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  1. Our studio's hip hop is also very athletic - not sexy at all. I suppose that is because it is 75% boys? Jazz on the other hand... This year's show was all decent enough except one jazz performance by the teenage girls - they actually whipped off their skirts during the performance and were using chairs and tables as props for sexual positions. It's hard to understand how that was considered a great idea - and it is hard for us to see how parents want to actually see their kids performing that way. Their costumes (once the skirt was ripped off) were like the black sexy stuff at a lingerie store with fishnet sockings and garters. In trying to figure out how to make it all work for our family (years ago), we went with just the classical ballet program that follows the international Royal Academy of Dance - they dance to classical music, have certain moves to learn, and it is very well structured. In our studio the non-competitive ballet sometimes has suggestive songs, and does not necessarily have as professional teaching, so the kids aren't as polished in what they learn. Good luck. Our studio was quite modest when we started 7 years ago. Many of the things they do still are, and the classical ballet program is just what we thought it would be, but whoever choreographs the teen jazz competitive stuff has had some doozies two years in a row. The younger jazz groups do moves I am not particularly fond of, but nothing too over the top.
  2. We have been fortunate enough to have an umbrella-type school which has a large department for kids with different learning needs, and they helped pay for the Fast ForWord program. It isn't for everyone, but it helped my child make amazing connections and progress a TON, both in reading and in ability to converse with others (my child had before been extremely slow to respond because they were processing the sounds - they are still not lightning fast responding, but they are conversational). So if samples look like they target your needs, and you can access it, I HIGHLY recommend it. Tedious as anything, but it really did great things for my child (our umbrella school makes us promise to bribe the kids to do it - I didn't need to purely because of who my kid is, but I understand most people do end up bribing). Violin has helped with a lot of things (metronome work is integrated, as is careful sound discrimination). We did a number of those dyslexia workbooks as well. And trampoline and different things suggested by vision therapists - I think trampoline play has been very helpful (but that is not phonological processing in itself). I love it when "therapies" are just a part of life instead of separate intervention-type things. TBH I don't recall the name of the other online intervention we did - it was pretty hard to tell if it made any positive difference, so I haven't thought about it for a couple of years.
  3. I agree about having a piano. We do have an upright piano, I mean for getting the score written directly by the computer (instead of my child writing it themselves). I don't think the one you linked works for that? Or does it?
  4. I could try some sort of music store. I feel a bit bad doing it, because they all have prices so much higher than buying online from the US (we're in Canada), so I would be very unlikely to buy there. We do buy other things at music stores, so maybe. I don't recall seeing these kinds of keyboards, but I wasn't looking so maybe they are there.
  5. I have heard good things about Dancing Bears, but haven't used it. I'm surprised you got that diagnosis. That is what we are dealing with too. For what it is worth, interventions are great and important, AND so is accepting that a kid is who they are, and they will have to work a lot harder than others in some areas (and that difference may never go away). For us, phonological processing targeted interventions, as well as metronome type work, have helped quite a bit. We continue to do copywork, and the Spelling You See program has been good for us as it uses coloring and looking at words and their parts (and is very positive/work-together kind of learning). It is hard to hear that our kids have obstacles and it doesn't feel "fair", but another "for what it is worth" - my child who has this struggle is SOO much better at pushing through difficult things than my other kids are. It is great training for the hard things that life does throw at all of us, and since they are putting in the hard work of persevering and getting back up again from failures, they reap the reward of being able to do that more gracefully when they need to in other areas of life. ETA: It is interesting that you said that your daughter could read and sound out words without difficulty, but then in testing she had very poor decoding skills. Why do you think there is this difference between what you have observed in life and what was observed in testing?
  6. Do you have any recommendations? I really don't know what to look for. We have a passable upright piano for playing on, but for composing music I think it would go so much easier with a midi keyboard. Would something like the link below be decent? It gets great and absolutely horrible reviews, but has 88 keys. https://www.amazon.com/Alesis-Q88-88-Key-Keyboard-Controller/dp/B00BSXJY64/ref=sr_1_33?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1496977050&sr=1-33&keywords=midi+keyboard
  7. I have some questions about computer notation programs and keyboards. Do you have any recommendations on keyboards? How many keys minimum would be decent? I am sure a full awesome keyboard would be best, but budget doesn't allow that. :) Is something like this good? https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00VHKMK64/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_92?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER Then once you have the keyboard, how does it work? I am totally ignorant about this. I understand you would plug it into the computer via USB. Do we need more tech items to make it work? I had a free notation program on our computer, Scorecloud. Is Finale or Sibleius better?
  8. Dr Seuss's Birthday Bird book - Happy Birthday to You - it must be about 10,000 words and 150 pages long. Longest picture book EVER. How many times can you say Birthday in one book? We have this awesome puzzle book from Usborne which I hide when I have a child that is old enough to remove the puzzle pieces, but not old enough to put them back. Yeah, what I want to do is do 5 puzzles WHILE reading a book. Great fun. The kids get them back later. LOVE Margaret Wise Brown - always something surprising yet perfect. And while I don't like reading aloud the Richard Scarry books without a plot, the ones with a story are very fun. The Great Steamboat Mystery, for instance.
  9. I haven't taken the lead in board game design, I've mostly just gotten out of the way! :) My kids will take existing board games and change them, but my especially visual-spatial child will be inspired by various things and just make them with various crafting supplies we have around. As a rule lover, sometimes when they were younger the rules were longer than the gameplay itself! I suppose we have a lot of games and decks of cards and dice around (supplies), as well as paper, cardboard, various crafty things, markers, etc. I'd bet you could come up with some type of architecture that would be useful to have mobile - for disaster relief or even just for snowbirds travelling to Arizona (if you want wheels involved).
  10. Board game design and architectural design are two things that have suited our child. As far as finding a program to do it, we haven't. It has had to be ad hoc.
  11. We've liked Spelling You See. It isn't an instant fix. We've had measurable, forward progress, though. It has kids color code spelling patterns/rules in a text, so the kids are scanning for and highlighting them in context, then writing them either via copywork or dictation.
  12. One thing I enjoyed when in Victoria for the day once was walking around by the houseboats. It isn't anything fancy, but it is different and interesting to see what the community is like. The BC Museum is quite good, so yes, I'd do that. It's been forever since I went to Burchart Gardens, but it was so impressive when I did - highly recommend it. Empress is where people do high tea in Victoria, and you could also hit the BC Parliament. I like the stained glass windows in Latin. I've been to Victoria a few times and never taken a car - I highly recommend taking transit if you can. Worked great for us.
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