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About HomeAgain

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  1. I have kids who are total opposites in my house. My oldest was never interested in sports. He tried them, every single one, didn't like them, and quit after the season. HOWEVER, around age 10 I didn't give a donkey's worth anymore about whether he liked the activity. I treated it as a necessity: he will do an activity he can take with him into adulthood. hat was my entire goal. Team sports and things with specialized equipment (like gymnastics) were out. If he couldn't just go out on the weekend when he was 30 and do it I wasn't going to press it on him in his teens. I signed him up for golf, bowling, and swim lessons. I hiked and biked with him. On his own he took up basketball toward the end of high school. The youngest does team sports and loves it. He will do anything competitive. Neither one made good friends through sports. Physical activity is demanding. They developed friendships through activities that focused on building conversation: scouts, book club, 4-H, maker groups..there's too much to focus on during sports so that you don't get below the surface of conversation.
  2. That has stopped me from getting one, too. We don't currently use one, so I don't know if we will. Plus I would have to give up shelf space...I've gone back and forth on it for a year. Maybe one day I'll make up my mind.😄 Dh and I grocery shopped yesterday. The store we ended up at had a massive sale on ground beef, chicken, and pork chops for Memorial day, so we brought home quite a bit and saved over $50 off what we would have paid based on my price book. It goes without saying today is burger making day. 🙂 We'll have an assembly line going and pack them in the freezer for the rest of the summer. We took the money we saved and applied it directly to the mortgage payment. I ordered our laundry soap online- $28 for a 6 month supply, and found they offer single use packs. I'm on the fence on if I want to order those for vacation/travel. Our current method has been to use children's plastic test tubes. They're just big enough and work fine, but it means having to carry things back with me. I'll think on it for a while longer. Oh, and The Lego Movie 2 was in at the library this week, so I have a very happy 9yo.
  3. I have a "master plan" I keep on my computer. It changes, but it keeps me on track. Some of the notes I have on my file are: 6th/7th/8th: increase literature study & introduce literary elements. I have two plans laid out, one with ELTL and one with Moving Beyond The Page for this age group. History: we'll be using Creek Edge Press task cards for a base because this year (4th) my youngest will be working on outlining. The task cards will allow us to use whatever resources and go a little deeper during middle school while putting the bulk of the responsibility on him. My job will be to schedule Reading Like A Historian exercises and work with him on those, preparing for the harder/deeper work in Jackdaws. This summer I am going through SOTW4, creating a lesson plan, and looking for underlying themes that run through chapters so I can highlight the comparison and contrast of things like economic systems, legislation, government protests, human rights awareness....geography and social studies are wrapped into this as we have a chance to discuss how countries and borders have changed. We'll still do an organized science, but I will be tying the two subjects together with Hakim's The Story Of Science, breaking the 3 books up over 4 years. I haven't decided yet if I want to get the history timelines from Pandia press, but they are very handy and are broken into bands that include scientific achievements, so I think I might. The last semester of 6th grade in my house will get Harry Stottlemeier's Discovery. It's 17 chapters of beginning logic told in story form. By 7th we'll start to slowly go through another book (undetermined, maybe Art of Argument). This is just my plan. I started with which skills I thought were important for this logic stage compared to grammar and started with those: -learning how to examine evidence -relying on notetaking and outlines to create a paper -understanding various vehicles and elements authors use -creating a logical argument -slight increase in personal responsibility -understanding the interconnection of events in history Everything else? It can continue what we've always done. I look ahead to high school and college and figure if we keep plodding on our upward path, we'll get there. So.........................what is important to you? What skills do you specifically want to focus on in middle school?
  4. Possibility - park ranger? They have to enforce a set of laws within national/state parks.
  5. Congrats! I have tutored online but never taught a full class. We are laying low this weekend. Last year we did our usual: taking care of veterans' graves. We did it a little differently, though, and only took part in placing the flags in front of each marker. I have not seen a call for volunteers this year so we are going to do our best to avoid the first wave of summer crowds that will be congesting our stores and roads. Dh and I did massive grocery shopping today so that we can prep a few freezer meals and eat through until Wednesday. The first store we went to we walked right out of because every register was open and had long lines. The second one was better...not much, but better. As far as nerve wracking, well, I did put off going to the DMV until today because it makes me nervous. It's a long drive and Murphy's law says that I will have made it only to forget something vital. *sigh So it was almost a relief to get up to the first checkpoint desk and have her wave me through, and the second to ask me for the fee and send me on my way. Much different than what I expected! However, I am slightly annoyed. I would have done it earlier this month when I took ds to the DMV but the form I got in the mail insisted I needed something from my insurance company. I waited for that to be sent before I went back. And guess what I didn't need? 😄 Ah, well, all good now for the next 2 years.
