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Everything posted by Jaybee

  1. Rosie, that was good advice. I guess in my OP, I should have specified more what I am looking for. I have older kids, but this is for my two young boys, ages 11 and 8, 5th and 2nd grades, respectively. I am not too concerned about placing the 5th grader (for next year). But the 2nd grader is more my concern. He is a little behind in the LA area, though is handling FLL2 just fine. I have him in WWE1 this year. His reading is more very early 2nd grade, and writing is probably about the same, though he usually narrates orally fairly well. I won't be going full MP, at least not yet, but am trying to get a good idea of what to order that will not have to sit on the shelf for a couple of years (once I open it up and see it is unreasonable to expect for him).
  2. Thanks, all! This gives me some clearer guidelines. I would love to go with a curriculum package, but it seems like too much writing (physically) for my boys, and since we haven't used their materials from the start, we will have to piecemeal anyway in some areas. You've given me the information I needed to help me decide what to order.
  3. I've read a lot of posts/comments about First Form Latin, so I don't really need feedback about that. But so many of their products look very appealing to me. If you have used Memoria Press curriculum, what have you used, and what did you like or not like about it? This includes composition, history, copywork, lit guides, various science, etc. TIA
  4. Our little boy was almost 4. So many of these children have not had the kinds of natural learning stimulation our babies have around them from the beginning. Most any kind of formal curriculum would be wasted for quite a few months, imo. What our son needed was lots and lots of snuggling, (which included a few toddler books he grew to love and "quote" even before he knew what the words meant), predictable routine, and the kinds of interaction and activities most of our bio toddlers receive in the routine course of life. Wading pool, sandbox, legos, puzzles, balls, crayons and coloring books, mazes, scissor activities (Kumon has some great books for this), clay/playdoh, Signing Time videos, trampolines, and so on. At first, our son did not know what to do with a crayon and paper. He would just tentatively scribble a little somewhere on the side of the paper. Four months later, he was coloring quite well for his age, and we did nothing to even show him what to do. With legos, at first he would get very frustrated because he tried to build things that did not make sense according to physics, so they would fall apart. Again, within a few months, he had figured it out, and his small motor skills had improved amazingly. There are lots of little skills that make up daily life for us, that these children do not know, so it is good to provide the time and space for them to do some catching up without pressure. It helps to think of it as starting from the beginning; but then most older kids just move through the stages a lot faster than the babies/toddlers do. They need the stages though.
  5. "Another beneficial book is Attaching in Adoption by Deborah Gray" I second Deborah Gray's book. She also has a second book out now called (something like) Nurturing Adoptions. I have found her books THE most helpful books in giving me specific things to do and say. Her books are also very hope-inspiring, in that she just does not give up on a kid. She gives good strategies for dealing with boundaries, etc., and does not back away from difficult situations that others may not address. She deals with issues in a positive but firm way.
  6. My son was in what I consider a "good" orphanage overseas from the age of 1 month to almost 4 years. It was not a perfect scenario--I don't think he got quite enough to eat, though the children looked well-fed, and I saw one of the caretakers quite impatient with a few of the children. The babies did not get enough attention. It was an institutional setting. That said, it was clean, well-run, orderly, and generally a positive atmosphere, from my limited observations. My son has pleasant memories of it, though I think they are somewhat idealized as time has passed. He has adjusted well to family life, but I think his personality is a bit of a diplomat's personality, and he wants things to run smoothly between people. Some of the children who were there have had more trouble settling in well to family life (but I don't know of any serious RAD cases). An institution is not the same as a warm, loving family atmosphere. That said, I think he would have been scarred if he had moved through several foster placements. He felt secure at the orphanage. He knew what to expect. He understood how the system worked. Again, it was a positive atmosphere. As his parent, I prefer what he received from the overseas orphanage to what many U.S. foster children receive from the CPS system.
  7. I have read this entire thread with both great interest and sadness. We adopted our ds8 internationally when he was almost 4yo. The adjustments have not been easy, and there are some minor "issues", but overall, he is a very healthy little boy emotionally, and I believe the outlook for him and for our relationship with him is very positive. Even so, it hasn't been easy, and we reacted to him differently than we expected. My own anger sometimes took me by surprise. Our agency "did" prepare us--we were required to read certain books, go through online training courses, etc. All that to say, I believe it is an agency's (and adoptive parents') moral responsibility to put the information out there! While the information made us nervous and sometimes outright scared, there is a part of me that feels that if adoptive parents can be scared off, they "should" be. Even with agencies that try to prepare the parents, some people will not hear it, and are unwilling to see that their child may need either more than they are giving, or at least a different approach. Our lives are deeply blessed by our little boy--he is a fun-loving, laughing, cheerful fellow. People may see that, and not realize that there are wounds. There are other children who have much deeper ones, and they need parents too; but they need parents who know there may be a lot of hard work involved in parenting their children and helping them heal. I do not think there should be guilt if one feels he/she cannot adopt considering the possibilities; it is part of being realistic in providing for the needs of a child, as well as the needs of the children who are already in the home.
  8. I've washed my hair daily since tenth grade, with few exceptions. I am now 52, and have thick, shiny, healthy hair. I, too, don't feel quite clean if I haven't washed my hair. I live in a subtropical and humid climate. I might not do the same thing in a cold, dry climate, but it works for here.
