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Everything posted by KristineinKS

  1. We have the same blender that Mrs Mungo posted & use it regularly for smoothies. It works great! I was hesitant to use it initially because it had some not-so-great reviews on Amazon (I considered exchanging it for the Pulse), however, we've had no problems with it whatsoever.
  2. Most of my suggestions have already been mentioned, but I thought I'd go ahead and give them anyway since this is something I'm actively working on at the moment: 1) Invest in a chest freezer and buy meat in bulk from local farmers several times a year - utilize every part of the animal (this is a new challenge for me, but I'm finding there are many good books on the subject). Also, only serve meat a few times per week (we have it 3-4 times usually). 2) We're renting this year, so cannot garden either. That said, I'm currently strategically planning a container garden for a few things that we can grow (mostly herbs, some veggies). 3) To compensate for #2, we're joining a CSA this year & will utilize the farmer's markets as much as possible - buying only what is in season is always cheaper. 4) Look into local buying clubs. We belong to Azure Standard, but also the woman who runs our herdshare has a buying club that we belong to. Through the club, we've been able to get great deals on large bulk amounts of things like raw honey, organic vanilla beans, seasonal produce, etc. 5) Learn to can & can/preserve as much seasonal produce as possible to last throughout the year. "The Householder's Guide to the Universe" has some useful charts to help you plan this & a few other good bits of info, but overall, the book probably isn't worth owning (see if the library has it?). 6) Make as much as possible from scratch - yes it takes more time, but is ultimately much cheaper and healthier than buying ready made. I'm making our own bread, pasta, yogurt, and will be branching out into cheesemaking this week. I've also started to make our own laundry detergent, household cleaners, soaps, lotions, lip balms, shampoos, etc.
  3. I think Amazon's gone mad - I just tried searching for alarm clocks & had the same result (you get slightly better results if you search electronics & then alarm clocks, but it's still not normal). I know their search was working a few hours ago, but appears to be having issues now.
  4. Thanks to everyone who responded, I clearly have a lot to think over. elegantlion ~ My move was from Kansas to Oregon, so yes, long-distance, but he seems to have adjusted (though he hates the OR weather). My DH is his step-father and unfortunately is working out of state at the moment, so I'm completely on my own with this. His bio father is an unmotivated bum, which leaves me with the fear that he'll grow into his father. calicokat ~ His currency is his computer, or Japanese lessons. I've tried taking his computer away and that does nothing to motivate him. In fact, he's been without it for awhile again now & is still sitting in front of the grammar lesson (yesterday's) that I gave him this morning! He wants Japanese lessons but I refuse to pay that kind of money until I see him making more of an effort with his other school work. Also, Japanese is HARD to learn (eldest DS is taking it in high school) & I'm not sure he can handle it at the moment since it requires a lot of focus & discipline. The threat of public school doesn't phase him in the least, even though he doesn't want to go. I've considered some type of nutritional deficiency and am exploring that now. I've also thought about unschooling, but I really only believe that works for a self-motivated student, and that he is not. He did so little work during the entire first half of the year, I really thought that would be enough of a "break" for him & he'd be ready to get back into it now, but no. Also, it doesn't really seem fair to his sister (whom I'm also homeschooling) that he does so little compared to her. RoughCollie ~ I'm SO glad things have improved for your son, but goodness, how stressful! How long did it take for him to decide to change?
  5. Okay, I've given this situation a lot of time and have tried everything under the sun. NOTHING is working, so I've decided it's time to ask the hive for help because I'm beyond desperate. How would you handle a 13 y.o. student who simply will NOT do his work? To give some background, he was in PS up until about 3 years ago; he has always been a good, highly motivated student. Something began to change last year & at the time, I assumed it was just a phase he was going through. However, he has not snapped out of it. I've allowed him to pursue subjects of interest to him, I've tried making it more like "PS" (at his request), I've enrolled him in co-op classes, I've tried taking things away from him (sometimes literally everything except his bed and clothes), I've tried rewarding him for getting work done...all to no avail. At this point, he understands that he is failing the 7th grade and he does NOT care. We've had long talks about his future - he used to want to be a biophysicist, now he says he'll be fine working just about anywhere - even Taco Bell. In my heart I can't believe that he'd be okay with that, but he doesn't seem to think that what he's doing now will impact his future. It's made homeschooling a total nightmare for me because every day is one big long battle. Gone are my nice little schedules and the fun extras that he & his sister used to have. She's so far ahead of him this year it's not even funny (and she's a grade beneath him!). I would LOVE to put him in public school except that I no longer feel I have that option. Over the summer we moved into an excellent school district. My 2 PS boys are struggling really really badly here - they were SO unprepared for the level and amount of work this school district has. Also, I really don't think that even PS would change his attitude. No, I know it wouldn't. I truly don't know what else to do. He's not depressed or anything like that, he just has zero motivation. He will literally spend an entire day on one single assignment and not get anything done. It's just mind boggling. Help please!
  6. We used to buy GT's Organic Raw Kombucha, though it's made by the same company (the citrus is pretty good). I will say that Kombucha is an acquired taste and I'm not sure that I love it (the kids do NOT!), but I'm trying to. I'm also trying to make my own right now, but doing it the slow way by growing the scoby first. I'm not sure I'll be able to make my own Kombucha more palatable, but I'm going to try!
  7. We got ours at Paper Scissors Stone (Waldorf supplies) - it is 22" x 32" & was $18.50. We've had it for years and have been very happy with it (I also have a few of the smaller lapboard size).
