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Everything posted by eloquacious

  1. I love this course so much, I'm working my way through it while reading and/or re-reading books as I go. It's a topic of some interest to me, as I once spent a course in grad school designing a course on this very topic, and it is a delight to hear someone else's thoughts! Best of luck with it!
  2. I haven't been active in these forums for some time, but my mother sent me this link and I thought I should relay it: https://adaughterofthereformation.wordpress.com/2016/05/05/plagiarism-wilson-and-the-omnibus/ It is a truly fascinating, though not exhaustive, look at the rampant plagiarism in the Omnibus project. Some of the incidents cited are "simple" cases of failure to attribute translations, etc, while others involve actual copying from Wikipedia. (!) I no longer attend the church where many homeschooling families used these texts, but I would be very interested to hear what those who are currently using them (or have previously used them) make of this.
  3. I have started to go through things, though I started before re-reading the book. (I initially read it one week before leaving the country for two months, so I had to wait to get started.) I've done my clothes and the hallway linen closet, various smaller areas, including some kitchen cabinets and our master bathroom. Now I'm backtracking to books. Marie Kondo places books second, but frankly I did memorabilia before books... it was easier to toss old boyfriends' letters than to toss the books whose inside covers they inscribed to me. Is that weird? It is hard work going through all the books (I think we have well over a thousand, I've already sorted out nearly 300 for the "to go" pile and donated 70 to the boys' school). Kondo says to do this in quiet, but I totally had "Adele Radio" playing, which means there were massive breakup songs going on. Seemed appropriate. ETA: I am still holding on to books that are about who I want to be, though I am letting go of books that are attached to who I used to be. Case in point: I bought books for some online courses a few years ago, then never completed them because of my third little one. Now that he is finally (!!!) sleeping through the night at nearly two years old, I think I will finally be able to complete those courses. It gives me joy to think of taking and completing the courses, but I don't think I will hold on to most of those books after. If I were being really and truly honest with myself, I'd probably keep five books. There are VERY FEW that I truly love. Even books whose content I love I don't want to keep if they're ratty old paperbacks that were already ratty when I bought them. I'm rewarding myself for completing the book purge with an Easton Press edition of Jane Eyre, for instance.
  4. Canadadrugs.com! They come from England, and look identical except in the fine print along the edge they identify the emergency # as 999 instead of 911. ;)
  5. Congratulations! I love your son's name. :)
  6. Yes!! I've been trying to dissuade my children, my niece and nephews, and my friend's sons from using that exact phraseology on the grounds that it's not a proper word... but then I hear other children using it and I get the feeling that, in time, it will be a word. Usage evolves over time. It's frustrating, but then when I propose "play or compete against," the children reply that their version is simpler and gets the point across. I can't really fault them for their logic.
  7. I'm afraid I'm completely useless to help, but I feel your pain. I just gave away 2/3 of my wardrobe, because I've been holding on to them in the hopes that those styles would come back. These are nice, high-quality pants and skirts and whatnot that I've had since college, but... yeah. Bright side: my closet is now nicely organized. I've made peace with the fact that I basically have four things to wear, in different color combinations.
  8. Yes. My oldest was at a mid 2nd-grade level, my middle son who starts K in August will be at a mid 1st-grade level.
  9. Wow, I had never heard that girls stop growing about a year after menses begins, but now I see that's totally true. I was a full head taller than everyone else in fifth grade, but haven't grown since then. My great grandmother was 16, my grandmother 14, my mom 12, and I was 10 (though close to being 11). If I recall, there were definitely a few months between the first and the second, and then again it took a while to "settle in." And they were TERRIBLE at first. Sigh. Thank God that's over... Come to think of it, the above ages make me a little glad I have three sons. I can imagine it's scary to have your daughter begin so young... and such an inconvenience for her at a young age. Thankfully for your daughter, she is at home. I imagine elementary school teachers have been trained to deal with that, though. I taught middle school some years ago, and definitely kept a stash of "supplies" handy. Still, dealing with it the first few years in school was THE WORST.
  10. Do you have a cooler handy? Because we just did a four-day trip to California including some theme parks and ate every meal save one from the food I had packed to bring with us. I even brought an electric water kettle and a mini crock pot to the hotel!
  11. I can totally second the desire to see Edith "outrank" Mary. (Not that I'm mean spirited about it... I want Mary to be happy in her love life, also.) I do think the Bates and Anna plot was the most pathetically tired re-tread... and such a waste. We could have seen real development, but instead? Maybe a plot surrounding the question of whose baby Anna was having? Still lots of emotional turmoil for the pair, without turning into a Wuthering Heights style "and now we repeat the plot and switch the roles" thing.
