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About Xahm

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee
  • Birthday April 23

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  1. My oldest liked to write very young. I'm not a stickler for a particular method of letter formation (and I think some of them are very outdated and based on using fountain pens or older) but there are some methods that clearly won't work long term. I casually remarked that she was doing a good job "drawing letters" and that I'd be happy to teach her how to write them whenever she wanted. She was driven to do things properly, so she was happy to practice the right way. Having special pens or pencils that may only be used for writing rather than drawing might also help.
  2. This is great, and I may come back to it in a few years when my kids are older. The only input I have is that, from my observation when I read the books, The Devil's Arithmetic is more for kids who are somewhat jaded and need to be beat about the head about how awful the Holocaust was, while the other two are better for kids who are more sensitive.
  3. These issues are tremendously hard. Our county is very diverse. I lived in the poorer, southern part and was bussed to a high school in the northern, richer part. The county made sure to upgrade schools in the southern part first, so my high school was pretty literally crumbling around our ears, but we were winning all sorts of academic accolades and sending graduates to top colleges. My brother who didn't get bussed was one of 12 kids in the school (1500 students, about) to score over 1000 on the SAT, and they literally threw those kids a party and made t shirts. Many, many parents cared at t
  4. I know this one! I used to teach English to Russians, actually, so we did a lot of work with articles. I worked for a British-Russian company, so I had to teach the British rules. There are some nouns that name institutions, like church, school, or prison. These words have two main meanings. They refer to the place and they refer to the institution. If you are discussing the place, you use an article. If you are discussing the institution, you don't. So, you would say, "I'm going to church" to mean attending a service, but "I'm going to the church" to pick your kid up from scouts. "I wen
  5. I haven't been in your position, but I'm so sorry you felt judged. I've been the onlooker in situations like that, wishing I had a way to help out or words of wisdom to share. There are judging jerks out there, but if you can, take heart that those watching are very often not judging you but silently cheering you on.
  6. I wonder if your sister has worked this up to be a bigger deal than it actually would be? Like, I can see it being extra painful the first time they are together, and the longer this avoidance goes on, the harder that first time will be. I can see being very conflicted, wanting to see my niece but worried I'd feel sad instead of happy, becoming more anxious over time rather than less. I think it will be less bad than she fears, and you'd do her, your daughter, and yourself a disservice if you continue going along with it. Not that you have to be mean about it, of course, and you should probab
  7. In my husband's department, chases are only allowed in very specific cases, like stopping someone wanted for murder or thought to be currently dangerous. My husband has often gotten behind cars for something minor, then they've taken off. He turns off his lights, radios it in, then drive a different way to their likely route to follow at a distance of possible. Often times he finds their car crashed by the time he gets there because they were too panicked to realize he wasn't pursuing.
  8. Since home schools are only mentioned in one part and the rest doesn't seem applicable, I wonder if there was some cut and paste from another law. It does seem like something that should be addressed. I'm sure there are some people who think families homeschool should be subject to unannounced visits to their bedrooms/living room sofas/wherever, but I don't it's wide spread.
  9. I try to give thoughtful advice on Facebook sometimes. I try to limit myself by asking the question "do I think this answer will affect anyone's thinking?" and only post is yes. Sometimes I get good response, generally I feel it's wasted time because people are going to listen to the answer that makes them feel good.
  10. In my area it's because it is very deeply ingrained. Groups of parents bring it up from time to time and get pushback. The counter arguments I hear are: 1. This is the only way to make the school bus situation work since the same buses are used for elementary, middle, and high school. 2. An early start allows teens time in the afternoon to work and/or play sports. 3. Letting kids sleep in will do them a disservice as they need to develop the habit of waking and getting to work on time. Our country has a high school starting around 8:15. We have a lot of buses, and the schools are located
  11. It is a tough thing, and I'm sometimes on one end, sometimes another. My husband has a decent but not high paying job, but a combination of fortunate timing, sacrifices in early adulthood, and frugal living means we are very, very financially stable. He's hoping to quit his job and go back for a more advanced degree, and we'll be able to swing that, which is super big and exciting. But I can't talk about that with my friend who has one working vehicle between 4 adults, and that vehicle just broke down. We have family that are on opposite extremes of middle class, while we sit in the midd
  12. Have you read Hirsch's work and what Core Knowledge schools are doing? That might be interesting to you to see what has actually been done with a roughly similar idea. I've got lots of big ideas as well. Pre-K and Kindergarten should be half day with optional free extended day for parents who need child care. This should be play-based education with an emphasis on developing vocabulary, social and self-care skills, and school citizenship things like taking turns. There should be lots of play, read alouds, and experiences like filling bird feeders with seed and placing then outside the win
  13. My in-laws got me and my husband hoverboards. I'm not sure yet if that's a win or fail. I tried mine out and ran backwards over my toddler, knocking us both down. Slippery socks are not the appropriate attire. The kids took to them quickly and much more confident than I am, though I did improve. My kids are very happy with their presents. Tomorrow we are giving gifts to the cousins. We got a velcro dart board, then covered more ping pong balls in velcro and made shirts that the balls will stick to so that they can have a friendly war, throwing lightweight balls at each other. I haven't t
  14. We have a 2012 Traverse. It has a slow power steering fluid leak, which I understand is not unusual. We just have to add a little every month or so. I would recommend trying to get a back up camera. I can see fine for going forward, but backing up is scary. We got the model with bench seats in middle and back so that we can hold up to eight medium sized people. There has to be some agility or else patience if all seats are being used, but normally we are only carrying 6 and so leave one seat filled down for easy access.
  15. I'm from the Atlanta suburbs, but really from here for generations. This meant that my classmates always thought I had a strong accent, but if we went fort five minutes in any direction, people asked me where I was from, thinking I couldn't be southern. All that to say, I pronounce Mary, marry, and merry the same, like mare-ee. The exception is that I know some people named Mary who pronounce their name May-ree, so I'll generally go with that when talking about them. Like some Sarahs some here are Say-ra.
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