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First Impressions: Online Class Review


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#1 RootAnn

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 04:19 PM

So, it is very early in the year - with only two writing classes & one Latin class under dd#3's belt, she & I have already formed some first impressions. Sometimes, first impressions are wrong, sometimes they color all your other interactions, and sometimes they are spot on. We'll see. This is a thread where you can share your first impressions, if you want, for your kids' middle grade online classes.

 

First, the "good":  

DD#3 is taking Coram Deo's Introduction to Essay Writing. It is a small class (only four kids or so). DD is the youngest in the class - which makes sense since it is geared toward 11 & ups. So far, she has loved it. It is gentle and they're concentrating on reading & thinking in a very soft introduction into the "Lost Tools of Writing" type of class. I think it'll be perfect for her and so far, she agrees.

 

Now, the "bad":

She's also taking Memoria Press's First Form Latin. She had her first class this week with Mr. King. Neither one of us think the teacher is a good fit for her.  :thumbdown:  He's very formal - insisting on no colors in the chat box and no slang ("nope"). He refers to them by "Miss Last Name" or "Mr. Last Name." Honestly, as a parent, me thinks he doth protests too much. I don't know if he's just really young and so he's trying to make himself appear more formal or if he's just uptight. There are a lot of 11-12 year olds in this class, so you do have to keep a tight rein on the chat box, but it just doesn't seem like it'll be very fun. Latin should be fun. DD#1 took Second Form with MP (different teacher) and disliked it. We might end up 0-for-2 for MP classes & write them completely off, which would be too bad. Most of the other Latin sections were full and this one fit with a good time slot. It would be too bad if a stiff for a teacher made her dislike Latin even more than she already does. A good teacher can make such a difference.

 

How about your first impressions? How's it going so far?


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#2 SusanC

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 05:08 PM

My ds and dd are taking two classes online together.  First and foremost they are taking Honors Spanish 2 with Ray Leven.  It is a great class - efficient use of the weekly class period with teaching new topics and lots of rapid fire oral practice. At least as important, in my view, is that the volume of assigned work is enough that I *never* feel like I have to supplement with anything. This class requires nothing from me except keeping time clear in their schedules to work on it every day with some time on the weekends. He can be gruff and has no tolerance for unprepared students. Occasionally he can teeter on the line of too gruff with my ds, but we've discussed it and ds has chosen to continue the class series since he recognizes he has learned a lot. DD hasn't had the same issues.

 

The second class they are taking is an asynchronous Physical Science class from Conceptual Academy. It is a 26 week High School class, but I expect we will not have trouble spreading it over a full year. It starts with Physics and my ds in particular really gets a kick out of Paul Hewitt's video humor. If we have an opportunity to participate in a local science fair in the spring then perhaps we will step up the pace a bit to make room in our schedule for that. If we seem to be heading toward a "too early" finish I'm thinking I may add a living book to read and write about. I'll do a status check at Thanksgiving to see if we need to adjust the pace one way or the other, but right now I'm happy to be able to say "go do science for an hour" and send them off with no grumbling.

 

 


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#3 freesia

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 05:15 PM

Dd is doing her first online class--French I with Mme Barstow at Aim Academy. so far, so good  Just SO glad not to be in charge of French.

 

Ds is doing APStatistics at Edhesive--it seems to be going well, but the turn around on quiz grading is not quick.  He has no complaints otherwise.

 

He is doing US Gov't with Julia Reed at PA homeschoolers--that is also going well. Wow, she is a quick grader.  It seems a good mix of live and self paced and a variety of assignments--discussion, video, essays, reading

 

He is also doing AP English Lit with Lili Serbiki throuwh PA homeschoolers.  That's going well, too. I don't like the interface as I'm used to Canvas, but I'll figure it out.  It is starting slower than AP Eng Lang did last year, but we need that this year as ds has a PT job and we are doing a new co-op this year.


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#4 Arcadia

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 05:45 PM

Older boy is finishing up his AoPS intermediate number theory class and started on the AoPS WOOT class. He has taken AoPS online classes since intro to geometry so he is already used to their system. He is also taking the WTMA Socratic Discussion class and it is his first WTMA class so he is getting used to the format, where to look for assignments and where to submit them. He is also taking Physics and Chemistry with PAH and so far work has been manageable. Slightly confused by the chemistry class layout so we are double checking every weekend to make sure he didn't miss an assignment or quiz. It helps that Physics deadline is mainly Friday and Chemistry deadlines is mainly Monday. He is still too free so we might add a self-paced class if he continues to have too much down time else he would get cranky like he was last year. He is looking forward to Roy Speed's Shakespeare class as he took the Romeo & Juliet class last year and enjoyed it.

Younger boy is in WTMA classes for the second year so he knows the system. He has three online classes, one B&M class (German) and one tutor session (Chinese). The three online classes workload so far is light so he gets the assignments done fast. So now lacking a science class and I am looking for a B&M lab class (rigor not required) because he needs more social interaction time than older boy. He has been having meltdowns daily from lack of social interaction despite adding a 4hr PE class (badminton, table tennis), it was worse without the PE class.

Edited by Arcadia, 12 September 2017 - 05:47 PM.

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#5 Arcadia

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 07:58 PM

Ds is doing AP Statistics at Edhesive--it seems to be going well, but the turn around on quiz grading is not quick. He has no complaints otherwise.


I thought the quiz grading would be automatic and immediate like using webassign. The waiting for grading would get my older boy slightly annoyed while my younger boy would happily wait. The open source textbook Edhesive recommended as reference is easy to follow along though. We are still on the fence about signing up.
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#6 SevenDaisies

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 05:24 AM

So, it is very early in the year - with only two writing classes & one Latin class under dd#3's belt, she & I have already formed some first impressions. Sometimes, first impressions are wrong, sometimes they color all your other interactions, and sometimes they are spot on. We'll see. This is a thread where you can share your first impressions, if you want, for your kids' middle grade online classes.

