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Julie in Monterey

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Everything posted by Julie in Monterey

  1. I used this with my youngest. She loved it! It took some getting used to on my part. I ended up modifying it. We did the writing in the air and didn't do as much repetition as the book recommends. My daughter was VERY motivated by the goofy stories that go with the pictures. It's definitely worth a try. Julie in Monterey
  2. I'm in a similar boat. I love that we are sailing through phonics and I have a strong 2nd grade reader on my hands. I also love that I don't have a rush and we can take our time and study what interests us. If by the end of the school year, we are entirely through state standards and what I would like to have accomplished prior to first grade, then we'll move on to first. For sports purposes and to other kids, my kids always say what grade they would be in for the local public school. My dd could have started this year or next for K, I just say we'll know in the fall what next year holds. If you are looking for fun playful games for reading, writing and math, check out Peggy Kaye's books; "Games for Math," "Games for Reading," and "Games for Writing." They don't feel like school and are filled with all kinds of, "Why didn't I think of that?" ideas. Julie in Monterey
  3. I feel like a broken record because I'm always recommending this book, "Games for Math," by Peggy Kaye. It is filled with wonderful games that you can make at home with a couple of markers and some paper. Some involve dice and counters. It's a great way to practice math facts and skills without feeling like math. Most libraries have this book and her others, "Games for Reading" and "Games for Writing." They are perfect for your age group. Rumikub is great for sequencing, multiplication and reasoning. Keep the faith and try to stop no matter what before the meltdown. There is never much learning going on at my home in the middle of a meltdown. Math needs to be fun. It might be worth backtracking a bit or even starting your math session with real easy math (even if you know they are capable of much more), adding more challenging math and ending with easy math. I'm a Speech Therapist by trade, we often use this strategy in a therapy session; easy, hard, easy, hard, easy. If meltdowns are happening with your oldest, try having them teach a younger child. It might be a way for him/her to be successful while reinforcing a skill that is emerging. I hope something here helped. I've been there! Julie in Monterey
  4. Peggy Kaye has written a series of fun books that help a bunch with carryover or solidification of skills such as math facts. Her book, Games for Math has some fun ideas that take the place of mind numbing drills. Most public libraries seem to have this book. It might be worth a check out. Julie in Monterey
  5. I'm finally able to get some of those "wouldn't that be great to have" items. Any ideas. Thanks in advance! Julie in Monterey
  6. We finally bit the bullet and joined a charter school this year. I'm actually really looking forward to working with them. Now I have some money to spend, I would LOVE to get a nice globe. Any recs from the trenches, what is the perfect size? Any favorite websites? Thanks in advance! Julie in Monterey
  7. I'm about to purchase this. I noticed there are five volumes Does anyone know if these are consecutive? I'm wondering if I should just purchase the 1st one or two or the whole set. I'm planning on studying Chemistry for the entire year with my 3rd grader. We will be using RS4K-Chemistry as well. Thanks in advance for any input you can provide. Julie in Monterey
  8. We are already reading all the easy reader/ picture books/ Dr. Seuss books we can get our hands on. A specific program is what I needed. I have Phonics Pathways on the back of a bookshelf. I had forgotten about it as my oldest didn't need much phonics work. It should be perfect. Thanks for reminding me about it! Peace, Julie in Monterey
  9. We screamed through this book with great success. My little angel is reading at 2nd grade level and hungry for more. What have you all used after this book? I appreciate your time to respond. She is very motivated. Peace, Julie in Monterey
  10. We enjoy the simplicity of Spelling Power. We do the pretest, activities and post test all in one day in about 15 minutes each day. I spent about an hour or two putting the suggested activities on note cards. So, when dds miss a spelling word, they do the process recommended (writing the word in the air, closing their eyes, spelling it aloud, checking their work), I pull out an activity from the note card box and then they write the sentences. One of the benefits of this program is that you can and do mix it up based on the 100 plus suggested activities. Julie in Monterey