  8. We pay $80 for our entire house (around 2300 SF) to be cleaned every other week and it takes our cleaning lady about 3-3 1/2 hours.
  9. Here's the link to the main page (for life science anyway): http://www.delta-education.com/siangallery.aspx?subjectID=7&subID=5&menuID=66 - when you click on "View Details" by a kit, you'll see the different price options, starting at $39.
  10. I would agree with Michelle 100%. There is less pigment in the cheaper or student grade art materials and student grade paint brushes are horrible (have you noticed how much they "shed" and how utterly frustrating that is?!).
  11. We have the same 2 tall Ikea Trofast towers. I have the bins labelled by subject. Some subjects we rotate, for example, art and geography are on alternate days - those subjects share a bin. All of the shared books go on the top shelf. Next to the towers I have two clipboards hanging up - one for each child. On the clipboards I keep their daily schedule (alternatively, you could hang the clipboards directly on the side of the Trofast towers - I used those 3M adhesive hooks). For each assignment, they check their clipboard and then find the work in that subject's bin (or grab the necessary books from the top shelf). Every bin does not get used every day. It's a simple system but seems to work pretty well.
  12. Ours is up also, it's been another rough week...
  13. Oh no, you're not the only one, my boys are the same way (which is why 2 are now back in PS). Every single assignment is a battle and it gets really, really old.
  14. This was our first week back and it unfortunately started with a fire in our new house.
  15. Honestly, I haven't read the fairy books. Other Folio books, yes, but the fairy books, no. The books are very large and thus rather heavy, but the pages are laid out well (with nice readable text that's not too small) and they'd make for pleasant reading, aside from the size of the books.
  16. This is true - they also give you the option of making [interest-free] payments on your books after the initial order. There is a terrific (and very active!) group over at LibraryThing called Folio Society Devotees - you can read a lot more about the various sales & books the society offers there.
  17. The Andrew Lang fairy books are the very reason I joined Folio last year. I now have a whole shelf of Folio books in our living room, but the fairy books elicit the most comments from guests. They really are gorgeous in person!
  18. Thank you so much for posting the correlations, I too saw this on your blog awhile back but was unable to access the blog this past week when I was actually trying to schedule everything out.
  19. Here's a Teacher's Guide for Andrew Lang's Fairy Tales, you might find some helpful ideas there. For your study of nursery rhymes, I highly recommend Peter and Iona Opie's books. The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren is very interesting (though distinctly British), while I Saw Esau is a children's rhyme book. Also, be sure to check out some of Joseph Jacobs fairy tale books. They used to be fairly standard on old school book lists and now seem largely forgotten. We read his "English Fairy Tales" and "More English Fairy Tales" while covering the Middle Ages (both are free via Google Books) & really enjoyed them. I wish you great luck with your year - a fairy tale unit has always been on my "to do" list, but I haven't had time to pull it together yet!
  20. After doing some research here on the boards, I recently purchased "Adventures in Japanese" for my 13 yo son who is interested in learning Japanese. However, now that we have the books in hand, I can't make heads or tails of them. For those that have used the program, here are my questions. 1) Is the teacher's guide necessary? (I'm assuming so, since I find the other books so confusing, but will the teacher's guide even be helpful when I have no knowledge of Japanese?) 2) How did you schedule the program? Is there a particular order in which the workbooks need to be done? We have the main text workbook, plus the Hiragana & Katakana workbook. 3) Is a tutor absolutely essential? Here again, I'm thinking so, but I've not hired a private language tutor before. I was hoping we could wait on that until he got a into the book a bit, but since I'm so confused by the book... Thanks!
  21. My kids have both desktops and laptops, but only because computers are my husband's passion. The laptops have been recent additions and were all purchased at Goodwill (for $60. apiece), but they're newer models & have been upgraded even further by my husband. One of my boys also has a netbook that he saved for and bought himself, but after only 7 months it started having power issues, so there will be no more netbooks here! All of the computers in our house (except the netbook) are Dell - we've been been using Dell for years & have been happy with them.
  22. I would suggest finding an individual to clean your house, rather than going through an agency. When we first moved, I contacted a number of agencies & the rates were absurd. Then, I found someone on Craigslist & she's wonderful. Our house is around 2200 SF & I pay $80. per visit ($125. for periodic deep cleaning).
  23. I placed an order with them on August 2nd & for the first time ever, chose not to pay the $10. to expedite my order. I received it just a little over a week later (like, a week + a day or two).
  24. Literary Analysis is the thing that has been bugging me all summer, well, actually since late last school year. I've listened to SWB's lectures, read parts of WEM & done lots of browsing around online for ideas. What I finally did was create a set of "task cards." I used many of these: Reader Response Task Cards Reader Resonse Task Cards #1, #2, #3, #4 - and also borrowed questions from SWB's lecture & WEM + other sources (see below) to make my own. Some of the cards aren't really "serious" literary analysis, they're more for fun, but I thought it was important to include a little of that as well. These links were also helpful: Tools of the Reading Trade (Generic Questions for Lit Elements) How to Teach a Novel [squidoo Lens] and How to Teach a Novel [blog] Themes and Essential Questions To begin, I'll use the task cards for myself...I think SWB had suggested asking only 3-4 questions per book? (It's been awhile since I've listened to her lecture!) Anyway, so I'll more or less randomly select questions from the task cards and we'll discuss them. Once they're able to handle this fairly well, we'll move into written responses. I'll assign them a task card to write about - first a paragraph, and eventually an entire essay. Hopefully this makes sense!
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