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About barnwife

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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  1. TOB is based on a series of Wednesday audiences given by Pope St. John Paul II. I think reading the original lectures is eye-opening in ways other things about it aren't. However, West's book is good (and probably less intimidating).
  2. Well, TAN books is a Catholic publishing company, so there's that. It covers more saints and people than other series might is my current feeling. A quick glance at the end of volume one (the ancient world) told me Saints Sebastian, Paul, and Cyprian are mentioned. Given that I saw that at a quick glance, it wouldn't surprise me if there are others. I wouldn't worry about confusing sources like that. It's more like there is nothing anti-Catholic in the series. It's not trying to be a catechism. And the reality is, that even if SOC had been written trying to be neutral to all religions (a la SOTW), we'd still prefer it. For us, the writing/tone is way more interesting and engaging.
  3. Well, for us, SOTW just wasn't that engaging. The first few chapters were fine, but then it quickly became something we read to check off a box. (Sorry, SWB.) By the time we neared the end, I don't think my kids would have noticed if I had just quit doing it. Or actually, maybe they'd have noticed, but been excited not to have to listen to that boring book again. The Story of Civilization, OTOH, has captured them more. It doesn't feel like something to get through/check off a box. And although both series are story-ish overviews of history, SOC seems to have more content included. Add in the fact that it's Catholic (so I know I don't have to add/edit things) and it's win in my book.
  4. Both? Religion is a part of our HS because religion informs all areas of our lives. We enroll them in RE because I think it's good for them to have that community and see that others think faith is important. Is is strictly necessary, given all we do at home? No. But, our kids mostly like it/think it's okay, so we continue to enroll them. FWIW, I actually don't think of what we do at home as "sacrament prep," I guess. It's just us living out all beliefs in all areas in age- appropriate ways for each kid. So we start each morning time with prayer, read through various books (like Our Holy Faith), end our day with prayer, etc... GL finding the rhythm that works for your family!
  5. I'm not the poster you quoted, but I am also Catholic. So far (our oldest is only 9), we've liked the Our Holy Faith series by TAN. We also have a ton of children's Bibles and saint books. We've just started using The Story of Civilization. Even at this early point, it's a much better fit and way more enjoyable for us than SOTW ever was (we only did the first one, sorry SWB). OP, we include prayer in morning time. We attend Adoration on First Fridays. I'd like to attempt daily Mass once a week, but the times really mess with our schedule, so I haven't been brave enough.
  6. Huh. Once again, the Hive taught me something. Today I learned some people think raccoons are cute. The only way I'd have used raccoons and cute in the same sentence is to say something like: Raccoons are cuter than opossums. (Because holy heck, opossums have ugly, nasty tails. So raccoons edge them out in cuteness by a smidge.)
  7. I thought of something else. When I start morning time, I don't require them to be on the couch. So when it's time/I'm ready, I sing our gathering song and sit down and begin. I act as though I don't care if they are there or not. And somehow they all end up there with me, with no whining or complaining. Sometimes a couple will keep building with legos or whatever during prayer or the first picture book. But doesn't last long around here. They all end up on the couch with me pretty quickly. Also, I don't think much would get done around here if I had them all at the table during table time. It goes much better for us if only the one I am currently working with is at the table and the others are elsewhere. Sometimes it goes okay if two kids are there, but any more and things go downhill very quickly. I just haven't figured out the secret to having everybody there at once and making progress (so you aren't alone). They are so young that they all need me right there so it doesn't go well if they are all there at once. I hope you are able to find something that helps!
  8. I have a 9, 7, almost 6, and a 2.5 yo. Here is our routine. We start with morning time (prayer, sci or history RA, chapter book RA, some picture books, etc...) Then comes breakfast. After breakfast we brush teeth etc...for anyone who hasn't done so. Then we either go for a walk or do reading/phonics and speech. The kids I am not working with play or read whatever they want. (Well, soon the 9 yo will use this as assigned reading time.) Depending on the weather, we may switch the order (reading and speech before a walk). I've discovered that the walk is crucial to table time going well for us. If we haven't had a walk, table time will be...not good. We do reading/phonics and speech in our living room on our couch or the floor. For table time, I call a kid (usually going oldest to youngest, sometimes vice versa). They do language arts and math for table time. I have a visual timer. When a child comes they work for 15 minutes. They can choose the order of work (spelling, other written language stuff, handwriting, maths). When the timer goes off, I switch to another kid. When they are done with all subjects, they are done. Obviously, the 9 yo needs more 15 min work sessions than the almost 6 yo. Again, the kids I am not working with do whatever they want. We break for lunch whenever it seems right. They don't get tablet/TV time until their work is done. Anyone being too loud for people doing school are banished to another room. I can't claim this is perfect (it's not). But they know the things that are expected of them. Do they whine sometimes? Yes. But...they know that I'll start the timer again if they whine too much/waste too much time. So it's longer before their next break. And, of course, losing tablet time would be tragic, so they don't push too much (usually). Also, the visual timer has been a game changer. They love knowing they get a break when it goes off, even if in the middle of something. Then we just pick up right there the next time they sit down. And often they now choose to finish a lesson rather than come back to the same thing.
