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Online classes: Memoria Press vs. TPS?


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#1 profmom

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Posted 28 January 2010 - 06:52 PM

This is similar to, but not exactly like a recent post I found by searching, but will someone compare and contrast online classes through Memoria Press vs. The Potter's School?

I'm specifically thinking about TPS's Classical Track for high school vs. putting a similar line up together through Memoria Press, but I would welcome any comments comparing these two options.

#2 profmom

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 12:08 AM

Anyone?

I was just re-reading this thread where Mama Lynx says:

If Memoria Press' Classical Studies class is similar to the program they sell, it only covers Greek mythology, Famous Men of Rome, and the Bible. It's a very basic education in the fundamental myths/people/stories/beliefs that form the foundation of Western civilization. It's definitely an add-on class, and light.

And...

The Potter's school is the whole shebang - their courses are a complete classical education, in all subjects.


Personally, TPS appeals to me more, but I don't know anything more about it than what I've read at the website and the threads I've found here by searching. The classes look great (as far as I can tell by the descriptions), and there seems to be a strong emphasis on Christian worldview. The Classical Track looks like a very strong option for high school, and I like that the subjects are integrated.

A friend IRL has her dd in 4 or 5 Memoria Press online classes, and they love them, feel they are very strong, etc. (Yet Stephanie/Mama Lynx feels Classical Studies is light, at least by itself--?.) I haven't looked at these classes as closely as TPS, but I'm not sure exactly why. Maybe my impression of the company/school has been affected by the fact that I don't love Latina Christiana (?).

Any thoughts on how these compare, or on one or the other in general?

#3 KJB

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 02:46 AM

I am also considering TPS vs Memoria Press vs possibly K12.

Not exactly what you're looking for, but I recently emailed TPS for suggestions for courses to help prepare for their classical track.

I received this email from TPS:

Our strongest and best prepared students are good readers. They follow a
good track of math and science, as well as geography and language. The
Potter's School (TPS) provides a good range of such classes for the junior
high student. We strongly encourage parents who are looking at the CT to
enroll in English 2 for the 8th grade year. This supplies an excellent
foundation for writing. Our CT kids who have taken English 2 are by far the
best prepared.

I like to see students with a good grasp of geography, and we offer a good
junior high geography class. Logic is a required course for students to
cover before their junior year in the CT....


I am leaning strongly towards classes primarily from TPS. I like that the courses are intentionally selected to provide a complete and comprehensive classical education.

Edited by KJB, 29 January 2010 - 02:49 AM.


#4 Hoggirl

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 08:48 AM

I am also considering TPS vs Memoria Press vs possibly K12.

Not exactly what you're looking for, but I recently emailed TPS for suggestions for courses to help prepare for their classical track.

I received this email from TPS:

Our strongest and best prepared students are good readers. They follow a
good track of math and science, as well as geography and language. The
Potter's School (TPS) provides a good range of such classes for the junior
high student. We strongly encourage parents who are looking at the CT to
enroll in English 2 for the 8th grade year. This supplies an excellent
foundation for writing. Our CT kids who have taken English 2 are by far the
best prepared.

I like to see students with a good grasp of geography, and we offer a good
junior high geography class. Logic is a required course for students to
cover before their junior year in the CT....


I am leaning strongly towards classes primarily from TPS. I like that the courses are intentionally selected to provide a complete and comprehensive classical education.



What's a "CT kid"?

#5 profmom

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 09:40 AM

What's a "CT kid"?


CT = Classical Track (at The Potter's School)

#6 profmom

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 10:42 AM

Thanks, KJB! That's good info!

(Adorable baby, BTW!!)

#7 Mom0012

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 11:37 AM

I haven't used either and my kids are younger, but I was looking at Memoria Press' website and stumbled on their Math/Science Open House recording (which I assume is supposed to give an idea of how the online classes operate) and I was totally unimpressed. It was done in such a completely unprofessional way, I had to wonder why they would want the public to see it.

Lisa

#8 KJB

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 12:14 PM

Thanks, KJB! That's good info!

(Adorable baby, BTW!!)


Thanks! The baby is a lot bigger now. She needs an updated pic!

Regarding TPS, I snipped the part of her message because it was specific to my student, but the email suggested fulfilling the logic requirement before high school if possible. They offer a year long course that does Intro to Logic first semester and Intermediate Logic the second.

