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Everything posted by Laurel-in-CA

  1. Still all over the place for dd next year. Spanish 1 & 2 -- dual enrollment @ local CC -- We may even have a bunch of homeschool buddies taking this together (I hope). MUS pre-calculus at home -- she could take math @ CC but I don't want to combine that with Spanish, which will be weighty. US History -- I have American Odyssey for this and may add in some SL reading American Lit -- looking @ Lightning Lit for this, 2 semesters Health -- we must tick the box.... PE -- maybe something @ CC Art -- entering contests for fun -- we already have too much of this on the transcript, LOL. Bible -- we need another semester's worth to meet our PSP's requirement for graduation. Any ideas for something enjoyable?
  2. Wordly Wise will extend vocab but it's not a spelling program. Of course, so will any number of other vocab-focused programs. And then there's remembering the spelling *while* you're writing. One year my son tested out of Spelling power -- words like rheumatism and chronology -- but misspelled bunny in his writing (buny) because he could spell in isolation but couldn't keep it in his head while writing. That's mostly practice to develop fluency.
  3. Travelling is not my favorite thing, but we have some air travel credits from a cancelled trip that must be used before April 1. 15yo dd wants to go to Hawaii and I am finding it so hard to take the steps to make it happen. Can you help me with some positive and/or low-cost lodging ideas for Oahu in March? Help this non-traveller plan something for the sake of the rest of the family!
  4. I am being silly, but here you are. Now nobody will see your face in the photo! Or you could get one that makes you look like a snarling predator? Sorry. I hate pictures too! My dh has to go to Wisconsin next week -- we live in CA. I just got him snap-on ice cleats for his shoes. For his birthday he got a long Squall coat from Land's End and some lined waterproof gloves. Oh, and wool socks. I love the hand/foot warmer suggestions.
  5. I've had 3 homeschooled all the way and on to college -- every one a slightly different path and outcome. So, plan for them to be individuals! LOL My 4th kiddo is 15 and just took her first class dual enrollment, with a homeschooled buddy. Her big victory (besides the A) was that nobody (even the prof) figured out she was homeschooled or just 15 until the end of the semester. Now, on to driver's ed.
  6. I am at the what-did-i-forget stage just now, which I think is pretty good considering we didn't know dh would have a job until November 30th and so I held off christmas shopping until then. Sorted stocking stuffers, wrapped major gifts, got about 1/2 of groceries for Christmas dinner, yard decorations just went up and tree done. I have one kiddo who won't be here until February because she works retail and vacations were blacked out from mid-November to end of January. Hopefully she'll have a *better* job next year, both paywise and vacationwise. As far as I know it will just be the 5 of us and the kids want to leave things out until oldest dd comes but I would rather keep just what is for dd or send her another box and get the christmas stuff put away in early January. Housepainters are FINALLY finished -- the process was going to be 2 weeks, but with rainy weather it was more like 4 weeks done in between storms. New paint job looks lovely and they did a lot of painting/patching/sanding so I'm very happy with it. I think next will be window cleaning and carpet cleaning....but maybe in February!
  7. Our house has fluxuated over $30K in the past 3 months; values are just all over the place. But, we live in a pretty high priced area. One sale at the upper/lower end of the bracket could make quite a difference and values are distorted by post-fire housing shortages. My bil, who's a realtor north of Seattle, says zillow is almost always over priced and out of date so not to rely on it for serious shopping.
  8. Humbolt to SF? In Sonoma county....Armstrong Redwoods and Sonoma Canopy Tours *zipline*, or rent canoes or inner tubes (in season) to travel the Russian River. Farthest northern mission in Sonoma (also site of Bear Flag Revolt that made CA a republic before it was a state) and a great town square, also in Sonoma a short walk to General Vallejo's "town" house (rancho is in Petaluma), and great food almost anywhere you go. Bodega Bay, where Hitchcock's Birds was filmed, downtown Petaluma where American Graffiti was filmed. Petrified Forest, nice outdoor walk. Wineries everywhere you go. The Coppola winery has a hollywood themed museum. There's a re-created Tuscan castle called Castello de Amorosa at the northern end of Napa, I think $30 for wine and castle tour but free to take pictures. Avoid "Old Faithful" Geyser -- boring. Fort Ross (windy highway 1) is a fun historic visit but what a drive! There are also farm tours if you're interested (look up Farm Trails sites). Tons of great hiking trails. Charles Schulz museum (Peanuts & gang).
