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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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  1. He is risen indeed! Alleluia! "Jesus lives! The vict'ry's won! Death no longer can appall me; Jesus lives! Death's reign is done! From the grave Christ will recall me. Brighter scenes will then commence; This shall be my confidence."
  2. I did not. Probably because I read them fast, but also, I think, because the absence of religion seems to be the dominant feature of most "set in real life" movies, books, and stories (not to say that HG is set in real life). I'm surprised by the *presence* of actual religious influence, not its absence. Growing up, all the twaddle series I read had the same absence of religion as HG: all the Sweet Valley series, Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, the Baby-sitters' Club, Thoroughbreds, plus a dozen others - all religion-free. The twaddle-y TV shows likewise had no mention of religion: Full House, Home Improvement, Step by Step. For more contemporary examples: the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Arrow TV show, Psych, Monk, Chuck, Leverage, Sherlock, White Collar. Shows willing to be controversial or shows that tried to explore important topics would have occasional episodes that involved religion, but your fluffy, feel-good books and shows? As starkly religion-free as HG. I only tend to see plot-relevant religion in speculative fiction and fantasy; and even then, I'd say more sci-fi than not is religion-free, and in more fantasy than not the religion is window dressing - there to add atmosphere, but it doesn't impact how characters actually live or the direction of the plot. (Even Harry Potter, which has so many Christian themes, still doesn't have any overt religion - no overt religious beliefs or practices appear anywhere, no character is a devout believer in anything religious). And even stories where religion is pertinently present - a real force in the world and in the characters' lives - too often the religion is either the enemy or something to overcome.
  3. It doesn't really surprise me, because there's a lot of Christian themes in HP. There's even a Bible verse on the Potters' graves - "the last enemy to be overcome is death," which is from 1 Corinthians 15:26. So I always pictured the British wizarding world as having a similar proportion of Christians as Muggle Britain.
  4. Do you know why she is too slow, or what particular areas slow her down? Is she automatic on her add/mult facts? I know everything takes my kids longer when they aren't solid on their facts. (Also, I've noticed a connection between being automatic on mult facts and fraction *understanding* - that if you can't automatically see the relationships between factors, it's hard to even understand what's going on with fractions with unlike denominators.) If she's solid on understanding (minus fractions), then maybe drill sheets would help. This site has a ton of free worksheets: She could start with add/mult facts, then move to add/sub without regrouping, add/sub with regrouping, single digit mult/div, multi-digit mult/div. Also, as HeighHo pointed out, what's the likelihood of the test format itself being an issue? Either tech issues in general, or having a lack of scratch paper to work out one's answers on, or other issues inherent to a computer-based math test (vs a paper one).
  5. We just moved to Middle-of-No-Where Texas, and the driving is taking some getting used to. Dance is 45min away, twice a week (in Small City, which still has a population larger than our entire county), and piano is an hour away once a week (in the opposite direction, in the outskirts of Medium City). In looking for opportunities, I went from "gee, that seems kind of far" to just being thankful I managed to find good teachers at all. (Especially for piano. I swear, none of the good music teachers advertise beyond word of mouth. I eventually looked up piano teachers who were part of the state music association who were within 100 miles of us - a grand total of four - and emailed the only one who had contact info available.) On the plus side, there's no traffic and hardly any traffic lights; 55mi to piano, and only two lights. And it's convenient, being in Small City twice a week - plenty of chances to pick up odds and ends at Wal-Mart/Lowes/etc. (Otherwise we go monthly into Large College Town an hour away for our big shopping runs. Also our big library run - I paid for an out-of-system library card there.)
