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Farrar

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Everything posted by Farrar

  1. Ha. Yeah, it’s the second longest book I’ve ever read. If ever a book should be an ebook! But there’s no ebook edition. I first bought it at a used foreign book stall in Malaysia to read on a train and it kept me company for quite a long time in Thailand.
  2. Coughs can linger for weeks and weeks. I've never known anyone who genuinely stayed away from other throughout that. Colds are typically only contagious for a week or less. I think once you're a week out from initial symptoms and mostly feeling better, go out. If you're hacking up everywhere, then that's no good - you're still spreading crud. But if you're just coughing a little or still have a slight drip in your nose? I mean, that seems totally normal to me. I'd avoid things like new babies, classrooms of kids, and germy spreading activities like cooking with others... but otherwise? I mean, you have to go out eventually. Colds aren't generally contagious after 7 days. ETA: Obviously I'm about to get flamed for this. But I'm telling you, "I'm getting over a cold," and a mild cough is not an uncommon thing in my world. I know I'm not the only one who does not live as a recluse until I'm 100% symptom free.
  3. At indoor pools, they're testing it all the time. It does seem pretty lax at outdoor pools in the summer, but at the indoor pools I've been to, they're in there on a rotation constantly with those chemicals. I feel like you just have to decide to trust it or not.
  4. That sounds so traumatic! I hope you get your answers and that everything is more or less okay. And that you're able to recover. I think I'd be first on an adrenaline high and then on a crash that was very, very bad and depressing after something like that.
  5. Conceptual Academy might be another option. We didn't love it... I learned from that experience that my kids need a real teacher. But many kids don't. It's not that expensive.
  6. Hm. It's been a year since they did Algebra I. And they're starting with a new program. You know your kids best, but I do wonder if another program might just be in order. A slower Algebra II program. Something more like MUS or even Teaching Textbooks maybe. Programs that are known for being on the easier end of things. Especially if they don't need to build a foundations to something more difficult right now anyway. Alternately, I would just get another Algebra I program than the one you used last time and just... go at it again. I'd start each chapter with the chapter test and if they pass it with, say, a B or above, then I'd do some practice with the "hard" problems together and then move on. If they miss a big chunk of a particular sort of problem, do those pages and not the others. If they just make mistakes across the board, do the whole chapter.
  7. IME, unless it's clearly a "math enrichment" type class such as math and art or math games, kids who take math at homeschool class centers are generally kids who have had very little math instruction overall. Which doesn't change the need to remediate that. But I'm just saying it doesn't surprise me in that context. I'd expect to have a number of remediation challenges.
  8. I don't think that's the same exactly as blackface, but there's a long history of white actors playing Asian and of roles that were clearly coded Asian characters (like the Ancient One in the Doctor Strange movies, for example). And people are generally upset about that across the board.
  9. I definitely don't think of that age difference as "alarming." In a large group of kids, I wouldn't even think twice. But the rules for a 10 yo are probably (and should be!) different than a 7 yo. The things 10 yos are allowed to do, the area they're allowed to roam in the neighborhood, the games they're likely to want to play - those are all different for those ages. And it doesn't mean that they can't be friends and meet in the middle. But I wouldn't necessarily expect a 10 yo to be cognizant of why he might need to not talk about the various things he's hearing from his older friends about puberty or older video games or scary movies, with a 7 yo. And I don't think it would make him a bad kid. I mean, it's normal for 10 yos to have, say, seen Stranger Things or played Fortnite or be friends with a kid who was already getting a mustache and want to talk about it. And it's also normal for a 10 yo to also be watching Phineas and Ferb, playing elaborate pretend games with toys, and not getting any of the references by the older kids in class to changing bodies. And those can be the same kid on different days, which is why I wouldn't think it was weird at all that a 10 and 7 yo could be friends. But it does mean that the parent of the 10 yo's expectations for kid behavior may be more loose - again, without it being bad at all - it would just be age appropriate. And it may mean they just need a smidge more supervision and clear boundaries. I think in the OP's case, she's also coming at it from being a bit more sheltering and a bit less mainstream. When you couple that with the age difference, I think her and these other parents are likely on very different pages. I suspect in an ideal world, they could learn a bit from each other. But in the meantime, I'd say keep them a little closer so she doesn't have to worry as much. But also try to give the other families some slack, at least, mentally in how she's thinking about them.
