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maize last won the day on November 4

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About maize

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    (c) This digital image was created by Sam Fentress, 25 September, 2005. This image is dual-licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License,[1] Version 1.2 or later, and the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license version 2.0.[2]

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  1. I've read bits and pieces of this thread. The one thing I feel I have to contribute is that none of us is going to be a perfect parent. Maybe we will assist too much at some point where a child would have been better off figuring a thing out on their own. Maybe we will fail to offer assistance someplace the child really needed it. We don't have a crystal ball to see all the future implications of every decision. Most of the time, kids are going to overcome whatever stumbles happen because of our imperfect parenting. Sometimes, maybe many times, there never was a perfect option.
  2. Good morning! I had too many hours of insomnia last night. Maybe because I forgot to take my magnesium before going to bed.
  3. This is an interesting article:
  4. I did an online MEd degree a few years back--mostly it was a box checking kind of thing, education reduced to the most basic level of competency demonstration. One of the first classes though included a fair bit of reading on research into how people learn, especially how kids learn, and self directed learning--true following of interests--really does come out far ahead of anything else. I learned to write the way your older son did. I had a horrible time focusing in school and never felt like I learned much there. I had some degree of dyslexia as well and was a delayed reader. But once reading clicked into place I read and read and read. At nine I was reading Charles Dickens, at ten Stephen Hawking, at thirteen War and Peace, at fifteen Les Miserables in French. I never studied intensive grammar or diagrammed a sentence. I'm still terrible at spelling (my brain is not very visual, which I suspect was behind my early reading difficulties). Writing though has come easily to me. And whatever it is that is tested on the language portion of standardized tests--I easily got perfect scores on the verbal sections of the SAT, ACT, GRE... I've been particularly interested in your thoughts on helping kids who struggle with executive function, because those kids can struggle to follow through even on things that they have internal motivation to be self directed in.
  5. I avoid tuna because I opt for lower mercury choices. We don't do fish as often as I would like, when we do salmon is my favorite; my family also likes tilapia. I do get fish oil capsules. I'm weird and like to chew them up. Hey I got two booyahs in one day. Maybe I should make this one a booya.
  6. If it's about Omega 3's have you tried fish oil capsules? It's crazy I know but they were a favorite treat for one of my toddlers...
  7. Not me. My brain isn't good at visualizing unless I am dreaming. When you read, do you say/hear each word in your head or do you kind of lose conscious track of the words and become mostly aware of the movie?
  8. Do you visualize everything in your head when you write?
  9. This is the only post of mine I could find in the ITT thread referencing this thread; the thread was discussed there only because the OP is one of our friends who hang out there. My post was both posted and edited seven hours ago, edited I am sure for a typo/autocorrect error since I usually post from my phone and my posts tend to be full of those. I've found the discussion here interesting.
  10. I posted a spin-off thread, I hope some will come over and discuss. I'd especially love to hear from 8FillTheHeart and other experienced parents/homeschoolers.
  11. I've been thinking about some of what was brought up in the Calvert thread. And about what education means. And what role education plays in childrearing. Please bear with me as there are a number of different thoughts tumbling around in my head and I am not sure I can do a good job of pulling them together coherently. Social and cultural expectations play a big role in childrearing and education everywhere; not unreasonably, our children need to be prepared to function as adults in the society they live in. In the United States, that means that a child needs to be prepared either for college or a trade program of some kind to have a decent shot at earning a living. If we go with normal middle class college expectations that means they need to be prepared for math at a minimum of a college algebra level, they need to be able to read well, they need to be able to write a decent essay. Those are the basic academic expectations (obviously I am not talking about preparation for elite college entrance here). State education statutes may add specific subject requirements, and there is also some general level of familiarity with literature and history and science that is expected of an educated person. It is easy and normal to look at those as the basic elements of preparing our children for adulthood and fit everything else around them. I know there are also many here who take a much deeper approach to education, viewing it not so much as the acquiring of a set of tools as the formation of a person. Much of the tradition of classical liberal arts eduction rests on this premise. I think I will refer to this as the development of a thoughtful mind. I do see a great deal of value in it. To me then there are already at least two components of education: 1-preparation for living within a given society, meeting the academic expectations that will allow one to function in that society 2-the development of a thoughtful mind that allows a deeper level of experience and interaction in life. Maybe because of my own eclectic educational and experiential background, when I started out thinking about how to educate my children I dropped one level below that of social and cultural expectations. Those vary so much. They are still important of course because my kids have to be able to function in society, but I spent a lot of time thinking about what areas of study might contribute most to a broad development of mind. Aside from literacy, which I kind of took as a given part of life, I settled on math, music, and languages as the core areas of focus for my homeschool. Math because it opens so many doors to understanding the world and because it is not easy for most people to pick up naturally and must be explicitly taught. Music because it had been a profound influence in my own life and feels fundamental to human nature, and because of all the research indicating that music study and experience is beneficial to human brains. Languages because we live in a broad world and I wanted my children to feel connected and have access to that world. These were my primary focus through our first few years of homeschooling. The year my oldest child was eight her anxiety--which had always been there--became debilitating. I already knew that a brain that is dysregulated is not good at learning--or at anything else. During this same period of time my youngest sister was in and out of residential treatment with severe mental health struggles. I focused a lot of energy that year on improving mental health, but the real breakthrough came the next year when I enrolled my daughter in Irish dance classes. I don't really know why that specific activity was such a turnaround for her, but it was. The regular intense physical activity was part of it, so was the aspect of belonging to a group and the incentive of competition that helped her push past her own anxiety. Irish dance completely changed her life; everyone who knew her noticed the transformation. At the same time it turned our family schedule upside down. I'm not going to outline all the various twists and turns we have taken, suffice it to say that in the years since then our family involvement in outside activities has increased dramatically. My kids seem to need-desperately need--the hours of physical activity, the motivation, the confidence building, and the social and emotional engagement of these activities. Because I have lots of kids and the kids needs and interests are not identical this makes for very complicated logistics. The kids of course don't get to do everything they would like to do but we do a lot. Coming back to what I was talking about at the beginning of this post about the meaning and role of education, I have come to believe that the academic side of a child's development is not the most crucial aspect. Physical and emotional and social health and development underpin everything else. I feel like sometimes we put the cart ahead of the horse when we focus most of our energy on academic teaching and try to fit everything else around that. Emotional health isn't a struggle for some people; I can understand kind of taking it for granted in such cases because the foundation is just there, seemingly secure. For many families though it is not a thing that can be taken for granted. I've talked here about some of what I prioritize in my family and why. I'm not looking for a bunch of people to agree with me. I want to hear about what you prioritize in the rearing and education of your children, why those things are a priority, and what you have learned along the way. I would love to see more of the deep discussion some have mentioned craving.
  12. What did you make? I'm hoping I'll feel inspired to cook if you tell me. ETA it's a breakfast booyah!
  13. We are meeting a new cello teacher today. Ds14 took cello for a couple of years when he was younger. He has been asking to take lessons again, and now ds9 and ds7 both say they want to do cello as well. I'm going to see if the teacher is willing to do lessons every other week; teachers don't usually like that because kids don't progress as fast and because it is simpler to schedule weekly but I'm hoping she'll be sympathetic to the fact that lessons for three kids is tough on the budget and as homeschoolers we can use daytime slots that don't need to fit around others in her studio.
  14. I didn't think the Calvert thread was so awful. Maybe because I like the people who were posting even if we don't always agree. I feel pretty strongly about "mental health comes first and trumps all other priorities". Maybe I'll post a spin-off.
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