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About eternallytired

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    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

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  1. Thanks! There are a number that I'm waiting on, but there have also been a few that we read in the past few years that either were heartily recommended for this age group or were on the Mensa list, and I thought, "Huh. I think this would have been way better for them to read in a few years." Or, in the case of Shiloh, "Why, oh why, did someone think that is was great for K-3!?" I was hoping to find out about any more Shiloh-type books that I should definitely wait on. See, I didn't re-read any books until after college, when I suddenly realized that it might be enjoyable. Before that, I felt like once I had read a book, I had no reason to go back. I suppose I should take heart in the fact that all three of my kids have re-read a well-loved book or two (or 50, in the case of DD).
  2. Lately I've been struggling with this. There are plenty of things my kids are capable of reading, but I think they lack the perspective/maturity to really appreciate; at the same time, I don't want to discourage them from reading what interests them. This internal struggle has left me pondering: are there any books you let your kids read (or read aloud to them) that you ultimately wished you had waited on?
  3. This will be our third year (for the older two, at least), and the kids are SO excited. Last year I didn't officially sign us up and we adjusted the "No" a little (started mid-November and went through the early part of Dec--not counting editing/publishing, which we did in January), but I'm still counting it. Actually, in part I didn't sign us up because the kids were so focused on word count that first year that quality went out the window. Last year I told them just to focus on writing a good story without tracking word count, and it went way better. Of course, age may have helped. They looked at their old books once the new ones were done, and they were horrified that they ever thought they were well-written. That first year, I signed up to do the adult version, and it nearly killed me. My entire month of evenings was spent either putting kids to bed, planning the next day's schoolwork, or laboring to hit my wordcount goal. I was so burnt out by the end of the month that it took me the entire spring to recover. Needless to say, I haven't signed up again, though I do try to use November to motivate myself to work on writing projects.
  4. Okay, I haven't used Singapore 5A/B, but I'm here to pitch in with a BA routine from someone who's got two kids working it at once (though not exactly the same place). I read the guides aloud to the kids. They LOVE it, since I made a voice for each character. In fact, no matter who I'm officially reading to, all three snuggle on the couch to listen in. ODS actually started BA a year before DD. The first fall, I assigned him pages and he got through 3A-3C. Then we took a math hiatus for that spring (don't ask). We started up again last fall with him in 3D and DD in 3A. Last year I took the advice of those who suggested giving a set amount of time. This did not work so well for my kids; they took time to make their numbers into cartoons, got lost in thought, and were otherwise not especially motivated to get much done. DD made it through all of level 3 in a year, but ODS (who, granted, has ADHD) only finished 3D-4B--and that was with me pushing heavily at the end. I've since taken a hybrid approach: for each chapter, BA estimates that a student will take about 12-15 days. Thus, I went through and numbered the workbook pages for each chapter with 1-12 (about 2-3 pages per day). I told the kids that these were their guide numbers. They should aim to get about one numbered set of pages done per day, but it was okay to get a couple pages behind. This seems to work better. They keep their noses to the grindstone, and I tell them when they should be wrapping up for the day; they quit or do a couple problems more according to how much they've accomplished. I'm not sure how your kids are, but my DD (middle kid) is SUPER competitive. I purposely held her back from starting BA so she couldn't easily compare her performance to her brother's. (She is also very math-anxious, despite being very capable, so I figured a little more maturity couldn't hurt.) If your kids have this problem, too, I'd recommend staggering when they start, having your faster kid begin first (if you have one; my ODS computes faster than DD) so they don't catch up to the other one. I found when I tried to keep them together that they had different sticking points, so inevitably if one needed more time for a concept, the other was ready to move on. Ultimately, I decided it would be less frustrating all around (if a bit more complicated) to separate them so they could each progress at their own pace. If yours are nicely keeping pace with each other with no issue, then you can ignore this paragraph and celebrate your good fortune! We're using BA for our only program, and so far I've been very pleased with how it works. It has plenty of practice for my mathy kids, and though there isn't official review, a lot of math builds on itself, so I haven't really felt a lack on that front. (And if you're concerned, something like Prodigy can be a fun way to keep reviewing concepts.)
  5. We did a game that I called Snowman Spelling--kinda like reverse Hangman. (Instead of drawing pieces on the man until he's hanging--which I find a bit macabre--I draw a snowman and he melts away one piece at a time if they guess a wrong letter.) You can do single words or sentences with several spelling words, and add as many or as few features to the snowman as are appropriate for the level of challenge. Once the child knows the word, they have to say it and spell it. You can do several rounds pretty quickly. Rainbow writing is another good way to practice. The child writes the spelling word repeatedly, using different colors. They can choose whether to write it on top of itself or several times in a row, based on what "look" they prefer. Typing your spelling words is another way to change things up. Micro-spelling is also fun. You can have your child hold a magnifying glass and write their words in very teeny print, but large enough to be seen clearly through a magnifying glass. Along the same vein, you can use disappearing ink (like the lemon juice variety), have her write the words without being able to see them, and then make her words appear and check her spelling.
  6. While it may just be that he's not ready yet, I'd also suggest getting his eyes checked if you haven't already done so. If there is a vision problem, he will not physically be able to improve. It may be that he needs glasses, or it may be that the eyes have difficulty working together or staying focused on one place. Both my husband and one of my kids have perfect eyesight, but they needed vision therapy to get the eyes to both team/track well; with my son, his reading and writing skills took off after six weeks of silly eye games (some of which I blogged, in case anyone else needs them).