  11. I agree with all of this posted by someone else;.............."That kids are supposed to want to leave home. You don't want him to be a kid who doesn't want to grow up and leave. I had great parents, and I spent my entire senior year fantacizing about other families I could live with. I don't think your son considering this plan necessarily is a reflection on you not "playing up" the good aspects of your family life. It might be a great reflection on you as a parent - that your son is ready to leave, has the confidence, and has the wisdom to choose someone who isn't criminally insane. I would stress to him how much you are looking forward to his senior year and that he has the rest of his life to live where and with whom he pleases." Okay for my own 2 cents. Please consider that however inappropriate this request was directly to your son especially without talking it over with you first, that it most likely came from a pure and loving part of your sister's heart. The fact that she wants your fine young man to spend a year in her home is a HUGE compliment to all your have done with him. Please know that just because your son is excited by this prospect, it doesn't mean he doesn't value his upbringing/homeschooling. It's such a natural response. Hugs, love and positive thoughts are going your way. Please talk to your sister and clear the air. This can be resolved. You will feel so much better...just remember good intentions were most likely the motivators. Peace, Julie in Monterey
  12. I'm a bit on the opposite side of the spectrum in terms of being slave to a schedule but..... I have so much I want to cover this year. So.. when we booked our trip in September, and decided upon attending several camps throughout the year, I made the choice to start school early. We started 2 weeks ago and I'm so happy we did. Our vacation with be in DC so it will be educational in nature but no book work will happen while we are there. This was my compromise. Last year we lived in Boston for 3 months (mid July to mid October) I'll be honest, it messed with the rest of our school year in a major way. But... it was such a great life experience for all of us, it was worth it. We were able to live out of our element and have an education of a different kind. It's one of the reasons we home school. My personal take on vacations are that they are good for the soul. They rejuvenate my family. The whole concept that you are together and don't have the day to day stuff to deal with (that leaky toilet, the fridge that needs to be cleaned out) that you would still be dealing with if you vacated at home. So.. my 2 cents... vacations are worth it. Totally! Good luck with your choice. Peace, Julie in Monterey
  13. When my MIL used to pull some of that, it seemed to have something to do with her lack of true understanding of the nuts and bolts of why we have chosen to home school and how. Those conversations never went well. I think we both ended up frustrated and unsatisfied how they went. At some point in my years of lurking here on these boards, I read some sound advice. Once I realized her intrusiveness was out of love and concern and that I didn't need to defend our choice to home school our children, *I* was able to have a non emotional conversation about the topic. Basically, I said if she wanted to have a real conversation about the pro's and con's of home schooling, why we've chosen it and the method of teaching we've decided upon that I would be happy to lend her my copy of The Well Trained Mind. I explained that it would explain so much that I had been trying to explain. By golly, it took her forever to do it and many gentle reminders from dh and I (it was our version of pass the bean dip). She read it, and got it. Since that time, she's purchased her own copy. Also, it's been several years now and she sees the proof in the pudding in regards to how the kids are thriving at home. I'm not saying this would solve your problems. It did help me to realize that all the questions and drilling were from a place of love and concern. Dh has several times had to remind my MIL that these are our children and that she had her chance to make the choices with her own children and that her job is to support us in our choices. This occasional chat from my husband helps so much. We always tell her we love that she is concerned about our children's future. We also tell her, she is more than welcome to contribute by paying for piano lessons or enrollment with the local theater company, or helping with soccer fees to give our children even more opportunities. Hang in there. Breathe, breathe and know that you don't need her approval. You are giving your children a beautiful gift by home schooling them. That is all that counts. Peace, Julie in Monterey
  14. Wow! What an amazing thread! I'm thankful for these boards and all of you. I've been away for a long time. Coming back on feels a bit like returning to an old group of friends. It's comforting to know that even though we don't have many home school friends that we are close to, I have this group. This collective group of souls that "get it", that share my experience. For all of the guidance, support, links, tips everything from people I've never met. Over the past 5 years I've learned so much from all of you. Like tonight, I've been urged to stop and reflect on what I'm thankful for. What a wonderful gift! I'm thankful for my family's health. It's something I don't ever want to take for granted. I'm thankful for being happier than I ever expected after 11 years of marriage..for my depth of my relationship with my husband. I'm thankful that my husband is such a silly, nurturing father. I"m so thankful that