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dmmetler

Annual brag thread! No Brag too big or small!!

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It's that time of year again-time to share all the stuff that would likely be construed as bragging or showing off on FB-or, conversely, that wouldn't be seen as a triumph by those on outer FB.

 

I'll start.

DD13 finished her first year of college classes with a 4.0 and 21 credits completed. She has been fully admitted to the college as a degree seeking student. She has been involved in study groups and made friends on campus. She also spoke to her psychology class on giftedness, and to her English class on homeschooling and non-traditional school paths as part of projects, which was a major emotional risk for her.

DD taught a semester of herpetology at Athenas and is in the middle of her 2nd one. (Thanks to all the boardies who let their kids take it-and by the way, your kids are awesome!) She'll be adding a new class in the fall. She has loved doing it and I think it's gone very well. She is constantly amazed that the kids want to hear from her and are so excited. I pointed out to imagine how much it would have meant to her at age 9 to be able to sit and talk to herself now-how much meeting S. (her first conference mentor, who was 16 and an early college student at ASU) meant to her-and that now she's able to do that for other kids. In many ways, this is the realization of her My Little Python dreams that she started working on back when she was 7 and was told not to talk about her pet at gymnastics camp because it "creeps people out".

DD moved to a new cheer team, and finished a solid season. She went back a level to avoid traveling, which made her the oldest kid on a team of mostly 8-11 yr olds. She did well, and really solidified her skills. Perhaps even better, she discovered that she could talk to the girls her age who train there on All Star or school teams, and that she actually had something in common with them-and that they think it's awesome that she's in college, because it proves that cheerleaders can be smart-many of them face that stereotype every day at school, even when they're carrying demanding academic loads in honors and AP classes. 

DD got deeply involved in the Pokemon Go community, and has made a lot of friends there as well, with a mixed group of people, ranging from teens up through retired adults. Again, she's found them to be very supportive of her as she's opened up-far more than she ever expected (one conversation thread on the group chat turned into how much it stank to be a gifted kid in the public school system-apparently a lot of the folks had that experience!), and she's gotten much better at making small talk-because a lot of the discussion tends to be about work, kids, jobs, etc. (Although she does seem to struggle to carry on a conversation with the one 13 yr old boy in the group....)

In many ways, she's come into her own this year. She is far less the stereotypical geeky Sheldon-type who can only talk about snakes and Pokemon, and far more DD.

 

I'm starting to build up a small group of tutoring students, either for math, handwriting, reading, or music. It may yet be possible for there to be life after homeschooling :).

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7 hours ago, dmmetler said:

It's that time of year again-time to share all the stuff that would likely be construed as bragging or showing off on FB-or, conversely, that wouldn't be seen as a triumph by those on outer FB.

 

I'll start.

DD13 finished her first year of college classes with a 4.0 and 21 credits completed. She has been fully admitted to the college as a degree seeking student. She has been involved in study groups and made friends on campus. She also spoke to her psychology class on giftedness, and to her English class on homeschooling and non-traditional school paths as part of projects, which was a major emotional risk for her.

DD taught a semester of herpetology at Athenas and is in the middle of her 2nd one. (Thanks to all the boardies who let their kids take it-and by the way, your kids are awesome!) She'll be adding a new class in the fall. She has loved doing it and I think it's gone very well. She is constantly amazed that the kids want to hear from her and are so excited. I pointed out to imagine how much it would have meant to her at age 9 to be able to sit and talk to herself now-how much meeting S. (her first conference mentor, who was 16 and an early college student at ASU) meant to her-and that now she's able to do that for other kids. In many ways, this is the realization of her My Little Python dreams that she started working on back when she was 7 and was told not to talk about her pet at gymnastics camp because it "creeps people out".

DD moved to a new cheer team, and finished a solid season. She went back a level to avoid traveling, which made her the oldest kid on a team of mostly 8-11 yr olds. She did well, and really solidified her skills. Perhaps even better, she discovered that she could talk to the girls her age who train there on All Star or school teams, and that she actually had something in common with them-and that they think it's awesome that she's in college, because it proves that cheerleaders can be smart-many of them face that stereotype every day at school, even when they're carrying demanding academic loads in honors and AP classes. 

DD got deeply involved in the Pokemon Go community, and has made a lot of friends there as well, with a mixed group of people, ranging from teens up through retired adults. Again, she's found them to be very supportive of her as she's opened up-far more than she ever expected (one conversation thread on the group chat turned into how much it stank to be a gifted kid in the public school system-apparently a lot of the folks had that experience!), and she's gotten much better at making small talk-because a lot of the discussion tends to be about work, kids, jobs, etc. (Although she does seem to struggle to carry on a conversation with the one 13 yr old boy in the group....)

In many ways, she's come into her own this year. She is far less the stereotypical geeky Sheldon-type who can only talk about snakes and Pokemon, and far more DD.

 

I'm starting to build up a small group of tutoring students, either for math, handwriting, reading, or music. It may yet be possible for there to be life after homeschooling :).

 

I love this update so much. I remember how crushed she was when Davidson didn't work out. I am so happy that she has found her tribe at the CC and with her cheer friends. Yay!

Please also share with her that this former cheerleader is working towards her second doctorate and that I still follow (at age 43!) competitive cheerleading sites on FB because I love the athleticism so much. The skills she learns in cheer she will take with her for the rest of her life. Funny story, when I was in Army ROTC, I led a group of soldiers over an imaginary electrified fence by teaching them cheer techniques. You have to imagine a group of Army soldiers in battle dress uniforms making a pyramid and sort of basket tossing each other around. My commander said that he had never seen that one before and gave me the highest marks for creativity. Lol.

