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Everything posted by Laurel-in-CA

  1. I had my first kid @ 36 and ended up with four. Waiting a couple of years or more should not torpedo family plans and it can make financial worries less of a concern. My sister is a teacher (elementary school) and she has had bad parent years and good/quiet parent years. She's also had difficult student years and less challenging years. So much has to do with how much support the administration offers, especially to student/new teachers. Sounds like a combo of horrible parents and no admin. backup....what were they doing yelling at a student teacher for things that were *school* policy? Well, I don't know the ins and outs of that. Did she have a master teacher or know someone who's experienced in her subject area and in teaching to help her talk those issues through? Hey, my college grad, gifted artist with a BFA, has had so many unemployment ups and downs that she is now working at Good Will. She should finish her probation just before her birthday, just in time to pay for her own medical insurance. Sigh.
  2. I had my son read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Heinlein along with several other SF titles mentioned, some Zane Gray, The Ghost Map (about epidemics, non-fiction), and various Marrin biographies.
  3. ECLECTICALLY classical -- that's what I would call myself, anyway. Gives me the freedom to pick and choose and experiment and respect my kids' preferences. I remember when I was first investigating homeschooling and went to a presentation by an Abeka representative on teaching was all about how daily drill was the answer to everything. I left that session determined NOT to homeschool like that and I've pretty much succeeded, LOL. OTOH, yes, structure does help us focus better, but wearing regular clothes vs. pjs seems to make no difference at all. The most I can manage lately, it seems, is to insist on a bra while in the presence of strangers. I've always been uncomfortable with the "read and regurgitate" style of Abeka (we did try their grammar workbooks) and Memoria Press (I've tried some of their literature guides). I'd so much rather have a discussion. If the goal is to produce people who can think for themselves, it seems contradictory to insist on workbooks where the goal is to figure out what the answer key wants. They can be a time-savings sometimes, but golly are they dull. But I have a strong bent towards language skills, and learning about classical ed has reinforced the value of those skills. It shows in my kids, none of whom have a science/math bent, but all of whom excel in language arts. So I have to wonder, is it just that TWTM ideas fit us and we would have ended up there anyway?
  4. That's exciting. I know with my artsy girl I was happy to find out that her art school cared less about some college requirements than other schools did. I think they're looking for passionate students, even if they are a bit over-focused on their art passion. Great news for your dd.
  5. I've been teaching at our co-op this year and last year. I taught a poetry class for 4th/5th graders....we had to do all our writing in class because parents didn't want the kids assigned any homework. That limited our teaching time, but it meant they got to share their work with each other. It turned out better than I thought it would. This year I'm teaching a high school class (all 7 students, one of whom has been rather unreliable; he lost his home in our firestorm and got a job so no criticism here) using Lightning Lit's Speech plus public speaking. I had at least one mom who was doubtful about having the homework (reading/comprehension questions for class discussion plus several 5-7 m in. speeches) but all the kids have risen to the occasion. There is wide variation in writing skills, but the parents are happy to have their kid getting outside feedback. I've found in my own experience that writing is one area where mom's feedback is often seen as personal criticism rather than suggestions for improvement and outsourcing it can really reduce tensions between parent and child. I am loving the small group teaching and the interaction--and they do too, but I do spend several hours a week outside of class researching rubrics, grading papers, creating weekly assignments (I handed out a 20-week syllabus at the beginning of class) and I am already leaning on a curriculum that I asked the parents to purchase as well as my previous experience with public speaking in 4H and with my older kids at the community college. Anyway, I'm charging $10/kid/class. My last is in high school now and I am wondering about options for using my english skills to teach small groups in our area or to tutor online...but I NEED to get paid for it.
  6. Oak Meadow uses the Holt Geography text, which usually covers each continent in 3 chapters -- physical, cultural, and present political. She's reading books like I Am Malala, Kisses for Katie, Lupita Manana, Cry the Beloved Country, and more. The syllabus has comprehension questions and a weekly project, and we have a book of daily devotions from World Vision that we read together, find the country in an atlas, talk about where is capital, what borders it, etc.
