Welcome to Willow Wood Academy!

My daughter and I are in our third year of homeschooling for 9th grade.  This is where I will be documenting our journey and hopefully posting some helpful things for others along the way!

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Using Figuratively Speaking

My daughter has not had much exposure to literary terms, so this year in 9th grade we are going to be working through the book Figuratively Speaking, which uses excerpts of many books, short stories, poems, and plays to show examples of different literary terms.  We will be going further and reading many of these works in their entirety to fulfill our literature requirement for the year.  Figuratively Speaking is broken up into 40 lessons, so I have made a list with links to the full works that correspond to each lesson.  We may not get to read all of these for each lesson, but I like having them all in one place to access.

Lesson 1: Denotation & Connotation
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 5-7
“Autumn Within” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“The Rainy Day” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Something” by Hans Christian Andersen
“Home” by Edgar A. Guest

Lesson 2: Hyperbole
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 8-10
Tall Tales of Johnny Appleseed, Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan
“The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” by Mark Twain
Dave Barry column/article
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
“Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Lesson 3: Idiom
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 11-13
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
“A Story Without an End” by Mark Twain

Lesson 4: Imagery
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 14-16
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
“The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore
“The Waste Land” by T.S. Eliot
“To Build A Fire” by Jack London
A Nature Poem

Lesson 5: Metaphor & Simile
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 17-19
“Taking Leave of A Friend” by Li Po
“Jazz Fantasia” by Carl Sandburg
“She Sweeps with Many-Colored Brooms” by Emily Dickinson
“A Forest Hymn” by William Cullen Bryant
“Song of the Sky Loom” (Tewa Indian poem)
“Winter Dreams” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“The Willing Muse” by Willa Cather

Lesson 6: Oxymoron & Paradox
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 20-22
Animal Farm by George Orwell
“There is a Solitude of Space” by Emily Dickinson
“Death Be Not Proud” by John Donne
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
“A Good Man is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor

Lesson 7: Personification
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 23-25
“The Mice in Council” by Aesop
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
“The Cop and the Anthem” by O. Henry
Macbeth by William Shakespeare
“Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
“The Grass so little has to do-” by Emily Dickinson
“The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane

Lesson 8: Symbol
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 26-28
“Mending Wall” by Robert Frost (and others like “Home Burial”, “The Road Not Taken”, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”)
“Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Beauty and the Beast
“The Scarlet Ibis” by James Hurst
Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett
“The Necklace” by Guy Mapassaunt
“All Summer in a Day” by Ray Bradury

Lesson 9: Alliteration
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 29-31
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
“The Ruin”
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
“The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe (also “The Bells”)
“The Wreck of the Hesperus” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Alliteration Examples Resource

Lesson 10: Assonance and Consonance
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 32-34
“The Bells” by Edgar Allan Poe
“The Hayloft” by Robert Louis Stevenson
“I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing” by Walt Whitman
“The Chambered Nautilus” by Oliver Wendell Holmes
“The Arsenal at Springfield” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Concord Hymn” by Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Ode on the Confederate Dead” by Henry Timrod
“Beat! Beat! Drums” by Walt Whitman
“There is a Solitude of Space” by Emily Dickinson
“Hampton Beach” by John Greenleaf Whittier
“The First Snowfall” by James Russell Lowell
“The Marshes of Glynn” by Sidney Lanier
“The Outcast of Poker Flats” by Bret Harte
“War is Kind” by Stephen Crane
“Upon the Burning of Our House” by Anne Bradstreet
Preface to “God’s Determinations” by Edward Taylor
The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Lesson 11: Form
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 35-37
A selection of haiku poems by Matsuo Basho
Some of Adelaide Crapsey’s cinquains
Limerick samples by Edward Lear
“To Mistress Margaret Hussey” by John Skelton

Lesson 12: Onomatopoeia
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 38-40
“The Princess” by Alfred Lord Tennyson
“Lepanto” by G. K. Chesterton
“The Congo” by Vachel Lindsay
“Jazz Fantasia” by Carl Sandburg
“The Sound of the Sea” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Canto First” by Percy Shelley

