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About pitterpatter

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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  1. OP, you should be able to get condo/house fairly cheaply in February via VRBO or similar. It is quite a bit more affordable to eat in most of the time. Roomier too. Out of curiosity, what state/region are you coming from? I only ask because Missouri has brown recluse spiders. Rarely do we fail to find one in our condos, cabins, and even some hotels when traveling within Missouri (beneath couches, behind nightstands, in bathrooms). I live in Missouri. We have the darn things in our house. We always hope to get a break from them when traveling, but we rarely do in Missouri. (They are a lot less active in the winter.) Love traveling in Florida, though. Lol. Just wanted to give you a heads case you are coming from a non-brown recluse state.
  2. The good thing about going to Branson in February is that you'll miss the horrid traffic. The bad thing is that some/many places will be closed or have reduced hours. Silver Dollar City will be closed. Here are some suggestions: Dixie Stampede (Dinner show that is fun for all or one of your kids may get picked to participate too. My husband and I were picked once.) Sight and Sound Theatres (Typically, wonderful! However, I think Samson will still be playing then, which is their weakest production, IMO. Come back for Noah, Joseph, or Jonah.) Talking Rocks Cavern (Read up before going. May not work for your family. Marvel Cave is inside Silver Dollar City and will be closed.) Lambert's Cafe (Down the road toward Springfield. Worth the drive, if you like homemade rolls and country food.) Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium (Also in Springfield. Opened this year. It's a little overpriced but pretty darn nice for rural Missouri. Maybe skip it, if you've been to Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, though. It's owned by the owner of Bass Pro and is connected to the big Bass Pro in Springfield.)
  3. Goodies: CLE Math 7 (with about half the review problems cut out) Megawords 1 (three pages per day, skipping the testing...will be moving onto book two in a week or so) CLE English 7 Tiner's The World of Chemistry + Chemistry 101 DVDs + MEL Science kits America the Beautiful (review questions, additional lit, and mapwork only) Hits: Memoria Press First Form Latin with streaming lessons (My daughter, who is 12, and I are both working through this. We love it! The daily chunks are perfect.) The Fallacy Detective (completing orally) Misses: A History of US with teacher/student guides (bought the first ones, couldn't manage to even get started with them, as the guides were unusable for us...switched to Notgrass) Essentials in Writing (not impressed; it's very public school and lacks a thorough teaching of the actual writing process; typos, poor editing, grammar mistakes abound...switching to WWS 1 soon) Essentials in Literature (I really wish I had my money back on this one, as it's a pretty expensive mistake. Again, it's very public school. Many exercises are too long and repetitive for no good reason, if completed in full. You have to find and print your own short stories. The majority of the curriculum is a rip-off from a public school textbook but not as well done. And, it feels a bit lazy in some spots. The kicker is that the DVDs are unwarranted. They add very little to what's printed in the student workbook. I thought they would be a good way to move my DD toward online classes for high school, but they are pretty pointless. There are some aspects I like about the curriculum, but the negatives overshadow the positives for me. I am combining/cutting material so each story takes only 2-3 days. After Christmas, we are doing something else.) Memoria Press The World of Chemistry supplemental questions (Some days are okay. Others completely suck the life out of my DD.)
  4. Maybe you could find an off-road stroller to use with your two-year-old. Or, use a regular stroller at a park that has well-maintained paths through some woods and wetlands. I think it would be a lot less stressful if you could set your toddler somewhere safe while helping your other child catch critters. The stroller could also help you carry tools and buckets and such.
  5. I bought the package from Rainbow Resource about a month ago. It was on backorder, so I wonder whether the batch they received was printed with the incorrect file. The answer key is at the end of the workbook (I tore it out). There is no separate teacher's guide.
  6. We start lesson 5A today and I see there is yet ANOTHER mistake in the workbook. We're only a week and a half into the curriculum and there have been so many discrepancies between the exercises and the answer key that I feel as though they are parts of two different texts. Is it possible that we received an unedited version somehow? These aren't little typos either. It's as though the author made updates to the workbook (typically, changes in sentence syntax to improve grammar), which is what the answer key was based on, but an unedited version of the workbook was actually printed. The mistakes are such that they add confusion and frustration to the lessons. I'm losing confidence in the product. I sure hope Essentials in Literature 7 is better edited. We started it just two days ago.
  7. I recommend researching TripAdvisor and maybe looking for some YouTube videos (e.g. search "Mount Rushmore travel"). I've only recently started using YouTube for travel info, but I'm really enjoying the video component for trip planning. I can now see exactly what to expect before going somewhere. No longer do I have to envision it from written words. Although I've been to all the places you mention, it's been years ago when I was in high school. I don't feel comfortable recommending anything since I'm sure things have changed quite a bit since then. Enjoy your trip!
  8. This is what I thought too from the Amazon samples. I have From Colonies to Country (for elementary) as well. The answers in the back are only for the extra activities in the teacher's guide unless I'm missing something. 😒 (Hoping I am.)
  9. I ordered a used copy of one of the teaching guides (elementary version, 3rd edition) so I could gain a better understanding of what the guides offer. I'm confused. I don't see answers to the worksheets from the student guide in it? Are no answers provided for the student guides anywhere? That was half the point of me buying the guides. 🙄 The darn things are expensive. Surely, they should include answers to the student guides.
  10. We started using CLE English in third grade, I believe, and have never looked back. Having said that, we do not complete the spelling and penmanship portions, only grammar.
  11. There are so many components to choose from that I can't imagine it would need supplementation. (More likely, you'll have to cut it down.) If you complete it all in one year, there is more than enough to keep a student busy (and then some), IMO. Having said that, what kind of supplementation were you thinking? There is already mapwork, a timeline, literature options, primary sources, short answer questions, writing assignments, vocabulary, Bible work, puzzles/games, family activities, etc. written into it. ETA: And, an audiobook option too!
  12. I use a couple of pages from Five J's free homeschool planner. She provides various layouts and options. Perhaps one will work for you.
  13. I'm having second thoughts about All About History for my 7th grader. She wasn't wowed by Notgrass From Adam to Us, so I don't want to trot down that path for American history. Has anyone used A History of Us with the Oxford University Press guides? If so, what are your thoughts on them? And, does anyone know where I can find a really good preview for any of them? All I can find are the one-page previews at Rainbow Resource.
  14. Thanks for sharing! Is you DH okay? Was it a type of stroke that he was able to recover from? One day when my symptoms were at their worst, I woke up with a terrifying electric shock in my upper left thigh. It left me cold, clam, nauseated, and feeling as though I could pass out if I got up from the bed for about half an hour. I didn't know what was going on. It was really scary. The doctor said it was likely unrelated, but I'm half worried about have a stroke or aneurysm or something.
  15. I don't drink regular soda, as I just don't like it. Haven't since I was a child. Most diet sodas (I pretty much only drink Sprite Zero and sometimes root beer) have aspartame in them. Many of the flavored waters/powders do as well. Some have caffeine too. Right now, I'm trying to figure out my triggers. Both caffeine and aspartame are on my no-no list.
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