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Everything posted by Zuzu822

  1. I wasn’t in the mood for wrestling with crust, so we made brownies in my pie dish. The kids thought it was funny, and the result was delicious! In retrospect, we should have determined if wedge-shaped pieces contain more brownie than squares. :D
  2. I'm in the Syracuse area. There are LOTS of homeschoolers and at least half a dozen co-ops. There are four big ones (two secular, two Christian) and several smaller ones. There are two active Facebook group for the area that are always hopping with field trips and other opportunities. If you want to PM me, I can give you links. Most of the school districts are very easy to work with, though the city school district has been a little fussy in the least year or two. HSLDA did have to get involved in one situation (they tried to declare IHIPs that had previously been compliant, non-compliant). To the east of Syracuse (out of Onondaga County), there are still a lot of homeschoolers, but the co-ops are more limited. Meet-ups out there are more in the line of field trips, monthly groups, and the like, though there is one large Classical Conversations-style group and an Abeka-only co-op. The regs are not bad at all. You must test in grades 5 and 7 and 9-12. Scores do matter-- it's 33 percentile OR one year of growth. Alternate years can write a narrative evaluation. Let me know if you have other questions!
  3. I've been shopping there more often now that I know they'll price match! I've gotten a few good deals. Both of the locations near me are remaining open (Central New York). One of the stores is relatively well-stocked, but the store just looks worn out and is only busy around the holidays. The other is much newer, and is always bustling.
  4. We were going to. Instead I’m here, and my husband fell asleep. 😒 I did get his things wrapped while he was at work...
  5. Have you tried Casefile? It's Australian, and the host covers cases mostly from that region, Britain, and North America. I'm listening to the three-part series on Jonestown as I type. I also like Criminal, hosted by Phoebe Judge. ETA: I mostly listen while I clean too. I should be folding laundry right now. ;)
  6. I got a series 2 for my birthday in August, and it's great! The recent software update has improved it too. I mostly use my watch for fitness tracking, but I also love having my messages and mail synced. I don't have any music loaded specifically on the watch, but I can pause and advance audible books, podcasts, and music that are playing on my phone. The fact that it's waterproof has also been huge! Wearing it in the pool still blows my mind, lol.
  7. My kids start out at 60 minutes at age 6. They bump to 2 hours around 7-8, but that's half piano and half lab. My oldest (11) spends 75 minutes at the piano now, no lab unless he's recording. His organ lesson is an hour. My 7 and 9 year olds are talented and well-trained, but not highly driven, while the oldest is both very gifted and very motivated.
  8. Holiday Inn is definitely a Christmas movie! It's the one that gave "White Christmas" to the world! I hate the blackface, but sometimes I still watch it.
  9. I pre-ordered it, but I'm forcing myself to finish the book I'm in now before starting. Nothing I read in the tweets was new information to me, but I'm still pretty eager to give it a whirl. A good comprehensive adult (i.e. TRUE) biography of the Ingalls/Wilder family has been a while coming. On another note, I also have Caroline: Little House Revisited in my queue. https://www.amazon.com/Caroline-Little-Revisited-Sarah-Miller/dp/0062685341
  10. I’m sorry to say my first association with Dorcas has always been the Salem witch trials. 🙈 Now that I’ve googled, I will say I’ve always been fond of the other version, however! 😊
  11. This is really encouraging to me. I had a post recently on the Soiree about feeling overburdened with extracurriculars, and feeling like our day is far too interrupted. I'm having a consult in December, and I'm very excited. I'm taking the educators' course with the CM Soiree right now too. Digging in to CM!
  12. It's ridiculous! I'm in Central NY. I read on some news report in the last week that's it's never been this hot this late in September around here. Ever. Our summer was pretty wet and cool, and apparently this week is making up for all that. Not impressed.
  13. We live in the path of totality for this one, so I'm very excited. Of course, it's Central New York and April, so... it might be pretty cloudy. :glare:
  14. I live in the dead center of NY, and I see them almost daily. It's a bright red (rural) county in a blue state. I sometimes refer to this area as the Deep South of the Northeast because of the attitudes I encounter. A neighbor around the corner has a Confederate flag painted in the back window of his pickup. I passed another flying "proudly" on my way to a state park twenty minutes away on Tuesday. One of the workers at the racehorse farm across the road has that flag on his belt buckle. He grew up in a neighboring town, not a transplant. I also see "Don't Tread on Me" flags flown on my road, though not as much since the election. Exactly. ETA: There is also a large Civil War Weekend hosted nearby, complete with reenactments. It's held near the home of a prominent abolitionist.
