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Everything posted by wingedradical

  1. <<13 yo can barely read at 2nd grade level, 11 yo reads well, 8 and 10 y.o.s know the letters/sounds. No one does math. >> That sounds just like some public schooled kids I know. Seriously. I remember when I lived in MO (a state where you didn't have to report, really), but very near AR where homeschooled kids had to be tested periodically in order to see if they were "keeping up." If they tested badly, the solution was to send them back to school. Which made me ask .."Uh, does that mean your are going to send home all the kids now flunking in AR schools?" Looking at the older children is of no real use, imo. If this family has learning disabilities (or just isn't too smart - it happens), then the older ones will look like failures. What I guess I'm saying is, that getting the kids into school might not help anyway. I am more concerned about her leaving a 13 year old in charge all day every day (until Dad comes home) for the week (especially if you meant the mom is actually out of town - is that what you meant?). Can your husband talk to Dad about concerns in a nice, non-confrontive way? It is a very serious thing to call CPS, especially if there isn't abuse or physical or psychological neglect. I would be very hesitant to call over "educational neglect." I'm not saying it isn't neglect, just that if kids are well cared for physically and emotionally, I"m not sure they'd thank you in long term if they ended up in foster homes. And once you call CPS (or whatever it is called where you are), you don't have control over what happens next. Most social workers are good people who care about kids but there are a few individuals and departments with agendas. You can catch up on your education much more easily than you can recover from being separated from people who love you.
  2. Has anyone used and able to recommend speed reading software? Examples could be 7 Speed Reading or Acereader Elite. I'm sure there are others, but I am still investigating. My highschooler still does not read very quickly - her problem is not an inability to decode or understand but she is just slow.
  3. I did this with one son. He did fine, but he was really smart and had already has a lot of exposure to that kind of thing. If your student knows how to write already, you won't need another course. There are writing assignments but not instruction. The books list a suggested transcript - it looks a little strange - both the subjects and the breakdown is unusual, but it does cover writing, literature, history, science history, theology, philosophy, government and I can't remember what else. DePaul University accepted it without question. On the other hand, personally, I wouldn't do it again. Either it wasn't unified enough or I ruined the unity by tweaking it. I didn't care for many of his choices of what to read or listen to. I guess you could say, I liked the idea of it, but not the execution. Of course, I'm not Reformed and I was using a very Reformed curriculum, so there ya go <g>. David Quine is a nice guy but I think a knowledgable parent could design something just as well, using the same books (or a few different ones). There was a lack of fictional literature and poetry. I had to add them.
  4. Son #1 read fluently at 5 - has always read and still reads at past 40 years. Son #2 read fluently at 4 - liked reading for a couple of years and then hated most of it until he hit college. Then he loved it again and still does at almost 30. I should add, that during the years he wasn't reading, he was writing -fiction and nonfiction-continually. DFD: Read fluently at 5, read as a child, at 17, reads what she must but not much more. I think it is her stage in life and she will read for pleasure again.
  5. I loved the full course Educational-Portal classes, with the teacher's voice in the background and the little videos ... but of course, as was previously discussed somewhere, now they want money for them. I don't really have the money to spend so ... does anyone know where I might find something similar? I'm not talking about something like coursera -- but something a bit simpler. Khan is not bad, but doesn't have social studies.
  6. <<Add a pith helmet and a camo or khaki vest with lots of pockets for a uniform.> I> Oh! Wow! I wish I had a little girl to do this with. I kno Iw I'd have been in heaven with such an outfit at that age. I loved exploring. It is sad children aren't allow to roam anymore. We had woods with a big hole and vines you could swing across the hole like Tarzan, creeks with crawdads, small safe caves, etc. I've been to the amazon and to the South Pole in my childhood dreams! All I lacked was a pith helmet and a many pocket khaki jacket!
