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Everything posted by Jackie

  1. I feel like we need to rethink “happy endings”. (And, wow, is that a dirty term.) I went into college with one dream job. I realized that one might not work out for me and pivoted. I worked in the newly chosen field for about 15 years and then quit due to a combination of burnout and needing more time as a parent. However, that is not an un-success story. 15 years in a high burnout field is super amazing; I did a lot of good and it was incredibly satisfying. If anyone out there is pointing to my leaving the field as a sign of failure, I will entirely throw an epic fit. I’m still not sure what I want to be when my child grows up and I’m free to work full time again. That’s fine. I have time, and so does my kid.
  2. My kid is younger, but we have done a real mix in our homeschooling - deep and wide where her interests lie, and a more minimal approach elsewhere. I generally say she is an academic kid, and that is true, but it’s definitely not across the board. She all but refuses to do any formal study of history. She mostly doesn’t want to write. She has a love/hate relationship with math. She loves all things science, but not really formal classes. She loves words, so she will happily learn some words for a spelling bee and throw herself into learning word roots. I think wide is great. Because she learns quickly, she has time to explore a lot of subjects (both academic and not) in the time she doesn’t need to spend on academics. I think deep is great. She has a much better understanding of many subjects than I do. I also think fast is great. We do just enough on subjects she isn’t interested in and move on.
  3. Not only are we having overlapping discussions, but I think we aren’t distinguishing between levels of giftedness. I did not teach my child to read early. She asked to learn to read early, and I went over letter sounds and tried to do some beginning teaching, and she appeared to lose interest. At 2.5 years old, I saw something odd in how she was reading her books, and asked her to read a passage in an unfamiliar book to me. She struggled and was slow, but she could do it. By 3.5 years old, she was reading fluently and with inflection, better than many adults I know. She went to a play-based preschool a couple days a week, and the lead teacher (who had been doing this work for over 30 years) had never seen anything like the “story times” my kid held for the other kids. Near the end of 4 years old, she tested at an 8th grade comprehension level. My contribution to that? Being a moderately involved parent. I taught her letter sounds, played some made up letter sound games if we were in the car, read to her a lot, and listened while she read her way through Bob Books and early readers. Most parents I am friends with do all that, and their kids read at typical ages. They may be a bit advanced, but not like my daughter. That was not teaching. Do not even try to convince me that other kids could do this if they just had a better teacher. That’s complete bullshit. She was moderately advanced in math. Then she found out about Epsilon Camp, and desperately wanted to go to a camp with other kids “like her”. I explained how the requirement that she complete Algebra made this impossible, as applications would be due in about a year and she was in BA4. She was super disappointed, then asked what was between her and completion of Algebra, and totally effing did it. She took the online AOPS Algebra A and mostly breezed through it at 8 years old. Again, I take absolutely zero credit. In fact, my refrain for that year was “this is your goal, not mine. You can stop at any time. It is not my responsibility to bear your stress or to support you more than I would do for any other class.” She would glare at me, mumble, kick something, and get back to work. On the other hand, she has ADHD, anxiety, and dysgraphia. These are truly limiting factors that cap her acceleration. There is a real, solid difference between an NT kid who is accelerated and a gifted kid. And by the time we are discussing some amount of gifted+, the difference is absolutely palpable. And a 2e kid is something else entirely.
  4. There is a strong component of natural ability. Frankly, my daughter does not work hard at academics. She has anxiety and ADHD and we aim for “good enough” most times. Her main interests are not academic, and managing her mental health needs takes priority over more academics. She tested at adult level reading at age 4. She completed AOPS Algebra A at age 8. Academic testing puts her at over the 90th percentile as compared to 12th graders, and she is starting 6th grade. On the other hand, she has taken a pile of art classes. She spends hours upon hours creating art or making crafts. She has all the knowledge and much good instruction. This is something that she does work hard at. She is not a great artist. She is not even an average artist. She is probably average in the crafting/maker stuff.
  5. As another data point, my daughter thrived with BA as her curriculum, and has always disliked nearly every type of puzzle. She would ask to skip some of the more puzzle-type aspects of BA when she could demonstrate the knowledge in some other way. I won’t buy the level 1 books, given that she’s using AOPS stuff now. Hopefully I’ll know someone she can borrow them from.
  6. My daughter and I are both trying out todoist. I really like how intuitive it is.
  7. I knew she met the criteria for ADHD and an anxiety disorder, and wanted them formally diagnosed to access better treatment, as well as finding out if there was any diagnosis I was missing. I also suspected she would meet the criteria for Davidson Youth Scholars.
  8. Yes, she absolutely knows she is gifted. She never believes she is smart. When she was 3, she was astonished that other 3yo kids didn’t know how to read. By 4, when she found out friends who attended kindergarten didn’t know how to multiply, she was totally confused what they learned at school. When we had her formally tested at age 6, the psychologist stressed how important it was to share the results with her. Her anxiety was such that she saw every difference between herself and other kids as a negative attribute of her own. Ever since, we have been as transparent as possible regarding her level of giftedness and her mental health issues. She still never thinks she is smart, because like a lot of gifted and anxious kids, she only ever compares herself to the people who are more advanced/skilled in an area. When she was 8, she saw the entry requirements for Epsilon Camp, so she would have known she met those minimums when she got in.
