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Have kids -- will travel

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Everything posted by Have kids -- will travel

  1. No advice just some sympathy! I've heard your same story from lots of times from other mothers, including the one who finally understood why those other kids climbed on everything and failed to listen: her first was compliant and easy, and her second couldn't be kept still! Don't discount the younger one yet, though. My difficult child is the 5yo, our oldest, and at age 2 you wouldn't have known how far ahead he'd be now (a worryingly high level, TBH). He's still incredibly active, but it's calmed a lot. YDS is so compliant and peaceful that I would have really struggled to have ODS afterwards. Now I know it's just their respective personalities. So while your oldest will always be easier, you may not need to fully discount your younger child academically. Age 2 is very young to really tell.
  2. I'm looking for new suggestions for educational, fun computer activities for aimed at grades K/1/2. It needs to be fun enough to feel like a reward but with a clear educational benefit. At the moment, my son picks from Teach Your Monster to Read, Starfall (which he's really outgrown), Prodigy, Dreambox, and Math Seeds (also basically outgrown). Any new sites to check out are very welcome. His mouse skills are fine, typing not so much. I'd prefer it to be more game-based than video-based, but any particularly appealing sites outside of core curriculum (geography, science, etc.) would also be great to look at as well.
  3. I'm going to suggest something different, so take it or leave it. How often do friends come over to play? Or how often does she visit friends? My son has a very high need for social interaction and loves having friends over. When a good friend comes over, the two bounce off, and I'm hardly welcome, much less needed. These plays are occasionally complicated by younger brother, but that's an issue you don't have. Would more friends coming to visit help fill her days? Playing with friends is a huge part of school, so you can even sell it that way if need be. My son has two good friends who each play once a week for about two hours a time, alternating at my home and at the other boys' home. Play with friends would give you more variety without adding structure, plus extra time to yourself. That said, it very much depends on the friends. Perhaps my perspective is different, but social development is high on our list of priorities. It's clear in our house that academics are going to come easy, so play with friends helps other aspects of development that may be more challenging or less innate.
  4. Great advice here. This is what I did with my oldest at 3 and 4. Tears meant a new approach, circling back to the problem area. Handwriting will come with age as well. Mazes were for a time the only fine motor work he enjoyed. Just before turning 5, everything really clicked, and he can write a proper sentence without balking. The pushy parents I've seen are the ones that need confirmation for how bright their child is. If you find yourself wanting your child to reach a level or perform in a certain way, instead of following the child's wishes and ability, you may need to consider your motivations.
  5. If your son is reading, just keep reading. My early reader loved the I see Sam series, and I did too -- because it was slow, gentle, and funny. Early readers with actual (logical and sensical) plot. The books are available free online. My son naturally memorized words once he sounded them out, so fluency came easily here. Not sure how you would encourage it. Some picture books with advanced vocabulary that I love are the Hairy Maclary series (Slinki Malinki is my favorite) and some Julia Donaldson books.
  6. About which language, if you are going to be the teacher, it should be the language you know (or want to learn). I don't have experience with Chinese, but if you feel that one is easier or more useful, learn that one yourself and teach it on. My DH speaks 7 or 8 languages now, so no need to think American by assuming your child will only learn one foriegn language. For what it's worth, both of us have picked up languages to fluency in adulthood as well. For the reading aspect, my early reader learned to read in English and picked up our second language simply through read-alouds. No phonics instruction at all. I did worry about the languages with reading, but that was never a problem here.
  7. We also had lots of success with repeating portions of 100 EZ lessons. I read a blog where a parent said that they always re-did the first fifty lessons. At 50, it got really hard, so we did that. Turned out brilliant. We re-did the first fifty (at DS's pace, so multiple lessons per day if they were short) and finished to the end without stopping after that.
  8. Cooperative games then: Forbidden Island, Forbidden Desert, etc. Maybe Pandemic? Everyone wins or everyone loses.
  9. :iagree: We only did curriculums until ODS was confident enough to read on his own. Now he reads anything and everything. If your early reader is already reading real books, just borrow anything from the library she'll read, and keep on reading to her. He'll get better with practice.
  10. P1 (reception) is pre-K in the US. P2 is Kindergarten age in the US. How the curriculums line up is trickier, but purely based on age, your daughter would be going for a K year next year.
  11. I highly recommend the book "Bad Science." It's a popularly written science book, so easy to understand and funny, and it's got a whole chapter on the placebo effect (with proper references). Basically, the more complicated the treatment, the higher the placebo effect. For example, your placebo pills will work better if your doctor tells you to take them at strict six hour intervals with food, to be followed by a deep muscle massage. Acupuncture is an example of a complicated treatment that induces a placebo effect. Certain conditions are also more susceptible to a placebo effect; a fever has a smaller placebo effect than backpain. In a controlled trial, the pharmaceutical companies are required to give the exact same treatment (exact same pill, minus active ingredient, exact same directions, exact same "side effects" explanation) to the "placebo group." I will note, however, that for many clinical trials, it is unethical to provide no treatment (would you like to be in the cancer drug placebo group?), so most trials compare their new drug to the current established treatment.
