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Posts posted by redsquirrel

  1. No teacher is allowed to give a parent contact info of another student or parent.  Ever.  


    Really? My son's high school prints up a directory of every student, parents/guardian names, addresses, phone numbers and email.  You can opt out of all or part of it (I don't have our address listed) but from what I can tell, most people just have all their info in there. My kids didn't attend the local elementary or middle schools, but I've been told they print out the same directory. It get handed out to all students. If you go into the guidance office there are piles of them in boxes.


    I remember back in the 1970s and my mom complaining that 'no one RSVPs any more' so I expect this is a problem that has always been a problem

  2. I wish they had been able to catch him alive.  A lot of good work could have been done in studying him..what led to him making these decisions. Of course Texas has the death penalty and I am sure they would have exercised that power, but still, it could have been worthwhile.


    He may have been good at making bombs, but not so good at disguises. The pictures of him from FedEx are pretty darn memorable. He was wearing an obvious blond curly wig and gloves. He was definitely going to be remembered and caught after that. And FedEx has cameras all over the place. I'm not certain if he thought he could outrun the police or if he felt so powerful by then that he though the cameras didn't matter.


    But, yeah, the homeschooling aspect is not good. And it makes me crazy that today everyone on social media is suddenly an expert on homeschooling. If you try to address anything as, you know, an actual homeschooler, no one wants to hear what you have to say. I've long ago stopped saying a word. I wonder if his family knew that he was dangerous or if they every considered trying to get him help.


    And that poor first victim. The family said that he had been murdered but LE publicly floated the idea that he killed himself. They have since apologized, but there is going to have to be a reckoning. Weeks passed and nothing happened, leaving the bomber emboldened to kill again.

    • Like 6
  3. Yes, when they were quite a bit younger due to friends. We have always explained it like they do at our church: There are all kinds of families.  When they were young age they described as "We know some 'mommy and daddy families' and '2 mommy families" and '2 daddy families'" and they also knew that sometimes parents don't always live together but they love their children...that one (divorce) was actually much more difficult to explain. My younger son found that to be a little bit upsetting



  4. wear shoes that are very easy to take on and off...because you will have to take them off during security. And wear sock unless you want to walk barefoot through security. And don't have chapstick in your pocket because they will take it from you. Put it in your bag of liquids in your carry on and take it out when you need it. 


    Oh, and don't put your ID in the little bin that goes through security like I did.  Keep it with you. The woman was super nice about it and let it slide but she did warn me not to do it again. I had two little kids and it was like 3am and I just stuck everything in my pockets in the bin.  You want to put everything in it except your ID, lol 

  5. Yes, Coraline, Odd and the Frost Giants (a family fave)...Neverwhere? Maybe. It depends on the 12 year old.  I would probably suggest Pullman's His Dark Materials Trilogy and Hunger Games first. If those have been read and digested..again..maybe?  Neverwhere scared the bejeepers out of me, lol. But my older kid was reading Stephen King short stories at 12-13 and loving it. 


    I just got my 13 year old Gaiman's Norse Mythology book for his birthday. He likes it very much and its taking him time to plow through

    • Like 1
  6. Well, my son has been taking expository writing through The Well Trained Mind Academy. Expository Writing 1-3 uses WWS 1-3. We have loved it and he's had a very good experience with it.  He has learned a whole lot and enjoyed the classes.  I use the teacher's book for WWS 1-3 to check his homework.


    I should add that Expository Writing doesn't teach grammar or mechanics. If that is the issue then Grammar for the Well Trained Mind is scripted and assumes no previous information

  7. I've done this with one kid and starting it with another.  The biggest, and only challenge, was getting up on time and going to school every day, lol. Every other kid is in process of making a huge transition from middle to high school so my formerly homeschooled kid didn't stand out in any way. They all have trouble with time management, they are all socially awkward and transitioning from early puberty to full fledged teenagers, they are all meeting new friends. The teachers clearly expected a very broad range of skills, even in the honors classes, and taught accordingly.


    It was really just the getting up and being on time, and the reality that when the third week rolls around that you actually have to keep going, lol.

    • Like 2
  8. I remember when I was in Elementary School chorus we sang Dust in the Wind, Take Me Home Country Roads, Rocky Mountain High and similar songs.  In band we played the MASH theme - Suicide is Painless.


    I guess Rainbow Connection was probably fine.   :laugh:


    we did all of those as well! ...but, I SWEAR that in 8th grade the choir director had us singing the Gordon Lightfoot song Sundown!  We were ok with 'Dust in the Wind" but that one had us feeling more than a little awkward.  I mean...imagine an entire middle school choir, and this one was all little girls, singing "I can see her looking fast in her faded jeans/ She's a hard loving woman got me feeling mean".  I kept saying to my friends "Ummm...do you know what this song is about?  No, I mean do you KNOW what it's about?"


