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slackermom

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About slackermom

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    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

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    New England
  1. My 15yo has been studying MSA, first at the public school they attended last year (where the class conversed in MSA), and is now self-sudying at home, but looking for additional reinforcement in the form of a tutor and/or CC classes. The CC classes are also MSA. The Arabic speaker we have in mind for possible tutoring is from Morocco, and could do either MSA or Moroccan dialect. They have described MSA as being like the news broadcast language, so not "dead" like Latin, but not casually spoken. For now, my kid wants to stick with the MSA, and get proficient in that before branching out. The public school teacher from last year also teaches in a local 3 week summer program for arabic language study, a bit more immersion style. The program teachers come from a bunch of different countries but they still teach basic MSA to the group. We are planning on that this summer, but maybe the following study abroad program the year after that. The ps teacher suggested it, and it has placements in Morocco and Jordan: https://exchanges.state.gov/us/program/nsliy/details I checked my local library to see what they had for movies, and of course there was only a single one of each dialect, but it looks like we can find a lot of Egyptian tv and movies online. That could be reason enough to go with that dialect, I suppose.
  2. Every school my child has attended offered extra credit options in just about every class, so it was not unusual to have a grade of 105 out of 100. My kid even got a 120% for one assignment. Even at the charter school that did not use a standard grading scale (they used "beginning", "approaching" or "meeting" learning goals ) they had lots of optional opportunities for kids to show how they were meeting the goals. I think it would be unethical if the grading opportunities were unequally available, or favored those who could buy their way to a better grade because their parents could afford better supplies etc.
  3. I read the book before my child was school age, and then again when I started homeschooling in grade 4, so I was at different stages as an educator when I absorbing the information. My child was in public school to start, but craving more learning, so we after-schooled. In order to avoid duplicating what school covered, we focused on languages and history. We did a couple of years of Latin, then some Gaelic, then French, and I decided to do a 4 year chronological history cycle starting in second grade. I followed the Kingfisher Encyclopedia SWB recommended, but we worked on history in the library, pulling whatever books appealed to us as we moved through history. We started homeschooling full-time halfway through grade 4, and it was clear that we needed to ramp up the materials by then, so the second half of the history cycle was done in the regular history section of the library rather than in the kids room. I believe one time through history with me was enough for my child so far. It provides a good context for the various history units that are covered in the classroom now that my child is back in school (they went back in grade 6, and just started high school). I also feel like covering history that way taught a ton of skills, and really gave my child ownership over the learning process. I tied in a bunch of the science studies with the history timeline, especially various stages of the industrial revolution, and its impact on our city. I skimmed the math, but we did our own thing. We ended up in the AOPS world early on. The SWS writing stuff did not work for us either. Completely wrong for my kid. The MCT Caesar's English was great, but not the rest of those materials. I think that was a good fit after the Latin. At this point, I am fuzzy on which resources were recommended in the book, and which I got from the forums here. Even if I took nothing from the book, finding this community made homeschooling so much better for us.
  4. My dc14 has been at the visual and performing arts public high school for 2 weeks now. I have been holding my breath to see if this school works out for my child, since we agreed that the alternative is to home school, rather than go to one of the other high schools. It is mostly going well. There was some drama last week because of a misunderstanding over which math class dc should be in, but i think that is getting resolved. Dc was able to take a placement test on Thursday, and is supposed to get assigned to a new class by Tuesday at the latest, so fingers crossed there. Dc came out of the testing saying: "my back is sore, but my brain feels good." The person who handles 504 plans reached out to me last week to set up a meeting in a couple of weeks, and originally said the school did not have a copy of the plan, though they tracked it down later that day after I told them when and to whom it was sent, but in any case, the teachers are not yet aware of the accommodations, so I am amazed my kid is doing as well as they have been. The school system has fully launched its program allowing students and parents to monitor assignments, grades, attendance, etc. online. I appreciate that I can keep track of these things. I still consider myself most responsible for my dc's education, second only to dc's own responsibility.
  5. This thread reminded me of one of my first jobs. A consulting company hired a bunch of college kids and had us call people to ask them ridiculously specific questions about their security habits, needs, and systems. The client was a bank looking to get into the home security business, and the call list was the Harvard and MIT alumni directories. It did not go over very well.
  6. We live in a ground floor condo in a busy area, within yards of a train stop. We keep everything locked all the time. We have standard door locks, deadbolts, and locked bars on the windows. If a window is open, it is just open a small amount, with the little security tabs blocking it from being opened more. We don't have off street parking, and the car is often parked at least a block away, so the car is always locked too. If a car alarm goes off, I don't even know if it is mine without going for a walk. I have taught my 14 yo to make sure the main building door and our unit door are closed and locked even if we are going back through them in a couple of minutes. I prefer the inconvenience of being unlocking the door as needed than the worry of having someone follow us in. Especially since I sometimes drop off the kid with the groceries and then go off to park the car. I have not changed the locks in a while, which I should do soon. Ailaena's post reminded me of that vulnerability.
