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kokotg

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Everything posted by kokotg

  1. Thanks! I already came across it in my preliminary googling and bookmarked it 🙂
  2. Yeah, definitely. I'm pretty sure it's generally a full year course in public schools, and I also think it would be really difficult to cover all the material in less time.
  3. My then 10th grader did it a couple of years ago (on our own). It was a really fun year; it's one of the more straightforward APs to prep for, as it's mostly about knowing the material rather than any specific kind of analysis....but there's a LOT of material to cover. DS got a 4, and blames not getting a 5 on how we ran short on time and rushed through African art at the end 🙂 . Khan Academy has a lot of great material, and there are a few other websites out there that we used a lot, too. I'm thinking of doing it again next year with my next kid.
  4. Thinking of this for next year with my 10th grader. We did AP world this year, and I did US with my oldest a couple of years ago, so I'm pretty familiar with AP history testing. Has anyone done AP euro at home (not with an online class)? How did it go? What resources do you recommend? I want to be more organized about this than we were with world history this past year!
  5. Good luck, all! My oldest has his last ever exam tomorrow (lit) and my 9th grader has his first (world history) next week.
  6. My son has all As. Sometimes I feel funny about it, but he also has all As in the classes someone else has graded, so I figure it makes sense.
  7. Another Vejas Gabriel Liulevicious recommendation: we're listening to his Turning Points in Modern History, and it's excellent and is a great complement to a World History course.
  8. Mine really liked the (older) Jacobs. Particularly my now 12th grader (geometry is what really made him fall in math--he's now planning to major in it)....but he was NOT a fan of AOPS when we tried it in middle school. He didn't deal well with anything where he couldn't get everything right 😉
  9. When DS15 was in middle school I decided to give him an extra year before starting high school (summer birthday), so he's 9th instead of 10th right now. I had no idea when I did it that the best reason for the decision would be to give ME an extra year before doing college apps again! (Of course, it means the NEXT brother is 2 years after instead of 3, so it really all comes out the same....but I don't have to think about that yet!)
  10. Finally! Where: Macalester College Why? free bagpipe lessons! Just kidding. It came down to a few great LACs with more similarities than differences (Oberlin and Hamilton were the others in the top 3), but Macalester just seemed like the best fit for him. Strong math department with lots of new hires lately. Urban location set it apart from most LACs. Kids there seem quirky and kinda nerdy, but unpretentious and not overly sporty. Not the best financial aid package he got, but fairly close, and still manageable. Major: likely math (depending on the day, he adds "and maybe physics")
  11. Totally anecdotal, but DS didn't have the 3 subject tests Emory and Oxford want from homeschoolers (he had 2), and he was waitlisted at both. We didn't ask if they'd make an exception; he just applied and waited to see what happened (we did ask an admissions person at Oxford when we toured there--specifically we asked if they'd accept AP tests in place of subject tests (I still don't understand why schools don't do this, since AP tests are far more involved than subject tests and in many cases cover the same subjects)--and were told no). So I can say that they didn't just toss his app out because he didn't have the third test, at any rate. Incidentally, his portal showed the whole time that he had submitted all 3 tests even though he hadn't. I don't know if it's because they looked at his app and decided to ignore the lack of a third test or if that was just a mistake.
  12. Agreeing that meeting with someone (or multiple someones) in a specific department is enormously helpful. I really regret that we didn't set up something like this at Macalester like we have at all the other top contenders. He does have an e-mail in to a math prof there, at least, to try to get a feel for the department. Of course, a lot of kids have no idea which departments they're interested in before they start college. Hamilton visit sounds like it went well. Although I think it sold my father-in-law on Hamilton more than DS 😂. FIL spent his whole career teaching at universities; he was super impressed by the close connections between profs and students at Hamilton. But I suspect DS would find something similar at most small LACs. So he liked Hamilton, but wasn't wowed enough to immediately decide it's The One, which I think is what he was hoping would happen. He texted me at one point, "everyone here is from Massachusetts and plays a sport." And the math prof he talked to said that most of the math graduates go into finance. These are all things he sort of suspected would be true of Hamilton and reasons why it might not be the best fit for him. I mean, he doesn't have anything against people from Massachusetts (he was actually born in Boston!) but either Macalester or Oberlin would be a lot less regional than Hamilton, and I think he'd like that. He's visiting the math department at UGA later this week to go completely in the opposite direction...and then he's going to have to pick a name out of a hat if he still can't decide, because time will be just about up!
