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Everything posted by CathyT

  1. Did anyone mention making Bingo cards of things she might see on the road? My 5 year old loves to do this with my 3 year old. It has things like birds on a wire, a kid, a fire hydrant... I bought mine at B & N I think or maybe Learning Express but you could easily make your own. Also,what about that game where there is a head encapsulated in plastic and there are lead metal shavings to meks his hair or mustache or beard? Cheap but boys does that have play value in my car.
  2. Cut up bigger t-shirts and have the kids decorate them with fabric markers as pirate shirts -- jagged edges for the sleeve and bottom and give them pieces of rope for a belt (that can be the take home instead of goodie bag) Make eye patches treaure hunt with a map or bunch of maps - hide gold chocolate coins in a treasure box? or boxes? there could be as many maps as kids with different x marks the spots so everyone has to find their own treasure paint the treasure boxes (find them at Michael's for about $1 each) once they are found play some pirate games - tug of war? adapt other games like duck duck goose to something more piratey
  3. How about something by John Holt? And if your state has a wonderful resource center - we have a great website - that explains the laws of what a school can and can't force you to do and they have some great links on it to other sites about home schooling. The site I am referring to is AHEM - Advocates for Home Education in Massachusetts http://www.ahem.info/
  4. I am the same! I have the green ones and they are great. I wear them all the time. I don't know about the size -- mine seem to fit true to size but I'm never sure what size my feet are. 7 or 7.5
  5. I don't know if it has been already suggested (I read a bunch but not all the posts) but another idea is to tape some of the cooking shows on tv and then cook along with them once you have all the ingredients and have written down the instructions. We have done that with my teens. Some of the shows have a website too that give the recipe as well (Rachel Ray, for instance).
  6. I like how KarenAnne approaches school work and that is what my first son, now 16, taught me. We did math while playing store - every person who entered the store had a different outfit on :) and had to use real money in our pretend cash register. We baked cookies and lost the teaspoon measuring spoon so we had to make due with others. We read books and books and more books and came up with activites together to do with them. We had a globe and just looked at it and talked about it, and we made maps of everything! Treasure maps, maps of rooms in our house, maps of our yard, maps of how we'd like our yard to be, maps of the town... Every day I only had two things I wanted to do - read a book, any book, and talk about it, and either do something that required a pencil (a dot to dot, a short list of what we needed at the grocery store, a picture) or some kind of science thing. It all fell into place. I didn't use any workbooks until he was 7, when we started Singapore maths. And still to this day, math is the only textbook he has used for any length of time. Workbook kicks aside, I mean (when i stressed for a month or two here and there.)
  7. It can be so hard to do it all and take time to be yourself as well. I remember stopping in to bring something to a friend and found her curled up reading a book on the couch in the middle of the day. LOL. Taking time to read while her kids napped rather than cleaning the kitchen or doing any other chores. It really opened my eyes since I felt at the time I should be working since my dh was off working. My friendandmy dh gave me"permission" to take time for me. I still feel like I have so so little time for me but it is getting better. I am now waking up on good days earlier than the rest of the family to have time for myself and trying to sew just for 30 minutes two times a week - that is my fun. And try to take walks on evenings when I can after dinner. My older boys are in charge of cleaning the kitchen twice a week and that truly helps. They also do their own chores if I give them a list and washing the floor of the kitchen is one of them... As for decluttering, I have found a messy house makes a truly unhappy me. I started flylady again a couple weeks ago. My bedroom is the first place I am working on, that and the kitchen. When I am stressed I try to go to my bedroom to fold clothes or something like that where the clutter is mostly gone. Dh asked me last night if I could just clean out the walk in closet in our room! Ooo, now that is a chore and a half but mostly because it is all my sewing stuff in bins and boxes and all over the floor when I pulled things out and didn't put them back well. Take care of yourself and hopefully everything else will fall into place. And don't forget to ask for help.
  8. It was expensive even in VT when I was there last month. I pour just a little in a small creamer for my kids and tell them not to use all of that. They love it, and I feel more permissive.
  9. My husband has sleep apnea and he doesn't uses a Cpap machine. He has had three or even more studies over the years. At one time he did use a machine but the study center determined that he did worse with the machine than without. He uses a mouth device that a special dentist made for him. Yes, sleep studies are intrusive and my dh hates them. Do you think your husband doesn't want someone watching him sleep? That was unsettling at first for my husband. It was helpful for my husband to hear how much sleep he wasn't getting and how the doctors there could help him. He has some meds in case he is too tired to think during the day and he had his dentist alter the mouth guard a bit after the last study. All this helps, most of the time.
  10. How about a trundle bed? Queen for the older one with a regular twin under it that rolls out at night? My son is 16, 6'4" and still growing but is in a twin bed at the moment. He likes it, though we've said we'd move him to a queen size bed if he wanted.
