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Irene Lynn

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About Irene Lynn

  • Birthday 08/03/1966

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    Central IN
  1. My son is into all things Nintendo and therefore also Japan (and surrounding cultures that have influenced Japan) - the culture, history, art, religions, weapons, the language, along with gaming music, graphics, game play, mythology, world religions, and the development of gaming consoles. I am trying to design a multifaceted Asian Studies type of curriculum for him. Your son's interest sounds a little harder to work around. I'm just going to throw out some questions that I would ask myself. How are his basic computer skills? Does he know all the specs. for gaming equipment and the physics behind them? Could he fix any equipment? Does he know about esports injuries and about muscle fatigue or other health related ideas that could help with cognitive and physical optimization? Does he know enough human anatomy and cellular biology (Plus, you could throw in some organic chemistry somehow, then have to backtrack to get the foundational knowledge necessary to understand the organic chemistry.) to understand the medical problems that could occur or the ways to optimize health? Does he know CPR? Just because. LOL Hey, if you are there in a support role, then you have to be able to help in all sorts of ways, right? What math is involved to understand the scoring systems in the games to make sure the gamer is optimizing his score?
  2. I enjoyed reading The Restless Atom: The Awakening of Nuclear Physics, by Alfred Romer. It is the story of the scientists and experiments, both successes and failure, that lead to an understanding of nuclear physics. It is an old book, 1960, but the steps and history remain the same. The book leads the reader alongside many scientists as they experience the excitement, confusion, and joy involved with discovering something that was too small to see.
  3. "I'm not going to get a pet because I don't want to get something that will outlast me." Some pets do live a long time, don't they? Are there any pets you can visit? If you would like a short-term pet, there are foster programs. "I'm going to have my kids go through my things and tell me what they want when I'm gone." How have your kids responded so far? Or How do you think they will respond to that? Are they taking you seriously? Are you trying to downsize? Stuff takes time, doesn't it? "I don't know if I'll still be here." Well, none of us do. What would you do if you knew for sure you would be here? I'm glad you're still here today! I can also think of some cheeky responses if the person is the right type.
  4. I vote for a extra tight hug. He'll learn those good lessons in his own time.
  5. We attend a fairly large church that offers a handful of animal crackers or fish crackers and water to preschoolers. There is an alternative snack for kids with allergies. The elementary kids have a large group meeting, then break up into small groups. Many of the small group leaders bring candy and give one per Sunday or bring the occasional treat, but otherwise there is not food offered to elementary kids. Food is provided in a back room for people involved in the music/tech ministry and pastors because they are there for hours on Sunday morning. (two services and early morning sound checks) There are usually some sweet choices, but there are also nuts, fruit, and egg casseroles or some other hot dish with protein. That is a huge blessing for those volunteers! VBS has junk food with alternatives for kids with allergies or dietary needs. One of the issues I have seen in VBS in the past is that if healthier choices are offered, kids are not happy and so much food is thrown away. Some of the better nonsweet choices, like nuts have been eliminated because of allergies, which I totally understand, yet makes it harder to find something that a big group of kids will eat that is not loaded in sugar. Many of the healthier snacks would cost more, be harder to purchase in bulk, or require a LOT of prep work. So, we don't have food everywhere we look (partly because of all the maintenance that would be needed to keep the building clean if there was much food every week.), but we do have some junk food and some food that is less junky. Food is not a focal point.
  6. The kids and I don't tend to wear clothes with locations or company names on them. On trips I tend to pick up a local pottery item, if I can find it. If we need to pick up a clothing item on trips, we try to stop at the nearest outlet mall, then we usually get some new underwear, too. LOL No one sees that, nor would they think it was bragging! My husband gets shirts from bike rides and free shirts from IT conference/training events. They way shirts are today, I don't assume the person is wearing a shirt from a place they visited, so it doesn't seem like bragging to me.
