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Homeschool Challenge: 80's and 90's Style K-12 Curriculum in a Box for $2000


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I'll just fill one box for K-8 and leave the other for someone else to fill high school stuff (my oldest is only 9).

Spelling: print out Dictation Day by Day

Grammar: print out Elementary Grammar by Maxwell and Grammarland

Phonics: Ordinary Parents Guide

History: Kingfisher

Science: some kind of encyclopedia-I have no experience here but I'm sure a quick Google search would turn up something good.

Greek and Latin: a good grammar book for use in late middle/high school. Or maybe Hey Andrew/Latin's Not so Tough starting with books 4 (they can catch up on the earlier vocabulary/alphabet.

Math: I like R&S, but that would never fit. Maybe Gattengo? I've never looked at MEP, but maybe that?

Sketchbook

Bible

The rest of the room would be for books. A few for each grade level. Hopefully I would also have access to a library.

I feel like I'm forgetting a subject...

This is interesting to think through. I tend to think of every subject we do as essential, but I see where I could definitely trim things if life moves in a difficult direction.  And it's always good to remember that, even though we strive for high academic standards on this forum, many many people-especially in the past- have had high academic standards with little.

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Posted (edited)

What actually did fit in one box --for the elementary grades:  I have and have used everything except the inflatable globe. 😉

Phonics Pathways  ( or I'd access Alpha Phonics, Word Mastery, or Blend Phonics from Don Potter's site)

* extra and not actually in the box* I like the Treadwell readers (like this one ) or the Progressive Road to Reading (here's one book)   -- could access these online or print off selected bits when able. 

All six of the Miquon books, and the Lab Sheet Annotations---- I guess I'm carrying the C-rods in my purse-- they are essential. 🙂

R&S math, for grade 4, grade 5, and grade 6 (student text and TE's) --- compass and protractor in my purse as well. 

Spelling Plus, or just use the handout pdf  (I printed the pdf and put it the box.) 

** I'd use the reading lists from places like Sonlight, Build Your Library, and Ambleside Online to see what could be found for extra reading at the library or other inexpensive sources.  I would also use Librivox quite a bit (download and listen offline).   These things are nice extras, but I'm not building the whole schooling around them-- I don't want to be tech dependent in order to teach. **

D'Aulaire's Greek Myths

The Complete Chronicles of Narnia  -- I have a hardcover, but here's less expensive softcover...

The Artner Reader's Guide to American History  & Everything You Need to Know About American History Homework 

I'd use this^ to help organize American history and I'd use the booklists to slot in extra reading from the library or wherever I could find the books. 

What Your (3rd, 4th, 5th, & 6th) Grader Needs to know (Yes, I do have and use the first editions!-- they look like this) 🙂

Black Ships Before Troy - by Rosemary Sutcliff, Alan Lee, illus.

The Wanderings of Odysseus - Sutcliff and Lee again

** I really want to dump everything out of the box and do more re-arranging so that I can fit Tenggren's Golden Tales from the Arabian Nights in.

Language Arts and Math reference charts from CLE  --- I'd do lots of copywork/dictation along with grammar/writing instruction like 8Fills outlines in this thread.   The CLE Language Charts would be a visual help and a scope and sequence to help tie it together. 

I wish I had room for a dictionary (NOT a kid one) and atlases, and a globe. -- ETA: if I took out Phonics Pathways, I could squeeze in my world atlas.  If I took out the the student books for R&S math (and just taught using the TE's and wrote problems out) I could add a dictionary and my U. S. atlas.   And hey, I found an inflatable globe that could be laid flat-ish and packed in!  🙂

 

Edited again... I'd use that tech to access lots of music, art, etc. online.  Ambleside Online's artist study and composer study would make a good starting point.

I did some re-arranging and managed to squeeze in my Usborne Science Encyclopedia. 🙂  I would add in Ambleside's Nature Study as much as possible (using online resources).

And I wanted to add my loupes for nature study/art/having fun.  Those would have to jump in my purse as well.  Along with my Bible, and my personal copy of The Hobbit. Oh, and SETQuiddler,  and Blink are in the purse, too.

Obviously, my purse is related to Mary Poppins' carpetbag. 

Edited by Zoo Keeper
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Hah. I'd buy a few fun books to read for our history and science (I'd be sad to be restricted to 80s and 90s stuff, though -- we've been reading biology, and our knowledge of evolution and DNA really does keep expanding!) and I'd buy myself some nice pens and Clairefontaine notebooks (they are a splurge, but they are so lovely) and... we'd have more or less the homeschool we have now, with slightly less snazzy books to read. 

Oh, and I'd be sad not to have the Russian cartoons we currently watch 😞. They are new and they are great. 

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37 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Hah. I'd buy a few fun books to read for our history and science (I'd be sad to be restricted to 80s and 90s stuff, though -- we've been reading biology, and our knowledge of evolution and DNA really does keep expanding!) 

80's and 90's inspired. Pointing out where and why you felt the need to update is beneficial for everyone to hear.

Recently I read something that said "patterns" are not "rules". Noticing and using patterns as our default IS helpful! Assigning more worth to rules than we assign worth to people is not helpful.

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3 minutes ago, Hunter said:

80's and 90's inspired. Pointing out where and why you felt the need to update is beneficial for everyone to hear.

Recently I read something that said "patterns" are not "rules". Noticing and using patterns as our default IS helpful! Assigning more worth to rules than we assign worth to people is not helpful.

Hmmm, good point! 

Well, let's see... for Russian cartoons, I was actually totally planning to use the Soviet-era stuff I was brought up on, because some of those cartoons are very good and they are also almost legendary at this point -- part of everyone's lore. 

So I looked up the cartoons, and while they were genuinely cool and lovely... there was also, like, at most an hour and a half of each cartoon! 😂 They had definitely expanded in length in my head due to their status. That was definitely not going to work for us as the sum total of my kids' exposure to the Russian language. So we looked up some recent cartoons, and after some filtering, found really nice ones. So we watch those, with the occasional foray into the Soviet-era ones. 

