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Noreen Claire

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Everything posted by Noreen Claire

  1. Music lessons, a membership the the YMCA for swim & gymnastics lessons, a housekeeper, and the robotics sets that DS7 so desperately wants.
  2. In Boston, if we stayed at DST hours, sunrise would be at 8:14am and sunset at 5:34pm. This would be much better! We were outside this afternoon, and the light dimmed and the temperature dropped starting around 4pm. It is just too early! I'm all for picking one and never changing again, but I would prefer DST hours to Standard Time.
  3. I second these pencils. We actually have both left- and right-handed versions for beginning writers in my house. The kids like them very much.
  4. We are using Zaner-Bloser here. DS7 is a lefty. Even after going through the K book casually and the 1st grade book faithfully, he still prints most letters & numbers from bottom up and from right to left. He also has many reversals when printing. There was a while where everything he wrote was a mirror image of correct writing. We've recently started the 2C book, and he's really liking cursive. (DS10 is using the 5th grade book.) The only modification for a lefty is direction of paper slant. I remind him to keep his hand below his writing, and he does a good job. I'm hoping that the more he uses cursive, the better his printing will get.
  5. Thank you, this made me realize we haven't been taking our vitamins, and it's time to add vitamin D as well. Will start today!
  6. We've been through PANDAS. This isn't it, though it *is* aggravating stuff that's always been just under the surface, like anxiety and tics. His last serious PANDAS flare was the final straw that convinced me to pull him from the public school, between 1st and 2nd grade. I really feel like this is hormone related. He's grown 2 clothing sizes and at least 4 shoe sizes since spring...
  7. I need your best "been there, done that" advice for dealing with a kid who has been, up to this point, extremely bright, academically advanced, mostly patient, and quick with his schoolwork and who is now, suddenly, moody, crabby, and obviously hormonal in a way that effects his working memory, his patience, his frustration levels, his focus, and his ability to make good decisions. Currently, he is sent to bed between 8:30-9:00pm, but can read for a while in bed. He gets up at 7am. He eats pretty well, though I think he could use more protein and good fats. He doesn't eat tree nuts, eggs, or poultry products and he doesn't drink milk, though he does eat cheese and yogurt. He's has soccer 3x/week and cross country 2x/week, but they both end this week. Basketball starts soon, but will be only 2-3x/week. He does not have regular contact with kids his age outside of sports. Give me your best tween-hormones-are-going-to-kill-us-both advice, please!
  8. As it turns out, my 5yr old had a pair of scissors in his room today during quiet time. So. Much. Damage. 😲😩😭😖
  9. I have two screamers. I can remind them gently, redirect them, punish them, 'logical consequences', holler at them, whatever... They. Still. Scream. Inside outside, doesn't matter. Believe you me, it hurts me more than it annoys anyone else.
  10. DS5 was tested for an IEP due to speech articulation issues. He was also given the PPVT-5 (Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test) and the EVT-3 (Expressive Vocabulary Test) to rule out other issues in communication. For both tests, the mean is 100 +/-15. on the PPVT, DS5 scored a 156 out of a max of 160; on the EVT he scored a 128. We knew he had a great vocabulary and memory (he was my earliest talker), but the scores were much higher than I expected. Currently, we are working on 'kindergarten' work for about 30 minutes, 3-4 times most weeks: logic: Mind Benders level 1 (2 or 3 pages; We just started last week. He loves this.) math: SM Essential Math Kindergarten A (10-15 minutes, or until he's bored) ZB Handwriting level K (I am trying to add in fine-motor and hand-strengthening activities to his day.) OPGTR (1 lesson; We just started.) (occasionally) Get Set for the Code B (He worked through A last year and enjoys the books, but we only do this if he asks.) (tagging along with DS7) He listens along when I read SOTW1 and wants to answer the questions. He listens to audiobooks (Harry Potter, Trumpet of the Swan, Beatrix Potter, etc.) during quiet time every day, for 2 hours. He asks everyone to read to him constantly, and spends lots of times 'reading' the pictures in his older brother's library books. What else can (should) I be doing with this child? Should I start to work with him on narrations? Short poetry memorizations? Just keep doing what we're doing? Leave him alone and let him be 5?
  11. Thanks, everyone, for sharing your child's schedules with me. I can see that we are pretty typical, and that makes me a bit less worried. DS10's routine basically the same each day. He's up between 7-7:30am, and finishes breakfast by 8. He gets ready for the day and starts his assigned literature reading (about 30 min). He does the rest of his work in whatever order he pleases. He has an hour of math, an hour of history (M/R) science (T/F) or logic (W), an hour of foreign language (Latin & Portuguese), and about an hour for grammar, spelling, cursive, and writing (which is, ironically, done orally). We break for lunch around 11:30 or 12:00, and he's always finished his work for the day between 1:00-2:00. On Wednesdays, we drop the grammar, etc and go to the library instead. We have quiet time until 3 or 4 (depending on the kids' moods). He has soccer 3x/week, cross country 2x/week, and a 30 min group piano class at the YMCA 1x/week. If I remember, he does some foreign language review and logic on the weekends, but it's not consistent. He's into bed at 8:30, but can read until 9:30 if he likes. During any free time he reads, listens to audio books, plays outside, helps his dad, or torments his little brothers. He is also an alter server at Saturday mass, and goes to CCD every other Sunday morning. I would love to get him private lessons for piano, but the money isn't there at the moment. I would really like to institute a 'morning time'-type hour, where we read poetry and Shakespeare and do memory work and whatnot, but I just can't figure out where to fit it in. The kids get 60-90 minutes of tv time after dinner most nights, and I *know* that I could do it then but I'm just too fried at that point. They are SO SO SO SO NOISY and, as I get older, I need more and more quiet time to decompress.
