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Everything posted by Erin

  1. I wear my hair short now, so it's not really an issue anymore because, for whatever reason, mine needs to be longer to curl. It's just heavy waves when it's short. But, for many years I wore it between shoulder-length and waist-length. I'd wash it (condition only if it was really dry out) finger a little bit of Frizz Eaze serum (silicone) through it and sprunch dry with a towel. It always looked good.
  2. He's definitely leaning away from Group B and I'm happy to let him. I think maybe I have this idea that a youth group should basically be a kids' version of church. Obviously there should be some good lesson time (and I agree that some are entirely too light on that!), but I think the varied aspect that includes official fellowship time, some fun time, some service time, etc. is also very important. Considering how I make connections with people, an intense study really isn't it! It's the "organized" free-time that accompanies it, where I can make friends. And I don't want my kids growing up associating their faith with nothing but drudgery… :001_unsure: Now to decide if, as a long-time church member, I should toss out a question to the church body about the focus of our youth group.
  3. We live on 40 acres, 10 miles from pavement and 60 miles from a town big enough to support a (very small!) WalMart. Is it worth the additional work, driving distance & expense? Mostly. We probably drive more than most homeschoolers, though, as one of my kids is in PS, 25 miles away. Consequently, she has quiz bowl practice after school, and basketball games, and play practice…as well as both of them having youth group, 4H clubs, Scouts, etc, etc. Fuel is a definite cost you need to consider, particularly if you're any sort of real distance from where your activities are located... What do you like best about having a bit of acreage? -We have six horses, five dogs, a handful of chickens, five cats and a few cows (though they're pastured on other ground). I LOVE having a zoo. :) -My nearest neighbors are close, at only 3/4 of a mile, but the hills are just right that I can neither see nor hear them. -We have room for "stuff"; the boy's building/destruction projects, my husband's blacksmithing, a large garden, room for the dogs to run, etc. etc. -Kids' "chores" at our house are WAY beyond emptying the dishwasher or taking out the trash. What are other downsides? -It's lonelier for my kids. I remember growing up in town, I hung out with my friends most days of the week, at least in the summer. It was an organic, unplanned thing and we had a good group. My kids, because it's such a drive, don't get to do much of anything spontaneously... -I, too, have run the gamut through crappy internet. (Though we now have unlimited data through our cell carrier at a respectable 4-6M. We got it in June when we left satellite behind. I still love the novelty of streaming stuff at Netflix/Amazon/etc. lol) -Our driveway is 1/4mile long dirt road. If it rains, snows, or anything else, it can be a challenge getting up and down it. -Pre-marriage, when I lived in town, I walked everywhere, or rode my bike. We would easily be a wagon-of-books-to-the-library type of family if we lived in town. I wish I could walk to places.
  4. Yeah marbel, it was just a one-on-one. And no, the group that does the heavy study ONLY does heavy study. There's no socializing, fun activities or anything else. Learning the Bible is serious stuff. I think maybe that's what really bothers me about this. I can't think of many 14 year olds who want to take a 2 hr Bible class every week. I can't think of too many 20 year olds who want to do that either. And honestly, I can't think of much that would shut down young believers better than an all-work no-play approach... I think Buck is planning to be done with Group B when they go back to their usual Wednesday night meeting time, after Christmas. He has a prior commitment serving in the Awana program with Group A at that time anyway. I just can't decide if I want to say something within the church. We know that's part of why our church is stagnant; until recently, we had no youth group to attract families. But I'm not entirely sure "Bible class" is really going to be that attractive, either, KWIM?
  5. Maybe I should give a better breakdown: Both groups meet for a couple of hours each time. Group A meets every other Sunday, Group B every Sunday. Group A does about a 45-60 minute lesson and then the second hour is for food/fellowship/fun. Group B does about 90-120 minutes of a lesson. Group A will also have service projects, independent from their usual meeting time, about twice per month.
