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Everything posted by momma2three

  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.
  15. I've always heard good things about the Michael Clay Thompson books, and I was reading the samples online, and I'm kind of put off by the constant discussion of how close English is to Spanish. I notice MCT is very careful not to outright say that English is directly descended from Latin through Spanish, but the constant discussion of the relationship between the two languages, and no other explanation for how all those Latin words got to our Germanic language, seems to leave the impression that Spanish was the direct influence on English? I assume that MCT knows more about the history of the English language than this, and has chosen to only talk about Spanish because there is some assumption that kids these days take Spanish in school, and will have an arsenal of Spanish vocabulary words at their disposal? That seems like a pretty heavy assumption, and certainly not one to built a language arts program on. These books aren't cheap (or, at least, they add up), and I'm wondering what the hive's take is on this? Does the whole series keep bringing up Spanish? Is it confusing? I guess I just don't see the point of harping on Spanish without even mentioning French (or without language like "if you know any Spanish, you might notice the similarities. We talk about Spanish a lot in this book because it's the second most spoken language in the US, and the most common second language for kids to learn in school, but really English's Latin influences come from the French"), and it makes me think poorly of the whole series.
  16. "The Invention of White Race" is a book about about how the definition of "white" has historically changed based largely on economics, cultural assimilation, and, mostly, still having someone darker to scapegoat. A century ago, Italians and Jewish people in America were not considered white. Now, they are. The definition has changed over time.
  17. I'm in MA too, and yes, there are many places to visit. I was always particularly fond of this one... it had wide paved roads that were great for biking, is right on a big river next to the ocean, has a bunch of cool little ecosystems. It's really a great park. And there used to be all sorts of wildlife: bird watchers came from all over the region. All those birds are gone now, of course. I rode my bike there as a kid, and I'm sad that my kids can't. I miss going there. But it's not safe. I wish the town would change the rule. I suspect it is true that every community has an park known for dogs. But turning a 500 acre nature preserve over to dogs (and don't even get me started on the dog walkers who bring 10 unleashed dogs at a time in there) seems a bit much, no?
  18. Thank you! I admit that I'm always a bit put off by them, because their leader always seemed a bit cult-y, but I hear such good things about their programs from nearly everyone. I'll definitely check them out. I reviewed Zaner Bloser's "Strategies for Writers" this afternoon (forgot to mention I also reached out to them for a review copy), and it's kinda everything wrong with public school writing programs... no grammar, expressly states at least every few pages that students are doing this to prepare for tests. Ugh.
  19. I'm aware that it's a real term. It's a big deal in my town right now, actually. There's a 500 acre nature preserve that's basically turned into a dog park, because the official rule is that "dogs who are voice controlled are allowed to be off leashes." People come from all over the area with their dogs, and many of those dogs are totally NOT voice controlled by any reasonable definition, although the owners standing there screaming "No! No! Come back! Stop it! Here girl! Here girl!" apparently seem to think that they have some sort of control. The result is that other people don't go there, because the place is overrun with dogs. Several kids riding their bikes there have been bit, my own kids have been knocked over (multiple times), and it's a huge issue. I am pretty derisive about the term these days, because there is actually no standard, and it's ruined one of my favorite parks, and made my kids TERRIFIED of dogs because of bad experiences there. However, I don't think that "all dogs" are not as well trained as their owners seem to think. The only universal statement I'll make is that anyone laughing and calling their dog friendly when the dog is jumping on me and sniffing my crotch is a jerk, because I'm really not interested in making dog friends right now. And no, I don't actually dislike dogs.
  20. Yeah, the problem with this is that all dog owners seem to believe that their dog is "voice controlled," based on their own definition.
  21. I loathe people who laugh and say "my dog is friendly!" as the dog approaches me and starts sniffing and licking and sometimes even jumping on me. If I wanted to be friends with a dog, I'd own one. I don't want your animal approaching me or my kids, ever. "Don't worry, he's friendly!" is a code term for "I'm a jerk" in my book.
  22. I'm teaching a grammar/writing class to 4th and 5th graders. It's going to be about 20-30 minutes of direct group instruction each week, and then the kids will have homework to do at home, and then small group or one on one review of writing assignments (depending on the assignment and the kid, and whether we're doing workshopping, or editing. I am TOTALLY at a loss for what to use, and the parents want me to use something (and I do too). I've used FLL/WWE, and Growing With Grammar/Writing With Writing, and the Galore Park English Prep books at home. I don't think that any of them are a good fit for this. English Prep is the closest, but I thought the lessons were pretty weak. Should I look into school textbooks? I know that WTM recommends Voyages In English, so I've requested a sample copy. I generally have a poor opinion of school writing/grammar textbooks, but that's largely based on my own shoddy experiences and hearsay, so I'm not sure that's fair? Or maybe Michael Clay Thompson? Would that work in a group setting? I've only bought The Music of the Hemispheres, and was a little underwhelmed, but that might be because I was expecting something a little bit different. Any other suggestions or ideas? It absolutely, 100% has to be secular.
  23. The way it was in the campus policy posted above seemed pretty good to me. I assume these policies are all covered at freshman orientation, and like anything else, "I didn't know it was in the handbook" isn't considered a valid excuse.
  24. It makes sense to me. "Don't get so drunk that you don't know if you're raping someone" seems to be a pretty good life rule. And forewarned is forearmed and all that.
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