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NanceXToo

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Everything posted by NanceXToo

  1. Hi! I've been a Fresh Air Fund host for going on 7 summers now, and this will be my second summer as a Volunteer Chairperson in my area of Pennsylvania. It is a great organization and a great experience and more hosts are always needed! For my kids, it's a week long fun sleepover with a friend they don't get to see very often, a chance to show someone from out of state about our family and area, and a chance to learn about other cultures. For the Fresh Air Fund children it's a chance to get out of the inner city and see and experience things they can't at home, to see that there are different paths their lives can take, to spend time with their "other" family/friends, and to experience other cultures. For me, it's a bonding experience and it's also so amazing to watch these kids experience new things and to watch them grow each year as we invite them back. It's just a week, and there is always 24 hour support from Fresh Air Fund and your chairperson, so you've got nothing to lose by trying it! :)
  2. I read this book many years ago but I really loved it and it immediately came to mind after reading your post: http://www.amazon.com/Swan-Song-Robert-McCammon/dp/1439156735
  3. I consider myself a fairly relaxed homeschooler. With my son, who is in 1st grade, I use Oak Meadow because it's Waldorfy, doesn't push early academics, is gentle and hands on and creative. We are using Reading Eggs, too, which he enjoys, but no stress or pressure. He's progressing with learning to read and we will continue with it over the year. I did not find pushing learning to read to be necessary in kindergarten. I try to read to him as much as he will let me, sign him up for a variety of activities, take him on lots of outings and field trips, and try to encourage his interests, and I give him plenty of free time to do his own thing. My daughter, 6th grade, uses Oak Meadow, too, because it's still not dry and text bookish but creative, fun, lots of literature and creative writing and integration and hands on projects. I read aloud a lot with her still. I let her sign up for multiple activities, I take her on lots of outings and field trips, and if she is interested in something, I try to find opportunities for her. We follow rabbit trails and talk a lot. I tend to revolve school around life, not revolve life around school. We get done what we can each day, but if there are interesting activities and opportunities and field trips and homeschool day programs, we don't hesitate to drop everything and go do it, because those things are educational, too, and great family bonding time, and provide rich experiences and fond childhood memories and so on. The curriculum stuff, we finish it later, consolidate it into the rest of the week, occasionally skip it, but usually we get it done in the end. I don't really do tests or grading or much busywork, I want them to enjoy most of what they are doing, and I figure if they do, they'll retain more of it anyway. But I didn't pull my daughter out of public school and refrain from sending my son for academic reasons, really, I just hated a lot of things about our schools and the system and wanted my kids to have a better childhood. We are accomplishing that, and learning a lot in a variety of ways at the same time, and I'm happy with the way things have been going.
  4. That's awesome! We're not testing this year but only have I think 5 lessons left before we're done for the school year and I do think it went very well. Continuing to be a big TT fan, personally! :)
  5. Just saying hi! :)

  6. 4-H. But other than having the word "God" in the Girl Scout promise (which they basically tell you to interpret how you want) and having an annual Christmas party, my daughter's girl scouts group is run very secularly.
  7. Hey...I've finally caught up (mostly) on blog updates! Good to see you over at the WLC social group by the way and posting more on the boards too! :)

  8. Thanks for the link! I'm going to put several more reviews up tomorrow, I have a list of a few places to do, including Trip Advisor, Travelocity, City Search, Insider Pages, Merchant Circle, and Yelp (which I'm having trouble getting a confirmation email from for some reason), as well as Google Places and Yahoo Local which I already did. Plus DH and I did our facebooks of course. I hope they end up feeling SOME sort of regret for how they went about things!