  9. Hard to believe that article is from 2001...reminds me how long I've been homeschooling. Definitely a settler -- '96 -- and thankful for those who pioneered. Encouraging the newbies, who are not all refugees; some are even second-gen homeschoolers. My son swears he will be that someday (or his wife will), but none of my girls want that job. LOL
  10. I began using SL in 1997 and hit the boards there about the same time...they've had several self-inflicted wounds from bad marketing decisions that alienated people, whether stuff with their boards or with their catalogs and sales policies/pricing. I stuck with the boards because of friendships even when I started using WTM strategies for some subjects and then more subjects. Have worked with charters and (more happily) independently and now, with the last kid, I am enjoying teaching at a co-op and having my kiddo have friends and do a couple of classes there, especially those science labs I hate. Sonlight was early into the homeschool market and provided a great product. They also suffered greatly from many who copied their ideas (sometimes even the layout of their IG's) and built on their success. More rigidity and exclusivity was really not the way to compete, however, and they've had some serious mis-steps and stuff happened on their boards that I am sure they regret. I am using an SL core this year again, but sadly will have to find support elsewhere. I am so glad this board remains open and an excellent place to come for ideas...but not as specific as SL's would have been. Thanks, SWB!!!
  11. Happy birthday to the baby of the family! My "baby" is turning 16 soon...
  12. We took ours @ the county dept. of education. For us it was right down the street, but for others it might've been quite a drive.
  13. Have her pay careful attention to her time allocation. My son had to take it twice due to having spent too much time on the English portion. I made him pay for the 2nd time.
  14. Our AHG troop had family camp last weekend. One of our Explorers M/C'd campfire....I think she learned from her brother who's a long-time Boy Scout, but she did a great job! I have such sympathy for the mom whose husband is deployed w/NOAA and who was camping with a toddler, preschooler, and 2nd grader, but she made it through. Sure took home a dirty little boy, though! Hiked to a historic grist mill and got a tour, which was lots of fun. I am explorer leader this year and have the biggest unit, but sadly my youngest has decided to drop AHG. Well, she's taking 8 credits this year in high school, including an online class and a community college class, but I miss her on troop nights and she was our troop's oldest and looked up to by all the girls. She came along to Family Camp, though, and all the youngers were so happy to see her. Sniff, sniff. Working on Kid Care (booboo bunnies were such a hit we're going to put them in our christmas gift boxes) and have a Heimlich dummy we'll be practicing with soon. And just started horsemanship, attending a local show in a couple of weeks and trying to arrange a lesson and a tour of a local horse rescue with grooming demonstration.
  15. And 4 volumes of Our Latin Heritage (old public school textbook; if only I could find teacher keys for vol. II-IV!).
  16. Do you have dual enrollment options available nearby or online? This was huge for my 16yo....accountable to somebody besides mom. Other ideas: consistent community service with an adult mentor/aimed at his interests -- my dd got credit for hours spent in 4H leadership and community service. Again, this can mean answering to somebody other than mom and can be in an area of passion if you both get creative. Or Venture Crew (scouts, co-ed) as PE? Another suggestion: We're using Essentials in Literature and Writing for our credit in English this year. Level 10 focuses on essay writing (dd's needs shoring up) and the literature list is not too extensive. We did a year of world geography with the Oak Meadow syllabus and it was not too demanding; dd found it pretty interesting. YMMV, as always.
  17. It's something our kids need to learn to manage -- difficult/scary input that may/may not be true and needs to be investigated. It's hard to see them go through it. Just FYI, I have a friend whose daughter, in her late 20s, was diagnosed this year with MS (and it's been very hard to manage) because of severe pain and tingling in her legs. No, it wasn't preceded by a car accident even several months prior, but she was *lucky* that her ER doc demanded followup for the initial symptoms.
  18. AND, being able to spend the best part of our day with each other, not the tired-worn-from-the-day-still-have-homework part. All our work was homework and once it was done we were able to do other things.