  7. Hi: I have lupus and have almost always homeschooled while struggling with illness. I think I was okay the first 3 years. Since then, I've graduated two sons and am this is my 3rd and final year with dfd (she's a senior, yay!). It has its challenges. I have learned to just accept it. When my young, we schooled year round at times I felt up to it. If I was sick on Wed, we often schooled on Saturday. I tried to choose some things they could be more independent in and at least one or two that I can be more involved in - either because they are fun to do together or because they needed help. Sometimes they also worked unevenly - that is, if I got really sick, they worked ahead in literature or history (easy subjects for them ) and then, later, we would do more math and science. DFD is the opposite, though - for the past two years she's pretty much worked alone on math and science and needed help with composition. As for food -- I am not a celiac, according to the doctor, but I sure feel better without it or wheat in general. I tried finding substitutes -- it was just too much trouble. I decided to just go modified Paleo. I still eat beans and dairy and once in a while, brown rice. I have egg/cheese/veggie mini meal for breakfast (which i make ahead and freeze), salad with meat and/or beans and/or cheese for lunch and dinner without pasta. I occasionally make oopsies with glutin free stuff. I cook a lot of my meat in the crockpot or else I stir fry it. DFD is in charge of cutting up the gobs and gobs orf veggies we eat - mostly raw in summer, in soups during our short winter, because my hands are arthritic. I eat fruits for desserts. If you plan it, it isn't as hard. And don't forget - I don't want my dfd to have to "care" for me too much but this summer, we did home ec. She already cooked sometimes when I asked her but it was usually something very easy. I bought a good explanatory cookbook at the beginning of the summer and started teaching her how to cook other things. Nothing really fancy. But she cooked a pork roast with potatoes and carrots (I made the gravy and let her watch - I can't eat it but DH loves it. My husband is out of town and will get home on his birthday - she is going to make a homemade angel food cake for him! Anyway, what I mean is, at your daughter's level, you can start a simpler "home economics" and she can get school credit for it and be of help to you. Good luck! You can do it. It won't always be easy but it's doable. I was in a wheelchair all of last year and probably will be all of this year, too. We even managed park day and some field trips. This year, DFD can driver herself to some of the field trips but I still enjoy park day with the other parents, so I'll go (I live in AZ so we do park day all winter). Oh, and everyone has heard of carschooling. Well, we do bed schooling sometimes!
  8. I saw this on FB - I don't subscribe to Nancy Pearcy but it popped up in one of those similar story things. I wondered what the Hive thinks? Former Yale Professor Advises "Don't Send Your Kid to an Ivy League School" -- Religious Colleges Do a Better Job "Elite schools like to boast that they teach their students how to think, but all they mean is that they train them in the analytic and rhetorical skills that are necessary for success in business and the professions. Everything is technocratic—the development of expertise—and everything is ultimately justified in technocratic terms. Religious colleges—even obscure, regional schools that no one has ever heard of on the coasts—often do a much better job in that respect. What an indictment of the Ivy League and its peers: that colleges four levels down on the academic totem pole, enrolling students whose SAT scores are hundreds of points lower than theirs, deliver a better education, in the highest sense of the word.... Students determine the level of classroom discussion; they shape your values and expectations, for good and ill. It’s partly because of the students that I’d warn kids away from the Ivies and their ilk. Kids at less prestigious schools are apt to be more interesting, more curious, more open, and far less entitled and competitive." http://www.newrepublic.com/article/118747/ivy-league-schools-are-overrated-send-your-kids-elsewhere?utm_source=Campus+Connections+-+Monday%2C+July+28%2C+2014&utm_campaign=CampusConnectionsJuly282014&utm_medium=email
  9. Well, bookless is an exaggeration but here is what the local high school does. Is this common now days? In no class does the student actually receive a text book to take home. S/he can stop after school and check one out at the school library if s/he wants; it isn't required. Most books are also available online and the teachers, on the first day, tell the students it "would be good if they read along in the text." But it obviously isn't required. Students are given some extra material that has been printed out, maybe 3-5 sheets a week. These may contain just information or be fill out sheets. The exception is math, where problems are sometimes printed out and sometimes, expected to be obtained from the online text. Also, they must buy or otherwise obtain what they are supposed to read in literature. Students often finish a class in chemistry without ever seeing the chemistry book. Is this common? I don't see how it can work. The schools in this district are very overcrowded due to rapid growth. The school rates a "B" according to the state (not bad considering it includes one very poor township made up almost entirely of Mexican immigrants - not saying Mexicans aren't smart, of course! But language and poverty, you know what I mean). Still, since this state rates low on the national scale, that isn't saying much.
