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Posts posted by Catherine

  1. I am an infrequent visitor to the boards these days.  My youngest is finishing high school this spring and he attended a brick and mortal school-not my choice, but in fact it was a great fit for him and has worked out well.  FYI he attended a Bard High School Early College and if you have any interest in learning about the Bard schools, please PM me.  I am a huge fan!

    My purpose in writing this post is to find out how you all have handled the books, papers, and ephemera you have left, when you are finished home schooling.  I freely admit to being, not a packrat exactly, but too sentimental for my own good about the books we read together, the papers with scrawled first sentences, etc.  I have a vague idea of culling a few representative pages from each stage, with each kid, and parting with the rest, which honestly is mostly trash at this point.  

    Please tell me how you've handled this stage.  

  2. Hi everyone-flash from the past here.  I have not been around much this year; my youngest finished homeschooling when he went to high school almost 4 years ago.  He attended a Bard Early College high school that was just opening in my city, and it has been a great fit for him.  Anyway, just popping in to say he was accepted ED to Williams in December.  Yay for early decision!!!  It made our Christmas and New Year's holidays much nicer and I strongly recommend it!  

    I see that someone else on the boards, Alewife, has a child accepted at Williams and I'm wondering if your child is actually going to attend.  Get in touch Alewife and let me know.

    Many congratulations to all who've gotten acceptances and huge scholarships!!  I see also that there are acceptances at both University of Rochester and UMBC, where my other kids attended.  PLEASE feel free to get in touch if you want info about either of these schools.  

    • Like 20
  3. Hi everyone,


    I used to be more of a regular on the boards when I was still home schooling, but my youngest went to high school, older kids in college or graduated.  So I am DONE home schooling.  

    I'm posting (also posting on the HS writing board) for a friend who helped start an online writing tutoring and grading service.  It's something I wish had been available to me when I was teaching older kids to write, because it's not one of my own strong areas.  Here is a summary with a link:


    If your child (or YOU!) needs help with writing, please have a look at my new website, www.WriteOnWithDave.com . I have become partners with an English teacher at a community college, and we can help with any writing needs – for children or adults!

    We specialize in:
    college application essays
    writing assignments for kids from 5th to 12th grade
    essay-writing for college students
    cover letters
    grievance letters
    toasts or other public speeches
    any occasion where words need to go on paper!
    Essays and other submissions will be returned (within 24-48 hours) with extensive notes about strengths and trouble-spots. If desired, we can provide an estimated letter grade that the student would receive in a conventional classroom.
    Package deals are available for families, or students who write a lot of papers. Our services can be accessed via email, and 1:1 Skype lessons are also available.
    • Like 1
  4. One example that comes to mind regarding this topic: acquaintance takes to FB to brag endlessly about her son's admission to a top college.  As in, it's the main subject of, or mentioned in,  more than 10 postings over the course of a few months.  


    When said kid flunks out after one year, and drops out of college altogether, there is no mention of it at all on FB.  Or in RL for that matter.  


    That's the kind of selective news sharing that I often see on FB, and take with a grain of salt.  

    • Like 1
  5. DS #1 entered college as a possible physics or engineering major-graduated with a major in math, minor in German.  Wishes he had completed minor, or a second major, in computer science!


    DD just finished freshman year as a chemical engineer, which was first talked of junior year in HS and she seems committed now.


    DS age 15, hs sophomore, not clear.  Like finance, drama, computer science, biology.  We'll see.

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  6. Did you hear about the Dalai Lama getting a tooth pulled without anesthetic?  


    He wanted to transcend dental medication.


    My daughter even remembered to say this at the oral surgeon's office the other day after getting wisdom teeth extracted.  

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  7. That's the second time I've heard of Little Brother in 2 days!  I will be getting it!  


    LOTR-tried and failed, maybe 3-4 years ago. I wonder if I should try again?  What do you think?  


    Short stories-check.  I think that's a great idea and we've read Poe so it makes sense to start there.



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  8. There's a big difference between encouraging\modeling civil political discussion in class (and where better to learn about civility!), and declaring that one side is wrong.  It's just not OK.  


    Think about the favor you are doing for students whose parents do not know about the classroom environment, or believe they are not is a position to speak up because their kid is still  in the class.  

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  9. He's reasonably bright, but not much of a reader.  I've attempted many read aloud with him that have fallen flat (that succeeded with other kids) including A Tale of Two Cities, Flash Boys (techie book about Wall St. trading that I thought he'd like).  No go.


    Any big successes with your teen boys? He's open to it, but often becomes bored with the books.  


    And please forgive me for popping in after awhile away.  You all are missed-but I am having trouble keeping up!

  10. I know a lot of homeschool people don't like this idea, and I think there are some cause and effect questions as well, but I do actually think there is some truth to this idea.


    If you look at countries with really good public education, one of the things that gets taken for granted is that almost everyone will be using public schools, and that widespread homeschooling and use of private education won't happen.  I think that creates a significant amount of political will including in segments of society that have a fair bit of economic and political power.  A country where a substantial number of people in politics and the upper middle class are using private schools, and middle class people are homeschooling, will tend to look different than one where most of those people expect their kids to have a public school education.


    Now - part of this is that there is an effect whereby a poor ps system that seems impossible to fix means more people will feel that they have to find some other option. So that option of action on a large scale has to be part of the picture, and I think for many, they just don't see that as a possibility in many of the English-speaking countries.