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Posted (edited)

As for history and science, DD8 has expressed the most interest in things that involve genetics, and genetics has really gotten much better understood in the last 30 years. So reading currently material makes the most sense. 

I'm pretty sure I could make do with something non-current for history, though 🙂 . We just read fun stuff and aren't all that serious about it. 

As for math and writing and stuff like that, we just use whatever comes out of my head 😉 . I guess my brain didn't exist in its current form in the 80s, but otherwise, I suppose it matches the parameters?? Is going the DIY route considered 80s- and 90s-inspired? 

Edited by Not_a_Number
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1) Membership to a public library with an excellent e-book collection. Here, that's about $50/yr if you are not a local resident or cannot prove residency. I believe the NYPL has a similar program. Download books at off hours, or when you can get onto someone else's wifi, even if it means sitting in a McDonald's parking lot.  Use this for literature, science, and history. If you are physically close enough to the library, take advantage of in person resources as well, but joining a library that is far away but has excellent e-books would be my choice. Do kids' kindles come with the FreeTime book library, or do you have to buy that separately? (I honestly don't know, but there are really a lot of good kids' books on the FreeTime options if that's available). Most libraries will have digital access to something for foreign language for high school.

 

2) The Robinson Curriculum digital archives (this will give a lot of older resources, primary source documents, and materials) and Ray's Arithmetic.  Hopefully, you can get these on an SD card. Can you get a CD-Rom reader for a tablet?? It would be a lot to download over a dataplan, but if it could be preloaded, would be extremely useful. 

Saxon Math from 5/4 through high school

Cheap college math texts starting with Lial's BCM through college algebra.

set of c-rods

 

3) Writing Road to Reading 

 

4) Zoo/natural history museum membership IF there are not local resident free days (here, all the local museums and zoos are free on Tuesdays, so I wouldn't bother to purchase if budget was so tightly limited). One slightly older edition college textbook for biology, chemistry and physics for reference or use by high school students. 

 

Paper, pencils, crayons and other consumable supplies. 

 

As a musician, I want to include a musical instrument of some form, but space is definitely a concern there. Solfege might be a good option, if a parent has enough background to sing on pitch. If so,  the CLE music LU's 1-8 would be a good place to start, and not take up too much space. 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

As for history and science, DD8 has expressed the most interest in things that involve genetics, and genetics has really gotten much better understood in the last 30 years. So reading currently material makes the most sense. 

I'm pretty sure I could make do with something non-current for history, though 🙂 . We just read fun stuff and aren't all that serious about it. 

As for math and writing and stuff like that, we just use whatever comes out of my head 😉 . I guess my brain didn't exist in its current form in the 80s, but otherwise, I suppose it matches the parameters?? 

The parameters are as tight or loose as is helpful. Start tight, to make sure you are not missing an opportunity to grow in some way, and then when you hit a roadblock where the parameters are making you do something ridiculous, widen the parameters. If you start too wide, and give up too quickly, you miss the opportunity to grow. If you don't give up something quick enough you build the entire remaining curriculum on an foundation that is unhelpful.

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5 minutes ago, Hunter said:

The parameters are as tight or loose as is helpful. Start tight, to make sure you are not missing an opportunity to grow in some way, and then when you hit a roadblock where the parameters are making you do something ridiculous, widen the parameters. If you start too wide, and give up too quickly, you miss the opportunity to grow. If you don't give up something quick enough you build the entire remaining curriculum on an foundation that is unhelpful.

I think the thing for me is that everything we're serious about is completely DIY 🙂

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11 hours ago, Hunter said:

How are unschoolers adapting in areas that are super locked down?

I was under the impression that most places are back to fully operational now. Outside of the initial lockdown, most places here did reopen in some capacity by this time last year. 

Has anyone else crossed state lines and been unable to get the inperson appointments necessary to get the resident status or ID that they need to gain access to specific educational opportunities, unschooling or traditional? No. Moving states would complicate things. I would rely on my former library’s online service, purchase library discards if available, look for little free libraries, EPIC books/kindle unlimited subscription. Wifi at McD’s or at a public school hotspot when our data was low. 
Here the DMV finally announced that they will never reopen for walk in appointments, no matter how open the state is. I love DMV appointments! I hate waiting all day. 

Obviously this is all just really dependent on the specific situation, dynamics and location. I skipped over a lot of comments so maybe I missed additional details outside of the OP.  I know that when I’m in crisis mode, my reaction is to just survive as best I can. Grabbing my box of school would be the last thing on my mind when fleeing my home.  

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In the city, when things first locked down, opportunities to access public wifi did not exist.

Here in the open desert, even when the library closed, wifi was available OUTSIDE and security guards were employed OUTSIDE. At times, to remain outside was impossible, even for a short amount of time. But the desert temperatures are extreme. At one point in the 24 hour day, it is usually possible to be outside for awhile. When it 115 degrees in the afternoon, it goes down to the 90s at dawn. When it is below freezing at night, it is often 50 in the afternoon. I choose here over the city for as long as people fear infection and take steps to reduce what they fear.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, AnneGG said:

Obviously this is all just really dependent on the specific situation, dynamics and location. I skipped over a lot of comments so maybe I missed additional details outside of the OP.  I know that when I’m in crisis mode, my reaction is to just survive as best I can. Grabbing my box of school would be the last thing on my mind when fleeing my home.  

Nope, you don't grab your box as you flee. That is why things need to be in print.

This is a theoretical box that awaits you. A box that is maybe a gift or a box that you can purchase with funds from a new charter school in your new place.

You travel to your new place with a carry-on bag each.

Sure, you COULD make a box like this and take it with you or mail it ahead of you.

This is just a thread that someone can click on  to glean ideas if certain types of scenarios befall them, and they need to make a lot of choices and purchases quickly.

This is starting over from scratch.