  9. Gayle, those are very good scores! Even more so as you mention them not being mathy! Our kids who are not mathy and who are using a program many people worry isn't good enough are managing to pull good test scores right up there with kids using various other programs- and having fun and not struggling while using it. All while building confidence. TT is worth its weight in gold as far as I am concerned!
  10. Lora, those are fantastic scores! Thanks for sharing them here! :)
  11. I wish I could post truly witty things my kids have said that make them look all smart and stuff compared to public schoolers. But, alas, I get stuff like this: "I know what pubic means. It's right here." (DD, 8 at the time, proceeds to point to her PUPIL). or, at age 10: "I can't think of another word that has a suffix." Me: "Hm. Well, how about trying to think of a word that ends in ful?" She: "Oh, I know. Waffle." Or my 5 year old son wanted to tell us, "I'm a ninja. You can't see me." But instead told us, "I'm a inja. I can't see." :tongue_smilie:
  12. Yes, this is a really key point, too! I know that if I were trying to teach math myself and I was having a hard time getting something across (by reading and translating a textbook) in a way that my daughter could understand it, I'd get frustrated. As much with myself as her, but I know that it would show, and all that would probably do would be to make her confidence levels drop and have a negative effect on our relationship, and on our attitude about school being fun in general. Which is an attitude we DO like to try to have. SO not worth it. Using TT and allowing her to do math more independently with "someone else" teaching her so to speak avoids all of that and has worked out beautifully all year. And I get to focus my school time with her on the things she either needs more help with or that we really just enjoy doing together instead of spending it on something as potentially frustrating as math (and then having that frustration turn into some sort of bad mood that might carry over into other parts of our day)... no thanks! By the way... I am looking forward to seeing more updates in this thread from those of you who hadn't yet tested or gotten results when I originally posted this to see if more of you had the same experience with getting good results on standardized tests after using TT. :)
  13. Awesome!! Thanks for sharing that! I'd love to see TT start getting a better rap than it has been so that the families who have the type of kids who would definitely benefit from it don't have to be afraid to use it. :)
  14. LOL- no because I can't dance at ALL, I have like NO rhythm, I'd feel like a bull in a china shop doing something like that haha.

  15. Hi, actually, that wasn't me lol. I never did zumba. I worked out at the Y, and did a one time kickboxing type class there, and my daughter does Judo there, but that's about it!