  7. My kid just finished 8th grade, so I will try to share what I remember from recent discussions on popularity. First, my kid pointed out that the word really meant 2 different things within middle school: The first was when it was applied to a specific social group, kids who considered themselves the "popular" crowd, and who spoke in terms of social status, labels, etc. Alternately, there were kids who were simply "popular" in the sense that they were well-liked by most people, and friendly with their classmates regardless of the social status, labels, etc. The first group seemed to operate more by exclusion, and the second kind of kid wasn't in a specific group as such, existed across multiple overlapping groups, and was more inclusive. Fortunately my super quirky kid was not interested in trying to be a member of THE popular group. My kid would not count as the second type of popular either, but was friendly with some kids who were like that. My kid was lucky enough to find a solid friend group, and that group (mostly, but not all, arty-theater kids) was pretty supportive. One girl in that group of friends was pretty desperate to be in THE popular group, and drifted in and out of plans, always looking for the best social climbing potential. I am so relieved that my kid had a healthy perspective about it, concluding that the girl's behavior was due to her own insecurity, and not to take it personally or try to change to suit the fickle friend. btw, within my kid's group, there is a pretty big range in what is allowed and not allowed by parents, social media wise, clothing wise, going out or not, etc, and in terms who has what kind of money. The group all seem to accept that is just how it is.
  8. For me, it is worth doing every few years, because I need cash more than a tax deduction, with my primary source of income being social security disability checks. Also, the tax laws have changed for 2018, so it might not be worth it you to itemize anyway. I have only done yard sales as part of a local moms group, with about 50 sellers who each take up one table at a local church hall. I price stuff low enough that if someone sees it and wants it, they buy it, and I don't need to load things back in my car. I can only think of a couple of times when someone offered less than I was asking, and I think I said something like, "I will mark things down in the last hour, if you want to check back to see if it is still available," and then they just gave me what I wanted originally without complaint. They knew it was a good deal! At the end of the sale, a local charity takes donated leftovers in a truck they send to the site. These sales are well publicized, get a lot of foot traffic, we get mobbed, lots of parents and kids go home happy, I make some cash, get stuff out of my house, mission accomplished. I have taken in about $300-400 per sale, which is a good return on a $12 rental fee. I haven't done the sale for a while, but will be renting a table for the next one. With my only child just turning 14, we have definitely turned the corner on what stuff is staying, and what is going. I have a background in retail management, with some merchandising training, so I suppose I put more thought into how I want to run my table than the average seller does. One year I had lots of small kids toys, kids' costumes, etc, in ziploc bags, which I displayed in shallow bins along the front half of the table. The bins were labeled $2/bag or $5/bag, buy 2 get 1 free, and as the day went on it was quick and easy to shuffle bags or change signs. I had surplus under the table, and I restocked as needed. I had space for one clothing rack next to the table, and I hung up the best stuff first, and just added to it when I had space. Some larger and higher priced toys such as a wooden train set were displayed and clearly priced on a couple of raised shelves behind the bins. A couple years later, same moms group sale, I focused on clearing out hundreds of kids' books, and priced them cheap. Similar set up, priced the cheapo books at 4 for $1, and nicer books about $1 or $2 each. I brought along and quickly sold a few bigger ticket items in the $10-$20 range, like a scooter and a bike. Basically, my tables have a theme, and I don't bother bringing stuff that isn't a good fit. Weird random stuff isn't worth hauling in and out of the sale.
  9. I am adding in my few cents regarding transitions, having put my kid back into school a few years ago, for grade 6, at a 6-8 regional public charter school. First, even though your area schools start at grade 5 and 7, most of the other kids in the area will know each other already, so starting at an "entry" grade does not make as much of a difference as you might think, socially. There will be some introductory stuff at the beginning of each new school, but they won't trump the groups formed at the previous neighborhood schools, or in soccer, scouts, etc. Second, the year leading into the next school seems much more relevant, in terms of prep and placement. My kid will be entering a public high school next year, for grade 9, and we had school deadlines throughout 8th grade: November, testing for public exam schools; January, lottery forms for various public options, including charters; February, audition and portfolio for public performing arts school; March, respond to any acceptance letters; April-May, statewide standardized tests; June, school-specific placement tests, and depending on how those went, some kids are assigned to in-school summer prep programming in July-August. For my kid's middle school classmates who are attending other high schools in the region, for which there is a single high school for their town, 9th grade class schedules were coordinated through the 8th grade guidance counselor, based on teacher recs, and paperwork was due by the end of March. Third, your kids are coming from homeschooling, and a rough year at that, and may not be in the best position to succeed in the new district if they have to jump right in, possibly out of level (up or down). I think time spent preparing to transition to the best fit would be time very well spent. Get your kids and yourself settled in your new home, and homeschool the fall semester with the background goal of preparing your kids for eventual entry into the public schools. Meanwhile, you learn what you can about the area schools, their policies, deadlines, etc. Maybe get to know some local homeschoolers, some of whom will probably be sending their kids to school eventually. You don't have to time it to coordinate with the next school entry grade (5/7/9), nor do you even need to enroll at the beginning of a school year. People move, kids transfer in and out all the time (I was an Army kid, so don't I know it!), but at this time of year, you will likely be at the mercy of one individual at each school who decides what, or even if, exceptions shall be made for your children. Perhaps by January you will have worked your way to a sympathetic person within the school system, and the timing for your kids will make itself clearer. Or perhaps your husband will have a change of heart, who knows? eta: I did not address your question regarding academically advanced children, hmmm. My child was coming from homeschooling, for last minute entry to grade 6, off the lottery waitlist. School had just started, and a few kids hadn't shown up. Because of this, we had missed the required placement testing (everyone takes it in the spring), but I had standardized tests showing scores of only 99%, on both math and verbal, for multiple years. I told the kid (but not the school) that we would only accept the spot if it included a spot in the advanced math track (preA-6, Alg-7, Geo-8), and that is the schedule they offered. Otherwise, we would have just kept homeschooling and looking for the next best fit, whatever that would be. Even then it was a repeat of Pre-A for my kid, but better than most public options. Perhaps we lucked out because they were trying to fill a seat, rather than the other way around? Our public school are funded based on number of students enrolled. We later learned that a friend at that school (who got in during the normal lottery process) tried to show standardized test scores instead of taking the school placement tests, due to temporarily living out of state at the time, but the school refused, and insisted that she take their tests in person, or give up the seat. So she and her mom flew in from Florida just for that. This was the same school! So I guess there is official policy, and then whatever someone decides to do.... Or maybe there are times when official policy is more official than others.
