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Posts posted by Ecclecticmum

  1. I know about Natural Speller, but I hadn't thought about it with her because she is definitely not a natural speller. :laugh:


    The name is a bit of a misnomer. From what I have heard its actually quite good with remedial students and slow learners. Its a multi-sensory curricula, here's the description from the site:


    The only book you will ever need to teach spelling. Teaching strategies include additional tips for use with the learning disabled, and word lists are organized by both sight and sound patterns. Build vocabulary skills with Latin and Greek roots and word lists, and by using the spelling rules to add prefixes and suffixes to root words. Choose from among the suggested activities to include practice with grammar, dictionary, and composition skills. Phonic, spelling, and punctuation rules are listed for easy reference. Word lists are divided by grade, 1 through 8. However, this method is easily adapted for older students or adults who need remedial work. Because of its multi-sensory and simplified approach to spelling, and because each child can work at his own pace, this program is ideal for students with learning disabilities. Placed second in the 1999 Practical Homeschooling Reader Awards, placed third in 2001, and received an Honorable Mention in 2005.
  2. Perhaps just getting something like Natural Speller by Kathryn Stout? That way you have a book and ideas on hand, and after a break, can slowly try addressing if from a different point of view.


    What does *she* like? When I have a problem area my daughter hates, I use what she likes to either find something suitable, or create something. If she likes drawing, I would find a creative way to include drawing in her spelling, if she likes crafts, ditto. Or may be some sort of game based activity (like scrabble, scattegories? (I can't think if thats the one I am thinking of) or a handmade game). If she loves the computer, use something like Spelling City or another online "fun" spelling program.


    Luckily my daughter thrives on challenges and games, so I find it easy (so far) to introduce spelling.

  3. For good bra fittings look up "my city bra shops" or "my city lingerie stores" those in general have great options for bigger busted gals or odd sizes like 40AA or 28DDD. Also for very nice pretty bras for big chested ladies look at Bare Necessities or BiggerBras.com or figleaves.com.


    Don't even get me started on finding a sports bra for over a D cup. I have found Enell and Moving Comfort and those also run about $50 minimum and I have to replace mine every 6 months. I went for years needing to wear two to keep the girls locked and loaded


    LOL. I'm a 12E/F (depending upon brand/style) so I think thats a 34F/G in US size. Last time I found bra's in my size in a store was when I went to the UK to Anne Summers.


    I have to search around A LOT, elsewise am mostly regulated to the very granny looking bras that go right up to your neck.


    And yeah, DH freaks when I need to purchase a new bra. I try to be thrifty with finding places though, but don't have as many nice options for online shopping in Aus, which is why I'm known to shop through UK places.

  4. Speaking about shaving....I should probably deal with my legs that could rival any mans, and my underarms which could be plaited. I'm kickin' back hippy style....it's Autumn here though, and body hair creates warmth (thats my excuse and I'm sticking with it).


    If I need to deal with that area, I use something like the wax-on, wax-off cream. You slather it on the area, and use a lil mini loofah type thing in the shower to scrub it (along with the hair) off. Sometimes I use this cream for my legs, when I'm feeling uber-lazy.


    I don't really deal with that area though, apart from every now and again, using my *personal* (i.e. I only use it for this, and nobody else touches it) pair of hardressing scissors to cut it back as short as I can. I found waxing painful (and wax bits left stuck to my skin) and shaving left stubble and itched like crazy (grabbing your crotch area and scratching is not sexy....just in case you didn't know :p ) So the slip-slop-scrub stuff if I have to, but usually just scissors.


    I don't wear bikini's. If I do, I have board shorts on. I see no reason to provide an eyeful, nor make extra work for myself in order to go to the beach (and I live in Aus, lol). Whether I have the figure or not, I prefer to feel covered up and restrained enough to be able to cartwheel without flashing. (well....I don't cartwheel, but with the bending down, squatting, helping the kids with sandcastle, swimming, diving, lazing on the lounger, I prefer to be comfortable enough to do things without worrying about adjusting my bikini bottom.


    Hopefully someone provided an answer to help. I'm pretty much useless in the area of feminine apparel (although if you start talking make-up, skin beauty, or perfume I should be able to help, elsewise those diplomas I have are completely useless).

  5. If it did it to a human being, I would have a serious think about it, and do what seemed best (which would probably be putting it down, but even the thought saddens me nearly to tears, I don't want to think about it).


    Anything other than that would have to have a court-mandated rules stating I *had* to, otherwise I wouldn't, unless truly needed.


    What I would do, if that situation ever happened here, is apart from the stuff you already did (apologising, trying to make amends, paying for the bills) is get a dog trainer/handler in ASAP. A private one, willing to come to my house and help me figure things out, re-train the dog, and the trainer being able to advise what they think should be done (and if they advised getting the dog put down, I would get a second opinion before doing so).


