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Everything posted by LBC

  1. Yup, I live there too. Great place to live. A picture's worth a thousand words.
  2. No offense taken. It's been a year since I read it, so I'm trying to remember if this is the case. I think what I liked best about this book is that it "normalized" things for me and took a lot of pressure off. If I remember correctly, it did the opposite of creating an "I'm broken/inferior/frigid" notion. The summary posted on my local library website includes this: "You'll learn about the physiological and psychological factors..." (bold mine), so it seems to address a broader spectrum than the review I posted may reflect. It was recommended reading for a grad level Marriage and Family Counseling course I was planning to take, fwiw.
  3. The Sex-Starved Marriage: Boosting Your Marriage Libido by Michele Weiner-Davis is a very helpful read.
  4. My daughter went with this program for her fall semester of 12th grade. It's called Students Without Borders Academy. It was set up by a teacher at a public high school in a town near us. She got credit for Spanish 12, English 12, Global Citizenship 12, and Leadership 12. They worked in a classroom from September - December, and then spent five weeks in Panama. It was an amazing experience for her. Lori
  5. For those of you who enjoyed the Clockwise e-book by Elle Strauss, she has released the sequel, Clockwiser. This one is not free, but is only $2.99 on Amazon. Here's the link to her blog (Amazon link is on the left): http://ellestraussbooks.blogspot.ca/2012/04/announcing-clockwiser-book-2-in.html Even though these are written for a teen audience, I've really enjoyed all of Elle Strauss' books. The historical fiction aspect really appeals to me. Lori
  6. I haven't posted in ages, but thought I'd share my experiences with putting kids in (and out) of school over the years. First I should say that we're in Canada, and the public education system is probably a bit different. With my first child, I put her in a private school for 2nd grade (I was feeling overwhelmed with baby #4). She did fine. She asked to come back home after a year, and so I brought her home. In her case, continuing in school probably would have made her feel "dumb", because she was a bit of a late reader compared to other kids her age. My son was in K at the same school, and it was becoming clear that he would be better off at home too. Fast forward five years: My dh started his own business, and needed my help with the office and bookkeeping. I put all four kids (grades 8, 7, 5 & 2) back into the same private school. The two older kids hated it because of the clique dynamics in a small middle school. After a few months I took them out and put them in an online program that allowed them to be home without me doing the teaching. The two younger kids stayed at the school for a full year. Again, it was "fine", but I could see that the school culture was wearing on them, and after a year I brought them home again. Fast forward two years: After attempting multiple math programs, I realized that my math skills were not going to be adequate to prepare my oldest for university entrance requirements (my formerly "behind" reader was now an amazing reader, but her math was a struggle). Our local public high school allowed her to attend 10th grade for math, science, sewing and sign language every second day, and she worked on her other subjects at home. She went to that school full time in 11th grade, and is now completing 12th grade with online courses. My second oldest asked to go to school in 9th grade, and has been in school full time since then (currently in 11th grade). He's doing fairly well - probably better than he would be doing at home, since his personality doesn't learn well from his mom:glare:. I was feeling very burnt out at this point (low iron, but didn't realize it), so I put my other two in public school as well. My third born was in 7th grade, and the school noticed a problem immediately, and diagnosed him with a learning disability (dysgraphia). They were very helpful and supportive, but he began to develop severe anxiety, and begged me to bring him back home. He is now in 9th grade doing all of his courses online, and doing quite well (thanks to having everything on a computer - dysgraphia is a written output LD). My youngest was in 4th grade when she started public school. She is now in 6th grade, and is doing very well. She thrives academically in school, and has had amazing teachers, but the peer dynamics can be