Edited by Hunter
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27 minutes ago, Dmmetler said:

1) Membership to a public library with an excellent e-book collection. Here, that's about $50/yr if you are not a local resident or cannot prove residency. I believe the NYPL has a similar program. Download books at off hours, or when you can get onto someone else's wifi, even if it means sitting in a McDonald's parking lot.  Use this for literature, science, and history. If you are physically close enough to the library, take advantage of in person resources as well, but joining a library that is far away but has excellent e-books would be my choice. Do kids' kindles come with the FreeTime book library, or do you have to buy that separately? (I honestly don't know, but there are really a lot of good kids' books on the FreeTime options if that's available). Most libraries will have digital access to something for foreign language for high school.

 

2) The Robinson Curriculum digital archives (this will give a lot of older resources, primary source documents, and materials) and Ray's Arithmetic.  Hopefully, you can get these on an SD card. Can you get a CD-Rom reader for a tablet?? It would be a lot to download over a dataplan, but if it could be preloaded, would be extremely useful. 

 

I posted exact devices so we can share what would be possible on these exact devices. I do not have this exact Kindle; I have owned an older version. I have never used any recent version of Freetime. I hope people can share how to make best use of these options. Someone could be saved a lot of money and time if they are warned that they cannot do something they assumed that they could.

I have used a free month of Amazon unlimited and kept it for another month when I had limited access to my new library and already lost access to some of the things back in the city.

I do not think we can buy anything to read CD's from a tablet. And beware that large pdfs freeze. 

Right now, I cannot access content that I have stored on a CD, and if I could buy a CD reader for a tablet, I 'd love to learn more about that option!

If anyone has experience with how specific pdfs work on a tablet, please share that. I have used Layer's of Learning pdf's on a variety of tablets over the years and had nothing but success. I have found them more sluggish in e-ink devices.

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Posted (edited)

And the second box -- jr. high/high school emphasis...

Please reinforce the bottom of this box before lifting it. 😉   Yes-- all this went in ONE box.  All this is stuff I own and have used.

I've tried to give actual physical books, and let the tech dependent things be extras if ability is there.  I do think the physical materials I've listed could get a student ready for community college, if student (and teacher) worked through it with consistency and with understanding.  I've also tried to give titles that most average teachers and students could work through with success.

I also worked with older editions in an effort to keep the costs down. 

Key to Algebra - whole set, student and teacher booklets -- very good resource for breaking down Pre-A/ Alg 1 concepts.

Tobey and Slater Beginning Algebra and Student Solutions Manual  -- very similar to Lials, which you could easily sub.  Older editions are much cheaper and work just fine.

Tobey and Slater Intermediate Algebra and Student Solutions Manual -- once again, older editions are just fine.

I managed to squeeze in MUS Geometry (literally!) simply because I have the older softcover edition. The newer hardcovers might not be so squishable.  I fully admit to wishing I could have squeezed in Jacobs' Geometry (2nd edition) instead.

** MEP could be downloaded and used offine as well. **  

 

Science Matters by Hazen and Trefil

Conceptual Physical Science Explorations, student text and TE.  I linked to the second edition, but the one I put in the box is the first edition.  Because that's what I have.  This text has a good, basic overview of physics, basic chem, earth science, and astronomy. 

Apologia Biology, student text and tests/solutions. I put the 2nd edition in the box, because that's what I have.   You could easily sub in Miller/Levine bio if you prefer that.  I have both.  They took up about the same space in the box.  I did not include the TE for Miller/Levine-- too big.  Apologia made it in the box because both the student and teacher materials took up less space than Miller/Levine.

**PBS/NOVA would be a good free source for documentaries and interesting science content; access when able.**

 

Two volumes (I used the TE's ) from the America Reads series by Scott Foresman.  There is Explorations in Literature (8th), Patterns in Literature (9th), Traditions in Literature (10th), and then The United States in Literature, England in Literature, and Classics in World LiteratureHere is a thread that gives more info and ISBN's on these.   I randomly picked Explorations and Traditions for the box. 

Warriner's Grammar and Composition-- I have the whole series; I put in the 9th grade book and called it good enough. Seton still sells an answer key for this older, OOP edition

The Lively Art of Writing-- yes, the suggested topics are dated, but the instruction is very good. 

I have a print out from a school website on MLA formatting-- easy to use.   Easy to squish in the box.

**Purdue OWL could be accessed online as well**

 

Henle Latin, First Year

Henle Grammar

Memoria's guides that go with them -- once again, I have older editions (like this one) that are just fine.   You can take two years to do Henle's First Year and all will be well.

** my other choice is good old Latin Book One by Scott and Horn (and Book Two); student books and answer keys 🙂 -the files used to be on Yahoo, but are now on Facebook**

 

Odyssey, Fitzgerald trans.  -- I have this one... but you can get it cheaper...

The Lord of the Rings, in one volume. --- used copies abound

Animal Farm by Orwell-- easy to find used

To Kill a Mockingbird -- same as above

I just wouldn't want to leave these ones behind or have to read them online.  Print it is. These books are non-negotiables in my house, so they go in the box. 😉

**I would use the library for extra reading if I could; Librivox and Lit2Go also could be downloaded and used offline.**

 

K12's World History: Our Human Story--

I like this title^ very much (and that's what went in the box), but something like Glencoe's World History (by Spielvogel)  could easily be subbed. 

Paul Johnson's History of the American People,  plus my little booklet versions of the U. S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

Read/listen to current events *from multiple sources* on a consistent basis.  Newspapers, magazines, online, offline-- use a variety.

History is where I would really, really hope to have good library/kindle access to flesh things out.  Biographies, documentaries, etc. Reading lists from Sonlight, BYL, Ambleside Online are good places to look for extra reading ideas. 

Reading Like a Historian could be downloaded and used offline. 

 

Edited by Zoo Keeper
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2 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

I think the thing for me is that everything we're serious about is completely DIY 🙂

That has its advantages in this-you don't have to have student books and teacher manuals.

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3 minutes ago, LauraClark said:

That has its advantages in this-you don't have to have student books and teacher manuals.

Exactly! Just some notebooks and pens 😉 . And some books to read!! 

