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4KookieKids

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  1. When I teach on online course, I do receive everything typed and I embed comments (I usually insist on either PDFs or DOCs for this reason). However, when teaching an in-person course, I receive almost exclusively hand-written things. I recognize that part of this is due to the subject: I teach math and there is a significant learning curve involved learning how to write math correctly on the computer. However, much of the math I teach also has a significant written component (~70-80% of a correct solution is written word rather than equations or math symbols). And the further on you get in math, the more "words" there are as part of the solution -- though it is the case that many (~50%) grad students at my grad school did type their solutions (but that requires a whole different world of learning to type math, because there are specialized programs for technical works like that).
  2. I completely disagree. I teach at a university, and it's not uncommon for me to have to mark work incorrect because I simply can't read it. Most students do not type their homework, and certainly do not type their quizzes and exams (for obvious reasons). Also, I have to write a LOT and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be a very good teacher if my writing wasn't legible. Something about the students needing to actually be able to read my writing... :) Typing comments on a paper that gets handed in is also not very practical.
  3. This actually makes me really sad for the two girls involved...
  4. We do both. My oldest still likes to listen to the easier books all the time when we're all cuddling on the couch, and *most* of the time when it's cuddle time, so long as he's allowed to play legos or something else at the same time. But when we introduced longer books for him, my 2 yo didn't want to be left out, and she will sit through an entire Magic Tree house book in one sitting (which was quite the surprise to us!).
  5. So I'll not comment on what *should* be done, because I really don't know. What I will say is that my elementary school experience consisted of anywhere from 2 to 5 hours of school each day, and that included hours spent learning swimming, art, wood working, needle work, etc. And there was almost never homework. It was great. By the end of first grade, the class was reading, writing, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and doing a lot of other "academic" stuff, even though most of us started without knowing how to read at all. Now, granted, this was my experience in a German school, and not an American one... But I know it's what I want for me kids too while they're young: lots of play, lots of time outside, lots of "practical" stuff, and still good academics.
  6. Ohh, this is good. I haven't heard of most of these! Well, battleship and blokus aside... :) But my 4 year old seems to think Blokus is more for making cool pictures than playing a game. While I'm totally cool with that, I fear we've lost pieces and will have to buy a new one when he actually is old enough to play it! :D
  7. ... or at least, less common ones? We like games in our house, and I've found a few that are really fun for my kids that are less well known, and am looking for more ideas! So, beyond the more well known candy land, chutes and ladders, UNO, go fish, hungry hungry hippo, fishing, trouble (don't get me wrong -- my kids love all of those as well!), we really like some games like Qwirkle, Ricochet Robots, Imagine Iff..., and Othello (more well-known, I know, but usually not with the young crowd). Obviously, we modify them a little (primarily, we just don't keep score when playing with the littles), but they're still a lot of fun. So what else have you guys found off the beaten path and enjoyed?
  8. Some of the younger chapter books do have pictures still. Early reader chapter books (Henry and Mudge, Little Bear, Frog and Toad, etc.) have *lots* of pictures (read: at least one per page still), but even the Magic Tree house books and other slightly more advanced chapter books often have a picture every few pages. On the other hand, we found that chapter books without pictures weren't such a hard transition once our kids got used to listening to audiobooks in the car. Though they still prefer to have pictures in front of them when we're home, and I see a lot of value in the pictures. If you read the Read Aloud Handbook, the author actually makes an excellent case for continuing to read picture books even through later years (middle school and even beyond). It's just that it's no longer *exclusively* or *mainly* picture books once they're that old.
  9. My 4 yo also loves audio books. We didn't get him into them by finding the "right" audio book, we made the transition by ripping the audio off of his favorite movies and putting them on CD in the car. Once he got used to that (and they were familiar because he loved them so much), the transition to real audiobooks was seamless.
  10. Thanks for asking this. I've been wondering wether to start my kiddo in K this coming year or the year after too, because he's an August bday and our state just moved the cut-off to July.
  11. We had the same experience and I agree with this. So many "reading readiness" sounds and criteria just don't account for a kid not being ready to blend.
