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Everything posted by EmilyK

  1. We liked d'aulaires on audio, also Jim Weiss and Atticus the storyteller on audio.
  2. Heads up for any Great Courses fans who are audible members, or who plan to join even for a short time. You probably already know about the mobile app and the free Great Courses lectures on there (about 8-10 miscellaneous lectures from different courses). What I didn't know about was the single lectures that you can "purchase" as a member for free. I found them by searching for "great courses" on the website (instead of going to great courses in the drop down menu). I just "bought" 29 lectures for free on a variety of topics. Of course, they won't be as useful as a full course, but if you or your family likes listening to them for fun, or 30 minutes of thought-provoking content in the car, it is a good deal.
  3. That's great. My kids are actually good on getting around our city but I agree that using maps to walk around, public transport, etc., is a much neglected skill these days.
  4. Thanks so much! I had a feeling you would reply since you are the storehouse of knowledge!
  5. I think I have seen this discussed here before, but I'm having no luck searching. My older son and I have been discussing practical life skills to have before leaving home. My family wasn't very intentional about this and I ended up with lots of holes. Not a problem, but I would like to expose my kids to different sorts of things that they would need to know how to do / how they work as a functioning adult. I'm imagining day to day sorts of things, but if there are items that are longer term and would fit into a gap year that's great too. The sorts of things that spring to mind are various sorts of basic cooking, how to handle checking accounts and tax returns, but I'm sure there's a ton of things I'm not thinking of. I seem to remember a book or checklist that someone recommended along those lines. Any ideas?
  6. Chiming in late, but my high schooler and I are listening to Foundations of Eastern Civilization, a Great Courses available on Audible. We're both finding it very enjoyable and rounding out what has been a Western Civ heavy exposure to history. With the Audible app, he and I are both listening separately while we each go for walks, work out, travel time, etc., and we discuss later. You could do something similar with the Great Courses app and downloading the videos if you didn't want to stream them away from Wi Fi.
  7. Yes, it is a bummer that there isn't more Marrin on audible. My kids loved audio books of his on cassettes from the library. I remember one on Lincoln that was especially good.
  8. My kids love audiobooks but it has taken me a while to get as into them. For me, I find they really help me do monotonous household chores that I used to dread or delay (cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.). Maybe start there before using them while driving?
  9. Last I saw on Facebook, she was asking for opinions on types of narrators, maybe a couple of weeks ago? That makes me think it is a ways out.
  10. I'm listening to it right now. Yes the material is painful. Very well done book and great on audio. I'm encouraging my high school son to listen.
  11. Sorry not to reply earlier. I guess what I figured out was by trial and error and may not be correct. I first joined as a typical monthly member. We were still using CDs mostly and I only joined to get things that I couldn't find that way (some titles were just not on CD). I was so not focusing on my membership that I think I let a credit lapse since they only let you roll over a certain number (which I think is awful). I think if one is still on the typical monthly plan that Great Courses are still a very good deal. Just make sure to not wait to use your credits too long or you will hit the rollover limit. Anyway, we got into using Audible almost exclusively as a family, and over the years between all of us we were using a lot of credits, so I became an annual member. A lot of credits but it works out to about $9.50 per credit. So I only buy things with credits usually that we need for school and cost more than 9.50 on sale or when we need them (because I don't always plan ahead), or there's something someone really, really wants. Most of my personal listening comes from Daily Deals (which I check every day) or on the low cost or free ones that are sometimes available. There are great threads in the forums on goodreads and mobilereads that alert me to sales or specials. Amazon at times has classics available for free or very little. There are threads on WTM about that. Part of the advantage for us with Audible is the mobility of it. My older son is on the bus and listens to a book he downloaded. My younger son wants to listen to something at home that we own and I just download it no matter where we are in the house, or if we are at grandma's. I want to go back to some of our CD titles with him but it is hard since Audible is so convenient.
  12. Britannia looks great. I did notice at least 4 titles on Audible (2 marked for kids) that are overviews of the Kings and Queens of England. For kids: http://www.audible.com/pd/Kids/Kings-and-Queens-of-England-Audiobook/B00B8Z5EJ8/ref=a_search_c4_1_4_srTtl?qid=1429406185&sr=1-4 http://www.audible.com/pd/Drama-Poetry/Kings-and-Queens-Audiobook/B005WKP6L6/ref=a_search_c4_1_4_srTtl?qid=1429406412&sr=1-4 not specifically for kids but a summary: http://www.audible.com/pd/History/Kings-and-Queens-of-England-Audiobook/B0036GRGRU/ref=a_search_c4_1_3_srTtl?qid=1429406185&sr=1-3 this one says it is a brief history but is 14 hours: http://www.audible.com/pd/History/A-Brief-History-of-British-Kings-and-Queens-Audiobook/B00BM7J8A8/ref=a_search_c4_1_5_srTtl?qid=1429406304&sr=1-5
  13. When I was a young adult, I did a class (done through my parents' church, who had partnered with a local Jewish congregation) where we visited about 12 different types of Christian and Jewish services (different denominations). It was very interesting and something I wish I had gotten myself together to do with my kids, and tried to expand beyond those two religions. We read a book called "How to be a Perfect Stranger" which was helpful.
