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  1. Dear WTM, I'm writing to you, the WTM users, as I just don't know who to ask locally, a friend, co-op friends etc. and am simply seeking feedback if others have dealt with this, what journey or path you chose, how you explain this to your kids, etc. The topic is the study of imaginary, pretend and otherwise fictional things. I was raised in a legalistic charismatic church. All things termed evil included Halloween, fairies, dragons, and the like, we weren't to really be a part of. As such growing up, I had a narrow view of learning to only be fact based, such as math, reading, grammar and to some degree, science (the evolution part was excluded do to what God's word said) and what the Bible said was what it meant. Further though, I didn't feel the need or desire to explore the fictional kind of content and really was content not knowing as I had a long standing history of having a very tender heart and spirit and anything scary really disturbed me, so its aversion was quite natural to me all the way around as a person. It wasn't until upper middle and high school did I begin to be exposed to old literature of the Greeks, etc and in high school with mid-evil times did I begin to actually read topics of this content in my required studies. I had to study literature in college, but like the schooling before, much of it eluded me. Now as a homeschooling parent, I am seeing more and more the importance of literature and recognize that I'm going to be giving my children a dis-service if I limit their reading to non-fiction and less deep kind of fiction. We have far exited the baby and toddler books and now into early storybooks. But, deep literature feels like Greek to me, so foreign. So incomprehensible. I don't know where to begin. We've done BFIAR in the first few PreK/K years repeating it as they liked the stories and now in 1st grade we are doing FIAR along with All about Me studies, STEM studies and seasons studies, etc (we don't do the same type unit week to week). Even FIAR, I'm not feeling like I'm divulging the most out of these lessons because simply this, literature and conveying its deepest underlying messages can elude me. It's kind of like heres the plane, the inventor, this is what inspiried him to do it, this is the meaning of the story....But after these...what's next?? I've explored using Tapestry of Grace, but it is filled with literature that I just don't know about, or very little basis of understanding. As a parent, I also struggle with my daughter who is expressing a growing liking to when she hears things about Frozen from friends or ads. She enjoys books moreso than my son. I can see that she has some desire to understand writings. My son is starting to see bits of super heros and friends with Captain America, Super Man (the good guys) and I think he too in his own way is trying to comprehend who these characters are. But for me, I struggle. I struggle in my heart. In my spirit - it stirs with an uncomfortable spirit that makes me uneasy and unnaturally defensive. I struggle with some of the Thomas the Train videos because of the whole villian and the good guy scenario seems just too intense and even the Veggie Tales video "The Incredible Vegetables" (super hero based) my husband too thinks its a bit much for our 5 and 7 year olds. I hate Disney. Hate is a strong word and don't use that word often. I think it's over tones and the enterprise it has become is directing our society more than people want to give credit for. (IE: when national news anchors look like they came off a Disney on Ice set or could be at Disney World hugging kids, I really have a hard time taking them seriously.) I did see quite a number of Disney movies growing up because they were deemed a safe cartoon company, but over the years, their subject matter has gotten progressively progressive and I find it disturbing. I struggle because as a woman, I don't get into greek, mid-evil, 'good goth' etc and have no clue how to teach it, but even more, I don't want to teach it. It's a different uncomfortable than the uncomfortable feelings I will have when I have to teach sex-ed or gross biology or something. It's uncomfortable because it's not who I am as a person. But yet as a teacher and parent in a society of history lovers and the growing demand of good guy / bad guy media, comics, stories, etc I know I'm having growing pains of my own to know how to digest it all and be able to process it --- like a momma bird gets the berries and pre-digests it for her young. For me, I'd just as soon as not even eat the berries and chose the worms instead. So, you may can see why I feel like I am a mess when it comes to parenting and educating in this specific arena. I am literally struggling in my spirit, both as a parent and a homeschooling teacher, on how to approach teaching this content, beginning to explore super hero's, good guys, bad guys, etc. and help my kids have a healthy Christian based balance in this approach to studying literature, movies, comics, etc and understand why it is okay to study it even though 'it's not of God.' I welcome your candid honest feedback. Sincerely, Sherra
  2. Is Disneyland cheaper to visit and easier to plan at the last minute? We were hoping to do Disney World this fall,l but life got the best of us and we don't have anything planned. This afternoon it occurred to me that it may be feasible to do a short (5 day?) Disneyland vacation with Universal Studios and maybe some other attractions. Is this true? If so, do you have any advice? Honestly, I don't know where to start as I have never planned this type of vacation before and it feels very overwhelming. Thanks. SJ
  3. Sigh. I really don't want to go at all. I hate crowds and standing in line! But my daughter really wants to go, has been begging for years, and I have agreed. If I go in January, what is the quietest week and should I still expect significant lines? Did you travel independently or on a tour e.g. AAA?
