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Showing most liked content since 02/09/2013 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    Hiya guys....we stayed at Windsor hills..2 miles from Disney last Feb..loved it..they have 2-3 bdroom condos. Townhouses with splash pools and full 5 bedrooms houses with private pools...so everyone has a budget I know this place was super clean pool with slide very safe and secure..easy off site drive and cheap restaurant ...just a great alternative ...well be waiting for dates..the shortcutting drive was shorter than any Disney bus..and I think they have meeting rooms...for any classes we want to have..by the pool..so even if we don't get a hotel together..some can have some get togethers..ooh plus all have full kitchens ..we saved a ton on breakfast.
  2. 4 points
    It's official..we are going to Disney with Carolina Homeschooler this November! We are SO excited! We are trying to sprinkle a little Disney Magic throughout our whole year so we have begain our Disney Family Fun Nights! We have 1 or 2 planned each month to help us countdown until the big day. I thought this might be a good place for any of the other families to share ideas on how your family is finding your own Disney magic!
  3. 4 points
    Hi Everyone! I found out that kids can skate and bowl free all summer long. All you have to do is go sign up at www.kidsbowlfree.com and register each child and www.kidsskatefree.com and register your child. Also check your local movie theaters they are offering the summer movie express and admission is only 1$ for everyone. All movies start at 10am.Kids can watch their favorite movies for nine weeks. They will play two movies for each week. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute.
  4. 4 points
    Hi all! I am brand new to this site, and I am so relieved to find out the feeling of being overwhelmed is completely normal! (I thought perhaps I should post, as I went on a "like" spree, on almost every response here! lol) My son is 4, will turn 5 in January, and I really feel that homeschooling is best for him. After finding this site, and Carolina Homeschooler association, I really feel much more confident in my decision, and myself! (I was really having feelings of thinking there's no way I'm "smart enough" to completely-from-day-1 homeschool, and how-in-the-world-am-I-ever-gonna-teach-myself-to-know-what-paid-teachers-know...but after reading all the info on this site, and reading posts like this one, it really, truly helps! I'm sorry to hijack this thread, I apologize, I am just so excited, and relieved to finally feel like I'm on the right track, both for me and my family.
  5. 4 points
    Weekends, summers, midnight star-gazing and interesting discussions, catching an unplanned TV special on the Civil War, or NASA, or black holes, or the Great Depression, or whatever, counts. If you're on a trip and listen to audiobooks in the car, that counts as reading/literature. If the books touch on science or social studies topics, then they count as that, too. Learning happens 24/7, 365 days a year. Your challenge is to remember to document it for 180 days out of those 365, starting on June 1, and running through May 31 (if you're a member of my 3rd option association). Warmly, Dianna
  6. 4 points
    Dianna hit the nail on the head! All day long at school my dd was in trouble for....TALKING to her friends! The nerve of her! No talking in the hall No talking in line No talking at your desk No talking at lunch Quiet in the library! Save your questions for the end! No talking in the bathroom, be out by the time I count down from 20 No talking during recess if you didn't finish your morning work Silent bus today! It's recess time! You have 10 minutes to talk, hurry up!
  7. 4 points
    Stephanie, there are ways to deal with the quizzing issue and non-supportive friends detailed here: http://www.carolinahomeschooler.com/afaq6.html As far as the socialization question goes - the next time someone asks you that, ask them how many times did they hear "We're not here to socialize!" when they went to school. Just sayin... Warmly, Dianna
  8. 4 points
    Education. I can give my children a better education than the public/private schools can thanks to being able to tailor their curriculum to their needs/interests/strengths. The elem school near us is one of the best in the state, even recognized nationally, but that doesn't mean it's the best for my kids when I can homeschool them. I am glad we have such a good school near us though, for those who do not homeschool. That's the short answer. I stumbled into homeschooling when I realized that public kindy wouldn't work for my eldest wiggly boy who learned out of order. He was far ahead in application and analysis, but way behind in memorization. He wasn't a checklist kid. I didn't send any to pre-k since those programs weren't play-based enough. (Which is also why I'm not a fan of public kindy). As he's progressed, his behavior has changed to a point where he could handle public school - but his education needs have become much, much harder to meet. And so we homeschool! I also like sleeping in, seeing my kids, not fighting with car line, not worrying about homework, not worrying about teaching to the test or standardized testing, and being able to go on vacation when we want. It's also a huge plus that we can get everything done during the day normally, so we can just enjoy being a family when my husband isn't working. *Also, I'm a former public school teacher. So I know nothing magical happens in the classroom. I was a good public teacher and did meet the needs of my students, the best I could. But when you have 35 kids in a class, it's impossible to tailor it perfectly for every single student, no matter how good of a teacher you are.
  9. 4 points
    Welcome, Melissa G! I get the anxious thing! (I'm sure I"m not alone too!) I just pulled my oldest out of 7th grade public school in the middle of the school year and started homeschooling him in January. It sounds like we have a similar situation. He went from being a child who packed his own backpack full of books, crayons and paper just to sign up for preschool to a sullen, angry, disillusioned 12 year old. He's never been happier since we pulled him out. It hasn't been easy - we have days where we just can't stand to be in the same room as one another... but for the most part, I've gotten a lot more hugs, kisses and "I love you"s and he's beginning to love learning again. It sounds like you already have a great setup, and you've already been homeschooling without even knowing it! Getting started is scary, (I personally am obsessed with researching curriculum) but the thing I love most about homeshooling, is if you try something and it doesn't work, it's easy enough to switch! Knowing how your kids like to learn is important (kinesthetic, visual, auditory, etc) and there are sooooo many choices (which is why I'm obsessive about curriculum) that it will make your head spin. Personally, I found reading reviews to be just as confusing as helpful, because what works for one family won't necessarily work for another. If you're already taking care of all those animals and running your own homestead, being organized must be second-nature to you, and that will help. Keeping track of lessons, recordkeeping, etc. all takes time and organization. And I know you're probably thinking - I'm swamped already - but when you're not having to deal with the issues public school drops on your doorstep, you'll be amazed at the extra time you get! (Don't know what kind of schedule your son had, but mine was having between 2-3 hours of homework every night - even on weekends. Not dealing with that every day gave me plenty of time for lesson-planning and grading papers.) I will also be homeschooling a kindergartener this fall (as well as a 5th grader too). Frankly, the one that scares me the most is the kindergartener - making sure he has a good foundation and praying daily that I will be up to the task! I know one of the hardest things my 7th grader had adjusting to was his schedule at home. He was under the impression that he would send a set amount of time on each subject every day -- just like public school. So, if at the end of 45 minutes, he hadn't finished an assignment - he'd just quit (even if he'd spent 15 minutes staring out his window at the bird feeders). I explained the freedom he had now that he was at home - if he didn't have any trouble understanding the work and could finish it in 20 minutes - GREAT! If not, we could take and hour to really get it down.. and if we were frustrated beyond belief - we could skip it til tomorrow. Setting goals and accomplishing them has been our main focus -- not making sure he's busy for 45 minutes in each subject each day. Some days we do math first, some days history. Some days its a struggle to get him to do anything, other days he can't wait to read a particular history assignment or do a particular science experiment. One day a time (or sometimes one hour at a time - LOL!) has become my mantra... Sorry that I've rambled... I'm on a super-caffeine rush today
  10. 4 points
    Hello friends! I thought I'd introduce myself - I'm Robin and I live in a suburb of Atlanta. I homeschool my four boys, ages 14 (almost 15), 9, 6, and 5. We are very excited to be making our second family trip to Disney in the Fall. I am an obsessive Disney planner - complete with spreadsheets and lists. But, I'm by no means a pro and I am always so excited to learn something new. The size of our family necessitates that we stay off-site, so I can answer some questions about that. Let me just go ahead and say, I think it's the way to go if you have a family the size of ours! I look forward to sharing the excitement over this upcoming trip with y'all! Joyfully, Robin
  11. 3 points
    Hi, We will be staying at the fort, this will be the first time for us as we've only had the RV about 9 mo.
