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EKT

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About EKT

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    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

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  1. Enjoy your peace and quiet! My husband usually does something similar--takes the kids to my MIL's house for several days so I can do the bulk of my planning. Typically, I first tackle whatever tasks require actual brain power and focus. I do a modified file-folder planning system each summer, and for certain subjects (say, math), all that requires of me is tearing the pages out of the workbooks and filing them into folders. I don't necessarily need peace and quiet to do that; it's more like busy work for me, and I know I can work on it little by little over time. But for other subjects that I mostly DIY (that is, that I don't use a simple, single curriculum for)--the subjects that require me to stop and really think about projects I'd like to include, changes I want to make, books I want to read, etc. do require concentration, so I focus on those first. Additionally, any serious homeschool reading I might want to do (like re-reading sections of TWTM, etc.), are something I prioritize. Finally, I also like to muck out the homeschool room and shelves, etc., when no one is there to immediately mess them back up, lol.
  2. We're into our summer schooling schedule, which for us means a little daily math, a little daily copywork, and lots of reading/read alouds. Instead of using copywork pages from, say, WWE or Brave Writer Arrows, I decided to just pull it from our current read aloud. During the school year, I typically do language arts one-on-one with each child. If I'm pulling copywork from a read aloud, I usually stick our current book in a cookbook holder, so the child can easily see the text for copying. This generally works well, but since we're doing school stuff all together each morning for the summer, having both girls share the same book at the same time for copywork has...not been working, lol. So, it dawned on me to just photocopy (on our home printer) two copies of the page in question. Now, I take those two copies and a highlighter, and just highlight the sentences I want copied. (I typically select a page that we've just read the night before during read aloud. I also pick different passages from the same page for each girl, so they are doing different work and don't compare. I also generally give the older child a longer passage.) Long story short, this has been working really well so far, and it takes me all of two minutes to prep! Mostly, I feel like an idiot that I didn't think of doing copywork this way before. It's so much easier for everyone involved. Anyway, thought I would pass it along, in case anyone else finds it helpful! :-) P.S. Our current read aloud (my girls are 8 and 11) is Splendors and Glooms by Newberry Medal Winner Laura Amy Schlitz. We're a little more than halfway through, and it has been a huge hit! If you love historical fiction (this one takes place in London, 1860), and you love spooky, creepy, witchy stories, I highly recommend! (It's set in fall and winter, so it would be a good one to put on your list for the fall, but it's been on my to-read list forever and I didn't want to wait any longer, so we just dove in. I don't regret it.) The language and descriptions in this book are gorgeous, making it particularly great for copywork.
  3. We have happily used MUS all along and my oldest is currently in Epsilon (fractions). We absolutely love MUS. That said, my daughter also was confused by the "upside-down multiplication" in Delta, so I just let her skip that part. I told her that as long as she understood how to do long division and could get correct answers (which she did!), she did not have to check her division using the upside-down method. (I found it a bit confusing myself!) I let her check her division by doing multiplication "the regular way" or by just skipping the checking step altogether. I feel completely confident that she finished Delta understanding division, so I haven't lost a bit of sleep over it. My two cents: If Math U See is otherwise working for you, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Just use the parts that work and move on; don't fret about these small details! (Mr. Demme teaches similar little math tricks from time to time; some of them help us and some of them don't resonate, so we just keep the ones that work.) :-)
  4. Thank you so much for this info! As I mentioned, we are still in the hypothetical stage of all of this, but if it turns out we consider the job/moving, I will definitely reach out. Thanks again; I really appreciate the help! :-)
  5. Thank you so much, everyone, for all the input! (As for the testing, I fully expect my kids to be able to pass just fine, but was just curious what scores "meant." So good to know!) Thanks again!
  6. Thank you so much! I so appreciate your taking the time to answer. Do the SCORES of the standardized tests matter at all? (Like, if your child "fails," does it mean anything? Are there consequences? Or do you just have to participate in the testing so the state can gather information?) Thank you!!
  7. Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullibies is definitely appropriate for all kids, and her reading voice, is of course, lovely. Highly recommend this one! A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson would be a great collection to start with (there are a few different versions available on Audible.)
  8. Shakespeare's plays were meant to be watched!! If Shakespeare feels foreign to you, I would watch classic movie versions of the plays and then read the texts. (If you have a sense of the story before diving into the actual text, I think it will all seem a lot easier and less intimidating!) Audiobook versions are also a great starting point. Heck, even storybook versions of the plays (intended for children) could be helpful. Also, the Riverside Shakespeare is a wonderful resource! It contains ALL of Shakespeare's work. I used it in college as a literature major and it's still my go-to. (It is a huge book, but a good one!)
