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Everything posted by Sunkirst

  1. Thanks all, the Hive is amazing! Rosie, I am a good questioner in the fields that I have chosen professionally, and I have always been a better at questioning scientifically (mainly because questioning was taught as an integral part of science, and I always was a very dutiful student). I do think that you are on to something; history was taught as a series of dates and firm facts, and we were never encouraged to question. Consequently, my grasp of history is pretty rudimentary - I don't think I'm truly at a rhetoric stage, although I do read quite a bit, and I try to find podcasts and such to fill me in. Tracy, I envy that aspect of your education, and perhaps that is the essence of what I'm hoping to do with my kids, encourage them to question. We do journaling, and that sounds simple enough that I could do it. Phoenix, I need to educate myself more about the Socratic method. I've looked into it and it seems easy enough, but I've never actually put it to use. We do discuss our history readings and this seems like the ideal time to try. My questions are usually along the lines of, "Did you understand the author's point?" Robsie, what an excellent list, Thanks! This is the sort of framework I need to start formulating good questions for writing assignments. I'm printing this out and saving it :-) Thanks again for all the help. I was originally hoping for a list (which I got -yay!), but your answers are helping me understand something that I want to work at changing about my schooling and myself.
  2. I've recently noticed that I don't have the knack for questioning. With life in general, I don't know that this matters much. I listen to conversations, gather plenty of information, and I am definitely not nosey (in the slightest!) I fall into the "Good Listener" category. With schooling, I'm beginning to feel that this tendancy is a bit of a problem. I accept things I read at face value, and I have the toughest time formulating probing questions for history of science writing. When I find sample questions in textbooks, I am often annoyed that my brain just doesn't attempt to synthesize information or find patterns etc. My eldest is just beginning to really think deeply, my second has a very probing mind, and my third is constantly questioning. I want to make sure I challenge them, and since we generally blaze our own trail as far as history and science are concerned, I don't have teacher's guides to help me broaden how they see things. Has anyone run into anything that helps teachers formulate good questions? Thanks!
  3. We are studying the "2nd half" of US History this year - from The Civil War to the present. I'm teaching a 7 yo who's wiggly, a 10 yo who can read anything, and a 15 yo who didn't read til he was 11 (He's doing great now, and his comprehension has always been outstanding, even when I was reading everything to him). I love the Sonlight approach, and have been looking through their picks for core 100. The literature reading strikes me as lots of great stories, but most of them rather short and simple. I'm actually ordering many of them for my 10 yo, or as read alouds for the whole crew. For my 15 yo, however, I want more. I'd rather he read fewer books of more consequence. I will have him read Tom Sawyer, The Call of the Wild and To Kill a Mockingbird from the Sonlight list (and maybe more - so many of them sound fantastic), but I'm wondering if The Hive can offer some suggestions. The books don't necessarily have to be famous, or lengthy, but I guess I am looking for things that would qualify as American classics. Thanks for the help!
  4. So giving shots... Is this something I can learn via YouTube? Is it important enough that I should ask my old vet (who is 2 hours away, and wonderful) to give me a lesson? As to supplementing with raw. I feed the dogs tons of scraps, including raw stuff that we won't eat. With the rise of nourishing traditions, and bone broth, our local farmers are now selling even their bones for more than I can afford often (I used to be able to get freezer burnt or old stuff or hearts etc, but no longer). What are the best sources for cheap raw meat and bones? Countrygirl, I'm afraid of the third wheel thing. I might start taking one with me most places ;-)
  5. I'm hoping some "dog people" can help me out. We are a small working farm. Mostly a market garden, but we are branching out into pastured poultry and nex year, sheep. We currently have 2 dogs: Chuba, a pitbull mix who does a great job of protecting the garden from deer, woodchucks and other maurauders, and Mazzy, a sweet rescue, who has learned not to chase the cats and birds. We are thinking about getting a third dog, but we are wondering if there are ways to not spend So Much Money when we add a third. Currently, we feed TSC's grain free food, and we go to the vet for all shots, yearly check-ups etc. We also pay for a yearly parasite/flea preventative. I think we spend $800-$1000 a year per dog. Is there a way to do it cheaper and still provide good care and high quality food? I've made their food in the past, but unless I can find lower cost protein, it cost just as much as bagged, and I can't find cheap protein. Thanks All!
