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Everything posted by 4KookieKids

  1. Yeah - I've actually just been considering buying my kids little mäppchen like I had growing up because I don't remember these issues with pencils and sharpeners, and plus - then they'd all be responsible for their own supplies and I wouldn't have to listen to them argue about who used the pencils *last* and should have to clean them up now... lol! I'll look into the ones you recommended. Thanks!! :)
  2. Ok. I realize this is probably about the dumbest post ever. But I've bought half a dozen pencil sharpeners in the last 8 months, and they work like... well... they don't work well, we'll just say. I have young-ish kids (6,4), but I'd like them to be able to use it independently, so I tried battery ones (after their grip strength failed them repeatedly on manual ones). But I didn't go with corded ones because I'd *rather* not have to be plugging it in all the time (we do school at the table, and everything goes into a cabinet when not in use). The battery ones work really well with fresh batteries, but peter out very quickly. Is it more likely I need a better sharpener, or better pencils themselves? While we're on the topic: I'd like to get my kids a good set of colored pencils (Crayola and RoseArt have been pretty disappointing this year). Anything tried and true? ETA: From reading reviews on Amazon, it seems a lot of sharpeners struggle to handle colored pencils... so I'd especially love to hear from folks who love theirs and use lots of colored pencils in it!
  3. Lol. Just a few minutes ago I read a thread where folks talked about several hours of read aloud time each day and I laughed thinking many of the same thoughts you voiced. My oldest is six and I have three younger kids. I'm lucky if I have time to eat at mealtimes, let alone read to them! :) we sit audio books in the car, sorry story time with picture and board books in the morning (sometimes... :) the older kids still like the baby books) and a little reading before bed while the youngest two are managed by they patent who's not reading so that they're not TOO loud. It's not nearly much as I'd like, but it's all I can reasonably manage right now. And they all enjoy the little time we do have (mostly... )
  4. Honestly- I've g got three younger children... I'm ok with skipping the structures stuff for a season!! :) just worried that I'm somehow gonna do things wrong and mess things up.
  5. My guy loves the Wrenly books and ·can· read them, but they're challenging for him and he tires quickly (so we switched to doing them as read alouds). Is there much of anything in the way of fun fantasy books that's just slightly easier that you all would recommend?
  6. I have a kiddo who recently started reading for enjoyment (so ignore my post from last month asking if you require "fun" reading from your kiddo! lol). So the issue I'm currently unsure about is this: he wants to "just" read and write stories. But I need to be clear: he doesn't want to give up his *play* time to read and write a story.... he wants to give up his (relatively little - 1 hr max daily) structured *school* time to read and write his own stuff... Sometimes he wants to read "school-y" stuff (he's currently sitting on the couch and alternating between reading Elephant and Piggie and his BA guide) and other times he just wants to read or write a story about wizards, complete with illustrations of dragons. I'm torn between "Yea! Awesome! If you want to spend the day reading and writing - more power to you!" (particularly since his math skills are much stronger than his reading/writing at the moment) and "Mmmm... should we still do *some* directed... something?" How do you handle this? And in what ways (if any) is your answer dependent on how behind / on target / accelerated your kid is in reading/writing or all the other areas that are being skipped to spend time reading?
  7. You all are so helpful. The more I've thought about it, the more I realize that I'm only second guessing our decision because of outside influences at this point. Despite the fact that the kids are bright and doing moderately accelerated work, and despite the fact that they are large for their age (same size as a lot of kids two or three years older around us, so do have a lot of older friends), and despite the fact that I think they COULD handle it, I feel like they really are just young still. They struggle some with emotional issues, anxiety (which runs in the family), possibly adhd, and lacking the coordination that their older playmates have. They generally just seem more innocent (naive maybe) and have a hard time when their older friends are paying some complicated game that they don't understand and they feel like they're just making up rules as they go along. My gut is to keep them in their grades purely by age, since I don't have to worry about them being bored academically or anything like that in an actual school.