  6. It looks like you can get McDonald's W-2s online.
  7. We're using VL. I do like it. It's takes a different approach than Henle - more whole-to-parts, reading-centric than the parts-to-whole, grammar-translation of MP and Henle. And the translations focus on the Vulgate, instead of Caesar. And the length of the readings is greater than Forms or Henle - averaging a page or more. Here's a review I did of VL on another thread: We started Latin this year with Visual Latin. I had been planning to go with MP's First Form series as our spine, and incorporating Lingua Latina as reading practice on the side - with the idea of targeting dd's weak points with our actual curriculum, with me adding in stuff that hit her strong points on the side. (Some of her language strengths are pattern-matching and intuiting meaning from context (and her memory is excellent), while weak points are anything requiring auditory processing skills, as well as breaking down the big picture meaning into parts or explaining explicitly how the parts work together to build the big picture meaning. (Half of elementary math for her was learning to show her work via writing equations.) She loves stories and reading, and story-centric LA approaches generally made the hard nitty-gritty details of LA both doable and palatable; most of our LA work has been remediating weaknesses.) But I waffled a ton, and eventually decided to go with Visual Latin, which is a much more reading-heavy, Latin-is-details-but-still-don't-sweat-them-more-than-you-need-to approach. I figured that, instead of me supplementing with material targeting her strengths while the curriculum hits her weaknesses, maybe let's try the other way - the curriculum hits her strengths, and I'll supplement to shore up her weaknesses. (I still plan to include LL, and VL has plans for how to integrate LL with VL.) We're on week 13, and it's going pretty well so far. I've incorporated an MP-style Latin recitation time at the beginning of each lesson - chant the endings we've learned, and the model words that go with (plus we do some Latin prayers and songs - dd loves the songs). VL has three videos, with an accompanying worksheet for each video. The first video introduces a Latin grammar point, the second video illustrates and practices it in sentences, and the third video is the instructor reading the translation passage, with time for the student to repeat the sentences after him. The translations are based on the Latin Vulgate, which works well for us because they are familiar and pertinent to our goals. DD loves translating - she's great with meaning - but I do force her to slow down and consciously work through the implications of the endings she knows. After we've read the passage through and she assures me she understands it, but before I turn her loose on translating it, I read through the passage a sentence at a time, and ask her to parse every word she's got the knowledge to parse. With endings that can be multiple things, I have her tell me all the options, and then tell me which one it is, given how the word is used in the sentence. If she doesn't know, I help her think through what the word's doing grammatically in the sentence (she already knows intuitively, since she's solid on the meaning before we tackle parsing), and compare that to the purposes of the various options. She's not a fan of this - doesn't see why it's necessary because she already knows what it means - but my number one concern with her is that she doesn't pay attention to the details till she has to, and by the time she has to, she'll be in over her head. So I'm making her, because I'm a mean mommy ;). One thing about VL, versus MP, is that its focus is on meaning (which is good and why I picked it), but that also means it's not terribly hand-holdy when it comes to the nitty-gritty of memorizing vocab and endings. It tells you when to memorize endings, and does provide online vocab cards for quizlet (and has a place to do quizlet in the schedule), but idk, with a kid who is meaning-centric and detail-weak, I feel like I need to be a lot more intentional about it. So I've incorporated a lot of MP's drill ideas (like recitation) and practice ideas (like fully parsing before translating - but *after* reading for understanding (I don't like how meaning can get lost within the trees in g-t methods)). On the other hand, if you aren't aiming for rigorous Latin, VL is a lot more amenable to fussing less about memorizing and relying more on the vocab lists and Latin charts (both of which are provided). Should it ever become overwhelming, VL is well suited to backing up and re-doing lessons. (The worksheets are a pdf download.) Or even just backing up and re-reading the translation passages over and over again. (I actually include re-reading old passages as part of dd's independent Latin practice.) VL is on the reading method side of things, and doesn't ask for more memorization or explicit grammar work than is strictly needed - he's fine with use of charts and vocab lists for reference while translating, and he doesn't require parsing of the translation passages. The worksheet grammar practice is meant to be just enough so that you get the idea and see it in context - it's pretty gentle, but so far has been sufficient for dd. Gets you used to the idea of paying attention to endings, that endings convey meaning, and the basics of how they are used in sentences. The real meat is in the reading/translation passage. DD likes that, because context helps her - the more context the better. She knows what the sentences mean, and that provides a base for learning explicitly how the endings and such purposely convey that meaning. (Plus there's lots of repetition of vocab in the passages, which helps with memory.) In short, I think that VL hits my dd's meaning-based strengths well - she enjoys and is capable of the work the program demands. I am choosing to supplement with more drill and parsing work (weak points of hers) because I think it's important, and I'm concerned she'd hit a wall otherwise. VL provides a lot of implicit drill and parsing - long translation passages that require those skills - but I'm fairly sure that dd would subvert the point, working off pattern-matching and intuition instead of learning to explicitly think about the grammar, and at some point that would catch up with her. Although VL's solution for that - back up and redo lessons - is a good one, and might work just as well as my pre-emptive teaching and drill. (I have read that many people find that VL gets more difficult around Lesson 10, and that's when the translations go from "take your best guess from context at forms you haven't learned" to "you've learned all the forms used, so translate them accurately", and it may be that students were taking their best guess at *all* the forms, and weren't applying the grammar that they *had* learned as they translated. That's one of the reasons I've been making dd parse everything she knows (where I determine whether she ought to know it before even asking, because she flips at the idea of explicitly reasoning through an educated guess, even though she does it intuitively all the time) - to make *sure* she is applying the grammar she's learned, as well as developing the habit of paying attention to the endings. We're on lesson 13 without having hit a wall, so so far so good.)
