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Everything posted by PhotoGal


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    This is the Teacher Guide for REAL Science Odyssey Biology Level 2. This should be used with either the print or eBook student edition. Designed to meet and exceed the national science standards for life science at the middle school level (grades 5 through ? - but done in a more hands-on way. Topics include cells, genetics, anatomy & physiology, evolution, ecology, and classification. The book is in excellent condition - no marks or damage. $18 plus media shipping.


  2. Ds (8th grade) is planning to go to our local public charter school for high school. I would love to get your input on what skills/abilities we should focus on for the rest of the year (and just thoughts in general for getting ready for high school). He homeschooled 1st-5th, went to school 6th & 7th, now homeschooling 8th. Just adding that because he does have recent school experience. Anyway, it might be nice to compile a list in general for high school prep. Here is my list so far: 1) Be able to interact with the teacher (ask for help, etc.) 2) Be able to plan ahead for exams/projects (time management) 3) Be able to balance doing well without getting over stressed 4) Be able to choose good friends - not sure how to teach this one, but seems very important 5) General academic skills (write an essay, write up a science demonstration, show work in math, analyze literature for theme/symbolism) What would you add?
  3. My oldest daughter is an Eeyore/Rabbit mix. She always gets grumpy before her drum lesson (even though taking drum lessons was her idea!). After her last lesson, I reminded her that we were taking February off of drum so she wouldn't have to worry about it for a while. She replied, "Yeah, but February is the shortest month of the year." I just had to laugh. :)
  4. I've been searching the forum, but many of the results were out of date, so I thought I'd start a new thread. My son (8th grade) is interested in taking a coding class this spring. He wants a live class (interact with instructors/other students). He is a beginner other than playing around with Scratch here and there. Because it is his first real coding class, I'd like to find one with a minimum of frustration so he has a good experience. He won't like anything that is a lot of homework or too time-consuming. Any ideas for him?
  5. 2001 - Erin Brockovich on VHS... I think this was a gift for my Mom. I give 50/50 odds that it is still in her house somewhere. I'm too scared to ask her.
  6. I was just at Target today for LOL dolls and there were a bunch of cardboard displays that were empty. Luckily my older daughter found some glitter ones on a different shelf. I think they might have just come in, so I would keep checking back if you want to get more. I didn't really realize it was a "thing" as one of my daughters had exchanged a duplicate birthday present a month or so ago for an LOL doll and there were plenty back then.
  7. My dh gave me a peephole one year with the promise to install it. We moved out and sold that house, so I guess I can assume he isn't going to get around to actually doing it... :P
  8. I'm going to give a bit of advice I wish I would have heard before my oldest was a teen (others, please add to the list!): 1) Set up your house rules now the way you want them. For example, we set up the rule that the computer was only used in public areas of the house (not in bedrooms). I am SO glad we set up this rule before our oldest became a teen. A new rule would not go over well right now. 2) Enjoy your family traditions now. You may be able to keep them up when your kid is a teen, but maybe not (they may not want to participate). 3) Be prepared for your child to change in ways you never expected, even if they have been a certain way all their lives up until then. And they won't remember they were ever like the way they were. :) Don't hold too tightly to your vision of their future. Things can change quickly. 4) Take plenty of photos before middle school, because they may not let you take them anymore... Of course, every child is different, but that's a start for me. Anyone else want to add some more?
  9. I did it! 50,011 words. :) What is the advantage to validating on the website? I don't think I will use any of the prizes this year. A few years ago I did when you could get one book published by createspace. Anyway, any other reason to validate? I don't care if I have the certificate or not.
  10. It happened - I accidently finished the story at only 29,000 words. Oops! I'm going to have to go back and add some subplots and so on. Gotta get a couple thousand in today to get caught up as well. Yikes!
  11. I'm on track but a little worried that we are only half way through. I seem to be running into the main climax of the story right now. I might have to go back and beef what I wrote leading up to this so the book doesn't end too early. :P
  12. We have 5 and it is too many. :) But that is with a lot of special needs, etc. Now that one of them is a teenager, I have a whole different outlook. I wanted more kids to have more adult kids - I was picturing big family get-togethers, etc. But now I see that the relationship we will have is probably not what I imagined. The teenage years are long and I feel like there will be a certain amount of damage done during that time. I guess I won't know until we actually get there but right now I think less kids is better. ;)
  13. This reminded me - there was one time I walked out of an OBGYN follow-up appointment after my son was born. They were running so late that I had to go home to nurse him. Again, they seemed really surprised that I wasn't willing to wait over an hour.