  12. 3 points
    We will be at the Fort along with 4 other families from the Dallas area. We have stayed at the Fort over 20 times and love it each time. Here are on my tips including transportation. 1. Request a campsite near transportation specifically loop 100, 200, 300 (pet loop), 400. You can easily walk to the Settlement to catch a boat to MK or a bus to MK (they change the bus and move it to the outpost some years). Also, if the big boat (left side of the dock line) is not there or has a huge line, take the small boat (right side of the dock line) to the Contemporary, walk through the hotel and turn right. It's a quick 10 minute walk to MK. In the evening we sometimes take the Contemporary boat home because the line is very long for the big boat. When the kids were little, we would run up to the snack bar and get the kids a snack so the line would shorten at the Contemporary. Be sure you ask how late the boats are running that evening. (You could also take snacks to eat inside MK while waiting for the boat line to go down.) We use our car to everything else. The internal and external bus system is slow and parking at the parks this time of year is easy (except during Food & Wine Festival at Epcot). It's also wonderful to go back to your car when you are tired and not wait in line for a bus. Since you will be staying on property, parking will be free. 2. Christmas decorations will be up at the campsites. If you have time and don't want to walk, rent a golf cart for 1 day and drive the camp ground to look at decorations (and the rigs, only campers get that) and then drive to the beach at the Settlement and watch fireworks at MK (They pipe in the music). This year they have changed the fireworks show so I am not sure how visable they will be. Maybe pick A Very Merry Christmas Party night because it is a different firework show. 3. We sometimes drive to the Poly and eat their counter service, it has fun selections. We also drive to the Earl of Sandwich in Disney Springs (aka Downtown Disney). Get the Holiday Sandwich! Otherwise I cook our dinner over night in the crock pot. Sometimes we eat it for breakfast and then warm it up when we get back. The Settlement has good pizza and a chicken meal for take out. You have to order in person (no phone calls). 4. Washing machines are wonderful at the Fort and you can use a credit card. The comfort stations are very clean and have lots of hot water. You must use your key for entry during certain times. 5. We usually get to the park at rope drop, come back to the camper at 11 or 12 eat, swim, nap and then go back to the park around 5ish. It depends on the park closing. On Epcot days we like to stay for the bands and no one is in Future World at night so we head to the park around noonish and stroll around until fireworks (and stay in the world until the people clear out). It's been over a year since we have been to Disney so things could have changed. I could go on! If you have other questions, let me know! Shelley Oh, swims late after you get back to the park are fun too!
  13. 3 points
    Hello All! My family and I will be moving to the area very soon and we will be homeschooling. I have a seven year old son, a six year old son, a three year old daughter and a 2 year old son. We started off our year using a Waldorf curriculum and now we are heading more towards an unschooling perspective/eclectic homeschooling. We are on our own timeline and aren't necessarily into following any specific curriculum but rather allowing our children to follow their interests! We are always evolving:) I am interested in finding people with similar ideals but also just kind people who are also looking for friendship. We will not know anyone in this area and it's important to me that my kids make connections. They are super sweet kids!! We would love to get involved with a group that we can see on a weekly basis. I have found REACH and the Midlands unschooling group but am also looking for families closer to the Camden area as well that could get together for play dates, etc. We love to hike, we love playgrounds, swimming, legos, exploring, animals and many many other things. We also love to garden and we love to eat fresh organic food. That is just a little bit about us. I hope there are others in the area to connect with:) Looking forward to getting to know SC and making connections!
  14. 3 points
    Disney World - Save the Date! Our next trip to Disney World will be November 11-18, 2017. We enjoy this time of year due to cooler weather and beautiful holiday decorations. If we time it right, we'll enjoy the Food and Wine Festival, too. We're finalizing details for our educational tours and workshops, group meals and events, and more, and will post an update soon. I hope you can join us!
  15. 3 points
    Hi everyone! Here is a list of some great reading rewards programs that kids of all ages can enjoy. I will post more as I come across them. Sylvan's Book Adventure Reading Program, TD Bank Summer Reading Program, Scholastic Summer Reading Program, Books a Million, Chuck E. Cheese Summer Reading Program. Half Price Book.Summer Reading Program, iRead reading program, Showcase Cinemas Summer Reading Program, Sync Summer Reading Program for Teens.Pottery Barn Kids Summer Book Club. Happy Reading Everyone!
  16. 3 points
    We got back home to Rockwall, Tx late Saturday night. What a sensory overload. This was our first time. I thought I'd share some experiences. * The Speedway gas stations on property were great for gas, hot food, and snack and prices were no more than any other gas station. We had lunch at the one outside Magic Kingdom and the pizza and hot deli sandwiches were great and significantly cheaper than in a park. * We unfortunately had a mechanical failure of our vehicle that had to be repaired before we could drive back 1100+ miles. I was very concerned where to take it. I found that the Walt Disney Resort Car Care Center was just as comparable as any other mechanic. I have worked as a mechanic in the past and in the end was pleased with the work. I wasn't price gouged either. I dropped off the van and caught a ride from there to the transit center by an Alamo van next door where I met the rest of the family for Magic Kingdom. (Or the center would call for you a ride) The whole ordeal didn't interrupt our fun. * We were unaware that there were no buses that run from the transit center to our hotels. After a very crowded ferry ride to get to the center, we learned we had to go right back to Magic Kingdom to THEN take a bus to our hotel. Took us another hour at the end of the night to make it back. * Mission Space - take Dramamine. Just trust me on this. * Turkey legs were the best bang for the buck. For about $10 (it varied) these were the biggest, juiciest turkey legs I have ever found at any amusement park/fair and was less expensive. We found it best to sit down and cut/split it up among the four of us rather than carry them around and try to finish them holding us up from doing other things. * Magic Bands made things so much less stressful. No having to carry or fiddle with wallets.
  17. 3 points
    100 Days until Disney breakfast celebration at the Drennan house this morning! Will officially be in the double digit club tomorrow. Eeeeekkkkkk! Even found a hidden (blueberry) Mickey!!
  18. 3 points
    Time for another Drennan DISNEY countdown and Family FUN Night! This time, our theme was DUMBO ! We really had a lot of fun with this one! We set up a family circus that included carnival games, food, and even entertainment. Each family member came up with their own circus act to perform. My daughter dressed up as a clown and she came up with some really funny lines. Her act ended with a pie in the face! I was the lion/cat tamer along with our golden retriever pup dressed as a lion. My hubby was the bearded lady and it was hysterical! Our games included balloon pop, ball toss, rings, and cans. Dinner consisted of roasted corn, corn dogs, onion rings, and herbivore greens (salad). We also had roasted peanuts, animal crackers, popcorn, cotton candy, and mini funnel cakes. Dumbo was such a sweet movie to share with my little one. We had a GREAT time! Any of you out there having Disney fun nights? If so, Please share!!
