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Everything posted by Laurel-in-CA

  1. I so agree with this. I'm on my 4th child homeschooling and yes, it's hard work, and yes, every year the kids' needs, plans, and requirements change. We've had to use charter schools due to long-term unemployment and I've seen that movement grow more and more restrictive but I've also had the benefit of (with one kid) having the charter's IST as a buffer between my struggling/difficult child and myself. I've had an uncooperative child go early to community college - and step up to the new standard and meet/exceed its requirements as opposed to not being willing to work for me. I've had to learn a LOT about art and math and science that didn't match my career's language skills. My house looks like a library (all of it bought used and at thrift stores and used curriculum sales) and I am now able to pass on a lot of the materials acquired over the years to other families just starting the homeschool journey. Honestly, if you make the effort and are committed to your kid(s), you will figure out what they and you need to succeed and you'll adjust to them and to the journey of homeschooling year by year. Failure is not trying, on both of your parts.
  2. I'd say 1% were NOT doing their job by upper elementary. On the other hand, I've seen some very quirky families....who would have been that way whether they were homeschooling or not. One family who were hugely shy in elementary, kids would barely speak to others but by middle school were much improved and entering art/story competitions, etc. One family where the mom said she was homeschooling so her kids would come out republicans....ended up going back to work f/t and putting them in a magnet school. One family who spends every Friday doing a nature hike a la Charlotte Mason, with a high schooler, but that same kid is in the writing class I am teaching at co-op and I see him working his tail off with a smile; he's going to do just fine. I have had a friend whose son spent a year reading LOTR and designing legolas costume, bow, arrows, etc. and competed at state level in gymnastics. After that year she decided to subcontract him out to the public school and he decided it was easier to work for somebody other than mom and actually pulled it together and did well. He's now studying college courses on the side while doing mechanical work. My older 3 kids fully expressed that language arts/math imbalance. We did state testing with our charter school and the kids tested highly proficient in LA and basic in math for several years. Both of my kids who went to community college had to do a single remedial class (ds said it was mostly about terminology, which I am SURE I taught him but he hadn't retained) in math. Both of them tested into English 1....ds with a 98% score at 16 when I fired him from homeschooling because he wasn't cooperating with his teacher. He graduated magna cum laude from state U last spring so no permanent harm done. Even my dd who was tested for LD and who definitely struggles with writing tested into English 1 and has made extensive use of the community college's writing tutors and spent a lot of time @ office hours with her teachers. I am so proud of her for how hard she's worked. I am told that I am one of the more demanding homeschoolers most people know....I really don't think so in comparison to many on this board. I do have more artsy, humanities oriented kids and am not strong in science myself, so I seek out people who love science and beg them to teach my kids.
  3. When you drive past some of the burned areas it's amazing that anybody got out. I know of one guy that was running away from a wall of flame in his boxers when a police car found him. The last casualty was a teenage girl whose younger brother had already died of burns. The parents are still in the hospital recovering from some very serious burn damage themselves. Eyes forward now. Big current concern is the coming rain and runoff from all the toxic burn areas.
  4. We came home on Monday, a week after evacuation. Pleased and surprised to find power on and air decent inside house. Three more days before gas was restored and I was soooo happy when the guy came and made my stove and heater work!! Yesterday they began letting people back into some of the worst burned areas. It's heartbreaking. And many of the wineries that lost power may have lost this year's fermentation as well as the grapes in the field. That has a very big impact on employment here. They're circulating a list of at least 175 local businesses whose owners lost homes in the fires. Over 50 local fire and police families lost homes while parents were serving and protecting. Local community college, more than 200 students and 60 faculty lost homes. It just goes on and on. Fires have not yet reached full containment but are burning farther from people, thank God. Next week's weather is predicted to go back up 30 deg. to the high 80s and low 90s. Praying that doesn't come with more high winds. I think everyone here is pretty nervous about the potential for even more fires breaking out if the wind kicks up.
  5. GREAT way to handle it! Troop teamwork!
  6. Our AHG troop labels all activities either Class A or Class B. That said, we sometimes have kids coming direct from soccer/vollleyball/choral/swim practice. They'd rather be at meeting than be late changing. How can we be upset about that? The first time it happens we talk with mom and suggest a backpack with appropriate uniform so they can change on site. We also let the girl know that if she's not in Class A for a Class A meeting she's not eligible to be in the flag ceremony. If we're doing things out of doors, we will try to remember to remind them about warm clothes. Other than that, we haven't had an issue. I have occasionally suggested parents check our swap box for the next size up polo or uniform pants. Some of those tween girls grow and change really, really fast.
  7. Well, since I have bad genes (diabetes and associated cascade of issues), I'll just keep doing my best and depend on dh to hold me up as long as we both can manage. Having a clear will and a family trust were the very best things my parents could have done, not to mention my dad's pension that covered both of their end of life care needs. They set us a really good example. Now we need to do the same....and move near one of the kids when they finally settle down. I think that will be awhile yet, since they range from 25 to 14. Not a grandkid in sight.
  8. Sutter's new hospital is right down the street from us. I drove by there today. Two sides of the intersection that were housing tracts, utterly flattened, nothing left but burnt hulks of cars. the apartment complex on the 3rd corner also burned but it stopped there. And it came up to the hospital parking lot and burned some of the classroom wing at the adjacent Luther Burbank Center. We've been on mandatory evacuation for a week and this is my 2nd day waiting to get the gas back on, but thankfully containment numbers are rising, more than 5,000 fire fighters are on the job all around northern CA, and rain is predicted for Thursday. Even 1/2" will really, really help.