  10. All Quiet on the Western Front -- a very old B&W but good. Just my opinion - controversial - but I wouldn't consider JFK historic. Well, the events in the book did happen and speak about the the existence of conspiracy theories but I don't think the movie portrays much of what actually happened. How about Ghosts of Mississippi? I don't recall language & sex, although the protagonist did divorce and end up married to someone else. But it is a good movie re: Medgar Evers and how a MS lawyer comes to realize that he needs to bring a close to a murder that was allowed to slide during the Civil Rights era. Also -- this is regarding the list of the OP -- I am curious as to how you are connecting Inherit the Wind with McCarthyism? They don't seem connected to me and are 2 or 3 decades apart. Also, note that while To Kill a Mockingbird was written in early 60's, it was set in the 20's or 30's. Still, such a story would have never sold during that period and so, while it was set in that era it was the later Civil Rights movement that made it popular and relevant. So, you could place it in either category, depending upon what you wanted to emphasize.
  11. I didn't worry so much about "holes" at younger ages. Exploration and observation re: a few areas is better preparation that force fed info of a broader nature. IMHO I thought the video parts of CK 12 Earth science (upper level) were very polemic. I am not YE. I am a Christian and it sounds like the OP and I may think alike on this. I liked the idea of using a "free" text along with the video presentations to add a little pizzazz. And I think upper level students should be taught the entire evolutionary theory and taught it well. However, I found many of the videos to be slanted more toward telling you how horrible and stupid people who believe in any kind of creation than toward giving you the facts. I wanted scientists who presented the facts, as they see them. I did not want scientists whose main concern is saying how stupid people are for not accepting their view point. I remain a believer that God created everything. I am not sure how He did it. I don't think believing in YE is necessary for believing in the bible. But it made me very uncomfortable that the scientists on these particular videos were so much in attack mode. If you really are unbiased and sure of your facts, why not just present the facts and expect them to win out? To me, whether they were right or wrong about the facts, they had an agenda. And agendas do not belong in science - whether your agenda is to defend your view of the bible or your view of agnosticism.
  12. << He is teaching honors classes to kids who do not belong in an honors class, so he has to dumb down his honors classes>> This. At our local high school (which dfd attended briefly after she came to live with us), she could "sign up" for almost all of the "honors" courses just because she wanted to. There were no prerequisites like grades or recommendations. When I was in school, you had to have both to get into an honors course. But part of what happened is that no one trying to get into college is aiming for a 4.0 average now but for a higher one (due to the weighting of honors courses). So everyone wants "honors" and the schools give it to them (sort of) so they can all get their 5.0 average. But a 5.0 average is now really the same or less than what a 4.0 average was in 1970. DFD signed up for honors classes in English, history and chemistry, for example. She wanted to do honors trig, too, but it was full. Well, she probably deserved honors trig and chemistry. History would have been a bit of a stretch, imho, considering her writing ability. After teaching her, I know that honors English was completely ridiculous. But then again, maybe not in that school where honors English was studying all about zombie literature (I have to admit, The Zombie Survival Guide had its points, but the rest was rubbish). But her most difficult challenge still is to be able to organize and write a paper. She knows grammar, she can tell you HOW to write a paper - she just can't do it very well. But she always got A's in English. Go figure.
  13. I am struggling to understand what mathematics route you take if you study algebra in 6th or 7th grade. My foster daughter skipped a year of math when still in public school. At home, we've done trig, precalc, and calc. Now, her senior year, we are doing stat. I don't really think she needs that much and to be honest, we are scaling back and doing Life of Fred stat. But - what is she going to do in college? I mean, of course, I know there are a large number of math classes to be had but what if she doesn't go with a STEM major? Originally, she wanted to do pharmacy but now she really thinks she wants to be a social worker. I hate to see her STEM talent go to waste, but with her background, I also understand the other desire. Of course, I know she might go either way once she hits college. And the stats is good for social work. Also, it has been many, many years since I've been in school so I know things have changed. But seriously, if you have seven years of math, starting with Algebra, behind you and you are an English or sociology major, I don't see the point. BTW, yes, I know most people would have put her in community college (and I did for calculus) but while she was ready academically, she was not ready socially. I think she will be by next fall when she starts college, but we have not enrolled her in a CC class this year.
  14. I'd try to be patient. Is it possible that she feels insecure because of her own lack of education and that she emotionally equates your not sending them to school to her own perceived (or real) lacks? Or that she really, deep down inside, wants your children to have that experience that she didn't have? I know you say she has no positive memories but that doesn't mean she might not like to have positive memories. Her talking about your children walking down to get a diploma makes me wonder if it might not be her own regrets speaking. I was a high school drop out. Although I remedied that while still in my early twenties, I still remember how stupid it made me feel and I did miss out on a lot. I don't think my homeschooled children missed out on much and anything they did miss (no prom for my oldest?), was balanced by stuff they did get. But she may need extra reassurance of that .. especially since she may not be certain exactly what she did miss. As for school lunches, a lot of people seem to be convinced that school lunch is the only balanced meal children get. Ha! I don't consider school meals attractive our healthy but sadly, in some cases, that might be closer to the truth than we'd like to think. I think many children don't get healthy dinners. Witness people who don't pay their school lunch tabs, resulting in children only getting a sandwich at lunch. You'd think the school was committing child abuse by withholding a pizza and giving out a sandwich! Yes, it's better to have more variety in your lunch but....
