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Posts posted by FO4UR

  1. IL

    New Salem is a live Museum of Abraham Lincoln. My kids adored that place ages 7-12.

    Starved Rock for nature fun...lots of trails in Central IL.

    Bloomington IL has a fun Rockwall climbing gym made of renovated silos. Peoria IL has a smaller climbing gym & an aerial fitness studio. Fear of heights?

    Peoria, IL has a vibrant community theater community. See a quality show for $20 a seat. Corn Stock is an outdoor theater in the round. You have to experience that at least once. 

    Broadway Lounge in Peoria brings in a variety of talent, some national names & many local, including open mic Broadway Karaoke nights...so you know where to find me if you are interested in reliving your high school musical.🤫🤪🤣

  2. On 6/10/2021 at 11:37 AM, SoniaSJ said:


    We are a family looking to homeschool our kids next year and I really like the ideas behind the Well Trained Mind. I believe a classical education is important to being well informed and well adjusted individual.

    If you currently have students attending WTMA (especially if they are in upper elementary or middle school), would you recommend it?

    Do you like the courses your child has taken?

    Have you liked their teachers?

    Thank you,

    I'm another veteran HS mom who has not used WTMA. 🤭


    I find that if I am going to teach or facilitate or even supervise the course, I want to be in control of the course. 

    It drives me bonkers to enforce work that I wouldn't have chosen. 

    My older 2 did hybrid online/ps due to covid and one dropped a course for that reason. The material wasn't transferring well online and we were all frustrated. 

    Another example for why I don't prefer online courses: I chose a novel for my 8yo that she had a negative reaction to. I just dropped the novel. We talked about why. It was a life lesson in making different choices for our mental health. That's not possible in an online course. 


    But, there are many benefits as well. If those negatives don't apply to you, the online courses might be worth a shot. 

    • Like 1
  3. I love this thread. I work as a personal trainer now. Movement was something so hard to squeeze in when my kids were little. 

    I had an excellent routine pre-pandemic. I just opened an Aerial Fitness Studio in June so I'm getting plenty of upperbody & core work. 

    My challenge is keeping lower body gains without overtraining grip & back. I did an aggressive trail hike today. Lots of elevation. 

    I honestly do not count steps or miles, calories, any of it. Well, I do count protein to make sure I get enough. 

    I measure by how I feel & progress in skills. 

    • Like 6
  4. My teens have a fave style of jeans. Several pairs of those, 5-7.

    Then they have tons of t-shirts & sweatshirts. They usually buy their own shirts. They are very picky. They collect shirts like it's a hobby. 


    Bored? Let's find an interesting shirt at the thrift store.  🤣 

    I make sure they have quality shoes, socks, undies. Buy an extra package of everything. 

  5. 10 hours ago, Zoo Keeper said:

    (waves wildly)   Hi!  Nice to see you again. 

    Stick around and post away; you've been missed. 🙂

    Congrats on your graduate-- that is a result of lots of hard work by both of you.

    Hi!!!!!! So good to see you again.

    And, indeed!

    • Like 1
  6. On 5/12/2021 at 10:44 PM, domestic_engineer said:

    I'm noticing that my dyslexic DS9 is reversing the order of letters in vowel teams and blends with increasing regularity in his spelling.  

    We've completed ABeCeDarian levels A & B, but the fluency is still slow to come.  We started Apples & Pears spelling this past year with surprising success.  But now that he's 15 levels from the end, he's spelling "oats" as "aots",  "out" as "uot", and "that" as "htat" to name just a few examples.

    Has anybody experienced this before?  Is there any thing to be done other than patient, repeated correction?  We already do the Dianne Craft idea of spelling it front to back and back to front .... but even then, the swapping will happen sometimes.

    My dyslexic does this still. He's 18. 

    It is NOT for lack of instruction or understanding his learning style, or anything we can change. 

    He knows the phonograms. He's applying them. He's just seeing them inverted.

    Mine mirror writes in cursive, perfectly from right to left. He reads it the same forward or backwards.

    Advice from this end: do NOT waste hours on spelling!!! Just do copywork & dictation, and choose meaningful content. Allow him to peek, take a mental picture, as often as needed. 


    Spend MORE time on science, word problems in math, carpentry, mechanical engineering stuffs, physical play like swinging on ropes/making ramps for his bike or skateboard/building forts and such.

    These kids see every angle. Literally. (It's why they words up their mix and spell shirt like hsirt)

    He's never going to be a great speller. It's OK. 

    He will be a phenomenal artistic and skilled something...doing things that good spellers cannot fathom. His brain is wired for creation, not spelling. And truly, it's OK. 

    • Like 1
  7. Miquon MATH. 

    Read all teacher materials while she plays with cuisenaire rods as if they were toy blocks.

    After you've read and she has played enough to intuitively know things like 2 yellow are the same size as one orange,  then you can begin putting MATH vocabulary to it. 

