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Everything posted by bensonduck

  1. I am just outside DC. some of our favorites: 1. Natural History museum. Don’t miss the prehistoric human section (my son has a favorite prehistoric human we visit periodically) and the gems/minerals section is wonderful. 2. National Building Museum. This is not often mentioned but the architectural history exhibits here are really interesting. The entry hall is huge and breathtaking. 3. Spy Museum. This is a favorite of all my kids. 4. National Gallery of Art/Sculpture Garden. 5. Museum of the American Indian. (If you’re going to eat at a museum on the Mall, this is widely viewed as the tastiest place.) 6. I think the Washington Monument is closed(?) 7. Come over the river to Virginia and look at Iwo Jima and visit Arlington National Cemetery. If you have access to a vehicle, take a picnic to Gravelly Point and watch the planes take off and land at National Airport basically right on top of your head. It’s a very unique experience. have a wonderful time!!!
  2. It is so hard. I get between 5-7 hours broken up at night and nap with the baby for 30 mins to an hour most afternoons. I hope you can find something that works for you. I hate that fuzzy headed feeling of not enough sleep. Seems worse now that I’m older. 😐
  3. Seems normal to me. I find I do best with a framework for the year (for example, this year I want to polish my 4th graders writing. He should be responsible for 2 writing assignments per week) and then fill in stuff as I go (next week I’d like him to write a few paragraphs about the Egyptian pyramids and also a story with some dialogue. No school Monday, so we will work on the Egyptians on Tuesday and Wednesday and the story on Thursday and Friday.) I have 3 kids schooling now (7th, 4th and 1st) and since I have that framework in my mind, I find I can get my week to week plans for all of them done in 60-90 minutes on the weekend (depending on interruptions, haha).
  4. DD12 gets 6-7 a night. She has always been extremely low sleep needs. I think she enjoys the quiet house, too. She is up after me every night. I am a morning person and she is an owl. I don’t mind as long as she is quiet and cleans up any mess (she sometimes makes a small snack like soup or toast to eat while she reads or studies. Which is totally allowed but she needs to remember to clean it all up.) This amount of sleep is normal for her and she’s usually very even keeled and functional. But every once in a while, I will come home in the afternoon from taking another kid somewhere and she’s passed out in her bed asleep. Just needing to catch up, I guess. It’s very sweet.
  5. I was vegan for a while and made pizza with fresh tomatoes, basil leaves, spinach leaves (they get crispy when cooked at high heat...yum) and nutritional yeast. Taste wise I think most plant based cheeses are gross. And you’re right that they are often more processed than dairy cheeses. Nutritional yeast is a decent substitute if you want to experiment. It’s kind of salty, more like Parmesan.
  6. We tell the kids vomit is kind of like pee and belongs in the toilet. So we encourage getting to the toilet if possible. We also give them an empty plastic trash bin to keep near just in case the person can’t make it to the toilet. I had one kid vomit while running to the toilet to vomit, slip in it, and bang their head. I felt so bad. I’d much rather have had them use the bucket.
  7. It may be a little younger than you want, but my kids enjoyed The Mystery on the Great Barrier Reef by Carole Marsh a few years ago.
  8. My go to gift for first birthdays is a tube of assorted bath toys, a personalized big bath towel, and a pair of cute pajamas in like 2T size so they are loose and comfy and fit for a while. I used to wrap it up with a helium balloon attached to the package, but I had one little one year old who was very afraid of the balloon so I don’t do that anymore!
  9. They actually have changed since we were younger. Horticulturists have bred out some of the bitterness. https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/10/30/773457637/from-culinary-dud-to-stud-how-dutch-plant-breeders-built-our-brussels-sprouts-bo
  10. It takes me literally 0 seconds. I wake up and am wide awake, get dressed and out the door to run within 5-10 minutes of waking up. It drives DH crazy. I’m like, get up! Let’s go let’s go let’s go!!! On the other hand, I like to nap in the afternoons and am fairly worthless in the evenings. I get tired early and don’t feel my sharpest after like 6-7 pm.
  11. DD has a smartphone. She is 12 and is part of a very close knit group of young people who are all competitors in a certain type of academic competition. The kids are from all over the US. Her friends have group chats on Google Chat, follow each other on Instagram, etc. Because she is 12, she is well aware that I may take her phone at any time and scroll through everything. She has been mostly responsible with it. We have had a few hiccups but she’s generally pretty responsible. It helps that this group is very academically minded and they push each other. (The texts are like, “Do you think I should study Topic A or Topic B today? I heard So and So found a new way to work on Topic B. Did she tell you?”) Interestingly, DD does not text or Instagram as much with her in person friends. They will text to make plans to meet up or wish happy bdays or something but it isn’t this ongoing dialogue the way it is with her competition group.