  6. Our steps were different. 🙂 I thought about everything reading was after the "this is a book" stage. We did a lot of puzzles that had to be done in specific order so they got used to knowing that there is a specific sequence to the sounds and text. We practiced hearing sounds slowly and quickly so they could hold a whole word's worth in their head while slowly sounding it out. We did not introduce reciting the ABCs because I find that to be cruel and heartless. A child has no use for the names and then to have to re-associate the letter with a sound and slow the progress. Names came later, after reading, when we talked about how silly it was that "aitch" was given to the symbol 'h' and he was writing enough to want to learn how to alphabetize things. I really enjoyed the stage, too. It moved quickly, but it was one of my favorite times.
  7. We don't use Winston, but this is the approach I use for introduction to grammar. I combined GrammarLand and Montessori-based characters to do an approach that combines colors, shape families, and personalities of the various parts of speech. It works with kids from ages 6 and up. I'm using it now with an 11yo who has graduated to just using colored lines to dissect a sentence and started diagramming with The First Whole Book Of Diagrams. It is easy for him to see you can't put an orange, round adverb between a blue triangle article and large black triangle noun. A darker blue triangle adjective has to modify the noun.
  8. I'd give a choice, too. It would be more important to me that they understood our support and respect of their needs than it would be for me to give what I want. I think a choice would be the best way to accomplish this.
  9. What about something not a workbook? Magnatabs, School-rite templates, or dry erase pages would give you as much or as little practice as needed.
  10. Let's see today: -clean ds's sheets (nosebleed night. Ugh.) -school -tutoring -quick grocery shopping (milk, hot dog buns, hamburger buns..) -2 mile run/walk. -make very early dinner -take ds to baseball (4:30-8pm attendance) -make late night snack/dessert before bed so ds can eat and not be starving.
  11. I remember looking at it when mine was younger (1st? 2nd?) and thinking it would NOT be a good fit for my reluctant writer. It asked too much of him in the way of creativity and would have had him shut down. What has worked for him was doing ELTL and modifying the copywork, and then this past year doing Treasured Conversations which was very incremental and perfect while waiting for his abilities to grow just a little more. It was kind of like getting more skills with the same level of ELTL. My oldest did Writing Tales at the same age. WWE wasn't out yet, but Writing Tales brought in games and hands on work to the progym and it was just right for him, too. If the youngest had been at a different point we would have done WT again, but he didn't need quite as much grammar work.
  12. We are probably doing Getting Nerdy With Mel And Gerdy interactive notebook pages this year. Lapbooks, but for older kids.
  13. How are you all doing? I had a frugal win here today. My youngest begged for a pair of shoes last month when we went to replace his old ones. These things are ugly, but they're what all his friends have and in the price range we were willing to spend, so we caved. Well, in addition to being ugly they also have been the worst shoes we've ever bought. The laces never stay tied because they're the round rope laces. They don't stay clean. And then today we were walking around and one of the tabs that holds the lace popped off. It was seriously tempting to just buy him a pair at the thrift store we were browsing at and throw his favorite pair in the trash. But I didn't. We went home and I remembered an old pair of flat lime green laces I had tucked away. And yes, they match these ugly shoes and are just the right length. I broke out my needle and thread and did an invisible strong set of stitches to hold the tab back on. 5 minutes later my kid is off and running around again. I'm hoping these will last until he outgrows them...hopefully that's fast, but at least now I don't have to worry about them falling off him!
  14. Here is what we did with the book: -Throwback Thursdays: Once a week do a lesson that is 10 or 20 behind where you are currently working. It makes it go slower, but revisiting older stories helps to build fluency and confidence. -make cards to go with the words/sounds in both the "funny" way and the regular print. You can play more with the cards than you can with the lesson plan. We used to make the sounds crash like Gawain's Word from Between The Lions (it's on youtube if you don't know what I'm talking about 🙂 ) -take a break entirely. It's okay. By the time you get to the last thirty lessons you can start to check out beginner readers from the library. The We Read Together series is great because in level 1, you read a page and the child reads 2-3 words. If you really want to take a break but keep going, the Reading Mastery books are DISTAR also. There's a whole program you can order through the McGraw Hill website that goes a bit slower than 100 EZ lessons.
  15. End of 3rd grade here. My kid likes to do these independently/alone while I'm in the same room: handwriting reading from a reader (short stories) task card based center work (like engineering projects)
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