  12. The birthday boy, has, at times, requested a Lego (or Lego Movie or Lego Ninjago) birthday party, a Star Wars birthday party, a glow-in-the-dark birthday party, a dance birthday party, a Minecraft party, or an Angry Birds Transformers birthday party.... oh, and of course a Soccer party and a sleepover. So. The full schedule is something like this: Soccer match, (pizza and other nummies), swimming in our pool (Ninjago "spinjitsu" moves into the pool, pool noodle light saber fights), (cake and ice cream), dance party with a borrowed disco ball, and then whoever is still there will be settling down for a half hour or so of iPad Minecrafting and Angry Birds. (Up to six kids can join each other's Minecraft world.) Oh, and the cousins stay overnight... so there's the sleepover. Thankfully the multiple theme thing actually makes it easier because other than a Playmobil or Lego soccer player on the cake and the soccer shirt party favors, there isn't any theme decorating, etc. Maybe I'll spring for some soccer ball napkins. :)
  13. I would totally buy some shirts, but I already bought these as party favors http://www.childrensplace.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/usstore/p/tcp%3Aus/50-off-sale/50-off-sale-boy/matchables-sports-tee-2036566-524 and the thought of buying more is a bit ... daunting. After a 25% coupon and counting the $10 Place Cash for every $20 spent, the shirts come out to about $2/ kid.... BUT they are all the same color, so doing "teams" that way wouldn't work. I may ask children to bring white shirts and we can do whites vs. blues. Actually, we have about six white t-shirts between my two older boys, maybe those would suffice... Hm.
  14. On a related note: he will have practice with his city league team on the night of his actual birthday, and we would like to bring something... but I foresee drama if we try to bring cupcakes or the like to a practice that takes place just before dinner. ;) What is something healthy and festive we could bring?
  15. I need help figuring out how I can separate the teams from my son's birthday party without paying several dollars per child to buy a scrimmage vest or something similar. I was thinking fabric swatches as "belts" or something similar, but I wonder if those would fall off/ get pulled off. Does anyone have any ideas?
  16. My son turned seven yesterday, and my parents surprised him (and all of us) with an Android tablet. He had requested his own iPad, which to me was a pipe dream of epic proportions. My mother may not have wanted to buy an iPad, but she came pretty close. It's not a Kindle Fire, which I probably would have chosen had I known this was coming, so we can't do the Kindle Freetime app/content bundle. I already have an iPad and own TONS of educational and fun children's apps for that, so I refuse to purchase expensive apps for him. He did receive $7 in birthday money, which he has earmarked for Minecraft PE for his new tablet. Part of the deal that I made in accepting this gift was that he was responsible for any purchases he wishes to make, otherwise it's all RAZ Kids, Digital Library Books, and the free Brainpop movies. ;) That being said, does anyone have any recommendations for good educational apps for a young elementary aged boy? Preferably free or very cheap!
  17. I bought HOP used (not the absolute newest edition, but a newer one from maybe 8 years ago?) and don't love it, but sometimes my 4 year-old picks up some of the books to read. If I had to pick any one system that we have used the most and that I love the best, it is the I See Sam books. You can get all sets for $49.99 if you get the iPad app. (If that's an option) My second son is currently in set 5, and we love them every bit as much as we did with my first. I own the hard copies and I still have the iPad version because they are that fantastic, and I intend to use them to tutor reading in the future.
  18. I hadn't thought of online streaming from the broadcasters themselves. I will try that. Today we searched YouTube.com and found Die Oktonauten, (the Octonauts) which the boys had enjoyed watching while we were visiting my grandparents. Without German subtitles, though, it seems too difficult to pick up much of anything. My older son could learn quite a bit if he could read along, I think. I used to do that with French and Spanish movies and found it super helpful.
  19. I would love to just buy DVDs via Amazon.de and have my grandmother ship them to us, but I'm concerned about the different DVD "zones" and whether they will continue to work here. Thoughts?
  20. I have only read through book five, but I do know that some daily life issues are addressed in later books (nursing, teething children, periods and infant diapers) and all those parts are the ones most frequently pilloried on fan forums. And the tooth business is definitely addressed!
  21. I upgraded my iPad 2 to an iPad 4 two months ago. I had intended to sell my 2 in order to buy myself a Kindle Paperwhite, but I can tell you that it has decreased fighting sooo much, and most of the learning games/apps I have offer levels for both my 4 year-old and my 6 year-old. So while the 6 year-old is playing Splash Math First Grade, the 4 year-old is playing Kindergarten. In some apps, they are even competing directly, which is super fun to see. The 4 year-old does his reading work (I See Sam Books) via the iPad app or the printed out books we have, just as my 6 year-old does his reading work via the RAZ Kids app or printed out leveled books from there. (This is for his charter school homework, he also reads just about anything he wants on his own.) So while I'm theoretically "out" $200, and have to read on my iPhone in the dark, rather than my imaginary Kindle Paperwhite, it has been SO worthwhile. I have "assigned" them their own iPads, so in some games or apps where progress isn't tracked across devices, it's good that my 4 year-old knows that the "black and green" iPad has his progress, while the "gray and white" one has my older son's progress.