    And the process of math lab taught by Lore Rasmussen can be applied no matter what other materials you choose from there.

    Start with her strength. Then apply her strengths towards building up her weaknesses. 


    My son had different struggles, but he often had 2 mini math lessons a day. One oral/visual at his challenge level, and another with easy content but challenging modality (written, for him). 

    MEP math is an excellent resource as well. You can pull the work away from the worksheet too. Use it as a tool. 

  8. For writing specific fluidity, Kilgallon grammar & writing. It is imitation writing, and starts off with a clear model. 


    For life, practice thinking through options A, B, and C. If I choose A, then the likely outcomes are...etc...

    Once a child is the habit of thinking through options, then you can add more options. D may not be easy right now, but what if (insert circumstance) were different? 

    Can we work to make D a viable option? 

    • Like 2
  9. Hi! I am a veteran HS mom.

    My oldest is 18, just graduated PS highschool. He was HS through 7th grade. This is my dyslexic is used to talk about. He entered PS at grade level in reading, for those who remember our struggle. 

    My 16yo just started early college in June. She was HS through 8th mostly, had some rough middle school trials with PS. 

    My 15 is hanging with just being 15 right now. He has been homeschooled mainly. Had 2 years in PS. He'll likely go to PS for HS.

    My 8yo is HSing and loving it. 

    • Like 3
  10. I am pulling 2 of my kids home at least through the end of Christmas. If I can financially manage to keep them home longer, I will. 


    As of now, I've got 2 months and I want to make the most of them.

    1st grader needs intensive reading & handwriting work. I'm using what I wrote for that. She has also missed out on the Miquon style work for the 4-6 yo years. I'm backing her up and doing Miquon. 

    My 7th grader is so used to coasting through with easy A's at school. I want him to experience a good ole fashioned gobsmacking of math problems. Throw him to the wolves & let him fight. 😂 in math, so to speak... What am I looking for? 2 months. Not a full year curric.

    Writing for him? Can I make up for lost years of copywork, dictation, & narration in 2 months? No. I know. He's academically gifted though. I want to give him something just beyond what he's capable of right now. I want to give him what he won't get at b&m school.

    Can sarcasm be a course? He mocks his teacher's assignments via his writing quite well. His poems...well, I'm just glad he edits out the cuss words I know he intended.

    I could push dictation & narration and keep it simple. Is there anything for writing that's fun and freaky challenging for a 7th grader?


    I'm focusing on math & writing, but any other recommendations for captivating work is welcome.


    No holiday stuff. That would go over like a lead balloon. 

  11. I am just smiling ear to ear that your little guy is so sweetly driving you bonkers still. Warms the heart.😊 (hi Gil!!!)

    There might be something to the drumming. The steady beats & patterns of sound can be calming, grounding.

    Any musical instrument will do. Then you'll need a teacher... 

    But a cajone is simple enough to learn via internet and is reasonably pleasant to hear. And it's very physical to play.


  12. I am an old long-time poster. It's been a long while though.

    Danger is 90% past, for those who know me. I'm doing very well. Kids are nearly grown up. My baby is 1st grade. My oldest is a junior in ps doing a tradeschool program in carpentry. Middles are freshman and 7th grades.

    I'm bringing the younger 2 back home, contemplating bringing the freshman home too. 

    I taught in a private school for a while. I'm a homeschooler to the core. 

  13. Everyone, Thank you so much.

    A few details--they are on the verge of separating.  Live in another state from me, not a community property one.

    It appears to me from what I have heard that he is trying to get her to say things and make changes in her life that will help him in a support/marital property/child support battle.  She is quite isolated and can't easily get a sanity check on the things he says and does.  It's a very difficult situation all around.



    She needs to be close to people who will physically and emotionally support her.


    If she is isolated, I'm assuming that is the tip of an icerberg. She is being abused. Financial abuse is typically involved every time. Assume she does not have access to any real money, even if he has it.



    A good friend can help make some calls on her behalf. Call around for Center for Prevention of Abuse in either her area or your area. Call and ask them about legal aid lawyers, financial help, etc... If she thinks she might keep the home, she needs a center in her area.

    • Like 2
  14. Boy isn't this the truth.  I remember when I was in the evidence gathering stage.  I nearly went insane.  I trusted my parents but it was all so sordid I didn't want to bog them down with it until I was SURE of what all I was dealing with.  I remember when I laid it all out for my parents.  My mom said, 'you have been dealing with this on your own for how long?'  I did have some on line support which was VERY helpful--both in keeping me sane and with practical steps to take.



    My mom did some horrid things, leaving us homeless and unemployed in the middle of the court process. She published a book, a memoir, about what a wonderful Christian woman she is less than a year later. She uses my name and stories about me in the book without my permission. I never signed. It was published anyway. If anyone here knows how to rectify that without being able to afford a lawyer, I'd love to know.