ETA: I found a pic from when I was about her age. 

20180510_134011.jpg

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2 hours ago, dmmetler said:

It may yet be possible for there to be life after homeschooling :).

Congratulations and good luck!

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DS got into MIT!

University admission was a crazy hard and arduous path last year, as ds made a very unexpected U turn in March last year when he decided to attend an American University rather than a New Zealand one.  The two systems are very different, and he had done *nothing* to prepare for elite admissions in the US.  I had not kept proper records for a transcript as entrance here is based on exams, and he had never considered his extracurriculars from a strategic point of view like many do. Nor had he taken a bunch of required classes, which we then had to figure out how to get done his senior year. We had to research and decide on schools and also learn about all the financial stuff.  This took a ton of time as he had no idea of ANY of the universities in America and there were no friends to just chat with about their thoughts. He had also not taken the SAT subject tests, the PSAT, or the SAT.  He had one month to relearn all the material for the SAT subject tests as he had taken the courses 2 years earlier, and he had only 1 month to prep for the SAT, and had only 1 opportunity to take it (not offered very often here).  He had to do the SAT essay for some schools he applied to, and he had never written that kind of essay and had never written an essay under time pressure.  Then all the application essays.  OMG, the essays!  All this while I was concurrently trying to figure out how to write up the homeschool documentation, which was a serious complicated mess.  But we did it! And he is going in August!

Ruth in NZ

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I love reading these updates. Your journeys with your children are really inspiring.

Just recently I was thinking about some of the people who were regulars here on the AL board when I first stumbled in: Quark, dmmetler, lewelma, Arcadia, End of Ordinary. Those are a few names that immediately come to mind. So much wisdom has been shared. 

 

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DD7’s Destination Imagination team came in first place for their category in Regionals and middle of the pack at States - they were a small 3-person team, and (I believe) the youngest team competing both times, so they’re rightfully proud of themselves! I’m proud of them, and of myself for putting together a team and functioning as Team Manager. She’s super excited to do this again next year.

After years of having the goal of “deal with anxiety and ADHD”, we have the ADHD well managed with medication, and her anxiety is enough under control for us to be stepping down the frequency of therapy with the possibility of discontinuing at the end of summer. Plus, with those issues managed, her emotional regulation is now age appropriate, which has the bonus that DH and I have agreed to send her to the long-requested overnight camp this summer. (She doesn’t know that last part yet. It will be her birthday present in a couple weeks!)

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I wrote about ds on my blog: https://treasuredconversations.wordpress.com/2018/05/01/to-infinity-and-beyond/ Super, super proud of ds.

Dd finished her freshman yr with a 4.0 with a triple major and double minor. 

My 2nd grader combines the strengths of both of those 2 without either one's weaknesses.  I have no idea what our future is going to look like. 🙂 She started playing the violin in Feb. I know nothing about the violin, but she must be learning quickly bc between Feb and April she caught up with all of the kids in the group who had been playing since Aug.

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School:  Dd completed four DE courses this year with a 4.0 (don't think she got under a 97 in any course) plus her high school courses at home, all while maintaining a very grueling tour schedule with her music. We were home about half of every month this year (January and now May, we are home all month but every other month we were flying or taking a train off somewhere). We relocated from the northeast to the south in the middle of all that this spring. We are meeting with an advisor in our new town in a couple weeks so she can take dual enrollment through the college here in the fall.

Music:  She now has five students (with possibly a 6th soon) who she teaches through Skype and has taught two workshops full of adults during our travels this spring. She is making great progress with her classical studies and is enjoying playing classical music again (for a few years she kinda slogged through it without much love and thought about quitting but now she is very happy she kept going). She is loving her folk music experiences even though a few of her gigs have been a lot of work...a two week tour in Boston at Christmas for which she had to learn most of the music and help with the arrangements during the 3 days of rehearsal and for another gig, her fiddle teacher could not fly due to weather so she filled in with his band and learned much of the material during one rehearsal (the rest she already knew). I was very proud watching her interact with the adult musicians during rehearsal sessions when she was playing with people she hadn't performed with before...she is not shy about giving her input and the other musicians always appreciated and included her ideas in the give and take toward the final arrangements.

Personal: This year dd did a lot of research on eating a plant-based diet and has been doing most of the cooking for us. She creates delicious gourmet meals--all plant-based, gluten-free, and oil free. She is working on setting up a blog of our adventures in eating at home and on the road (where it is sometimes difficult to come up with varied plant-based options). We have been doing yoga and walking all over our new town. 

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Donna, I just went to your dd's fan page and watched her play and read her bio.  Wow, she is so accomplished.  My 8 yr old loves the picture of her in the long dress. 🙂 

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3 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I wrote about ds on my blog: https://treasuredconversations.wordpress.com/2018/05/01/to-infinity-and-beyond/ Super, super proud of ds.

Thank you so much for sharing about your son!  It was so encouraging.  I have been feeling discouraged about helping dd7 with her dyslexia while also helping her flourish in her strengths, and noticing the same signs in my youngest.  And stressing about how to find the time to work with not only them but also my other two kids in the areas they need.  How do you manage the time to teach your kids at all different levels, with some needing so much more time on reading and spelling and on accommodations so that reading doesn’t inhibit their progress in their areas of strength, and be able to have those lovely one-on-one conversations in your teaching and customize each child’s education to their interests?  And how did he not know how behind he was with all of his younger siblings coming up behind him?  My ds5 now reads better than dd7, and she is acutely aware of it.

