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Noreen Claire

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Posts posted by Noreen Claire

  1. Math: AoPS intro to algebra

    Logic: continue w/ Blast Off w/Logic series and misc. Mind Benders books.

    Science: Astronomy/Earth science (w/help from DH, an astronomy teacher)

    HistoryMedieval-Early Renaissance, using Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, The Story of Science, and Light to the Nations P1;  reading lists from Living Math U2

    Foreign Language: Little Latin Readers, level 4, then start Henle; also considering Portuguese Saturday school.

    Language arts: Spelling Workout F; Grammar for the Well Trained Mind, red book; Writing With Ease SKILL level 1

    Cursive: Zaner-Bloser 6, unless he makes great strides over the rest of this year.

    Literature: assigned books from the WTM reading list plus whatever else he wants to read, he usually has several non-school books going at once

    Sports: He plays sports fall, winter, and spring. We will put in place a daily workout routine of bodyweight exercises and cardio, maybe add in some readings and call it "health class".

    Misc.: He'll keep working through Code Combat for Python coding; typing program online; he's going to start some weekly cooking & baking lessons with me; we will learn some needlepoint skills together as a family

    Music: This one is up in the air - I need to find a way to fit piano and/or saxophone lessons into the budget.

    • Like 1

  2. 2 hours ago, Ktgrok said:

    2. being realistic. I heard someone say $100 per month per person...and that was so so so far off of where we are....but that same person I think says they eat out twice a week. 

    I don't believe that is realistic for most people. I feed a household of seven people and I spend nearly twice this. That doesn't take into account takeout pizza every Friday night and happy meals for 4 kids once per week. It is 'possible' to do it that cheaply, but that requires a significant amount of work (planning, prepping, coupons, multiple stores, whatever) that I don't have the time or the mental bandwidth to be able to do. 

    I have a small chest freezer in the garage and I buy multiples of things my family likes when they are on sale (meat, fish, fish sticks, vegetables, fruit, ice cream, etc) plus flour and other baking supplies at the holidays. I make an inventory of everything in the fridge/freezer/pantry once a month and post it on my cabinet so I know what I have and what I can make this week. I have a bin in each place that holds the oldest stuff, marked EAT ME, to help cut down on food waste. 

    I know it's probably not helpful, but my DH and I just had this discussion about our rampaging grocery budget recently and we stepped back to look at it in relation to our other discretionary spending. Factoring in the mental effort and time costs that would be required for me to cut the grocery budget a few hundred dollars, it would be significantly easier for us to cut that elsewhere. We've reevaluated our cellphone and wifi plans, or streaming services (hellooooo!$$$), our mindless ordering off of Amazon, etc... We decided that we will keep an eye on the food budget but, for now, it is what it is. 

  3. handwriting: Zaner-Bloser 3

    grammar: First Language Lessons 3

    writing: No idea what to do here - he *loathes* narrations and will only begrudgingly do copy work; we are getting nowhere in WWE2. It's not too hard, he just doesn't like it. So, we may try again with WWE (either 2 or 3), I have MP Intro to Composition, or we could try WWE-type methods across science/literature/history. (This kid has been known to dictate entire books to either of his grandmothers, and type his own books on the computer. He just won't do narrations for me!)

    spelling: Spelling Workout C

    math & logic: Beast Academy 3, books from LivingMath U2, MindBenders/BalanceBenders/Math Analogies/etc.

    history: SOTW2 / read alouds from LivingMath U2

    literature: read-alouds from the WTM recommendations (to go along with SOTW2), plenty of read alouds, audiobooks 

    science: astronomy/earth science (WTM recommendations)

    foreign language: Little Latin Readers. I am considering Saturday Portuguese school for DS10, DS7, and DS5.

    misc: This kid need plenty of unstructured time for following his own rabbit trails -- he pulls random nonfiction books off of DH's shelves and reads until he either doesn't understand anymore or gets bored; he's self-teaching Python, BBC Micro:Bit, and Raspberry Pi, etc. What he really needs is an organized physical activity, but his social anxiety won't let him join teams.

  4. DS10 just finished lesson 48/review 4 in the purple book of GWTM. He is doing fine with it so far (lessons take about 20-30 minutes, rarely do we have to split up a lesson, excluding reviews which we do over 2-3 days). I have read that it ramps up somewhere between weeks 18-20. I was originally thinking that if we could make it through week 18/review 6 in the next 10 weeks, that would give us last quarter to switch gears and work on some Killgallon writing, and we would start the GWTM red book next year, back at lesson 1.