I'm thinking of English 2, Geography, German II, and Logic for my upcoming eighth grader from TPS. She'll do her other courses at home. Then for 9th grade I'm thinking she'll start the CT.

Update when you decide! I'll be curious to hear what you do and why so I can change my mind again for the thousandth time. :D

#9 profmom

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 03:48 PM

KJB, did you see that students have to pass a placement test to take English 2? My dd is strong in language arts, but she doesn't have much experience with modern 5-paragraph essays! We've been using CW, and she's almost to the unit in Diogenes that covers modern essays. I'm a little concerned that she won't have enough practice before having to take the placement test, so I'm trying to supplement to help. Hopefully, she'll catch on easily and be fine.

If we go with TPS, I would enroll her in TPS English 2 and Logic (either at TPS or Artesian Wells, plus continue Latin at Artesian Wells. It's tempting to do more -- we'll see! Our girls may get to know each other! :)

#10 KJB

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 04:42 PM

You've motivated me to put up a slightly more recent pic of my baby. It's hard to be the littlest. At least I *have* pics of her, little sweetie.

It would be fun if they end up in the same classes. It's nice to "know" someone else who's going down this road. We are currently in Germany and we may be in Turkey next year, so time zone may be an issue for us.

I was unaware of the placement test. I just took a look at it. Have you downloaded it? It looks like they submit something they've already written and something specific to the test. We're Rod and Staffers and I think the first part of the test is in line with what we've done.

Placement testing is always nerve-wracking!

Had to add, I also have five with a fifth grade son and a four year old daughter!

Edited by KJB, 29 January 2010 - 05:29 PM.


#11 Samiam

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Posted 29 January 2010 - 11:54 PM

Do you know if these are "classes", ie require participation in class, in the session with other children, or "tutorials" where the child can log in at any time, do the work, little interaction with other students, and/or teacher, and basically self-teaches?

#12 KJB

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 07:39 AM

Do you know if these are "classes", ie require participation in class, in the session with other children, or "tutorials" where the child can log in at any time, do the work, little interaction with other students, and/or teacher, and basically self-teaches?


From The Potter's School website (and I think MP classes are similar):

Independent Study. Since our courses support home education, they are primarily independent study classes. Our teachers use their expertise to guide the curriculum and provide personalized evaluation and feedback. Each class also has a live session once each week.
Parental Oversight. We understand parents to be responsible for their children's education, regardless of the medium they choose. We assume parents will actively supervise their children as necessary in all aspects of our courses, including deadline management and academic performance. We also assume parents will remain aware of and responsible for their children's behavior during class time and in any correspondence with their teachers or school staff. Our teachers will notify parents where they detect a problem or declining performance trend, but we assume that parents will already be aware of these issues because of their own active supervision of their children.
Rigor and Workload. Our courses are designed for college-bound students with high academic standards. They are excellent preparation for admission into top U.S. universities, as indicated by the success of our students who have already entered college. Under our academic standards an average student who works reasonably hard can expect to receive an average (80-85%) grade. The average student will spend approximately an hour per day outside class for a junior high course and an hour-and-a-half per day for a high school course. Advanced and honors courses will take more time even for strong students. Individual experiences vary with student aptitude and diligence.


#13 Mommyfaithe

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 08:17 AM

I don't have any experience with PS, but I have had my 2 sons do Traditional Logic 1 & 2 with MP. Both ds's felt the online sessions were basically filler and probably could have finished both books without the class BUT I think having to do the quizzes and having deadlines to finish helped them to learn the material well and finish the course in a reasonable amount of time.

My younger ds is now taking the Understanding Music class. I see MP is adding more and more courses online each semester.

I do not feel they are as rigorous a course as "I" would like, but they are do-able for my kids without any whining or complaining and without anyn help from me...IOW, I use this for classes I do not want to or can not teach on my own. (extra or elective courses) They are also ones I deem important, but not at the very top of my MUST TEACH THIS BEFORE GRAD list. There is also little to NO parent involvement...and I mean NOT EVEN AN E_MAIL...unless you ask them to send you a grade....

My understanding of PS is that it is much more demanding of student and parent, that the work is academically rigorous and that you have to be able to test into certain classes.

~~Faithe

#14 profmom

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Posted 30 January 2010 - 05:23 PM

Do you know if these are "classes", ie require participation in class, in the session with other children, or "tutorials" where the child can log in at any time, do the work, little interaction with other students, and/or teacher, and basically self-teaches?


