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Everything posted by Mom0012

  1. I decided to list both on my dd’s Transcript because I figured it wouldn’t hurt to do so and could possibly be a plus if she is considered for scholarship money.
  2. Thanks, Lanny, for the heads up about the forms being available. I spent much of the last couple of days completing the FAFSA for each of my kids and the CSS Profile for my dd and then uploading all the required docs for the CSS in Idoc. Much of that time was spent requesting forgotten passwords for multiple accounts. What a pain! Anyway, I feel a great sense of accomplishment. Applications are in and FA documents so now we just wait and see what happens and hope for the best.🙂
  3. Can colleges see which other colleges my dd is applying to on this? I know they can’t on the FAFSA, but I wasn’t sure about the CSS Profile and if there is any thought involved in how they should be listed.
  4. I definitely think she’ll find academic challenge. But, what she really wants is to be around other students who are academically engaged. Her two favorite classes, by far, over the years have both been with other students who inspired and motivated her with their own level of engagement and with the unique perspectives that they enthusiastically brought to the class. I guess she’s lucky to have experienced that twice in high school. And I hope my post isn’t coming across as knocking the other students. I’m sure those students are doing what they need to succeed and many of them will go on and be very successful. A lot of people look at college as a means to an end and their focus is mainly on their grades. That’s definitely how I was in college and I have had a wonderful life. But since we’re applying to colleges for my dd, I’m trying to find the best fit for her. I’m thinking UVA and W&M are both great colleges, but offer very different things and trying to weed through which might be the better for her, assuming she even gets in.
  5. I think one of the really difficult things to determine as a home-school parent is where my children fit in on an academic scale. I have test scores to help me, but I am always left feeling that with only 2 students, I really can’t make comparisons. My ds was well above the 75th percentile with his ACT score at most of the schools he applied to and I was still really worried that he was going to struggle. And he hasn’t at all. His school has turned out to be a great fit for him. My dd is applying to a different level of colleges for the most part, but trying to get a grip on which ones are truly a good fit for her is a challenge for me. In the end, it is her decision. I’m just trying to make sure she has some good options and I do really feel as though she is starting to feel as though she does.
  6. CalmingTea, I agree with you about not overloading during freshman year. It is a time of big change without adding in a too heavy academic load. I encouraged my ds to only take 12 credits starting out and would encourage my dd to do the same so that she has time to develop friendships and figure out what she wants to get involved in. We will have to see what happens and what her options are in the end. One of the things she does not want in college is to be in a pressure cooker. We had originally decided not to look at W&M because of that and then changed our mind and decided to investigate it further. I know it will all work out, one way or the other. 🙂 We’re just trying to weed through her options and see where she feels the fit is best so we’re not scrambling to figure things out once she knows where she’s been accepted. We will definitely investigate further at that point.
  7. They have a Scholars program that allows you to skip over the gen ed requirements. That was the first thing we looked up when we got home. You can’t apply for it, though. You are chosen for it. So, maybe she would be a candidate for that. I would think so, but who knows for sure. We are definitely going to hope for it, though.
  8. I started my counselor letter by thinking about the things that really stand out about my kids. First, I generated a list of specific memories that really stood out in my mind about each of them. Then I did some free writing about those memories. Then, I put it away for a week, continuing to think about it and both times, a number of interactions occurred between me and each of my children that brought new things to light that I wanted to include. Once I was done brainstorming, I looked at what I had written and tried to see what it was that I was saying was special about each kid, At that point, I knew what the main qualities were that I wanted to highlight and I then knew how to introduce them in my opening and used that to structure the rest of the letter. Starting with specific events and free-writing about them was a great way to start for me. This wound up being the meat of my letter — stories, examples and quotes.
  9. Yes, it would typically be a 4 on a 5 point scale. It seems that DE courses are usually weighted a full point, just like AP courses.
  10. Yes, this is a kid who always challenges herself and I doubt that will change when she’s in college. There are lots of ways she can do that.
  11. Yes, a number of the schools she is applying to have graduate programs in the classics, including UVA. And I am hoping that if she is accepted to UVA, we can get back for her to sit in on an upper level class just to alleviate her concerns. She said she knew that maybe she should feel happy that it seemed like college was going to be easy, but that’s not what she wants. I do think she’s possibly going to find W&M more of an academic fit, but we will see. I honestly think she can be happy anywhere and UVA is a great school in so many ways. We are lucky to be in Virginia and to have these options available to us.
  12. Yes, I’ve given this same advice to others so I understand your point. She was pretty shocked that the students seemed so unable/unwilling to engage in any level of analysis because there are so many top students at the school. I did tell her that it may be that she will have to take responsibility herself for what she wants to learn. And that she may have to look at college as more of a means to an end. I think part of the issue is that she’s been completely spoiled by Ms. Turscak’s Great Books class at CLRC and the amazing students that are in that class with her. I suggested that maybe she should continue with that class even at college. And maybe she should. All I can say is that I will be so happy when I know where she is going to college.
  13. She’s definitely going to apply and we feel happy and fortunate to have this school as a viable option for her. This was a lower level class, so she is fully aware that it may just be because of that. There were no upper level Latin classes being held the day we were there (which is what she likes to sit in on). She has sat in on classes at quite a few schools at this point and the only one she’s found a level of engagement that has matched her own so far was Hillsdale, which we have pretty much eliminated for a number of reasons. But even that class, which was an upper level Latin class that she sat in on as a sophomore, was covering material she had already studied. At one point, I had suggested to her that maybe she’s already had her college education in the classics and she might want to move on to something else. I do wonder if this is part of the problem?
