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Expat_Mama_Shelli

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About Expat_Mama_Shelli

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    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

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    http://kindlingcuriosity.blogspot.com

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Location
    Hong Kong

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  1. While we were Stateside visiting family DH’s company announced they are offering severance - ONCE - in advance of layoffs. So we are moving back to the US. In 5wks. SURPRISE!! Homeschooling plans are blown to smithereens. We’ll crash land w/ family, but no idea where in the country we’ll end up, or when. DH is applying for jobs. I’m trying to wrap up as much as possible while we’re here, then will be packing & making other arrangements once we touch down. We are on “summer break” indefinitely.
  2. Yeah, I definitely don’t think we’re cut out for long-term / permanent worldschooling. Each of our weeks of travel will be followed 3-4 weeks at home, so we’ll leave our books here in HK. On the road he’ll bring his camera & keep a daily journal. I wish we could stay longer in each place, but DH is a pilot so he can’t exactly telecommute 😂 I’ll go out of my way not to choose “too similar” of excursions in different places.
  3. We’re secular 😊 We have lots of good literature planned already, but I’ll take a look at the list to see if there’s anything else I’d like to add in. Thanks for the tip!
  4. Well, best laid plans... 😂 We’ve decided to blow nearly ALL of this completely out of the water. This autumn we are taking our first big family vacation. We start our school year in June, so that will be the mid-point of our calendar. We’ll be at a natural stopping point in ELA & history. I can find a stopping point in math. We won’t put DS back in sports for the Winter / Spring terms because... We are going to (semi-) worldschool! We are going to take one or two 3-5 day trips to a different country each month, to see this part of the world (SE Asia) before we return to the US - most likely at some point in 2020. We’ll journal, take photos, participate in unique activities, and visit museums in each country then spend the weeks in-between working on math, literature, spelling, & special topics DS wants to explore. So the *NEW* plan is: LA: CAP W&R Fable, cont. Practice Island (autumn), All About Spelling (all year), keeping a Travel Journal (spring) Math: BA 3C-3D, Singapore 3B (all year) History: Ancient Rome (autumn), local history & cultures (spring) Science: Blossom & Root botany (all year), Blossom & Root Nature Study (all year), researching local animals (spring) PE: Tennis (autumn), hiking (spring) Art: Culinary arts (all year), photography for Travel Journal (spring)
  5. Our big vacation is 2wks (closer to 3 including packing, flying, settling back in, etc). After that we’d be aiming for one or two 3-5 day trips per month in a different country: Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, Macau, & China. We have non-revenue flight benefits, so that part is pretty manageable... just a matter of hotels, excursions, admission costs for museums / cultural sites / activities, etc. I’ve spoken to DH & he is on board... so I think this is our plan now. I’m both ecstatic & mildly terrified!
  6. We are living in SE Asia (Hong Kong). At some point in the next 12-18mo we will most likely be permanently moving back to the US. We’ve made a point to travel around HK while here, but haven’t visited surrounding countries due to other priorities / obligations which have now been satisfied. This autumn we are taking our first big family vacation. We start our school year in June, so that’s about the mid-point. We’ll be at a natural stopping point in ELA & history. I can find a stopping point in math. We could drop sports at half term. Part of me would love to stop our “regularly scheduled school activities” at that point & focus on travelling for the next several months. We could do a 3-4 day trip once a month. The problem is...that is SO not me. We are not worldschoolers. We are not unschoolers. Our lessons are very structured - DS thrives on it; I get anxious without it. I’m anxious just *thinking* about this ...but how could we miss this opportunity?? We are in SUCH a fortunate position for this to even be an option. I feel like I’d be an idiot not to take advantage of it! Do I stay the course & have a “normal” year, possibly with some travel thrown in on “weeks off”? Try to make the 2nd half of our year into unit studies about the countries we will visit? Keep only a light schedule (some math / spelling / reading) in-between trips?
  7. Our current year ends in 3wks, and our next will begin mid-June. In the past 2mo I’ve tweaked and clarified a couple of things (bold), but nothing too major. Looks like the plan is sticking, at least for now!