  4. The inlaws are coming to meet us for a few days on our December trip. We are staying onsite, but they haven't booked yet, so I'm not sure if they'll be able to stay at the same resort even if they're willing to pay a premium. What are some good hotels close to the parks in case they go that route? I'm thinking Hampton Inn or above; amenities not that important, just that it's nice and also close to parks. Only 3 nights so the 4th night free deals aren't helping!!
  5. We are going to DIsney World in November, and it is almost time to start making our dining reservations (at least the really hard to get ones.) What restaurants do we really need to go to? We are first-timers, and we will be there for 6 days. The kids are 10, 8, and 5, if that makes a difference. We are signed up for the dining plan that includes a counter service, table service, and a snack a day.
  6. Okay, I live in a state that requires me to count school days (but has no minimum, and, anyway, we have plenty of days). Normally, we have a field trip every Tuesday, but we also have at least phonics and math before we leave. I count it as a school day. I had planned to count all of last week as a fall break, but now I think I want to count the day at Kennedy Space Center as a school day. My question is... where's the line? Do I count the day we went to Animal Kingdom as well? I mean, we saw wild animals, but IDK if DS actually learned anything new. And then what about Epcot? I'm leaning toward no, though we did go into Spaceship Earth (where he recognized the Egyptian king!)... but a lot of it was aimless wandering around the countries and being hot and mopey. If I were to count that, I might just as well count the Magic Kingdom, where we rode the Carousel of Progress, etc. If I were teaching in public/private school, my decision would be based on whether we met any of the objectives in the required course of study, but that doesn't apply here. What have you done?
  7. We are going on our second trip to Disney World soon!! From what I remember about my backpack I used the last time, wasn't good. My back was always hot & sweaty not to mention sore. I'm looking for something light and somewhat waterproof, but don't want to break the bank for a new one. Any recommendations on one? Keep in mind that I'll be packing snacks, water bottle, sunscreen, phone, and all those handy bandaids & whatnot. The kids each have their own fanny packs for camera & water bottle. We like to save on water by just filling up our bottles with free water at the park instead of sodas. Also, when dealing with rain, what sort of packable poncho or rain jacket works for you? Our 1st time at Disney we had zero rain....we went in May. This time we are going in September and I've heard that I better gear up for rain....bummer. Links, suggestions, and pictures of what you use and swear by will be extremely helpful! :thumbup:
  8. I know it is early but, does anyone know when/where the dates for 2014 will be posted? The last time we visited our DC were 3 & 6. We are so excited to be going back, well at least I am excited. I love to plan and try to find as many deals & discounts as possible. :001_smile: Thanks!
