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Everything posted by kokotg

  1. DS was home for a long weekend for fall break. It was wonderful to see him, but I think it kind of reignited his homesickness. But he'll be home again for Thanksgiving in a month and then again a few weeks after that for winter break, and he'll be here for more than a month then. Should be plenty of time for him to get bored with us! Getting him here was SO EASY; his roommate gave him a ride to the airport less than 15 minutes away when he flew out. On the way back he had an early morning flight and was back in Minneapolis before 9 (there's a time change, so that helped, but still). Knowing he has such easy transportation options (at least until my sign-up bonus sky miles run out) makes having him so far away a little easier. Overall he still seems to be doing pretty well, but with that underlying layer of homesickness and loneliness. It's tough being an introvert who hates to be alone (ask me how I know! sorry about the problematic genes, kid). But grades are all great, and he's doing gaming club, D&D, and quiz bowl--and managing all that plus his work study really well, it sounds like. And I just found out I don't have to fill out the CSS Profile for next year, only the FAFSA (which we finished last night)--yay!!!
  2. This is what we did. I gave him a half credit for working through Khan Academy stuff and listening to a Great Courses lecture series (and we listened to a lot of Planet Money, too)
  3. You can use SAT or ACT scores for the math and English parts of that. And if you have classes from somewhere with accreditation (hybrid school, Georgia virtual, etc) you can mix and match quite a bit. We didn't have too much trouble with it for my oldest, even though I hadn't planned ahead very well. I'm more on top of things with my next kid. But it's definitely a pain (and I wonder how often they overlook the requirement if the grades and scores are high enough....but I wouldn't want to test it and find out 🙂 )
  4. The perfectionism/anxiety combo is so tough! I'm almost hoping my DS gets a less than awesome grade out of the way first semester so that at least he'll learn it's really not the end of the world.
  5. DS told me last night that he joined the quiz bowl team and he's going to a tournament on Saturday! And he went to the weekly math dept problem solving group! I'm so proud of him; I know being away from home + new people 24/7 has been really tough for him, but he's putting himself out there. It's still early, but I'm feeling hopeful that all those years of constantly trying to find the right balance of pushing my extremely introverted kid out of his comfort zone vs. not might be paying off now. He's pushing HIMSELF out of his comfort zone!
  6. my husband is a high school calculus teacher, and he charges $60/hour for tutoring.
  7. Just a note that most colleges will give credit for calc 1 for AB and for both calc 1 and 2 for if he's going to need both those credits in college, taking the BC exam might be a good idea, depending on future plans.
  8. We used Jacobs for algebra 1 and geometry, then foerster for algebra 2-pre-calc.
  9. We mostly read books (and poems. And plays) and talk about them. They do weekly informal journal entries which we use in discussion and longer papers here and there. And we listen to lectures (Great Courses, open courseware stuff) and outside reading from critics. It sounds casual, but I try to spend a lot of time preparing and choosing in advance what passages we're going to talk about and pushing them to do some fairly intense close reading.
  10. Thank you! We don't have any family in the area, but we have a surprising number of internet friends who have offered to be available if he needs anything 🙂
  11. It's been up and down with mine. He just started classes Tuesday, but had orientation starting last Thursday. He was miserable the night before move-in day, but when we left on Friday he was feeling a lot better. Then when I talked to him the night before classes started he was feeling really homesick and lonely and told me (kidding. mostly) that he'd looked it up and could fly home on Thursday for $107. But he seems much better since classes have started. He likes all of them so far and also his library work study job. I think the relative lack of structure and constant pressure to be out meeting people during orientation wore him down. He still thinks he's doing it all wrong because he doesn't have like six new best friends already, but it sounds like he IS meeting people, and I'm fairly confident some of them will end up being real friends.
  12. is there a current code for $10/life? I couldn't find one when I looked awhile back. We have it right now, because I realized I was planning on using at least 3 of the courses that are included. We had some frustrating experiences with ones that were on Hoopla from our library being discontinued before we'd finished listening to them last year.
  13. Station Eleven is my favorite surprisingly uplifting dystopian novel. Two of my teens have read and enjoyed it.
  14. Another possibility is that you write the second letter (if she hears back from the AP bio teacher), even though you're also writing the counselor letter. You can focus on different things in the two different letters and also offer an explanation about why she's had few outside teachers. I just did some quick googling, and Vassar actually only requires one teacher rec plus the counselor letter. I know Emory's not on the list, but I remember that they say specifically on their homeschool info page that homeschooled students need one letter not from a family member (it looks like the wording has changed now, but when we were looking it suggested someone like a pastor or a music teacher, I think--i.e. they expected some homeschoolers would not have any outside academic references to offer). Having just done the college application thing last year, I know it's super stressful and that you feel like there are a million opportunities for you to mess everything up and undo all her hard work....but I honestly don't think you need to focus too much on this one thing. Letters of recommendation are almost never the thing that makes or breaks an application, and your kid has a very strong profile, and schools will recognize that.
