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Danae

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  1. I would institute a “writers’ workshop” every afternoon. You’ll have to work with the kids for the first week or two to set the pattern, but once they’ve got it down do your own writing in a different room. Emphasize to the 10 and 7 year old that they are going to lead writers’ workshop for the 3 year old. Gather a lot of pre-school literacy related toys, activities, and videos and a timer. Put the 10 year old in charge of the timer and schedule. The 10 year old and the 7 year old alternate working on their own writing tasks and working with the 3 year old. They each have one 10 minute block of working with her and one of writing, then they all take a 5 minute break for a pre-prepped snack, each have one more 10 minute block of working with the 3 year old and one of writing, then the 10 year old starts a leapfrog or similar video. The older two can either watch the video with the 3 year old to keep her interested or take turns watching with her and working on their own writing. At the end you all have a 10 minute sharing time where you each, including you, talk about what you accomplished on your writing.
  2. I got mine down to 7x8. Could not for the life of me remember the answer to 7x8. Finally just remembered that the answer to the one I don’t know is 56, and still remember it that way 40 years later. I told my youngest son, who was having trouble memorizing multiplication facts, this story, and now he always gets 7x8 right, but he remembers it as “7x8, that’s the one mom doesn’t know so it’s 56.” If I ever have grandchildren I’m going to start telling them that 7x8 is 56 when they’re babies so this mnemonic doesn’t infect further generations.
  3. Have you looked into Amtrak rail passes? You can get a 15 day 8 segment or a 30 day 12 segment pass for a flat rate. Depending on where you’re traveling from that could cover all your travel instead of flying. When we did a similar trip we took Amtrak from St. Paul to NY, between all the cities we wanted to visit, and then home from DC for less than what just the airfare would have cost.
  4. For those of you whose kids will sit back down when told but you’re tired of telling them 20 times per meal, we had great success tying a stretchy exercise band between the front chair legs at the right height for a footrest. Without it the kids’ legs are dangling or they sit on the edge of the chair so their toes reach the floor, which means they are already half standing up and can pop up without really thinking about it. With the footrest they can sit comfortably back on the seat and getting down requires intention.
  5. By “the first part” do you mean 2013? Or by “Beyonce” do you mean Shakira?
  6. Watch a video of it if you can. It was glorious.
  7. I think the language around childcare workers isn’t as standardized in the US as it is in other parts of the world. “Nanny,” “babysitter,” and “mother’s helper,” could be used interchangeably, with “au pair” thrown in if you were trying to sound fancy. Before every other US boardie chimes in that they know they difference, yes, but if a person you met at the grocery store used one of those terms would you trust that she meant what you would mean?
  8. I think bananas foster is the best beginner option. It comes right after s’mores in the “desserts with fire” progression.
  9. Not that one, but I went as someone’s guest to a similarly marketed event. What I would say is to remember that the people on the stage became rich and successful not by following the advice they are giving but by convincing other people to pay to hear it.
  10. I would suggest, right now, a beach getaway for his next birthday and start planning how to make that work. Your birthday should revolve around what would make you happy.
  11. I distinguish between books that don’t take the reader a ton of effort to read and books that the author clearly didn’t put in much effort to write. I have a few friends I trust to recommend books that are light and fun to read but not poorly written. I know for some people “it’s just a fun read” means they don’t care about the quality of the writing. I’m no longer one of them. My fun reads are much more fun if they’re also well crafted fun.
  12. Since you’re considering getting another hotel room anyway could you bring the babysitter along? Then the other kids can stay at the hotel with the babysitter during the college visit. If that’s not possible I agree with everyone else that all the kids except the prospective college student need to stay home.
  13. The Prealgebra text defines all the math vocabulary as you go along. You’ll be fine.
  14. Probably not, but this way they have more freedom in how they deal with it.
  15. Arctic Mama, you might want to consider that your emotions could be just too raw for this kind of discussion right now and ignore this thread for your own comfort. Saying, in response to a direct question, that yes, Americans do come across a bit arrogant, is far from “the worst type of prejudice.” It’s not even close.
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