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Posts posted by ShepCarlin

  1. I tried Breaking the Barrier with my oldest and it was an epic disaster. Part of it could be that he is just not that awesome with foreign language and I'm not fluent in Spanish. At all. We ended up with him taking 2 agonizing years of Latin (which I am very familiar with). My youngest (9th grade) will be taking Spanish this year via the Homeschool Spanish Academy. I have no prior experience with them but have heard rave reviews so my fingers are crossed. Homeschool Spanish Academy offers the options of monthly payments and seems very reasonable for what you get. 

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  2. I had to separate my two boys when the oldest started high school 3 years ago. It was a HUGE benefit to us all. I stopped getting upset at both of them and they both were able to get the attention they needed. I have the youngest set up in our school room and the oldest is in his bedroom. He has to keep the door open so he can still hear what is happening downstairs. I hated doing it at first as I worried the oldest would feel excluded but he's an introvert and is much happier and more productive when he can be by himself.

    In regards to the online school, sounds like it could be worth a try for your sanity but if he isn't looking forward to it you might have an uphill battle on your hands. Maybe try a short online class from Outschool this summer to see if would adapt to an online learning experience? We've done online classes, some were successful (Clover Valley big time thumbs up) some were not (DE at local community college was very hit or miss). Really depends on the format and interaction of the teacher with the students. 

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  3. @SweetCicely interesting. They told us at the Open House in March that there was not a separate scholarship application. I thought that was kind of strange. I have a lot to look into. DS also has dual enrollment. So far, from what I can see he is eligible for the honors program, it will just depend on how many kids apply. He is right on the edge of what they are looking for in terms of test scores, GPA, etc.

    Did your daughter enroll at WCU? If so, does she like it?

  4. Interesting on all accounts. DS is planning on majoring in biology. His interest is specifically herpetology and he has already spoken with a couple of biology professors to see what he could do in research as an undergrad. He's totally fallen in love with WCU. His test scores are very good as well as GPA. His leadership and volunteer experiences really make him shine along with his avid interest in herpetology. I want to be sure that stands out to WCU which is why I was wondering if it would be "too much" if I just threw in all of that instead of just the transcript and test scores. Think it would be in his best interest to just send in more info as opposed to too little.

  5. DS will be applying to Western Carolina this fall. I contacted them last year asking what requirements they have of homeschoolers and was told it is just send in a transcript and either SAT or ACT scores. That's it. No course descriptions, resume, school profile, etc. They do not use the Common App so this looks to me to be pretty straightforward (and easy?!) process. However, I am curious if I should go ahead and send the course descriptions, etc has I already have them written up ready to go. Is this overkill? Their admittance rate is decently competitive so I do want to help him stand out but I don't want admissions to flag us as a problem child. He is my oldest so this is all new for us. I had a local college admissions counselor here in GA tell me they don't like being overwhelmed with info but at the same time I see just a transcript as not being enough. Am I making this harder than it is?

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  6. I don't consider Build Your Library assignments very rigorous but I LOVE the reading selections. She has sample weeks on her website for each level. She does include discussion questions for the reading but it's more to check reading comprehension than anything. My youngest will be doing both levels 10 & 11 this year. I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to cram two years of reading into one. Levels 10 & 11 are world history, 12 is American history.

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  7. Hey @mom2scouts...I think we are twins! Both my boys are scouts also. I've considered looking for a part time position with our area boy scout council but personally I am not a great scout (I don't camp. at all. ever) but I'm great at filing, office work, that kind of thing. But I have that wonky schedule to deal with... Regarding the design position...the industry has changed SO much in the 17 years I've been gone. My husband works for an architecture firm (environmental graphic designer) and I feel very out of the loop when he talks about the technology they are using now. I also cannot fathom going back to that culture and the clients. Ugh. 

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  8. This is something I've been thinking about for the last year or so. I have two sons, one will be a high school senior in the fall and the other a high school freshman. Still homeschooling but really it is just the freshman as the senior is in DE. Senior will be taking one online Blue Tent class but I'm not involved in his day to day education. Just checking in with him to be sure he's on track and not drowning. The freshman will have some things with me but some classes outsourced to co-op, Derek Owens and Homeschool Spanish Academy.

    I see the end in sight. I started thinking now would be a great transitional time for me to figure out what to do when both boys are out of the house. I honestly have no idea. I applied for a part time job at our local library but found out last night I didn't get it. Pretty bummed about it as I was thinking it was a perfect fit for me. Have considered working retail part time either at Home Depot or Publix (grocery store) but our family schedule is still erratic and the freshman does still need me at home some of the time. Before kids I was an interior designer at a large architecture firm. This a career I do not want to go back to. I have held a couple of part time positions since leaving the corporate world. I was a data collector when the economy tanked in 2008 and we really needed the extra money. Then I found a data entry position through a good friend. While I didn't love the job (boss was controlling and didn't trust his employees) I did like that 90% of the job was work from home. I was able to work this part time position and homeschool the boys. Unfortunately, that company went out of business. 