  12. I have such a range among my kids. DD - she sort of intuited it on her own at around age 3 with very (VERY) brief explanation from me. Natural speller. DS #1 - we used Saxon Phonics K to get the letters figured out and blending, then went to AAR, which he loved. He began reading fluently around AAR3. Mostly a natural speller, needs to think carefully occasionally to get a correct spelling. DS #2 - It took him forever to learn the letters (I used Saxon Phonics and then CLE KII). He understood blending very early but the letters and their sounds tripped him up. We tried Dancing Bears, helped a bit. Finally we used AbCeDarian and the I See Sam books and that got him “over the hump”. He’s not perfectly fluent yet but I think he’s about mid 2nd grade level. He will get there. He loves books and reads a lot in his free time, so he’s getting lots of practice. (Handwriting and spelling need work.)
  13. We submitted for DD on May 14th and have not gotten it back yet.
  14. This may be way off base, but is it possible she didn’t actually eat the bar? Like maybe another family member or friend grabbed a snack and just disposed of the wrapper in your DD’s room without her knowing about it?
  15. Not nearly as advanced as, say, AOPS intermediate C&P, which I just looked at the TOC online for. i don’t have the algebra 2 here, but these are the section titles for 2 of the precalc discrete math chapters. (Last one is like limits, derivatives, integrals). 14-1 introduction to probability 14-2 words associated with probability 14-3 two counting principles 14-4 probabilities of various permutations 14-5 probabilities of various combinations 14-6 properties of probability 14-7 functions of a random variable 14-8 mathematical expectation 15-1 introduction to sequences and series 15-2 arithmetic, geometric and other sequences 15-3 series and partial sums FWIW, DD is also currently taking a contest prep combinatorics class given by a local math circle. The Foerster stuff is nowhere near as hard as the hw for that class. She can do 2-3 sections of this a day and get most of them right. but spend 2 hours puzzling over a couple of the contest prep problems (and get several wrong). But, the way Foerster lays it out is so clear that sometimes it gives her an insight. Today she realized while working on one of the Foerster sets that she did actually know how to solve one of the contest hw problems, and dashed upstairs to her hw papers immediately to write it out before she forgot. So we are keeping Foerster. 🙂
  16. Foerster’s Algebra 2 and Precalc (the Key Press edition) both have very nice sections on combinatorics/discrete math with a variety of problems at different difficulty levels. DD has really enjoyed them.
  17. I love it, haha. I am a very linear thinker that doesn’t mind lots of practice. The problem sets are interesting because it’s not all the same thing all the time. my kids hate it, lol!
  18. Can you go back through the R and S book and just give the tests? To see the areas that she needs more help with? R and S is great, I wouldn’t switch publishers at this point.
  19. Definitely masks, TP, flour and yeast. Dried pasta, black beans, tuna and dried fruit. We’ve gotten low on these staples this year and I don’t want to be caught unaware.
  20. Ugh. I have about 5 of that Neutrogena sunscreen in my kitchen. We’ve been all using it daily all summer long.
  21. Spelling is weird. There are some kids who just get it. They don’t need spelling lessons, they are just going to understand how to spell words. (I suspect many of them are pattern recognizers.) There are other kids who need to be taught the rules of spelling and would benefit from a program. (Spelling by Sound and Structure is my favorite). Does your daughter write little stories? How’s her spelling on, say, a thank you note to Grandma? Does she want to write much yet? If she’s spelling decently on her own right now, you might have the first kind of kid and then just wait till she’s a bit older and see how her spelling progresses as she writes longer and more complex stuff. If her spelling on her own is a mess, or she’s not yet writing a lot, I would wait till she’s 6-7, and look at it again and start a spelling program then if you think it’s necessary. You don’t need it at this age.
  22. If your child is reading fluently, you might consider moving to a phonics based spelling program. My favorite, R&S Spelling, starts in second grade. You could use it half speed if you wanted, maybe just like half a page a day. Or wait a year and just keep having your child read out loud to you and help your child with any unfamiliar phonics.
  23. I have only 4 but a 5.5 year gap between number 3 and number 4 due to a string of miscarriages and other health issues. Had those not happened we would have had 1-2 more in there. Number 4 is 1, and I’m 42, so it’s looking like we will be done with 4.
  24. I don’t think my kids would want to deal with a thermos or something for the whole day. They are not good about keeping track of that stuff, haha. Here are a couple sandwich variations that are not “deli meat”. I second the idea of getting a big bun (like a hoagie or Portuguese roll style) and send 2 sandwiches. - very thick layer of hummus, cucumber and tomato slices laid into it, basil leaves - cream cheese and green olives - pizza sandwich with tomato sauce and several mozzarella slices and whatever toppings your son likes (I usually do green peppers which add a nice crunch, but those are a favorite veggie around here) - leftovers, if you make a roast or pork chops or something, just slice the meat on the thin side and put it in the bread. - will he eat smoked salmon? That + cream cheese + onion + lemon has been a staple for us all summer.
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