  7. I think it depends on your kid and your situation. I loved RS for my older two, but it was easy to implement because they were working at the same level. I'm having more trouble with YDS. He enjoys RS, and I still like the way math concepts are introduced (though honestly, A was just okay--B is the one I really love), but it's harder to do with just one kid since it's so parent-intensive. I find it hard to keep my other kids busy while I do the lesson and games with him; inevitably, someone needs help with their math or the computer freezes up or...and then either YDS is left waiting for me or the older two run out of things they can figure out and then they sit around waiting. That said, I like RS well enough that I'm thinking of abandoning AAS so I can continue RS with him while having one less thing he needs me 100% for. If you have it, I'd give it a try; the worst that can happen is that you decide you don't like it well enough to continue. MEP is another good option for a social, wiggly kid, and you can test that out for free (or keep it as your backup plan).
  8. For anyone who's considering this, I just discovered that (surprise of surprises) my unimpressive library actually has some Great Courses including a couple by Dr. Benjamin! Here's to hopelessly checking your library catalog when considering buying things!
  9. I've just added up how much I'm considering spending. Ouch. Unfortunately, our library system (well, they're all independent branches here, so I guess not really a system) is horrible, and I can't do a bookstore for long. (DD gets restless--and thereby pesky--and YDS is constantly pulling books from the shelves, and he manages to only pick ones with inappropriate cover images and/or inappropriate content.) Sometimes I wonder why I thought multiple children was a good idea. I love them to pieces, but they each have their own needs/interests that I could exhaust all my time addressing. Thanks, all, for the long and amazing list of suggestions! Now to try to decide what I'm willing to spend... ETA: Great Courses currently has that mental math course (and a lot of others) for 70% off--which is huge, when you're looking at $100+ per course!
  10. I can see DS doing the multiple curricula, but on one topic. My hesitation is that he HATES repetition, so I'm afraid that if I get another book that covers a topic and it has an intro that hits on stuff he already knows, he'll reject the whole thing. He's definitely one who has always lived and breathed numbers, though. I knew I was in trouble when he was faster at mental math than I was by the time he was in "kindergarten" (age, not level). Well, I certainly have a lot of material to research now; hopefully some combination of items will be an obviously amazing pairing with what we've got going.
  11. Thanks so much for the thread links! I searched, but... You know how that goes on here.
  12. I've been on the AL board before, but I have a "poser" complex, so I feel like it's the wrong place for me to post. (He's not THAT accelerated.) I hadn't considered getting multiple curricula to hit the same topic. Hmm... Thanks for the suggestion! He actually LOVES chess! He plays with his siblings, with Daddy and Grandpa, and against an app I found. I've not considered Bridge or Sudoku, though. Thanks for the suggestions!
  13. Help! My 8yo keeps telling me this, but he can't articulate what it is he's looking for. First he wanted "hard math" when we were cruising through RS, so after level C I put him in BA. That seems to be about the right level of challenge, but now he keeps saying he wants more math. Right now he's finishing BA4. He moves REALLY slowly because of his ADHD (gave up on meds, since they kept losing effectiveness every couple months--and doc was remarkably un-helpful). I'm thinking really there are more problems than he needs in BA, though I know everyone says to do every single problem; he understands the concepts very quickly and I'm considering trimming what I require of him so it's less time-consuming and tedious/repetitive. His only complaint with BA is that they cover a topic for a while and move on. I think he'd be content to camp on one topic for a long period and develop it more deeply. He plays Prodigy on a fairly regular basis and enjoys it. He played through Dragonbox Algebra 5+ several times and then asked for more games like it, so I picked up Dragonbox Elements and will grab Algebra 12+ when he finishes that. (We only have Android devices, which limit us on the app front.) He's watched all the BrainPop math videos several times each, though his favorites were definitely the probability ones. (And he said he saw a video about logic gates that was fascinating and he wants to find it back, but that was elsewhere on BrainPop.) Have any of you had a similar kid? What sated their desire for more math? TIA! ETA: I picked up Go Figure: A Totally Cool Book About Numbers thinking he'd find it fascinating, but he didn't spend a lot of time looking at it; I'm not sure if he needs something more interactive or what.
  14. So we're at the point where we would really like another computer. I almost cringe to admit this, since we have a laptop (mine) and a desktop (DH's), but when three kids are trying to practice typing or do some other computer-based learning, the day can drag on (even when I try to stagger usage, someone inevitably takes longer and leaves everyone else waiting around--and everyone prefers the desktop for size/not bumping the touchpad). Besides, DH is a computer gamer who loves to play with the kids (Terraria, right now), so he wouldn't mind another PC for multi-player. BUT we're not exactly rolling in money over here. We don't want a computer that's a junker, but we also don't want to spend a lot. Does anyone have any recommendations for something that has decent specs at a reasonable price, or is our best bet going to be building our own? (And if the latter, how beefy does it actually need to be? DH tends to over-build...) ETA - Mostly looking for desktop recommendations. The kids continually bump the trackpad when they type on my laptop, which is unendingly frustrating for them (and, consequently, me). And DH hates laptops. (I like them quite well, but since we have a dedicated office space and the desktop works better for DH/kids, it makes sense to go the desktop route.)
  15. Another thought, if you're considering classical guitar at all--we go to a Childbloom studio that does lessons for groups of 2-4 students. The group lesson keeps the cost down some and also adds a social element, which a) makes lessons more motivating/exciting and b) allows for ensemble practice right from the start. Even if she's not interested in learning to play clasically, you may find a studio that has group lessons (edited to clarify: for whatever type of guitar playing she's wanting to learn) and give it a try.
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