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About Alice

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  1. Complete infertility is rare. Subfertility (reduced sperm count) is not that rare in men, about 15% permanent. I didn’t say Mumps causes problems during pregnancy, it’s rubella that does. The risk of deafness is small but real. More recent studies suggest it’s higher than previously thought. Both my aunt and uncle are deaf in one ear from mumps.
  2. You can’t tell if it’s bacterial or viral until you do a spinal tap. In a small baby especially, they look identical. So you would tap and send off cultures and do antibiotics for 48 hours while you wait for the cultures and viral PCR to come back. Also a baby who has viral meningitis has to be presumed to be herpes meningitis until proven otherwise because herpes meningitis is devastating. So a baby with meningitis symptoms will get at a spinal tap and then often get hospitatlized and treated with antibiotics and potentially acyclovir for herpes until you are sure that it’s not those things. In older kids, it’s a easier to tell and you can make a better guess from the way the spinal tap looks if you do tap. Viral meningitis in itself is not usually harmful and typically kids recover well. Mumps meningitis is similar. I’m not going to wade into this vaccine debate becuase I’ve just decided not to do it anymore online. But as for the MMR....the main risk with Mumps is infertility and deafness, the main risk with rubella is that it is a teratogen and causes terrible birth defects. It is not usually harmful to kids but is given to them to protect pregnant women (who are typically in contact with young children). Measles can be a virus that makes you feel really ill, like the flu, but you can recover from. It can also be deadly. The main concern we vaccinate for is measles encephalitis and pneumonia which are the main causes of death and disability. . It can cause death, the rate is about 1:1000. The rate of encephalitis which can also cause brain damage and permanent neurological complications is 1:1000. It still kills about 100,000 people a year, mostly kids under the age of 5. Before mass vaccination in the 1980’s it was the cause of 2.6 million deaths a year. Those stats are per the WHO.
  3. I wonder if it’s a local church outreach or challenge kind of thing. You know like maybe “in Lent, approach a stranger per week” or something like that. I could see that kind of thing happening in some circles I’ve been in.
  4. First option. Breakfast is mostly everyone on their own, but there are usually a couple of people at the table at one time. Just not everyone. Lunch is usually me and the kids eating together. Now that my oldest is often working independently during the day, lunch is the time we all come back together. We read aloud, play a game or watch something on TV (currently old Amazing Race seasons). Dinner is almost always almost all of us. It’s gotten harder to do that as there are more activities. Mondays I work and the kids and dh actually have a long standing tradition of having dinner with extended family. This used to be dh’s father, all three of dh’s siblings and the kids’ four cousins. As time has gone on that is now usually just dh’s siblings and occasionally a cousin if they are in town. The other nights of the week, I’d say 3 are typically all of us and 3 are most of us but someone might be out at an activity and have eaten early or will eat late.
  5. Just wanted to give a shout out for Simplify Homeschool online classes for middle schoolers. My 7th grade son is taking one on Puzzles and Codes (taught by Farrar!) and it’s been a fantastic experience. He’s a kid who doesn’t like a lot of school and typically doesn’t like anything that seems schoolish even if it’s a topic he likes. But he’s totally gotten into the class. It’s also been a nice gentle first online class. The work is interesting and challenging but not so much that it’s overwhelming. I think he likes the independence of doing it on his own. I don’t know if they will offer online classes again, but if they do, I highly recommend them.
  6. We’re using the Arbor Math books for my 7th grader this year. He loved Jousting Armadillos and it was a great fit for him. We continued with Crocodiles and Coconuts. It’s still been mostly good. It’s a little too wordy for him, he’s much more of an auditory learner I’ve realized. We’ve gotten around that mostly by me reading him the longer sections and then orally discussing it rather than having him read it himself. But my bigger gripe is that there are SO MANY ERRORS in the solutions guide. JA had some and that was a bit annoying but understandable. This is way more and it’s really frustrating. I love the concept of the books, but I’m not sure I’d recommend it to anyone at this point becuase of the errors. Just thought I’d throw that out there since I know it’s a program a lot of people look at.