  6. Just curious about some thoughts on this. My 14 year old attends youth groups at two, evangelical churches. One is the church in our school-town where the kids had always done Awana, then graduated up to youth group in 7th grade (as well as act as helpers within the Awana classes). The second is at our home church that has finally started a high school level youth group of its own. The youngest of the high school aged kids, he was excited to get to join. The first runs youth much like most of us would know; a lesson of some sort whether via a book, video series, etc. for the first hour, followed by some fellowship/game/food time for the second. They also routinely do service projects. The second runs more like an adult Bible study for nearly 2 hours, with no fellowship/hanging-out time or service. Buck had Youth at the second last night and our pastor (a married w/out kids 30-something, who runs the group) asked him what he was hoping to get out of the group. Apparently he seems to space out during lessons and he isn't serious enough when discussing. I think he was hoping to get Buck to examine himself or something. It hurt Buck's feelings that he was being dressed down, but unfortunately, that was a regular part of his public school experience, so I can tell he thinks he did something to deserve it. And maybe he did. But I've been pondering this since. Our pastor is running the youth group just like the 20-something Bible study…without the food. I can't help but wonder if this isn't completely inappropriate for the age. Or am I expecting too little from high schoolers? What does everyone else think? Is a youth group supposed to be a fairly serious Bible study, learning to take leadership roles in the church? Or should it be more of the mixed version; study, food, fellowship, service…?
  7. You can usually put whatever phone you want on a pay-as-you-go plan these days. I have my 4S on a pay-as-you-go for $50, unlimited everything. The cheapest, comparable contract plan is about $70, which means any phone I get for "free" should be worth about $500, since that's what I'd actually be paying for it… However, most of the "free" phones that come with that bottom plan are usually about $2-300.
  8. I agree. Most of the time, if you figure the real cost of the phone (not the inflated version they quote to make you think you're getting a bargain lol), plus the amount a contracted plan exceeds a similar pay-as-you-go, you'll find you're buying your phone about twice over. To be sure, you're paying well above retail. I'm sure not faulting people who want to go this route (sometimes it is just easier to roll all of these costs into a single, simple payment), but if you do the math, you'll see that it's not even remotely free...
  9. What does SHE say? The wordiness is precisely the biggest reason we never tried AoPS. Buck needs math to be clean and straightforward.
  10. And in our district, these would be the kids riding in "a Taurus." ;)
  11. It's supposed to be derogatory in a "you're a moron" sense of fashion. However, I have never lived anywhere that a short-bus was actually used for kids in SpEd. SpEd kids ride the same bus as everyone else. They go to the same school, so why wouldn't they? In fact, my kids didn't understand the "short bus" reference until fairly recently. They've ALWAYS ridden short buses simply because the school population means anyone not on plain, old Suburbans is riding a short-bus by default. We don't have enough kids for more than just a couple of full-sized buses.
  12. Buck got his (a dumb phone) at 14 because that's when he started working. He needed to be able to call us, call his boss (he day works on a ranch, so most of the time he's working outside, miles away from other people), etc. Bean will probably get one at 14 also, simply because that's kind of the precedent we've already established. I can see where it would have been handy when they were younger, but at the same time, they never go ANYWHERE where someone doesn't have a phone they can borrow if they need to.
  13. Buck was about 8, IIRC. My brother and I were 9, I think... I really like a BB gun as a way to introduce gun-safety and yeah, with the rise in popularity of air soft, we might have gone that route instead. (Though we hunted with our BB guns)
  14. Just to toss in, I always wanted to be a SAHM, too. Finishing college had nothing whatsoever to do with that. I finished college so that I would have a useful degree that I could use before I had kids, after my kids were grown, or any time in the interim in case my husband was unable to support the whole family. What if he dies, is permanently injured, leaves us for his secretary, etc? I finished college for the same reason I carry auto insurance; I might never need it, but if I do I could be in a world of hurt without it.
  15. Personally, I've been on this planet long enough to know that raising kids is merely a season in my life. I've been mostly-home for the past 15 years but I can see the beginnings of mature, independent adults on the horizon… In the next 5-10 years, I expect I will return to a career of some sort. I'll have another 15-20 years after that before realistically thinking about retirement. My pre-marriage/family education has certainly not been wasted! Also at issue is homeschooling itself. While I obviously see its value, I don't think it's some kind of educational panacea to which all other priorities must bow...
  16. We don't' even have full Saturday service anymore...
  17. You do need the Overdrive app. It's free for Android, Kindle, Nook, iOS, and probably a couple others I'm not thinking of. It's really easy to use.