    Sadly, after some dogs attack, it's like a veil goes over their eyes, they become completely different. Same with the "victim" of the attack, whether it be dog, cow or person. I would look into the possibilty of a doggie type therapy and rehabilitation though, before considering it being put down.


    I know that dogs can just snap, whether its an accumulation of things you haven't noticed (that didn't seem to bother them before) or something has just set them off. Unfortunately we still don't know enough about the minds of dogs & pets to figure out the cause when it may have been something you count as completely insignificant.


    Its why even though my two gigantic dogs are the sookiest things in the world (but they pale in comparison to the ex-guard dog rottweiler I rehab-ed who thought she was a chihuahua, thats a whole other story) but I still don't leave them alone with my kids. Even if they're excited they may do something by accident (Roxy the giant mixture (German Shepherd x Doberman x about 6 other things) can get over-excited and knock Eve over by accident). They also protect the kids, but I still have the commonsense of not trusting them alone.


    Off-Leash (unfortunately most people only learn through experience, as I did) is not a good idea in an open area. Too many things can happen. My dog years ago was on voice command, and excelled at it. She sat outside the shop in the carpark and waited for me, kept beside me till we were 3/4 of the way home. Then on the other side of the road, she saw her "friend" who lives a couple of doors down from us. She got over-excited, rushed straight across the road, and got into hyped-up mode, I tried calling her, but she proceeded to just run back and forth, wagging and trying to show me that "yay! look! my friend is over here" in hindsight, I should of left the shopping and just ran towards her friend, then she wouldn't of been racing back and forth to communicate her message. As it was I saw everything in slow motion and the car coming round the corner, which made me panick and call louder, which in turn just made her more excited. The car that hit her, the lady was wonderfully sweet and helped me get her home (in her car). She managed to last until we got to the porch, and with me screaming at my friend to call the vets, she died in my arms, still wagging her little tail. :crying: Lila (lab x border Collie) is excellent with voice command, good with tricks (she's a regular circus dog), always comes when she is called, but I NEVER let her off leash outside our acreage. It was a hard-lesson but I learnt it. People grow, mature etc, and can be equipped to understand the modern day world, and fast reactions based on the commonsense of current technology, dog's can't. Outside of your yard, anything the dog hasn't encountered before could appear and cause a swift & sudden reaction.


    I hope your dog stays a sweetie-pie, and I'd probably be giving it lots of hugs right now :grouphug: I don't know the laws, but it sounds like you looked into it, hopefully he cannot enforce it, so if thats the case, it more depends on which you want to keep (the neighbours good graces or the doggie)

  6. We haven't really moved around much in math.


    I tried a few math programs "on the side" but have been doing Singapore Math since we started formally.


    I only recently stopped it because I did not like the way of counting (using the line to bounce backwards & forwards) as it was causing bad habits in my daughter. I still like Singapore Math, and think it's good, it just ended up being that I diverged from what they thought was best.


    Waldorf math is interesting and hands-on, this also includes Oak Meadow. Its introduced through a story type format, so is best for a child that loves stories or dislikes math and prefers it presented in a different format. My daughter is very mathy, and disliked the fact their was a whole long, drawn out story just to introduce simple facts.


    Queen Homeschool does an interesting math that is based on stories too. I liked it, but again my daughter didn't, lol. Life of Fred would be good for a boy or a vivacious non-girly girl, and I think Queens stuff is more neutral or towards girls.


    The one we have changed from Singapore to is in my signature, obviously, but anyway, its Rightstart. I do like it and so far so do all of my kids, but its too early to give an informed opinion of this. If we decide its not for us, I'm just going to stick with Kathryn Stouts Maximum Math guide and the Maths section in one of my hs books, and avoid another curricula (as I refuse to switch a lot with math, so either RS works with us, or I dump using a packaged curricula for maths). I had a a fair few very, very good reasons for leaving Singapore, and it was a big, drawn out long thought process. If we continue with RS, we may jump ship down the line (50/50 chance) but would move over to Teaching Textbooks, plus me just tutoring/facilitating math.


    In case that whole thought process confused you and you would like bullet point format (although why, no idea, just because I can:




    If Rightstart doesn't work, no more curricula, I just teach using guides/scopes


    If RS does work, we may jump ship around Level C and transfer to Teaching Textbooks + Mum Extras


    We may go all the way through RS, and either use videotext or transfer to AoPs.


    Somewhere along the way, I may add in some Miquon (later than what suggested, because I want to get past a certain point in RS, so as not to confuse them regarding rods). I already own the full Miquon set, plus about 1000 wooden rods, lol. I may add in Beast Academy at some point too. Both Miquon & Beast Academy would be fun supplements based upon interest, not replacements and not required.


