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Posts posted by 5Wizards

  1. Hi,


    I don't have experience with that program in particular, but you can also look at a summer online creative writing course for 7-9 grade.  My 10th grader is taking Lili Serbicki's year long high school creative writing class right now, and she loves it.  Ms. Serbicki's class is organized, she gives great feedback, and she's very accessible.  She also teaches AP English through both PA Homeschoolers and Debra Bell.  I have been very impressed with what I have seen.  I don't have experience with the Jr. High class, but I imagine that it's just as good.



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  2. We started the year with a tweaked fundafunda schedule (using the teaching company lectures), then tweaked it some more to include part of the Pandia Press stuff, and finally we switched completely to Oak Meadow (an older version).  I am teaching two kids this year, and they both say that they like the Oak Meadow US History much better.  We are all happy now, and I plan to use it with my younger kids as well in the future.


    Oak Meadow uses a textbook and can be done independently.  We discuss everything and I am including movies, but the movies aren't necessary.  You might be able to find the books on ebay (I did and saved a bundle).


    Good luck deciding on something.

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  3. Hits - 3 kids:

    - Math Mammoth (has worked for all of my kids)

    - Derek Owens Algebra 2

    - OM History - 6th grade - 1st time using this, DD is enjoying it

    - Galore Park Jr. History

    - PAH AP Psychology

    - Aim Academy Creative Writing class with Lilianna Serbicki - great choice for my oldest



    - Essay tracks online (literature part online, sometimes use the prompts provided for writing, sometimes don't) - 6th grader enjoys this (middle school group), but she has never taken any other classes online.  High school version did not work for my older child - too easy - dropped



    Didn't work for us:

    - High School US History has not had a good start.  Bought books, etc.. and planned to kind of follow Funda funda - never started.  Started Pandia Press US History along with some funda funda ideas - not working.  Ditching it all and going to start with OM US History this week (older version) with movies and documentaries and see if we can salvage history for the year. 


    Everything else is going ok.

  4. Hi,


    I can highly recommend Derek Owens for Algebra.  The lectures are pre-recorded, so you can stop them as needed.  Also, there is a workbook that follows along with the lecture - there are some notes with spaces for kids to complete the notes.  It's a great introduction to note taking. After the lecture, there are problems in the workbook with solutions in the back, and then there are also homework pages.  It is set up so that you can turn in the homework assignments and tests to be graded, but you might also be able to request to have the solutions sent to you as the parent to grade if that works better for you (he has done this in the past, but not sure if he will continue to do this or not).  It is completely self-paced.  I have one child who has completed 2 math courses and 2 science courses with Mr. Owens already and is currently on the 3rd math course - I love him! 

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  5. I looked at Silicon Valley High School (after reading your post) and received very quick responses to my questions:


    Silicon Valley High School responses:

    We typically enroll interested parties in a course or two for a 10 day period... so they can check it out.

    Create a login at: http://svhs.co/

    Once you have your login, email me with your login info and the courses that you are interested in, and I'll enroll you.

    Thanks tons and I hope that helps!


    So, every course varies, but our videos are typically between 5-15 minutes per section.

    Also, we don't use a specific text, but rather we have multiple contributors to our courses.  We choose the best content (in the world) for each section, so our courses can be a collection of multiple content creators, ensuring that our lessons are the best available.

    Again, feel free to create a login and we'd love to have you poke around a course or two.


    The price is reasonable. Considering many of the courses have been approved by the UC governing body (?) regarding what is considered acceptable for entrance into the UC college system, it sounds like its worth a try. 


    I had never heard of this online curriculum. I appreciate hearing about it.


    Thanks for looking into this.  I may pursue this further as a possible "get 'er done" course for US History (UC approved a plus as we are trying to keep options open) if the lessons are that short.  It's good to know that I can check it out first for a few days.  Thanks!



  6. I have a 9th grader doing Thinkwell Geometry this year.  She is decent at math, but she doesn't care for math (never has - she is very strong in language).  I think her main issue is that so many things come easy to her, but she has to work at math, so she thinks she's not good at it, which isn't true.  Anyway, I think it's a decent enough program, and it is serving its purpose for us this year.  She is about halfway through the program (we started the year with a textbook on our own and it just wasn't going well, so we switched.  She will be finishing Geometry this summer).  She is happy with the program and prefers it to what we were doing.  She does not plan to pursue a career in which geometry will really matter, so I am not worried about what she will carry forward with her.  I don't know that I could have found any Geometry program that I would have been completely happy with in regards to this particular child, but Thinkwell is working for us, so I am glad we chose it.   I do have to spend a considerable amount of time helping her.  Anyway, just my thoughts. 