Hmmm, although what would we do for DD8's piano lessons? 😄 

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Really I have no idea but in the scenario of the older kids in 11th and 12th are in community college, can mom go and work with the youngers in the community college library that has WIFI?

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3 hours ago, Hunter said:

Nope, you don't grab your box as you flee. That is why things need to be in print. Sorry, I redact that sentence. I still don’t think I’d be focused enough to homeschool the way I prefer to in this situation and unschooling would be my response. 

This is a theoretical box that awaits you. A box that is maybe a gift or a box that you can purchase with funds from a new charter school in your new place.

You travel to your new place with a carry-on bag each.

Sure, you COULD make a box like this and take it with you or mail it ahead of you.

This is just a thread that someone can click on  to glean ideas if certain types of scenarios befall them, and they need to make a lot of choices and purchases quickly.

This is starting over from scratch. Clearly I’m not good at this game! I’ve started from scratch many times but I was the homeschooled kid not mom. I guess I’m just overthinking it. 🙂 

 

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4 hours ago, AnneGG said:

Obviously this is all just really dependent on the specific situation, dynamics and location. I skipped over a lot of comments so maybe I missed additional details outside of the OP.  I know that when I’m in crisis mode, my reaction is to just survive as best I can. Grabbing my box of school would be the last thing on my mind when fleeing my home.  

Our local library JUST opened June 1.

Yes it seemed excessive.

 

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36 minutes ago, cintinative said:

Really I have no idea but in the scenario of the older kids in 11th and 12th are in community college, can mom go and work with the youngers in the community college library that has WIFI?

Is said community college open to in person students?

Will they allow anyone on campus/in their library who is not a student?

Is the library open in the first place?

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7 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

Is said community college open to in person students?

Will they allow anyone on campus/in their library who is not a student?

Is the library open in the first place?

For us, the community college is wired—you don’t have to be in the library. You can totally sit in the parking lot.

Our public library and public schools also all turned their WIFI on and you could access from the parking lot. In addition, the public library and schools had hotspots specifically for k-12 students available. It wasn’t enough to video conference, but it was enough to access books for download, etc.

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On 6/5/2021 at 8:00 PM, Hunter said:

Here is your challenge:

1. You have $2,000.00 to spend on curriculum.

2. The following will be also be supplied: a new 5G cellphone, a new LTE LG Gpad Tablet (Android 9, 4 GB ram, 32 GB hardrive, additional SD card storage 64GB), and bluetooth keyboard and mouse for mom. Some sort of Magenta LTE/5G plan that is unlimited but throttled after "heavy" use, and includes 5-20 GB of hotspot wifi for the Kindle Fire Tablets. Each younger child will have a new Kindle Fire 10 plus tablet (4GB Ram, 32 GB hardrive, 64GB SD card) with keyboard, but not the additional Microsoft 365 package. Grades 11-12 will have an LG Gpad tablet package identical to mom's. Home wifi is NOT included or available. Younger children will not have data/wifi beyond the very limited hotspot wifi from mom's cell phone.

3. All books must fit into TWO regular sized Bankers Boxes.  https://www.officedepot.com/a/products/287154/Bankers-Box-StorFile-Standard-Duty-Storage/

4. Your curriculum must be for all of pre-K through grade 10. Free online community college classes and required textbooks will be supplied for grades 11-12, but the students must do their best to complete their lessons with the LG Gpad tablets supplied and whatever you choose to add from the $2,000.

Your curriculum must be 80's or 90's inspired and currently in print. You may use something that was not yet available in the 80's and 90's but it must be similar to something that was available in some way.

This is a generic gift package idea for experienced homeschooling families suddenly displaced by Covid in some way and forced to suddenly move into cramped and temporary quarters. They will have arrived with nothing but a single carry-on sized bag each.

 

Ha! This was us last September!!

What I learned: for my homeschool you absolutely need post-it’s, pencil sharpeners, scissors, rulers, and super glue. Why super glue? Because your plastic protractor will snap in a heavy backpack and it is dang near impossible to buy a protractor in a tiny town in the Midwest.

I will slightly tweak my choices and be back. I need to look up a few titles.

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Posted (edited)

Drawing: $11 for K-12

  • The Drawing Textbook ($11)
  • Paper to draw on ($1-5) depending on what you want them to draw on.

This is a solid drawing text, it can be restarted or repeated a few times and will give your student a wonderful foundation in drawing. It's appropriate for all skill levels from K/1 all the way through highschool level.

English Language Arts: $389 for K-8


Comprehensive Phonics + Spelling: $100

1) Open Court Blue Book + Gold Book
2) Ultimate Phonics Words and Sentence List

These resources can be used to teach reading and spelling from the elementary to secondary years. You can use them as PDFs on your devices (free) or have them printed and kept in a 3-ring binder (probably around $100 for printing + binders) but they will provide a Rock-Solid foundation in literacy so I'd put the money there.

This is a highly comprehensive combination that can be completed at a good pace in K-2, but will also serve as a remedial resource for grade 3-12, should you need it.

Vocabulary ( + Spelling) $147

3) Spelling Through Morphographs ($130)
This program will take a child who can spell well at a basic level (maybe 3rdish grade) and help them develop into a decent speller who can intelligently tackle complex, multi-syllable words. I would start it around the 4th grade level and complete the program within 1 year (10 months) for maximum effect.
It's still in print, or you can buy it used.

You can buy the two Presentation Books for $35-50 a piece, (so that's $70-100)
Student workbooks are about $30 each, so you can

The STM books are pricy, but retain their resale value well, so after the last child has finished the books you can sell them for about what you paid for them, minus inflation.
 

4) Meriam Websters Language Reference Set ($17)
Includes an adult-level Dictionary, Thesaurus and Vocabulary book that will serve well from a grade 5-adult level.
The vocabulary builder book is like work book that's well-thought out, but inconveniently small.

