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    Christian since 1997, Volunteer Phonics Tutor since 1994, Homeschool Mom since 2007
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  1. This is meant for beginning speakers of English who speak German, but I found it's helpful for pronouncing German as well: https://books.google.com/books?id=qFwBAAAAYAAJ&pg=PR20&lpg=PR20&dq=edwin+leigh+pronouncing+orthography&source=bl&ots=nPqkX18L2I&sig=EamrNdiU6ghDuHKotuT2O2kTjnI&hl=en&ei=t9v9SYjcF4jCtwfk_aWjDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result#v=onepage&q=edwin leigh pronouncing orthography&f=false It is in Leigh Print, here is my Leigh Print page, with links to a key and some beginning readers and primers in English. http://thephonicspage.org/On Reading/leighprint.html
  2. Get a digital piano and headphones. A nice digital piano is semi-portable, never needs tuning, has similar sound and feel to a real piano but can also sound like a harpsichord, many pieces are nicer in harpsichord mode. Yamaha is a good brand. You want an 88 key weighted keyboard. I actually like ours better than a regular piano since you can practice at night and also use harpsichord mode. I played trumpet for 15 years growing up, I started young. I still play occasionally. There are mutes you can buy that make it much quieter. I use one when I play at night. Here is one very similar to the one I have, it works well: https://www.amazon.com/Harmon-Aluminum-Wow-Trumpet-Mute/dp/B002Q0WTG0/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=trumpet+mute+quiet&qid=1632456648&sr=8-5 This one might work, it is cheaper: https://www.amazon.com/Lightweight-Aluminum-Practice-Trumpet-Silencer/dp/B01LZJKPGC/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=trumpet+mute+quiet&qid=1632456648&sr=8-4 They have mutes fox a sax as well, just Google them, I have no idea what is a good mute for quiet sax playing.
  3. You can get the meat you'll need for the elimination diet from D'Artagonon. The 4th meat day could be lamb, squab, or rabbit. https://www.dartagnan.com They often have free shipping if you buy certain amounts. You can also, depending on your state, find some of these things locally. Texas had a lot of things available in regular and ethnic groceries. In some states, local farms or butcher stores had them available. You can also find weird fruits and veggies at local ethnic grocery stores.
  4. I would start with eating healthy and totally resting, after shopping or hiring or supervising cooking, totally rest up, not just half rest, and eat well for 2 weeks. Get friends and family to help or hire things out. Here is how to eat healthy while testing an elimination diet: Try it for 10 days and see if it helps. The only seasoning you can use during this process is salt, also only plain water. You can have coffee but no sugar or milk in it. For example: Day 1: eat only sweet potatoes, buffalo, a fruit and veggie you don't eat often. Day 2: couscous, quail, different fruits and veggies you don't eat often Day 3: jicama, venison, different fruits and veggies you don't eat often Day 4: squash as a starch, watermelon or cantaloupe (same food family as squash), pork or another meat you don't eat more than 3X a week Repeat day 1 after day 4. Each of your fruits and veggies on the different days should be different and not from the same food family. If you decide to try it, you can post your choices and I'll tell you if any of them are in the same family. Some weird fruits to try, get them at asian or Mexican grocery stores: jackfruit, starfruit. If any of those starches are things you eat more than 2x a week, let me know and I'll give you alternative starches. This is also a good healthy gut diet that should also reduce inflammation.
  5. I would hire someone to cook for you for a week, get a bunch of healthy freezer meals built up for you. Alternatively, you could go to Whole Foods and buy things from their hot meals, buy a few weeks worth of different healthy things and freeze. Or, older children cook healthy for you. If you combine an elimination diet with a rotation diet of weird foods you have never eaten, it's actually fairly easy. You can also try to have a skin test if you suspect food allergies. I'll post how to later.
