Friday, February 27, 2015

DORA Giveaway!

Hey guys, the cool people at Let's Go Learn gave me a certificate for two free DORAs (Diagnostic Online Reading Assessment which I've written about here and here) and two free ADAMs (Adaptive, Diagnostic Assessment of Mathematics which I mentioned here) to give away to one randomly picked reader! This is my very first giveaway, so if there are any bugs I apologize ahead of time. The giveaway will run for two weeks, no purchase necessary (which, turns out, would be an illegal lottery if I attempted that. My "learn something new every day" for the day.)

February is my choice of testing month (gives me time to figure out if I need to be fixing something) but the tests are good for much longer, so there's no need to test right away if it's not the right time for you. (You will need to redeem it before April.) Two tests give you the option of doing two years in a row and seeing the difference like we just did, or you may have more than one kid that you'd like to have take the test. I have gathered valuable information from having the boys take the DORA and Builder Boy taking the ADAM, and I recommend it. (Not getting paid to say that, either!)

Hopefully I have set up the Rafflecopter correctly.

Oh, and because blog posts can be boring without any visuals, here's a cute, completely unrelated picture of Lady Bug.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The DORA the 2nd Time Around: Not What We First Thought

It has been a year since I first had the boys take the Diagnostic Online Reading Assessment (DORA) from Let's Go Learn so we found a few good days recently and took it again. I remembered our experience last year and this time spread it over two days. Which was better for the kids, and worse for my nerves, as anyone who follows Sceleratus Classical Academy on facebook can attest to. But day 2 arrived and the boys finished and I eagerly/dreadingly looked at the results. Because it saves your account information and test results, I thought that being able to compare the results would give me even more information that last year's would. My biggest fear for Builder Boy was that his results would not show a year's worth of progress. My fear for Early Bird was that last year's test results were just a guessing fluke, and he'd score much lower this year.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Lilo: Dabrowski's Gifted Child in Reel Life

I've mentioned Gifted Overexcitabilites before, and linked before to the SENG page outlining them and the wonderfully-easy-to-understand-even-if-you're-new-to-this Jade Ann Rivera's posts about them. I was talking to my good friend Care from Homeschooling Hatters about our topic for this blog hop, and she pointed out that most media/books/movies/etc. paint either a positive, academically strong gifted ideal with none of the downsides, or make the smart kid the butt of jokes. As a result, very few people who aren't parenting a gifted child with overexcitabilites have never heard of them, and have a very incomplete picture of what being gifted really means.

Around the time I was researching about gifted overexcitabilites I watched the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch to see if it was something that would be a good movie for the kids. As I watched it I was struck by how much this little girl was acting like the things I had been reading about. And while Disney may not have intended it that way, they were clearly portraying a gifted child with several of Dabrowski's overexcitabilites, as well as other characteristics of a gifted child. (Spoilers ahead.)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

DIY Baby Princess Hat

For Lady Bug's birthday I made her a princess hat. Yes, her birthday was almost half a year ago. I thought I'd already blogged about this, but I checked and, no, I hadn't. So now I am.

Picture instructions ahead!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Winter Skirts

Here we are at the end of the series about wearing skirts all year round. I've heard other women talk about how they'd wear skirts all the time if it weren't for winter and how it's too cold to wear skirts then. So this post is about how I manage to wear skirts all through the rain, wind, cold, and snow.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Questions Challenge

Imp over at Not A Stepford Life blog challenged me awhile back to answer some questions. (Bet you thought I forgot, Imp! Okay, I kind of did...) I'm not usually one to accept challenge trends, but since it's Imp I'm going to do it.

Here are the questions she asked, and my answers in blue.

1) What is the most surprising thing you’ve discovered since you’ve been blogging? I was at a church small group and one mother was telling another about my blog and "all the stuff [Mrs. Warde] does." I was shocked because I feel like we hardly ever get enough done! But then I looked at my blog and if you look at everything together and don't notice the dates, it does look like a lot. I try to be honest about what we get done and how often I feel like I'm letting them learn by themselves instead of actually sitting down and doing school, so it was shocking to here myself being described as a Pinterest mom.

