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Posts by Daffodil

We didn't do much today.  DD wasn't feeling well, so she spent most of the day just lying around.  It rained all afternoon.  I spent a lot of time just doing my own work at the computer.  The kids read a little.  I played a couple of games of chess with 7 year old DS.  He won one and I won one.  (I'm not very good at chess, and he's really good for a 7 year old.)  I had DS write a sentence and do a couple of math word problems.  He practiced the pattern he's learning in...
My kids are 7 and 10 and have always been homeschooled.  We're not unschoolers, but we're very relaxed.  We have no daily, weekly, or annual schedule for when "school work" gets done.  We don't use a packaged curriculum.  We have a few random workbooks I've picked up here and there, but we don't use them all that much.  A lot of what I want my kids to learn happens naturally, without my having to make any special effort.  We spend a lot of time outdoors observing nature...
It's random, just like the rest of the year.  It's not all "studying" that needs to be gotten out of the way so we can have fun.  It might include collecting insects and learning about them, drawing pictures, listening to read-alouds, building things with Snap Circuits, or doing a science experiment.  It also might include things that are more like studying, and that happens whenever it fits in.
I have a success story!  I had unexplained fertility and eventually ended up trying IVF just before I turned 40.  I got pregnant on my first IVF attempt, then miscarried.  Tried it again just after turning 40, got pregnant again and this one stuck and became my daughter.  It took 2 years after DD was born before I got my period back.  We weren't sure we could afford IVF again or that it would be worth trying at my age, but we figured we could at least try the...
I find Vermont a good place to homeschool.  State homeschooling requirements are more stringent here than in a lot of other states, but they aren't really that burdensome.  Standardized testing isn't required, which is nice.  (But it is one option for an end-of-year assessment.)  I live in northern Vermont, in a town with a population of under 4,000, about an hour from Burlington (the only biggish city in the state.)  The number of homeschoolers here seems fairly high...
I thought of another one: The Egypt Game.  A really good book, but with girl protagonists, one of whom is black.  (The fact that she's black is just barely mentioned; I don't think I even noticed it when I read the book as a kid, but I did when I read it to my own kids.)  Oh, and The Westing Game has black and Asian characters.
Oh, I just thought of one.  Bud, Not Buddy is about a 10 year old black boy.  And The True Meaning of Smekday has a black girl protagonist.  But those are both a big jump from the Magic Tree House level.
It's disturbing to realize how few I can think of.  There's a beginning chapter book series by Alexander McCall Smith about an African boy named Akimbo.  (This is one of the books.)  Junie B. Jones has black and hispanic friends.  Where The Mountain Meets the Moon is about a girl in China.  There are American Girl books about black, native American, and hispanic girls.  That's all I can come up with.
We're non-Christian, but not Pagan.  Christian homeschoolers seem to be scarce in my area, too.
For math, you could use the Singapore Math placement tests to get an idea what level she's at and what concepts might be covered in first or second grade.  My understanding is that Singapore Math is pretty much in line with Common Core expectations. Their placement guide says their 1B and 2A levels are what an average 2nd grader should be doing, so if your DD understands the concepts in 1A and seems ready to learn what's in 1B, that would be an indication she's ready for...
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