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Noreen Claire

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Posts posted by Noreen Claire

  1. DS11, finishing 5th grade, worked *almost* every problem in the book, chapters 1-9. (When he was obviously having growth-spurt brain fog and things were going slowly, we would skip the last few challenge problems, but we've made note of which ones he's skipped and he goes back every once in a while to work on them, as review.)

    He is now doing AoPS online pre-algebra 2 (so someone else can argue with him about written solutions for a while), and he is still working the all the problem sets in the book, and will work on challenge problems as time allows. He will finish all the challenge problems before moving on to algebra, probably in October; so, he'll spend +/-14 months total for the book. 

  2. Right now, we have in the house

    sliced: american, provolone, muenster

    wedges: parmesan, romano 

    shredded: cheddar, mozzarella/provolone mix (for pizza), mexican blend (for burritos)

    powdered: parmesan/romano shaker

    sticks: mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, provolone

    misc: cream cheese, ricotta

  3. 14 minutes ago, barnwife said:

    Mostly this. Long ago,to save my sanity, I instituted a ""kid of the day" to make decisions like what TV show to watch, etc...It'd be good for something like this. I'd say, "today I need help making lunch. It's XXX's kid of the day." That ends all squabbling. The others know (have learned) they can be in the kitchen too, as long as they aren't in the way/bossy/taking over, squabbling, etc...They get banished elsewhere really fast if they aren't listening. 


    Oh. I like this. They each have a knit crown from their birthdays last year. The Kid of the Day can wear his crown!

    • Like 1
  4. 19 minutes ago, emba56 said:

    Enforce strict turn taking. It’s a fact of life that all the people can’t do one thing at any one time. One kid can be allowed in the kitchen at a time, one per meal or day or whatever you work out. Just make sure that everyone is getting their turn on their day, so that when you tell them, “No, this is DC1’s day to cook, you get to tomorrow (or whenever)”, they’ll know it’s true and won’t fuss. If they continue to fuss, interfere, etc, they can go play outside, in their room, etc.

    We do this with cooking and also special things like going to work with Dad, going to town with Mom, etc. 

    This is what I have to do. 

  5. 19 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

    Also, what work does this young man do? My son has a lightweight battery powered weed whacker and he does all the weed eating, takes a turn on the mower, (everyone cuts grass here as soon as they’re big enough to not trip the safety switch—we have a big yard that’s mostly level so it’s not really dangerous) he can check the air pressure on the car tires, walk the dog, vacuum out the vehicles, help with washing cars, sweep sidewalks, and probably some other stuff I don’t remember at the moment. I assign work in 2 ways. First, he gets chores as a part of “everyone works here” and often the kids after doing work, are happy to keep themselves busy because mom might assign a job if she sees you at loose ends. Also, when my son First starts pestering, I head it off by saying “oh, son, I need you to go take care of the _____” not in a punitive way but just as “that reminds me, time to move on to getting work done.”

    DS11 has a couple of chores as part of his allowance agreement: he is in charge of the household trash and recycling (emptying cans as needed, bringing to/from the curb, etc) and empties the dishwasher every night before bed. He also takes care of his own laundry (wash, try, fold, put away) every week. He does help out around the house/in the yard with projects that his dad is working on, as needed, but I'm looking for things that he can regularly do *on his own*.

  6. 10 hours ago, Dynamite5 said:

    You've gotten lots of good ideas. I would add--rocketry or build his own drone, learn to cook and be responsible for one or two meals per week--even if it's making breakfast, get The Dangerous Book for Boys and let him read through that. Lots of good ideas in there. 

    Are you interested in Scouting? Many of the merit badges are online right now in our council. 

    I would also encourage all of your kids to learn to spend time together and tell them arguing is NOT an option--give them a certain time (maybe as little as 30 minutes to start) and let them earn rewards for being together and getting along. That's a golden lesson, right there!

    Hope your summer ends up being a good one--sounds as though you're a good mom who is looking out for each child!

    He would love to learn to cook. The problem, as with all things, is that as soon as I let him start working in the kitchen I have three other boys demanding that they also be allowed to work/help/supervise/whatever, and then there will be tears. I have not yet found a way to deal with the hurt feelings when someone gets to do something that the others want to do.

    We were going to look into joining scouting this fall for the 11, 8, and 6 year olds, mostly for the social aspect. I will look into what is online, thanks.

    Teaching them not to argue is something that sounds wonderful ... but I don't know if I can pull that off. We can try.

  7. 31 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

    - beginning sewing projects?
    - set up a domino run? build a marble run?
    - a pile of cardboard, foam, duct tape, etc -- and let him build forts, swords, etc?
    - let him recreate PBS Zoom activities, or Design Squad challenges, or some of these STEM challenges or Engineering challenges?
    - Outschool engineering challenges?
    - have him dig you a garden plot?
    - have him move heavy bricks, rocks, or logs that you need moved to a new spot?

    I have some cross stitch supplies put away for next school year. I will take those out and see if the all four of them would like to start this summer. (I've always wanted to learn to embroider, myself!)

    I do have plans for garden expansion and would love to have him to the dirty work! Plus, a garden fence/gate idea. I'm hoping that the Habitat for Humanity ReStore will open up again soon, so that I can start looking for supplies...

    I will look into the links. Thanks!

    • Like 1
  8. 32 minutes ago, MysteryJen said:

    Here are a few things my active kid did during no sports months: juggling, slack line, we picked up a ping pong table off Craig's List (that has been a godsend the past few months).