First, the "good":
DD#3 is taking Coram Deo's Introduction to Essay Writing. It is a small class (only four kids or so). DD is the youngest in the class - which makes sense since it is geared toward 11 & ups. So far, she has loved it. It is gentle and they're concentrating on reading & thinking in a very soft introduction into the "Lost Tools of Writing" type of class. I think it'll be perfect for her and so far, she agrees.

Now, the "bad":
She's also taking Memoria Press's First Form Latin. She had her first class this week with Mr. King. Neither one of us think the teacher is a good fit for her. :thumbdown: He's very formal - insisting on no colors in the chat box and no slang ("nope"). He refers to them by "Miss Last Name" or "Mr. Last Name." Honestly, as a parent, me thinks he doth protests too much. I don't know if he's just really young and so he's trying to make himself appear more formal or if he's just uptight. There are a lot of 11-12 year olds in this class, so you do have to keep a tight rein on the chat box, but it just doesn't seem like it'll be very fun. Latin should be fun. DD#1 took Second Form with MP (different teacher) and disliked it. We might end up 0-for-2 for MP classes & write them completely off, which would be too bad. Most of the other Latin sections were full and this one fit with a good time slot. It would be too bad if a stiff for a teacher made her dislike Latin even more than she already does. A good teacher can make such a difference.

How about your first impressions? How's it going so far?


My daughter had Mr. King last year for 3FL. She wasn't crazy about him for the same reasons, but I loved his structure and organization and thought she needed it. Looks like Ms. Cutrer and Ms. Jacobson both have openings if they work for you. My daughter loves both of them.

Mine has started 3 oh her 4 classes this year at MP and so far loves them. I'm certain she will love the 4th as well as it's her favorite teacher, Dr. Dray. He's very engaging and entertaining as well.
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#7 madteaparty

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 06:06 AM

My impression of online classes is that from where I'm sitting, are no good writing classes, none. Would love to be proven wrong but I'm also done experimenting at this kid's expense.
I also find excessively positive teacher feedback irritating, especially when not warranted. The kids aren't stupid, they know.

Edited by madteaparty, 13 September 2017 - 06:07 AM.

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#8 RootAnn

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:24 AM

My daughter had Mr. King last year for 3FL. She wasn't crazy about him for the same reasons, but I loved his structure and organization and thought she needed it. Looks like Ms. Cutrer and Ms. Jacobson both have openings if they work for you. My daughter loves both of them.

Mine has started 3 oh her 4 classes this year at MP and so far loves them. I'm certain she will love the 4th as well as it's her favorite teacher, Dr. Dray. He's very engaging and entertaining as well.

 

Thank you for this. None of the other classes really fit our schedule, so I'm considering letting her drop the class. I will probably wait until after next week's class as MP gives you until the 22nd to drop. I have heard good things about Ms. Cutrer from a friend, but we've found that just because a teacher is beloved by someone else doesn't mean we will have the same feelings. (My friend's kids also loved Mr. Cable. He was not bad, but not a favorite here.) For this particular kid, I don't need the structure or discipline, I need passion and the passing on of that love of a subject. That's what I'm willing to pay $$$ for.

 

My impression of online classes is that from where I'm sitting, are no good writing classes, none. Would love to be proven wrong but I'm also done experimenting at this kid's expense.
I also find excessively positive teacher feedback irritating, especially when not warranted. The kids aren't stupid, they know.

 

I completely understand this sentiment. Until Mrs. Lange's class last year, I would have agreed. I could not have been happier with her class at Wilson Hill - with the understanding that it was a tough class for the recommended age group. She's not with Wilson Hill anymore & her private classes are very pricey. If she comes down in price, I would wholeheartedly recommend her classes. Her feedback is very specific and she always tries to increase the writing ability of the student in front of her. So, if your kid already writes well, they will write better with her specific feedback. If they struggle, they will get feedback to get them to the next level in each assignment.

 

I think high-quality writing classes are hard to come by. It is difficult to find a class that matches the specific needs & ability of the kid in front of you with a teacher that matches what your kid needs. Good quality feedback is so important. You can find AP level writing classes that are great for kids who already write well, but what about a struggling writer? What about that initial learn-to-write-well level? And, some classes are SO PRICEY. Others might be great, but require way more time than your kid can afford to spend on them (15-20 hours/week for a non-AP class?!). This has definitely been a struggle at our house, too.


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#9 madteaparty

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:28 AM

Thank you for this. None of the other classes really fit our schedule, so I'm considering letting her drop the class. I will probably wait until after next week's class as MP gives you until the 22nd to drop. I have heard good things about Ms. Cutrer from a friend, but we've found that just because a teacher is beloved by someone else doesn't mean we will have the same feelings. (My friend's kids also loved Mr. Cable. He was not bad, but not a favorite here.) For this particular kid, I don't need the structure or discipline, I need passion and the passing on of that love of a subject. That's what I'm willing to pay $$$ for.


I completely understand this sentiment. Until Mrs. Lange's class last year, I would have agreed. I could not have been happier with her class at Wilson Hill - with the understanding that it was a tough class for the recommended age group. She's not with Wilson Hill anymore & her private classes are very pricey. If she comes down in price, I would wholeheartedly recommend her classes. Her feedback is very specific and she always tries to increase the writing ability of the student in front of her. So, if your kid already writes well, they will write better with her specific feedback. If they struggle, they will get feedback to get them to the next level in each assignment.

I think high-quality writing classes are hard to come by. It is difficult to find a class that matches the specific needs & ability of the kid in front of you with a teacher that matches what your kid needs. Good quality feedback is so important. You can find AP level writing classes that are great for kids who already write well, but what about a struggling writer? What about that initial learn-to-write-well level? And, some classes are SO PRICEY. Others might be great, but require way more time than your kid can afford to spend on them (15-20 hours/week for a non-AP class?!). This has definitely been a struggle at our house, too.

As i reflect, the best writing feedback we have received was in CLRC's great books class, and that was not a writing class. To the point, no-nonsense and holding students to a particular standard. I miss that one.
The ship might have sailed for DS because he has to write essays for his college class now. I'm in an utter panic about it.
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#10 ScoutTN

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 03:28 PM

Dd is taking PreAlgebra with WHA, and likes it. Hers is the class they juggled teachers on and she has a new to WHA, new to online teaching, instructor. So far, so good. He seems personable, knowledgeable, and passionate about math. The first chapter is really all review though, so I won't really be able to assess until the work gets harder.