Lesson 13: Parallelism
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 41-43
“Hunting Song” traditional Native American poem
“Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll
“I Will Fight No More Forever” by Chief Joseph
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Lesson 14: Repetition and Refrain
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 44-46
“The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane
“Do Not Weep Maiden, for War is Kind” by Stephen Crane
“Good Night, Irene” folk song

Lesson 15: Rhyme
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 47-49
“The Duel” by Eugene Field
“The Blessed Damozel” by Dante Rossetti
“An Alphabet of Famous Goops” by Gelett Burgess

Lesson 16: Rhythm
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 50-52
“Thanatopsis” by William Cullen Bryant
“Sea Fever” by John Masefield
“Recessional” by Rudyard Kipling
“There Is No Frigate Like a Book” by Emily Dickinson
“Preludes” by T.S. Eliot
“Song of the Redwood Tree” by Walt Whitman

Lesson 17: Run-on and End-stopped Lines
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 53-55
“The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson

Lesson 18: Stanza
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 56-58
“Trees” by Joyce Kilmer
“Be Strong” by Maltbie Davenport Babcock
“My Kate” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
“Ode to the West Wind” by Percy Shelley
Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne

Lesson 19: Allusion
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 59-61
“The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg” by Mark Twain
Pudd’nhead Wilson by Mark Twain

Lesson 20: Characters and Charaterization
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 62-64
“The Story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Lesson 21: Conflict
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 65-67
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
“The Sniper” by Liam O’Flaherty

Lesson 22: Dialect
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 68-70
“A Red, Red Rose” by Robert Burns

Lesson 23: Dialogue
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 71-73
“At Last” by James Whitcomb Riley
“The Jockey” by Carson McCullers

Lesson 24: Flashback
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 74-76
“The Bet” by Anton Checkhov
“Paul’s Case” by Willa Cather

Lesson 25: Foreshadowing
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 77-79
“The Ugly Duckling” by Hans Christian Andersen
“The Birds” by Daphne du Maurier

Lesson 26: Genre
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 80-82
The excerpts in Figuratively Speaking will be sufficient.

Lesson 27: Irony
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 83-85
“The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell
“The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry
“The Remarkable Rocket” by Oscar Wilde
“The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

Lesson 28: Local Color
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 86-88
“The Country of the Pointed Firs” by Sarah Orne Jewett
A New England Nun and Other Stories by Mary Wilkins Freeman

Lesson 29: Mood and Tone
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 89-91
A Marriage Proposal by Anton Chekhov
“Rip Van Winkle” by Washington Irving
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving
The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann D. Wyss
“The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe

Lesson 30: Moral and Theme
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 92-94
“The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” by Aesop
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Lesson 31: Narrator/Point of View
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 95-97
An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott

Lesson 32: Plot
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 98-100
“The Lady, or the Tiger?” by Frank Stockton
“The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell

Lesson 33: Poetic License
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 101-103
“Mannahatta” by Walt Whitman

Lesson 34: Pun
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 104-106
“A Hymn to God the Father” by John Donne
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Lesson 35: Rhetorical Question
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 107-109
The excerpts in Figuratively Speaking will be sufficient.

Lesson 36: Satire, Parody, and Farce
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 110-112
“L’Art” by Ezra Pound
A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift

Lesson 37: Story Within a Story
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 113-115
“The Storyteller” by Saki
“The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” by Mark Twain
“A Story Without an End” by Mark Twain

Lesson 38: Stream of Consciousness
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 116-118
“An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce
“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot

Lesson 39: Surprise Ending
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 119-121
“Hearts and Hands” by O. Henry
“An Inhabitant of Carcosa” by Ambrose Bierce

Lesson 40: Suspense
Read: Figuratively Speaking pages 122-124
“The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacob
“Moxon’s Master” by Ambrose Bierce




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Week 10 Report

Yay!  I remembered to post this week!  This week was very productive.  We took Friday off to go see a movie and do a little Christmas shopping, so that was fun and a nice little break.  Our co-op was cancelled this week due to a train derailment and chemical fire near the church it’s held at.  We got going into our new Rod & Staff English and Spelling lessons and they seem to be just what we needed.  They get the job done, and we aren’t doing a bunch of different things anymore. We have stopped Art of Problem Solving Prealgebra for now.  My daughter just wasn’t “getting it”.  So, we are going through the book Kiss My Math by Danica McKellar, and so far it seems to be helping.  We will work through the whole book and should be done well before Christmas, so I plan to try AoPS again after the new year.  She also started using Khan Academy online and has really been enjoying it.

