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Everything posted by happypamama

  1. Writing and biology. I'm a decent writer, but I don't like teaching it. Spelling, grammar rules, sure. But the finer points of writing and arguments and were you clear but also concise, etc.? I hate it. It feels so subjective to me, too personal, too much of a grey area. I outsourced DD's English last year, quite happily, and she is taking a different English class with the same teacher this coming year, and I am thrilled. In fact, my rising 9th grader is taking a one semester writing class from that same instructor, and I am so relieved. I don't really enjoy science a lot, although I've learned to enjoy it much more while homeschooling, because I get to see my littles experience the natural world, and that has made it more exciting to me. Chemistry and physics I like a little because they have so much math. Biology, though, aside from human physiology, eh, it is just not interesting to me. Managing a classroom of several kiddos is hard!
  2. Our state university only requires 3 credits in any social studies, arts, and humanities. We have to do history of US, world, and PA, plus civics and geography, sometime between 7th and 12th grade, but we don't need full credits of any of those. We do need 3 full credits of any social science. So, I mostly let my kids pick what they want. DD did medieval world history, European history from Renaissance onward, and US, with probably ancient on top for next year. She wasn't interested in economics or government. My rising 9th grader is doing ancients next year, and we will see after that.
  3. I hear you. In theory, I like the idea of year round schooling, with breaks as needed, but in reality, I like a good solid summer break. We take off from sometime in May until end of July or very early August, and that seems to work well for us. I need the mental break and time to work on other household projects. Also, we have done a ton of construction work on our house in the last few years. That needs good weather for a lot of it, and it is really hard to handle schooling when I'm also having to do the bulk of household responsibilities because my husband is doing the construction work in the evenings. But also, last year was a very busy and stressful year, so we all need a nice break.
  4. I am so, so sorry for your loss. And I am so glad you went in. Losing a child at any stage is terrible. Nobody else gets to tell you how to feel or for how long you get to grieve. I'm sorry some people have not been understanding. Much love and many hugs to you and your precious baby.
  5. I think I would go with given, married 1, and married 3. Maiden in there before married 1 if it doesn't add too much to the cost.
  6. I am most definitely the only one who can find normal household things that are in their correct spot. I believe that special gift was bestowed on me with the birth of my first child.
  7. Okay, I have ZERO desire to watch reality TV, at all, but I did like The Taste because I did enjoy the discussion about flavor and what worked together and what didn't. I usually have my headphones on and something on while I'm making dinner as well. For a comedy, I generally found Life in Pieces to be humorous enough. I
  8. I would highly recommend the guy who did mine; I can't recall if we talked about that or not. They gave DH the script for heavy duty painkillers while they were doing the surgery so that he could go get it filled, and be back to get me. I was scared of dry socket, so I followed their directions very carefully, and all was fine. I got the impression that I could call anytime if I was in pain that the heavy meds weren't helping.
  9. It has been a few years since we have eaten there, but is it terrible if I tell you to allow plenty of extra time, because the last time I ate at that one, it was REALLY slow? (I have more recently been to the one in Camp Hill, and it was not so slow.) I too have childhood nostalgia about the conehead sundaes. And when we were in middle school, if we got straight As in a quarter, the school used to take us, in the middle of the day, to our local Friendly's, where we were allowed to order the giant sundaes.
  10. I like the idea of a fruit platter more than a mixed salad, with dip on the side. If you make the dip with gelatin, please leave it on the side for those who are vegetarian.
  11. A workshop for DH A gym would be awesome! Maybe with padded floors! A pantry A utility closet A mudroom. Our entryway setup is terrible. We're actually in the process of turning an unused room into a mudroom/foyer/extra pantry storage/etc., and it will be lovely when it actually is done. (We have a schoolroom, and I do have a craft room. It is tiny, but it is all mine, and DH built me custom built-in shelves and tables. The only thing it is really lacking is a little more storage space.)
  12. Oh, sure you can. You would just, as Lori said, take extra classes or year so as to complete the requirements in fewer than four years, or you'd start high school work early and end up, on paper, skipping a grade somewhere in the middle. We have to declare their ages each year but grades only in 3rd, 5th, and 8th (and apparently high school) because we have to do standardized tests in those three years. I suppose it could potentially get a little weird if you later decide that 8th grade was actually 9th grade, but you could simply say that your child went from 7th to 9th and never was in 8th. It is a strangely worded law, but it could be worse, so. . .
  13. My guess is it is probably fine, but to be sure, I'd look at lactmed. I am sorry she's gone through all this! Poor mommy and baby!
