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About Donna

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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    I have been homeschooling for 18 years though only my youngest is still home now.
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    Physical therapist for kids under 3yo.

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  1. If you don't mind walking and want as close to free as possible...Independence Hall, The Liberty Bell, and Ben Franklin Museum (even if you don't go in, you can see a "ghost house" showing where he lived). If you walk the streets near the Ben Franklin Museum, you will find the New Hall Military Museum, Carpenter's Historic Hall, 18th Century Garden...all between Chestnut St. and Walnut St. (between 3rd and 4th St.). If you walk around there is a foundation of a 1700's home discussing home size with shop on the bottom. My dd and I love walking around that area of the city just to see the architecture and read the signs. There is also a Museum of the American Revolution nearby but I don't know what it costs and have never been inside to see if worth's newer. If you are in Philly on the 1st Sunday of the month, the Philadelphia Art Museum is free.
  2. Dd16 took three DE online courses per semester this year including one semester each she had been dreading (Statistics in fall and Biology this spring). Both required hours of work per day and proctored tests. In addition to her other two course each semester, her hugely busy touring schedule (this spring she took proctored exams in Thailand, Ireland, Brooklyn, and Montreal), recording a new CD, and learning a lot of new music, she was swamped and sometimes more than a little stressed out. I am very proud she managed to overcome her test anxiety and maintained a 4.0 GPA (her goal). We head off to Ireland in a few weeks where she'll be the fiddler for Riverdance all summer. She is going into her senior year of high school and trying to decide what comes next. She has some amazing touring opportunities (dream jobs for her) she definitely wants to pursue but would also like a college education so is seriously considering continuing her education online. She will be, technically finished high school by December in time for a six month U.S. tour which she will be doing on her own (without momma). It has been an incredible journey for us and with this era coming to a close, I can look back and am extremely grateful for each and every moment we've spent.
  3. Read books, knit, mess around on my phone, grade/edit papers, read articles I have saved online for when I have time to read them, play a game on my phone, or if it is nice outside I go for a walk.
  4. We used a number of these ideas. I also found dd did not have the endurance to write as quickly or as long as the stories she wanted to tell. Rather than limiting her creativity, I let her tell her stories into a recording device then I wrote them down for her and she could draw pictures (writing a sentence or two about the picture). She also learned quickly how to type so she could transcribe her own stories.
  5. We turn on AC somewhere end of May/early June when temperature has been over 85 for a number of days without going down much at night. Otherwise, open windows do just fine for us. I like it cool at night when I sleep but we generally only keep AC around 68 or so.
  6. At our new town library, I am able to "borrow" books for two weeks through an online app and have them sent to my Kindle.
  7. Protein bars, nuts, dried fruit. We also bring empty water bottles and fill on the other side of security and always travel with our own bamboo cutlery (doing our part to reduce single-use plastic consumption).
  8. We are vegan so our meals are a bit different... Monday: Patatas Bravas (recipe: Tuesday: Thai Green Curry Vegetables with Tofu over Basmati Rice Wednesday: Loaded Sweet Potato Chili Fries (recipe: Thursday: Salads- with lettuce, fresh veggies, herbs, roasted veggies, nuts/seeds and beans Friday: Haven't planned that far out yet.
  9. I agree. Maybe if she had been homeschooled, she would have been able to express her opinions in a more cohesive, well researched article.
  10. Many of the opportunities (musical) dd has gotten over the years have seemed fortuitous but connections made by attending concerts, camps, workshops, and other events were huge factors. I cannot tell you how many free and very low cost concerts we attended over the years where all the other attendees were retirees except for dd and I. It always amazed me that no other parents in our area took advantage of these opportunities to expose their dc to different cultures and musical styles. In one town near where we lived before, the local school district did a multi-cultural week where different cultures were studied throughout the week (stories, food, geographical studies, etc...) and it culminated in performances on a Friday evening with different cultural groups from the area-- classical dancers from India, Mexican style music and dance, Greek dancers, Russian dance, Irish music, etc... every year something slightly different. Parents only had to walk or drive their children to the theater (very small town) to see the free event and the only people who showed up were the families of those participating and 3-4 students with their families who were receiving awards from the week's events for poetry or artwork. Music concerts aren't everyone's priority (and music isn't every child's passion) but there were certainly parents who wondered aloud to me and behind my back about the opportunities dd received. We certainly attempted to let others know about opportunities when asked or when we thought others might enjoy them and dd was always more than happy to invite friends for performances with her as she enjoyed collaboration. After awhile I noticed we were always inviting others but they were not reciprocating when their dc were given the opportunities...they were opportunity hoarders and, in most cases, their hoarding kind of backfired because their now grown dc are no longer even involved in the activities for which they hoarded the opportunities. In those cases it seems the parents were guiding the involvement and not the kids....and the joy was taken out of it. I agree it would be more fair of people (when they have the resources to spend--time and money) to say "I won't/don't" rather than "I can't." There have certainly been opportunities my dc missed over the years because we prioritized one thing over another and sacrifices were made to do the things they did do because deciding to be very good at something involves sacrificing other things because we cannot be two places at once. It is unfair of others to judge anyone else's dc's opportunities without acknowledging the work and sacrifice (and sometimes a little added luck/timing) that went into the receipt of those opportunities.
  11. My garlic and shallots are growing nicely. The salad is coming in beautifully and I have cut it twice already. Radishes are coming up. The parsley I planted last year is huge. We just moved into our home a year ago and have been messing around with our greenhouse here. We have radishes, beets, broccoli rabe, salad, herbs, peas, kale, carrots, brussels, tomatoes, and a few other things I can't recall plus a lemon and a lime tree growing in there. I've been growing, harvesting, and replanting all winter trying to figure out what grows best in there. We are in coastal NC and had a very mild winter.
  12. Reading, knitting, cooking/baking, gardening, and walking.
  13. We are finally allowed to tell people...dd will be the fiddler for Riverdance the whole summer in Dublin, Ireland. She is so excited!
  14. One other tip I just thought of...if you are picking up your car in Dublin at the airport but spending a night in Dublin city centre, I would suggest going into city centre from the airport on the bus (I think it is 6 euro per person) rather than driving in Dublin city. The roads are often one way, full of traffic, and confusing (a difficult first driving experience on the wrong side of the road) and parking is costly. We generally spend whatever days we have in Dublin then take the bus back to the airport to pick up the car to drive to the next place.
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