We are studying Ancient Egypt in History.  We first read Human Odyssey, and then started reading through OUP’s The Ancient Egyptian World.  My daughter takes notes to help her remember the important points.  In Science, we started using CPO’s Earth Science.  I am using the free download, and my daughter is taking notes after I read the chapter.  We are also going through the section and chapter reviews orally.  This week we got through Chapter 3.

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The best laid plans…….

So, when I decided to start homeschooling, I had this great idea that I would start a blog.  Mostly to document our journey and what we were learning, but also to hopefully post things that would help others along the way.  And I had visions that I would be posting every day.  Well, obviously that has not happened.  I’ve even missed my weekly reports for the last few weeks.  They had been getting kind of repetitious for me and not much fun to write.  And of course, after doing school and figuring out meals, plus laundry and everything else, there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day!

The good news is, I have made some changes to our curriculum the past few weeks, and it is definitely for the better.  So, I am not going to go back and write weekly reports for the weeks I missed, but try my hardest to start back weekly from this point.

If anyone is interested in how my curriculum changed, please keep reading……..

My daughter was in public school K-6th grade.  She has always liked anything “workbooky”, partly because there seems to be alot of that in PS and that’s what she was used to, and partly (I just realized) because they are pretty much “black and white”, meaning you either know the answer or you don’t, and there doesn’t tend to be alot of writing involved (by this I mean something she has to compose).  Writing is where she really struggles, and is the main reason I pulled her out of PS.  I didn’t realize how bad it was until 6th grade, and that’s not because of a lack of involvement since I was very involved in her schooling at PS (as much as I could be).

Originally for homeschooling, I wanted to stay away from “workbooky” type things and busy work.  But then Scholastic had to go and have their Dollar Deals and I found alot of free resources online (being the frugal gal that I am), so I had all of this great “STUFF” to use.  Problem was, most of it was “workbooky” and there was so much of it I was going crazy trying to fit it all in and plan it according to what we were trying to study.  So, for the last few weeks I have ditched most of this “STUFF”, or “JUNK” as I renamed it, and got my focus back.

Also, today we started Rod & Staff for English and Spelling.  I will be using the English for both grammar and writing.  At this time, I am not adding another writing component until my daughter becomes more comfortable with it.  She still wants to run and hide when I ask her to write a sentence, so yeah it’s pretty bad.  For History, I have decided to not worry so much about reading every book I can find on a subject, because really and truly they mostly contain the same information.  Very freeing.  Honestly, deciding to pare down what we are using for each subject has really helped, and I feel like we have been getting more accomplished than before (gasp!  how is that possible?).  Until next week……..(hopefully) 🙂

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Week 6 Report

We got quite a bit accomplished this week!

We continued Chapter 2 in AoPS Prealgebra, and also went back from the beginning and made flashcards of all the important rules.  I think this will help my daughter to have them easily accessible on index cards.  She has also been doing problems online at the Alcumus section of their website.  She finished up her first Perplexors workbook, and started on a new Math Perplexors one.

Grammar was more about verbs and verb tenses.  Again, she picked up on this fairly easily.  We started Writing with Skill this week.  The first week is practicing writing summaries.  She has not had much practice with this before (we went through WWE orally and pretty fast) so I had to help her, but she did pretty well considering this is where she has the most trouble.

For History, we continued studying Mesopotamia by reading some supplemental books from my booklist that I had checked out from the library. We also went back over the chapters we had read in Human Odyssey and I had my daughter take notes (with my help) on the important parts.  We also started reading about the Indus River Valley civilization in Chapter 10 of Human Odyssey.  We also worked a little on our timeline.

She also worked on another unit of Greek and Latin Roots, did more Cursive work, and worked on her Doodle Definitions.  This week in the Story of the Orchestra, we learned about the Cello.  Also another fun week at co-op for Chorus and Karate.

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Week 5 Report

I am being so bad about getting these posted!