    I just saw that there is a video explanation for how to use the program as well as a chart that shows sample progressions through the different 'colored' books. I am wondering, how many people stop at midyear and start the next book, essentially doing the same lessons over again in the second half of the year? Our midyear is technically this week - should I stop him where we are and start the next book back at week #1, even though he currently isn't having any difficulty with the material? (I already have the red books, FWIW.) 

    How have you used GWTM with your middle schoolers?

    • Like 1

  5. On 11/19/2019 at 6:39 AM, Nan in Mass said:


    No! I am still having trouble even maneuvering around the new boards.

    That is an unimaginable number!


    Nan, as a relative newbie here (4th year homeschooling, joined this board in 2015), I would like to thank you profusely for a this thread, as well as a few others that you started before I even knew this place existed. There are very few homeschoolers around me, so I consider you, along with SWB, Quark, and Kinsa, to be my homeschooling mentors. Thank you very, very much!

    • Like 2

  6. Our library also recently constructed on outdoor space out the back door if the children's room. It's been fenced in, with benches and flowering plants. Obviously, it's not available in winter here, but the kids love to read their books outside in good weather.

    Pics here:


  7. 34 minutes ago, kfeusse said:

    I forgot to mention that our space is VERY it almost has to be something that doesn't take up permanent floor a train table or a kitchen set...although I would LOVE to have stuff like that.   I have plenty of money for books...we are blessed that way...

    The kitchen set at our library is in a big bin, and it goes into the back room when not in use. The kids/parents have to request it from the librarians. 

  8. I bought some mesh produce bags, and I keep them in my bag of reusable grocery bags that I take to the market. They have drawstrings, and are washable. 

    We have used cloth napkins for years. I buy 'bar cloths' in 4 packs from Target, and they last a long time. I have enough to make a small load of laundry themselves (there are seven of us), but I've also washed them with my towels.

    • Like 4

  9. 2 minutes ago, annegables said:

    Music lessons. I love silence. I know learning an instrument is super good for a person, yada yada, but I just cannot bring myself to live in a little house while a kid learns how to play the violin or something. I am not that saintly of a person. 

    This. House is <1500 sq ft and there are seven of us. My kids are loud enough already. I do feel extremely guilty, because I know that DS10 wants to learn to play all.the.things, but my nerves can't handle it. I have issues with loud noises, and my kids are loud enough on their own!

    • Like 3

  10. 10 minutes ago, Jaybee said:

    Would a rebounder for kids help? If you have a small house, it might be hard to find a place for it. But if you do have room, maybe you could have him jump on it to "get the antsies out" when he gets too unruly.

    I look at these every so often, and they look good *in theory*. In practice, I would have four boys fist-fighting over who gets to use it. These kids fight over the piano, seats on the couch (we have three couches, for crying out loud!), the bottle of get the picture. Sadly, I'm pretty sure that it would cause more problems than it would solve.

    • Like 1

  11. We have two baskets for the books the boys pick out (one for younger books and one for older books) and one basket for the books I check out for school reading. They are also metal framed, but with a stiffer material.

    We have also lost many a basket to someone attempting to use it as a step stool!



    • Like 3

  12. 14 hours ago, happysmileylady said:

    When the older two are doing school, what is your 5yr old doing?

    Before the holiday break, I would work with DS5 first, then he would play with DS3 while I worked with the older two. I would switch out crafts and fine motor activities at the kitchen table for the two of them to work on without me. He would do a phonics lesson (OPGTR), a logic puzzle, a handwriting page, and as many math pages (Singapore) as he wanted. 

    I'm going to tweak the schedule to more of a 'one room schoolhouse' type plan, where we will all do the same subjects at the same time. Maybe, if he's doing 10-15 minutes of work every hour, spread through the morning, rather than all at once, it might help. 

  13. 4 hours ago, J-rap said:

    Have you tried creative activity?  I was surprised at how much creative activity seemed to use up excess brain energy in my kids.  For example:  art projects at home, creative activities through community ed, music lessons, local community theater, etc.

    This will be easier when he's older, but there isn't much available for a five year old around here. He's very imaginative, so he's got a box of hand puppets and stuffed animals in his room that he can use, and I swap out Duplos and castle blocks, plus they just got a Playmobil castle set for Christmas.

    • Like 1
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