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About Gil

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    Supreme PooBah of Learning at G.I.Z.M.O.S

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  1. What is your personal and family policy re: marking in books? Do you mark books as/when you read, or do you consider that sacrilege? I'm not talking about library books, I'm talking about books that you own.
  2. By imaginative pretend play, I mean playing mostly without toys or playing games where the toys are secondary to the game. As in pretending to be X, or imaginarily adventuring through Xland, etc. I'm sure that a lot of people won't remember, but if you can remember: When did you and your peers stop playing imaginative pretend? Was it drastically different from when you and your peers stopped playing with toys? What was the most enduring toy that you played with? (The toy that you played with for the longest period of time, whether it was 4-8, or 5-14, etc?) When did your kids (boys and girls) and their peers stop playing pretend? What was the most enduring toy that your kids played with?
  3. One of the hardest things logistically, is keeping the resources in each language that it takes to really develop and maintain proficiency. There is always a balance between enabling them, and enabling them. Pal has gotten himself hooked on Busca Fieras a book series that I can not find many of in the states. Its one of those series that has 40 bajillion installments and a spin off series, and only a few of them are in the library. He was trying to convince me to buy them AT RETAIL from Spain and he would pay me back later. "Please Gil! I'll go to school for neuro-surgery and when I get out of school, I'll buy you a mansion with a servant and pay the land taxes on it forever!" I'll admit, it was a tempting offer, but I told him no and that he'll have to rely on the ILL system (and wait) just like every other little boy in the world.
  4. I'm sorry that you're having a rough time. But don't worry about it. You should know that I wasn't offended or hurt. What you said might not have been "helpful" in the most literal sense, but it certainly wasn't wrong, or hurtful. You didn't attack me. Or rather there was nothing in your post that made me feel attacked. (Maybe I'm just dense. I reread what you posted and I just don't get the insult/attack or whatever it is that you perceived you've done to me.) Hell, I know that I'm not a good "teacher" when it comes to science. It would be insane for me to get angry or hurt because someone mentions that fact to my face in a non-confrontational way. Outsourcing science class isn't the right option for us at this time, which is why I'm looking to improve the way that I'm handling it in-house. We're doing chemistry next, so if you have any suggestions...I'm all ears.
  5. That's awesome! Absolutely awesome.
  6. Do you happen to live in the South? Last month we were checking out at WM when The Boys saw a bunch of the trading card games had CLEARANCE tags and started browsing them. They brought over a large pack of Pokemon cards and asked the cashier woman to price-check it for them since they didn't see the original price sticker. The woman asked if their parents actually let them play with Pokemon cards (even though I was standing right there) and when they told her "yes" she started shaking her head no and told The Boys that she wouldn't ever let her kids play with Pokemon cards because Monsters are evil and she "didn't want her kids to believe in them." Pal was confused and caught off guard, he said something like "Pretty much everyone knows the difference between reality and pretend. Pokemon cards are really fun." She clarified that Monsters and Evil were against (her brand of) Religion so playing games that glorify Evil and Monsters was a sin and Pal asked: "But Pokemon don't ACTUALLY exist. How is an imaginary sin a real sin? What about mickey mouse--is he evil too?" (She was wearing Mickey Mouse ear rings) She got quiet but was clearly upset while she finished ringing up our order but just as we were getting the last of our bags she yelled: You need to repent and bring Jesus Christ into your life and be saved! It startled me and yes, it was as weird as you think it was.
  7. Thanks! Those Kanji practice sheets'll come in handy.
  8. I had no idea what they would've been talking about. Well, I would've used the word baffled, but thanks for that link. It was interesting learn that they weren't just crazy.
  9. How can a parent with out an science background or passion better approach science, so that they can be a better teacher and co-learner for their student who is eager to learn science and usually enjoys it? Things are going pretty good now and we have a plan to finish out the term, but it wasn't smooth sailing or easy to get the course up off the ground, due to me. I wouldn't want to flounder through another science course unnecessarily. Apparent science isn't really my "thing" when it comes to teaching and I need more practice/a better system, but I know that I can do better than this. The biggest "con" to this course wasn't the books or the students, it was the "teacher". What are some things that I can I do to improve?
