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Everything posted by eternallytired

  1. I had this link saved in my "Resources" document as a possibility for my youngest, when he gets there. Someone on the hive had recommended his books as being a "fun and accessible" way of learning algebra using manipulatives to help you visualize what you're doing. He appears to have geometry publications, as well (at least one of which I remember seeing referenced on here a few times). https://www.mathed.page/my-books/index.html
  2. For a really simple option, you could use the Kids Health "How the Body Works" playlist on YouTube. It has a little bit of potty humor, so pre-watch if that's something that is a big turnoff in your family, but it provides a lot of information in 18 videos, and you could expand on them with activities or library books.
  3. I have no idea what they're having us do. I feel so lost, but I also feel like my options are limited: I'd go to one of the highly-recommended private practices around here, but we don't have unlimited money. This is the psych in the same practice as our developmental ped; I'm hoping the fact that he referred us will benefit us with the insurance--still awaiting a cost estimate. Eek. Hoping for the best... Now off to read up on weighted blankets and browse Walmart and Amazon.
  4. I do standardized tests every year, and I try to treat these the same: "This is to give me helpful information about how you think and learn, so I can be a better teacher for you. There are going to be some simple questions, and some you won't know at all. If you knew it all, it would actually not be a helpful test, so don't worry about getting things wrong." But even though he did really well on the few tasks they had him do with me there (reading a word list, writing a few sentences), I could tell that he was really nervous. Lots of good stuff to think about in your post--thanks! I hadn't even considered what potential message I'd be sending by providing the wiggle cushion for certain activities. I think I'll take your suggestion and figure out a treat for afterwards. The problem is that he holds it together remarkably well in public, but it all comes out afterwards. I was hoping that if I could ease his stress going in or during the process, maybe he'd be less upset later. I suppose I just need to brace myself for this to be a rough process. At least we have an hour+ car ride home each time, so he'll have plenty of time to unwind... He was diagnosed with retained reflexes at age 4, but when he had an OT eval at 7 they said we had successfully integrated them. That OT was not as helpful as everyone here seems to imply that OTs are. She said in her eval (which I had to request from my doc, since she kept saying she was going to sit down and go over it with me and never did over the course of several months) that he likely had sensory issues, given my answers to the survey questions...but she really didn't clarify anything for us. I'm trying not to get my hopes up that this will be any more useful in the long run. I'm going to have to schedule a Walmart trip to look for weighted blankets; I think everyone would love them. (It's funny: since we live in Texas, it doesn't really get cold enough to pile on blankets. After the freeze we had in February, all of my kids discovered that they LOVE having a pile of blankets on them, but they were too hot to do it beyond that one cold week. Maybe the weighted blanket would solve that dilemma: a single layer, but all the glorious weight!)
  5. DS9 and I went in for an initial meeting with the psych this week, and she's scheduled us for two days of testing. I've been trying to handle this like I handle everything else with him: explain exactly what we're doing and why, not make a big deal out of it. He seemed fine before the appointment, but he was SO anxious afterwards. Since he has two (nonconsecutive, for good or ill) days with 4-hour testing blocks coming in a couple weeks, I thought I'd ask if anyone has any advice on helping to reduce his anxiety and make the process more pleasant overall. The psych mentioned that DS might want to take a favorite fidget along because he's very wiggly (swinging his legs for much of the appointment, shifting a lot and fidgeting with his shirt when she was doing some initial evaluations with him)--but we don't have fidget toys around the house because he can just get up and walk around or roll on the floor or whatever if he needs that sensory outlet (input?). (I take that back: we have a TheraBand tied around the legs of his chair at the dinner table because he could NOT sit through a meal otherwise, and it was driving DH nuts.) I'm not sure if I should run out and get something (wiggle cushion?), or if I just hope for the best. Any BTDT advice is welcome. Thanks, all!
  6. At that age, my kids didn't sit for more than a few minutes at a time. Any time I was reading material out loud to them (living books, mostly), they were allowed to draw or play quietly (or roll on the floor...) as long as they listened. (We'd talk about what we'd read afterwards.) If we were working on something out loud together (AAS flash cards, math facts), they usually jumped on the mini trampolines. (We had 1 per kid at that age!) If they were doing seatwork, they were allowed to sit on an exercise ball or wiggle cushion, get up to pace while thinking, etc. And, of course, each lesson at that point was quite brief--mostly 10-15 minutes, unless it was a very hands-on activity like a science lab or art project. If it makes you feel any better, I felt like first grade was a year when my kids were really difficult--distractible, irritable/easily frustrated--but suddenly around age 7 or 7 1/2, they matured and made a lot of progress emotionally and academically.
