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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Homeschooling & Education

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Brandeis Bungles Ayaan Hirsi-Ali

The biggies at Brandeis University in Massachusetts took one big step backwards in terms of progress.  As a matter of fact, the big step was like a drop off of a cliff. You see, they had decided to honor human rights activist Ayaan Hirsi-Ali, a Somali-American and former Muslim who speaks out about her past. …

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Gifted Hands: A Story of Hope

I like to surround myself with stories of courage and hope.  Whenever I see or hear such a narrative, I pass them on to my family and friends. Well, friends, here’s one for you today.  We all need some encouragement now and then, and this story will do it for you. Either in written or…

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Crazy College Decisions

Our son-the-high-school-senior receives numerous bits and pieces of college advice, much of which comes from online articles sent to his e-mail inbox.  And I have to laugh, because, for the most part it’s all. very. stupid. Here are a few of the gems that students everywhere are supposed to embrace: 1.  Don’t base your college…

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SAT Makes Things Right

It had been one and one-half weeks since I sent my first e-mail to the College Board, voicing my objection that fully 50% of the students at March 8th’s exam had their calculators seized.  These were approved calculators at an earlier test, and now suddenly, they were verboten.  No reply. My husband had phoned several…

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Our Daily Spelling Session

I’m not quite sure how much time spelling takes up in regular high schools or junior high schools, but in our homeschool, it can eat up the better part of a morning.  Not so much for the students, but for me. I need time-out for banging my head against the wall. It’s an uphill battle…

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SAT Sticks It to Us… Again

Run the “Search” function on this blogsite looking for PSAT and SAT, and you will quickly learn that we have endured nothing but pain and suffering from the esteemed and venerable College Board, creators of standardized tests for American students aiming for college.  This last weekend, our son took the test again, and of course,…

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SAT Score Increase

Looking ahead to early March and taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), which could be termed an American college entrance exam of sorts, we are attempting to help our oldest son test at the same level as he tests on his regular school exams.  As I’ve written before, the rub is in the fact that…

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Instant (Selective) Memory Recall

“I can’t remember!” Sashenka insisted. “Well, all of your siblings know they need to write four or five sentences in their diary each night, and use at least three spelling words.  You’re the only one writing two sentences….” “It’s because I forget!” she claimed. “Alright, we all forget things, and that’s why we write them…

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Creative Back Doors into College

Those of us with older internationally-adopted children are often highly-educated.  We sort of expect our kids to follow in those footsteps.  Nothing wrong with working in a fast-food place or on a lawn-mowing crew, it’s just that we never imagined that to be their future. I receive tons of e-mails asking, “Is it possible to…

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The Tricky Effects of FAS

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, yes, that disease that comes from birth mothers drinking and is passed on to the in utero baby.  It may cause a variety of symptoms and characteristics in the areas of physical, mental, or emotional damage, occasionally all three presenting, more often than not, it’s less than totally across-the-board. Physical symptoms are…

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