  8. It actually looks like the opposite to me - that the advertisers uploaded a contact list with your email or phone number, and Facebook helpfully looked up the emails/phone#s and connected them to the FB account associated with said email/phone. Here's FB's explanation: "These advertisers are running ads using a contact list they or their partner uploaded that includes info about you. This info was collected by the advertiser or their partner. Typically this information is your email address or phone number. " There are a zillion of them, and all I apparently can do is hide them, so I don't see ads from them. I can't do what I want to do, which is get my info erased from their contact list and/or completely de-connect them from my FB account. And the settings are fairly buttoned down - but it does allow anyone to search by email or phone#, and that's what's getting me here, I think. ETA: It's unclear to me what info those advertisers can get from my account, since they aren't friends (and my content is limited to friends), all my location data is turned off, and all my "allow advertisers to do things and access things" settings are turned off. ETA2: And one wonders how much FB facilitated those advertisers getting a hold of my email/phone#, in order to add it to their contact list. ETA3: Ugh, finally hit the end: 623.
  9. Wrt reading/spelling by sound, you can check that with reading and spelling (from dictation) phonetically regular nonsense words. If she can read and spell nonsense words just as well as she can read and spell actual words, then her ability to read/spell by sound ought to be pretty solid. I know ElizabethB has free nonsense words resources. Wrt reading/spelling by syllable, the ultimate test of that is the ability to accurately decode unfamiliar multi-syllable words - long words that aren't in her spoken vocabulary - as well as the ability to spell unfamiliar multi-syllable words from dictation (or at least to spell them well enough for Jeopardy - all the syllables and phonetically correct, even if it's the wrong phonetically-correct spelling option). IOW, the ability to read and spell multi-syllabic nonsense words. But there's a lot of sub-skills there, and in 1st grade, no one expects your dd to have learned them all yet. Here's some of the intermediate skills: *ability to clap syllables (you say the word and she says the word while clapping along with each syllable); *ability to orally blend syllables into a word (you say the syllables, with space between each one, and she blends them into the word); *ability to orally break a word into syllables (you say the word, and she tells you the syllables) *ability to read a multi-syllabic word that is already broken into syllables ("un-fa-mil-i-ar"); Webster's, Phonics Pathways, and Wise Owl Polysyllables all have a lot of this sort of practice *ability to break a printed word into syllables (after learning the syllable division rules and/or doing a lot of reading words broken down by syllable) (There's a lot of overlap between the subskills for reading/spelling by syllable and reading/spelling one syllable words by phonogram; in the list above just replace the word "syllable" with "phonogram" and you have many of the things that go into reading one syllable words phonetically - aka things to work on (along with cementing sound-spelling correspondences) if she can't read/spell one-syllable nonsense words.) People often point out that spelling instruction is a second chance to hit phonics. I found that cursive instruction is also another chance to hit phonics. When I started cursive with my oldest and she hit a wall with it (she'd have been like your dh if I hadn't slowed way down and heavily modified my approach), I ended up teaching her cursive a lot like WRTR/SWR teaches reading through spelling. It was extremely similar to a cursive-first spell-to-read approach to reading. (In fact, it was identical to the spell-to-read reading instruction I was doing with my middle at the time - I ran them through the same approach, same words - only difference was cursive instead of print.) She hadn't built the skills the first time, so cursive was a chance to go back through and remediate them from another direction.
