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Everything posted by Gentlemommy

  1. Thank you for your thoughtful replies, they helped tremendously! I think I’ll give her gift card to a skate shop so she can pick one according to what she needs. Great suggestions!
  2. My 15 year old has expressed an interest in skateboarding and has gone to the skatepark a few times with friends, using a borrowed skateboard. I’d like to get her one, but have no clue where to begin. If anyone has a good recommendation for brand or accessories, I’d greatly appreciate it! Thank you!
  3. I got a kitten for my birthday, and she is positively perfect. I love her so much.
  4. I’m allergic to cats but adore them. My teenager asked for a cat as her next pet when her dog passed away. She researched and saved for a Ragdoll. Supposedly they are a less allergy triggering breed? I don’t know for sure, but I have no reactions to her, even when I am smushing her for kisses, which I do all the time. She is perfect. They are very a very chill, relaxed breed, which I felt was necessary in our sometimes chaotic and loud home. We have two small dogs, which she promptly got accustomed to in a day. She behaves a lot like a dog, wanting to follow us around and be nearby, but she also isn’t in our faces all the time either. I don’t know if that is just her or the breed. She is the perfect cat, honestly. Very easy going and lovely to pet and cuddle. They are pricey and it took us a few months to find the right breeder (my daughter did a ton of research on good breeders and found one willing to visit the cutters and be open and honest about breeding practices). Anyway, cats are awesome, and well worth it! Good luck finding the perfect kitty!
  5. I loved Value Tales as a kid so much, I have slowly accumulated the entire series for my kids. They aren’t in print anymore, so you may have to eBay them, but they are good!
  6. Title says it all. We did biology and chemistry for the past two years (middle school), so I’d like to do something other than those two sciences.
  7. We have this cage for our lionhead bun, https://www.amazon.com/Living-World-Deluxe-Habitat-X-Large/dp/B007BNE1YA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505784933&sr=8-1&keywords=indoor+bunny+cage which we leave open all the time into this octagon playpen https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Infant-Surround-6-Panel-PlaySafe/dp/B000G1YW98/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1505784985&sr=8-1&keywords=Octagon+playpen It gives him a lot of room to run around when we can not supervise him. We take him out twice a day when we are in the room with him because he likes to chew. In the cage, we have a regular sized cat litter box, and he always goes in there. I put the wooden cat litter pellets. He also has a small shallow box for the carefresh fluff to nest in. He gets as much hay as he wants in his hayrack, day and night. A small scoop (1 tablespoon) of pellets twice a day, and a handful of assorted lettuces, herbs, and an occasional baby carrot, apple slice, grape, cucumber, sweet bell pepper slice, etc. whatever fresh veggies we have on hand, I'll give him a tiny bit with his 'salad'. He's the best little pet, so sweet, super easy to care for. Other than nail clipping, my six year old does all his care. We change the entire litter box every 2-3 days and it never smells. Under the octagon gate, I put one of those desk chair mats to keep him off the wood floor just in case he ever has an accident. It's never happened though. When he roams free in the room, he's never gone to the bathroom. Once he figured out the litter box, we've never had an issue. I'm hoping to take him outside into the chicken coop for some supervised outside time soon.
  8. This! I stay home and negotiate peace talks between my kids...close?😂
  9. We have to take something like it every year for foster care, but it is free.
  10. I'm hosting a debate class for middle school kids this fall. I'm really excited as this is a fantastic group of kiddos! One thing I'd like to address with them is how to research online. Things like how do they know they are reading a reliable source and not an opinion webpage? How will they cite internet sources? How do they deal with plagiarizing as it pertains to graphs/charts? Is it allowable to just print those and put them into their paper? Any other advice you have for me to address with them before we start? Thanks!
  11. Almost every weekend, we are gone at least one day. We have sundayfunday with our best friends-at the lake or pool, or just at each others houses. We travel a lot, last year we went out of town about 8 times. Then there are gymnastics meets. We probably have a full weekend at home only a handful of times per year.