2) What is the best advice you’ve ever been given, and who by? In life, "This above all: to thine own self be true,/ And it must follow, as the night the day,/ Thou canst not then be false to any man." -William Shakespeare in Hamlet. In blogging, and I'm paraphrasing here, but it was to just write it down; it doesn't have to be perfect the first or even the second draft. Just get something down. -Pamela Price

3) If you could change ONE thing about your life, what would it be, and why? Energy levels! I feel like I am tired and slow moving all the time, and I feel like I would be such a more fun mom and more "successful" homeschooler if I could just get more done.

4) What’s your proudest accomplishment? In life, my kids. In blogging, I almost had a post go viral once; I was just a few views short of the 1,000 views in a 24 hour period. But more than that, when someone tells me they actually did an activity based on something I wrote about.
5) What are your future goals, and what are you doing to reach them? Blogging goal: to get better at actually blogging regularly. And to do enough things that are worth blogging about.

Now I'm challenging Care over at Homeschooling Hatters to answer the same questions. (Not sure if I'm supposed to be thinking of new questions or not. So, Care, if you want to challenge someone with different questions, go ahead. You're getting the ones I got asked.)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Using Home Decorating to Teach Good Bathroom Habits

This is not the first time I've used wall stickers to teach my kids something (see this post and this post.) But this is the first time they ever helped them develop better habits! The boys are independent bathroom users, and have been for a while. I've been kind of leaving them to their own devices in their bathrooms for the most part; mostly because I'm lazy about that. But when we moved we moved to a one story and all of a sudden the boys' bathroom was also the one visitors would use; and it's right off the main living area. Suddenly bathroom etiquette seemed seemed a very important thing to teach Builder Boy and Early Bird. But how was I going to overcome the years of doing it their way and the I-just-want-to-hurry-up-and-get-back-to-playing? Turns out, the answer for us was easy, and not even expensive!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Most Read of 2014

I've never done a post like this before, at least, I don't remember doing one like this before.....nope, I checked, never done this before. It's not exactly a "Top Ten" list, but it is a bunch of links to previous posts from this year. Thing is, my highest post counts this year mostly came from niche blog hops. So my first list is my highest view count NON-hop posts, and then the highest niche posts after that.

Top 6 Non-blog hop Posts (in chronological order):

DORA Review 

Writing Isn't Just Writing

Introduction to Car Schooling

Right Start Math Drop-Outs

Screen Time At Sceleratus Classical Academy

Open Letter to the Women in the Walmart Parking Lot

Top 9 Blog Hop Posts (also in chronological order):

Spring Skirts

Genius vs. Gifted

The Search for Friends

How a Gifted Childhood Prepared Me for Gifted Parenting

How a Gifted Childhood Prepared Me for Gifted Parenting: Part 2

Summer Skirts

The Search For Friends: Part 2

Are You and Advocate for the Gifted?

When Gifted Overexcitiblities and an Introverted Personality Collide

If you're interested in more topics like these I was also put on the Gifted Homeschooler Forum's Most Popular Posts of 2014 list so go check out all the other wonderful posts by other contributors!

So there's the list of the most viewed posts from this year. Was your favorite on the list? Or was there one you consider a "hidden gem" that didn't get as many views? Let me know in the comments, please!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Making a 3+ Doll Baby Safe Isn't What I Thought It'd Be

I didn't want to wait any longer: I bought Lady Bug a non-baby doll for Christmas. A doll that was labeled as appropriate for ages 3 years and up. I thought that surly I could make it safe enough for her to play with, and I did that. But as I was looking at the doll and thinking about it, I realized that there was more that went into that age recommendation than just safety.

Monday, December 29, 2014

A Toddler Friendly Christmas Tree

Christmas trees are beautiful and magical when you're a kid (and even when you're a grown-up.) One day out of nowhere your mommy and daddy put this huge, shiny, lit up tower of awesome in your house and you.....aren't allowed to touch it?! I fought the don't-touch-the-tree fight with both the boys. Some years the little hands obeyed; other years it was miserable. This year with a mobile Lady Bug I'm done fighting against my baby's natural curiosity and wonderment and I made the whole bottom row toddler friendly. Or at least, that was the plan.

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