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Can't really think of anything to brag about ... but congratulations to all of your kids!

This year my eldest made some good progress in learning how to study.  My youngest is doing a better job of taking ownership of her responsibilities.

They have not finished some end-of-school year things yet, so there might be more to report, or there might not.  🙂

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DS 7 is grade level in Reading and Math, for a kid with learning disabilities, I could not be prouder! We need to work on getting his writing grade level, but he is making great progress their too. 

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DS (almost 6) is reading novels like candy.  He just read The Wizard of Oz the other night in one evening and then started reading it again.  He recently read an abridged version of Oliver Twist so its nice that there have been two books recently that I can talk to him about.  This morning when I suggested I sprinkle his probiotic powder on his toast since he doesn't like drinking it in his milk he compared me to the scarecrow without a brain because it would taste terrible.  He got a big warning for that one.  And I thought the biggest issue with the book was having to explain why there is a "good witch" but apparently we have tell him not to compare people to the tin man, scarecrow or lion. : )  

Despite his severe ADHD and having trouble with practicing and focusing, he is progressing in piano little by little.  He has been playing for about 11 months and is halfway through Level 1 of Faber.  After Level 2, he is allowed to start fiddle lessons.  That will be all on him since I have no idea how to play the fiddle.

Even though I have tried to keep DS screen free for schooling the most part at this age, we are allowing him to design books in Shutterfly with his dad.  It was his own idea after seeing our photo albums to make a book with his own Ninja Turtles story.  He is working on writing, internet research, and design all at the same time (without knowing it of course). Next, he plans to make a Magic School bus book in Shutterfly.  Its cool to see his fixations and special interests turn into something productive!

 

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My DD will graduate in June with a BS in physics, having also completed the requirements for an interdisciplinary humanities major (but her university does not issue double degrees; she has to pick one to put on her diploma). She has a great job starting two days after graduation, and will move into a real grown-up apartment the week before.

My DS has finished his first year of college where he is working towards a double major in physics and athletic training. He is currently in Austin, TX where he will be competing in the National Championship in judo tomorrow.

Proud of both my young people.

 

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Nothing schoolish but DS6 helped his toddler brother with potty issues while I was busy with the baby without even being asked. This is a big achievement because DS has sensory issues and I'm surprised he was willing to touch wet underwear.

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So fun to read all of these!!

This has been an interesting year for us. Older dd has decided she definitely wants to be a professional ballerina and is hoping to graduate early to spend more time on that.  So my plans for her are shifting a lot to keep pace with her passions.  She is kind of indecisive in general, so just voicing this plan was a huge step for her.  Most of the work she did this year was high school level so I think we can make it work. She wants to start taking some DE classes this fall.

She has gotten a lot stronger and really grown as a dancer this year. She placed at a big ballet competition she went to and got some positive feedback, and I think that boosted her confidence. Her instructors keep mentioning how hard she is working and that she is starting to realize her potential. She is starting to look less like a dance student and more like a dancer. So yes, I am very proud of her!

This school year was hard because she was 13 and often daydreamy. She is starting to gain independence and wants more autonomy in choosing what she will study.  She's always been hesitant to decide so in the past I have mostly decided for her. I'm glad that she is starting to voice her opinions more, but it made this school year tough because there were certain classes that she had a hard time finding the motivation for, but that needed to be finished out. Now that she is willing, I am involving her a lot more in planning out her future studies.

Younger dd grew a lot this year academically. She is doing really well in math and will be ready to confidently start pre-algebra in the fall. She also matured a lot as a writer and artist. She spends a lot of time writing stories and is so descriptive. Her drawing skills have really improved through hours of practicing on her own. I think I will need to sign her up for art classes soon. She's decided she wants to go to private school next year because she misses her friends and I think it will be a good choice for her at this stage.

She finished her gymnastics season and worked really hard. Some things don't come easy for her but she got all her skills and got over some big fears.  She is excited to train for the next level.

Next year will be very different but I'm excited!

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DD scored a top score in Math Kangaroo. Apparently she placed top at the national level.  She tried Math Olympiad this year and won a silver pin. I think that means top 10%. I don't think she knows the meaning of these accomplishments, because we didn't do any prep and we don't participate in the Math Circle that hosts the test. She does not like to be fussed over, but I can tell she's pleased to have some external validation of her love for math.  

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9 hours ago, Michelle Conde said:

Thank you so much for sharing about your son!  It was so encouraging.  I have been feeling discouraged about helping dd7 with her dyslexia while also helping her flourish in her strengths, and noticing the same signs in my youngest.  And stressing about how to find the time to work with not only them but also my other two kids in the areas they need.  How do you manage the time to teach your kids at all different levels, with some needing so much more time on reading and spelling and on accommodations so that reading doesn’t inhibit their progress in their areas of strength, and be able to have those lovely one-on-one conversations in your teaching and customize each child’s education to their interests?  And how did he not know how behind he was with all of his younger siblings coming up behind him?  My ds5 now reads better than dd7, and she is acutely aware of it.

In terms of ds not being aware of being so far behind, I honestly don't know.  We never talk about our kids being ahead or behind. We don't compare them to each other. We affirm them for the progress they make individually.  I usually work with the kids separately, so they are not directly comparing themselves. We also don't do anything textbook/grade level typical, so there really is nothing for them to identify with in terms of what is "normal."  I didn't realize that he had no idea until one day hen he overheard me talking to a friend when he was in 6th grade. He asked me after she left if he had really been that far behind.  When I told him yes, he told me that he had had no idea.

