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Everything posted by wathe

  1. I think this is the best plan. You could be even more vague and just state that your household is in quarantine because of a covid exposure. Of course, you don't actually have to tell them anything, but I think not telling anything might turn out worse. Assess the difference in risk of telling and not telling: Would it be worse if DD ends up positive and you hadn't told up front?
  2. A funny-sad story from "Under the Influence" (CBC radio show) about how the general public's poor math skills help the Quarter Pounder win out over a competitor in the 1980's. Poor understanding of fractions is nothing new, apparently. "More than half the people in the focus groups questioned the price of the third-pounder. They wanted to know why they should have to pay the same price for a third of a pound as they did for a quarter pound at McDonald's. They said A&W was overcharging them. You're ripping them off. People genuinely thought a third of a pound was less than a quar
  3. We started with Getting Started With French. I like it because it's a grammar based approach with limited vocabulary, not a vocabulary and phrase based approach (so many language learner programs seem to be very heavy on vocab and light on grammar). I think that once you learn the grammar of a language, then adding vocab is easy. Not so true vice versa, I don't think. We just finished it last week. We're going to move on to Easy French - still grammar based, but more vocabulary and more depth.
  4. My understanding is that that AZ shipment to Mexico is also a loan, not a gift.
  5. Nitpicky but important detail wrt to Canada: Loan, not give. To be repaid.
  6. Because you didn't have the good fortune to bear only left-handed children who struggle with righty scissors and therefore only ever use their own scissors.
  7. NYT article on influence of western vaccine "pauses" on vaccine hesitancy in the rest of the world. Makes me want to cry. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/14/world/europe/western-vaccines-africa-hesitancy.html?action=click&module=Top Stories&pgtype=Homepage
  8. An interesting article on CBC about risks of the AZ vaccine vs risks of covid, and how we communicate relative risks. It links to this Cambridge paper about communicating AZ vaccine risk.
  9. Maybe I should call myself an "independent private homeschooler".
  10. I think this is true. Most of my acquaintances have no idea what I do. They all seem to think that I am required to follow the provincial public school curriculum, and that I'm provided by the province with the books/on-line resources to do so, and that we're somehow evaluated and kept in line by the province. All are surprised to hear that I am completely independent, provided with nothing, not beholden to the provincial public school curriculum, not evaluated by the province, and free to teach anything I like. I am required, as per the provincial education act, to provide a "satisf
  11. We've planned a few summer family camping trips in nearby provincial parks. I hope they will be open by then - they've all closed for camping now due to the third wave that's hitting us hard. We'll probably meet with friends for outdoor days at the beach or hikes. Assuming our third wave settles down. Our stay-at-home order expires in early May, but who know if it will be extended. Cases are still rising sharply, so I'm actually not hopeful. The kids' usual summer camp is cancelled again this year. Which is just as well. It's very unlikely that my kids will be eligible to be va
  12. We have municipal composting here, with curbside pick-up on garbage day. I think it's province-wide. So I have 2 compost pails on my counter: one for my own garden compost, which takes veggie scraps, eggshells, teabags and coffee grounds, and a second pail for municipal compost, which takes cooked food, meat scraps, bacon grease, and even soiled paper food packaging (like paper coffee cups). It's great.
  13. Right - Canada is super complex and very diverse, with lots of interesting politics and hot political issues. The core difference is that, despite enormous cultural diversity, there is general acceptance of relatively more government involvement (higher taxes, socialized medicine, social programs) in citizens' lives than in the USA, which, I think, leads to more social and community stability, which makes functional public schools possible. And I think that's generalizable to all the countries you hear about with functional public school systems (NZ, Singapore in this thread, and others not
  14. I've heard this and similar arguments before. I think the key difference is institutional trust and tolerance for government involvement in general and less of a culture of individualism (things like socialized medicine, more government support for marginalized people, higher taxes). Which directly affects poverty and wealth gaps and standard of living, and population health, and both directly and indirectly supports successful education systems. It's also true that the US is more populous that just about everywhere else, but I'm not sure that's as relevant. I don't buy the hom
  15. My kids really liked historical architectural books for kids: David Macaulay's Castle, Pyramid, City, Cathedral Stephen Biesty cross-section books. Man of War is wonderful (HMS Victory)
  16. Canadian Math Kangaroo ran about a month ago. Both kids participated (this is their 3rd year). We don't get results until May, I think. No T-shirts here. It's a nice, low-key, mathy fun thing to do.
  17. As a non-american, I can tell you that outsiders see it differently. It literally is a cast-offs story. I can appreciate that. Selfish is an ugly word (and it's your word, not mine) In this particular instance, though, the vaccine strategy/export ban is literally called "America First". USA's domestic vaccine supply is relatively abundant, and most of the rest of the world's isn't. People will apply value judgements to those facts. (I do think it's objectively true that self-interest is baked into the American Way; compared to other countries there is more focus on indiv
  18. OP, sorry to have derailed the thread. Canada is not a developing nation or underprivileged, obviously. (I've spent some time examining my own sense of entitlement here; why am I so mad about paying for other countries' cast-offs? Developing nations are forced into this position all the time.) Though, I suppose, there is some value in pointing out that even G8 countries are really struggling with vaccine supply. Edited: Thread, not threat,
  19. Re the bolded: I agree that that probably wasn't the intention, but it was the effect. The US has a de facto export ban on covid vaccines; "America First" order signed Trump and kept in place by Biden. The AZ that got exported to Canada and the Mexico was not manufactured with the intent for export; it was manufactured with the intent of domestic consumption. An exception was made to the export ban because batches of AZ were literally going to expire in while sitting in US warehouses. Some see it as the US selling to other countries what would literally otherwise have become garbage if it
  20. Mind over matter, for sure. Willing oneself to go while standing and clothed feels a little weird (OK, a lot weird).
  21. I seem to remember that Waterloo tracked results and counted them as part of your application portfolio if you applied to attend university there. I think there may have been scholarships attached to them too? ETA this was back in the late 80's and very early 90's. I'm sure everything has changed since then.
  22. Looks like registration for homeschools is pretty easy. I'm going to sign us up. I'll let you all know how it goes.
  23. I remember writing these when I was in high school. They were fun! I see that homeschools can participate. I think that's newish?
  24. Extreme (the rigid one). No leaks (once I got the knack, it did take a few tries). The rigid plastic makes it easy to worm it into place with minimal need to move clothing. I think the flexi would be harder to use.
  25. A stand-up-to-pee device. We spend a lot of time in the woods hiking and camping, and I am tired of squatting and getting my butt bitten by mosquitoes. It took a few tries to get the knack of it. It's quite liberating!
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