  9. Can the school assign him a mentor, maybe a prof who lives locally, someone he could call in difficulties or get local advice from? When we moved away from our freshman girl we were so thankful she already had our church's network of friends to fall back on. When her car broke down someone helped her rent a car....because she wasn't old enough to do it herself...others have recommended mechanics, suggested job opportunities, given her a place to just hang out, helped her thru the stress of finals. All stuff we weren't there to do. A mentor would be a blessing, even if he were living at home, and even more so when he's living that far away.
  10. So we're evacuated. My Dd is near the Anaheim hills fire...inside with her inhaler in her hand. Bad smoke and she could see the flames yesterday. My brother is outside of grass valley with fire three m. Away. Away and no power or water but housing fire evacuees and their pets anyway. Pls.pray winds will drop and stay calm!!!
  11. We are evacuated but our house is still standing ... for now. Son works at a local camp and after one night at shelter they offered staff families a place to stay. Most of those here lost everything...even shoes. Have seen so much generosity. Two major hospitals in santa rosa had to be evacuated. Both suffered damage. The local catholic high school burned. I think thats been on the news. Several of the families in our ahg troop lost all. Ahg national will be replacing. Several families in out co-op too. We will prpbably have a local donation drive once we have a list of what they need. Pls. Keep praying. We are blessed to see so much generosity but they are only just starting to fight the fires so there may be more loss. Its very close to our neighborhood. Pray for low winds cool temps and fog to roll in!
  12. Never heard this phrase in CA. But we used to call my son "the bump that sticks up" because he was *always* arguing with the way things were and getting extra friction because of it. It made him a pretty determined fellow.
  13. Gee, I needed an excuse to visit my sister in Oak Harbor (Whidbey Island) .....
  14. AHG does have some videos with training for each level of girl activity but, beyond that, it really depends on the troop, troop size and who they have that's willing to facilitate outdoor stuff...the girls can't go w/o leaders along! Many of our moms are not outdoorsy, so it's a challenge for us. Our Explorer leader had her first overnight camping experience this summer and she was so worried about it!! We've called on a "visiting expert" whose daughter was in AHG and who is now leading Venture crew in town. He does a badge or two every year for us w/various units. We've also had outdoor ed. people come in and lead a hike or participated in community sponsored hikes as a group. Our PiPa unit was one girl last year (my dd) and she helped with a younger unit and did her badges @ home. This year we have 7, but 6 of them are 7th graders, so we'll be building up to more girl leadership...and probably more weekend activities like unit campouts. Our troop does 2 badge meetings/month and 1 all-troop meeting, the latter giving the older girls a chance to lead things that go with their badges. Our big event is the regional Camporee, which was the only place my girl got to meet w/girls her own age last year.
  15. Yes!!! That's it! Funny how the subconscious works. I remembered it was a date and thought it had a day of the week in the title (but the author has another one with a different day of the week). My oldest is trying to re-inspire herself with regard to children's picture books and this is one that came back to her from when she was little. We must've rechecked it out 5-6 times over the years. Thank you!
  16. It had very few words. Excellent illustrations that really told the story The story was about seeds sent up into space (with a balloon?) that were later planted in a child's garden and grew into giants -- broccoli as big as a tree, etc. HELP!
  17. My husband has dermatagraphia. This means he starts to itch, when he itches he scratches, when he scratches, his skin shows red welts....and he can sometimes scratch himself raw. It's not a rash, per se, but after he's been scratching awhile it sure *looks* like a rash. His is a malfunction of the histamines, so he treats it with allegra and other antihistamines. And occasionally a full body brush to set them all off at once will give him a bit of relief. No idea if this fits what's happening with your dd, but with him it's chronic.
  18. Your update makes me thankful! It's a huge responsibility and such a relief to have help with it and make things better for the person who is failing and the person who is caring for them.
  19. Blessings on you and your bonus can see I have one of my own and she is a lovely gift from God who keeps us young! And, see your dr. about the gestational diabetes. My experience (3 out of 4 pregnancies) is that it comes on earlier and more reactive every time. Better to get on top of it ASAP.
  20. I'd agree with most of your comments. I will say that the Lightning Lit-Speech teacher guide (I'm using it to teach a co-op class this year) includes a rubric for grading writing assignments as well as a few discussion questions for each speech. There could be more, definitely.
  21. Getting a massage and taking myself out for fro-yo afterwards. Reading the next book in a good series. A walk in the woods and seeing something wild...even banana slugs can be cool. Beachcombing -- only a few places to safely do that here as we are a "don't turn your back on the waves" kinda place but I love it. Learning a new recipe -- so cooking classes? Giving something I've handmade (I crochet to TV) to someone who wasn't expecting it. I donate baby blankets to a pregnancy crisis center and scarves to Operation Christmas Child, so I often don't get to see the handoff. Teaching something I love to people who enjoy learning. I used to love tennis but trying to restart it @ feet hurt, a lot. Husband wants me to try pickleball but it sounds like a sport for old people (says the 60yo) and I'm not ready for that yet.
  22. There is a 4H project on wind power that I think would work for a co-op. Our 4th/5th boys are doing outdoor/survival skills/disaster prep. The first week they learned how to repair a flat and fix other things on their bikes, then rode around the parking lot. I believe there are knife skills, a weekend hike, making car emergency kits, etc. As you can see, it's a bit of a mixed bag. We have a lot of dads and grandpas coming in to teach. I think this would work for older boys, too. Maybe you could add in a class on using power tools?
  23. Or spending 14 years in the horse project and taking several unexpected trips to ER but insisting on going back to that horse every time before the bones even heal, becoming project leader, then leading the 4H club she grew up in. Seriously!! Do public speaking. Do record books. Do count up the community service. Record books and breed association memberships turn into scholarships and job resumes. Just FYI. But also, do start small and slow. It's so tempting to sign up for all the things that interest, but 4H will eat your life if you let it.
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