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Wabi Sabi

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Everything posted by Wabi Sabi

  1. I live in the same part of the country as Tibbie, and we have an outbuilding that my dh converted into a studio space: He bought one of those pre-built glorified sheds from a dealer for about $3500. Once it was delivered we had a handyman run power to it from our house, wire the building, insulate, drywall, and install overhead lights on a switch. We installed cheap laminate flooring and painted it ourselves. In the summer it has a window AC unit and in the winter we run an oil-filled electric space heater, the kind that looks like an old radiator- they are quite safe and in such a small space it does a great job of keeping it warm inside, even when it's cold for an extended period of time. He's been using his building for 7-8 years now and it's still in great shape.
  2. Ear medication for our dog with chronic ear infections. Works better for us than the expensive prescription from the vet.
  3. Yes, that is similar to how it works here. If we choose to send her back to the home school next year they will pull her out once or twice a week for enrichment activities, but the G&T class is an international baccalureate curriculum, starts in 4th grade, and those kids stay together as a self contained accelerated class. FWIW, special ed is pretty much the same way: kids who can remain in a regular class do so and they are pulled out for extra help. Kids who have more significant delays or behavioral needs are sent to a different school with a self contained special ed classroom. I think there are 3 or 4 schools with the more comprehensive special ed programs throughout the district, the school with the G&T program being one of them.
  4. I have another update: Dd is loving school. She was readily accepted by her classmates and has made a good group of friends. She is still tired at the end of each day and laments that she doesn't have as much free time as before, but overall she has found that she really likes having a highly structured day with a predictable schedule, something that I always struggled with at home. Academically she's far ahead of her classmates, finding most of the work easy and not at all challenging, and I requested that she be tested for the gifted and talented program. The school system agreed to the tests but cautioned me that they only have room for 30 kids out of approximately 800 for the program and cautioned that the likelihood of getting in was very slim. Well, dd is a rockstar! In addition to completing state standardized testing (which we thought was over with already for the year, but there was a round 2 I wasn't aware of at first) over the last two weeks she was also pulled out of class for three additional days of testing for the G&T program (NWEA and the InView cognitive skills assessment). She's never taken any sort of test before, not even a spelling or math test for me at home, so this was totally new to her. We just got her results back for the G&T testing, and her scores are excellent! She officially received an invitation for the G&T program next year! Now we have a big decision to make. I only intended for this to be a 9 week experience, but she genuinely loves her school now, and I've been pleasantly surprised as well. If we choose to enroll her in the G&T program it would mean switching schools again next year since they consolidate all of the G&T kids from across the district (roughly 15 different elementary schools) to one school located on the other side of town. She knows quite a few kids in that program already, including her best friend whom she has known since she was a newborn, but she also has made new friends at the current school who she doesn't wish to leave. So, back home next year? Give the G&T class a try (which I do think would be a very good fit for her, FWIW) or send her back to the home elementary school? We have lots of choices, but at this point I'm convinced that she'll thrive no matter what we end up choosing.
  5. If two sisters both have children by the same man, the resulting offspring are both half siblings and full first cousins. Is there a name for this relationship?
  6. Not having Facebook, no. But in my limited experience, *most* older teens would find it weird to not have Instagram. That is the default social media platform for that age group it seems.
  7. I get the impression that this is highly unprecedented even for her school, but we're not complaining! So far they've been to science center for hands-on STEM activities, they went to see part of an opera, and tomorrow they go to an international festival. The field trip in a couple of weeks will be to see a local community theater production of Robin Hood.