  14. Does anyone here have a student at either of these schools that would be willing to share how academically engaged the students are? And not from the standpoint of grades, but how much they actually care about the learning process? And if they are happy and satisfied with their life outside of academics? My dd is looking at both of these schools and is worried one will not have the academic engagement she wants and that the other will require her to spend all of her time on academics. We visited the University of Virginia recently, and my dd liked the school. She’s attended programs there over the summer, so she was already familiar with the campus, which is absolutely beautiful, She has been wanting a smaller LAC, so she was surprised about how positive she felt about the school while we were visiting. She likes the energy of campus, and the school spirit, tradition and history. She likes that students are heavily engaged in activities outside of academics. At the end of the day, though, she sat in on a class, and was discouraged that she knew far more about the material and had more to add to the discussion than the students taking the class. In other words, the class was below the level of classes she’s already taken. She also found the students in that particular class fairly apathetic about the discussion. The hope is that it was just this particular class. She is going to sit in on some classes at W&M and and I’m thinking that she may find the academic engagement she is looking for there, but she also doesn’t want to spend all her time studying and working on academics either. She wants deep engagement in the classes she is taking, but doesn’t want her whole life to be about academics. The W&M campus does not appeal to her as much as UVA’s, but it was pouring the day we were there before and that likely has impacted her perception of it. We would love to get more of an inside scoop from anyone who is more familiar with these schools.
  15. I really like DO’s programs but, for me, only with the self-grading option. I like to give immediate feedback on math problems and I find it takes too long to get the work graded by him, IMO. My dd used his alg 2 to quickly review and solidify her skills and then used his precalculus and calculus. I think his lectures are good and there are plenty of practice problems, so the precalc class is good preparation for AP calculus. I bought the solutions guide to go with the SULLIVAN text that he uses for the precalc course and would be happy to send you those books (as well as my advanced Spanish Literature readers!) if you decide to use his course and would like them.
  16. My dd has worked on Spanish independently since her AP class ended a couple of years ago and has made a lot of progress this way. She basically uses Spanish 121 for conversation practice and for correcting papers that she’s written in Spanish. She reads a book in Spanish and then writes a paper for it. Since her goal was to have very strong everyday conversational skills, we decided to have her read pop psychology books like Outliers, for example. At one point, she was listening to News in Slow Spanish (which we had a subscription for — but I think you can download the podcast for free). There are also some programming on Netflix or Amazon prime in Spanish so that she can work on her listening skills. I really think regularly reading books in Spanish has furthered my dd’s language skills more than anything else she’s done. She did get a really solid foundation with Sr. Leven, though. If your dd’s grammar skills are not rock-solid, you could use an app to solidify those.
  17. We have used the videos alone to reinforce calculus skills.
  18. Lial’s Algebra 2 starts every chapter with a review of algebra 1 concepts. I also really like Khan Academy.
  19. I like the idea of a computer applications class and I know Fundafunda has had one of those in the past. This is an area that can be easily overlooked in home-schooling. I think a lot of kids in the public schools get regular practice with PowerPoint. My ds got some in his Spanish class with Senor Gamache and it’s been helpful to him in college, but we definitely could have done more in this area.
  20. Another thought would be to work through something on Khan Academy like art history or economics.
  21. One of my friends knocked out her son’s PE and art credits during his senior year by making him walk on the treadmill while watching the Great Courses art history lectures. It was a real positive thing for him because he really enjoyed the lectures, but it also got him more physically active.
  22. I like the idea of a personal finance class, especially if your dd is working. If she isn’t, I might wait on that. I’ve used the Dave Ramsey program with my kids. I don’t agree with everything he has to say, but I like that he gets across the idea of budgeting, the importance and benefits of taking advantage of compound interest for long term savings and the risks of debt. It opened the door for lots of discussions about the topic between me and my children. Plus, it got us to the bank to set up adult bank accounts with debit cards and to open up investment accounts. Making a budget really made my son start to understand real world expenses and what it would take to live comfortably. My kids each had been working for awhile, saving and paying some of their own expenses — phone bill, car insurance, some entertainment, gas. This made the program much more relevant to them. I do wish I had thought of doing photography with my ds during high school because that’s actually the only art form I think he would have enjoyed. I’d love to do something like that with my dd as well, but I don’t think it’s going to happen just because her schedule is already full.
  23. Academic honors — National Latin or Greek exam, writing contests, academic convention awards - like Latin Convention, speech and debate awards, AP Scholar awards, National Merit I don’t know enough about the congressional award to say if I would put it in that section, but I have listed all my dd’s awards on the bottom of her transcript, There were a couple of big ones she earned prior to 9th grade that I can’t put in the awards section because of the timing, but they are right on the front of her transcript.
  24. I haven’t seen a college ask for an “other” recommender in place of a teacher. I think you are right to follow up with them and see how they would like you to handle this. Two of my dd’s teacher recommenders were from online classes, but these were small classes where they got to know her well. One of the teachers taught her for 4 years and the other was for a writing-intensive discussion based class where the teacher to get to know her just because there was so much interaction.
  25. Well, I can answer the part about not using the recommendation — You invite people to be recommenders and then you link their recommendations to the schools you want to use them for. So, just don’t link them to a school if you don’t want to use their recommendation. If you already linked them, you can delete that link.
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