Not trying to nitpick here...but sorry, MTH books are not what the average 2nd to 3rd grader is reading. They may be reading them, but at that point they should have the ability to read more difficult text than a very beginner chapter book such as MTH.
  3. I know Edith has done some truly nasty things...but I really felt badly for her (and that nice gentleman who wanted to propose to her). I truly dislike Mary and was so excited when I thought for a moment that Sybil and Matthew had connected...sigh. Matthew deserves better than her (Mary, that is). NEXT FALL? Really?
  4. As parents, even if we are right there..right next to our children they sometimes get hurt. When ds was 1 I was literally a half a foot away from him and he fell, smacked his head on the coffee table and needed stitches. Because I wasn't able to prevent it does that mean I wanted him to get hurt..that it was my will? Of course not..but because I'm his mother I'll pick him up and help him get better. We're not living in a perfect world. We're not living in the garden. We're living in a world that fell to sin long ago. It's not God's job to make everything perfect...it's His job to walk beside us and pick us up and take care of us when we fall. Whether we look to him in those moments to pick us up is up to us.
  5. I wonder what s*x education looked like back in the 1800's..say on a farm or log cabin. You have to figure kids back then lived with and were spectator to animals mating and giving birth, lived in very close quarters with little to no soundproofing and babies were born at home. I'm guessing there wasn't much of a need for "the talk", lol.
  6. Thank you, thank you! This is what I needed to know :) . I'm thinking we'll wrap up GWB 3 and then begin Grammar Town. I'll put Paragraph Town on hold until we finish Grammar Town, and then move on to Practice Town after Paragraph Town is completed. Thanks again! Jenn
  7. Thank you :) I don't think I made myself clear though...I want to use BOTH Paragraph Town and Grammar Town, but I wasn't sure how they are meant to be used. This is what I am trying to figure out. Would you suggest.... A) They are to be used in synch (start and finish them at the same time)? B) One should be completed before beginning the other? C) It doesn't really matter. We've already started Paragraph Town and have just now decided to add Grammar Town...but if they are meant to be used in synch or one should follow the other then I'll gladly use them in the recommended order. Thanks again!
  8. Hi all :) Ds (8) is in 3rd grade and we're currently using WWE 3 for our primary writing curriculum. I recently supplemented in Paragraph Town for some extra paragraph practice as well. We're also using Growing With Grammar for grammar and are just about finished with level 3 (about a month away from finishing). I do like GWG and had figured that we'd just move onto level 4 when we finished up level 3, but now I'm thinking that I might give Grammar Town a try for the rest of the year and see whether we'd like to continue on with GWG or MCT grammar in the fall. So my question is this. How interconnected are Paragraph Town and Grammar Town? Should I hold of on continuing Paragraph Town for a month or so until we start Grammar Town and then start over with Paragraph Town (we're only on Lesson 3) so that they synch up or doesn't it really matter. Also, how essential is "Practice Town"? Thanks so much in advance for any advice you can offer!!!! ~Jenn
  9. He's almost 13? You might be surprised to find out that he may know more than you're suspecting. My mom never had "the talk" with me. I didn't have friends who talked about it either. I didn't watch anything other than cartoons on TV and the internet was non-existent at the time. However, by 13 I knew what s*x was. I think we have an inborn curiosity about s*x and s*xuality. Some kids just kind of figure it out on their own (they may be hazy on the details, but they understand the general idea) and others get small clues along the way...something on T.V. they quickly see (even in something as innocent as a commercial), something in a newspaper or magazine, hearing bits and pieces of conversation over the years at gatherings or even from a neighboring table at a restaurant. Ds was 8 when we had the talk. We used the book "God's Design for S*x" and he was pretty mortified at the whole idea. I really wanted dh and I to be the one he comes to with questions however and I knew it was inevitable that he would hear it from some other kid sooner or later. Not to mention I wanted him to have the correct information...not the half true, half myth talk that kids often pass along :) .
  10. I know, lol. I was trying to go for SIMPLE. Snow...it's white, cold and fluffy. It's fun to play in, etc... We live in Buffalo for pete's sake...he should be familiar enough with snow that he doesn't stress about describing it!
