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Everything posted by deerforest

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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. 🙂
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.)
  8. 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!
  9. 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..
  10. 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.
  11. Wow, I'm glad I stopped by today because I just haven't had time to check in on this board lately. 2018 and 2019 Goals - We planned to try some online classes -- we did 3 BW classes, doing Derek Owens now, and she does HS Spanish Academy for Spanish conversation practice. All have gone really well. She's willing to do another BW class, and I'm hoping to convince her to add French to her list of online classes for fall 2019. We're also hoping to start ASL together, probably online at first. Also hoping that the in-person bio class we are hoping for will run. - We planned to decide whether to retest neuropsych eval in prep for SATs/ACTs in prep for college (fo accommodations), and we've decided not to re-test right now. She's academically gifted but also talented with her aerial arts. She has requested not to attend 4 year college right away and doesn't want to take them. Current plan is to do a gap year performing and teaching before applying to circus school. So, goal for 2019 is to continue to broaden her skill area, adding some additional classes, continue TAing, and continue getting paid for some gigs. (She transitioned to all apprentice to a mix of apprentice and paid gigs with her troupe.) - I also encouraged her to take 2 non-aerial dance classes, and she agreed, and has been loving both her contemporary dance and acro dance classes. Plus, she accidentally got a small solo bit in chorus, which she never would have purposely tried to do, and she has thrived and loved it. I've asked her to add another dance class next year. For aerial work this past year, she was able to participate in several advanced workshops and trainings that led to even more connections. So, we'll just continue making those connections in 2019. She's been self-teaching herself ukulele and enjoying it. This has been a year of tremendous academic growth for her too--not so much in skill but in process. More independence, more stamina. I think some of the classes we cared less about have definitely been too easy for her, but that's given her more time to focus on classes that matter more to her. So, I don't think that was necessarily a bad thing. I guess in 2019 (10th grade), we'll be focusing on algebra II, Latinx history and literary studies, biology (if the local class I want meets our schedule), Spanish III, French I, ASL some other TBD electives.
  12. Late to the suggestions, but DH has Gloomhaven and Terraforming Mars, but DD and I won't play them with him. Just not our style! We are a huge board game family with probably over 350 games. If you don't know about this site yet, it's great: There are a lot of groups on FB too for advice. We buy a lot of them on Kickstarter, and a couple recent new additions include: Prehistory and Robin Hood and His Merry Men! But, our favorite seasonal one is Santa's Workshop!
  13. Are you familiar with how DE works in NC? It's a very specific program that kids can do for free through the community colleges. There is a FB group -- North Carolina Homeschooling for College Credit that is a great resource for any questions. You can't just sign up for any classes that you want. I'm in NC, in the triangle, and my daughter is a hs freshman. I've used BW classes, and we were pretty happy with them. We took the 3 ms essay prep classes, and then the hs expository/persuasive one most recently. We've had Rebecca Pickens 2x, and we really like her a lot--had her for one of the ms classes and the hs class. If you're in this area and want recommendations for in-person classes, I can try to help you find them. Aside from BW, we also use Derek Owens online for math, and we've been happy with that this year. We are in geometry (did AoPS for algebra) rather than following the NC integrated math path. We don't take any in-person classes or any other online classes. I still do all the teaching. We are using Oak Meadow for geography and environmental science. I designed our other courses.
  14. Students and teachers both have a "To Do" list, but it's not very sophisticated. They can either mark that they've completed the lesson or not. So, as long as he hasn't marked it as completed, he'll still see it on the list. There are different sections on it -- Missing, No Due Date, Due Today, Tomorrow, Date. It's very basic. One thing I hate is that it doesn't let me do repeating things. Say I wanted her to start reading a book on x day and just wanted to remind her to keep reading a bit every day until the due date...can't do that. The assignment is still accessible to the student and shows up in the "Missing" section at the top. When they complete those tasks, it reports that they submitted an item late. I suppose that matters to teachers. They can attach anything to their responses. One of the main reasons we decided to use Classroom was because my daughter liked using Google docs for her work. That stuff is all integrated really nicely with Classroom. But, they can also attach files, link to URLs, etc. So, if they had an audio or video file, it would just be uploaded to Google drive first and then can be attached to the assignment. I honestly wouldn't use this for long-term planning. It's not easy to move things around or change dates. It's very basic and works very well for weekly assignments, especially because it integrates well with other Google tools and, but I can't imagine keeping track of anything more than a week's worth of assignments here. I have my full-year plans documented elsewhere.
  15. We're using it mostly because it integrates with, all the other Google tools. I maintain a master full-year schedule in Google docs and then every week I enter her weekly schedule into Google Classroom. It's how I've worked around the frustration of not being able to easily move things around. I have a list of things I'd like to change, but it's working well for DD so we're sticking with it. Let me know if you have specific questions because I feel like we're really using it to its fullest extent now.
  16. I know you said you wanted to make it work, but we're really happy with Derek Owens geometry. He provides a lot of scaffolding for learning how to take notes in math, provides great videos, and there is a home grading option for 1/2 off the monthly cost that has worked great for us. He provides the answers to all the homework and tests he provides. He doesn't provide the answers to the in-book assignments so I just bought the solutions guide for that too to save my sanity. We switched from AoPS to DE for this course. My daughter is 14 and in 9th, just for comparison.
