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Everything posted by Alice

  1. I’ve written recommendation letters for a lot of people because I teach a high school class at our co-op. Once I’ve written one, it’s easy to send it again, even if I have to modify it slightly for a new thing. One thing that is super helpful to me as a writer is when the student tells me things that the scholarship/experience/competition is looking for. Then I can add a few sentences about how the student meets those characteristics. And then change them for the next letter. But leave the main body of the letter the same.
  2. I think the main issue that makes it hard to recommend things is that independent/accountable to someone else tends to be expensive. Cheaper options are going to take more work on a parent’s part. It’s not clear to me if the main hurdle for you is expense or time (or reluctance on your son’s part to have Mom as a teacher) and so it’s hard to know what to recommend.
  3. I did my own Letter of the Week “curriculum” with all three kids for preschool. I got books out of the library based on the letter of the week and thought up a few activities we could do around that letter. So for example A was apple, ant, alligator, etc. Activities were apple prints with paint, apple picking (or just eating), apple pie making, ant watching on the sidewalk. B was bears, books, berries, bees...We sang the bear hunt song and acted it out, ate berries, ate honey (for bees), went to the library to get books. You get the idea. With my oldest we did tons of activities. With my
  4. To my office Secret Santa: Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman To my Mom: Kindness and Wonder: Why Mister Rogers Matters Now More than Ever by Gavin Edwards To my Dad: The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West by David McCullough To my husband: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat To my 16 year old: Math with Bad Drawings by Ben Orlin and Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephan Dunbar To my 13 year old: The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek by Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal To my 10 year old:
  5. Our state also requires a copy of the high school dilpoma when you send in your notification to homeschool. When my oldest was kindergarten age and I had to send it in the first time I couldn’t find it and my college one was at my parents house and not easily accessible but I had a copy of my Medical school diploma. I stressed and stressed about it because I’m a rule follower but finally dh convinced me to just send it in. He was like “Seriously, let them try and argue with you that it doesn’t meet the requirement.” He was right, it was fine. 😀
  6. I have another one with very high scores (99%) but who likely won’t make the cutoff in our state based on past years. He missed 4 questions total. I could tell he feels bummed although we’ve tried really hard to downplay the test. Most of the schools he will look at don’t give much in the way of NM aid and he knows that. And I told him that it’s a great score and missing 4 questions is amazing!
  7. I have read this whole thread and I think I have won the Thanksgiving lottery this year. We had extended family Thanksgiving a few weeks ago because our niece and her just turning one year old baby were coming to town for baby’s first birthday from Utah. All the rest of her siblings came from far away and they all requested Thanksgiving meal while they were here. They wanted to have it at our house and it was a Saturday I had to work. I said sure, it could be here, but I wouldn’t be able to cook or do anything. We typically do a potluck style meal anyway. So I had kids help me clean on F
  8. I have taught A&P for high schoolers in a co-op setting. We did three dissections (cow’s eye, sheep’s heart and fetal pig). I took the class to see a live cardiac surgery (a nearby hospital has a viewing dome for the public). The majority of the rest of the “labs” were looking at slides. I used all virtual slides from the computer. You can find the database of slides from many major med school online. My personal opinion was that they got as much out of looking at and identifying things from an online photo of an excellent specimen and good preparation of a slide than from using a mi
  9. Our county essentially has this. It’s called School Age Child Care or SACC. It can be before school, starting at 7 am and/or after school until 6:15 pm. It is also available on holidays and in the summer. I know they have some classes and sports opportunities and things like drama performances. It has a cost to people who participate, it’s a sliding scale based on income. It’s definitely cheaper than other child care options. It’s very popular and there is a waitlist at most schools. Obviously, we’ve chosen (and been able to choose) a different educational path and a different lifestyle.
  10. My current 8th grader has ADD and is very distractible. He spends most of the day doing schoolish things but he probably only spends about 3-4 hours in actual work. He knows himself very well and chooses to homeschool because he likes to have the freedom to do what he wants during the day. He will know that he’s totally unfocused so will walk away from Math and do something physical, for example. He’ll get the Math done but just needs to do it his own way. He does a lot of independent things that are learning but we don’t “count" as school: knitting, teaching himself how to draw on the compute
  11. I had a horrible case of chicken pox as a kid. I had it in my mouth and throat and could barely drink. I had it on my eyelids. I had super high fevers and basically spent a week in bed barely able to even get up to go to the bathroom. A week later I had a ruptured appendix and was in the hospital for a week covered in scabbed over pox. It was a rough 7th grade. 🙂 I've been tested multiple times because of work and I have antibodies. I will get the shingles vaccine when I’m old enough.
  12. I think you need to be really clear about everything and put it in writing. It sounds to me like the whole thing is a communication failure where you have certain preconceptions and she has others and that is causing problems. That is the issue behind when to pay and not pay. And also I the issue behind some of the parenting/discipline issues. People have very different ideas of what “firm” means. My closest friend and I have polar opposite parenting styles. I respect her and know her kids are happy and thriving. She respects me and knows my kids are happy and thriving. But words like “firm” o
  13. I’ve done it in England, Iceland and France. England was the trickiest at first because of driving on the left, but it just took a brief period of time to adjust. I felt like I was learning to drive again as a teenager. I just had to think really hard about everything at first. But the learning curve was quick, like a day or so. That trip was in 2000 so we didn’t have GPS. Dh just navigated for me using old fashioned maps. For Iceland and France we dowloaded maps to Google maps so we’d have them even when offline. That made it very easy. Honestly, driving in either place wasn’t rea
  14. Books I loved in high school (and beyond): A Not Entirely Benign Procedure by Perri Klass Medical Detectives by Bernard Roueche ( true stories of investigations of outbreaks/public health mysteries) The Deadly Dinner Party (similar medical mysteries) by Jonathan Edlow Every Patient Tells a Story by Lisa Sanders Anything by Atul Gawande, especially Complications and Better. Anything by Oliver Sacks about Neurology...An Anthropologist on Mars, Awakenings, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat are three really good ones, all clinical neurology tales Similar to Sacks...books by
  15. Resurrecting my own zombie thread. 🙂 I found this thread today when searching for something else that I had followed. I thought it might be helpful to anyone else there with outside of the box, school-hating kids to give an update. My now 8th grader is still an outside the box, march to his own drummer kid. But we are still homeschooling and it’s been great. I backed way off for the rest of 4th grade and let him have a lot more autonomy outside of just doing the basics. He remained adamant that he didn’t want to go to school and I respected that. We spent the last few years letting
  16. For classes at home, I don’t give tests or grades on individual assignments. He works to mastery and I give him an A. I will say this kid is a hard worker and deserves an A, so I don’t really feel like it’s grade padding. My son has taken a handful of outside classes each year (so far 3 out of 6 credits a year) and those grades have also been A’s and are more traditionally graded. This year he took one class through the public school system and it was shocking to me how lenient it was graded (and it was an AP class). He missed one exam by his own fault (we both read the deadline incorrectly)
  17. I just discovered that my 12 year old though the “f word” was fart for a long time when he was little. He was apparently really confused when people would talk about it being a bad word becuase he thought “hey, we say that at home all the time.”
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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 w
  22. 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
  23. 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 frus
  24. 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 exp
  25. 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.
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