Canvas is easy enough to navigate and communication from WHA is good.

Arcadia, how old is your ds in Socratic Discussion @ WTMA? How much time does he spend on it? Thinking about this for my Dd next year.
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#11 Arcadia

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 05:02 PM

Arcadia, how old is your ds in Socratic Discussion @ WTMA? How much time does he spend on it? Thinking about this for my Dd next year.

DS12 is in the Rhetoric class, DS11 is in the Logic class.
They had two weeks of lessons (orientation and week 1) so far and have been spending an hour a week on the annotation assignment. If my kids were to put in best effort, DS12 would still only need 2hrs per week for homework.

We bought a new multifunction printer that is easier to use than our old one. My kids would print the readings once the teacher post it, read through it and put it aside. Then do the annotations the next day or the day after. Once they did their annotation homework they just scan to the flash drive using the printer. Then they upload the assignment from the flash drive for homework submission using their laptops. It is weekly assignments so not as homework heavy as other subjects.

Edited by Arcadia, 13 September 2017 - 05:13 PM.

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#12 Omma

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 06:29 PM

My ds is taking his first MP online course (Henle Units 6-14) this year as well.  His class is on Fridays, so jury is still out on how it's going to go, but I will let you know!  FWIW, he has Mrs.Catherine Timmis.

 

Brenda


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#13 Kassia

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 06:50 PM

 

 

The second class they are taking is an asynchronous Physical Science class from Conceptual Academy. It is a 26 week High School class, but I expect we will not have trouble spreading it over a full year. It starts with Physics and my ds in particular really gets a kick out of Paul Hewitt's video humor. If we have an opportunity to participate in a local science fair in the spring then perhaps we will step up the pace a bit to make room in our schedule for that. If we seem to be heading toward a "too early" finish I'm thinking I may add a living book to read and write about. I'll do a status check at Thanksgiving to see if we need to adjust the pace one way or the other, but right now I'm happy to be able to say "go do science for an hour" and send them off with no grumbling.

 

Will you be counting this class as a high school credit on their transcripts?  My dd took this class in 8th grade and I was planning on using it on her transcript, but I've seen so many people say not to do so on the forum that I am hesitant to do it now.  Just wondering what your opinion is.  


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#14 SanDiegoMom in VA

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 11:28 AM

DS 11 is taking Intro to Algebra B - his first Aops class. I was worried having it text based would make it difficult for him to stay focused, but he loved and and wished he had another class tonight.  I might just have to enroll him in one of the AMC classes or intro to number theory.  I had both twins registered for WTMA Intro to Socratic Discussion, but my husband said for that for sixth grade he'd lead them in  his own socratic seminar and save 800 dollars. Since that's basically what he does every day anyway. :-) I'm hoping that at some point they will get to take it, however, has I have heard good reviews of it. 


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#15 hellen

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 04:39 PM

DS 11 is taking Intro to Algebra B - his first Aops class. I was worried having it text based would make it difficult for him to stay focused, but he loved and and wished he had another class tonight. I might just have to enroll him in one of the AMC classes or intro to number theory. I had both twins registered for WTMA Intro to Socratic Discussion, but my husband said for that for sixth grade he'd lead them in his own socratic seminar and save 800 dollars. Since that's basically what he does every day anyway. :-) I'm hoping that at some point they will get to take it, however, has I have heard good reviews of it.


Which section is he in? DS started it last night (Wednesday). He knows the teacher because she ran the Math circle he was attending before we moved. I watched part of the class and think she is doing a fantastic job.

DS is also taking Jetta's physics class, Clover Creek Physics. He loves it.
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#16 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 09:05 PM

My ds and dd are taking two classes online together.  First and foremost they are taking Honors Spanish 2 with Ray Leven.  It is a great class - efficient use of the weekly class period with teaching new topics and lots of rapid fire oral practice. At least as important, in my view, is that the volume of assigned work is enough that I *never* feel like I have to supplement with anything. This class requires nothing from me except keeping time clear in their schedules to work on it every day with some time on the weekends. He can be gruff and has no tolerance for unprepared students. Occasionally he can teeter on the line of too gruff with my ds, but we've discussed it and ds has chosen to continue the class series since he recognizes he has learned a lot. DD hasn't had the same issues.

 

The second class they are taking is an asynchronous Physical Science class from Conceptual Academy. It is a 26 week High School class, but I expect we will not have trouble spreading it over a full year. It starts with Physics and my ds in particular really gets a kick out of Paul Hewitt's video humor. If we have an opportunity to participate in a local science fair in the spring then perhaps we will step up the pace a bit to make room in our schedule for that. If we seem to be heading toward a "too early" finish I'm thinking I may add a living book to read and write about. I'll do a status check at Thanksgiving to see if we need to adjust the pace one way or the other, but right now I'm happy to be able to say "go do science for an hour" and send them off with no grumbling.

Oh, a Science Fair would be great!  I wish there was ANYTHING like that where we live but so far I haven't heard of any.  

 

Both DD and DS have been taking courses through Conceptual Academy and so far we all like them a lot.  There is a lot of emphasis on really effective ways to genuinely learn the material, not just rote memorize and regurgitate.  I love the emphasis on thinking.  And I love the approach to the Unit tests, too.  And definitely the videos have been popular here. 


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#17 PhotoGal

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 10:34 PM

This is our first year using online classes!  The kids are signed up for CTY Mandarin, but it hasn't started yet. So far...

 

My 8th grader started with AoPS Algebra B. He had "Alg/Geom/Stat 1" at his public school last year. I had him in the AoPS class that started in August with the hopes that we could do Alg 2 and Geometry both this year (so if he goes to public for 9th, he could go to precalc instead of having one year of integrated and one year of not integrated math). Anyway, he was really overwhelmed the first class. He felt like there was little explanation and I think the way they only show people getting the right answer was disheartening - like as soon as the teacher asked a question there were a bunch of right answers popping up and he didn't really have time to think. They packed in a lot and went way beyond the basics - I think it was just too much for his very first online class and first experience with AoPS. So, we dropped the class and did a little with the text /videos/Alcumus on our own, but I decided to switch him over to Jacob's Geometry instead.  

