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Everything posted by Petrichor

  1. I have a rising 6th grader who hasn't done much formal grammar, and am wanting to do something about that. I went back to school, so I am looking to add something that he can mostly do on his own. I prefer something with the lesson + exercises in one book. We tried KISS for a few weeks, but it didn't have enough explanation in it. I'd also prefer just buying a book so that I don't have to print out the worksheets every day. (and we don't have a color printer, so printing out the lessons wouldn't be too helpful) My hope is that he can get at least a good survey of grammar, some exposure to using new combinations of parts of speech (when he writes he still uses relatively simple sentence structures), and a better grasp of punctuation. I'm considering purchasing this book because it looks like it might be a good fit, but wanted to see if anyone here had any suggestions first? https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1641520825/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1 We also plan to start using the Bravewriter Arrows, so there will be some grammar in there too. I just want something he can more or less do on his own while I'm in class, and that covers the traditional grammar class. (It seems like the Arrow will be similar to Writing With Ease in terms of teacher involvement)
  2. I get ours from the local chinese store. This is the brand I get: https://www.amazon.com/WuFuYuan-Tapioca-Pearl-Black-Net/dp/B00PLTLG4O/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=bubble+tea+ball&qid=1560401303&s=gateway&sr=8-2 I've gotten these too https://www.amazon.com/Wufuyuan-Tapioca-Pearl-8-8-Oz/dp/B00PLTPSOI/ref=sr_1_20?keywords=bubble%2Btea%2Bball+taro&qid=1560401356&s=gateway&sr=8-20 and the taro flavored ones, but prefer the black ones (taro ones are smaller) I think the Bob's ones are probably more of a tapioca pudding size - not the same mouth feel for boba tea at all. I boil them in water until they're cooked through. (5-20 min depending on if I'm paying attention to how long it's taking - I've learned it's impossible to over cook them.) I like to drain them, then pour a bit of sugar over them so they can absorb the sweetness. 1/4 cup of dry boba per person is enough for a glass of bubble tea for one person. I haven't been able to figure out how to prepare/store cooked boba so that they stay soft for later (the next day or even 4 hrs later) I steep black tea separately, and layer the following in a glass: boba, mostly milk, 1/8-1/4 cup steeped tea (I try to make the tea stronger so I can use a higher percentage of milk) and a couple of ice cubes. For sweetener, I either add enough sugar to the boba after straining them, or I dissolve the sugar in the hot steeping tea. OR, flavored syrups (torani, for example.) I've added vanilla extract to it before too. So good!
  3. Check to make sure your doorbell isn't behind your screen door. 😂 I can see opening the screen door if there's no doorbell and you need to knock on the solid door. Maybe there is someone else they visit a lot who doesn't have a working doorbell so they just default to opening the screen door to knock, even after ringing the doorbell, just in case the doorbell doesn't work. A stretch, I know, but I'm the kind of person who has trouble adjusting to different situations like that. can't think of one right now other than - Why do my kids need to ring the doorbell (so many times, too!) when their father is currently in the process of opening the door with the key? There are days I feel like disabling the doorbell.
  4. We had bought this one for DD instead of "baby shampoo." The smell was sooooo nice and stayed in the hair for a couple of days if I recall correctly. https://www.target.com/p/sheamoisture-mango-carrot-kids-extra-nourishing-shampoo-8-fl-oz/-/A-14319200?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&fndsrc=tgtao&CPNG=PLA_Health%2BBeauty%2BShopping&adgroup=SC_Health%2BBeauty&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=c&location=9016910&ds_rl=1246978&ds_rl=1248099&ds_rl=1246978&gclid=Cj0KCQjwwODlBRDuARIsAMy_28Uve3sNj_I-rsL7RPhMMgI_yb-z5AeQ4b_YQ27qY6K3q6BYkASRK-gaAikOEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds I'd been shampoo-free for about 7 years until meeting that shampoo. I've tried 2 different shampoos after and had been severely disappointed. (one of them was apothocare and one was herbal essences - purchased because I thought I had remembered liking the smell of it - there's really no lingering smell) We have the swimming variety of Babo brand shampoo, and the smell is good, and lingers, but it smells like bubble gum or banana - or banana bubble gum? LOL! I believe it was the cucumber aloe scent ETA: oops forgot to include the link
  5. Ours has outlets in all of the tables and all of the seating. And USB ports in the outlets. And they even have chargers for phones (they have the library's sensor tags tied around them so people don't steal them.) We have a bunch of puppets (you can even check them out to bring them home) and a little curtain stage thing so kids can do puppet shows. They used to have toys. That was nice for the toddler age kids, but they just had so many that it ended up always being a mess until they eventually took away all of the toys 😞 Something like a lego area would be awesome! Our library does regularly hold lego events, but we're never able to make it out to them. They have a little reading cubby place where 1-4 kids can go inside and hide out and read. They have ipad/smart computer stations. I don't like those, and would prefer if they had a time limit or if they weren't in such a prominent place in the library. We have a section for parenting books including curricula and extra practice type workbooks (spectrum