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4KookieKids

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Everything posted by 4KookieKids

  1. Absolutely agree! Then add in just a little fun german tv at home. Something like der Sendung mit dem Elefanten that you can watch online. He'll pick it up quickly! Beyond that, the best "curriculum" for him would actually just be a curriculum for *you* to learn some basics (start with colors, numbers, shapes, body parts, clothes) and reinforcing those with him as you go through your day. :)
  2. I suppose that's true. Don't know why it didn't occur to me that I could just ask the folks who attend there - before hand - what their opinion or advice would be. Sometimes I get so caught up in planning that common sense eludes me. :)
  3. Thanks for all your input. We do intend to do less formal things like visiting fire stations and post offices and meeting people is different ethnicities in our or their homes and trying their cuisine and such too. My kids love exploring the capitol building and a few other places that are not really kid friendly, which is why I thought we might give it a shot to visit some of these other places. I'll think about it a bit more
  4. We're going to study different aspects of our community next year. If like to visit local Hindu and Masonic and n Buddhist and Jewish temples. I'd like to visit the capitol while legislation is in session and talk about o our government on a basic level. That sort of thing. They are used to going to church, but not staying with us during the service.
  5. Ok. I was thinking I should just go during an off time, but I thought I should just ask those with experience! :)
  6. If you wanted to do a field trip to a solemn place with little kids (temple from another religion, legislation/judicial proceedings, etc), would it be better to go during an off time (but then you're mostly only seeing the building, rather than a real experience) so your little ones don't disturb anyone, or better to go during something real so your older kids (will be 5 and 7) can see more of the real event or process? Ideally, my youngsters (who will be 1 and newly 3) would be well behaved, but I really do not want to offend anyone.
  7. Thanks, all! The "free" part just meant they get to choose what to read. He has been reading a little for fun, but for the most part, he'd rather be playing. :) And when he does read for "fun", it's rarely something that's difficult (e.g., he likes to look at picture books), and so I was just worried that maybe I needed to be doing more in that arena. I'll back off. He'll be excited. :) He's been complaining a little lately that the things I was asking him to read were interesting but hard, and it just made me wonder if I was pushing too much. Seems like the answer is yes, so I'll cut him a break! I just love to read and it's been baffling me why he doesn't want to very often!
  8. I want my kiddo to enjoy reading - so I want him to read for fun. But he's also reading books for his "school work" - currently books about animals and then writing a half of a notebook page. Probably takes him 10-15ish minutes to read for school, and 15-20ish minutes to write. Should I be requiring extra reading? On his own, he generally doesn't actually read, though he loves to look at books and be read to. I've tried to find books that he really likes so that he'd WANT to read recreationally -- but it's just not happening (yet). I'm torn between requiring "free reading" so he learns to enjoy it, and yet not wanting to overdo it and turn him off to reading.
  9. Ah! I love these ideas! I never even thought of teaching him how to read a map and exploring the different cultures in our town (probably since we're a very white midwestern town -- but I know we have other cultures too!) We've done a number of them (like visiting stations, the capitol is one of my kids' favorite places to go for some bizarre reason!), but haven't thought about many of them. And you're so right that with this being an election year, there's so much we could talk about and see! Always love your ideas! ETA: He will actually be 7 most of the year (fall bday), but I'll have three younger kids tagging along, so I love the idea of really being able to include them as well. I'm so excited about this idea now, whereas I was kind of stressed out about finding a history program I really like. Woo-hoo for delaying history! :)
  10. What would you do? Just thinking outside the box and looking for some brainstorming from all you fabulous folks here at the hive! Thanks!
  11. I should add that I'd be quite happy with even just a list of major civilizations throughout history, and then lists of major events or dates or people, and I could just start digging at the library. That's kind of how we studied animals this year- got the national geographic children's encyclopedia of animals, and worked through categories of animals by reading a short blurb and then going to the library. I basically think I wouldn't mind go ing old school like it was suggested with the usborne world history book, but I wanted to arty last all first if there's anything else like this around. :)
  12. Liking for an update from anyone who's worked on this more and- dare I say it- has actual plans for doing it that others might be able to follow?
  13. I know I've asked about this before but I can't find the thread now! I'm looking for an early elementary history program that goes chronologically within civilizations, rather than jumping from one civilization to another. Bonus if it's relatively simple (I've got too many little right now to be doing all sorts of activities), inexpensive, and relies on library books. I'm a keep it simple sort of girl- we use Spalding and Singapore and the library and otherwise just spend lots of time doing life, so I'd like something that fits into our more relaxed style and went take hours each day. Suggestions? Does such a thing exist?
  14. Thanks, All! You've given me a lot to think about. She definitely scored high on the HSC test. My library doesn't have the book but I may try ILL to read it. We may also just try family counseling again too. When my older kiddo was having some issues with anxiety and we wondered if he had issues (ADHD, on the spectrum, who knew what else) and we were just having constant tension and conflict in the family, despite feeling like he was a good kid, we found this family counselor who helped us a ton. Gave us great insights and practical advice on how to turn things around, and it really worked wonders for our home life. Depending on how helpful the book seems like it'll be, we may just try to see her again and hope it turns this around too. I feel silly going in because our 4 year old is wreaking havoc on our home lives, but I'd rather regain the peace sooner rather than later! :)
  15. I'd like to find BW maps to help my kiddos learn countries of the world and I can't find exactly what I want. I'd like one for each continent that marks the various countries (rather than just an outline of the entire continent), perhaps even has a blank line or arrow next to each country. I like the blank ones because it's easier to ask my kiddo to fill in the country name than have him just "study" a map of countries. What are your best printable resources for this?
