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Everything posted by twoforjoy

  1. FWIW, when my sister was about 6 or 7, we both got Cabbage Patch dolls for Christmas. Hers was bald. She threw the world's biggest, brattiest tantrum over not getting the kind of Cabbage Patch doll she'd wanted--and that was one of those years when parents were like trampling each other to get to the Cabbage Patch dolls and you were lucky if you found one. That is a Christmas of family legend, and we all laugh about it now. She is, as an adult, one of the most gracious (and generous) people I know. I know few people who are as enthusiastically thankful for even terrible gifts as she is. So, I think a lot of it is being a kid. I think as long as gratefulness is modeled for him, and he's encouraged to be grateful, I think he'll learn the social nuances that go along with receiving gifts as he gets older. I imagine it's a maturity issue much more than a character one.
  2. This. I've had a number of secular Jewish friends who celebrate Jewish holidays.
  3. My first was a really early talker, and my DD, who is almost 19 months, is way behind him. But I think she's pretty on par with other kids I know her age. But I was wondering some of the same things as you. She calls animals by their sounds and not their name, for example. So she calls cats "meows" and dogs "bows" (for bow-wow), but if you say, "Where's the cat?" when reading, she'll point to the cat. She just doesn't say it. She also will use a word once or twice, and then that's it. A couple of weeks ago, she said "Up!" when she wanted me to get her out of her crib, but she hasn't said it since. She said "bottle" when my sister was babysitting her and she wanted a bottle, but she doesn't say it for me and DH. Mostly she goes around, pointing at things, saying, "See? See? See?! See!" which means "Gimme!" ;)
  4. Those are really pretty! And, I know how to crochet, so I could handle that part. ;)
  5. I can't help it. This reminds me so much of this: Our Daughter Isn't a Selfish Brat; Your Son Just Hasn't Read Atlas Shrugged I usually don't like McSweeney's but this one was awesome.
  6. My DH is a completely non-religious agnostic, and he LOVES Christmas. He loves it way more than I do. We spend much of November and December trying to compromise between my desire to have as low-key a Christmas as possible and his to go as all-out as possible.
  7. I don't know if the problem is the pencils, my DS, or my expectations, but it seems to me that the number of broken pencil tips we deal with each day cannot be normal. So, a poll.
  8. Yes, if anybody thought that, it would be naive. Like I said, there are social penalties for those who use non-standard dialects. I really don't think it's useful to write off discussions of the validity of non-standard dialects as "PC bickering." And, for people who are part of the culture using that non-standard dialect, that is a valid issue. However, it isn't a real issue for families where standard English is spoken at home. It just isn't. Standard English will be your child's first language. AFAIK, nobody posting on this particular thread is African-American (I may be wrong). White children who grow up in families that speak standard English do NOT adopt AAVE as their first language, no matter how many black kids they're around; that does not happen, because that's not how language works. You may indeed have a child who can code-switch and move between standard English and AAVE or another non-standard dialect, but that's just not a problem. It's a silly thing to worry about, quite frankly. My son's best friend speaks AAVE. My son has certain AAVE phrases he'll use sometimes, that he's picked up, but he is completely fluent in standard English. He'll thrown an "ain't" into his spoken language sometimes, but he also knows how to use the standard form. (He also sometimes calls things "hatelicious" because the little white girl from the suburbs who moved in next door says that, but I'm not flipping out about that, either.) It's just not a big deal. Now, if it were urban black homeschoolers sharing these concerns, I'd sympathize. They'd be valid. But it's just silly for white folks who speak standard English to worry that their kids will begin speaking and writing AAVE because they're around black kids. At most your kids will code-switch, and that's not a problem.
  9. I think there's probably more overlap with the characteristics of a good parent. I think patience is probably number one on both lists.
  10. That's me. I am a champion planner. I can make lovely lists and schedules and plans, and enjoy doing it. It's the carrying out of those plans that I'm not so great at.
  11. I'm not a creationist, but I picked up the book from the library to look at last year, and it would have been way too advanced for my son, who was 6 at the time. I can see us starting it around fourth or fifth grade.
  12. Sure. But those people are not found in higher percentages among the poor and/or minorities, the people who are most likely to live in the kind of urban areas being discussed here.
  13. I'm worse. My first came on his due date, so with #2, I wasn't prepared to go long than that. #2 came a week early, so with #3, I felt done by about two weeks before my due date. He ended up coming 8 days early, and I was really at about my limit by then. I do tend to feel that the due date is an eviction date, though. Thankfully none of my kids pushed me on that one. ;)
  14. And if you stand in front of a mirror in a dark room and say "Bloody Mary" three times, you'll die! I know that it's hard to be the only white kid in an all-black inner-city school. I have several friends here who have been in that situation: none will send their own kids to the Detroit public schools. They felt isolated. They were often teased. They sometimes had stuff stolen from them. Some of the guys I know got into a few fights (the regular kind we had in the suburban school I grew up in) when they were older. But, nobody tried to kill them. AFAIK, there are ZERO incidents of white children being beaten to death by black children in predominantly-black schools. Is it a situation I'd want to put my children into, if I had alternatives? No. I wouldn't want my kids to be the only people of their race--no matter what their race was and what the predominant race in the school was--in a school if I could avoid that, because it would be a difficult, uncomfortable situation. But--and I don't care how many adults agreed--black kids aren't beating the white kids in their schools to death. They just aren't. There is a strong undercurrent in this thread of black children being talked about as if they are mindless, violent animals, and it's both incredibly disturbing and just factually wrong.
  15. Other. Some songs I'll listen to year round. But, we generally start listening to Christmas music some time in November.