  9. So, my husband and I are discussing a possible new job for him that would relocate us to Syracuse, New York. (It is very theoretical at this point, but I want to get a handle on what a move could mean for our homeschooling before we pursue the idea any further.) We currently live in a medium-regulation state and I really enjoy the freedom I have here. (The area I'm in is so homeschool-friendly and it is tough to even consider leaving!) I've heard New York and Pennsylvania are terrible for homeschooling (that is, high regulation). Is this true? How bad is it? Can anyone give me the quick-and-dirty version of the homeschool requirements in New York? (Some particulars I'd love to know: Is testing of any kind required? Is it one of those states where you have to call your household a private school and give it a name? What are evaluations like and what are you required to show the state? How often are evaluations? Anything else that is specific to New York that I should know?) Bonus if you live in/near Syracuse: Is there a good homeschool vibe there? Are there a lot of homeschoolers and extracurriculars to choose from? Would love to hear about your experience! Thank you in advance (so much!) to anyone who can fill me in before we put too much stock in considering the job possibilities.
  10. I am typically not the flashcard type of homeschooler (at all!), but we are currently using them to learn states and capitals. (We are using this deck, which is super inexpensive and the cards are high-quality and beautiful.) Anyway, we are using them as part of Morning Time. For 5-10 minutes each morning, my girls sit across the table from me, and I hold up individual cards to first one daughter and then the other. (This is NOT a competitive exercise at all, each girl is learning the info for herself and the other one has to be quiet when it is not her turn, even if she knows the answer. We try to make it fun--sometime we'll race the clock, or I'll let the girls answer in funny voices and such, so long as they are on task and focused, etc.) We have been doing this for several weeks and the girls have pretty much mastered them all! (We are moving on to international capitals next.) So, because we're using the cards in a game-like fashion, it's been a fun and effective way to learn this info. So, thus far, my experience is that flash cards have a place and can work well when used sparingly to learn specific facts. Good luck!
  11. Thank you so much for the review!! So helpful! I'm glad you're enjoying it so far; it sounds like something I'd love, too. Joining is not in the budget for the current school year, but like I said above, I think I really will join this summer. Looking forward to it. Thanks again! :-)
  12. I absolutely love Julie and listen to pretty much all of her podcasts and videos. I have not joined the Alliance yet, but would happily do so if I had cash to burn. (To be sure, I think the price is totally "worth it"; I just don't think I personally could find enough free time to spend on the site each month to justify the cost of membership out of our overall homeschool budget, if that makes sense.) I think it might work better for me to join for just a month or two over the summer when I'm in planning mode and have more free time to devote to the site--think I might try that this coming summer. Anyway, just wanted to chime in to say that I would love for you to share your feedback/experience once you've spent some time on the site! (And also, for what it's worth, I can totally relate to so much of what you wrote in your second post above; nice to know there are other people who feel the same!) ;-)
  13. We use scrapbook cases or hanging file folders. (The scrapbook cases stack well! I have like four or five of them: one for construction paper, one for laminator pouches, one for finished art, etc. )
  14. Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs, and Lullabies is lovely. (I recently got it on sale on Audible. I think the sale is on for another day or two!)
  15. Poetry Teatime is probably my kids' favorite thing that we do in our homeschool! We did it all last year and it was a hit, so we will definitely continue. We do it a couple times per month and even weekly when I'm on top of my game. Our teatimes are not super fancy, but they're just special enough for my kids to feel like Poetry Teatime is an event. They don't actually care for tea, so we drink hot chocolate in the winter, and juice, lemonade, or just plain water at other times of the year. We have a little set of pretty plates* we put out and everyone gets a little treat. Ideally, the treat is something we've recently baked, but sometimes it's sliced fruit or a store-bought granola bar taken out of its wrapper and lovingly cut into dainty pieces that are arranged nicely on the plate. Before we begin, I light two tea lights (so the kids each have their own candle to enjoy and blow out at the end). I usually start reading poems while the kids eat, and then when they are finished eating, they like to take turns reading poems as well. We usually just get a new poetry book from the library each week, but we often return to favorite books we own, like A Child's Garden of Verses. If it's a library book, we typically read the entire book of poems in one session. That's it! (About 20-30 minutes.) I might do an extra special version of Poetry Teatime during Christmas, etc., but I generally find that simpler is better. (Too fancy/fussy, and I can't get it done. Better to keep it simple enough that you actually do it!) I think the most important thing is to set the mood with your attitude. If we take a moment to breathe together at the beginning (usually right after I've lit the candles), and go into it with peaceful minds, then the session is great. (This is one place where a rushed or impatient atmosphere kinda ruins the spirit of the whole thing.) *Goodwill or Salvation Army is the BEST place to find pretty plates for Poetry Teatime! I took my daughters there to look, and we found the prettiest little set of dishes with purple flowers on them that I bought for literally $2.00. We also found pink cut-glass cups with matching saucers that they use for their "tea." (The girls think they are crystal, lol, and they love them! I bought them for pennies!) We only use these dishes for Poetry Teatime, so it makes it very special. I love the idea of getting each of the girls their own mini teapot for their water, so I think for Christmas, we will try to get them those.
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