Posted 25 July 2008 - 08:39 PM
Posted 25 July 2008 - 09:37 PM
We've done HTML, Latin 1 and Biology so far.
The classes have been well organized and rigorous. My son really likes the structure of attending class once a week.
No complaints here. I'd be happy to try and answer any specific questions if you have any.
Posted 26 July 2008 - 02:45 PM
Posted 27 July 2008 - 10:42 PM
Posted 29 July 2008 - 05:30 PM
Posted 02 August 2008 - 01:13 PM
All of my children have taken Scholars Online classes throughout their high school years, and some beginning even earlier. I credit SO with taking my children to a place academically that I could never have done on my own, enabling them to earn excellent academic scholarships to college as well as to enter college very well prepared for the academic challenges they would face. One of the colleges my children have attended actually recruits SO students because they have found them so well prepared for their university studies.
I remember trying to decide how to provide the best high school education possible for my oldest in that summer before she was in 8th grade. I am so glad that I decided to enroll her in classes with Scholars Online. It's one of the best academic decisions I ever made. Over the years my children have taken all of the classes in the literature sequence, AP chemistry, AP physics, the history sequence, Latin I-IV, and Greek. Every class has been a blessing.
As for the specific courses you asked about:
Writing - My children have never studied with Mrs. Byington only because writing is my own passion, and I love to teach them to write. I have heard really good things about her classes from friends though.
Precalculus - I also am a math lover, so I have no experience with the SO math classes. My idea has always been to decide what few things I can teach well at the high school level, and then to look for help with all the rest. I have heard that the classes are small with much personal attention for each student.
English (British) Literature and American Literature - These are some of Dr. Bruce McMenomy's superb literature classes. Dr. McM is an excellent scholar and classicist as well as a fabulous teacher who uses Socratic questioning as one of the primary methods of instruction in his classes. His outstanding use of the English language is an education in itself, and all of my children would count his literature classes among their favorite courses in their high school years. Even though I love literature and have taught literature courses before, I still enroll my children in these literature classes every year. They are too good to be missed.
I would not recommend taking the American Lit class without a background in English Literature, however. The English Lit class lays a foundation that helps the student to understand the American writers. It also provides early practice in what Dr. McM calls "close reading" as opposed to broad reading. English Literature is a better entry level high school literature course, although I always prefer that my children have the advantage of a broad reading of the Great Books in Dr. McM's Western Literature to Dante course before studying English Literature. In the latter course, Dr. McM brings the focus down to closer reading and analysis of the literature, and the broad background equips them with literary background to do that. Still, if I had a student with only a couple of years left in high school, English Literature is a great place to start, followed by American Literature.
American Literature requires more interaction with literary criticism than English Literature. It really is a good PRE AP English (Literature) kind of class. All of these classes have been excellent for helping my children develop the ability to understand, analyze, and appreciate literature. They have also given them an incredibly firm foundation upon which to build their university literature studies.
Science: My background is in the sciences, so science is one of the subjects that I often decide I can teach my children myself. However, one of my children wanted more challenge in chemistry and physics than I could give him, so he took Dr. Christe McMenomy's AP Chemistry and AP Physics courses. Using college level textbooks, Dr. Christe gave him an understanding of those subjects that I could never have done. She is a brilliant scientist with a background in science history which she weaves into the presentation of technical science. I love the fact that she is able to bring the humanities (history of science) into the course without sacrificing the depth of study of the theoretical and technical aspects of the subject. The courses were challenging, but Dr. Christe worked hard to be sure that every student in the class understood the topics they covered.
If you have any more specific questions about the SO courses, I would be happy to try to answer them for you. Scholars Online has been such a blessing to my own children that I can be pretty effusive in their praise!
Posted 02 August 2008 - 01:53 PM
Posted 02 August 2008 - 02:09 PM
Posted 03 August 2008 - 12:14 AM
A fellow frequenter of the WTM boards wrote to suggest that I clarify my relationship with Scholars Online since I have sung the praises of some of the classes in this post and because my name is listed on the SO website as a person who has volunteered to answer questions to help parents determine whether or not SO classes will meet their needs.
I hate to post about myself, but I do want to clarify any question about conflict of interest so as to avoid the appearance of impropriety. I am grateful to this person for suggesting clarification.
I am not now nor have I ever been employed by Scholars Online. My relationship with SO is that of a grateful parent who is willing to answer questions in light of my experience with the Scholars Online classes. My heart's desire is to support families who are giving their children a classical education at home. One of the ways I have done that has been to post on the WTM boards. Another way has been to moderate the ClassEd e-mail loop. Another has been to edit Classical Writing - Aesop. Another has been to answer questions about SO classes. Another has been to tutor classes through Classicalco-op. I am blessed not to want nor need compensation for any of these services, and I have done each of them because of a lifelong commitment to classical home education.
I have been teaching my children at home for over twenty years, and I have aspired to a classical education for all but the first few of those years. With five children who have studied with different SO teachers for the last ten years, I am familiar with many of the SO classes. Now that I have only one child still in my home school, I have extra time in my 'near retirement' to serve other parents as they attempt to discern the best choices for their own children's education. In that spirit, I volunteered to answer questions that parents might have about SO classes. I am under no obligation whatsoever save the obligation to speak my conscience. I care very much about the success of individual home-schooled students, and I empathize with parents who are trying to decide how best to meet the needs of the children they love so much.
I do not think that one size fits all when it comes to online tutorials, but I can only speak from my own experience. While I have had experience with less than satisfactory online tutorials for my children, I do not speak of the negative experiences, knowing well that the same courses that I found not to meet my children's needs may be a perfect fit for someone else. Besides, it's a lot more fun to talk about something I can be enthusiastic about!
I do have one disclosure to make which is not related to this thread: After graduating Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Classical Philology, my daughter began teaching Latin with Scholars Online. She had been tutoring Latin for several years and was delighted to be teaching through the online school that ignited her love of classical languages. While I think she is a devoted and talented teacher who loves and inspires her students, I have avoided recommending her classes, partly because I didn't want to be guilty of impropriety, but also because she is not the only SO Latin teacher about whom I could say that!
While I feel awkward about veering from the topic of high school and self-education in this post, I hope this post clears up any question that may have arisen about my motivation for posting about the SO classes.
Posted 03 August 2008 - 09:48 PM