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Noreen Claire

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Everything posted by Noreen Claire

  1. We don't have screens for the littles at home. I have tried to borrow tablets from the library for the 4 & 7 yr old for quiet time (with headphones), but they end up fighting over them after the 2nd day. Grrrrr.... Oh, how I wish that my kids could play together quietly. Pick any two kids, put them together over any toy (legos, blocks, trains, play dough, whatever, and a screaming fistfight will break out in under 20 minutes. *sigh* This is my husband. He has a second job so, on the days that he is home in the evenings, he is usually napping before dinner and in bed right after the kids go down. Poor guy.
  2. 7yr old loves to listen to books with headphones! 4yr old is hit-or-miss with headphones, but I'll try to find some new playaway books from the library. I have two hours of active time (recess!) built into our school day, but it's been really hard to get 4 kids, one a newborn, dressed and outside. I'm too tired and it's been too dreary outside to make it happen. They've been following along with yoga dvds instead, but it's just not the same thing!
  3. My 4yr old used to be great at quiet time- he would play for hours by himself -until we brought the 7yr old home to homeschool. They want to play, but that is never quiet! We will be transitioning after the holidays to using quiet time for the 7yr old to do history/language arts work (had a baby mid-oct, so we've pushed these subjects off until then), so I need the 4 & 2yr old to be able to be quiet on their own during that time.
  4. My 2.5yr old seems to be dropping his nap. He only naps once every couple of days now. I've always nursed him down to sleep (he only nurses at nap & bedtime) and don't have another method (besides car ride) to get him to sleep. Any BTDT moms have recommendations on how to keep him napping? My 4yr old gave up his nap just shy of 3, and he suddenly seems like he needs to nap again! Afternoons are killing me - I *need* the quiet that naptime brings and the boys' *need* the rest!
  5. *sigh* I read her first book and thought it was amazing. I laughed, I cried. I laughed some more. I borrowed her 2nd book from the library and as soon as I got it I heard about her separating from her husband. I returned the book without reading it... It just didn't feel right to read a book written about saving her marriage when the marriage actually ended. I hope her kids are doing okay. Male or female new partner, this must be a stressful time for them.
  6. My 4.5 yr old hasn't really been interested in school so far. I printed out a daily preschool notebook but he is only interested in it about once a week. However, when he is tracing the letters/numbers he writes them from bottom-to-top and from right-to-left. I asked him if he would like a handwriting workbook to learn to write the letters properly and he said yes. However, he wants to learn to write like his brother is learning (cursive), not like the letters in his daily notebook. So, is there a cursive book out there for lefty 4.5yr old who know all their letters in manuscript but doesn't yet read? His brother is using Zaner-Bloser 2C - should I just get him his own copy? I'm not sure that he has the fine motor skills yet to really 'do' handwriting, but he wants to try...
  7. Ah, sorry. I quickly cut/paste it into my browser and it sent me to the Western MA Homeschoolers page. :-/
  8. Thanks, I was looking for blue hyperlinks, so I missed them the first time. Just an FYI - Western MA Homeschoolers has a statement of faith so, not secular.
  9. Please, where can I find these lists? I've just joined CHIME (Catholic Homeschoolers in MA East), but I haven't really found much else for resources (besides groups that require a signed statement of faith, which I'm not comfortable with). I'm struggling to find groups/classes for my boys (ages 7, 4 & 2) in the Merrimack Valley.
  10. My husband works in Burlington, in the high school science dept (and I worked there for 1 year, a decade ago). I looked for a house there, but there was no way we could afford even a small condo. My husband used to live in Manchester and work in Nashua. He said the commute (drive) into Boston during rush hour was routinely upwards of 2 hours. We live in Methuen, approximately 30 minutes north of Boston. It's plenty sunny, except during the shortest days of year (which are coming quick). I only had to fill out a 1-page form to homeschool in Methuen, no hoops to jump through.
  11. A leather 'catalog case' (essentially, a large suitcase to carry all his school grading back and forth). His current one is literally falling apart.
  12. We are using SM CC 2A right now, and have just started subtraction with renaming. We are using pennies, dimes, and dollar bills on a homemade hundreds, tens, ones chart. We haven't needed base 10 set yet.
  13. When I call pantry I guess should really be called the kitchen cabinets. I don't know why I call that the 'pantry', sorry if I confused anyone! I have 2 above-counter cabinets for food (12 linear feet, total), one 2ft wide drawer for canned goods, and a tiny built-in cabinet in the dining room that holds the overflow flours/baking goods. My fridge is average-sized (though WAY bigger than the one I grew up with) but the freezer on the bottom seems pretty tiny to me. I'm hoping for a chest freezer or a second fridge/freezer some day, but we haven't been able to figure out where to put it because this house was built in 1947 and just doesn't have enough electrical outlets!
  14. I guess that my complaint is that I have too many different things in the pantry/fridge/freezer (mostly in the pantry/fridge). I would like to have a pantry/fridge/freezer that is stocked with items that I can get the most bang for my buck in terms of flavor/number of recipes I can make/cost/space/etc... I guess I just feel the need to simplify, if that makes any sense? I *do* stock up on things that we use a lot if I can get it at a good deal (flour, chocolate chips, oats, goldfish crackers, cheese sticks, granola bars, canned goods, etc.). We've only lived in this house for a year, so I am still moving things around in the kitchen/dining room storage, trying to figure out where to best keep the overflow items. Honestly, just this last week did I finally find a suitable place to store my potatoes - it will only fit a 5lb bag, though, so no stocking up there.