    I am currently estranged from nearly all of my family.


    I'm highly tempted to write my own "Mommy Dearest" in response to her memoir.


    All that said, you really cannot trust even your mom. Be prepared for your siblings, etc...to ghost on you too. Some have come back around since I stabilized with a home and a job. But I saw what they are. They are no longer welcome back in my life. (I never asked any of them for any kind of help but I think they were afraid I would...or maybe they didn't want to feel guilty knowing what trouble I was in and not wanting to help...Christian morality and cognitive dissonance...)


    Emotional health is a BIG deal!  She needs to sleep. Drink water. Eat a banana every day. Eat very well. Exercise. Be as healthy as possible before shit hits the fan.

    • Like 1
  15. Figure out a lawyer first.


    Alimony will not be an issue to even worry about if she doesn't have a lawyer to secure her rights. Child support may not even happen. Elective Income Reduction is a thing men do to avoid paying child support by working a part time min wage job during the court proceedings. Then after child support is set, returning to real work. Modifying child support takes a lawyer...which you cannot afford if you are not getting alimony or child support...so plenty of women are left absolutely penniless even though they SHOULD be getting alimony and child support.


    Unless she has a friend or family member to help her transition, she could be screwed.


    Figure out her support system. If she depends upon her parents or family to help (in any small way) she needs to have back up plans because even parents will throw you to the wolves. In my experience, when the caregiver suddenly needs caretaking she is no longer a valued part of the family. Where are her kids going to stay while she goes on job interviews and works those first few weeks before being able to afford childcare? Where are they going to live? If she keeps the house, how is she going to pay the bills?


    Trust no one.




    Squirrel away money, yes. Much of the advice assumes she can squirrel away thousands before he leaves. If she doesn't have access to that kind of money, alimony is a moot point because she won't have a lawyer. The court system runs on money.

    • Like 2
  16. Hi! glad you are back!  I'm retired from homeschooling now, too -but stick around for the great convo.  I am right at this very minute cleaning out the last of my homeschool closet at dh's insistence. It's very, very hard.  


    I have two graduated and 2 at a performing arts highschool. I keep trying to get them to afterschool with me, but no takers.  I just started self-paced Omnibus II by myself since no one will join me... and I'm really enjoying it.


    so glad to hear your update and that you are doing well. Glad for you that the drama has died down.  Yes, oral narration is really, really great for kids with LD's!!!!!  It's like a magic trick! 





    I can still convince the littlest to do a bit with me. Happy Phonics. Building with Cuisenaire Rods. Read alouds and oral narration.


    Congrats to you for a happy retirement from a job well done! Self-educating is a great idea. I may follow that lead.

  17. I have a middle schooler who hates ps.


    She has always been a self-starter. I think she was 8/9 when I started giving her a list in our homeschool to work independently for the most part. Then she is plunked down in a PS where they micromanage everything. Not to mention, she has read every single book they used in class. The teacher learned not to call on her for literature lessons b/c she would have a great deal of fun spoiling the book for the rest of the class.


    Life situations changed though, and I cannot be home with her even if she is capable of doing 90% of the work independently. It sucks. She is a gifted artist and writer. She is getting mediocre lessons in those areas. Her LA teacher has noticed that she has some unique skills, but that doesn't mean she gives her different work. So, there is that.


    Sadly, she is resentful about my putting her in school, so our relationship is sunk either way...for now at least. It sucks!



  18. A mix of low carb and IF and fasted cardio helped me pull off the last of the baby weight, about 30lb.


    I found that exercise makes some carbs a requirement. Getting those carbs from fruits and veggies helped me, basically going grain free.


    I fasted from 6pm until after I did an hour long stroller walk, usually 8 or 9 am. Then I usually had eggs & cheese and a fruit for breakfast.




    I like IF. Timing it can be tricky. You really have to think about your own schedule, not someone else's.



    The bottom line is calorie intake. If your goal is to stay in calorie deficit, then your goal is to time your calorie intake so that you are not too hungry to sleep or work. IF can help you stay in deficit without feeling like you are starving all day. It doesn't work for everyone though.


    Some people do much better eating small snacks every 3 hours. The benefit to that is you "train" your stomach to digest a small amount at a time. Overeating binge for a 'small meal every 3 hours' person looks like 800 calories, not 2000 calories. Less damage is done when you do splurge because you just get full fast.



    Personally, I've experimented with a lot of diets, and I do best when I just decide what foods I will and won't eat. (Banana? yes. Muffin? no. Natural fruit sugar? yes. Refined sugar and flour? no.) Then plan my food around my day. Fruits are best consumed before and after exercise because carbs are used for energy and muscle repair. If I were IF, I would plan a large meal with plenty of fat and protein right before the fast. I would plan cardio right before breaking the fast.

    • Like 2
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