    The above trail includes all of my kids. So later on down the track, I may end up using scopes to teach one, the other doing RS, and the other doing Teaching Textbooks + Mom time.


    I've figured what works best here (for the sake of harmony) is to just choose as many subjects as I can with Right-Brain, Experiential, Discovery Based Learning Methods. It saves teaching one child one way, and 2 others the other, except for some subjects where those two others need right-brain strategies.....yep, and it goes on....much easier to just choose this method for everyone and every subject.


    Oh, we also use Form Drawing as part of Atlas' handwriting, but further down the track it evolves more into mathematical drawing & geometric very complicated designs, which is awesome. I will continue with this, even when doing other handwriting.

  7. I was looking at these and had no idea there was religious content. This thread has definitely been eye-opening.




    OT, I know, but just a small correction. Allah is not a different deity in the way that Isis is a completely separate being from the God of the Christians. The God worshipped by all 3 Abrahamic faiths is the same, Allah would be equivalent to the 'father' in the Christrian triune. Allah is simply the Arabic word for God (literally, it means Al-Ilah, Al= The, Ilah = God). You probably already know this but just in case you didn't (as I know some people think Allah is something different), I wanted to let you know that we don't see it as a separate entity :).


    Yep, already knew that ;) Just had a sad panda baby next to me most of the day (both of us have colds) and I went brain-dead and couldn't think of examples lol. I was basically saying stuff counted as a name is fine, but if they said capitalise "Him" then that would not be okay for us. DD capitalises Mother Nature as well ;)


    Must go calm down said baby again. *sigh* apparently her feet are too small (I love sick children, everything is a reason to cry).

  8. You are right. I forgot about Adam and His Kin being used. Star of Light is also Christian. Both are in the Green level (7th grade).

    I must be confused. I thought you were mainly wanting to know about the blue level (k-1st) and red (2nd). Sorry.


    That's ok! Your first answer definitely helped. I was wanting to know both the level I was starting on (Blue) and future levels from here on out.


    Other poster - I thought Wordsmith Apprentice was from 3rd Grade? That might be an option to change over to that later on.


    I loved the idea of LLATL, and yes, may get time to re-write it for our studies, I was just wanting to see how it progressed through the years (hence asking for what levels each person used).


    I try to teach using Right Brain learning, Experiential, and Discovery Learning, so its hard to find items that fit that genre, let alone items that are secular and meant for homeschooling, and not classrooms.


    LLATL was really a spur of the moment decision (we had a gift of some money from family which allowed us to purchase a new-to-us car and some money left over for little hs bits & pieces. If I didn't have the money, I wouldn't of purchased it, lol. As I said, I was mostly wanting it (originally) as a springboard for research idea & skill, creative expression and that sort of thing. I didn't mind that the grammar & spelling were light, nor anything about the lit. We are planning to use Katherine Stouts guides, and Cozy Grammar later on as well as Items from Critical thinking and other places on editing, and Brave Writer for writing/composition. I would be adding in bits and pieces of those items as needed throughout the years, but wanted something that concentrates on the little bits.


    Here is the stuff I am interested in that LLATL has:



    Research and Study Skills

    Higher Order Thinking Skills

    Creative Expression / Games

    And also some of the Composition assignments from red book up seem interesting.


    So its really the little extras, but since its so intertwined with phonics, I think the grammar would be good too, as its working those bits in at a level obviously on par with her reading. So in the end I just decided the whole program was quite nice if it worked, but I may jump ship at Yellow, or may continue purchasing just for the extras. I mean, if I like the extras, and my children do, it would be worth it. Its not like our other curricula is expensive here on out. The only things I have to purchase now is supplies and next TM & Student book of math, and next phonics level of Dancing Bears (if LLATL doesn't allow Atlas to springboard on it, by itself).


    I don't know how to create my own stuff for this area, and the research/study skills of using sources properly is very important to me, so is using hands-on, fun learning.

  9. *haven't read replies.


    I have read this many places over the years.


    I believe its quite true, given a few simple reasons.


    Women start of with a training bra, or as their b00ks appear, start with the smallest bra, and work their way up as they need to. Most women do not "measure" the areas you should measure (over middle nipp** area that juts out and all around, and below b00ks across the ribs and round the back). Women who do measure, often get incorrect results, as they are not doing it perfectly (as happens when you are measuring yourself).


    You then get into the different b00k shapes and the best type of bra for them. I will leave them at that.


    Last of all, they then wear them incorrectly (straps done up too tight or loose, bottom of bra at weird place on back etc).


    So yes, I believe women are not easily able to properly "shelve their b00ks"


    But that does not mean I get professional fittings. I don't want a woman measuring me there (call it modesty or whatever, I just don't), I have had DH double-check me when I measure though, so I can compare results, and I also look in the mirror to see the way they "fall" to determine the best shape of bra to get. I am sure, still, on the odd occasion that I do not have the correct size in some bras, and probably about half the time wear the shoulder strap at the incorrect level. My mother is worse though, she definitely wears the wrong size and shape for her body.


