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  1. I agree with you. My kids desperately want a dog. But even a rescue costs hundreds of dollars here, and then vet bills are SO expensive that we can't justify it. My parents just got us a puppy from a box of free puppies down the street, and I suspect were not-great at getting him medical care... they certainly never spent money on doggy day care, professional dog walkers, a giant crate for him to sleep in, etc. They did get him shots, but that's about the only thing I remember. On the other hand, these costs are because there are expectations that dogs be taken much better care of than they have been in the past. Which can only be a good thing for the actual animals :)
  2. IME, parents and older relatives usually dress up, friends and siblings don't. They're often very hot, and so people dress according to that.
  3. SaveSaveBecause kids have different interests and strengths, I don't think anyplace will offer the perfect one-size-fits-all set of programming... it sounds like she's looking more for a place where it's easy to find a community of smart kids with strong intellectual/academic interests. I think the Boston area is really great for that, and there are so many schools and companies and clubs, and the concentration of Tiger Parents to keep them well funded at attended (I don't think OP is a Tiger Parent, but the fact is that it often does take a few driven parents and a bunch of interested parents to make these things happen!), that it's easier to find such a community here than in many other places. I don't think anyone's claiming that she'll get an engraved invitation to the Smart Kids Club just by showing up, or that OP and her daughter won't have to spend money and/or do legwork to find the opportunities. I just think that it's easier here than in many places, particularly for a teen who has scientific/environmental/animal interests. I don't think its the ONLY place, or that it's some mecca where the football hero never makes fun of the nerds, I just think it's a good place for that, in large part because of the population density, the average education level (which is higher than most of the country), and the industries here (academic, scientific, financial, and charitable).
  4. It was written to fill in the content gaps in a standard public school curriculum. IMO, it provides a nice, basic, outline of age-appropriate topics and ideas. It's not some absolute definitive list, but reviewing it can give some good ideas of topics to study. I like them.
  5. I'm familiar with PG kids, and all of the schools I listed will have other kids like her, and a culture where having a brain that works on superspeed will not be a social liability in and of itself.
  6. There's one down south called The Sage School that sounds interesting. I don't know much about it... I know one family whose kid went there and they didn't like it, but knowing that family it might actually be a vote FOR the school, if you catch my drift. For high school, Commonwealth is the go-to for the weird super smart kids. It's where I went, and it's definitely the culture.
  7. Agreed. I'd probably move to a place like Brookline (even though housing prices are $$$$, there are rentals that cost less). And then you can also apply to some of the "top" privates in the Boston area, and see what you think and if you get financial aid (I don't know if that's actually an issue, but these schools are about $40k a year, so many, many families are on aid). BU High has kids taking college classes at BU, Commonwealth is known for being tiny but super rigorous, Windsor is an excellent girl's school, and I'd include Nobles and Milton on the list (both have boarding and day options... I assume you'd just do boarding school if you were interested in it, instead of just moving.) And then even if none of that works out, you still have Brookline High, which is one of the best high schools in the country, with lots of professor kids and smart kids and plenty of academic rigor if you're looking for it (I mean, it's a huge public, so there will be all sorts of kids... but she'll definitely be able to find a bright, ambitious cohort if she's looking).
  8. Why not let her apply to the schools she wants to go to, and see if she gets financial aid?
  9. I'm not sure where you are, but would you consider moving to a city that has good magnet high schools, or private schools that offer opportunities for kids to work in local university labs? I went to a private high school in Boston that catered to kids who sound a lot like your daughter, and it was an academically rigorous environment, very intellectually stimulating, but still lots of fun. And the school had good relationships with lots of labs in the area (mostly through parents of students), and so kids were often hired for paid or volunteer gigs that usually went to college students. And, fwiw, the prices on private schools in Boston/NY/DC/etc are sky high, but they give lots and lots of financial aid.
