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About ShepCarlin

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    Hive Mind Larvae

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    Outlander fan, baking, cooking, history, dog lover.

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  1. Funny you posted about this as I've wondered the same thing. Same boat here. Son made Eagle last spring and it involved asking for recommendation letters. He also had to ask for letters for applying to DE at local college and letters for a competition he's entering. This has all been in the last few months. I hate asking the same people but they are the ones who know him the best and are reliable to write the letter. He's a sophomore so he'll be doing this all over again in 2 years. I almost thought about asking people to write a generic recommendation so it could be used over and over but I think the best letters are situation specific. Also how long are they good for? I'll be interested to see what people say.
  2. Thanks for the great responses! He is planning on attending the IHS meeting this summer (we live in the Atlanta area) and is applying for their Jr. Herp. award. His math skills are still not awesome-I'd say just your average bear. He is currently taking Geometry this year using Teaching Textbooks. He should be finished with that and starting Alg II in March. Since he is the way he is in math, I do want him to take a college algebra class and not CLEP out. If he goes slow and steady in math, he does fine. Unfortunately, it looks like taking that route may bite him in the college sciences in terms of progress, but I'd rather he have a good foundation in math than be in over his head. Yes, dmmetler, I worry about him getting popped into a non major class for science, good point. Currently, our plan is he will attend DE classes (Comp I, Gov't, College Alg) at the local technical college his junior year. Then DE at Kennesaw State his senior year. He just missed acceptance to KSU DE by 10 pts for the math on his SAT. dmmetler, are y'all attending IHS this year? If so, we should try to meet up.
  3. So, I'm trying to be proactive and start my planning for the 2020-21 year. My oldest (16) will be a junior next year. His plan is to be a biology major in college with an emphasis in herpetology. He has already had the following science classes for high school: Honors Biology, Physics, and Chemistry. I'd hoped he would take a DE class in either Biology or Chemistry next year but he needs College Alg as a prereq. He won't take that until at least Spring 2021. So what do we do? We are secular homeschoolers. He'd love to do a deep dive into herpetology (he is already a certified master herpetologist) but I don't know how we'd come up with a curriculum. I don't want to waste his time doing something like Astronomy or Human Anatomy as I think we'd be just checking off a box. I feel like it's probably staring me in the face. He is currently helping a PhD student with his research and he volunteers at our zoo. But I don't know if/how I could turn these experiences into a class? He helps the PhD student about once every 6-8 weeks and the zoo is at least 1-2 days a month.
  4. Just hopped on the board after being absent for a while. My son is currently enrolled in the regular Clover Valley chemistry class. He spends about 1-1/2 hours a day on chemistry if not more. But part of that is the way he rolls.....his favorite animal is a turtle and I swear some days he thinks he is one ;). Great class, so wonderfully organized and detailed. He's enjoyed it and has been sufficiently challenged by it. I almost didn't write anything as I'd like to keep Connie a secret until my youngest has enrolled in her class! But she is so good, I had to say something.
  5. Thanks Farrar! Appreciate the link also. I had not thought about that since the co-op classes are still being offered that they would be described in present tense. So you are saying it's ok for them to be mixed...stuff I've done is in the past (obviously!) but co-op is still going on for other students. I have written all of them up, it's currently a mish mash of stuff. I just want his info to be presented in the most coherent fashion as I know we are overly scrutinized as homeschoolers.
  6. Yes, it is Kennesaw State in Georgia. They want course descriptions as part of the home school portfolio that has to be submitted. I'm glad they do as it does indeed make me get my ducks in a row early. It just also gives me time to overthink it 😉
  7. My son will be applying for dual enrollment at the local university near our home. I'm trying to get all his course descriptions completed now so I'm not losing my mind in January. When you write course descriptions, what tense is preferred? For example, for Honors Biology, do I say: "This course will cover cellular, viral, bacterial and genetics biology...."OR is it"This course covered cellular, viral, bacterial, and genetics biology"??? I realized that for classes he's taken at our co-op, I had just copied the teacher's descriptions without considering tense. Classes I've taught are written in past tense. I know they all need to be the same. I am assuming past tense since this is stuff he has taken?
  8. I'm using Build Your Library Level 12 for my 10th grader. I bought it mainly for the US history readings. So far, he's enjoying it as am I. I understand it is somewhat based on Charlotte Mason philosophy, therefore there aren't any tests in the curriculum. I'm having him write a short summary each day of all his readings and we are doing the document based assessment book she has listed. I also plan on using The Critical Thinking Co. US history book as well. Is there any "need" to test him if we are doing all this? I feel like he will have a good understanding of the material if we keep this up but then I hear about his friends taking tests in their history class in school and of course started second guessing myself. Frankly, my big issue with the tests is I don't want to have to create them! 🙂