    Luckily for me, I don't get to hardly ever shop for bras anywhere, most of my purchases are online as the shops don't have my size. I also got some of those hilarious "ahhh bras" I use for home-wear, they aren't as comfy as they sound (possibly due to size of said b00ks) but they are a LOT comfier (they still are a lot comfy, and if I was about 2-3 sizes smaller, I would probably wear them all the time) than the bras I wear out to the shops, and I don't like feel "restrained & rigid" when at home. Its because for my size I either have to wear minimizers or specialized sports bras (these are to the bra world what straightjackets are to the clothing world) or underwires, which I abhor. I always end up having the fabric break out somwhere and the underwire digging into my underarm once it "springs" loose, then having to rush around, just so I can get in the car and yank out the rest of the evil piece of wire.

  10. $150-200 sounds quite reasonable, but given the price of the local camps bottom area ($110) just think that she may only be able to afford round that area, so have a price (maybe start at $200 as your top price) and be prepared to come down if neccessary.


    As far as laws/insurance, I don't know the go in your area, so you may have to check on that.


    I know if it happened out here, and the person is my friend, I would just be counting the money I was giving her as a friend-reinbursment for her time, kind of like a thank you ('cause let's face it, flowers don't pay for the childs activities :p) same as if my child was going to a friends place and they were going to the amusement park, I would provide that parent with the funds to cover that plus a bit extra (that I wouldn't expect back) for "in case".


    From my POV, I would love to have someone like you out here. Occasionally I need a break, and with two type 1 diabetic children & 1 SN, its just not possible. I have tried the commercial "systems" and really (and these people went through "diabetes" training workshops) was surprised at how little they knew and the fact they ignored simple protocols, health-issue wise, this was huge to me.


    Having a nurse as a friend willing to take the kids every now and again, or (*dreams*) for summer fun would be amazing. I have a nurse friend, but unfortunately she moved two states away :( My mother is a nurse, but she also lives two states away.....perhaps thats the minimum for "Dealing" with me....must be divided by at least one state, ROFL.


    I think its amazing you are offering, it would be lovely to actually have one person, who is also a friend, be able to listen, note and understand the concerns of diabetes, and be able to watch out for them (I even have trouble with hubby sometimes, giving injections in the wrong spot, letting Atlas & Eve outside with *no* shoes on, drives me barmy. I've been thinking of doing up pictorial injection sites picture and pictorial rules and putting them on the corkboard, perhaps a dry-erase laminated fingers so we can cross off where we have been finger pricking, in order to even divide it over the fingers and stop concentrating on certain fingers.


    'Scuse any mistakes. I have a cold, and so does Eve, and shes asking me a ba-jillion questions whilst I'm writing this.

  11. Thanks, I know one lesson capitalizes god, I would not have a problem with this, as its based on perspectives, and from the perspective of my 7yo, he is a "person" and that is his "name", and would be different from talking about a god or gods in general (which I would explain). Same as Allah, or Isis, these are different gods, and those are their names. Lord or The Almighty would be the same, him is not (to me).


    And I know there is another area of purple level, I think, that does scripture research, again, that is fine, as its historical, and also a religious book based on another beliefs, if it used the Torah or an ancient scroll, I would feel the same.


    And (it may actually be part of purple and scripture research) one level uses Adam and his Kin for lit, but the book believes (I think, from what I read) that you would believe in Creationism, but can be used for young or old earth..I'm unsure about Adam & his Kin, but presuming its just about Adam & Eve and that sort of time, I would be fine with using that too.


    So I was hoping that was most of it, and that I wouldn't suddenly come across a surprise that can't be used by us or secularized without re-making the lesson.


    Another hope is that eventually I can re-write llatl to fit in with our current unit studies, rather than having a seperate llatl unit study going on, but we'll see how we go.


    David and Goliath might be a bit of a problem, I'll have to see how its presented.


    Thank you for your reply.

  12. I *know* from reading a previous post from Audrey? I think it was, that there is religious content in LLATL.


    Can someone who has been through the levels (please name which levels you have used) explain the religious "content" in it?




    History/Reason: I was looking around for certain skills I wanted met (teeny skills, like research & creative expression, how to use an encyclopedia/dictionary properly, and little bits & pieces like that. I know its in AAS (well as far as someone said) but we stopped using aas (apart from the tiles) so I was looking for an alternative. Other than really boring workbooks, I found LLATL, and it looked interesting enough, but I got confused whether I just needed the TM for what I wanted, or needed the workbook as well, since I had all but 3 of the lit books listed, I decided on what the heck, and purchase the full LLATL blue set + the 3 lit books I needed to complete it. I thought either I will use parts of it as I originally wanted to, or will end up using the full she-bang of it, and who knows, it might faze out the need to purchase the next dancing bears level. Then I saw Audrey's post whilst searching around for info on starting/using it (so I know what to do before it arrives), and got rather worried. We have a mixed religious family, so I prefer fully secular, or items I know I can secularize or tweak to my own easily.


