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Posts posted by 4KookieKids

  1. I would like to introduce my kids to a greater variety of cultural/ethnic foods. If you have ties with other cultures, would you share any authentic heritage recipes (not sure if this is the right word?) that you and your children love? If there's any cultural or historical significance you're able to share, I'd love it if you could include it as well!

    Bonus points if the amount of spiciness is adjustable for anyone here who may be a spice-wimp.

  2. My oldest did Dragonbox algebra 12+
    while still not finished with Singapore 2. I feel like it was a great introduction to algebra, and gave a lot of intuition re: fractions as well, without requiring much of those older elementary concepts/arithmetic. Elements was also a super fun introduction to geometry for him! 🙂

    • Like 1
  3. 1 hour ago, Sarah0000 said:

    Thank you for the update!

    So, if I'm understanding right, you pay for a monthly subscription and have access to all courses, and now you can assign a whole course at once? So the student can log in and it will be obvious what assignment they are suppose to do? Are the assignments then graded or passed and the next assignment is automatically loaded?

    Could you tell me what the monthly subscription fee is? I think their website is malfunctioning right now and I can't see the pricing plans. Thanks so much! I'm glad it's working out for you now.

    Ok, so one point of clarification, now that they've extended my trial: you can definitely assign an entire course now, view progress, scores/grades, reports, time spent on activities, etc. The only thing that I've found is still not ideal, and it's relatively minor, but I wrote them about it anyway, is that it doesn't automatically start you where you left off. It pulls up the sequence, and you have to scroll to where the check marks end (I'm attaching a video, and you can see that when I click "play," it automatically starts at the beginning of the course, so I just have to scroll over past all the activities that have tiny checkmarks in them, to the next one that has no checkmark). I emailed them and they said that they made add that functionality, but didn't have it yet because it wasn't really necessary before they added the option to add a full course. 🙂  But yes,  once you finish one activity, it automatically loads you into the next one, so it's definitely painless for the student.

    It's $75 for an annual subscription, and that includes up to 3 students, and all of their middle and high school level math and science courses. If you want less (say just math, or just middle school), then the subscription is slightly cheaper: https://www.adaptivecurriculum.com/us/lessons-library/ac-home.htm


    • Like 1
  4. On 9/24/2020 at 10:36 AM, Sarah0000 said:

    Keep us updated please!

    This program might be on my list for next year if they work out this issue.

    I got this email today. The main point for me is the last one - they've added the ability to just assign entire courses to a student! I asked for a new "free trial" to verify that everything works as hoped, but with this update released, I think we're a "Go" for uzinggo/Adaptive Curriculum again! Yea!!



    The following updates have been released recently in Adaptive Curriculum:


    1.       The Catalog Tree now shows more granular Middle School courses instead of just Math and Science:

    Hopefully, this reorganization will make more sense for the Middle School teachers&students&parents.



    2.       Units and Sections are now numbered in the catalog.


    3.       Predefined Lesson Plans (PLPs) are now following the same structure with the Catalog Tree and they now have a short prefix indicating the course they belong to. This will make it easier for the students to understand their assignments from its title when they receive multiple assignments.


    4.       For each course, we’ve added a “FULL COURSE CONTENT” PLP to the end of the PLP list:

    In this PLP, all content of the course is listed in a meaningful order (though they are not grouped by Units or Sections). Parents who don’t want to spend too much time on assigning content to their students can now just assign these “FULL COURSE” PLPs to them.

  5. Well, bad news: They really did make it much more complicated for homeschool parents. I will include below the email and attachment I received back, but the short of it is that they have predefined UNITS, but you still have to assign all the units (10-15 per course, it seems, so we'd have to go through the suggested process close to 60 times for the four HS science courses) for each course to your student. Furthermore, each unit is required to be assigned with an actual due date, and it doesn't appear to me that the units come in order if you give them all the same deadline of next year sometime - then they just get listed alphabetically, rather than the original order that they appeared in the course. I'm not yet sure if I can fix this by assigning them a due date next year, but first unit to be done one day, second unit due the day after, etc. I feel like it's really stupid of them to actual eliminate functionality for the sake of flexibility, rather than just keeping the functionality they had before and adding more flexibility, but what do I know... 


    Thank you for your question regarding how to work with lesson plans in AC Home.  Understanding that you were a user of Uzinggo, we want to ensure you that AC Home provides you with an easy way to use our Pre-defined lesson plans to create an environment similar to what your child has used in the past.

    Please refer to the attached document on how to create lesson plans ( it is also available on the support page along with other documents that provide support and assistance in using AC Home.)

