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Posts posted by alef

  1. I see authoritative as different than authoritarian. When someone is authoritative, people are looking to them as a good source of information, an expert so to speak. They have authority because they've earned it. Whereas I see authoritarian as more dogmatic and controlling. Taking authority rather than being endowed with it through your track record.

    I was using authoritative as discussed here: http://psychology.about.com/od/childcare/f/authoritative-parenting.htm


    This is what I aim for.

  2. Good point. And it really is a problem, because I have a napper (and another napper on the way). So maybe something like, "Any time our kids are out, feel free to join them." I mean, this little girl is only three, and my kids never say no to an opportunity to play with anyone!


    Honestly, part of the reason I wanted an awesome playset was to attract the neighbor kids--not without permission, but just to make our house a place where the kids would want to play. We don't and won't do a lot of the other things that attract all the kids--video games, junk food, etc. I wanted to do *something* that would entice kids to hang out here...WITH my kids.

    When we lived in a neighborhood with a lot of kids, I disabled the doorbell so they would have to knock instead of ringing (I also had nappers). We also put up a Stop sign on the front door when we were doing school or just didn't want visitors.

  3. Ugh, I've lived in a neighborhood like this, except it wasn't just yards--the kids ran in and out of everyone's houses like they owned them. It took me forever to get it through their heads that if they wanted to come into my house they needed to knock first and wait for me to open the door and invite them in (or not)--and even then we had problems with kids breaking in and playing in our house while we were away.


    One possible way to frame your response is that you are concerned about liability issues if someone gets hurt and you do not want neighborhood children playing in your yard unless you have made plans to supervise them.

  4. Average at most schools is 14-16, with a range of 12-21 for full-time students in the schools I am aware of. At my college, 18 credit hours was the upper limit you could take without petitioning for special permission, but in some departments such as music the time in class was significantly higher than the credit hours; some classes met for two hours a week but awarded only 0.5 credits. Foreign language and math classes also typically met for five hours a week but awarded only 4 credit hours. I think I was usually in class with a faculty member at least 20 hours per week.

  5. If I were to put my kids in school, I would strongly consider a Montessori school. Whether it is right for your family is something you will have to decide, but it sounds like at this point you are strongly drawn to that option. I think it sounds like a reasonable choice given your circumstances.

  6. My oldest sister is well known for regularly accomplishing the impossible. She's an amazing person in every way (not being snarky, I have nothing but admiration for her), but growing up in her shadow was not easy--my mom assumed that her oldest child was the norm, and was flummoxed as to why the rest of us never quite measured up :d

  7. Dress appropriately for the activity, consider practicality and comfort. Our church teaches standards for both boys and girls that include covering shoulders and midriffs and avoiding tight or revealing clothing, so we follow those as a general guideline. For middle school, I would want shorts that come at least to the mid thigh, skirts within a couple inches of the knee, and for girls I would avoid clothing designed to be sexually suggestive (doesn't mean it can't be cute and fashionable). Clothing worn for sports, dance, swimming etc. should be appropriate to the activity (i.e., I wouldn't expect dance shorts to be long or leotards to not be snug). I try to teach respect for self and others as the guide for choosing how we present ourselves through our clothing.

  8. I prioritize foreign language, math, and music as skill subjects that build incrementally. We school year round, which helps, but there are trade offs. We do not study much formal English grammar in elementary school, nor have we done formal writing. My children read a lot and listen to high quality litererature as audiobooks, I personally believe that is more important to their ultimate development as writers than a formal language arts program in the elementary years. They have picked up spelling on their own. We do memory work, and do science in fits and starts, mostly through reading books together and doing experiments and activities (they think dissections are fun...) I feel their success in science at the upper levels will be best helped by wide reading and experience in the world and nature coupled with strong math skills, I am not worrying about covering a specific set of information at this point.


    For your family, I would prioritize the things that seem most important to you and the things that ignite your child's interest. I would spend less time on things that come naturally or that you are just trudging through because that's what everyone studies.

  9. Welcome to the boards Debbi! Your daughter sounds very fortunate to have parents who are working hard to help her succeed.


    I am not familiar with Illinois law nor am I an expert in dyslexia, so I will leave those questions for others to answer. I do want to address scheduling. I would be very hesitant to have a child who struggles with math take a three month break from the subject, I think you would lose a lot of ground and end up in a cycle of reteaching things over and over. I think your plan to focus on math over the summer is fine, but rather than drop math when you start science I would keep going just at a slower pace. Additionally, you may want to backtrack in math if your child has not mastered skills from earlier grades. Most curricula have placement tests available, you can use those to determine what she has mastered and what she hasn't. If you homeschool math year round, even if she starts out a level or two behind you should be able to get her caught back up to grade level in time, but with a more solid foundation to build on.

  10. The best thing you can do for yourself is to forget all the homeschooling labels and instead figure out your reasons and goals for homeschooling, and then figure out how to best achieve those goals with your children. Sounds simplistic, but I did write out my homeschool philosophy at one point and I kept it in my planner/journal to refer to when things got confusing




    Do what feels right for your family, keep an eye on the end result -- the young adult you want to set loose in the world, and adjust as needed.

    This was an excellent post. Don't get caught up in labels or in trying to imitate someone else's philosophy or educational path. Read, consider, and discuss a variety of philosophies and experiences, and take from them what feels right for your family.


    I have some unschoolish and interest led leanings, but there are also parent directed elements in my homeschool. There are periods of time when we are more structured, and times when there is very little directed structure in my children's education. Sometimes you just have to try different things until you find something that works, then you can run with it until it stops working and you know it's time to try something different.

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