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Noreen Claire

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Posts posted by Noreen Claire


  1. 5 minutes ago, wintermom said:

    We had to wait a while before we could make this happen. My dd 19 needs her own room, my ds 17 got the basement room. 

    Every family dynamic and house is different. My uncle with 3 boys and 3 girls seemed to be able to keep the 3 boys in one room (at least part of the time) while the girls all had their own rooms. 

    While your dc are little and enjoy having a bedroom buddy, life is good!

    We bought this house from a family that I had known since 1st grade, and they raised 4 boys and 1 girl here. There are days that I just don't understand how that was possible, as there is NOWHERE to put all the food that a family of 7 requires! Also, they were all fairly short, where DH is 6'2" and several of my boys are expected to be taller than that. I love this house, though, and I don't plan on ever moving again!

    • Like 1

  2. 4 hours ago, wintermom said:

    It's not helpful for you now, but maybe down the road. We just gave our 2 boys (now 13 and 15) the best gift ever - their own bedrooms. They were exploding - they had outgrown their bunkbed and were exploding in tempers. We had to build a new bedroom in the basement (including cutting concrete to put in a bigger window). So it was expensive, but so worth it!

    I would love separate rooms, but that's not going to happen here. We have 10 & 7 in one room and 5 & 3 in another, equally small room, with DH and I in the largest bedroom. DS24 is in the basement, but I hate having him down there and reuse to put anyone else down there once he leaves. The entire finished portion (2/3 the basement) needs to be gutted and redone, as there is water damage from a broken water main on the street that took 18 months to get the city to even admit existed after we noticed it. We would need egress windows, too. If money was no object, I would install real stairs up to our attic, add a full-length dormer to the rear side of the house, and put in a 3/4 bath as well. That could add 2 or 3 bedrooms, and everyone could have their own space! But, that won't happen with me as a stay-at-home mom, and I hope to be able to stay home for 3-8 more years.


  3. 4 hours ago, Chris in VA said:

    I would get rid of the bunk beds and use the money to build 2 lofts instead. Dh used the plans on anawhite.com to build dd's loft. Each boy would have room under their loft. We put a comfy chair and a stack of shelves plus a rug under our dd's. You could put a couch under one and a lego table under the other. Or just arrange some other way. The lift is super sturdy and we made it just tall enough for her to stand under. 

    I love this idea, and have mentioned it to my husband before. The problem is that the room wont fit two beds/lofts, unless they were along-side each other facing away, and then there would only be a tiny amount of space to walk around them. It's 10x13, with two windows, a closet, a radiator, and a weird corner that has the heating vent pipes running from the boiler in the basement to the roof. I keep trying to figure out how to do this, but i can't seem to make it work. These two are expected to both be well over 6ft when they are grown, so this is going to be an issue!


  4. 31 minutes ago, BlsdMama said:

    Many times, the mandates are not set by the registrar but by a larger organization or the overall board

    This year, our local soccer org has joined a new umbrella organization, so things are all different. The older kids have to register in December, the younger kids not until March!


  5. 14 minutes ago, wendyroo said:

    If you get rid of the table, then where will they build their legos?  I would be hesitant to get rid of it if they are using it to build on.  My boys have a lego room, and I am constantly scrounging up more tables for them because otherwise they build on the floor where the assembled creations get stepped on and the loose lego pieces get lost.

    DS7 builds on the floor. The table just gets piled higher and deeper with stuff. The floor is clean right now because I helped him pick it up last night. It's usually a minefield of Legos! There are two flat, pull-out Lego trays on wheels under the bed, plus plastic totes in the closet and the basement.

    DS10 only builds on the dining room table, and then displays his Legos high on a shelf, never to be touched again. 


  6. 2 hours ago, history-fan said:

    I mounted a nice kite on the ceiling and we would use it outside when weather permitted. They also had a star gazer that lit up the ceiling that they both liked.

    A star gazer light would be cool!

    1 hour ago, plansrme said:

    I think upgrading the beanbag/table combo to a sofa, futon or chairs would be fun.  They are a good age to appreciate real lounging furniture in their rooms.  My son has one of those Ikea bouncy rocker chairs (not its official name, but I looked it up--it's the Poang) in his room, and it gets used a lot.  He's 16, but it's been in there for several years.  I made him put it together himself, and it was an excellent project.  It also has a small footprint and is comfy.

    The two boys built the Ikea bookshelves themselves this summer, and my husband just helped to get them into place and secure them to the wall. They were so proud of themselves! I may look around for a small couch/set of chairs. If I get rid of the coffee table, that would give them 5 ft of wall space, but it would take up more floor space in front of the bed. The room is small.

    58 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

    Hammock? ENO style, hooked into the wall? Sky chair hooked into the ceiling?

    As cool as this would be, anything hanging from the walls would be a no-go due to the ferocious 5yr old who lives in the room next door...

    58 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

    Kapla blocks, the big 1000 piece box of them and some of the gorgeous art book level design books for them.  

    Off to check out what Kapla blocks are...

    58 minutes ago, Tina said:

    I picture them building the Knex  amusement park ride.  Or a Snap Circuit set.

     

    We have a KNex building space in the garage (the neighbors were having a yard sale and gave us a roller coaster and a merry-go-round(?) when they couldn't sell it). Snap circuits are with the school stuff in the dining room.