books, what your X grader needs to know, summer bridge books, etc.) Oh - just remembered - we DO have a bunch of tied down puzzles and toys spread throughout the children's area. The puppet area is also a baby/toddler area with one of these such toys (it has a busy board on one of the walls and one of those giant puzzle block things that has mazes, beads on a wire, etc) Some of the tied down puzzle things are on the ends of the long bookshelves. It gives me the opportunity to go look for books within the children's area while DD plays on the end of the shelf. She's playing with the toy rather than pulling all of the books off the shelf, plus she's close enough that I can keep an eye on her. All of the board books are in forward facing pull-out shelves, organized by first letter of the book's title. I absolutely love this! DD loves to pick her own books and now she's able to put the books away in the right places too (I have her match the N on the book cover to the spot that have all of the other N books, for instance) We also have a fish tank. Love the fish tank. The kids love it too. The library regularly hosts ducks (they tend to lay their eggs in the courtyard, so we get to watch ducks hatch and grow up from outside the window) and butterflies (each spring they grow a few caterpillars-releasing once they become butterflies) A nearby library has done so much to cater to the homeschool community - they have purchased so much popular curricula and I believe they have a study room especially for homeschoolers to use. Our library has been doing boxes too - they've had "book club" boxes/bags for a while now (a few copies of the same book +discussion questions, I believe) but have also started doing discovery boxes (A few books on a certain topic in one box, or books +materials to do the activity in the book - like a field guide about birds, a CD of bird calls, plus a pair of binoculars and a sketchpad in a box that you can check out.)
  6. If it's not something she can use as a middle or high schooler (and you're willing to keep it around that long,) I'd get rid of it. Mine does his work wherever I am for the most part. When we were homeschooling full time, having two desks next to each other was working well - I'd sit at one and do work/teach while he sat next to me at his and did his work. When mine wants some quiet or time alone to work he tends to work at a coffee table in the living room or basement, or on a clipboard somewhere else in the house
  7. of course not, you'd have to drop one of the "e"s to make it work. "homeducate" or "homeducation" LOL
  8. Background: About a year ago we were having issues with writing - even just the physical act of writing was too much for him most of the time. And when I'd ask him to dictate a story for me to write it down, he had so much trouble thinking about what to write. So I put it on pause, and just let him read independently, while we focused on other studies (that didn't require writing or composition.) Kept up the "surrounding with books and surrounding with other people who write" thing. ------ We happened by a book fair a couple of days ago, and he wanted to buy a journal. I somewhat reluctantly let him (book fair journals = expensive, but he liked the design and also got a book and they were buy one get one free) He hasn't put it down. He finished "chapter 2" of his story last night. I'm blown away by how much he's written (by choice) in such a short amount of time. I'm just so proud of him and had to share! (feel free to share your recent "proud mama" moment)
  9. A couple of notes, sure. Not in homeschooling books, not in library books, not in textbooks that I'm going to sell. Not in my Qur'an. Post it notes and flags are my best friends in the above types of books. I do enjoy reading annotations that the previous reader(s) left behind, especially when they consist of "the reader's thoughts about the text." Recently came across this library book - it was from a college library, a book probably used in one of their more obscure courses. It was a book that translated and added translator/historian commentary into the book. A couple of different people had left their mark in it. One reader had very strong opinions about the commentator and/or translators opinion (and the fact that they chose to make the translation of the text rhyme rather than accurately translate it. - it was a book of love poems and in this case, the text did lose quite a bit of "feel" in translation) Reading the reader's opinion made me laugh out loud. s/he felt very strongly about it and basically wrote a complete argument against it in the margins. But I would never. (Ok, I might, if I felt THAT strongly, LOL) I tend to feel like writing out my notes and just leaving them there in a book on the shelf makes me too vulnerable. I wont write personal reflections in a book - I save that for personal notebooks. I do write in some of my textbooks. Especially if it's a correction/important addition to the text. Occasionally I'll do brackets. I've sworn off highlighting, underlining, etc. in anything other than pencil/erasable marker though. I used to be an over-highlighter, and I find that it later distracts me from the text. I surprise myself by how OK I am with writing in books, LOL. I mostly work with homeschool texts, so I have a strict rule for my students to not write in any books. I photocopy workbooks! Previous posters' mentions of tearing apart textbooks and carrying them one chapter at a time made me cringe so hard! (But if I'm being honest with myself, I've done it to homeschool texts! And countless workbooks! Tear apart and proclick!) But most of my college textbooks either weren't useful enough in my classes to spend the time tearing them apart or were expensive enough that they were rentals or I was planning to resell them.