  11. I love it too! My favorite sister is the youngest :). I really hope that Mary and Matthew get together.
  12. Hello :) We're in Buffalo and I just wanted to welcome you to the area :) . Dh and I both grew up here and eventhough Buffalo gets a bad rap, we really love it here. The paperwork isn't all that bad. You need to send in your letter of intent by July 1st. Your district will send you a packet of info. after that and you'll just need to write out an IHIP (Individualized Home Instruction Plan). Once they approve your IHIP you need to send in quarterly reports and an end of the year assessment. Once your children reach 5th grade you are required to administer some sort of a standardized test...most use either the CAT or the IOWA. There are quite a few active homeschool groups in the area as well as activities, classes and resources. I personally belong to 4 active groups and would be glad to share the links if you'd be interested in joining. For activities there are homeschool swim and gym programs at the YMCA, art classes at the Albright Art Gallery as well as at the Burchfield Penney Art Gallery, science classes at the Buffalo Museum of Science, a chess class with an International Grandmaster, a few different co-ops in the area (including a 2 day a week "Classical Study Center" called "Rivendell Study Center") and much more. Please feel free to pm me with any questions or for any information! ~Jenn
  13. I'm in the same boat. Ds (3rd grader as well) is and has always been an excellent and voracious reader. I logically assumed that writing would follow suit, lol. I had a bit of a freak out this year because I know that in the public schools they really start amping up writing expectations in 3rd grade. :glare: What I didn't realize, that I do now, is how much of a skill learning to write really is. What frustrates me the most is that ds can write composition books filled with creative stories using correct spelling, grammar and punctuation. However, give him a directed writing response...for example, write a descriptive paragraph explaining snow to someone who has never seen it and he crumples to an anxiety ridden mess. This year we've been using.... M, T, W and Th WWE 3 (for narration and dictation) **he really struggled with summarizing when we began this, but has GREATLY improved since the start of the year** M, W and Th Paragraph Town (for paragraph instruction and practice) F Paragraph assignment A weekly paragraph assignment (narrative, descriptive, informative, compare/contrast, etc...) He also gets daily writing practice in his cursive skill book (Abeka). Each day is some penmanship practice, a bit of copywork and then the requirement of some sort of original response...usually just a few sentences about a nature/animal topic which requires using the dictionary in the back of the book. I will say that progress was slow and painful at first, but it was there and as the year goes on he's progressing even faster. :)
  14. From what I remember, and I checked with Lexile to be sure, Magic Treehouse are at an average reading level of 1st or 2nd grade. Geronimo Stilton have an average Lexile of 500 which puts them right in the 2nd grade range as well. Same thing again with The Bocxcar Children...average range of 400 - 600, which is 2nd/3rd grade level. I'd check into your local library for books that are at his level about specific topics. You could ask your librarian or search within the library database (many libraries even offer this service directly from their website so you can search and order books in from home). There are loads of great fiction books in the reading level that will be perfect for his age. Do a quick search here and you should come up with some fantastic suggestions!
  15. Wouldn't this cause a possible carbon monoxide problem?
  16. With my 3rd grader I'm currently using.... WWE 4 (for narration and dictation) Paragaraph Town (as a writing supplement to WWE 4) Growing With Grammar (to get some extra "technical" grammar practice in) Editor in Chief (for some practical application of the grammar) This has been a nice balance for us :) .
  17. Yes, this.:) For example, just because a child wants to read something more interesting, I wouldn't hand him "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" if he was struggling to get through "Frog and Toad".
  18. No problem :) I ended up going with a 7x5 press printed card. I used my online lab to order it. I also had a light pearl sheen added to the card for some extra festivity :) .
  19. Thanks again for the input on the photo, I wanted to update with the finished card :) Front.. Back.. Jenn
  20. Thanks everyone for the input! I'm going with no snow for the card :) Thanks again! Jenn
  21. I finally got out and snapped a couple of pics for our Christmas card today. Of course, the beautiful snow that was falling ALL AFTERNOON stopped the second I stepped outside with my camera. I have this photo I want to use for the front of the card. I was going for a kind of Norman Rockwell painted look. I can't decide between the pic with snow and the pic without. I like the snow...but I also think it takes away from the painted effect of the photo. I don't know..which one do you like better. Thanks in advance!!! I should add that in the snow pic the snow should look a little fake. In a regular photo I would have added some motion blur to soften it up, but since I was going for a painted look I kept it clean and crisp. Jenn
  22. Thank you :) This is what I suspected :) Unfortunately my camera's ISO only goes up to 1600 and gets grainy at anywhere near 600..so in the shot I posted of my son I needed like a 5 second exposure at f/1.4. He held still well though, lol. To get the exposure for the twinkly lights I need a 20-30 sec. exposure..I think I'll get the tripod out and try tonight though :) Thanks again! Sigh...I need a camera upgrade, lol.
  23. NM I'm guessing you used a wide open aperture for the shot with the kids in it and then a much smaller aperture with a much longer shutter speed to get the sparkly lights and then merged the two.
  24. I'd like for you to share your settings :) I'm surprised you didn't have to do any dodging or burning in there. The only way I've ever seen the sparkly lights done has been with a PS stamp or action. I'd love to know how you achieved the sparkle without PS :) Thanks!
  • Create New...