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Everything posted by Stars

  1. You know how your parents said things to you which you, as an annoyed child, mentally swore you would never, ever say to your children? And then you have children and realize with horror that you have been possessed by your parents and use those same awful phrases? "Can't never could." Only my dad's from Georgia, so he said, "Cain't never could." And I say it exactly the same way, except I cringe while I say it. It's the pithier, Southern version of "You'll never succeed if you don't try," and it's such a handy response to "I can't..."
  2. I sympathize with the Isabella upthread who garnered pity for being mistaken for a 6-year-old. Although I am not an Isabella, I do have a first name which was relatively unusual when my mother chose it but which rocketed to unbelievable popularity as I reached adulthood. Now I know lots of people who share my name, but they're all in a much younger demographic... The experience taught me that there's no telling what will happen with the fabulous, unusual, special names we choose for our kids. My son's is a family name which is considered classic, and I'm hoping its having a history will compensate for its frequent use by others. I tell my daughter, whose name is common but not yet a stereotype of her birth year, that we just picked the name we thought was the prettiest and we hope she likes it. She said, "Then why didn't you name me Sparkle?" (She's four.)
  3. My kids are loving Beverly Cleary's Mouse & the Motorcycle trilogy.
  4. I'm sorry you are going through this. I wish I had words that could help. You're in my prayers.
  5. When I read LHOTP to my son, he was 4 or 5. Our issue at the time was limited to the language used about the Native Americans. When we reached passages like the one someone helpfully quoted upthread in which Ma says she just doesn't like Indians, I would stop and add commentary as needed. Mostly, I was focused on drawing his attention to racial bias and helping him to realize it was wrong. I expect to do the same thing with the why-did-they-take-their-land aspect the next time we read the books.
  6. Another ENTJ here. I have to admit, I was a little dismayed at how unfavorably we Evil Overlords are portrayed...I need to make a plan to control this situation, and I will have assignments for each of you. What, you don't all care about changing the world's bias against ENTJs? Well, you're wrong. This makes me want to force encourage my husband to take this test. I'd like to find out how we're still married.
  7. After going carefully over the "don't do this; it's a short-circuit" thing with my ds, I've let him do his thing with the Snap Circuits. It's always been fine, until the other day when he was trying to show us the circuit he'd made that would flash lights to music. Smoke started coming off the circuit! We made him turn it off right then, but I'm not sure what the problem was. I don't know how old your son is, but mine is 6, and I wonder if he checked the circuit carefully enough. So I would have said it was fine to let your son play with his circuits unsupervised until this happened. Now I'm kind of worried about it myself.
  8. Here, FWIW, is what I think: You have now done everything reasonable in your power to change this situation. You've told your husband all your reasons for wanting him to choose the tournament over the concert and you've offered alternatives to your original plans. I am inferring from your posts that he is still likely to insist on the concert and you are still going to be escorting your daughter and younger son to the tournament. So now, the only remaining option you have to alleviate this conflict is to let it go. From this point, you will either (naturally, I think) harbor resentment about this, or you will make yourself move past it. You can't change him; you can only change yourself. Because you earlier defended your husband's character, I am taking his unwillingness to suffer through softball as a character flaw in an otherwise decent guy. I think you're going to have to struggle within yourself to accept the outcome of this scenario and not hold it against him. I hope I don't sound unsympathetic -- I do find his choice to be a poor one, and I'm very sorry for the disappointment (and inconvenience) to you and your children. I know that part of being loved is having someone who can get past my weak moments and bad choices, so I hope you'll be able to find it in yourself to extend this grace to your husband. Also, my parents hardly ever came to any of my events (though I noticed they attended a few more of my brother's -- he was a lot more talented than I!). I always wanted them to be there, but for various reasons, they weren't. I still love them, and we have a good relationship. I've told them that I wished they had attended more of my events, and I make a point of being there for my own children's activities, but that's about the extent of its effect on my life. I know others will have had different experiences, but I thought you might like to hear from someone who was not permanently traumatized by her parents' lack of involvement! Best of luck to you!