  14. I tend to buy the digital-bluray/dvd combo, because sometimes we like having the digital, and sometimes we like the physical disc. If it's something I am sure that the kids won't want to take to a friend or grandparents' house, I buy just the digital.
  15. I'm in PA. We have graduation requirements, and they say they have to be taken in grades 9-12. So your child can take algebra 1 or Spanish 1 or whatever other high school level class in grade 8, but they won't count toward the three math classes or two humanities classes required for a diploma because they aren't in grades 9-12. We discussed this in a PA forum at length fairly recently, and everyone seemed to agree that the law does not allow for that. If you want a diploma that carries all the same rights and privileges as the school district ones, you have to meet the graduation requirements and have an official form signed by your 12th grade evaluator. It is kind of a complicated law with a lot of vagueness to it in weird ways. [Graduation Requirements ] (d) The following minimum courses in grades nine through twelve are established as a requirement for graduation in a home education program: (1) Four years of English. (2) Three years of mathematics. (3) Three years of science. (4) Three years of social studies (5) Two years of arts and humanities.
  16. So, I ordered some of the books @Lori D. suggested. Used, they aren't too expensive, and I don't need them all at once. I actually think they will work very well. I'm still waiting on a teaching guide to look at output/review for sure, but from the samples I've seen online, I think they'll be helpful. The Great Courses also has a series on Ancient Art that should dovetail nicely, so we will aim for about 30 book pages a week, plus a video, plus one or two of the selections from the primary sources book, plus some sort of output. If that turns out to be too much, we will drop the American book (in favor of doing it with US history) and one other of his choosing. I'm very vaguely concerned about not being chronological enough, although each civilization will be, and of course, they will mention each other as needed. We'll be doing it mostly semi-chronologically, starting with early humans, Romans being last. I think he will be fine. He's done a timeline in the past; I don't know that it's going to be necessary this time. At any rate, thank you, Lori, for suggesting those!
  17. I have taken a beta blocker for high BP during pregnancy (lebetalol). I don't recall any anxiety, but it did give me a mild headache and did make me feel sleepy, both of which are common side effects. I do have mostly mild asthma, so they kept an eye on that, but it wasn't an issue for me. (I have since been switched to a calcium channel blocker for longterm control of chronic hypertension.)
  18. Our various libraries have the Great Courses I want to use, through Hoopla and Kanopy. Is there a way to get the supplemental material that is in the little booklets? I thought I had seen that in PDF form, but I'm not seeing it now. I wanted my kids to do the questions that are in the booklets.
  19. In my state, which is also the OP's state, we need 4 credits English, 3 each of math, science, and social studies, and 2 of arts/humanities in order to get a high school diploma, and unfortunately, our state specifies that those credits need to be earned between 9th and 12th grade. It is stupid, but that's the way it is.
  20. My big kids have some stuff to finish, but we will be done with most things this week. Any year in which you have a baby is a wonderful year, but it has also been a stressful year. I am very ready for a break, and the weather is gorgeous now, so the littles are spending their days outside.
  21. Ah, good to know. Well, we may end up using it, or not. I think it'll be fine for my 12th grader, and I'll see what my 9th grader wants to use. Thanks for the HT suggestion also; at least now I feel like I have plenty of options.
  22. Aw, now, see, I don't love a lot of movies, but I did love this one. I saw it in the theater and after just a few minutes, I knew my kiddos would love it. It IS better on the big screen, but we do have a pretty decent home sound system, and it sounds really good. My 17yo and 7yo in particular love the movie a LOT. The songs, the music, the dancing, the costumes and sets. . . We can let the plot holes go. I did appreciate that it was a clean movie that wasn't a cartoon or superhero movie that all of my kiddos and I enjoyed. That's rare. And I liked a lot of the themes in it: believing in your dreams and working for them, creativity, apologizing when you've screwed up, fidelity, everyone's talents and uniqueness being important, etc. Lots of good opportunities to discuss those themes with my kiddos, even the younger ones, and I appreciated that they were scenes that were family friendly.
  23. It just seems a bit grown up for him. I don't have the whole thing, just the sample, but there's at least one reference to sex in the sample, right off. My rising senior is considering it, and I think it's fine for her, but maybe not for younger brother. He's also a slowish reader, so while he did do HO in 5th, getting through HOTAW would be grueling on him. I don't really want to use the ancients chapters of a world history book because I don't really want to put my own supplements together too much. @Lori D., those actually might work very nicely! Our library has a few of them, and used, they aren't too expensive. I ordered one book and the student guide to see how they look. Thanks!
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