brutal, and I'll be keeping a very close eye on things in middle school next year. Middle school is always the "wild card". Even great teachers and staff aren't always enough. In all of my school experiences, the most difficult parts have been the peer dynamics for the girls (starts as young as 2nd grade), and the academic conformity for the boys (if they're quick learners, it doesn't challenge them, and if they're struggling, they feel "dumb"). I think the key is to pay attention to how they are handling things emotionally. It's easy to get into the school culture, and feel as though you need to "make it work", but sometimes you need to make changes. I often felt like a flake, and I know people didn't understand my reasons for moving my kids in and out of school, but I always just had to go with what I knew was best for them (and me) at each stage in our journey - and it's been different with each child. When I look at how my two oldest kids are doing, I know that the years of homeschooling gave them an amazing sense of confidence in how they face life's challenges. My oldest (18) is a youth ambassador for our city, and has traveled to China, Japan, WA, and all over our province representing our city. She spends most of her free time volunteering, and is confident in public speaking. She amazes me sometimes (although she still can't seem to keep her room clean!). My 16 year old son has his first job, and I've had two of his supervisors physically come out to the parking lot when I've picked him up - just to tell me what an amazing, focused, conscientious worker he is. Yes, at home he's a typical, hormonally challenged 16 year old boy who gets mad at his siblings, but he's in a good place, and knows who he is. I feel confident that the time my kids have had at home has been worthwhile, and that the time they spent in school has also contributed to who they are becoming. Well, that was long. I'm avoiding cleaning the storage room.:tongue_smilie: Lori
  7. I shared a link to the free e-book, Clockwise, by Elle Strauss recently. She's just released another e-book. This one is called Haywire, and she is offering it for free until Wednesday. This book is written for middle grade readers (ages 8-12). I read it, and really enjoyed it. I enjoy all of her books! Here's a quick blurb about it: Owen True is eleven and eleven twelfths and has been "exiled" to the small crazy town of Hayward, WA, aka, Haywire, while his mother is on her honeymoon. All he has to whittle away the time is the company of Gramps, his black lab Daisy, and his Haywire friends, Mason and Mikala Sweet. They don't look so hot this year, in fact, the whole town has gone to pot since the mill shut down. Owen has his first encounter with a real life homeless man who ends up needing Owen's help in more ways than one. But how does a rich city kid help the small town's suffering citizens? And what is Owen to make of the fog train and its scary, otherworldy occupants that appears out of thin air on the old tracks behind Gramps' house? Do they have the answer Owen is looking for? Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0072Z5DWQ/ref=tsm_1_fb_lk Lori
  8. Since this is only free until Monday, I thought I'd bump it one more time, and add a link to a review: http://sapphicscribe.wordpress.com/2012/01/ Lori
  9. An author friend of mine is offering her e-book for free on Amazon.com until Monday. You just need to download a free Kindle app to order the book (no e-reader necessary). It's time travel historical fiction, teen friendly, clean (without being sterile), and a real page turner. Here's a link to the author's blog, with info about the book: http://ellestraussbooks.blogspot.com/p/clockwise_02.html Here's a link to the Amazon order page: http://www.amazon.com/CLOCKWISE-ebook/dp/B005WOFX4M I read it, and even though it's written for a teen audience, I really enjoyed it. Lori
  10. My 14 year old son has been diagnosed with dysgraphia. A NILD therapist (level 2) has just moved to our city. She is working for a learning center that charges $65 per hour for her services. She is able to work with my son for two 60 minute sessions per week (she had a waiting list soon after she arrived, so I'm quite fortunate to have a space for my son). I'm being told to expect the therapy to last for a few years (3-4), and it's going to cost $520 per month. We have the money, but it seems like a lot, and I know my dh is going to think it's "ridiculous". I need to know if the NILD therapy will make a measurable difference for my son if I'm going to justify the cost.