  8. Hmmm. Thanks, all. As always, you've given me a lot to think about and I appreciate it! :)
  9. This is what I'm concerned about... Right now, oldest is 6 and "in" K (compulsory education laws mean we have to be "legal" if he's 6 by Jan 1, even if the grade cut-off is July 31), because I did things exactly as the regulation is written. But I've second guessed myself all year. And now my next child is 4 (5 in Aug), and is in preschool where she's outperforming all the older students, and I'm feeling some (outside) pressure to have her be "in" K next year, even though she misses the cut-off. I'll do whatever they're ready for whenever they're ready, academically speaking... it's all the "extra" stuff that I second guess. But they're just kids... and I'm pretty laid back on school at this age anyway, not doing much more than math and reading/writing with my oldest right now, with a hefty dose of outside time, legos, costumes, role playing, crafting, and free play. :) I don't want to screw this up long term, and I don't want to go back and forth and confuse the issue... I'm getting ready to fill out paperwork, and I'm just not sure if I should "leave" the kids where they currently fall (oldest in pretty much everything) or scooch them up just a smidge to being youngest. And part of me just wants to shrug it off, but I really worry that it'll be a much bigger deal down the road than I realize. An extra year to be a kid before joining the big, wide world seems kind of like a big deal. But maybe they'll resent that decision when they're 17 and chaffing to be on their own and going to college? I'm sure there are all sorts of issues when it comes to testing and placement and credits that will come up later that I'm just unfamiliar with right now.
  10. I was in IB in high school and we definitely didn't cover any ancient or medieval history in the whole four years (IB in 11th and 12th, pre-IB in 9th and 10th). We did, however, cover ancient and medieval works in literature, though I don't recall if that was actual IB vs. pre-IB. (Pre-IB was just to accelerate your classes so that you could do the IB stuff your last two years, since the "standard" track wouldn't have you ready for IB by 11th grade. I don't know if that's a standard thing or not.)
  11. I'm actually really surprised to hear you say this! With your big lead in regarding your strong feelings, hassles caused when parents fudge grade levels, and not taking into account that our state has a relatively early deadline compared to other states, I expected you to recommend going "by the book" and sticking with the official state recommendation ( which means that they'd be the oldest in their class rather than the youngest). :) ETA: I kind of left out the whole point of my expressing surprise, which was to ask the following question: Why do you give the recommendation you do, given that it seems several of the things you mentioned (fudging grade levels causing problems later, not caring about other states, etc.) would - on the surface - appear to support a decision to send them with others who miss the deadline vs. earlier?
  12. I have three kids who all have early fall birthdays: Aug 16, Aug 28, and Sept 13. In my state, the grade cut-off is July 31st. I get that grades don't mean a ton early on when homeschooling, and part of the freedom of homeschooling is doing whatever your kiddo is ready for whenever he/she is ready, so I'm not asking about what to "cover" with my kids. But I'm just interested in hearing different reasons why one would choose to let them be the oldest in their class vs. the youngest in the case where they miss it just by a few weeks. Three things in particular stand out to me: (1) The cut-off date is definite for kids whose bday is on or before July 31 or after Oct 15, but the schools give you freedom to do whatever you think is best for bdays from Aug 1 - Oct 15. (2) Only 6 states have cut-offs on or before Aug 1st. If we were to move, there's a non-trivial probability that we'd be moving to a place where the cut-off would be different. (3) My kids *could* really could fit in with either crowd (size wise, developmentally, etc.) What are the pros and cons of doing it either way, in your experience?
  13. My friends who did did not hire coaching, but did work very closely with their private music instructors to prepare, sometimes multiple times a week. My own experience was auditioning for music programs but not musical theater so I may not be much help myself. Ultimately, the extreme level of competitiveness in the music performance field turned me off to it in an academic setting. It was too cute theory for me to be able to enjoy it with my personality. I still love music, but pursued math as a career instead.
