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Posts posted by Ecclecticmum

  1. I would honestly just focus on Phonics & maybe some simple math games.


    My daughter actually loved "The Berenstein Bears Big Book of Science & Nature" for science. We got it from Sonlight. She would jump up and down everyday asking to "do" science, LOL.


    I think the best thing for the child is just to concentrate on Phonics as much as possible. Basically start getting them reading, then concentrate on the other things.


    Suggestions for this are:


    - Ordinary Parent's Guide to Reading (even if you don't use this as your program, like me, its a good reference tool. This would be my number 1 purchase)


    - Explode the Code Primers. Also if you have the Cash the Wall Chart & Activity Book can help make learning to read fun, we love them. Theres also the Picture Letter Cards as "flashcards"


    - All About Reading Pre-Level 1 with Ziggy the Zebra.


    - Letter of the Week Curriculum by Confessions of a Homeschooler (and her K4 Curriculum as well)


    - Online places like Starfall, Headsprout, SmartyAnts, Click N Read.


    There's so many choices out there! Basically I would be concentrating on getting the child upto the equivalent of Lesson 140 (of OPGTR), then starting Grade 1.


    If the child already likes to write, ETC has "Writing" in it, and there are also many beautiful handwriting programs out there, but if the child doesn't like writing, its not important right now. All I would really concentrate on is getting the child to use the correct grip, from the get go.


    Next as a side - liner I would choose a fun, interesting Math Program to get the child interested in Maths and Learn the basics. Rightstart, Singapore Math, Math U See, Mathtacular, any of these can be used (or anything else as well).


    If you choose to do other subjects, I would always do them AFTER you have done any phonics for the day, and I would choose a more laid back approach with the other subjects. Stuff like fun simple experiments or interesting "Story" books.


    HTH xxx :grouphug:

  2. My K'der does it with her 2's & 3's. Her threes look like an E and her two's look like either a 5 or an S. She knows what they look like, she just tends to reverse them. Usually after she has done it twice in a row, I'll show her a printed formation of it (usually somewhere on the page already) and get her to put her finger over it, tracing the way it goes.


    The eventually figure it out and reversals do happen, in both numbers and letters, its a very normal thing. I don't make a big deal out of it, as long as she knows exactly whats shes writing and isn't "guessing" then its fine. I just gently and happily remind her every now and again.


    FWIW she DOES know her letters and numbers. Mummy did a 2 on the board with the cursive loop at the bottom of it, and she pointed out my error and got cross with me :lol:

  3. We're currently using Singapore Math - Earlybird. I think its the Aus version, with it being a 2 year preschool/kinder program. 1A & 1B (Preschool) and 2A & 2B (Kinder). We're doing the 2yr program quickly so shoud be finished all books in 8 months (and this is casual/informal/part-time) she adores it. Its colourful, engaging and interesting for her. She does it when she wants to, and thats a lot of the time, its actually made my child LOVE maths!


    I like the look of Rightstart, but to me, its too similar to happy phonics, too many fiddly things.


    Another option as an extra for SM Math, is to get Mathtacular 1 or possibly the Mathtacular kit. She can copy what justin does on the tapes. I believe the DVD for 1 also has printables. We have it, and the kids love him! I really should be using it more often :)

  4. We homeschool in the dining room, but we have a open plan large room with a 2nd dining alcove off the main one, we use this for "school" stuff, for instance we have a couch, rug, lounge table, and a big on wheels whiteboard in there right now, and I have to put together the chalk table.


    Since we're just doing informal schooling now, with just the "bookwork" we mainly use the dining table.


    We have an outdoor verandah off the dining room, so I plan to turn this into an indoor/outdoor messy room.


    We love using the dining table for bookwork, its perfect, BUT then you have to clear it off for each meal, so its becoming tiresome.


    If your family eats in the lounge or somewhere other than the dining table, then its fine, but when using the table all the time for meals, it gets old really fast. Since my kids are young, we plan to just sit on the floor and use the lounge table for next term, I officially gave up with the dining table after a piece of spaghetti became a bookmark in the maths book :001_huh:

  5. I "tap" my kids, only with my hand (I have sensitive hands, and usually it hurts me more than them LOL) either on their bum, or a slight "slap" to their hand. They are always told what they did wrong, the tap is just to give attention to the matter. I don't count it as slapping/smacking, and the Pearls thoroughly disgust me. I only ever do ONE tap, I don't do mutiples. Its just to bring full attention to what I am saying.