  16. Thanks, all. I feel like almost every thread I start trying to solve a problem ends up with me finding out I was trying to fix the wrong problem and looking like a fool! :) oh well! All part of the parenting learning curve, right? We made an appointment to talk with her pediatrician next week tutu pursue these ideas. Hadn't been planning on meeting with the doc since I thought it was "just" personality, but it sounds like meeting with him to discuss anxiety or sensory processing or whatever else he thinks it might be would be good at this point. My older child has anxiety issues, as does my husband, and we've done counseling for both of them and our family as a whole to try to learn how best to cope with it. So I'm wondering now if it's just something that runs inn or family.
  17. Hmmm... Interesting... She really enjoys just sitting with me and doing something (but again, maybe that's sensory and not just the one on one thing). She likes to run around like crazy with friends when they come over and it's a group she knows very well (6-8 kids). She loves to be crazy and wild with her dad, too, so I never really considered sensory issues... Now I have to go read about these!! :)
  18. So this isn't really about homeschooling, but sort of in a roundabout way. I've come to the realization that my 4 yo is supremely introverted and sensitive. We started noticing it about the time she turned 3 when we'd be out, and she'd crawl into the stroller (double) at the zoo on days that it was very busy and pull the cover down completely over her so no one could see her... Anyway, she's having a really hard time understanding it and what to do about it, and I don't know how to help her. At preschool (we send them for 1 year before homeschooling), she plays by herself during recess because there are too many kids outside (all running around and screaming like crazy young kids usually do during recess!), but then she tells me how sad she is that nobody wanted to play with her (but she won't go up to the big group to play with them) -- every single day, she's upset that "nobody" wanted to play with her. She may ask one friend to play with her, but if that friends is already engaged with the other group and declines, she gets incredibly hurt. At home, she tells people she doesn't like them and doesn't want to play with them (not to be mean, I'm convinced, but because she really just needs to be alone for a while) but is hurting others' feelings. She gets upset when I tell her that she should go to her room for some alone time (instead of sitting in the living room and expecting everyone else to disappear/be silent/leave her completely alone). I could give lots more examples, but what it really comes down to is that she doesn't understand herself and her needs and she feels like she's being left-out and excluded much of the time, even though it's her own choice to not participate in stuff. She asks something very quietly and then gets hurt when someone doesn't answer, even though we've told her she needs to speak up because others can't hear her. I am not an introvert. DH is, but it was not nearly this pronounced at such a young age. And I feel like we're doing something wrong, because she seems to be becoming increasingly antisocial (refusing to go to her gymnastics class at co-op, even though it's her favorite class, refusing to greet people when I introduce them, etc.) Some of it we view as training issues (she is expected to follow through with her class commitments, she is expected to greet others politely, etc.), but I'm not sure how much to push. I stop short of things when I feel (no real hard and fast rules - just a mother's gut feeling) that the issue is not disciplinary and she's truly uncomfortable with situations. I've been reading a lot about introverts, but it seems that most articles really deal with older kids or adults who can, in some sense, recognize their needs and learn to address some of this themselves. I'm really at a loss as to how to proceed with this one. She's often in tears and getting her feelings hurt (that started at 6 months old, when we started telling her "NO" sternly and she'd start crying... With my other three kids, you could tell they cried out of defiance because they'd been denied what they wanted... This one cried because you'd hurt her feelings... :p) Somebody help me understand and relate and nurture this child! ETA (seems like a better place to add it than amidst all the other comments): And if it's not introversion, but something else, I'd welcome any other advice too! :) Not being one myself, I just had a few friends who I went to for advice tell me that's the issue at hand, and so that's what I've been pursuing. She really enjoys just sitting with me and doing something (but again, maybe that's sensory and not just the one on one thing). She likes to run around like crazy with friends when they come over and it's a group she knows very well (6-8 kids). She loves to be crazy and wild with her dad, too, so I never really considered sensory issues, as a few of you have suggested... Now I have to go read about these!! :)
  19. Thanks, all! We'll go for it and emphasize accuracy and proper placement/form over speed.
  20. My 6 yo has expressed interest in typing lately. Part of it comes from wanting to write more quickly than his little hand can handle at this point. He just gets tired out quickly. I've considered letting him start learning, while still working on his actual writing so that he continues to gain strength. But I'm worried there may be downsides to teaching typing at this age that I haven't fully processed yet. Thoughts?
  21. Yes. That's pretty much exactly how I feel, but I'm not so poetic or good at writing to have written it down that way. His music example is really just about the best example of what I feel is happening with math. It's so pointless and so... disheartening. I don't know that I know how to say it any better.
