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Posts posted by 4KookieKids

  1. DS9 is taking his first standardized test next year, and I'm hoping for a smooth ride without too much stress over it. I'm hoping he can also start taking the reins a bit more. He does most of his work independently at this point, but it's mostly the very basic things like math and reading. He's super into robotics and reads lots of books on it, but I think both of us need to figure out how to turn that into more productive time. He really wants to be building stuff and programming it, but I just don't have the time with three younger kids.

    DD7 is *starting* to develop some frustration tolerance... I'd love to see her be able to work through something for at least five minutes of struggling, rather than just walking away the first time something goes awry. She seems to have a gift for music, and I want to nurture that, but she's also very mercurial. Her sight for next year is set on auditioning for the local Nutcracker performance, since she'll finally be old enough.

    DD5 really wants to learn how to read, but has been getting the shaft as I deal with DD7's dyslexia and the EF problems (emotional regulation, organization, etc.) that the older two kids have. She thrives on 1-1 time with me, and I want to do better about giving it to her. My main goal for her is to get her reading fluently. She's got great phonics skills, she just needs practice so that she doesn't have to painstakingly sound out every single word. She is also very determined to get her cartwheel perfect and figure out a kick-over and handstand by next summer, so she can do an acro class with the "big girls" at her dance school.

    DD3 just loves those silly kumon books that are completely overpriced except that they're such nice paper to write on... She got two for an early Christmas gift, and sat down and finished them both already (without me!) 😞  I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with her, yet. I'd let her tag along with dd5, but dd5 really needs the individual time. I may kill two birds with one stone by getting dd7 to "do school" with dd3, and help teacher her to read, hopefully cementing some of her own dyslexia remediation.

    As a family, we hope to go camping more. At least one weekend trip each month (not camping in the winter, though!!), and really focus on making memories as a family and being intentional about spending time together. We may look for a different home, since we're starting the foster care certification process. There's lots that we're hoping to do, but my main goals really would be to see my kids grow more like Christ and to learn to handle whatever life throws at them (with the help of family, of course. 🙂 )

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  2. On 12/4/2018 at 3:04 AM, kiwik said:

    Am I the only one who thinks all these rules makes something quite simple into something incredibly complex?

    I thought that way at first. But I also have a kid who's a real "rule follower", and the silent e drove him batty (until we came across Spalding -- though we did add our own "informal" rule 6, which is non-plural words than end in an s sound, so the silent e helps us know it's not plural, like house, mouse, noise, etc. instead of calling all of those "no job" e's). He couldn't stand words like give and have when the only rule he'd been taught was the rule about making a first vowel say its name. He just hated it. It was a constant pitfall in his reading. Same with lots of other "standard" phonics stuff. Once I gave him rules, he was a much, much happier child, and went from struggling with basic readers to reading quality chapter books in about four months. My next child, on the other hand, is completely overwhelmed by all the rules and needs something else. To each their own. 🙂

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  3. We love the 1.3mm ones! Even my 2 yo writes without breaking lead! The only down side for us is the lack of eraser refills. I contacted the company about it numerous times, and they refused to sell me any. I even offered to buy them in bulk, a few thousand at a time (I figured I could split it into lots and share with others who love these pencils), but they refused.

    They went on sale for $2 a while back, and I think I bought 15-20 packs, so we have a LOT of these pencils now and love them. Oddly enough, my 7 yo prefers normal non-mechanical pencils.

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  4. 4 hours ago, dmmetler said:

    My first thought is "for everyone to be mentally, physically, and psychologically healthy and balanced". Can you tell that the last few weeks have been pretty awful???? Sigh....


    Hear, hear.

    We've made a ton of progress this year, I feel, but it's not academic in nature or objective to measure. DS9 with ASD has learned with about 80-90% accuracy, to identify when he's getting overwhelmed and overstimulated, and even better, to actually *do* something about it by asking for a break and going to a quiet, calm spot. He's also flown through a year of grammar curriculum in the last 6 weeks and started AoPS Pre-A while simultaneously finishing up BA this past year, but it's the mindfulness that I'm most proud of. My other kids have their own accomplishments that I'm proud of, but it's so hard for me to set specific, measurable goals for us, because I feel like about the time I do set some, something more important or more pressing pops up (like this past year, when we had significant enough issues that our ped wanted to put my 6 yo on anti-psychotics...)

