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Everything posted by twoforjoy

  1. This. I don't think it's overstepping or anything like that; states can and do require things beyond just course work completion for high school graduation. I just think it's a waste of time, and will have no real impact other than giving students one more pointless hoop to jump through.
  2. I think many high schools are offering more higher-level classes to more students than was the case in the past. When my parents were in high school, it was pretty much unheard of to take calculus; neither of their schools even offered it. When I was in high school, they offered one AP calc course for people who were really serious about math and planning on going into math or science fields in college. Now, it seems almost routine for college-bound seniors to take a calc course, at least in some school districts. Whether that's an improvement, I don't know. Opening up more opportunities for more students is good, but I do think that many students are simply being rushed through their courses, especially at the high school level, so they can take advanced classes they just don't have the foundation for.
  3. We've never used more than the one set of rods. I don't think we've come close. Miquon is funny, because I felt like DS was getting nothing out of it, and then all of a sudden I'd see him talking through math stuff in everyday life in ways that I know he got from doing Miquon. I'm too uptight to use it as our only math curriculum, but we love using it as a supplement. DS really, really enjoys doing it, so he will usually be inspired to finish his other math so he as time to do some Miquon pages. And, since we do use it as a supplement, if there's a page we don't understand or like, we just skip over it. Mostly for pages that I'm unclear on, I just let DS play around with them if he wants to, and he'll usually come up with something to do. This is mostly just to say that, if you don't see immediate results with Miquon, hang in there, because it took us probably 3-6 months of doing it before I really started to see it really make an impact on DS's thinking.
  4. We're doing school this summer. I'm having a baby in August, and so I'm planning ahead for that, since I know I'll want at least a month (and probably 6 weeks) off from school after that. We only do about 90 minutes of school a day, and my plan is to start early (around 9) so that we're done before DS's friends start coming over. We usually don't start getting knocks on the door until noon or so, so that should give us enough time to get school done and still let him play with his friends all afternoon.
  5. I have never, in my entire life, gotten a comment about how well-behaved my son is. I would probably fall over dead if they did. Or laugh in their face. ;) I do have people tell me he's polite, though. He is very polite, just in an incredibly rambunctious way.
  6. Oh, I just wanted to add, my DS *hated* Math Mammoth. We did 1A and most of 1B (we missed money and measurements), and I finally gave up (now we're doing Rod and Staff Math 2). He just dreaded math, and honestly I didn't particularly love it, either. I know some people love it, and I'm sure it's a great curriculum if you do, but it didn't work for us.
  7. I think it might be the age. And maybe the gender. My DS is the same age--he'll be 7 in May--and we have good days and REALLY bad days. Today was a good day. DS had a relatively good attitude for all of his work. Yesterday, though, he spent AN HOUR crying and yelling and whining about having to do math. Math that, of course, took him about 15 minutes once he actually sat down to do it. His big thing is that he HATES writing. He hates anything that involves having to put a pencil to paper. But, we're not sure how long we'll be homeschooling for--we think we'll be doing it for a while, but we just don't know--and I want to make sure that he will be ready and able to do the amount of writing required. I don't think I require him to do anywhere near the amount of writing required in most first-grade classrooms, but I do like to make sure he's spending some time each day putting things down on paper. He also hates making mistakes. That totally sets him off. He wants to do everything perfectly the first time, and if he sees he made a mistake--wrote a number or letter the wrong way, for example--he'll just throw him pencil down in frustration and claim he won't work any more. I try to remind him that it is okay--even good--to make mistakes, but mostly I just wait him out. I let him whine and complain as much as he wants, and then we get back to school, and hopefully he'll realize at some point that things go much faster when he doesn't do that. I'm trying to think of things that work for us. I plan four days of school each week. The fifth day is a free day if he gets all of his work done on the other four days. He knows that if he complains or dawdles enough, I'll just say we're done for the day, and he has to finish that work on Friday. I pretty much let him do whatever he wants on his day off--the usual time limits on video games and TV and computer games don't apply--so that gives him some incentive. We use timers a lot. Math always sets him off complaining, so I set the timer for 20-30 minutes (whatever seems reasonable for what we're doing that day--he's moving into second grade work so we do 30 minutes most often). He knows that math will be over when the timer goes off, which helps. I kind of understand that. I remember, when I was in school, feeling like time was going so slow and a class would never end. He probably feels the same way. I chart his behavior every day. I don't note negative behavior, I just give him checks if he does things well: positive attitude, hard work, good listening, etc. He's still at the age where he loves getting a check or a star for doing well. It helps a lot if I sit with him the whole time he's working. For a while I was using the time he was spending doing math work or handwriting practice doing chores, figuring he could work independently, but things go a lot better if I sit with him. I just find something I can do sitting at the table with him, and keep him company. I realized that those parts of his schoolwork, even though he can do them independently and doesn't need any direct help from me, are the most frustrating and boring for him, so just having me there, working alongside him doing my own thing, helps. Plus, I can see when he's starting to get frustrated and intervene before it blows up. He only does maybe 90 minutes of school a day, so I figure I can arrange my day so that, during that time, I'm not doing other things.
