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  1. Landmark flash cards from the Target dollar section (the Parthenon, Machu Picchu, Mount Kilamanjaro, the Eiffel Tower, etc.). I got ours a couple of years ago when I happened by them and I did see them again last year at back-to-school time just FYI. We run through them in the morning or whenever we do memory work and the kids love them!?!? It is so funny when something random ends up being a hit! It has been amazing how often you see landmarks in daily life once you're aware of them...on TV, magazines, billboards, etc. I think that's why the kids love them. I think it's fun to them to feel like they know something adult-ish and to make a connection! Best single school dollar I've spent! :)
  2. I love Pentime! My oldest 2 have used their Transition book and the first cursive book. I think those are grades 3 and 4. My 12 year old ds prints atrociously (not a curriculums's fault I don't think!) but has the most beautiful cursive you've ever seen! It really almost brings tears to my eyes when I see it! :)
  3. Perfect! And as much as I love laminating and having things spiral bound you'd think I would have thought of that! :) Thank you so much!
  4. How do you store your BSGFAA pages? We are really enjoying it by the way, but I didn't realize before I ordered that the pages were not just plain old 8 1/2 x 11 and I'm not sure what to do with them. Obviously not a huge problem, but for now the kids have been just stacking them on top of our short bookshelves and I'd love ideas for a more permanent solution. Thanks!
  5. Sweet tea or Coke! I can cut out food far more easily than my drinks! Sonic Happy Hour here I come! :)
  6. http://www.deepspacesparkle.com This isn't really laid out like you mention, and I'm sorry if it's completely unhelpful, but we've enjoyed it so much I wanted to pass it along! We have done many of the things from her site and they've all been simple and turned out exactly like they were supposed to! Good results for us since I am NOT an artist! :) She has plans laid out by grade and subject. I love her site and all of my kiddos get so excited when I tell them we're doing art that day. I did make some plans last year so that we would actually do it. I printed the instructions for the things I wanted to try and had them spiral bound, then ordered all the materials at once. We're still working through what I planned last year. This year I bought the $5 Native American plans and they are so cute! Everything else I've ever done has been free, but I may buy another couple of things because we enjoyed this one so much!
  7. Hi all! I'm out of my usual lurkdom to ask for some quick help please. DH is principal at an inner city middle school and is really working this year on encouraging reading outside of their school work. He's reading aloud in school to the student body and assigning reading as incentives, etc. Anyway...he just called to ask me for some stories about hard work and determination that pays off in the end. His kids' reading levels vary greatly from hardly reading at all to at, or just above, grade level, so any levels of books would be fine. I'm basically drawing a blank which is embarrassing since we have ALOT of books here and I've read and researched just about every reading list out there for our own school stuff! :) Thank you so much for your help!
  8. We stayed there a couple of years ago and I'm sorry that I can't answer your question, but I just don't remember. :) My advice would be to call them at the Polynesian and ask. My experience with Disney has been that they are happy to answer any question and often bend over backwards to make your time there a pleasure! I know that at the very least they will be able to tell you what they have to offer and they may be able to do something so that you don't have to bring one from home. Hope you have a great trip!
  9. What a sweet surprise! We just went in May for a conference dh had to go to and had so much fun! I will admit that besides being with dh, my favorite part was laying in the hotel room in the quiet with my ipad and the remote! :) But our favorite things together were taking the ferry and walking around Sausalito, riding the cable cars every chance that we could (dh teased me b/c I refused to sit down on them. I only wanted to stand on the outside and hang onto one of the poles! ...such a tourist I know!), and poking around Chinatown. We also thoroughly enjoyed the huge farmer's market on Saturday morning. And it was really neat to walk out onto the Golden Gate Bridge. We kind of regret not walking/biking across, but we just didn't squeeze it in. Oh...and we loved eating in North Beach (San Fran. Little Italy)! We went twice for supper. One night we waited a looong time for pizza at Tony's (worth it!) and one night ate at a table on the sidewalk (can't remember the name of the restaurant)...so picturesque and fun! I hope you have a wonderful time!