  12. Is there a thread for this already? I searched but didn't find one... What is on your shopping list this year as far as school supplies go? Where are you finding good deals? I'll get glue (for slime actually, not school🙄), tape, and some binders. We have most everything else I think...
  13. We finished official school at the end of April, so we took all of May off. We had a bunch of stuff in May-travel, respite care with extra kids, and our own foster son going home-so we needed time to just be together, reconnect, and breathe. In June we are doing 2 hours or so of school. One hour of math/LA seat work, and one hour of reading. I have planned a world geography year, and it will take us a whole year to complete...maybe even longer. It's morning basket stuff-me reading aloud, crafts, map work, music, poetry, art...My older girls also read on their own for some time. Their gymnastics schedule has increased, so we are at the gym M-F, 4-8. I'm trying to fit in lots of pool, creek, lake time with friends. Every weekend is packed with parties, bbq's, play dates, etc. it's been super busy!
  14. I'm looking into this for two of my children... One is 12 year old dd, who is a voracious reader and a terrible speller. We've done phonics and tons of spelling methods. She just can not 'picture' which phonograms to use in which words. She can memorize spelling rules, but doesn't apply them all when writing, or mixes up two sounds when spelling (for example, spelling black as balck, even in the same paragraph she has previously spelled it correctly in!), and never mind all those words that *could* be spelled with several phonograms and still follow the rules! I'm wondering if having some visualization methods would help her, at least with the 500 most common words. This child did vision therapy for six months at age seven because she was unable to read despite her desiring to, and me trying various methods to teach her. VT made all the difference in the world, and after six months of only VT and no instructional reading, she picked up a Magic Tree House book and read it. She's been buried in books ever since, reading for several hours every day. The second is 6.5 year old dd. We have been working on phonics and reading for almost two years at this point. She is still at the sound it out, CVC words stage. She has zero retention of a word from one page to the next...heck, most times she will have to sound out the same words in every single sentence! At times she starts sounding a word out with the middle or last sound, and at times she guesses a word that could be used in place of the word on the page, (for example, she said sleep instead of reading nap), even when the letters are not at all the same. I'm doing CLE learn to read with her, but we did try Phonics Pathways prior to this. I switched because she likes predictability, I needed something that I could step away from, and I felt that the writing included with the reading would help. She is VERY wiggly. This child does 8-9 hours of gymnastics a week. She's kinesthetic. She loves tactile experiences. She has SPD, the seeking kind. She struggles with emotional regulation. She gets frustrated very quickly, and shuts down completely. I took her to a highly regarded tutor for an evaluation, and she said she is doing very well with phonics, but gets overwhelmed visually and suggested this curriculum and a way to help her learn some of the more common words quickly and more easily. I do have an appointment to have her evaluated by a COVD this week, just in case. So. With all that. The program is $500. I'm more than happy to invest in this program if it will help. However, I don't want to buy it and have it not work...it's quite an investment. I also am wondering about just purchasing the teacher's manual and using the method for our own list of words...does it work like that? They sell a word list for $4, so I could buy the TM and the word list and we could make our own flash cards with index cards...the TM is about $100, which means the bulk of this program is for flash cards. I don't need anything fancy if index cards will work. If you've used this and this it would work for my girls, would it also work if I ONLY bought the TM and word list? Thanks so much!
  15. Contact with his family is in their hands. Up until this point, I had only briefly met some of his bio family. We got along and everything was very comfortable, but no information was exchanged. I did give them my phone number at our last drop off, and I heard from them last night! He's doing well, settling in, and they've said they will send us pictures soon. I'm so happy to hear he is ok.
  16. We take a ton of long weekend/visiting family vacations...I still count them lol. Last year- w We went camping in our RV 4-5 times. 3-5 days at a time, at the lake right close to home. Total vacation for us. Once was with over 50 other people who all belong to a hiking group. We also went to visit family 3x for a week each time. We stay in a timeshare resort, with pools and fun activities. Our "room" is a two bedroom/two bathroom, full kitchen and laundry apartment, so it's not stressful and cramped like a hotel room would be. Friends and family come to visit and play there daily. Not only that, but our "best friend" family has also gone with us and gotten a room next to ours. Their kids and ours have grown up together and are best friends. And the parents are too.😉 Total vacation. We took a three day vacation 5-6 times also. For one of our girls birthday we went skiing. For a gymnastics meet, we extended our stay and made it into a mini vacation. We visited friends for a few days. Shot up to NYC for a three day weekend to see the girls cousin in a Broadway show. Those were all a little more stressful than the longer RV/Timeshare weeks, but still a whirlwind of fun.
