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Everything posted by meggie

  1. For those with multiple children and you only sent one to PS, how did you deal with the transition? I'm looking at sending my middle child next year (he'll be in 2nd) and I'm so worried that 1) He'll feel like he's being rejected somehow (he's a VERY difficult child and I need a break from him) and 2) How to keep the other two from being jealous, because I'm sure they'll want to go too.
  2. Digby will be in first in the fall. All we have are reading (OPGTR), writing (HWOT), and math (MUS Alpha). He's not ready for more.
  3. Take a break, take a break, take a break. For the rest of December, focus on morning routines. Wake up, eat breakfast, change clothes, do chores. Then give them free time (but limit the screen time. My kids only get 10 minutes of tablet time if they've finished their chores quickly and before the timer goes off and another 10 minutes at night after they've gotten ready for bed and cleaned up their messes). Let them play with Legos, do art projects, make Christmas presents, read books, listen to audiobooks, play outside, etc, etc. While they're busy, you can organize and plan and rest. For the love of all that is holy, rest. When you start back in January, start small. Get in a habit of doing a few key subjects, then giving them the rest of the time for free time. I've tried a new method of 45 minutes of school work/15 minute free time break, whatever they want (except for screen time, just my preference) Baby step your way into this. Just so you know, I've always homeschooled my kids. This is my fourth official year and I feel like I'm just now finding my groove. That's ok. It wasn't that I was terrible or we never did anything, it was just chaotic for awhile (partly because my kids were little and my middle child was crazy). As with any new skill, there will be lots of trial and error, but that's ok because you'll learn a lot of what works and what doesn't.
  4. This! Exactly this! So many examples of this with me and my oldest. So many. And my intentions were good. I think this is what all the experienced moms are trying to help the OP see. They aren't doing it to be mean, they're doing it because they're trying to help her find what's developmentally appropriate. Someone mentioned the crawling/walking baby as an analogy. I'd like to go back to that. If a baby is not yet ready to walk, there are still a lot of skills they need before they can walk. Pulling up on furniture and standing helps build those little leg muscles. Cruising along and holding onto furniture helps them coordinate their muscle movements. So what I'm saying is that she's not ready for the actual act of reading yet. That's ok. She's four. So I highly recommend putting OPGTR away. Instead, focus on those skills that come before reading. When you say, "read aloud" are you talking about chapter books? Because I've never met a four year old who didn't want to read picture books. If you are talking about picture books and she doesn't like them, that would be my first goal: to get her to like picture books. Start with just looking at the pictures and explaining what is happening. Don't bother reading the words. Then have her try explaining what's happening. Then play games with letters. Teach her a letter and see if she can find it on any signs or labels around the house or at the store. Make some letters out of play doh. Let her play with some in sand or shaving cream. I have an app for my tablet that teaches the letters. Oh Starfall! Let her play on Starfall. My oldest was reading at three. He absorbed it so quickly and demanded more. My second son is five and a half and can *sometimes* sound out a couple of CVC words. Sometimes. That's ok. I can look back and see the milestones he's meeting and even though they aren't coming as fast as they did with my oldest, they are still coming and I still think it's miraculous watching a little child move along this path to reading. So I suggest that instead of focusing on what she's not doing yet, you focus on looking for those milestones she's meeting, whatever they are and celebrating them. Seriously. Cheer and high five and hug and "WOOOOOOOHOOOO!!!!!!" She'll feel so proud of herself. Also, maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but SWB's lecture on teaching elementary writing has a profound bit of advice. "If a child cries when you pull out a certain curriculum, put it away. That's their sign to you that they are frustrated, they just don't know how to articulate it yet." Listen to that and learn that sometimes to adults things seem like they only take one step, but in actuality, they require several and it's REALLY hard for little kids to learn all those steps. So if she's frustrated, take smaller baby steps. So on a completely separate note, if you want to teach her how to articulate her frustration, I would go ahead and start that now. If she starts crying or being defiant by saying, "NO!" first, get her calm. Then ask her how she's feeling. Is she sad? Is she scared? Is it too hard? Teach her emotions so that she can start to learn how to recognize them. Once she can recognize them, she'll be able to articulate them. Realize this is a lifelong process and might take years before she can recognize that she's frustrated and goes immediately to words instead of tantrums or other "defiant" behavior. Just some thoughts
  5. For me, kindergarten is optional. You let them go as long as they want. If they only want to do two minutes of reading lessons, you stop when they say. If they don't want to do it at all, you put the book away with no arguing.
