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Posts posted by Alice

  1. This is one of our favorites...combine all of following in crockpot and cook 6-8 hours on low (or 4 hours on high):


    1 T. ground coriander

    2 t. ground cumin

    1 t. ground fennel

    1 t. ground turmeric

    4 t. ground pepper

    2 t. salt

    2 1/2 pounds chicken or beef (on the bone works better, but I've done it with boneless breasts)

    3 c. chopped onion

    2 t. freshly grated ginger

    3 cloves garlic, minced

    2 jalapeno peppers, minced

    3 cups light coconut milk

    2 T. white wine vinegar

    2 lemon rind strips


    It's a lot of ingredients as the recipe is written. I got it from a friend but everytime I've made it I've changed it a bit depending on what I had in the pantry.


    We also like the Indian curry sauces in a jar (we get ours at the regular grocery store). I've also done enchilada sauce, spaghetti sauce, BBQ sauce. Really anything works and I just throw in veggies or spices that seem to go along.....

  2. I'm a total introvert too, and love the time alone in my own home. My husband is super supportive but not an introvert. I've found he's willing to give me that time...but I have to ask for it very specifically. I have two little guys too...4 and 15 months.


    For me taking a bath works great. Sometimes I'll get dinner ready and then when he gets home he's on duty and I go upstairs for a warm bath and a book. I felt guilty the first few times but then I realized it's really only an hour at the most and it leaves me feeling so much more relaxed it's good for everyone. I'm still there to help with dinner cleanup and bedtime routine.


    Another time I've found is on weekends he'll take them out to play or for a walk around the block or to the park for an hour or two and I get to have that time in the house. I purposely will not let myself clean then. :) It's only for reading, sewing, playing on the computer or whatever else is fun for me.

  3. We've never done much for Valentine's Day either, and I always kind of agreed with the idea that it was just a way for Hallmark to get people to buy stuff.


    But this year I decided to get books on Valentine's day for our reading for the week. We got a few on St. Valentine and who he was (or at least the legends about him). I actually found that really interesting and so have been a little more into it this year.


    My husband and I are going to see U2-3D on Saturday and calling that our Valentine's Day date...although it's really just a convenient day.

  4. I have also found the Ambleside Online art and music study listings to be really helpful. I'm definitely not a music person, and know only a little more about art. Having a listing of a rotation of composers and artists to study is a great jumping off point for me. They do a three month rotation and have suggestions of works of music to listen to and links to paintings to study. They also list all the archived studies as well as what they plan to do in the future (so you could easily be "off" their schedule).

  5. Thanks! It's so interesting to hear what others are doing. We are just setting out on this whole adventure and I feel so lucky to have so many others to learn from (both here and in "real life" friends).


    I always joke that dh thinks that he'll be "field trip, art and PE" Dad while I'm "math, grammar and history" Mom. But in reality I think he does want to have a big role in the kids education. My bigger worry is that I'm too much of a control freak and it will be hard for me to give up any of the reins. :)

  6. Laura-


    I've seen you write about having a strong emphasis on PE. How do you do that? Is it just scheduling in physical activities or do you have a specific program you use. I was PE-challenged :) in school so feel inadequate about this part of teaching, other than doing walks and bike rides, etc. That may be enough...I'm just curious about what else people do.




  7. Does anyone here share teaching responsibilities with your husband/wife? My husband and I both work part-time, although I work much less than he does. Our ultimate plan for homeschooling would have us both teaching. However, as our kids are still very young, I would anticipate that for awhile we will be able to have me doing all the teaching as the lessons wouldn't take more than 1/2 a day.


    I'm interested in hearing if others share responsibilities and how it works for you. Do you have one person "in charge"? Do each of you take certain subjects?

  8. I am a terrible speller. I live and die by spell check. I read very early and my Mom used phonics to teach me...but I have never been able to spell. I never remember learning any rules..as I was reading this thread I was trying to think of one other than "i before e" and couldn't. :)


    So, I'd say for me it would have been great to learn some rules. But for your daughter it sounds like she could spend the time on other things. I can think of other things that came naturally to me that I never learned or needed rules for.

  9. You guys are amazing at how well you budget. We spend close to $800 a month for a family of four. That does include cat food for 2 and all paper products, toilitries, etc. But still I'm thinking I need to look into budgeting much better given some of the answers here. We do live in the suburbs of Washington DC so I know prices are somewhat higher here....but probably not that much.

  10. My son is young (4) but also hated OPGTR. In fairness to the book, I probably started too young. I just restarted after a 6 month break with Explode the Code and he is loving it. I got the teacher's edition which probably isn't necessary but does have ideas for games and such.


    Things we do that he likes:

    Make words with magnetic letters on the fridge


    I play a game that I started when I taught him letters and sounds. I put flashcards with words on the table (cat, hat, sat, bat, etc) and then give him a pile of M&M's. Then I say the word and he has to put the M&M on the flashcard. Then to pick it up and eat it he has to say the word on his own. It works well and usually only gets him less than 10 M&M's which is ok to me but I guess you could do it with something healthier (less motivating though. :)).


    We have a big letter mat/floor puzzle. Sometimes we get it out and he hops out words.

  11. My kids are still very young so I haven't even considered grading. I think one of the best things my Dad ever did for me was to have really high expectations for writing even at a young age. I would give him papers to read and he always sent them back covered with suggestions/corrections. (He wouldn't correct my mistakes but would circle problems and make me fix them.) At the time I would argue that he was too picky and that the teachers didn't care as much (which was true) but when I got to college I always got very good grades on my papers in English classes (and I was a chemistry/biology major).