    Can anyone tell me how the religious content is structured? Is it just full of the writer saying how blessed she feels to be able to write the book, or is their religion actually in the lessons? And is the religion weaved through it, making it hard to secularize without losing parts of the program?


    Thank you so much!

  13. So given some of these comments, I have to wonder how many missed out on the chase-the-new-couple-through-town parade?

    That is, where the wedding party loads up in the back of someone's pickup, or at least, the bride, groom and both primary attendants in someone's convertible, and drive all over town with the rest of the guests and attendants chasing them, honking their horns and flashing their lights.


    How can one truly be married if the entire community hasn't glanced out their collective windows and made the mental note "Ah Leon's oldest girl just got married. Some boy from the Sandhills, from what I hear..."


    Can I just say that sounds like fun? Weird, but fun......which means I *really* like it, lol.


    For some reason, I now have a Topsy-Turvy idea in my head....I want to see a marriage that takes place uber-formally, then, at the reception, has pin-the-tail on the donkey, and pass-the-parcel, and maybe a clown.


    I think a reception like that would be worth it, if only to take photos of the guests faces as they enter :laugh: :lol: :leaving:

  14. When I had a library, The shelves went a little like this:


    Bookcase #1

    Top Left: Dr Suess

    Top Right: Poetry Books & Collections

    2nd Shelf: Older Teen/Adult Chapter books (Eyre, Scarlet Letter, Gatsby etc)

    3rd Shelf: Kids Chapter Books

    4th & 5th Shelf: Picture Books

    6th Shelf: "Collection" books (like Harper Collins Picture Books collection, 20th century childrens book treasury etc)

    So this was basically the bookshelf that the kids could choose from.


    Bookcase #2

    Top Shelf: My Binders (I used binders instead of a filing system), Record Binders for each child, RR Catalog & HL Sourcebook

    2nd through 5th Shelf: Non Fiction divided by subject (Science, History, Geography etc)


    Bookcase #3

    Top Shelf: Kits (Fun Extras like Science Kits, DIY Models etc)

    2nd, 4th & 5th Shelf: Non-Fiction by Subject

    3rd Shelf: Bibles, Religious Items, and research papers


    BookCase #4

    This was my bookcase reserved for what we were using in our actual curricula. Although the other bookcases could be touched, touching this bookshelf would be the same as hiding mum's pen & paper.......very bad.

    Top Shelf: Expensive Items (software etc) that needed protection

    2nd Shelf: Readers/Phonics/Language Arts

    3rd Shelf: Science & History

    4th Shelf: Our Literature/planned Read-Alouds for the year

    5th Shelf: Mixed Collection of rest of stuff (math, geography, health etc)


    I also used the top of the bookshelves to store more "kit" boxes and stuff that would be dangerous at eye level (like packing peanuts, I could imagine the mess the children would of made with those within their grasp).


    I also had an art cabinet in their as well that was about hip high and held all of our paper, scrap paper & art, craft supplies. On top of it, I had my Home Ed Magazines in a neat pile and a book basket for kids to put their books back into.


    HTH xxx

  15. Probably about 9 or 10.


    But I know my area, and the toilets we use (when not using the family ones). The ones that don't have family ones, are the ones he would have to go alone in, and are not great toilets to meet friendly people, lol.


    I'm a mom, and half the time going to these toilets by myself, I'm the one cautiously opening the door, ready to back out and take off if need be.


    If others who aren't in the same situation want to make comments, I let them. They aren't in a similar situation, and only you know whats right for your kids and at what age.


    For example in the office supply store they have a large family bathroom. I allow my son to go in there by himself, as long as he doesn't lock the door. I'll ocassionally peek in if he's taking too long, but the only reason I keep an eye on him there is because I want to make sure he's not making a mess of the nice clean bathroom lol. When he gets quiet I worry I'll open the door and find a suds pile or a mountain of toilet paper, so its warranted worry considering he does that at home. As soon as I don't have to worry about that, I'm happy to let him lock the door, and I'd wait for him at the end of the hall/entrance to the store.


    In some areas (like outside the big towns supermarket) I would say I would be waiting till he's about 12, or at that age when he is more likely to properly acknowledge danger and yell for help.


    So its really a wide range depending on which toilets and where.

