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  1. I just ordered a pair of the Calmer ear buds earlier this afternoon. They specifically talk about filtering out higher frequencies, which appealed to me. So, no feedback yet, but I've got my fingers crossed!
  2. Well, if you're willing to shell out almost $800, this seller on Amazon says they have a new copy: https://www.amazon.com/Prealgebra-4th-Margaret-L-Lial/dp/0321567927/ Otherwise, it's out of print, and everything is used. And if you haven't already, definitely get in contact with Abe Books. I've had books arrive in a condition very different from what was stated, and have had good luck getting refunds.
  3. Possibly it was this one, from Twice Sheared Sheep?
  4. I went looking for more info after reading this- not Drew! 😣😥 My son took several classes with him years ago, and we both really liked him. He was such a good teacher, and so good with my extremely cautious kid. The 2020 hits just keep on coming.
  5. I can't help with the first question, but I can tell you how I organize the folders. (I use onenote for planning, not for our actual day to day schedule) My tabs are: Records, Plans, Math, Literature, Science, History... etc. (one for each subject area), plus one for philosophy and misc. Under "records", I have one page for each grade. On each grade's page I keep track of what we did for that year (headings for read alouds, science, history, etc.). (I don't have to track for our state, I just like keeping it for my own reference.) The "plans" tab is where I put stuff I want to remember for specific grades ("this is a great history program for 5th grade" or "oh, I want to make sure we read this book next year"). As I get closer to planning that actual year, it's where I keep my ideas/notes about what to use. The subject tabs have notes about that subject - mostly clipped from this forum 🙂. So for instance, my "Math" tab has pages labeled "multiplication/skip counting" (some resources about teaching this, and advice from the forum); "Math on the Level index card system" (the math program we used, and an alternative way to keep track of things"; "games" (math games I've run across"; "divisibility rules" (a chart I ran across that I found useful); "Jacobs Algebra" (a math program we're considering using, with quotes from various boardies about why they did/did not like it, to help me evaluate it); and so on. I refer back to these subject tabs when I'm planning for the year, and also when I'm struggling with something, and need to remember good advice I've seen here. "Philosophy" is for great things I've read about homeschooling, how to help with complaining, dealing with tweens, etc. And "Misc" is for anything that doesn't fit anywhere else. I used just these tabs for many years. Now that DS is older, I have a separate one for high school (with pages about math, history, etc., so I can collect all of that in one place) and one for planning individual grades. I just finished planning 8th, and I ended up with a tab for 8th, and pages for lit., history, and science, because I was making them up entirely on my own (rather than following a curriculum), so I needed more room and organization than planning everything in one page. I've been using OneNote for ages, and I've really loved it for keeping all my homschooling ideas and information organized. Sorry I wrote a whole book about it! Hope it helps 🙂
  6. YES! This! My parents are particularly bad about this - "it's someone I know well, so they're "safe."" No! They're not! I've called them out on it a few times, and they eventually agree that I'm right, but then they keep doing it. 🤦‍♀️ They're also of the "we're quarantining, except for the trips to the store, helping out at the library, eating out, etc. etc." type. I dread talking to my mom these days, because I just don't want to hear about all the places she's been and the things they've done.
  7. And just to give a final update to this saga: today, exactly four weeks after I originally ordered it, my package showed up. 🙄
  8. It may be a bit young, but I thought the book Hopping Ahead of Climate Change was very interesting (and I'm making my 8th grader read it this year 😄). It's about scientists studying the effect of climate change on snowshoe hares (specifically in regards to their coat not changing in sync with the snow). Short, but a good look at how scientists on the ground are studying one aspect of climate change. The Race to Save the Lord God Bird tells the story of an early attempt to save an species from going extinct, and how logging and deforestation affected this particular bird's ability to survive.
  9. I've been on the pill for several years now, and basically don't get my period at all any more. But I still sometimes notice ovulation signs. I couldn't tell you how often, because I don't pay a lot of attention, but it's not uncommon for me.
  10. It was Joann Fabrics, so I told them my issue, and they said they'd look into it and get back to me. Later in the day I got an email telling me they were refunding me for my order, and if I wanted to re-order, I could do so, and they'd comp my shipping. I'm thinking, "And wait another three weeks to see if FedEx screws up again? Yeah, I'll pass on that, thanks."
  11. I'm on hold with them right now 🙄. A package was shipped to me three weeks ago. It was supposed to be delivered a week ago, but something happened, and now it's been sitting in a town about 40 minutes from me for 6 days, no long any estimated arrival date, saying "delivery pending." Ten minutes later: I spoke to a customer service rep, and she said I have to call the sender of the package, and have them complain. I double-checked that I heard right - "I can't complain? You have my package and just won't deliver it, but I have to call the company that shipped it and have them complain?" Yep. Apparently. They're the WORST.
  12. DS turned 13 at the beginning of last school year, and the brain fog was pretty epic. It frustrated both of us! Math that he used to be able to do was suddenly incomprehensible to him. I did a lot of reading here on the boards, and looking online, about The Fog. I also talked about it with kiddo, and let him know that brain fog was totally normal for his age (so he wouldn't feel like he was "stupid"), and it was okay. His brain was changing and growing, and this doesn't mean he's dumb. So we took it a bit easy last year. I decided (and reminded myself repeatedly) that preserving our relationship, and him not hating school or thinking he was dumb, were more important than getting through a certain amount of stuff in the year. He was close to finishing up pre-Algebra, but couldn't learn/retain/make sense of any new concepts. (The distributive property just made no sense to him, no matter how many different ways I explained it.) So I picked up a copy of Lial's pre-algebra (which I'd heard on this board was great for a second time through pre-alg, which some kids need), and had him work through that. It was a good confidence booster for him, helped cement some concepts, gave him more practice with word problems and applications, and gave him experience learning from a textbook (we'd used Math on the Level up until then). I also gave him a weekly checklist, with everything that he needed to do for the week. There were some things that had to be done every day (math, writing), but other things he was free to chose for himself, as long as it all got done by Friday. And on days when the fog was particularly bad, I'd remind him that he could work on "easier" stuff (generally readings), and save the harder stuff for when his brain was a little clearer. This worked well for us. We haven't started school yet this year, so it will be "fun" to see where his brain is at in a couple of weeks. Fingers crossed!
  13. DS had braces put on in January, and I am very thankful that we decided to go with Invisalign instead of traditional braces. They give you a box of braces that you switch each week, so he was able to keep making forward progress through all of this. We went to see the orthodontist for the first time since getting them just two weeks ago. and then again Monday. Now we don't have to see him for three months. Our ortho is being very good - masks, extra face shields, patients rinse with a peroxide solution at the beginning of appointments, only one other patient in each time we went it, and they were at opposite ends of the office. Plus we're in CT, and our numbers are good and getting better. With all that being said... no, I wouldn't choose to have DS start braces right now. Why add extra risk factors if you don't have to?
  14. Side note: I recently came across this story about a real life "Lord of the Flies." Spoiler: it did not go as William Golding predicted. (I've got it saved for when we do LotF in high school.) https://amp.theguardian.com/books/2020/may/09/the-real-lord-of-the-flies-what-happened-when-six-boys-were-shipwrecked-for-15-months
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