This week we started Chapter 2 in the Art of Problem Solving Prealgebra book.  We also finished reading our first book, The Golden Bull.  It really helped my daughter make associations between what she has been reading about Mesopotamia in History.  We also started working on sentence structure and continued our grammar lessons about the parts of speech and learned about tenses.  She is really doing well with grammar, so I hope that will spill over to help her with writing, since that is where she struggles.

For Logic, she continued doing her Perplexors workbook and we also briefly started Logic Liftoff.  Science was BFSU lessons D-2, D-3, D-3A, and A-5A.  We also studied another unit on Greek & Latin Roots.  We learned about the Viola in our Story of the Orchestra book this week.  Also another week of Chorus and Karate at co-op.

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Week 4 Report

I finally got this posted!  We have had a really strange start with our schedule this year.  I have been having to go to the chiropractor, among other things, and it has been hard to keep a schedule like I want to.  We have still been getting things done, but I am not liking the fact that I haven’t had much planned out.  I need to work on that.

Here’s what we did this week:

For Math, we finished up AoPS Prealgebra Chapter 1 by doing the Review Exercises and the Challenge Exercises.  My daughter actually seemed to “get” some of the Challenge problems better than the others.  Go figure!  She also did some Algebra Readiness problems.

She continued doing her Perplexors workbook for Logic, which she loves.  I ordered Math Perplexors, Logic Liftoff, and another Perplexors workbook for her this week as well.  We also finished up our first One Hour Mystery.

We are still learning about Mesopotamia and Sumer in History.  We began reading The Golden Bull by Marjorie Cowley.  It is about a brother and sister who travel to the city of Ur in ancient Mesopotamia.  So far, my daughter is really enjoying it.  She is mostly reading it aloud herself while I follow along to make sure she is reading the words correctly.  She has had trouble with skipping or making up words, and not comprehending what she reads.  This is a fairly simple storyline, and she is reading it well and understanding it.  She is even asking to read it!  That is amazing to me, since she has never liked to read before.  We also read Gilgamesh the King by Ludmila Zeman.  It is a very simple retelling of the story, in fact too simple I think.  I am still glad we read it, the pictures were great.  It didn’t take long to read at all.  She did a worksheet on Mesopotamian Math, but other than that we just read this week.

For Science, we continued lessons in BFSU.  We also started reading The Story of Science to coincide with our history lessons.

She started doing Daily Word Ladders to help with her vocabulary.  We continued with Grammar using the sample of Advanced Language Lessons.  She is catching on to grammar pretty well, so once we finish the ALL sample, I may or may not continue with it.  Although, I have heard such great things about Rod & Staff English that I wanted to try that.  She has also been doing Grammar Skill Builders.  To help with her reading fluency, she has been taking some free phonics lessons online as well.  But she can only do those at my mom’s house because our speakers don’t work!  We are also doing Comprehension Cliffhangers Mysteries (orally so far) to help with her comprehension.  She loves when things are set up as a mystery!

We also started learning about orchestra instruments in The Story of the Orchestra.  We plan to learn about the instruments first, then study the composers closer to the time they lived alongside our history lessons.  She also continued working on her cursive, did some copywork and a typing lesson, and had her second week of Chorus & Karate at co-op.

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Week 3 Report

We had our first co-op this week!  My daughter is taking Chorus & Karate there.  She really enjoyed her Chorus class at public school last year, so I had to find somewhere that she could continue singing.  She also has always wanted to try Karate, so she should have a lot of fun with that.  And maybe pick up a few self defense moves as well!

Here’s what we did this week:

For Math, we started on Art of Problem Solving Prealgebra.  We got through Chapter 1, did the exercises at the ends of the sections, and watched the videos online.  From now on, I think we will watch the video for each section BEFORE we start the exercises.  Math has always been her best subject, but I don’t think she ever understood the “why” of things.  AoPS seems very different from anything she has done before, so I want to make sure she is getting it.

For Logic, she continued working on her Perplexors workbook.  We also attempted to start the Art of Argument, but as I was reading the introduction I could see my daughter had no idea what I was talking about.  I think it may be a little bit too early to try this with her, considering she has never done Logic before.  So, I decided to shelf it for now and just do more introductory materials and puzzles, and try to pick AoA back up after Christmas or possibly next year.

