Thursday, October 14, 2010

Another Just Stuff post...

  • I am going to be SO THRILLED when Connor is done with Apologia Biology through the Virtual Homeschool Group.  He has ONE module to go.  It's been great, but this overlapping high school science courses is about killing me.  Three fewer hours of class time per week will be bliss.  Not to mention only one set of labs for him, and only one book to read... well... we'll see how long it lasts.  But he WILL NOT be doing another online science course concurrently.  Nuh-uh.  Not gonna happen.  Somebody slap me if I start making sounds like it will. (He'd love it though...)
  • William and Thomas are getting tutoring through Peak Reader, a free service for kids who are below grade level in reading.  They've gone for three weeks now (six sessions) and I am seeing marked improvement.  Thomas adores his tutor, which is fun.  It is making things so much easier for me... they are getting two hours a week of reading instruction from someone outside the family.  They are supposed to be reading at least 15 minutes a day with an adult... and both of them are absolutely insistent on that happening now, because they WILL have that sheet completely filled in without missing a day, no matter what.  They have both started reading things to me (like error messages on the computer) that they previously wouldn't have tried... it is amazing.  
  • I'm reading a book right now called The Reading Remedy.  Not very far into it yet, but there are some things in there that really resonate with me.  Like the statistic about 40% of kids, roughly, struggle with reading.  It really hit me today... ummm, yeah.  Connor really didn't, not by the definitions in the book.  Richard certainly doesn't.  Trina certainly doesn't appear to.  William and Thomas -- yep, you betcha.  So 40% is exactly right in my house.
  • I vented about Obamacare on my Facebook page a couple weeks ago.  I do still need to post about it here too.  But we did finally get the nitty-gritty details... and fortunately, we can drastically cut our coverage and still manage to pay the premiums.  So, we'll have something that isn't quite as bad as catastrophic care insurance.  But we really won't be able to afford to go to the doctor for anything other than preventative care.  At least there is a coverage option that allows us to eat.
  • Great Northern Beans.  Anybody got some recipes?  I have pounds and pounds and pounds of dry Great Northern Beans in my house.  I have to figure out something to do with these.  Anybody???


Ina's 5 and our Native Homeschool Blog said...

Ok, up here (in Canada) we ll followed the fight for universal health care in the US (and couldn't figure out why some people didn't want that), but are you telling me it isn't really universal, that you are all still going to be paying for doctors and emergency room visits and babies being born and all that other stuff we get for free (as in no fee)?

Cristi said...

We eat Great Northern Beans in a bowl by themselves w/ cornbread on the side. If I have a ham bone, I throw it in while they are cooking. If not, I try to remember to throw in some fake ham flavoring packets.

I use already cooked GNB in the crockpot to make a mock French Cassoulet. I put in chicken thighs (bone-in), diced tomatoes (plain or Italian style), a little Italian seasoning, and the beans. We serve it with cornbread, over rice, or over couscous.

Jen said...

White Chicken Chile is our favorite. The McKormick seasoning pack has a good recipe (and I only use 1/2 a package per crockpot.) I use left over chicken and add tomatoes, and corn. We top with cheese and sour cream.

Tess said...

@Ina's 5. We do not have true socialized medical care in the US. It's just that the law is now that you have to have insurance but that insurance is still private and you still pay for it and generally there are cost shares and deductibles.

@Debra-- I'm glad to hear that you'll be able to have some coverage and still be able to eat. I wish I could help with bean recipes. I've been reading Country Beans today and if I see something I'll let you know.

Debra said...

Okay, so white chili is on the menu for tonight :)

Health care -- Obamacare isn't about universal health coverage. The laws mandate all kinds of new benefits, and it requires people to purchase insurance, but obviously the insurance companies have to raise rates to pay for the new things they are required to provide. Fortunately, I have the option to double my copay (the $ you pay per visit), triple my deductible (the $ we have to pay before the insurance kicks in), drop the percentage of our costs that the insurance will pay, and triple ummm, something else, I need to go see what. By doing all of that, we have only a small increase in our insurance premiums. As long as we don't ever get sick or hurt enough to see a doctor, we can afford to eat and we can afford to obey the law. But if someone breaks a leg, we will have to give up groceries.

Ina's 5 and our Native Homeschool Blog said...

Health care: That's terrible. So those with less are still screwed in the US when it comes to healthcare. I had no idea that was the plan.

Debra said...

Ina - I don't know that anybody actually benefits from the healthcare plan. The poor and the wealthy are in about the same situation that they were before. I think almost everyone in the middle is way worse off now than before... I know we are facing far fewer coverage choices than ever before, and those options are expensive.

The insurance companies certainly are not better off except that they will end up with new customers since we are being forced to buy their product. But they face a lot of restrictions with insane numbers of pages of regulations. Their hands are tied now in ways they weren't before.

The doctors and other medical providers most definitely do not benefit.

I think maybe abortion providers may be about the only people in the country who come out ahead under this asinine plan.

Jen said...

And this is why I am so glad to live in Australia where I can go to the hospital with an emergency and get full care. We can go to an after hours doctor's service, no charge. My normal everyday doctor charges about $50 for a short visit of which I get back about $45 from the government run Medicare system.

I could choose to have private health cover, but most emergency things are covered by the public system. At this stage with all of us in reasonably good health there is no need for cover for elective surgery, dental cover (well, that one would be good), optical, physio, etc.

Sorry about your system. I really feel for you. I would hate the stress of not being able to afford to see a doctor if one of my littles was unwell.

Best wishes,
Jen in Oz

Debra said...

Jen -- I told the kids if they feel the need to break a leg or anything in the next dozen years, they have to do it in the next two months... and/or pray that this stupid Obamacare gets repealed AND we get some of our old coverage options.

Up until January 1, we can afford medical care. After that, we can't.

What's even worse is that we are very, very close to another price increase... If Dale gets much of a raise, our premiums will nearly double again, as we'll be in a new wage bracket. He'll probably be okay this coming year, but in 2012, we'll have to see if he can't refuse any raise they offer him. We won't be able to afford for him to get paid more.

How insanely stupid is that? That's his human resources department though, not the federal government.