  7. If you want a grown-up Bible that's written in everyday language, the Contemporary English Version is very approachable. It doesn't have illustrations, but since it uses more modern language, it's not exhausting to read. It was actually translated with the goal of being readable for children and English language learners.
  8. I also found CPO to be reasonably well done. They have middle school books for Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Science. They also offer high school level materials. Each section has a few questions at the end, and each chapter has a review. There are also some worthwhile extension activities in their Skill Sheets. The Student Pages have two labs for each chapter (and there's usually one or two more lab-type activities in the book). While some of the labs were pretty much impossible to do without the huge supply kit, I was generally able to find one per week that we could manage at home. (For example, we just used an under-bed storage bin--one of the plastic ones--for our stream table and took it and our water cooler to a local park with a sand volleyball pit to experiment.) My complaint with CPO is that I felt like they introduced a fair amount of vocab, but surprisingly little content that we hadn't hit yet. But then again, we were trying to use them for middle school, so it might be perfect for you. (We used BFSU K-2 in pre-K and K and have done interest-led or living book-based science until this year.) CPO materials used to be entirely available online; I'm not sure if that's changed in recent years.
  9. Ugh. I wish we'd been able to go to DC in the off-season. We went in Summer 2019 because we were meeting up with family and not everyone homeschools. What my kids remember most is that it was SO hot and we had to stand in long lines for everything. If you can manage to go in the spring or fall when the weather is pleasant but schools aren't out yet, you'll probably enjoy it way more. The LoC is definitely gorgeous, and I still remember getting to see the Supreme Court in session when I was in high school. (I remember being shocked that the SC justices were twisting in their swivel chairs and whispering to each other just like any other restless human being would do if they had to sit and listen to hours of legal arguments.) We also toured both Mount Vernon and Monticello (when I was in high school and recently), both of which were really interesting. My favorite national park is probably Yosemite (and Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and Sierra are all relatively near there). My family did a very memorable train trip to California when I was 14 (Amtrak through Colorado is awe-inspiring), and we visited the national parks and saw San Francisco. I'd love to do that trip with my kids. I'm not sure what my third trip would be...
  10. Yeah, he reminded me that this is the way RS originally taught it. I had introduced it the other way at the time, showing how I had learned to do the trades, and the other two kids do it the way I do it--but not YDS. He is definitely intuitive; he seems to be able to mentally manipulate numbers and can do what I think are the more difficult, puzzle-y elements of BA, but it's the stuff that I think of as being straightforward/rote that seems to trip him up. We came to a screeching halt in math this year because--despite working on them with SM2, SM3, and BA3--he still hadn't memorized his multiplication facts (which was absolutely necessary at this point because of his very, very slow processing speed); we couldn't master long multiplication or division or a host of other things until he got those down, and that took something like three months of 20 minute-a-day practice. (We're not quite done, but he's around 80% mastery now.) Now I'm busy trying to remind him how we did all these basics while also modeling decimals and long division and... And I'm wishing I didn't have to generate my own, Borenson-style math worksheets. But he loves it when I do, and the method seems to work--and it's less expensive than buying a whole new curriculum. So I guess I read and research and keep plugging.
  11. Alas! I was hoping you'd found some less expensive way of doing it. I may still end up going this route, but I'm going to wait to spend that much until after whatever testing/evaluation they recommend for him this August.
  12. How in the world did you do this without breaking the bank? Even the used items I'm finding are $40 for the manipulatives (not counting the add-ons for fractions and algebra) and $25 or more for the instructional materials for each level (and that doesn't always include the workbook). Eeek!
  13. Thanks! I had AngLegs on my list after browsing @kbutton's suggested site above. I actually own Patty Paper Geometry and had seriously considered Math U See way back when (and actually Shiller Math before that), but went with Right Start partly because it uses a variety of manipulatives to model things. Unfortunately, while we loved A and B, C was both too much review and too much fine motor--particularly since my kids hit it around 5/6--so we jumped ship. I was able to find something that worked well for my other kids, but not this kid. Maybe I should look at it again, since several people suggested it. I hesitate now because it's mastery, so I worry I'd have to invest a ton to get all the levels we'd need to catch up with their program. What's the low writing math program your DS uses? I didn't even mention that element, but writing is like torture for this kid, even after OT.