In terms of the customization, I design courses during the summer.  My younger kids are only doing a few subjects.  I don't make my struggling readers/spellers do more than the non-struggling kids.  We focus/target and work on what they need to work on and when they finish that day's worth, they are done.  I also find working 1-on-1 far more time efficient than combining.  Every time I have tried to combine it ends up taking longer.  The only time that has not been the case has been a few literature and history courses in high school.  

We also spend lots of time just talking about things in general. 

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12 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Donna, I just went to your dd's fan page and watched her play and read her bio.  Wow, she is so accomplished.  My 8 yr old loves the picture of her in the long dress. 🙂 

 

Aw, thanks for checking it out!

Dd loves the long dress, too 😉...unfortunately Irish music gigs don't often call for long dresses but it was fun for her to dress up for the photos.

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15 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I wrote about ds on my blog: https://treasuredconversations.wordpress.com/2018/05/01/to-infinity-and-beyond/ Super, super proud of ds.

Dd finished her freshman yr with a 4.0 with a triple major and double minor. 

My 2nd grader combines the strengths of both of those 2 without either one's weaknesses.  I have no idea what our future is going to look like. 🙂 She started playing the violin in Feb. I know nothing about the violin, but she must be learning quickly bc between Feb and April she caught up with all of the kids in the group who had been playing since Aug.

 

Wow, I had no idea you were writing a blog! How cool is that. Now I am so curious to know if your DS will be in our vicinity for his PhD. 😊 Warmest congrats to him (and to you, proud mama!).

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8 hours ago, regentrude said:

My DD will graduate in June with a BS in physics, having also completed the requirements for an interdisciplinary humanities major (but her university does not issue double degrees; she has to pick one to put on her diploma). She has a great job starting two days after graduation, and will move into a real grown-up apartment the week before.

My DS has finished his first year of college where he is working towards a double major in physics and athletic training. He is currently in Austin, TX where he will be competing in the National Championship in judo tomorrow.

Proud of both my young people.

 

 

She is already graduating. Oh my, how time flies and I missed the news about your DS picking physics as well as his athletic training major. The new board design kept me away for a bit but so glad to check back. Wonderful news. Warmest congratulations. Your DD's story was always a big inspiration for me. Thank you for sharing!

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On 5/10/2018 at 3:16 PM, chocolate-chip chooky said:

I love reading these updates. Your journeys with your children are really inspiring.

Just recently I was thinking about some of the people who were regulars here on the AL board when I first stumbled in: Quark, dmmetler, lewelma, Arcadia, End of Ordinary. Those are a few names that immediately come to mind. So much wisdom has been shared. 

 

 

Aw thank you for the sweet mention chooky friend! 😊

Life could not be more different for us than when I first started posting here. My worries then were all about my very asynchronous but highly academic kiddo whom I could never put my finger on. Kiddo was always so hard to decipher sometimes. Sooooo asynchronous I tell you. So I always fell back on my tried and trusted strategy. Make this kid laugh. Let humor save the day and if humor did not, let ice cream and a darn good vintage film be our solace.

Now here we are...kiddo's 15 but so much more "evened out" that things that used to be awkward and hard and clumsy aren't anymore or...maybe we've learned to change our mindset about fitting into our world and instead, letting our world fit us. Let's just say that you can never, never predict what your kid will be like when they are 6 or 10 or 13. Growth takes so many, many forms. Sometimes we just have to cry, yell, scream, bury ourselves in our work, (laugh when we can), ask the "silly" questions, and ride along the best we can.

This past year, we did not worry about academics or grades. When kiddo was applying to colleges last year, every thing felt like high stakes till I just refused to be stressed any more. This year, we both worked on things that meant a lot to us and we grew so much. My brag is that my kiddo is juggling life in a way that I could not be more proud of. This kid is among the bravest kids I know. My heart is so full. There is a lot going on with academics and achievement but it doesn't really occur to me when I think about what to brag...it's the growth, the incredible resilience and grit, the drive and knowledge of knowing what A wants in A's life and being willing to face risks and smile all along...I'm honestly so proud and humbled.

Please don't ever worry about doing things colleges want to see. Don't let making it into some elite college stop you from giving your homeschooling meaning and purpose. No college can ever predict who your child is meant to be. Let your homeschooling and later, college decisions be a vehicle but let your child do the driving. I used to wonder if I should have homeschooled differently with A. Now I don't wonder any more. There was a reason we had to do it the way we did. So glad I trusted my gut.

And so grateful for you all. For listening and cheering us on.

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On 5/11/2018 at 10:18 PM, quark said:

 

Wow, I had no idea you were writing a blog! How cool is that. Now I am so curious to know if your DS will be in our vicinity for his PhD. 😊 Warmest congrats to him (and to you, proud mama!).

I just started blogging.  We finally moved into our new house and now that we are settled, I realized just how much less time teaching only 3 takes. 

Yes, he is Berkeley bound. He still has no clue what he is doing about housing, but hopefully something will work out in the next 2 months! 

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On 5/11/2018 at 3:59 AM, 8FillTheHeart said:

I wrote about ds on my blog: https://treasuredconversations.wordpress.com/2018/05/01/to-infinity-and-beyond/ Super, super proud of ds.

Dd finished her freshman yr with a 4.0 with a triple major and double minor. 