I must have signed up for online class updates -- I received this email that answers your questions about Memoria Press' online classes:


A weekly interactive online class: With the exception of our independent studies courses, each class has an interactive audio/video/text chat class. These usually last from one hour to one hour and fifteen minutes at a scheduled time each week. Students can see and hear the instructor. The instructor has the use of various audio and visual tools for the presentation of text and other visuals. Some classes also use breakout sessions. The primary means of communication from the student back to the instructor is accomplished through the text chat box. We recommend the use of a headset that includes earphones and a microphone since some classes require some audio response from students. All students are expected to attend classes unless a previous arrangement has been made with the instructor or with the Online Academy.

Automated Tests: These are timed tests that, once completed generate a grade for the student and log the grade to the grade book. The grade book can be accessed from the link on the left-hand side of the class page. The tests are open until the end of each quarter (or semester for some classes) and students are responsible for taking them in a timely fashion.

Other Class Assignments: Students may be assessed in other ways besides weekly tests, such as written and research assignments that students can upload to the site or interactive discussions and other short writing assignments that are posted to special class forums.

Question and Discussion Forums: These are forums where students can post their questions for the instructor, or their course-related comments for discussion with other students. The instructor is responsible for answering these in a timely manner.

Grades: Grades may be determined by individual instructors and the grading policy for each class should be posted on the main class page. Grades on automated tests are posted when the student completes them. Grades for other assignments are given manually by the instructor and will appear in the course grade book.

Class Resources: Each class should have a book list which you can access from a link on the main course page. If you cannot find it, please ask the instructor where you can find it.

Contact with Instructor: The primary means of contact with the instructor will be through the "Ask the Teacher" forums. The instructor should monitor these on a daily basis. Other contact information will be given to students by the instructor.

How to Get Help: Please first ask your instructor to assist you first. If there is some reason you cannot contact the instructor, you can e-mail Mrs. Cesare at [email protected]. She is available for a quick response at this e-mail from 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. est from Monday through Friday. Mrs. Cesare and Mr. Cothran are also available at GoogleTalk throughout the day on weekdays. If you have some other general question about the Online Classical Academy, you may call the Memoria Press office at 877-862-1097 during business hours.

If you have any other questions about classes in general or anything about any of the issues above, please e-mail us at [email protected].




#15 SS in MD

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 01:05 AM

Our oldest (14 yo) will be in 9th grade in the fall (yikes!) Friends of ours told us about TPS CT courses. Their dd is taking them now. It is required that the student take literature,history,starting points and symposium. Latin, logic & rigorous science are strongly recommended (hope I'm not missing something). Anyway, my friend's daughter LOVES the CT courses. She said it's great b/c all the kids are in the same classes and the instructors of the 4 classes communicate with each other and know what's being taught in the other classes, so there is inter-disciplinary exchange of ideas. She says it's a lot of work, but she enjoys it.

That being said, its very expensive when you add up 4 classes (and any others dc takes)! I'm tempted to have dd take CT next year, but I really want dd to take AP courses (thru' PA homeschoolers) in hs. (starting in 9th grade - one course, 10th - one or two courses etc). I really would like her to take AP US history, AP World or European (dd loves history), but I know she wouldn't be able to take both CT classes and AP classes... so, I don't know whether to plunk down the $$$ knowing down the road she'll switch to AP history courses... But, on the other hand, if dd absolutely loves TPS CT then maybe I'll have her take other AP classes (like Eng/Comp) instead of AP US history/world/european, but again don't know if she could manage AP course along with CT courses (or if we could afford it!! LOL!)

Sorry to ramble... there is so much to consider!

Good luck on your decision (let me know what you decide). HTH

Sangita
dd(14),dd(12),dd(9),ds(6)

#16 Janice in NJ

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 07:24 AM

If your friend is close by, I would see if she would like a visitor.

I believe that all of the TPS classes are recorded. You could have your daughter's friend show you a weeks worth of work from an average week - say back in November or December. Look at the work assigned. Peruse the level of work that your daughter's friend turned in. Ask questions. And then ask to see the grade, feedback, and instruction provided by the teachers.

Ask questions about their interaction with the instructors. What do they do if your friend's daughter gets stuck? Do the teachers respond in a timely manner? etc.

A visit like this will provide you with more information.

Peace,
Janice


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