  8. Would it be possible for you, at least for a time, to rearrange your routine a bit so that you can spend that time reading a book while they read theirs? I've only got one big and one little to wrangle at night, and I'm sure it's a lot harder with six, but I try to read with him during his reading time most nights. Ideally I'd like for him to read in his room, but he shares his room with his 1-year-old sister, and she goes to bed a couple of hours before him, so that's just not possible. My DH usually spends time on the computer at night, so DS and I will either read in the living room or read in "mommy-daddy bed." I've got a DS who loves to cuddle, so he really enjoys it if we can cuddle up together and read at night. Some nights I cheat a bit and knit while listening to an audiobook, and sometimes I've just got too much to do that I can't read with him, in which case he reads alone (usually in our bedroom), but I do try most of the time to read with him. If you can't manage to do it all the time, it might be something that, if you could do it for a couple of weeks, would get them into the reading habit so that they can be left alone to do it.
  9. It may be bribery, but we tell our DS that he can go to bed at 8, or spend an hour or so reading, and go to bed at 9. He always chooses reading. We also have an hour in the afternoon where DS can either nap or read. Again, he always chooses reading before sleeping. I let him read anything he wants during his reading times. Sometimes he goes a month or two just wanting to read Pokemon comics, other times he'll get really into a series of novels and read them for months. Either is fine with me. He just started reading Harry Potter, which I think he is a bit young for (he'll be 7 in a few weeks) in terms of the later books, but I have a feeling he'll lose steam around book 3 or 4 anyway. I try to do 15-20 minutes most days where he reads a book that I choose, but if he's really, really resistant one day, I don't do it. At this age, it's more important to me that he enjoy reading than that he read anything specific.
  10. My son will often say no, but if I ask him why, he'll tell me things like he doesn't like having to do handwriting or he doesn't like doing math review. It's stuff he'd have to do in school, for more time than he spends on it at home. He doesn't like the idea of having to sit in a desk quietly for many hours each day. So, I think for him it's more that he just doesn't particularly enjoy certain aspects of school, period, which is fine. It doesn't seem like there's anything specific about homeschooling that he doesn't like.
  11. We could only find full-day kindergartens here, in both the public and the charter schools. The private schools all seemed to be full day, too. That was a big reason why we pulled DS from his charter school and started homeschooling. We just felt like a full school day (plus homework) at 5 was way too much.
  12. I'm pretty orthodox for an Episcopalian, but that's not saying much. ;)
  13. I didn't intend to be a year-round schooler, but we had a baby last March and having a newborn made being more flexible necessary. We're having another baby in August, so we're now just resigned to schooling year-round and taking a few days (or weeks) off when things get to crazy around here. I plan to do four days of school a week. That way if something comes up and we miss a day, we're not behind. And, it gives DS an incentive to do his work, because he can have a day off if everything he needs to do gets done during the first four days of the week. We usually end up working 2 hours or so a day, which includes DS having some quiet reading time. We took last week off. My ILs were in town. I plan on schooling straight through until I decide I need maternity leave. If I can keep schooling up until the baby comes, then take maybe 6 weeks off after, that would be great, but I'm thinking we'll probably start taking it easy 2 week or so before I'm due, so the last couple of weeks of July.
  14. I use Miquon as a supplement to Rod and Staff. Rod and Staff moves a lot slower than my son would need to go, but he likes having an "easier" math and I feel like I'm not shortchanging him on the basics. Then we finish up math time with him working through Miquon at his own pace, which is much more of a challenge and lets him be more creative. He really enjoys it, and I absolutely think it's helped him to be more of a mathematical thinker.
  15. The clearest example I can think of is when we were sitting in a doctor's office waiting room, and my son wanted to play "I Spy." He was probably four or so at the time. It was going well until he said, "I spy something VERY OLD!" Yes, it was a person he was talking about, and talking about loudly enough that everybody heard.
  16. We used no BC after having our second--well, we used "pull and pray," and figured we'd be safe for a year or so when I'd start charting--and I got pregnant seven months after my DD was born. Given that and that we got pregnant with DD my first cycle off of BC, we've decided that taking a "not trying, not preventing" approach would probably not work very well for us. ;)
  17. I used the Mirena between #1 and #2, for about 4-1/2 years. I also had a long period of spotting, probably around 6-7 months, but then I had no bleeding at all until I had it removed. (I then got pregnant my second cycle after removal.)
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