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About deerforest

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  1. We tried the MWB videos with Foerster's and didn't like them. I also thought Foerster's was best if you wanted to do a ton of word problems. There's nothing else as strong in that I don't think (and they're kinda humorous) but it got old for us. We just didn't need that much practice with them so I was selective. We were coming out of BA and didn't want to do AoPS algebra yet. I actually followed Foerster's algebra with AoPS because she was young and I missed much of the heavy conceptual understanding in AoPS. We then switched to DO Geometry and after she got the hang of taking a math test, she never got anything wrong that year. Same with Algebra 2 this year which she's already finished. DO is much easier for her than AoPS (which I think she should be in but she doesn't care about math enough). We're just planning to continue to use DO.
  2. DD is 15, in 10th grade. For context, we have a somewhat unusual situation as she's academically strong, and had to decide between a science career (physical therapy or paleoanthropology) or a circus one. She's choosing to take a gap year post high school so she can teach, train, and perform more before applying to circus schools. She's applying at the level of a professional dancer or athlete even though it sounds weird to say "circus". So, I strike a balance between intensive academic courses for her brain while leaving time for her circus classes, training, teaching, and leadership. We honestly don't have any misses this year, and I think it's because I've just finally figured out how best to approach everything! Biology - taught locally by a scientist homeschool mom, and it's been perfect for us. Algebra 2 - Derek Owens. We made the switch to DO from AoPS starting with geometry last year. She gets nothing wrong, ever on the homework, quizzes, or tests, but she has no desire to spend more time on math. It's clear that she's still naturally strong but doesn't want to go back to AoPS. There are worst things that using math that's too easy, and it's not like Derek Owens is anything to sneeze at! So, we'll use it next year too but I was planning on doing something different for 12th. Considering that new stats class mentioned with WTMA. Spanish 3 - we're using a mix of Senderos (full course, taught by me) and a review of Spanish 2 for extra practice and conversation with Homeschool Spanish Academy. Her favorite instructor left but is happy enough with the new one. American History - taught and developed by me. I honestly didn't want to teach it again as we did an incredibly high-level modern US course in 8th. But, the local class she was going to take wasn't going to work out. We very much focus on the minority voices in our course. US Women's Literature - taught and developed by me. Bravewriter essay class - taking the rhetoric one in the spring with Rebecca. Loves her handstand, acro, juggling classes. We've been lacking a high level aerial coach but I think we are sorting that out. She's still TAing. Would have loved more dance again this year, but maybe next. She's performing a lot more with her circus troupe and has taken on a lot of leadership in the local circus community. Love seeing great reviews of Clover Valley Chem as it's on our list for next year. Has anyone done the self graded option?
  3. We haven't taken the physics class yet, but we're in our second DO class (Algebra 2), and we've found it pretty easy to stick to the schedules. Owens and we also do the self grading option so we can move at our pace.
  4. When I looked into a few years ago, they were using Michael Clay Thompson materials, which we used on our own before their school opened near us.
  5. I recommend Homeschool Spanish Academy. I find the prices quite reasonable and they can provide a full high school curriculum with a Spanish speaker in Guatemala. I'm fluent so I teach my daughter, but I intentionally use HSA a year behind just as review. It gives my daughter great conversational practice, and she loves it. My daughter was also born in Guatemala (we're an adoptive family) so she learns a lot about Guatemalan culture too that she wouldn't get anywhere else.