    My parents were big believers in "corporal punishment" and to me, they abused me.


    One time I was scared (after watching ET) and had a nightmare, I was hiccuping from crying so much, all my mother did was drag me by my arm into the spare bedroom and proceeded to smack my bum REALLY HARD, until I stopped crying (which was at least 45 minutes later) all I really needed was a hug, and assurance that everything was alright, I'd had a nightmare after all, but nope, I was smacked for crying, and being upset.


    My parents use to use Belts on me (I hate belts, its made me afraid of a clothing object for goodness sakes). They used wooden spoons (when a wooden spoon my mother used on me broke, this got her madder, and she proceeded to up the ante, and got a metal spoon and hit me with that instead. This was all stuff that was "recommended" belts, spoons were the norm, and it was always only ever done on them bum. It doesn't mean it didn't scar me, and IMO it was abuse.



  6. To all my kids, nursing was the best thing in the world. DD5 stopped just before DS was born. DS4 stopped abruptly when my colustrum came in from DD (his face said it all, it was priceless lol). DD2 stopped before christmas last year (so just shy of 2yrs), she was just randomly doing it, then it got less and less and less, till finally even with mutiple offerings/cajolings, she didn't want it anymore. I don't think any of my kids (unless I am mistaking round dates etc) made it up to 2yrs, they always stopped just before it. Would of been nice to make it upto 2yrs with one of them, but oh well.


    For some reason I still have milk though. :001_huh: Considering its been over half a year since she stopped, I find that very very odd. There's the odd time that I will leak, but if I squeeze, milk definately comes out. Maybe scientists should study me to help dairy farmers :lol:

  7. We live in a 50 year old mostly original farmhouse, and its going to require enough work. I can't imagine a 100 year old one.


    For instance, this is what we have to do just off the top of my head:


    Carport beams need replacing (sagging) as well as part of roof

    Entire stumps under house need replacing (house is sagging, cracks forming)

    Back Paddock needs to be slashed and covered

    Bathroom needs to be entirely ripped out (right to beams) and replaced (floors rotten, moisture got in)

    Loungeroom Faux wood wall panels need replacing (bending)

    2 other walls need replacing (1 with giant hole, another that has bent so much you can see where the beams are)

    Entire floor (underneath) needs insulation as right now, in the kitchen you can actually see through to the ground.

    Farm Gate needs to be moved onto our property (currently going off lane belonging to other farmer)

    Fences at back need to be secured (puppy is currently getting out somewhere)

    Concrete slab on top of sewerage needs to be replaced

    Fence needs to be erected to stop children/pets entry to tank/sewerage area

    Most doors in house need locks/handles (due to owners replacing doors without replacing stumps no door closes fully, so the "doors" are just slabs of wood)

    Roller on door needs replacing.

    Roof needs securing (currently birds are housing in there, and coming into house through bathroom ceiling fan) as well as possums getting in.


    This is just stuff I can think of off the top of my head, and does not include any modifications we ourselves want to make (such as enclosing verandah, making outdoor cat run, putting in more powerpoints, split system for heating kitchen/schoolroom) For just the stuff that NEEDS to be done, we are easily looking at $30,000 and a LOT of work ourselves, and we have to do this round homeschooling, and round our kids. We also have to have about 2 months where we'll be using a plastic tub to bathe in and a port-a-potty to go to the toilet.


    Its not fun and games, and will severely get on your nerves, suck up all your free time and your money.


    Unfortunately with my stress levels and the real estate agents round here (renting was over stressing me out, making my CFS worse and giving me daily panic attacks) the only option was purchasing, and for your price range, this was the only suitable thing (others were death traps for the kids, complete with rocky uneven backyards, and electric or that stabbing fence (forgotten what its called)


    If you have the option, I would look at something that needs only slight renovations, and most of them being cosmetic. Once you actually get into plumbing/electrical, well thats big time, money & basically the house has to be torn to shreds to do it.