 

My 6th grader started with AoPS Prealgebra 1. Her experience was much better and I think that is a much better place to jump in as a new student. She is working hard, but not overwhelmed or doubting her abilities.

 

Both kids also started Bravewriter. My 8th grader is doing KidsWrite Intermediate and I think that is well paced, a good amount of assignments without overwhelm.  My 6th grader is (I guess technically *I* am) taking Writer's Jungle Online (used to be called KidsWrite Basic).  That one seems to have very little to it. They have said many times to clear our calendar and really focus on writing, but then give us a 20 minute assignment for the whole week.  If you have more time, they suggest you repeat the same activity, perhaps with a slight variation. So far I don't think that class is really worth it, but hoping it turns out to be worthwhile in the end.


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#18 RootAnn

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 09:41 AM

My daughter had Mr. King last year for 3FL. She wasn't crazy about him for the same reasons, but I loved his structure and organization and thought she needed it. Looks like Ms. Cutrer and Ms. Jacobson both have openings if they work for you. My daughter loves both of them.

Mine has started 3 oh her 4 classes this year at MP and so far loves them. I'm certain she will love the 4th as well as it's her favorite teacher, Dr. Dray. He's very engaging and entertaining as well.

 

After DH watched the recording of class, I talked with my daughter. We agreed that we would try out a different teacher (assuming MPOA lets us do that) next week and if that teacher isn't a good fit, I would let her drop the online class. None of the other sections work well with our schedule, but I sent an email with options to MPOA to what they say. Thanks for the names of teachers that your DD likes. (Dr. Dray has a section of FFL, but it is full!)



#19 SusanC

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 09:54 AM

Oh, a Science Fair would be great! I wish there was ANYTHING like that where we live but so far I haven't heard of any.

Both DD and DS have been taking courses through Conceptual Academy and so far we all like them a lot. There is a lot of emphasis on really effective ways to genuinely learn the material, not just rote memorize and regurgitate. I love the emphasis on thinking. And I love the approach to the Unit tests, too. And definitely the videos have been popular here.


The science fair has been super hard to break in to! I don't know if it is aimed solely at ps kids or just poorly run or what. I know one guy who put his homeschool dd through and I was hoping to tag along with his second dd but so far no luck. So, I'm not ready to bet on it happening, but I'm hopeful.
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#20 Stratford

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 09:59 AM

DS is doing 3 online classes this year, each with a different provider.  My only complaint is having to juggle 3 different systems/platforms, but obviously that's my fault.

 

He's taking DO's Physical Science class, which has been a hit so far.  It's the only self-paced class of the 3 but fortunately he's keeping a decent pace.  My very average math kid is understanding the explanations very thoroughly and I'm seeing that translating into his math class.  (Bonus!)  

 

We signed up last minute for WHA's Spanish 1 class.  The teacher was very helpful in getting us set up quickly (we signed up the Friday before Labor Day and classes started Wednesday) and has been very responsive to questions.  He loves the class and although I have concerns about the pace (they are moving quickly right now) he doesn't seem to and is keeping up fine.  

 

He's also taking the logic stage Geography class with WTMA.  He's done WTMA classes before and we've always been impressed, this semester is no exception.  


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#21 EmilyGF

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 10:20 AM

Thank you for this. None of the other classes really fit our schedule, so I'm considering letting her drop the class. I will probably wait until after next week's class as MP gives you until the 22nd to drop. I have heard good things about Ms. Cutrer from a friend, but we've found that just because a teacher is beloved by someone else doesn't mean we will have the same feelings. (My friend's kids also loved Mr. Cable. He was not bad, but not a favorite here.) For this particular kid, I don't need the structure or discipline, I need passion and the passing on of that love of a subject. That's what I'm willing to pay $$$ for.

 

 

I completely understand this sentiment. Until Mrs. Lange's class last year, I would have agreed. I could not have been happier with her class at Wilson Hill - with the understanding that it was a tough class for the recommended age group. She's not with Wilson Hill anymore & her private classes are very pricey. If she comes down in price, I would wholeheartedly recommend her classes. Her feedback is very specific and she always tries to increase the writing ability of the student in front of her. So, if your kid already writes well, they will write better with her specific feedback. If they struggle, they will get feedback to get them to the next level in each assignment.

 

I think high-quality writing classes are hard to come by. It is difficult to find a class that matches the specific needs & ability of the kid in front of you with a teacher that matches what your kid needs. Good quality feedback is so important. You can find AP level writing classes that are great for kids who already write well, but what about a struggling writer? What about that initial learn-to-write-well level? And, some classes are SO PRICEY. Others might be great, but require way more time than your kid can afford to spend on them (15-20 hours/week for a non-AP class?!). This has definitely been a struggle at our house, too.

Understanding she's pricey, where does she teach now?

Emily


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#22 SusanC

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 11:28 AM

Will you be counting this class as a high school credit on their transcripts? My dd took this class in 8th grade and I was planning on using it on her transcript, but I've seen so many people say not to do so on the forum that I am hesitant to do it now. Just wondering what your opinion is.


I think foreign language and math are generally ok to include because there is a generally followed scope and sequence, unlike humanities courses. That said, if my dc end up doing Spanish 4 in 9th grade it may not be necessary to list the previous three classes.

I imagine I will list it though, I'm so proud of that "honors" on the title!

Whether I give credit for it is one of those high school mysteries I have not yet tried to wrap my head around. My local district gives credit for health taken in 8th grade, and they offer algebra and first year languages in 8th grade, so I presume they also give credit for those. Probably I would give credit, and I don't much care what the local district does BUT I don't want to look too unusual on college apps, so I'll decide in a few years I guess.
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#23 SanDiegoMom in VA

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 11:53 AM

Which section is he in? DS started it last night (Wednesday). He knows the teacher because she ran the Math circle he was attending before we moved. I watched part of the class and think she is doing a fantastic job.