  9. Myfunnybunch said (sorry, the quote got messed up in transit): "Of course, I learned all of those things by facing the obstacles that taught them to me. Knowing them when I was 30 would have been helpful, but in a "Isn't that a nice sentiment?" kind of way. They wouldn't have been as meaningful to me then as they are now, because now I know them from having meaningful (and sometimes painful) experiences." I wish I could teach my 30yo self to cultivate more compassion for others, but I absolutely agree with the above quote that it's the living through experiences which taught me its importance. Of course my 30yo self would agree that compassion is an important quality! But she wouldn't have understood it the way that I mean it.
  10. Bic #2 mechanical pencils. I started my Ker on them last year because I liked them myself. They even have some different-colored parts so the children can tell their own apart (and fight over them). I hate wooden pencils because I want a sharp point all the time.
  11. DS6 and DD4. And that's it, ever. I know what you mean about feeling like the odd one. We're the only hs family we know who owns regular 5-seater automobiles!
  12. Agreeing with everybody who thinks it would be easier to switch from trumpet to horn than from trombone to horn. All my arguments are already here: stay in treble clef, similar fingering... the only thing I want to add is that horn mouthpieces are tiny, the smallest in the brass family, I think. In my opinion, you'd want to start your child with a mouthpiece of the closest size to a horn's in order to ease the transition.
  13. We have a regularly-scheduled outside activity one day a week, and the only way we get school done on those afternoons is because I purposely scheduled a lighter load for that day. We leave off one subject and usually only have a fact sheet in math, and that cuts our school time in about half or more. If we had to have a regular day of school after our morning outing, I'm afraid I'd procrastinate until it didn't get done at all. My DS is never too enthusiastic about coming home and having school, but I think it helps him to know it's our "easy day".
  14. Walmart breaks out the Christmas stuff. Just kidding, sort of.
  15. This is me, exactly. I keep hoping to stumble upon the magic solution to teaching this book. But I think I'm going to give up and buy some Draw Write Now books and let the kids read Drawing With Children for themselves, later.
  16. My ds6 is very interested in anatomy, too, and reading stuff aloud to him actually nauseates me sometimes. I don't have any advice; just sympathy. I'm trying not to let my obvious distaste for the subject make him think his interest in it is wrong, but I also need him to recognize that some people really don't want to know certain things! Sigh.
  17. Every so often, I have to institute Fifteen Minutes of Silence from everybody. And I have to actually time it, because as soon as the fifteen minutes are up, it's like a dam breaking.
  18. I am more familiar with literature and writing than philosophy, so my opinion on this may not extend to some areas of the humanities. I think the reason some people are frustrated by the "lack of right and wrong" is because we often fail to grasp that the reader completes the work. Certainly we consider new things in reading, but we each bring individual experience and bodies of accumulated ideas to our reading -- and this facet of individual flavoring is almost as much a part of the reading experience as the work itself. As with any art, the purpose of great writing is to elicit reaction. I believe many people have difficulty with the division between the concrete part (identifying themes, recognizing allusion, etc.) and the unique aspect each one brings to the work. Further, the individual's experience will inevitably influence his interpretations. For example (since we just read Mr. Popper's Penguins), my children and I could have both seen the themes of Follow Your Dreams and Nature is Good. But where they, at four and six, only see a fun story in which lots of silly things happen, I have the life experience to think, "Mr. Popper was a terrible, selfish father" and the reading experience (having just reread the awful seal-massacre story in The Jungle Book) to think, "Those poor penguins are being exploited." This is probably not the best example, but it's the first one that comes to mind at the moment. Perhaps the students most comfortable in the humanities are the ones who have the least trouble/most confidence in expressing themselves within the work?
