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Monica_in_Switzerland last won the day on March 31 2014

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  1. I'm so sorry, what a terrible combination of circumstances to all come together at once. I guess my thought was this: Would your ds be willing to dictate a letter as you type it (or do it himself), expressing all of his confusion, his sense of betrayal and loss, the pokemon he had hoped to trade, all, all, all of it down on paper, with the understanding that the letter will NOT receive a response? Tell him the act of writing the letter is to help the thoughts stop spinning through his head, and that he can add to it as often as he needs to as new thoughts come up? At your discr
  2. I would encourage you to continue having her read aloud to you, even if it's just a few sentences. Reading out loud is a separate skill set, and worth working on- things like pause, intonation, etc, in addition to pronouncing words that she understands but may not pronounce right. I still find the occasional gap in my dd11's pronunciation or intonation.
  3. Interesting! This technique is also used in learning to pronounce difficult words in a foreign language- I believe it is called back chaining. Our short-term memories do better to capture the whole word's sound if we work backwards through the syllables. I'm a total type A. Unless a child is miserable and/or developmentally unable, 10 minutes of phonics a day isn't going to kill anyone. I take with a large grain of salt any study that is not specific to a home-learning environment. To the OP's question: - My third was this way. We struggled through phonics lessons fro
  4. This idea of the common school being a tool of citizenship is also big in Europe, especially France. Here also, but especially in France, kids take citizenship/civics most years of their obligatory schooling. It is similar to what Americans take as social studies, but obviously much more nationally-minded. I tend to agree with you- I think Hirsch has the right method, but possibly not the right implementation.
  5. I don't think I've seen these yet: - Couch to 5k, then a 5k community race - Swim a half mile (or mile, or...) - Rock climb, indoors or out - Self defense class - geocaching - Knife skills class (cooking) - Cooking a full Hobbit style day of food
  6. A little factoid that is tangentially related: For the filming of LOTR, Peter Jackson had a special sort of wreath of white Christmas type lights that was always used to light Galadriel's eyes so that she'd have multiple light flecks in her eyes at all times, so that she'd have a "look" different from everyone else, as though she were always illuminated by stars or some otherworldly light.
  7. I love Hirsch. I had not seen this new book, so I'll take a look. His books do sort of just repeat the same basic idea, but it's a good idea!
  8. If I were going to do this, storage space would be a major issue for us. I think the most effective and efficient thing I could do would be to go to a Costco and buy a giant box of Powerbars and another of some type of bar containing plenty of fiber. Finally, some big jugs of water. But I haven't done this. No Costco in Switzerland. 😄
  9. On the topic of sleep and getting screens off earlier.... If you want to use your evening for down time, and that tends to mean screens, see if you can switch yourself over to an audiobook, ideally with headphones that have buttons to pause the book so you don't need to turn your device screen on to stop listening. Alternately, the audible app has a sleep timer you can activate to automatically turn off the book at the end of a chapter or a set period of time. I have found switching from screen to audiobook to be a great bedtime routine. I have a wireless headset that has pause and volume
  10. I totally get it. I have 2/4 of my kids who are now diagnosed as celiac, 1 kid who has now developed OAS (oral allergy syndrome) to carrots and apples, and my DH with severe OAS to virtually all raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts. 😬 So now that I eat primarily meat-free, it's nearly impossible for us all to sit down to the same meal. We manage it, but it takes up a large part of my brain space and home management time budget just to find and prepare meals we can all eat or modify to eat. It was a relief to me to have my soy milk trial have such an obvious, immediate, and objective imp
  11. I've really transformed the way I think about food after reading several books by Michael Greger and combing through his website, Nutritionfacts.org. He is a whole-foods-plant-based doctor, and also summarizes all sorts of health studies. You can go to his website and type in PCOS to see what research he has found on lifestyle interventions for PCOS. The biggest breakthrough for me with my PCOS symptoms has been soy. I now drink a glass of unsweetened soy milk a day, and it has had a very similar effect for me as being on a PCOS-recommended birth control pill (NOT providing contracep
  12. I can't claim to be part of the "and kept it off" crowd, but I have been steadily losing 1lb a month since January. I know that sounds like a small amount, but at 5ft1in, I cannot have a huge calorie deficit. My TDEE is only about 1400 calories. BUT, I'm proud of that slow and steady progress. I'm using a time-restriction method (early time-restricted eating, aka intermittent fasting). But I had a big breakthrough at some point while reading the book How Not to Diet, by Michael Greger. He addressed two of my mental pitfalls, almost as an afterthought in the book, just a few short par
  13. My kids could care less if their clothes are clean or dirty, so that is not a motivator. So instead I make all four use one hamper, and I do a kid-load about every other day. I then just dump it all on the bed and call them in to fold. I have shown them how to fold the right way, but I don't actually care. Both girls have decided matching socks is passé, and wear their socks unmatched. I don't care, because they aren't my socks! This system works great, and is easy for me I think because we are in a tiny apartment, so I take literally three steps to move the communal laundry basket to th
  14. Since this is your first year and you are playing a bit of catch-up with some kids, I would not worry about supplemental books. Just choose either MM or SM textbook+workbook+HIG. In addition to this "spine", add in some kind of fact game, either addition or multiplication depending on the student- ideally get an app or use Xtramath.com or something so that the child can do it independently. Asian math isn't "tricky" or harder to understand, but it is a system that requires a bit of study for those of us that didn't use it growing up. The good news is, you only have to re-learn elemen
  15. Both are great. I found SM had plenty for my oldest two, but I've printed off MM chapters from time to time for my third, who needs more reinforcement and smaller conceptual leaps. Both programs work great if you teach them well. Neither will teach mental math skills unless you hover over the kid and reinforce and insist on mental techniques and add drill in the forms of games and similar. Information on how to do that is included in both programs if you get the HIG for SM or read the chapter introductions for MM. MM advantages- smaller conceptual steps (IMO), ONE resource to
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