  8. I was discussing next school year with DS this morning & asked if there was anything specific he’d like to learn about this year or any skills he’s like to acquire / develop. I noticed a strong trend of “How Does XYZ Work?” topics. I’d like to brainstorm ways of organising topics to be at least somewhat cohesive, because I can see it devolving into chaos... but was thinking that would be a cool science focus for the year. Specific examples of his interests are: how a plant forms fruit, how plants “fight” for resources, seed dispersal methods, how burning fuel is able to power a vehicle, how we make rubber / steel / concrete, how we find and collect natural resources (metals, coal, etc), & how instruments make sound. I was thinking we could use episodes of How Does it Work / How It’s Made as a springboard for research, model-building, & experiments... Has anyone done anything like this? Any there good resources you can recommmend?
  9. DS has mentioned wanting to learn more about plants. We covered basic Life Science this year so he knows about life cycles, basic parts, & cell structure. He is a fluent reader. He is specifically interested in different methods of seed dispersal, how a plant forms fruits or flowers, and how different plants fight for resources. I’m thinking Mendel genetics would be interesting to him as well. He has had no formal intro to chemistry or physics, but I’m happy to incorporate those as needed. I have a black thumb, & we have limited outdoor space (no yard) so I’d prefer to limit the growing of various plants. Secular materials only, please.
  10. We’re not sure if he has ADHD or is high-energy with low impulse control but still within the normal range. The OT was able to confirm that he was sensory-seeking, but of course wasn’t qualified to give us an answer re: an attention deficit. Due to his age and the cost we’re trying to meet whatever other needs he may have & see what resolves before pursuing a full Psych Assessment. Yes, he can distinguish between types of discomfort. In familiar environments he is able to identify when he’s overstimulated and can manage it himself by asking to have a quiet moment away... but when he’s in a new situation & there’s lots of interesting things he wants to get into or he has an “audience” then it’s far harder. He has to WANT to calm himself - he likes the wild excitement feeling, even though he knows it gets him into trouble.
  11. Nothing yet for the STNR. I found some stretches / exercises online that I can do with him at home on my own, though. Despite my best efforts (arriving early, having a snack, free playing for a bit) DS was really squirrely while we were there. I tend to forget that he gets this way in new situations & it catches me off guard because while he’s always “full on” he is much more mellow by comparison at home. The first task we were given was the flippers. DS haaaated this! Glasses being a reality and not just theoretical is not going over well, so glasses + colour lenses + the flippers making the task challenging = resistant kiddo. The DO backed up and gave us an easier level flipper so he can work his way up with less frustration. We have both so we can adjust difficulty whenever he’s ready. The next was a tracking activity where he scans for individual underlined numbers / letters in a row of text, reading them off as quickly and accurately as possible. He managed to do this in 30sec with 2 errors (skipped one line). Goal is 20sec with 0 errors. If he masters the task we also have sheets with several letters grouped together (asr tyn drl zvq). DS didn’t mind this, as it was straightforward and he felt confident it was achievable. The final task was the one DS enjoyed most. It’s a series of mazes, and he has to direct a pawn through the maze by telling it to turn left or right each time it hits a wall. DS loves mazes and enjoys coding, so despite being challenging this activity is right up his alley.
  12. Got DS’ reading glasses & had our first session today. We have several versions of 3 distinct exercises. He’s asked us to work on each one for 10min a day (not back-to-back) & otherwise continue reading as usual, just with the reading glasses. Of the exercises he did today DS enjoyed one, was “meh” about one, and really resisted one. For the last, the DO moved him down a level so he could feel more successful. He included tools for both that level and the harder level in our “took kit”. We’ll be coming back every 2-3wks for new exercises & tools.
  13. I am sooooo glad it’s not just us!! DS spent two full days this week simply unable to comprehend ANYTHING. Parts of speech? What are those?? (Hint: we’ve spent a good chunk of the year on them). Recalled none of the vocabulary from the past 2 months of poetics. Spent an entire hour on staring blankly at a whopping 6 math problems. The next day? Absolutely zero issues. Knocked out his sentence analysis, blew through reading, completed 6 full pages of math without even breaking a sweat. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️
  14. The stark financial dichotomy here is indeed very sad - and humbling, as someone who grew up in poverty myself. We were able to see some progress in the time he was in OT, but we dropped because we simply couldn’t afford it anymore. Weekly sessions were running us nearly $700/mo 😩She focused primarily on his sensory-seeking behaviors while we were there because they were the most disruptive / problematic. We were only able to attend for a few months.
  15. This part, at least, is easy! Everything is “pay by session”; no packages or pre-payment to worry about.
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