  19. 3 points
    We are from Rockwall too! In fact, there are 4 other families planning to go to Disney from Rockwall, Garland and Mesquite! Shelley
  20. 3 points
    Keep checking back with Disney on your reservations. When I reserved our room (at the All-Star Movie resort), I was told that we could go ahead and place our reservations and then Disney would either adjust our total for any discounts or give a refund if the bill had been paid in full. I keep checking back weekly and I'll be calling just as soon as they release the fall specials! On a side note, I grew up in Dallas and my sister and her family are still in Forney!
  21. 3 points
    This will only be our second time going, our first trip was back in Dec 2013. We stayed at Port Orleans, Riverside & had table reservations for: Boatwight (Thanksgiving night, it was just ok) Mama Melrose's -Dinner (our daughter LOVED this place, my husband & I also enjoyed it) Tuaker House -Lunch (fun) Cinderella's Castle -Breakfast - The food was AMAZING, This was my husbands fav meal. Tokyo Dining - Husband & Daughter share a Birthday so this was where we ate for their Birthday Dinner. Very nice, wonderful service, food good. Crystal Palace - Breakfast (lots of fun, I'm a big Tiger fan it was fun to meet & greet), Kona Cafe -Dinner (VERY good!), Hollywood Vine -Lunch (Ok), Via Napoli Ristorante Pizzeria -Dinner (nice place, good food), Coral Reef -Dinner (It was ok, we were alittle disappointed in this one, they seated us in a really bad table, no view and the food wasn't good.) Last time we did the dining plan but decided not to for this trip. Did some research and decided to risk rented points and will be staying at Disney Boardwalk Villas (1 bedroom). So far no problems renting & booking I have our confirmation & it is already linked to My Disney Experience. Last time we did stuff with a travel agent so they booked everything for me so I've been reading TONS of blogs preparing for the 180 mark to book table service we really wanted to try for Be Our Guest. I loved the help I got from touring Plans. http://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/advance-dining-reservations I was disappointed to find it harder then I expected and wasn't able to get everything I wanted. 50's Prime Time Cafe' (couldn't get the time I wanted. - Fri, Nov 13th @ 3:55pm The Wave (this is when we wanted Be our Guest Sun, Nov 15th @ 6:30pm T-Rex - Tue, Nov 17th @ 2:45pm Biergarten - Wed, Nov 18th @ 6pm Be Our Guest (never could get any for dinner so I settled for a lunch Thu, Nov 19th @ 12:55pm Teppan Edu - Fri, Nov 20th @ 6pm During my research I found this and it could help someone attending a hard ticket event (such as Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party) & would like to try for dinner at Be Our Guest without reservations. http://www.disneyeveryday.com/how-to-get-a-dinner-reservation-at-disneys-be-our-guest-restaurant-without-booking-6-months-in-advance/ Our first trip we spent pretty much open to close in parks and it was an exhausting trip (our feet hurt so bad by the last day it was hard to enjoy it) So this time I've got our touring plans much lighter. Most days we will head back to the room for lunch & a break. We will be eating breakfast every day in our room also. Sorry I probably posted way too much info. Hope everyone is getting as excited as I am, Now I just hope I can get all the fastpass+ times I'd like, the count down continues! Kristi
  22. 3 points
    For our 2nd Disney countdown and Family FUN Night we did a FROZEN theme. We watched the movie (for what seems like the 600th time ). For our meal, we had: We finish each others sandwiches (regular make your own sub sandwich bar), Troll stones and snow balls (meat balls & a scoop of mashed potatoes), Olaf noses & Sven's antlers (carrots & pretzels), Melted snow (water) and we set up a hot chocolate bar. For dessert, we had Elsa & Ana's chocolates (assorted chocolates) & Frozen hearts (I used a cookie cutter to cut heart shapes out of ice cream). We also had popcorn in clear cups with Olaf's face drawn on. For our activities, we tried ice stacking challenges, colored Frozen posters, cut out snowflakes (found some GREAT templates for character snowflakes on Disney's website), worked on a new Frozen puzzle, and enjoyed a family dance and sing off to Let it Go! It was a fun night!
  23. 3 points
    Hi Leigh, this is definitely a positive. It will affect crowds only in the World Showcase, and only in the evening. I'd recommend visiting during the day, maybe right before dinner, and eat the (relatively) low-cost sample items at each of the different vendors that you're interested in, and make dinner out of it. We call this "eating around the world." Warmly, Dianna
  24. 3 points
    I jot my plans down in a student planner. (Or fill in as they get done). Like Dianna mentioned, attendance gets done easily this way too. It's very simple. I use a student planner because I want my children to take some control of their education and it's helpful if they can write things in too. I like the weekly/monthy ones from Blue Sky. For a portfolio, you just need some samples of the work. Not all - just some. You can put in a few photos of projects/field trips if you wish. Or lists of books read, etc. It's up to you! You do not need to do standardized tests under most option 3 groups. (Though I read one group that did have it at one time - but that's very rare. Just don't pick one that requires it!) No professional evaluation is needed under option 3 either. I do write up some sort of evaluation of student progress twice a year and stick it into the portfolio. This can be a report card or just a summary. As for what the state "accepts," the state doesn't look for specifics of how we kept records, and in most cases - will never ask to see our records! Still keep them, as it is the law and it's best to be covered just in case.
  25. 3 points
    There are different ways to document educational activities, attendance, keep samples for a portfolio, etc. Once your membership is completed, you'll have access to my members area and there are forms you can download to keep track. (Or you can develop your own system.) When you get a chance, read through my Record-Keeping & Testing FAQs here: http://www.carolinahomeschooler.com/homeschool-faqs/record-keeping-testing/ Under Option 3 in SC, you don't have test or submit test scores. It's completely normal to be overwhelmed and scared at first, but it does get better. I think you'll feel better after you read my FAQs (the one I linked above, and also my Beginning Homeschooling FAQ here: http://www.carolinahomeschooler.com/homeschool-faqs/ Reading through all of them is helpful, but those two will probably help the most right now. Let me know if you have any other questions. Warmly, Dianna
  26. 3 points
    We are in Mt. Pleasant as well. 5 kids- 19 yr at C of C, 17yr girl, 13 girl, 8 girl, 2 boy
  27. 3 points
    I to am new to home schooling. I am the grandparents and guardian of two grandsons, one 14 who is autistic and ADHD and one 15 who has his challenges as well and is also ADHD. They both have been bullied in the public schools with no real assistance from the school system. We, my wife and I will give this a shot and the boys are really looking forward to this. Thank you for your responses, makes me feel a little more at ease.