My 2nd grader combines the strengths of both of those 2 without either one's weaknesses.  I have no idea what our future is going to look like. 🙂 She started playing the violin in Feb. I know nothing about the violin, but she must be learning quickly bc between Feb and April she caught up with all of the kids in the group who had been playing since Aug.

Karen, thanks so much for this blog post! It brought tears to my eyes as my middle son is 8 and is just like your son. How encouraging!

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6 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I just started blogging.  We finally moved into our new house and now that we are settled, I realized just how much less time teaching only 3 takes. 

Yes, he is Berkeley bound. He still has no clue what he is doing about housing, but hopefully something will work out in the next 2 months! 

 

Hurray!!! Please ask him to reach out if he needs any assistance (you have my email addy!). And A will be on campus pretty often and can meet him for lunch or show him around if he needs anything too.

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Also want to brag about DS. DS, historically, has had a more difficult time navigating social situations. In the past 6 months, he has come so far. He has learned to let things roll off his back, to be less shy, and to manage frustration better. Today, he walked up to a stranger to ask a question. Before he went, he whispered to me, "Mommy, usually when I do something I am not comfortable with, I feel better afterwards." Then, he plucked up his courage and went out of his comfort zone. Afterwards, he was elated. "Mommy, I feel so happy that I did it!" 

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We ended up deciding to keep fall birthday Dd4.5 in Pre-K another year, instead of attempting kindergarten as her psychologist wanted us too.  It was stressful, but I think it was the right choice.  She has a wonderful Pre-K teacher and she has just blossomed in the last few months.  She’s outgrown some challenging behaviors and has starting drawing really amazing creative pictures.  Like a vampire baseball player?  Or a mouse-saurus?  Wonderful use of color and detail too.  This was a totally unexpected talent, she never showed any special interest in art before.  No amazing academic accomplishments but I’m starting to feel less anxious about her social development.  That’s where she needs growth now, and it’s starting to come together.

 

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My oldest was one of six students nominated by his college for an academic award.  He was notified this week by the national selection committee that he has advanced to the final round of the competition.  His last final is at the end of next week.  He will be fly home for a couple of days before flying off again to his summer internship.  

My middle kiddo had a great freshman year at his liberal arts school.  We went up to visit a few times, and it made me very happy to see how many close friendships he has developed.  He has also taken advantage of the small class sizes to really get to know his professor and has begun conducting research with one of them.  He had a big athletic competition last weekend that we attended.  A couple of his professors were in attendance cheering him on and another prof that couldn't make it sent him a very nice congratulatory email at the end of the day.  As I write this, he is on a plane heading out to the West Coast to compete in the NCAA Elite Eight.  My H and I are flying out Monday morning.  I have never been any further west than Chicago and am looking forward to seeing California!

My high school junior met all of her academic goals for the year.  She is now working to finalize her college list. 

Homeschooling has been an amazing journey.  I will be sorry to see it end, but at the same time, it is so wonderful to see my kids so happy in the next phase of their lives.

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DD6 started at more a rigorous ballet school in January, but worked hard enough in the last four months to be able to graduate her class and move up to the next level that usually begins at age 9! She was thrilled. In other news, she slept through the night half of the last six days, which perhaps has me even more excited than her moving up in ballet! lol.

DS8 is learning to self-monitor and this week told me he needed to go calm down in bed for a little bit and actually came out ready to have a go at daily tasks after that instead of just picking on other kids or doing a million things that are not on topic. This was a really big step for us. I was also super impressed when he read not just Harry Potter, but then classics like The Secret Garden, Little Princess, and Narnia books all in German.

DD3 went from knowing 10 words 1 year ago on her 2nd bday to talking our ears off a week ago on her 3rd bday. She had tubes put in last year (we'd had no idea she was mostly deaf from fluid build up in her ears!) and didn't really talk for about 4 months after the surgery,  but then she had this huge language explosion that has been super interesting to watch.

I'm not sure DD4 has much to brag about, except that she's a great kid to be around and always lights up a room. 🙂 She'd do a lot more if I wasn't always so busy with the lot of them... Lol. So she's only halfway through Singapore 1A. But she can almost swim half the pool!

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On 5/11/2018 at 10:47 PM, quark said:

Life could not be more different for us than when I first started posting here. My worries then were all about my very asynchronous but highly academic kiddo whom I could never put my finger on. Kiddo was always so hard to decipher sometimes. Sooooo asynchronous I tell you. So I always fell back on my tried and trusted strategy. Make this kid laugh. Let humor save the day and if humor did not, let ice cream and a darn good vintage film be our solace.

Now here we are...kiddo's 15 but so much more "evened out" that things that used to be awkward and hard and clumsy aren't anymore or...maybe we've learned to change our mindset about fitting into our world and instead, letting our world fit us. Let's just say that you can never, never predict what your kid will be like when they are 6 or 10 or 13. Growth takes so many, many forms. Sometimes we just have to cry, yell, scream, bury ourselves in our work, (laugh when we can), ask the "silly" questions, and ride along the best we can.

This past year, we did not worry about academics or grades. When kiddo was applying to colleges last year, every thing felt like high stakes till I just refused to be stressed any more. This year, we both worked on things that meant a lot to us and we grew so much. My brag is that my kiddo is juggling life in a way that I could not be more proud of. This kid is among the bravest kids I know. My heart is so full. There is a lot going on with academics and achievement but it doesn't really occur to me when I think about what to brag...it's the growth, the incredible resilience and grit, the drive and knowledge of knowing what A wants in A's life and being willing to face risks and smile all along...I'm honestly so proud and humbled.

