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Above The Rowan

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Everything posted by Above The Rowan

  1. I think SEA is a bit...over the top. I was in that group for a long time, and left for a year or two because I just thought they were ridiculous. Someone would ask about the Charlotte Mason philosophy and I’d get my hand slapped for suggesting that the best way to learn about her method was to go to her actual books, because all the books ABOUT the CM method were just other peoples distillations of it. I get it, though, I really do. When I started homeschooling 7-8 years ago, there was nothing for secular homeschoolers. A handful of curricula and if those didn’t work for you (RSO for instance, is dry as sawdust and we hated it, but what else was there back then?) - you were shit outta luck. So, I see the reason why a group like SEA was started, and why they opted to stick to a strict set of regulations. I’ve worked for them in the past - and I think that they never really thought they’d be a group of 60k+ members. I think people still think that SEA is the only voice in the secular homeschool world, simply because it’s SUCH a big group and they really do wield a lot of power. If you are a curriculum creator and you get blacklisted by SEA, for whatever reason, that is going to be a huge hit to your bottom line. I have some issues with the way things are handled by them, and I am not keen on the gatekeeping that happens in that group. I don’t have a ton of respect for the group owner, really. I just tune that all out for the most part, because I remind myself that despite the size of their group - the small number of people who actually make the decisions about SEA are just regular ole’ homeschooling parents like the rest of us. I don’t have to define my homeschooling choices based on the definitions that SEA uses for their group. There are other groups. SEA doesn’t reflect my own personal values all of the time, and I am basically read-only in there now. It may have its downsides, but it IS a gigantic group of people who generally are likeminded and there are some good posts and good discussions in there. As an interesting side note, I have had discussions recently with people who think SEA is way too strict. I have had an equal number of convos about them where folks think they’re NOT SECULAR ENOUGH. They recommend Pandia Press, and BYL, and those aren’t truly secular. So...different strokes for different folks, I guess?
  2. Puck Bunnies are a very real thing. I first started watching this show bc I wanted to make fun of it since it looked like such a ridiculous idea for a show. Then I realized I quite enjoyed it. For my DH and I it’s fun to pick out which sub groups our various family members or friends might fall into. The Skids are my fave though, they CRACK ME UP.
  3. I agree with this. One of my closest homeschooling friends are from Quebec, have lived in Ontario for a long time now with their family, and we still find there are some cultural differences as to things like speaking loudly, speaking very brusquely - and they are VERY ‘say what i think, no sugar coating’. It caught me off guard a bit when I first was getting to know her, and I swore she hated my guts for the first year we knew each other. But that’s just her way. Aside from that, I have never known anyone with a bigger heart or a bigger laugh, and man they are a FUNNY family - we always have such a blast when we hang out. My mother’s exhusband is from rural northern Quebec, and it was also a big culture shock when he merged into our family. His family would come to visit, and they CAN speak English, they all just chose not to. Even when my siblings and I are mostly angolophone, they would answer us in french when we spoke to them in English. They were VERY big proponents of keeping their French language and culture, and assumed it was the rest of Canada who should all make sure to speak French if they wanted to talk to them. Super snobby, they were. I lived in Ottawa for a number of years pre-kids, and had similar experiences with folks who would come across from Quebec. I was a server, and I would talk to them in English - they’d reply to me in French, and when I’d say in my battered-up French that I only understand a little, they’d get REALLY angry. This happened often enough that it was not a surprise to me after a few months of living in Ottawa. I think, too, sometimes people don’t realize how BIG some of our provinces are. And how isolated many towns and cities are from each other. Quebec, since we’re on that topic, is a very large province, but with a ton of small rural areas - so even regionally within the province there are big differences in culture and language and social behaviours. Same goes for Ontario - massive province in size - I can drive from my town in northern ontario for 18 hours and still not be at the north edge of my province. And it can’t be overstated how very very different each part of Ontario is from the others. I live, on the map, technically in upper central Ontario but we are considered “northern Ontario” because anything else north of us is SUPER isolated, and have very different lived experiences. Many communities further north than I am are fly-in only, or they are native communities, there are lots of timber and mining towns and camps. Folks who hail from those areas (and even in my area of ‘northern’ ontario) are very very different than people who’ve lived their lives south of my region.