  18. 1. Just speaking to this part, utilize audios!! You can get most of the classics, absolutely free, at Librivox. Other than the "this is a Librivox recording. All Librivox recordings are in the public domain. For more information, got to Librivox.com" etc. part, they're usually quite well done. You can also get them through you public library via Overdrive, or even pay for some at Audible.com. Crank the speed up a bit so you can listen as fast as you can read. You're then getting books in while you're cleaning house, doing dishes, nursing the baby, driving to _______, and so on and so forth. 2. There's nothing wrong with school-at-home. Really. ...Particularly for people interested in a classical education. In the old days of wealthy-kids-with-tutors, that's exactly how they did it; school-at-home. 3. There's nothing inherently wrong with public school either, particularly for kids with very involved parents. They can't help but get enrichment at home. 4. I agree with those who've said now probably isn't the time to make big decisions. The oldest is 8th grade. That means you still have some time flexibility on your side. Things tend to be cyclical, so if she misses something this year, she'll still have a year in high school where she'll pick it up. Wait and see how this year goes. Maybe you DO want to consider B&M. Maybe you won't. And at her age, she should get to have some input on the decision process... 5. Be patient with yourself. Good heavens, you just told us you have 5 kids, one of which is an infant and the other four you're homeschooling. WOW! You're my hero!! You have brain fog??! Shoot, I'd be in a corner drooling and mumbling!
  19. Just to the calculator issue-- I had no problems letting Buck move to a calculator-based math day in Algebra 1. By the time a kid is to this level, either he knows his facts or he doesn't. And some kids never do. The processes, OTOH, are going to be the same whether on paper or via calculator (but the calculator is less likely to make those dreaded "stupid mistakes.")
  20. I live in the boonies of a very low crime region. (And I've never heard of automatic deer-alarms. What a neat idea! I need to mention this to a girlfriend who is always fighting deer out of her 2 acre garden!) If I heard a gun-shot at 1:17AM, I would lock my vehicles and house doors (something we never do out here) and make sure I had shells handy for the shotgun in the hall closet. I don't have neighbors close enough to hear gunshots for things like shooting coyotes out of the front yard, or coons out of the trash. This time of year I would probably chalk it up to deer poachers, but nonetheless it would give me the willies.
  21. If you're looking at best-sellers/classics, you might consider Overdrive instead of paying for stuff at Audible. I'll bet your library is a member. They have not just e-books, but also a whole raft of audios. Save Audible for the stuff that's odd or really new.
  22. Am I the only one reading all these positives, wishing a man would chime in with boy-perspective? Boys are such different animals...
  23. As well as dyslexia… Both have executive function issues that are very similar. So if you're blessed to have a gifted kid with dyslexia and/or ADHD--who knows which issue might be causing which "symptom" today. :rolleyes: (/personal rant lol) Displace, I know you're full of questions and I'm so glad you're asking them when your kiddo is this young! So often I think I almost missed the boat with mine because I didn't give him labels to hang his hat on when he was younger. Personally, I think the best thing his dad and I have done for Buck's dyslexia is teach him to laugh about it. This is something he is going to struggle with for the rest of his life. And there's nothing he can do about it. I'm fond of telling the story of his getting a 7% on his spelling sub-test on last spring's Stanford (and that he was so happy that he spells better than 6 kids out of 100, which means he's not nearly as bad as he thought), because it perfectly illustrates what I'm talking about. He doesn't take it seriously. It's not a character flaw. He spent YEARS getting 20%s on his spelling tests and not understanding what was wrong with him. He just told me last week, actually, that his 5th grade teacher once sat him down after a really bad one and said, "Buck sweety, your spelling just really stinks." He said she chuckled as she said it, so obviously she understood that it wasn't an effort issue. Can you imagine the hits he took from the couple of teachers he'd had who thought it WAS an effort issue, though? I feel such Mom-guilt over that... So yeah, that's my advice: 1. Start using the label early so he has something to pin the blame on, as well as credit the positives! 2. You have to remediate as much as possible, as long as possible (at almost 15, mine is currently reading The Hunger Games. For FUN!! And his spelling is…well, it's a work in progress.) 3. Teach him to disconnect the dyslexia from intelligence. YOU know it has nothing to do with intelligence, but if you spend all this time working on this issue, he's not going to necessarily believe you if you just say it. It has to become something he can just laugh off. 4. Get accommodations going as early as possible. Spell-check, organization apps and alarms, typing, audio books, etc.
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