  16. We have the thick black otterbox one (I think Defender?) I have the same casing for my phone. I did a lot of researching before purchasing the cover/case, and it is one of the most expensive cases, but there is a reason for that. If you look at my sig, you'll see I have young kids and one who particularly is known for getting rough with things. Its held through all of the kids playing with it, it being dropped a couple of times (including once by Chaos onto the cement), and its fine. The black cover that goes over the front is ..... somewhere, I never use it (rofl). Nor do I have a screen protector (I have found with screen protectors, I wreck the screen more having to remove & replace them (they are impossible to lift-off, even the "Static" holding type ones).


    Whatever Otterbox I have, is the only case I'll ever use. The Ipad one, the silicon is a little more "slippy" around the inner hard-shell, but overall its still much, much better than other cases I have looked at. The way the cover goes with the multiple layers over the edge of the screen, tends to stop problems with spills as well (as I have noticed a couple of times when spills straight onto the screen happen).


    If you are wanting a durable, rugged protective case, the fat otterbox one is the key. If you are without kids and simply wanting to read at the beach without drops getting on your screen one of those commercial plastic clear bags will do...or you can use the homemade version....a ziplock bag :laugh:

  17. I think its their wedding, and they can do whatever they want.


    But this comes from a viewpoint where I had a "hippy/satanic" wedding and a bit of a trailer trash "after party". This is some people's reactions from their "I didn't experience it, or I don't understand it" viewpoints. From my viewpoint (and hubby's) it was beautiful and close, and was only partially ruined by peoples snide comments.


    So, yes, unfortunately I am biased, as I can see emails passing back and forth between MIL & SIL pronouncing things like "tacky" and "satanic". Apparently my reality is different from theirs.


    Satanic/Hippy Wedding: In a private beautiful garden, within a rose-petal circle and hand-fasting, married by a celebrant with whom her & I wrote the entire ceremony which was about the power of love.


    Trail Trash After Party: This is Australia, I was pregnant at the time, and I wore comfortable clothing for the whether. We had an outdoor little party with various salads, fruit, prawns and a cute lil cake. Summer is hot and it was a "family" (i.e. less than 50 people at the wedding) gathering. I had the food in a tent, suitably covered for an Aussie Summer (i.e. wrapped so no flies could get on it :p ) But yes, I am sure from a British cathedral and country club it would seem "trailer trash". They should feel lucky I felt like having people over afterwards (walking around a lop-sided garden for hours with very, very high heels on and very pregnant can cause one to not be in the "chippiest" of moods.


    You may be right, and it may be completely "tacky", or it just may be (the slightest possibility) that you aren't understanding the situation properly. Potluck with bits of food from each persons household sounds like an idyllic solution to something that may of been a problem. Perhaps they couldn't get caterers, perhaps there were too many people with different food tastes. If everyone brings something, everyone has something they will definitely like, and there is also the chance to try a variety of foods that caterers may not be able to satisfy. Perhaps they wanted that "bit of home" or "close, casual gathering" feel.


    I just think, unless you know otherwise, to go into a situation with an open mind. Unless your very short on funds, I'd get what I feel comfortable with bringing, go there, and have a good time, and meet people, and celebrate the wedding of two, I am sure, wonderful people who are meant for one another.


    Everyone has different ideas of tackiness. Mine consists of when the kids give me a drawing they have done when their hands are covered in strawberry jam, and the other is gold. I think golds tacky. But I don't think just because another person wears gold, they are tacky. They like it, end of story. I don't like it, so I don't wear it.


    All I can say is to have an open mind, or if you feel negatively about the whole thing, feign an excuse (a nice one) and bow out respectively.


    Anyway, thats just my POV from the other side of the coin. :)

  18. Its a history of events that took place in your house. My blog (and my forum posts) look weird to me when looking back, but it shows how I have evolved through time.


    I found myself on an old thread and was reading something, and thinking "What? prppphh, no I'm not interested in that" then reading further was like "hmm....actually that seems interesting" and after getting to the end I scrolled back up and realized I WROTE IT. :lol: I suceeded in thinking *I* was an idiot who didn't know what they were talking about, to being convinced.....by *myself* :huh: And I have no knowledge of ever writing anything about it!


    I looked at similar posts around that timeline of mine and have no recollection of doing or saying those things, nor "Who" I was at that point. :confused1: I was awfully confusing, but it did show how much I had changed in my ways of thinking and how I applied things in our household. Posts from just a year or two ago do not mesh at all with the current day "me".


    I think its nice to go back over old posts on both the forums and my blogs (yes, I have more than one, for different areas of my life, most are under different "accounts" and blog places as well (although I favour blogger). I don't think I have ever deleted a blog, I just leave them there as records of a different timeframe. Sometimes I'll use them to go back and figure out why something didn't work, or why I didn't like a certain curricula.


