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Everything posted by lilbean05

  1. Last year I started requiring myself to read before I go to bed, period. It didn't matter how late it was, I had to open a book and read. Sometimes it is light reading, sometimes it is VERY dense, but ever since I started doing that, I have been able to sleep much more peacefully and wake up feeling more refreshed. Most nights, I only make it about 5 minutes before starting to nod off, but even those 5 minutes make a difference. I also try really hard to exercise, even if the kids are in the room while I am bopping around to an exercise tape. Is it me time? Meh..maybe. I am often sti
  2. What a special book! Thanks for sharing!
  3. I have two kids who are well into our homeschooling years, knee deep in Horizons textbooks, CWP, FLL, WWE, Spelling Workout, Evan Moor Geography, SSLatin, and on and on...it is so much fun and comical if we stack up their books next to them and take a picture--something we do at the beginning of each school year. This year, I have another little one entering the preschool years and I am so excited. Preschool is so much fun and while I am tempted to give him some early writing and math books, his stack of books in our picture this year is going to be a bunch of library books and it is gunn
  4. My second son had a hard time with pencil grip too, doing the same thing with holding the pencil like a flute. I took a paper towel, balled it up, and stuck it in the palm of his hand. He had to hold the balled up towel with the last three fingers while doing his pencil grip. After about a week or so of this, he had it figured out and now he has great form and writing. Hope this helps!
  5. My kids love playing A Walk Through the Woods from http://www.homeschoolassessment.com. It is our school game, but little do they know they are reinforcing their school subjects! HA! We are also big fans of tangrams and Meta-forms: http://www.amazon.com/FoxMind-5512646-Metaforms/dp/B0015MC2TO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1338337200&sr=8-2 And right now they are playing chess.
  6. We use Ambleside Online and it is a huge hit for us!! We also love love Horizons Math and WWE. FLL seems a bit boring for my current FLL kid and Literature Pockets by Evan Moor, while fun in concept, are also a bit too "busy work" for us.
  7. My daughter has been in gymnastics since she was 3 and she now goes multiple times a week and is involved with their team. It IS expensive and it COULD take a toll on our family if carpool situations fall through, at which point we might reevaluate. My daughter can't seem to get enough of it, though, and she has turned down birthday parties and pool parties so that she could go to practice. As long as she is crazy excited about it, we will do our best to support her. The PP who mentioned ankle problems brings up the one concern I have, and this is injury as she progresses. But at age 5, r
  8. A book we came across in the library recently that we haven't seen come up on the boards or on reading lists is The Enchanted Castle by Edith Nesbit. It is challenging enough without too mature of a topic and we adore it! Edith Nesbit also wrote Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare which is a bit more challenging but gives a wonderful introduction to the basic plots of popular Shakespeare plays. Here is a link to The Enchanted Castle---http://www.amazon.com/The-Enchanted-Castle-Puffin-Classics/dp/0140367438:thumbup:
  9. We love Horizons!! Then again, my kids would really be bored if they learned everything there is to know about telling time before they moved on to counting pennies. The little bits and pieces across the board, reviewed more indepth each time it comes up is a huge hit and has produced very good results in our house. The number lines, I thought, were really good at providing a visual of how large chunks were that were being added and subtracted..sort of like using rods or unit blocks, but drawn on the paper instead. I think if you stick with it you will see that everything is building on it
  10. I had always envisioned that my kids would have a 7pm bedtime until middle school because, well, that is what both my husband and I had! Ha! But, my 6 year old is in team gymnastics and her team practice doesn't get her home until about 9:30pm 3 nights a week....which makes her bedtime around 9 on non gymnastics nights and around 9:45 on gymnastics nights. It isn't what I had planned, but it works well for us! And I have to add--if we weren't homeschooling, I am not sure if her being on team would fly. I just can't see having a little one stay up that late when they have to get up for
  11. This zucchini recipe, hands down. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/moms-zucchini-bread/ My kids are always sneaking zucchini into the cart at the market and then put on their best angel face and ask for more zucchini bread. Ha!