    So what next? I don't know. I hate the idea of tutoring or teaching. I've loved homeschooling our boys but I really don't think I would enjoy teaching or tutoring other kids. I still want to be available as a wife, mother and daughter. My parents live an hour away and they are approaching the age where they may "need" me. But I'd like to bring in some money, would like to have something "to do". Admin job? Office manager? My interests are baking, nutrition, dogs and reading. Where does that lead to? 

    Good luck on your journey. It's good to hear from other moms in a similar position. 

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  9. My son used the GPB physics website along with Paul Hewitt's Physics book in the class that was at our co-op. Eh. From what I understand, they have updated the videos as the ones he watched were very outdated. Overall the content is solid, I don't recall any red flags. It was just incredibly BORING. I watched one lesson because he swore up and down that whatever it was he was looking for was not addressed in the video. It was addressed but I fell asleep while watching it! I can see how he missed it because it was mind numbingly boring. I'm not a huge physics fan but did very well in it back in the dark ages when I was in school. So I'd say, good content, boring, boring, boring. If you are using it as a supplement, I think that'd be fine. His teacher relied on the GPB videos more than I like. Paul Hewitt's book was a much better choice. It was a much more interesting read than anything I saw on the GPB stuff.

  10. We used Level 12 from Build Your Library. It is a comprehensive curriculum but totally worth it just for the literature section. I added books that I want him to be sure to read such as The Scarlet Letter but it's a great list that covers America's timeline. I like that she put in discussion questions so I didn't have to come up with them ;).

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  11. I was pretty hands off for the learner's permit. We live in GA and a friend whose son had been through it already said "get the app, study it, take the test". Okayyy. So. That's what my son did. I'm not kidding....the day I drove him to DMV to take the learner's test, I decided to give him a quiz on road signs on the way there (don't ask why I didn't do this before....I guess I had a mental block on his driving). Anyway. He says "Mom, I haven't studied any of that! Don't ask me what the signs mean!" WHAT?! Apparently all he saw on the app was stuff like what is the name of teen driving law in GA? A few road rules but it seemed like a lot pointless stuff to me. He isn't the best test taker but he did ace the driving test. There were a few road signs on the test so glad I went over them with him on the way there...although he knew more than he thought he did.

    Once he got his learners I would narrate my driving in front of him. Such as this is why I'm not turning right at the stop sign or did you see what the driver just did in front of us? For the first few months he had his learners he just drove in a school parking lot on Sundays with my husband. It was probably a full year before I was comfortable with him driving with me in the car. He had his learners for 2 years...in part because he took him sooooo long to get the required hours on the road. This is partly my fault since it took me forever to become comfortable with him driving. He did attend a driving school...did the class part all online and then the actual driving skills with one of the instructors. The instructor wore a mask and was so incredibly laid back. Wonderful experience.

    It's hard watching them go through this but I tell you what....it is nice having another driver in the house. He's now comfortable with it and loves running errands for me. Good luck with everything!

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  12. He is going to have a full psychoeducational evaluation by a psychologist. She comes highly recommended by our pediatrician. Of course...not covered by insurance (there options that our insurance would cover but not recommended by our pediatrician...frustrating) and she's estimating it will be over $2,000 out of pocket when everything is all said and done. My husband and I have a stack of forms to fill out and his co-op teacher has a stack of forms to fill out. There will be a parent meeting with the doctor and then son will meet with her for at least 2 days for a few hours each time for evaluation.  This will all happen mid-summer as this psychologist is booked until then. We have one more school year of this kid being home with us so we really wanted to see if there was a neurological issue or is he just being an absent minded teenager. I. Don't. Know. 

    Seeing this post really hit home for me as he's wasting more time now than he did when he was younger. I really thought he'd grow out of it. Right now, I need to go tell him his hour long lunch is over and he needs to get on with his day. Once we get all the feedback, I'll start a new post on it for those interested. Certainly by no means an answer to everyone's problems, but it is where we are. I feel like I exhausted our resources in terms of teachers willing to help him with time management, books, seminars, etc. 

  13. I don't really have any suggestions to help. I can only sympathize as we are in the same boat. We have finally decided to get our oldest son tested as he's been having issues for years and years. I can't wait to see what the testing tells us. I've always said I wish I knew what planet he visits because it must be FABULOUS. Takes him forever to get anything done. When he was younger, I'd find him in his room with one leg in his jeans, the other leg pantless, a book in his hand and a far away look on his face. The only time he can get out the door on time is if he is going to something he really wants to attend. Incredibly frustrating. He can finish tests in time but getting homework done, unloading the dishwasher, taking a shower...oy. I hope that testing will reveal what he needs help with. It's incredibly frustrating for someone like me as I've learned I'm unfortunately rather high strung on getting things done. Lots of deep breathing over here.

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  14. I've kept a list of any book he used for high school. Reading for pleasure books I just gave up on keeping track of those years ago. I wish I'd kept up with it but he reads quite a bit and it was just one. more. thing. to keep up with. I am glad I have the detailed reading list for high school as he has a younger brother who is currently 8th grade so I can refer to that for him starting next year. We will start the college application process in August. Will be interesting to see what they ask for.