DS is also taking Jetta's physics class, Clover Creek Physics. He loves it.

 

Then they must be in class together! My son's name is MagicMonkey (real name Andrew:-)) He loved the class and has been so excited to do the homework.  I'm hoping to get him into Jetta's class next year, I have heard such great things about it!

 

Is your son planning to do Geometry after this class is over? We are thinking of leading straight in this year, even if it will mean possibly working into the summer. Which might or might not go over well. 


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#24 tess in the burbs

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 12:30 PM

Both my kids are doing Algebra 2 with Jann Perkins myhomeschoolmathclass.com They like her, like the interface of the class. Homework isn't too much. Dd has emailed multiple times for help and gets great feedback quickly. Very affordable

Frau Gleason at Excelsior is much stricter than Frau Cruz was, and ds is struggling. Homework input is one try, no leeway for capitalization mistakes. Had to email about points that were graded wrong. First test is this weekend, but ds is so upset at how much harder this is than last year he's not really focused on the work but being angry. Sigh.


Soverbose.com still happy with feedback. Ds wrote an awful paper and it was all yellow with corrections. Ds needed that. He didn't listen to me about it. But that yellow says it all lol. Dd likes it too.

Edited by tess in the burbs, 15 September 2017 - 12:30 PM.

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#25 RootAnn

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 12:33 PM

Understanding she's pricey, where does she teach now?

Emily

 

Mrs. Lange opened her own "academy." She offers a few classes at Integritas Academy. It is my understanding that the class sizes are small. She gave lots of personalized feedback even when she had huge classes at WHA.


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#26 hellen

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 12:50 PM

Then they must be in class together! My son's name is MagicMonkey (real name Andrew:-)) He loved the class and has been so excited to do the homework. I'm hoping to get him into Jetta's class next year, I have heard such great things about it!

Is your son planning to do Geometry after this class is over? We are thinking of leading straight in this year, even if it will mean possibly working into the summer. Which might or might not go over well.


DS is ScaryDragon. He'll probably start Geometry around April. That gives him time to work ahead a bit and do Number Theory. If summer looks too busy, he might need to wait until fall.
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#27 fourisenough

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 04:29 PM

Mrs. Lange opened her own "academy." She offers a few classes at Integritas Academy. It is my understanding that the class sizes are small. She gave lots of personalized feedback even when she had huge classes at WHA.


My daughter is taking 4 online classes this year: 3 with Wilson Hill (more on those below) and also Mrs. Lange's Intro to Pursuasive Writing Through Literature. Mrs. Lange's class is a huge hit so far. There are four or five students in the class, so each gets a high level of interaction. It is very early, but I'm cautiously optimistic that it will be as fantastic as everyone says (of her FoEW class with WHA). This DD was in WTMA's WWS 1 & 2 in the last two years, but I just didn't feel like the actual feedback on her writing was either good/specific enough or plentiful enough. Also, I was looking for one class that covered both literature and composition. Mrs. Lange seems to be the golden ticket.
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#28 fourisenough

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 04:35 PM

I mentioned my DD's 3 other online classes in my post above. They are: Life Science, Latin 1 and Algebra 1, all at WHA. So far, so good in each class. Mr. Reini is very fun, organized, and engaging. She loves the life science class (fav topic) with a very kind, passionate teacher. Latin 1 is a tad bit intimidating, but the teacher seems to be supportive and very knowledgeable. I trust that DD will find her footing and enjoy it. More specifics later, but three thumbs up for our WHA courses at this point.
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#29 Arcadia

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 08:49 PM

Older boy had six chemistry quizzes last week that is due today. He was planning to do two per day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Was tired on Saturday so end up finishing the quizzes today. Doing a quiz per day would have been less tiring. The good thing is he has less time to be bored.

Edited by Arcadia, 18 September 2017 - 08:49 PM.

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#30 Arcadia

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 11:23 AM

Arcadia, how old is your ds in Socratic Discussion @ WTMA? How much time does he spend on it? Thinking about this for my Dd next year.


Just to add on to my earlier post, this week both kids have a short story (15/16 pages) to annotate. DS11 says he is supposed to make 50 annotations, so he calculate that to be 3 per page. Homework was posted on Monday (we checked all weekend), due as usual on Thursday I assume as I didn't ask him. He read last night after dinner and I found a reading on YouTube so my kids listened to that as they couldn't fall asleep. I'm estimating that it would take him an hour today to annotate and probably another 20 to 30 minutes tomorrow to proofread his annotations before submitting. DS12 would take longer because of his perfectionist tendencies so he takes longer to annotate but he is faster at proofreading.

We were kind of expecting work to be posted by Saturday and having the weekend to work on it. Not the instructors fault of course. Just used to instructors giving homework in advance so kids can work slightly ahead to buffer for illness/allergies/busy times.
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#31 ScoutTN

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 11:36 AM

Just to add on to my earlier post, this week both kids have a short story (15/16 pages) to annotate. DS11 says he is supposed to make 50 annotations, so he calculate that to be 3 per page. Homework was posted on Monday (we checked all weekend), due as usual on Thursday I assume as I didn't ask him. He read last night after dinner and I found a reading on YouTube so my kids listened to that as they couldn't fall asleep. I'm estimating that it would take him an hour today to annotate and probably another 20 to 30 minutes tomorrow to proofread his annotations before submitting. DS12 would take longer because of his perfectionist tendencies so he takes longer to annotate but he is faster at proofreading.

We were kind of expecting work to be posted by Saturday and having the weekend to work on it. Not the instructors fault of course. Just used to instructors giving homework in advance so kids can work slightly ahead to buffer for illness/allergies/busy times.

 

Helpful, thanks! Dd will take this class next year, logic stage. 

 

Yes, I do like the assignments posted a bit in advance! 



