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Everything posted by KAR120C

  1. Depending on how things are going I might have a few dozen meals (whole meals for the three of us) in the freezer, or not very many at all. Right now I think I only have about five meals in there. Beyond the meals though, we have a lot of frozen meat, cheese, and vegetables, and I keep some grains in there (cornmeal, etc.) if we don't use them very fast. I greatly prefer a chest freezer, not because it's convenient (it's not) but because I've lost so much food and work to power outages in the past... and chest freezers will stay cold longer without power.
  2. Something I had to tell DS when he started with AoPS is that if they ask for the number of digits in the product (for instance) you don't need to work it out and do the subtraction. Just figure out enough to answer the digits questions. So in this case, the 94-digit 444...444 number times the 95-digit 1000...000 number will end up as 444...something with 94 more zeros on the end. Right? So 94+94 digits is 188 digits. Now subtracting *anything* from that is only going to affect the number of digits if it's close to the same size (at lest 187 digits itself, right?) and you know that 1*444...444 isn't, so skip that step. It's 188 digits. I don't know if prealgebra gets to it or not (we started with a later book) but this is absolutely vital in the "what's the last digit" problems. You almost never need to work out the problem to figure out the last digit, and in fact it's usually meant to be nearly impossible to do it the long way. What you need to do is figure out which parts are required and which are extraneous.
  3. I have found them very easy to work with too! And I have to admit, I really like making up the homework assignments. Especially the part where I don't have to write the questions, figure out how much each one is worth, and check them. ;)
  4. Number stamps, and tiny blank stickers that I had written numbers on for him so he could stick them on... Like this kind. I would fill in a couple sheets' worth so he had lots to choose from and didn't need me to jump in too often. We actually started Earlybird when DS was 2. I didn't mean to start that early, but we were somewhere that I could buy the books at a shop (and look at them first!), and I figured I was buying ahead. I wasn't. He plowed right through 1A in a few days, and the whole series in a few months. That was more than a decade ago... so I have no idea how the program may have changed since then!
  5. Apparently the way it sets it up defaults to "one seat in an established classroom where the teacher already has an account"... which isn't what you have. If you call customer service they can change it to a homeschooler account, which is actually adding you as a teacher (there's a little more cost - $30 maybe? - which wasn't clear when we first signed up, but I do think it was worth it for what we've gotten from the homework) and they'll email you with instructions and login stuff. It takes a few hours for them to set it up, but then it works really well!
  6. We're using Physics for Scientists and Engineers, but they should work the same... What is the difficulty?
  7. First, it doesn't bother me that other people make choices with their children's best interests in mind. With that, though, comes a complaint... I wish there was more flexibility in schools in general, so that you didn't have to decide on a whole school career based on how a child is at barely five. I do think in some cases parents make decisions "just in case", knowing that schools can be very slow to make changes later. So sometimes I think redshirting is meant to be a safe choice, for children whose parents think they might wish they had more time at some point, and not necessarily those who need it at kindergarten. From the outside it might look unnecessary, but I think (hope) in most cases it's intentional and well-reasoned, given how the rest of their kid's school years might be expected to go. Second... while I'm happy for other parents to make their own decisions about their own kids, I did find it irritating that as a parent of a summer-birthday boy myself I was expected to follow the crowd when he was kindergarten age. I know there's regional variation, but where we were at the time it was expected that all boys with summer birthdays would be held back, with no regard for their individual abilities and interests. We started DS on time (homeschooling, not PS) and got lots of comments about having "pushed him ahead", and warnings about how difficult it was going to be when we needed to hold him back later. He's in high school now, and we haven't had to hold him back yet. We really did put a lot of thought into our choice, but from the outside it may well have looked unnecessary.
  8. We're about to start a new course... with estudio for the first time.... Do you have any hints for the suddenly-newbie? :)
  9. It's been a while... I had always intended to do something at home, but it never really worked out. And it definitely was pricy to send him to classes. I understand that being outside the budget!
  10. But just so you have a response... :) The only thing we tried that was worth recommending was outside classes. We didn't try a lot of things.. but really what he needed was someone who knew more about art than I did, and more than he could get from a book. We've done some dabbling on the side without professional help... origami, sumi-e, stop motion animation... but for drawing especially, and painting, he needed someone who could jump in when there was something to say and step back when he was doing fine. I know it's not quite what you're looking for - sorry!
  11. Slippers help tremendously. And on the plus side, they can go through the laundry without damaging anything. ;)
  12. I have all four NEM books, but after we had done what I considered Algebra 1 and Geometry (all of NEM 1 & 2, geometry parts of 3, extra things on the side just because I can't leave well enough alone! LOL) ...at that point we switched to AoPS. We never did the Intro to Algebra book, although I suspect he could have picked it up about 2/3 through and had no problem. Instead, he did Counting & Probability and Number Theory as classes, and then we went with the original Problem Solving books, calling Volume 1 "Algebra 2" (it was basically all review by then, and again I added in some extra things) and calling Volume 2 "Precalculus". This year he's doing a regular AP Calculus course (probably AB, maybe BC) in preparation for going to "regular" high school next year. If he were going to homeschool I would probably put him in an AoPS Precalculus class, or maybe the Intermediate discrete math classes, or both... and continue on to AoPS Calculus in a year or two. Anyway... all that to say switching after NEM 2 allows a pretty good transition. I like both of them, and wouldn't have regretted finishing the NEM series, but I like the discrete math options with AoPS and that was a good point to start on them.
  13. He's shockingly good with spatial awareness and memory, like after driving around all day being able to say "well the library must be right behind those trees" when we can't see the library at all, haven't been anywhere near the library for hours, and took the most circuitous route between there and here....