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  15. @ClemsondanaI had to laugh when I read your comment. Yes, Barbara Oakley's book is fantastic. I have her original one along with the one she wrote for teens. Gave it to dear son. He claims to have read it but obviously isn't implementing her tips. I'm going to take a look at the test taking books but I think this is a study skills issue and frankly, he is going to have to mature and and somehow find what his motivation is to focus and improve. I'm feeling somewhat defeated in that I feel like I've done what I can do to assist him but I won't hold his hand. He's a smart kid, quite capable of figuring things out. Just hard to watch.

  16. He’s been in contact with all his professors. None of them will meet in person due to COVID but he’s had phone calls and/or emails with them. 

    The lack of efficient & good study skills is frustrating. I’ve tried to teach and show him as has my husband. He’s had co-op teachers through the years give him tips & advice. I’ve purchased study skills books, given them to him to read. All to no avail. I’d thought that college level classes would light a fire under him but I’m not seeing it. Frankly, it doesn’t help that most of the classes are on line. The Economics & Am Government didn’t even have teacher lectures. Just read the textbook, participate in the class “discussion” (post thoughts on online forum), take the tests. No personal instruction at all. 

  17. Thanks for all the feedback. Back when he was doing math for me he did have to keep his work organized. He used graph paper (still does) to keep numbers aligned. I was really strict with him about keeping problems organized and not jumbled on the page. When he started DE, I was hands off. Thought he’d have kept the habits I drilled into him. I think BusyMom5 might have hit on his math issue. I know many times when he was using TT he’d explain he’d get a problem marked wrong because he clicked on the wrong answer. He’d show me the work & sure enough what he wrote down was correct, just clicked on the wrong answer.

    My major concern is that it’s not just math-it was also economics, psychology and American government. He took psychology & American government in the fall and the testing situation was the same in that he excelled in class work but not so awesome on tests. Economics was just awful...same situation. English has been the only subject he’s sailed through no worries.

    I’ve really tried to let him do all this in his own. Last year I had him start mapping out his day every day in terms of his to do list. Before 10th grade, I’d been giving him an agenda and all he had to do was check things off as he did them. This year I’ve been checking in periodically to be sure he’s staying on top of things. Most days he does. He does have quite the attitude (he is 17 after all 😉 and thinks his way is the best way but he’s doing a great job of proving himself wrong. 

    I’d rather he make these mistakes now while he’s at home do we can help him work through them but ugh....since it’s DE, it’s permanent. 

  18. My oldest (currently a HS junior) is in DE at the local community college. He's never been an excellent test taker but he's done ok over the years. This year he is not doing well on tests at all. Every class he's taken (with the exception of English), he has struggled to pass the tests in the class. He's keeping his grades up with class participation, passing some tests and staying in contact with the professors. Almost all these classes offer either practice tests or quizzes. He ACES the practice tests and quizzes-in every class. I have no idea what is going on...I don't think it's test anxiety as he has tested well on SAT & ACT's which I would think would be the most stressful of them all.

    He met with a learning specialist back in 8th grade for an informal evaluation as I was concerned about his test taking skills then. Her analysis was that there were no issues, he was just over confident in himself and went too fast. I've talked till I'm blue in the face about taking his time, writing down every line of the problem, etc, etc. 

     He just came down to tell me he'd failed his second College Algebra test. I know he rushed through it and when I looked at his scratch paper where he did the work it was a hot mess. Final answers not written down, didn't number the problems-just math problems scribbled all over the page. I do think he has an executive functioning disorder...he is very disorganized and easily distracted. I've been told by his pediatrician, learning specialists, and former teachers that he doesn't but something isn't clicking. 

    All these tests have been on the computer here at home due to COVID. I don't know if there is a disconnect between his head and the keyboard or what. But again...acing the homework & quizzes which are also on the computer. My gut tells me it isn't him not being prepared or not knowing the material. But if the experts are saying it isn't a learning disability, then what could it be?

    I feel like we are at a huge tipping point. If we don't figure out the issue, I don't know how I can let him continue DE classes. He is very mature and really, really wants to continue to take dual enrollment classes. He has a goal that he is laser focused on for his college career and beyond. Has anyone experienced this? 

  19. I have a dear friend who has a senior in public high school. She called me in an absolute panic last week. She just found out he failed his AP Economics class last semester. He has already been accepted (and paid a deposit) to a large university in the Southeast. His counselor is advising him to tell the university about the failing grade but she and her husband are very hesitant to do so. He is now taking a regular economics class so he will end up with a passing grade in economics. They know the school will see his final transcript after he graduates in May. They are gambling the school won't notice the failing grade. Is this a make or break deal? Do the colleges take a hard look at final grades after they've admitted someone? Has anyone had or known someone with this experience? Since I haven't had the experience yet of having a kid apply to college, I don't even know how a college addresses something like this but I know it has GOT to happen more than anyone would like to admit.

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