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Everything posted by Alice

  1. Just to be clear...I liked a lot of posts but I’m not liking that you are going through a rough time. Consider it a virtual hug instead of a like. Or a thanks for commiserating with me, rather than a “Yay, you are miserable too!†:) And for Arctic Mama and Lavender’s Green and others going through really rough stuff...that’s not what I would consider Grinchy. That’s real stress and grief and totally different. Big virtual hugs to you. For me, it’s that every year I know I get grumpy and vow that I won't be and then I find myself grumpy again. And it’s all for good stuff. Like family stuff that is annoying but involves people that love us. Or things like grandparents that buy too many gifts. Or just having too much fun stuff to do. So that’s why I would characterize myself as a grinch...I’m being negative about things that are good. I have a good friend whose husband also hates the season. We go out for coffee together semi-regularly but we joke in December that I should go out with her husband so we can be grumpy and cranky together and she should go out with my husband so they can commiserate about what it’s like to live with a Grinch. :)
  2. Anyone else get really irritable this time of year? I have gotten so I really hate Christmas. I’m a Christian and I love the religious part....but not all the rest. So many reasons ...gift-giving, family drama, all the added activities, the pressure to feel happy and cheerful. All the normal activities and work and school are still there and then all this other stuff is piled on. I find myself basically just counting down until it’s all over. This isn’t really a JAWM thread. It’s ok if you like Christmas. More that I want to know I’m not the only Grinch out there.
  3. These are fantastic. I have a young teen and I always so appreciate these kind of positive threads. I don’t have any advice to add but will add another voice for people with younger kids who might be reading...so far having a teen has been really fun. Not always. But for the most part I think my teen is such a great person and love hanging out with him.
  4. Yes we do this. I actually do it for all three kids. Two are very “mathyâ€. One is not. The one who is not doesn’t really struggle with Math and he hates to be bored more than anything so he actually does better with harder problems. We just go slower than his sibs do. We do the textbook almost completely orally. Depending on the topic we do a couple of examples either orally or together on paper. Then they work through the IP. I use the textbook reviews for the one kid who needs a bit more review and I use the Mental Math sheets in the HIG for some drill. It’s worked so far. My oldest is in 9th and went into AOPS and loves it.
  5. Something new: Having kids old enough to be able to go out to dinner without getting a babysitter. Life-changing! Summed up in three words: Not enough time Favorite memory: Not one in particular, but a whole bunch from a 10 day trip we took to California in May. Yosemite and Joshua Tree were the stand-outs as far as memories but lots of other places were amazing also.
  6. Math: Depends a little on the kid. At that age I aim to spend about 30 min. I have one kid who loves math and probably did more at that age. And one who has ADD and has the most complaints with math. He’s actually fairly good at math but it frustrates and bores him. So for him, it would depend more on the day. We do a lot more working together to keep him on focus. If we do that it could easily be 45 min. If he’s working alone I do it more by a certain amount, and I know that the amount I assign can be done in 15-20 min. I prefer to keep him less frustrated than to have him do more. Writing: That has depended on the stage our homeschool is in. With my oldest we used WWE at that age and did it four times a week. He could have written a coherent paragraph but it was painful for him. With my next two I’m a lot more loosey-goosey about writing. They do a lot more projects. We use more of the Bravewriter approach. I aim to have them do some kind of writing at least once a week but sometimes it’s more if they are working on a specific project. Science: In 4th grade we do more of an interest led approach than a curriculum. We just read a lot of books, watch a lot of videos, talk about stuff. I don’t really worry about it being a certain amount of time or days a week.
  7. We were joking about that earlier today when we were wondering what had happened. My kids were like “maybe we should go knock on the neighbor’s door and tell them to check their guest roomâ€. :)
  8. Further update...we did hear back from him early afternoon when he must have finally seen our texts. He just decided to stay with someone else from his college last night. A couple of posters wondered how he traveled, he flew (we didn’t know flight info) and then was going to take Uber here. So, it wasn’t that he was driving and ran into traffic or something and decided to go somewhere closer. It may have been that he felt awkward coming in so late and that’s understandable. But it still would have been nice to tell us that this early this morning. Anyway, he’s still staying here the rest of the weekend so we’ll get a chance to meet him. :)
  9. I heard from the conference that he checked in. So the answer is just flakey. :) I’d rather that than something bad.
  10. A Lego Mini-Fig. I buy the ones in the surprise series every year. They aren’t even as into Legos now but I think they would be sad not to get them.
