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Everything posted by KrissiK

  1. Hmm. Well, I probably won't be of much help to you, but I'll tell you what I do and you can take it or leave it.;) I've got younger children, but I use A Beka's materials. I wouldn't say they are horribly expensive (compared to some boxed curriculum) and you can supplement with library books for free. The thing I like about A Beka is that the lesson plans are done for you in the teacher's guide. That helps me tremendously. A Beka is Christian, however, and you mentioned you wanted secular, so I'm not sure how to help you there. But, for ease of use, A Beka is pretty easy.
  2. I'm doing FLL with my 6 & 5 year old boys. THey're both at the first grade reading level (my 5 year old is doing K math, and his maturity is definitely on the K side of things, but he's doing well reading), but at this age, the only thing I'm really working at toward mastery is reading and math. Everything else is just frosting. Really. I don't know if they grasp the concept of a noun, but we do the lessons as written. They enjoy them. They've memorized the definition of a noun and some day, when they are older, that definition will come in handy, whether they understand it now or not. I think it's important to take advantage of this age from the aspect of memorization, which is that the Grammar Stage is all about. Who cares if they understand it? Memorize it. Then it's there. Forever. And they can take it out again in jr. high and figure out what it means. Now, of course I'm not saying that we shouldn't be teaching kids things they don't understand... but, well, you all know what I mean.
  3. We have three adopted children all from the foster care system. My boys are bio brothers. It was a very good experience for us. However, the System is the System. You have to be pro-active and just deal with what comes. The social workers are overworked and there are some bleeding heart judges out there so, it's risky. And you have to be flexible. One afternoon my baby girl was 6 months old and we'd just gotten home from a bd party, we were tired, hot and sticky and all were in need of a nap. The doorbell rings and this man is there who flashes a badge at me, says he's from the DA's office and needs me to answer some questions. I about wet my pants, after having a "Law & Order" flashback. It was all fine. He was there in behalf of my daughter's lawyer (don't ask why, I really have no idea why she had a lawyer and my boys didn't) and he was doing some investigative work on her placement (she's a Safe Surrender Baby). I think we made a decent impression since we still have our daughter.:D Anyhow, all I have to say it, adoption is awesome, but it's scary, risky and every single case is different. I've known tons of people who've adopted and not one situation/case/ etc. is the same. There is no "normal". But, I would suggest join a Support Group of some type. We still hang with the people who we took our classes with. It's purely social, but we all know about adoption and what we're dealing with and our kids all have friends who are adopted, so that's important.
  4. Oh yes. He's even more adamant that we homeschool that I am. I'd put them in the local Christian school in a heart beat, but... well, I'm too cheap to really push it. So... we homeschool.
  5. I just heard the ad on our local radio station this morning and really want to get tickets. They're awesome!
  6. Ditto what everyone else says. I stop him and say, "No, sound it out please!" They do this more as they're getting to be better readers and they want to actually read and not stop and figure out the word.
  7. I got the ones on Native Americans to use with our BJU Heritage Studies 1 Unit on Native Americans. The text goes through various tribes from each region and there's a "Pocket" that goes perfectly with the text. So, I'll be using it as a hands-on supplement. It looks really good to me.
  8. Oh, if you're going to do rockets, you must build one from scratch. Don't get a kit. I used to teach an after school rocket club with my jr. highers (when I was teaching jr. high science) and we'd build rockets made out of wrapping paper tubes with balsa wood fins and nose cones made of file folders. THen we'd spray paint them and launch them. And then we'd have a pizza party and watch "October Sky". Those were good times!
  9. I just found ours through a friend. It's pretty loosely organized, but I'm getting used to that aspect (I'm not loosely organized) and have found that I really enjoy the companionship. One thing I appreciate about this group is when we get together we don't talk about homeschooling. Honestly, I have no idea what curriculum anyone uses or what philosophy of education anyone espouses. It's great. We just sit around and tell funny stories about our kids and chat about... well, whatever. It's been a real blessing to me.
  10. I think my parents did a pretty good job. I have to keep reminding myself that they are only human and have their faults and flaws and hang-ups, just like everyone else. For a while there I blamed them for a lot of my own problems, but I had to come to the realization that our sinfulness has an effect on other people and that's just the way it is. Another thing I've been pondering lately regarding my own parenting is that I look at life and my relationship with my kids from my perspective and my personality and my knowledge of the circumstances. My kids look at their relationship with me from their own perspective and that whole dymanic can produce some pretty funky results. It scares me to think sometimes that even though I am doing the best that I can with raising these kids, they may look at me when they are grown up and think I did a lousy job.