  8. Update: Dd started school last week and is nearing the end of her second week now. She was super excited the first several days, but we hit a slump on days #5 and #6 in which she really didn't want to go (she was tired, not used to the schedule), but we pushed through those days and now she's getting up every morning excited for school. Her class has already been on two field trips with a third tomorrow and a fourth in a couple of weeks! In addition to the field trips she's been excited to experience a book fair, and even though I thought state testing was over for the year it turns out that there is a second round of testing in two weeks. They've been doing practice tests, and she's actually eager to take her first standardized test. She's quite confident that she'll do very well and can't wait to see her scores to confirm that she's as smart as she is convinced that she is, lol. Academically the work is all very easy, and the teacher (a very kind, experienced woman) says she is doing great. She's been accepted easily by her classmates (she's a people person, I tell ya) and has a big group of new friends already. (She came home the other day laughing that some of the other girls in her class told her something that could be taken as a compliment and an insult at the same time, lol: "Hey, you know what, we would have never guessed you were homeschooled! You're pretty cool!") She has started playing recorder, signed up for the school talent show, loves the class parakeet, just started raising meal worms for science class this week, and they are doing something with guppies and sow bugs next week. She loves PE and music, and was surprised that art class was not very fun (she claims the teacher is quite "mean," and feedback from a couple of friends with kids who attended this school confirms this to be true.) She also loves riding the bus, and of course recess is the highlight of her day! All that said, while she's keen on finishing the year, she's also quite certain that she still wants to be homeschooled after this experience. The work is too easy for her and she is annoyed that "it takes all day to do what I could do in two hours on my own at home!" She is also quite tired at the end of each day, and laments that she doesn't have much time for her own interests, hobbies and recreational activities, and she gets frustrated by some of the other students' misbehavior. Lunch stresses her out a little (she doesn't like eating in front of a large group) but she's handling it ok. Overall I'm glad (so far) that we've done this, and regardless of what we end up doing next year, this has been a good way for her to experience what "normal" school is like, a low-pressure introduction to standardized testing, and it's been good for her to push a little outside of her comfort zone and meet kids from a different walk of life. So far it's a success!
  9. Well, it's a done deal- we enrolled her today, she got to meet her teacher and will start on Monday which just happens to be an all day field trip, so she's super excited and cannot wait for the weekend to be over! Ironically, the bus ride is one of the things she is most excited about experiencing. I'll have to pick her up in the afternoons to get to her extracurricular activities on time, but she's looking forward to riding the bus in the mornings. In addition to the talent show and recorders, the fourth graders have THREE (!!) field trips scheduled in the next two weeks plus an upcoming spring field day. We know it's not going to be all fun and games, but I do think I have a fairly realistic idea about what to expect considering that my oldest also attends public school, albeit not the same school that dd will attend (even as a sibling she is still on the waitlist for his school.) Oh, yes, that is my daughter totally! She is a real extrovert and a people person who is excited about EVERYTHING! I can see her having the same reaction to a spelling test, lol. I don't *want* to be done homeschooling, but if the school is able to academically meet her needs, she's happy, and wants to stay I would ultimately have to swallow my own feelings and do whatever we felt was best for her, not what is best for me. And while I say now that I want to continue homeschooling, the fact of the matter is that as a mother who works full time and homeschools, there's a part of me that wonders if I might not end up feeling some relief too, so I'm willing to at least keep an open mind and just see what happens.
  10. I've been so on the fence about this (and dd keeps going back and forth as well), but think we've decided to go for it. I'm going to drop off her registration papers tomorrow and she'll start on Monday. Years ago when I was having a hard time making a decision with whether or not to send her to preschool/kindergarten a homeschooling friend gave me some advice that really resonated, and thanks to her advice we decided to keep her home. I had taken my older son out of a private school we really couldn't afford in order to homeschool him, but I thought that I owed dd the chance to go there for a few years too to keep it fair. At the time my friend suggested that I shouldn't consider that I was depriving her of an opportunity if I didn't send her to Montessori, and instead reframe it as opening up new opportunities for her. That same friend, listening to me debate what to do these past few weeks, gave me some advice again that seems wise. We have talked about doing this year after year, but have never once taken the plunge. My friend suggested that maybe we just should do it this time so that we can get it out of our system, otherwise she suspects that we'll continue to have this debate year after year. Neither dd or I are really ready to be done homeschooling, but the curiosity about school has always been there plus I work full time and started a new job this year that has made homeschooling trickier for us. It would be nice to finally put the issue to rest, to give her a chance to experience it for herself, hopefully get this restlessness out of our systems, and know that whatever we decide to do for next year will at least be an informed decision.
