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Everything posted by UrbanSue

  1. We also only use Beast. My older son could be called "behind" with it since he's on 3C in 4th grade but he is not a math lover (or, I should say, he doesn't like anything that is "school time" on principle). We just do a certain number of minutes a day and he does what he does. He (oddly) self-supplements with math in his free time with stuff like his sister's BA books, LOF, Penrose, Marilyn Burns, etc. My daughter loves math and loves the challenge of Beast. She self-paces really well. She hates too much review and would hate a real "spiral" program. I have found that the way Beast presents concepts seems to have plenty of built-in review.
  2. I just move on when we feel like moving on. So, we do Shakespeare: we'll review our memory work for a few minutes and then read a scene together. Some scenes are super short, some are really long. If it's a long scene and we're all having a good day, we'll finish it; if not, I'll break it up. Then we'll go over to the piano and work on a song we're all learning. Maybe we'll get through it once before my toddler tries to rip the music book maybe we'll sing it through a bunch and almost get it memorized. I wouldn't put things that needed checklist-level attention into Morning Time and I probably wouldn't loop those things, either. In our house things either need to be done very day or they don't.
  3. I'm kind of bummed that Charlotte is so popular now. And with the new princess, I'm sure it will get even more so. I'm not sure if we'll have another baby but that was our name pick.
  4. Alexa :thumbdown: (not for me, anyway). The only name in my entire list that I liked was Rosie from 1900. That's what we call our youngest (her middle name is Rose and her first name never took off with me, for some reason).
  5. I'm echoing other suggestions here in suggesting the Lake Pepin area as just really pretty and historically fun if you've ever been into the LIW books. Or the Stone Arch Bridge/Mills Area/St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis as just way more fun than the MOA. But we hate malls and dh grew up working at a family business there. I've been there one time (and we've lived there in the past and visit annually) to get our wedding rings (next door the family business was a jewelry store and they gave us a good deal).
  6. Our day has two stages which I call "Morning Time" and "Table Time." Table Time is individual seat work (mostly skills-based work) and is the same every day. Morning Time is for more content-based work, memory work, or anything that could be arguably done with mixed ages. Mostly it is stuff that I want to do regularly but not necessarily every day. The one part of my Morning Time that is non-negotiable is our read aloud. If we're having a crazy day, I count it as an Official School Day if we've gotten in our read aloud and our Table Time. But most days I have between thirty and ninety minutes to give to Morning Time. So I save the last fifteen minutes for our read aloud and loop through everything else. I have a written list and just do the next thing. There are some items I want to do more often (like Shakespeare) so that appears on the list twice in the midst of six or seven other items. I change out what is on the loop every five to six weeks between school terms.
  7. We're not really Harry Potter people but would it work to copy spells? Or have some spells work only by using math concepts?
  8. Never even crossed my mind but a couple of family members have it on their list of why we're doing the right thing. Which doesn't really bother me.
  9. For somewhat similar reasons we go to a lot of weddings--often where only my husband knows only one of the parties. We have a standard book we always give. I truly think these invitations are given in the spirit of wanting to celebrate and not thinking at all of gifts. My personal favorite graduation book is Charles Murray's, The Curmudgeon's Guide to Getting Ahead.
  10. Peter, the first "pope", went to Rome because that was a natural thing for a leader to do at that time. He went to the principal city of known civilization. The Catholic Church has kept its headquarters there ever since. The political power of the papacy arose gradually and later.
  11. We're on "summer menu" right now so every morning they are welcome to fix for themselves from: plain yogurt, frozen blueberries, homemade granola, milk, hardboiled eggs, fresh fruit. Everyone but my one-year-old can get themselves breakfast right now. Dh typically makes himself an omelet or soup and will happily make one for anyone else up who wants one.
  12. It's different in tone than 1 and 2 and considerably more work for the child, if I recall. So, while many people love 3/4 and many people love all four, the difference is big enough that those who happily used 1 and 2 are caught off guard with 3.
  13. It's an introduction to their 7-12th grade Cambridge Latin which is a "reading program". It's great and definitely one way to learn. I'm studying with it myself and we plan to have at least one of our kids use it. We do Minimus and it's working well for my 8 and 10yos. It probably helps, though, that my husband is an accomplished latinist and uses it every day for his job and I'm studying on my own ;) I wouldn't think it would be a good fit otherwise.
