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About JennyD

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    Hive Mind Queen Bee

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  1. Completely agreeing with everyone else here -- this is super common and your DD should have zero hesitation about sending a friendly reminder. I teach at a university and for years I used to write recommendation letters as soon as possible after they were requested, just to get them off my plate (and out of my inbox). But there were so many times that I would write a letter, only to discover later that the student had changed his or her mind and wasn't interested in that job/fellowship/school after all. So frustrating. Now I wait until the week before and/or they send me a reminder.
  2. Thanks for the encouragement. DS14 is certainly having a remarkable experience here. It is extremely challenging but he is just throwing himself into it all full-tilt. This makes a lot of sense.
  3. Something along these lines is what I've been thinking. I don't have much training in biology, however, so I need to do some reading and think more deeply about what this all might look like. I do not have a good sense of what the end goal of a high school biology course should be. Ding ding ding! I'm just now realizing that this is how I've been thinking as well. Boy, despite reading along here for years I am really flying blind with this whole high school thing. This is very useful to know. Yes on the very selective schools, very helpful to think about outside validation in this way. It makes a lot of sense, now that I'm thinking about it more. I agree that DE classes would be a better option. Unfortunately we do not have a good setup for that. It may be possible for him to take one or two classes at the university near where we live, but they won't be science classes. It won't be possible to validate both Chem and Physics, since one of those will have to be done during senior year. But I like the idea of doing some sort of homegrown bio class, then taking the SAT2 for that, and then either AP Chem or AP Physics for 11th grade. One thing that has made this all a little more complicated is that we are currently spending the semester in a foreign country and DS is going to high school here for 6 months. It's his first time in B&M school and then of course all the schooling is in a foreign language, but he's learning an unbelievable amount and just generally having an amazing experience. We wouldn't trade it for anything but it does push his science/math progression further into high school than it would have been otherwise. I will say, however, that his experience here is totally validating our rather unschooly approach to middle school science. Even with the language barrier, he has been been doing great in his science class. I don't even know when and how he learned some of this stuff, but apparently he picked it up along the way. This is a super helpful conversation, thanks to all who replied.
  4. Good question. Thinking about it now, I realize that since he wants to study science in college, I have just been assuming that as many of his science classes as possible need to have some kind of outside component or validation. But that assumption isn't actually based on any real information, just my own generalized anxiety. Hmm. I had been wondering about that test. May I ask why you would recommend it?
  5. DS14 will be in 10th grade next year. He is a very self-motivated student who loves learning and will likely pursue some sort of science (although I doubt it will be bio) in college. He wants to remain competitive for highly selective schools/programs. He is unlikely to do much in the way of DE so will not have many outside grades. I have been assuming that his 'outside validation,' then, will have to mostly come through testing. I would like to do bio with him next year. My original plan was for us to to do AP Bio, probably through a combination of textbooks and videos. But he really does not enjoy online learning or videos, and in any event the thought of just grinding through this material depresses me. So how can I take advantage of the freedom that homeschooling (theoretically) offers to do something really interesting and challenging for biology, but that I can also document adequately/validate for college application purposes? Is there a way I can structure a biology class that will prepare him to take the AP test but also allow some different sorts of explorations? I should note that I myself do not have much background in biology, although I can hire a grad student pretty easily to check work and answer questions if needed. Any thoughts for me on what this could look like? Ideas? Inspiration?
  6. Oh hornblower, that is indeed deeply crappy news. I am so sorry to hear this.
  7. We also used Zumdahl's World of Chem (on the recommendation of folks here) for a compressed one-semester course in the fall of 9th grade. I thought it was very solid, and like a PP mentioned, I really appreciated all the supplements that are readily available.
  8. My husband suffers from migraines and has been using 'red glasses' for years, mostly when he is in environments that are likely to trigger a migraine (e.g., airplanes, rooms brightly lit with fluorescent lights). He has found them very helpful. He also keeps all blue light off and the brightness set to extremely dim on all of his electronics. I can't understand how he can even read on his phone or computer, they are so dim, but it really helps with the migraines.
  9. I live in Nashville -- Lipscomb is a very pretty campus in a good location, and Nashville is a super popular destination for young people these days. I've heard from a number of students/graduates that good merit aid is available, but a few years ago I had a babysitter who was a (formerly homeschooled) student there and she felt that her classes were just not all that challenging. I was also struck by how textbook-oriented some of her non-science classes were. If I were looking at the school, I would make sure to visit, sit in some classes, and ask some direct questions of current students about their academic experience. I believe that there is also an Honors College, which might be worth investigating. IIRC, the school admits students of different religions but chapel attendance is mandatory, and there is some sort of specific Christian (maybe denominational?) religious requirement for undergraduate faculty.
  10. Not Bible reading but I am thinking of doing Daf Yomi, in which Jews all over the world read through the entire Talmud, one page a day for 7.5 years. The next Daf Yomi cycle starts this Sunday, Jan 5.
  11. I know nothing about homeschooling in CA, but I emphatically agree with daijobu's post re sunk costs, above. The money is gone, it's spent. The question now is how you and DD best spend her time. Good luck!
  12. Oh Melissa, what a nightmare. I am so sorry that you are going through this. Thinking of you.
  13. Heartily agreeing with the recommendations for The Food Lab, especially for meat. For vegetables: The Vegetarian Cookbook, by Deborah Madison For sweet baking: Flour, by Joanne Chang I do not like Mark Bittman's cookbooks; the recipes are consistently meh, IME.
  14. JennyD


    I am so sorry for all of your pain. Did I understand correctly that your husband lost his father simultaneously with your miscarriage? I can only imagine how sad and exhausted you both are.
  15. The funny thing is that the high school diploma is the only one that I can find! It just happened to be at the top of a box that my parents had kept for me, and now I keep it with all of my homeschooling paperwork. I have no idea where all of the other diplomas are. Well, I guess (hope) they're in the garage somewhere, but unearthing then would not be a fun afternoon.
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