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Posts posted by MerryAtHope

  1. Some kids prefer non-fiction over fiction--you could try strewing some books on topics they are really interested in--sharks, space, woodworking, taking care of pets, whatever. Have you tried magazines? My kids used to love it when Lego Magazine would come every month or two. There are some really fun Star Wars books for elementary kids at various levels (my son went through a lot of Star Wars, LOL!). Or try comic books--at their ages, my son loved Calvin and Hobbes. Your idea to get them hooked on a series is good too--my daughter read all of the original Box Car Children books and many of the later ones as well. Encyclopedia Brown was one I could never get enough of as a kid. Here are some other chapter book series ideas.

    • Like 3
  2. You may want to look into All About Spelling. It's great for kids who struggle with spelling and also for kids with dyslexia, and really helped my kids. Here's a review I did on my blog. With regard to leaving sounds out of words, one of the things it works on is how to segment words into sounds--and then it incrementally teaches them how to represent the sounds they hear in a word. I hope you find a good program to help your daughter!

  3. If you like the ABC's and All Their Tricks, All About Spelling pairs nicely with that--it teaches how to spell by phonogram and lays everything out incrementally for you. Most good spellers are also good readers, but the reverse isn't necessarily true--I know lots of good readers who struggle with spelling! Good spellers tend to use a variety of strategies--phonetic, rules-based, visual, and morphemic. Anyway, hope you find what you are looking for!

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  4. On 9/29/2020 at 9:56 AM, teachermom2834 said:

    My dh teaches online and it has just gotten progressively worse over 15 years.

    The number of students who see due dates as mild suggestions and expect to hand in ten labs and all the homeworks and all the quizzes the last week of class is absolutley staggering. It is so many that approach it this way, it has to fly in high school or other online classes. It never crossed my mind as a student that the due date wasn't really the due date. Just a helpful suggestion to stay on track?

    My dh actually accepts late work (or else everyone would always fail and he would not have a job). His late work penalty is that he just gives a grade and doesn't provide helpful feedback. Just a number grade. He explains this multiple times. He had a student hand in a late lab and he just gave a grade with no feedback. She wrote him a nasty email accusing him of "ganging up on her" and not supporting her success and copied his boss. I'm hung up on the use of the word "ganging" and wondering who she thinks my dh is colluding with to orchestrate her failure. 

    He continually gets demands to send students copies of the pages in the textbook because they don't own it. He gets complaints to his superiors that he penalized students for missing homework they couldn't do because they didn't buy the book.

    I just don't know when things like due dates and required book purchases became optional and things only the superstar overachievers did.

    So that rant isn't really related to the writing issues. My kids, who never considered themselves fantastic writers, definitely got to college and realized that whatever we did in homeschool was far superior to what their peers had. 

    Wow! That’s ridiculous! At our local community college, all of the grades show up online, and the window for turning in assignments closes after the due date for an online class. There’s no way to submit it. And the zero shows up right in the grades right away. And if the student is failing at midterms, the instructor can drop them from the class. That way the student gets a W instead of an F. I don’t see how students could show up the last week of class with all of these assignments and have any expectation of them being accepted!

    For in person classes, the syllabus says whether or not late assignments are accepted. Usually if they are, they are dropped by a whole letter grade for being one day late. It’s pretty consistent throughout all of the syllabi for all of the instructors that my kids have had. So far, I haven’t seen it be any different at the University my son transferred to. And I don’t think it should be. That’s awful that your husband has to put up with that. I wonder how common that is.

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  5. 2 minutes ago, JanetC said:

    If your student graduates with a diploma from a high school or cover school with a number in the federal database, put high school. Otherwise, put homeschool. Makes it much easier if your FAFSA is selected for verification.

    My kids have both been selected for verification a couple of times over the last five years. It didn’t matter what we selected for the diploma. We type in the name of our homeschool, even though there isn’t a number for it. The form has always accepted it.

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  6. 3 hours ago, Nicholas_mom said:

    ok.....In PA the PA Dept of Education recognizes our diploma.  According to my PA evaluator, she thought answer US Diploma would be correct.  For us, using US Diploma would be ok.

    Does someone else have a better insight that I am not understanding???  

    I think it’s ridiculous that they have a separate category for homeschool students. I had my kids select that they had a high school diploma. They were schooled according to the laws of our state and have a legitimate the diploma. It shouldn’t matter that they were home schooled. 