    • Like 1
  5. Supposing a kid were really into fishing during good weather, and wanted to give ice fishing a try,  but wasn't really sure they wanted to commit... And we don't really want to drop a ton of money only to find out it's not their thing after all... What are the most basic essentials you really need to go ice fishing? Obviously, something to break up the ice (and scoop it out as it reforms) and a seat of some sort (overturned bucket, maybe?) and stronger line. What else?

  6. 8 hours ago, shawthorne44 said:

    I strongly recommend this series


    Plus, there are dragons.  

    It turns the usual fantasy tropes upside down.  For example, in one, the main character the girl is a dragon's princess who doesn't want to be rescued and is quite annoyed by the princes that come to rescue her.   Witches don't melt when you throw soapy water at them, it is Wizards that melt.   But, they appear alive again somewhere else in a couple of days.  My husband liked these books too. 



    I like and own these books. I remember loving them when younger but my 9 yo hasn’t been able to get into them yet. 🙂

  7. 3 hours ago, Gil said:

    Alrigthy then, which Abstract/Modern Algebra texts do you and your crew most recommend?


    I have a fb message for my friends out and will update when I hear back. In the meantime, this is the book I used as an undergrad that I thought was super fun:


    i no longer have access to it so can’t peruse it to re-evaluate the opinion of my younger self... lol. So if you could find a sample somewhere, you might run it by them. In particular, I didn’t need it to stand alone at the time, so it might have been a pleasure to read, but insufficient for self-teaching anything.

    Another popular choice is this one (that my current university uses- I find it very readable, but I may be out of touch ? )


    • Thanks 1
  8. 3 minutes ago, Gil said:

    Hmmm...do the students find the textbooks extremely readable? After awhile, many times college professors/teachers forget what it's like to have "first time, learners" eyes when reading some thing they consider "enjoyable" or "simple".

    Don't get me wrong; I'm open to doing a short course (iow dabbling) in Abstract/Modern algebra, but we haven't totally mastered Proofs or Real Analysis, and  I've never taken Abstract/Modern Algebra course either I'm really hoping that doing Abstract/Modern algebra won't become one of those things that will suck me into Intensive Preparation Mode.
    Next year, I really need math to be easy for me to teach well, so that I can focus my energy more in other areas. 


    As an undergrad, I found my modern algebra text extremely engaging and readable and it was my first higher level math course and I’d never seen proofs before and didn’t do real analysis until the semester after. It’s possible I was already twisted, but I actually enjoyed reading my book before coming to class! ?

  9. Some articulation issues, particularly with r, but they’re generally intelligible. I guess this is just a new idea to me, and I didn’t know if there are some that are considered better or how this works really. You dictate and then go back in to edit— Is that best done in a computer then? Sorry for asking such dumb questions! 

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  10. Search function is not working for me at all. But the title pretty much says it all. I’ve got kids who love making up stories and have aspirations of writing a book, but keep giving up because the physical act of writing a single paragraph is so excruciatingly long... lol. Just looking for some good software here, preferably that won’t break the bank to see if they even like it (they love speech to text when sending DH a text message) but am willing tonight pay more for something better if it turns out to be a big hit.

  11. Have they already taken a modern algebra course? If not, I find many textbooks are extremely readable, and the content is just plain fun. I can reach out to my math peeps is you want, and ask for recommendations for the most readable ones they’ve seen? (I teach math at a large uni and have lots of friends from grad school also teaching at universities.)

  12. My dyslexic dd7 is currently Learbing German and told me just this morning that she prefers reading in German. I think part of it is that her German comprehension is weaker than her English, so the gap between what she’s able to read and what she wants to read is much smaller than in english, where she’s listening to and enjoying 4-7th grade books but barely reading at all (disclaimer: she was raised bilingual, but her English is far stronger at this point). I also think she finds it easier because they start so basic:she’s halfway through the first grade workbook (we have school materials imported from a friend who works in ge school system in Germany), and they still have syllabification exercises several times a week. She loves how you learn a sound, and then spend ample time practicing it- writing it, identifying if it’s a beginning, middle, or end of year word sound, writing it some more, etc. there’s lots of pictures to color and stickers to stick in and lots and lots ornaments cursive writing with a nice fountain pen. So his is no help to the OP, but just an aside for anyone else who may be wondering about dyslexics with another language. Her dyslexia is still obvious in german- but it’s far less frustrating for her.

  13. I am in Jackie’s boat: have a kid like this, and external motivators just don’t work. She does the things she’s interested in, and pretty much dumps on everything else (very loudly and repeatedly). She’s come along a bit just as she matured, but I still never really know from week to week if she’s gonna just refuse her new violin assignment because one of the songs is annoying to her, despite loving the violin in general.