  15. She shouldn't need more than 2 letters of recommendation, so if she has the AP bio teacher she's halfway there (and one of my son's letters was from his Spanish tutor who hadn't taught him since 10th grade; it made sense because she knew him better than one semester DE profs). If she's not doing early decision anywhere, she won't need the letters until mid year, which should give her new coaches time to get to know her well enough to write a letter. I know most colleges will say 2 academic recommendations, but they also probably understand that things can be different for homeschoolers. Of course, it would be ideal if every kid had a dozen perfect people to ask for recommendations, but that's not how it is most of the time. Having the recommendations as the weakest part of her application (particularly when you have a clear explanation about why) is much better than grades or test scores! Particularly at schools where she's being recruited, I can't imagine only having one academic recommendation would be a dealbreaker.
  16. I neither hate nor love The Scarlet Letter, but I found it really useful to read with high schoolers because Hawthorne has some really interesting symbolism that he absolutely smacks you over the head with. So it's sort of obvious and easy to interpret (or at least understand how to interpret once it's pointed out) for high schoolers but it still feels like you're doing legit analysis. It's also about as close as one gets these days to canon, so it's a good thing to have read. If you don't want to read it, I think it's perfectly fine to have her read it and maybe find a good lecture or two on it for her to listen to (Great Courses, open courseware, etc.....for something like Scarlet Letter, I'm sure there's a ton out there).
  17. Now that we're a couple of weeks in, it looks like my high schooler (10th grade) will be doing 9-4:30 or 5 most days with an hour for lunch and then a couple of hours most evenings. This has about 2 1/2 hours of music practice built in to it. One afternoon a week he has a game club he goes to and Friday afternoons are music with homeschool band. Weekends are pretty crazy right now, too, with a clarinet lesson Saturday morning and youth orchestra Sunday afternoons. Trying to take advantage of all the time in the car to knock out some Great Courses and audiobooks.
  18. I'm doing the Great Courses How to Draw with my 13 year old this year. Just started, so can't say much about it yet.
  19. Incidentally, my DS ended up getting offered admission off the waitlist at Emory's Oxford campus in early June (he didn't take it because the financial aid wasn't great--would have been tempting otherwise--and I wouldn't mind driving him 60 miles away in a couple of weeks instead of 1100!). Final count I believe was that he was waitlisted at 7 schools, accepted the spot on 4 of them, and then offered admission at 1. So getting off the waitlist DOES happen sometimes (even for kids who need FA at needs-met schools; we had heard that waitlists are almost never need blind even at need blind schools)
  20. I've seen people say they just list the first year of music on the transcript and then shift it to EC after that....I've never quite understood the logic, though. In my mind, if they were in school and taking band every day it would go on a transcript. I guess the thinking is just that they should have a fine arts credit somewhere on the transcript and beyond that it doesn't matter much? I'm not really sure how much it matters in the end--either way, it will be clear that he put the time into music. Unless you're worried of being short on having enough credits to graduate (which I don't think is usually a problem for homeschoolers) I think it's kind of a wash. But I'm interested to hear what other people think; my oldest just had piano lessons (and I did the put it on his transcript for 9th grade and not after that thing), but my next kid has tons more music and I have no idea how I'm going to end up "counting" it.
  21. I'm starting to grapple with this as my 10th grader gets more and more involved with music (he DOES want to do music as a career....right now). I'm currently mourning taking weekend trips, as he has a private lesson on Saturday mornings and youth orchestra on Sunday afternoons. The thing is they really just don't know at that age--they might think music or whatever is just a hobby and then it turns into more or the opposite might be true and they get burned out in 11th or 12th grade or halfway through college and change direction entirely. So right now I'm feeling the pressure of making sure DS is ready for either thing--auditioning for music schools AND having a strong enough academic record to give him a lot of other college options. But on the other hand, when else in life are they going to have the time to devote all these hours to something they love just because they love it? So as long as he's enjoying it and we can afford it (sort of) we're going with it for now.
  22. In my state 4 units of science is a graduation requirement...not that you have to follow your state's graduation requirements as a homeschooler, but more selective colleges will expect to see 4 sciences. So it might come down to what her college plans are. Of course, if she's taking community college classes, she can always take 2 sciences (one per semester) another year to get 4 credits in.
  23. Echoing all of this! I see so many people who have planned out high school with the idea that dual enrollment and/or AP courses are going to mean their kid can get through college in two years only to be upset when they hit 11th or 12th grade and realize that that's not necessarily true. And then a lot of people end up severely limiting the college search because they're so committed to the idea that all of those credits HAVE TO transfer. We have a great state-funded dual enrollment program in Georgia--my oldest took honors classes at a 4 year university completely for free, books included. It was amazing that he had the opportunity to take some great classes, learn from great professors, get a feel for what college is like...not to mention benefits like having a transcript that showed he could handle college level work and having good people to ask for letters of recommendation. I'm totally happy that he had that experience (FOR FREE!) even if he doesn't get college credit. I don't want to be dismissive of the financial concerns with all of this....of course that has to come into play, too. But I just think everyone needs to go into planning out high school understanding how the game works: AP and dual enrollment both have benefits and ONE of those benefits is the possibility of getting college credit. But, despite the college board's marketing, it's far from a sure thing, especially at selective private schools.
  24. I'd lean toward having him redo calc 1 with another program and then go from there. There's no reason to be doing advanced calculus in 9th or 10th grade if it's stressing him out; if he has calculus on his transcript for 9th grade he's going to be more advanced than the vast majority of students, even the ones who are strong at math and science and plan to go into those fields.
  25. It's trickier if they actually have an opinion about it! This is my most laid back kid; he pretty much just shrugged and said, "whatever" when I proposed it 😂
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