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    Oh Canada!
  1. I have no issues learning American history IF it is done is chronological order, in a progressive way. But in WWE it is not, so unless I teach it outside or writing, he has no frame of reference. We are doing history, but are only at the Middle Ages right now, and I have no desire to to plunk in a random history lesson that is not presented in a progressive fashion and takes place a thousand years later in a part of the world we have not begun to study yet. Nansk, thanks for the suggestion about Aesops fables or a current read-aloud. I like SWB's method in WWE, but I find it too advanced sometimes. My son understands and comprehends it, but by the end of the passage the retention of details is difficult for him and frustrating for me. If it was a passage of facts about the vampire otoothess, he would have no issues. I am also not gifted in teaching, so I need curriculum to guide me. Picking my own passages and questions will be difficult for me. I have no idea what my choices for other curriculum are!
  2. We are in WWE 3 and alot of the assignments are American history, which is proving to be difficult for us. There are a number of reasons....the reading selections to summarize are dry and boring to us, they lack relevance, and these reading selections are our first introduction to these American history snippets. It makes it difficult for my 8year old son to process this information, and it bores us both to tears. I don't know if I should find a new curriculum or try substituting different stories some of the weeks. Anyone else struggling with the content and wishing for something more relevant?
  3. Toys, books, and each other. I think there is nothing wrong with leaving your children to their own devices to explore and play. I am often amazed at what my kids come up with all on their own. And I don't need to be sick to have days like this. Haha.
  4. We don't do flash cards. We play math games (rightstart math) to reinforce math. I used flash cards for myself when I was in college studying pharmacy. I had to memorize the drug names (generic) and their matching brand names as well as classification and a bunch of other boring stuff. It worked great for me. I read somewhere that the people who like flash cards are the people who don't need them. Haha.
  5. Well, I've never read "Heidi", and I don't think I've failed at life. We've started many books that we haven't finished. If no one is excited to see it pulled out, I drop it. We did that with "The Hobbit" and picked it up again a year later. My oldest loved it the second time we started, so we finished it.
  6. This is what I needed...a step by step process. I really am terrible bringing up things in person. I lose my words and things come out all wrong. We communicate to each other via the emails on FB, so that is what I meant by putting it on FB - by sending out a private message to them all...which is the same as an email. I'm terrified of addressing them face to face because I am just socially uncomfortable in general with people. Especially when everyone is looking at and listening to me. I clam up and get tears in my eyes. Talking to 3 or 4 people and having them all listen to me is akin to standing up on a stage and talking to thousands....I get that level of fear.
  7. Thank you everyone. Sorry if I was unclear.....we are all new friends, mostly unschoolers, meeting as friends. We are not a co-op or organized group. Just friends who like to hang out. Rules would not go over well, however I don't feel it is fair to exclude during our visits. I don't host get togethers because I could not handle that many friends in my house at one time, but when we invite people over we don't exclude. They are our guests. I guess my biggest question is should I tell the other moms my kids feel excluded by their kids? I know that if my kids were being hurtful towards someone I would want to know so I could coach them. I don't think the kids are cruel kids....maybe they don't think that what they are doing would hurt their feelings. We are all in private Facebook group, and I thought about bringing it up on their by saying something like: my kids have been feeling generally excluded (I could provide examples). Does anyone have any suggestions on how I could help them? Something like that. :) I feel like I want to tell my friends their kids have been unkind to mine (I wouldn't use those words....I'd have to come up with something more diplomatic and non accusing) I'm just trying to get a general sense of what is socially acceptable. Generally what happens is I let things fester inside me until I can no longer bear it, then I end up being passive-aggressive and somewhat rude because I have been hurting for so long. And when it involves my kids....well, the mama bear inside me wants to swat. Haha.
  8. My mom kept getting calls for me from a telemarketer 10 years after I left home! I can't figure out how or why! She kept saying I didn't live there, that they had the wrong number. After a long time, she finally told them I had died. They didn't call back ever again. Lol!
  9. With our phone provider I can get them to block specific phone numbers from coming through. I did that after we moved and got a new phone number. 2-3 times a week we were getting calls from a guy through a dating service asking to speak to the same person over and over again, but the person on the other end of the phone chat couldn't hear us. It was one of those things where the person being called has to press 1 to accept the call. Finally after several months of this, I just got the number blocked through our phone provider. Nice feature!