  7. I homeschooled our daughter all the way through and her first standardized test was the PSAT. I did give her an SAT prep book to go through before taking it. She stressed out with tests when she was little, so I didn't push it. I also didn't need any proof of how she was doing. Our son went to public and private school until 4th grade, so he was tested with our state's test, Iowa basics, and CogAt a few times. The private school did not follow the state's schedule with science and social studies. They did a small amount of practice questions to make sure the style of the test did not interfere with the results. My son found that helpful. We both think that going into it cold he would have made more goofy errors. In the private school there were only 10 kids in his class. The material was good, the teachers tried hard to cover and review material to get it in their heads, but some kids failed the state test and some kids pretty nearly aced it. I am guessing the others were somewhere in the middle. I am only personally aware of a couple of kids at the top and a couple at the bottom. (I helped with tutoring after the testing, which is how I became aware of a few results. That and another mom complaining about the test and the results.) Their test results were consistent in all three tests. My point is that kids can test all over the place with the same diligent teaching. I did not have my son test this year, but I might in another year or two to see how it compares with previous testing. I'm curious and he doesn't stress out with testing. Interestingly, my son still showed solid scores in areas of science that had never been covered in school. He is not a big reader either, though he does like science and can think logically. It does make you wonder what the tests show! I did share the test results with my son. We talked about his weakest areas (spelling) and his strongest areas. Both my kids can be idealist and pretty hard on themselves, so we talked about how he had much more to learn in life, but he was doing very well with his progress at his age. Don't look down on your progress, sort of thing. Also, since we were going to homeschool in 5th, we talked about a game plan for spelling. He doesn't like it, but he could see that though it wasn't horrible, it was his weakest area that needed continued effort. I have decided after this year of homeschooling that I want to have a day every so often, where we review what we have covered so far. This shows him that we have covered some new material and just refreshes the mind. A lot of knowledge needs time to sink in fully. I have found that small amounts of priming the brain to rework that pathway every so often works better for long term retention for my kids than a ton of drill work at one time and then mostly leaving it. EKS talked about "mastering" material and forgetting it later... I agree with this. Most high school and college subjects are crammed into the brain in a relatively short period of time and then left there. Those subjects are the easiest to forget. If those subjects are built upon in a later class, then the brain thinks about it for a stretched out period of time and tends to retain it better. I have found that doing fewer grammar or math questions on new material each day and then adding in a few review questions on the past material every day, kept the brain reworking how to do those other types of problem until they were easy. This actually required fewer total problems and cemented the concept better. Ex. Learn about multiplying fractions today and do about 5 straight forward problems and a story problem, then do one adding fractions and one subtracting fractions with carrying or regrouping. The next day do 5 more multiplying fractions and challenge problem and do one fraction problem requiring simplifying in the answer and one problem finding greatest common factor. I keep rotating the review questions to keep the brain coming back. Some kids may need more drill or a different technique than my son to establish a new concept, but the small amount of review over a length of time after introducing a concept, does make a long term difference. Overall the testing isn't that helpful unless you need the scores to get into a program or the ACT/SAT to get into college and get scholarships.
  8. I wouldn't waste too much mental energy on it. ? Your statement made perfect sense. Some people just don't grasp ideas that don't start in their own heads. My dad was like that and he was sincere in his disbelief of other ideas/phrases/etc. (sincerely wrong! LOL) We didn't have the internet back then to look things up right away to put an end to derailing details. It was draining when these sorts of misunderstandings arose and sometimes made me feel almost alien or something. I suppose they frustrated him, too.
  9. I have a friend who was having a number of systemic inflammation type symptoms and felt bad or off most of the time. She went to a nonconventional health guy (I don't know what he called himself.) and he did some testing and put her on a super restrictive diet to calm the inflammation. A LOT of foods were forbidden and the ones she could eat had to be organic. Whatever she does, she does wholeheartedly, so for a little while, she saw danger in most things. She did feel much better and pain subsided and other symptoms took a vacation. After a while she began trying some of the forbidden foods to see how her body responded, so her diet is modified now. She has found some things that definitely cause problems and others that seem to be fine for her. I do believe that for some people, whose bodies are pretty sensitive/reactive to chemicals, both natural and manmade, that their bodies can get so overwhelmed that even foods/chemicals that were not the natural culprit for inflammation can begin to contribute. It is like the body just can't deal with anything extra. Some of those things aren't really a problem when the body isn't overwhelmed. It is kind of like when a person is super stressed out. ANY new stress/work is too much. As others have mentioned, there are some very rare cases of people, whose bodies can't handle and never will handle things that the vast majority have no problems handling. My friend thought for a while that most foods held some danger. Maybe there was danger everywhere for her and maybe there wasn't and the diet didn't need to be quite so restrictive, but the drastic change was helpful for her and was faster than trying things one at a time.