  28. 3 points
    Yes. All learning counts. It's important for our children to understand that learning happens all the time - not only when they're on a schedule, not only from textbooks and workbooks, not only between the hours of 8:00 am and 3:00 pm on Mondays-Fridays, August-May. If they truly understand that, they'll be in learning mode the rest of their lives - always curious, always absorbing new ideas and information. Warmly, Dianna
  29. 3 points
    And it doesn't have to be in a neat 9-3 school day either! My husband wants in on this, and he already reads with them each night and like to do projects after dinner. Building an RC car with Daddy, while he teaches them about friction, after dinner, totally counts. I'm planning to save a lot of the science and some of the reading stuff for Daddy!
  30. 3 points
    Angela, Options 2 and 3 both refer to associations, and both provide the same legal avenue for us homeschool without having to register with the school district. Option 3 was introduced (and passed) in 1996 by homeschooling moms because Option 2 was too restrictive (provided for only one association, so we didn't have any choice other than registering through the local school district). The vast majority of SC homeschooling families use Option 3 associations because most don't require testing, are budget-friendly, and allow parents to choose their own curriculum without having to approve it. Also, Option 3 mandates that parents maintain their own records, so there's less paperwork, which leaves more time to focus on learning. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. Warmly, Dianna
  31. 3 points
    I'm new here and wanted to thank everyone for the info! I've learned so much from this message board and it's really helped the anxiety I had.
  32. 3 points
    Okay - I'll throw in my hat here. I'm one of those who did start early, at 15. Texas Academy of Math and Sciences at University of North Texas. Benefit - there were 2 years of students there, 200 Jr and 200 Sr living in a dorm, so I wasn't totally with just 18 year olds in class. Graduated "high school" with 77 semester hours, and no high school classes for Jr and Sr year (all college, and not easy ones). B.S. at 19, M.S. from U of Michigan with DOE Fellowship paying for grad school at 21. Imagine being in grad school, and your class mates having to make sure wherever they were going that you were able to actually get in! If I went, they had to chose carefully. Worked as Radiological Engineer at SRS at 21. Do I regret it - NO! Because the school district I was in didn't allow me to advance. In 10th grade I had finished their math department. They wouldn't let me dual enroll. Freshman and Sophomore English were a repeat of the same books I had read in middle school in Michigan (military dad so we moved). And yet....I do NOT want my kids to go off early. Eldest will go off a few months before he turns 18 (current plan - rising 9th now). He will probably dual enroll some classes his last 3 semesters after he turns 16. But that will be to allow him to have more free and fun time in college. I never took fun classes. I never explored other options. I want them to experience a little more of life than I had the opportunity to do. So, fun jobs, summer camps, internships, volunteer work, teaching at the karate dojo (which he loves). I did raise him up to 8th this year, but with an end of Sept b-day it wasn't a big deal. In Ohio where he was born he would be finishing 8th this year. I debated doing the TIPS program with DS, and then didn't. I was too frustrated with the smart kid labels as a child that I guess I veered the other direction!
  33. 3 points
    That's the great thing about homeschooling is that learning doesn't have to fit in a box Bike riding, swimming, bowling, litle league, youth basketball, gymnastics and dance classes --- that's all PE for us. Music lessons, art classes, etc. all count as part of school too. The nice thing also is that by high school those same things can be part of your electives
  34. 3 points
    I strongly agree with this. I'm not advancing my son rapidly through grade levels. He's starting 7th grade next year and I'm deciding whether I'll count algebra as a high school credit, but I'm leaning towards not. It'll go on his hs transcript as courses taken before hs, but I don't expect I'll give a grade. There's SO MUCH available, we're not going to run out of material. Midlands Tech doesn't want students under 16 in classes. I might be able to swing it earlier but I think USC would be more likely for dual enrollment. But that's really expensive as well. MIT Open Courses and Coesura are possibilities. If he pushes to go to college early, you can always accelerate. It's tougher to drop back grades though. You may want to do some reading on the Well Trained Mind forums Accelerated Board as well. But unless your son is racing forward, dragging you behind, I wouldn't try to get him in high school early. You probably will want him to participate in talent searches... Duke TIP, NUMATS, and CTY are all programs that are available. USC has a PUPS program for kids in TIP. Start slow.
  35. 3 points
    Hi Kristina; Welcome! I can't speak to pulling out of school but I can tell you that I had one wiggly, extremely gifted, but w/ ADD-inattentive, dyslexic and dysgraphic little guy go through the public school system. But, we are talking about a different time - before Common Core -- and when parents were still invited into the public school classroom to help out. The problem for my ds was that he was bored - he hated writing - knew the material presented through 4th grade as a K5er. The schools solution was to bump him up a year, have me send in extra material, have him help tutor the other kids, send him on errands, never take away PE or recess (then they still had 2 recesses) and let him do a lot of his work orally. Middle School and High School were different birds and we had to figure out ways for him to get the material to them. All that to say, if public school is what you want, it can be done, but it will take a lot of work on your part. For what it's worth the ds I'm referring to graduated high school as an honor student and went on to graduate USC-Columbia. Jump ahead and I made the decision to home-school the other three. In that mix I have two more of the same along w/ one of them having major health problems. When my boys are under the age of 9 I do the majority of their school work sitting beside them helping them to stay focused. We do short lessons, we don't do tons of review or busy work - we cover the subjects making sure that they know the material but no boring them w/ a drill and kill attitude. They do handwriting but again we follow a quick and simple method so it's no more than maybe 5 mins and they write some of their math but other parts they simply tell me the answer. Soc Studies/History we cover history beginning w/ Ancient bec for my boys there is nothing is great as learning about the Egyptians and mummies I throw Soc Studies in by discussing monthly holidays or community helpers, people of noteworthiness , etc. but I don't spend a ton of time on it. For science we read and explore nature and do experiments -- bec my boys tend to be hands-on and benefit from touching, seeing and exploring. Spelling we use magnets and I don't stress about spelling if a child doesn't have the skills until later. Your ds is still young - he's curious and wants to be engaged in learning not sitting in a classroom -- that's understandable. As for your dh's concern -- look at his reasoning and then see what info you can help him to see a counter argument in favor of hsing v the traditional classroom. It took some doing for me to convince dh, but he's seen the fruits of my labor w/ our kids. Will it always be easy? NO! Do the blessings outweigh the struggles -- I can honestly say YES!
  36. 3 points
    Robin, I am too! I create a calendar with all the info, updated crowd predictions, classes my children are registered for, etc., and print out several copies to take with me (in case I lose one). I'd be lost without it! (Mostly because I'm over-40.)
  37. 3 points
    We have done the free dining plan, and done Disney without. The Disney YES tickets increased in price this year compared to last year. Although since I'm new I'm not sure if you get the same pricing as the regular YES programs? For families that are dead set on staying on site, have no intention of going offsite, either due to not having a rental car, or just no desire to leave property, taking advantage of the free dining is likely going to be beneficial for them. Families with 4-5 members per room, or children that are considered Disney 'adults' sometimes come out ahead on the dining plan as well in my experience. I agree with you that the Dining plan is not nearly as good as it was as when it first came out. I want my gratuities and appetizers back! One of the huge markets the dining plan attracts is the people who want to just pay everything up front and be done with it. There are so many ways though to save money on meals and snacks at Disney, several that you listed (eating breakfast offsite, bringing back the rest of the meal to eat later). There are also so many places even onsite that serve huge meals for a somewhat (by Disney standards) reasonable price that 2 people can easily share. If anyone wants any tips I'd be happy to share some!