  9. It does still exist. She is not interested in a more intense test, but I should look at what books they recommend for that one.
  10. As usual, I'm not even sure which forum to post on. I have an accelerated middle schooler who has been doing the National Mythology Exam for years. She has worn out D'Aulaires and loved Gaiman's Norse Mythology. She has the other book recommended for the NME, Guerber's The Myths of Greece and Rome, but finds it dry. What is the "next step up" for mythology books? And, yes, I know that many of the stories have adult content that D'Aulaires filtered out. I'm comfortable with that.
  11. I’ve seen it. We have a major problem with overcommitting and then feeling frazzled. I already see it coming. She saw that the Junior Theater and a parkour place were on the list of vendors for her charter, and is already trying to pile on more stuff.
  12. We judged readiness more by the ability to sit still for the length of the test, not have any real chance of disrupting other test takers around her, and wanting to sit the test. My daughter did not get a particularly good score, nothing like what Not A Number’s kid is aiming for. She loved taking the test, was happy even about problems she didn’t know how to solve as they meant she would learn that someday. She was disappointed with her score, as her practice tests at home were coming in several points higher, but it didn’t deter her from wanting to take it again.
  13. My 11yo daughter’s first classes of the year started this week, and I think we kind of have a plan. We still lean a little unschoolish, so she chose everything here except that I do require two core classes per year; this year they will be English and foreign language. English: homebrewed course focusing on the art of persuasion: reading literature that is focused on or encourages discussion regarding persuasive techniques, and the books Thank You for Arguing and They Say/I Say. Possibly hiring a writing coach for feedback beyond what I can give. Math: a light year for her, possibly including the local math circle. We have Zome Geometry and a pile of zometool, so we may approach it that way. Science: Athena’s classes on bioacoustics and tide pools. We have tide pools near us, so many field trips. History: she requested History of Math, unschool style. Still putting together a booklist but this is shaping up really well. She will read/watch many things. Language: ASL through Open Tent. She has taken Spanish for years and wants to branch out. Art: her side passion. She will do a full semester of exploration, including papermaking, soap making, jewelry making, and creating makeup. Second semester will be choosing one to pursue in depth. Goal is for next year to include business classes and use the art skills to start up. Also, this year she has been learning face painting and hopes to eventually earn some cash busking. She also will take some art and maker-type classes at an in-person learning center. Other: she will be in two sections of Athena’s Philosophy. Tuesdays, she is taking the class. Wednesdays, she is TAing the class. She hopes to become a junior instructor in the future. She will take Digging for Dinosaurs because she loves dmmetler’s daughter so much she doesn’t care about level. She will super casually, maybe, do some spelling stuff. She likes spelling bees but not enough to actually study most the time. She is taking lessons in flying trapeze and kendo. She’ll probably add some classes at the circus center as time and money allow. Destination Imagination team. Hands down her all time favorite activity! This will be her fifth year and the first time she competes in the middle school category. ETA: fleshing this out, she will probably commit 30 hours/week, not counting PE or extracurriculars. And 10 out of those 30 hours per week will be on art. I am starting to recognize that this might not be a “side passion” for her, but am at a total loss for what to do for a kid who is not at all naturally gifted in art but is pg and loves art.
  14. I’m curious what you and she consider to be a good score for her age on the AMC 8?
  15. My response seems to have been eaten. Yes, my daughter found the class slow and boring. She would answer a question, wait and wait for the answers to be pushed through, and tune out. For the record, she has dead average processing skills. Because there is zero audio, not even a chime/beep when answers are pushed through, she might not tune back in for a few questions. In addition, she would anticipate where a question was leading, calculate and even write up a proof, only to realize that the instructor wanted answers for every step along the way - so she had done the entire problem and then it would be led through step by step for 10+ minutes. On the upside, she used the extra time to learn lots of extra LaTeX. (On the downside, she hasn’t found LaTeX to be very useful.)
  16. DD is 11 Academically, we’re taking things relatively easy for the remainder of this year. We just moved back to San Diego and I want to establish some solid routines and connections again. As always, mental health is a bigger focus of our big picture goals than academics. With that in mind, mental health goals include returning to a good psych instead of the pedi for ADHD treatment. Pedi was comfortable prescribing the meds already figured out by the psych, but not adjusting, and DD is overdue for an adjustment. I think it is also time to approach the idea of meds for the anxiety. We are again living near the one therapist that really worked with DD, but she is full so we are essentially waitlisted. DD cherishes her independence, so she is going to learn how to navigate public transit. She has already spent hours on foot exploring the new neighborhood, which is much more urban than places we’ve lived before, and runs some of the small local household errands independently. Along the lines of seeking more independence, she wants to try some busking to earn money, so that’s on the agenda. Along those lines, my main academic goals for her center around EF skills. While I don’t mind issuing reminders for things, I am not a human calendar. I do not believe I should have to remind her step-by-step how to get ready to leave the house to go somewhere. She needs to start learning to evaluate her workload and adjust appropriately for it. Smaller, more specific goals for her include TAing a class at Athena’s, applying to the math circle, learning ASL, forming a new Destination Imagination team, gaining skills on flying trapeze, and exploring some crafting skills in more depth.