#32 h2bh

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 08:12 AM

My ds 12 is taking three online classes this year at WHA: Latin 2 with Mrs. Coll, Logic 1 with Mr. Martin and GC 1 with Mrs. Bailey.  Logic is definitely his favorite though that is probably a function of his personality.  All three have had strong starts to the year.  My dd isn't middle school anymore, but I wanted to mention for anyone looking ahead that Logic 2  at WHA is shaping up to be an incredible class.  Mr. Vierra knows how to draw high level work out of his students without it feeling stressful.  They are using the Peter Kreeft Socratic Logic text.  This class might be a "must" for my younger kids as they grow into it.  Also, I know geometry with Mrs. Smith has gotten positive reviews in other threads and we agree!  My dd tried math in a box with the Jurgensen text this summer.  Mrs. Smith is so clear in comparison.  DD and I are glad we switched math back to WHA.


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#33 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 08:41 AM

O.k. going to give a review of my daughter's drawing class with Julie Rapalje at Excelsior.  She's awesome.  DD is making leaps and learning and loving it.  She has had Rapalje for Art History for years (starting over at Landry Academy) and learned a lot in those classes (both for history, art history and improving her own art) but this is the first time DD has taken a drawing class with her and is thriving.  It is a fall class.  There is a Water color class in the Spring that she intends to take.  Thought I would link in case anyone else is interested.

 

http://excelsiorclasses.com/the-arts/


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#34 RootAnn

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 08:57 AM

Thanks to everyone for chiming in! It is okay to put "first impressions" of older kid classes in here as many of us will continue to use online classes as the kids get older & it is sometimes easier to see these here than to dip our toes into the high school board. (I have two high schoolers now, but I still remember first reading the high school board. I still feel like a 'poser' (fake) over there compared to the tried & true posters.)

 

As an update, my email to MPOA was well-received. I got sent a recording of the first class with one of the alternate teachers (Jacobson) who fit our schedule. The difference was night & day (with day being the new teacher). All of us who watched the recording felt the breath of fresh air. DD was decided in the first three minutes. She got switched over and attended class with the new teacher Wednesday. (She'd already taken two quizzes with the old teacher & the switch meant she had to retake them. She felt it was worth the extra pain in order to get the better teacher.) This teacher is acceptable and DD, while not loving Latin, is fine with continuing the class with her. She incorporates bits of Roman history and background into the class, is enthusiastic and encouraging, and covers the material in a clear manner. Her control of the class is not overbearing, but the kids (well, except for a couple of boys) generally stay on topic. I'm much happier with her class situation now.

 

h2b2 - What is the text for Logic 1? (Too lazy to go look) Which edition of Kreeft's book does Logic 2 use?


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#35 h2bh

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 01:10 PM

RootAnn-that is awesome you got your kid switched to a better section!

 

And Logic 1 uses the Nance Intro to Logic and Intermediate logic books as well as Fallacy Detective.  

 

Logic 2 uses the third edition as well as A Student's Guide to Philosophy by McInermy.  


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#36 RenaInTexas

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 01:21 PM

Mine are enjoying the Writing & Rhetoric classes given by Classical Academic Press.

 

This is the 2nd year for DS2. They are in Level 1 and Level 2. 

 

The classes are great, feedback is great --- including good and constructively bad feedback. The interaction with kids from all over is awesome. Last year there was a kid living in Egypt in the class. The kids have time to speak with each other about their personal lives and even had a bring your pet to class day. They have a board where they can 'hang out'. The teachers are very responsive and give great remarks on all assignments. They also do oral quizzes and have one-on-one conversations with the kids during breakout sessions. The other kids are place in different 'rooms' where they work an assignment together or read their assignments to each other. It is a nice setup.

 


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#37 ScoutTN

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 03:59 PM

My ds 12 is taking three online classes this year at WHA: Latin 2 with Mrs. Coll, Logic 1 with Mr. Martin and GC 1 with Mrs. Bailey.  Logic is definitely his favorite though that is probably a function of his personality.  All three have had strong starts to the year.  My dd isn't middle school anymore, but I wanted to mention for anyone looking ahead that Logic 2  at WHA is shaping up to be an incredible class.  Mr. Vierra knows how to draw high level work out of his students without it feeling stressful.  They are using the Peter Kreeft Socratic Logic text.  This class might be a "must" for my younger kids as they grow into it.  Also, I know geometry with Mrs. Smith has gotten positive reviews in other threads and we agree!  My dd tried math in a box with the Jurgensen text this summer.  Mrs. Smith is so clear in comparison.  DD and I are glad we switched math back to WHA.

 

I am thinking my dd will do Latin 2 with WHA next year.  Did your ds do Latin 1 with WHA or at home? How much time does he spend on the hw? 

 

I noticed in your sig that you have an older child in GC 3. Can you tell me a bit about that class? I am thinking of GC for my Dd when  she's in 9th and wondering whether to go with 3, which will fit our history sequence. Or 1+4, which is more logical place to start in that it is geared for kids new to the program. Might come down to the teacher or the schedule. 


Edited by ScoutTN, 22 September 2017 - 10:35 PM.

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#38 SeaConquest

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 08:52 PM

Mine are enjoying the Writing & Rhetoric classes given by Classical Academic Press.

 

This is the 2nd year for DS2. They are in Level 1 and Level 2. 

 

The classes are great, feedback is great --- including good and constructively bad feedback. The interaction with kids from all over is awesome. Last year there was a kid living in Egypt in the class. The kids have time to speak with each other about their personal lives and even had a bring your pet to class day. They have a board where they can 'hang out'. The teachers are very responsive and give great remarks on all assignments. They also do oral quizzes and have one-on-one conversations with the kids during breakout sessions. The other kids are place in different 'rooms' where they work an assignment together or read their assignments to each other. It is a nice setup.

 

I've looked at those classes. What age are your kids? Would a 9/10 year old be too young for level 2?


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#39 h2bh

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 10:58 PM

I am thinking my dd will do Latin 2 with WHA next year.  Did your ds do Latin 1 with WHA or at home? How much time does he spend on the hw? 

 

I noticed in your sig that you have an older child in GC 3. Can you tell me a bit about that class? I am thinking of GC for my Dd when  she's in 9th and wondering whether to go with 3, which will fit our history sequence. Or 1+4, which is more logical place to start in that it is geared for kids new to the program. Might come down to the teacher or the schedule. 