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  7. I may be doing it wrong since I didn’t know to select home school initially. I just entered our school name, and when it asks to confirm or whatever again, I just hit next. It lets me move on every year. I guess it doesn’t care if it finds the high school or not!

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  8. 19 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

    If they are in a qualified retirement account, they do not need to be included. (If they are in   However, you should be aware that if you are looking at schools that offer institutional grants (as opposed to just qualifying for Pell grants or student loans), that annual contributions will be added back into your income.  Colleges expect you to use your retirement contributions to fund paying for college.

    FAFSA counts annual contributions too, just not the lump sum saved. 

    • Like 3
  9.  My daughter has one in person class, and they are doing some thing pretty neat at her school. Each class meeting in the same room has a different color, and the desks are marked by dots. So for example, one class all the students sit at the blue desks, the next class they might sit at the red desks, and the next class at the yellow desks. Then all the seats are sanitized. Makes a lot of sense.

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  10. Like others who have students already attending college, my DS will not be taking a gap year due to Covid, because he would lose his transfer student scholarship and his additional scholarship as well.  It’s a bummer that his fall classes will all be online. I hope he gets to have some in person classes in the spring, which will be his final semester other than an internship. God is in control, and things will work out one way or the other! 

    • Like 3
  11. On 6/1/2020 at 10:11 PM, Meadowlark said:

    I'm thinking through my Spelling options for next year, and can't seem to make a decision. You see, I'm not content with any spelling options I've used/seen thus far. We have been using MP's Traditional Spelling for 1st and 2nd (and like it), but those are the only two grade levels they have. MP recommends you continue on with Spelling Workout, and I'm just not jiving with that.

    I've also considered Building Spelling Skills from CLP, but not sold on that either. 

    And so, I'm looking at the 6 levels of AAS that I have on my shelf. I used this with my older kids when they were the only 2 doing school. Now I have 6 and I need something for my upcoming 2nd, 3rd and 4th grader. Putting them in 3 separate Spelling workbooks would be a lot of correcting/spelling tests for me, and we're already doing quite a bit of workbook type learning. And so, I'm considering using AAS, but wondering how/if they would work with those ages. My 2nd grader is at a much different level than my 4th grader. But then again, if we started near the beginning then they could all get those foundational skills/rules learned. 

    Pros: Could teach them together, not a workbook, nothing to correct

    Cons: Teacher intensive, can't meet them at their level

    Would what you do? 


    If you go with AAS, I might try 2 lesson times instead of grouping them all together. Put the 3rd grader with the one he or she is closest to (2nd or 4th) or the one that student might work the best with. Sometimes a 1-year age gap is easier to bridge than 2 years, though I know people that would group them all together too. Here's more on teaching students together--that might help as you think through what will work for you. 

  12. 4 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

    They kept calling him and asking if he could come in.  He said yes and they promoted him to full-time a few weeks ago.  Yesterday management surprised him with a bike to reward him for his hard work and to make it easier for him to get to work.  (He lives within easy walking distance. He hasn't had the courage to learn to drive.) But, what a kind thing for them to do and what an ego boost for ds.


    Bless them, this is so heartening!

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  13. 7 minutes ago, MomN said:

    I'm following this post closely.  We are in the middle of AAR 4 and want to know where to go next.  I'm also curious to know about grade level for AAR 3 and 4.

    The levels don't correlate to specific grades, because the order of the words in AAR is not “grade-level” order. All About Reading groups words in a logical manner based on similar rules or patterns regardless of their supposed grade level.

    At the end of Level 4, students have the phonics and word attack skills necessary to sound out high school level words, though they may not know the meaning of all higher level words. (Word attack skills include things like dividing words into syllables, making analogies to other words, sounding out the word with the accent on different word parts, recognizing affixes, etc…) That doesn't mean a 3rd or 4th grader is ready to read high school level literature of course! But they are generally ready to read anything that's age-appropriate. Most of the stories in AAR 4 are written at a 5th-7th grade level, and many elementary students will test somewhere in that range (depending on their vocabulary knowledge, their fluency with the AAR 4 materials, etc.) Here's more information on What Happens after All About Reading. Marie has tons of chapter book reviews, magazine reviews & other reading ideas for after AAR. HTH some! 

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  14. I will second having him closer by if you can. It is so nice that my son’s school is only an hour away. It makes it really easy to do a weekend! When my daughter goes, she will be three hours away. Still doable, but quite a bit more driving, especially if we have to be the ones to go get her! That’s 12 hours of driving instead of only 4!

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