  6. I agree with this 100%. My daughter plans to attend circus school after high school, and I've raised her with an academically rigorous homeschool that was very much eclectic and moved at her pace. She's a moderately gifted academic student but is more gifted physically. She has a 2e diagnosis with ADD and working memory processing challenges unless it's aerial--she can focus and master anything on silks and rope! We can't find enough local instruction at her level anymore, and it's become a real problem for us to find places where she can get enough time. We are so jealous of all the people who are able to spend 20+ hours dancing! Aerial dancing is so impossible because of rigging and safety issues, and we own our own rig but weather is always an issue. She's in a performance troupe but many circus events are private events with alcohol so she can't work them. She loves to help teach, but we realized her TA time teaching others was more than a full academic class last year! She's started taking "ground" dancing to help her aerial skills and we travel at least a couple times a year for her to get some rock solid training that she can work with back at home. She is a natural introvert so we have to work hard to make sure she's doing a class or activity with her friends regularly because she still would rather hang out at home decompressing after gigs, performances, teaching, practice, than gather her friends together. But, somewhere along the way, I managed to back away from just about everything. I still search for training to travel to and reach out to coaches initially but once we make connections, she owns it. She is helping to run a huge weekend-long event that she's been performing in since she was 8, and at 15 she's now one of the leaders! She's mastered costuming and make-up and all sorts of skills that I helped facilitate classes early on but then she took over. If she hadn't taken over by now, we would have stopped and moved on. I never pushed this, but it was her love since she started nearly 8 years ago! In comparison, she was a rock solid AoPS kid until geometry when she just decided she didn't care about math enough to spend time on AoPS. We switched to DO and she never got a single problem or question wrong (once she figured out how to take a test!). I told her I thought it was too easy for her, and she said she didn't care. She felt accomplished and successful doing well at it, and she helped me come to terms with accepting that just because she can do something academically, doesn't mean she has to. I'm doing my best to really listen to her what she wants academically. She's leaving my homeschool as a critical thinker with an absolutely rock solid foundation for being a good person and citizen of the world. It's ok that she's not applying to competitive colleges. She's going to take a gap year too to work and earn money before going to school and might take some community college classes then. At least she's able to make a living wage right out of high school because of her local connections so I'm happy about that! Plus, circus school is a fraction of college costs!
  7. Lots of small companies still have need for IT folks. My husband works for a local food co-op. They have multiple locations locally and have 3 IT people. (He's worked for bigger companies in Silicon Valley and much prefers where he is now.) I'm a content manager for one of the largest networking companies so I work with people in all different types of roles. There are tons of tech jobs that are between traditional IT person and computer programmer. Big companies always have a need for people like TMEs (technical marketing engineers) and trial engineers. Those folks tend to know a lot about technology like security, networking, etc. and aren't likely to be outsourced. Engineers at my company know their one piece of the product really well. They're not involved in making creative product decisions. That's product marketing or product management. Engineers can tell you how their one little piece of something is so important but they don't have the big picture. You don't have to be one of the software engineers to get free lunches, SWAG, etc. Good companies realize that folks in many different roles are critical to a successful product. I work from home full time so I miss out on all the free snacks, but even my on-site writers get them. 🙂
  8. Our daughters sound quite similar. I don't (and never have) posted much here, but my daughter has been involved in circus arts since she was just barely 7. She turns 15 soon, and it's not changing. (SWB even included some things I talked about over the years in her "Rethinking School" book.) I've incorporated aspects of this passion at nearly every learning stage. She's finishing up 9th grade now, and I recently calculated just the hours she spent this past year TAing other classes--so not her training or performing--and it's worth more than an entire class load of work (180+ hours). She gets paid now when she performs with her local troupe (though not at their rates yet!), and she's trained so much locally and elsewhere every summer. I pay for conditioning coaches, PT, just had some evals done by sports doc to make sure she's ready to push harder because she has some big applications coming up this fall. It's not going away, and she's finally decided that she wants to apply to circus school AFTER taking a gap year. So, she graduates high school, works and teaches for a year (and possibly does community college), before applying to schools. Now, she can get a college degree (and even a PhD!) in circus arts but she has to go outside of the US. There are some excellent schools in the US but they are not traditional degree programs. She makes some really excellent arguments to support her case, not the least of which is it makes sense to do this when her body is younger. She also knows 3 Physical Therapists (PhD level) who went back after their circus careers. She does have the advantage of already working with the troupe that she would work with during her gap year too (and they'd be thrilled if she just stuck around after that too!). I think she can earn a living wage doing circus arts for sure. Her academic interest is either paleoanthropology or PT, both of which require PhDs. That's a lot of years of school without any certainty in today's academic climate. Anyway, I keep her on an academically rigorous path with some changes--mostly to let us learn things we want to learn rather than we feel like we have to.