  12. I give them something to color or a pretend job with the play kitchen. I will even turn on a Super Why or Word World for a bit while I work with my older kids on their core subjects. Overtime, they end up wandering into the room and listening in on what we are doing, but rarely does it become a big distraction.
  13. We like to cook things that are from the same period/location of where what we are studying. We do a lot of Charlotte Mason type schooling for the liberal arts aspect of our school, so we do tons and tons of narrations in various styles, from coloring and giving a presentation to making a finger play. We use this game board to make it more fun--www.homeschoolassessment.com. We feel like this makes it a really well rounded curriculum.
  14. What fun! If I have extra stuff I want to do in addition to a "spine" (which is what your Exploring Science book seems like it will be) then we align topics. Looking at the same topic from a variety of angles has worked really well for us and the kids really get into it. We go to the library now and the kids run for the shelves and grab as many books as they can that are related to what we are doing in school. Too cool! Plus, how neat would it be to grow a plant, dig up a plant outside and see the roots, learn about specific plants both in nature and in books, learn about cell walls vs cel
  15. Pencil sharpener for sure--holy cow did that change my life! We got this kind, mounted it to the wall, and it rocks: http://www.amazon.com/X-Acto-Ranger-Wall-Mount-Heavy-Duty-Sharpener/dp/B00006IEI2/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1337217077&sr=8-11 All in one printer/copier/scanner. We have fax too, but I hardly use it. All three of the others come in handy big time. Access to a library is an essential part of our curriculum. We read tons and tons of books and we would be running short of cash if we didn't have the library. A subscription to Amazon Prime, ha! It helps when
  16. Wow! That is great information! Thank you. I will be sure to pass that on to them today. Their son is 4 and hardly speaks a word, which causes him to get very frustrated and has led to a lot of behavior issues. It is overall a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the suggestion!!
  17. I have been a member of these boards for awhile and have really enjoyed all of the support and help you all have brought to me as I homeschool my 4 kids! Within the past year, I started incorporating a felt board in our homeschooling curriculum. We use it to look at shapes, make patterns, tell stories, count, sort, etc. We really love it! We recently found out that a member of our extended family is suffering from speech apraxia and we were able to see what a hardship it has both on the child who wishes to communicate as well as to the parent. Shortly after this happened, I was asked
  18. My daughter is the same way. She can't stand doing the Burgess Bird Book or Parables from Nature. She eats up 50 Famous Stories, though, and ADORES Aesops Fables and Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare. She is actually digging the Blue Fairy Book too, though it is SO gruesome! I tried forcing our way through the books she doesn't like and instead, if I see she is daydreaming or not into it, we move on to the next thing and try again later.
  19. We attend Hills Gymnastics outside of Washington DC. My daughter is on preteam and she practices 6 hrs a week across 3 days. We pay $240 a month plus parent association dues. It is EXPENSIVE!!! I think price really is dependent on the cost of living in your area, though, so take that into consideration.
  20. We use ambleside online and it meets my 6 year old daughter's needs VERY well. She has been reading since she was 2 and now she is able to narrate parables from nature and other really really hard texts. We don't have a specific language arts program, but we do tons of reading with ambleside online and her comprehension and retention is amazing as a result of the exposure to various materials offered in AO.
  21. My daughter is 6 and is very similar. She is very active in her gymnastics team, so she gets "socializing" there, but there are plenty of times when we are at the park or at a friends and she is much happier on her own. I am like this too, though, and really enjoy my own company sometimes. I think it is okay that she wants a bit of downtime when she is around other people. :) Kids personalities are so varied--it is neat to see how they grow!
  22. We didn't use manipulatives as a regular part of the days lesson, but if someone was having a hard time understanding a concept, I would find a way to make some form of manipulative for them to use.
  23. The kids do a narration of sorts, either spoken that I type out or drawing a picture, and I put those into a notebook. It isn't nearly as extensive as some beautiful notebooks I have seen!
  24. We use Horizons and absolutely love it! My kids love the curriculum and I would recommend it to anyone. K does seem to start out pretty easy, but as the PP said, it does get down and dirty pretty quickly. Have fun looking around and deciding!
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