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Everything posted by Finnella

  1. I did this frequently in college. At one point, I was continuing Latin while in the early stages of Ancient Greek and German. Getting to the correct bit of vocabulary was often interesting and included detours through one or more of the other languages. Occasionally, I'd even pull up the Italian word first before going on. (I had studied Italian briefly earlier on.) I self-corrected reliably, but it made taking tests interesting. I spent loads of time with flash cards, which probably helped my survival.
  2. We used it for a while because I wanted DS to be doing more than just reading history. We skipped the map work because I was using Map Trek's Ancient history maps before the guide came out. I found the volume of work pretty heavy for the number of chapters per week we needed to do in order to finish the book. I spent lots of time cutting down the number of questions in each section to try to focus on who and what I thought were the most important. During spring semester, I gave up. First, I was spending lots of time trying to keep the workload manageable for my son. (I think there was busy work in the Study Guide.) Second, I wanted more focus on the Greeks and the Romans. I think there's value in covering all of the ancient world, but this was going to be the only time we did Ancients. I even switched books. My most successful Great Courses were the one on Classical Engineering and the Famous Romans. We're trying to fit in Alexander and the Hellenistic Age as we can. I've left more comments about those on the Courses link here.
  3. My older son, who just finished high school, preferred this one for the SAT. He also went with the College Board books for AP subject tests. However, he felt the Barrons books prepared him better for AP tests. I agree that for practice tests, going to the source is probably best. Nevertheless, using another book for prep is useful if it suits your child better. Sadly, that might mean two books.
  4. I didn't have a family to get rejects from, so I got lots of household stuff from thrift stores. I'm still using those metal mixing bowls. Understandably, I tried avoiding plastic kitchen stuff and even if you could find one, you don't want a second hand mattress. (I don't think that's legal anyway.) Love this! I remember a trash can as one of the first things I bought after college. I'd add a tape measure, especially useful for buying second hand furniture, and a small tool box to hold them in.
  5. I agree with asking around for recommendations. Our pediatrician refused to diagnose, but she did so because she was concerned that my son might have additional diagnoses. She was being thorough. He was diagnosed with anxiety at the same time he received his ADHD diagnosis. A psychologist did the evaluation and diagnosis. We had to fill out questionnaires, but the evaluation also included two mornings of testing and observation. Our son was diagnosed with ADHD, Inattentive Type. That diagnosis does not require hyperactivity and does include focusing problems. The psychologist wanted to do some in classroom observations, and the school completely flipped out over the idea of a stranger coming into the school. The school counselor did her own observations and provided information to the psychologist, so we still got what we needed. I recommend trying to find out how the school would handle a private evaluation. Our school system technically provides evaluations, but because the wait is so long, they encourage anyone who can to get a private one done. If getting a private evaluation wouldn't cause a problem (other than the obvious financial burden), I'd recommend getting one. Schools have the incentive to only find problems that they understand and/or can handle. I'm not saying that all schools would go in that direction; however, schools vary greatly in how willing they are to work with students and make accommodations. Before homeschooling, I worked with a school that was mostly supportive and two that went from indifferent to almost hostile.
  6. I hope you get useful information from the evaluation. My DH was totally resistant to the idea initially, nor did he even believe in the existence of ADHD. Our son was really struggling by third grade, so I finally insisted. The evaluation was extremely helpful, and my husband eventually got over his reservations. Both my DS and my DH have now been diagnosed with ADHD. Some people will never see the light. We didn't tell anyone on my husband's side of the family about this diagnosis or our son's subsequent diagnoses.
  7. Another entry for Ancient History: We're almost finished with Famous Romans, and we've enjoyed it. (Nothing could compete with that ancient technology course.) The professor is good at making links to modern history. My son finally gets why I've been so intent on his studying the Romans. In retrospect, I wish I'd also gotten the Famous Greeks course. The professor does have an odd lecturing style, but my son got past it fairly quickly. You'll see references to it in the reviews on the site. Speaking as a former Classics major, I think the content is solid. There are some visuals, but I expect people could get by with the audio version. (My son and I don't do well with that format.) The lecturer we couldn't abide was Linwood Thompson of World History. This set has gotten good reviews on this forum and on the Great Courses site. The first lecture we watched was his overview of ancient Greece. He did it in an awful Southern accent. It might not bother other people, but it was an excruciating experience for Southerners.