  6. She's four! Just because she can do it if she tries, doesn't mean you should be forcing her if she doesn't want to. It's ok to just say, "Alright, then we'll try again tomorrow" and put OPGTR away. That's not a discipline issue, that's a maturity issue. There is a time for disciplining for not wanting to do school or saying no. This is not it. This is not it. This is not it. She's four. If you pull the book out and she says no, then put it away. FTR, my son was ready and was demanding to learn how to read. He'd demand to do more and more lessons. But we did OPGTR on the whiteboard. I don't know why, but for some reason it's better. If I were you, I'd give that a try first instead of disciplining over saying no to reading out of the book.
  7. This game is intense. It's really hard to overcome the competitive aspect that most people bring to games and be truly collaborative. This game is super difficult to win
  8. I got rid of all of the ones I had. I bought a new set from Costco. I organize the containers on one shelf, they all fit nicely. I have three baskets on the top shelf for the lids. They stay organized because I'm the one who unloads the dishwasher and I know where they go. We are not allowed to buy any more and NO ONE EVER is allowed to take them out of my house. My mom once tried taking some food to my grandparents in one of them. OH HECK NO!!!!! They were brand new. She is always making food for people at my house, giving them my tupperware stuff, and I never see it again. I saved the old stuff and let her use those.
  9. I was terrible at this. Overwhelmed and terrible. I started by getting their " come inside the house habits" taken care of first. This was more of a big deal in the winter when they had so much to put away. Shoes, hats, gloves, coats all went in their designated spot and no one got to do anything until it was done. There was a lot of chasing the little two to make them come back and do it. Now they know to come in and put their shoes away without me telling them. Next, we worked on picking up after themselves. Play with a toy and leave it? Heck no. Open a package of food and drop the trash on the floor? Oh my freaking heck no. And with eight year old, I've stopped telling him what to do, I'll just tell him, " you forgot something" and wait until he figures it out himself. This week, we're working on the habit of no screen time and getting our morning routine in. Wake up, go potty, make bed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, change clothes, comb hair. It's our spring break right now, so we'll add school next week. My oldest knows how to clean bathrooms. I taught him when he was seven. I'm going to be adding that into his routine again soon. It's mostly just pick up and wipe down, not the deep cleaning, but it does keep things more presentable. The middle is practicing his sweeping skills, but mostly he's my gopher. He's also really good at folding laundry. The youngest is not a destructive tornado, but she can be if not watched, so I try to keep her occupied or by my side. I just started with the things that were crazy out of control but easy enough for them to do. Also, I've stopped cleaning for them. They clean the living room and their bedroom. I'll tell them what go do, but I won't clean it for them.
  10. We ran all sorts of errands today while DH was home w/ the car (we only have 1). I don't want to do anything else. After kids go to bed, DH will wash dishes and I'll start putting stuff together so it can be heated tomorrow. But I don't wanna! *stomps foot*
  11. Mostly I make any side dishes or desserts the day before, if I possibly can. I am making the hashbrown casserole, the green bean casserole, and the spinach dip (well, mixing it up. It will have to be heated tomorrow) tonight. I usually make a pumpkin cheesecake the night before as well, but I'm not making one this year, we have store bought pies, so I'm not worrying about it. Then on Thanksgiving, all I have to do is bake the turkey, then reheat the sides or put the components together and then bake it. We have a teeny tiny galley kitchen, so the less I have to do on the day, the better.
  12. My oldest and youngest were surprises. I cried when I took the test for the oldest and it was positive. Middle son was only a year old when I took the test for baby girl. Oddly enough, my surprise babies were my easy ones and the sleep deprived stage didn't last very long. In both cases, husband was very laid back about it. I was the one freaking out. I stay in denial until baby comes. After that, I'm too in love to worry about much else.