  9. We've decided to do it! We're going 1/19 - 1/25, so our final day will be the homeschool day. Dh is actually attending a work conference there 1/19-1/23, so the kids & I will do parks those days with him joining us in the evenings/afternoons. Then we'll have Thurs & Fri all together. We're getting the 5 day park hopper plus/deluxe/whatever tickets. We're staying at the Royal Caribe Resort. (It is associated with the conference for dh, so he'll have access to shuttles to the other conference hotels which is rather necessary). Is anyone else going? We haven't been to Disney since our oldest was 7 and youngest was a screaming toddler, so this trip will be a whole new experience. I've ordered some guidebook from Amazon to map out the days. We did that last time and it was really helpful to avoid lines, etc. We're doing it as a big Christmas surprise for the kids. I am going to order them each cute Mickey t-shirts and wrap them up along with some kind of vacation-description-voucher, maybe with the Vacation Planning DVD that I just also ordered from Disney. Can you tell me if it is realistic to hope to go to the water park one day? We love water parks. They say it is heated . . . We could wait until the last minute to choose the hottest and sunniest day. We actually own shortie wetsuits from our trip to the Pacific last summer. I am tempted to bring them and plan the day at the water park in wet suits!! :) If we can swim in the Pacific (San Diego/Big Sur/etc) in them, then surely we could handle a heated water park in FL in January? What do you think? What about that Interactive Park place? Is that fun? What about the ESPN complex? I see that admission is included in the premium thingy, but I can't figure out what we'd DO there! Can you use the track? (I will need places to run, lol) Does anyone have tips on where to take long runs? I'll be mid-marathon training that week, and will need to get in 8-15 mile runs most days. I have treadmills and it's really boring to run in circles, so if anyone has ideas on nice paths that are atleast 4-5 miles long in the vicinity of Disney, that would be really nice. What other advice/tips can anyone offer? If anyone else is going that week, maybe we can plan a WTM meet up sometime earlier in the week! :)
  10. There are numerous smaller threads addressing specific questions people have asked about WDW trip planning, but I hope we can put much of the advice in one place. The Hive clearly has some Disney planning aficionados. I wanted to see if we could collect your Top 10 (or 20 ;)) tips that we can glean from when planning future trips. So, do you have a list of Top 10 Tips for Planning a Great WDW Trip? ETA: Okay, so most of us think of our tips better when asked specific questions rather than working from a "Top 10 List." So..... If you have a "Top 10 List," please post it. Otherwise, we'll keep this "chatty" and post tips as we think of them and answer any Disney questions Hive members want to ask! So, feel free to post 'em as you think of 'em! :D
  11. Wed 10/31: Tony's Town Square for lunch and Whispering Canyon for supper (how long does it take to get there from MK??) Thursday 11/1: Ohana for breakfast and Coral Reef for lunch Friday 11/2: Kona Cafe for supper Saturday (going to Kennedy Space center and Coco beach) Sunday 11/4: 50's Primetime cafe for supper Monday 11/5: Tusker House for lunch Would you change any of these? We are traveling with 3 kids ages 8, 10 and 12 any my MIL and FIL....if that makes any difference??
  12. Here are the details that we have set...we ( my husband, myself, and our 3 kids ages 12, 10 and 8) will be leaving Nebraska by plane on October 30th. We are staying in the Polynesian. We are meeting my in-laws there. The dates we are there included the free dining plan (1 snack, 1 quick meal and 1 sit down meal per person per day.). We have tickets to the parks (all of them) for 5 days (becasue one of the days we plan to rent a van and drive to Cape Canaveral and to Coco beach). We have park hopper passes. We are now trying to figure out a few things: 1) what parks? how long in each park? which parades and light shows? what rides? etc. 2) what restarants are a must? which ones to avoid? 3) what must we do and see in Cape Canaveral so we can do that and the beach in one day. we don't need to actually SWIM in the ocean (although that would be cool since our kids have never swan in an ocean....lake Michigan, but never an ocean). 4) My husband heard about "Kid Cot" in Epcot...is that for our aged children or younger? How does that work? 5) any other general tips that come to mind as you read our plan of action?? 6) Oh, We are taking Delta airlines. Are there any thoughts or concerns for us to consider? 7) what should we pack and what should we leave at home? (I tend to over pack). thanks. I am sure I will have more questions...but for now, that is it. Kathy
  13. I have to make our ADRs Monday morning for our trip in October. I've never been to Disney and find it a bit difficult to know what time of day I'll be hungry six months from now, as well as what I'll be hungry for. We are buying (unless it's offered free by then) the dining plan that allows one table service and one quick service meal. Here is what I have planned: (Ep) Sat--B-home, L-plane, D-Q (quick service meal) (HS) Sun--B-hotel, L-50's Prime Time, D-Q (MK) Mon--B-O'hana's, L-Q, D-Chef Mickey's (AK) Tue--B-hotel, L-Q, D-Whispering Canyon (EP) Wed--B-hotel, L-Q, D-Garden Grille (MK) Thur--B-hotel, L-Q, D-plane I had wanted 1900 Park Fare, but just couldn't find time to work it in. Will I be missing something wonderful? I'm wondering if I'm hitting the best restaurants for our group. I have all girls, ages 13, 2.5, and 1.5 (at time of trip). Will this schedule leave us running around trying to make it to our next reservation?? I like a plan, but I don't want to feel rushed the whole trip. Also, a completely unrelated question...Do you all plan breaks/naptimes mid day back at the hotel for your toddlers? Scheduled naps are very important in our house, but taking all the time to go back to the hotel, nap, and then get back to the parks might waste a lot of time. Do those of you with scheduled naps for your toddlers at home, find they don't need them at Disney? TIA
  14. Has anyone been to Disney lately? We may go in the next several months and I know that Fantasyland is under construction. Does it effect any rides/other attractions? I know they moved the princesses. Anyone know if Ariel is around somewhere?
