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Everything posted by Alice

  1. I went to a church once and there was a family in the bulletin with the kids: Matthew, Mark, Luke and.... Tiffany.
  2. I would second a lot of the above suggestions. Both my boys have also enjoyed a series called Bodyguard by Chris Bradford that sounds similar to some of things you’ve mentioned. I haven’t read them so don’t know if they have things that might concern you. I’d also say though that my 14 year old son does the same thing. He does read a lot of new things but he likes to read books he’s read over and over that are “below” his reading level. And I did the same thing at about the same age. I think part of it was for comfort. It’s hard being a young teen and sometimes well-loved books can just be comforting.
  3. My husband has an unusual name and loves it. His isn’t weirdly spelled or made up but it is just uncommon. If you do the ssa search thing to see how common it is, it’s never been in the top 1000 names in this country. But it’s recognizable because of a couple of famous people who had it. The point being that I think some people have the “oh, no, I don’t want my kid to have to deal with an uncommon name psychology” and others embrace it as part of their personality. When we were picking baby names it was really important to dh that we not pick common names. I, on the other hand, had a hyphenated last name in the 1970s and 1980s when that was just weird and I did not like constantly having to explain it. I didn’t want anything super weird or unusual. And no weird punctuation. We didn’t tell people our choices because we didn’t want to hear the criticisms. With our first, I told my Mom some of our choices and she was critical about the one we ended up choosing. I was pretty sure that was what it was going to be so I finally told her “I think it’s likely that it will be that if it’s a boy so you might want to think about anything else you say.” To her credit, she didn’t say anything else negative. And it’s not a super odd name or made up. It’s just not common. We didn’t say anything about the other two and I have no idea if anyone didn’t like them. And I’m happy not to know. We like them and they fit the kids and that’s what matters.
  4. AOPS Geometry is great. Ds just did it this year. But I think it would be tough to complete in one summer and probably overkill if the goal is to test out of a class at school.
  5. Dh goes to bed later than me. I can fall asleep with the light on and him reading. He’s fairly quiet about getting ready for bed and I wear earplugs anyway because of snoring. I sometimes wake up earlier than him. I get my stuff ready the night before and have it in the bathroom. I try to make minimal noise. He usually wakes up a little but goes back to sleep. I am a natural night owl but have become an early riser. It was dictated by my work schedule. I am very consistent about going to bed by 10 pm. Recently I’ve been getting up some days at 4 am so I go to bed at 9 pm on those night. If I stay up later I start to feel really awake and then I stay up too late (for getting up early). I try to not sleep in or stay up on the weekends. It might vary by an hour (11pm-6 or 7 am) but not more than that. I think now it’s become such a habit that my body is also becoming more of an early riser. I find that I wake naturally by 6 am even if I don’t set an alarm. That would not have happened 10-15 years ago. But mostly it just took a lot of years of being really consistent.
  6. This is almost exactly what I would have written. My math-dude son did one IEW class and it killed any tiny enjoyment in writing he had. He hated it. I hated it. Making him finish the class is the one big thing I regret in our homeschool so far. I was reluctant to try BW because I felt like it was too vague and not explicit enough and I couldn’t really wrap my mind around it. However, we did two classes this year for 9th grade and it was fantastic. I was so impressed by the feedback he got. More importantly....he actually maybe admitted to enjoying it a little. I think what he said was something like “Well, if I have to write, I guess that’s ok.” That was HUGE coming from him. He has agreed to do more BW classes and I really can’t say enough good things about them.
  7. My MIL died before dh and I were married. We go to the beach every year with my parents in May. For years, it included Mother’s Day and it was always much more about my Mom than me. She cares a lot more about the actual day so we would do a special meal out for her. And yes, it was a pain to be out with little kids in restaurants. But dh would make sure at some other point in the week that I had some time alone, which is really what I wanted most then. The past couple of years, we go to the beach a week later in May and it doesn’t really make sense to have my parents visit the week before so now we do something I want do do on the actual day and then take my Mom out on another day when we are at the beach. I agree with you about how I want to be as a Grandmother/MIL.
