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Jen in PA

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Everything posted by Jen in PA

  1. DD was still 9 when we finished up Singapore PM, so we moved into MM Integers, and then into Lial's Introductory Algebra. I would have liked to try AoPS, but the wordiness didn't appeal to her, and she likes the more straightforward approach with Lial's.
  2. I voted yellow, but I am very picky about it - I like the creamy yellow that Crayola used to call lemon yellow until they retired that color. Aside from that, I really like grey and pink.
  3. I have 4th and 6th graders. I have a stepson who cyber schools going into 11th, but I didn't count him because he does all of his school at his mother's house. I spend a decent amount of time lurking on the high school board because that is the level I teach for our co-op, and I tutor at the high school level.
  4. Crispin series by Avi - a hit with both kids. His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman - huge hit with ds, who kept reading ahead! Small Steps by Peg Kehret - autobiographical work about recovering from polio that we stumbled across at the library, and all enjoyed thoroughly. The kids just turned 8 and 10.
  5. We do Hanukkah and Christmas. This year Hanukkah starts the night before Thanksgiving. I am definitely expecting to spend a few weeks in full panic mode. On the plus side, I learned a few years ago that latkes taste great with turkey gravy, so I'm just planning to enjoy the overlap as much as possible.
  6. I toss a page in the portfolio that has a quick rundown of things that might not be obvious from the work samples. I think this year it had a paragraph that basically said that health studies were incorporated into daily life as dd continued to learn about nutrition, dental hygiene, and disease prevention through discussion and practical activities. I will probably copy and paste that into portfolios every year.
  7. I was a bit like that as a child, but there were lots of chances to exercise built into my day -- walking to and from school, plus recess twice a day! That doesn't work as well for homeschoolers. When my kids were younger (they are 8 and 10 now) I instituted an "out for an hour" policy: as long as it wasn't storming or frigid, they had to spend an hour outside every day. I don't monitor the times strictly anymore, since there are days they barely come back inside, and others when they barely venture out, but I figure that it balances out now that it is an ingrained habit. The main things they do outside are ride bikes and play in our yard or neighbors' yards. They also read outside, and I am fine with that -- DS will take a book up a tree and read right there. They also like doing the open swim at the Y, and our Y has certain times when kids 8 and up can exercise on some of the fitness equipment as long as the parent is next to them. We haven't tried this yet, but now that DS is old enough to join in we just might.
  8. The Guardian. It leans left, if that is a concern, but I find that it covers so many areas so well. In addition to reading, I enjoy their books, science, and technology podcasts. It gives you the option of getting the US or the UK edition -- I get one on my tablet and the other on my PC. And I like their crossword puzzles, too.
  9. If it makes you feel any better, the library I described is actually 15 miles away, in our county seat. 'Our' library in the nearest town has a tiny summer reading program limited to a dozen students, and ends in 3rd grade. We get a little sticker on the back of our cards for that library that gives us access to other library systems in the state.
  10. After reading about other summer reading programs, I am starting to realize just how lucky we are. We count books read, not time, and younger kids can count books read to them. At five books you get a stuffed animal and a certificate for a fast food snack, at ten books you get an inflatable toy and a certificate worth $10 to spend at the book fair. With more than ten books you get another small item - I think it is a geode this summer - and a certificate for a free meal at Applebee's. There are special programs weekly, things like visiting shows from a local zoo, the science center, and the children's museum, a magic show, a play, etc. There is also a bin of tokens that is hidden in a new spot each week, and the kids can exchange them for little trinkets. The librarian told me that the entire purpose of this is to get the kids looking through parts of the library they don't usually visit. There is a craft table with a new activity each week, too. My dd is sort of annoyed that audiobooks do not count because she has gotten hooked on listening to them while she works on craft projects. On the other hand, she still has plenty of time for real books since the program runs for two months.
  11. I did a co-op class on Roald Dahl that included those ages, and we had a lot of fun!
  12. You can use store-bought, it has always worked out fine for me. You just need to get one that is unflavored and has no fillers.
  13. I do exactly what Bolt does to make regular yogurt into Greek yogurt. To make regular yogurt, I heat half a gallon of whole milk to 180 F, then cool it to 120 F. I add a few Tbsp of plain yogurt to the bottom of a large glass bowl, then slowly pour the warm milk in, stirring to combine. I put plastic wrap over the bowl, wrap it in a towel, and pop it into a cooler (you could also put it in the oven). I usually let it rest for eight hours, sometimes more like nine in the winter. Then I stir everything well and pour into glass jars, and refrigerate. This usually yields a texture just like Stonyfield Farms yogurt after it has chilled. When I am running low, I grab a few tablespoons from what is left in the fridge, and repeat the whole process. I don't sweeten it for me, but my kids do like some honey drizzled over it.
  14. I dust twice a week with a feather duster. It takes almost no time, and things never have a chance to build up. I vacuum right after I dust.
  15. I think Jamberry was the big favorite here at that age, We also loved We're Going On a Bear Hunt, although that may be more repetitive than what you are looking for. I second the idea to try Byron Barton's vehicle books.
  16. I use the alarm on my cell phone several days a week, so the phone is on my bedside table on those nights. I have never noticed any difference.
  17. We take 5 or 6 weeks off, then do very light school 4 or 5 days a week until Labor Day, with some weeks off for daycamp and vacation. I don't enjoy reteaching things, and I hate to let handwriting and math facts erode too much, but I do like to have a bit of a break. One thing that doesn't vary is that I require a minimum number of 'book-based hours' year-round. I count personal reading, read-alouds, and audiobooks, and since we have never had an issue with meeting my required minimums, my kIds aren't even aware of what they are.
  18. I have never been charged extra fees for any foreign purchase. Is it common? I would imagine it is the responsibility of the bank to let you know about such fees when they issue your card. We used Reading Eggs a few years ago, and I do recall them showing the currency conversion during the transaction, which seems like plenty of notice that it is an international purchase.
  19. This won't help with your degree, but Coursera has an archaeology class starting in a couple of weeks. It is called Archaeology's Dirty Little Secrets, and the price is certainly right.
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