  17. I'm hanging in there. I still cry at random times...when I found a pair of his socks tucked away in my car, or when I glanced at he time and almost went into his room to wake him up from a nap...stripping his crib to wash the bedding was hard. When I walk through the store and find myself in the baby aisle, looking to see if there is a sale on wipes. Any time a friend texts to see how I'm doing, their kindness brings me to tears. And yesterday I got a reference form for another friend who will be doing foster care, so that made me cry...happy tears because her family is incredible and they will be an amazing foster family, and also because it will break her heart. She is just like me-she will love fiercely and with wild abandon, and will also experience a huge loss. Last week one of my very best friends made me a beautiful wall hanging with the quote "Grief can only exist because love lived there first" and a space on the side to add our foster children's names. I can't hang it yet, but it's a comfort to know that all this terrible sadness is worth it because there was so much love for him. My kids are doing ok, they are tip toeing around me...they totally sense that mommy isn't ok. My oldest gave me permission to go hole up in my room whenever I needed to and she said she'd watch the other two. She's a great kid. Every night, the girls and I sit in their room and watch old videos and look at pictures of him. It's good therapy. My hubby left for three weeks the day before baby left, so that kind of stinks too. While we haven't been super close lately, it would be comforting to have him here at this difficult time. He has been calling or texting multiple times each day to check in on me, so that's a good thing. It's all surreal. He just....disappeared. I keep having moments of anxiety that I'm forgetting him when we load up the car or that I hear him cry, and I realize no. He is gone. I really wish it would have been more gradual. We went from a 2 hour weekly visit to completely gone, and I am so worried about how he is handling that. Does he think we abandoned him? Is he crying for us?
  18. Thank you all for the hugs and kind words. It means a lot, really. I cried on and off all day, but tried to hold it together for my kids sake. They are so very sad. Tonight is sure to be long and hard, and I don't think sleep will come. I'm imagining him, in a totally new place for the first time, and wondering what his little brain is thinking...that is breaking me right now. I'd never left him, all he knows is our family. He is really easy going, and I know he will adjust and be ok, but I wish he could understand what was happening. His bio family has our contact info, and I'm hoping so hard they will keep in touch. It would mean the world to all of us. I think this is the hardest thing I've ever done.
  19. I don't post too much here, but I read daily, and feel like this group is 'home' in so many ways. I hope you all won't mind me dumping all this here... Today our foster son goes home. We've had him since he was discharged from the hospital, and he will be 1 this week. He is a dream angel baby, and we love him so, so much. The move is good, it means the system did what it was intended to do. So part of me is celebrating with his bio family, our case workers, and especially for him. But a bigger part is devastated. I knew it was coming, I know I signed up for this, I know all that. It doesn't make it any easier. My kids are losing their brother, and we are losing our son. I have moments where I can't breathe, where the realization of what is happening is too much. I know in time, we will heal, and it won't be so very hard. Right now though, I just want to hold him forever and not let go. This really sucks.
  20. Someone once taught me to say "So, what I hear you saying is-" and then repeat back exact words. It assures the other person you truly were listening to them. Then you can say something like "That makes me think/feel/wonder..." and you say your piece. Does that make sense? Whenever I do that I find I truly am listening and the other party feels heard. Hope that helps.
  21. Miquon for k-2 and then CLE. I loved Miquon for its uniqueness and the how rods helped to cement basic arithmetic. I love CLE for its ease of use and it's spiral review. No regrets.