  14. Write out a gorgeous plan that fills a notebook, gaze fondly at it for almost a week, and then chuck it in the recycling bin. :D In a good year I might write out three or four whole plans! LOL I enjoy planning, and I do get something out of having everything listed out in one place (especially deadlines), but we never stick with it in any kind of set-in-stone way. Sometimes I wish we could, but really what we end up doing with the flexibility is much cooler than what I could plan from the outset.
  15. For Geometry, I'd make up a final exam that covers basically everything. Keep that, and use it to support his grade (that is, if it's not the whole grade, make sure that the whole grade is reasonably in line with it). You don't have to decide today whether it's going on the transcript or not, but having that exam as a record will allow you to make the decision when you're writing the transcript later. My inclination would be to put it on as "before high school" because he'll have a ninth grade credit too. For Chemistry I'd finish up this year, keep records, and again decide later whether you want it on as ninth or eighth.
  16. but DS has been dead set on MIT since he heard of it. He wants to be an engineer, so it's a good choice, but I've been encouraging him to make a longer list of good choices too. MIT is definitely not a sure thing!
  17. Just snagging these two points.... I think when you're looking at a younger kid and judging whether work is high school level or not, it's worth it to measure against high-performing high schoolers, and not average high schoolers. If you have a kid who will eventually shine at a high school level, I wouldn't count the years before that point when he can be middle-of-the-pack. Not because it's not "really" high school, but because when you move on from high school level (college applications or whatever), you want the high school records to show a strong student, and not just a young one. And with that in mind, whether a bunch of test scores really is "necessary" in general, for a younger students I would absolutely go for the test scores. The more unlikely it looks, the more objective evidence I'd want to have.
  18. One thing you could look at is the really-top-tier private high schools... Exeter, Andover, Choate, etc. They're not the right fit for everyone of course, but there might be a prep school (possibly boarding, possibly not, depending on where you are) that would fill the need for challenging work and excellent resources, with fewer downsides than early college might have.
  19. This isn't a sub-forum to encourage people to accelerate their kids... it's for discussing all the things that come along with kids who are working ahead of grade level... and not all of those things are encouraging. If you read back through old threads what you'll find as much as anything, is that there are very real and important downsides to acceleration. Especially early entrance into institutions - early kindergarten, early high school, early college - are not necessarily all they're cracked up to be. In general, something that radical is considered as a "least worst option". When all other possibilities are exhausted, then you consider early college. That doesn't mean anyone is against it, only that if you aren't backed into that corner with no exit, there might be very good reasons to hold off.
  20. We did register him with his one year "skip". It's consistent with everything else we do, but not reflective of what he's working on.
  21. Someone posted this here a couple years ago and I've gone back to it over and over.... The University of North Carolina Writing Center has pamphlets on specific topics (like avoiding the passive voice): http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/
  22. I didn't choose them based on how much work he had to do... we could certainly have gone with something easier. I went with what he would enjoy and what he would think was worth that effort. So for Latin, Lone Pine (online) -- harder than a LOT of what I've seen others using, and especially so for a kid who doesn't memorize easily. (Tons of vocabulary in the first two years especially!) Not an easy A, and for some families, way more time than you would want to put in for something that wasn't a strength. I've heard from other parents whose kids do memorize easily that it really was an easy A... but not for DS - not even remotely! He loves it though. For Spanish we've done Oklahoma State, which has been very good. Much easier than Lone Pine for Latin, but not quite as much fun as Lone Pine.... so it's just about right again. And although he didn't have any trouble keeping his A for the first two years, the 3rd year has been harder... and I added a lot of reading outside of what they did for class. That was partly because I wanted to make sure that his reading was strong, especially if he ends up doing Spanish on his own after this year, and partly because he picks up the reading and writing much more easily than he does the oral/ listening part. This year we're working more on that... Pimsleur and some Destinos, just to make sure he can do all four aspects. I find that Pimsleur, even if it's review, has the effect of speeding up his responses in a way that the regular curriculum doesn't. So for us it has been a matter of balancing effort and enjoyment and letting him spend time on aspects that he can see a lot of progress with, but also finding ways to shore up his weaker areas. I don't think he would have been really well suited to being dumped into a random classroom, especially at a young age, without individual attention. And I think at least around here where languages aren't considered "core" courses, most people wouldn't put the amount of effort in for a kid who doesn't pick them up easily. Our case is a little unusual in that between extended family members and some unusual traveling, languages really are "core" in our family. Not necessarily any one specific language, but a willingness to jump in and try, plus some background in knowing what to work at. Latin, of course, has nothing to do with either family or travel, but it was what he wanted to start with, and it's a good background for learning other languages in the future.
  23. We've done something similar (Latin and Spanish) with an eye toward DS going to public or private high school next year. Depending on which school he ends up at, he will likely either not have Latin and Spanish available, OR not have enough room in the schedule for both. And virtually no chance of adding a 3rd (Russian). So the plan is... he should be at a point with both Latin and Spanish that he could continue on his own, just reading real books and for Spanish watching TV/ reading the news, perhaps with a tutor "on call" for difficulties. He could do AP Latin if his school offers it, and then switch to Russian. This isn't something we could have managed with any school, public or private, that we've ever had access to. It's one of the main reasons we have homeschooled, along with the fact that DS is not a "natural" language learner. I don't think any school, language oriented or not, would have bothered teaching two languages (early!) to a kid who has to put a lot of effort into even one.
  24. DS says you have to do the sections in order (they're handed out and picked up separately), but within a section you can do whatever you want.
  25. He thinks it was an hour for the three sections without much break in between.
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