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Posts posted by againstthegrain

  1. I've busily been reading old threads discussion about leaving kids alone at home in relation to ages (and state laws). One topic I didn't see covered, which I am hoping for some discussion, related to siblings.


    Our son, almost 9 is very responsible and very mature. I have no issue leaving him home alone for up to a couple hours and being assured he will follow rules and that he knows all safety needs, etc. When I reflect on why he has these abilities, I see a history when he was 6 and 7 of failing and trying again - opening a door for a stranger (FedEx man who had a birthday scooter for him), not coming home from a friend's house by a certain time, not looking when crossing the street and re-discussing it repeatedly or leaving a friends house to go... to the park, for example, without communicating with us. I let him grow by letting him fail.


    I haven't done the same with our younger child and she doesn't show the growth our older child does. I want to give her that freedom to fail to grow and feel it is worth the risk. My only big concern is my older child will parent her and restrict her to the point of causing her to make poor choices to get away from him or rebel against his oversight - which I would probably honestly do if I had an older sibling as well. As a result of homeschooling, simply growing together....she sees herself as his peer, not a younger child that he should watch over. 


    Does anyone have any ideas on how to give her this growth without worry of sibling problems from the older child parenting the younger one? It's a struggle for us as we have taught our son to watch out for his younger sister (2 years younger). Our goal is to give them the ability to stay at home, together, alone (with our neighborhood of adopted grandparents all within a house away) for maybe an hour, hour and a half to foster independence and growth.


    Not looking for discussion on whether it is acceptable at X age to leave kids, etc. The other threads had plenty of that. I am searching for a good discussion on how to manage sibling relationships in regard to staying at home alone. Thank you!!

  2. I need a list today.



    Clean microwave

    Clean stovetop


    Wash laundry

    Wash laundry

    Dry laundry

    Dry laundry

    Fold laundry with DD

    Fold laundry with DD

    Fold laundry with DD

    Fold laundry with DD

    Prehistory school lesson

    Menu plan this coming week

    Make coffee

    Make more coffee


    Take out trash

    Take out recycle

    Water garden

    Refill mulch bucket for kitchen compost

    Clean shower curtain liner (sulfur water = stained curtain)

    Clean bathroom: toliet, floor, tub

    Put bible index tabs in bibles

    Thaw meat for dinner

    Make a batch of homemade bread

    Make chocolate cookies with DD

    Make homemade rolls for potluck dinner tomorrow night

    Blanch and freeze garden carrots


    Resolve to assign more chores to kids

    • Like 5
  3. Harvesting!!

    46 Copra onions curing, 3 left in the ground

    21 carrots harvested, 30 left in the ground

    2 gallons snap peas harvested

    4 kohlrabi harvested


    What took a major hit because of our heat wave:

    Cucumbers - managed to get 2 large, 2 small

    Zucchini - managed 2 large ones

    Summer Squash - managed 2 large, 2 small


    And what didn't make it...

    2 eggplants

    Acorn/winter squash


    Still in the ground doing great:

    2 eggplants

    Tomatoes - turning color - last count was over 25 from 6 plants!



    90% cleaned up from the boys taking down the pine tree and trimming the maples (Oh my word, they trimmed a lot more than I thought, we wood chipped for 20+ hours, 2 more of trimming downed branches and a couple days of the firepit with the excess brush). I need to finish up a pallet later today with sides for the last of the firewood storage.


    I also made a compost bin! 




    • Like 2
  4. We are Iowa IPI so we have no requirements. If we were Iowa PI we have a 148 day requirement. Here's our schedule:



    August 8th - (first day of regular studies) 18 days

    September (one day off for dentist appts, one day for labor day) 20 days

    October (untraditional day on Halloween) 20 days

    November (one day off for birthday, veterans day doing community service, all Thanksgiving week off) 15 days

    December - OFF

    January (resume on the 2nd) 22 days

    February (nontraditional day on Valentines day with local homeschoolers) 19 days

    March - 22 days

    April - 20 days if needed


    (This is a total of 156 days)


    We give ourselves till the end of April to finish up - usually the older one is done a few weeks ahead. He gets motivated when we hit the last month. 

  5. I don't think she will need to prepare them for any of those things. Are they compliant children? Will they follow the teachers instructions? If so, the structure will be fine. The school will not expect them to be self-teaching. They will have a teacher. If they are academically on target, they will transition easily.


    Does she know what curriculum provider they school uses? Most Christian schools are pretty publisher-centric. She could find out and at least take a look at the expectations for the next year and make sure there is nothing that will throw them.


    Elementary school tests are really not a skill that needs to be taught. They'll be fine. Tell her to relax.


    They are compliant children and I don't think they would have any issues following directions (they are very well behaved in teacher-student settings in a coop as well as their local Awana and sunday school classes. She is in touch with the private school - I'll mention to talk to them about what curriculum they use. That's a wonderful idea (it is a Christian school) to pass on!


    If she's never done any standardized testing, I'd maybe take a day once a month or every other month and do some practice with it. It's a skill that's assumed. She might look at writing since most schools expect more writing at those ages than most homeschool writing programs do. But even that... meh. I'd really focus more on enjoying their last year homeschooling than on preparing for the next thing. Be in the moment. Do what's right now. Don't worry too much about it.