  11. Thanks for all of your input. Some of you have given me issues to consider that hadn't occurred to me. (We were out of town for a few days after my original post.) The one thing that gives me some pause is the issue of school funding and knowing that it is past the time of year for which they school would get any reimbursement for an extra student. That is definitely something to think about. That is really the only real concern I would have in our situation. Otherwise I'm not worried about any social or academic adjustments that my daughter would have to make, nor am I worried about her causing any extra work for a teacher. She's the kind of kid who fits pretty seamlessly into various situations and thrives in a classroom setting requiring no extra intervention, help or attention. She has taken homeschool classes for several years, and going to school would mean missing them for the rest of the year which is really her only hesitation. She is near the top of the waiting list for a different public school for next year, and there is a chance she will go there if a spot becomes available (maybe a 50/50 chance at this point) so this would also give us a chance to see what she thinks of a traditional school schedule. I feel a little in limbo now because if she stays home next year I'd like to enroll her in 1-2 WTMA classes, but I haven't signed her up yet because I first want to see if she even likes going to school for a full day before we decide whether to hold out for the charter school or just go ahead with WTMA. We'll have to make a decision by the end of the week because if she starts it would be next Monday.
  12. I really am not ready to be done homeschooling her, and she knows this, so we've made it pretty clear that this is a 9-week activity, just like any other class or extracurricular she has signed up for that only lasts for X weeks and then is done. She did say that if she really likes it that she will be inspired to work hard to complete her homeschooling math and writing curricula by spring break again next year, and then once again go just for the final quarter. In our state it is up to the discretion of the superintendent of each individual school district, and our district absolutely will NOT allow homeschoolers to participate in any sports, activities, or even taking just one or two classes. You're either enrolled full time or not at all, no in between.
  13. My 10 year old has pretty much gotten through most of her curricula for the year, most of her classes have finished their current session and I haven't signed her up for the next session yet, and she's curious about school. She wants to still be a homeschooler, but is also VERY curious about school. Our state just finished their standardized testing and is about to start the final 9 week grading period. We took a tour where she got to meet many of the teachers, the principal seemed very kind, and my dd was super psyched that the 4th graders are *just* starting the recorder/flutophone AND that there is a school talent show at the end of the year in which she could play one of her piano recital pieces if she would like. We are strongly leaning towards enrolling her just for the last 9 weeks. The bus will pick her up right at our front door and bring her back at the end of each day. I don't think the school is very strong academically speaking, thus why we started homeschooling in the first place, but it's safe and could be fun for her. If she goes it would just be with the intention of finishing out the year, and going back to homeschooling afterwards. Has anyone else ever done something similar and if so, is there anything about your experience you would warn against or something perhaps we haven't considered yet? We haven't thought of any potential downsides other than her falling in love and wanting to go back next year (which may or may not even be a "downside"), and the inconvenience of having to rearrange her piano lessons... SEE UPDATE ADDED ON 4/5/18. UPDATE #2 ON 5/9/18.
  14. Part of the issue wth being avid readers/audiobook listeners is that we've already read at least half of the books suggested, lol. We *just* finished both of the Green Glass House books within the last week, we've covered Neil Gaiman, read The Girl Who Drank the Moon last month, The Lion, Witch and Wardrobe books were last year, ha. All good suggestions though and I'm looking up some of the others right now.
  15. We leave on a trip tomorrow and need a couple of good books for the round trip drive. In the past it hasn't been difficult to find books, but now my kids are in different stages where my youngest prefers children's literature and my oldest would rather listen/read to books with more mature themes, so I'm at an absolute loss of something that might appeal to them both. We've already finished the Harry Potter series on Audible and sorry, but I really dislike Tolkien (or any fantasy in general), so I just can't do The Hobbit/LOTR (besides, my oldest read/listened to The Hobbit for school right before Christmas anyhow.) My youngest likes pretty much ANY book geared towards middle grade students. My oldest has most recently enjoyed The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Eleanor and Park, and The Perks of Being a Part Time Indian. Any suggestions for books that might meet both of them somewhere in the middle?
  16. What you described would make me wonder if the young adult could be on the spectrum. Has this person had a full evaluation?