  11. OK, I made these really cute molded glittery soaps for my wedding 7 year ago. They were scented, too. Took me a lot of time. They were cute. I wrapped them in cellophane bags with irridescent ribbons and a tag with our names and the date on them. Do you know what our friends did with them? Used them to write things on the get away car. Yes, that is what they did with my precious soaps. If I were going to do it again I'd probably just make little bags of candies or something and place them at each place setting. But, overall, I don't think wedding favors are necessary.
  12. I hate the phone. I hate talking to someone I can't see. I hate that, unless it's business, I am calling them and it may be an inconvenient time for them to talk. I hate that "dead time" where, if you are just chit-chatting and you run out of things to say. Generally, if I'm calling someone, even if it's just business, I try to time it when I know they'll be out, or at work or something and I can leave a message.
  13. I've never grown it before, but I'm always up for an experiment, so we tried it. It turned out great. Much better than the store bought kind.
  14. And then there's the child who, in the middle of what I would consider a pretty interesting story on the Vikings, says, "Are we done yet?"
  15. My DH is the 4th of 5 children. He has a wonderful family and I feel extremely accepted by all of them. There's a funny thing about his family - he's got 3 brothers and 1 sister. His oldest brother married a Kristin, another brother married a Christa, his sister is named Christine and my name is Kristen. My sil Kristin is a rather well-respected OB/Gyn in town, so people take me for her all the time, especially when I'm taking care of business in the women's health mileu. I once had an argument with a doctor who was doing an ultrasound on me who insisted I was my sil and I kept insisting that I was K the teacher, not K the doctor. It was pretty funny.
  16. I just did. I left the cherry tomatoes, because they'll produce until Thanksgiving, but everything came out. It was a huge job. Now it'll all just sit for about a month until I put in the winter garden.
  17. I lost 15 lbs. with WW and it was hard. But, what made it hard this time (this is my third time in about 20 years) is that I'm over 40 now and I can tell my metabolism went south. One thing is that they stress healthy eating and portion control, but I really think I'm addicted to carbs and sugar because I just "need" them. So, we're going to try the South Beach diet. We're going into it slowly, and next week will do it full bore.
  18. A maid, a chauffer and a personal assistant. And a masseuse (I know that's spelled wrong, but I"m too tired to look it up!)
  19. We do. We bought this composter thing at Costco. It didn't work so well until I had DH put a sprinkler in it, and now that it gets watered on a regular basis, it's got some beautiful stuff in there with tons of worms. I can't wait to rip out my summer garden and put all the compost in the winter garden. I always felt horribly guilty about putting all my vegetable peelings and scraps in the garbage, which is really why we started composting. Plus, after about 5 years of compost and steer manure twice a year, my garden plot has the best soil in the world.:D
  20. I have a first grader and a Kindergarten and a halfer (I call him that because he turned 5 in March, is reading at a first grade level, but is doing Kindergarten Math and his writing is atrocious, so we're not even working on that. He's writing, but whatever he comes up with is fine by me. His fine motor skills are still developing). We start at 8:30 and cover Bible, Phonics, Reading, Math and Seatwork by about 10:15. They have a 45 minute snack time/ tv time and then we commence History/Science at 11:00 and are done by approximately 11:30.
  21. I, too, am working on that with my first grade/ Kinder boys. But, I have just decided to continue to guide them and be consistent and patiently work on it and work on it and work on it. I feel a little at a loss because I was never taught to summarize and I still don't really know how. I know that sounds dumb, but it's true. I don't think this is something that comes naturally - it's a mental discipline and a great one to develop, so I don't want my boys to become frustrated.
  22. I'm an overwhelmed Mom as well. I wouldn't say my kids are super-strong willed, but they are very high maintainence and I find myself getting more and more frustrated and getting on them more, which is not solving the problem. The problem is, I don't know what to do about it. I saw a quote once that describes me to a "t" - "Being a mother is like being pecked to death by a chicken!"
  23. I know this won't help you now, but I threw a pork shoulder in the crock pot this morning with 2 packages of Lipton Onion Soup mix and a little water. I'm going to shred it and serve on rolls with bbq sauce. Delicious.
  24. My parents were infertile, too. It took them 7 years to conceive me, and I was not really expected (they were trying to adopt at the time). So, it's not surprising that I have been unable to conceive.
  25. I need to vote zero. My husband and I are infertile and we adopted all three of our children. We're hoping for another 1 or 2, but we've been waiting on the County for 2 years now. Can't figure that one out.
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