  17. I teach Spanish 2 to my 9th-grade daughter using Español Santillana--full high school curriculum too. Daily, we spend about 30-45 minutes together daily and then she spends about that much time on the worksheets or reviewing material. We have weekly quizzes, and I grade homework and quizzes. Plus, she has 1-2 25 minute conversation classes with HSA for extra conversation practice. I honestly keep feeling like we could be spending more time on it, but we are aiming for fluency. But, 100 new words each week doesn't seem quite right to me in Spanish 1.
  18. My experience was similar to OP. I graduated high school in 1987. By senior year, all our honors classes were called AP instead, but none of them taught to the test and most students didn't take any AP tests. I didn't really study for them at all, and I took the Bio, Spanish, English, and one more that I can't remember. I think I got 1 4 and the rest 5s. I placed out of several first year classes in college, but it was exactly 0 amount more work for me than just taking the classes. Just from what I've read and heard about nowadays, that doesn't seem normal. Perhaps it wasn't normal back then either, but that was my personal experience. For my high school student, we are more interested in creating classes that interest her than ones that align with the AP tests. Neither of us plan to consider them at all.
  19. So far the only hs level one my DD took (she's just in 9th this year) was the expository/persuasive one with an instructor she had before, and we both loved it. (She had taken the 3 essay prep classes for middle school prior and we loved 2/3 of them.. I'm finding it very dependent on the instructor. There is one who we will absolutely never use again and her patterns are as you described.) Her classes have all been more like 15 kids in the class so now I feel like I am going to keep my eyes open on class size. We couldn't figure out where some kids just seemed to disappear to in the classes occasionally either. It seems too that different classes have different requirements for peer interaction. This last class didn't require any at all. But, teaching writing is the biggest challenge for me because I manage a group of professional writers at a high tech company, and I was a serious academic so my writing expectations are just so out of sync with high school level writing. BW has been really a boost to DD to see that her writing is good compared to same age and older peers (at 13, she was by the far the youngest in the hs one this summer). She never believed me! I did a few grading experiments where I wrote down what I would give her and compared to the grade she got. It was actually a lot of help for ME as a writing instructor and to also see how differently they provided feedback.
  20. So funny because this is the exact reason why DD loves BW classes and is happy enough with Derek Owens (we switched from AoPS to DO for geometry this year). She's very introverted and doesn't want to have to talk to teacher without having time to think about her thoughts. Other students drive her crazy too. Even on BW when some don't follow the guidelines (for example, repeatedly commenting about the content of the writing of peers when explicitly being asked not to), she gets so frustrated. I've talked her into Homeschool Spanish Academy for conversation practice, but it's the same teacher every time and just 1:1. That's about as much as she'll do!
  21. I think I'm really late in responding but will anyway: Writing - Completed Bravewriter Expository/Persuasive essay class over the summer for 1/4 credit. We're focusing on literary essays during the year and also some other writing projects using the high school They Say, I Say book. Literature - I created an LGBT+ interdisciplinary course that will cover a full credit of English plus additional partial credits in history, science, and psychology Science - Environmental Science using Oak Meadow + supplements Math - Algebra 2 using AoPS Geography - Oak Meadow + some Global Village Spanish 2 - I'm teaching using Español Santillana and Homeschool Spanish Academy for ongoing conversation practice Health - Completing OM Health that we started over the summer Electives - chorus, 2 dance classes, 1 aerial dance class, private lessons, outdoor program Plus, she'll continuing performing with her circus troupe and TA for 4 aerial classes (kids through adults)
  22. Those 1-year programs I mentioned are designed specifically for people like your DD. I would really look into SANCA and Aloft. I've heard good things about both. However, I do know one graduate of Aloft, and she's not as advanced as I would have expected coming out of that program. (Oh I just looked at Aloft again and it looks like they've changed to a 2-year program so it's probably changed a fair bit since the person we knew went there several years ago.) I wish the Space in Atlanta offered a pre-professional program because they have an incredibly talented coaching staff. DD did the aerial conference there in April and learned so much. These really are great pathways, and, like I said, if my DD doesn't get into one of the 3+ year programs I will probably send her to one of them or just to Atlanta or NECCA to train intensively before applying again. I know how risky it is to think about not sending your capable, smart kid to college! It's still freaking me out fairly regularly! I'm also being realistic and keeping her in a rigorous high school experience in case she changes her mind. But, if nothing else, a gap period of 1-2 years of experimenting with circus could be a great thing.
  23. Do you have any direct experience with the current contemporary circus industry to be able to make that judgement? My daughter is highly gifted 2e student who also happens to be a talented aerialist (among other circus skills). She's already a member of a professional circus troupe, and it's definitely a viable career path with many different opportunities. She could likely get into a competitive college, but it's not her dream. There is certainly a considerable amount of discussion these days about whether college is really the best choice for some kids, and, besides, kids can go to college whenever they want.
  24. Yes, that's one of the ones I mentioned. It's one of the ones at the top of my DD's list (who is also a circus kid). It's just about to enter its second year so they haven't yet graduated a group of folks yet (it's a 3-year program), but I am very excited to see where it goes. She got to visit the new building last year before it opened and really loved the location.
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