  19. OP, it sounds like your child is very comfortable with academic reading and writing. I think, from personal experience in a similar background, that the most challenging thing to him would be to learn to write differently, for a different audience. Of all the college courses I took in my field, the hardest for me was called something like "Writing for Mass Media". What I had privately sneered at as an easy A turned out to be quite difficult. Not only did it force me to consider my words and my reader carefully, it also helped me learn to self-edit much more brutally than other writing disciplines require. Writing for media changes the rules of the game, you see -- the text must fit within a certain frame and be kept to the reading level of a sixth grader. I compare it to learning to write a sonnet: Why would you bother, when you can say what you want in free verse? Because there's an art to saying what you want within prescribed limitations. It can only make him a more elegant writer. ETA: I suddenly realized this is not quite on-topic. Sorry.
  20. My dh is off every alternate Friday, so we have 5-day/4-day weeks. I don't know if your concern is continuity or merely filling your state's school requirements, but for us the only consideration is making our number of school days for the year. I count up the number of off Fridays in our scheduled year and we have to get that number of days in during the summer. For us, it's twice per week most of the summer weeks. Of course, we end up with extra days since we take field trips on dh's off days. I actually prefer this schedule to a traditional one!
  21. I'm so glad the OP asked this question! We chose Saxon based exclusively on TWTM recommendation, and while I've been pleased and DS6 has been pleased (but not challenged), these boards have made me wonder if I'm doing him a disservice by not switching to another program. It's such a relief to have reassurrance from some of you truly mathy people! I'm reluctant to try conceptual math because I fear I might not understand it well enough to teach it...
  22. This is one of those rare threads where I find myself agreeing with practically everybody, even the posters who are disagreeing with each other. I concur with both the viewpoint that fluency in foreign languages is very worthwhile and with the idea that it is difficult to acquire here because it is not practical. Oh, AND with the opinion that even though foreign language is important, it's maybe not the best bang for the PS tax dollar bucks (guess that would be the American in me?). As I am not relying on the education provided by PS tax dollars for my children, however, I hope to give my kids a better foreign language experience than the one I had. In two years of HS French and a minor in college, I never had a native speaker as a teacher -- and I can recognize a few French words in print, at best. Actually, this thread has illustrated for me how inadequate my own ideas of foreign language requirements may be in comparison to the global standard. Thanks for the eye-opener. I may not be able to raise my children to that standard, but now I can feel guilt because I'll know what they're missing!
  23. My grandmother used to say "Education is never wasted." The older I become, the truer that seems to me. If we take the hard road and give our kids this internationally competitive education, and my daughter grows up to find a career either in a foreign country or in a field here with high competition, everyone will say, "Good thing you prepared her so well." But if my daughter grows up to be a SAHM in the town where she grew up, does that mean all that time and effort was wasted? Not to me, because 1) the worth of education is not solely measured by financial output, and 2) I cannot see all the aspects of her life her education will impact. I might regret not having taught her more, but not having taught her less. ETA the clarification: I might regret not having taught her more, but I will never be sorry I didn't teach her less. I think that's more grammatical.
  24. My husband and I were both in the gifted pull-out program in our state. Though we were in different school systems, our experiences were the same: Every week in elementary and middle school, we had a couple of hours of Random Learning. Carve an Egyptian hippo out of Ivory soap! Puppet show! Japan! Calligraphy! Stock market game! Make a woodcut stamp! I suppose it exposed us to more, but it didn't attempt to challenge us academically. In fact, before we decided to homeschool, my husband insisted that he did not want our children to be in the gifted program because it would remove them from classes teaching actual academic subjects. Our only school-aged child has never been to PS and has not been tested, but I can tell you with confidence that teaching my own gifted children is one of the aspects of homeschooling that I find most appealing. I know what gifted education is like in our system and I have no doubt that we can do better.
  25. Why did every eligible maiden in the kingdom want to marry a man who was so inconsiderate as to ignore all his guests except Cinderella? I know the answer is "Because he's a prince", but his failure to exhibit Party Manners is an ominous portent of Cinderella's future happiness.
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