    Here are our recommended Best Practices for you to implement when making the switch from Uzingo to AC Home.

    ·         Create a folder under My Lesson Plans for each course. It will help keep Lesson Plans from different courses more organized.

    ·         Assign “one month of work/lesson plans” at the beginning of a month and just prior to the end of that period send another month of work, and so on. That way, the student will see the lesson plans he/she needs to work on at the top of their assignment list.

    ·         Make sure that each Lesson Plan has the course name at the beginning of the title,  so the list of assignments makes more sense for the student. (IE: Science and Math should be in the title of the lesson plan so that the parent and student know the content area the Activity Objects and Animations are associated with)


  6. Thank you both. I will definitely incorporate drawing. They do like it, but are perfectionists, so I appreciate the heads' up regarding that challenge. 

    On a different page I'm on, someone just posted rave reviews of this for their dysgraphic son (it seemed she'd tried everything else, but OT was out of their reach). I'm tempted to give it a try since the reviews are fabulous and it's a lot simpler than driving four kids to OT that's 90 minutes away (each way) on a regular basis. lol.

  7. 5 hours ago, HomeForNow said:

    Yes, it sounds like you need to find the right version, if it still exists, where the kid has the full lineup of subjects/topics, and can choose anything, and the parent can look at progress, and say to kid "do what you want, as long as you finish it all in the end".

    I can still log into Uzinggo (there's a bit of time left on subscription, but DS finished working through it) and it looks the same, but I never looked into it deeply, as it was so hands-off for me.


    Yes, I can still se our subscription from last year as well. I loved how hands-off it was. I'm really hoping this home version has what I want! I have two younger kids who want to do it next year as well, and I'd never pay for them to do it (they're young and dyslexic), but if the home version gives me three student licenses for the same price I'd be paying for one anyway.... well, I may let the younger two do it as well (though without the requirement that they finish things). lol. 

  8. On 9/19/2020 at 11:45 PM, HomeForNow said:

    What has changed? DS used this until a few months ago, and he could just work through it, and I could just occasionally login to check progress and encourage him to finish, but without me ever needing to do anything. He's finished with it, but we thought we might use it again for a younger sibling, but wouldn't bother if the format has changed for the worse. (DS used it for homeschool, whereas for younger sibling it would be a supplement to school, so we could just skip it.)


    As best I can tell, they separated out ALLl the activities into neat little modules so that teachers can pick and choose exactly which ones to incorporate into their lessons. They no longer are branded under "uzinggo," and are now only under the parent company "adaptive curriculum." It really is cool how they've made it so customizable - I just prefer something that's not so customizable!! lol. I prefer not to have a thousand different activities to choose from - I want "easy"! (Everything assigned, all in some reasonable sequence that my kid can follow and I can see that he's 67% done with Physics, or something like uzinggo used to have.)

    All that being said, I'm in conversations with customer service, and it seems very possible that they made multiple products in their new line of Adaptive Curriculum, and perhaps I was just accessing one geared more towards professional teachers, because they have a "Home" version for homeschoolers as well. The trial still gives you access to the entire AC site, but I'm wondering if the Home product retains the very simple format where kids get assigned their courses and all I have to do is occasionally check progress (like you mentioned you did.) I love that it was so hands off when my kiddo did it before, and I'm cautiously optimistic that they have retained the features I want, and I was just looking for them in the wrong place.

    I will update as soon as I hear back!

  9. On 9/19/2020 at 3:44 PM, dmmetler said:

    Can he just do them in whatever sequence he wants, or does it only unlock when you assign it? I'm managing a classroom in a beta of a different product, and while the LMS lets me assign specifics, if I don't, the students can do anything they want and work through classes, earn badges, etc, and I can see what they do, grade free response, etc.


    As far as something similar, it really feels like everything DD liked doesn't exist. I know SD Accelerate didn't survive, and I don't see IntoScience anymore either. And now, apparently,Uzinggo (which I recommended to so many people that they should have started paying me).

    Our free trial ran out, but I can request another one. I seem to think he couldn't access anything that I hadn't assigned, but maybe we didn't explore quite enough! That would be a glimmer of light for him, at least. lol.


    ETA: You are correct! He is free to explore all the content on his own; it's just not in an easy sequence/progression in that case. Thanks! I would've never thought of trying this!

  10. DS11 loved uzinggo for science last year. He did the three middle level courses, and he says he really liked the activities (like "virtual" experiments) and learned a lot. Well, then they redesigned their program, and while I think the redesigns would make me VERY happy if I were a science teacher at school... we are not so fond of them as homeschoolers. In particular, there doesn't seem to be a way to "bundle" an entire course anymore, so I have to assign every single topic and activity within a subject individually if I want him to do them, and I'm just not up for that. (I've reached out to them to ask them if they can make the entire course bundle an option again, so we'll see.)