  4. Can confirm. 🤣 Actually, there are quite a few peeps in my town who would qualify into the Degen category. But generally people are much more like the Hicks (and has-been never-were local hockey players who still want to be chased after by the Puck Bunnies lol). This thread made me go look for more seasons, and I realized I am 1.5 seasons behind so I’ve been binge watching it like crazy this week. Some episodes are lame, but some of them just get me rolling.
  5. Ive been reading this thread from the start, and I don’t actually often hit reply - but this comment made me laugh out loud for real. I live in the town where most of Letterkenny is filmed. That show is one of my faves and makes me laugh - mostly because it’s so terrifyingly accurate. The way they live, the things they do and say, is actual life in my area of Ontario (and from what I gather, also some small towns in rural prairie areas) I adore Letterkenney, and I feel strangely protective of it lol - but I do agree that it’s weird af.
  6. My 5th grader is working her way through Writing & Rhetoric, and it’s really lovely. Her writing has definitely benefited from it. She’s a strong writer naturally, so I feel like W&R is helping her polish her writing and find new ways to write more elegantly. We’re finishing Narrative 1 right now, and she and I both love it.
  7. Memoria Press isn’t secular, for sure. However, they do have their Charter site which is where I get most of my MP materials from and they seem to have done a good job of removing the religious content. I have not, however, used their Charter edition geography books yet but they’re on the plan for next year. The Geography 1 set (even from the Charter school line) still seems to have more religious stuff than I’d like - but levels 2 and 3 seem much better and look like they’ll be a solid geography curriculum (which we’ve not really ever done in a structured way because I could never find anything I liked). https://charter.memoriapress.com/curriculum/american-and-modern-studies/ Worth taking a peek - it might still be not secular enough but I thought I’d throw it out there.
  8. We’ve moved into mostly Memoria Press this year, and I think next year the plan is for my youngest to hop into a full core package for 6th grade. We’re secular homeschoolers so we’ll use Charter/Public versions of whatever we can, which actually looks to be available for most of the components in the core 6th grade. All the important subjects have a Charter version, anyway. I’m still debating whether I want to move her into MP’s Classical Composition, too, or leave her working on Writing & Rhetoric since she seems to like it well enough. It might be less tweaking to just get her to do what comes with the MP box - she’s a very talented young writer and will likely do well no matter which composition program we choose. We’re in the midst of shuffling her math around, and right now just working on strengthening some areas. I have no idea what we’ll use for math next year. I don’t want to use the Rod & Staff math that comes in the MP core curriculum. She’s a good student, but isn’t super passionate about math really. She will happily work on whatever I ask her to work on but I just haven’t decided which direction to go in.
  9. My 8th grader will be moving into the 8th grade core package from Memoria Press. We’re going to use Charter/Public School versions where possible, since we prefer more secular materials, but will otherwise be using the full core as is. He’ll have to do Latin and Composition at the level he’s at, of course, which right now looks to be Second Form Latin and an accelerated plan to do Classical Composition Chreia/Maxim and Refutation/Confirmation. He’ll do AoPS Algebra for math, I think. Though, the MP package comes with Prentice-Hall Algebra so we may give that a whirl. That’s my loose plan right now. Things may change, but we’re feeling good about it at the moment.
  10. I was hoping to use UM Year 7 with my oldest this school year, but back when I was ready to start ordering resources and getting the plans down, Year 7 still wasn't released. So we opted for a year of BYL8 (my son loves science, so I thought this would be a nice year for him since BYL8 focuses on history of science) and I'm pretty glad we decided to go this way. I think I may move him into UM7 next year, but he wouldn't have been ready for it this year, I don't think. I'm hopeful that the authors of UM are able to get back at it soon. I'd love to see their schedules - but I do know that they've had some life stuff come up that has put the brakes on production for a while. I think, if I were ready to use it and the schedules weren't out yet, I would probably just use something like the A Delectable Education scheduling cards and slot in the titles from Ursa Minor. I saw the booklist for UM7 and thought it looked like an awful lot, but spread out over the terms I think it would actually be alright. I haven't sat down to figure out what that would look like, though, since we opted for another curric this year. I'm interested to see their recommendations for non-US families. I do remember seeing that they plan to offer alternatives to replace some things for those of us not living in the US. I LOVE the look of Ursa Minor, and when I saw their high school outline I practically begged my kids to keep homeschooling through high school (one of my kids is hoping to do an IB program at a local public school for his high school years, and I'm already sad about it and he's only in 7th grade lol).