    And then we followed up with the Rainbow Connection.  Man, the 1970s were weird.

    • Like 1
  9. Dontcha know, if you play songs like this one backwards, they come out clean. 


    The song has never been on anyone's radar here but I am wondering if Spanish speaking youngsters were giggling when their non-Spanish speaking friends were singing along. 


    Just as much as my (now ex) British brother in law was DYING of laughter seeing people wearing tshirts saying "shagalicous". Oh, and don't get him started on 'fanny packs"


    And my dh has certainly seen some folks in Japan wearing tshirts and hats with....provocative English phrases on them

    • Like 2
  10. Does anyone know if Proactiv and Differen work differently?


    DS has been using Differen for months and there's been no change. I don't mind spending the money, but want to make sure there will be some hope with a new product and it's not just more of the same.


    Differen is a retinoid. It's the first retinoid to be available without a prescription. I'm not sure what the active ingredients of proactiv are, but it's probably very similar to other OTC stuff.


    My son has a script for differen and it's 10$ copay for about four times the amount of what is sold OTC. I'm not sure how much longer it will be covered by insurance though.


    My son is using an antibiotic with Differen. He needs both. We've tried stopping one and then the other and the inflammation and acne always comes back.

    • Like 1
  11. My kid ended up at the dermatologist. But one of the best things we found was using plain old Cerave foaming face wash.  Most soap and cleansers, even those that claim to be gentle, are quite basic..meaning a ph of over 7.  However, our skin is about a 5.5, so slightly acid. It's called our acid mantle and we need to protect it. If he's breaking out then he needs to take extra care of it.  Using stronger and stronger soap and cleansing products just strips the acid mantle off again and again.  The skin replaces it, but it's vulnerable to irritation and drying until it does.  That tight feeling is the feeling of skin that's been stripped of it's acid mantle. Some skin will over produce oils in response so washing makes it even oilier.  However, using a low ph cleanser will clean your skin but protect the acid mantle. Cerave is a low ph cleanser that is easy to find. We actually switched and only use that for all our cleansing needs. My son's acne calmed right down and so did my other son's eczema.


    My son ended up on a script for antibiotics and adapalene.  Adapalene is now available OTC for about 10-12$ at 1% which is the same strength as my son's prescription.  It really, really helps.  However! It also makes him photosensitive. It must be used once a day, every day, at night (light makes it break down) and you MUST commit to sunscreen all the time. My son got a bad sunburn walking to school at 8am in February in upstate NY. Honestly, the sun isn't even out at 8am in February! He is very, very careful about sun protection now. With Adapalene (or Differin) it's the long game. You see immediate results but then usually a purge from weeks 2-4 and then a real improvement from weeks 6 on. It can be used every other night if it's too drying. But you can't just use it for a couple nights and then stop. You can get it on Amazon and I've seen it at my supermarket. But please use a sunscreen, you are in danger of damaging your skin if you don't.

  12. I never knew.  Really.  That's gross!


    DD has been listening to Korean pop lately and I told her it was dicey listening to foreign language, they could be saying, get your guns, kill everyone...  Guess I should have known...


    imagine if we played it backwards...imagine the horrors we could find, lol

    • Like 5
  13. My daughter is in WWS2 with WTMA this year (after doing WWS1 with me).  I would put my estimate at about 5 hours plus class time, like redsquirrel.  We allocate an hour a day during the week, with 2 days being class days.  She is usually not done by Fri and spends another 1-2 hours Fri afternoon/evening or over the weekend.  She really enjoys the kids in the class and the interaction, and wants to take WWS3 next year, even though it is a pretty large commitment.  We compensate for the workload by having her do almost no other writing for history or science, other than an occasional project or small tasks like adding events to a timeline!



  14. I think it varies from class to class.  My son is has done Expository Writing 1-3 (in three now) and it's a fair amount of homework. But, TBF, I did WWS 1-3 with my older boy before WTMA and the time commitment was the same, so we knew what we were getting into.  My son is also taking AoPS Pre-A at WTMA.


    I would say that both classes have a fair amount of homework per week...I would say 5 hours per week excluding class time? But that might be high. And it's hard to know how much of that time is actual work and how much of it is staring off into the distance, lol.


    He also took a one semester class called "Socratic discussion" and he liked that a whole lot. It had a much smaller time commitment, compared to the other two.

    • Like 1
  15. Well, back in the day, I did WWE4 with my older boy and I have zero regrets.


    With my younger boy, we did WWE 3 in fourth grade, so I just put him in Expository 1 at WTMA and it's been wonderful. He's in Expository 3 now and paying for those classes has been one of my better homeschooling ideas, lol.