  12. Another vote for Book Samaritan. I think what they do is really cool. Here's the link to their site: http://www.thebooksamaritan.com/p/how-to-help.html And the address for donating is: The Book Samaritan 1715 Grandview Ave Pawhuska, OK 74056
  13. I got so caught up in the rest of what I was saying about *what* we do, that I forgot to actually answer the question: No, we don't have squat in the way of German school materials. It's just so hard to find stuff that's suited for homeschooling! I really wish there was more. :P
  14. We're still in the early years, so we're still figuring out exactly what this looks like for us. Basically, I'm trying to do things more or less the way they're outlined in the original well-trained mind book. What it looks like is that we pick a topic/time, and read about it in our German Kinderlexikon, e.g., we read the two page spread on pirates dealing with weapons, boats, clothes, habits, food, famous pirates, etc. Then we go to the library and pick out a bunch of (English) books (mix of fiction and nonfiction) that deal with those topics. Those books get read aloud in a mix of English and German (just translating on the fly), depending on how comfortable I am with the technical and specific vocabulary (because sometimes it takes me a few runs through the Kinderlexikon to pick all of that up -- we started our bilingual journey after me not speaking German for 15 years, so I'm still catching up a little :D). We re-read subsections from the Kinderlexikon as appropriate during the next week or two, and somewhere during this process, we watch a Was ist Was video (e.g., Seeraüber) about the topic, and listen to an audiobook if we have a relevant one (e.g., Kokosnuss und die Wilden Piraten). I don't push school for academic purposes right now, since my kids are young enough that I don't think it's at all necessary yet. All of their learning is interest led at this point (in particular, my kids have become really taken with the Magic tree house books, so we just choose our topics based on which of those books are next). I've only started implementing things this way when they want to learn about a topic in order to figure out the kinks of homeschooling in more than one language before we get to the point where we really need to be doing formal academics. I think I intend to do math in both languages, and just trade off regularly what language we're doing it in.
  15. Here are some other threads that deal with the same thing. http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/261054-dual-language-homeschooling/?hl=more+language&do=findComment&comment=2606167 http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/449342-ideas-for-a-bilingual-lesson-plan/?hl=more+language&do=findComment&comment=4677055 http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/396444-dual-language-homeschooling/?hl=more+language&do=findComment&comment=4007318 http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/500695-bilingual-la-in-the-bilingual-home-tips/?hl=%2Bmore+%2Blanguage We plan on doing it with English and German, using German materials as our "main" materials and then supplementing with English library books in history, science, etc. and then doing the two language separately. I'm hoping that having the German materials as the "main" will offset the sheer volume of supplemental materials we'll have in English to give us a language-balanced approach, but so far it still tends to be pretty English-heavy...
  16. I know some people use SOTW but jump around in order to do things more regionally, like you're discussing here. Are there any free resources online that outline which chapters you would lump together and what order you'd go in if you did it this way? It looked like History Odyssey had this, but it seemed a very small part of History Odyssey (most of it was checklist and this was just one thing on the checklist). Doing things by region/civilization/empire really appeals to me as well, and I think it will appeal more to my kids. So, before I go and do all the work myself, I just figured I might save myself some time by seeing what (free) resources are out there for doing it this way. :)
  17. I would also recommend trying to really be aware of any comparing you may do, even if its very subtle. I found that my kids were getting competitive and jealous, and started trying to make it a point to not compare them in anyway... Within a few days, I realized I had been comparing them a ton -- though unintentionally and very subtly! It showed itself in really little things I did: "T, eat your food please. Look at A! (said with an encouraging smile even!) She's almost finished already!" or "Let's race to the door!" or things like that. I was really careful about it for a while, and was pretty impressed with how my kids' relationship with each other really improved. I certainly don't think this'll fix your problem, but just thought it might be worth monitoring for. I could actually see it (potentially) becoming more of an issue as you try to diffuse the current situation if you inadvertently start saying stuff like "But look at all the things that you can do that she can't!" and thereby encourage even more comparison. Just find ways to praise her and build her up without there being any sort of comparison, if possible.