  11. My oldest is starting BYL8 tomorrow. He's looking forward to it, but it will be a pretty full year by the looks of it. For the first week of school we are just doing BYL8,nothing added (except math) and no Morning Time yet. Just getting a feel for what the workload will be like for BYL8 first. Next week we have a 4-day week because of a science center outing, so that will be a "just BYL" week as well, as we see how it works out trying to do it in 4 days instead of 5. He wants to do as much of it independently as he can, but we will work together on the writing assignments (he is not a strong writer, but working on it) and obviously the dictation will be done with me. Mostly he just wants to go through each day's checklist and work until he's finished.
  12. I went through this. I told my primary care that while I understand her reasoning for not wanting me to keep taking lorazepam for night anxiety/insomnia, it's me who has to cope with zero sleep and anxiety through the roof (which is exacerbated by poor sleep in my case, so just a couple nights of low/no sleep can trigger really intense anxiety for a week or so). Our agreement was that the lorazepam (0.5 mg before bed) was working. And if, at any point, I felt like that low dose was no longer effective then I would wean off it and try something else. And that's what we did, ultimately. I used the 0.5 lorazepam for probably 2 years, with regular check-ins to keep my doctor posted as to how I was feeling about it. About six months ago, I noticed I was not sleeping as well, and the Ativan didn't feel like it was doing the trick anymore at that dosage - so, I went in to see my doctor and now we're pursuing other options. In the interim, I'm taking 5mg of zopiclone to sleep which we also don't wantme on long term, but I have kids to raise and a life to live and for me sleep is a huge priority. So, I'm taking this for now, while keeping our eye out for other treatment possibilities. I'm REALY sensitive to meds, so the lowest possible dose of anything usually works for me for a good long while.
  13. Other: They smell really pretty, and a nice scent or aroma in the home can help me calm down a bit. But I don't think they really do anything besides just smell nice.
  14. If I don't think it'll cause a major accident, I honk. Then again, I live in Ontario and it's zero tolerance here for ANY distracted driving. It used to be focused on 'texting', but has recently been changed to anything that is distracting the driver. So...GPS, opening a coffee, phone for any reason, all are treated the same way. My Mom's GPS unit (she has the one that you can suction cup to your windshield so it kind of sits on your dash) slipped and she grabbed it and was trying to get it to just sit on the dash til she could pull over to reattach it. She got pulled over and was given a (hefty) ticket for distracted driving. I feel like it might have been in the $500+ range, and she lost demerit points on her license. I have an uncle who is an officer for the Ontario Provincial Police, and we were chatting about this. I said "texting while driving" was a stupid charge - my kids are far more distracting to me when I'm driving than any device ever would be. He said you could technically get pulled over if a cop saw you hollering at your kids or passing them something or digging in a diaper bag for something or whatever. If it's taking your attention off the road, you can get ticketed. We've had police officers go on the city transit bus, and they'll watch drivers at red lights for phone use. If they see it, they have another officer in a car ready to pull them over. I've been literally run off the road (with a 4 month old in the backseat at the time) by a distracted driver. I have zero patience for people who can't drive responsibly.
  15. I'm in Ontario Canada. About 6 hrs drive north of Toronto. I grew on the east coast of Canada (Newfoundland).
  16. Mine's in my signature. I'm just dusting it off after a big long break (needed to refocus some priorities around here). I used to try to write more regularly, now I write when the inspiration strikes or if I come across something I really want to share.
  17. Yes, it's basically 'just' a schedule. But also a well-considered, robust booklist, plus lists of extra resources (documentaries etc) Curricula like this are serving a need - not everyone wants to take the time to research and put together a booklist and resources. Not to mention the time it takes to then sit down and sort them all out into a week-by-week schedule. A lot of curricula take this approach.