  22. My first grader has the same homework requirement, and we have outsourced it to math facts ipad/iPhone apps. Sitting on a couch with flash cards was waaaaay too annoying.
  23. I have had to come to terms with the fact that afterschooling this year is drastically different from last year. Last year, my oldest was in half-day kindergarten and I still had several hours a day with him when he came home in which we could work. The youngest was a newborn and slept much of the day, and I wasn't actively doing any schooling with the middle child. This year, #3 son is an active crawler who needs constant attention, #2 is busy learning to read and doing preschool math of his own, and #1 son is in first grade and doesn't get home until 3, at which point we have barely an hour and a half until we have to leave for Vision Therapy, which happens three times a week. This activity (20-25 minutes there, a few minutes in the waiting room, 30 minute appointment, then 20-25 minutes home) takes up most of the remaining day. By the time we come home it's time to eat, then play a bit, read, take baths or clean the room, and off to bed. Sooo. All that to say, my initial vision of afterschooling as this fun opportunity to homeschool without the pressure (i.e., I can pick which curricula I like, but don't have to worry about electives or any of that sort of thing) has gone by the wayside. I also have to make my peace with the fact that the school is a really good school... and believe me, I know how that sounds. But as someone who had wanted to homeschool, it's one thing to afterschool if the school your child attends is severely lacking, another to just add extra work on top of your child's existing workload. We are still working our way through MCP Phonics B, (a page or two at a time, depending on how much writing there is on any particular page) and doing Core Knowledge-based copywork and/or Draw Write Now each night. My son loves to draw, so this is his FUN work... he begs for it. He will take Dover coloring books that I bought to accompany his Core Knowledge Science/History/Literature curriculum, then draw the pictures instead of coloring them, and copy the accompanying text underneath into his copywork journal. I had originally envisioned our drives to and from Vision Therapy as an opportunity to listen to audio books, and while we do still do that, it's become annoying because not all boys are always with me. If my husband can be at home with the littles, I only take the oldest - at which point #2 son will be distressed the next time we listen together because he missed a few chapters. So far, so good. The drawing/copywork is fun. Finding videos and library books to accompany lessons is fun. (Last week it was animal habitats - loads of fun things via Watch Know Learn, a free version of Discovery Learning.) And though he finds it a tiny bit annoying, he will do the MCP Phonics pages in about five minutes, so that's not a huge deal. The thing that was causing a huge stumbling block to us was math. He didn't see why he should have to sit in front of a page of problems, and would drag his feet and bellyache about the prospect. I didn't want afterschooling to be a struggle, or a hassle... and so I let it go. (There go the entire Light Blue Math Mammoth and all six Miquon books!) And yet, I wanted him to do something. For school, he is required to spend ten minutes a day practicing his addition and subtraction facts. This is supposed to happen using flash cards, but I happily outsourced that first thing... there are any number of apps that make this fun. In addition to this, we have three main "general math" apps that offer a full K or 1-5 "curriculum," carefully sequenced tasks and games, and even have parent progress reports. The final bunch of apps we have are "math challenge" apps, most of which cover a certain topic, and many of which do so in such a fun way that it doesn't feel like math practice. These are the ones the boys BEG for. So on any given day, the math practice looks like this: 10-15 minutes of math fluency practice. This is technically homework, but I would have had him do it, anyway. Generally happens in the mornings before our carpool picks him up or en route if I am driving. 20 minutes of a general math "practice" curriculum, either en route to Vision Therapy or else before dinner 20 minutes of a "challenge math" app, by choice. These deal with coins and money, geometry, algebra, fractions, etc. They often feel like video games and yet have a deep theoretical underpinning. Add to that the fact that his reading homework is also done on the RAZ Kids app, and it's nearly an hour and a half of iPad time... which is a great deal, and sort of worries me. But there are no Wiis or Playstations arounds here, and the only "tv time" is earned by doing chores...and even then it has to be something moderately educational and reasonably short. (SuperWhy, Popular Mechanics for Kids, Magic School Bus, Liberty Kids, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, Wild Kratts, etc.) Over the past few years we have acquired quite a few math apps, many were free when I got them, but two I've paid quite a bit for... Our favorites are: General Math Practice: The first three have an actual "curriculum," and scope and sequence. These make me feel better about giving up on MM, Miquon, and MCP Math. Splash Math even emails me progress reports! I have the boys rotate through these: Todo Math is Mondays and Wednesdays, Splash Math Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Math Planet Wednesdays and Saturdays) Splash Math