  15. A Season of Gifts carries on the story of Grandma Dowdel as well. :) When I was in graduate school, my children's lit class required storytelling. A chapter from A Long Way From Chicago is what I chose...The Mouse in the Milk. I went on to retell it in quite a few schools. :lol: I've always loved Richard Peck, from Blossom Culp onward! Fair Weather, The Teacher's Funeral, and Here Lies the Librarian are some of my favorites too.
  16. We are music focused, especially for my oldest. Honestly, it's made hooking into a HS community tough. We can't really spend much more time away from the house and still fit in lessons and necessary practice. Anyway, he is a pianist and organist...we are just coming off of piano exams (all high honors and one perfect score- whoo hoo!) and gearing up for some big organ performances. Right now, we are easily able to have a strong academic program while still allowing him the necessary hours for practice and theory. I can see that will need to change as he ages, but it remains to be seen how. I think it'll depend on whether he ultimately decides he wants a career in music or not. He also has a strong STEM interest, but he's only turning 11, so he has some time. My next kids all play the piano, but none have the inherent drive and ability he does (though they all play well for their ages). But it means that daily practice is non-negotiable, as is theory and music history.
  17. We've always had iPods. First they had Nanos, but there wasn't enough storage so they got iPod Touches for Christmas. I keep them VERY locked down, and all they have are music and audiobook access. No internet, no other apps. Refurbished the price isn't too bad.
  18. We just finished Strawberry Girl and Winter Danger. Now we're into The Twenty-One Balloons and Swift Rivers (10&8). My other two listen in to the longer books and go through large stacks of picture books. A notable choice this week is the new picture book biography on J.R.R. Tolkien: John Ronald's Dragons. :001_wub: https://www.amazon.com/John-Ronalds-Dragons-Story-Tolkien/dp/1626720924/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491577489&sr=8-1&keywords=john+ronald%27s+dragons
  19. Reminds me of Dewey the library cat who loved rubber bands. Hoping your kitty passes it with no problem! I have one who has a thing for PIPE CLEANERS. Luckily, he's never actually managed ingest any, and the kids are now more careful with their art supplies. :glare:
  20. Real Science Odyssey, maybe? It's very hands-on and would be good for small groups. The Biology 2 course is supposed to be especially good for that.
  21. That's really regional. NY is a big state. A district's union is going to negotiate differently too. When I started teaching a decade ago (PK-6 librarian with a MLS + credits), my salary was $37,200. My mother had just retired from the same position after 30+ years around $75,000. Her retirement is double the number of years she taught. So 33 years=66% of her ending salary, capped at (I think) 70-75%. Also newer teachers (I was tier 4) contribute more to their own retirement than the older (my mom is tier 1). My sister is a second year special education teacher with her master's degree plus 30 credits, and makes under $45,000. These aren't districts that are extremely poor either (i.e. not urban but not tiny rural schools). They're in the center of state, and have decent outcomes on both the 3-8 tests and the Regents. Graduation rates good too. My husband is an engineer, and even his starting salary a decade ago was one I'd have to teach 20 years to come close to matching. ETA: Thinking about some of the urban districts nearby, their teachers do make more because they're trying to hold on to staff. However, we saw on the news this week that Syracuse has closed the graduation gap between white and black students. It's still low (64%), but it's still a rare accomplishment for city schools.
  22. We are in CNY, and when we've had houses with central heat we do 65/66 during the day and 62 at night. We had a Nest thermostat which helped control things and automatically lowered it when we were away. Now we live in a 3300 sf house with electric heat (YIKES!!), and we keep everything at a baseline of 55-60 and control rooms by wireless thermostats when we want things warmer (e.g. schoolroom goes to 64 from 9-12 and bedrooms are at 64 from 7-8:30 pm). Occasionally we use our wood stove insert which helps warm the main living areas (raised ranch). ETA: I freeze from November to May. :p The kids still manage to run around in bare feet and like it. Lol
  23. You could also stay in Cazenovia...not far from Colgate, but a little more a drive (within an hour) to Hamilton College. The Lincklaen would be the place to stay in Caz.
  24. Stay at the Mansion House in Oneida! Super easy to get to Clinton and Hamilton, and tons of history to boot! :D
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