  8. Oooooo this is so cool.


    I used to be really good at psychoanalyzing people. I just knew what made them tick.


    Me too! :D


    Everyone always thinks I'm psychic, I try to explain, but they never understand.


    I told DH a set of events that would happen between 3 seperate people to cause one final event. He looked at me like I was crazy (I even explained in full detail what the people would say, how they would react/what they'd do and what the final conclusion would be)


    And then it happened exactly as I said. Its not magic, and I don't see the future, I just can "read" people from the way they look/stand/move. I can spend 1-2 minutes with a person then know how they are going to react to almost any situation. Its pattern foresight. People always follow a designated set of parameters, so I 'spose in laymans terms, people are predictable LOL, at least to me. I have only met one person who surprises me, and I would suggest its because he has the same type of brain, so logical calculates, then steps out of the parameters LOL.


    That probably made no sense, but anyway *ahem* as you were :D

  9. 1. I'm a UU (feels good to "out" it somewhere)


    2. I "was" a writer. I had a deal for a set of works, but my computer (my mainstay for writing) got an error, even the computer shop couldn't save the documents. I never backed them up. I'm slowly getting back into writing, but simply don't have the time. I'll never re-write the book that was nearly finished, as it would open too many wounds.


    3. I spend far too much time attached to this laptop.


    4. I have a variety of illnesses/conditions that make it hard on me to do the things I would like to do (CFS, Anaemia, Knee problem, Migraines etc)


    5. My mother-in-law stresses me to the point of no return. No matter what she says, theres always a subtle jibe. If I had to live any closer to her, I would literally be in a mental insitution.


    6. I haven't had a shower for quite a number of days. Now our just back from surgery puppy is hogging the bathroom.


    7. My house is a mess, literally. Tornados have nothing on my house.


    8. I have a beauty spot on my right hand (crawford worthy) my parents still check it to make sure I'm "me".


    9. I have stretchmarks and a bloated belly. Just adding for true honesty, ya know. :D


    10. I am a trekkie. (Voyager series only).


    Random enough? :tongue_smilie:

  10. Videos.


    Just because its the least able to get one. And by videos, I mean movies, documentaries and all that other stuff.


    If I made one up from scratch, it would be based round documentaries, with an answer/cheat sheet on hand for the teacher, for questions that arise during the viewing of the documentary.


    This doco would be followed by an "examination" kit. NOT labs, just stuff the kids can naturally look at/feel/examine futher. Like the Montessori continent boxes, but for Science. i would also have a batch of books within the kit, so those interested in certain things in the box/doco can read further.


    After this I would include any "must do" labs. And possibly get the children to make up a version of their choosing (diorama, report, picture, collage, own experiment, whatever flights their fancy) to show what they "learnt" in that lesson.

  11. I'm on there. Just started (been browsing it for a while though, but my bookmarks in Firefox are now a metre long lol) all I have on there right now is ideas for DD5's bday party (Disney Princess theme) I think its the best thing since sliced bread, esp for Birthday planning, means you can just pin and forget till closer to the date, without spending hours at the last minute trawling for ideas.


    Eventually I plan to add Homeschool and Decor Ideas.

  12. Drink water, lots of it. Also look into the type of water your drinking, its rare, but noted that certain types of tap/bottled water can end up making a person feel worse, not better. Possibly something to do with hard/soft water, and areas where bottled water is taken from. :001_huh:


    Also try having some sort of electrolytes water, or gatorade. Not ALL the time, but every now and again. Because being a mum is a LOT of work, and should be counted in the "sports" category. Whenever I'm feeling the slightest bit downwards, I get DH to get me some Hydralite (its a hydration drink available from the chemist in Aus) I also keep some Sports Cordial in the cupboard, just for me. I have found if I have a big glass of that, then take some painkillers, it can help with some of my pretty bad ones.


    Dehydration is a major key in headaches/migraines. As well as stress, tiredness and numerous other things.


    Unfortunately I have other tied in problems too, like Anaemia and CFS.


    AND for me, at least, normal supermarket painkillers don't work. I had to go to the doctor about it, I was hesitant to use prescription migraine tablets, for the moment, but we have found anything with a groggy or calmative measure in it (Mersyndol, Panafen plus) does work okay. It would honestly be very bad if I lived in a state/country where codeine was prescription only, as it could of been much longer before I had the headaches under control, especially with us moving a lot, over the counter meds are our only option.