  17. I would also call the school and see what they use. That said, something like 30% of students in the U.S. take the MAP Growth, so that would be a good option that a school is likely to understand. It is easy to use, online, computer-adaptive, and doesn’t take too long. Homeschoolboss.com to access it as a homeschooler.
  18. Electronics recycling done yesterday. Goodwill drop off done today. That’s the ENTIRE LIST! So, now I need a new list: - Sell or give away the chemistry set. We aren’t using it, and we’ll buy a new kit when DD actually takes chem. - clear off my desk - go through the filing box and see what can be trashed - buy a Rubbermaid to turn into a large car traveling cage for the pet rats for the cross country trip - Go back through some sections of DD’s bedroom with her to clear out - a last “tour” of the apartment with a more ruthless eye towards stuff to purge - make sure all library books are located and returned - drink the wine and beer in the house because we’re not going to move it 😉
  19. Car is sold, so that’s one big thing off the moving to-do list.
  20. Clothes are sorted. Some friends are coming today and tomorrow to go through the pile of school stuff, books, and games. I have a taker for the video game system, giving it away for free in exchange for not having to test it out first so I don’t distract myself with MarioKart.
  21. I agree that this is really quite good for a 9 year old’s first attempt. My daughter wanted to learn to write basic essays when 8-9 years old because she was running into a few situations where it would be useful to her. We did use and enjoy Michael Clay Thompson’s Paragraph Town and Essay Voyage, with assignments adapted to be more interesting to her. Also, near the beginning, I would talk through her ideas with her, and jot down what she was saying into a basic outline format for her. We would look at the outline and together we would identify places she might want to give more information. As she had more practice, she took over more of the organization and was able to flesh out her own ideas more.
  22. Joining in. We leave for a cross country move at the end of this month. DH, DD, and I all have ADHD. DD and DH are both pack rats, though I am not. Trying to purge as much as possible before movers arrive in less than four weeks. They are gone camping this week, so I’m trying to motivate myself to get as much done as possible with them out of the way. My list includes a bit more than school things. 🙂 - I’ve winnowed the school shelves and offered things out to some local friends. I need to list the rest on local groups, eBay, or donate to Goodwill. - Same as above with DD’s bookshelves - Same with the shelves of board games, plus testing the components from an old game system to see if they work before selling/giving away - Go back through school shelves. There is still too much there to excuse for one kid. - Need to sort clothes. (Need to admit I will never again wear the smallest size I have in my closet.) could probably sell, but should just donate to get it gone. - Need to clean out my car and list it to sell. We are only driving one car across the country. - Need to find a place to recycle the old electronics and do so - Need to *stop*buying*stuff* until after the move
  23. As far as I am aware, I have no LDs. I was always a voracious reader, and still struggled with vocabulary. No speech issues, excellent spelling, but vocabulary was always an outlier. I’ve been enjoying learning alongside my daughter (who has an affinity for words and learns them much more quickly than I do). We’ve used the Michael Clay Thompson Caesar’s English books, which cover both word roots and vocabulary used frequently in classic literature. We only used a couple of his literature books, but he defines words in footnotes throughout the books. She took the Witty Wordsmith class from Lukeion. We’ve used all three books of the Vocabulary Cartoons series. There’s a book from Barron’s called 1100 Words You Need to Know that we’ve used some of that covers vocabulary typically found on SAT or GRE tests. We both learn from playing games like Quiddler together, because we all use words that other don’t know.
  24. I second mathmarm’s comment to not worry. Your kid is clearly absorbing math and will be able to fill in any “gaps” later. Beast Academy might work. You can read the guides together. I believe the online version has a button that will read the questions aloud. My daughter didn’t quite have the patience for it at that age, but did start level 3 when she was 6-ish. With you assisting with any language, you could also look at Hands On Equations or Calculus By And For Young People. You could also continue to play with math concepts hands on using things like Zometool. Games like Dragonwood were great for introducing the basics of probability. If he does screen time, the various Dragonbox apps might interest him; some of them teach concepts from Algebra and Geometry without needing words at all.
  25. I hesitate to ask this question because I really don't want a political debate. My daughter asked me to base her middle school level English class next year on the art of arguing/persuading. We will include some literature that exemplifies persuasion. We are a very liberal family, and the books that I'm aware of generally lean liberal. Possible examples might include Silent Spring laying out the evidence against pesticide usage, The Hate U Give using relatable characters to show police violence and rioting, The Hunger Games using control (government) and how a social movement is formed to fight that control, often using propaganda on both sides. I would like to include at least one book that is truly persuasive and leans conservative. The book can be directly about politics or not. It can be fiction or nonfiction. It can include religion, but she identifies as atheist and a book that assumes a religious viewpoint will not come across as persuasive to her. She has a strong reading level but middle school/tween interest level. Ideas for books that might fit what I am looking for?
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