  6. Thanks all! I'm not going to bother to teach myself to quote right now, but I wanted to provide more info: I am organic, altho not certified currently. My work is totally seasonal. From about May thru Sept I am crazy, then in the off season it calms down. This made me think that gardening would mesh well with homeschooling - I'm just not changing gears well. Laughing L, Thanks for the reality check. We have accomplished a ton this year, of course. My kids and I are involved in a co-op, and we've made plenty of friends in the past year. My middle girl has become a crazy good reader, my youngest is learning to read and loves math, my eldest has become insanely responsible, and of course they have all gained valuable cooking skills :thumbup: I will check out Landry Academy - I'd love to get some help and yet keep some autonomy. OhElizabeth, you've made some wonderful points, and perhaps some that are difficult to consider. Much of this needs to be discussed with my dh. I do have a very high need for both physical activity and solitude, and gardening helps me with both of these. Dh knows how happy gardening can make me, yet he inadvertantly puts pressure on me because he's burdened as the single wage earner. I am considering many options for improving my efficiency, and perhaps downsizing. It does help financially, I've decreased our shopping budget to about a quarter of what it once was, but I'm making a pittance when considered hourly. As to getting help... My DH is overburdened, and any spare time goes into fixing up our fixer-upper. I am definitely considering a WWOOFer for the future. I got my start interning (before I'd heard of WWOOF), and I love the idea of sharing my knowledge. Currently, I don't have the room to provide housing, and honestly, I feel like I'd like to become more organized before I invite someone in; we all know how taxing teaching can be (sorry Lee, but she should check out WWOOF!). That said, I'm thinking that I might have to pay someone to help me harvest for market/CSA - Those days are insane! My eldest is actually a huge help, and I'm considering asking to become my first intern. My two younger kiddos are really the crux of this issue. I was so stressed keeping up this summer that I didn't invite them in to "My Garden," like I did with my eldest (when he was younger). I have lost that deliberate slowing down and opening up that permeated my mothering when my kids were younger (A subject for a whole nuther post :unsure: ). In considering all your thoughtful replies, I'm realizing that this is the avenue that I need to follow - Finding the "Mothering Mojo" I once had and bringing my little ones into the garden (even if it slows me down or takes away my solitude). That and becoming more organized. It's a constant process of growth, isn't it?! Thanks again, Kirsten
  7. I've always been more of a lurker on this board (all boards, actually), but I'm hoping that I can get some helpful advice. My kids are currently 6, 9, and 15. In the past 2 years we have moved from the city to the suburbs/country, so that I can become a market gardener. I worked as a gardener thru my eldest's first 4 years; it is both my passion and my profession. I took time off so that my dh could return to school, so that we could have our younger two children, and so that we could save some money. All this has been accomplished, we have found 4 great acres, and I am once again gardening at a large scale (1+ acres), and the garden made money this year - Hurray! On the downside, I feel like I am no longer a mom. My kids didn't spend the summer hangin with me in the garden, they spent it playing Poptropica and fixing their own lunch. I have managed to get thru the first 4 months of our school year, but I'm on auto-pilot, not bubbling with ideas. Even months after putting the garden to bed, I still feel disjointed, disorganized, discombobulated. I love my work, but it takes a Huge Amount of Time (60+ hours/week). I am not good at balance; I have a hard time putting down the hoe and coming inside. I do plan on reading and trying to implement Getting Things Done in the coming months. I am considering having my eldest do school thru an online program next year (not that either of us really want to, but I feel I'm not doing enough for him). I need to develop some systems before spring. I'd love to hear from other working moms on how they manage the dual commitments of homeschooling and working. I tend to throw myself into things in big way - That's always how I've been with school, but now that all that energy is spend on the garden.... Well things are just flat. I'm a little afraid of the coming summer, but we really need the extra income. help? Thanks!
  8. I think that so many of us who are homeschooling and single income are in the same position. I've found myself throwing up smokescreens (or lying :glare:) to avoid having to say, "We can't afford that." One of the things that I find most difficult is how to handle my feelings (and responses) when others who live outside their means invite one of us to something. Their POV is that they want to provide their children with every opportunity.... I end up feeling...confused and guilty, even though I know why we don't walk that path. I wish it was easier to discuss. I wish I could just say, "That's not in the budget this week," without having it perceived as a baited hook. No good advice, but :bigear:.