    I know she's worried about the 6 year old and writing. The child is reading and finishing up 1st grade math now but she said she may use pentime or something because the 6 year old dislikes writing and though she can write her name, sound out words as she writes fairly well, it is all in uppercase and takes the child a long time (which to me sounds like a normal 6 year old?). I know the older one is a couple grade levels ahead in reading and writing, though she said that she needed to work on a spelling program with the 8 year old and didn't know whether she needed to enforce cursive writing (I guess they went through it last year and the kiddo can read cursive easily and write it somewhat but they didn't stay on it so it's not quality cursive writing). If it were me, I'd make sure I kept them on pace in language and math but other than that just enjoy what they want to enjoy subject wise. I haven't said that though, I'm not sure if that's really good advice, ha!


    So this upcoming year (2016-17) they will be in 1st & 3rd grades, right? I would not do anything in particular to prepare them for private school, other than things that you would want to do, anyway -- such as work on strong reading skills, strong understanding of math concepts, building general knowledge (science, literature, history), good work habits, work on listening & following directions, and self-care/self-management. She might want to work on time management & organization with the oldest, because by 4th grade, there might be some expectation on the part of some classroom teachers that students will handle some of this themselves. I'm sure that varies widely by school and teacher, though, and a good teacher will take individual differences into account, as well.


    If she's in contact (now) with anyone at the specific school in question, she might simply ask what she could do this year to make the transition into school smoother. Those teachers may have some ideas. HTH.



    Yes, they would be in 1st and 3rd. She stated the 6 year old was moving into mostly 2nd grade materials just continuing from where they left off last year, except in handwriting where she would be in 1st grade level. The other child sounds way ahead in pretty much everything? I know the older kiddo does their reading/math/handwriting or copywork by themselves completely.... but has no formal test taking (like the assessment tests?) experience nor heavy cursive experience.



    I'll check in with her in the morning, see what she has learned from the school. Per my suggestion she said she was also emailing the 2nd and 4th grade teachers tonight to just check in to see what concepts/behaviors they expected from kids at the beginning of the school year... that seems super helpful to me...?

  6. My sister has kiddos the same age as mine, 8 and 6. She's planning on enrolling them in a local private school NEXT fall (2017-2018). They'd be entering 2nd and 4th grade. I've worked with her kiddos and material wise they will be solid assuming this year goes in kind to the past years. If anything, they will be ahead in some subjects.


    However, she brought up an interesting point - how does she prepare her children for the more structured environment? They have a more relaxed approach. She asked if she should switch them something like CLE this coming year to get them used to the writing work, etc. I told her I'd ask the professionals (that's you ladies).


    The kids have never taken any tests except her older one does speed math drills, how can she prepare them for taking exams?

  7. Oh, I know in my head we didn't fail. But my heart is heavy. 


    I sincerely thank you guys for being here to reaffirm what we felt though, it really helped. 





    The kids adored him too and are bummed. They still want a dog though, so I see that a positive that they were able to see this dog's issues and not indicative as all dog's behaviors.... if that makes sense.

    • Like 7
  8. Thank you all.


    I got ahold of the Sheriff's office who told me about a backdoor area they take pets they pick up with Animal Control at this rescue center.


    We took the dog there, surrendered him and after seeing my 6 year old's bite mark and bruises, we received a very heartfelt apology from the rescue center regarding their oversight on the screening for risk with kids.



    I feel like a dog owner failure. We have waited 6 years until we could buy a home to adopt a pet. We flunked.

    • Like 5
  9. The place you adopted him from, turned you away when you sought to return a problematic placement? That's terrible.


    I agree with others. The dog should not stay in your home. But the shelter should provide you with directions. I'm sorry they aren't helping you. However, I find myself wondering at how they made such a placement to begin with (aggressive/reactive dog in a home with young children).


    Yes, they turned me away with a card stating all people who could assist were busy until 4-5pm. I asked if I could make an appointment for 4-5pm and they said they couldn't do that, didn't have the behaviorist's schedules and could not guarantee if I showed up they would be there.


    I can't even get anyone to answer/return my call about returning him to the shelter.



    My father suggested trying to rehome him into a home without kids, but I see that as a major liability - DS has been bitten while selling door to door cub scout items when an owner couldn't keep the dog inside. 




    Sigh. I feel like a horrible person, but I don't see much option other than returning him. The rescue league states on their adoption agreement I have 5 days to return him. It's been 3 weeks. The incidents didn't start until a week in and when he bit DH we felt it could have been a trauma of placement issue, but the last two weeks have shown it is something to do with the kids -- which leads us to the thought he was mistreated by kids in the previous house. I feel stupid though honestly. They told us at adoption"He nipped a child, age unknown and circumstances unknown, in the previous house. He did not draw blood, it was stage 1. We feel after review in our behavior dept there is no behavior concerns and there are no child restrictions on the pet."

  10. Kids before dogs, return the dog.



    Actually, my first thought is to have the dog put down. Did you get him from a rescue or a county animal shelter ?