Composition ($42)

5) Overhead Writing Lesson Series ($30)
Strong Sentences
Powerful Paragraphs
Exceptional Essays

These e-books can be purchased on Scholastic.com, and you'd only need to print select pages for the students which you'd probably print at a local library. Each book contains 10-15 lessons, so you could complete all 3 books in a year with a capable student, but it's more likely that you'd cycle through some lessons a few times each year as your student matures.

I'd use these resources at the Gr3-Gr5 level to give gentle "do-able" lessons in composition. We'd combine it with a 3 subject notebook so that they can write practice compositions.

6) Clear Thinking and Writing ($12)

This a "Remedial College Text" that I think is well organized and highly accessible so I'd use it once my students were at at the Gr6 level. It's lessons are applicable at a Gr5-Adult level and can be revisited or referenced for years if needed

NOTE: I don't know enough about writing materials to pick something that will help turn a coherent writer into a stylish one, so I might wind up with kids who write well-organized but "plain" essays. I can think of worse fates, but I recommend someone think of what is good for teaching children "style" in the 6-10 grade level range. Maybe use Kilgallon for Highschool (regardless of the students age) after the finish the Clear Thinking and Writing book?

Mathematics $198 for K-12


Foundation K-1 ($15)

Opening up my word processor, and using clip art from the internet as needed I'd make a 2-sided

  • a 0-99 Chart
  • a geometric shapes poster
  • a place-value poster
  • 2 sheets of 11x17 printer paper

have them printed and laminated for durability.

Buy

  • a bag of dry Kidney or Lima beans
  • a bag of wooden toothpicks or craft sticks
  • 3x5 index cards

Download, but not print,  a couple of the Vintage Math books that were meant to be done orally with students if mom/dad need more guidance.

Probably Graded Work in Arithmetic Year 1 (Numbers to 20) and/or Year 2 (Numbers to 100)

Including the child in day-to-day life, counting drills, playing intentionally with numbers, teaching them money and letting them make small purchases in the store with me. Once they understand quantity I think is great to begin working with Parts-Whole and Comparing Relationships using a laminated sheets of 11x17 in papers as whiteboards and the beans as manipulatives.

Once they had a basic sense of numbers, and were ready to do more, I'd get:

Elementary Mathematics and Problem Solving ($88-68)

1) Right Start Arithmetic ($63** if you don't get the Worksheets too, then it's $43)

2) Word Problem Resources ($25)

This will take them through the fundamentals and have them confident and capable with basic mathematics.
Whether this takes 1 year or 3 depends on the individual student but should still result in a NT student being highly capable or ready for advanced level work by the end of 5th grade.

Upper Level Mathematics and Problem Solving ($50)

3) Basic College Mathematics with Early Integers used 1st, 2nd or 3rd edition ($5) used and with free-shipping on eBay.
5-Subject Notebook to do their work in ($10)

4) Beginning and Intermediate Algebra used 1st, 2nd or 3rd edition  ($5) or Algebra: A Combined Approach used 1st, 2nd or 3rd edition ($5) used and with free-shipping on eBay.
5-Subject Notebook to do the their work in ($10)

5) Geometry Tutor in a Book ($20)
If you get it used then you'll save some money, but you can buy it new for $20.

So, that's less than $600 for a solid education in Drawing and the 3Rs for K-12.

That leaves roughly $1400 for Science, History, Geography, Literature, Music, and any other extra-curriculars you'd like.

I'm going to choose older-editions of college level textbooks for science and history as they'll give me the most bang for my buck though exact editions escape me at this moment. I'll choose a Not-for-majors text and a For Majors text. That'll cost me $20-$40 dollars for 3-5 books that will last me for years.

Geography $110 for K-12

 

Geography ($110)

1) Runkle Geographyt ($85)
2) a few blow up Globe- Balls from the Dollar Tree ($5)
3) Uncle Joshs Outline Maps (20)

 

That's all I've got on the top of my head. I'll have to think about this more for the other subjects. I have some bankers-boxes so I might go and start putting textbooks into a box until I have the perfect combination.

Edited by mathmarm
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My choices:

Box 1:

Kingfisher History Encyclopedia: https://www.amazon.com/Kingfisher-History-Encyclopedia-Encyclopedias/dp/0753468751/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=kingfisher+history+encyclopedia&qid=1623100050&sr=8-1

Kingfisher Science Encylopedia: https://www.amazon.com/Kingfisher-Science-Encyclopedia-Encyclopedias/dp/0753473844/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=kingfisher+history+encyclopedia&qid=1623100050&sr=8-3

20th Century Book Treasury: https://www.amazon.com/20th-Century-Childrens-Book-Treasury-Picture/dp/0679886478/ref=sr_1_1?crid=TTQEEWNTMHWT&dchild=1&keywords=20th+century+children%27s+book+treasury&qid=1623100135&sprefix=20th+century%2Caps%2C238&sr=8-1&asin=0679886478&revisionId=&format=4&depth=1

Spelling Power: https://www.amazon.com/Spelling-Power-Fifth-Beverly-Adams-Gordon/dp/1888827580/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=spelling+power&qid=1623100735&sr=8-1

MLA guide--I can't find the one we use because ds is taking a college final and has it--but it has all of the grammar stuff there and style pointers. If I was tight on space, I would pack printouts of the MLA stuff and maybe send Strunk and White instead.

OPGTR

Vistas---spanish textbook.  I could stretch that into Spanish 1 & 2 without any problems. If I was just getting started, I'd probably use some of that same material with the younger kids getting them so vocabulary.

Box 2:

Singapore Primary Maths 1 workbooks only 1-6 series (1a/1b, etc.), I would include the 4-6 grading key.

MUS pre-algebra, geometry, algebra, and algebra 2 workbooks. I would buy the instructor stuff digitally. It's ok enough for grading, and you can download it. This has been the only program that would work for all of my kids with their different learning abilities. Algebra 2 is enough for graduation here, on a regular diploma, and it's also the base for community college classes. Before that, you have to go to remedial ones. If you can pass algebra 2, you can place into regular community college classes. 

