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Posts posted by Ecclecticmum

  1. I had a marshmallow super thick cot blanket, but I never knew exactly what it was made of, so not super helpful there.


    I would suggest minky/minkee either short or long pile with soft batting inbetween.


    For a child who likes texture, but soft, theres also minky dot, which has raised dots on minky on the minky,


    Could I say minky anymore? lol.


    Heres a link: http://minkydelight.com/


    ETA: Just edited to say either of these two might be helpful.


    Minky Marshmallow: http://minkydelight.com/mimafaconewc1.html


    Minky Ultimate Plush: http://minkydelight.com/miulplfabdos.html


    The do make blankets, so if your interested, perhaps they could make you one with the fabric you choose? Or a friendly neighbour might be able to whip it up for you?



  2. I have a Kindle DX for myself. I keep all my reading books (I can go through a book or more a day) on there, and remove them back to the computer when I am finished with them. I keep my reference books (WTM, WEM, and all other H/S stuff on there all the time) I love the kindle for reading. I looked at various other e-readers of all types (most of them IRL), and nothing was better than the kindle for me.


    We have a laptop for the kids to share for the moment (we're hoping on each childs 6th birthday they will get their own, we only purchase secondhand ones so the current one cost us $350) The kids use this for their phonics programs, their educational movies, ed software and all other related stuff.


    I'm trying to save up for an Ipad, I'm hoping they'll bring out an Ipad 3 so that the Ipad1 basic will be within our price range! It would be lovely to eventually have an ipad for each child. I basically want the ipad for picture books (you can get some lovely books not available anywhere else as an ebook apart from the Itunes store) and for educational apps.


    I don't really think I have the answer your looking for, but hopefully that helps somewhat :)

  3. We started homeschooling year round. We just take a break whenever life intrudes lol.


    I use Dawns File Crate system with a twist. I have 3 archive boxes & a couple of presentation protector folders.


    1st box - Weeks & Folders labelled Weeks 1- 36 I put two folders in each hanging file. I put all our lessons for that week in the folder.


    2nd Box - Has Daily Hanging Files & Folders Day 1 - 20 (4 weeks worth)


    3rd box - Is another Daily one for the next lot 1-20 (another 4 weeks)


    about every 6 weeks I organize and sort the next lot of stuff into the folders for those days (taking the two final weeks of days to the side).


    I avoid naming anything by Weekdays (Monday etc) everything is jst duly named week 20 - day 2 etc.


    The presentation folders contain stuff that won't fit into the 36 week schedule (like SOTW lol) so for SOTW the final few chapters left over, I sort by chapter into a presentation folder, these are to do once we have finished the 36 weeks.


    Once we are nearing the end of our curriculum, I start planning the next one. So I still do the 36 weeks, we just have those as "formal" and the rest as "informal"


    I take time off whenever we need it.


    We also follow a kind of loop system. So only when we are finished with day 1 fully, do we move to day 2, this mean when life intrudes it may take us a few days to "do" day 1. I don't just let it fall off, forget it and move to the next day :)


    I've been meaning to write up a proper post about my lesson planning for a while but I never get time to do up the pics to explain it properly. But hopefully that isn't too confusing, and has helped some :)



  4. UU churches vary widely as they are more based towards the community than the "preacher".


    I count myself as a UU, which most people never know (actually as far as I am aware, only my DH knows) . Unfortunately being in Aus my nearest church is near-on 3 hours away....and our car will not make it that far. I just practice my faith privately instead.


    I searched high and low for a church that would suit me, I am to "why" "how" for mainstream churches.


    I love the common goals/ideals of the church and how it accepts anyone. That is the absolute best thing about it, as I believe that we are human, therefore flawed, and therefore do not have the right to judge others, we should respect and treat ALL others in kind.

  5. You don't need it.


    If you have a little bit of time, and an imagination for springboard ideas (neither of which is in my capacity right now) you don't need it. For history, there is a lot of good stuff available online. Myths, Maps and Marvels is a free curriculum you can have a look at.


    If your wanting activities, I would suggest some maps from that time (a bit of a google should get you something) talking over the chapter in question, and googling ideas for what that chapters all about.


    FWIW though, we are purchasing the audio CD and already have the activity guide that we plan to use a lot.


    Another idea is that we mostly use ebook/pdf format. I read to the kids either of my kindle or for picture books off the computer, and we print some stuff for the whole year at the beginning, and others as we go.


    When you have mutiple kids and children as young as mine, ebooks work in your favour, as a child can't get a hold of them and accidently wrinkle/tear a page of a book thats needed for another 5 years lol. And a lot of stuff I can find cheaper in that format AND theres no shipping fees..... or waiting, rofl, I dislike waiting :lol:

  6. I love Singapore, so does my daughter, its easy fun and colourful, its made my daughter love Math.


    If I went back and did K all over again, even after drooling over Rightstart, I would still get Singapore. I prefer not to chop and change, and to stay with the same program. Singapore has plenty of supplements, and theres also a link to maniputives used from 1A.