  14. We had an audiologist like this once. One time they were running an hour late and we had to leave for another appointment. The receptionist seemed shocked that we weren't just going to stay and wait more. We started only taking the first appointment of the day and even then they ran late!
  15. We have three kids that are followed by the endocrinologist. For the first appointment, the doctor did the bone age xray for two of them and blood tests for two (one kid had both). One tested borderline-low for growth hormone on the blood test, so he went back for a longer test (the stim test). One had a genetic difference that explained her lack of growth. Our third has a form of skeletal dysplasia (that we knew ahead of time) but we thought we should still bring her in since she is the smallest. :) The nice thing is the endo is very good at taking accurate measurements, so they can track growth over time more accurately. Best of luck!
  16. This is our first year using online classes! The kids are signed up for CTY Mandarin, but it hasn't started yet. So far... My 8th grader started with AoPS Algebra B. He had "Alg/Geom/Stat 1" at his public school last year. I had him in the AoPS class that started in August with the hopes that we could do Alg 2 and Geometry both this year (so if he goes to public for 9th, he could go to precalc instead of having one year of integrated and one year of not integrated math). Anyway, he was really overwhelmed the first class. He felt like there was little explanation and I think the way they only show people getting the right answer was disheartening - like as soon as the teacher asked a question there were a bunch of right answers popping up and he didn't really have time to think. They packed in a lot and went way beyond the basics - I think it was just too much for his very first online class and first experience with AoPS. So, we dropped the class and did a little with the text /videos/Alcumus on our own, but I decided to switch him over to Jacob's Geometry instead. My 6th grader started with AoPS Prealgebra 1. Her experience was much better and I think that is a much better place to jump in as a new student. She is working hard, but not overwhelmed or doubting her abilities. Both kids also started Bravewriter. My 8th grader is doing KidsWrite Intermediate and I think that is well paced, a good amount of assignments without overwhelm. My 6th grader is (I guess technically *I* am) taking Writer's Jungle Online (used to be called KidsWrite Basic). That one seems to have very little to it. They have said many times to clear our calendar and really focus on writing, but then give us a 20 minute assignment for the whole week. If you have more time, they suggest you repeat the same activity, perhaps with a slight variation. So far I don't think that class is really worth it, but hoping it turns out to be worthwhile in the end.
  17. Dh's friend was just telling us that his granddaughter is a falconer and is hired for bird pest situations. I have no idea how much that would cost, but certainly less than the fine. :)
  18. This happens to my son every time we go to China and I think it is adorable. No one has ever been aggressive about it, however. There was one woman at the great wall who was a little pushy, but still friendly. Actually, it is kind of nice for him to get special attention because here in the U.S. when the kids were little, people were always going on and on about his cute Chinese sister. They were always like "she is so cute!" and I was like "Yes, they are BOTH so cute." :) In general, I would just consider it a cultural difference and not get too upset about it. It probably took you by surprise because it wasn't something that you are used to. But in other cultures it is totally acceptable. As a small example going the other way, here in the U.S. it would be totally acceptable to give a gift of nice smelling fancy soaps. However, some people in China would find that gift very offensive because in some parts of China a gift of soap implies that the receiver is dirty and really needs to bathe. One would hope that the receiver would find out the cultural difference and not be outraged over it.
  19. If you are interested in tutoring, many tutoring places will train you. You will probably get the most hours over the summer and during afterschool time (3-6pm or so). The pay is pretty good, but not professional level. Are you looking to work for a little extra money on the side or to make enough to support a household?
  20. We had company over today and my 11 year old and 13 year old spent most of the day on the computer. I felt like they "wasted" the day, but I also want to give them more control over their own free time. It got me wondering - what do you think is a good day for a tween/young teen? What would it include? What kind of activities would you encourage? I kind of pictured: - Some time outside and/or active - Some time with friends / social - Creating in some way or hobbies (drawing, legos, etc.) - Working / helping others - Reading One nice thing about homeschooling is I can incorporate these into our day Monday-Friday at least as part of our homeschool (for example, requiring a certain amount of exercise as P.E.). :) What else would you include? Like if your tween/young teen did these things you would feel they had a good day (productive/good for their mental and physical health)?