  9. Gabriel is like the Archangel, so it's "Gay-bree-ul" (emphasis on the first syllable). Gabrielle is "Gah-bree-el" (emphasis on last syllable). And until you replied, I had no idea that there were people who read them the same (versus just reading too quickly and making a mistake). FWIW, OP, I'd get it right! Gabriel is among my favorite boy names. I never had the chance to use it, as we are close to a little Gabriela. Her problem is that no one get her nickname right. It's Gabi (pronounced Gah-bee), not Gabby (like someone who talks too much).
  10. This thread is making me laugh. I have a common girls' name with a common nickname. I grew up using the nickname. Now I prefer the full name. I now always introduce myself with the full name, and yet people still shorten it. Most are pretty good about remembering that I prefer the full name once I point it out though. I fully expected to have to fight this battle with our oldest. His full name is only two syllables, and I definitely prefer the full name to the nickname. If you shorten it, it ends with the same sound that starts our last name, which I intensely dislike. However, it just hasn't been an issue with him. We introduce him as "Michael" (not his name) and people call him "Michael." I can only remember one person ever trying to shorten it. So why he is an exception to the name being shortened thing, I don't know. If I ever figure it out, I'll pass it along.
  11. Back in the day when I was a public school teacher, I lost my voice for a week. It was...probably not the most rigorous week in the education of that class. Nothing seemed to help me, other than time and not talking as much as possible. I did drink a lot of tea because it felt good, but it didn't seem to help me recover more quickly. It sounds like this is a good time for a lot of documentaries for your HS.
  12. I assume you know to hang towels and jeans "single layer", like from the end so they're spread out rather than doubled up. Otherwise, it's humidity, breeze, sunshine and how well the clothes are spun out. That's where front loaders usually do a better job. Another thing to try is putting the clothes up in the afternoon and taking them down the next afternoon/evening. Really shouldn't be needed if you have halfway decent drying weather.
  13. The winged carpenter ants are young females that swarm. They mature and leave at the same time, going off to each found their own colonies. You'll need to look up the difference between carpenter ant females and winged termites, not too hard to tell them apart with pics. They like wet rotted wood, most likely you're framing is wet in the spot you see the sawdust. That has to be dried out to keep them away.
  14. Prefinished isn't bad to install. Definitely use air nailers. If this is 3/4" then the stand up hammer type air nailer. If it's not prefinished, then the sanding and finishing is more work. I like to use oil based polyurethane, it stinks. You can use water based polyurethane, it cures fast, is harder, but brittle and scratches, wears terribly in my opinion. Same thing with the prefinished flooring I've seen, it wears terribly. Oil based poly scratches, but it has to be a bad scratch to get to the wood, it dents, but doesn't crack and shatter the finish as easily as a harder finish. Unfinished wood will need to be trimmed and culled to get a good result, unless you get much better stuff than I've seen. Look at every piece, lay out a few rows, check each piece for fit before nailing it. Be prepared to use a drum/belt sander, you might get away with using a random orbit sander only, but don't count on it.
  15. I guess I'll be the odd man out. We have definitely re-read books (The Wizard of Oz, Charlotte's Web, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the My Father's Dragon trilogy come to mind). There is no rhyme or reason to what I'll re-read. Our almost 6 yo recently asked for a chapter book again (Dominic). I'll probably indulge him, as I know the 7 and 9 yo like it, and he tends to get the short end of the stick when it comes to RA. I am one of those who enjoys reading favorite books over and over, so I totally get why there are some they want to hear again. I'd love it if I could get them to like audiobooks, but none of mine do.
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