  10. I think it's a combination of charisma and empathy. I've known plenty of dumb people who have made it very far in school and in life, and I know plenty of smart people who have made it nowhere. And I know plenty of really hard workers who just can not catch a break, and plenty of people who do the very bare minimum and just surf through life easy peasy. What I think really leads to academic and career success is being able to read your teacher/boss and understand what they want and how to deliver it in the package they want it in, be able to work well with co-workers, be able to sell your work and talents (just having them isn't enough... you need to make people take notice in a way that they think well of you... again, that's back to understanding what your teacher/boss wants to see), and basically just be a likable person that gets along with as many people as possible. Somehow, I doubt that theory would sell a lot of books. And I don't know how much it can be taught. There's more emphasis on teaching kids these skills than there ever has been before, and I think they can be taught to some extent. But I think it's the kind of charm that you either have, or you don't, and you either know how to use it well, or you don't.
  11. Waldorf is really into materials... little kids are only allowed to touch "warm" materials, like wood and silk. Metal is a "cold" material that drains the lifeblood out of them. There's similar stuff about colors, too... no black, ever.
  12. Thanks, and yeah, that's pretty much where I am. I think showing a comparison is good, I think showing a comparison to a few languages, or at least an explanation about why Spanish was specifically chosen, would be better. Most vocabulary books I've looked at seem to do that, this is the only one I've seen that only compares the words to Spanish.
  13. I guess I just find it odd that comparisons to Spanish seem to be a big part of the program, throughout all the levels, and I was trying to confirm whether that's true, or just what happens to appear in the online samples? It appears in most of the samples I looked at. It seems to assume the kids have some familiarity with Spanish, and it just seems to me that if it's mentioned throughout each book, at each level, kids are going to draw inferences that aren't actually there. I think the samples are at the beginning of each book, so there doesn't seem to be a sentence saying why he's comparing it to Spanish. There's just a sentence saying that Spanish and English are related, and then a bunch of examples. Without any mention of other languages English is similarly related to, or that it's more closely related to French, or why he's making the comparison except that English and Spanish are related. I really dislike needless simplification in kids instruction, and this totally qualifies to me. Yes, some things need to be simplified... too violent or complicated or sexy for little kids, or whatever. But I can't see the point of wiping French out of the equation entirely, when that's where English actually gets its Latin roots, and it would only take a paragraph to explain. Especially since the only justification I can think of is that kids will recognize the Spanish words? Otherwise, why wouldn't he go for French, which I agree that the kids are less likely to know, but is historically and linguistically a more appropriate example... or do what most books do and show some combination of Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Italian, all containing the same root? Which is much more interesting, and does a better job showing how languages change and are related, imo. I know the MCT writing style is known for being spare, but it's making me distrustful of the whole series, tbh. There's a fine line between leaving out extraneous information, and misleading through omission (whether the misleading is purposeful or not... and I don't think it is here, I just think it's either lazy, or based on conceptions about the Spanish ability of 3rd graders that isn't true in my experience). And no, it's not a history of linguistics book, but it's obviously trying to show that languages have some relationship, and how can you do that without discussing the history? A paragraph about the history of English and why he's comparing it to Spanish is probably the difference between me purchasing the book, or not. I know other people love them, but different strokes and all that. I'm just disappointed, and was wondering if anyone else felt the same way.
  14. I live in Boston and see leashed (or, if they're small, bagged) dogs on the subway all the time. I don't know if there's no rule, or if it's just a rule that people ignore, but I wouldn't overstate the "dogs are never allowed on public transportation in the US" thing. I've spent between a few weeks and a few months a year in London for the past 20 years or so, and I haven't noticed a huge difference in training there versus in cities here, or that dogs are allowed in more places. I don't think I've ever seen dogs in a supermarket or restaurant, except tied up outside. I see dogs on the Boston subway WAY more often than the London Tube. And I see dogs tied up outside stores and restaurants all the time in the US? What else are you going to do with them? There aren't special dog-tying places in either London or Boston/the Boston burbs, you just use the nearest tree, bike rack, lamp post, whatever. Nobody assumes they're abandoned, unless you see them there all day. I don't have much experience hanging out with dogs in more suburban/rural areas of England, but I think there's more likely a difference between urban and suburban dogs that is common both in the UK and the US... urban dogs HAVE to be highly trained so that they don't chase traffic, and with a higher population density you need to be much more aware of who they're bothering. Suburban dogs (and I live in the suburbs) are much more likely to be large, high-energy breeds that have free reign of fenced in yards, and are taken to large parks. Cars aren't an issue, other people are less of an issue, and the training level is weaker not because of cultural issues, but just because it can be.
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