  10. I'm with others here. Your expectations are too high. They sound like decent kids. Formal manners are overrated, IMHO. But they really do seem like nice, normal kids. But your concerns are also warranted. The age difference is a bit big. Some things that are fine and acceptable for 10 yos aren't so much for 7 yos. At age 7, I didn't allow my kids to play many video games. I mean, a few minutes here and there on an education app and they had little Leapsters for long car trips (remember those!), but it was severely limited. By age 10, my kids played things like Mario Kart and Minecraft and that was totally fine too. You may have a different standard for those ages, but just the idea that 10 yos play video games... I mean, in moderation, I'd say that's not anything to be concerned about. But coming from being the parent of a relatively sheltered 7 and 4 yo, of course it seems wild to you. And your desire for him not to play video games or have open access to YouTube is also totally within the bounds of normal. Especially the YouTube thing. So with all that in mind, I think it's okay to limit how much he hangs out over at their houses. Here's what I'd say... lighten your attitude toward these boys and their families. Try to loosen your expectations. But also, encourage them to play outside and be the host for them instead of having him over there. I don't know if you need a firm rule, though I think it would be okay if you made one. I'd make it so your house is the default unless there's a specific reason to be at the other boys' houses. If you do make a firm rule, I'd be really open about it with the other parents. I'd say something like, "I know you guys are great parents and that they get plenty of supervision. Your son has been so sweet to ds and we really love that. If they're over there, it's not a big deal, but we'd really prefer that they play outside or at our house. It's more with the age difference, we just have different boundaries for ds. We don't want to be overprotective but we also want to avoid things like YouTube and video games for a few more years and I don't think it's fair to ask you or your son to enforce our rules and ds is too young to really get it either."
  11. I understand the need for a program. I just think you're trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist. Everything you're naming are things that I'd consider for a student who was struggling to connect decoding with comprehension in the first place. But from your description, your son doesn't struggle. He's just such a good decoder that he can now read way above his comprehension level. Kids who are great decoders can do that - they can read high school physics textbooks or James Joyce aloud. The fact that they can't understand them is not a comment on their actual comprehension skills or a problem that needs addressing. As I understand it, Open Court is just readers and SRA has a very intensive system. I've never even heard of the Reader's Digest series. Unless I'm misunderstanding the situation, I would not do SRA. It would be busywork for a kid who can read really well and comprehend on his actual grade level. Level readers like Open Court seems like it wouldn't hurt, but also like it's mostly unnecessary and I fail to see how they're going to add anything much. So, again, I understand that you need to reassure yourselves, but I'd get whatever is quickest to do that. Honestly, I had a kid who *did* struggle with comprehension (at least of nonfiction) a little bit, but I didn't address it until he was older and then we used some cheap workbook resources and focused on narration, main idea, and summary. Junior Great Books and Suppose the Wolf Were an Octopus are great ideas that you should totally use. I've heard Jacob's Ladders is good too, but don't know it as well. I would honestly consider those to BE a program. I'm not sure why they're additional resources while the others are "programs." I mean, doesn't Jacobs Ladder have a whole workbook component?