Please don't ever worry about doing things colleges want to see. Don't let making it into some elite college stop you from giving your homeschooling meaning and purpose. No college can ever predict who your child is meant to be. Let your homeschooling and later, college decisions be a vehicle but let your child do the driving. I used to wonder if I should have homeschooled differently with A. Now I don't wonder any more. There was a reason we had to do it the way we did. So glad I trusted my gut.

And so grateful for you all. For listening and cheering us on.

I just had to quote you to say I love this post!  I love all the bits of philosophy in it. I have found that the things that make me most proud of my children are hard to put into words.  It is seeing them be themselves fully in moments when I know they are actively overcoming obstacles that are personal battles.  It is when they enjoy life with an inner freedom to love what they love and to acknowledge with grace the things they don't like at all and offer that same freedom to others.  

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 I didn't think I had anything to post this year, as we've pretty much just been plugging away at school with no major excitement.  But this morning as I was helping my ds put together his costume he had made for a costume design class, I realized that my son had made a huge leap in executive functioning.  He had a very large project and was led through breaking this project into smaller, more manageable steps.  He had a few days where he was overcome with major anxiety that he wouldn't finish, but he didn't give up. And today (the day of the showcase) he had more technical difficulties and started to looked like he was going to have another anxiety attack, but instead he took a deep breath and figured out a solution. So, yeah, a huge win!

My oldest daughter also experienced a lot of growth.  She applied for a higher position within the newspaper and did not get it.  She had her heart set on it and pretty much fell apart for a day.  But then she pulled herself together with a lot of soul searching and realized that she still has a lot of maturing left to do.  She's modified her goals and set other goals for personal development. I'm so proud of her for dealing with a major disappointment, and honestly I am glad that she didn't get it since I think she learned so much more about herself and will benefit more in the long run.  

My younger dd is just happily plugging away. She's my least intense kid and so her highs and lows stay on the chart. She's been working 12 hours a week in ballet and just performed in a show with the upper school and is still on cloud nine. 

 

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I haven't kept up with the forums due to a super crazy year that included buying a fixer upper home that we are currently redoing ourselves. I hopped in to try to figure out what I am ordering for DS9's next math and came across this thread and thought I would jump in.
First off, congrats to all of your amazing kiddos! I love reading all their unique accomplishments.
Now here are my brags -
DD7 - Her handwriting has gotten to the point she can write neater than me (not that my handwriting is great but she is 7)

For my own knowledge I had both kids doing state testing and she scored PHS (post high school) in listening - which lead to her laughing hysterically since she gets in trouble all the time for not listening. Her percentile rank for most of the subtests were over 90% and 3 were 99%.

Her piano playing has come along nicely.

DS9 - He has really become a standout in piano. His piano teacher let me know that he is her ringer. And other students' parents have made the same comment to her. He has become a performer not just someone who plays piano.

He also did great on his state testing. He score PHS on total math and the math subtests.

He has gotten over his fear of riding his bike without his training wheels. We had taken them off a while ago and he did great at first but then quit riding his bike and wanted the training wheels back on because he was scared. On Mother's Day we went for a 5ish mile bike ride with tons of slopes and twists and turns and he did amazing!

 

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Such amazing kids!

 

Oldest DS (11): Scored "Skilled" on his last essay for Big History Project.  It's geared toward high schoolers and he's done zero academic writing up until this year so he's pretty happy about it.  (And so am I!) He also just got notice that he earned another scholarship for piano lessons.

DD (7): completed vision therapy and finally likes to read!  She finished Winn-Dixie on her own which is HUGE for her, she wasn't able to read more than a page on her own before therapy. She's also progressing in gymnastics and can do a handstand

DS (7): made great strides in handwriting and has taken a great interest in history (thank you Horrible Histories!) 

 

I guess we don't have any huge accomplishments, but I'm very happy with where they all are and what they have done this year. And I didn't actually realize that until this thread, so thank you for posting!

 

ETA: Thank you for that post, Quark.  It hit home. 

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A small one 🙂

 DD13 switched from Latin to Spanish this year, and took a year of it at the college. It hasn’t been the easiest class for her, although she got an A both semesters. she’s good at remembering vocabulary and doing translations, but struggled to actually speak it. 

Last night we went to a very authentic tortarilla  owned  by a (now quite elderly) gentleman from Mexico City and his family. DD was able to order and carry on a conversation with the owner, completely in Spanish. Not perfectly or without hesitation, but still a big change. The owner obviously got a kick out of it :). 

 

 

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My oldest, dd 19, has finished her first year at NAU.  It was a rough year.  Roommate issues, difficult classes issues, and just being on her own issues.  But she survived.

My middle child, ds 17, graduated from the local community college on Saturday.  He had a 3.9998, which was rounded to a 4.0.  Officially he was a valdictorian.  He will be transferring to Rensselaer Polytechinic Institute in the fall.  This is scary, he is so ready to be out on his own and so scared.

My youngest, ds14, is happily creating his own dungeons and dragons adventures.  He is attending a weekly game and having fun.  He is muddling through classes that he mostly tolerates although he had discovered online classes and those classes were a hit.  He is signed up for more online classes in the fall.

It was a year of a lot of transitions.  More coming next year too. Eek!

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OK, my kids finally finished school today, so I will just list a few accomplishments this school year.  Nothing fancy, but still good stuff.

