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    Homeschooling our 13-year-old son.
  1. Thank you so much for this. It's so kind of you to offer your experience and advice. It helps to hear others thought processes. There are so many different approaches within language arts, even what should be taught. Sometimes my head spins. I spoke at length today with Cindy Lange. I really liked her and her approach. She came across as thoughtful, intelligent, kind, and dedicated to her profession and her students. She's committed to small class sizes. This year my son took two Bravewriter classes. They were fine introductory classes but he was disappointed by his classmates (lack of) feedback and the asynchronous interaction with the teacher. I'm going to reflect on my conversation with Cindy, but I'm strongly leaning toward signing him up for her class. Thank you so much for steering me in her direction.
  2. Did you end up writing that review of Lange? RootAnn recommended Lange to me yesterday and I'm searching for reviews. I'm new here and don't seem to have the hang of the search feature. (Yesterday I was searching for "Center for Lit" and nothing came up, but just now I came across it. )
  3. Thank you so much for your reply! I haven't heard of some of these providers and I'm excited to have more options. I definitely understand that what works for one doesn't work for another! Since you have experience with multiple children, what do you look for in a LA class, especially for a enthusiastic reader/reluctant writer who is not going into a field where being more than a competent writer is required? Do you have any general advice for building out 8th-12th grades of language arts? From what I'm seeing most online providers seem to want to get the kids in 8th grade and keep them until 12th. It sounds like you have sampled quiet a bit. I'm not necessarily only interested in literature and composition, combined, for next year, i.e, DS's 8/9th grade. Don't most people do lit/comp combos though? Here is what I know I'm working with: 1) my son still needs 1/2 unit of foundational grammar next year, so I need to leave time for that. 2) my son loves to read and would enjoy a well run discussion based lit class, 3) my son is very social and live classes are preferred, 4) my son has low tolerance for "boring" writing drills, 5) we'd prefer not to devote more than 4-5 hours each week to writing, grammar, vocab building, etc. An additional 4-5 hours of reading is fine. We tend to use providers/curricula that aren't overtly Christian but strictly secular is not a requirement. If Christian, Catholic would be preferred. I'm excited to look at the providers you mentioned. Thanks for any additional guidance. I really appreciate it. This is the hardest subject area for me to wrap my head around.
  4. Hello! I'm looking for feedback on online English courses, 8th-12th grade. What have your kids taken and liked or not liked, and why? Ideally, we are looking for a LIVE class that covers both composition and literature. Any recommendations? I like the look of Center for Lit's online classes. Anyone have experience with them? More philosophically, what do you think about a writing program that is based in literature (like Center for Lit) versus other approaches? I'm not sure what to make of WTM or IEW, etc. I haven't researched them very much, but at first blush they look boring. I think my math-oriented, ADHD kid would quickly lose interest. By way of background, my son struggled with writing/grammar in public school so we largely ignored it for a few years after we started homeschooling in 5th grade. He is a strong and enthusiastic reader. This year he has learned a ton with Analytical Grammar. He also took two short Essay Prep classes with Bravewriter, both of which he actually enjoyed. I'm not sure Bravewriter's focus will be enough for him, given the way his mind works. I appreciate your thoughts and feedback.
  5. Thank you for this review. I've heard back from Dr. Bennett as well. We want our son to have the 1/2 year lab, so it does sound like a lot of writing but it appears the papers and labs are evaluated as scientific writing--not for elegant grammar and lithe sentence structure. I suspect this will be a stretch for our son but doable. I'm definitely considering it. Re FundaFunda, I heard from someone whose kid is taking FundaFunda. She has a biology background and she's pleased with the course. Another option is Blue Tent. A friend raved about that class but again it's asynchronous, which we're not interested in. The two others with live classes (and secular textbooks) that we were considering are Debra Bell/Aim Academy and Athena's. I cannot find any reviews for either though. And Debra Bell never replied to my inquiry.
  6. I'm brand new to this community, and am considering Monica Bennett's biology lecture and lab for my math-loving son. It sounds like MB is well liked. Is it ok for me to jump in and ask about her class more generally? If so, here's what I'm wondering. (If not, forgive me, I don't yet know this site's etiquette but welcome advice on how to use it too.) 1. How much time do kids spend on the class (lecture and lab)? Of this time, how much of this is spent on writing/doing labs versus reading? My son reads, digests, and retains complex material fairly easily but writing well is much more difficult for him. I'm wondering if these classes might be too writing intensive? 2. How did your kids feel about the two required papers? 3 . My son has not yet taken a WTMA course. How social are these classes? Do kids get to interact with each other much? 4. Has anyone's kids gone on to take one of the bio SAT subject tests? If so, how prepared were they? Thanks!
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