    The only thing I’ve figured out so far is to expose her to a much wider range of stuff than I did with my first, in hopes that she might discover an interest in some obscure topic that I wouldn’t have guessed. 

    She is very bright but completely lacking in goal-driven perseverance, and it’s not uncommon for her to completely quit her piano practice at the first mistake or want to smash her violin if she accidentally makes a scratchy sound. If she thinks she can’t be successful at something thenfirst time, she won’t even attempt it usually.

    At this point, she pretty learns the things she cares about and dismisses everything else completely. We work on character a lot. 

  14. My girls (7,5,3) are obsessed with ballet. They have watched most famous full length ballets on YouTube repeatedly (including different companies doing the same performance sometimes), and have memorized the teach-yourself ballet movies we have purchased or borrowed from the library (6-8 in total).

    My 3 yo still likes he preschool ones that are more fun and games, but my older two are wanting something more meaty. They already are in ballet lessons, so this is just to supplement and practice at home for fun. Does anyone have favorite ballet instructional videos (YouTube?) for elementary aged kids who are already familiar with basic ballet? I’d also be interested in ballet documentaries that are kid friendly: they ate up First position and the Misty Copeland movie and have those practically memorized as well. Preferably no fictional girly drama that’s more about boys and adolescence than actually ballet. ? 

  15. Yes, that is what we're trying (again, after dh fell off the wagon... lol.)

    I think they're getting enough carbs through fruit, especially bananas, sweet potatoes (yes, they are allowed!), and a few other higher carb veggies and dried fruit (they LOVE unsweetened dried mango - I have to cut them off most days!). But they do eat an awful lot of fruit and meat, and my picky eater eats pretty much every 60-90 minutes. We are definitely eating lots of soups, though this is a not-preferred way of eating veggies for my picky eater, and a great way of eating veggies for two of my other kids (so-so for the fourth).

    I have spiralized zucchini before, but I need to figure out what else I can spiralize that my kids might eat! lol. Nobody is a big fan of squash, except my 3 yo. She eats toasted butternut squash with avocado and lime and salt like it's going out of style, and I so wish my other kids liked it,!! ? I even managed to get dh to eat it, but the other kids are adamant that it's evil. 

  16. 1 hour ago, dmmetler said:

    We have the LOF college books. DD hasn’t done them yet except for Statistics (she’s basically redoing her math at the college to check high school and college boxes, and biologists/cognitive scientists simply don’t need some of those math classes), but DH (pure mathematics undergrad and grad degrees, although he works as a software engineer) says he wishes he’d had them as an introduction before diving into the topics-because books at that level do tend to be dry. 


    Not to derail, but can you  tell me anything about these LoF books? My oldest was bored to tears by LoF when he was 6-7, so we quit, but we didn’t have the high school or college books. How quickly do they get more interesting?

  17. Thanks for bringing this up again and adding so many more good thoughts!

    She did eat a bigger variety of veggies before, but Her favorites were stuff that we eliminated temporarily for the inflammatory side of the AIP (red peppers, for example, which is still hard because they’re everyone’s favorite, but I’d really like to get in two full weeks of right eating without cheating (DH struggles with cheating... lol) before we start adding stuff back in.

    On the up side: she started eating a lot of other veggies this week. Still refused a lot, but ate baby bok choy, kale with avocado, spinach, cucumber, broccoli AND cauliflower this week, along with her carrots. She even ate 3-4 slices of her dreaded fried plantains one morning, even though I’ve only be requiring one bite. It felt like such a relief to me!

    I did buy a jerky cannon and have been making our own beef jerky with just meat and salt. We keep it in the freezer most of the time after it finishes, but it’s easy to pull out for a snack or even toss in a bag for a few hours if we want to go hiking or something. At first I made 3 lbs, and then I made 5 lbs, and yesterday I made 8 lbs at once! Lol.

    my ds 9 with ASD and ADHD told his psych this week that he hates eating healthy but his brain feels so much better and life seems so much easier when he eats healthier. This just made me feel good as a mother, and gave me some extra motivation to keep it up.

    • Like 2
  18. Not an AL thing, but boy am I sure glad they're homeschooled and don't have as much opportunity for this nonsense....

    DD7 to middle-aged violin teacher: Are you pregnant?
    Teacher: Nope. And it's not really appropriate to ask that. I have medical issues that affect my weight.
    DD7: Oh good. You're too old to be having more kids.

    Teacher told me about this after the lesson (while laughing), but all I could do was cringe...

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