    The only thing I would change is to get some manipulatives now rather than in yr1, And maybe get the Rightstart games. A Mainpulatives closet like Satori has and Singapore :D


    Theres all sorts of things once you get to teh 1A program for supplements, even a computer game :)

  7. It depends what suits you.


    The ultimate plan would be to have a nice pretty world wall map, your country map, a ground globe similar to the one on Satori Smiles (beautiful!) and two "learning" globes. Something like Oregon for older kids and Vtech for younger kids. The ultimate dream solution :D rofl.

  8. Because we are making up our own meshed curriculum for next year, to stop overload, I am concentrating on Scheduling and fixing up one subject at a time. History for me was easy, so it was all done on the computer. Now I am upto Science, this is a little harder for me to mesh, so I printed out all the seperate resources, devided it by weeks, and printed out the 36 week planner from TOS planner blank, and am handwriting each bit in, once I have finished I will type it up neatly and make it all pretty on the computer LOL.


    So I sort of do a mixture of both.


    My handwriting can get terrible though, so its nice in the end to have a uniformed legible script to scan through :D

  9. Ahh the old MIL debate rofl.


    My parents would of picked DH, they said he was "a lovely young man, we couldn't of picked better" :D


    My PIL would of no way picked me, they still had their hearts set on his ex-ex a mousey very churchy girl whom DH was not fond of after a certain debacle with her.


    MY PIL think I am a Pagan (which shows how much they know me), they don't like the fact I am Aussie, that don't hide their comments, and their precious Daughter-In-Law followed suit, refusing to come to our "Pagan" wedding where she seemed to think we would be jumping over fire and sacrificing babies (actually we got married in a beautiful garden, by a lake, and a celebrant talked about the power of love whilst we stood in a rose petaled circle. They don't even use the word Pagan right or know what it means. They use Church for Socialism which IMO is sacriligious, and tried to pursuade me to do the same thing :001_huh: . So in a short answer, no, I was probably the last person on earth on their list. Do I care? Yes, it would be absolutely wonderful to have sweet parents in law, but hey, I have a really sweet husband so I am sure I'll make do :tongue_smilie:

  10. For Social Activities:


    Isn't there an indoor soccer? I'm sure I've heard of it LOL.

    Book Clubs

    He could start his own blog on whatever he's interested in

    Microscope. LOL. 14year olds can have a lot of fun when they start thinking, they can come up with all sorts of interesting things to look at from dust to their own blood lol.

    Online gaming either via a game station or computer. Theres lots of online games from life simulations to battles to text role playing, I'm sure theres something that suits both you & him.

    Build a mighty project. Something like a full train set (with all those minitures and bits) from scratch. I used to fantasise about making a miniture full working theme park, alas I am poor at electronics lol.


    :confused:nope, ideas stopped. :tongue_smilie:Hoped that helped some xxx

  11. I think honestly they are better off going to the work force rather than college. DH went to college and he could of just as easily worked his way up the ladder quicker to where he is now, and earned money rather than having a big giant student loan left.


    If there doing something specialized like psychiatry then yes, otherwise there are always alternative ways in. What jobs look for is EXPERIENCE not degrees. Many people whom have gotten good degrees end up on SS or homeless because the work for is looking for experience and doesn't want to hire a 25 yr old with a degree, they much rather hire the 18yr old whose keen and eager.


    Traineeships or apprenticeships (if they have this sort of thing in the US) are a much much better solution.



  12. I am not a sports person ROFL. I used to play netball, soccer, hockey, and various other sports when I was younger, whilst, at the time, I didn't mind, I don't like watching, I'm not a sports spectator. I am lucky that I found my soul mate. A man who doesn't like sports either :D I will never be a soccer mum LOL, and If I have to go, I will bring a folding chair and a crossword puzzle. I am sure I will get gawked at by the other parents though. I've never understood or been into hovering, cheering, yelling, screaming, like a crazy person :tongue_smilie: I prefer a more understated relaxed quiet life in the country. But maybe I'm just getting old :D

  13. WOW! I didn't even know oppurtunities like that existed! Your one very lucky lady!


    Some thoughts for your younger one:


    History: History Odyssey Ancients L1 or SOTW and AG

    Geography:A lady on here I think has a free US Geography course? Or Galloping the Globe, Ultimate or Trail Guides (all stuff from Geomatters)

    Spelling: All About Spelling

    English/LA: Peace Hill Press stuff, Growing With Grammar, Wordly Wise 3000, Write Source, many others I've forgotten LOL. Headsprouts is a good idea if you can afford it, I can't so we chose Click N Kids and Letter Factory DVD.

    Life Skills - Montessori for Everyone has checklists, also Pearables Home Ec, Keepers of the Faith

    Religion - If your religious (I teach my children bible, but I secularize most other subjects) Bible Study for all ages.

    Art & Music - Artistic Pursuits, MUSIQ Year 1 Quick Start Bundle by Adventus, Electives from Sonlight.