  10. Label, label, label! People who have helped us move always make fun of my labels but they are real life savers when you know exactly what is in each box! I use index cards and as I'm filling a box I write down each item as I put it in. Then I tape it on the top left corner of the box with packing tape. The ones from the kitchen are especially helpful! It's just nice before everything's unpacked to be able to grab what you need if you really need it! (or to be able to send a kiddo to grab it!) Of course, I still have unpacked boxes in my attic from our move 5 years ago! Yuk! But I could grab anything I need out of them! :)
  11. DD and I went in April and the Bean (sculpture) was one of our highlights! I know it seems crazy to be so carried away by a big silver blob but we truly loved it! We almost skipped it because it was quite a hike, but we were so glad we went! I promise it is worth it! We also loved the John Hancock tower and the Art Institute. The miniature rooms at the Art Institute were completely amazing! DD could have stayed in there all afternoon. It was also fun to see some "real" art and she was more interested in the ancient stuff than I would have expected. And of course the whole point of our trip was the AG store and it lived up to expectations for sure! Oh, and it was fun to stand in a line outside the door of Garrett's Popcorn (it was good by the way!) and to eat a sundae at Ghiradelli at 10:00 pm! We obviously had a ball and are big Chicago lovers now! Have fun!
  12. When we saw it at the theater I couldn't enjoy it because it was so gory (and I don't think I'm particularly prudish or anything :))! Anyway...several years ago I saw it on TNT and because of TV they had removed most of the worst gore. It is now one of my favorite movies! I won't let my kids watch it any time soon...even that version, but for those of you who didn't like the blood, etc. it's an option if you notice it coming on again. Just thought I'd mention it.
  13. We have tried duct tape, but what I've found to be better is apple cider vinegar. My 4 1/2 yr. old had a wart on the tip of her finger a few weeks ago that I had let go until it was really huuuge and painful. (great mothering I know!). Anyway...a friend of mine recommended the vinegar and it worked perfectly! Each night at bedtime I dabbed a little piece of cotton ball in the vinegar (make sure you use apple cider vinegar, not just white), put it on the wart and covered it with a band aid or 2. In the mornings we took it off and just didn't worry about it during the day. After just a few days the wart was way smaller and after about a week it was practically gone. Eventually it just kind of flaked off. Hope that helps! The duct tape and banana peel options have both been satisfactory for us in the past, this was just much quicker and more thorough so I thought I'd throw it out there.
  14. I came up with some plans a few years ago and we had a really good time! It was so much fun to plan AND to implement which is usually my downfall! :). Anyway...we did it 3 days a week after our afternoon rest time and the kids all really enjoyed it which is not always the case around here! I scheduled in books and found fun videos on YouTube for us to watch together (sumo wrestling, figure skating, henna tattoos, etc.). We did the Geography Songs CD and read about missionaries, watched a few movies and really had a good time. I would love to share my plans with you, but I'm not sure the copy on my computer still exists, because dh had to clean everything off to get it to work at all. We're deep into the stomach bug here right now (yuk!), but I will take a look tomorrow and see if I can find them. I will go ahead and tell you that in the end I really didn't actually use GTG so much as lots of printables and ideas from the awesome mom at homeschoolcreations.net. Amazing stuff and she is one of my heroes now! Go check it out and you'll have more info than you thought possible! I'll post tomorrow and let you know if I could get my hands on my plans.
  15. I don't really have anything to offer, just wanted to say how interested I've been to read these responses! My ds #4 did things similar to this when he was starting to try to write. I never was really concerned because his reading and recognition were otherwise fine, but it fascinated me! An example of something he would do would be that if he started his name too close to the edge of the paper and ran out of room he would continue the word just underneath and write it backwards and with reverse letters. Like this: Fra kn Well I just previewed my post and I can't get it to right justify the name, but you know what I mean. His name should be all the over to the right with the "a" at the edge of the paper and then the "n" and "k" would be reversed. He did it without pausing and I never could believe that he didn't have to think about it. He's the only one of mine who's ever done anything even remotely like this and he's my quirkiest thinker so I just chalked it up to another of his "things.". Sure enough, he never does it anymore and now that it ended up being nothing, I kind of miss it! I'm glad I saved some of his notes to me that were done like this! Please don't think I'm trying to minimize your situation! I just think it's interesting to hear about other kids who do similar things! None of my friends had ever heard of anything like it when I would mention it to them.
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