  9. I, too, like the #1 Ladies' Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith. http://www.amazon.com/No-1-Ladies-Detective-Agency-Movie/dp/0307456625/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1327237993&sr=8-12 The books are light, enjoyable reading with a few poignant moments, and lots of folk wisdom.
  10. These look interesting. But looking at the samples, would you use both the "Sentencing Composing" and "Grammar" simultaneously? The Grammar looks a lot like the same, but it is hard for me to make a good judgment without the books in front of me. (I'm challenged like that.):tongue_smilie:
  11. In Argentina, we used 'jo' where we lived, but some friends lived on the western side near the Andes, and they used 'yo'. For both "y" and "ll", the sound was a soft "j" though, not a hard "j" like we would say the name Joe.
  12. A little funny: Dh somehow through the years started calling our oldest dd "Lucy." That is not her name, and is not similar to her name, yet for some reason it suits her as a nickname. When she was an older teenager, a close family friend whom she relates to as an uncle (though he isn't), mistakenly called her "Lucy." She told him, "NObody calls me 'Lucy' but my Dad!" She didn't REALLY mind, but still drew the line, and they had a good laugh.
  13. My boys are quite a ways from Algebra yet, but we live overseas, so my opportunities for reviewing curriculum firsthand before buying are very limited. Hence, my questions now about Dolciani: I've seen it mentioned quite a bit here, and was interested in someone else's explanation of how it works. It piqued my interest, but I am curious as to which edition. I know the older ones are supposed to be really solid, but is it hard to get the solution/teacher's manuals in the correct editions? I looked at Amazon briefly, but was a bit concerned I would order the incorrect TM to go with the student book. How do you avoid that mistake? Is anything else needed other than the TM and the book?
  14. I've never been a big fan of spelling programs, I guess mainly because my older kids are natural spellers, and it never seemed to make much difference with the words they did have problems with. With my youngers, I am not currently using a program this year, because of moving back into homeschooling, but I am going to try something new next year. Rainbow Resource has several spelling rule books (not spelling programs), and I'm going to buy the one called Spelling Essentials, and just go through it thoroughly with the boys. We'll keep it on hand while we do school, and just refer to it frequently. My hope is that this strategy will be more effective, both timewise and result-wise. We'll see.
  15. I'm from the South, and never confused the two even though I have always heard them pronounced the same. My mother has a very Southern accent, but she doesn't make grammar and spelling mistakes. Ignorance and carelessness can exist anywhere; having lived overseas in quite a few countries, as well as in several regions of the U.S., I've seen some form of these kinds of mistakes everywhere I have lived.
  16. My oldest was the physical perfectionist--he didn't walk until 15 months (though he was talking), but once he did, he rarely fell down. When he was 7, he couldn't ride a bike. One morning, he got up, got on his bike, and took off. We asked him, "What made you decide to try this morning?" He said, "I dreamed I could ride it, so when I got up and tried it, I could!" OP, :grouphug: Parenting that first child is such a learning curve. And, unfortunately, the kids that follow all have to be different, so then you have to keep learning new stuff that fits them. :tongue_smilie: (But it can also be a lot of fun!) It sounds like you are providing lots of wonderful learning activities for her along the way. Four was a much more difficult age than 2 or 3 at our house. It seemed like the year when the kids realized, "Hey, things in this world don't always go my way, and I don't like it!" The questioning, the whining, etc., were exhausting, but you just keep plugging along with the "I can't understand what you are saying when you speak in that tone of voice" kinds of instruction. And the hugs, the cuddles, the gentle demonstrations of how to do things, the encouraging words for when she tries even (especially) if it doesn't work, and so on, do make a difference.
  17. I was told that the tiny stones that filled my gallbladder were actually the worst kind, because they could easily slip out and block the bile duct. Then I would have had to have emergency surgery. The (planned!) surgery was not complicated at all. When asked if I had indigestion a lot (before surgery), I said no, because I didn't think I did. After the surgery, I realized that I had apparently just become accustomed to it, and that I felt better after the surgery.
  18. I'm glad you are going to see what you can work out. Pursuing music certainly can be expensive, but if it can be afforded at all, so worth it. I grew up playing piano, and added violin as a 42yo adult, when my twin daughters started violin lessons. Over the years, I tried out some other instruments. While piano is always beneficial to a musician, I disagree somewhat with making a child who has a strong interest in one instrument start with another one unless it is very similar. The love for one instrument does not automatically transfer to another type, and may squelch the desire to continue with music study at all. From my limited experience, double bassists are in demand in youth orchestras, college orchestras, etc., because good ones are few and far between. By the way, there is something so very soul-satisfying about playing one of the "strings."
  19. I don't know how helpful this will be, but when my oldest was born, he had a head full of blonde hair. The ped told me to avoid cradle cap by washing with a gentle shampoo, to use a soft plastic scrub brush to gently scrub his scalp while shampooing, and not to use any oils. I did this with all our kids, and none of them had problems with cradle cap. But I don't know if the protocol prevented it, or if it was just coincidence.
  20. Oh, I forgot--there is this Tigger movie where he is looking for his family; maybe I am more sensitive to it because of my adopted son, but this movie is totally a tear-jerker for me.
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