  8. One thing that's still important to my son is having a towel around his neck instead of the standard paper strip. I think a stylist we saw when he was really young thought of it, and it's always helped. My son's hair is very thick and curly (red too), so a scissor cut was the only way to go for many years. He eventually could tolerate the clippers to finish the back and around his ears. We were fortunate to have a stylist who came to our house for a while and cut both boys' hair. That was fantastic; I was so sad when she finally moved away. When he was 14, he decided that the hassle of having curls was too much. He wears his hair very short now, and it's all cut with a clipper. I talked to him first, and he agreed to it because he really wanted the short cut. So sometimes things do get better. (He still insists on that towel.)
  9. My son recently finished driver's ed. and is studying for the written test to get his learner's permit. He has ADHD, Aspergers, and various LDs. When he changed his mind and said he wanted to take the class, I signed him up right away. Much of the city we live in is not accessible by public transportation, and I'm chronically ill. I don't know if he'll be ready to get a license after a year of practice; I'll have to decide about it when the time comes. Being able to drive will give him more socialization opportunities. Because he took driver's ed. late, he won't be eligible for a license until he's around 16 1/2. Even if we do have to wait, I'm hopeful the supervised practice will be valuable.
  10. I've only used Fix-It. (We're using the old version.) My son is slowly learning his punctuation. (I didn't homeschool him until halfway through 6th grade, and public school encouraged writing with "creative" spelling and punctuation. His only complaint about Frog Prince is what a brat the princess is. For parents uncomfortable with grammar, the new edition should be even better. I understand it goes into more detail around the needed corrections. If you can't find the placement tests on the website, I know they're in the files of the Yahoo group for IEW homeschoolers. We have the Blue Book, and it's a useful reference tool. I know it has exercises, but it wouldn't be enough for my kid.
  11. I finally read Jennifer O'Toole's book. I think it's a great choice. Last year, she released a book targeted at Aspie teens. I'm trying to get my DS to read it, especially since he wouldn't touch Freaks and Geeks. (The latter's a good book but my DS is not the first kid turned off by the title.) For a longer read, you can't go wrong with Tony Atwood. I'm glad you did. It reminded me to add this post.
  12. Easily the biggest success for our study of Ancient History has been the course on Greek and Roman Technology. My son loved it and now wants the other course by Professor Ressler. He even asked to read the chapter in our history book that covers Roman technology, and this is a kid who never asks to do any work I don't force him to do. The professor uses lots of scale models and computer recreations to demonstrate how various machines worked; it's a fascinating class. I loved it too.
  13. I know many colleges were closing their Classics departments when I was a Classics major in the 1980s. Fortunately, the head of the department retired and was replaced with someone determined to keep the department running. It meant more generalist courses that non-majors could take (some of those probably became majors too) and fewer 8 AM classes. Now they have four Classics tracks, instead of the Greek vs. Latin they had when I was there. You'd want to research this, but it used to be a good pre-Law major. I was certified to teach, but I ended up going into HR and handling employee benefits instead. The logic skills I learned in Classics transferred over well. For full disclosure, however, I should include that I settled close to the school I attended. It has an excellent reputation, and no one who ever hired me cared what I majored in, only that I had graduated from Davidson.
  14. I prefer whole books as much as possible. My older son is graduating from a public high school this year, so I've seen his reading lists for comparison. I was a Classics major and I almost cried when they read The Iliad. Little snippets with plot synopses in between; it was just awful. They're reading just one book for Senior English (for the second AP test), and it's Life of Pi because it's the only thing they have enough copies of. (It makes me look back fondly on spending an entire semester reading Heart of Darkness.) On the other hand, he really enjoyed an abridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo, so I might use it with my younger son as the full length version is quite long. I'm generally not in favor of that sort of thing, but I think it beats the alternative of not reading it. Lest you think I have pretensions, I have cheated on some matters. I loathe Moby Dick and couldn't inflict it on my children. We watched the movie version (the Gregory Peck one), so at least the kids will get any cultural references to a white whale.
  15. This was a fascinating article, and the list includes all of the schools we had to complete the CSS for. I believe that Princeton was not on the list only because it has entirely outsourced its need based aid to Questbridge. Once Princeton has picked their Questbridge kids, they are done with picking out students eligible for need based aid. My son was "only" a Questbridge finalist.
  16. I agree; this has been awful. Then on to the IDOC. Though I have had one worse experience than the CSS. My DS applied to University of Southern California. While they require the CSS, they have additional online forms and want their own copy of our W-2s and tax returns. (Nevermind that IDOC thing.) One of their online forms was essentially retyping 1040 figures into their form, but it got worse. SoCal wanted to know how much we spend on clothes, food, internet, utilities, and some other items. This is a school that is loan heavy, yet they have had requested far more personal information than any other school. I wish I'd known this sooner beause I wouldn't have supported having my son apply there.