  12. Some thoughts... If you want to go online, then do that. Time4Learning is one option. But there are others. Most of them are very, very easy, not very enriching, and pretty "schooly." They're not my cup of tea. But if that's what you're looking for, then do that, assume it'll be quick and easy. Add some enrichment. Get off the screens, get into nature, get some games, do enrichment classes or a co-op, just add actual life to them. If you don't want to do that, I'll say that Oak Meadow and Calvert are the two serious secular true all in ones that are probably "the best" that cover all those grades. However, if I had to do an all-in-one for kids in that range, I'd get Moving Beyond the Page or Build Your Library and then add a math program. I'd probably add Singapore for the youngers. Impossible to say for the 7th grader. Are they ready for algebra? Pre-algebra? Not ready for either? Way ahead? It's too variable. If you needed to hand it off, I'd suggest Mr. D's math for pre-algebra or algebra. Or Derek Owens for algebra, if they're really ready for it. But maybe they need a basic online option or a basic 6th/7th grade textbook. So hard to say. In any case, if you bought a package of any kind, I'd do the following... * Get one package for your 7th grader. * Get another package for your 2nd and 3rd grader. Combine them into one level. If they need different math levels, customize that. * Let your kinder tag along with your 2nd and 3rd grader for most things. But get a phonics program for them. Just a phonics program. That's it. I'd suggest All About Reading or IEW's Primary Arts of Language, but there are plenty of others. Without knowing your goals, your kids' needs, what led you to homeschooling, it's hard to recommend something more specifically. I would also be open to considering doing one thing for your 7th grader and another thing altogether for your younger ones. It's going to be hard to combine them for a ton of things. There's no reason if Moving Beyond the Page looks awesome for your 7th grader that you therefore have to use it for your youngers or vice versa for any program.
  13. There are such things, but I think you're going to find that they're not especially helpful. For example, here's the Common Core writing standards for grade 6: http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/W/6/ It tells you things, but without the context of having seen a lot of grade 6 writing, I think you're just swimming through random words trying to make sense of what "maintain a formal style" or "use precise words and phrases" even means when applied to a 6th grader. Honestly, just looking at that list, it sounds like 6th graders should be able to write New Yorker articles at this stage. But realistically, no one expects them to - not even Common Core adherents. Moreover, a lot of us would argue that the CC writing standards are on some different planet from many kids. Some of them are so general as to be too easy when applied in the classroom, though they do look intimidating. Others are too hard for the majority of kids to reliably achieve without support. You may be able to have them take a writing test. Schools give various ones, generally on the state level, but many school systems allow you to access state testing. The standardized tests homeschoolers administer at home don't generally have writing other than multiple choice assessments of grammar, mechanics, and style. But these tests aren't going to be that illuminating for you. I would say post some of their writing here (with the context of the assignment) and get some different viewpoints. Also, if this is something you feel really unsure about, enroll them in an online course for a semester or so and see what feedback they get from an instructor. That will give you a sense of what you might work on. Overall though, they're in 6th grade. If they can sit down and write a sentence or two without any help, that's readable and understandable, even if there are some mechanics errors, you don't need to worry overmuch. And if they can write a whole paragraph that makes sense, then they're FINE. Just work on seeing progress.
  14. I've got two kids doing Mr. D right now, though not Geometry. Mixed feelings. It's on the easy side. There's no human grading, which I dislike. They check their own work on the honor system. Tests are multiple choice online. One of my boys really likes his teacher. The other one is meh on his. With Thinkwell though, there's no teacher at all. And with Mr. D's, you can also just use the self-paced version and then it's similar.
  15. I think every other day is okay unless he's an athlete. I don't think most people, even smelly teens, really need to take a shower daily. That's so American of us. Deodorant every day though. Wash his face every day. As for the zits... unless it becomes severe, just get a basic acne wash. There are products galore, but I don't think you need to bother unless a) it gets so bad that you're concerned about scarring or b) he himself begins to feel self-conscious about it. In which case, get things, definitely.
  16. I've moved around on this a little over the last several years. I started to write a really long response, but then I deleted it. Suffice it to say, I really believe in many of the arguments against appropriation as stated above and I think the power dynamic and context are important to understand. But also, I have seen it go too far in my opinion. I think we have to be open to sharing and learning and evolving culture and arts and dress. And we have to look for ways to share those things while honoring creators and originators. I think the most important thing for us lay people is just to be open and try and not be defensive. Like, evaluate for yourself whether "trying on" a cultural outfit, style, art, product, etc. is potentially harmful to people. Ask yourself if you doing/using/wearing it will be received in a positive way when it wouldn't be for POC's. When you consume products and arts, ask yourself if the thing you're using or enjoying has a creator that is going unrecognized. Like, it's not on you to fix the music industry, but if you like a white musician who is performing style originated by black musicians, then think about whether some of your downloads should maybe go to black artists instead. But above all else, if a person from a marginalized group says, this is appropriation, just LISTEN. You don't have to agree in the end, but be willing to think about it instead of being defensive.