  38. 2 points
    I am hoping this will help others to find not so common foods, kids' meals that are a better deal, vegetarian food items, items that other guests always seem to talk about (Dole Whip, Cronut, etc), special things that are found at certain locations, and food items that are good for sharing. Our family orders Kids' menu items from Quick Service to save money.. we have done this without issue. We haven't tried ordering Kids' meals from Table Service. Some items cost more in one location than another and I don't know why but if I list the item, it will be the cheaper location (Turkey leg in MK is currently $10.99 but in EPCOT is $11.75.. Cheese sauce is $1.00 in MK but only $.75 in Epcot). I have found the same with some alcoholic drinks but I'm not really trying to list those (your hint: EPCOT costs more but also has some items/drinks you can't find in other parks). $14.99 and under in MAGIC KINGDOM: Magic Kingdom Park, Adventureland - Aloha Isle: Dole Whip, Dole Whip float, pineapple spear ($4 - $5.50) Magic Kingdom Park, Adventureland - Sunshine Terrace: Citrus Swirl, Citrus Swirl float, root beer float ($4 - $5.50) Magic Kingdom Park, Adventureland - Tortuga Tavern: Turkey Leg ($11), Tortuga Island Dessert - Chocolate Almond Cake topped with a Red Caramel Dome surrounded by a Sea of Blue Whipped Cream, Candied Sunflower Seeds, and Chocolate Gold Coins ($4.59) Magic Kingdom Park, Fantasyland - Be Our Guest - Lunch: (Kids meal) Grilled Shrimp with Broccoli and Peach Applesauce ($8.49), Master's Cupcake - Chocolate Sponge Cake topped with Lumiere’s special “Grey Stuff” ($4.99) Magic Kingdom Park, Fantasyland - Be Our Guest - Dinner - ONLY place to meet 'BEAST': "The Grey Stuff" ($5.00), (Kids' meals) a)Macaroni and cheese OR b)Cheese Sandwich with Turkey Noodle Soup - each are served with Seasonal Vegetables and choice of one (1) Beverage and one (1) Dessert which can include "The Grey Stuff" ($10) Magic Kingdom Park, Fantasyland - Pinocchio Village Haus - Can sit in here and see part of the Small World Ride: Penne Pasta with Marinara - served with choice of Fountain Beverage ($7.29), (Kids' meal) Pepperoni Flatbread - includes Dannon® Danimals® Smoothie, GoGo squeeZ® Applesauce, and choice of small Lowfat Milk or small Dasani® Water ($7.49) Magic Kingdom Park, Frontierland - Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe - this place is known for it's 'extras' to pile onto your plate, NEW! This place now serves a HUGE platter of Nachos (was told you have to call ahead for this.. it's like a NACHO COMA unless you have a small army to feed!): (Kids' meal) Beef Nachos - served with GoGo squeeZe® Applesauce, Carrots and a choice of 1% Mickey Milk, Small Dasani® Bottled Water, or 100% Apple Juice ($6.49) Magic Kingdom Park, Frontierland - Westward Ho - Breakfast: Breakfast Sandwich - Bacon, Egg, Cheddar, and Pepper Jack served on a Multigrain Croissant ($6.49) Magic Kingdom Park, Liberty Square - Columbia Harbour House - THERE IS AN UPSTAIRS YOU CAN SIT AND EAT check it out: Land and Sea Trio - Fried Shrimp, Breaded Chicken, and Battered Fish with Coleslaw, served with choice of Steamed Fresh Vegetables, Apple Slices, or French Fries ($13.99), Combination Platter - choose two of our delicious offerings: Fried Shrimp, Battered Fish, or Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets, served with Coleslaw and choice of Steamed Fresh Vegetables, Apple Slices, or French Fries ($12.49), Original Plates - choose one of our delicious offerings: Fried Shrimp, Battered Fish, or Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets, served with Coleslaw and a choice of Steamed Fresh Vegetables, Apple Slices or French Fries ($10.99), Vegetarian Chili ($6.49), (Kids' meal) Chicken Breast Nuggets and Fish - choose one of our delicious offerings: Fried Shrimp, Battered Fish, or Breaded Chicken Breast Nuggets, served with Coleslaw and a choice of Steamed Fresh Vegetables, Apple Slices or French Fries ($7.19) Magic Kingdom Park, Liberty Square - Liberty Square Market: Wide variety of fruit, yogurt, turkey leg, pretzel, chips, hot dog, cookies, trail mix ($2 - $11) Magic Kingdom Park, Liberty Square - Sleepy Hollow - Breakfast: Breakfast Egg and Cheese Waffle Served until 12:00 PM Magic Kingdom Park, Liberty Square - Sleepy Hollow - Lunch and Dinner: Sweet and Spicey Chicken Waffle Sandwich ($8.99), Pretzel Dog with house made chips ($9.49), Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich served with Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread ($7.99), Funnel Cake topped with strawberries and whipped topping ($7.79), Baked Potato Served with Butter, Sour Cream and Cheese ($3.99) Magic Kingdom Park, Main Street, U.S.A. - Plaza Ice Cream: Doughnut Sundae - Glazed Doughnut with Cinnamon-Apple Topping, one scoop of Hand-made Ice Cream, topped with Whipped Cream, Chocolate Chips, Peanut Butter Chips, Hot Fudge Topping, Milk Chocolate Mickey Ears and a Cherry ($5.99), Mickey's Kitchen Sink Sundae - your choice of Hot Fudge, Peanut Butter or Caramel topped with Whipped Cream and two Cherries with your choice of two hand-scoops of Ice Cream ($16.99) Magic Kingdom Park, Tomorrowland - Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe: 1/2 Rotisserie Chicken - Slow-roasted Rotisserie Chicken served with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans ($14.49), (Kids' meal) Kids' Salad with Turkey - served with Carrot Sticks, GoGo squeeZ® and choice of small lowfat Milk or small Dasani® Water Magic Kingdom Park, Tomorrowland - Tomorrowland Terrace: Pulled Pork Bahn Mi - Hoagie Roll filled with Asian Pulled Pork topped with Pickled Vegetables and a spicy Sriracha Aïoli served with Apple Slices or House-made Chips ($11.29), Rocky Road Brownie ($4.59) $14.99 and under at EPCOT: Epcot, Future World - Electric Umbrella: Veggie Naan-wich - Naan Bread filled with Broccoli Slaw, Edamame and drizzled with Tofu Wasabi Dressing served with French Fries ($9.99), Chicken Breast Nuggets (8 pieces) served with French Fries ($9.49), (Kids' meal) Chicken Breast Nuggets - include Dannon® Danimals® Smoothie, Apple Slices, choice of Small Lowfat Milk or Small Dasani® Bottled Water, Small Nesquik® Chocolate Milk, Cherry Gelatin, Apple Slices, and French Fries, or Cookie substituted upon request. ($6.79), No Sugar Added Brownie ($4.19), Frozen Pineapple-Coconut Slushie ($4.29) Epcot, Future World - Fountain View --- not IN this but near it.. you can find CLUB COOL, go in and try the different sodas from around the world.. FREE! Try the Beverly! Everyone talks about it. Epcot, Future World - The Land Cart: Fruit and Cheese plate - Grapes, Strawberries, Cheddar and Swiss Cheese ($6.50), Vegetable Plate - Broccoli, Carrot Sticks, and Tomatoes with Dip ($4.25), Whole fruit, Hummus with pretzels, Veggie chips ($2 - $5) Epcot, Future World - Sunshine Seasons - Breakfast: Breakfast Power Wrap - with Wild Rice, Sweet Potatoes, Blueberries, Avocado, and Tofu ($8.49), Breakfast Platter - Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Breakfast Potatoes and Cinnamon French Toast Bread Pudding ($9.99), Breakfast Panini - Pork, Bacon, Scrambled