  17. That's how we got into the mess of applying to 12 schools. I'm crossing my fingers that my younger son will have a shorter list.
  18. Thanks for the great tips. I had thought my son was prepared until a U-Haul trick slammed into his car and drove off. Fortunately I was at home and nearby because he completely blanked out on what to do. I told him to call 911 but a witness had already called for him, and I was there in time to help him talk to the police officer. Random wasn't seriously injured and the police actually caught the thief. (The U-Haul was packed with stolen computers, and the driver went on to ram in to another car a few minutes later.) So it worked out, but I'm going to use your ideas to make sure he's prepped for next time, and my younger son is just starting driver's ed. I won't assume he knows anything.
  19. I was already ill when I had to start homeschooling. I have fibromyalgia, along with a list of many other things. We can't afford Catholic or private school either, so it was a choice between bringing our younger son home or having him continue in a horrible situation.
  20. I was going to skip cursive. My DS was already in sixth grade and had Aspergers. My sister pointed out how embarrassing it was going to be when he couldn't sign his name to a legal document. Additionally, his printing was illegible, which meant he couldn't leave a simple note for someone. (I know keyboarding is important, but writing on paper is still a necessary skill.) We went with HWT. It's not the prettiest, but he was able to learn it. He can sign his name now and even write legibly, albeit slowly. I'm glad I went to the trouble.
  21. I try not to be overly harsh, but I did start homeschooling my child because he was being bullied and the ps blamed him. Then I got him home and found out that at halfway through sixth grade, he had a shaky third grade understanding of math. I have even more experience because my older son is about to graduate from that same system. (He survived the indifference of the school towards bullying by fighting back.) We almost started homeschooling him too because he was so bored, but we found another magnet program that was more challenging. So it's a struggle. Most homeschoolers in our county live a long drive from our house, so I haven't been able to form opinions about them. I'm more ignorant than anything. I know one theory is that lots of the kids returning are the "failed" homeschoolers; I have no idea if that's true, though it doesn't mitigate the damage done to the kids. I did hear the same thing from a friend when her divorce prompted her daughter's return to public school. They were also shocked about how well schooled her daughter had been. My younger son is struggling with anger already. We had to restart math at 1st grade level when he was in 7th grade. We may be taking an extra year before high school graduation so we can make up for that huge math deficit. The upside is that we're working on fixing this now, before he graduates and goes out on his own. I've wondered about this too. My older son started high school at a supposedly "highly ranked" school. Ninth grade was a total loss; he was in all honors courses and still bored. The high school in our attendance zone is considered one of the "bad" schools; it's hard for me to imagine what kind of education is going on there.
  22. I didn't, but the public high schools in my district start that early. With busing added in, my older son had to be on a bus by 6 AM. In our district's case, it's all because of bus schedules, so the same bus can make at least three trips. The two years my older boy did this were awful, but the school board recently discontinued an experiment which allowed two high schools to start later. I have my younger son, age 14, up at 8 AM. He doesn't like it, but he's got a much better deal than his older brother did.
  23. We're only starting high school ourselves, but I've already had successes and failures. I've had to accept that my DS isn't ready for the volume of work or rigor that I could do in high school. His slow processing speed prevents this. My leaning on him to step up to "high school level work" only got him severely stressed and triggered his anxiety. He's 2e, so I'm hoping that we may get past this in a year or two. Meanwhile, I've relaxed some; however, he is gifted so I try not to set the bar too low either. We've switched to year round schooling to give us more flexibility and smaller, more frequent breaks. We can change these on the fly so he can pursue his outside drama classes. (If he does the spring performance, he'll be rehearsing four or five nights a week.) It also allowed an extended trip to visit family on the west coast. We're also doing a one semester elective on theater, using Digital Theatre Plus. Next semester will be his first programming class as we're trying to explore career options.
  24. I didn't like Henle, though the grammar reference book is great. Choosing between the two, I'd take Wheelock. We're using Latin Prep though I wouldn't recommend it for a teacher without any Latin background. It's a more manageable format for my foreign language challenged son. I've had lots of Latin, so it's easy for me to use. I don't know how well it would work for someone new to the language.
  25. Anyone successful with trying the trial for Uzinggo? I keep getting an error message that passwords need to be between 6 and 12 characters. I've tried 11 and 12 character passwords, both with and without numbers. I'm not using any weird characters since some sites don't like that. I've tried about 10 times now, maybe a bit more. I've tried with Chrome and Firefox. I can't think of anything else to try, which is unfortunate because I was really interested in high school science. If there's something you can think of that I didn't try, feel free to mention it. UPDATE: My BiL managed to get it to work on an experimental version of Firefox. Very odd.
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