If you place the MUS on their spines, the SM stuff fits around the edges and on top. Pack the cuisenaire rods, judy clock, protractors, and rulers on top. (And buy the protractor set that has the metal case, because stuff gets knocked around.)

---------------

Fill all nooks and crannies in the boxes with pencils, pink erasers, sharpeners, colored pencils, scissors, post-its, highlighters, a couple of dry erase boards, and a minimum of 20 dry erase pens + a good eraser, 2 good calculators + 1 cheap one.

 

For the preschooler: 20th Century Book Treasury, only I would do it a la Five in a Row or Peak with Books (Does anyone else remember Peek with Books? It was a very 90s thing. Here's a link if you don't: https://www.amazon.com/Peak-Books-Childhood-Resource-Balanced/dp/0766859487.) So, all of my early literacy, counting, crafts and fine motors would be based around that. I would spend a lot of time working on sequencing sounds with clapping, and doing fine motor work with crafts for table time--but much more time at the park, going on walks, etc. 

For the K'er: listen in on story time, cuisenaire rod work from the mathematics made meaningful series cards: https://www.amazon.com/ETA-hand2mind-Mathematics-Meaningful-Cuisenaire/dp/B008N183A2, a judy clock, phonics with OPGTR, and counting with a large set of plastic coins

For the 1st grader: listen in on story time, Singapore Primary Maths  workbook 1A/1B, clock and money work, phonics with OPGTR

For the 2nd grader: listen in on story time, Singapore PM 2A/2B, clock and money work, phonics with OPGTR moving onto readers on the kindle, 

For the 3rd-6th graders: Singapore PM xa/xb, history & science work through Kingfisher, spelling through Spelling Power. I'd do writing through history and science.

For grades 7-10: MUS, history and science work through Kingfisher and using those as springboards for ELA (researching for more info on websites and working on essays using MLA),  Spanish

-------------------

FWIW, the two skills that have mattered most AFA my kid doing well in college have been proficiency in math and proficiency in writing with the ability to do proper documentation in writing.  I am much less worried about content than I was 5-10 years ago, and I'm much more concerned with skill. 

I also have about 0 trust in my ability to access and download digital things.  I really hate it.  I have a ton of digital curricula that I've scanned and uploaded or purchased digitally over the years, but in my actual experience of using it---having a printer and toner and consistent signal when traveling is just difficult. It's also hard for kids to work off of screens.  

My dd really complained as her backpack had the Kingfishers in it.  They are heavy.  They also didn't travel particularly well. We also found that a binder was highly impractical. We did much better with composition notebooks without spines.

Homeschooling in hotels is ok.  Not ideal. In some ways, though, it was easier than being with family we were crashing with.  If you are temporarily dislocated, I would recommend traveling with math only. Everything else can catch up.  We are already talking wildfire evacuation again for this year in case we have to do it again and the kids had similar conclusions. 

If you are at the point of being relocated, there's enough other life going on that everyone just kind of wants the basics and not much else. In previous experiments, I packed art stuff. I didn't this go around. No one wanted it when I took it.

 

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2 hours ago, cintinative said:

Really I have no idea but in the scenario of the older kids in 11th and 12th are in community college, can mom go and work with the youngers in the community college library that has WIFI?

When the college is open. Back in the city, the community college library was closed for a very very very long time, and closes again and again with no notice. One good thing about Kindle Fire tablets is that they are designed  to download and hold borrowed library items to be consumed offline. An hour of wifi can mean bringing home a lot of stuff. It is worth practicing if you have not taken advantage of this feature.

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19 hours ago, Hunter said:Has anyone else crossed state lines and been unable to get the inperson appointments necessary to get the resident status or ID that they need to gain access to specific educational opportunities, unschooling or traditional? Here the DMV finally announced that they will never reopen for walk in appointments, no matter how open the state is.

Ds has been unable to get his license for months and months on end. There is currently a 6 month backlog on appointments. We have been using passports + utility bills when we need to show is for residence purposes.

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2 hours ago, AnneGG said:

 Sorry, I redact that sentence. I still don’t think I’d be focused enough to homeschool the way I prefer to in this situation and unschooling would be my response. 

 

 Clearly I’m not good at this game! I’ve started from scratch many times but I was the homeschooled kid not mom. I guess I’m just overthinking it. 🙂 

You BTDT experience is invaluable. What do kids feel in situations like this? How much can they be expected to focus? The reality of what a child can tolerate should make a difference in what a parent plans to teach.

Many of us here are happy to explore this topic if it is something you want to discuss. No pressure, though, and you have every right to your privacy!

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2 hours ago, vonfirmath said:

Our local library JUST opened June 1.

Yes it seemed excessive.

 

Sometimes things stay closed because of lack of funds, not the spread of virus. When this is being done, it is lied about until it cannot be lied about anymore.

I just dealt with something this afternoon. Whoever I was talking to was hiding something: I don't know what.

There is so much going on that we don't know about. And when we do find out, we often have to act fast. I had 3 days to pack up my life in the city before getting on the plane with just my carry on and shoulder bag. If I hadn't of done something similar multiple times it would have been impossible. The people that watched me do it are still talking about. Some of them had to do the same things months later, and copied things I did, and called me for advice and to calm them the muck down and insist that it was possible.

Shutting the doors saves a LOT of money, especially if you cripple the website and direct everyone to the crippled website. And then let it crash. Sigh!

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We are working with a minimal library here.  Ours is closed for renovations, so they took an older, smaller building and converted it to a library.  There is one short bookcase of picture books, one short bookcase for upper elementary, one for children's non-fiction...the entire library as it is can fit in my living room.

I honestly don't find this challenge too outlandish.  We have moved to places that restricted the weight of household items to where we were comparing which cooking spoons would make the cut.  We've lived in hotels for long periods.  I have friends who moved during the pandemic that couldn't even enjoy amenities we had in the same places: they were quarantined in a hotel suite with just what they brought with them.  The library was not available, the internet in that place was spotty at best, and they had no access to the loaner boxes (activities geared toward different ages sent to the room for the duration of the stay).  At least when we moved I only had to worry about putting 1 year's worth of materials in our box.

