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  1. Thank you to all of you. I appreciate the variety of comments. Sounds like there are definitely some better public schools out there. We are looking at different options. I was just really surprised (and disappointed) by the academics, and you all have validated those perceptions. Just realized that I should have probably posted this in the General Ed. forum - sorry!
  2. I apologize for introducing a public school topic, but we're transitioning from homeschooling to public school. I'm just wondering what those of you who've taught at public schools or who've had kids there think of our experience. We've homeschooled for four years, and have been planning to put our kids (grades 4, 6, and 7) back in public school next year for various reasons. It's a long story, but basically our younger two wanted to go back the last quarter or so of this year too. We live in a relatively small town: the 4th grade has 2 classes of almost 30 kids each, while the 6th grade class at the middle school has less than 150 kids. Greatschools rates the elementary school a 6 and the middle school (and high school) an 8. In one month that they've been in school: Math - HW has come home only once or twice for each kid. My 4th grader doesn't have math every day, and if they do have it, it's a short worksheet covering things he learned at the beginning of the year in Saxon. The week that he enrolled, my 6th grader was the only kid in 6th grade to score 100 on the cumulative math test the teacher gave (not to brag - he's good at math, but not a math genius). She pulled him aside and asked him what curriculum he'd used, etc. She told him she wanted to put him in the honors class for the rest of the year, but there wasn't room. He can do the honors/ gifted class next year. However, honors doesn't mean much because they don't offer Algebra I in 8th (the track I've had my kids on). The honors track in high school is Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra II, and AP Calculus (you read correctly - no trig or analytical geometry before Calc.- and it's all on a block schedule, so they only have math one semester each year. I've recently been told by several people that kids from our county who go to college fair poorly in college level math). English - I've seen no English HW and have heard very little about any grammar being covered in class. My 4th grader has had one actual writing assignment; it wasn't graded and zero feedback was given. My 6th grader has had no writing assignments. He did tell me that his English teacher plans to focus on public speaking the rest of the school year. My 4th grader has no required reading. My 6th grader has an actual Reading class separate from English. He was supposed to read a certain number of hours over 2 weeks. He told me yesterday that half the kids didn't do it, so the teacher just gave extra credit to those who did. They're not reading a book together as a class. Science/ History - No History HW for either kid. Science HW once or twice. No labs for either kid. 4th grader has done a few weather worksheets in class. 6th grader tells me they watch a lot of science and history movies and do some assignments in class. Is this normal for public school? Or maybe, I should ask is this normal for the last quarter of school? In middle school, I had math homework every night (even or odds out of the book from the lesson we learned). I had grammar HW almost every night, and relatively frequent writing assignments. We did science labs and had history and science assignments. We had to memorize poems. I just don't know... Thanks so much for any input!
  3. According to the guidance counselor, that is the accelerated math program. Thanks you all for your input.
  4. Lisa, Thanks - I may post there. Block scheduling could be an advantage, but not there. The only offer Alg. 1, Geo, Alg, 2, and Calc. So block scheduling just means they only have math one semester per year. A friend of mine tutors and told me the students often have Alg. 1 fall of freshman year, then don't have Geo. until spring of sophomore year.
  5. We have homeschooled for several years and plan on having our three boys return to public school next year. I have them on track to take Alg. 1 in 8th grade - a somewhat common track. Well, turns out our county doesn't offer it at all until 9th. They do offer AP Calc in 12th but somehow skip PreCalc courses. They also block schedule all courses in high school so kids only have math one semester per year. The school has a low AP pass rate, and I've heard that kids from our county are having trouble doing well in math in college. Ugh!!! So we're thinking of afterschooling math (and Rosetta Stone Spanish) in order to stay on the track we're on. Then actual math classes at school will more like review. I hate to do it to them, but I really don't know what else to do. Any advice? Thanks!.
  6. Sebastian, no Precalc - it is very odd. They also have 4x4 block scheduling, and thus only take math one semester each year. JFS - you're right - I guess I can assume that they aren't preparing any of the kids to take Algebra I in 8th grade, so in general math is probably taught at a slower pace than many other schools. I don't agree with making every kid take Algebra I in 8th either, but I just assumed that most middle schools offer it as an option. The guidance counselor had me shaking my head today. I told her that the reason I am asking so many questions is bc I had heard that several students lost their scholarships due to math troubles in college. She told me that there was no way that the parents could know that math was the course that made their child's GPA drop, bc they base the scholarship on the cumulative GPA for all classes!!!!! I had to email her back and politely suggest that the parents knew that math was the problem because their child got a lower grade in math than the other courses, therefore it would be the class that caused the child to lose the scholarship.
  7. Dahliarw, Good thought. Unfortunately we live in a state that has total separation of homeschool and public school, so that's not an option. Thanks though.
  8. Just found out from a friend (who has a high schooler in the advanced math track) that there is an uproar among high school parents in our county right now. Supposedly the kids graduating from our county are, as a whole, so poorly prepared for college math that many don't make the grades to keep their state scholarship after their first year of college. So, it sounds like we really need to change our plans. Thanks again for your input.
  9. Thank you all for sharing your experiences and opinions. We have a lot to consider - you've been very helpful!
  10. Thanks for the input. I spoke with the guidance counselor today, and the honors sequence is Alg. I in 9th, Analytical Geometry in 10th, Advanced Algebra in 11th, and AP Calc. in 12th. She told me that they're hoping to offer more courses in the future (while the newspaper reports major budget cuts for local schools next year). We live in a rural area that's not known to be "academic". We did let our 4th grader start this week (because he wanted to start school this last 9 weeks since our plan is for him to go next year anyway). Earlier this week his teacher sent home a study guide for a history test; it had several grammar, punctuation, and capitalization errors. I'm not usually picky, but I was extremely surprised. I emailed it to a friend in the "academic" county south of us, and she confirmed that it was atypical for her district and of poor quality. Thanks again for answering my question.
  11. Thanks everyone. I figured it was offered at most schools. When I asked the school registrar, she made it sound like there are no options for him to take it, but I'm trying to find out more information from the guidance counselor.
  12. We've been homeschooling but are planning to put our kids in public school next year. I've had my kids on track to complete Algebra I in 8th grade. We live in a relatively small county, and I just found out today that they do not offer Algebra I until 9th grade. The county south of us offers an accelerated math class (mix of algebra and geometry) in 8th grade that counts for high school credit, so it's really just our county. I'm wondering if that is unusual. I went to a large middle school 20 years ago, and they offered Algebra I Honors in 8th grade even back then. I'm starting to think that we need to reconsider our future school plans... Thanks :).
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