  10. We live in a fairly low cost area. For a family of 4 we budget $425/month, which works out to $98/week for food and another $65/month for family and pet needs. My daughter does the shopping because she saves us money and keeps to the list. We usually come in a bit under budget in both categories. We purchase some things that we could easily cut. I think we could do the $70/week without much trouble. My daughter makes a lot of delicious things from scratch which saves us and keeps us spoiled. She does love veggies and fruits, so we buy plenty of those, but not everyone actually eats plenty. We don't use many coupons. My daughter goes to Aldi and Meijer. I don't feel like we scrimp at all.
  11. I love building a framework of history of general time periods and making sure that framework is understood. For the earliest times those time periods are much longer and more vague, because we often don't know as many details. The closer we come to the present the narrower those time periods become. I don't expect my kids to retain precise information about the types of topics with which you are struggling. I don't even expect them to memorize many specific dates, but I do want them to know what/who came first and around what time, so they can listen with some critical thinking. Even museums often put a range of years, sometimes a few hundred years, on an object. There is uncertainty for a lot of things. One of the things I love about homeschooling is this very realization. When I was in school, we just read the history book and learned what it said. I was not introduced to the idea that historians were not agreed on times or that different methods/assumptions/etc. lead to different conclusions. This is a great lesson for kids! Looking at the conflict and trying to determine what led to the differring dates is a great exercise.
  12. Sometimes people aren't exactly slipping mentally in a way that will require intervention, but they don't have as much energy to spare. They have energy for things that are most important to them and not as much energy left over for the things they would have noticed or thought about when they were younger when there was energy to spare. My dad (88) is still pretty sharp, but he doesn't have much energy left. His short term memory is not what it was, though it is still functional when he has had enough sleep. I definitely notice changes (minor) in both my parents. They are aging and their mental flexibility and their energy do not extend to all subjects equally. Being sharp does take energy!
  13. I've been called 5 times to come downtown to see if I would be selected for a case. Three of the times I was selected to be interviewed, but was only chosen for the actual jury once. I appreciated the opportunity to be involved in the system. It was a circumstantial evidence case to determine if the defendant had fired the shot. The evidence was thorough and tedious. After some good discussion, the vote was unanimous. I was glad that the evidence was so thorough. The only way we could possibly put the gun in someone else's hand was to make things up and some tried for a while. I appreciated the strong desire to avoid falsely accusing anyone.
  14. This past year my son and I went through Poetry Writing Handbook: Definitions, Examples, Lessons (Gr.4-6). It introduces a number of different styles, though some of the examples are lame. At least we thought we could do better. If you want to go deeper, then you can do a search for more poems of that type online. It generally gets good reviews.
  15. Agreeing with HomeAgain. Keep learning casual, fun, and discovery-based. If you think she needs to work on handwriting, then get your hands messy with cooking or crafting or driving and ask for her help writing up a shopping list, or packing list, or idea list. If she doesn't know how to spell something, she can just ask, no pressure. Or would she like making up codes to write messages? This also works those fine motor skills, but she would be the one to show you how it is done. You said that if you could homeschool you would do unschooling/internet based learning. That sounds like a good idea anyway. Set the example with curiosity and looking things up and see what interests her. Go for hikes or creek stomping. Look for interesting things and take pictures and look them up when you get home. Read aloud or find audio books to share, go to the library and get books of poetry, geography, science, history, art, cooking, etc. and see what interests her. Just enjoy learning together and let her enjoy the summer. My son tested high on the CogAT at a school that did nothing for gifted students. He was fine until 4th grade, then things started to go downhill. That is also when he started to have less respect for the system and the explanations that the teachers gave. My daughter would have choked in Kindergarten, but my son was fine. Each kid is different. If you daughter is liking her school, then she is probably in the right place for right now, whether there are gifted options or not. Your daughter's growth may have been more focused in areas that don't show up in the CogAt this past year. I know my son's interest in the history and development of Nintendo didn't show up! LOL Anyway, I hope you find your groove together for this summer and find out what is at the root of the "feeling stupid and not wanting to be the smartest." My son cried after he got Highest GPA award for his class, because he felt like he was getting pigeon-holed as "the smart kid" and ONLY seen as that. He felt he was much more and didn't want to be limited. Many people get labeled and limited in other's thinking. It was a good conversation to have. I don't know if that is at all similar to your own daughter's concern, but I thought I would throw that out there, since my son expressed some similar thoughts.
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