Much of what I picked is not what I use on a daily basis. I would have loved to put Gattegno in, but by book 5 or 6 it even states that "In your set of 241 blocks..." and it means to use most of them, too. That's one and a half plastic tubs of the small group sets. I couldn't devote 400 cubic centimeters of space to blocks in one of those boxes if another system works for upper math without them.  Now, at home, you can bet I'm devoting an entire shelf to my Gattegno materials!  But if I was weighing material again, I'd have to cut them down to a single set if they fit, paper montessori strips if not.

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5 hours ago, mathmarm said:

Drawing: $11 for K-12

  • The Drawing Textbook ($11)
  • Paper to draw on ($1-5) depending on what you want them to draw on.

This is a solid drawing text, it can be restarted or repeated a few times and will give your student a wonderful foundation in drawing. It's appropriate for all skill levels from K/1 all the way through highschool level.

Mathmarm, you posted so many good things. I think you might be the second person to list an atlas. I would not have thought of that! And lots more good geography, too. I love Drawing Textbook!

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5 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

My choices: ...

 ... If you are temporarily dislocated, I would recommend traveling with math only. Everything else can catch up.  We are already talking wildfire evacuation again for this year in case we have to do it again and the kids had similar conclusions. 

If you are at the point of being relocated, there's enough other life going on that everyone just kind of wants the basics and not much else. In previous experiments, I packed art stuff. I didn't this go around. No one wanted it when I took it.

 

So much GREAT advice! Thanks!

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4 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Ds has been unable to get his license for months and months on end. There is currently a 6 month backlog on appointments. We have been using passports + utility bills when we need to show is for residence purposes.

Our agencies stop making appointments more than 3 months out, so you can't even make an appointment. People were assuming that waiting would eventually fix the problem, but now we know that it won't. I am just watching to see what happens long-term when this many people no longer can drive or have ID. And at the same time, some people can do what they need to do online, and go on with life as normal and even make a profit.

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4 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

Is internet access going to be reliable?  I could probably do a lot with project Gutenberg.  If not I’d have my Singapore and AOPS books, a bible and a few story books.

Some people, some of the time, have some cellular data when they have nothing else. Cheap or free access is granted and withdrawn hodgepodge.

Wifi in slums is all over the place. More people are added through grants and that overwhelms the systems in place with customers that are not paying much and the cable company has little incentive to update. And if the slum is prone to power outages, the wifi goes out with the power.

Rural areas have always had less access. In the long-run some of them might get help, and others not.

The digital divide: it is interesting to watch what is getting worse and what is getting better, and who is trying to take advantage of the most vulnerable to make a profit while pretending to "help".

I have been on the phone for myself and neighbors with a variety of wifi and cellular providers. Some are transparent, and some are hiding their true plans. I don't know what Assurance Wireless is trying to hide, but it is something.

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4 hours ago, HomeAgain said:

 

I honestly don't find this challenge too outlandish.  ...  We've lived in hotels for long periods.  I have friends who moved during the pandemic ... quarantined in a hotel suite with just what they brought with them. 

Thank you to everyone that posts stories!

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I am struggling with my eyesight to read these posts on a small screen. Power surges again today: I can't chance plugging a monitor into the wall. Please excuse any rudeness or lack of response that might be explained by inability to skim and to reread what I wrote.

Thank you EVERYONE for adding your precious experiences and ideas and opinions!!

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When the power surges get really bad here, I just run through the apartment and unplug everything, even the lamps. I keep my Solar Bible Bus by my bed, and just jump in my bed and turn it on. Unfortunately, there is not longer the model that I have. These are the closest.

https://www.auroraministries.org/collections/thru-the-bible

https://megavoice.com/audio-bible/envoy-2-e-series-audio-bible/

Vernon McGee can be such a mess! He makes me mad and he makes me laugh. He is a familiar voice in the dark, and the flashlight works for trips to the bathroom.

This is something I would buy over and over.  So far, I have not had to. It fits in my carry-on no problem.

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3 hours ago, Hunter said:

Some people, some of the time, have some cellular data when they have nothing else. Cheap or free access is granted and withdrawn hodgepodge.

Wifi in slums is all over the place. More people are added through grants and that overwhelms the systems in place with customers that are not paying much and the cable company has little incentive to update. And if the slum is prone to power outages, the wifi goes out with the power.

Rural areas have always had less access. In the long-run some of them might get help, and others not.

The digital divide: it is interesting to watch what is getting worse and what is getting better, and who is trying to take advantage of the most vulnerable to make a profit while pretending to "help".

I have been on the phone for myself and neighbors with a variety of wifi and cellular providers. Some are transparent, and some are hiding their true plans. I don't know what Assurance Wireless is trying to hide, but it is something.

We are semi rural and my data is intermittent 

we currently have semi reliable but slow wifi but it’s unaffordable on dhs current income so we are looking at other options.

It’s why I prefer non tech eduction options where possible.

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Thank you!

6 hours ago, Hunter said:

Mathmarm, you posted so many good things. I think you might be the second person to list an atlas. I would not have thought of that! And lots more good geography, too. I love Drawing Textbook!

Which electives a family chooses are so individual. While you could certainly do Geography for cheaper -- we start with blob mapping, learning continents and countries and it's cost us next to nothing, I'd like to make sure that by highschool the students have a fully-fleshed out understanding of the physical geography of the world.

Either way, I'm trying to figure out what to spent the other $1300 on.
Does it have to cost $2000?
Do I have to fill up 2 banker boxes?

Music can cost less than $100 if you choose a budget friendly instrument, such as Recorder or Ukelele , and purchase some video lessons for the beginning level and then some resource books for adv-beginner to intermediate level.

Programming with an older edition of a college -level textbook, you can pay $30 or less and work through the entire book for the same foundation that many CS majors are expected to have (though many don't).