he loves his job and the fact he has one. I'm so so very grateful he is no longer in the military. On that note, I'm so so so so very grateful to those that are. What a sacrifice those families make. I'm thankful for a home filled with joy and laughter...especially at dinner time. It's the highlight of our day, taking fellowship with one another. I'm thankful for my two bright shining girls who still have those pure gut laughs that only children seem to have. I feel so lucky and honored to be able to educate them myself and spend the time that I have with them now while we are financially stable. Having them in my life, inspires me to become a better person...to be the mom they deserve. I'm thankful for the love and community we have found here. Our community of friends are family to us. I'm thankful for the beautiful (and ever evolving) home we live in that my husband and I have put our blood, sweat and tears into. We are sooo lucky (I've been reminded again today) to own our own home and in such a breathtaking place. I'm thankful for 65 degree days most days (I grew up in ARK and AZ...both hot places). I'm grateful that I have the tools to be an intentional parent, to have the knowledge and insight to try not to react to my children but to be purposeful with them. Lastly, (My list is getting really long) I'm grateful for nature's beauty. It rejuvenates me, feeds me. ENVY.....??? Easy breezy on this one..... order. I'm not organized. I strive for it, I crave it. It's not one of my natural abilities. I would get a C on a report card. It's the ease that some have with this that I envy. Perhaps that's my impression and it's not ease but more of a purposeful choice for those that have more order. It would be wonderful to have our families closer. The kids enjoy their cousins, grandparents and aunties so much. Our lives would be richer. Thanks everyone for sharing. These are intimate thoughts. I feel honored to be part of such a wonderful, open and trusting :grouphug:online community. Goodnight! Julie in Monterey
  15. We used History of the US last year when we lived in Boston for 3 months. DD7 and I really enjoyed the series. We plan to revisit them this year while doing SOTW3. I think it's a great compliment because it goes way more in depth and reads easily. Just thought I would share this. Also, as someone has already posted, there is a wonderful chart that synchronizes the two books. I'm hoping for a list of the books in the AG by chapter so I don't have to lug the huge book each week to the library as well as additional literature for my voracious reader. Cheers! Julie in Monterey
  16. We had such amazing results from visual therapy. My daughter was scheduled for surgery when I decided to try the visual therapy route. The Opthomologist is a surgeon and by his/her trade most likely thinks visual therapy is quackery (like ours did). No offense to those fabulous Dr's out there. My understanding is that Optometrist looks at the eye in a different way. The Opthomologist was going to cut a muscle and it would have been cosmetically fixed (and surgery was likely to be needed on the other (good) eye later). The Optometrist with the exercises, glasses and patching help retrain at the brain level how the eye processes information. For what it is worth, our insurance didn't cover it so I worked with our visual therapist to train me and I then worked with my daughter every day. We did this for a solid 6 months with a total of about 5 visits to the visual therapist. So, even if you don't live nearby to this service, it's worth it to pursue. I would call ahead, explain your situation, explain that you homeschool and that you would work with your child if taught a home program. I'll call in the morning and post here to find out if there is some unknown association that can help you find a professional near you. Also, at one point my daughter had 20/80 vision in one eye and she has maintained at 20/20 for 1.5 years now. Julie in Monterey
  17. I'm planning for next year and wondering if anyone has a fabulous resource they use. Does anyone use the rec's in WTM? If so, do you feel those are able to stand alone or do you supplement. I can't imagine spending an entire year doing experiments but maybe that's the way it goes. Any info, websites or lesson plan ideas would be greatly appreciated! Cheers! Julie in Monterey (who sees and smells the smoke daily now from the awful Big Sur fires burning nearby...)
  18. My husband recently read that gas thirty miles south of us is $5.20 a gallon. That's in Big Sur, CA along the CA coast where there isn't much for several hours in terms of gas stations. Still....that's insane. We walk, bike and carpool more often now...not such a bad thing. Julie in Monterey
  19. We got them local classifieds but I'm pretty sure they originally came from Costco. The girls love them. Warning though, I personally know at least 3 kids who have broken arms/elbow (my daughter) from having them. My daughter came down the front way in the middle of the night. We moved her to the floor for about a month and then she went back up. They are lifesavers in terms of space. I had a trundle as kid with my sister. It was fine but didn't give you that sense of ownership of having your own small bit of space in a shared room.