  19. I was 46 when our bonus package arrived....that pregnancy was stressful because of a whole host of factors that had nothing to do with the pregnancy itself -- layoff, underpaid two-job dh, family illness, etc. We survived, altho' I went on mediCal because dh was w/o medical insurance. Our bonus package is now 15yo and yes, she DOES keep me young! She has been a huge blessing. Do not fear, just keep moving forward.
  20. Starting 21years homeschooling, 2 college grads, one in college, and a 15yo @ home. We've used independent homeschooling charters, co-ops, and just at-home learning with some dual enrollment in high school. Pros -- Freedom (to choose materials, to choose schedule, to choose activities, to choose projects, to choose service opportunities, to choose to start our day with Bible) Academics -- At the time we started the kids would have gone to a 70% ESL school and my concern was that they would be either bored or ignored, or both. Even the child who struggled with academics has had success, mostly because homeschooling taught her how to work hard and expanded her vocabulary, gave her scaffolding. Scheduling -- We had time to be in clubs and youth groups without worrying about homework assigned by other people, so much less stress Good friends -- Definitely appreciate the like-mindedness for me, but there was a smaller pool of friend possibilities for my kids than a classroom would have provided. No dealing w/public school system -- The frustrations of dealing w/a charter were tolerable; I could tell from that experience that I would not be a good public school parent No fads -- I remember having to explain beanie babies to my kids....they had no idea why they were such a big deal. Shared responsibility -- I wanted the kids on the learning and housekeeping team early and pursued activities where they learned leadership. Mentors -- Each of my kids found a mentor, one thru 4H (horse project leader), one thru art (ceramics teacher), one thru charter (overseeing teacher), and those relationships had far more time to develop than would have happened otherwise. Early employment -- I don't know that this is specific to homeschooling, it's just different from how I grew up. The first started work @ 18 due to no driver's license; the other two started @ 16 in the summertime (camp, lifeguard) and have grown into more and more responsibility and learned to handle their $$ pretty well. Cons -- No sports (this would be my son; we didn't even have $$ for local teen sports when he was small, let alone as he aged up) Horses (this would be my daughter; we were able to do a horseless horse project thru 4H and she is now a project leader, going on 14years with them) $$$ -- Not only the cost of curriculum, but layoffs can be very stressful in a one-earner household. I did do some freelancing at my old job, and now I am teaching very p/t at our homeschool no way does it provide the cushion we really need. We opted for curriculum over almost any other expense so my kids have learned the fine art of thrift store shopping and take pride in it; they are all pretty thrifty adults. My first year at home after a high-stress job (with a 5yo, 3yo, and newborn) was a huge adjustment. Smaller pool of friends -- This worked out OK in the end, but each of my kids got to experience the joy of exclusion, even in a homeschool group. I'm not sure it's avoidable, and it's made them more sensitive.
  21. Is this an online program? Community college? I'm interested in something like this.
  22. We charge ds $600/mo. plus he pays us for his car insurance. You might think that high but he has been looking and NOT finding a place with a budget of $800/month. He says if he had $1K/mo. he might be able to find an apt. to share. Meanwhile he uses our utilities and we feed him and he does minimal if any chores, so I think we're being fair. It's a high COLA area. And the $$ are going toward home repairs and upkeep we couldn't otherwise afford without my going back to work. He has the biggest bedroom too.
  23. We're in an AHG troop and we've talked about the volunteer points thing....but then we'd need somebody ELSE to manage the points. No way. We expect new parents to be present in their daughter's unit or in the nursery with younger siblings if applicable. We ask those who aren't unit leaders to plan or help plan a special event or service activity...but this depends on the family's circumstances as we get to know them better. We have a single-dad family (we see him once/year at our father-daughter event; the neighbor brings his daughter). We have families where dad is on a ship (NOAAH) or where divorce is happening or has happened or there's a special needs kid or parent medical issues. Volunteer requirements HAVE to be able to flex for family needs...otherwise it's not volunteering and it's not family friendly, and it ends up undercutting the very families we want to serve. On the other hand, if there's no service and no reason for not helping....we have a little conversation about which badge you can lead for which unit or whether you'd like to reorganize storage with me over the summer or which activity didn't happen because there wasn't a lead parent.
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