    In the meantime, I'm looking to pursue other science program. I'd like something that's pretty hands-off for me (my hands are full with other things right now), relatively high-level input without a lot of output-requirements. I tried signing him up for AP Bio at Khan, thinking it seemed similar enough to me (watch some videos, answer some questions?), but he says it's awful. I don't know what makes it different, but he says it's just boring and he wants to do more uzinggo. lol. Any ideas? The idea is just to keep him interested and motivated to continue learning science at this point, not to get through any particular content. 

  11. On 8/27/2020 at 10:05 AM, ScoutTN said:

    OP, did you end up trying CBD? 

     We tried a few doses, and I didn't see any noticeable difference, but I was too on the fence about it to continue (despite being told that it takes a while to build up in your system).

    21 hours ago, BlsdMama said:

    We've chosen to use Concerta for our two that are ADHD inattentive with learning disabilities due to low working memory.  Concerta has been a game changer.  I was told when DS was younger that ADHD meds would be beneficial.  I fought it for three and a half years - approximately.   I wish I had done it from the get go.  We really hurt our relationship with frustration, upset, difficulties.  My advice is to try whatever you want/need, but if you end up using ADHD meds, ignore the stigma in the homeschooling groups.  I am *very* vocal about our challenges and use of methylphenidate when someone is struggling because I'd hate for them to struggle unnecessarily.  My psych said, "Try it.  If neither of you like it or you don't see a change for the positive, don't take it the next day."  It wears off at about 4-4:30 - trust me.  We know when it's no longer in effect.  So much so that we have an additional 10mg for times when he really must function and not drive everyone nuts at night - Trail Life, campouts, etc.    My kids that tend to be ADHD typical (hyper and crazy busy) do fine with heavy activity.  This is not the case with the two we use medicate. 

    I'm interested in looking into this more.  One of my children, in particular, suffers from inattentive ADHD and also low working memory as well. Meds have been a difficult one for us to figure out, because I'm not generally averse to trying some meds, but it's been suggested that this one child may be predisposed to bipolar disorder, and they psychiatrist we were working with has concerns about "classic" ADHD medicines triggering a bipolar episode. I'm not sure I quite understand, but I know that when I asked how long it would take to get those meds out of her system if we noticed negative side effects, the psych looked me dead in the face and said that they meds won't cause dd to be bipolar, but if they trigger a bipolar episode in her (because she's already predisposed and lots of folks in my family are bipolar), that that is not something that can be un-done. She will be bipolar from then on. So I have been relatively scared of trying even "innocuous" ADHD meds for fear of triggering something in her. I wonder if Concerta has the same risks for bipolar.

    5 hours ago, SanDiegoMom said:

    My daughter is on Strattera, which helps her working memory A LOT.  However it has a black box warning for those under like 18 or 20 for suicidal ideation.  And I don't know anything about Buspar -- she is on Strattera and Vyvanse and had to lower a dose because I guess they are both norepinephrine boosters? Something like that.  But the combo works GREAT.  Vyvanse is a game changer for her -- all the good of the stimulants with none of the bad side effects and the taper off every evening is so light. (unless the Strattera is helping to mitigate the effects - but Ritalin wear off at night was horrible). 

    Working memory and driving combo is not good.  My daughter was undiagnosed and unmedicated in high school and hit three cars (thankfully slowly in parking lots).  She stopped driving when she literally did not see people in a cross walk and Freaked Out.  

    Now on Strattera and Vyvanse she has driven two hours from here and parked in Las Angeles.  But she will never drive without medicine.  Her working memory is 40 points lower than her IQ.  

    Dang, so much of this made me hopeful, because my dd has a working memory that is >3 standard deviations lower than her IQ. But I would not be willing to try anything that has that black box warning, because we've already had some scare/danger moments with this child.

    • Like 1
  12. From reading threads here and other websites about dysgraphia for the last two years, it seems that there are really only three options that people consistently bring up:
    1) HWT and/or cursive
    2) OT
    3) Teach them to type and throw in the towel on handwriting anything.

    I have several kiddos who are both dyslexic and dysgraphic. 11 yo has barely legible handwriting but is a fluent typer (not quick, but can turn out a page of double spaced, 12 pt font, writing in an hour), so we are mostly on #3 with him.