  20. For what it is worth, I've moved a lot and always with my dk (dear kitty). He is 16 this year and we've done a lot of moving (past military). Anyhoo, we've always rented places that initially said no pets. I've seen the damage a pet can do to a rental and it's not pretty or cheap. So.... a long time ago I put saved up an extra $500.00 that I offered up to each landlord as a special pet deposit letting them know that I fully understand the risk they are taking by renting from someone who has a pet. I've honestly never been turned down. It's worth thinking about and seeing what you could come up with to approach a landlord. Who knows, maybe they would change their minds. It opens up lots of possibilities. Julie in Monterey
  21. How about planning a lovely weekend visiting friends or going somewhere fun next year? Since you know about when the party will be held, this would give you something to look forward to rather than dread. Just a thought. Sometimes there is power is choosing how you respond to a situation. What I mean is....take their obnoxious party as an opportunity to get away and do something fun. Julie in Monterey
  22. Hi there! DC/ surrounding areas are one of our favorite places to visit. We lived right on Capitol Hill (near the Capitol building/ Supreme Court / Library of Congress for 2 years and we've been back for several 2 week vacations since. The city has so much to offer. I recommend that you list the interests of your family and spend more time at a few places than trying to shove it all in. Also I'm not sure you listed your dates. This will help determine inside vs. outside activities/adventures. Some family favorites are; The Museum of Natural History- This museum had a major renovation approx 5 years ago and it was nicely done. The gem/mineral exhibit is amazing. The mammals exhibit is great for younger ages. My kids and I really enjoyed the Insect Zoo inside this museum. The National Zoo- this is fun. The gates open really early if I remember correctly. If you've recently been to a zoo then you might skip it. Last year they started a major renovation on the Africa trail. It should be pretty neat if it is finished. We also enjoyed the reptile and age houses. The pandas are fun too. Go early in the summer. The zoo is wicked hot and is a bit hilly depending upon where you park. The FBI- better for older kids. The Duck tour is a great way to see the monuments and not completely exhaust yourselves. It's pricey but I think well worth it. The tour gives you a good orientation to the layout of DC and is a great way to get you into touring mode. I'm not sure if they let you on/off. If they don't then try a trolley tour. The on/off option is just awesome for visiting the monuments/memorials. The Korean War memorial is wonderful in early morning. The FDR is one of my favorites...very well done. The Botanical Garden (on the far end..closed to the Capitol building) is incredible. They have audio tours (the kind you punch buttons in and listen at various points). Both my girls (4 and 7) loved this! Beware...it can be warm inside!!! Do this early in the day if it is a hot day. The Capitol Building. I believe now you need to arrange a visit with your senator. When we lived there (prior 9/11) you could just walk inside any day. The history of the building and beauty of it is really worth it. Watch a little CSPAN after visiting the galleries so the kids can see on TV were they were. The Surpreme Court- you may need to arrange ahead. Wonderful if you are doing American Government. The Library of Congress. This is my favorite building in all of DC. Take the time to do the tour of the building. It's one of our national treasures. So impressive to kids. Don't forget your camera. Hirshorn Sculpture Garden is wonderful. It is open from 7:30 am to dusk. It has a wonderful and peaceful fountain. You can bring you lunch and eat near the fountain. It's nice on a particularly hot day (a bit of spray reaches the people around the fountain if the wind is blowing). They have a great cafeteria that is near the fountain and in the sculpture garden if you don't want to pack a lunch. We always brought out own drinks/snacks and bought a lunch on grounds. We just figured the museums were free so we didn't bother with packing a lunch. This is a great thing to do after touring the National Gallery. The National Gallery- You can do an audio tour for a small fee. It's well worth if for the kids. It really helps engage them. The family/kid tour highlights about 20 pieces of art throughout different time periods and is very kid friendly. Ok, I've given you plenty to think about. I haven't even mentioned Air and Space and the Museum of the American Indian (A lovely place to visit). Once you mention your interests, I can help you narrow down some ideas to suite your family. There's the Bureau of Printing and Engraving where money is made. I could go on and on. Julie in Monterey Lover of DC
  23. Hi there, My 7 and 4 y/o dd's are invited to a movie birthday party. DD 7 just reminded me that it won't be open at theaters until June 6th. I had been hoping for a review from one of you that has seen it....but.... since it's not out yet, I need help with an appropriate web site that will give me some info. It's listed as PG. I know for sure that my 4.5 y/o won't go. Movies are way to much for her at the theater.... such a sensory experience. My 7 y/o is pretty sensitive. The tricky thing is the party is for one of her good friends. Frankly, I'm surprised the parents picked a PG movie. We are thinking of going after the movie for cake. Any advice would be helpful!
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