 

Mr. Etter teaches GC 3 and his reputation is well deserved.  My dd had him for GC 1.  He is funny and his joy in what he is teaching comes through clearly.  My dd often comes out of class talking about what they are learning (and laughing about the latest funny thing Mr. Etter said).  I wouldn't hesitate at all to start a student new to GC with GC 3.  There are quite a few students in my daughter's class who are new to GC this year so your child wouldn't be the only one.  You could do GC 3 and then follow it with GC 1+4.  

 

My son did Latin 1 with Mrs. Salmon at WHA.  My son has Mrs. Coll and my dd had Mrs. Hensley.  The general flow of the week is that on Monday or Tuesday new material is introduced and time is spent discussing the vocabulary and etymology.  Translation homework is assigned and due before your next class period.  Mrs. Hensley had a two hour limit on that and said if you were in the "Latin slough of despond" to turn in what you could and come to class ready to work through any problems you had.  From a scheduling perspective, this was great because my dd knew exactly how much time to put into her schedule for the class.  There is also a vocab list to memorize each week (about 20 words I think) so how long that takes to learn varies based on the kid.  The vocab quiz is due on Friday.  Each week has a nice rhythm.  Every four or five weeks there is a unit test covering several chapters and those are also due on Friday.  My oldest did Latin 2 and 3 with WHA and is enjoying Latin Readings over at Schole Academy this year.  WHA prepared her well and she plans to go back to WHA for AP Latin with Mrs. Hensley.


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#40 h2bh

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Posted 22 September 2017 - 11:02 PM

Mine are enjoying the Writing & Rhetoric classes given by Classical Academic Press.

 

This is the 2nd year for DS2. They are in Level 1 and Level 2. 

 

The classes are great, feedback is great --- including good and constructively bad feedback. The interaction with kids from all over is awesome. Last year there was a kid living in Egypt in the class. The kids have time to speak with each other about their personal lives and even had a bring your pet to class day. They have a board where they can 'hang out'. The teachers are very responsive and give great remarks on all assignments. They also do oral quizzes and have one-on-one conversations with the kids during breakout sessions. The other kids are place in different 'rooms' where they work an assignment together or read their assignments to each other. It is a nice setup.

 

Thanks for sharing this.  I keep looking at these classes for my third child but couldn't find much feedback and decided this year it was too much to add in because we are moving mid-year across the country.  (WHA midterms are going to be taking place as we drive.  It's crazy!)  My dd is taking Latin 4 at Schole, but the setup is very different.  They don't use chat or breakout rooms but stay on webcam and mic the whole time.  There are only three students so it is almost like having a private tutor.  Mr. DuBose is a wealth of knowledge, but this is his last year teaching.  Who are your kids' teachers?


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#41 Barb_

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 07:58 AM

My impression of online classes is that from where I'm sitting, are no good writing classes, none. Would love to be proven wrong but I'm also done experimenting at this kid's expense.
I also find excessively positive teacher feedback irritating, especially when not warranted. The kids aren't stupid, they know.


One of my girls took a writing course last year and she was made to rewrite a paper because the instructor believed it sounded too mature and wasn't written in the appropriate voice. I didn't know about it until after the class ended or I would have raised heck.

I'm with you on the writing classes. Honestly, I believe nothing beats reading widely and deeply for creating good writers. Well, that coupled with lively conversation at home. I always insist on clear thinking and support for opinions when we discuss politics, literature or science, or even social or family situations. I ask a lot of why questions.

I've only used writing classes when I panic and think we aren't structured enough in writing and I wind up regretting it.

#42 RootAnn

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 10:26 AM

Honestly, I believe nothing beats reading widely and deeply for creating good writers. Well, that coupled with lively conversation at home. I always insist on clear thinking and support for opinions when we discuss politics, literature or science, or even social or family situations. I ask a lot of why questions.

 

This works for some. For some, it doesn't. I think some are natural writers and some have to work a lot harder to write well. I do believe that good writing starts with good thinking. I have one who doesn't like to think deeply because it is too much work. Her writing shows it. I have another that ruminates on things. She isn't as wide a reader (although she's listened to a LOT of audiobooks), but she thinks, writes, reflects, and rewrites. She leaves time to think & rewrite. It helps her rough drafts be much better than some of my last-minute-less-thinking kid's final drafts.


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#43 Barb_

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 12:15 PM

This works for some. For some, it doesn't. I think some are natural writers and some have to work a lot harder to write well. I do believe that good writing starts with good thinking. I have one who doesn't like to think deeply because it is too much work. Her writing shows it. I have another that ruminates on things. She isn't as wide a reader (although she's listened to a LOT of audiobooks), but she thinks, writes, reflects, and rewrites. She leaves time to think & rewrite. It helps her rough drafts be much better than some of my last-minute-less-thinking kid's final drafts.


I suppose. I know enough to know I don't know everything. I have kids who were definitely not natural writers or thinkers but by late high school had developed the skills they needed. I think good modeling is doubly important for kids who aren't natural writers. I'm not doubting some kids need more direct instruction, but I do believe reading and discussion is more important across the board than current educational models give credence to.

#44 RenaInTexas

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 09:41 PM

[quote name="SeaConquest" post="7797815" timestamp="1506131572"]

I've looked at those classes. What age are your kids? Would a 9/10 year old be too young for level 2?[/quote

Ds8 is in level 1 and ds10 is in level 2. They recommend 4th - 6th for Level 2. I think it would be ok if the 9 year old was comfortable with writing because they get homework every class. Last year, the hw took my 4th grader about 10-15 min in level 1. Now my younger son is in the course and the same hw is taking 20-25 minutes. This is 100% due to him taking the class a year earlier than his brother. Writes slower, thinks slower, etc...