  18. I think she can learn a ton by just hearing you speak, but it's going to take a while. When we switched to speaking a second language at home, we transitioned for several months by having me say everything three times: first in the second language, then in English (so they'd know what I was saying), then in the other language again (so they could start connecting things). It took us a solid 3-6 months of doing that to get my kids understanding most of what was said, and even longer to get them speaking. However, I know plenty of school-aged kids whose parents moved while they were early elementary, and all of a sudden they were immersed in a foreign language in school, and they were speaking fairly fluently within 6-8 weeks of the move. Sorry I don't have specific Spanish suggestions. Just encouragement. :)
  19. So I don't know much about specific curriculums, but there's a lot of math that is more art-based. Could you take a break from what you're doing and just focus on some "fun" and art related math, just so she doesn't hate doing it? Things like tilings, tesselations, and fractals (can she maker her own? Like to study Escher? Generalize to 3D?), looking at the golden ratio, Frieze designs/patterns, Möbius bands/Klein bottles/knots are all really fun things to do and there are a ton of directions to go. Also, graph theory can be very interesting to art people. I've had a lot of success getting artsy kids into math (even ones that previously *hated* math) by doing non-standard math topics like these. They're quite surprised to find they actually like math. :)
  20. We're not doing the ordinary parents guide or the 100 ez lessons or anything like that. We literally just picked up some BOB and HOP books and started sounding our way through the first ones. He already knew his letter sounds so it was just a matter of starting to put them together. Not to make it sound like he's actually reading yet, but he can read most of the first 10 BOB books and probably the first 8 or so HOP books on his own or with very minimal help, and I don't think he's got them memorized since I don't give him the same one too often (though you never can tell!). :)
  21. I also have a newborn, 2 yo and 4 yo. I very much fall into the camp of "just let them play", even though I sometimes feel like I'm slacking as well. I think that there's not much that we could cover now that they wouldn't pick up a whole lot faster if we just wait, so I see very little reason to drive myself crazy trying to do it right now. :) Most of our "formal" learning takes place one of two times: in the car, and right before nap/quiet time. In the car, my 4 yo likes to talk about math and numbers, and likes to ask us what certain numbers add up to, so we talk about that. He really surprises me with what he comes up with sometimes; a few months ago he made the observation (after we'd added 1 and 4 and gotten 5) that 5 is 1 and 4, and also 2 and 3, and then he really surprised me when he also noted that it's also 1 and 1 and 3 (I wouldn't have thought he'd be thinking about more than two terms in the sum). We also like to play rhyming games in the car (which he's abysmal at...) He's good at matching first sounds, but doesn't get rhyming at all. Before nap/quiet time, I usually make ~5 minutes to sit and read a BOB or HOP book with him. We don't do any actual curriculum, but we're just going through the books slowly, and he sounds out the words and I help him as needed. Even that 5 minutes is sometimes hard for me to find (I feel like a bad parent saying it, but the 2 yo and baby are so high maintenance), but I've just stuck to my guns, even if it means putting the other two in their respective beds and just letting them cry for the whole five minutes while I sit with the 4 yo. And then he's often allowed to sit with the books he can read during naptime (rather than napping) and he practices them a ton all on his own. Writing frustrates him, so I don't bother. He loves being read to and imaginative play, so I encourage that. We also do lots of family music/dance time together, and we go outside a lot, since I can strap the baby into a carrier and then take the other two to a park and let them run off steam. We just make sure to put on snow pants and mittens and the works, because otherwise they get cabin fever. :) ETA: Even though writing frustrates him (or at least, me having him do it *correctly* frustrates him), he loves to draw, and so we got him drawing books that we do with him (along with read-alouds that the youngers aren't into) after the younger two go to bed at night, and I figure he's still working small motor skills by drawing. He knows *how* to form all the letters correctly, he's just not got the motor skills or patience for it yet.
  22. This may be a dumb question, but how do you get funding to homeschool?
  23. I agree with everyone else, but would really encourage you to talk to your school system. In my town, they actually start speech therapy (if you need it) as early as they can diagnose it, rather than waiting until a later grade, and we don't pay a thing because it's part of our taxes that go toward the school system. Honestly, you'll still be the main teacher, because the therapist will only work with your child a little each week, and then it's up to you to "keep it up" with whatever new techniques the therapist gives you, since it's really the day-to-day that will get speech patterns changed.
  24. Hmmm.. Since the original poster said it was their "semi-annual" sale, I'm guessing it'll come around again this year! :)
  25. So many good thoughts! Thank you all. It's really interesting and helpful to hear how different people handle this sort of thing. And I really appreciate that the thread has stayed so positive and respectful. (I confess I was a little concerned when I first started the thread that it was going to degenerate into a not so pretty conversation... Maybe I've had one too many of those when asking people questions in other places! :D) I think I was maybe trying to simplify things too much for my 4 yo, when he could probably easily understand that people believe different things about this stuff. My husband always says I overthink things, and this is probably one of those times. It's just that one of my mantras through my career as a math teacher is to never teach something that's incorrect; teach it incompletely, if necessary, but never incorrectly. And I think reading something out loud to my kids that I might not agree with felt dangerously close to teaching them something incorrectly. But I'm feeling much better about how to deal with this now when it comes up.
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