  9. We used TT for the first time this past school year (2018-19). Loved it. I did make my boys (one is high school, one is middle) write out the problems in a separate notebook. There is a thread somewhere on the high school board where I was tearing my hair out because they were NOT writing out the problems. I think that is the downfall of TT, it is so easy for the kids to do the math in their head or guess at it. It is so helpful for so many reasons to have them write it out. If they get a problem wrong, makes it so easy to go back and look at it to see where mistakes were made. Also, it helps reinforce the process. Also, you have a written record of what they did for math if anyone ever needs to see it. Hope you enjoy the program...the self grading feature is absolute bliss!
  10. Has anyone used the textbook America: A Narrative History? I did a search in the forum and it didn't pop up anywhere. It looks to be a high school/college textbook. On the publisher's website, they offer many resources in study guides, quizzes, etc. but you have to be part of a school to order. Ugh. Looks like a great American history textbook but I don't think I realistically have time to create study guides, quizzes, discussion questions, etc. Would love, love, love if anyone has recommendations for this book or one like it. I really wish Susan Wise Bauer would write an American history book for high school. We adored her History of the Ancient World.
  11. Still slowly pulling together course descriptions for my 9th (er, I guess 10th grade now) grader. For his biology class...I am realizing it will probably be overkill to list all the labs he did. But do I put a note in the description "lab list available upon request"? I am seeing based on the comments in the awesome MotherLode #2 pin that a brief succinct summary is preferred to a long winded description. On that same line of thinking...what about book lists for fun and assigned class reading (ie Gilgamesh for ancient world history and gobs of fantasy novels for fun reading). Frankly, I'm hoping that a book list of fun isn't crucial as I did a pitifully poor job keeping a list of what he read this year. So poor in fact, that I have no clue what the child read. I just know that he did read for enjoyment.
  12. Thanks so much everyone! I mentioned to my husband that I'd posted on the board about this and he just sighed and shook his head, "Overthinking again?" he said. Well, yeah, that's what I do best it seems. I was just so worried it would look odd with the honors physics taken at the same time as Algebra I but I guess it is fine. Since he is my oldest he is therefore the guinea pig for our homeschool His younger brother will hopefully have a much calmer mother for homeschooling high school, ha. This freshman year was exhausting, hoping I calm down a bit for sophomore year. He's a good kid with a good head on his shoulders.
  13. OK, please bear with me as this is a long story but I am hoping someone out there has had a similar experience. This past school year, my 9th grader took a physics class at our co-op. Why physics in 9th grade? Well, for many reasons but the main one was that it was supposed to be conceptual physics. This class was advertised as a dual class for both conceptual AND honors being taught at the same time. We have another teacher at the co-op who does this quite successfully so I thought it would be ok. Well, as you have probably guessed from my title, it ended up being only an honors course. The honors kids needed to have a basic understanding of trigonometry. My son isn't super strong in math so he was in Algebra I at the same time. So obviously, he did not have a basic understanding of trigonometry. Against my better judgment, he stayed in the class. Kudos to him, he pushed through, worked hard and made a B as his final grade. It was difficult but he did it. So here comes my question. I'm writing up his course descriptions for the year so I am not panicking his senior year trying to write up 4 years worth of school. Do I say something in the course description that this was way above his skill level yet he persevered? I think it will look odd that he took Algebra I and Honors Physics the same year so I wonder if I need to add an explanation. He made an A in Algebra I so at least his math and science grades for 9th grade are balanced. Am I over thinking this (as usual?)
  14. I have had my 9th grade son using Book 1 of "So You Really Want to Learn Latin" this year for his Latin I. He'd studied Latin in the past, using Prima Latin and Latina Christiana so he had some Latin experience. The book has been ok I guess. I have a Latin background as I took 4 years of it in high school (many, many moons ago). I like how the book is set up, no-nonsense, very straight forward. I was worried it wouldn't be enough Latin as it's only 10 chapters, but I feel those 10 chapters are pretty detailed, especially in terms of grammar instruction. Unfortunately, Latin has been the one subject that keeps getting pushed off til later as he's had other subjects that needed more attention. So Latin for the summer it is. But as I'm planning next year, I am undecided as to what we should do. Just continue on with Galore Park for continuity's sake? Is this really detailed enough for high school? He is tolerating Latin but truly just hates foreign languages. He's just doing this as the colleges he is looking at require a minimum of 2 years foreign language in high school. One thing he really doesn't like about Galore Park is the vocabulary: angry farmers, singing farmers, sailors with gifts for girls, etc etc. LOTS of farmers and sailors. Is the vocabulary in book 2 more interesting? What would be a good supplement to Book 2 if we continue? For those who have used this as a high school curriculum, did you get any questions from college admissions regarding it's rigor? Like I said, foreign language is not his strong suit, I hate it but we are really just checking off boxes for foreign language. Ugh.
  15. Is it an option to try a different curriculum? We've never used Saxon, but I've heard it can be on the boring side. A good curriculum but dull. We switched to Teaching Textbooks this year and so far both boys have loved it. They have a free trial option for their online program that gives you enough lessons to see if you like it. The Algebra I doesn't have integrated geometry though. We were Life of Fred people before TT. Liked it quite a bit (more than I anticipated really) but it became a little frustrating for both boys so we switched. Or maybe take a break from Saxon for a bit and use Khan for a free daily math lesson?
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