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Everything posted by dereksurfs

  1. Thanks everyone for your feedback. It's interesting how these programs vary so much state by state. After reviewing some of the local options in Clark County, speaking with school district staff and considering the state wide programs we're leaning more toward either: 1. Independent Home Based Instruction with the option to take some courses at the local high schools or college through RunnnigStart. 2. Attend public high school with the option of taking college courses through RunnnigStart. While the ALEs are a nice option, we don't really like the more rigid plans. Things are p
  2. Hello, We are planning a move to Washington State and I have been trying to understand the various educational options. We currently homeschool our three teenagers. Our oldest is a high school senior and attending CC almost exclusively this year (free via DE) with the exception of one online course. We also go through a public charter called Ocean Grove for our middle dd which is technically public school 'at home.' They provide a credentialed teacher we meet with regularly who reviews our curriculum along with work samples. Though we are given a lot of freedom with regards to curric
  3. Its good to know the PSAT isn't as heavily weighted, apart from NM scholarships. That's good news for ds17 since it was not his strong point. Thanks for all the helpful information. Unfortuantely, all the rest of it seems very relative, subjective and variable which makes its hard to get a true sense of real costs beyond the basic college calculators. Most of those do not take into account the number of scholarships a school will give to a particular student who they may be trying to attract - the more holistic, real world picture or bottom line. I guess its one of those things where you
  4. Our son learned Java at home first going through some free online tutorials. Then he took a Python and Java course at our local CC and did really well.He would like to pursue a major in CS after enjoying these initial courses along with his Mindstorm robotics programming. I looked at Edhesive a while back even when it was free and was not terribly impressed by it given so many other great options for learning programming. IMO, the teacher's ability to convey programmatic methodologies and logic in a way that makes sense to young learners is much more important than the latest books, curriculu
  5. Hi, This has been a very odd junior year for DS17 with regards to standardized testing. He is generally a very good student who is not great at standardized test taking. They have been a real struggle. This is mainly due to being a perfectionist and running out of time which we've been working on. The results have been so-so PSAT scores. After two attempts, the last and best was 1380. He was really hoping to break 1400. However, he just received his SAT scores which really surprised us all at 1540. Although it was grueling for him, he did well given it not being his strength. With these d
  6. FairProspects, Thanks so much for sharing your family's experience growing up in Corvallis. We are really looking forward to visiting the town and campus this summer. Our oldest DD has just told us she might want to attend public high school which scared my wife, initially. But we've heard generally good things about the two public high schools in Corvallis. So we are a bit more inclined to allow her to go that route if its what she wants after homeschooling her entire life. Plus, she can always come home if she hates it. ? I'm curious if you would ever consider living there again? Or do
  7. Bocky, I was just reading about UO's new $1-Billion Science Center they are starting to build. Thanks for the heads up on that effort. The Knight's made a huge donation which is awesome! The focus of the center seems very much on life sciences at least initially. Apparently they want to partner with OHSU School of Medicine for some of their research efforts. One of the odd parts for me as well as some reviewers is that they still have no school of engineering which is a vital part of STEM research. Although OHSU is primarily a medical school, for example, they also have programs in Biomedical
  8. Thanks for posting your recent experiences, Bocky. Your husband's perspective seems similar to what I've read so far. Since we're not interested in the large UW Seattle campus experience we're considering the other viable options for STEM students. One of the interesting things about UW Bothell is that students get a smaller, more personal college experience while still having access to resources of the main Seattle campus. They can even take some classes there if they want to. In addition, they have a very good record for placing graduates in local companies with many internship opportunities
  9. Thanks, Ali, Yes, CA UCs are crazy, crowded and the STEM majors are even harder to get into for local students with good grades. Plus, we like the idea of a college town where we could live and at least some of our kids go to school locally to save on room, board and other related expenses. I have a follow-up question since you seem local to the campus. Do you by chance homeschool in the area or are your kids in public schools? We are a homeschool family and haven't found too many homeschool groups in and around that area. We may also consider the local public high schools or Running
  10. This gives me hope for our dds. They both dislike math. Yet many science majors they might otherwise be interested in have higher math prerequisites such as Environmental Science.