  6. It's really individual what will help and what won't. My issues are tied into food allergies as well, that makes it harder. If you have pollen or animal allergies, the Covid could have triggered food allergies. If so, an elimination diet may help. You feel worse in the short run but then better in the long run, your body reacts badly to the withdrawal of foods you are allergic to. For some people gluten free and dairy free really helps, that helped my brother, I went gluten free for 6 months, no difference for me. My brother can now eat gluten again after resetting his system for a few years. Nightshades also are bad for some people and eliminating them can help if you are sensitive to them. You could start with a 3 day veggie smoothie fast, that helped me 20 years ago when I was on a strong anti-biotic after being exposed to TB and have to take a crazy strong anti-biotic for 6 months. (That was prior to my food allergies.) I just used a regular blender at the time, there were not the fancy blenders available today. I limited the fruit, I think I had a bit of fruit in them but I don't remember. Wild game for meat or grass fed may help. Fermented foods may help. Digestive enzymes and probiotics helped until I became allergic to them. I am going to try a new probiotic but every 5 days, anything I eat daily I become allergic to, I'm on a 5 day rotation diet. Since I can't tolerate many vitamin or mineral formulations and get bad reactions to them, I occasionally get IV vitamins, they are helpful for me but may not be needed if you can take regular vitamins. They do act faster than normal vitamins so could help. A good functional medicine type doctor can help but there are also quacks out there.
  7. Hugs. I would get all your vitamin levels tested if you have not yet had them tested, including things they don't normally look for like D, B12, magnesium, etc. I have read several articles about how the microbiome (the gut health Jean was talking about) changes after Covid, especially for people with long covid. Here is one: https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20210113/peoples-microbiomes-might-influence-covid-19-severity-study#1 The things you need to eat for gut health are healthy anyway, Google improving gut health for a variety of ideas. I would take at least a week totally off, get true rest. Hire some help to do chores, let some things go, totally rest up while eating for gut health and taking the things Jean recommended. Eat gut healthy things, some typical flu choices like chicken noodle soup and a lot of liquids. Get the groceries delivered. Have the children do chores and cook. Teach a bit from the couch, have the children bring their books. Listen to a lot of audiobooks, watch some educational YouTube videos.
  8. The SAT/ACT both need to be taken earlier, and are both more skills based then when we all went to college, you can raise your score a lot more by studying the material on the tests. They are also more important for merit aid then they used to be. The ACT has less higher level math, but the SAT has a lot more good study resources. The new SAT orange math books teach all you need to know for SAT math, they are easy to use and are very comprehensive. You need both volumes. https://www.amazon.com/1600-io-SAT-Math-Orange-Book/dp/B08WJZCVD6/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=sat+orange+book+math&qid=1630440965&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExRTcyMTI0SjlPSzI0JmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNjU1NzQ1NjZIS0JJSFpLUzZYJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA1MjgyMDI3RUExV05WU05YTVcmd2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGYmYWN0aW9uPWNsaWNrUmVkaXJlY3QmZG9Ob3RMb2dDbGljaz10cnVl For either the ACT or SAT, you also want the ACT/SAT Black book. I would take a practice test of each now and see if you prefer or if one naturally scores higher than the other, then start figuring out a study course for that test, they are different enough that you should select one and study for it. My daughter raised her English score from a few hours of ACT Black Book study enough to get out of 2 semesters of English. My son took a whole semester of SAT grammar study and only gained a few points, but they were the reverse for math, my son gained a lot with a little study, my daughter a little with a lot of study. My daughter's study gained her merit aid of $2K or $3K per year, I'm don't remember the exact number. She would not have scored well enough for merit aid without study. We waited late for her to study, not realizing how skills based the test had become and how important it was for merit aid. We started the process sooner with our son. Erica Meltzer and College Panda have good books for Reading/grammar sections of the SAT and ACT.
