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About emba56

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    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

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  1. I think when we moved to this house from our old one two miles away, I read to lock up the cat three days so it would get acclimated, then it would stick around. After 2 days in the garage, the cat escaped and tried to go back to the old place. Three or four days later, when I’d basically given up hope, having looked all over multiple times at the old place, and checked and called at points between, he showed up again at the new house, muddy and skinny and basically looking like he’d been drug through a knothole backward, and he’s pretty much stuck around since. all that to say, probably keeping them in one spot for more than three days is better but depending on the cat, may be a challenge. But apparently cat personality matters. Maybe some don’t try to go back, but this one did.
  2. I think that the test/drill worksheet book is not intended to be consumable, so you might need two of those. One solutions manual should be fine. Ive used DIVE cd roms with DD but they are very dry. There are some available to watch on YouTube, or used to be, if you want to get a feel for the style. We preferred Nicole the Math Lady, which is an online subscription, not DVD. She also has sample videos on YouTube. I have never tried Saxon Teacher DVD’s.
  3. As far as where I actually get my book lists, mostly I compile them from lists written by other people. A few years ago the library printed off a copy of some library association’s 100 Greatest Children’s Books list (which the children’s librarian had helpfully separated by grade level). Some come off of the Sonlight reading lists, some go along with our history. Some are books I enjoyed as a kid. Some are Newberry books. The internet is full of book lists, and people here on the boards often have great suggestions. If I’m unsure about level, I go to the library and look at the book to see how it compares to what o know DD can read. I don’t stress about her reading good literature “below her level”. A lot of the value of literature is not in what reading level it is, but the deeper themes and life questions it brings up. I say this as an adult who enjoys YA and children’s literature, though. I don’t let her do ALL reading below her level, but every book shouldn’t be a challenge.
  4. When I pulled DD from school in 4th grade, she hated to read. It didn’t come easily, and the school had really stressed getting a certain number of points each week on AR tests, which she often did poorly on. She was completely unmotivated. One of the victories (okay, won’t lie, some days it feel like the only victory) in my homeschool has been getting her to like reading. And if I had started her off with some of the books people are listing here, expecting her to read them to herself, I don’t think it would have happened. I’ve noticed that some homeschool book lists seem ahead of what I’ve been realistically able to expect from her. I started reading Little House in the Big Woods to her, but she was in no way ready to go from reading those awful fairy books (The Rainbow Magic Fairies series) to that on her own. While I was reading to her, on her own at the library she asked the librarian about Little House books, and the librarian showed her some chapter book versions of the Little House books that she really enjoyed. I think those books were really what got her into reading, and while they definitely weren’t as good as the real thing, they were stepping stones. I’ve had her read a lot of Illustrated Classics type books, to introduce her to good books, then later had her read the real thing. Having a framework in her mind of what’s going on helps her when she comes across unfamiliar vocabulary. Sometimes watching the movie first helps, too. We also do a lot of audiobooks.
  5. I also started an audiobook, The Innocent by David Baldacci. Spy thriller type action novels are generally not my thing (too testosterone-y) but it seemed interesting. Through the first few chapters I had a nagging feeling of familiarity, but chalked it up to many action novels having similar events and lots of shooting. Then as it continued i realized a I’d listened to it before, but didn’t remember much about it. And so o quit listening because if I’ve listened to it before and don’t remember the ending, it probably isn’t worth listening to again.
  6. I didn’t post last week, but I read a book, Septimus and the Minster Ghost Mystery, by Stephen Chance. I have a personal challenge to read the unread books off of my own shelves. This is an older mystery, apparently part of a series, apparently intended for YA? It was good enough, but I’m not hunting down others in the series. Too much depended on layout and frequent review of the building diagram at the front yet it didn’t seem to have everything labeled or to match the text. It was, however, that rare beast, the engaging mystery that isn’t a murder mystery, though there was a lot of discussion about a century old murder that supposedly gave rise to the “haunting “. If anyone else knows of good mysteries that aren’t murder mysteries, I’m all ears. This week my “off my shelves” book is 100 Spanish Idioms by J.M. Cassagne. Lots of fun. Has cartoons and funny paragraphs illustrating each. I’m not sure what part of the Spanish-spanish speaking world the author is from, though, and so I’m not sure how many of these I can realistically expect to hear around here/incorporate into my vocabulary. We have mostly Mexican/Central American immigrants. I’ve only already known 1 of the idioms in the book so far and I’m halfway through. My favorite so far : Salir de Guatemala y meterse in Guatepeor. Literally: to leave Guate-bad and go to Guate-worse. It means basically “out of the frying pan, into the fire”, or “ to go from bad to worse”. It’s a pun and I love puns.