  8. I wear FitFlops all summer. They are pricey but incredibly comfortable. I have bad feet and these are the most comfy shoes I own and worth the price to me. You can sometimes fine them on Amazon or Zappos cheaper than the website. These are the ones I wear: https://www.fitflop.com/us/en/shop/womens-black-collection/lulu-leather-flip-flops-p-I88-001. I’ve had them in a silver/grey color and also have white and black. They have ones that are much fancier but I prefer the plain.
  9. I’d like to go for a walk at a local wetlands that is one of favorite places. We aren’t really big gift people either although I think my daughter has either made or bought something. There have been some shushing and giggling when I walk in a room and she is talking to my husband. She likes giving gifts and it’s a sweet sentiment so I like getting them even though I would be ok with no gifts.
  10. We always take the day off if it’s a school day. I take off from work if it’s a day I normally work. Birthday kid picks meals. I don’t necessarily not do housework or things I need to do but the kids get a day off. Generally we would end up playing some games, going for a walk or bike ride, reading. Depending on the kid they would do things they like around the house. My thought has always been that it’s a benefit of homeschooling to get a day off on your birthday. They also typically have some kind of party or outing on another day.
  11. Two water bottles (somewhere in an alternative universe there is a giant pile composed of water bottles and goggles that my kids have lost) Nars tinted foundation/moisturizer/sunscreen Hot pepper suet for the birds. That was all in one box we got yesterday. Pretty random collection.
  12. I work part-time. I’m a pediatrician. My hours are variable but roughly about 20 hours a week, plus some night call and weekends. It’s not easy but it’s doable. It worked for us because my husband was able to also work part-time so was home with the kids when I am at work. I describe it to people that we have one full-time stay at home homeschooling parent, it’s just that we share who it is. Is your dh able to be home when you are at work? Could you also carve out time when you could do the at home part of your job (planning and grading) and he is the “on” parent? Does he have a job that is super demanding or one that allows him time at home? I know for us it worked because I wasn’t doing everything: all the homeschooling, being the primary parent, all the housework/cooking and working. We definitely share the load. I know other people who work part-time and who have husbands who have more demanding jobs and it works for them because they have some other kind of help (a housekeeper, other family members to help, part-time nanny one day a week, etc).
  13. I went to Kathmandu, Nepal. I can’t remember how long the total trip was but the longest leg was LA to Seoul for refueling. It was a long time ago but I don’t think we got off the plane then. I think it was about a 12 hour flight, then the brief stop and then a couple more hours to Bangkok. We then stopped in Bangkok and had a layover in the airport...slept in these tiny little cubicles you could rent. Leaving the airport was expensive, some kind of tax with customs, so not worth it for just being there for about 6 hours. We flew Thai Air. It was a long time ago (about 20 years) but it was super luxurious in economy. Great food, plenty of room. They brought these nicely scented warm towels around after every meal to wipe your face and hands. The flight attendants all wore beautiful silk dresses and fresh flower garlands.
  14. I’m so sorry. That is terrible. Something similar happened to my SIL and she sent out a plea to everyone in the family and to friends. We were able to get her photos of every kid at about every age...it’s definitely not the same thing at all as your own albums but it was something. I would definitely ask your family and close friends. I was surprised how many photos of her kids we had. When she first asked we thought we might have a few and then we went through stuff and found bunches. Same with other family members.
  15. I agree with others that they sound developmentally very normal. That’s not to say that it’s not good to teach them to help out around the house but I think it’s really normal for kids those ages to not “see” the mess and to not really think about the consequences of something like leaving out a new game and possibly losing pieces. They are kids...they live in the short term. We do a lot of what has been mentioned... -Frequent reminding -Joking when we have to remind them...I talk a lot about the dishwasher fairy or the towel fairy and wonder when she will visit again to put away the dishes left on the counter or the towel left on the floor. They know that means “pick up your stuff” but it sounds more friendly. -Reminding some more. -We don’t do chores but instead just try to model that we all work together to do what needs to be done. I let them pick what chores need to be done off a list when we have big cleaning days. For the day to day stuff we all help. As time goes on it gets more normal. Hang in there. Just in the past year or so, I’ve seen my now 14 year old start to do a lot more on his own without being asked. Not just his own stuff which he’s been pretty good about for awhile. But he will see me folding laundry and come in to help without being asked. Or he washed the dishes from an afternoon snack that his siblings had because he knew I was busy. He also still leaves out his own stuff all the time and is a work in progress. But it does get easier. You just have young kids. They are young, but there isn’t anything wrong with them.