  18. She wants to do life science but isn't a fan of the usual workbooky kind of science. She loves ancient history and we like the look of some of the projects they suggest for that and I like that LA is intertwined with the history (and she's a very strong writer so that will appeal to her). She reads voraciously, it's like breathing for her, so I'm not worried that she won't get in enough lit. We will also be working in some BW Arrow issues too, I think, which should help to round out that part of it. I have wanted to use OM (and, in fact, have purchased OM many years) but always ended up second guessing myself and just sticking to what we know (CM/classical kind of style). I feel this coming year, what she wants and is asking for just all seems to line up nicely with the OM6 syllabus.
  19. Total Change of plans lol She'll now be doing Oak Meadow Grade 6 (probably paced a little more slowly than usual, but she's capable and interested in all of the work and topics so we went with OM6) She will do Latin, Classical Studies, and French with her brother and then when he goes off to do his individiual work, she will work on her OM assignments. We are VERY excited!
  20. I haven't used Level 3, but I did use Level 2 back when my kids were in 3rd and 1st. Honestly, that's one of our best years to date. It was so easy to follow and easy to plan out your week, the books are lovely, there's not a ton of busywork to weigh you down, and we were always done before lunch with loads of time to do whatever else in the afternoon. I'll be using Level 8 with my older this upcoming year and we're super excited about it.
  21. I think the Plan Your Year set from Pam Barnhill are editable and printable. And they're pretty, too.
  22. I've used BYL2 when my kids were 8 and 6 yr old. We loved it! We've used BYL's Evolution unit study (actually twice, because my kids enjoyed it so much - the book selection for that unit study is amazing). I just picked up BYL8 for my oldest to use next year. The booklist is extensive for Level 8 but we've already got book orders coming in, and every single book looks great. We're really excited about it - and for my hormonal 12 yr old boy to get actually excited about anything is quite a feat lol. I really like BYL - I went through a couple of years where I decided not to use their stuff but I've always been a big fan of Emily Cook and I think she's fantastic. The curric started to be very American-history focused and we're Canadian so I would've had to change a lot so we didn't really use it except for the unit studies. But this History of Science leve couldn't be more perfect for my 12 yr old, so we're going with it. It's a CM-inspired curriculum, so there isn't much in the way of "busywork" type stuff - reading (SO much reading in Level 8) with narration, dictation, and some writing assignments. She does offer some discussion questions in the vocabulary/notes sections of each week, and they'd be great for just sitting and chatting with the student, or I may take some of the questions and use them for some extra writing assignments. And in Level 8, in the last few weeks there is a 5-8 page biographical report of a scientist of their choosing - it's spread out over a couple of weeks but it will be a big undertaking for my writing-phobic son. You do need to add a math to it, and a structured science curriculum if your child wants 'real' science - since there's so much science-focused reading, there isn't hands on science included in Level 8. I think we're going to poke around for a very simple, probably workbook-y physics curric. I feel like I'm rambling, but I'm happy to answer questions if you need.
  23. Quoting myself lol So, we've made a big change in our plans. I got my hands on a copy of Build Your Library Level 8 (history of science). My son and I were so excited about the booklist that we high fived and went all-in and decided to start ordering the books, and we'll use this for him next year. In addition to BYL8, he'll be doing: Latin Math (TT Pre-algebra right now, then he wants to do AoPS pre-algebra next year since he'll only be in 7th grade) to firm everything up before Alg 1. Composition (I don't know what we'll use, we ordered Classical Writing Homer but while I love it, I don't like how complicated they've made it to implement) - maybe WWS1, or just stick with the writing assignments as assigned in BYL. I'm also thinking I might add the philosophy , citizenship, and 'the feast' recommendations from the new Ursa Minor Year 7 booklist. Actually, there's a reasonably chance we may scrap things AGAIN (thank god its only April and we dont start til August lol) and just use Ursa Minor Year 7 straight up as written. Who knows?
  24. I bought the iBook for Music of the Hemispheres, just to try it out - it's really beautiful. It's fairly interactive, also. In the one we have, MCT himself reads the poems. I really like the one we have, and I am considering picking up some of the others - the only downside is that you can't resell them.
  25. I'm secular. I've really enjoyed Climbing Parnassus. I recently read Latin Centered Curriculum and while there is mention of religion, it reads like a more succinct version of CP. They make a pretty good pairing. At least to me, having just started down the rabbit hole of reading about classical ed (beyond TWTM, anyway). I wish there were more options that are written from a truly secular perspective. For now, Climbing Parnassus has been my favourite.
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