  9. I would do phonics in short sessions at least 3 or 4 times a day until she is reading well. I would lesson your other workload except math and streamline what you can, shorten all other subjects except math. I have free phonics lessons that teach to the 12th grade level, I would work through them in addition to what you are doing. http://thephonicspage.org/On Reading/syllablesspellsu.html I would add in a bit of spelling with AAS or Spelling Plus. Spelling Plus is K - 6 spelling organized by rule and pattern, cheap. https://www.amazon.com/Spelling-Plus-Words-toward-Success/dp/187947820X/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=spelling+plus&qid=1630263514&sr=8-1 I would drill my chart at least 2 times a day, here is a video about how, the chart is linked on my syllables page: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5tU0HviZAE&t=100s Then, use it when she is reading other things, looking up the sounds on the chart on their own (after guided help at first) shortens the time to learn the sounds. After you complete my syllables program, should take 2 to 3 weeks if you do a lesson daily, I would make one of the things you do the Old Open Court, it is long vowel first. You start with the Blue workbook then the Gold workbook. If the Webster's Speller lessons in my syllables program worked well, I would also do a bit of the 2+ syllable words in the full Webster's Speller daily. Both Webster's Speller and open vowels will help accelerate reading grade level progress. (My lessons do as well but aren't a full program.) You could also work through the full Blend Phonics if that went well. http://wigowsky.com/school/opencourt/opencourt.htm The Logic of English game books has a bunch of ideas about how to make phonics more fun: https://store.logicofenglish.com/collections/product-type-supplements/products/game-book I have a free game that is fun and helps to get in a few more minutes of phonics practice after being tired of regular work: http://thephonicspage.org/On Phonics/concentrationgam.html I also have a video about how to make phonics practice more fun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_b2HyvcWaZA&t=15s I have been a volunteer literacy tutor for 27 years and have worked with hundreds of students and have tested and advised thousands. I started homeschooling because of my tutoring!! The syllables program is the end result of my work with these students over the years, especially designed to quickly teach an older student. They get really excited in the last 4 lessons when they are able to read above grade level multi-syllable words, it is very confidence boosting. Give ample help and make sure she succeeds with the 8th to 12th grade level words, I've had K and 1st grade students successfully tackle them after learning the basic syllables.
  10. I would assess their math and reading levels and see if there are any gaps. For reading, first do my quick screen grade level test to see if they're on grade level: http://www.thephonicspage.org/On Reading/Resources/40L Test.pdf Then, do the MWIA 3 short to see if there is any slowdown or misses. They should not miss any words and they should read both lists at the same rate. http://www.thephonicspage.org/On Reading/Resources/The MWIA Version 3 new.pdf Finally, a quick 25 word nonsense word assessment: http://www.thephonicspage.org/On Reading/Resources/NonsenseWordTest.pdf If they are below grade level or miss any words or have a slowdown on the MWIA or are not reading nonsense words well for their age, work them all through my syllables program. They can watch the videos on their own then come to you to do the work for that video, that will cut your time down a lot. They will get a lot more done if they are reading accurately at grade level. Syllables program: http://thephonicspage.org/On Reading/syllablesspellsu.html
  11. People notice it more with Covid since everyone is paying more attention to less common symptoms, but that has been a well known less common symptom of flu for a while. A biography of Noah Webster showed one of his diary entries noting that he was sure he had a flu, not a cold, because he lost his sense of smell.
  12. March has a QAS, you get to see what questions you missed and the full questions for the whole test for an extra $18. The QAS tests are October, March, and May, they are very helpful for the future if you might need to take it again. It's online and you can order after the fact and get them if you won't know if you need them until after you see the score. I'm just curious either way even if it's the last time.
  13. Well, if it leads to her staying in high school long term, that could be good, right? Band is good for making friends, though.
  14. They really should have a good, easy to use calculator by now. The one I had in high school was superior to the ones out there now. (Late 80's model, I forget the brand.) We have, against our will really, a TI-84, it required getting the for dummies book and a lot of practice. I outsourced calculator practice to my husband, even with the for dummies book. And then, he took over homeschooling Algebra 2, too!! My son also has 2 different Casios, both under $20, that he likes for different things. Finally, he has a $5 or $10 generic simple "backup calculator." He is dual homeschool/public schooled and the schools use the TI-84 but will check one out to you if you can't afford to buy one or don't want to buy one. His algebra 2 teacher was terrible, so we homeschooled that but kept the calculator (we purchased our own.) His pre-calc teacher seems better, we'll see how this year goes. He brought the TI-84 and his favorite Casio to his SAT test, the Casio is easier to use for most things. The Casios are scientific but not graphing. Most of the schools and big SAT companies swear by the TI-84 but it's a pain. There are many students who did well on the SAT who use Casios instead, or both like my son. The Casios are more user friendly and quicker for most operations, but they have a few quirks, too. Both my calculator from high school and my husband's from college (he still has it and it still works!) are easier to use than anything but our son's generic back-up calculator.
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