  16. I don’t know the Lux classes. My 9th grader (also a STEM guy who needs to work on writing) did two Bravewriter classes. I was super impressed with them. At first I was a bit skeptical because they are pricey. But the amount of feedback he got was tremendous and very detailed. Also, even though the classes are only 4 weeks (the ones we did), they were fairly intense for a non-writer and I felt like we got our money’s worth. More importantly to me was that he agreed happily to do the second class. Every single other writing program/approach/curriculum has been something he has hated. His response to taking a second Bravewriter class was “Sure, those aren’t too bad.” That is like another kid saying it’s their dream to take the class and they won’t be happy unless they do. I’m planning on having him do one or two more classes next year.
  17. Yay! I have this one on my TBR pile and am saving it for our May beach vacation. I’ve been disappointed by the last few books in the series so it’s good to hear this one is a return to the older ones. And I bet I know who the Annoying Character is. :)
  18. I can’t remember what I’ve read since the board blackout. Somewhere in there we went on vacation to Texas (San Antonio and Austin). It was just me and the two younger kids (11 and 8). Dh and 14 year old son were in Chile on a missions trip. We had a fabulous time in Texas....all of you SA or Austin boardies have great cities! But the vacation then combined with extended board break have left me feeling like I haven’t posted here in a really long time. I’m currently reading The Benedict Option by Rod Dreher. It’s interesting...I don’t agree with a lot of it but some of it I do. I’m mostly reading it because he’s speaking at a local private school and I thought it would be interesting to go. I’ve read other of his books and it seemed like a good opportunity. But I figured I should the book before hearing him speak on it. :)
  19. Clubs I was in: Literary Hub I wasn’t assigned to any clubs when the board changed. Thanks!
  20. The EZ pass works on all the tolls all the way to NY. We usually stop at the turnpike rest areas but more to stretch and go to the bathroom. The food is overpriced and typical fast food kind of stuff. Coming home, we sometimes go to Ikea in College Park for lunch. :) The traffic around NY is bad at rush hour, but coming from this area (we are also in NoVa) it’s not more than what you are probably used to.
  21. 1. Got dressed. 2. Made ds and myself breakfast. 3. Woke ds up. 4. Ate breakfast. 5. Went to swim meet. 6. Got coffee and donuts after swim meet.
  22. Hi! I think there are two separate issues...how much direct teaching there is and how much relationship interaction. For us, my 9th grader does three classes pretty much on his own. Math is AOPS and he pretty much self-teaches it. I grade it and if he needs help we go over it together, but it’s fairly rare that he needs that. Latin is Lukeion and I do very little other than to check the website so that I know that he is keeping up with it. He is also doing Computer Science with Edhesive and I just check the website to monitor his progress. He takes two classes at our co-op so I am not directly teaching those either (Chemistry and Spanish). So as far as direct teaching, that leaves English and History with me. As far as relationship/emotional interaction....quite a lot. I think much more than if he was in school, based on our friends with high schoolers. He’s just here more. It probably depends on personality as well, but like your daughter, my guy has been homeschooled his whole life. So he’s really used to being around his siblings and us all doing stuff as a family. We still do our lunch read-alouds and he joins us. Sometimes he joins in for other reading times if he has free time in his day or if he wants a break from his harder stuff. Today, he chose to take a long walk with us. Because we are still all here together I feel like our conversations are still integrated as far as school and life, if that makes sense. I give him a lot of choice about things like joining us for reading or walks together or doing Mystery Class (he actually likes it more than the others). He’s a very good independent learner and knows himself. I sit down with him once a day and check in to see how his work is going and also just to talk. Probably twice a week we sit down for longer discussions regarding what he is reading in English and History. We’ve also been working through some Great Courses together and probably do that once or twice a week.
  23. I’m just posting to see how it looks when I do. I’m sure all the glitches will get ironed out soon. I remember the last board upgrade took people awhile to get used to also.
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