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About Michael12

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    Hive Mind Worker Bee
  1. What geodob describes is what our family calls the "secret soroban" - it's exactly how the Japanese soroban abacus is set up (and you always have it with you for when you've mislaid the actual soroban). The thumbs are the "heavenly beads" and the fingers are the "earthly beads". This helps with the idea of place value because ones are all on the right hand and tens are all on the left hand. There's also a way to count to 1023 on your two hands (thumb is 1, index is 2, middle is 4, ring is 8, pinky is 16) - but this seems a bit much for the preschool set.
  2. Thank you! The retyped articles are very much appreciated - but why claim copyright for the work of these 19th century authors? They are in the public domain and anyone can publish them now just as you did. (Your original blog posts are, of course, your copyrighted work.)
  3. Because I've seen this happen before, I'm concerned that you have confused the Catholic practice of abstinence (not eating meat) with sexual abstinence. Can you cite a source on the above?
  4. This Maryland bill will not be going to hearing this session, according to information posted on MDHSDA website. Thank goodness. ETA - Delegate Ebersole now says his name was erroneously added as a co-sponsor, according to information posted on HSLDA website.
  5. It's the text of a 1999 Boston Globe article on how many science textbooks contain bad information.
  6. The Secrets to Drawing course is available right now at for $10 - it is part of their Black Monday sale.
  7. educents has 10% off everything with the code HOLIDAY Could be useful for those interested in the two ebooks by 8fillstheheart: Treasured Conversations and Homeschooling at the Helm.
  8. I see that 7 of the 10 courses are also available at ( - there's a promotion on (it says one day more) for $10 a course. So I purchased all 7. Unlike the Virtual Instructor site, it appears that you can't download the videos, but you do have lifetime access to the courses you purchase.
  9. I was wondering whether there were any crosswalk procedure that works for this. I tried the above hint (searching for the number) and still got nothing. For example, here's one I was looking for: It just bounces me back to the forums homepage. I haven't come across any link of the "showthread" variety that I can get to by using the number in a search. However, I did discover that: is still available at (Although searching "273927" gives zero results.) I learned that if you know the exact title of the thread (some wise posters made that the link text), it is possible to do it: (link text "Best Version of Robin Hood?") is now available at: But what if all you have is a "showthread" link (with link text of something like "earlier thread")? Aha! It seems all you need to know is to put the little dash after the number! So gets you an error, but will magically redirect you to the desired thread at So the crosswalk I figured out was to rebuild the link starting with the new format: then insert the number and add a single dash. It was getting really frustrating as these missing threads are referred to in later ones, so they must have good stuff in them. Seems like it is all 2008-2012 content. And while Google works for searching for more recent threads, it isn't helpful for this. Neither is the Wayback Machine. Anyway, hope this helps someone. I couldn't find anything about it codified here on the site.
  10. You have no idea why anyone wouldn't like A Swiftly Tilting Planet? Let me offer just one example: It takes literally 150 pages (out of 278) for our heroes to figure out "with a startled flash of comprehension" that there's - gosh! - a connection between various people named Madoc, Madog, Maddok, Maddox, Mad Dog, Branwen, Brandon, Bran, Zyll, Zylle, Zillo, Zillah, Zillie, Beezie (B.Z.), Branzillo. And then it's on p.195 that we get "Certainly the name Zillie must have some connection with Madoc's Zyll, and Ritchie Llawcae's Zylle..." The appeal of L'Engle's books (for me, at least) was that they were about really smart people. I didn't find the above nonsense remotely believable. When I first read this book, the series was just a trilogy, and this was unquestionably the weakest of the three. I'll add my endorsement of A Ring of Endless Light - a really wonderful book, as good as A Wrinkle.
  11. I'm confused by the above - standard ukuleles, even baritone ones, have 4 strings; guitars have 6. (5-string ukuleles do exist, but these uncommon variants seem to be high end - $500 vs. $100 or less for an entry-level concert uke.) If a student can handle the larger size of the baritone, and you don't mind paying perhaps twice the cost of a concert ukulele, then go for it. But for a 7 year old (OP), it might be unnecessarily adding a size obstacle.
  12. I've taught beginners (mostly teens) on guitar as well as ukulele. I also have (not especially fond) memories of studying guitar as a little kid when the instrument was nearly bigger than I was. The exact chord names aren't played the same, but the forms are the same (with the understanding that the standard 4-string ukulele is similar to the higher four strings of the 6-string guitar). So C major on ukulele is analogous to G major on guitar; F major on ukulele is like C major on guitar. And, of course, the I - IV relationship between the two chords remains the same. The fingers shift the same way when changing from chord to chord. If you took off the bottom two strings of a guitar, a ukulele player could almost immediately be right at home (larger size might be an issue). I believe the huge advantage to beginning with ukulele over guitar is the very rapid learning curve. In a week, you can get good enough to be "performing" (which is mostly what music interest is about - kids don't want an instrument so they can "practice;" they want to "play"). You can quickly fit in with other players and do duets or play in a group. Having an honest discussion about goals might be very helpful. Many kids are interested in accompanying their own singing or in playing pop music. Classical guitar lessons with etude books and notation and tablature might not be the best approach. Pop and folk music is simple enough harmonically that with 3 or 4 chords learned, kids are able to play hundreds and hundreds of songs. It may be that's all they want. Or that may just be the start and they will get a desire to learn more and then those etudes will be just the thing. Adding guitar later will be much easier if you already understand what chords are and how they are notated with symbols, how harmony in songs works, meter and basic strumming patterns, song forms, accompaniment, etc. Even things that might be considered "advanced" like transposition can be quickly learned on ukulele because for a number of different keys you are still talking only about one or two fingers. With the guitar, chords very quickly get to full and partial barres and three and four fingers. Little fingers aren't ready for those and frustration ensues. A solid foundation of ukulele gets a lot out of the way and when you switch to the larger instrument with more strings, those basic concepts don't need to be explained all at the same time. And the kid is more developed physically, both in terms of hand/finger size and in terms of fine motor muscle control. As mentioned above, the investment is usually smaller too, so buying two instruments isn't financially crippling. Now, there's lots about the huge field of music that ukulele isn't the best choice to teach - that's why in our family we also do piano and recorder and singing. But for starting out and generating excitement and a motivating kind of success (that isn't empty and unproductive), I'm sold on ukulele.
  13. The original Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (find them all on Amazon) is the only full television show our 3.5 yo has ever seen. He is a regular visitor to our neighborhood. Other video exposure has only been selected youtube clips of science, nature, and various other things to quench the 'satiable curtiosity.
  14. Many of the points mentioned above are emphasized here:
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