For History, we worked through a few more chapters of Human Odyssey, still covering Mesopotamia and the Sumerians.  Science was more BFSU lessons for review.  For Grammar, we are using the 15-week sample of Advanced Language Lessons I received by emailing Susan Wise Bauer’s assistant at PHP.  So far, my daughter is really doing well with this, considering she has had little to no grammar before.  We also did a chapter of Grammarland.

Also this week was some Copywork, a Vocabulary Word Map & a unit on Greek and Latin Roots, and some Analogies pages and Elaboration activities.  She is also learning cursive for the first time and doing well with the Logic of English program.

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First 2 Weeks Report

I plan on doing a weekly report, but since our second week was short because of the Labor Day Holiday and a yard sale this week, we only schooled for 3 days. Since alot of what we did was review, I decided to lump the first 2 weeks together for my report.

I was really pleased with the amount we got done, considering we are just starting and my daughter is coming out of public school. She was excited to start, and everything went smoothly. Here’s some of what we did:

For math, we reviewed using the free samples of Math Mammoth worksheets. We would discuss orally, and then she would solve the problems. Math is her best subject, so she did very well with this. There were only a few things she had to be reminded about. Next week we will officially start Art of Problem Solving Pre-Algebra.

To give her an introduction to Logic, I got her a Perplexors workbook and she LOVES it.  She has been doing several of the puzzles everyday.  We also started One Hour Mysteries, and she has enjoyed that as well.

For History, we are starting with Ancient.  Our spine is K12 Human Odyssey Volume 1.  I was also going to use Streams of Civilization Volume 1, but I realized that trying to match up the two books, as well as any other supplemental books we will read, was just taking too much of my time.  I did, however, like the way that Streams of Civilization presented Evolution vs. Creation.  I am teaching my daughter from a Creation standpoint, but I also wanted her to understand that there are other beliefs, so I liked the way this presented both sides.  After that, we started learning about Mesopotamia and the Sumerians.  For our timeline, we are using the book and figures from Homeschool in the Woods.  I purchased the timeline figures on CD, so that I would have the most flexibility.  I got full sheet sticker labels to print them on (I copy & size them myself to get more on a page).  I noticed that after we cut them out and tried to place them in the book, the ink would start to smudge from the oils on our fingers.  My solution to this was to brush some Matte Modge Podge over the top before we cut them out.  It “seals” them and I you can’t even tell it’s on there.  Here’s a picture of the first page of our timeline:

For Science, I decided I wanted to start with review to make sure she has a solid base, so we are using BFSU Volume 1.  I purchased the $5.00 download and use it on the iPad.  This text is made for younger students, but works fine for review with older students at a faster pace.  We will then move on to something else, but I am not sure what at this point.  We have done a total of 4 lessons so far.

We also worked on Grammar (which she has never had beyond knowing a few of the parts of speech) and she did some of her Vocabulary Doodles.  We have not started any formal writing curriculum yet, because I want to get her more comfortable with grammar and vocabulary first.

All in all, a great first 2 weeks!

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First Day! And pics of our new schoolroom…..

Today was our very first official day of homeschooling! It went smoothly, with only one minor attitude adjustment for my daughter. She was excited to get started this morning. Mostly it was all review, and we didn’t do every subject, but all in all it was a productive day!

We (thankfully!) finished our new schoolroom in time to start today. We each have a desk, and then a round table in the middle of the room that we bring our chairs over to when we are doing work together. The whiteboard is on the wall in between our desks so that we can see it no matter whether we are at the desks or the table. And then our maps are on the opposite wall with the bookcase.

I may still put a few more things on the wall, or something on the closet door (not shown in the pics). I’d like to put up a clock, but I am still trying to decide if that will be a distraction for my daughter. It is nice to have a dedicated room that we can work in. I am happy with how it turned out!

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Notebooking Pages

I have been playing around and made some notebooking pages that I wanted to share. I just got the Homeschool in the Woods Timeline Figures CD, so I plan on using some of those images in the boxes on these, or having my daughter draw something if she wants. I will use them mostly for history, but they would work for other subjects too. Enjoy!

Basic Notebooking Page Scroll
Basic Notebooking Page right side box
Basic Notebooking Page left side box
What I Learned About Page
Topic or Event Page
Notebooking Page four sections

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