    7 yo has even worse handwriting and more emotional struggles with writing. She will spend an hour crying over one sentence of copy work that takes her only 5-10 minutes to do. We've done some OT, but moved last year to a location where it's not realistic to continue OT for dysgraphia at this point. We've done / are doing some HWT and cursive. We spend a lot of time practicing with different mediums (air writing, kinetic sand, cloud dough, chalk, wet/dry/try, etc.) I've read a LOT (and was coached by the last OT) regarding proper posture, positioning, grip, strength, etc. I cue her on letter formation on virtually every letter she writes when printing (e.g., she's about to write an 'o' or 'a' or 'd', so I quickly remind her to start at the 2 o'clock before she writes it). 

    Any other ideas for what we can be doing at home to address this? I just want to make sure that I'm not missing options that I haven't considered yet.  I'd really like to do all I can to remediate this while she's still young enough to have it actually have an effect. I don't feel like one short sentence a day should be cause for quite as much tears as it usually elicits.

    ETA: We have already started the 7 yo on both typing and voice typing, and she gets around with that pretty well (given that she's 7, lol).

    • Like 1
  13. We use this series for first:


    After that, we use these


    I don't think you need native proficiency to teach it, but I'm not sure how well it would work for someone who didn't speak German relatively fluently. My German is a bit iffy -- I grew up there and spoke more German than English until age 12, but then left and didn't pick it up again I took a few classes in college. Then I dropped it again until I had kids and decided I wanted to teach them German. My German is such that I can converse relatively well at home and with native German speakers, though my German definitely does not come naturally /natively any more. I can listen to or read most anything I want to, and on a recent trip to Germany, we had no problems communicating with people. Even so, I found the first grade (reading) easy enough to teach, but am much more challenged to take my children through the older elem age levels. I actually revert to touching bases with a native German speaker I know who is willing to double check my son's compositions/writing when I'm not sure I will catch all his errors. 

  14. I don't know what you mean by "engaging," per se, since that seems super dependent on personality, but my 5th grader is LOVING the Great Courses audio lectures. He sits and draws while listening or plays legos. He got started on Hoopla, but hoopla ones don't come with the supplemental PDFs that the audible ones come with, and those are helpful for me and him to be able to talk about what he's learning. I don't require a ton of output - just some basic conversation - but I feel like you could require as much output/rigor as you wanted, if you had the Lecture note PDFs to base assignments on. He got started with the Greek and Persion Wars, then moved on to War and World History, and was hooked after that. I don't even know which ones he's listening to now, but he loves them. 🙂

  15. I just did an experiment, and it turns out that 0/10 is the same star as 7/10 (when 8/10 is a pass), so it doesn't grade the stars even worse.) Silver and Gold stars must be for passing scores. And in case anyone else wants to see the angry star without signing up for a free trial, here it is:


    Screen Shot 2020-07-08 at 8.41.59 PM.png

  16. 1 hour ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

    Which Nessy product are the mad stars on? We used Nessy reading before and those weren't a thing. Is this new, I wonder? I was considering re-upping our sub but I think the mad stars would be a pass. 


    Definitely reading and spelling.

    1 hour ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

    I signed up for a Nessy subscription just so I could see the stars (I have too much time on my hands, and too few awake brain cells to do something productive).  I was on the "reading and spelling" game when I got one.  I got like a 20% (on purpose, do not fear for my students) on spelling words out of rocks so that monkey in a banana car could cross a bridge and chase awa a gorilla, and a mad star appeared.  It was alarmingly mad!

    You get a mad star anytime you don't pass, but I *think* they get angrier the worse you do (so angrier on 2/10 than on 7/10, though both are unhappy).

    53 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

    That is new then- that game was there before, but no Angry Stars. OP I'd definitely email them and complain. It used to just be regular stars and if they didn't get enough they'd have to repeat the exercise. There was one with the freezer where they would shut the door if it wasn't right, but it was funny- not angry!! 

    I think I will email them. I had to laugh reading all the posts on here about angry stars now, but it makes me feel better to know that other kids may have had similarly negative reactions to the angry stars, so it's not just my kiddo who is weird. lol

  17. 1 hour ago, Kathy in Richmond said:

    My kids used a combo of Miquon & Singapore for elementary,  Jacobs & Dolciani texts for algebra and geometry, and my old calculus texts. They also took many AoPS classes for extra "fun" math enrichment and contest prep. This was many years ago before AoPS had textbooks for algebra, geometry, etc.

    I was a Dolciani kid myself, and we all did quite fine. I also have had Foerster on my shelves; he's good, too, just not my personal favorite.