  14. That's the weird thing. He has no trouble telling me that 4200 is 420 tens or 35 is 3.5 tens. But it's like as soon as I have him do something on paper--say, a long subtraction problem--he does things like insisting on starting from the largest numbers and working down, without writing out any trades (though he can get it correct about 80% of the time this way). If I have him write his trades and start from the smallest digit, suddenly he does things like trade a hundred for ten ones. This is the same kid who randomly informed me at age five that there were 100 fingers/toes in our family, so if two people in our family were sick, then 40% of people were sick. I feel like it's all up there, but I'm failing him in figuring out how to help him put it on paper (or interpret what the paper is asking). I've been having him model things with base-10 blocks (not perfect, I know, but at least a concrete model) and that seems to help: he does one that way and then the model sticks in his mind for the rest of his work. But it's almost like I need to repeat the presentation of the model every day, which is weird to me because he seems to have such a great understanding by the end of each day. It's very disheartening for me, and he feels like a failure when he doesn't understand what he's supposed to do.
  15. I half hate myself for continuing to poke at this topic, but I'm taking my fifteenth new direction with this kid, and I'm hoping someone has a suggestion. DS9 started math early and strong, but seems to be making less and less progress each year. I really think that there's some processing/working memory/visual-auditory thing going on with him (he can do BA puzzles, but struggles with the regular problems; he can read music, but can't remember the note names even though we've gone over them daily for months), but the ed psych has a huge wait list, so I'm doing what I can. I recently picked up Fractions Sense (the Borenson curriculum) for him, and he loved it. The incremental instruction, visual/hands-on models, and minimal practice worked really well for him. I've been trying to recreate this success by writing my own similar material for decimals and long division and multi-digit multiplication, but I'd dearly love not to reinvent the wheel. Does anyone know of any materials similar to Borenson's, but for other math topics? He's working on fourth grade materials now, but I'm not sure how high his retention has been. (It's really weird, since he can come up with answers to complicated stuff on his own, but doesn't seem to understand what he's being asked to do on a math worksheet, and verbal explanations seem to make it worse. I think it was the visual-interactive that really clicked with him.)
  16. OP, I think this really depends on the kid. ODS sailed through BA 3-5 and PreA (and then hit a wall halfway through the Alg book, but that's another issue) with no other math program. I had him play some Prodigy just to do more straightforward problems and spiral review, since sometimes it seemed like BA was so focused on complications and neat tricks that the kids never did straightforward things. (Somehow he didn't learn how to do long division or multi-digit multiplication--at least not the algorithms. Or he didn't remember them AT ALL. He has his own ways of coming up with the answers, but sometimes they aren't efficient.) I tried supplementing with other things, but it was like pulling teeth and felt largely redundant, so I stuck with Prodigy and BA. For YDS, I'm just using BA as a supplement/challenge, though I'm still trying to find the perfect fit for the everyday stuff. Singapore is generally very highly regarded as far as math programs go, but it had too many moving pieces for us. I used Math Mammoth for DD: the approach is very similar to Singapore, but the instruction and practice are all integrated into one book. (The author notes that there are ample problems for those who need extra practice, though the average student won't need to do them all. DD did about half.)
  17. I did it with all three kids, and we just snuggled on the couch or huddled around the TM on the kitchen table. (They do a lot of pacing in circles while listening, so the kitchen table was great so they could do a walk-by glance every few seconds. 🙄) I'm on a budget and I tend to tweak everything I use anyway, so I usually just get a TM for everything and have the kids write on notebook paper for any assignments I give. I didn't think the student books for MCT had a whole lot of consumable pages (and I often adjust assignments to better suit us), so it seemed redundant to purchase separate books.
  18. I hadn't really considered Danae's quandary, but I suppose that could change my answer. I got the shot around 10 am and felt perfectly fine until about 12 hours later (other than a sore shoulder). I then spent about 24 hours with a 102 fever and a headache, and an additional 24 hours feeling completely wiped out (and my temp was doing weird things, running a degree low and then a half-degree high and then down again). So I had 48 hours of actual effects, but they didn't start until 12ish hours in, so a total of 60 hours. I counted that as 24-48 hours of interfering with my normal activity and 48-72 hours of total effects (since I did manage to drag myself out of bed and teach that last day, despite feeling exhausted). I did have a huge swelling at the injection site--visible through a tshirt--for about five days, but I'm leaving that out as being in the "sore shoulder" category. My parents also had the Moderna shot. My dad just had a mild headache for about 24 hours, and my mom spent the following day in bed because she was so exhausted she could only stay awake for an hour at a time. Both were feeling fine by day 2 (which would have been about 40 hours post-shot when they woke up--but they were probably fine some time in the night).
  19. DH got the Pfizer shot. He said his arm was actually less sore the second time. He was worried that he must not be building an immune response because he didn't have any reaction to it--other than being possibly a bit more tired at bedtime (he got the shot at 9am). 😆 My sister and BIL had the same experience--less sore the second time, and no adverse reaction at all.