  7. We also used the Oak Meadow syllabus and recommended text book and have added readings (mostly biographies) of significant people in various countries from the Heart of Dakota and Sonlight Core F lists.
  8. I know my 21yo can't get a rental car while hers is in the shop because they won't rent a car to anyone under 25. This hit my then-20yo college student very hard when her car was totalled. Lower the rental age, I say!
  9. I am so sorry. Horses are with you for so long that when they go it's like loosing part of your family. The stable where my dd has done 4-H for 15 years (now a project leader) lost 2 horses in a month, both ones she had a close bond with and both rather suddenly and painfully. It is so hard. What you describe sounds like a crisis that could not have been averted. You gave him every care and close attention. I hope neither you nor your dd blame yourselves.
  10. How to flex....that sums up the book for me. How to get the school to flex if your child is struggling (what's reasonable and what's not). How to flex yourself if you decide to leave the classroom and learn at home. How to adjust for a student over time. I think the books are different because Rethinking is the product of a grown up parent whose kids have educated them in a variety of ways to learn and succeed. I so much appreciated the humility that's expressed. It helps me be more honest with myself about my failings and successes and those of my kids. I love the emphasis on diagnosing the school/learning environment, not just the kid. My #3 child had a hard time concentrating; we thought it was ADHD because there's some family history of that. Unfortunately, medication for ADHD given to those who do not have it has negative side effects. Depression, anxiety, not to mention feeling like a failure because you "need" it when you really don't. Yes, #3 child has to work harder for school-ish things; she reads slowly and has to think outloud to write. But she does NOT have ADHD and when we found that out I felt horrible, horrible, horrible. We've worked hard to repair that damage.
  11. Totally agree. And I would add that something with a predictable assignment (like Explode the Code) can be a good way to help the kid start/build independence. Something transportable (like workbooks) can be equally practical if you have errands or appointments. All kinds of things shape the way we homeschool and the choices that will help succeed. The REAL challenge (I think) is if you have very different styles of learners and are trying to flex for all of them. Oy vey!
  12. I love that my kids have been able to explore inexpensively at the CC. Scholarship $ is squat for transfer students, though. We're fortunate we have a state U in town, so transfer is smooth and easy and they can live at home and save $$ as long as it has their desired major. But if they're going to go to CC in high school, they'd better be able to do the work. Those grades are forever.
  13. I'd agree...but I'd ask how they do their religious awards, as the format for these differ based on your church. I'd also ask if they do special catholic patches as a group (like Our Lady of Fatima), which might leave your dd feeling on the out. If these things were done individually or outside of regular troop time on a separate night, then I'd look for a mixed membership and hope for the best. I have a good friend who's the T/C for a mixed troop and they avoid conflicts by separating out anything that's for a specific denomination and doing it individually or on a different night.
  14. DH *****forgot***** to sign us up for the Flex Plan at work. I did not know this (he didn't realize it until this week either) and signed up for a course of chiropractic treatment that is pretty pricey for the first two months....confidently expecting that we had the $ in the FSA to pay for it. Also for all the prescriptions the kids and I take for various things, especially my insulin.....those run up to a significant amount every 3 mo. Now that we've already spent over $1500, come to find out there is no money there and it will have to be paid by us out of pocket after taxes. Booo! Hisss! Trying very hard not to express frustration with dh over his absent-mindedness. Luckily we still have medical coverage!! Luckily the company is switching over to an HSA in April and we can sign up then. I have no idea how that will work differently, but I don't think it will allow us to use $ for things that happened before it started, will it?
  15. Short person here....we found a sofa @ Laz-Boy. We had friends who were 5' and 6'2" -- they had his & her recliners from Laz-Boy, sized to their individual proportions!
  16. I have Keen hiking boots that I wear often around town....very, very comfortable and fairly light weight for hikers. Perhaps she can go have a try-on of various styles at an REI or other outdoor store? I also like the suggestion of paddock boots, which often have a zipper for easier on/off, but they may not be as roomy or have as much padding.