  15. I keep reading these threads about Disney and the long lines---1-2 hours for things. Do you really think you get your moneys worth and enjoyment out of the parks when you spend so much time waiting in lines and get to do only a few things? We were to Disney in March for 14dd's Make A Wish trip and we got fast passes to all of the rides that had wait times and they even waved us over for a meet and greet with Beauty and the Beast. 16dd is having her Make a Wish trip Dec. 11-16 and we will get 2-3 days to explore Disney again while we are there if we wish. Both girls have very rare degnerative mitochondrial disorder. I guess I just can't imagine spending that much money on tickets to stand in very long lines with smaller children. If you "do it right" can "normal" people really avoid all that waiting?
  16. I know this is going to vary widely. I know there are bargains and secrets. I know people have different levels of expectation about what a vacation means. This is a family of 7. This family has taken two "vacations" -- the last was 2 years ago and included flying from Alabama to CT to visit family for a week. We saw Mystic Seaport and spent a day at Lake Compounce and spent most of the rest of the week seeing family. That was when I went back to teaching ps in a year-long interim position. Other recent vacations have been weekends at the beach with seafood dinners at nice restaurants. IOW, we're low-key and low-budget. I am a little familiar with DW because I worked there in college. A lot has been added since then, I know. But I don't want to see or experience it all for two reasons. 1) We have two special needs dss, and while we want a vacation, overload must be avoided. 2) Money is limited. We just purchased my parents' old house with a bigger mortgage/utilities/taxes. And still . . . . I'm aware that the time we are going to be a family unit in one house is waning. If we're going to do Disney, it needs to be in the next couple of years. Can we budget for it? What would it cost for 3 or 4 days in the parks? Are there suites that could accommodate 7? (I'm considering DW resorts since (I think) you can come and go from the parks during the day when someone gets tired and cranky. Right?) I don't want to be miserly. I don't want to get there and have to say "no" to every souvenir and every sno-cone. OTOH, we don't have to hit the most expensive restaurants -- burgers and fries would do. Sometimes sandwiches and cereal in the hotel room . . . But splurging here and there. A T-shirt for everyone and a nice meal. KWIM? I really have no idea. I'd like to present a plan to dh to make this happen in a year or so . . . or give up the idea altogether. I'd appreciate your input.
  17. Did you know that all Disney Junior Shows can be listened to in spanish? My kiddos are watching Mickey Mouse in spanish downstairs. You just need to change your options on your menu guide to listen! http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2010/05/26/disneyabc-television-replacing-soapnet-channel-with-disney-junior/52530:)
  18. Heading back to Mickey's home in Florida in June. Need to make reservations for dinner for the nights we're in the parks. What are your favorites? We love the Norwegian place in Epcot but want to try something new. We're thinking about the Fantasmic package, there are still a few openings on the night we're considering. Boys are 18 and 20 so characters are fun but not a necessity at meal time.