    Mine do get quite bad from time to time. I have to act fast when one comes on, sometimes I wake up with one, if I don't take action about it within 10-15 minutes, I'm pretty much guaranteed it will stay for the rest of the day and get worse and worse cause vomiting and other upsets.


    DH was with me a few years ago, right before I'd seen a doctor about it. It was late at night when one came on, in a country town (so no open late chemists), it honestly scared me quite bad. All I saw was flashes of lightning in black (in my head, I was in a dark room) and apparently I was screaming quite loud and writhing around. It went on for about 5 hours, before I passed out from the pain.


    Maybe I missed it, but have you seen a doctor about it? For migraines at least, there is a new (well new in Australia) migraine tablet that according to my friend, works quite well. I was actually planning to trial it to see how I go.




    PS. Local Anaesthetic doesn't work on me either, now thats great fun lol.

  13. I like the duct tape idea. When I was trying to clean with 3 littlies & DH in the house the other day, I started daydreaming about sticky walls and those sticky suits, just whack all the kids & DH up there till I've finished cleaning! hehe.


    If the child is 2 1/2 and able, Homeschool Creations, 1+1+1=1, and Confessions of a Homeschooler all have suitable downloads.


    Whatever workbooks I have lying around that doesn't suit/I don't like, I give to the younger two, for their "schoolwork", just place a pot of crayons/pencils in front of them, and let them go at it.


    We're planning to use Confessions of a Homeschooler Letter of the week curriculum, it has puzzles, magnet pages and all sorts of other goodies I know my kids will adore.


    Playdough is a must rofl. I can't tell you how many times playdough has saved my sanity.


    If you do have some extra funds, its pretty much guaranteed all of your age group of kids will like All About Reading Pre-Level with Ziggy the Zebra, we're going to be using that too ;)


    Another site I adore for ideas is countingcoconuts.blogspot.com she does montessori styled trays, mini units etc. I always come away from her site with lots of fantabulous ideas!


    I'd love to help more, but not sure what developmental stage your youngest is at. My 2 1/2 year old is happy to do worksheets, loves playdough and "school" but I know some other 2 yos whom are still at the basic exploratory level, and items such as the pom pom magnets would be a no-go as it would immediately end up in their mouths lol.

  14. *haven't read many replies*


    What about letting him quietly read by himself, have you tried that? Reading outloud and reading in your head are two completely different skills. Try giving him a "new" book to just read by himself, and just watch his eyes to see whether they are looking at the words. After he's finished, ask him what the story was about.


    A lot of children can actually read, but it can be torture getting them to "read aloud".


    My brother was a proficient reader (just slower then average) after he graduated year 12, but people thought he was slow when he tried to "Read-aloud" I was twelve years old and had to give my brother remedial reading lessons for "outloud" reading. He soon improved, but I had watched him before that when he just read to himself, and he went much faster, but sometimes the tongue/brain flickers when trying to read stuff aloud, and it can come out as stuttering, drawing the word out very slowly, repeating a word to try to get it right etc. Its sad when the only one my brother trusted enough to help him with his reading was his sister who is 8 years younger than him :( Because she was the only one that didn't throw nasty comments his way 9yes, even the teachers did that)


    If you try this method, it might help determine whether its reading in general or just reading outloud thats frustrating him. Many parents are actually happy enough to let their children read just to themselves, and not outloud :)

  15. All we have is one of those massive scrapbook size ones, unfortunately, in Aus Office store, thats all I could find. She's not a happy copywork person though. for my K'der the amount Sonlight gave her each day was too much, like writing out her address 3 times, just writing Road once was enough for her.


    we just use the copywork in our curriculum as her handwriting practice. Like ETC, for crafts/making cards, pretty much all of her workbooks and crafts have some sort of handwriting/copywork in it.


    I would suggest getting 2 thick ones, keep an eye on her progress with those, and order more if you need more. If they aren't used now, I am sure they eventually will be. Or perhaps 3 skinny ones (I prefer the skinny ones, as I can then label once they are done, and put in their year box, rather than having her only halfway through a thick one when years over.