  9. Spraying the tree and the ground around it with water the night before, but not the next morning. A higher humidity environment is supposed to help.
  10. Foam rubber swords were a huge hit with our group of boys at that age. You get swim noodles from the dollar store and quarter inch PVC, then slide the noodle onto the PVC and secure with lots of duct tape. Fun to make and hard to get hurt... My son perfected his sword making technique and was even paid to come to the birthday party of a younger boy as the fun craft/party favor. Also, dirt, sticks trowels and dump trucks, oh, and a few bags of those plastic army guys.
  11. Just today our co-op leader called to vent. She has a PhD in Chemistry and is teaching a middle school level course. Her classes are fun and interesting and at grade level. Half of the parents pulled their kids out after first semester as the class was too hard. Today she just found out that the majority of the class can't change a fraction into a percentage (even with a calculator). One wonders when "laid back" becomes "unprepared," and how those kids feel. (Just to note, my kids are not overachievers - at all - just average. I generally feel like a slacker when I see what others here are doing.)
  12. If there is not a structure to our day, most things don't get done. I am a selfish introvert. If I don't schedule time for school, I do what I want to do. I am not lazy, and what I'm doing is worthwhile, however I love my alone time, so I don't make a point of involving the kids. I really need to work on this...
  13. I am an introvert. If I could change something about myself, it would be my ability to feel less awkward in social setting (and to remember people and names better, but they just don't matter, kwim ;)) School didn't help with this, I have trained myself to observe how more social people act and imitate them. Had I been adept at this early on it would have really helped me.
  14. I agree with Super Dad. If you must keep trying, do scavenger hunts. My DS couldn't resist.
  15. I haven't dealt with this situation, so I may be off base. I would make arrangements to meet with all the adults in ds's life, together, ASAP. The behavior of your ex's new wife would so anger me that I would likely be pushed into a confrontation at a time when I was not super rational. I'd gather all my non-spanking resources, and make the case that consistent, non-physical discipline is best for the whole family (can't imagine DS wants to visit a place where he's often whipped). I'd be prepared to be attacked for being lax or too soft. I'd be prepared to discuss behavioral expectations. If the wife hates your son, she should never discipline him, unless there are clear guidelines set out that she can adhere to. I'm sure it's super difficult to send him away to someone who hates him and seems to enjoy punishing him. If its not addressed soon, I would guess that the whole thing will come to a head and explode in a non-predictable way. :grouphug:
  16. My second had dairy and allergy issues and vomited like this starting around 4 weeks. However even after we had the allergies sorted, we still had vomiting. I eventually traced it to stress on my part. I returned to a part-time job babysitting at the Y when dd was 4 weeks. Five hour shift, dd in the sling the whole time. Dd refused to nurse the whole time, and by the time I got home, I was a nervous, engorged wreck. I nursed dd and she very quickly emptied my then vomited spectacularly over my bed. I kind of flipped out between worrying about poor hungry dd, and stripping the bed. In the AM it happened again, and before long, she was only keeping her food down if I nursed her when she was falling asleep or just waking up. I would tense up when I nursed her during the day, and walk around ouside until the inevitable upchuck. Finally it dawned on me that it was my stress influencing dd, and almost immediately the problem stopped. This lasted 1.5 to 2 weeks for me, and had it continued, I would have seen my Dr. Totally anecdotal... But one of those weird possibilities.
  17. Started greying at 17, and now I have a big silver streak. I'm a total tomboy, and lazy to boot, so I've never colored as I know I wouldn't keep up with it. I often wear it in braids, and one of the three strands is pure silver, which I kind of like. If I were to have another child (at 43), I'm sure I'd get a ton of "grandma" comments!