    A rescue center.


    Being turned away this morning from the rescue with the dog in hand asking for assistance... we discussed putting him down.

    • Like 1
  11. I want to talk about safety.


    We adopted a dog 3 weeks ago. An older beagle, our only family pet. We completely grasp the trauma this dog has been through in placement in a shelter and then in our new home. That being said, we are now believing the children in the previous house mistreated him. He has bitten my husband, drawing blood. He has bitten our six year old (no blood but bruising up her arm) and this morning he growled and then lunged to attack (I managed to grab the collar to stop him) our eight year old.


    The bite to my husband could have been a miscommunication/learning who the alpha was/etc. 


    My daughter was in the hallway, out of my sight for 30 seconds, when the dog bit her. I don't know exactly what happened, but she didn't try to hurt him. It may have been a miscommunication.


    My son literally did nothing this morning, just walked into the room. Thinking he startled the dog, I asked him to try it again. He left, dog calmed down and came back and dog repeated lunging more aggressively then the first time (I had the collar the whole time). He was not protecting anything nor was my son coming to the dog's area, he was walking to the corner. The dog has shown a fondness for my son and we thought there was a good relationship building. I'm 100% sure had I not had the collar he would have attacked him and based on his aggression level, bit him at least once. 


    The dog is quarantined in the basement right now, the animal rescue league we got him from didn't help us this morning when we visited (their behavioral specialist was in a meeting) and they implied there was something we could do to fix this. I get the dog is transitioning and in trauma but his aggression keeps picking up the longer we have him/the more comfortable he gets. 



    My only thought right now is to protect my children - and I am not ok having him even off a leash around them as of this morning. To me, that says we cannot fix the long term damage this dog has sustained, am I wrong? We were told he was surrendered because he had nipped at a child in the previous house and was surrendered for behavioral reasons. The ARL stated he had no behavior concerns and no child restrictions after their in depth review. 

  12. Do you need to work in a CC setting?  A half time high school teaching position would pay much better.  It might even include benefits, depending on the area/district.


    To make $50,000 over the course of 10 years sounds painful low to me as a return on your investment.


    I will admit that I started out teaching in a CC.  I moved to teaching PS and made significantly more and had more benefits.  


    I don't think I could balance teaching PS schedule wise with homeschooling. CC would be much more managable it seems...

  13. Great input! And I ask for your opinions because it opens up a lot of considerations and helps bring forth issues I didn't consider - honestly. I would love a masters, but if it is not a good investment then I'm willing to come to terms with that.


    If I want to teach at a high school in my state I need a teaching license. I don't at the CCs...

  14. I'll try to take pictures tonight. I think this is one of my happiest garden years but all my rows are crooked, lol, due to being planned by preschoolers and young children. :D


    DD planted carrots this year. The rows are perfect. All the seeds that made it between the rows.... well, they make it so you can't see the rows ;) The best kind of garden is the crooked one!


    What do you want to know about cold frames?

    • Like 2
  15. I'm a college student. I use an Acer chromebook only, $150-200 price tag. It's insanely reliable and fast and I use google docs for all my office needs and download them into .doc .pdf. etc files. If I need something else that is a Microsoft system, which is rare, I just stop at the library and use a computer there for an hour.


    There's my cheap and easy recommendation.


    I just use apps to listen to my music and netflix if we want to watch a movie on the chromebook. I'm not sure they make chromebooks with DVD drives? that may wipe that suggestion out...

  16. I'm a college student. I use an Acer chromebook only, $150-200 price tag. It's insanely reliable and fast and I use google docs for all my office needs and download them into .doc .pdf. etc files. If I need something else that is a Microsoft system, which is rare, I just stop at the library and use a computer there for an hour.


    There's my cheap and easy recommendation.

  17. Our monthly tech bills:

    Ting $36-45

    Good Internet service $20

    DirectTV $44


    We could do without DirectTV but then we add in Netflix and Amazon Prime and rentals. It ends up being about the same there.

    • Like 1
  18. Do phone calls and texts go over Wi-Fi? If so that would mean it was cheaper than I had thought.

    You can easily do this using google voice (you'd need to buy a one time $30 box). We do so none of our texts or calls register on Ting - just use our wifi.

    • Like 1
  19. We have ting and love it. However, if we lived rurally it would not be a good option for us service wise. When we travel we stick to interstates or we lose data quickly. We pay $40 a month for 2 smartphones with data, texting and calls. I'd call our usage average.

    • Like 2
  20. I should not even answer your question of "is it worth it?" I usually come down on the side of "Yes, absolutely - even if it's just to gain more knowledge in your field if that is where you will be for your remaining working years." I realize for some people it does not ring true.


    Here is another thought: Many colleges / universities offer more "creative ways" to pay. There are installment payments spread out over the semester or even the whole year. Would something like this enable you to avoid any debt and pay as you go?

    It sounds like to me that you would do your MA/MS if money ways not the obstacle.



    We may be able to avoid some debt - but its still the same monetary investment consideration. We're in suburbia on an income of around 50k due to homeschooling so the money invested in education has to be a consideration for us. It's not a barrier, only a consideration. 

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