  13. Last year, they gave me a coupon code for free shipping. They didn't go to the conference this year, so no code.
  14. I know this is a long shot, but I was wondering if anyone had a MUS free shipping code that they weren't planning on using. Digby has not really shown much interest in anything "school" related, but today started begging for spelling and math. I'd planned on getting Primer for him next year, so I didn't order it when I ordered Pigby's stuff in the summer. So I just thought I'd check and save myself $10 if at all possible. Thanks!
  15. My son really wants to learn how to play Magic. *sigh* He gets it from his dad. Anyway, we were struggling big time with his attitude. Whining, fighting, hitting, talking back, etc. So my husband got a bunch of cheap Magic cards and set them aside for my son. Every day my son has a chance to earn one, but if he whines, is disobedient, etc he gets a strike. Three strikes and he doesn't get a card. Six strikes and he has to give one back. It's been working really well for a couple weeks now. He's gotten six strikes once, five strikes twice, and two or less the rest of the time. Don't ask about the little two, they are just crazy. I just use time outs for them
  16. She's in kindergarten, right? At that age I'd read a paragraph have her tell me in her own words what just happened in that paragraph. If she loses focus, she needs to learn how to focus for one paragraph. Do not reread, do not summarize, do not ask questions to jolt her memory. If she doesn't remember, tell her she needs to pay more attention and read the next paragraph. My son took about five paragraphs to actually be able to remember something. He took longer to actually do it well. Once she has a grasp of one paragraph, you can move to two and so on. If she really, really, really can't do it with you reading, let her read aloud herself and try it. At that age, she still needs to read aloud to you so you can correct any words she's unsure of
  17. I love my Nexus 7. We don't have Apple anything so i have nothing to compare it to, but I do love android systems
  18. Digital. Anything written on paper will eventually get lost. My mom and grandma don't use recipes, so they don't have any to hand down that are written on paper. I used to use Plan To Eat and Pinterest, but the internet signal downstairs is kind of sketchy so I don't like to rely on those. Now, I'll browse Pinterest but if there's one I've tried and like, I'll put it in my Evernote account by using their web clipper. I much prefer Evernote because it will sync on my phone, tablet and computers. I don't need to worry about what is located where, I just grab the one closest or with the most charge. Also, once something is copied into Evernote, it is there forever. This is helpful as Pinterest links often go bad or to the wrong place, making all those pins useless
  19. Once a sleepwalking Digby peed on his bedroom door.
  20. Have you read An Assembly Such As This? It's the best P&P fan fiction I've ever read. Makes me so happy
  21. Right now our numbers are less than 150. *Many* of those are lurkers. There are many more who've never spoken more than 5 times. Then there are many who used to frequent quite often but haven't in awhile. The number of people who post frequently is maybe about 50? (that's a completely random guess based on nothing) So if people are leaving WTM, I don't think most are going to the FB group. If you'd like, I could play you some Haunted Mansion music to keep the aura of mystery alive. Maybe some Ghostbusters? Thriller? Justin Bieber? Just let me know :tongue_smilie:
  22. Sorry to disappoint, but it's really not. Someone here keeps trying to make it so, but it really isn't.
  23. I feel that I should clarify some things. The "super secret" group that Crazy Stupid Love is referring to formed after a bunch of us posted our FB links. Then we had all these new friends but couldn't remember who they were over on WTM. So someone, I'll call her "A" formed a group so that we could remember and get to know each other better. IIRC, she made it secret fairly shortly after she created it or the second mod made it secret shortly after A left the group. It's not secret in the sense that people here are not allowed in or that it's exclusive. I used to give out invitations on this forum for the express purpose of no one being left out. It wasn't supposed to take people away from WTM but a place where we could all say, "Oh look, homeschooling friends! Who are you again?" An invitation like this is in fact how Crazy Stupid Love found out the "super secret FB group" and joined. After awhile, I realized it was pretty dense of me to keep inviting people to it right on SWB's forum so the last time I issued the invitation was right before the boards went down. I apologize for being tacky and having poor manners. The group has had its share of drama, but I wouldn't say there's been more than five drama-fests in the year plus that it's been around. It's not exclusive, everyone who has ever asked to join has joined. It's not some elitest group or some place we want to have secret, we just didn't want friends of friends of friends of friends being able to read some of the stuff we posted.
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