  11. We also have the Zojirushi and use it a ton. I’m pretty sure it’s the same one we got for our wedding 17+ years ago. I don’t like the splashing out through the little steam hole, so I use a little metal cup and put it over it. It doesn’t affect how the ride is cooked. The cup doesn’t fit perfectly so steam can still get out, but the liquid doesn’t splash everywhere.
  12. As I was writing, I decided we should follow-up. I’d want someone to do that for my kid in a similar situation. We did tell him earlier when we texted and emailed that if his plans changed it was totally fine, we were just making sure he was ok. I ended up having the friend’s number and sent her a text. And I just called the conference to see if he checked in. They were going to look and call me back. Thanks, sometimes just writing something out here makes the decision more clear.
  13. So we had a houseguest who was supposed to be arriving last night. We don’t know this person at all, he’s a friend of a friend. It’s a college student who is coming into town for a conference. They asked if anyone could host him for a few nights and we offered. He was supposed to arrive late last night (around 11 pm). We told him that we’d leave the door unlocked and that we’d be asleep but that he could go downstairs to the guest room. We left lights on. We also told him that we have a dog and that she would likely bark but not to worry and that if we work up we’d come say hi. He never arrived. No emails or texts. We emailed him and texted him today just to check in but haven’t heard back yet. Thoughts? On the one hand, I’m guessing he’s just a slightly clueless kid who got another offer or decided not to use our house but forgot/neglected to tell us. Or many his travel plans changed and he’s coming today. It was initially a little unclear what day he was coming but in the emails he definitely said Thursday night. But maybe that changed. On the other hand...I’m a little worried and wondering if we should do more to find him. To find him would mean contacting the person who we know who knows him...but she is a college student and I’d have to contact her parents at work to get her number. And she’s away at college so there isn’t really anything she would do other than text him...which we already did. I guess I could try and find the conference he was going to and call them but I also don’t want to create a big hullabaloo if he just changed his plans and didn’t tell us. I’m going back and forth between “he’s an adult and it’s not my business if he changed his plans†to “he’s a kid and I would want someone to find my kidâ€. WWYD?
  14. We finished the Intro Algebra book first because I’d heard that Geometry was harder. He’s enjoying Geometry as well and not necessarily finding it much harder, but he is a year older so that might have been a good thing. We also took a break in the middle of Algebra (I think after Chap 13) and did the Intro Counting and Probability Book. He loved that.
  15. My parents got my son one a few years ago. It never worked well and was a bust. I’m not sure if that was us or the particular pen or just how they are but it seemed like a cool idea that ended up being disappointing.
  16. So many podcasts....so little time. In addition to a lot of the ones here, I like the Bravewriter ones. I think it’s A Bravewriter’s Life in Brief. The first one this season was with Susan Wise Bauer and was very fun. My husband likes How I Built This. I just heard a new one advertised on NPR yesterday by Dana Temple Raston, something about how teenagers minds work when they make dumb decisions...What Were You Thinking. That sounded interesting.
  17. I teach A&P at our co-op and we do three dissections. I was a Bio major and did a bunch in high school and college. I think they have value. But..I also think it’s fine to opt out. I think most public and private high schools have opt-out options these days. At least the ones around here do. So I don’t know that I would make 7th graders do dissections that they aren’t that interested in just for the potential of doing them one day in high school. It’s also fine to do them for the first time in high school. If they were interested in the class I’d say go for it. But I don’t it’s necessary to prep for high school bio.
  18. My kids have never asked but I would tell them if they did. I haven’t intentionally not told them, it’s just not something that has come up. We talk about finances and budgeting but not using specific numbers.