    I would think the most useful thing for Calvin would be to show him what could be done better and then give him the opportunity to re-write it. Then if he's focused on grades you could show him the difference between the "grades" on the two papers and award him the grade on the re-worked paper.


    Also, I have to say that my son really is named Calvin so I always smile when I see your posts and especially your avatar. I do have another son, but his name isn't Hobbes. :)

  12. Does anyone use just ETC for teaching reading/phonics?


    I have a 4 yr old. Back in the fall right before he turned 4 I started doing some OPGTR with him which he HATED. But it certainly could have been that he was too young (1st child, overexcited mother syndrome). I backed off the reading with him and we continued doing lots of reading aloud and a loose letter of the week thing.


    Then recently he started to "sound out" words. I think mostly they were words he knew what they were going to say...we were reading Go Dog Go and he did Big Dog. But still, it seemed that he was reading to do more with reading. So we got out some ETC books I had bought awhile ago and he seems to be liking it and is doing pretty well. We're going super slowly...we're on week 2 of Lesson 1 in Book 1...but that's fine with me.


    Anyway, I have the teacher's book for ETC and have been doing extra things and not just the workbooks. My question is do I need to add in something else at some point...what would OPGTR or another source add to the picture? If we did OPGTR I would probably just write the words on a whiteboard or something as I think it was mostly too much writing on the page for him to handle.


    Sorry that got long. If you read it all the way through, thanks! If you have advice, thanks even more. :)

  13. My church has a 3 yr rotation for Sunday School. I teach the 2-4 yr old class and have a 4 yr old class and think it has been really good for all the kids. We use Great Commission Publications material which uses Bible stories along with the catechism. The 4 yr olds get really into it and can totally do all the questions. The 2 yr olds know "Who made you?" "God" and "Where is God?"



    I have the book "Big Truths for Little Kids" by Susan Hunt but it was a little too wordy for my guy. I do know a lot of the parents of older kids have used it and really like it.

  14. Thanks for the info, especially the link to the previous conversation. The local group here is having an information meeting and open house next week. I think I'll go and check it out but I think I may be leaning more toward a co-op or homeschool group.


    Kathie in VA...I think I saw that you are a Classical Conversations tutor in Va...where are you?..I'm in Falls Church, VA.

  15. Does anyone here participate in a Classical Conversations group? I am looking into it for next year. My son is 4 (will be 5 in 11/08) and I think he would enjoy a little more social time...I'm not really worried about "socialization" but I think he would like a little more time with other kids. I've been thinking about joining a homeschool co-op and had heard of this and thought I'd check it out.


    On the website they seemed almost too focused on memorization. Also, I wasn't sure how the subject matter would fit into whatever else we're doing. Mostly I'm just looking for something where we (as a family) can meet other homeschoolers in our area and have some fun doing it. I'm not sure if this group would be too formal/academic for those purposes.


    Any experience?

  16. He died of lung cancer and hospice was wonderful. Like others have said it enabled him to stay at home until the end (he died at home quietly in his sleep with my Mom and Dad there with him). He was able to get all the pain medications he needed as he had a lot of bone pain from the cancer. They also helped with getting him things like a hospital bed.


    I think it was also very helpful for my Mom (perhaps even more so than for my grandfather). My Mom is very emotional and finds it difficult to make decisions and deal with sickness but was determined to be there until the end. Hospice really gave her the support she needed to be able to do that.

  17. My husband is Chinese-American (ethnically Chinese but born and raised in Indiana). The breakfast food that he grew up with is called "congee" or "jook". It's a rice porridge usually made with already cooked leftover rice. What you put in it depends on what part of China you are from and what you have...according to my husband usually it's leftover meat or veggies from dinner the night before.


    Personally I find it really bland and not very tasty. I usually joke that it would be better with cheese/salt/pepper (like grits) or honey/raisins/cinnamon (like oatmeal). Both ideas make my husband shudder at the horror or what I would do to the jook.


    I think Chinese food is very regional so I'm not sure if this is really the most common breakfast across China...my husband's family is Cantonese (southern China).


    Here is one link I found with a recipe (although I think it's pretty much just rice, add extra water and cook until the consistency of a porridge). http://chinesefood.about.com/library/weekly/aa100499.htm

  18. We did a Letter of the Week study (we're just finishing, on XYX week now). There is the website http://www.letteroftheweek.com which has lots of ideas. I didn't use it that much. What I did was just use my library each week to search for books that would focus on that letter (this week we have a lot of zoo books, zebra books, boX books, foX books, etc). Then we would just spend most of our time reading those books and I kept a list on the wall of words as we came on them. Some weeks when I was more motivated we did "activities" about that letter. And during that week I would always try to point out things we were doing or things that started with the letter. (Last week for W week we talked about Walking and Weather just on our normal walk around the neighborhood.) This is also a cheap way to do it....I don't think I spent anything and it really only took about 20 minutes each week to look up the books online before our library visit.


    Anyway, it was a pretty laid back way to do things. But it helped me structure things a bit and might also satisfy the "curriculum" need.


    I'm getting ready to start doing FIAR which I like for this age for the same reason...it's mostly about reading and I think I'll be able to use it how I want.


    Also, if your daughter likes workbooks you could try the Singapore EarlyBird series. We just started doing those and my son loves them but he has always loved workbook kind of things.

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