  17. For those who have allowed social media, do you track it at all? My 13 year old has a phone and I can't imagine taking it away due to his need for social connection, but lately I feel more of a need to monitor his direct messages (don't want to go into details why, just suffice to say that I feel it is necessary right now for his overall well being.) Has anyone found any software that allows parents to monitor DMs? There are all sorts of ways to monitor texts and websites visited, but I'm having a harder time figuring out how to keep an eye on his IG and SnapChat (Both of which I wish he didn't have, but logistically I can't take them away now. Even without a device of his own there would be nothing to prevent him from creating new accounts on a friend's device, from a library or school computer, etc.)
  18. I would not immediately say no, but I would want to make sure the situation checks out for myself. How would he be getting there? I would consider driving him myself so I could meet everyone, then I would come home and either go back and pick him up the following week, have him take a bus, see if the other parent would agree to meet me halfway, etc. My oldest met up with friends he had met online when he was only 10! He had been playing Minecraft with a trio of siblings a couple of states away for many months and they wanted to meet. I spoke with the mom on the phone several times myself and we ended up meeting in a city halfway in between our homes over spring break. We both got rooms at the same hotel (our rooms were next door to each other which was nice) and we spent a couple of days letting the kids swim in the hotel pool, visited the zoo together, etc. So rather than just outright saying "NO!" I would recognize that this is how many people meet others in this day and age, and use it as a teaching opportunity on how to make sure it is done safely.
  19. In addition to all of the soups, stews, roasts, whole chickens, etc. that everyone else has mentioned we also use ours several times a week for baking our no-knead bread!
  20. This week has been: Sloppy joes and green beans Ham, scalloped potatoes, asparagus Pot roast w/carrots, potatoes, celery Roasted cod, asparagus, and tomatoes Chicken baked with a topping of parmesan and panko with a salad We also subscribed to HelloFresh for a few months. We aren't doing it currently, but I did like many of the recipes, and kept them to incorporate into our rotation. They were a little on the pricy side for us, but I figure it was still worth it because my dh made them (not me, yay!), each shipment we got gave dh a couple more recipes/techniques to add to his repertoire, and now I can easily pick up the needed ingredients for some of their meals at the store inexpensively. The chicken coated in panko/parm was originally a HelloFresh meal.
  21. Unless she is immune compromised or medically fragile that seems like it might be a little overkill, IMO. I would just remind her to practice good hand hygiene and not to touch her face with dirty hands.
  22. I might be scheduling surgery for the summer, in which case no one is going to be doing much of anything because I will be laid up at home recuperating and I will need their help once my husband has to go back to work (he'll take off a week or two as needed.) If I decide not to have surgery this summer we'll probably take a couple of camping trips, but otherwise I don't think we have any big plans to go anywhere or take a "real" vacation. Both of my kids are pretty social and have wide circles of friends, so I imagine that most days there will be someone to meet at the mall or pool or library or park or a friend to invite over. I'm hoping to have my son, who started school for the first time this year, do some things over the summer that he hasn't had time for this school year such as some sessions with his Japanese tutor. I also told him that in lieu of a sleep-away summer camp that I might pull together a DIY mini-guitar camp: basically I was going to see if I could find a guitar teacher who could give him daily intensive lessons for two weeks or something like that. I also plan on signing him up for an Algebra I prep class that the local university offers for free over the summer (they also have some other math and science courses, and I might sign him up for a session on brain science as well.) The classes meet on campus at the university for 2 hrs/day on M-W-F for two weeks. My youngest is still homeschooled, and in addition to her playdates/social butterfly schedule, I'll probably have her continue working on writing and math with me throughout the summer. Finally, both kids have memberships to a climbing gym and are part of the climbing team. Their gym is moving to a brand new facility soon, so I imagine we'll take advantage of their membership (and the fact that the new facility will have air conditioning unlike the current location!) and try to go climbing at least 3-4 days/week.
  23. I use a bucket of hot water with a splash of some all-purpose cleaner. I like Mrs. Meyers at home, but I'll use whatever is available: dish soap, white vinegar, Mr. Clean, Lysol cleaner, whatever is around.
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