  7. The Hunchback of Norte Dame - that is a book that I can’t believe they ever looked at and thought “Yes, we should make an animated children’s movie out of this.” Yes, it’s better than the movie. No, i will never re-read it. ( Just about what I told my son about the Old Yeller when he asked about it)
  8. I think it was a Glencoe guide i used the second time, for across Five Aprils. We skipped quite a bit of it, but it was helpful. I felt that the Paddington guide was not as helpful. That may have been a result of the book just not needing so much background information and being overall simpler and done at an earlier age. It really seems like busy work that bogged down a good book, in retrospect, but it was my first year homeschooling and mistakes are how you learn. And when I DIY some of my questions might be blatantly plagiarized from various online lists of discussion questions for books. Just saying.
  9. I have no favorite lit guides, so may not be very helpful. I did use a Memoria press lit guide for Paddington with DD several years ago. It was the thing that pretty much convinced me that lit guides are not for us. For us, it sucked all the fun out of a very cute book. Since then, I’ve used one lit guide I got free online, but with less written answers and more skipping of questions. I’ve also done my own skeletal lit guides, focusing more on vocabulary, which is a weak point for DD and with a few discussion questions done verbally.
  10. My DD isn’t dyslexic but reading comprehension is not her strong point. We did Notgrass when she was in 5 th and 6th grades, along with some of the Story of US. I really can’t say one was better than the other for her. I had to read the lessons out loud if I really wanted her to get it on the first go with either of them. Notgrass assigns novels that go along with the history. We used most of them, but I didn’t read most of those out loud. They can easily be dropped, though. Notgrass did go faster for us, because it doesn’t spend as much time on details as History of US. That’s actually why I started using History of US, though. DD preferred Notgrass, and it did get done.
  11. I read Mossflower, in the same series, to my kids when the youngest was six. The plot was a little complex for him and there are so many characters that he kept stopping me to ask “Wait, who is ______?” but he did like it a lot.
  12. So close to the end of the school year, maybe doing a daily journal with fun prompts, and a weekly (or less often) more structured piece of writing would help keep writing more fluid and continue to reinforce concepts already learned, while not costing much, of anything, and not leaving you halfway through something you’ll feel obligated to “finish”. also letter writing to relatives or friends who will write back can encourage more writing without it seeming like an assignment. Buy some cute cards or stationary, stickers, etc. Or maybe a family newsletter, which could include work by others in the family as well. another thought is starting a blog on a hobby or topic of interest. With all of the blog metrics and comments giving feedback on what people are reading, it might help encourage more writing painlessly.
  13. I am making sure all of my kids have the basic ability to write cursive and read it, even the public schooled ones. After they get older they may choose to only print, or to write only cursive, or to write a hybrid of the two and switch between the two at will and as the situation dictates. I find that printing is slower for me and that my hand cramps up more. I know that many homeschoolers around me don’t teach cursive because I recently taught a writing class and of 8 junior high age kids, maybe one could write cursive, or even read it what I wrote in cursive. And they all wrote so slowly and painfully during exercises I felt my hand cramp just looking at them.
  14. We haven’t done a poetry tea time in awhile so I think I’ll try to work one of those in each week too.
  15. CThere is a blog by Robert Brewer called Poetic Asides at the Writers Digest site that has daily poetry prompts for the month of April. I think I’m going to have DD read a poem every day and write one using the prompt. She enjoys poetry so I think she’ll like it. ETA link :
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