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About weederberries

  • Birthday October 27

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  1. That's exactly what I though when I got the second email from her...it's a real life troll! Did I mention her oldest is in preschool? She's not got any real experience homeschooling in any state...just came to Texas to stir the pot and complain about what we don't offer. ;-) That's kinda what I was too polite to tell her today...it doesn't sound like she wants to homeschool (by my definition), but wants to send her kid to public school at home.
  2. This must be what she is referring to. This is completely foreign to me in Texas except in extreme circumstances for emotional or health reasons. I know K12 exists and there are a few private schools who will act as an umbrella in Texas, but of the hundreds of homeschooling families I know, I've never known anyone to do anything but purchase a curriculum and go at it. I was just taken aback by her tone. She asked me for information about schooling here and then jumped from, "what information can you give me about homeschooling in Texas" to "Texas hates children and doesn't care about educating their youth." in the course of one email. She was the one that told me that California is "highly regulated" and therefore cares about her children. I'm not gonna worry about one lady who is so up in arms about a simple matter of having to choose her own curriculum instead of the state handing it to her. I asked our mutual friend about the reaction I got and she said that this woman is a bit of a basket case with a lot going on in her life and everything seems to be a personal affront to her...including her new state's homeschooling laws. I'm just gonna let it lie and hope I don't run into this lady at the grocery store.
  3. I had a friend refer her friend to me to answer questions about homeschooling in Texas and I was taken aback by the difference in philosophy and politics. I'm from red-state Texas with very free requirements for homeschoolers. She's from blue-state California with regulations and hoops to jump through. She asked me where to get curriculum for her upcoming Kindergartner. I referred her to a dozen different sources and how to get started in Texas. I was ambushed by a rant about how Texas doesn't care about her children, blah blah. She's expecting the state to hand her a free curriculum to use so they can ensure her child is educated and so the state can get federal funding. (?) "I think I will find a curriculum from a state that perpetuates education." To my knowledge, no states offer homeschooling curricula, but I admit I've never looked into it. Does anyone have any insight into whether California provides a state-curriculum for homeschoolers or if they get federal funding for homeschooled students? I guess I just live in a little bubble of homeschoolers who all do it to avoid the one-size-fits-all state curriculum. It never crossed my mind that someone would homeschool, but not want to choose what and how to teach. Lisa
  4. I print bookmarks with numbers 1-20 around the edge. They can read 10 chapter books and I will buy them a "new" book at Half Price Books. When they read 11-20, I will buy them an ice cream cone. The alternating prize seems to grab their attention and encourage them to continue on. Edit: I use a hole punch to "stamp" their bookmark as they complete books. They have to tell me about the book and then I will stamp it. I chose the numbers of books, because my children are still in short novels that they easily finish in a day or two. If they were reading longer works, I would lessen the number required.
  5. Our German friends just celebrated their son's first day of Kindergarten. She ordered a handmade cone and filled it with pencils, small school supplies and CANDY! The cone was about as big as his torso and his smile was ear-to-ear. He was so thrilled. It makes me want to begin this tradition with my kids, who, sadly, miss out on the first day of school excitement.
  6. I'm back to only buying Ticonderoga pencils. After rewarding my children and celebrating this and that with cute pencils, I decided just to go back to the standby. They sharpen beautifully with little waste, write well and stay sharp longer. We have a wall mounted sharpener that doesn't sharpen anything straight except for Ticonderoga. We also have an electric sharpener that does a beautiful job on them. The erasers are sturdy and don't leave marks. I also only buy Pink Pearl erasers for my kids and treat my self to the Magic Gum art erasers for when the pencil eraser wears down. My Target has them on sale this week and also has a Cartwheel electronic coupon good this week. I purchase them year round at Costco for a good price. I sharpen 30 or so at a time and keep them in a pencil drawer. We don't argue over which pencil belongs to whom because they are all exactly the same.
  7. I sent my 6 year old down the street at 1pm to his piano lesson, which is 6 houses down, no street crossing, etc. He was 2 houses away when a patrolman (they tour our neighborhood hourly because there is nothing else to do in the town) stopped him, asked him where he lived and returned him to my house. :-/ He condescendingly questioned me about letting my 6 year old walk down the sidewalk by himself. I was a little miffed. I have trained my children well to be responsible and trustworthy. We live in a tiny, safe town in an enclosed neighborhood. He worried me and the piano teacher more by not arriving on time. To resolve the issue, I have my 8 year old escort him the six houses, which means he is missing productive school work on this little errand. The lesson I learned was to make friends with the police officers (4 in our town) and let them get to know my kids and their responsibility level, so they know them by name when they see them in my neighborhood (too young to go any further) as they pass through hourly. If you live in a small town, making friends with the authorities is the best bet.