  10. We geocache ALL THE TIME in the spring and fall. We love it! We have a garmin something or other. I can't say anything about gps's because I am a tech-idiot, but you can leave anything that will fit in the geocache. We typically leave little trinkets and toys. The courtesy rule is that you leave something that is "better" than whatever you take. We usually go to the caches along trails and in the bush. We have bushwhacked so much! We have discovered beavers and walked across beaver dams, crossed streams by throwing in stepping stones, found old wasps nests and studied them, fed chickadees from our hands, collected moss, seen deer, found animal skulls, traipsed around old settlers cabins, been completely lost, found machine graveyards, and tons of other fun things...all within our city. We even once found a geocache when we weren't out geocaching by accident. We always wear jeans, even if its hot, and always runners...no sandals or crocs. And now we always bring extra batteries for the GPS, and snacks and water. Sometimes we are out for 6-8 hours by accident. I have seen great improvement in my boys physical stamina and I love that they are getting exercise and out in nature. We usually skip the micros as part of the fun for us is finding "treasure".
  11. I didn't wean both my kids until they were 5 years old. They stopped nursing in the middle of the night without tears. It was still difficult for them though. I cosleep, so there were lots of snuggles, back rubs, singing, etc for a week or two. I found weaning more exhausting, and I probably wouldn't have done it that early if it wasn't for my husband pushing for it.
  12. One day I plan on getting my kids name meanings tattoo'd on my forearm in an awesome font. I can't wait! I've seen some trashy tattoos, but I've also seen some beautiful ones. I wouldn't lump all tattoos into one category ever.
  13. Well, when they did leave the room in that particular instance I did approach the boy whose house we were at and ask him if there was a problem. He said no, and I reminded him that during these get togethers no one should be excluding others and he said, "Of course." He invited my boys to his birthday party last week, so it's not like he doesn't like them. So....I don't really understand either.
  14. I used the ACE curriculum in grade 3 and 4 and I can tell you that it was a complete joke. I whizzed through it and never learned a thing except how to copy and fill in the blanks. I can't speak about the kindergarten level, and I should also mention that my experience with it was 30 years ago. Things may have changed.
  15. So in the fall I finally found a group of homeschooling moms that I like, and they have been very warm and welcoming to me. I have a pretty great group of friends now! The thing that makes me so sad and feeling with becoming more withdrawn is that several things have happened with the kids and my 2 boys have felt really left out. My boys are 6 and 8. These are some of the things that have happened.... - while hanging out my boys were the only 2 kids who did not get a turn on a wii even when they voiced they wanted to play. The kids were playing for at least 3 hours. - while hanging out again at the same house, 2 of the kids aged 11 and 6 were blocking the doorway to a room repeatedly saying my boys could not enter. All the other kids (like 12 of them) were in the room and my 2 boys were "locked out" so to speak. - kids were playing with one of the boys guns at a different house. When it was put down and my son picked it up the owner of the gun (a 6 year old) said they were not allowed to play with it, and neither was my other son. - one time 2 boys were in a room and a bunch of kids were outside. My boys were hanging out in the hallway and they knocked on the door to the room where the other boys were playing. One of the boys opened the door and shouted "Go away!" This was one time that I heard what happened and I went to investigate. I knocked on the door and asked if my boys could come in and play with them. They said yes, but immediately left the room when my boys tried to enter. I made sure the other boys understood that during these large group play times they weren't to be excluding others. If we were new to a group of long time friends I could see why this might happen, but we are sort of newish friends. I can tell my boys are struggling and feeling left out. I have always had a hard time making friends so I can empathize with my boys. They are wonderful boys....they are adorable, don't stink, are kind, not domineering, and thoughtful and I don't understand why anyone wouldn't want to hang out with them. I really want to tell my friends to tell their kids to stop being jerks to my kids, but maybe this is not the best way to handle it? I have told my boys if ANYTHING like this arises again to just come get me and I will help them work through it with the other kids. But I really want to let the other moms know that their kids are being mean to my kids! I would love some insight into how you might handle something like this....if it is best to coach my kids and see if they can solve this with their peers (the other kids are aged 4-14, so some of them definitely know better) or if I should speak to the parents. I have seen some of the other moms rave about how wonderful their kids new friends are in this group (btw it's 9 families who regularly get together), and all I can think is that they are being horrible to my kids. Why my kids? These women are my support! Thank you for reading my rant!
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