  16. Okay, before my head explodes: "ebonics" is an outdated, politically-charged (because it's almost always used in a derogatory way) term. Linguistically, the dialect that is being referred to is called either African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) or Black English (BE). It is a linguistically-valid dialect. It's distinct from standard English, obviously, but it has its own grammar and structure. It isn't an "inferior" type of English, just a different one. And, yes, there are social penalties for using it, because standard English is the dialect spoken by people with power, but it's not something bad or scary or wrong.
  17. Yeah, I don't really think of myself as homeschooling because I'm in an inner city. I'm here, and I'm homeschooling, but quite honestly I'd be just as if not more likely to homeschool my kids in the suburbs, because there's so much materialism and focus on appearance and pressure to conform there that I also wouldn't consider to make for a great educational environment. I do want to say that I LOVE living in Detroit, and I love homeschooling here. I love my neighborhood and my neighbors. I love the city. I can't imagine a place I'd rather raise my kids. They know people of all races, religions, and cultures. They are grateful for what they have, because we have so much more than so many people they know. They don't take stuff for granted. They have access to museums and libraries and lectures and all sorts of great stuff. They live in a place where people are committed to making a better community, and don't just come home from work, go into their homes, and don't bother to interact with other people. I think homeschooling in an urban environment is awesome. Honestly, I can't imagine how isolated I'd feel in the kind of surburban environment that I grew up in, where everything seemed to revolve around the public schools. Here, people educate their kids in all different ways--public school, charter school, private school, homeschool--and it's just not all that defining. We were out trick-or-treating last night with friends, and I homeschool, one has all their kids in private school, one has both her kids in public school, and another has one in private and two at home. And that's okay. While I would love to meet other people homeschooling in my neighborhood, just because I love homeschooling in the city and would love other people to share that experience with, I don't really feel a huge need to seek out support for homeschooling, because people are so supportive of a variety of schooling choices here. Anyway, I see homeschooling my children in a city as a huge privilege and a great blessing for our family. It's not something I do out of fear or out of a desire to keep my kids away from "undesirable" others, but because 1) I can provide a better education, academically, than the public schools here can and 2) the city provides such a rich, wonderful environment full of all kinds of learning experiences that homeschooling is so much fun. I'm just very saddened by many of the sentiments being expressed here. I really can't imagine a better--and more Christian--context to raise my children in than an inner-city. There are so many opportunities to address need, so many chances to interact with people who are different from you, and so many ways to serve people. I really think it can be looked at as a gift.
  18. I'm feeling really uncomfortable with the tone of some of this thread. However, yes, we live in an inner city (we between downtown and midtown in Detroit) and we homeschool. I'm not concerned about physical violence coming to my child; incidents of physical violence are actually quite rare in the public schools here, and extremely rare in elementary schools. (For middle/high school, I would be more concerned about my kids being a target because they are "different.") I'm not concerned about his being exposed to AAVE. We speak standard English, most of his friends speak standard English, so it's not like exposure to AAVE, even if he picked it up as a "second language," would mean he didn't learn standard English. But, we didn't feel like the Detroit public schools were an option. The school system is not doing well. We could give our children a much better education at home than they'd get there, and we were in a position to be able to do so, since I just work part-time.
  19. My oldest wanted to be a ninja, so we just dressed them all up that way. The two little ones had on so many clothes under their costumes! The baby had on an undershirt and two fleece sleepers, and DD had on a pair of leggings, a pair of sweatpants, a long-sleeved shirt, and a sweatshirt. DS just wanted to wear a sweatsuit and wouldn't do extra layers. Nobody complained about being cold except me!
  20. Or a universalist who thinks that it is always okay for women to wear pants and speak in church. ;)
  21. I've wanted to learn to sew for years. Now we have a neighbor who knows how to sew really well and has offered to teach me. My birthday is coming up in a week, and my husband suggested, since I have nothing else I want, that he get me a sewing machine. (I warned him that I might end up taking up as much room in the house with sewing stuff as I have with knitting stuff, but he says that we could manage that.) Even if I didn't end up loving sewing, I could still use a sewing machine for certain knitting projects and for mending stuff. Ideally, though, I'd love to learn to make quilts and simple garments. So, for those of you who sew, what machine would you recommend? I want something that isn't so expensive that if I end up just using it for knitting projects and mending/hemming I'd feel like I wasted my money, but is sturdy enough that it would last me a good while if I ended up making quilts and clothes. And obviously I want one that would be easy for a beginner to use. Also, what other stuff would I need to get started? Any suggestions for good beginner projects? Where do you get fabric? And, do you have any book/video suggestions so I don't bug my neighbor too much? ;)
  22. It does, though. Because you WILL be paying for the item. It's not like, for ten minutes somebody stole a soda, but then they pay for it and it's not stolen any more. I really think most stores are understanding about this. When I was in Aldi a few weeks ago, DD started flipping out when I put the apples in my cart, and wanted one. You pay for the apples by the bag, not by weight, so her taking an apple wouldn't have affected the price, but I still didn't want to get in trouble, so I ran us up to the cashier, asked if it would be okay if I let her eat an apple before we go to check-out, and she laughed and said it would be just fine. Given that many stores are okay with people consuming stuff before they get to checkout, and pay for it there, I think it's not unreasonable to expect that a store would be okay with it and not assume you'd be prosecuted for theft. I think the right thing for the store to do in this case would be to allow the woman to pay when she offered and then let her know, for future reference, that the store considers that shoplifting.
  23. Thank you. I'll have to read that. The general explanation I've heard is along the lines of "The Canaanites were terrible people doing terrible things, so they had to be wiped out and it was merciful to do so," but I don't think that helps things, because it still allows that genocide might be okay if the people it's being perpetrated against are really, really bad.
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