  22. The thing is -- it's not about graph theory. It's about ALL of the cool math that is not generally taught to anyone before their 3rd or 4th year of undergrad. It's about the fact that discovering and proving new things in math requires creativity, and yet we run off all the creative minds in the early years by teaching them that math is nothing more than following rote procedures and memorizing mindlessly. It's about graph theory, number theory, modern algebra, set theory, coding theory, cryptology, topology, and every other cool kind of math that is understandable to youth but being denied them in the name of the standard curriculum where they learn nothing but solving equations and factoring polynomials via memorizing complicated procedures that don't mean anything to them and eventually finding rates of change in calculus (if they're actually "good at math") while never *understanding* all the different ways you can interpret a derivative. It's about kids being taught another set of rules to solve problems without understanding that math itself is about problem solving. I'm biased. My degree is in math. I teach math camps. I've taught math teachers at the middle and high school levels. I see teachers who love their kids but are teaching them to robots because they just don't know any better. And I am convinced that folks who go into math at this point do it DESPITE the way we teach mathematics to our youth, rather than BECAUSE of it.
  23. Yeah, I'm trying to get 'em young. :D As an aside, I have noticed there's a real misconception about what it is I actually do in class, because it looks like I'm just sitting and talking with the kids... The co-op is trying to set up a "sub plan" so that sick teachers don't just mean class is cancelled, and so I'm working on my part of that. My "sub plan" is going to be a few bedtime math stories with solutions. But trying to explain why that's my sub plan, instead of a lesson that actually relates to our main content (graph theory) has been tricky. I don't want to make it seem like the other parents are somehow not able to teach it, but so much of what happens in class is me being able to roll with the kids and make math connections on the fly based on whatever random ideas they have, and there's just no way I could make a "sub plan" for these kind of conversations. I've been asked by very well-intentioned folks why I don't just write down what I plan to say... It'd be a good practice for me to get into, they say... And maybe it would? Maybe it's just arrogant to think that I'm the only one there who can do it? But I feel like it just wouldn't work at this point - or at least that it'd kill a lot of good learning that takes place.
  24. So I'm currently teaching a math class at my co-op and I'd say this is spot on. I'd say it's a cross between a math circle and an actual class (I only have half an hour each week! will definitely be getting a full hour next time around) and we're mainly just introducing them to graph theory. It's set for K-5th grade, but I have almost exclusively Kers (who couldn't find another class at that time, mostly, I suspect...). It's been fun because none of the parents know any graph theory of course, and we started very simply just by talking about map colorings and how many colors you need and they got to create their own maps. I'd say that, other than my own kid, every single other child in the class falls into the first category. They're "good at math" and the parents don't really know what to do with that. Since I've started teaching the class, I've actually had a whole slew of parents hunt me down just to talk about their "good at math" kiddo and how they're so bored with their math, and they're surprised when I ask if they've ever considered something other than Saxon... :P When I was in grad school, I taught this math class that was an exit math class for non-stem majors. The only real purpose was to get kids to look back somewhat fondly toward math and to help them see that maybe math was more than they'd previously accepted. So we covered basic graph theory, coding and cryptography, artsy stuff like tilings, and some basic probability/gambling/statistics. Maybe a few other things, but I can't remember now. I vividly remember one girl approaching me after class the first day one term and very kindly and calmly telling me she was going to fail my class and she just wanted me to know ahead of time so I didn't take it personally. She's just not good at math. Has a math learning block and disorder. She just can't do things with numbers and can't pass math classes. I was a little taken aback, but managed to fumble my way through the conversation. Halfway through the term, she had an A (except that she was taking it Pass/Fail instead of graded) and I talked with her about it again. We'd been doing stuff like finding most efficient routes to travel between places, talking about how you know if there are Eulerian circuits (including one direction of the formal proof) and time-processing / bin packing algorithms. She was GREAT at it - especially the graph theory parts of it. And yet, all she could say when I really encouraged her was that this wasn't "real math." I tried so hard to help her see that this was MORE REAL math than all that other stuff that she'd previously failed, but I don't think I ever convinced her. It was such a strange situation to be in -- so encouraging to see her succeed and so sad to see that it didn't matter any more. One of the main reasons I'm teaching this elem class at co-op is not even to nurture the truly gifted kids so much as to show kids (before they've been inundated with drill and kill mentality...) that math is SO MUCH MORE than arithmetic. My husband has told me a few times (like yesterday when we deviated from graph theory to talk about mobius bands because I wanted to do this super cute craft http://www.whatdowedoallday.com/2016/01/mobius-strip-hearts.html)that I'm doing stuff that's over their heads. That I'm just going to confuse them. But I really feel like I'll have accomplished my goal if they come away from my class just saying "That was so cool!" I'm not sure I even care if they can repeat the main point (like I said, lots of K'ers with high energy!), but if they think it's awesome that this little band only has one side (even though it looks like it has two!) and one edge, and if they think it's cool that the inside is the same as the outside on the klein bottle, and if they understand that this is actually still MATH, then I'm gonna call the class a success. :)
  25. Sounds good! I think I'll order the CWP then instead of just charging forward with new content. Thanks!
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