  10. I'd consider taking another look at building thinking skills for you younger kids, at least. I have an older version of the text (high school to adult level- I think it is level 3?), and have used parts of it for myself, my son, and some middle schoolers that I tutor. I put the focus on being able to give words to their mathematical reasoning, even if the solution is something as simple as "both squares have sides that are the same length." We skip around a lot and treat it like a book of puzzles. I might be totally abusing it as a resource though. I'll admit to my non-verbal reasoning, and understanding of how to teach it efficiently to be lacking 😄 In addition to what Suzan said, logic grid puzzles (I usually just google them) "brain training" type apps, like Lumosity. Brilliant is another cool app in this subject area that I found (there can be a bit of math involved though, so maybe only appropriate for your eldest.) I'd take the "maps" to the next level - give orienteering a shot! For the chess suggestion - chesskid was a cool subscription we had for a while. Lot of "which move would be the best to accomplish the goal" sort of puzzles.
  11. I mean, I know you said CC is your only option left, but wanted to bring up some of those things in case you haven't considered them- things like afterschool classes (like the public school kids might participate in) or classes that non-homeschool groups might offer to homeschoolers (like museums). These sorts of things don't call themselves co-ops but can fulfill the same need.
  12. Re: structure Look into "extracurricular" options in your area. In our area, we have plenty. Multiple homeschool field trip groups that meet regularly (set up through facebook.) Homeschool hiking or park group days (i.e. regular contact with homeschooling friends.) Classes offered through gyms, libraries, zoos, and museums (monthly or more frequently.) The "online public charter schools" (name varies by state - things like K12) in our state offers once a week classes. Enrolled students have the option of taking a certain number of classes. They even have the option to enroll and not have the state pay for your academic curriculum in exchange for paying for more extracurricular classes. And this whole situation that they have going on benefits traditional homeschoolers too - the homeschool groups that offer classes to meet the needs of these online public schools also offer their classes to regular homeschoolers (for a fee, and with no additional state reporting requirements.) I've preferred the "pick one day a week (eg. monday) for 'field trip day' and turn it into a routine" ta-da! you've got structure. Add a day (let's say... wednesday?) for library school, and you've got yourself a busy schedule. Even more "structured" "group learning" type things when you add in things like sunday school, karate classes, swimming classes, soccer team, (etc.) the occasional spring/summer/winter break day camp. (not to say it's a good idea to attempt all of that at once - just listing ideas) Learning how to interact with other people in a group/class can definitely be a good thing, but too much of it can really be a bad thing for some kids/in some cases. Mine learns better one on one. Putting him in a class situation for his core classes would turn him into a "passive learner." He's had tons of group opportunities, but he's not the type to raise his hand and answer or ask questions in a group setting. As a result, he doesn't learn as much. I'd be really hesitant to turn the majority of his learning over to a group setting (especially one like CC that basically limits/dictates what I teach)
  13. honestly - avoiding soap and avoiding hand washing as much as possible. When it flares up and I need to do something that involves getting my hands wet, I wear disposable gloves. I have found that the more "natural" brand soaps are better for me. But putting lanolin on my hands frequently helps the most. It's super thick, but it works so well. I try to put it on before bed, during the day when it's acting up/on a bad day, but particularly when it can stay on my hands for a long amount of time. I get this kind of lanolin (not a lotion that has a bit of lanolin in it) https://www.amazon.com/NOW-Solutions-Lanolin-Pure-7-Ounce/dp/B000I1OYNK
  14. In the car, I have a couple of cloth bags for garbage. One is hanging within my reach and I empty it out every month or so when I clean out the car. I can wash the bag when it gets dirty. I do keep a couple of plastic bags in the trunk, but I've rarely had to use them. I keep a washable wetbag in my trunk too - for wet clothes or cloth diapers. We don't typically line the bathroom garbage cans - just dump it all out into the kitchen trash bag on trash day.
  15. We began a half a year "back" from where DS would be if he were in public school. He's now a year back in the main subjects because we're focusing on something else right now (but also because he avoids doing the work he's supposed to do.) He asks me when he's going to be in 5th grade. I laugh at him and tell him "you have to finish 3rd grade before you can move on to 4th, then you'll be in 5th." But I still consider him in "grade for age" for activities. If the reason for keeping him back a grade or more was because of cognitive or developmental delays, I might choose to put him in activities based on his ability level, depending on activity.