  11. Tutors around here (MA) charge about $45 an hour.
  12. I have kids ranging in age from 3 to 16. The only game the three older ones can play together at this point is Uno. And they do enjoy it when we play as a family. Checkers is another game that my 14 year old is teaching my 5 year old to play. And they play the wii together. I feel that they need the family time together so if that means my younger kids are playing the computer more than the older ones did when they were younger, so be it. My 14 year old is definitely into gaming and computers. He works to write his own games but loves to play the ones we own too. He can't play any games until after 4 pm... and not any unless I agree if the little ones are in the same room. It is bad enough that my younger two know all about weapons and I don't know where they picked up the information... Oh well. As a family, once my younger boys are in bed for the night, we do have family game nights sometimes. Or we watch movies together, or play wii together. I love Rock Band :) and have a cool avatar for it. We love the games Dominion, Settlers of Catan, as well as card games. Good luck!
  13. Here is a website I like for good book ideas. You tell them (run by Amazon I think) what book you just read and they suggest another one. http://www.yournextread.com/us/#
  14. My boys always wanted to burn theirs in celebration! We usually take a week off before starting a new one ('m picturing our math books -- the Singapore ones, meaning you finish a few each year!).
  15. Two books with activities that we used in the past were: Keepers of the Night: Native AMerican Stories and Noctournal Activities for Children by Michael Caduto and Joseph Bruchac and The New England Indians: An Illustrated source book of authentic details about everyday Indian live by C. Keith Wilbur. We live near Plymough Plantation and they have a great Indian Village as part of their presentation. You might want to see if their website says anything...
  16. We've had a huge board in our kitchen for about 10 years now and we love it. Doodling, lists of what needs to be done, what was done, math problems, spelling -- all are done on it and it rarely is empty. WE do most of our schooling in the kitchen.
  17. Charlotte"s Web The Mouse and the Motorcycle My Father's Dragon This list is what I'd choose for boys. Maybe the list would be different if I had girls? (I've got four boys.) Fourth book would be Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  18. We have a Cat Genie and we LOVE it. It is like a little flushing toilet for cats. Truly amazing and worth every penny. If you google it you will find some great info and some videos.
  19. We only used Singapore with my older two, who are now 14 and 16. They did do flash cards for multiplication table memorization practice but that was it. They are doing fine with math still. :)
  20. There is a show on PBS that is about dinosaurs and a paleontologist shares a few facts on each episode. PBS also has a game or two related to it. Dinosaur Train is the name of the show.
  21. This is my third son's kindergarten year and we are very relaxed in our hsing. We do officially hs year round, with our year starting in June. Read aloud - daily, both stories and we always have a chapter book going. (Charlie and the Glass Elevator at the moment) Audio books - listens to podcasts of stories as well as stoires by Jim Weiss and others - a few times a week Art - some times daily, some times weekly we draw, paint, glue, tape, string beads Writing - we draw pictures and write very very short letters to cousins and grandparents who write back to us. Sometimes he dictates other times he does the actual writing. We usually do this once a week or three times a month... As the year progresses he will do more dictating of stories and narrations and then we will work these into the making of books. We did one on how a deer grows up earlier this summer. Math - nothing formal until he is about 7 or is begging to do formal work. We cook together, measure things, weigh things, count and skip count items, all as part of living our daily lives. Spanish - hope to start this more formally with some other youngsters under direction of a friend who teaches my teenagers Spanish. This would be short and weekly. Science - always exploring in nature, reading books, doing experiments as questions come up. I have a notebook in my kitchen that i jot down what things he seems interested in, what questions he is asking me, and where he seems to be focusing more attention. I get books out of the library weekly that include nonfiction and fiction related to his questions and the seasons, holidays, and upcoming events. Kindergarten is not required in our state.
  22. Jim Weiss stories were and are a great hit in our family. Chinaberry Books has a great selection of others with soemgood reviews.
  23. Mike Mulligan by Virginia Burton is a great book. She also wrote a few others like Katy and the Big Snow. Mike has a steam shovel and Katy is a snow plow. Five in a Row has a message board that would give you ideas on what you could do with each of these books (is it ok to suggest another board? If not, delete this post with my apologies). We have visited work sites to watch construction trucks; driven through paint with little cars or trucks that have bumpy tires and then on to construction paper to see the tread tracks; and put sand, dry rice or even snow in a large lasagna pan and let the kids play with little cars or trucks in it. We have visited the fire and police stations many times too.
  24. Heat could certainly be a factor. How about giving them some nice stationary and writing letters to Grammy or some other understanding adult who would write in cursive back to them? Spelling, penmanship, and sharing all rolled in one. They could even go to the post office and pick out stamps and pay for them with correct change? :)
  25. I love Nance's post. We too have our kids (ages 14 and 16) set goals for themselves since we view learning as a lifelong activity. The goals do change over time and that is ok too. My husband and I get together at least three times a year to review what we are doing with our kids and how we can better help them achieve their goals. We also assess where they are and if we can share new recourses or give them new experiences. Getting away from the house to do these things has been wonderful for all of us. We come away inspired and full of new dreams. Last January I had my three older kids think about one word that might describe what their one goal would be for the upcoming year. Play, dream, and think (ponder) were the words. I bought some wood letters from A.C. Moore and painted them and hung them prominently in my kitchen, dancing along the walls. We get a lot of nice comments about them.
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