    52 minutes ago, mmasc said:

    That is pretty cool!

    59 minutes ago, Slache said:

    Hammock or basketball hoop. Our hoop is attached to the top bunk.

    A basketball hoop for the closet door might be an option.


  7. My idea of a minimalist homeschool is me and my boys, calmly sitting around the living room reading, working, writing, and drawing at the big coffee table.

    Reality is much, much different. We do most work around the dining room table, and I spend most of my time yelling at random boys to get to work, to get out of the room, to get dressed, to get out of the room, to be quiet, to get back to work, to get out of the room.... you get the idea. In the dining room I have all of our school books (two book cases), plus all art supplies (rolling cart), plus a built-in cabinet full of manipulatives and games that I tell myself are for school but NEVER get used because who has the time? Each boy has his own bin on the floor that holds some (DS10), most (DS7), or all (DS5 & DS3) of his schoolbooks. Plus, there are three extra chairs in the room (for when we have dinner company); DS7's prized typewriter sits in its case on the floor under a box of playdough toys; there's usually a basket (or three) of clean laundry waiting to be put away; and the wet hats/gloves/snowsuits are currently hanging over the radiator, since it's snowing again. There's also a tall cabinet that holds some baking dishes, cookbooks, etc. Did I mention that the room is just 11ft x 11ft? 

    I could really use a dose of calming minimalism in this room!

    • Like 1

  8. My FIL is giving us a small amount of cash for Christmas to buy gifts for our sons "from Grampa". I was thinking that we could buy a Playmobil castle and knight toys for DS3 & DS5's shared bedroom, but I cannot think of anything "shared" that I could get for DS7 & DS10, who also share a room. They have a small room with a bunk bed, 2 large floor-to-ceiling bookcases full of legos and books, a small rug, and an Ikea coffee table that is usually buried under legos and library books. There is also one beanbag chair shoved in a corner. The legos are the only toys allowed in their room, though we do have many more things on the main floor (puzzles, games, magnatiles, etc). There really isn't much more room for anything else; I have been toying with the idea of getting rid of the table and getting a small couch/chairs instead, but that isn't really a 'fun' gift from Grampa! Any ideas?


  9. We have an old, free-to-us, not-in-the-best-shape piano, and DS10 is trying to teach himself to play. He has picked up what keys play which notes and has memorized a couple of songs. He's figured out a few chords. The problem is that he doesn't understand whole/half/quarter/etc notes and timing. Like, at all. Every note is played the exact same way. DH dabbles in piano (self taught), but I've got nothing to offer here. We cannot currently afford any paid tutors, but he is attending a once-weekly free group piano class at the local YMCA. The instructor there told him to get a metronome. Does anyone have any recommendations for an inexpensive metronome (preferably simple, not too many bells and/or whistles) that can survive a house with four elementary boys who will all want to touch it? Also, any good "learn to play piano" books for a 10yr old boy who picks things up very quickly, but also has a low tolerance for frustration?

    FWIW, I would prefer to stay off of apps/youtube/video courses for the time being. I will gladly take any and all recommendations for those as well, but will file them away for now. Thanks!


  10. 3 hours ago, PeachyDoodle said:

    And who does spring sign-ups before Christmas??

    This is really aggravating! Having to pay for it so early, and right before Christmas! Also, it's only for grades 3+, as I don't need to sign up my kindergartner until the end of March. 😒

    Weirdly, they do go by age *first*, and then by grade? There is overlap in age/grade combos... Technically, DS10 is born in 3/2009, so he could be in either G4 or G6 based on his grade in school. Weird.

    G4: Eligible Ages - Born 1/1/2009 thru 8/31/2011 AND in either Grade 3 or 4 at the beginning of September 2019

    G6: Eligible Ages Fall 2019 - Born 1/1/2007 thru 8/31/2009 AND in either Grade 5 or 6 at the beginning of September 2019


  11. I have to sign DS10 up for spring soccer by this Sunday. Never mind for the moment that soccer doesn't start for 5+ months... but, in order to complete the paperwork I have to provide "grade verification", as in what grade DS is currently in. They give very explicit instructions on how to log-on to the public school Infinite Campus system and print out a verification form. I can't do that, as DS10 hasn't attended since 1st grade. When I was trying to sign him up for last fall, I had to provide a copy of his end-of-year progress report for 4th grade (which didn't actually mention that he was "in" 4th grade). I have NO official paperwork saying that he's in 5th grade.

    I just sent the lady who is in charge of registrations an email, asking her how I can fulfill the requirement. Let the go-around begin! *sigh*


  12. I'm in that position with several subjects right now. DS10 and I are learning both Latin and Portuguese (barely) together. DS7 wants to learn Greek, so I facilitate (poorly) with him and find him supplemental materials that he can use himself.

    My big problem right now is Python coding. Both DS7 & DS10 are using an online program called Code Combat. They are in the 2nd course, and I cannot help them any more than looking up the answers. I thought my father (retired computer guy) would be able to help them but, nope, he was a hardware guy and doesn't know enough coding to be helpful. So, we borrow as many books as we can from the library and I think I'm going to have to start sorting through youtube channels for them. I was hoping that they could take online courses (AoPS or similar), but that was before we hit a bit of a money crunch. I will see what happens once they finish all the levels of Code Combat if they want to take a 'real' course. I may get in touch with the local high schools to see if there is a student who might be able to help out.

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