From what I have seen from the 3 classes taken, there has only been maybe 1 student out of 8-10 in the lowest age limit. Most are in the middle of the recommended age and a few at the top of the age bracket.
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#45 RenaInTexas

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 09:52 PM

[quote name="h2bh" post="7797907" timestamp="1506139354"]
Who are your kids' teachers?[/quote

The last names are escaping me right now but they have had Monica and Emily. We have like both. The classes meet twice a week and I estimate that they do breakouts twice a month. The students can post messages on the class forum anytime. They typically talk about books they read, movies, and pets.
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#46 fourisenough

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Posted 24 September 2017 - 07:31 AM

My ds 12 is taking three online classes this year at WHA: Latin 2 with Mrs. Coll, Logic 1 with Mr. Martin and GC 1 with Mrs. Bailey. Logic is definitely his favorite though that is probably a function of his personality. All three have had strong starts to the year. My dd isn't middle school anymore, but I wanted to mention for anyone looking ahead that Logic 2 at WHA is shaping up to be an incredible class. Mr. Vierra knows how to draw high level work out of his students without it feeling stressful. They are using the Peter Kreeft Socratic Logic text. This class might be a "must" for my younger kids as they grow into it. Also, I know geometry with Mrs. Smith has gotten positive reviews in other threads and we agree! My dd tried math in a box with the Jurgensen text this summer. Mrs. Smith is so clear in comparison. DD and I are glad we switched math back to WHA.

In your opinion, could the logic courses at WHA work for a secular homeschooling family?

#47 h2bh

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Posted 26 September 2017 - 09:43 PM

In your opinion, could the logic courses at WHA work for a secular homeschooling family?

 

For Logic 1, if you are okay with the Nance textbook which is clearly written by a Christian and an opening prayer usually from the Book of Common Prayer, then I'd guess the class would be ok.  If in doubt, I'd try to look at the textbook and then you could always e-mail the teacher.  

 

Logic 2 focuses more on philosophical ideas and is more deeply saturated with a Biblical worldview of the purpose of mankind so I'd guess it is less of a fit for a secular homeschool family.  For example, a recent discussion board asked for a position on an issue and then the student was to explain what the Bible said about it.  

 

I hope you find the right fit for your kids!


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#48 fastweedpuller

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 01:44 PM

My dd, an 8th grader, is taking her first online "for credit" class:  Latin 100 with Lone Pine.  (Lone Pine likes 8th graders/13yos to start this class so they can take 200-400 in hs and AP in 12th).

 

So far, so good.  Her in-class time is completely enjoyable.  Finding the items to do for homework and what, exactly, to study has been a bit of a challenge.  It's really just having to search and understand what is expected per day/per week that was the steepest learning curve.  Classes are M&W a.m. and sometimes there is not enough time between Monday's and Wednesday's class to get all the work done.  My daughter is looking at this as a learning AND social opportunity (it is how she's wired) so that is why I chose Lone Pine over other programs; this one seemed the best fit for bonding as well as learning.  I would say she's an average student all around.


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#49 calbear

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 02:17 PM

The sections for LFC A at WHA (darn them for not have more PST friendly times!) didn't work out for us, so we took a chance on Mrs. Chilbert with Schole (Classical Academic Press) Academy's classes. So far, so good. He is enthused and motivated about learning Latin. The webcam and mic format works well for him. I think not have a chat box is actually good for this grade level (4th to 6th) because I've found a lot of unnecessary stuff going on in chat. He can actually see the other students as well which is good, but it also means he has to actually get dressed as I won't let him do that class in pjs (ha ha). Mrs. Chilbert is pretty enthusiastic about Latin which is something I am glad to outsource because I wasn't enthusiastic about teaching it as I just don't have the mental space to try to master it as I am teaching it plus I need for him to enjoy Latin and not to become a drudgery.

I believe Mrs. Chilbert also teaches W&R year 1 & 2. She's pretty responsive to questions, so anyone who has questions about placement should contact her. 


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#50 calbear

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 04:59 PM

Anyone who is considering Schole Academy should carefully read the FAQ and the Student Handbook. Their classes are distinctly Christian and anyone signing up for that needs to be aware of that and what their pedagogical approach is and their vision for schole. There is always opening and closing prayers, Scripture reading and discussion of the reading from Scripture in my son's class.

 

I am pulling two quotes from the handbook that highlight what I am pointing out:

 

In pursuit of scholé, Scholé Academy employs two key pedagogies that set it apart from other online schools. First, we emphasize the development of virtues in students; second, we employ patterns of “liturgical learning.” In fact, liturgical learning is an important part of developing student virtues. While it is beyond the scope of this handbook to fully describe the student virtues and how we seek to cultivate them, the student virtues should nevertheless be briefly described.

 

For example, one could use the following “order of worship” as a pattern for ordering a lesson. This pattern or template is intended as a guide that is not “followed to the letter” but nonetheless shapes the “learning liturgy” of Scholé Academy classes to distinguish them as “scholé” courses. Our faculty embraces and loves incorporating this approach, and we believe our students will too.

Please note, the pattern of a class is determined by the course instructor. Many of our teachers incorporate elements of the following pattern, but the embodiment of “liturgical learning” will vary from teacher to teacher and class to class.

  • Welcome/Greeting: Students are greeted by beautiful image(s) and music, perhaps with a inspirational quotation or key question, which they are asked to contemplate for several minutes.
  • Grateful Acknowledgement: The students and the teacher express gratefulness for the art, one another, the opportunity study some aspect of God’s creation, mind, nature, humanity, etc.
  • Confess What We Need: The students and the teacher confess a need for a disposition, a frame of mind, virtue, a heart that seeks and calls out for wisdom, etc. A written confession may be read and/or prayer offered (Key Scripture: Proverbs 2:1-7).
  • Teach/Present/Discuss: The teacher leads a traditional lesson, ensuring that students are engaged and participating.
  • Confess What We Know/Have Learned: The teacher leads a summary and review, sometimes taking the form of “creedal” confession that edifies.
  • Expression of Thanksgiving: The teacher (or a mature student) leads the class in expressing gratitude to God, the teacher, and/or other students.
  • Benediction/Dismissal: The teacher gives a prepared benediction written by the teacher or from traditional sources.
  • Processional: The students return to beautiful music and images. Students are free to leave immediately or remain for quiet contemplatio

 


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