  20. AoPS classes are also offered through other venues. Have you checked the schedule here at the WTM Academy or through Royal Fireworks Press? (There may be others, but those are the two I hear referenced most commonly as alternatives to AoPS itself.)
  21. I've always lived close to a large city, first in the Midwest and now in Texas. I think it must either depend what large city or what suburb/social circle you find yourself in. I definitely think that people are more friendly in general down here. (My mom said she made more friends in the first year living here than in 40 years in her last town!) I also think that the social and political climate are such that people who could normally agree to disagree are perhaps under more stress at the moment or have become more extreme in their views (in any number of directions), which has a negative effect on polite discussion--no matter where you live. MommyOfFive, I have had the same problem. If we're involved in a particular activity (dance, soccer), I chat with the other parents during the activity and we might be invited to a birthday party here or there...but as soon as the season is over (our dance studio switched to camps in the summer), those relationships ended. (And honestly, most parents seemed to be friends from before.) I love being a stay-at-home mom, but I actually found a monthly volunteer opportunity in 2019 because I was already feeling that I would be adrift once the kids are old enough that I lose even those loose social connections, and that has been my sanity saver. I've been able to write letters to moms in prison during the quarantine (as opposed to visiting in-person monthly, like I did before), and it makes me feel like I have a broader world than the four walls of my home. I'm not sure if there's anything you're passionate about that could turn into a volunteer opportunity that would fit your schedule, but it could be a thought. I know there have been times that I've been teetering on the brink of depression, as well, and having someone else/another task to focus on has helped. We are really quite low-risk, but DH is extremely risk-averse, so we're on the "very cautious" end of the spectrum. Until my parents (up the street) were fully vaccinated, we'd just visit with them in their front yard from at least six feet away once or twice a week (whereas we used to be over 4-5 days/week--it was a rough change for my mom, too). The kids haven't been to any store in more than a year; until DH and I were fully vaccinated, one of us went to the grocery store about every 2-3 weeks, as little as possible. Our church has yet to meet in-person, though they've been good about doing occasional Zoom events for the kids (but it's a super small group of kids who actually attend--usually 5-6 kids from PK-5th and about 3-5 from 6th-12th). I think I may spend June looking on Facebook for more social group opportunities. If all else fails, maybe I'll outsource a class so the kids can at least be around other people (and away from each other) for a little while.
  22. Thanks for the responses, all. Somehow it's comforting to know that I'm not alone in this.
  23. I'm feeling bleak lately, and I figured someone out there might possibly be in the same boat, which might make me feel less bleak (or at least less alone). After years of trying to connect with other homeschoolers (or anyone!), we finally found a social/field trip group that we seemed to fit with in 2019. None of my kids found a best friend or anything, but they at least had people to hang out with. Then COVID hit, and we found that the most frequent attendees of our social group were anti-mask and seemed to believe one or another of the conspiracy theories floating around. I don't necessarily have an issue hanging out with people I disagree with, but they were unwilling to do anything virtual or masked/distanced (per local regulations), so...essentially it felt like the group just ditched us (which was perhaps more hurtful because in the six months leading up to COVID, I had become the primary field trip scheduler and felt like I was valued and finally was developing some mom friends--which was apparently not the case). Individual families continued hosting occasional events at their homes or gathering in neighboring counties with lesser COVID restrictions, but we didn't attend. Now that local regulations have eased, the group is back in full swing. But even when all my kids are able to be vaccinated, I'm wondering if we'll feel comfortable returning--especially given the really vitriolic posts one mom, in particular, makes on FB. (Most of the others have left FB, so I have no contact with them anymore.) That said, we're quite clearly not the type of people who just naturally collect friends. It took five years of actively trying to connect socially before we found this group. Most groups (whether social or sports or activity-based) seem to be established; while the people are pleasant, neither the adults nor the kids are actually interested in expanding their social circle. My kids are all in that tween phase in which a social life feels vital, and I feel like a failure that not only have none of them ever had a best friend, they've hardly had any casual friends--and I don't know how to provide those. I feel like I've exhausted all of our possibilities for connection, to no avail. So while I'm excited that one kid is vaccine-eligible now and the others might be in a few months, I also feel like maybe there's not really a point to being excited, since it's not like we have anything to return to or much hope of finding other people to hang out with. Is anyone else in the same boat? Please tell me I'm not the only one!
  24. I actually blogged about this several years ago, since I felt like I was constantly trying to find new book options for my kids. Here's a link to my really long post, if you want to see 26 series suggestions for grade levels 1-4ish. Oh, and since your daughter had some fairy books on her list, here is my list of ten fairy-themed book series that kept my daughter going for a while. I'm definitely glad my kids have gotten to the point where the books they choose take longer than an hour or two to devour; finding reading material for them can be exhausting!
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