  14. That Island Story audio looks great. I think my 12 year old would like it.
  15. oh, and also, what a great list! I think The Year 1000 sounds great but it looks like it might not be available in this region. For my own listening from a comfort food perspective, I have enjoyed listening to Agatha Christie and Georgette Heyer titles, that take me back to my reading as a tween and teen. Murder of Roger Ackroyd and The Unknown Ajax have been the best -- the narrator really matters. I have also really enjoyed the following, all with great narrators: (more adult) -- Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks --Boys in the Boat (kids' books) - To Kill a Mockingbird - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom
  16. Makes sense but if you were buying a lot of Great Courses, for example, even on sale you might want to run the numbers about a short term membership. Just FYI. As a light member, do you get the daily deals? I've picked up some good things that way (for educational purposes as well as for fun).
  17. I adore the Great Courses but they're often a better deal for a credit. I buy enough credits that I can get them for 9.50 so I wouldn't buy anything on this sale unless it was less than that. There are Great Courses that are less, of course - the shorter ones. I have really enjoyed the ones on Voltaire and Jazz recently.
  18. I was trying to remember the Hardy TV adaptations I really like (The Day After the Fair and Under the Greenwood Tree) and found this site which I thought was interesting: http://www.thomashardyfilms.com/television_productions.htm
  19. I love living in Portland. There's a ton of culture, easy for teens to get around with public transport or walking, several youth symphonies and choirs. The only thing I don't know whether to endorse is the public high school situation. My teen is in private school (that does offer a lot of financial aid, if applicable). I know kids from my son's school have done dual enrollment with Reed and Portland State. I think there may also be some public high school combined with community college options. I'm really impressed with Portland State as an urban university. I do love Ashland (which has Southern Oregon U). That's where we'll go if we ever leave Portland. Happy to talk off-list.
  20. "That schools use their merit money to attract three kids that can pay 60% instead of one amazing poor kid that can pay 0%." Sorry about quoting problems, but just wanted to follow up on this. Other than this quote, I agree with your posts, but I'm wondering if this is true. I'm not saying it isn't, I just don't know. I have some prior knowledge of admissions, mostly in the private high school context. But I think for some schools it can be hard to find that amazing kid. I know donors wanted their donations to go to that amazing, poor, minority kid who was super smart and would be a total success. But for a variety of reasons, not that many who fit that profile applied. The families that knew how to navigate the opportunities might not have a lot of income but were otherwise from a background that helped them (they were well-educated, gone to college etc.). It was also a problem in my professional school admissions. The amazingly deserving and diverse kids had a lot of other options.
  21. I'm having trouble quoting but I was interested to return to the OP's original question, which is: "So, one of my questions is, where is that line, below which it isn't a good idea to go to a particular department in a particular school, and how do you find that out?" I'm interested in that question too. I guess I'm thinking ahead perhaps more to my second child, but it could apply to either. in our limited amount of college visiting for #1 so far, we went to variety of size of schools. Although this wasn't our bias going in, both my husband and I were struck by the amount of individualized attention and small class sizes at the LACs we visited. Not saying you can't get a good education at mid size or large universities, but the LACs seemed a good fit for our son. But it raised the question of which LACs set you up for future success in job or graduate school placement. I'm sure the elite ones do, but at what point should you be concerned that you are doing what some of those examples above point to?
  22. Just to agree with this, I know from my own experience that from the schools' perspective, they are using merit aid to attract some kinds of kids that they think they otherwise wouldn't get. Back in the dark ages, I got a lot of merit aid to go to a certain law school that was on its way up in the rankings. As it turned out, the woman I ended up rooming with did too. As best we could figure out, they were trying to improve their rankings by attracting students who might not otherwise come there (and it was a good school, but I think they had amibitions to move from say #14 or 12 to being top 10). Even more so, we were both applying to a newish joint degree program and I think they really wanted to attract students to it (my part of it was the very first year). People who were very/just as qualified but hadn't applied to this program didn't get the money. So yes, we'd both worked hard in college and done well, but sort of lucked on some serious money that we got because of the school's objectives. If you knew which schools had objectives that match what your student has to offer, that would be very helpful.
  23. Sorry. I was meaning W and L. Going on memory, a man named Johnson has given them a $100 million gift which has resulted, among other things, in 10 percent of their class (44 kids) each year coming in on a full merit aid. I got the sense that gift and others also has led to other merit aid being available (not just the 44 full scholarships). Another family's tour guide (not ours) was a Johnson Scholar and was a African American young man from Chicago. That other family said they got the impression that they were using that money to diversify their students, which seemed like a great thing. There is a special early process to be considered for this scholarship and as I remember they bring finalists back to campus. Davidson also has a lot of merit money and a signature full ride scholarship that I gather has been around longer than W and L's. It also requires an early application. I seem to remember for that one you have to be nominated by the school. I'm not sure how that would work with homeschoolers. There seemed to be other merit aid available too, and they really emphasized that. Davidson really emphasized committment to community more than any other school we visited. I think they are really looking for kids who will commit deeply to the school community there, and any way you can demonstrate that would be helpful. My older son isn't currently homeschooled so I'm afraid I didn't ask about that at Davidson. I didn't remember anything said either way. One thing that I did notice was that all the schools we visited in VA (W and L, W and M and Virginia) mentioned homeschooling in a welcoming way (even if just in passing). It made me wonder if homeschooling is more prevalent in VA or somehow they've been schooled on it. I met the woman in charge of homeschool applications at William and Mary and she was someone I'd follow up with if relevant.
  24. I'm following this since my older son is interested in going to a southern LAC (even though we live on the other side of the country) and I've been looking to expand our thinking about schools. We just visited W and L and we were all very impressed. I think it and Davidson were the standouts of our trip. They have been given a huge donation that is translating to a lot of merit aid.
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