    People learn from others mistakes. Just because you are not Ms-Forum-Poster-Mommy-Blogger-Extraordinaire-who-has-it-all-together-and-whose-childs-art-lovingly-matches-their-drapes-and-is-photographed-for-posterity-with-Nikon-$4000-camera, does not mean that you aren't appreciated as well.


    Seeing people with similar values fail with a curricula can be ultimately more helpful than looking at the shiny curricula Ms Mommy Blogger pulls off to perfection in between baking and creating a dolls house from straws. Seeing you "flip-flop" between curricula can help others prevent doing the same thing, and they will be greatful to you for it, it can also help you realize where it went wrong. A failed experiment can help other parents realize not everything works out exactly as planned in their "well planned day" and that everyone fails, everyone has a day where their child looks like a scarecrow, and that sometimes you have to "crop" a photo since your children weren't dressed at the time :laugh:


    Part of the joy of homeschooling and blogging, and life in general is its ups and downs. *Real* blogs (I think) show both the ups and the massively plunging downs, the ins and outs of everyday life. All a "picture-perfect peaches and cream" blog does is make others be turned off, and cause depression spirals in other hs-ing mothers.


    Truly blogging is baring your soul, and being able to put yourself out there, as you are, everyday, without "makeup and high heels" just you.


    As for my blog, its pathetic too :tongue_smilie: but only because I have not had time to actually blog. I decided to take a step back from blogging and "listing" things within my signature until I have a rhythm going, so I may not get back to hs blogging for upto a year (I'm trying to now get into blogging about hs related stuff, but won't be blogging about our days for a while, till I feel more centred), perhaps, if this is still the problem with see-sawing, this is a possibility? Stop blogging, take a step back and read through your archives, from the beginning if you can, this will allow you to see from a more logical standpoint how you have evolved and hopefully help you on the road you may be travelling down.




    :iagree: It's been years since I've read him. My tolerance for language in books has changed, and Crichton has one bad potty mouth. But boy can he write a story! He always leaves me thinking that what he is writing about is possible...even Jurassic Park. I think my favorites were Congo and Jurassic Park: The Lost World. The only one I didn't like (of the ones I read) was Pirate Latitudes, just couldn't get into it for some reason and didn't finish it.


    I love Michael Crichton. Two recent (well not SO recent, I read them when they came out) ones I loved were Prey and Next. Both, considering the current state of the world, especially in Science, could become true. I haven't read Pirate Latitudes....sounds like a weird title coming from him. I more went into dystopian novels and genetic experiments after that. Anything pre-Prey from Crichton I think I have read.


    Funnily enough, when other kids my age were reading Babysitter Club, and Pony stuff, I was reading Michael Crichton, Robin Cook, and anything else my mother had in her library (except Danielle Steel, I think I only read two books of hers, one okay for fluff, and the other really bad), and sat there reading Electronics Magazines and Vintage/Antique texts from my fathers library, lol. I think the only sort of teen series I got into was Mallory Towers, and I still love that series (although I haven't been able to find replacements yet, I want a complete set of a certain cover (the same covers I had when I was young) and they either have different covers or go for insane prices. I'm too sentimental.

  20. I could not stand having it on the iphone/tablet. It's a pita to do anything.


    I love the Minecraft Forums, and my Minecraft. I suppose you could say I'm addicted (BUT I go through periods where I play it like mad, then don't touch it). I've made skins (I actually did a skin request for Egyptian Gods, and I think thats what got Atlas started in her obsession with Ancient Egypt.


    Simply put, it's a tool. If you figure out how to make sure the child is using the tool properly, its BRILLIANT. If you don't, it's not good. This is not the tool's fault.


    People create maps of the world, make amazing art with these skins, create maps that I do, that to me are akin to the logic puzzles and mind benders I do. It takes a lot of brain effort sometimes to complete those maps.


    Doing a multi-player map create co-operation, same with hosting on being on a good MC server.


    There is a Minecraft EDU site as well, that can help teachers and parents turn the MC experience into a "see-able" (because I think its educational anyway) edu experience.


    Its the same as saying your computer paint program is bad. Paint is a tool, its how you use it.


    Minecraft has gone a little loony with the updates (esp The End, don't get me started with that) but it's meant as an open sandbox game, the possibilities are endless.


    I even gifted a mate's little sister who could not afford it, an account. She was extremely grateful, and the designs she has made are extremely detailed.


    Once A is old enough to easily use the keyboard and mouse (she can use them now, just not for accuracy) I'll add on projects for her to do using Minecraft.


    If your afraid they are spending too much time and becoming addicted, perhaps giving projects for them to do on Minecraft, or having a list of chores that must be done to be awarded 1 hr at the computer etc. Also, it shouldn't have to be said, but I will add it, don't allow your children on the computer (especially with something like Paint, levels game or MC) until "school" is finished. Using your writing program is fine (although I would still suggest that towards the end of the day). These games use immense focus and concentration, you sort of "zone" in on creating something with Paint/Gimp/MC, and when pulled out of that its a little disconcerting, plus the focus just wouldn't be there to then do school assignments.