  10. The Biggest Risk in my eyes is the potential for kiddo getting his heart broken, but he swears that he just wants to try it and that if it works out, he will want to foster again, even if it makes him sad to say good bye. We've been discussing it a lot (mostly because he can't go a day without mentioning it). It has become one of those things where I need to decide if I can trust my kids judgement or not. Unfortunately that's not an easy answer. Our local program seems to really be good about matching families with animals. I've asked around locally and have spoken to the people at the program directly as well. We can register as a short-term foster and I've heard that they do a good job about keeping those foster terms in the bounds of what was agreed upon. The woman over the program said that kids 10+ can take the basic orientation training with their parent and that our situation doesn't mean we aren't a fit for the program, but she's recommended that I think it over.
  11. Oh god no. Rats are a terrible idea and a non-solution. The only thing worse than a rat, would be a pair of rats. 🤢 In my home, rodents and reptiles are pest, not pets. Pest get to be poisoned, pets get fed. Pest in my home are killed as quickly as possible. Pets get their lives sustained by being taken to the vet. The Boys lucked out in that their cats keep the number of unwelcome pests down to nearly zero.
  12. @SusanC (and anyone else who may be interested)it's a year+ later, but here are some of the specific Spanish Resources that we enjoyed: Un Cuenta Para Cada Dia an anthology with 366 stories/poems/songs/readings in it. Some of the selections are stories that span a full page, others are simply a few sentences, but there is one for each day. Makes it easy to read every day. Actually, we own a lot of anthologies/story collections in Spanish. Most of them have really generic titles and around 10-20 stories, but this one has an entry for every single day. There is a CD that goes with it, but our book was purchased 2nd hand and we don't have the CD. I think that the CD only had a few tracks for each month on it. Libro De La Gran Idea gr. 5 (Cengage Learning/National Geographic, 3 volumes) Ciencias de la vida (5ch) Ciencias fisicas (6 ch) Ciencias de la tierra (5 ch) I think that each grade has a 3-volume set based on the same themes but leveled for that particular grade. We own and used the 5th grade set and each of the books are 220-250 pages each. Each chapter opens with a question, defining and explaining vocabulary and each 2-page spread is formatted so that it's 40-60% illustrations/pictures and has paragraphs of text arranged in a 4-column format. There are 30-50 pages per chapter and there are comprehension questions written into each lesson as you go. The Boys read and reread these. United States of America Stories, Maps, Activities in Spanish and English ages 10-adult (Fisher Hill, 4 volumes) Volume 1: Alabama - Idaho Volume 2: Illinois - Missouri Volume 3: Montana - Pennsylvania Volume 4: Rhode Island - Wyoming The pages in these books need to be photo copied, but aside from that they're easy to use. They were written to help the readers learn about US History and Geography. Its written on a 4th grade level and contains a multi-page unit on each state. There is nothing childish or immature about the format, though they use a large 16 pt font throughout. (My kids like that it's easy to read) The English and Spanish are not on the same page . You can photocopy only the Spanish or only the English pages. The books are all black and white--no color, cartoons or anything, but each states unit follows the basic pattern of Introductory story, vocab + comprehension page, map work + questions, and some times additional activity with charts/graphs/ etc. There is a time line in the back of the book that you can copy and fill out. The answers are in the back of each volume. Enciclopedia Universal Para Ninos (DK and Readers Digest, 2 volumes) Volume 1 A-H Volume 2 G-Z This is an older kids encyclopedia, its from the 1990s. It was adapted and translated from an English language kids encyclopedia. It's comprehensive enough for our needs and self-indexes and cross-references to an extent but could be better formatted. The print is small, and some times the page layout suffers from having to flip the page to finish the article. If you can find a better Enciclopedia for your family, do, but it's not a bad set to have around. (this is the set that we're studying) ******************* We also (have) use(d) a random assortment of textbooks produced by Santillana (a Spanish publisher that prints school books used all over the Spanish speaking world) whenever we find them locally.
  13. Oh my gosh! YES, YES! YES. "This is not a social club!" was practically my schools motto.
  14. "Why don't homeschoolers believe in using black crayons?" I am still trying to comprehend where the heck that question could've come from.
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