Eggs, Arugula, Tomato, Chorizo-Pepper Jack Mornay Sauce, served with choice of side ($8.49), (Kids' meal) Breakfast Platter - Scrambled Eggs, Bacon and Cinnamon French Toast Bread Pudding, and choice of small Lowfat Milk or small Dasani® Bottled Water ($5.99) Epcot, Future World - Sunshine Seasons - Lunch and Dinner: Various Desserts - Creme brulee, pie, tart, brownie, cheesecakes ($3 - $6), (Kids' meal) Salmon served with Green Beans and includes choice of Carrots, GoGo squeeZ® Applesauce, Apple Slices, Dannon® Danimals® Smoothies or Cookie and a Small Beverage ($7.29), (Kids' meal) Chicken Wrap served with Carrots and Apple Slices and includes choice of GoGo squeeZ® Applesauce, Dannon® Danimals® Smoothies or Cookie and a Small Beverage ($6.79), (Kids' meal) Pasta with Marinara with Turkey Meatball includes choice of Carrots, GoGo squeeZ® Applesauce, Apple Slices, Dannon® Danimals® Smoothies or Cookie and a Small Beverage ($6.49), (Kids' meal) Ceasar Salad with Oak-fired Chicken served with Apple Slices, and choice of small Lowfat Milk or small Dasani® Bottled Water ($5.99), (Kids' meal) Mongolian Beef served with Apple Slices, and choice of small Lowfat Milk or small Dasani® Bottled Water. Meets Disney Nutrition Guidelines for Complete Meals without substitutions ($7.29) Epcot, World Showcase - Crepes des Chefs de France: Various Crepes ($4.50 - $6) Epcot, World Showcase - Gelati: Various ways to eat gelato flavors ($6.50 - $10), Primavera - Frozen Blend of Strawberry, Banana, and Peach Nectars ($5.25) Epcot, World Showcase - Joy of Tea: Curry Chicken Pocket ($4.50), Lucky Combo - A Curry Chicken Pocket with your choice of two Egg Rolls, a Soft Drink and an Ice Cream ($10.98), Strawberry Red Bean Ice Cream OR Caramel Ginger Ice Cream ($3.25), Interesting smoothies, teas, and drinks ($3 - $9) Epcot, World Showcase - Kabuki Cafe: limited Sushi ($5 - $5.50), (alcohol worth checking out if you drink $6 - $13) Epcot, World Showcase - Katsura Grill: limited Sushi in larger portions ($9 - $12), Steamed Rice ($2), Miso Soup ($3), Edemame ($4.00), (Kids' meals) Chicken Teriyaki with Mix Garden Salad, Cookie and choice of Juice or Milk or Soda ($8.00), Chicken & Shrimp OR Beef & Shrimp Teriyaki - each come with Mix Garden Salad, Cookie and choice of Juice or Milk or Soda ($9.00), Green Tea Ice Cream ($4.00), Green Tea Cheesecake ($4.50) Epcot, World Showcase - Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe: Various yummy pastries I've never heard of ($3 - $5.50), School Bread EVERYONE TALKS ABOUT and says you have to try! - Sweet Cardamom Bun filled with Vanilla Crème Custard and topped with Glazed and Toasted Coconut ($3.49), Ham and Apple Sandwich - Ham, Apple and Jarlsberg and Muenster Cheese with a Sweet Apple Chutney on Toasted Multigrain Bread ($7.99), Norwegian Club - Ham, Turkey, Bacon, Jarlsberg and Muenster Cheese with fresh Tomatoes, Sliced Red Onion and Lingonberry Mayonnaise on Toasted Multigrain Bread ($8.99) Epcot, World Showcase - La Cantina San Angel: Nacho Cheese ($.75), Paletas - traditional Fruit Popsicles with choice of Watermelon, Mango, Lime, and Coconut ($3.95) Epcot, World Showcase - Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie: Baguette - Half Fresh from our oven ($1.85), Baguette - Whole Fresh from our oven ($2.95), Fromages - Imported Cheese plate ($9.25), Palmier - Cinnamon and Chocolate Elephant Ears ($3.85) Epcot, World Showcase - Liberty Inn: Freshly Grilled Vegetarian "Chick'n" Breast served with Guacamole, Chipotle Corn Salsa, Lettuce, and Tomato ($9.99), Surf and Turf - Grilled 6oz NY Strip Steak and Fried Shrimp served with Demi Butter, French Fries and Steamed Broccoli ($14.99) Epcot, World Showcase - Lotus Blossom Cafe: Chicken Pot Stickers ($5.25), Hong Kong Style Vegetable Curry over rice ($9.99), (Kids' meal) Sweet and Sour Chicken with Steamed Rice and choice of 1% Milk, Small Bottled Water, or Juice ($7.95), (Kids' meal) Potstickers & Spring Rolls with choice of 1% Milk, Small Bottled Water, or Juice ($7.95), Lychee Ice Cream ($3.50) Epcot, World Showcase - Promenade Refreshments: House-made Ranch Kettle Chips ($2.99) Epcot, World Showcase - Refreshment Port: the VERY popular Croissant Donut aka "Cronut" tossed in Cinnamon Sugar ($4.99), (adult Godiva Hot Chocolate - Hot Cocoa with Godiva Liqueur $10 .. sorry no sorry.. it sounds too good NOT to mention!) Epcot, World Showcase - Tangierine Cafe: Vegetable Platter served with Tangierine Couscous Salad, Hummus and Tabouleh ($12.99), Shawarma Lamb Platter served with a side of Hummus, Tabouleh, and Tangierine Couscous Salad with fresh Moroccan Bread ($13.99), Saffron Rotisserie Chicken served with Yellow Rice ($17.99), Tabouleh ($3.99), Tangierine Couscous Salad ($3.99) $14.99 and under at HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Commissary Lane - ABC Commissary: No Sugar Added Strawberry Parfait ($4.99), (Kids' meal - PERFECT FOR TODDLERS) Power Pack - Dannon® Danimals® Yogurt, Apple Wedges, Carrot Sticks, Goldfish Crackers, Apple-Cinnamon Snack Bar and a choice of small lowfat Milk or small Dasani® Water. Meets Disney Nutrition Guidelines for Complete Meals without substitutions ($5.99), Chicken and Rib Combo Platter - Smoked Barbecue Spare Ribs and Roasted Chicken served with Coleslaw and French Fries ($17.99) Disney's Hollywood Studios, Echo Lake - Backlot Express: Royal Guard Burger - 1/3 lb Angus Beef Burger, topped with Barbecued Brisket, Pepper Jack Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato and a Pickle on a Dark Bun served with Carrot Sticks or French Fries ($13.49), Grilled Vegetable Sandwich served with Applesauce, Carrot Sticks and choice of small Lowfat Milk or small Dasani® Water ($5.99) Disney's Hollywood Studios, Echo Lake - Min and Bill Dockside Diner: (Kids' meal) Pulled Pork Sandwich topped with Coleslaw and includes Carrot Sticks, Apple Slices and choice of Small Lowfat Milk or Small Dasani® Water ($6.79) Disney's Hollywood Studios, Echo Lake - Oasis Canteen: Barq's Root Beer Float ($4.99) Disney's Hollywood Studios, Muppet Courtyard - PizzeRizzo: Meatball Sub - Hoagie Rolled stuffed with Seasoned Meatballs and Smothered in Marinara Sauce and Provolone Cheese served with Caesar Salad ($9.99), Vegetable Pizza - Pizza topped with Mushrooms, Peppers, Onions, and Tomatoes served with Caesar Salad ($9.99) Disney's Hollywood Studios, Sunset Boulevard - Anaheim Produce: Assorted WHOLE Fruit ($1.99 .. cheapest I've found), snack bars, veggies, chips, trail mix, dried fruit, fruit cups, Churro, Pretzel with cheese sauce ($1 - $6) Disney's Hollywood Studios, Sunset Boulevard - Hollywood Scoops: Adult Hard Root Beer Float mixed with Coney Island Hard Root Beer ($8.00) Disney's Hollywood Studios, Sunset Boulevard - Rosie's All American Cafe: Fried Green Tomato Sandwich - Jalapeño Ranch, Pepper Jack, and Arugula on Ciabatta Bread served with Coleslaw or French Fries ($9.99) $14.99 and under in ANIMAL KINGDOM: Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Africa - Harambe Fruit Market: Banana, Apple, Orange ($1.99 each), Flame Grilled Corn On The Cob - flame-grilled, Butter-dipped, with Market Curry Spice ($4.29) Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Africa - Harambe Market: (Kids' meal) BBQ Rib - glazed with Barbecue Sauce and includes two selections: Apple Wedges, Carrot Sticks, or fresh Broccoli Spears and choice of small Lowfat Milk or small Dasani® Water ($7.49), variety of soft drinks not commonly found in USA ($3.29 each), Frozen Flamingo - delicious non-alcoholic frozen concoction with flavors of Strawberry and Passion Fruit served in an ocarina musical sipper ($12.99), Beef and Lamb Gyro Flatbread - served with Green Papaya Slaw and Black-Eyed Pea Salad ($10.99), Grilled Vegetable Stack - served with Green Papaya Slaw and Black-Eyed Pea Salad ($9.99) Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Africa - Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery - Breakfast: Hot Breakfast Wrap - Egg, Sausage, Spinach and Goat Cheese ($6.79), Cereal with milk, Fruit cup, pastries, yogurt, muffins, huge cinnamon roll for 2 ($3 - $9) Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Africa - Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery - Lunch/Snack: Tomato and Mozzarella Sandwich ($9.49), Roast Beef and Cheddar Panini - Fire Roasted Beef, Smoked Tillamook Cheddar, and Horseradish-Sherry Vinaigrette on Ciabatta Bread. Served with House-made Curry Spiced Chips ($10.99) Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Africa - Mahindi Market: Cinniamon Glazed Almonds OR Pecans ($5.39 each) Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Africa - Tamu Tamu: Adult Dole Whip cup ($7), Cocolate Covered Espresso Beans ($5.39), Chocolate Waffle with Vanilla Ice Cream or Chocolate Mousse ($5.59) Pay Using the App Once you’ve added everything that your family cares to enjoy, you can review your order and purchase it right from the app.We’re currently only accepting credit cards and debit cards for mobile order payments. If you would like to use Disney Gift Cards, Disney dining plans or any discounts that may be available to you, please order in person at the restaurant. When you arrive at the restaurant, open the app, tap on the image of your character and press the “I’m Here, Prepare My Order” button. This lets us know you’re here, so we can start your order.When your food is ready to enjoy, you will receive a notification from the app and you’ll pick up your meal at the area with the “Mobile Order Pick Up” sign. You can place mobile orders for the following quick-service restaurants: Columbia Harbour House Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café D-Luxe Burger Electric Umbrella Flame Tree Barbecue Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe Pinocchio Village Haus Pizzafari Restaurantosaurus Satu’li Canteen Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant
  39. 2 points
    I understand completely! I just posted to remind people that there are even more hidden costs - to get the decent dining plan, you have to pay rack rate (regular prices) for deluxe rooms, or pay to upgrade the dining plan. The counter service dining plan isn't good unless you do a lot of research and figure out where to eat decently (food that tastes good) at counter service restaurants. And even then, the regular (table service) dining plan is the best one for the experience. Free dining isn't free in any sense. We found that we could buy pizzas for our family on what it took to pay gratuity for one "free" dining table service meal. Free dining used to be worth it and we did it for 5 or more years. But not anymore.
  40. 2 points
    BTW...this is our first time ever going to WDW! My husband and I are having such a hard time not slipping up and giving the secret away, lol
  41. 2 points
    So exciting, seeing all of the posts and pictures everyone is sharing about Disney World! We are new to Carolina Homeschooler, and barely made the deadline for registration, but we are going! Biggest problem I'm having is keeping it a secret from my two kiddos, who will be turning 13 and 16 the week we are there! They know they are going on a homeschool trip/family vacation, but that is all...hee hee....It's going to be amazing to see their faces when it finally dawns on them
  42. 2 points
    We had friends who deliberately travelled at night making sure to time it so they were arriving middle of the night when kids were good and groggy. It worked and kids were exstatic to wake up & realize they were in Disney!
  43. 2 points
    I've heard rumors that Disney was planning to close DisneyQuest, and found out today they officially confirmed it (thank you for the head's up, Jennifer D.). It will close "sometime" in 2016. I encourage families to visit it at least once while we're there this year. (I'll probably plan a group meet and greet there.) It's a lot of fun! Warmly, Dianna
  44. 2 points
    We stay on site, but in DVC with a kitchen. Always, always eat breakfast before you leave unless there is a very specific pre-opening character breakfast that you really have to do. That'll save you a ton of money and time every day. Pack lunches in a cooler. If you drink water, any counter service and any snack spot with a soda machine will give you free ice water. Water from these machines is filtered and doesn't taste bad at all, but you can always add the packets of flavor. We don't carry water bottles because it's easier to just do a quick stop for free cups that we don't have to lug around all day and that way they stay cold. There are plenty of counter service meals that are big enough to share. Also, kids meals are a pretty reasonably sized meal for someone who is not super hungry. They generally come with an entree, two sides (fruit, veggie or cookie/fries) and a drink at under $8 (most are about $6). There is no age limit for ordering counter service children's meals. We usually look for the interesting ones and avoid the burger/nugget choices. If you have a car, which I assume you will since you're staying offsite, watch the Publix ad the week of your trip and try to grab groceries that are on sale or have coupons. It may save enough money over eating out to buy a crock pot at Walmart and just leave it or donate it in FL at the end of your trip. We eat in the room pretty much every-other-night. Things like pulled pork sandwiches, crock pot lasagna, pot roast...things that I can toss in the crock pot in the morning and will be done when we get home are a huge hit. And they're meals that are a little more expensive and meat-heavy than we'd eat at home, but are still so much cheaper than restaurant meals so my family is good with the compromise. If you have a credit card with a gift card rewards program, there are a lot of restaurants in the WDW area that participate in those programs. We stock up on Landrys (Yak and Yeti, T-Rex, Rainforest), Starbucks (in all 4 parks and Disney Springs), Wolfgang Puck, and then offsite but close restaurants like Outback, Red Robin, etc. We don't carry a balance on our credit card, but we use it for all possible purchases, including big bills, so we generally save up about $800/$1000 per year in card rewards. Half of those go toward holiday gift shopping and the other half will be used for Disney eats.