  13. jeans or shorts are fine. The one or two times DS was wearing khakis and a button up shirt because the tour was after an interview, he felt conspicuously overdressed.
  14. Glad she had a good visit @Arch at Home! Overnight hosts are so hit or miss--it's frustrating, because I really do think when they're good they're the best way to get a feel for what going to school there would be like. Hamilton won't give DS an overnight while he's there 😞 . He does have two classes picked out to sit in on, the regular campus tour plus the "first year favorites" tour that shows them some different stuff, a meeting with a math professor, tickets to Hamilton's production of West Side Story, and an invitation to "Prime Friday" where the math department gets together at the campus pub whenever Friday falls on a date that's a prime number 🙂 . So he might be too exhausted for an overnight anyway. I'm jealous that his grandfather is going with him instead of me (although he's a much better pick for hanging out with the math department than I would be!)....they're also going to the Baseball Hall of Fame. I think Hamilton might be getting an unfair advantage with all this fun stuff booked.
  15. How soon in the process do you find out for sure if you qualify financially? I didn't bother with Questbridge, because we looked to be borderline for qualifying, but in retrospect I think I probably should have investigated more closely.
  16. no. very few needs met schools are these days. FWIW, we couldn't discern a pattern in where my son was admitted and not based on which schools were need blind and need aware.....which is certainly not to say it wasn't a factor at the schools where he was rejected (I have no idea if it was or not).
  17. Ugh--like you need the extra pressure of limited housing while you're trying to make a decision!
  18. DS didn't apply to Princeton (and didn't get in to Harvard, where he did apply), but the NPCs I ran for both showed EFCs similar to our FAFSA EFC (which is under $5000)....DS's package at Macalester is pretty closely in line with our FAFSA EFC as well; St. Olaf is somewhat higher, but not by a lot. Waitlisted at Carleton, so their financial aid remains a mystery for us as well--I'll just pretend it would have been terrible so I won't feel as bad about DS not getting in 😉
  19. I opted not to get approval; I e-mailed the University of Georgia admissions dept and asked if they'd weight grades listed on a transcript as "XXXX with AP exam" the same as an official AP class, and they said they would. Just did college applications, and it doesn't seem to have been an issue anywhere.
  20. OP indicated an EFC of less than $5,000 when she ran the NPC for Princeton. That doesn't sound like someone with a FAFSA EFC of $40,000 (as noted, Princeton is very generous with financial aid, but in my experience their NPCs were not THAT far off what we were offered at needs met schools). It's very similar to my own situation, in fact, and my son was awarded financial aid at Macalester and St. Olaf that make them affordable for us. The vast majority of needs met schools do include the federal loans in their packages (I haven't encountered any that include anything beyond the federal loans while claiming to meet need), which I think is reasonable (although not ideal). So my post was directed specifically to the OPs situation, which sounds like my own; for us, the financial aid packages at needs met schools generally make them cheaper than virtually any other school, no matter what merit aid they award.
  21. My son got excellent merit and need based aid at Macalester and St. Olaf (somewhat better at Macalester than St. Olaf), and all three are 100% needs met (definitely Carleton and Macalester; I've seen St. Olaf on lists of needs met schools and also seen it reported that it meets an average of 98% of need. It came in middle of the pack amongst our packages from needs-met schools).
  22. I think that's a lot of it for my DS, too. He likes to frame it in negative terms, because he's a bit of an Eeyore, but really I think he has genuine affection for every school and will be sad about what might have been for the ones he doesn't go to!
