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About Expat_Mama_Shelli

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    Hong Kong

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  1. Expat_Mama_Shelli

    school plans for 2019

    We’re moving into our 2nd semester, but several things changed at the tail end of last semester / beginning of this semester. Math: Continuing Beast Academy 3A, which we began in November. Language Arts: Music of the Hemispheres (MCT Poetics), continuing Practice Island, self-chosen reading, whatever strikes our fancy for read-aloud. DS still very rarely chooses to read outside of school, which drives me a bit nuts. He *can*... with excellent fluency, comprehension, recall... he just doesn’t choose to. I’m hoping that not pushing the matter (beyond minimal practice to prevent the skill from getting rusty) will pay off in the end. Spelling: Continuing Words Their Way & making a 2nd Homophone Book. Science: Human Body, moving one system at a time. We covered large-scale life science last semester, so now we’re drawing our focus in. History: Continuing History Odyssey Ancients, picking up after Greece. Culinary Arts: We are making some dietary changes that will require us to eat almost exclusively home-made, and DS loves to work in the kitchen so we are going to be building skills in this area. I want to get him more proficient with chopping, dicing, peeling, and removing seeds as well as work on stovetop skills. He can mix, measure, and crack eggs pretty well already. I’d also like him to be able to follow a simple recipe semi-independently (under supervision) by the end of the term. Free Choice: Exactly what it sounds like. Primarily he chooses coding, circuitry, or educational games. Occasionally arts and crafts.
  2. Definitely take a break. Just put it all away and enjoy the holidays. You’ll be able to see when they are ready to start up again.
  3. Has anyone used Keepers of the Flame? During which of the seven levels would you say it is most useful? Student excerpts were from 6th-8th graders, so I would assume it is intended for secondary students, but wasn’t sure if it would fit better between Level 4 / Level 5, earlier, or later.
  4. Expat_Mama_Shelli

    Big Picture Goals for 2019

    I feel very “ruttish” at the moment; so much so that I called off school after the first week of the month. My big goal is to build back up the excitement (and DS’ engagement). Our years always start off super fun, but I find it hard to keep up that energy level. Otherwise, my goals for 2019 are: Complete BA 3A-3D & tackle the multiplication table Improve narration skills, work toward producing written summaries Hopefully get DS reading for fun... this is elusive, despite his reading level being solidly on a 2nd/3rd grade level. Introduce Poetics & Latin (MCT Island) Learn about the Roman Empire before our trip to Rome Visit / revisit all of the 30 places on our Hong Kong Bucket List Formulate a plan for short visits to 8 nearby countries in 2020 We’ve accomplished what we set out to do in coming overseas, and have begun to formulate our “exit plan,” but will be here at least another year and a half. I’m torn between wanting to experience so much in this part of the world and an unexpectedly strong, sudden desire to “go home”. With any luck 2019 will bring us some clarity regarding our next steps...
  5. Expat_Mama_Shelli

    Science Narration

    I haven’t, and we’ve been off for the holidays now... perhaps I’ll give that a whirl in the spring.
  6. Expat_Mama_Shelli

    Moving Back to the US

    There are certainly differences, but you’d likely be surprised how similar things are to any other large city. It’s crowded (on a whole ‘nother level!) and busy downtown, but the outlying areas are quieter. The public transit is amazing. There’s an endless supply of things to do and see. It’s very diverse racially, culturally, and spiritually. We return to the US for about a month each year and I absolutely agree about reverse culture shock. Heading overseas you EXPECT everything to be different, so any time it isn’t you are pleasantly surprised. Returning “home” you expect things to be easy and natural, so when they aren’t... the surprise is less pleasant. You also see your home through a fresh pair of eyes; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Heading to a completely new region of the country we’ll still be anticipating a lot of change, but also looking forward to things we’ve missed! Funny how it’s always the “little stuff” you miss most - drink refills, dressing rooms, return policies... 🤣
  7. Thanks - Kingdom Builder looks great, & we love our other Queen games!
  8. We gave a LOT of games last Christmas, and also stocked up on our annual trip back to the US, so we aren’t buying many this year. On our Christmas list are Azul (purchased), Photosynthesis, & Sagrada. On my Amazon list for next school year are Xtronaut, Tiny Epic Galaxies, either Dragon Times or Mythematical Battles, and either Tri-Fact-A or 24. I’d love more suggestions for Medieval history!
  9. Expat_Mama_Shelli

