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    Reading, computer geekery, music (singing & playing), sewing, crafts, photography, philanthropy, pyrotechnics, electronics, gardening, shooting, boating & offshore fishing, whatever pops up next and looks like fun!
  1. My mother is 1000 miles away, so my husband and kids make it a nice day for me. It usually involves a day trip to a place I pick, kids behaving well, and my husband going along with whatever it is (even shopping at Ikea one year!) with a smile on his face. :D
  2. Since I was a teen, people thought I looked younger - often much younger - than I was (unless I was very dressed up w/heavy makeup). Older women used to tell me I would appreciate it later... They were SO RIGHT! :D
  3. I've had some luck with focusing on the positive - even when it's teeny tiny bits of positive - and completely ignoring the disruptive behavior. Easier said than done, of course, but when I remember to do it, it works wonders. There's a timer you can buy (also an app, but not as effective that way) called a Motiv-aider that you clip on your waistband & it vibrates every x minutes (I currently have mine set for 3). Every time it vibrates, I pick the kid(s) who are doing the right thing and give them a mini M&M. If one kid baits another, and the second doesn't respond, *BOOM* reward for the one who didn't take the bait, ignoring the other completely. Pretty classic behavior modification, totally frustrating for parents, but it really is effective over the long term.
  4. Kids get rambunctious in groups, especially when it's not a rigidly structured activity. Could be a combination of: There are often few, if any, consequences for misbehavior at extracurriculars. Groups won't want to lose participants over discipline, especially if it's a commercial / for-profit program No one wants to deal with parents who get upset over how & why their kid was disciplined Volunteers may not be trained to handle discipline problems effectively, especially if they rotate week to week Kids know it's not school and that the consequences are minimal I am involved in a couple of different extracurriculars with kids ranging from preschool to 5th grade, and the behavior can quickly get out of hand -- things I know that many of these same kids don't get away with at home or at school. I don't imagine it's much different for tweens/teens looking to blow off steam / have fun / get a little extra attention, but perhaps even harder to rein in because they're not as motivated by the promise of a sticker or piece of candy at the end of the class. The kids see it as fun goofing around, and probably don't even realize it causes problems for anyone else.
  5. Yes, yes, yes. Please don't overlook this. I thought for a while that homeschooling was driving me crazy. Then I got talking, really talking, with friends who have the same age kids in traditional school (especially other moms of multiples & closely-spaced kiddos). They have many of the same battles and same feelings that I do, but it's over homework in the afternoon/evening instead of schoolwork in the morning. Just the other day a friend was asking "how I do it" -- genuinely curious, as she's considering it herself. I asked her how she gets her kids out the door on time every single morning & how she manages all the homework, and we had a good laugh realizing that parenting, especially at our kids' ages (she also has 3 a little farther apart than mine), is HARD no matter how you do school. I'm still half out of my mind, but at least I'm not alone! ;)
  6. My kids' current favorite rewards are pretty simple things: staying up a half hour past bedtime (= extra alone time with Mom & Dad while siblings are in bed), choosing what we have for dinner, picking a TV show or movie to watch on the big TV in the living room, or baking something with me. I also have a treasure box full of dollar store items. We use a combination of points for schoolwork done and a printed chart of daily expectations checked off each evening, with bonus points for no more than 2-3 Xs. We also give random rewards (small treats like M&Ms, hug or high-5, bonus point or 2) when I "catch" them in good behavior throughout the day. When they get a certain number of points, they get to pick a reward. If things go too far downhill for several days in a row, I will limit privileges as well (like screen time -- they usually have to spend points on this anyway, but unless they've earned enough checkmarks this week they can't even buy screen time).
  7. tabinfl


    I would say GP _if_ you have one who follows your overall condition. If not, I'd go straight to a neurologist.
  8. I deleted the "Bob the Angry Flower" apostrophe comic I posted some time back, left the link to the site (shame on me, I should know better, though I've gotten the impression over the years that the creator doesn't mind as long as it's linked back to the site so they can sell posters & stuff). Please let's be careful about painting a copyright owner as some kind of bad guy(/girl) for trying to protect their work. As others have pointed out, someone taking the results of your hard work, things you or your family depend on to make a living, and distributing it without paying you stinks. The fact that it's so easy and happens so often on the interwebs doesn't make it right. I know I'd get my "panties in a twist" over that (and have, when companies I've done contract programming work for didn't want to pay me). I'm sure many of us would have twisted panties if we ran across a website giving away e-book copies of TWTM without paying SWB. Describing it in derogatory terms like that isn't fair to the people who own the work in question.
  9. The quality of the magnifying glass will definitely make a difference. A glass lens will work MUCH better than plastic, if you can get a plastic one to work at all. A larger lens will also focus more energy than a smaller one. Great follow up project: compare magnifiers and research why these variables make a difference! :D
  10. This is the impression I have as well. When they finally made the electronic version available on iPad, I had to pay $5 for them to generate a license key for my iPad -- and was told this would be the case for any additional devices. Not that $5 is a huge deal, but when I've spent hundreds with them already, being nickel-and-dimed for something like this turns me off. I have purchased years 1 & 2 already, but am seriously reconsidering buying the rest.
  11. Oh, crap. And here I thought our day was going pretty well (no siblings were maimed or permanently disfigured!).
  12. I use a combination of praise, mini-M&Ms, and points that can be used later for screen time or other fun stuff. Also crazy stuff that pops into my head, like today's grammar lesson: kids stood at the edge of the pool and got to jump in each time they answered correctly. Whining I mostly ignore. I do redirect when attention wanders, but I can't constantly be at three elbows at the same time (at least not without distracting the other two more than helping the one I'm prompting), so I've begun setting a timer for the dawdling one(s) and putting their work aside when it goes off, to be done later before / instead of screen time.
  13. Kids' last day of summer camp was Friday. I have a partial reprieve this coming week as I'm helping at church music camp in the mornings, so we'll ramp up with half days of school work for the week. But after that? Noooooo... not ready yet! (Just needed to say that 'out loud', thanks.)
  14. Oh, and one my husband uses at work (placing IT consultants) that applies to many other areas of life as well: There's an a$$ for every seat.
  15. Time is your friend. and Phillipians 4:8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
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