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Everything posted by jplain

  1. My older daughter is using Vistas plus online Supersite with Sr. Gamache, but I'm adding a few things, including a couple Level 1 books from TPR Storytelling.com. Over the summer we'll work on Destinos and/or El Cuarto Misterioso (see more on that below). Destinos can be watched on its own, used with textbook and workbooks, or if you're using it as a supplement to another text, you could get the two Viewer's Handbooks. The Viewer's Handbooks have a few pages of written activities for each episode. Each volume should last you a year or so, depending on your pace. They're available used fairly cheaply on Amazon. There are multiple editions, so read through all listings to find the cheaper ones. There's also a Destinos Videoscript with transcripts of every lesson, but that's not cheap right now, even used. Finally, there are even more online resources if you go to the McGrawHill page for Destinos. No textbook code is needed to access the Student Edition of the Online Learning Center. There's an episode recap, and short auto-graded online quizzes that go along with the textbook material. http://highered.mheducation.com/sites/0072497084/information_center_view0/index.html There's also a similar site for Nuevos Destinos: http://highered.mheducation.com/sites/0072492597/information_center_view0/supplements.html If Gamache's Spanish class wasn't in our budget this year, we'd probably be using either BtB Spanish for iPad or Spanish Now! (if no iPad). I haven't looked at Avancemos yet. YouTube videos might swing me over to that option instead. After a few months I'd add Destinos (@ Learner.org) plus the viewer's handbooks, and the Practice Makes Perfect Guides by Dorothy Richmond (I'm not familiar with the ones by Nissenberg). The "premium" app that is supposed to go along with the PMP books isn't ready for prime time yet, so don't buy it for that. The books are quite good on their own though. Another video option is El Cuarto Misterioso. It's a videonovela that goes along with the Spanish textbooks put out by EMC publishing. You can buy used video manuals for this as well, titled with either the title of the program or as "Navegando video manual." (Navegando is the old name of EMC's Spanish textbook.) This program is used over 3 years of high school Spanish, so there are 3 video manuals. The publisher's resources website (no code needed!) has the videos with and without subtitles. After the twenty El Cuarto Misterioso episodes there are also 5 documentary videos. Find videos 1-10 here (if you can't see the scroll column to get to the higher number episodes, move the scroll bar at the bottom to the right) http://irc.emcp.com/index.php?titleID=2146&title=%A1Aventura%21%201 and 11-20 here http://irc.emcp.com/index.php?titleID=2147&title=%A1Aventura%21%202 Documentary videos here http://irc.emcp.com/index.php?titleID=2148&title=%A1Aventura%21%203 Best wishes with your Spanish adventures!
  2. Do you recall the name of the teacher on YouTube? TIA!
  3. A friend's child just dropped the class (after the drop period, ouch!) for exactly the reasons discussed here.
  4. We've used the K12 5th & 6th grade American History (concise edition of Joy Hakim's Story of US is the spine), and my daughter is currently using K12's 7th grade curriculum for world history (volume 1 of Human Odyssey is the spine). Next year she'll use the 8th grade curriculum, which uses Human Odyssey volume 2. She's using the courses one year young, and it's been a good fit for her. If I use it with my free-spirited younger daughter I'll use it at grade level instead. I can't say I'm in love with it, but it gets the job done, and I'm happy with the spine texts, though we're supplementing with OUP this year. I actually was impressed with how the 5th grade curriculum walked my daughter through writing a paper. It was very effective. But some of the assignments are busy work. They don't offer the third year of world history (9th grade, Human Odyssey volume 3) as independent study, so we'll be on our own that year, but that's okay with me.