  19. Yes, in an age appropriate way. I would also take the kid’s personality in consideration and how much of an impact it would have on the family. I think there are so many factors it’s hard to say “yes†I tell everything or “no†I keep it secret. In general, I tend to think more information is better. I think adults should share with kids but work to not make it the kid’s emotional burden...if that makes sense. For example, I had a small scare at a mammogram back when my boys were 5 and 2. I didn’t tell them about that then. It turned out to be nothing. If it had been cancer I would have told them, but in a way that tried to inform them but not overly scare or burden them. If I had the same issue now on a mammogram I might tell them. I probably wouldn’t sit them down and make a big deal of it but I wouldn’t deliberately not tell them. I have one kid who worries a lot more than the others and I’m probably more careful with how I share info with him. We have a lot of mental health issues in my extended family. Not me, but multiple relatives struggle with addiction and depression. I have told them about that. I explained it’s why I don’t drink alcohol at all. I also explained that depression is genetic. I don’t want them to worry about it but I also want them to be aware. I have a few patients who have serious medical issues whose parents have not told them. I can’t tell details here about the specific diagnoses but I passionately disagree with this approach. I understand that the parents all want to spare their kids worry but in all these situations I’m fairly sure the kids know something is wrong. I think the kids probably feel more weird about it knowing that something is wrong and that it’s so bad that their parents won’t tell them. Similarly, my Dad’s mother died of cancer (probably ovarian) when he was 18. She never told him she had cancer or that she was dying. There was just this attitude that you didn’t talk about stuff like that. I think it’s something that still affects him today.
  20. I would check with insurance before you go to the dentist. I’ve had a lot of patients who had the procedure denied by insurance when done by a dentist but it’s sometimes covered if done by ENT. I think the reason is that it’s classified as a “medical procedure†and then neither dental insurance or medical insurance will cover it when done by the dentist. I’m not saying that dentists aren’t capable, it’s a pretty simple procedure...just that you might get stuck with a big bill.
  21. I think you’re overthinking it. If your brother really likes the bourbon pie, seems like it would be kind to get that pie for your brother even if the friend can’t eat it. I’ve been a guest where it was obvious the hostess really wanted everyone to like everything and it’s almost uncomfortable. As a picky eater, I have felt like I was disappointing the hostess. It’s one thing to make sure there is something for everyone...it’s another thing to try to make everything for everyone.
  22. Mine did this for awhile until I figured out that there was a nearby bluetooth enabled keyboard that it was picking up. The keyboard was in a drawer and occasionally it would get turned on when someone would put something else in the drawer. Then the phone would pick up the keyboard and randomly open things and I’d see typing appear. It freaked me out until I figured it out. :) Maybe it’s somehow picking up or interacting with another device?
  23. We’ve had joint parties for our boys, it’s always been fun. As someone who had pie instead of cake at her wedding, I fully support non-traditional desserts. I hate the “no gift†thing. I think it’s fine in theory and would never say anything to someone about it. The problem I have with it is that we always honor the request but multiple times have been the only ones who did (or maybe one of two guests who did). Then my kids feel embarrassed to be the only one without a gift. This just happened to my daughter in September. Invitation said no gifts. My daughter really wanted to take a gift because the girl came to her party just the day before. I said no, we would honor their request because that was the kind and respectful thing to do. We show up and there are like 10 other girls there all with huge beautifully wrapped gifts. My daughter gave me the evil eye. They opened presents during the party and she felt terrible to not have one for her friend. Afterward, we talked about it but I still felt bad for her. That same scenario has happened to us at least two or three other times (with different families). Anyway, I like it in concept....it’s just the way it plays out in reality for us that is a problem. So the next "no gift" party I think I will buy a gift and keep it in the car. Then if I drop her off and there is a pile of gifts we can run back to the car. :)
  24. Thank you for this thread! My current high schooler is kind of a classic perfect homeschooler, very good at independent learning, great at test-taking, visual learner, relatively organized, self motivated. The next one up is so not those things. He is awesome in so many ways but he is quirky, unorganized, and a complete out of the box thinker. I’ve been musing over how we will do jr. high and high school and I love these threads.
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