  14. I cheated, too: dd, 8: Little House Books Lord of the Rings Abel's Island by William Steig ds, 10: Little House Books Lord of the Rings Swallows and Amazons And my favorites are probably: Little House Books Lord of the Rings The Princess and the Goblin
  15. Hmm, okay. I called LToW "whole to parts" based on reviews written by lewelma (I think?) awhile back. Anyway, that would be too much for him right now. I'll give Brave Writer another look. I definitely mix my classical stuff with heavy doses of CM and unschooling so I always want to like it. And I always leave feeling utterly confused--but it's been a couple of years since I gave it a good look. I think I'm just going to print off a bunch of sample stuff and try a few lessons with ds. After feeling like I've got elementary school nailed with a really great approach that is pretty affordable and minimal yet providing (I'm pretty sure) great foundations for my kids, I'm feeling a bit of overwhelm and sticker shock about wanting to step things up a bit over 5-8 grades.
  16. I'd rather avoid a video-intensive program, if possible.
  17. Ethel, why are you doing both? Do they fill in gaps for each other? I will feel happy if I can find one program so I definitely don't want two!
  18. I was going to vote for the second option until I read your description of your bathroom set up. I've been at home weddings with the "deluxe" porta-pottys and it was understandable.
  19. I can't believe the Hive crashed Macy's.
  20. Thanks, that is not one I had looked at. I like the people at Classical Academic Press. Where would you say this program leaves you, by the end of Book 5? What are possible next steps? I'm kind of a big picture person and I like to have a notion of where I'm headed. And I feel like we had an awesome elementary time and I know what I want high school to be like . . .and I have no clue how to navigate from here to there. (Oh, I see they are planning at least through Book 10/Grade 9).
  21. I'm planning for my rising fifth grader. He's an older fifth grader--he'll be eleven in October. We haven't done much formal writing so far. He despised WWE and we've stuck to just copy work of his choosing the last two years. He is not a very self-starting student for anything that is "formal school work" and has never shown the least inclination to voluntarily write anything more than a one- or two-word label on a diagram he's drawn. He spells well above his grade level and reads and comprehends pretty much anything you could hand him. He is very, very visual; very whole-to-parts; very interested in full mastery of a concept before diving in. I'm trying to figure out what writing program to head for and what to do to prepare for it. I think I like Lost Tools of Writing for him but I don't think he'd be ready yet (?). I'm pretty sure WWS would drive him bonkers. Any ideas?
  22. LoTW and LToW Are they both Lost Tools of Writing? Or am I missing out on Tolkien's recently-discovered sequel, "Lord of The Wings"?
  23. Oh, right--because that's what we're talking about! I just meant to point out that if you don't like such low-acid coffee but you do like concentrated coffee, this would be an easy way to make it. I used to use cold press exclusively for iced coffee but this works just as well and I can make just one serving instead of a huge jar of coffee staring at me every time I open the fridge. Bill's warning about over-consuming the cold press concentrate is definitely one people should heed!
  24. No, the Aeropress is much more like a manual espresso machine with taste/concentration results that are very, very close to espresso. Most people can't tell a difference but purists do maintain that this is NOT an espresso machine. I'm not going to argue with the coffee purists. Anyway, it makes hot coffee. You boil water (the Amazon comments make it sound super fussy--we just either boil and wait 30 seconds or listen to our kettle and stop it before the whistle starts and we get great coffee. If you have a house with an instant hot tap, you can set it for the right temp), pour it over the grinds, stir it for a few seconds, and press over a glass/cup. Then you've got HOT coffee concentrate--basically a shot of espresso shot (but not quite!--don't hate on me, you purists!). Think about what to do next the way you would at Starbucks--for an "Americano", just add hot water and you've got "normal" coffee. Or you can add hot milk. Or, since the volume of hot water is much lower than with a drip pot, you can easily make delicious iced coffee by adding ice. You aren't over-diluting the coffee because it's already concentrated and there isn't enough to melt the ice instantly so it actually stays cold for awhile. And, for $25 or so, you really can't beat the price.
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