  5. Holt Science & Technology texts have labs in them, so there's no need to purchase a separate lab manual. The materials seem reasonably simple to me, but we'll feel free to skip labs too. Off the top of my head, the less household-y materials in the Life Science text include stuff like this: a microscope (w/slides and coverslips) pond water fertilizer pH strips large dead bugs (LOL, not sure where I'll get these, but I'll be on the lookout for them) petri dishes (plastic would be fine) juice agar plates (not hard to make at home) pill bugs (from your yard, or get meal worms from the pet store) thermometer (experiment also calls for hot plate, but there's no reason not to heat the water in a microwave or on the stove top, and then measure temp)
  6. A few notes for anyone investigating Holt Science & Technology: Holt offers both high school level and middle school level texts for earth, life, and physical science. The middle school texts are called Holt Science & Technology Life/Earth/Phsical Science. The high school texts are just called Holt Earth/Life/Physical Science. The Holt Science & Technology series comes as either big books (Life/Earth/Physical) or as smaller "short courses" with 5 books for each curriculum. The content appears to be the same, and the publication dates are the same. IMO it's a money grab, as buying all of the smaller books plus teacher materials will cost schools a lot more money. Rainbow Resources and CBD both sell the big books as packages with supporting materials. Each sell it in two formats: either the student text plus a homeschool CD-ROM and a chapter resources CD-ROM, or the student text, teacher text, and chapter resources CD-ROM. The current edition has a publication date of ~2007. Seems overdue for a new edition, but I'm not too concerned about that. I bought the homeschool version from CDB (eligible for free shipping) with the parent CD-ROM. The homeschool parent CD-ROM includes lesson plans, but I find it unpleasant to read. I prefer the teacher edition of the textbook. It has the same information, but because it's not just one huge text document, it's much easier on my eyes and brain. Plus the teacher textbook has all of the pages of the student text, so I can see what my daughter is reading without borrowing her book. Buying the homeschool package plus a used teacher edition on Amazon may be cheaper than buying the student/teacher text package. If you don't want the Chapter Resources (worksheets, tests, etc.), buying everything used is the least expensive option, especially if you don't mind buying the previous edition (first published in 2001). If you're having trouble finding the teacher text used, you might consider buying the CA version of both the student and teacher text.
  7. I'm a biologist and DH is a chemist. We looked at Prentice Hall Science Explorers, Holt Science & Technology, Ellen McHenry, RSO, and Elemental Science. I've heard good things about CPO, but wasn't willing to spend that much money on middle school science. We've decided to go with Holt Science & Technology for Life Science and Earth Science. We're using the all-in-one books, not the short courses. Holt S&T is reasonably priced (Rainbow Resource or CBD), and DH and I were impressed with the texts and the labs. (The labs are in the student text.) Physical Science is still up in the air; maybe we'll continue with Holt S&T or maybe we'll use Derek Owens' course. We'll probably throw in the free ACS Middle School Chemistry curriculum at some point, though DD has already covered most of that material. We're also planning to use a Gizmos! subscription purchased via HSBC as an online supplement
  8. Thanks for the heads up! I asked HSBC, and they said they haven't had any complaints about this particular issue. I'll contact PLATO directly and see what they say about it. Adaptive Curriculum did agree to reset my trial, and I did finally manage to get into Uzinggo as well. Try requesting a student trial, and it should go through just fine.
  9. Thanks for all of your thoughts! There doesn't appear to be a trial for PLATO. I've tried to get a Uzinggo trial and the website won't process it. AC has refused to give me a trial. They say I had a trial in the past, which is plausible, but I have no memory of it. Oh well, their loss.
  10. Does anyone have thoughts on any of these science options? All three are available through HSBC. This would be for 4th and/or 7th grade. DH and I are scientists, and up to this point we've been doing science regularly but informally. Also, I'm not entirely clear on the difference between Uzinggo and Adapative Curriculum, so if anyone has insight I'd love to hear it. From what I've read, AC is quite a bit cheaper and can be used for multiple students, but the teacher/parent has to sequence activities. Uzinggo is more expensive and a subscription is good for only one student, but is sequenced automatically.
  11. I've got a basic Kindle (I did pay the $15 to get rid of the ads), the kids have basic Kindles with ads, and I also have a Sony Reader with a touch screen. I'm absolutely satisfied with the basic Kindle, though I do miss the touch screen. On my Sony Reader, the touch screen allows me to get definitions of words with a double tap, which is especially helpful when reading classics. It is much more awkward to navigate to specific words with the basic Kindle. So my next Kindle will be a touch screen version, but I'm in no hurry, because I can still use my Sony to read novels that are likely to have archaic language.
  12. We homeschool year-round, though lighter in the summer to allow for plenty of beach time and free reading and play. In your situation, if I really didn't want a big project in September, I'd continue WWS through the summer.
  13. I may go back to Cosmeo if we decide to use Elementary Spanish this year. We used Cosmeo for a few months last year before finding the onlineG3 subscription. It lacks a lot of the content for older kids, but mine are still fairly young. BrainPop I'm probably going to have to subscribe to, because my kids love it. I'll email the company and find out how difficult it would be to set up a co-op for WTM'ers.