  15. The baby is 3+ weeks old now, and we've eaten through all the foods that I had made/freezed before he was born. My kitchen (and dining room, as the kitchen lacks sufficient storage space) is FULL of convenience food! Frozen chicken fingers and bagel bites, boxes of cereal, instant mac&cheese cups, pretzels AND crackers (we usually only have one kind at a time), refrigerated canned biscuits, etc... Once this food is all eaten, I need to get my kitchen back down to a (more) manageable state. I usually cook about >80% of all our meals. I would like to add some variety to our meals (breakfast/lunch/dinner) while also pairing down my ridiculous pantry/fridge/freezer. (Does anyone else have 6 different types of vinegar in their pantry? Why do I have this much vinegar?) What are the absolute 'must-haves' for your pantry/refrigerator/freezer? What are the ingredients that you have to have that are the most versatile? (FWIW, I used to make my own yogurt - the kids refused to eat it, so I went back to buying it. I would prefer to make homemade sandwich bread (the kids eat 2+ loaves/week), but with a newborn in the house, I don't think I could swing it again right now.)
  16. THEIR ADDRESS IS 15 OLD HOUSE LANE. From this page: http://www.housebeautiful.com/design-inspiration/g3549/hillary-clinton-chappaqua-house/?slide=1 I was thinking of doing the same thing, and I'm 42!
  17. We currently (jokingly) refer to our homeschool as the Wayside School for Wayward Boys... Maybe we should rethink sooner, rather than later! :lol:
  18. When my mother was my age (42), she was a grandmother. :ohmy: I have a newly 21yr old and a newborn.I can't decide if I'm getting old or still young. (I do have a LOT of grey hairs, though...)
  19. We do what we can do - we raise our children. I think that prevention starts by raising our children with empathy, and acknowledging *our own* implicit biases in order to make sure that we do not pass them on to our children. (I am painfully aware of the biases that were passed down to me by my parents, as I live next door to the poorest city in my state which is now majority hispanic/latino. I am aware of them because they were also passed on to my oldest son, and the things that come out of his mouth sometimes make me cringe. I am now aware, and I try not to pass those biases down to my younger children as I fight to rid myself of them - but it is HARD.)
  20. Congrats on the new baby! The new baby here is 12 days old. We also took 2 weeks off of, and we are all going back to our routines on Monday. (DH took 2 weeks off of work - woot!) I will have the newborn, 2yr old, 4yr old, and 7yr old at home with me. I decided before school started that the 2nd grader would only do cursive, spelling, math, and fun reading, all things that he can do mostly independently, until after the holidays. We will add in language arts, history, and science in January, after we have gotten the hang of having a baby in the house. Sometimes the 4yr old wants to do school work so I have work available, if he wants it, but I'm not worried if he doesn't. He wasn't interested in phonics lessons, so I will try again in January but, still, no hurry. I also have 'school' for the toddler, which is mostly busy work (small puzzles, stamps & ink, stickers, button sorting, etc.) but keeps him out of trouble while DS7 works. School lasts from 8-9:30am right now. In January, quiet time will be when DS7 will do his other subjects that will require my help. For right now, the 4 & 7yr old will watch 'educational' tv/dvds during quiet time so that I can nap w/the baby & toddler. Occasionally, we borrow age-appropriate tablets from the library that are pre-loaded with apps & games for quiet time, and each kid has his own headphones.The boys also enjoy listening to audio books from the library, each with their headphones, as well.
  21. I have always told my pedi that my babies sleep in bed with me. I've also offered to loan her my copy of "Sweet Sleep", so that she could better be able to teach others about safe sleep practices. ;-) She doesn't question my parenting decisions any more - we've known each other a loooong time. (My oldest is 21.) This, exactly. She's a student of medicine, not of sleeping arrangements or car seats or breast feeding or nutrition or schooling or any of the myriad of other topics that come up that I have had to counter her 'mainstream' ideas on over the years. I don't lie about our choices, and I defend them with research and logic. She never gives me crap, which is why we keep her around!
  22. Just a note on how life is funny... my best friend (who I was complaining about not visiting) had her youngest sent home from school yesterday with head lice. After a trip to the treatment place, it turns out that they ALL have it (mom, dad, 4 kids living at home), and have for a while. :ohmy: That's the last time I complain about people not coming to visit... *phew*
  23. Our parish is dying a slow, painful death. The majority of the members are very, very old Polish people...and then there is us. We are in a three-church collaborative now (this is a thing in the archdiocese of Boston to keep costs down and avoid closing more churches), but the main parish in the collaborative includes a thriving k-8 school, so not a lot of homeschool presence. Our local YMCAs (there are 3) have only preschool-aged programs during school time. Nothing offered for my 2nd grader until after school hours. That is awfully lovely of you!
  24. I only stopped having to ask about brushing teeth and reminding to take his epilepsy meds in the last year. (He turned 21 a few days ago!) I do still have to mention washing his work shirts and wearing deodorant, but less and less... I worked in a refrigerated grocery distribution center for years in my early 20s (late '90s-early '00s). Looking back now, there were LOTS of grown men there that had all sorts of learning disabilities and were possibly on the spectrum (from mild to profound issues). They all were very good at their jobs; the jobs paid well and included excellent benefits (yeah, unions!). That's not a bad plan to have!
  25. THIS. We only go to the hospital lab to have blood draws, even though it is a 45 minute ride into Boston. It is totally worth it.
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