  7. This year my 9th grader is using Integrated Health and Fitness.  I think it's a decent program with a variety of activities, although my child did not like the anatomy coloring book (so she stopped using that book).  Next year I am going to try the 6th grade science (life) and history with a different child.  I have a used copy of the history already and it looks interesting to me.  I just ordered the science due to the sale, so hopefully it will be decent - the samples looked ok to me.

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  8. Adding a little bit to our experience...


    Oldest daughter saw orthodontist every 6 months for about 2 1/2 years before actually getting braces.  She was definitely in that category of needing braces, but don't rush things until all permanent teeth ready.


    Middle child's mouth was a disaster.  Saw a couple of ortho's for consults.  The one we went with recommended palate expander, but we had to wait for awhile until her back molars came in.  As I said up above, that was at 9.  Another ortho we consulted with is the "go to" guy in our community.  He uses Damon braces, kept calling palate expanders "barbaric," and was definitely a salesman.  He has a great reputation and is excellent at what he does, but he was too pushy for us (and traditional braces were significantly cheaper).  Anyway, he went into this long explanation about how too many orthos are now doing 2 phases for kids when it's not really necessary, etc...  Then he took one look in child's mouth and immediately said that she would need 2 phases - it was pretty funny.


    All this to say that what's best for one kid is not necessarily best for another.  There are various options available, and I would always recommend getting more than one opinion.   I am so happy with our ortho outcomes, and I wish the same for everyone else.

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  9. I have two kids in braces right now.  The oldest only needed one round of braces and will have hers on for awhile.


    My younger child got a palate expander at 9 and braces on the 4 front teeth (adult) on both top and bottom for a little over a year.  We look at the pictures of her smile/mouth from when she first got the expander to now, and the change is amazing.  She gets it all taken off/out this week, and we are so excited.  The expander made a huge difference for her, and I can't imagine doing that without the braces at the same time.  It was definitely the best decision for this child.  I fully expect that she will need a 2nd pair of braces in a few years, but maybe we'll get lucky - the work we did now could possibly prevent the need for braces later, but I'm not holding my breath.  It would just be a pleasant surprise if we get that lucky. 


    If your ortho really felt that your child needed an expander, I would try to follow-up on that some more, either by trying for new impressions again or going to someone else for an opinion.  Good luck to you!

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  10. Ok, I just got stressed out.  haha


    This will be DD's first AP test (HG), and she has been studying a little each day, but I am not sure how much.  As we get a little closer, I have told her that she can take a break from the rest of her studies and focus on prepping.  I just have no idea how she is going to do.  Regardless, it will all be a learning experience and help her in the future with other AP classes.


    I don't think we have a college board account, so I need to get on that tomorrow I guess.  Ugh - I feel like I should have known this already.  Hopefully it will be easy and not an issue.

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  11. This was one of dd's first AP classes, and she's enjoyed it. The first half of the year the students graded their own short answer questions based on the rubric provided by the teacher. Now they are writing FRQs and the teacher is giving them feedback on them.


    The teacher grades and comments on the workbook questions and activities, posts on the web board and comments on the students' posts. She sends out a weekly bulletin with additional sources for students. My dd has found her comments to be helpful on the work she's submitted and supportive.


    She'll be taking the exam in May, so we can't comment on how well she's prepared for the exam yet.


    Dd is taking two other classes with PAHomeschoolers and is enjoying all three.


    We are having a similar experience here.  This is dd's 1st AP class, and overall, she has really been enjoying it.  Dr. Gillespie has provided quite a bit of feedback and has been available to answer questions.  It's been a positive experience in our household.

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  12. MM 6


    OM Life Science


    OM Ancient History


    Spanish in small group setting (light amt of work)


    Maybe try Lively Latin


    Language Arts:   GWG 6

                                Literature - try homeschool book study dotcom, add some other books as well, maybe MBTP units

                                Writing - I will throw together a mishmash of things

                                Vocab - some root work; she asked to be done with spelling and I think we are there, so exploring this now


    Dance, piano

  13. Math: MM 3


    History:  Galore Park Junior History 1 & 2


    Science:  Undecided. Sigh. 


    Language Arts:   GWG 3, Building Spelling Skills, read to me every day, read on own, homegrown writing, continue cursive (not consistent this year), typing


    Spanish for fun in small group 1X/week


    Dance, piano


    Try to do some art with books/videos I already have

  14. In the planning stages here for 10th grade:


    Math:  DO Algebra 2

    English:  Based loosely on EIL, outside class plus extras here

    Latin:  Outsourced

    Science:  Probably Miller/Levine Biology that I put together, but maybe Oak Meadow Biology - I bought old used copies of both textbooks and like M/L better

    AP Psychology - PA Homeschoolers

    History:  US History, maybe homegrown with SAT subject test or BYU US History (looking to cover CA A-G requirement)

    Spanish - continue where she is, but this is an extra - probably will not put on transcript


    Still considering an AP English class, but may wait until 11th.  Also considering some kind of online writing class - maybe creative as she loves to write


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