Eldest:

  • Honor roll all 3 trimesters.  This was very hard work for her.  Great attitude about school!
  • Made the "Accelerated Reader Wall of Fame" (requires 150 AR points).
  • Participated fully in band, choir, all 4 6th grade sports, and youth group. 
  • Won 1st & 2nd place at the area track tournament.
  • Advanced to Cho Dan Bo in TKD (next step is black belt).
  • Ran five 5Ks.
  • Earned the "level award" for AHG Explorers and crossed over to Pioneers.
  • Participated on her gym's invitation-only performance (gymnastics/dance/cheer) team; performed at various events including a pro basketball game.
  • Personal behavior and attitude at home is improving.

Youngest:

  • Honor roll 2 trimesters.  She is working on focusing on the goal ....
  • Earned over 700 AR points (read & tested on over 100 middle-school-appropriate books), which was the highest in the school ... possibly highest in the school's history, I don't know....
  • Participated fully in band, 3 school sports, and youth group.  Continued to practice piano for fun.  Is doing great on Clarinet - one of the best in grades 6-8 (at her school).
  • Advanced to Cho Dan Bo in TKD (next step is black belt).
  • Is progressing very well and making good friends of all ages at horse riding.
  • Made progress on lots of AHG badges and service hours; mostly completed requirements for the level award, but she did not meet the age cut-off, so she has another year to work on it.
  • Getting better at taking ownership of cooking, pet care, and similar.
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We mostly just plugged along.  Oldest did finish Vision Therapy and is becoming a reader.  She also is really becoming a good little actress she took over a new part in the last play with one days notice and was cast for a much bigger part this time.  

Youngest had a good solid gymnastics season & qualified to regionals. She also was the only 3rd grader cast with a speaking part in the play.  

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After a good SAT score at the end of 7th, DS14 took EE at JHU-CTY last summer, will go back again this year, loves his AoPS, Robotics, piano and trombone.  He had an excellent (if not entirely too full) 8th grade year (blended/hybrid/homeschool) full of high school classes.  He came into his own as a soccer player and played U19 this spring in prep for HS school soccer.  He is finishing a UAEC college prep class and will take a couple on campus classes (CS152 and SP101) in the fall at a local college.  He really grew up a lot this year.

Younger brother (DS12) just rocked the SAT himself, loves his AoPS, took several high school level classes, won a local chess tournament, went AG Nationals for the third straight year, had a great FLL season, and is a U14 soccer stud himself!  

Thanks for the opportunity to share😎

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DS5 has recently begun really helping out around the house, & it has been GREAT! He’s always “helped” in that little kid kind of way (you know, where they make a mess, get distracted, then wander off)... but now he’s legitimately lightening my load. This week he has swept, taken out the trash several times, washed all non-breakable dishes, put away laundry, cleaned the windows, & helped me prep the big box of veggies for meals over the next two weeks. DH is gone 4-6 days at a time for work, so having help has been awesome!

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I hadn't posted here yet because it mostly feels like we're just plodding along with not much interesting happening. But then I was thinking about my middle child and how she's grown so much in the last year in her willingness to try things that don't come easily to her and in sticking with them even when they're hard. She has a bit of anxiety and perfectionism, so trying new things and persistence in difficult tasks is huge!

 

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I love reading about everyone’s accomplishments. I don’t post as much as most folks (I work full time too!) but I have followed your kids for years and learned so much. Thank you!

DD (13) had a remarkable year. Many of her closest friends chose to go to school this year so I worried a bit. But, it turned out to be a fantastic opportunity. She found a stronger group of friends and really came into her own. She started dating which has actually been very sweet and gentle so far. But, her social network is so rock solid and loving and she needed that.

She’s also a professional aerialist and stilter in a great troupe. She’s had such diverse performance opportunities including at a TEDx Talk! She’s very well respected throughout the broader community and was the youngest allowed to participate in national training to become an instructor! She TAs for a couple of aerial classes and is a camp counselor at a couple of outdoor camps this summer. She volunteered for her 3rd year at a preschool. She’s amazing with younger kids and everyone keeps offering her positions! 

Huge growth in confidence with school. She is rocking AoPS on her own now. Has really solid writing skills. She’s come so far from her perfectionist years and has been more daring. She originally had a 2e diagnosis back around age 9 and I often wonder if it would still manifest in testing if we retested. I feel like all the efforts we’ve made over the years have finally started to yield benefits we had hoped.

I feel like this has been one of our best years—she’s just grown so much as a person and academically.

She is now planning on Circus school rather than college, and I’ve come to terms with it! College can always come later but she’s still getting the rigorous academic experience for high school! We just have more freedom to do it the way we’d prefer...

 

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My 25yo BFA girl has learned that art is not a well-paying career, found a temporary alternative, and is working on a plan to improve her income, while still keeping up her student loan payments. It's been a really hard year for her and I am very proud of her not just acceptance of reality but devising a plan to get herself to a better place, dealing with roommate and job changes, and keeping her independence.

Both of my other 20-somethings are working 2 jobs this summer, one because he loved his college job so much he just can't quite give it up, and one because she loves being needed and is senior lifeguard at the pool, plus she wants to pay off her car loan asap. These kids know the value of a $, so I guess all our [necessary] penny-pinching has paid a bonus in their lives.

And my just-turned 15yo tested into community college classes this spring and will be starting there p/t in the fall (with art, her strongest subject). She also won 2nd place in the local National Arts Council contest and won $100, got asked to help (for pay) at a local art daycamp, and is going to be nannying for friends (for pay) for another week this summer. Between that and two camp weeks, I'll barely see her. I think the biggest advance, though, is the way she took charge of planning her study schedule and plotting out her assignments for the week. This is the VERY FIRST YEAR we finished math on schedule, and it was all her commitment. 