  8. I, too, find her voice and sunny disposition annoying. I find most aerobics videos annoying. My pet peeve is deceptive counting and she does it. "Ok, just 4 more. 10-9-8-7..." I "fired" a trainer at the gym for counting like that. I need the right kind of motivation. Pretending this brutality is "so fun!" and not calling it like it is are two ways to really tick me off. I need somebody who will say, "hey, I'm glad you showed up. I'm gonna kill you for a little bit, but then it's over." When I sweat, I get angry, so I don't need anybody pretending this is anything more than what it is...a means to an end. ;-) I have a couple of Jillian Michaels' videos. She's straight forward, not overly "cute" and says "this is hard, but you won't regret it." I much prefer her style.
  9. Boston was my first thought. I don't know about the weather at that time of year, but between historical value, a first-class science museum, (skip the children's museum for that age), new Boston Tea Party museum, parks, etc. It's a beautiful destination. Texas weather is hit and miss that time of year. In February, we might have frost, but we never get significant snow. March will be mostly beautiful, but may have significant thunderstorms. Galveston offers a beach, but it's the gulf, not the the beautiful sea and will be crazy busy in March for spring break. Houston offers NASA and a host of other opportunities, San Antonio has Sea World (in Feb??), romantic river walk, and the Alamo. Dallas has a new science museum and lots of kid activities (I can send info if you want). Bear in mind that a rental car is necessary in TX, driving between cities takes hours/a whole day. In March the roadsides have beautiful bluebonnet flowers. Feb and March would be a good time to go to the southwest. White Sand Dunes in New Mexico, Skiiing and art in northern NM, Grand Canyon in AZ. Colorado is always beautiful. Native American cultural attractions abound, beautiful desert scape. Also a LOT of driving.
  10. Beginning in January, we turned off all movies (we don't have television service) and video games during the week. We use software and apps for learning, but those are closely monitored and brief. We have a family movie night on Friday night. The children are allowed to watch movies and play Wii freely on Saturday as our schedule allows. Typically they'll get 2-3 hours on a lazy Saturday morning and maybe again in the evening, but we usually have plenty planned on a Saturday to keep them busy. They are not allowed electronics before church on Sundays (because it puts them in a foul mood), but can watch and play in the afternoon as our schedule allows. This ensures I get a 2-3 hour Sunday-afternoon nap. :) It has made all the difference in their attitudes and cooperation during the week. We visit the library so frequently now. In cooler weather, they spend 3-4 hours outside playing. I've taught them more cooking and crafts. Occasionally, I find an appropriate video for school lessons and I save it for Friday as an incentive for quick school and chores that day. Now that it's too hot to leave the house past noon, we run errands and play outside in the morning, return home to school work and indoor crafts and fun. Since we've been studying the American Revolution, I've allowed them an episode of Liberty kids in the heat of the afternoon as a reward, but I sometimes regret it. We simply have better attitudes when the option to vegetate is not there. The best times are when we are able to maintain an electronic entertainment free week.
  11. Amazon hosts a book site, called Reading List through Linked In. I don't participate in Linked In, so I've never tried it out.
  12. I just signed up for GoodReads.com (free by barnes and noble). It's a website and has an free app. You can scan to search for a book and add it to a list of your choice. Standard lists are: want to read, read (past tense), currently reading (with the ability to track progress by page number), and on my shelf (I own it). You can make custom lists, perhaps by subject, by school or pleasure, perhaps by time period, etc. Books can be filed in multiple lists. For instance, I can mark a book as "on my shelf," currently reading, and by dated list. You, as teacher/parent, can start a "group" to assign books with a start date and due date for your students, as well as upcoming books. Readers can rate books and write reviews, share lists with friends, make and/or receive recommendations, So far, I've liked it. Some out of print books are harder to find, even after scanning, but by entering the ISBN, they can be recorded.
  13. We've been using and loving Picture Smart Bible. We'll go through it now over two years and then do it again when we're older in more depth, perhaps reading the bible cover to cover in the process. It covers all major events in the Bible and relates them to their significance overall. It will easily transform into an in depth study later, when my kids are older. I posted about it in another thread recently. Here's that post quoted below.
  14. This week fell apart on us and we didn't get any school work done (not enough to say we did school). We'll get our work done this summer, but it has been nice to have this week off.
  15. My 6 year old was super motivated to create a video review of a book. So, when he finished the Junie B Jones series, I taped him reviewing a book and even added it to amazon.com. He was thrilled. It was a good motivator, though he was already mostly through the series when he suggested that be his reward.
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