  16. I've called them (only twice) hoping that they had cooled off enough to talk. Asking about their health, since I hadn't heard from them. We stopped being on good terms with them (we were visiting them multiple times per week) after they decided to have a "heart to heart" yelling "match" with us (they yelled at us while we sat and couldn't get a word in edgewise - we finally walked out after they insulted one of our kids and blamed his poor manners on his parents not having any) ...and they were upset that we didn't bring the kids with us when we visited for this "heart to heart" The two times we spoke on the phone it was me being calm and trying to "make things good" without allowing them to walk all over us, while they screamed at us. We never sent them cards before. If we met them on a family get together sort of holiday, we'd exchange gifts, but we've never exchanged cards before. Especially not through the mail. BUT while they were shouting at us in person, one of their major grievances was that we never send them cards, so I figure if they care about cards so much that they're willing to lose our on the only relatives that are still on speaking terms with them, then they can have the cards, but they wont get the relationship. (i'm sure it goes without saying, but their displeasure with our card-gifting habits is not the cause of our dissolved relationship) *deep breath*
  17. yes, i've called them every 4 months or so (not since the notes started being left in books and i've been sending them holiday cards since the incident that caused us to cut off contact (that we never send holiday cards was one of their major qualms about us) The notes say things like: [kids name] cool book, remember - we love you (signed auntie and uncle)
  18. A restraining order sounds.... unlikely to be granted? And a huge hassle. Police report sounds like a good idea. They've off-handedly threatened to sue for child-access rights or to go through CPS before. Sounds crazy, but maybe having some sort of documentation like this would help things in case they ever decided to make a CPS report against us?
  19. yep. and since my last name is the same as the relative's last name, our hold shelf books end up next to each other.
  20. Over a year ago, these people began to act in a way that we could no longer tolerate. We learned that they didn't respect us, and that we couldn't trust them. The kids had been close to them before this event happened, and missed them a lot after we stopped being able to go visit them. The kids asked about the family members for months. Then notes to the kids started showing up in kids library books whenever we'd ask for books to get put on the hold shelf. Our kids are under the age of 10 - if they were older teens I'd leave the choice of a relationship up to them, but at this age, it's not really an option. They've suggested we bring the kids over, "maybe even just drop them off if you (DH and I) don't want to see us." It's not that we don't want to see them. But we don't want to be yelled at, insulted, disrespected, especially not in front of our kids. They see nothing wrong with doing that - they think kids don't notice "adult talk" - even if it's "heated" and filled with insults I've seen it suggested here - the book "Boundaries" really helped me come to terms with things, but it was a library book, and I don't have a copy of my own. Not sure what to do - if anything in this situation. Worried that if I ignore the behavior, it will get worse. To clarify, the "situation" being the writing notes to kids and leaving them in books under my name on the hold shelf - just found a second such note today in one of our books. We live in the same town, and there's only one library. They visit the library about as much as we do. That reminds me - another part of this "situation" is that since we live in the same town as them, we do occasionally run into them. About a month ago, DD and I ran into one of the relatives. The relative must have seen us from far away, and walked up to DD when I was looking the other way. Ex. of the conversation, with relationship changed: Relative: *arms open* "It's your aunty!" DD: "I'm not an aunty!" Relative, to me, as she passes behind me: "you're disgusting" The last time I contacted them was to see how things were going - we were hoping - and have been explicit about this - that they would seek therapy. They offered to pay for family therapy and we told them we would take them up on their offer, but they never followed through. after we had asked them a few times when they wanted to schedule a session for, they let on that they had never planned to follow through with it, and that they're just hoping we will go to therapy to "fix" whatever is wrong with us.
  21. I'm a "no" when it comes to tamiflu. For the kids and I, if we get sick, we can just wait it out, no big deal. When DH was offered it, I advised him not to take it, but he wanted to because the chance of the illness being reduced by a day appealed to him. (also, doc was pushing it, even though he has no immune system issues) Possibly makes sense, especially if you can't afford to take many days off of work (he could have, but didn't want to, PLUS tamiflu isn't covered by our insurance and cost ~$100 for the course.) After purchasing the meds, and taking the first pill, his test results came back - no flu. *face palm* I have a hard time justifying $100 for the "promise" of one day less duration out of who knows how many days + side effects being all the symptoms of flu plus a few more, though possibly less severe...
  22. Merlin (amazon) fantastic beasts (library?) Bird box was interesting (probably wouldn't watch with kids around though) Death in Paradise (netflix) Monk, House, Psych, Lie to Me, Grimm, Once Upon a Time (all things I have watched over and over and over again) Dr. Who (gets it's own line) Documentaries about the plague/the black death are a favorite of mine when I'm sick and unwilling to leave my bed 😄 Hope you feel better soon ((hugs))
  23. Why not plastic totes? I don't see how putting those things in a big cloth sack would be any better than just piling them wherever you plan to pile them? Or are you planning to then sit on that "bean" bag? But I'd think it would be very lumpy and not so comfortable?
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