  15. <<But my experience in a women's college convinced me that single sex education is not the way to go for most for a variety of other reasons>> What about your experience convinced you of this? I'm just curious because I have two friends who went to different women's colleges who think the experience was wonderful - that it made them concentrate of studies more, etc. I have no real knowledge of the topic, but I think I'd be more inclined toward sex/gender segregated schools earlier on than at the university level (since generally speaking, boys/girls seem to develop at different rates in different areas). At university level, I'd probably be a little more concerned about women being in schools with a social science emphasis and men with a STEM/business emphasis.
  16. I went to a "Jr. High" school, which was 7-9. I liked it better than the middle school just because I don't like to see 6th graders made teenagers so quickly. The disadvantage was that your high school years were split up but it never seemed to cause a problem. We had counselors to guide us with taking what we needed there, just like in "high school." But I'm not sure I think Middle school is a wasteland. I don't know if I've shared this here before, but I was a high school drop out. I grew up in a problem home and community and ran away from home at the beginning of 10th grade. A few years later, I got a G.E.D and then went to college but because of this, I'm probably more aware of what I actually learned in Jr. High than most. I learned quite a lot, actually. I passed the G.E.D. without taking classes (I went to a class and the first evening, the teacher told me to go home and register to take the test). Maybe they are waste lands now but I learned plenty of history, writing, "some" literature, algebra (which I didn't take until 9th grade but could have taken in 8th), mostly general sciences, civics, etc. I realize a GED, although called an equivalency, is not, but I really didn't have trouble in college, either. Of course, my "Jr. High" did include 9th grade. Okay, admittedly, I am a smart person and have always been a reader. I grew up in a family that valued books, even though neither of my parents had gone to college (my father only had an 8th grade education - he quit early to work on the farm after his father died). But - I also grew up in a family that did not even think of encouraging me to go to college (that was for people with money). Still, my Jr. High wasn't useless. Maybe things have changed, though. That was a long time ago. The one thing I thought while reading this was -- hmmm. I wonder if it would work to make high school last from 4-6 years, depending upon how well you did? People could leave for college after four years, if ready, or stay longer, if needed? Perhaps this would help those who are having more difficulty? And yet -- it seems to me that that seeds of failure in high school happen not in high school or middle school but at least in grade school and probably in the home. Having grown up in a very poor community and having worked for Head Start many years ago, I know the disadvantages children can have are astounding. It seems to come in 2-3 levels -- children whose parents truly neglected and/or abused them, children whose parents cared for them but never really talked to them except to tell them what to do (not necessarily unloving parents -they just never learned how to talk to their children or realized they needed it). Finding a parent in that program who actually read to their children (like mine had done) was a real rarity. Parents who read to their children also tended to talk to them (about the books) which often led to other conversations which helped the children form. Which is why programs like Head Start don't work and programs like Parents as Teachers can work, if they reach the right people. But sorry, I'm getting way off the topic now. Stream of consciousness......................................>
  17. LOL talk about changing culture. I'm not a great-grandma but I am 62 and glad that you like being friends with different aged people. I find that people in homeschool groups are not as friendly as they were when I was younger. I guess I'm just a shock. There is one lady who is friendly enough but she always calls me "grandma." I'm a pacifist and I still want to haul off and sock her! I'm not your grandma, lady! And plese don't be condescending!
  18. This is one Montgomery book I hadn't read (I didn't even know it existed) so I just read it at Gutenberg. I didn't like it nearly as well as the Anne, Emily, Story Girl, Marigold or short stories by LMM I've read. I really think the main character was a goose for 29 years. I'd have rebelled long before, lol. I also don't particularly like books that concentrate on some woman waiting for riches or lovers/husbands to make them fulfilled and happy. But we are all different and that is okay. I'm still am glad I read it. I didn't care for Kilmeny much when I read it, either.