    I think there is absolutely some truth to the idea.  When my youngest started brick and mortar high school last year, in a charter school that has turned out well for him, I was flabbergasted at some of the stories I heard from other parents about the middle schools their kids had attended.  It just amazed me that these parents did not agitate more for improvements, because I certainly would have.  Honestly, and my own parents were just like this, poorer people just don't believe they are allowed to ask for more, for "perks" that middle class parents would most definitely expect and agitate for.  

    • Like 1
    • any of the responses, but I will say that she sounds a little like one of my kids.  He seemed to have quite a bit more difficulty learning to spell, learning math facts, copying (more than dictation or narration); however, once he DID get them, he has been fine, and in fact is doing really well now as a tenth grader-he had straight A's last year in his first year in brick and mortar school.  He just seems to have needed more time, or more practice, to learn those things.  Also, I will say that the curricula I used were very helpful for him: Rightstart for math, AAS, and WWE.  


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  11. He did not ask for money for about 6 months, until last month, and at that time, we told him that our financial support was over.  He did not ask this month, but I know he is out of cash.  Yes, of course he is aware that his choices are causing him hardship.  My question is more about how to help someone who clearly is not able to make productive decisions and implement them.  He has done somewhat better in the past when he is stably employed.  



  12. He smokes some weed and drinks a bit, but not excessively, from what I can see.  He says he wants things to change, but has trouble identifying any path toward more stability. He used to have wildly unrealistic ideas about businesses he could use to support himself (selling homemade lip gloss was one of them); now, he is somewhat more realistic, but still really lacking in any sensible idea about how to support himself.  

  13. Long story, but to summarize, my dh and I are de facto parents to our nephew, who is 27.  He has lived with us on and off since he graduated from high school at 18.  I am at a loss as to how to help him.  He left home (was made to leave) after he graduated and lived in the streets for 8 months until he came to live with us.  A few months later he went through a program at the Center for Urban Families that is mostly for deadbeat dads threatened with jail, and other small time criminals who are there by court order. The program only lasts for 3 weeks but more than half of them do not complete it-he did, and was able to get a job (with the help of their counselors) soon after.  That was brief and he then found work at a grocery store, a national chain, where he had stable employment for 18 months.  He was eventually fired for excessive absenteeism.  He now reports he did that intentionally because he was getting sick of it.


    Since then he's had very large gaps in his employment, sometimes working for a few months stocking shelves, or in a meat processing plant, or in a warehouse.  He's been fired three times now, once for absenteeism, once for making a complaint about his boss (the owner of the company-small family business) that sounds tenuous at best, and once for simply not being what they were looking for (after about  6 weeks helping his apartment building manager as an assistant handyman).


    He is very bright.  He taught himself to read before kindergarten, plays and composes piano music well, and is an accomplished artist (he went to an arts-enriched high school).  He is also an excellent and creative cook.  However, he has consistently refused to pursue any paid employment relating to any of these skills.  He says his dream is to design video games.  In reality, he mostly just PLAYS them a lot, but he has the rudiments of a simple game, after 11 years of supposedly working on it, that is not ready for publication.  


    Right now he is leaving a temporary place where he illegally lived with friends and contributed to their rent, and is moving into an unoccupied house as a squatter-he's been allowed to stay there on month.  So, he is homeless, basically.


    We've told him many times that we would help him to pay for community college and he has consistently declined.  I am asking for help because:


    1. he asks for financial help very regularly

    2. I suspect he has a diagnosis-personality disorder?  Aspie? and I wonder if we could find any community resource for him without a formal diagnosis

    3. He is clearly capable of some things 


    I am at a loss.  Any ideas?

  14. I had only half my thyroid taken out, but for that I did not have to stay in the hospital, though they offered it as an option if I had a lot of pain or any complication.  Fortunately, neither was true. If I had elected to have a total thyroidectomy, I would have spent a night in the hospital.  


    And a different view about covering the scar-I planned to do this, until after the surgery.  It felt awful to me for anything to touch that area!  So I showed off my scar LOL.  I couldn't stand to cover it.

    • Like 1
  15. Hi Jenny,


    I had a partial thyroidectomy in April and it was not a huge deal.  It's the biggest medical procedure I've had; it was the only time I've ever had general anesthesia.  But I felt pretty back to normal within a week, and mostly functional in a couple of days.  Not awful pain.  No stitches or staples.  Just glue!  You will have to deal with adjusting the medications after it's over, and I was fortunate not to have to.  But the surgery itself was not bad.  So ask away or PM me if you have other questions.



    • Like 2
  16. Chiming in once more.  


    IMO he should see a primary care person and have a careful history and physical done.  It sounds like a real possibility that there is a heart or lung problem that is potentially serious.  I am so sorry!  I hope I'm wrong!

  17. Just chiming in to say that a low D-dimer test does not absolutely rule out a PE, nor does a negative CT angiogram, though both are quite reliable.  OTOH, as you point out his PE in the past was provoked, so theoretically his risk is no higher than anyone else in the population.  Still, a long plane ride can count as "provocation."


    What he experienced is called, in medical terms, "syncope"-fainting.  The most worrisome potential causes are heart-related, but not necessarily in the heart attack family, though in rarer cases heart attacks or angina can cause fainting.  One test he definitely should have is a Holter monitor or loop recorder, to see what kind of heart rhythms occur over a 24 hour, or longer, period.   


    Has he ever had near-fainting episodes?  If so, under what circumstances?

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