  17. We counted some of the stable time as PE -- shoveling, exercising horses, riding. The rest was community service. One of mine earned a presidential service medal from her many hours of stable service!
  18. I have one 20-something who's really struggling and she does complain, but she does not blame it on her family. Of course, maybe she does and I don't hear it because she's the one who lives on her own. And she is better now that she has a job she sees a future in. My other 20-somethings who live at home are busy finishing whatever level of college they're pursuing, making job decisions, looking forward to moving out and taking all my furniture with them. LOL I do get some of those "I'll never do that..." statements from my son, but he's the same one who calls me an "addict" for drinking coffee every morning and who works hard to pay his own way so I do, indeed, roll my eyes and respond with, "Just wait. I"ll be watching you." She's figuring out how to make her life better and part of that is being frustrated with things in your past and wanting to change them. Don't take the helping of blame she's handing out, but help her to focus on making a future she's happy with instead of critiquing a past that can't be changed, only accepted.
  19. I was lucky enough to hear Gene Vieth talk about TWTM at a homeschool convention the year the first edition was published and came in search of these forums soon after. Probably around 2000? Not sure. This and the Sonlight boards have been my home away from home on the web, though I am more a reader than a poster. I only had 3 little kids when I started coming I have 2 college grads, one in college and one in high school -- and I qualify for sr. citizen discounts most places. Hey, Kinsa, you're a spring chicken!
  20. I often make baby blankets for our local pregnancy care clinic. However, I just joined a group that is making yarn items for fire survivors in our area of CA. So, lots of scarves, hats, and needing a pattern to crochet wristwarmers/fingerless gloves. This goes along with lots of TV watching, unfortunately. Too bad you can't crochet and exercise at the same time!
  21. Andersen windows will last forever. We put in 2 big ones -- well, it counted as 5 because of the bay window w/2 side panels and another large window with a half-circle of glass above it. $11K. Ouch! If you go with Milgard brand/standard windows I think it will be less and they'll last 10-plus years w/o deteriorating. We have 3 more south-facing windows that we want to do but will hold off for awhile!!
  22. Last year while I was working p/t I gave my tithe to an organization called Aslan Child Rescue that works with refugee women and children, especially Syrian refugees. Their stories spoke to me and my brother (who works in the muslim world) personally recommended them. And I could donate via paypal, which was most convenient.
  23. I now have 3 in that age group, but it's my oldest who has had the hardest row. Lots of challenges in her college years but she finished up her BFA....worked p/t at two different jobs for awhile and then got laid off....thought she had the perfect graphic design job and then got laid off in her probationary period. Dang. Took a customer service job with a ridiculous commute and hates it, has communication issues with boss (language barrier, unreasonable expectations) and is now going to work as a cashier lead for a thrift store giant. And she's happy to have the cashier job because it's close to home and has "growth potential." She sure could've gotten that job without 4.5 years of college!!! I am so frustrated for her.
  24. We were lucky enough to have the option of a nearby community college. I "fired" my son from homeschool @ 16, had him take the CHSPE (he had to pay for the 2nd time he took it as he hadn't left himself enough time for both sections of the test) and sat with him at his first counselor meeting at the CC. After that, he got dropped off at the CC by his dad on the way to work and took the bus home (brief tutorial, long walk when he got the wrong bus the second day). We bought the bus pass. He was only late once (his dad left him @ home) and not only survived but thrived at the CC, loved the outside accountability, pursued study groups, met with profs, etc. We asked him to finish his AA to compliment his diploma-by-test. With a few years to consider his course and some independence and mentoring at the CC, he did indeed decide to get his BA and went to the local state U. In both cases he graduated magna cum laude and totally without Mom. And we're friends now, altho' at the beginning of the process we pretty much hated each others' guts. The first summer he was at the CC, he also lived and worked away from home, and that helped, too. He was happy to see me and eat my cooking when he got home. LOL Can you son find summer work that takes him away from home? Our ds worked @ a christian camp in the area; tho' he was close enough to come home he chose not to that first year. I hear national parks also hire people for the summer. Friends and answering to a boss he wanted to please did wonders for ds's temperment that first year.
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