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About birchbark

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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  • Biography
    Mom of three boys and a girl
  • Interests
    Travel, canoeing, home design. My homeschool is a mix of Classical, CM, and Waldorf.
  • Occupation
    Wife, mother, and home-educator

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  1. Our oldest is considering it. He is interested in aviation. Any thoughts or experiences welcome.
  2. birchbark

    College for aviation? Air Nat'l Guard? ROTC?

    Yes, we've checked out ERAU, but you can get the same training at UND for about half the cost. Plus the fuller college experience. Plus it is within driving distance. And it also has the ROTC programs.
  3. My oldest has been shooting for a career in aviation for a number of years, specifically Air Traffic Control. After a bit of college research, we were leaning toward U of North Dakota. Even though he has been active in Civil Air Patrol, DS always maintained that he was not interested in going the military route. He surprised us the other day by saying he is strongly considering the Air Nat'l Guard, which I guess provides training for ATC. Money savings is one reason; the other is time savings. He says he could be trained in and on salary in less than two years. His CAP rank would give him an advantage also. I am still trying to wrap my head around this sudden switch; I had been putting all my research into college, not military! So now I am wondering about the ROTC option also. Seems like a way to get your cake and eat it too? But he'd be back to four years of school then, which sounds like a long time to an impatient 18yo (just turned). He got a decent ACT score, FWIW. So if any of you have experiences with any of these routes, please share thoughts and experiences, ideas and suggestions! I'm not seeing much on Air Nat'l Guard in particular. How much can you specify your training in something like ANG? Ugh, so many questions. This is our first rodeo for all of this. And time's getting tight for next fall's plans. Also any tips on guiding adult children in these kind of decisions!
  4. I could have written many of the posts on this thread! You're not alone, Doodlebug. So many of my favorite blogs, posters here at WTM, conference speakers. . . gone, or changed. The "leaders" now are so young, or their children are young. I need me some meat and yes I do love Rollins and Landry.
  5. NOT a young child/toddler size. We've outgrown that. Something between toddler and adult. Any ideas?
  6. birchbark

    Super-comfy leggings?

    I love the look of leggings, but hate the feel of them. I've always detested anything tight on my legs. Is there anyone like me who has found a brand that is tolerable?
  7. DS took Mr. D's 6-week SAT math bootcamp this past year and I'm wondering if/how to add to the transcript.
  8. The Sentence Family Times Tales Writing Trails Systematic Mathematics Ellen McHenry science Wee Folk Art for K
  9. This will be my first and only year of having all four kids in school at once. I'm a little nervous. The high-schooler works completely on his own. The second-born was a slower starter and I did all of K-2 orally with him (aside from handwriting practice). Last year as the third-born began to ramp up her academics, I was forced to hand off quite a bit of the 2nd's school to him because there just wasn't enough of me to go around. He did just fine. And this year I'm going to have to give over some of the 3rd's work too so I can spend a little time with my K-er as well as the other two. I think there are two keys that are important here. One is that your kids have good habits of following instructions and staying on task when you're not paying attention to them. The other is that you are sticking with only a few important subjects. You may need to forego goodies like logic and foreign languages in order to make sure the basics are covered well. Oh yes, and this may be number three, but teacher-intensive curriculum doesn't work when trying to juggle either.
  10. Every HS mom needs to define it for herself, and stay on the right side of that boundary. Otherwise . . . burnout.
  11. I am also a high-level planner. I have found getting too detailed ahead of time is a sure recipe for frustration, suffocation, and feelings of failure. ? I basically start with a list of goals for the year, and utilize a student planner for week-to-week scheduling. I wrote about our planning method in three blog posts starting here. If the approach or curriculum requires elaborate planning, then it won't work well with families with more than maybe two children. ?
  12. Yes! Going to fountain pens with my boys was a game-changer! We use Pilot Varsity as they're not very expensive. I also recommend bound notebooks (composition books, without the spirals) OR just a box for loose papers if you go that route. Binders are fussy and get so messy with younger kids.
  13. In my 12+ years of homeschooling my children, I feel like I've witnessed a shift from print-based learning to screen-based learning. Not just in the world in general, but in home education specifically. Technology has made instruction by excellent teachers available to all. The potential is enormous! And yet . . . I personally have been thinking about if/how much screens should be limited in education. My younger siblings, who probably could be termed Millennials, are beginning to homeschool their own children. Despite growing up in the homeschool culture, and believing in the value of home education, every single one of them is looking for a video-based program that will allow them to be as detached from the process as possible. Frankly, this is rather alarming to their "CM/Classical" older sister. And this trend seems widespread among the newer homeschoolers, from what I can see. (They're looking for either screens or co-ops.) Is this a good thing? Will this new generation produce the brightest students in the history of home education? Or will they have vision problems, the attention span of gnats, and be unable to learn from printed material? (I'm talking mainly about prepubescent students here; grade schoolers.) Is it important to be able to learn from printed material? Will it be in 12 years? Fodder for discussion . . . I'm not even sure a lot of these young parents would be willing to wade through a book on education such as The WTM. One of the reasons I am looking for discussion on this is that I'm trying to figure out how to best advise the newbies who come for help. I don't want to be a crotchety, oldschool luddite who thinks everyone must do it like I did. I KNOW homeschooling is a huge responsibility and it can be really tough to add it on top of homemaking, mothering, wifehood, and for some people, employment or illness. And yet, I'm concerned. One of my siblings is already using Abeka's video program for her first-grader. I overheard her raving about it to someone and she said it "only" took five hours a day. I felt so sad. Lots more I could say, but I'm having a hard time putting thoughts into words. What do you all think, not about particular programs, but about the broader question of putting our young students in front of screens for school?
  14. birchbark

    "Learn Math Fast" curriculum

    Yes, I have found a handful of blog and Youtube reviews, and they are helpful; all positive! One of the things I miss from "the old days" on these forums was the sheer volume of curriculum experience represented. You could ask about the most obscure curriculum and be sure to find at least one person who had used it. These days it seems like everyone uses the same five or ten programs. But I thought I'd take a chance and see if any WTMers had used LMF. I plan on using it for a bit and hope to post a review in the future.
  15. birchbark

    Learning a musical instrument cheap

    I have been teaching the kids and myself recorder with $7 recorders from Amazon and a $15 "Nine-Note Method" book. We start in first grade and the book provides a few yrs of music instruction. Very doable, low investment, portable, and great musical foundation for other instruments.
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