    Anyway if I am not making sense, just ignore me :p

  21. I just wanted to say thank you for this thread. Although I don't think my stuff is suitable for here (its more boring learning styles/Special Needs/curriculum & methods types books).


    Its given my a kick-in-the-butt to try to get something going online to remind me to persevere with the books I do need to read/finish/re-read.


    So I'm going to be making my own book-a-week posts on my blog, updating with more information as I advance through the book, and hopefully end up making a pinterest folder with links to each book post in case I start wandering over there. This along with my signature & filofax, should hopefully be enough reminders to keep me moving through those books.


    So thank you!

  22. Isn't it weird, but I tend to forget the worst items...unless I have to plough on through them.


    Happy Phonics - 3 days (+ extra time getting coloured card etc), and still hadn't finished setting it up. So never used it, don't want anything to do with it.


    Explode the Code Primers - I'm mentioning that these are the primers, because the Book1 onwards might be fine, but primers turned us off the series. Atlas spent a whole school year with those primers, and by the end, she had forgotten everything. A year wasted with those


    Sonlight LA - Not really anything against Sonlight. More just our family. The LA (at the youngest levels) was too tied into the writing (i.e. in order to learn the phonics part and how to write, you must do a LOT of copywork and repeating sentences that she just wasn't ready for).


    Singapore Math - I do like Singapore for the rigor of it. I do NOT like the jumping line way of counting. It taught my daughter some very bad habits I am now trying to undo. Again most of these reviews are just ours alone, and do not neccessarily mean these curricula are bad in general, just that they didn't work here.


    Sonlight Lesson Plans - I didn't like the jumping around, open this book, read a line, close it, grab the next book. I have not totally written Sonlight off and may use one of the levels I already have next year, but I will just use the "plan" as a weekly checklist rather than a daily guide, so we're not jumping around everywhere.


    Slow and Steady, get me Ready: I actually like this, so not really "worst" Item. lol. I would just suggest for people to get it either when the child is born or no later than about 2 1/2. I just got the book too late, and it just wasn't worth it.


    Peggy Kaye Books - I'm sure they are fine, and I will keep the ones I have, I just think they are quite over-rated. They only have a couple of games in them, a lot less than I was expecting, and I really don't understand the fuss.


    Writing Strands 1 - I think we'll like the rest of Writing Strands, but even here in a relaxed household, the WS1 book is a little too loosey-goosey. Its just a book of random ideas (most of which are covered in any preschool curriculum)


    Carschooling - Maybe if my kids were older. Its just too random, and disjointed. I was hoping for ideas for the ocassional trips to the larger town we go to, and on the way to doctors. Its more suitable for those tending to actually be in the car all day (IMO).


    Wordly Wise K & 1 - This just drove me a bit loopy and didn't seem worth it. We actually needed a vocab program, but I could easily now include that in our current studies. This took a lot of time per day for a subject that just isn't THAT needed.


    Read and Share Bible Curriculum - Even though I have 3 kids, this program is still meant for Sunday Schools. I don't think its possible to complete at home without having lots of energy and putting lots of effort into it. In the end, it became very expensive puppets and dvd.


    Write Source - Too fiddly. I can't remember why, but I really didn't like that program.


    Smarty Ants - Annoying


    They are about the only ones I remember (and most of them is with help of order histories on various places lol. Any others I've forgotten were probably more "schmeh" .

  23. I like the look of MM MIRL ones.


    Just wanted to add, a while ago HSBC had PCI Education under SN. I was wandering about and came across it, and some of their stuff looks REALLY cool. I plan to get one or two of their things when Atlas is older. The math stuff is similar to what your talking about "real" math, and does remind me a bit of CM Business Math (which I also have on my wishlist).


    Everything looks a little different on the store, but here's a couple I came across:


    Money Math Binders: Teaches Real Life Math & Shopping


    Check Writing Program: Learn Banking skills & Reinforce Math Money Skills


    Real Life Menu Math


    Pizza Math Software


    There were a few other ones, but I'll let you wander round their site


    HTH xxxx

  24. Dancing Bears. Apples & Pears (same company - Sound Foundations)

    Konos (I'm planning to use this secularly, surprised Ellie didn't mention it!)

    Fitzroy Readers (Australian Readers, but I've heard of a few US people using them)

    Mott Media's stuff (another not completely secular, but more because of the time the stuff was written in, and a lot of people use their stuff Ray's Arithmetic, McGuffey Primers, etc)

    Zaner Bloser. D'Nealian. Handwriting without Tears.

    Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding. Nebel's Elementary Education.

    TOPs Science


    Math on the Level. Kitchen Table Math.

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