    Critical Thinking - Mind Benders Beginning 2, or any others from Critical Thinking Co

    Phonics - Other than stuff listed in English, I would suggest Explode the Code

    Maths - We use Singapore, but we're Aussie. I would Suggest Singapore Math with Intensive Practice Challenging Word Problems & the HIG. Or Rightstart, Saxon, Math Mammoth, so many choices LOL.



  14. We usually stretch it out, so about 4 hours for my preK's & Kinder. But thats because we read a story, then re-enact it, do some crafts about it etc.


    If we left out all the playing, the Preks would be done in about 5 minutes rofl, and if I did did the K's bookwork, it would be about 20 minutes a day.


    Then they just complain that they just want to do "more school" so I usually stick with our first option. After the crafts, they just play with each other till their getting bored, then I moved on to the next lesson :D


    My kids are still at that age we're there absolutely fascinted by "school" though. DD5 went through 3 months of her maths in one day, and only stopped because I begged her rofl. And when they wanted we did an entire 3 days worth of our schedule in one day, and still had plenty of hours left over.


    The rule of thumb I usually take (thanks to another person telling me a while ago) was that a homeschooler can do in about 10-15 minutes what a school can do in an hour. Hence why in the latter grades they bring so much homework home lol.:D

  15. Thank you. We were planning to use Writing Strands 1 for our two younger ones, but after thoroughly reviewing (thanks to all the replies) we decided against it.


    We have a number of LA programs we still can't decide on, so the rest will just be ordered and will decide to cut any of the rest of them once they arrive and I can have a good gander at them :)


    We've sort of scrapped our current curriculum (SL) transferring the books over to "daddy's night-time reading list" and are just planning to finish up the workbooks, and concentrate on phonics & maths till we have next years curriculum in place :)

  16. She just suggested using encyclopedias (I think Kingfishers etc) for 1st grade and a list of topics and order.


    Not sure about 4th Grade as I don't have my kindle on me this second.


    one of the pre-packaged curriculums she suggested for 1st were RS4K, which starts with Chemistry.


    We are using a mixture of Elemental Science (which as made by a WTM reading mum) and Real Science Odyssey Life for next year (1st grade)


    hope that helps xxxx

  17. I'd say we use it as a guideline. Even before I purchased it, I realised we had followed it quite closely. Once I purchased it, I changed around my plans for next year.


    I would say I am a WTM "wannabe" I "wannabe" that WTM Mom, but whether I'll achieve it as well as some others, I don't really think I will.


    The classical approach differs a bit from my own approach. We are a very creative family, therefore hands on art & craft, as well as many "electives" are a must here. We're also not as "rigorous" :D as most. In 6 years time, once my littlest is in "grade 3" we'll see how close to the WTM we are then. Since most of our kids are young now, and we are "newbies" at formal homeschooling, we have yet to find our groove.

  18. I haven't used it (sorry!) but we are planning to use it for next year. It basically gives you the ability to make your own handwriting sheets, including cute little clipart, the way you want your child to copy (over shadowed or dotted lines) or blank copying. It has many different fonts that suit a lot of current handwriting programs.


    I like the ability to just write what we want, how we want. We can use it to further practice with ETC, or to copy words from their favourite or our current reading book, which will make much more sense to them. It also, I believe, gives the oppurtunity to have a blank bit above, so the child can copy the sentence from the book you just read, then draw a picture afterwards of what the words say, I think this is a good reward for those that don't like handwriting much, giving the oppurtunity to draw a pretty picture afterwards


    I did have the oppurtunity to get an older copy free, but passed on it, as a few features in the new version have greatly pleased me :D


    I know I haven't used it, but hopefully some of what I said has helped :001_smile:

  19. I let my children see a lot of things that other parents don't. But even I think I will review the new Cars movie fully beforehand.


    The incinerator scene that everyones talking about is enough by itself to make me watch it first.


    My kids love Toy Story 1 & 2, but 3 they absolutely hate/are scared of because of the incinerator scene.


    What is the current fascination with adding fire and really evil toys into "cartoon" movies.


    My children watch Law & Order SVU, with me watching with them, and explaining things, now that in itself is a scary type movie for any child, yet my kids have no problem with it, they understand cops are the good guys, putting the bad guys away, and even lightly (I do review each episode beforehand to make sure nothings too gruesome or detailed) touches upon the fact of not letting anyone touch your private parts, and that if they do, talk to mummy, and the good cop will get the bad person put away. So I think this gives a side to life that elsewise we may not address.


    So what I am saying is that if my kids can watch SVU and not be frightened, but be absolutely scared of an incinerator scene in Toy Story (which seems to be put there for no reason I might add) then what on earth are the cartoon makers upto? How can they add something with no point other than to scare the living soul out of my kids?


    Hopefully I can get DH to edit the movie when it comes out, that way the kids can still watch it, and they won't have nightmares after the mistake I made of not reviewing Toy Story 3.


    Wat has the world of childrens shows come too? When adults show make more sense to them! :glare:

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