  10. WRT reading/spelling by sound, it's the different font effect - the words *look* different from book print. Ever try to read fancy calligraphy or an unfamiliar fancy or oddball font? You can't just take in the familiar words at a glance, but instead have to slow down and take the word letter-by-letter, putting the letters together into phonograms and phonograms into syllables and syllables into the word. By radically changing the look of the word, you are thrown back on your decoding skills. Likewise, when you are learning to write in a new font, you have different visual and kinesthetic cues - the only familiar thing is what the words *sound* like and the letters/phonograms you use to write those sounds. AKA the only familiar thing is your phonemic processing and your phonics knowledge and skills - you are forced to rely on them in a way that you aren't when all the other cues are available. Learning to read and write English words in a whole new alphabet (like Greek) has a similar effect. When everything but the sound cues are taken away, your ability to work through words by sound really gets a workout, and any major weaknesses in that area become glaringly apparent. (The Dekodiphukan sound picture alphabet - 44 pictures for 44 English sounds - used to teach reading does something similar, too.) Learning to read and write in two different alphabets that both use the same set of sounds and words is like learning to do arithmetic in two different bases. If you understand the underlying principle and have all the necessary skills to do it in one base, it's fairly similar to apply it to another base, and the process really illuminates what's going on. And the process of trying to apply your arithmetic skills to another base brings to light any shakiness in your base-10 arithmetic ability. Reading and writing in a different font or alphabet does the same thing for language - it gives your understanding a workout, and, by changing all the cues except sound cues, brings any hidden shakiness to light. WRT reading and spelling by syllables, it's the connected nature of cursive. To write fluently and rapidly in connected cursive, you need to process words by syllables, not by individual letters. Really, if you can't process words by syllables, you are hampered in *any* script, connected or otherwise. But it shows up glaringly in trying to write in connected cursive. Letter-by-letter processing is too inefficient for writing cursive - you need syllable-by-syllable (which itself requires phonogram-by-phonogram). It's a lot faster to process three syllables (ef-fect-ive) than to process nine letters (e-f-f-e-c-t-i-v-e). Effective cursive requires the ability to automatically spell one-syllable words and to break longer words into syllables and build them up from syllables. IOW, effective cursive requires effective advanced decoding skills. Learning cursive both helps strengthen those skills as well as helps bring any hidden deficits to light.
  11. FWIW, in addition to gaining the ability to write in cursive, I found teaching cursive valuable because of how it cemented the ability to read and spell by sound (versus by sight) and to be able to read and write in syllable chunks (versus letter-by-letter). Or, with my oldest, how teaching cursive *uncovered* previously unnoticed deficits in those areas, and was an integral part of remediating those deficits.
  12. Mine *is* bad - dark and thick and long. It was embarrassing in high school - I wore long sleeves in TX - and it was such a relief when I shaved it off senior year, in prep for laser treatments. Anyway, I've done a ton of stuff, but my rec for easy, unobtrusive, and unlikely to make things worse is to use a hair trimmer. I use mine on the quarter inch setting. It's quick, but it makes a huge difference, trimming down to 1/4 in - makes my arm hair very unobtrusive. But unlike with shaving (going from nothing to stubble in days), it's a gradual regrowth with slow, subtle changes from week to week. I retrim whenever it bugs me (every couple of months, usually). I actually just trim my leg hair now, instead of shave it - gets it unobtrusive enough and eliminates the daily maintenance. And when dd12 wanted to do something about her light-but-getting-noticeable leg hair, I had her trim it the first few times; made a big difference.