  10. Where I live, that would put your dd10 in grade 5 now. My kid didn't turn 10 until the summer following grade 4, using our city's cutoff dates. So, I see no problem "grade-correcting" by a year asap. For me, the question would be whether or not to adjust by another year at the same time. What age range are the grade 5 and grade 6 kids in the activities your dd does? In Irish dance, which my kid does, they compete based on the calendar year in which they were born, so the grades overlap a bit, and it is not unusual to have kids from 3 different grades in the same competition.
  11. Very exciting news.... Dc13 got accepted for the first choice school, the arts high school! This public school only admits 30 students for the visual arts program each year, in a city with over 30 public high schools, so the odds were not good. Woohoo! So, for better or worse, we are off the hook for homeschool planning for now. Now I just need to see if I can get the school to allow a subject acceleration in math. The school has all 9th graders take geometry, and then either algebra 1 or 2 in 10th, but my kid is just finishing up an honors geometry class now.
  12. I was up late last night spraying foam insulation in a damaged wall that could be vulnerable to the extra rain. Fingers crossed, we will see if that does the trick.... I encountered lots of downed trees and power outages on the way to pick up my DC at school. The wind is quite fierce. I will be glad to get back inside soon, after dance class ends. This dance teacher pretty much never cancels class; even when our neighborhood was on a lockdown order after the marathon bombing, the teacher said that it had no affect on the dance class schedule.
  13. This isn't a curriculum, but your post reminded me of a great book written by a friend of a friend. I will definitely be revisiting it when my kid starts chemistry. https://www.cookingforgeeks.com
  14. I have been waiting to post because things are still up in the air with school applications. We won't know for another month. So, I have reading up on the topics on the high school board, trying to sort of plan for homeschooling, and getting kind of excited about various options, while still really hoping dc gets into their first choice school. Ugh, so frustrating! My dc13 will be in grade 9 next year, and has applied to several local public high schools, with entry by either audition (choice #1: performing arts high school) or by lottery (choice #2: an IB high school and choice #3: a high school with a graphic design certificate program). Homeschooling high school is also an option, if they don't get in to a school they want to attend, or if it just doesn't work for them. Choices #1 and #2 each take fewer than 25% of applicants, choice #3 is the "safety school" but we have agreed that they can opt out of that one at any point. If dc gets into a school, I will have to deal with the fact that my kid is ready and eager for Algebra 2, while the public school's typical sequence is to have students take that class in grade 11 (some students then take pre-Calc in the summer, to be ready for Calculus in grade 12). Most public school students in our city who are on an accelerated math track attend one of the exam schools (which my dc chose not to apply for), so the rest of the high schools don't really offer as much in the way of math. Also, dc's charter middle school has allowed the advanced math class (with just 9 kids) to move at an unusual pace, both "wide" and "deep," so I think a regular math class will be frustrating. I am thinking of proposing that dc be allowed to do math independently, possibly using AOPS. I would like to find something that allows math discussion with other students though, and am not sure how much the AOPS online classes involve that kind of interaction. My dc wants nothing to do with any math competition, so I am thinking that AOPS might not be the right crowd of kids. I will be back here asking lots of questions once we are further along in the process. My dc really wants to finish high school in 3 years if we homeschool, which has me a bit panicked about being able to hit the ground running 6 months from now, since I would have to be very efficient to structure it all to fit in to 3 years. I have been learning as much as I can about local dual-enrollment options. We have a bunch of different options in our area, depending on which way I want to drive. If we homeschool, dc will start taking some DE online classes right away (will be 14 by then), and then switch over to on-campus classes later (maybe age 15-16, depending on the class and the campus vibe). We are going to start learn ASL soon, whatever the schooling situation. High school #3 offers ASL as one of the language options, and I found a couple of community colleges that have ASL classes.
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