  11. This page of the website shows a source for the graphic. Maybe if you contact her she'll be able to tell you.
  12. I haven't been here much lately. I'm just stopping by to share an interesting link of a diagram showing origins of different languages. Lori
  13. Great post! I haven't posted in a long time, but I had to comment on this post. My journey has been very similar. Lori
  14. Thanks Laurie. I've contacted a Cogmed psychologist in our province, and have faxed him my son's full report. He's going to call me tomorrow night to discuss it. I think I'll try to implement the spelling strategy you developed sometime during the summer, and then continue a lighter version throughout the school year. Interestingly, when I contacted the Cogmed psychologist, I mentioned that my son had been diagnosed with dysgraphia, and he didn't think Cogmed would help him much, but when I told him what ds's test scores were, he said that cogmed probably would help him. It makes me wonder a little bit about the dysgraphia label. Many of the articles I've been reading online don't seem to match my ds. He doesn't get exhausted while trying to write, and he's not all hunched with an awkward pencil grip. I'm feeling hopeful that there are some things we can do that could make a big difference for him over the next couple of years. Thank you so much for all your support. Lori
  15. I just tried both of these tests, and his responses were all pretty normal. Thanks for the insight on how all of these LDs might be connected. There doesn't seem to be as much information about dysgraphia as there is about dyslexia, so it's interesting to know that learning about dyslexia might give some insight into my son's issues. Lori
  16. Thanks for the links, Scotia. Both seem to be dealing with issues slightly different than my son's. I couldn't find any information about dysgraphia on those sites. Am I missing something? Ds doesn't have any coordination issues, or reading issues. All of his problems have to do with spelling and writing - getting the information from his brain onto paper. I'm glad to hear that you were able to find some solutions for your daughter. I'm hoping there is something I can do, but perhaps I'm just in the "denial" phase of learning about his diagnosis.:closedeyes: Lori
  17. This is my first post on the Special Needs Board. In February, after many years of homeschooling, I put all of my kids into public school. The first week, I received a call from the learning assistance teacher about my 12 yo son. She wanted to do some testing, which led to having him receive further testing from the school psychologist. Yesterday I met with them to find out that he has been designated with a learning disability, specifically, dysgraphia. I did a "dysgraphia" search, and read through some of the threads, but I still find myself with more questions than answers. The psychologist who did the testing told me that there's not much I can do for him, other than accommodate his weak areas by helping him improve his keyboarding skills. The school has him on an I.E.P., and he will have the options of both extra time and a scribe for provincial exams. He will even have this designation through university, so I'm relieved that his writing weaknesses won't hold him back. His WISC-IV test showed the following results: Verbal Comprehension - 86th percentile (Score: 116. Breakdown: Similarities - 15; Vocabulary - 12; Comprehension - 11; Information - 12) Perceptual Reasoning - 73rd percentile (Score: 109. Breakdown: Block Design - 12; Picture Concepts - 8; Matrix Reasoning - 14) Working Memory - 18th percentile (Score: 86. Breakdown: Digit Span - 6; Letter-Number Sequencing - 9) Processing Speed - 5th percentile (Score: 75. Breakdown: Coding - 4; Symbol Search - 7) Full Scale Score: 98 (With note: "Given the significant discrepancies between Index scores, the Full Scale Score should be viewed with caution."). I plugged the results into the GAI Score Summary calculator. I really don't understand the data. On the GAI Scores Summary, the percentile rank is 97. The Discrepancy Comparison Difference is -30. There are other numbers as well, but they don't make much sense either. I'm wondering if there's something I can do with him after school or during the summer that will help him without frustrating him. Spelling is his major weakness. We've used SWR, and I still own it. He also really struggles to use basic known writing conventions when he's writing a paragraph or a story. I plan to read The Brain that Heals Itself to see if there are any suggestions. I'm hoping that you wise and experienced parents might have some ideas or advice for me. Lori PS - I'm open to bringing him back home, if that is what's best, but at this point I think the school has programs for him that might help more than what I can provide. We have a pretty good public system here.
  18. I wash clothes two times per week, usually Wednesday and Saturday. Each child brings their laundry to the youngest dd's room (it's closest to the laundry room). I sort it on her bed. As soon as each load comes out of the dryer, I fold it (I hate ironing), put youngest dd's clothes in her drawers/closet, and put each person's clean laundry in a separate laundry basket. At the end of the day, I give each child their laundry basket full of clean, folded clothes, and I put mine & dh's away before I go to bed. If I don't get it all done and put away each day, it feels like laundry just drags on forever. Some days I really need to force myself to put it away. Oldest dd usually does all of her own laundry. Towels and sheets get done on a different day, since they just go back on the towel rack or bed. It's the folding and putting away of clothes that I need to stay on top of more. Lori
  19. Dd is 16. She is a voice student, and her voice teacher insists that all voice students work toward at least a RCM grade 6 level in piano. Both her voice teacher and her piano teacher do not feel that she is practicing enough. I'm not a musician, and have no grid for what a typical amount of practice would look like. I tend to worry that she's not doing enough, but when she says she's done, I take her word for it. After receiving (negative) feedback from her teachers, I've decided that we need to work out a reasonable practice schedule, and if dd doesn't maintain that schedule, we will need to seriously reconsider continuing with these lessons (they're very expensive!). So, approximately how much time should she schedule each day? Lori
  20. I'm watching, and I'm such a proud Canadian right now. I can't believe how much talent we have for such a small population.:thumbup: Lori
  21. Someone once told me that they can actually make their pee land outside of the cage, and onto the floor by the cage. I'm not sure if this is true or not. One homeschooler told me that rats make good pets.:eek::ack2: Lori
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