  16. Forgive me for bumping this but I'd like for it to stick around a bit longer. For one, it's curriculum buying/fall-planning season, and for another I just read a thread where people were (again) worried about TT being "behind" and so if there are people considering TT who haven' seen this yet, well, I'd like for them to. :)
  17. What I do is have my daughter read the (brief) lesson in the book first, to me. Then she goes and watches the lecture. Then she does the five practice problems at the computer using scratch paper. Then she does the actual lesson problems- she does these on paper one at a time (because I don't want her to write in the book, but I do like HAVING the book so I can see it at a glance), and then she checks each answer on the computer as she goes. This will allow her to get immediate feedback as to whether she got a problem right or wrong.
  18. Yes, I agree! We've been doing lots of reading and writing this year for OM (which must be working, she scored great on Language Arts, even more so than math btw!) and they're always interesting assignments and choices but this fun and animated CD for math is a nice way to break up the day and do something "different" like you said. It definitely seems to be a good combo for us, and then we get to round it all out with OM's fun hands-on kinda projects and handicrafts... it's been a really great year for us, we've really been enjoying it overall. I'm looking forward to OM6/TT6 next year! :)
  19. Even though I already feel confident about TT and happy with it, it's still good for ME to hear those of you with kids even older than mine posting things like Darla just did about how well TT served them even in high school. :) So thanks to you guys, too, for posting things like that! :)
  20. I don't know, but the post I quoted just below this from training5 may have something to do with it! There is a decent amount of review with TT- every lesson they introduce something new, and the lecture and some of the practice problems and a few of the lesson problems will cover it, the rest of the lesson problems will be things already introduced in previous lessons- so there's always review, and there's always building on each lesson with new material, introduced in such a way that they just get it. And then get to continue to practice it on an ongoing basis. But not with a ridiculous number of problems (I think Saxon had like 100 problems when I was looking at it, my jaw dropped! TT is more like 22 problems a lesson, plus 5 practice problems). I think it's perfect the way TT does it. :) That's great that you're back to Oak Meadow!! I have to say, if I go by this year's standardized test results, Alexa didn't do as well on science and social studies (still somewhat above average, though), and I think it was just because some of the questions they asked weren't yet covered by where we are/what we are currently studying in OM. But she did PHENOMENAL in the language arts portion of things! OM has a decent amount of literature and writing in the later elementary school age, as you know, and it seems to be doing its job very well! I know part of it is just a natural bent for language arts but I just mean she's not at all falling behind by any means after a couple of years of using OM, she's doing fantastic with it. Even though it starts out so much "slower paced" and gentle in its earliest years, it really does "catch up" more to grade level- all without ever having to be boring and textbookish at any level- so don't be afraid to trust OM, either. :) Yes!!! I am so not mathy, and I am not at ALL a good math teacher. I get confused and frustrated when trying to figure out typical textbook (as in A textbook, not "TT" lol) math, and I KNOW that it shows when I try to teach it. I barely get it, therefore I can't help her get it, and we both end up miserable. This is just the perfect solution. The "teacher" on TT is endlessly patient and encouraging, explains very well whatever it is he's teaching, and can show AND tell step by step how to do a problem in a way that just clicks so much better than trying to decipher a few lines of mathematical text in a real textbook. I can monitor to make sure things are continuing to go well, but can take mainly a hands off approach to "teaching" math since the program does its job so well on its own lol. WAY less stress for me (and by default for her), frees me up to do other things... so, yeah, it was a godsend for us, too! :)
  21. Glad you all found this post helpful. I hope others, do, too. I hate to see people being deterred from a program that would really suit their family because they got scared off by negative hype about it not being good enough. It's good enough for us! Thanks for sharing your experience, too! :) Maybe a few others will chime in yet. As for me, I'll be trolling the WTB and FS boards soon looking for TT6 which we will definitely be moving on to -worry free!- in the fall. :)
  22. I just wanted to share that this year we're using Teaching Textbooks 5 for my daughter's fifth grade math curriculum. (Last year we used Oak Meadow's built in 4th grade math curriculum; prior to that she was in public school). We just got this year's standardized test scores back, and I wanted to share the math portion of her results. We used the CAT/5 from Thurber's Educational Assessments. With the Stanine Scores,the highest you can get is a 9. The "National Percentile" number means she scored as well as or better than that percentage of students nationwide who took this test. Results: Math Computation - Stanine 6; National Percentile 77. Math Concepts & Application - Stanine 7; National Percentile 81. Total Mathematics - Stanine 7; National Percentile 82. For comparison, this is a child who I do not consider particularly "mathy" and who had been starting to develop a "math is hard, I'm not good at math" attitude by the time I started homeschooling her toward the very end of third grade. In fourth grade, we used Oak Meadow's built in math curriculum and she'd taken the CAT-E from Seton just for the heck of it last year, even though we didn't have to do standardized testing that year. Last year, her math scores were: Math Computation: Percentile, 58; Stanine 5. Concept & Application: Percentile 59; Stanine 5. Mathematics Total: Percentile 59; Stanine 5. I had been happy with that. She was a bit above average, scoring right where she "should" for her age and grade level, and I thought that was great considering she wasn't "mathy," and I was a pretty relaxed homeschooler. This year we started Teaching Textbooks because in the older, used version of Oak Meadow I have, they only had their own built in math curriculum up until fourth grade. Once 5th grade came along, they recommended Saxon. I knew Saxon was not for us and that it would make us miserable (I'm not "mathy" either), and after a lot of reading up on it, I decided on Teaching Textbooks. AND I decided to keep her at her grade level, not try to get a higher grade level just because TT was said to be "behind," because I wanted her to get it, not struggle with it. I know a lot of people here worry that TT is "below grade level" or "not good enough" or what have you- but we LOVE Teaching Textbooks over here, and here's why: 1. My daughter is ENJOYING Teaching Textbooks 2. She is UNDERSTANDING Teaching Textbooks 3. She is GAINING CONFIDENCE from Teaching Textbooks and no longer says anything like "I'm not good at math" or "math is too hard" (although once in a blue moon she does still say "math gives me a headache" haha). 4. She can do it pretty independently 5. It's not overly time-consuming (about 30 minutes per lesson, 4-5X a week) And now, I can add 6.- Her math scores (as per the standardized test results, even though we used a different version of the test this year) have improved over last year, and are in my opinion very good, especially for a non-mathy kid using a math curriculum many people put down as not being advanced enough. Am I saying she's suddenly a math genius? No. But a non-mathy kid using Teaching Textbooks (no supplementing with anything else) took a standardized test and overall did as well as or better than 82% of the rest of the students who took this test nationwide and to me, that's huge. I do believe it goes to show that you CAN use Teaching Textbooks without worrying that you're burying your kid light years behind all the other kids- that's just not true. Anyway, I just wanted to share in case this helped anybody make a decision about TT. :) If you want more info about TT and care to take a peek at my review of it, you can see it here: http://nancextoo.livejournal.com/124221.html And if you are curious to see the rest of our standardized test score results from 4th and 5th grades, you can see them here: http://nancextoo.livejournal.com/172564.html P.S. If anyone else wants to share how their standardized tests went after using Teaching Textbooks, feel free to do so in this thread if you'd like!
  23. I'm in Schuylkill County, and my district is closed today, too!
  24. Well, since this post has resurfaced, I took a peek and didn't see "OM" (Oak Meadow) or "TT" (Teaching Textbooks) on the homeschool abbreviation list!
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