K (for my middle son) and Splash Math 1-5 This was the most expensive I've bought yet. I got the paid pass for 1-5 for my older son for $30 for access to the whole curriculum for one student (unlimited time), but I figured it was still a savings over Dreambox, which we had had previously, and was $45 or so per year even with the HSBC co-op savings. I do not have the paid pass for my middle son, as he doesn't need it for the K app and when he wants to play around with the easier levels of the first grade portion, he can do up to 20 problems for free each day without subscribing. Todo Math (Todo as in the Spanish for "all," not as in "to do." This was pricy, too. I paid $20 for access to all the years, but this is a one-time charge per family, not per child. With three boys I thought it worthwhile...UNTIL it went on sale the following week in a back-to-school sale for $5!!! Sigh.) Math Planet (I got all five individual years for free a few weeks back, but the all-in-one app is $20 I believe) Math Fluency/Math Facts Practice. Pet Bingo - by Duck Duck Moose Hungry Fish and its companion aimed at younger children, Hungry Guppy by Motion Math Math Heroes 1 (This one covers addition and subtraction, there are also multiplication and division apps) by Yogome Number Bonds, Mathmateer, Rocket Math, and Rocket Solver. I have a hard time keeping these apart, to be honest. Number Bonds is helpful if you use Cuisenaire Rods for math practice. Rocket Solver has some promise, as it is supposed to be a Singapore Math-based app (our school uses Singapore Math), but the quality of the graphics and design is poor, so my snobby son who has been spoiled by fancier games doesn't want to play it. Splash Math (see above) also has a section of the game dedicated to math facts fluency. Math Challenge / Topics Slice Fractions by Ululab (Fantastic!) Motion Math Wings (multiplication) and Motion Math Zoom (number sense/place value) Dragonbox Algebra 5+ and Dragonbox Elements (Geometry) Telling Time and Tic Toc Time Coin Math and Freefall Money There are also the Bugs and Numbers games, or Teach Me ... games, but those are the ones I have categorized and assigned playing time. I know it seems like a lot of screen time, but it actually helps to have definitive times when they can play, and in a way it redeems the car time for me. Edit: I re-read the part above where I was whining about how I can't afterschool as I had wanted to because the school is so good. I am sorry to sound so whiny when we are truly blessed... we are! I mean, to give you a proper idea of how annoying and spoiled I am, I was sad that I wouldn't need to / get to buy AAS because the school uses Spalding. I was so looking forward to teaching that. ;) As I said, the big step here is trying to figure out how to be helpful and supportive without overwhelming. I do tend towards the latter, but as the seasons change and the boys can actually go play outside the time spent doing those activities will diminish as well. Our school uses Singapore, which would be perfect for my son if they just used it a year ahead. As it was, the Kindergarten work was more along the lines of his preschool work, and the 1st grade could very easily have been done last year. One charter we were considering also uses Singapore, and they offered the opportunity to accelerate in math, which would have been grand. So the additional math practice of basic facts and especially the topical "challenge" apps are quite helpful here in allowing my son to explore more advanced topics than what is being taught in his classroom.
  24. As a parent with limited resources, I understand... Truly, I do. As a former public school teacher who used to have to bring hundreds of dollars worth of school supplies (and classroom hygiene/organization supplies) with me, paid for by my own money, I must say that there is generally a reason for most of the supplies. By all means, wait until you've spoken to your child's teacher(s). Last year I was frustrated by the communal nature of some supplies, as well, but I got over it quickly enough. Incidentally, this is why our school requests certain brands of supplies. (Crayola crayons, Mead index cards, etc.) others may be cheaper, but this ensures that all children are using the same ones. Food for thought: http://www.mommyish.com/2014/08/13/parents-complain-about-school-supply-cost/ Incidentally, this year our lists were a bit simpler (no requests for sanitizer, paper towels, and so on) and I brought a six boxes of tissues, just because I knew they'd be needed and would no doubt soon be requested, anyway. I even sprung for the "virus killing" ones, even though I don't know if they work. Much like my experience waiting tables means I can never be a truly bad tipper, my experience as a teacher means I will gladly give as much as I am able to support my son's teachers.
  25. I should note: I just bought all ten available How to Train Your Dragon audio books on audible because seven of them were on sale and we had two credits. They are narrated by David Tennant, which is what sold me... but the boys will mostly listen to those in their room. Still, that's many many hours of audio books we already have. ;) I admit that I am using audio books to supplement read alouds. We used to read aloud SO MUCH but with my seven month-old taking up so much of my energy, I have slacked in that department. Hopefully soon we will pick up again, if for no other reason than that the school requires 30 minutes of parent read alouds as homework each night. ;)
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