  7. Full disclaimer: My son is in 10th grade so I don’t know yet if what I’m doing “works” as far as colleges. 🙂 1) I am putting classes he took in middle school that are standard high school level classes on the transcript. That is consistent with what the public schools here do. So for us that’s Algebra, Latin I and Intro to Counting and Probability. Around here the public schools will put higher level Math and Language classes on the transcript. I just listed it as being done in 8th grade. And didn’t use the grades to calculate GPA. I used the course descriptions on the AOPS website to explain what the classes included. 2) My son has self-taught with AOPS and wants to continue doing that. I’ve given him A’s for the classes because it is consistent with our philosophy of teaching to mastery. I assume that somewhere in the application I will include a statement about our grading policy and homeschool philosophy. I feel comfortable giving him A’s becuase he consistently gets most of the problems correct in each chapter when he works through the review problems at the end of the chapter. I know some people on here have made up tests for an end of the year review using problems through the book. For Algebra, I had a friend who teaches at a middle school give me an exam that he uses and gave it to my son at the end of the year.. I did that partially to ensure that the self-teaching method was working. 🙂 Since Algebra, I’ve been more comfortable with the approach and haven’t done that. I feel like the scores he gets on standardized tests will back up the Mommy grades. He plans on doing at least one SAT II Math test and has very good scores on the SAT Math section. He’ll also probably do AP Calculus. 3) I haven’t fully decided on this. I think currently in the transcript I have the Intro book labeled as Algebra and then in the Course description section I described it more fully. Now that he’s in Intermediate Algebra and I see how much harder it is than a standard text...I may relabel things to show that it’s not really a standard Algebra II class. 4) I kept records of things my son did in middle school that were significant and applied to his interests or continued into high school. I figure you can always leave it off but if you don’t remember it you can’t put it on. I don’t yet know what I’ll put on the final transcript but I figured it didn’t hurt to keep them. For example, he took the NLE Latin exam in middle school. I’ll probably put that in there with the other NLE scores.
  8. I voted No becuase I don’t think it’s common knowledge unless you have adopted from a rescue. When we adopted our dog, they made that really clear and I was somewhat surprised. Not upset, just surprised. I thought it would have been something like “if you can’t find another home for her than return her to the rescue” but not that it was return her even if you had another home in mind. It made sense to me when I thought about it, but it wasn’t what I expected.
  9. Pre-Calculus/Trig or whatever AOPS calls that level. He does it on his own. AP Latin with Lukeion ?Shakespeare semester class with Lukeion, something else for English other semester That’s about all I know. I’m impressed (and a little scared) by all the planning people. We usually do History at home, not sure what he’ll want to cover. Either Physics or Biology but not sure of provider. If Bio I might just do it myself. Electives...? Psychology ? Some other Math ? something else
  10. This almost exactl for my boys. My daughter has always really liked showers and so takes one daily.
  11. I have two that I like. One in my purse and one by my bed. But I have other dollar store ones around for an emergency.
  12. We only use Intensive Practice and Textbook. I’ve done it that way for three kids all the way through and it’s been fine. I have three kids. One is likely to be a math major in college and loves math. One used to hate math, but mostly because he doesn’t like school and math is school. One likes math ok and is good at it but it’s more that she likes school and math is school. 🙂 For all three the approach of using just the IP book has been good. My oldest needed and thrived on more challenge. He and I would go through a section of the TB and then he’d do the IP problems without doing any of the practice problems in the TB or WB. That worked great. He is a kid now who loves AOPS and the self-teaching, discovery aspect of it. He also reads math books for fun in his spare time. My middle son hated math for a long time and struggled. I finally realized half of the struggle was that he found it boring and dull and was just not willing to do something boring. We had been using the WB some with him and supplementing with IP problems. Then I realized he would miss a ton of the more rote kind of practice problems but get all the harder word problems right. So we started just using the IP book. For him, I went through the TB and would assign practice problems and review problems from the TB to him sprinkled in with the harder more interesting IP problems. He needed a little more practice and review than oldest so we went slower. He also needed more direct teaching than my other kids and more of the review, so I added that in as necessary. My daughter is more similar to my oldest but more of the get it done mindset with Math. I assign her some problems from the IP book and then all the word problems/challenging problems. All that to say, yes, you can do it that way and it works fine. It might not work for a kid who is really struggling and needs more review, but that doesn’t sound like the case for your daughter.
  13. That’s funny. In our discussion several people mentioned friends that they had who had read it as teenagers and loved it. Our theory was that people who read it as teens maybe saw it as more romantic and overlooked the more troubling parts. Ha!
  14. I finished Lonesome Dove. It was not my cup of tea, although it’s not a bad book. Just so ultra masculine. It’s probably a fair depiction of the time and place but I really didn’t need to be immersed in that much violence for 850 pages. Almost everyone in my book group felt the same way, except for the 70+ year old woman who picked it. We decided it was partially generational, at least in that she had grown up watching cowboy shows on TV and the movies and just found that life fascinating. The rest of us weren’t entranced enough by the cowboys to want to put up with all the icky stuff. Not sure what is next for me. I’m reading the Iliad with my oldest for school and I need to read some other things with the kids. I have a big old stack beside my bed so trying to decide waht is next for my personal reading.
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