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About 4KookieKids

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  1. 4KookieKids

    Best books on audio

    My kids really love the Castle Glower audiobooks.
  2. 4KookieKids


  3. 4KookieKids

    Best pencils!

    Oh that's awful! Just awful! *I* like writing with these (seriously - I was just glowing to my dd's violin teacher this afternoon when dd pulled one out because I love that the lead never breaks and the teacher was like WHAT! THAT'S AMAZING! I BREAK SO MUCH LEAD!! We had a real moment there... lol). But I'm not sure even *I* would really enjoy using these new ones that looks so ridiculous. 😞 I'm glad we bought 20 packs last year when the price dipped (to add to the 5 packs we already had previously...) I believe we have close to 200 of them, but maybe I should go buy more anyway!!
  4. 4KookieKids

    aim for time or content?

    We did content for some things, but I chose content that they kid could reasonably finish in 10-15 minutes, and only took longer if they were goofing off. But we always did time for stuff like reading or instruments, because I'd rather they do those slowly but well than rush through. We don't bother trying to make things up if we miss a day. They're little. We aim for 4 days/week of "school", but usually end up with about two "normal" school days and two more "half days" (where we end up only having the afternoon to do school and we're already tired, so we do a very light version of school -- mostly instruments and some reading). It's worked out for us so far, but I realize we'll probably have to be more rigorous eventually. My oldest is only 9.5 right now. 🙂
  5. We're visiting out-of-town family for Christmas and it turns out that they have an autism/sensory community store here, so we went and checked it out yesterday. One of my kids with high anxiety/emotional/sensory issues (ironically, not my asd kiddo) tried on a weighted compression vest, and very visibly relaxed, and just kept telling me over and over again that it felt like a really calming, tight hug and it just felt so good. She already has a weighted blanket that has helped her sleep and I know she uses weights around her shoulders during OT and vision therapy because the therapists say she is way calmer and more focused with a weight on, but I'm wondering how one would use a vest like this, if we were to invest in one? On the one hand, it's a bit pricey to buy just because it "feels nice," and yet I don't want to underestimate that "feels nice" might be all she can articulate, even if there's something more going on. She's very fashion-forward, so I doubt that she'd actually wear it out in public. Do people use them only for certain activities? Only when the kid gets worked up? Whenever the kid wants to? I guess I just don't know much about these vests, and all I've ever heard about are weight blankets, so I'm looking for any information/pros/cons/etc.
  6. Wow. This has all been so relevant for our day, because my kids are very much showing the effects of being "on vacation", and my poor dh about lost it with my kids tonight. They're so off after being with my in-laws the last week and having no structure at all. I know this is off my initial topic, but thank you guys so much. You've given me a lot to consider going into January.
  7. Oh geez. I just stared at the screen for a full minute before I could figure out what to write. That really does make sense. My kids with the worst EF skills are the ones who melt down the worst when I give them more freedom/play time and the ones who do best with a strict schedule. (Unfortunately, they're also the ones most likely to cause hiccups by staying in the bathroom an extra hour or something silly like that...) Maybe I'll revisit my smart but scattered book as I think about how to structure our 2019...
  8. Hmmm... I'll need to think about this more. This might be more of what my kids needs. He's also in 3rd. He has about 2.5 hours of academics a day (including reading), 3 hrs if you include piano. He can do all but 45 minutes independently, except that he has a difficult time writing, so I often end up scribing for him during math even though he doesn't need my help for the actual math (when he writes non-math, he's learning to use google voice-typing to help with writing and we're addressing the writing separately).
  9. This is something I identify with, but struggle to articulate, I guess. I'm more of a relaxed, go-with-the-flow person usually, but my kids have really turned that upside down for me. It's really annoying that they get so irritable and quarrelsome when I give them more space/time/freedom to do their own thing (particularly my older kids). It goes against everything I *want* to be true. 😛
  10. I'd like to hear pros and cons of having a daily schedule (tied to the clock), having a routine (same daily structure, but not necc tied to a clock), and being more flexible. In particular, if you do best with one of these methods, but your kids maybe do best with a different one? Does a daily schedule necessarily mean you only do subjects for a certain amount of time, but you need more of a routine if they have to do a certain task/amount of work each day (e.g., 10 min math/day vs. 2 pages math/day)? How do you deal with every day hiccups (e.g., "You spent the last hour on the toilet?!" or "You just spent your entire half hour of piano practice time finding your piano book?" --> Aside: we keep all the music books on the same shelf!!) when it's always something different, so you can't predict what it is? I'm struggling to find my groove these days (my kids are 9, 7, 5, and almost 4, and at least three of them are 2E). I lean towards being flexible, my kids *want* to be flexible but do *best* when structured rigidly (attitude-wise: they're just happier and more content when on a schedule), but the daily hiccups always throw off a more rigid schedule.
  11. 4KookieKids

    Independent Learning Programs for PreK

    Yeah, I knew it was an older thread, but my question didn't really seem like a "new" one when this thread was still pretty high up on the list - I'm never really sure when to start a new thread and when to piggyback off of a related one. 🙂 I'd agree that a babysitter for 1-2 hours a day for my littles would be ideal. But that's not a possibility for us right now, so I just need to make due filling that 1-2 hrs with some quiet time, some busy bag time, and some screen time. Thanks for the feedback on starfall! 🙂
  12. 4KookieKids

    Independent Learning Programs for PreK

    Can anyone weigh in on ABCmouse vs Starfall? We already have DragonBox, but we're looking for something else that's fun, relatively inexpensive, and covers a wide range of stuff. DH saw an ad for a year of abcmouse for $45 and says it'd cover both of my littles (who are 3.5 and 5). I would love if abcmouse adjusted levels automatically (like prodigy), but it doesn't seem like that's the case, right? Like, you can take their assessments, but you still put your child at a certain level and they stay there until you move them up? Are there any other apps that are an everything-rolled-into-one sort of thing? Reading, math, whatever else is good for this age? I just need a little extra time each day working with my 2E big kids, beyond what quiet times and busy bags can buy me, and it needs to be relatively peaceful (i.e., I don't want to be interrupted constantly because they're playing off on their own and fighting and beating each other up the whole time...)
  13. 4KookieKids

    Best pencils!

    I shouldn't complain too much, because the lead is thick enough that you can really only fit one extra into the barrel for a total of two. 🙂 I think my kids would just pick off tape or something like that. But hopefully, it becomes less of an issue as my kids get bigger!
  14. 4KookieKids

    Best pencils!

    They do not, because of the triangular shape of the pencils. The eraser caps that we have purchased just fall off, because they're not snug enough.
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