  12. I would like to tweak DS10's daily schedule. I feel like he's doing too much, but I also feel like we're missing things that could be important. Could you tell me a bit about your 5th grader's daily routine? For instance, what time do they get up? How much time do they spend on school work? How often do they get outside, and how much daily physical activity? Do they finish work at night/on the weekend? When do they do their assigned reading and/or free reading? When do they go to bed, and how much screen time do they get (outside of academic use)? Things overall are going well so far this year, but I feel like we're missing a few things that we've done in past years OR have always wanted to include (art, poetry and Shakespeare read-alouds, music appreciation and musical instruction, more outside time, etc). I'm just looking for ideas on how we could change it up a bit, and also give him some idea of what other 5th graders are doing at home. We don't have many homeschoolers around us at all, and even fewer that are either past 1st grade or not unschoolers. Plus, we've got some pre-puberty hormone moodiness and brain-fog at work, and he grew two clothes sizes and four shoe sizes since last fall, so that's fun...
  13. I use Clinique's All About Eyes. It's spendy, but you use the tiniest amount. I buy it at Macy's.
  14. I make a baked mac and cheese that is pretty darn good, if I do say so myself. It's usually part Velveeta, part cheddar, part something else (American or gruyere or Munster, whatever's on hand). It starts with a bechamel and finishes with buttered panko crumbs on top. Baked, then broiled just for a minute. It's delicious! Just ask my kids. 🤣
  15. "please don't pee on the seat/floor" and "please keep your hands/feet/butt/head/mouth to yourself" come to mind.... *sigh*
  16. I'm taking an exam this coming Friday as the first hurdle towards getting my teaching licence back up-to-date (I've been out of work since DS7 was born). I would like to schedule a very light week for DS10 and DS7, so that I can study and panic during the week. They will still do math and independent literature reading, but I need something to keep them busy while I study. We have been studying dinosaurs, paleontology, archeology, and early civilizations (at chapter 4 in SOTW1). We have been reading The Odyssey (McCaughrean) as a family read-aloud. Can anyone recommend good tv shows/movies that I can put on for a 10, 7, 5, and nearly-3 year old? We have Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and a fabulous library. Thanks!
  17. DS7 would like to learn Python coding. He already spends two hours a week with my father playing around with Scratch and robots and a bit of Raspberry Pi. He spends hours pouring over coding books. He's extremely bright, reads well, and is very driven when he's interested in something. I would like to find him an online Python course that he can work through mostly by himself, though I understand most courses will be aimed at older Learners. Does anyone have any recommendations?
  18. My five boys each have two godparents, and I'm so sad that none of them have the close relationship that I have with my godparents. I guess I got very lucky. I became a godmother for the first time last Sunday! My brother and his wife had their first child, a daughter. I am hoping to be the best Aunt/godmother that little girl can have!
  19. We have DS23 listed as guardian of the younger four boys (10, 7, 5, & 2), with my mother in charge of the money. DH has an insurance policy that will cover all debts and offer several years of cushion, given that DS23 isn't yet,self-sufficient, employment-wise.
  20. If he refuses to get dressed/ready to go, I physically get him ready (he doesn't put up a fight, but will complain) and bring him to the car. He *always* gets over himself in the car ride and forgets his objections once we are wherever we were going. If he doesn't finish his school work before quiet time, he doesn't get his audiobook. If it's tv time and it's still not done, he doesn't get to watch with his brothers. If it's Wednesday, he will usually do the barest minimum in order to go to his coding lesson (with my father), but there is much arguing involved.
  21. A few weeks ago, DS7 decided he didn't want to do penmanship anymore. I told him we could skip the manuscript review (even though he really needs it, he's a lefty who forms all his letter bottom-up and right-to-left) and go on to the cursive section. He agreed, and hasn't refused penmanship work since. (He writes for himself all the time, this is not a physical issue.) The next week, he started refusing to do narrations. We are using WWE2, and he had no problems doing it last year. He will still listen and answer comprehension questions, but won't do the oral narration part. This week, he refuses to do the copywork and the dictations. So, he'll only answer the comprehension questions. When I tell him to do the other work, he just sits and doodles and tells me he doesn't want to do it. Last week, he started refusing to do certain pages in the spelling book (SWO2), and won't write his word lists (once per day). I'm asking him to spell the words out loud, and he's getting them all right, so I'm not worried too much right now, especially because he will still do the pages that have puzzles/rhymes/proofreading. I'm not sure what to do with him. He will still happily do the work that he likes (cursive, math, logic, grammar, phonics, history, science, reading, Greek, coding). His personality has always been to dig in and refuse to do things that he doesn't want, which can be a struggle when you are trying to get everyone dressed and out the door. However, it's never extended to school work before. He has plenty of free time each morning and afternoon to read and play. He has had some testing, and shows signs of both giftedness and possible selective mutism/social anxiety. The school work is an appropriate level for him. Does anyone have any 'been there, done that' advice?
  22. My living room is twice as long as it is wide. My husband insisted on lining both long walls with bookshelves, so I have a couch and a loveseat both free-floating in the room, perpendicular to the walls and parallel to each other. With four young, rambunctious boys in the house all day, I am constantly moving furniture back into place. This is constantly aggravating. In an attempt to keep the furniture from moving so much, I emptied FIVE bookshelves and moved both couches. I HATE IT. The symmetry of the room is gone and it's just no good. However, I now have roughly a thousand books to put back into bookshelves and I don't like the way the room is set up and I don't remember what bookshelves the books came out of and aaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhhhh!!!!! We went to the library. I never want to go home. My husband will be home in 6 hours. Ugh. 😥
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