    2 hours ago, square_25 said:

    I'm a terrible person to ask about specific programs, because I write my own math lessons and therefore don't try much of anything. I really only know about AoPS because I've been working for them for more than 5 years now, from before I started homeschooling. The list @8FillTheHeart produced definitely contains the programs I've heard good reviews of (well, I think she meant Jacobs and not Jabobs, in case that confuses you!) 

    I think keeping the AoPS books around is worthwhile, because some of their problems are fun! But sometimes kids need a gentler introduction than they provide. 


    2 hours ago, Runningmom80 said:


    This is what we did and we are happy to keep going without AoPS for now. I think DO is a great option as well. 


    13 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

    It doesn't have to be either or with AoPS.  You could do something different now and then jump back into AoPS later on when he is more mature.  My ds's first AoPS course was intermediate bc that was the first time I had really heard about it.  He did great transitioning into the program and it was all he used through cal.  IOW, your ds does not have to do AoPS alg and geometry in order to use AoPS intermediate.  It doesn't have to be lock-step.  Maybe look at a text like Foerster, Dolicani, Jabobs for alg for a yr.  Let him mellow out and make the decision on where to go next when you actually get there.


    I just wanted to thank you all for your ideas and wrap this part up, so I don't derail the entire planning thread. 🙂 I have been looking at Jacobs, and I've also considered just letting him do Algebra through something simple like Khan or Aleks for a year. (I like that it's pretty hands-off for me, since I have a lot on my plate with my youngers at the moment, am not in a rush since he'll only be turning 11, and figure that if it doesn't go deep enough, we can always go through it more deeply later.) I'll keep poking around and spend some more time looking at Foerster, since I've not looked at that one recently (kinda just fell off my radar!). Thank you all again!

    • Like 2
  18. 12 hours ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

    I had to sign up for a Nessy free trial just to see those mad stars.  They're really mad.  Who would put them in a child's game?  

    I'd commiserate with her.  Tell her that you agree that they look angry, and that you think that's weird.  Maybe help her write a letter of complaint.

    Gosh, this made me laugh and gives some much needed levity to the situation (that's hard to say when you have a kid so furious with a program!) lol. We've been encouraging her to tell those dumb stars that she's still learning, and how else are you going to learn except to make mistakes? She does it (tells every mad star that she's still learning, so back off! lol), but I don't think it's helping!

    • Thanks 1
  19. 11 hours ago, dmmetler said:

    Are they on a regular part of the screen, where you could put a post it over them? I had to do that with Red X's for one online program, years ago, because DD reacted like they were physically attacking her. 

    It's a good idea, but they're huge and sit right in the center of the screen!

  20. 2 hours ago, PeterPan said:

    You could lie and say they're something else like HUNGRY stars. 

    Not sure she'd buy it. She spent a full five minutes today telling my DS how mean the stars are when she gets something wrong, but it's worth a try! 😄 

  21. 1 hour ago, square_25 said:

    From personal experience, AoPS pushes the "you need to struggle!" line way too hard. Could you maybe interleave an easier program with AoPS? I also find that AoPS/puzzles are much nicer when the concepts are already solid. 

    What would you suggest for an easier program? That worked well for us for elem (BA along side Singapore), but we just haven't really found something else that I feel was a good alternate yet.

    I think part of the problem may also have been that he was cheating at PreAlgebra. lol. He just did Alcumus problems, got them wrong, read the solutions to learn material, and then ended up passing the sections, he told me once he was mostly done, rather than reading the book and attempting the problems in the reading first. I didn't necessarily mind at the time, since my hands were kind of full with other kids and he's "ahead" anyway, but I think that maybe if he'd actually read the book, he probably wouldn't have gotten nearly so many alcumus problems wrong on the first try, and that would've greatly impacted his perception of his own work. 

    This summer, my girls are doing a summer school online, so I've had more time to work with ds and review some of his preA. He's able to do *most* of the problems in the book, including challenge and star ones, but he can't write up his work or justify it at all, so my focus for the summer has just been learning how to write down a decent solution. So he comes up with the answer, and then I sit down with him and help him actually write things up. While I feel like it's not a huge challenge, given that he's already solved the problems, he gets bogged down way more easily than I would've expected. 

    • Like 1
  22. We just started a Nessy subscriptions, and my youngest child (Kinder) gets really stressed out by the “mad stars” she gets whenever she does not pass an activity or game. She doesn’t mind not passing, itself, but she starts crying every time she sees the “mad star looking at [her] mean.” Any ideas on how to help her? We’ve talked about growth mindset and how she's young and still learning, even how the star isn't really mad and is just giving her a confused look, but it does not help. I would really like her to continue doing Nessy at least a few times a week, but we need to figure out how to deal with the mad stars. She is autistic and very sensitive. 

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