  17. I don't mean to encourage anyone toward Liberty because I don't have a favorable view of it. But you're saying anyone who ever worked for the federal government as well, which, since I live in DC, is basically everyone who lives here. If this were a corporate hiring thing here, it just wouldn't be feasible. Every hiring company of every sort around here expects to see people with federal work on their resume. I guess my point is just... know your goals. Christian colleges (especially Liberty and BJU, which are the most prominent politically) are going to be a big minus in some places and industries, a plus in others. That's just how it is. Same thing with other schools, degrees, and career paths. Every path shuts some doors and opens others. Be sure you're shutting doors you're okay with shutting and opening the ones to paths you hope to pursue.
  18. Y'all are making me realize that sitcoms are probably where I learned blackface isn't okay. Thanks, network TV!
  19. I was floored by that. But I will say... I am a smidge younger than him and grew up in the American south and I would not say that I understand how wrong blackface as "as a kid." I mean, Little Black Sambo is a book that I actually saw as a kid. People gave me black peddler dolls. My elementary school held a "slave auction" where upperclassmen were auctioned off for a day as a fundraiser. My grandparents and cousins lived in a town that was still strongly segregated in many ways - there was still a black and a white prom there when I was in high school. My cousin attended the white prom. No one ever said to me, these things are racist. I had to start figuring that out myself without the support of an institutional cultural message about it or an explicit one by my parents. By college though, yes, I would say that I knew it wasn't something one should do. But I couldn't have fully articulated why. And if I had seen someone in blackface (and that's a whole other thing... I just mentioned a boatload of crazy racist stuff I personally experienced and saw growing up and I never once to my knowledge saw blackface in real life... so how the heck do so many have blackface in their backgrounds!?!? It's baffling!) I probably wouldn't have recoiled. At age 19 or 20, I probably would have thought, gee, that seems uncomfortable. I'm just going to back away. And not engaged.
  20. Yes, welcome to the board. Seconding all those questions above. There are a lot of secular options now. I would say the most key question is whether you're hoping to find an all in one option and then whether you're looking or an online based option, which seems really popular these days (but isn't all that popular on these boards!).
  21. No matter what they do, it can't ruin the original for me. But I do wish they wouldn't. There is a lot of original content coming out - in part because there's just so much more content now overall. But it does seem like outlets put way too much money and creative juice into remaking things that still hold up great. Or rebooting things that just came out a few years ago. I mean, if they love The Princess Bride so much, why not make another film that would appeal to fans of it? Instead of trying to remake the original.
  22. I chose a few popular economics books. The one ds really likes is The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford. Ds isn't much of a reader, but he kept pausing to tell me things he was enjoying about it, so that's high praise from him. The simulations games at https://economics-games.com/games have also been a hit. And he really likes the guy who does the Econ Movies Youtube channel, which someone here recommended to me. Our totally superfluous thing was that I got the board game Power Grid, which I read was the best not computer game for economics ideas. It's actually really fun. Of course, he's also got a textbook and AP prep materials. And next semester, he'll take it as a class.
  23. Is there some reason that you wouldn't DIY it? A short list of books plus a couple of writing assignments is really all it would take. You could specifically choose books that you know have lit guides with questions and essay topics.
  24. As a subject, writing. Hands down. But as a class, because I've prepped for it before... basic middle school math up through Algebra I. Coming from doing humanities class preps, I couldn't get over how easy doing a math class prep was. So much easier than getting a bunch of activities and fun things ready for a history class, that's for sure. You just have your bag of tricks and games and a good textbook and use it all. So simple.
  25. I thought this was possibly going to be a thread about that article and some others like it recently. I know nothing about Cedarville. And I'm obviously not Liberty's demographic so in a way maybe my opinion doesn't matter. But there are many good Christian colleges and universities. This one is rotten. I can't imagine encouraging a student to attend there right now, even if their doctrine ostensibly lines up with the student's. There's more to it than that.
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