  18. :grouphug: I've BTDT and it's exhausting and intense! I think it's partly age, but mostly temperament. My dd (who just turned 6), was similar ('tho to a lesser degree) to what you've described with your son at that age. For me, the breaking point was her bedtime routine. As I was being called in to give her 3 more butterfly kisses, I snapped. I told her that I loved her, but there were no more kisses that evening. I moved her big sis into my room so she could sleep, and let my little tyrant wail. I periodically went in to let her know that I loved her, but that her crying wasn't going to change my mind. It eventually worked, tho the first episode lasted almost 2 hours, and reoccurred each evening for over a week. I've probably had to say "Sweetie, you know that crying won't change my mind." over 500 times since then. I've also made sure she has plenty of one on one time with me, and have tried to make sure that she can occasionally make (Mom approved) choices for herself. For your son, I would also be tempted to eliminate all dyes and most sugar from his diet, and make sure he gets plenty of sleep. This has taken a huge amount of perseverance, but at 6, my dear daughter is quite a love, and only a teensy bit of a tyrant. I also think that she's happier, because she's easier to be around. Good Luck!
  19. When I was pregnant with my first and a strict vegetarian, the nurse was teasing me about needing to eat meat now that I was carrying. She kept teasing all the while doing her tests, telling me how I was probably anemic due to lack of red meat. When she tested my blood for iron, her jaw just dropped. She told me I had the blood iron of a carnivorous teenage boy. She actually tested me twice to confirm. My midwife later told me that cooking acidic foods (like tomato sauce) in cast iron will help your iron levels. Nurse also "bet" me that I couldn't do natural childbirth. Proved her wrong about that too. I ended up really liking that nurse - probably because of the teasing. She told me I totally changed her mind about vegetarianism. :)
  20. Haven't read everything, but I vote for a mixture. I have 6, 10, and 12 inch cast iron pans that were handed down from my grandmother and I love them. I was given a pre-seasoned Lodge griddle, and I love it too. Anytime I fry, I reach for cast iron. I was also given quite a few stainless pots (1 qt., 6 cup, four qt. and 8 qt.). I think they are "Revere" Brand. They are not oven safe, but they work very well for stovetop use, making pasta, oatmeal or soup. I once found a Lodge dutch oven and was so thrilled, but it didn't work for soups, and I don't roast much. I later was given a knock-off Le Crueset dutch oven (from Sam's Club). It worked so well, but after a couple of years, the enamel has started to pop off the cooking surface, so I won't use it any more. I'd love to know if it was just me being to hard on the pot (overheating, not cleaning properly?), or if a real Le Crueset would last longer.
  21. We go through our bread so quickly that I made a couple of drawstring bags out of undyed muslin. Probably wouldn't work if it takes 4-5 days to go through the loaf, but it works well for us.
  22. Not wanting to nurse/suck was a big sign for my eldest (who had a ruptured eardrum at 2 months :confused:). Not sure if this is your style, but I have, since that first ear infection, given my kids prophylactic garlic oil in their ears as soon as they start getting congested (recommended by the pediatrician we had then, an older German woman). My eldest is my only one who has ever had an ear infection, and he had just that one. I mince a whole head of garlic, cover it in olive oil and then strain it the next day. I keep this oil in a dropper jar, and warm the whole jar in warm water before giving the drops. Hope everyone is healthy again soon!
  23. My children would love a trampoline. My DH has said in the past that they're too dangerous, but I'm starting to see a change in his thinking. Before I mention this to him for this summer, I'd like to hear from the Hive: Are they too dangerous? If you have one, what sort of rules have you instituted regarding its use? Is there any sort of specific model/type that is regarded as safer than others? Thanks!
  24. I don't think this is truly what you are looking for, but Eliot Coleman has a book about growing veggies in an unheated winter hoop house. I have grown spinach and salad greens all winter long with no supplemental heat (in Ohio, Coleman is in Maine). I've never heated a greenhouse, but I know that flowers could be started earlier, and grown past frost in an unheated hoop house.
  25. I second "The Gift of Dyslexia." Just knowing that there was a reason was a huge relief for oth of us. Earning about people who excelled ecause of their dyslexia made an impression on my son. The focussing technique eliminated ds's headaches, and the sculpting of letters and small word really helped too. We stopped all reading practice from about 9.5 years old to 10.25 years old (terrifying!). We worked on knitting and all sorts of balance/crossing the midline exercises during that time, as well as the letter sculpting. I read to him constantly, and we always had lots of books on tape. We also did lots of building, both Legos and kits as well as real objects. He is truly good at these things and it did build his confidence to see how easily these things came to him.
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