  16. I am a chronic sufferer of headaches and migraines, mostly from a bunch of other conditions I have.


    i went into several stores after I purchased my kindle, and looking at all those readers, I am convinced I made the best purchase for my situation.


    Yes, if I am slowly reading (say a reference item like WTM) then i do notice it more, but it really doesn't bother me. If I am reading a novel, I'm a fast scanner, so i don't notice it much. I have a 1st or 2nd gen Kindle DX, the bigger screen helps since I'm a fast reader, it means I have to turn the page less often than on a normal kindle. Its also more expensive though, but is useful since it reads PDF format, which means I don't have to convert a lot of my documents. the DX is more expensive though.


    So, if you an average reader, I would suggest normal kindle, if your a fast reader like me, I have found the DX to be better. I think, because of my reading speed, if I read on a normal size kindle, the page turning would annoy me a bit more. I have gotten to the point, where several times, i actually tried to "turn" the page, and got all confused rofl. Most other readers use very white backgrounds and very black ink. This does start a migraine, its like reading a 320 pages sparkling crisp bright pdf document on your computer, the white white of the background just seems to burn through my retinas.


    Things that bother me more are red back headlights on cars, and breaking lights. Whenever I am in the car with DH, I have to shield my eyes, an stare down at the floor, as those red lights are a sure-fire way to start one of my migraines.


    Sorry, all that was a bit of a ramble, but I hope I have helped in some way!



  17. Even at the most lavish of parties, with the most lavish of guests, and the most lavish house, their is bound to be someone whom get completely lavished and manages to destroy 100's to 1000s of dollars worth of damage in a few minutes. Also, some of these people whom you invite, you may not know very well personally, and once you allow them inside, you have to be like a watchful mother over all 30-100 or whatever of them, because if your "allowed" inside, then there is always at least one person, whose sees it as a welcome mat to delve into those peoples cabinets, wardrobes and bedrooms.


    Maybe this host has been gracious enough to hold an indoor party before, and had these things happen to them, so now they have graciously still decided to throw another party, where every convenience needed is at the guests fingertips, whilst also being able to minimize damage.


    Of course, little does she know, that now at least one guest will badger her the whole night on wanting a tour of her house, and if she allows it, everyone will come in, and therefore the party that was outside, will end up being inside.


    either way, she is throwing what sounds like a wonderful party in a beautiful setting, at her expense.

  18. I believe it should be legalized. If people want to try it/smoke it, there going to get it anyway. Its not a "hard" drug.


    Policemans time, and court, is wasted with petty marijuana crimes, when there are much more serious things out there that should take precedence.


    If not legalized, it should become a minor felony (or whatever its called) basically pay a $20 fine or something, end of story, no court appearance, no time taken up etc. But in doing that, you'll still end up with those that want to "fight" the system, so in the end, its just better to legalize.


    i would much rather police take more time/action on murders, and associated other major crimes, then busting a college student experimenting.

  19. Some people just collect historical items, they don't neccssarily mean to offend others. if something of this calibre is hanging outside their house, thats different, but inside, its their home.


    I have a few things i have collected over the last 5 years that to some may be viewed as horrid, and to be forgotten, but in finding them, taking them home, and then researching more about them, i have come to find out many things about our history that I was not taught in school. There is one item I have on display in our family room that may be viewed to the visitor as offensive, but I keep it their to remind myself what can happen in certain circumstances, and how to appreciate every day I have with my family.


    Sometimes, an item like this, especially when the person may not be well versed in all its canotations, is whats needed to see the other side.


    Growing up in a house where my dad would not let me say the words Germany or Nazi (even before I knew what they were) has taught me to have an open mind and explain things to my children from both points of view.


    I remember one time I sat down to watch a documentary about someone I hadn't heard of (I was 14 at the time) when my Dad came in when it said the persons name, and he went off his rocker, turned off the TV and yelled at me never to watch anything about that man again. It wasn't until later (after I left home) that I learnt what the "Manson Family" was all about. I think we shouldn't disregard items just because of its negative views, but even to display the item, and allow the childs natural curiosity to take place, so that you can teach/tell them about what happened, and what we must do in the future to avoid the same mistake.



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