  45. 2 points
    Hh my goodness, I just booked our campsite! Kind of spur of the moment. Still haven't bought our tickets on here yet. Better start saving pronto, haha. We are not staying very long. nov. 14-20. We do WDW often but have never tent camped. Any advice what are must bring or fun to have items?
  46. 2 points
    Hey Kristi! Welcome!! We live right next to Orangeburg, we live in Swansea. Not far from Orangeburg. Living out here in the country is great but the one draw back is meeting new people. Especially when you homeschool! We are going on our 4th year here and we travel to West Columbia, Lexington, Columbia, etc. for playdates, parks, co-op etc. It is just where the majority of the homeschoolers are and where you can find the best locations as well. I have 3 children 7yo, almost 10yo and 16yo. Have you found any groups that you have liked yet to be apart of? that is really how I started connecting with others. I have several I can tell you about that I have joined and their location and such if your interested.
  47. 2 points
    When my DS was that age, we used the American Story from Winter Promise. (note: WP is Christian, but American Story is easily adaptable to secular). Ultimately, I didn't really use the course guide or the note booking that much (DS hates note booking, but some love it), but instead their selection of books. It was a read aloud couple of years and we really enjoyed it and he learned a lot. If your pulling him home, something relaxed may be helpful. Many of the books were available at the library, and this was before SCLends. Story of the World is another easy history program. I can't stand reading the book out loud but enjoy listening to it in the car. There is an activity book if you like those types of thing (we don't) and you pair with a DK or Kingsfisher History Encyclopedia. Add in historical fiction if you want. Plenty of time for rabbit trails if you find something of interest at the library. Math - we've always used Math U See, and it works here. Language arts - I'm all over the place. Mostly piece together what works for each at the point in time we need it. However, I'm currently using Writing and Rhetoric from Classical Academic Press with DD and I've been very happy! It is a nice, gentle introduction to the classical ideas of writing. I wish it had been around when DS was that age! We have had little formal science - we live on a farm so science is real life. And regarding formal writing.....I've honestly pushed it off until they were older. I think our education system tends to push kids to do too much too early. And really, a standard book report is boring, whether in 3d, 5th, 7th, or 9th grade. Mine don't want to write it, and honestly I don't want to read it. No matter what you choose, be prepared to adapt. The curriculum needs to work for you and your kiddo, not y'all become a slave to the curriculum. Even when you *know* this, it is still tempting to worry...oh, we didn't do the project, we didn't complete the book, we didn't XYZ. Good luck.
  48. 2 points
    Will homeschooling work for your family right now? If you think it may, then I'd strongly suggest trying it out again. Do not worry about high school yet - focus on giving your child what he needs now. Having only a high school diploma says absolutely nothing about your intelligence, so don't let that limit you. Even people with all sorts of fancy degrees aren't experts in everything. For me, foreign language was my biggest fear. So I found a computer-based program that worked for my eldest- something that needs zero involvement from me. Luckily, I've discovered that he doesn't have the same foreign language issues that I have. My weakness isn't getting in his way. Though it's probably more than just a weakness for me. I struggle learning things orally but was able to easily overcompensate in school with everything but foreign language. Otherwise, I could just learn alongside him. There are tutors out there. There are co-op classes. There are lots and lots of options. Unlike public school, if something isn't working, you change it. We have so many options. I've seen way too many elem teachers who couldn't teach math - and they were still teaching it! At least you don't have to teach it the school's way, so if you struggle with teaching anything, your student won't have to struggle. As for giving out grades - you don't have to give out grades. It does make high school transcripts look prettier, but you can use your own scale. Like A = full mastery. B = good understanding, C = struggling but learning some He can have a diploma - you can issue one. I don't know about you, but I was never ever asked to show my diploma for a job or to apply to college. I was asked for a copy of my transcript, which you can write up. (And get help writing up - there's lots of info online on how to do that).
  49. 2 points
    Melissa, you're already homeschooling with all the learning that's going on at your house. Just build on that. You don't have to stick to a school schedule - learning happens on the weekends, evenings, during the summer, during vacations, etc., so you can homeschool around your work schedule. For answers to frequently asked questions, see my FAQs at http://www.carolinahomeschooler.com/afaq.html If you have any other questions after reading through those, let me know. For more in-depth information, a description of different methods, typical days, favorite resources, and advice from hundreds of homeschooling parents who answered my surveys, see my guide: http://amzn.to/Mj41rh Warmly, Dianna
  50. 2 points
    Okay, Dorothy, I am by no means an expert, but I've done some poking around for you and this is what I've come up with. A family of six only has a few relatively inexpensive places they can stay on site as far as I can tell. You can do the family suites at Art of Animation or All Star Music for (Disney price) $2200-2500 (that's for the whole week, November 16-24, 8 nights). If you are a AAA member, Disney Visa holder, or ID-having military retiree then you can often get some discounts in the 5-15% range. The disadvantage to these rooms are that they JUST sleep 6, with the two smallest bed being a twin fold-out chair and a "single" fold-out ottoman; the value resorts are more spread out, so there's more walking from room to bus stop, food, etc. although each complex of three buildings usually has its own water play/pool area (check a map to see what I'm talking about); and you're pretty much stuck with Disney's food as you might have a little fridge but nothing else, so that adds a bunch of $$. Another option is one of the 2BR villas at Saratoga Springs, a Deluxe Resort. The big advantages here are that it's much bigger, sleeps 8, so the master BR has a king-sized bed and the other three are queen beds or sofabeds; and you get a fully equipped kitchen, which can cut down TREMENDOUSLY on your food costs. Now, I know you don't want to be in there cooking all the time, but even if you just had a quick breakfast in the room and then made sandwiches to take to the parks for lunch (or had them for dinner after an afternoon swim) you would be SO ahead of the game. You would just have to have the food arranged to be delivered, but there are several companies that do that. This option IS more spendy of course, and you don't book it through Disney b/c that would cost you more than 6K. You go to a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) rental site, like dvc-rental.com, and you pay someone for their extra points to rent it in your name. I ran those numbers for your family, again for my dates which is 8 nights, and that came to about $3200. Add your airfare (check Southwest directly, they don't participate in fare-finder sites and they're an Orlando hub), figure one Disney meal per day plus whatever you think breakfast and sandwich/chips/fruit/snacks would cost for the week (a lot of the delivery sites have "menus" you can price from), and then assume $230 per person for 8-day tickets. I have no idea what Universal and Sea World tickets are going to cost, so I'm not sure what to estimate there. And then pray for a big tax refund!!! :-)
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