  23. This part is less agonizing than the waiting for decisions to come in part, but it's still tough! I think we're down to Macalester, Oberlin, and Hamilton (with the possibility that he'll decide at the last minute to stay close to home and go for UGA). Vassar is out because it would be something like at least 10,000/yr more than any of the others, and they're not willing to budge on financial aid. We just visited St. Olaf a few days ago; they were the next most expensive net price, so they would have had to really wow him to stay on the list. He liked it fine, but nothing stood out enough to keep it on the list (I'm glad we saw it, though, for my 9th grader who's interested in music). We visited Macalester and Oberlin over the past week, too. We're all big Macalester fans now. The location is great--in a city, in a nice neighborhood, AND easy access to cheap flights home. It seemed like a lot of smart kids who don't take themselves too seriously. I really appreciate how they say they're committed to internationalism and diversity, and they seem to mean it. Significantly higher percentage domestic students of color and international students than either Hamilton or Oberlin, and that's quite an accomplishment for a school in Minnesota--not exactly a state known for diversity. From what we've been told, the math department is strong and growing rapidly with lots of new hires over the past few years. He wasn't crazy about the food, but I don't think any of the schools left on the list (except UGA) are known for great food. Same thing with the weather--it's a drawback, but Hamilton wouldn't be much better (less cold but more snow), and Oberlin would only be marginally better. I can really see him at Macalester, and I can't think of any serious red flags....I do think he was hoping to feel more of a real immediate connection and didn't. But I don't know that that's a realistic thing to hope for in a one day visit. Oberlin is an interesting one. We were there for admitted student days; he went to two classes, chatted with several math professors, listened to a welcome talk from the president. We dropped him off for his overnight visit Friday night, and I had the impression that he was feeling very pro-Oberlin. I spied on him by checking his phone's location at midnight and he was still out somewhere, not in the dorm. The next morning I texted and my very introverted, historically somewhat anti-social kid told me to take my time getting there to pick him up. I thought that was going to be it; he was going to tell us he was set on Oberlin. But it turned out that he'd actually spent all his time the night before with two other prospective students while his host stayed in his room (to be fair, he had a broken leg and probably wasn't up for wandering campus for hours) and that a big topic of discussion had been their hesitations about Oberlin (interestingly, both of them also have Macalester on their short lists, and one also has Hamilton). So what I gather is that he DOES really love a lot about Oberlin, but that might not be enough to overcome his concerns. My husband graduated from Oberlin, and I lived there for a year, and I think his concerns are valid and the same criticisms I had of the school, coming there after having just graduated from a big public U in the 90s. I don't have a good sense of how different things would really be at either of the other small LACs he's looking at, though. Oberlin gets the press because it has the reputation already. There's also a ton to like about Oberlin; a bigger student body and the conservatory mean there's always something going on on campus. He really enjoyed the math class he sat in on on and liked the profs he spoke with. It's the closest to home and the best financial aid package. He flies up to see Hamilton in a week and a half. He's flying by himself, but his grandfather is going to meet him at the airport and go with him on the visit. Hamilton doesn't offer overnights except to students traveling alone, but he's going to e-mail and see if they'll make an exception. But he'll at least get to sit in on a class or two and talk to a math professor (his grandfather knows one there and can make an introduction; he did that at Oberlin, too, and it was very helpful). We saw Hamilton last summer, but without many students around. I'm very interested to see what he thinks of it after a revisit. If there's one school out of all our visits that it seems like he did feel an immediate connection with, it was Hamilton. But an empty campus full of gorgeous buildings is very different from one with all the actual people he'd be living with for four years. I really think he has three great choices and that he could be happy at any of them. But, of course, it feels huge and overwhelming to him. It's funny--Hamilton is the only school out of his original top 4 favorites that he got into, but it's definitely not a shoo in now. I just want to know where he's going to be next year already! But I'm not going to find that out for at least a couple more weeks it looks like. Okay that got long--who else has a kid still trying to decide? Are we the only ones? I need commiseration!
  24. Thanks! the music school where he's taking lessons lists preparing for theory exams as something they do on their website, which was one of the reasons I picked it....but so far there's not much evidence that they actually do all the stuff they list on the website
  25. Thanks! He's auditioning for youth orchestra this spring....their website used to have a list of instructors, but they redid the site and I can't find the list anymore (there was only one clarinet person, IIRC)....but I can e-mail them to ask. I've looked for summer programs, but we're going to be on a trip all of June and I haven't been able to find anything that happens in July. I'll keep looking, though--my husband is a teacher, so we can go wherever in the summer and turn a music camp into a family trip.
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