  14. I imagined she was a mother of little ones, who can't yet do things like vacuum (much as they'd like to!) or tell time for themselves. I think we do gradually "reappear" as our children mature and become more independent. :)
  15. Searching in vain for the Like button.... :)
  16. When I babysat as a teenager, I didn't have a license. The other parents always picked me up and dropped me off. I am the oldest of many, and since all my sibs were younger than me, there was no way my parents could commit to taking me to and from babysitting jobs. Nor would I have wanted them to; they got kinda grumpy late at night. As a young adult (in my twenties), I lived in a big city and didn't have a car. I commuted to school by bus. I occasionally babysat for my graduate advisor, who lived out in the suburbs. We'd leave school together, and she'd drive us to her house. Her husband would drive me home. Public transportation wouldn't have worked in that situation, so if they wanted me, they needed to provide transportation.
  17. I have and love my Honda CR-V, which seats 5. If I needed a bigger car, I'd look at a Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, and Subaru Tribeca. I'm not sure about gas mileage.
  18. Vasovagal syncope is definitely possible. It is also called vasovagal episode or vasovagal response. It is characterized by a sudden drop in blood pressure, usually triggered by something upsetting or alarming (seeing blood, pain, etc.). It's not unusual in young adults, and sparring wouldn't be a surprising triggering event. Fortunately it is more or less benign. The biggest danger is hitting one's head after passing out. My husband had his first episode as a young teen, after being forced to stand still for a very long time at summer camp. (Nice, huh?) After that it happened a couple times in his 20s (no known trigger), and then he had an episode in his mid-30s a few years ago (about 15 minutes after an outpatient procedure). That last time he was seriously scraped up by the fall, but fortunately he didn't have a concussion and didn't need stitches. DH's episodes happen so infrequently that they still catch him by surprise every time. People who have them more frequently learn to recognize the early signs, and can get themselves down on the ground, or at least in the "head between knees" position before they pass out.
  19. Breasts may swell and become tender during the post-ovulatory portion of your cycle. It is one of the effects of progesterone, which is low before ovulation, and then rises dramatically after ovulation. So yes, pain starting about 2 weeks after your last period started sounds about right. Mine tends to start about 3 weeks after my last period started, which is also about 2 weeks after my last period ended.
  20. Thermogram, even better. So...deep breath, the pain is probably one of the "joys" of perimenopause. I do find that caffeine and chocolate intake influence my cyclic breast pain. The skin issue sounds like it could be a sebaceous cyst. They're notorious for recurring like that. A dermatologist should be able to diagnose/treat it.
  21. :grouphug: That sounds unpleasant. I'm glad your DH is hassling you. Get your thyroid checked. Ask specifically for these tests: TSH, free T3, and free T4. Often docs neglect to order the correct tests for T3 and T4, because they don't know the difference. Ask for routine bloodwork, and also get vitamin B12 and vitamin D checked. Do you live somewhere Lyme disease is a risk? Any history of autoimmune disease in your family? Any GI problems (other than nausea)? If your primary care doc can't find anything, I'd probably ask to be referred to a rheumatologist and then an allergist. If all else fails, consider trying a gluten free diet. :grouphug:
  22. I had constant left-sided breast pain for a while, in the upper outer quadrant, and the painful area felt somewhat dense. As soon as my Mirena was removed the pain (and swelling) started waxing and waning with my menstrual cycle. Is your pain cyclic (with your cycle) or constant? "Normal" breast pain usually cycles with your hormones. If it is constant throughout your cycle, you might want to ask for a scan. (Maybe this has already been done. Your original post doesn't specify.) You could ask for an ultrasound first, but many doctors are more comfortable ordering both (mammogram and u/s) at the same time. Can you describe the skin issue in more detail?
  23. Mathematically speaking, the difference between $100 and $140 is actually quite large. ;)
  24. But don't go nuts and take all those measurements every day. Just take a couple and go get that A1C. Your fingers will thank you. :D
  25. Hmm...that surprises me. 166 three hours after eating is not normal for a non-diabetic. By then you should be well under 120. However, your other numbers don't suggest a problem. In the future, anytime you get a really odd reading, be sure to use a second strip to verify. Sometimes if the strip is not filled just right, you can get a really wacky number. In case you weren't given any guidance, typical times to measure include first thing in the morning, 1 hour after eating, 2 hours after eating, before/after exercise, and just before bed.
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