  14. Good to know and thanks for the summary. I don't think our area has hyper competitive parents among its homeschoolers. Most folks I know IRL homeschool primarily for religious reasons and don't spend a ton of time on anything that'd be considered advanced or accelerates I don't think. But I also mostly hang with the younger homeschooling crowd since that's where my kids are right now. Maybe it's different with older kids, but that's not really the impression I have of this area. :)
  15. We love Spalding over here. Super cheap but lays things out very explicitly. We tried a lot of different programs. :(
  16. I generally agree! I think somehow he views it as more detrimental to their well being to somehow be told they are intellectually inferior than physically inferior. But there is a guy who never did any academic competitions at all - no music festivals, science fairs, spelling bee, etc. And he's also super competitive, so I'm wondering if staying away from academic competitions is a way for him to keep his distance so he's less likely to go papa bear crazy on other competitive parents. :)
  17. Ah three so much I don't know, I guess! I only did math contests in college for fun- never knew about them before that. But I hate edgy competitiveness... it's one of the main reason I decided to go into math even though I had a music scholarship offered to me... My kids are 6, 4, 2, and 10 months so still very young. I just thought this sounded like fun for next year!
  18. Excellent. I shot an email to the math ed guy I know at the university to discuss it. Fingers crossed! I brought it up to my husband (who never did anything like this) and he stared at me blankly and said something to the effect of "But only pushy, competitive, overbearing parents put their kids in academic competitions like that." (and the only purpose is to one-up other parents by showing your kid is smarter)... and "isn't it hurtful to the kid to kind of have it be shoved in your face that all these other kids are smarter than you?" .... So clearly there's another discussion that I need to be having with him while I wait for the other stuff at MK to settle down... :)
  19. Yes this was definitely part of my plan! I was going to start with super easy recipes- like how much rice and water in the rice cooker, and what ingredients for a loaf of bread in the bread machine, and slowly work our way up! :)
  20. I'm planning on working some with my kids this next year on cooking more, because they love it, but most of the ideas I see online are stuff like making ants on a log... which may be good for fine motor skills or a hungry child, but really isn't what I'm liking for. They already help me in the kitchen a lot and would continue to do so, but I'm trying to compile a list of things they could make without help (after we work through it together, of course, and with a recipe), because they really like being able to say they made it alone. :) You ask are usually so full of great ideas that I wanted to ask for more brainstorming ideas here! So far, I have the following: 7yo Make bread Make toast Cook noodles Grilled cheese / quesadillas Yogurt Hummus Slicing fruit and veggies Spaghetti Kabobs Whole chicken or roast with potatoes and salad Pancakes Cake/quick bread 5yo (less real cooking and more kitchen skills!) Slice small/soft fruit and veggies Make rice Pbj Make Bread Cereal Yogurt with toppings Salads Pin wheel sandwiches with meat and cream cheese and lettuce I'm sick and having a hard time coming up with more ideas now (especially real cooking with the 5yo)!
  21. Oh goodness! Iam so sick today that I was only thinking about our situation and didn't even realize how my post might sound like I was critical of what others were doing! Oops! I'm really sorry if I offended anyone! My brain just isn't firing on all cylinders today... Thank you for your thoughts and advice!
  22. Yeah, this is something I'm always unsure about anyway, since three of my kiddos have fall bdays (2 in Aug and 1 in Sept) where our cut off is the end of July. Maturity wise, I know it's best to keep them at current grade level for team activities and such, because they're not much more mature than other kiddos their age. But Iworry that it somehow seems like stacking the deck in their favor or even cheating to let them compete at a grade far below their current level in a subject. Maybe just because I'd feel like *I* were cheating somehow if I took a test at the same level as others who were behind me, in a sense.
  23. I have another question about this, since we're on the AL board- do you actually sign the kids up based on age/grade, or do you sign them up based on something else (say the grade level they most recently finished in their math curriculum)? One is certainly more likely to get them an award, of course, but might be sad if they just have to sit there bored at the end...
  24. So if we don't have a center near us (didn't see one listed in the entire state of Nebraska) how would you all recommend I go about getting one set up? Try it myself through their teacher registration, work with a local school, try to get the university to host it (they're already relatively involved in the community so it might be right up their ally, but also just be too much to add to their posts right now), or something else?
  25. I was looking for them just this week on audible and was so disappointed that they weren't there. That being said, I certainly wouldn't want you getting gipped out of 75% of what you currently make on them. Is there a discount anywhere for folks who buy books and the mp3? That's really what I want!
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