  22. I *think* Math- CLE Prodigy Language Arts- Phonetic Zoo IEW Fables R&S English or G.U.M. workbook Loads of literature and poetry for our geography based year Geography- (taking a history break and doing world geography next year) I have over 200 books, fables, stories, and fairy tales from around the world for next year. I used the book Give Your Child the World for lists. I'll read a bunch during morning basket time and she will have a stack to read on her own. We will do weekly crafts, presentations, and projects, and monthly celebrations with food and festivities from various countries. Science- Elemental science in coop. Not sure which one, but all experiments, reading, and vocabulary will happen at coop. Yay! Religion, Character, Logic, Poetry, Art, Memory Work, composer study, math and spelling drills, games, etc all happen during morning basket time. It takes about 1.5 hours. Everyone gets a chance to read aloud, and we just cycle through a bunch of stuff. I really want to simplify school for next year. I love our morning time together, and then I just want a math block and a language arts block of time. This child will probably be doing 20-22 hours of gymnastics, so it's important to me that our home time is peaceful and relaxing and not rushed or stressed.
  23. I'm so sorry for your loss. 💔 Someone with more experience will come along for advice, I just wanted to let you know I read it and am thinking of you.
  24. water colors slime rice/bird seed bin lego wooden building blocks magnet building toys those little rubber band making tools...cant remember the name pot holder making tool beads on string (can be bigger chunky beads for littles, or intricate bead work for older kids) puzzle chalk pastels stencils
  25. What worked- *CLE math for my 3 and 6 graders. *Mama made American history. We gave up doing encyclopedia/outlines and my 6th grader read a TON of books (I think we are at 15 currently) instead. She loved it, and honestly has a better understanding of history. *IEW for both big girls. SWI B followed by Narnia for my 6th grader, and Fables and Fairy Tales for my 3rd grader. We started in February, so we won't finish the whole year by summer, but I adore IEW, and have seen tremendous growth in their writing. *Elemental Science Chemistry for the Logic Stage coop for my 6th grader, unit study based science for my 3rd grader at the same time. I am hands off for the chemistry part. Some moms teach the bigger kids and I, along with two other moms, teach the younger siblings. The middle schoolers do all the labs, reading, vocabulary, and discussion question there. I like that I don't have to assemble a bunch of supplies, that she gets to works with lab partners and bounce ideas off each other, and that there is no homework, so science is completely taken off our home schedule. *Morning Basket-we recently started this and everyone loves it. It takes us 1-1.5 hours, but it is so well worth it. The morning feels nicer, calmer, and I'm really loving all of the discussion. Depending on the day, we cover-religious study, character, reading aloud, history, literature, fables, poetry, music, art, spelling, math facts, memory work, and logic. *Art and Debate classes at coop #2-the art is taught by two ladies who own an art studio, and is fantastic. They've done glass fusing, clay, canvas painting, chalk, and a bunch of other methods. I love it. I feel they are really learning a ton. The debate class is the second half of what started as a logic class. It's for my oldest. She comes home every week excited to research the topic (some have been age of the earth, animal testing, women leadership in church, building Trumps wall, etc.) and spends hours preparing her defense. Even though we are generally on a very liberal side (the coop is Christian based, so we are kind of heretical lol), and she is in the minority when it comes to choosing sides, her teacher has applauded her and cheered her on and has never made her feel weird. She adores her teacher. *Phonetic Zoo-It's easy to implement and doesn't make her cry. Win. *Shepperd Software-they do the world geography drills. Takes five minutes and they all do it happily. *Prodigy Math-got it for $8 a year, totally worth it. It's fun, and they get exposure to some different concepts and methods. What hasn't worked- *Sigh. Basically anything with my 6 year old. She's on the sensory spectrum, and has a very hard time with emotional regulation. I don't think it's the curriculum, it's her. We are doing Miquon and CLE Learn to Read. I like them both a lot, but she gives me a hard time everyday. I am at a loss. She is capable, and the curriculum is good, but she does it grudgingly and generally needs to leave the table at least once. 😣 *Mapping the World With Art-the reading selection bored them. The map drawings were good, but they didn't really retain much. *Critical Thinking Co-grammar/language arts. It got done, but I'm not sure how much was retained...this isn't a total fail for us, but I don't know that I loved it. We'll be doing something else next year.
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