Sloyd/Craft Skills can be downloaded from a number of Vintage or Modern e-books for free, but you'd need supplies so it might not make the cut for having just 2 boxes.

Art you might want to purchase a book of art prints or you might be satisfied with being able to access art online.

Literature A couple of Anthologies + Library card will get you through a lot.

Memory Work 1.5" or 2" binder + printing whatever you want to memorize off-line with some sleeve protectors

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7 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

We are semi rural and my data is intermittent 

we currently have semi reliable but slow wifi but it’s unaffordable on dhs current income so we are looking at other options.

It’s why I prefer non tech eduction options where possible.

The digital divide is a social justice issue that I am passionate about. Water justice issues make me even more furious, but they are separate issues, and my rage over water scarcity and maternal and infant mortality rates don't reduce the rage I feel about the digital divide.

 

 

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4 hours ago, mathmarm said:

Does it have to cost $2000?
Do I have to fill up 2 banker boxes?

NO!!!! LOL

But a lot of people need that much when starting from scratch and some people are being handed that type of money.

And some people are NOT being handed that type of money. So anyone that can model smaller and cheaper packages, please do so!

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11 minutes ago, Hunter said:

The digital divide is a social justice issue that I am passionate about. Water justice issues make me even more furious, but they are separate issues, and my rage over water scarcity and maternal and infant mortality rates don't reduce the rage I feel about the digital divide.

 

 

It’s a huge issue for rural Australia 

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I spent my last stim check on a large screen e-ink tablet. I cannot recommend or not recommend a purchase of one of these tablets. I am experimenting with it. It is clunkier than other options that a stable consistently housed person with an automobile would find much more efficient.

On a regular tablet, I can "print" to pdf, then manually transfer the pdf to the e-ink tablet, and write on it like paper. That is WAAAAY more expensive than a printer and paper! And all it takes is someone sitting on the tablet to entirely end my ability to "print" and so much more. Talk about putting all you chickens in one basket!

I think my package in this challenge will include the purchase of an e-ink tablet. There are enough other alternatives posted that this might be useful to a small number of people that feel unable to use the other ideas that you all posted and that I recommend FIRST.

I feel my departure from here getting closer and closer, like a pregnant woman getting ready for birth. I don't know when and I don't know what will catapult me, and I don't know the destination, but my exit from here grows closer. Getting woken up at 1 a.m. to helicopters flooding my block with searchlights only added to this feeling.

I plan to lug this e-ink screen with me, rather than purchase one at my arrival spot. After more testing, maybe I would be just as committed to repurchase it if I lost it along the way. And maybe not. I know I would repurchase my solar Bible player. 

That is the final test of a device or book: would I repurchase it. It is one thing to keep using what we have. It is another test to consider the cost and hassle of repurchasing something.

These things are expensive and fragile and new. They are risky and unpredictable as backbones to a curriculum or home office. But I do have one, so ... I think it is valuable to post my experiences, good and bad.

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I had a bad morning. First I shamed myself because I believed that I was not doing what I thought I "should" be doing.

That is the bizarre thing about this pandemic. Because some people are having an INCREASE in quality of life, those of us who are facing adversity are not being given permission to respond to OUR current environment. We are expected to act like we are somewhere else than where we are.

First the helicopters kept me awake with searchlights, but I was so exhausted I fell asleep and don't know how long they kept that up. They started again this morning, hovering low over our block and not leaving. They trigger my PTSD when they do that. I'd rather the "bad guys" did whatever they are going to do, and were left alone. When guns are drawn around here, the "bad guys" seem to know how to handle their weapons with more skill and control. Some of those cops remind me of Barney on the Andy Griffith Show. I want to go out there and grab the gun out of their hand and tell them to go home.

WTF? They are here again. Go the muck home! Too often it is just ICE looking for trouble.

After I climbed in bed and catastrophized and just did everything that is normal but not something I "should" have been doing, I got over myself and went and took a bath. If for no other reason, than I didn't want to have to deal with a Barney while I was in my pajamas, if it came to that.

When people have to relocate, they often end out in higher crime areas with less reliable infrastructure. People with PTSD and physical disabilities and babies are going to be even more impacted by the extra challenges.

Some days, what should get done, just aint going to get done. That has been mentioned above. Today was good for me to experience while I am thinking about curriculum. I am not in any shape to do what I "should", so what am I going to do?

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That raises a good point, Hunter, that people who are stressed out tend to be reactive, more highly reactive than non-stressed people. Pile on top of that chronic stressors like poverty and trauma and it’s hard to be functional. Hugs, Hunter. 
———-

We can be subject to blackouts on high wind days. We have underground lines here to the house, but overground from the substation to us. We have found it helpful to have a series of battery backups we keep charged. 

We also found those backups to be helpful when we have needed to leave to access wi-fi or when traveling. 

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I don't mind the blackouts as much as the power surges. After a blackout, my stuff still works. After power surges, if I wasn't quick enough, I have broken stuff. I really miss being able to plug in my shortwave radio. I am lucky that only the plug area shorted out, and that the main radio still works, and I can power it with batteries.

Telling the story of this afternoon's drama is just too off topic, but there are no "shoulds" for anyone living like this.

I did make it to the library and used their wifi to attempt to set up a Kindle that had been factory restored and tucked away for awhile. That can be tricky. It is best to skip all the registration and connection to wifi until you are at the homescreen and can load a webpage. If you are successful to sign in to wifi, a video wants to load that is too big for a week public signal and freezes the tablet. I was successful, but it was tricky.

What was really nice though is that at some point I had uploaded or e-mailed documents to my Kindle account that don't show up in Kindle apps, but do show up on a Kindle Fire reading app. It was like Christmas! There are all sorts of Yesterday's Classics and Heritage History literature and some pdfs too.

I had no problem downloading videos and kindle books and audible books. They all work now that I am home and offline. I wish there was an LTE or 5G Kindle Fire tablet, but there isn't. It is worth it to have two tablets: an LTE Android for streaming and a wifi Kindle for downloads. Especially since the storage on both tablets is limited.

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