  19. We are trying to get to WDW! It seems we've had a shift in hotel reservations and do NOT have a secure place to stay. The special promo we bought is now suggesting/offering another package incentive at one of the following places. Which one would you suggest and PLEASE y'all WHY or WHY NOT? We're interested in: close/convenient location, shuttle service, clean rooms, indoor/outdoor pool, good staff, safe, etc. Would like it not obnoxiously loud. Would prefer a resort with "interior" access (not entering room right from the outside "exterior"). Do these places offer any/all of the above? Do they offer microwave, refrigerator or anything else that would help us with our stay? Thanks in advance. Really neet this info ASAP! Thanks. Sheryl <>< PS....We're supposed to leave 2 weeks from now and it's looking increasingly more difficult to pull off b/c of this glitch we've encountered. Wyndham Cypress Palms Lake Buena Vista Resort Village and Spa Orlando Regal Sun Resort
  20. What are you favorite counter-service restaurants in each park, based on food quality, and price?? Any exceptional, must-have snacks?
  21. Hi! We have been blessed with an opportunity to travel to Orlando in March. While not usually easily overwhelmed, I am finding that I am pretty much in awe of all that there is to do and Disney and how much people put into planning it as a vacation. I hope my lack of knowledge doesn't prevent us from having a good time! I would appreciate a little input from someone familiar with the area. We have a ds6 and a dd8. Do these sound like good choices for us? Yak and Yeti Captain's Grille at Yacht Club Resort Sci Fi Dine In Theater San Angel Inn Coral Reef at Epcot Tony's Town Square at MK Fairytale ? at MK It looks like a cheaper option than just going day by day and seeing what we can find, which surprised me. Last question, do we have to be visiting the parks to go to the restaurants in that park? We haven't decided which parks we are buying passes to yet. Thanks so much!
  22. We are probably going to WDW this September. Here are my room choices: 1. Rent points from a DVC owner and stay at a one bedroom villa savanna view at the new Kidani Village (sleeps 5). Buy tickets and the dining plan. Advantages: 2 rooms, 2 bathrooms, washer & dryer in the room, animals right outside our door, full sized kitchen in case we want to cook. We've never stayed here, but often eat here because we love Boma for breakfast and Jiko for dinner. Disadvantages: Far from everything, but AK, bus to everything (but we will have a car), no quick service restaurant at Kidani village. 2. Stay at the Polynesian Concierge. Advantages: Water, snacks, light meals included in the concierge lounge, also the lounge offers excellent view of Wishes (with music piped in) and the water pageant. Concierge can help snag table service restaurants that come up with no availability (may come in handy during free dining.) Monorail or boat to MK, monorail to EPCOT. On the water, we like to rent SeaRaycers. Disadvantages: There really are none. Less room I guess. Two queen size beds and day bed at Poly vs. king bed, queen sleeper sofa, & twin bed chair at AKL. We've stayed at the Poly 4 times already and it is our favorite resort. When we stayed at the Beach Club we missed the Poly. When we stayed at the cabins at Ft Wilderness we missed the Poly, although both times we did enjoy other aspects of those two resorts. Poly Concierge is less than $200 more than Kidani Village. Please share any thoughts you have. Thanks
  23. We were supposed to go but now we can't. :crying: We already made our reservation with a DVC owner and are now trying to find a taker for it so we can re-coop our money. Anyone interested? If you are you can pm me.
  24. Disney people, Tell me about making reservations for dinner and the best resturants at Disney. We'll be their in late October, and I've purchased the basic meal plan. Do I really need to make reservations for dinner for the whole week as our travel agent recommended?:D
  25. My dh wants me to plan a trip to Disney. He has accumulated enough miles so we can fly for free. Now that oldest dd isn't homeschooled anymore we have to follow her high school schedule. She can miss a day or two of classes but not more than that so I'm trying to plan the trip during her days off or vacation. Dh originally wanted to go over Thanksgiving but now I hear that it is very crowded then. Does anyone know if it is just crowded Thanksgiving and the following weekend or would it be crowded that entire week? Otherwise we would probably have to plan something over her spring break next April but I'm assuming it would be very crowded then too. Other than that she only has 1 day off at a time so we would have to do a quick trip (leave after school on Thursday and come back the next Tuesday). That would only give us 4 days there. This would be over MLK birthday or Presidents day. I hate to spend all that money to have such a rushed trip but on the other hand I'm wondering if it would be better than fighting big crowds. Would you take a longer trip over Thanksgiving or Spring break or would you plan a short trip in January or February? I wish we could go off peak season like we used to when all the kids were home. That was so much fun.:glare:
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