  16. I've used both. I used R&S with my older boy 5-8 and with my younger boy 5-6. As soon as WTM came out I jumped ship.


    In my experience both are teacher intensive. But I taught R&S and I know many just hand it off. That didn't work with my kids. First of all, there is the oral review at the beginning of each R&S lesson and we always did that. Second, its SUPER religious and I had to do a fair amount of editing on the fly. There is also an enormous amount of work assigned, well more than seems reasonable, and we love grammar. We often ended up doing a lot of it orally. I couldn't see any reason to make my kid write all of that out. So we did it orally and I would change the sentences to make them secular. So I would just keep the basic sentences but I would change all the God references to Doctor Who or Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. It made the whole thing a bit more tolerable. I also didn't use the writing assignments because we have always used Writing with Skill for our writing. TBH, I wasn't particularly impressed with the writing instruction in R&S, but that's a separate discussion.


    I find the lessons in WTM are shorter than the ones in R&S and the exercises are more independent. It's totally secular and I don't have to do any editing. It comes with a workbook for my student to write in and he likes that better. There is also more review. The teacher's book provides more support. All in all, I am very glad we switched and my kid is very clear that he likes it better. He finds the student book easier to read and its more inviting.

  17. we do school in the dining room. There is a large bookshelf in that room and that is where the homeschool books live. Each kid get a shelf.  I should add, this is a large, heavy duty homemade bookshelf. It's not a flimsy ikea jobbie. This is a beast of a bookcase that I found abandoned in an 'unfurnished' apartment. It had been built to hold a graduate student's book and she decided it was too heavy to bother moving. I moved in and took it with me when I left. I've painted it, so it looks nice etc. But, I don't want you to get the idea that just any bookshelf is up to holding a whole family's homeschool collection, lol

    • Like 2
  18. Please don't use wax paper in your oven, even under a cake. Wax paper and parchment paper are not interchangeable. Wax paper is coated with...wait for it...wax.  That means if it is heated the wax melts and goes into your food. That might be ok with you, but for most of us, that is not good eats. Yes, it's food grade, but so are birthday candles and I don't know anyone who considers those to be delicious snacks.


    And please NEVER use wax paper to line a cookie sheet etc. It is highly flammable and will catch on fire in your oven. In girl scouts I learned to always bring a roll of wax paper on a camping trip because it makes a great fire starter. Parchment paper can also catch on fire but its not as flammable. Parchment is coated with silicone and it's heat resistant. If you use parchment paper on your pan to make cookies you can reuse it many times.


    Parchment paper instead of greasing and flouring gives a more tender outside of the cake. Greasing and flouring encourages carmelization on the outside of the cake which leads to a tougher cake. Sometimes it really doesn't matter. But, if you are making a cake that is especially soft, think a white cake, you might want to use parchment. I use parchment for lining pans when I roast vegetables, or bake bacon or chicken. Pretty much any time I'm using a half sheet (or quarter sheet) pan I'm going to be lining it with parchment. There is nothing like cooking a chicken dinner and being able to roll up the parchment and toss it into the garbage, leaving a clean sheet pan behind.


    I use a lot of wax paper in my kitchen but never in the oven. I put it down on my cutting boards for easy clean up. I put it down when I am pouring sugar or flour to catch any spills.  I use it for putting between things like pizza slices when they go in the fridge. 


    For lining things like a 9X13 oblong pan I like to use reynolds non-stick aluminum foil. It works really, really well. I use it when making brownies or lasagna or coffee cakes or sticky buns or rice krispy treats. I've had very good luck with it for lining deeper pans. It goes right over the sides and covers the whole pan for very easy clean up. You can just lift them out to cut them up and the pan is clean.


    FWIW, I have never bothered with the extra cost of pre-cut parchment. I just buy it in really big rolls and cut it to fit. I'm good at cutting it so it minimizes waste.


    You can also buy a silpat sheet. I've got one, but I keep forgetting to use it, lol. But it does work beautifully and will last a very, very long time.


    But no wax paper in the oven. No one wants to eat wax, and oven fires suck.

    • Like 4
  19. The scoop in my container is huge! I can't see putting it into my coffee. It would make is sludge. The directions say to mix one scoop with 5-6 oz of liquid. I used 8 oz. skim milk. It wasn't bad but I think I need to add some other stuff to it. So what would you add if you had chocolate peanut butter protein powder?


    you don't have to use an entire scoop. You are in charge of you, lol.  The scoop is a suggestion.  I don't use an entire scoop in my coffee for much the same reason. I use half and have two cups of coffee, for a total of one scoop.

  20. I put whey protein powder in my coffee every morning. I need the protein first thing to avoid a sugar crash (took me years to learn about myself) and I cannot be bothered to cook eggs every morning.  So, I just toss my coffee, a dash of milk, some sweetener and a scoop of whey protein powder into the blender. I wizz it around for 15 seconds and breakfast is served.  I have two, so a total of two scoops of powder per day. That usually holds me until late afternoon. I swear that if I could live on that I would, lol. It's just so darn easy.

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