  13. My concern would be that, in a literate society, the "default" path to becoming an educated person revolves around reading. So that the alternate paths to knowledge and wisdom that exist in an illiterate society either don't exist in literate societies at all, or are much less common. So they'd require deliberate effort to search out and take advantage of. So that for a non-reader in a literate society, the most likely alternative to knowledge-via-reading isn't knowledge-via-non-reading but rather is lack-of-knowledge-via-non-reading. It's not that non-reading paths to knowledge and wisdom don't exist, but that in a literate culture those paths aren't commonly found or commonly known. With the heavy dominance of reading-is-the-path-to-knowledge in literate societies, it's too easy for non-readers to throw the baby out with the bathwater: to reject the search for knowledge right along with rejecting reading. I guess then my aim with non-reader kids, in addition to making sure they *can* read well, would be to deliberately guide and point and teach them about non-reading-paths-to-knowledge-and-wisdom. To try to facilitate those non-reading paths as assiduously as I tried to facilitate reading and the reading path. ~*~ One factor with my middle was anxiety about reading unfamiliar new things. She really resisted reading anything outside her comfort zone - which was really narrow - and it persisted even after she was reading comfortably. Something about tackling an unfamiliar new author, an unfamiliar new genre - it scared her. We went round and round about it. She actually did better when I assigned particular books than when I gave her free choice. And she also did better when I read a book aloud to her. She's an avid listener of audiobooks, but she didn't like unfamiliar audiobooks any more than she liked unfamiliar books. It was the new content that got to her, not reading itself. (I've noticed myself that I am a lot more resistant to trying new books when my anxiety is high, even though I've been reading all the things since I was little.)
  14. With my oldest, I let her pick from a list (actually, pick from the "school shelves"); two days were lit days, one was history, and one was science. Sometimes I'd suggest a particular book I wanted her to read, and she'd usually give it a try. She reads all the things, and from 3rd-6th probably read everything on those shelves at least twice, plus library books that counted for school. With my middle, I started doing that, but she really resisted it - wanted to stick to old favorites. When they just start getting independent with reading, I allow any decent book at a decent level to count as a school book, but by 4th I transition to having them pick off my curated school shelves, although they can (and do) petition me to consider if a given free-reading book could count as a school book. If it's one I want them to read, I tend to say yes, although I get stricter as they get older. The more likely they are to read it no matter what, the less likely I am to "promote" a free-reading book to school status once they are solid readers who regularly *read*. But when I'm still trying to establish the reading habit, I'm far more likely to allow them to read a school-quality free reading book for school reading. But unlike oldest dd, middle dd just wasn't transitioning to non-free-choice reading. All she wanted to do was re-read a few quality book series that she loved (plus re-read a few twaddle series), and even when her reading was well established, she still heavily resisted reading anything else. I have seven shelves of school books to choose from, and she "hated" them all, sight unseen <sigh>. I allowed the re-reads longer than I preferred in the hopes that time would solve the issue (plus the books were well above grade-level and worth repeated re-readings), but eventually I started forcing the transition. It was really frustrating for both of us, but finally she asked that I just assign her a particular book instead of having her pick. I did, and that solved it. She reads the assigned book without complaining, and now has started occasionally picking her own books off the school shelves as well. (She still re-reads those favorite quality series a lot, but she also has expanded her free reading choices, too.) I also read aloud particular books I want middle dd to read that she resists reading herself. Usually she gets hooked and enjoys it, sometimes even re-reading it on her own. (I think there's some anxiety about new things going on.) In general, I allow unlimited re-reading of school books for school, but with middle dd I'm having to place some limits on that, or she'd never get to new ones. I don't do anything with the books, other than have them read them. Sometimes we have informal discussions, and occasionally I'll ask them to tell me something about what they read for school, but mostly it's just straight independent reading. (45-60 min a day). It's worked fine for oldest dd, who is a fast, prolific reader with good comprehension and a good memory, with a good balance of re-reads and new reads. We'll see if it's enough for middle dd, who just doesn't have the same reading speed or reading-new-books drive. I think there's a lot of value in the deep study of a few good books, but there's still *some* need for reading widely as well as deeply.
  15. I've always thought it was kind of ridiculous, and all the irl painted brick I've seen I've hated - looked so flat and monochromatic in a bad way. I never understood why people did it - imo the result was always worse. Plus there was no going back. But I admit the pictures in your link were pretty. But repainting every 3-5 years? No way - no look is so cute that I'd commit to that insanity for the rest of the house's life. One of the reasons I like brick facades is because of their low maintenance. But even siding and such doesn't need repainting every 3-5 years. I really can't fathom why *new builds* are going with painted brick instead of either picking a brick color they like or going with siding or something meant to be painted. (Especially those pricey-looking custom builds. All the new build neighborhoods I've seen in the past 10 years were too cheap to do all brick - it was all siding, or brick fronts and siding for the sides and backs.)
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