    Other tried and true things for ds3: pitching against a wall with a target, hitting a tennis ball against the wall/garage (until he got too strong), moving rocks at Mom's will, bug collections, trapping snakes, training the dog in new tricks, unicycle, hitting a heavy bag (also off Craigslist), and jumping rope, magic tricks and cars sleight of hand.

    Thank you for reminding me that he learned how to jump rope a few weeks ago. Adding that and a heavy bag to the list!

    • Like 2
  9. I just looked into the abyss of a summer with no library, no museums, no swimming at the lake, no going to the beach, and no organized sports for DS11 and I'm at a loss. My other kids can all amuse themselves for hours at a time but DS11 is not as able to do this on his own. He either ends up starting conflict with his brothers or following me around and making me *bonkers*. Please hit me with ideas that a bright eleven-year old boy can do to keep himself busy (and out of trouble) this summer.

    FWIW, he is taking an online math class through AoPS that lasts all summer, and will likely do 90 minutes of math on weekdays. He either swings on the tree swing or works on insanely hard dot-to-dot books while listening to audiobooks during quiet time each day. He likes chess puzzles, so I may set him up on chesskid.com or chess.com. He reads for pleasure every morning and again before bed; thankfully, the local library is opening back up for pick-ups only starting tomorrow, so at least we can keep him in books! He and DH have been going to the track to run early each weekday morning, and DS has a weight routine he can do out in the garage. We picked up a stationary bike off the side of the road the other day, and he's enjoying that. (He loves to ride his bicycle, but DS8 had a terrible  bike accident this past April, so no one wants to go ride bikes anymore this summer.) 

    Even with all that, there are several hours each day where he won't have anything to do and, when that happens, he ends up getting himself in trouble by antagonizing his little bothers, stomping around the house like a bored rhinoceros, eating everything in sight, completely unraveling a wicker basket, or some other such nonsense. Help!


  10. 13 hours ago, Moonhawk said:

    I remember when I was 18, the woman I was doing odd jobs for found out my sisters were 16 and 18 years older than me.  She said immediately and without thought, "Oh, so you were just an accident." I, shocked, replied, "No, I was a miracle." She did apologize.

    I think if a family atmosphere fosters love and joking, being called a mistake can just be an inside joke of sorts, and not have negative effect on the child. In some ways acknowledging the gap can take the venom out of it later if people try to bring it up. But outside of the family sometimes people take those types of labels seriously and act differently because of it. And different children are, well, different. 

    Regardless, every child should feel like a complete and wanted member of the family. I feel for you that your experience was less than what you deserved.

    I often have complete strangers remark about how I have "two separate families". It takes everything I have to not respond with ALL THE PROFANITIES🤬🤬🤬

    • Like 1
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  11. 1 hour ago, Arcadia said:

     I think they would have been frustrated if they treat it like an academic class and were concerned about the grades they might get.

    He's not concerned about grades, as far as I can tell. I think, mainly, he was frustrated because other people were quicker than he was and he's got a perfectionist streak in him. I certainly don't care about whatever grade he gets! I was just hoping that this class would shake things up a bit, while also having someone else give him direction and feedback about how he writes out solutions to his work. 

  12. 1 hour ago, EmilyGF said:

    My daughter who held on by her fingernails through two AoPS classes really came away frustrated at math, disliking the subject, and thinking poorly of herself. I would strongly suggest waiting on things. She survived the whole term but it was really a mom-fail on my part to have put her up to it in retrospect.


    Thank you for sharing your daughter's experience. We agreed that he would try the first two sessions, and then we would decide if he should stay or drop.

    • Like 2
  13. On 5/14/2020 at 10:01 PM, square_25 said:

    I don't know her, even virtually, but let me know how it goes!! 

    Well, he's survived the first meeting. He was nervous, but it started out well enough. He knew the material (he's already worked that chapter in the book), and wasn't too slow in getting answers in at the beginning However, at about the 50 minute mark (out of 75), he started to unravel. He felt like he wasn't able to think fast enough or type fast enough and that the class was moving too fast. His frustration started to snowball from there. This is my kid who I am struggling with to get him to write his calculations down, which will help speed up his work. I was in the room with him making dinner, but wasn't sitting with him. I answered his questions and spent the last 15 minutes trying to talk him through his frustration and calm him down. (I was making dinner - poor planning on my part.)

    For next week, I will make sure that he has a break at around the 45 minute mark. Walking to get a drink of water and stretching might help him regroup. I can also help him with the typing if he gets frustrated. He will work on typing skills during the week.

    He's actually looking forward to his homework, so that's a positive.

  14. So, he's signed up for the class, but he's wary. I'll sit with him through the first two to see how it goes. I've told him that there is no problem if we decide to drop in the first two weeks, that this is just to try something new.

    The class starts with chapter 8, and he's already working in chapter 9 this week in the book, so that will give him the first few weeks to focus more on the class format and less worry on the material.

    Thanks for all your input.

    • Like 1
  15. 1 hour ago, square_25 said:

    It's all text-based, so it's not optimal to be bad at typing. And it goes rather fast. 

    I think he could still get a lot out of a class, but he might feel a bit frustrated if he can do the math but can't type it in to answer. 

    Thanks, I was hoping you would respond. I have no doubt that the math will not be a problem. He and I just need to shake things up a bit, and having someone else assigning & evaluating his work for a while seems like it might just do the trick. Like @EmilyGF mentioned above, we can give it the first two weeks and see how it goes, typing-wise.

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