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DS will say that he biggest accomplishment was making a birdie at one of the most challenging golf courses in CA. 

This was my 3rd year coaching his Jr. Lego League team. They were invited to display their project at a local conservancy to educate students about the Southern CA steelhead trout. They've been invited by the state park to display their project as well.

DS took first place in his spelling bee. He grew a lot in contest math this year. He was earned the top scorer award on his MOEMS team and ranked in the top 10% competing as a 3rd grader in the 4th-6th division. We were really fortunate that our local elementary school allowed him to join their team as a homeschooler. He also ranked 7th in Math Kangaroo. We succesfully made the transition to AOPS Pre-Algebra via a brief stint with Jousting Armadillos. It's been a really smooth process for him to work independently.  

He also earned TnT student of the year at our local Awana group.

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I love to hear what everyone's kids are doing!!   

DD16 is studying hard for the ACTs and scoring in the 30s on practice tests.  So, we went from "maybe we'll just go to community college" to "maybe we could actually get a partial scholarship somewhere!!"  Lol.  She is also going to try a sport in the fall (cross-country track).  Not a big deal for most, but she spent part of last year in a wheelchair, had surgery and physical therapy all year.  So, being able to run again is a big turn-around from last year.

DS15 has been breaking both club and team records in track & field this year (club season only has a few weeks left).  He just won the 2018 High School Boys Coach's Award for his team. 

DD13's art is being used as an advertisement for the art school.  She also got Honorable Mention in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards this spring.  She was also invited to audition for a dance company in August.

DD10 was also invited with her sister to audition for a dance company in August.    

DS3 has been taking his whining to a whole new level.  Does that count?  lol

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My rising college senior was notified yesterday that he has been named an Academic All-American.  He is only the 6th student in program history to be recognized with this award.

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DD17 has been doing research with a biology professor at a local university since last summer. Not only is she enjoying it, but she is excited that as of this summer she is being paid for it!

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I finally have a brag-worthy post to share. I hope you enjoy the journey. This was a huge accomplishment for Sacha.

On July 7, I shared this to FB:

Mom brag: Sacha wanted to attend San Diego Junior Lifeguard camp this summer, so I signed him up, not realizing that the swim test for 9-11 year olds was a fairly difficult standard (100 yards in 2 minutes, 30 seconds). Sacha can swim for a long time, but he has a 2 year growth delay, and isn't the fastest swimmer. His first swim test, he finished in 4 minutes -- 90 seconds too slow. For 6 months, we swam together. It wasn't easy for him. Sacha has never really had to work hard for something before, and this was a real test of his tenacity. He tried out over and over again, each time improving, but still missing the mark. Today, was the last tryout of the year to make the camp, which starts in 2 weeks. It was now or try again next year. He made it in 2 minutes, 29 seconds. I was so happy for him.

The camp is a month long, and, from what I'm told, the kids really have to earn the title of SD Junior Lifeguard. The training culminates in the recruits jumping off the OB pier and swimming to shore with all their gear. He still has a tough road ahead of him to graduate as a JG, but I'm so proud of the determination and persistence he has shown in pursuing something that doesn't come easily for him. 

Then, on July 23, I posted this:

Sacha is off to lifeguard camp, and I am a nervous wreck. And, I'm never a nervous wreck when my kids go off to camp. He's just worked so hard to get here, it doesn't come easily for him (the physical stuff), and I want it to go well so much that my insides ache. It is so difficult to just stand back and watch and hope that they get what they desperately desire. This parenting business is rough.

On August 13, I posted this series of videos, documenting Sacha's jump from the Ocean Beach pier:
 

 

 

 

 

 

And then, yesterday, Sacha officially became a San Diego Junior Lifeguard:

 

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OMG, jumping off that tall pier looks so freakin' scary!  And what a long swim to shore; how long did it take?  Was that a fireboat spraying them with water?   It does look like an awesomely cool program and an "only in San Diego" rite of passage.  

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8 minutes ago, daijobu said:

OMG, jumping off that tall pier looks so freakin' scary!  And what a long swim to shore; how long did it take?  Was that a fireboat spraying them with water?   It does look like an awesomely cool program and an "only in San Diego" rite of passage.  

 

The fireboat was spraying them with water for fun, after they made the jump, since they were all on an adrenaline high. Their counselors were waiting for them at the bottom with lilypads for the kids to hang out on while they collected all the kids. They practiced swimming to the mile buoy, so the swim to shore was no big deal for them. Sacha had previously attended surf camp for three summers, and he is definitely much more comfortable in deep water and in the surf break now. He was much more timid before. Now, he loves boogie boarding and body surfing in the waves It has been incredibly good for him, and he made a really great friend. They also learned about sun protection, rip currents, and basic CPR. The older kids do more stuff, and it gets more physically demanding in the older groups. For Hawaii Day, Sacha actually ran 4 miles and swam 1 -- I couldn't believe it! And, yes, definitely a rite of passage here. He is standing a little bit taller than he did before. 🙂

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One other cool thing is that parents and the public could jump off the pier too (it's the only time that it is allowed). You had to pay $75, which went towards the Prevent Drowning Foundation (which helps to fund scholarships for low income JGs). For Hawaii Day (also a fundraiser), the JGs collectively swam and ran the distance to HI. Lots of people participated in the jump, and many of the adults struggled to overcome their fear. Everyone was really encouraging. There were also surfers and parents on SUP boards waiting in the water to congratulate the kids.

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