  9. We switched from AoPS to Derek Owens for Geometry this year, but I chose the self-grading option. It's been fine. More problems than AoPS and tests now, but the work has been extremely easy for her which has been a lovely change. She still prefers AoPS videos, but they aren't available at this level so it's not an option. But, I think AoPS prepared her math-inclined brain well. We're sticking with DO simply because it's been fine, and she has other priorities. Since we've self graded, I have no idea what tutoring or feedback would be. I'll keep doing the self-grading option next year for Algebra 2. ETA: I will say that they've responded to any questions I've had the same day, within just a couple hours at most typically. Even today I had some questions about homework assignments for algebra 2 compared to geometry, and I got a great response with samples and a clear comparison between the two.
  10. I am ABD for cognitive psychology and neuroscience. My speciality was originally language development and then Parkinson's disease (rats). I personally would recommend being a big fish in a smaller, interesting school for undergrad. I did undergrad at Bucknell University, which is usually ranked near or at the top for animal behavior for smaller schools. When I attended, it was primarily primates and rats. Duke has an amazing primate lab. I attended UT Austin for PhD and back then the neuro field was just starting to blossom! I recall your DD being more interested in herps, right? (I hate to admit it, but I, and most of my fellow grad students, ended up in corporate world because an emphasis on cognitive learning with UX took off about the same time.)
  11. I don't see a disconnect at all so I'm just not sure what that refers to. My daughter reads the book, we watch the videos together (and she often comments on the repetition between the book and DO), and then she does the homework he assigns (book and additional assignments). We've found it to be completely aligned with the book. I certainly can't guarantee that your child will be successful. I'm just sharing that from our experience coming from AoPS, my daughter has found the course to be easy. From AoPS as a comparison, we did have a big increase in the number of problems because AoPS opts for fewer, more challenging ones, and she had to learn how to take math tests. We're finishing the full course in 1 academic year without a problem and without additional teaching from me, like I mentioned. Good luck!
  12. Spanish III with me + review/practice of Spanish II with HSA US History - local class Biology - local class Algebra 2 - Derek Owens English lit & writing - feminism, women's studies (all still TBD, created by me) Aerial, ballet, acro/tumbling, musical theater, etc. Still thinking about other electives..
  13. We used Math without Borders for algebra (in 7th... my daughter came from AoPS BA but didn't want to do their algebra yet) but followed it with AoPS algebra in 8th, and now in 9th we're using DO for geometry. My daughter really didn't like the Math without Borders and after we evaluated everything else, she decided she was fine with the DO ones. (Truthfully, she adores the AoPS videos but they don't extend to geometry). Just FYI, DO has a half-price self-grading option where he gives you the answers for all the assignments and tests that he gives. You still have to buy the Jacob's solution guide for the book exercises if you don't want to do the calculations. We chose the self grading option, and most of DO proofs are 2 column but he occasionally demonstrates the paragraph style. Grading has been really easy for me because DD rarely gets anything wrong. I don't know if it's because it seemed so easy compared to AoPS or she's just exceptionally good at geometry, but after her initial fear of test taking, she rarely gets anything wrong on the homework or tests. If she does, it's something minor and as soon as I show her the correct answer, she gets what she did wrong. ETA: Every chapter in Jacobs includes algebra review for a specific topic and Derek includes videos for that review too. Also, I watch all the videos with her so that I know how he's teaching something in case she does have any questions. So, I'd say that DO has been really successful for us, but also very easy. That being said, she doesn't want to go back to the challenges of AoPS because math is far from her love even though she's strong at it so we're continuing with DO for algebra 2.
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