  21. We are in Portland, but really more of a suburb of Portland (even though our address says Portland). Looking into everything everyone has mentioned and trying to make a priority list. We are planning on going with the agency that is more dominant in this area. We were a little wary of them before because they are really big and have a lot of agents. They are definitely more assertive, which is what we need right now. Dh is going to try looking at rentals this weekend. Hopefully someone will be open to us coming from out of town and with all the kids (not really opening with that info now...). We have a couple leads, but definitely nothing the older kids are going to be excited about (smaller houses, not much yard, etc.). Hoping for other kids in the neighborhood to soften the blow. :)
  22. Thanks, all! I will post a few pictures so you can tell me what you think. Luckily the light fixtures aren't brass, but the doorknobs are (and there are a lot!). The hardest thing to switch out would be the shower doors - especially in the master because it is a strange shape. There is no brass in the kitchen. The biggest concentration of brass is in the laundry room, which I wouldn't think would be a big deal but maybe it is. The two upstairs bathrooms have silver/brass knobs and pulls (both colors). Maybe the previous owners were trying to tone down the brass but still go with the shower doors. We were thinking of painting/redoing the downstairs bathroom which is a dark color with brass lights. I just feel like most people have already seen our house by now. :P We have already asked to get out of our listing contract early with this agent. We waited a bit because we had some people who were thinking about making an offer, but they all decided not to. :( I did have a SAD light for awhile, but it irritated my eyes (not looking directly at it, but from the side). I could try that again with a better quality light. Not sure I can convince my teenager. :) We are on top of the vitamin D. I don't tend to go out when it is cold and wet - I know that is how a lot of people survive here. A lot of the "competition" in our price range are new houses on small lots. It is hard to compete with brand new, even if we have a larger lot, more privacy, nice landscaping, etc.
  23. We moved from CA to the PNW three years ago and bought our house two years ago. The first winter was relatively mild, but the winters since then have just been too brutal. I don't mind rain, but I can't go for months without seeing the sun (or just seeing the sun for a few seconds and then it is gone again). Where we live it is overcast from end of September through half of June. It has been very difficult mentally/emotionally on me and also our oldest. Last winter we tried vacationing to the sun twice over the winter - also scoping out possible places to move. We decided to try to sell our house and listed it in May. The house has still not sold and it is getting to the point where I don't know what to do. Our oldest is having a very hard time with the move. He has made a lot of great friends here. He also has gone to a very dark place every winter mentally (as have I). He doesn't see the connection, but I have seen it every winter/early spring and it is pretty serious. Anyway, we thought selling the house would be no problem as it is a seller's market around here. It turns out that is really for the starter home priced homes and our house is pretty expensive for the area. We have had probably 20 showings, a few open houses, two price reductions ($40K total), one contingent offer that we thought was low at the time but we should have taken. We had no idea it would take so long or be so stressful. We've had a lot of feedback and some of it contradicts other feedback. We have put in hardwood floors through-out - some people love it, some people want carpet. Some people love the trees in the backyard and some people think they give too much shade. Some people have feedback I can't do anything about (don't want a living room/dining room). Some people think all three bathrooms need updating. Feedback was that the price was good even before we lowered it. The house is very nice and in a great neighborhood, but some of the style is a bit 90s. We should have replaced a lot of brass before we listed but it feels like too late for that now. We are having trouble finding a rental where we want to move because we are a big family (5 kids). We can't buy until after we sell. Our agent is very nice but also seems to have a very passive personality. For example, when we had that (what we thought was low) offer, I asked her to contact other people who were close to an offer to let them know, but she didn't want to do that. I thought that might spark someone to also bring an offer forward. We have had a LOT of "almost" offers or "It is between your house and one other" type statements. I wonder if a more assertive agent could have nudged them over to our side. But I don't know. The thought of spending another fall/winter/spring dreary season here makes me sick. But it is getting close to the point where the time it would take to close would bring us into school starting. My oldest would really not do well leaving once school has started. He is already convinced I am ruining his life. etc. We really need to get out of here before school starts or wait until next spring (no!) or... I am just feeling really really stuck right now and don't know what to do. :(
  24. The problem is if the area has a lot of people looking for rentals, they don't need to give a reason. They just "went with someone else."
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