    Moving Back to the US

    Ds would be 6 or 7 by the time we came over. He is highly social and very active - enjoys playing soccer, tennis, and liked gymnastics as well when he was doing that. We homeschool secularly, but may seek out a church eventually. We are fortunate to be part of one currently that is very diverse and puts kindness, inclusion, and compassion above all else. We love board games, sightseeing, festivals, and visiting museums / aquariums / zoos. We like a variety of foods from around the world & I enjoy cooking. None of us have ever lived anywhere with snow, but are open to it.
  10. Expat_Mama_Shelli

    Moving Back to the US

    We have been living overseas for a number of years, and have recently been presented with the possibility of returning to the US. None of the possible cities are where we lived previously, and none are any nearer to family than the others so we really don’t have a lot to go on! I’ll be doing my own research, of course, but I’d love to hear what you have to say about the following cities - homeschooling community, climate, overall “vibe”, best areas / suburbs (& those to avoid). Salt Lake City, UT Cincinnati, OH Atlanta, GA
  11. Expat_Mama_Shelli

    Which sports /social activities?

    DS (6 in Feb) participates in soccer 2hrs/wk & tennis 1.5hrs a week. It’s his 3rd year of soccer, 1st of tennis. He also participated in gymnastics for a year. In the spring he’ll begin private tutoring for Mandarin (we live in Asia). I’d love for him to learn an instrument as well, but he’s a bit impulsive still & I don’t want to add things too quickly. Perhaps late next year, after we’re back from our family trip in the autumn.
  12. Expat_Mama_Shelli

    Transitioning to Ruled Paper

    Is there any reason to hesitate if a child asks to write on smaller-ruled paper - switching from penmanship paper to notebook paper, for example? DS has recently become enamoured with small handwriting - he thinks it looks nicer. He started writing only from the midline of his penmanship paper to the baseline about a month ago. A short while later, he asked for smaller-ruled paper. I picked up a wide-ruled notebook for him to try and he seems to prefer it. Short of reminding him to ensure spaces are wide enough to tell his words apart, his writing is just as legible as it was before. His pencil grip is correct. Some letters aren’t formed exactly the way he originally learned (he starts with the line for “d” rather than the curve, for example) but they are consistent and don’t seem to slow him down or hurt his hand. I see no reason to keep him in penmanship paper, but want to be sure there isn’t something I’m overlooking. I’ve included a series of writing samples showing his natural transition from full-sized letters on penmanship paper to the new notebook.
  13. I’ve all but given up keeping track, and we’re only beginning. We live overseas, in a diverse city with several different school tracks (which begin at different points in the year and have different age cutoffs) and DS is an AL... so depending on who is asking & what information I need he is in Kindergarten / K3 / Reception / Primary 1 / 2nd grade (or maybe 3rd?) ??‍♀️ I dunno. I’ll figure it out when he gets closer to graduating...
  14. Expat_Mama_Shelli

    Pandia Press Question

    CHOW has always been optional so, while you are welcome to use it if you like it, it is not necessary in either edition.
  15. Expat_Mama_Shelli

    Language Arts Curriculum Questions

    My son also completed LOE Foundations young, and I contacted Denise Eide with the same concern regarding maturity. She conceded that Essentials is rather dry in comparison to Foundations and would likely not be a good fit for his age. We moved to Michael Clay Thompson (Royal Fireworks Press) for language arts, and have both thoroughly enjoyed it! It isn’t all-in-one to the extent that LOE is, with preplanned lessons each day, but a single level contains all of the elements needed for complete language arts. If you only buy the Teacher’s Manuals (which I recommend, at least for Island level) it involves five books which are worked through either one at a time or alternately, and you simply proceed from wherever you left off before. You are also recommended to read aloud ~10 chapter books of your choosing over the course of the year, and to have your child continue to practice reading as well with books of their choosing.
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