  12. Personally, a lingering disagreement in a marriage is to me a sign of problems in the marriage, not the importance of who could presumably care for your children in the unlikely case that neither of you are able. In a good marriage, both partners put the happiness and well-being of the other partner ahead of their own, meaning that in disagreements, you work hard to see the other's perspective. I'd recommend marriage counseling to work out the deeper issues here.
  13. Lynley Dodd is fabulous! Our favorite is Slinky Malinky -- really, you have to read that one at least once. If you need to buy (and amazon.com is letting you down), the book depository does worldwide shipping for free. I've used it quite a few times to get titles that weren't readily available via other sources.
  14. Sorry about your injury! I did dislocate my kneecap, but that was accompanied by an ACl tear ... so quite a different sort of injury. The last knee injury I had was fortunately on my left knee for driving purposes, because it took five months to be relatively back to normal (biking, stairs, etc.). No surgery in that case, but the swelling took forever to go down. So it can take awhile. If the swelling is bad like mine, even when the pain is gone the restricted movement makes things difficult.
  15. This does sound like it's all within the spectrum of normal. A therapist may be a good sounding board for you, but I wouldn't call it necessary. FWIW, I believe we make a lot of our own happiness by choosing to ruminate on positive things rather than negative things. I have plenty of experience ruminating on negative things -- and the consequences of that -- and I've found life to be just so much better when I keep things positive. Have you given thought to trying to be purposefully more "real" with the people in your life, particularly your husband and good friends? Perhaps they will surprise you by enjoying a more connected version of yourself. I'd just like to encourage you to avoid the "detatch and run" response from relationships. Isolating yourself can very easily lead to depression. Let some good friends in on the real you, focus on the positives, and make sure to get time for yourself. Hopefully, your feelings will change quickly.
  16. I understand the travel anxiety issue. My mom is afraid of flying but still managed to make the flight from the US out to visit us in Asia, multiple stopovers and more than 24 hours of flying time. But we didn't do anything weird or exotic on their holiday. Still, as above, an RV in the UK would be difficult. We had to adapt to driving left when we moved here, and it definitely took more concentration, particularly around freeways. And yes, I did drive once and a while on the wrong side, fortunately only on small streets. With your restrictions, I think I'd pick a different destination. You could do a beach holiday where the anxious traveller could stay around the hotel while the rest went out as they liked. You could do US camping or Canadian camping. You could do a B&B at an international location where the main point of travel is to enjoy nature, so staying around the B&B is pleasant. Some destinations just aren't possible for every traveller.
  17. That's definitely the first time I've heard that idea. No, I wouldn't do it. Also consider the costs of gasoline in UK; you may be cheaper at a B&B and renting a van. Why would a camper be easier? Just to make it more relatable, would you take a camper van to NYC?
  18. Thanks for all of the tips. After looking and thinking and looking so more, I'm going with the Klean Kanteen tops on an insulated bottle. We'll see how long until I start complaining about those!
  19. Safe places are the worst! DH also loving "stores" important things and then can't find them.
  20. Sounds like you would be happy to replace the sofa. Assuming you have the finances to do it, go for it. We have a rule in our house that we aren't going to keep furniture we hate for years on end. Both our parents did that, and we are committed to only keeping things a reasonable amount of time. Get a nice, new sofa and enjoy!
  21. Technically, the "I wish" part of the sentence then requires a subjunctive verb. This makes more sense when you speak other languages, because the subjunctive in English is rare and not very clear. Maybe a better explanation: http://www.perfect-english-grammar.com/wish.html I grew up saying things like, "If it stopped raining, we might could go outside." No judgement for bad grammar, just trying to explain why it's grammatically wrong.
  22. I can understand your point! However, it's the tropics here, so water goes absolutely everywhere -- every trip to the playground, no matter how short. I usually bring water bottles when we're out shopping as well, just so that we don't need to buy anything if the trip takes longer than expected. I'm not a fan of disposible water bottles, and I'm tired of my purse getting wet from the water! But I can totally imagine that this isn't a problem that everyone has. Thanks for the suggestions so far! I'm looking them up.
  23. The boys drink lots of water and need new cups. I've had some mixed success in the past and am hoping for recommendations. Needs to be actually spill-proof, easy to open/access, easy to clean, minimal parts. Bonus points for a cup that would work for both a 4yo and 2yo, but I'm also happy with separate recommendations. They currently use Playtex cups like this one (http://www.amazon.com/Playtex-Baby-Insulator-Spill-Proof-Cup/dp/B000K52HX8/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1434951386&sr=8-11&keywords=playtex+cup), and I'm moderately happy with those -- but not happy enough to necessarily stick with them.
  24. Four hours with two toddlers! Definitely a long time for "free-play." I led a 45 minute Mommy-and-me music group, which was really nice. No curriculum, though. Just a list of songs I knew (most with motions or actions). We started with instrument songs (shaking songs), then did finger songs (dickie birds, itsy-bitsy spider, etc.), then more action songs (marching songs, the bicycle song, etc.). At the end, we did a song book from Barefoot Books. Animal Boogie, Travelling By, and Portside Pirates are my favorites (also on youtube).
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