  19. <<Stop by Jacques Torres's chocolate shop in DUMBO for either hot or frozen hot chocolate before heading back>> I second that. DS2 works in DUMBO .. lives in Park Swope. Also, on the Statue of Liberty -- if possible, nice to actually go there but you can "see it" from other locations without the lines and all. I've never tried to do the Empire State Building. I did go for my second time to NYC the spring of 2001 and am glad I did go to the World Trade Center, though. /-:
  20. She's 13. She's probably going to feel like it's asking too much to do anything, lol. Which doesn't mean you don't make her or, depending upon your child training philosophy, allow her to complain. But I'd only worry if she refused. And my kids did all their own laundry starting at age 10 or so. I generally didn't ask them to help fold towels and stuff on an ongoing basis, but I sometimes did/do. Heck, I feel like complaining about folding laundry sometimes myself! Sometimes (I don't know if this is the time or not), maybe we should just be sympathetic and agree, "Yep, it sucks. I sometimes feel like it takes forever, too. A robot WOULD be nice!" A little camaraderie may sometimes work better than "Straighten up and do your share."
  21. First, understand that it is just plain different for people who use their homes during the evening and part of the weekend than it is for people who are there all day homeschooling - which means moving things around and dirtying up to some extent. It really is harder. We were empty nest for a while and my house was so spotless. And I hate housework, am disabled and to be completely honest, didn't do very much except cooking and a weekly pass through. Now we have one teen, just one -- who does her own laundry, cleans her own room, cleans up after dinner, sometimes cooks, does other chores -- and the house is still messier. Not a complete mess - there are only three of us and we are not children - but I was amazed at the difference "working in my house" made. Mostly, though, in keeping house in general, it is mainly just habit. After a while, habits don't seem so much like work. For example, when my husband cooks (not usually, since he works many hours, but occasionally), he doesn't clean as he goes. The kitchen looks like a tornado hit it. I, on the other hand, clean as I go. It doesn't seem like work - it is just habit. I have gotten to where I feel a sense of satisfaction from keeping it clean as I go. But I wasn't always that way. I used to cook like DH. I just got tired of cleaning up the tornado afterwards. Also, different people have different ideas of clean and that really is okay. To me, clean is sparkling. To my husband, it is not having mold all around is good enough(well, that's an exaggeration but it sometimes seems true). My mother-in-law thinks if one magazine is left out, a house isn't clean. And my mother (and I!) go for the uncluttered "modern" look cuz it is easier to clean around. Generally, the less decor and furniture you have, the easier it is. Also, the more storage you have, the easier (up to an extent - I actually have too much now and I've noticed I'm collecting too much). I agree you shouldn't have to spend every moment or even every extra moment cleaning unless you really like cleaning. I must confess, though - I've seen a couple of homeschooling homes I wouldn't want to eat in. But I suspect they would look the same even without homeschooling.
  22. Absolutely! Up until my youngest son was about 13, I'd never been to NYC or anywhere east coast, north of Florida. My husband had to be in Philadelphia for 6 weeks and we went along. I was excited about visiting places in and around Philly and also, planned a couple of trips to DC. At first, it didn't even occur to me to go to NYC! Generally, I like rural locations for vacations. But, the very last weekend, I thought, "Oh, why not?" I ended up being so disappointed that I only had Saturday and Sunday! Once there, I realized not only were there many museums and historical sites, but that really, NYC represents, in some ways, what it is to be American. This is an Arizonan transplanted from Kansas talking here, but I love NYC! It has an energy that I've not felt elsewhere -including some foreign metropolises I've been to. I've never felt more American than in the middle of all its teeming immigrants. Because unless you are American Indian, being an-- immigrant and being an American are the same. I also loved seeing all the places I'd seen in a million movies -- it seemed more like "home" than any place in America I've ever been (except home, lol). There were surprises - Central Park is full of rock outcroppings and the city has many houses, not just apartment buildings (I'd assumed otherwise based on movies). Also, the museums, plays, etc are great. But mostly the vibrancy. I eventually planned a real vacation for just NYC and now DS2 lives there so I even have a base if I go.
  23. I had them done for my son when we were on the mission field. I never knew if it was good or not. It seems very controversial. I could start a whole thread (or an entire board) on, "How can I know the truth when supposed authorities give me differing opinions?" Whoever said the internet was going to make us smarter was sadly mistaken. It makes me more confused. I tend toward believing the more traditional science double blind study, peer reviewed opinions but I realize, sometimes those opinions are flawed due to blind sightedness and possibly, greed. But you have to decide for one side or the other.
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