  11. Wow, big switch to paleontology! I actually switched majors more times than I care to count. That is also why CCs are a great place for young college kids to explore their interests at a much more affordable price. By the time they are ready for university they will have a better idea of what they want to pursue... at least in most cases. Regarding WUE and transfers, yes, some schools we've looked at do not offer it such as Western Washington University (WWU). In addition, they are only allotted '2 years' of reduced tuition as opposed to 4 years. So finishing on time is still important.
  12. Yes, that is one of our concerns with WUE as well. Many degrees end up taking longer than 4 years especially when you factor in career exploration and major changes which is 'very' common among students at this age. Add to that unforeseen complications such classes not being available when needed or impaction and there is the greater likelihood of 5+ years. Anything beyond the 4 years and costs skyrocket which some families are not able to absorb especially with multiple kids in college.
  13. Greta, just curious what she switched to? Did she stay in state or is she using WUE somewhere else?
  14. Hi Yvonne, Long time no talk. It looks like our sons are winding down at WHA and getting ready for college. Its kinda funny that WHA is in TX as well. Just curious what your son's major will be? Has he been open to states in other regions for a while now or is this something new? Our son has made it clear he wants to stay on the west coast. So we're focusing on schools over here.
  15. Yes, this is definitely college specific.In fact, one of the larger schools we are looking at has both types of campuses. UW Seattle at 46K students has these very large classes while its satellite campus, UW Bothell, has the opposite. This benefit is actually one of the discriminators it advertises in offering smaller class sizes. The students get instruction from actual professors who they can interact with rather than TAs in recitations, etc... at the larger campus. "The only unusual thing about the Bothell extension of UW is that the class sizes are smaller. This is better for me indi
  16. Hi, I'm also interested in these schools since we're in the similar boat as the OP living in California. However, in our case we're considering a move to the PNW and therefore not limited to WUE schools. Unfortunately most of the top schools on our list do not participate in WUE which include UW and OSU. The top Oregon school on our radar is OSU due to excellent STEM and research opportunities. Its one of only three in the US with land, sea, space and sun grants (Cornell and Penn State are the only others). The school is also known for its engineering school and has a great robotics
  17. Reviving an old thread. Is there still an Oregon group on here? We're planning a move to the PNW and I would like to hear from some parents. Thanks, Derek
  18. Yes, I had to email the admins to restore my account which eventually got fixed. They had a lot of bumps during the migration process to the new site.
  19. There are lots of tough financial decisions to consider as kids approach college age while parents are preparing for their retirement. We've wrestled with these same issues as have our friends. One co-worker has 10 kids and his wife doesn't work. Their kids need to fund their own college in that case and they some how figure it out. The notion that our kids should go off to a U away from home their freshman year simply because it would be nice or their friends are doing it just cut it for us. Why pay 3-4X+ more in tuition plus room and board simply for an experience? If the money was ther
  20. Jean, What are your thoughts on UW Bothell itself in terms of academic, research and internship opportunities? I've heard good things about the campus overall. In terms of traffic, our son would live on campus or nearby off campus. So that won't be as big of an issue. It looks like WA is investing heavily in UW Bothell with plans to expand housing and campus facilities as well. I think it has a bright future if they plan and execute things right. We looked at living near the school at one point but ruled it out because we do not want to live in an area that crowded. Plus, the
  21. Kai, We're CA natives and actually looking for the 'opposite' experience of our current overcrowded and heavily impacted UCs and more popular CSUs. With ridiculous class sizes, difficulty getting classes needed to graduate on time, majors of interest or research opportunities, there are many families looking for better opportunities elsewhere. Granted some of our friends still make it work, but the conditions in our better schools are not for us. IMO, CA is in many ways its own worst enemy with our beautiful weather and reputation for good public U's. People flock to our state like no oth
  22. Hi Jean, Thanks for input and sharing your experiences. I have a few follow-up questions regarding UW. Do you know anyone who has attended UW Bothell? We are more interested in that campus since it offers smaller class sizes, isn't as crazy competitive for STEM programs such as computer science. Plus the students have a better chance of interacting with and getting to know their professors. I've heard UW Bothell has some great internship opportunities as well with local companies close by. The downside would possibly be more of the commuter nature of the campus. However, our son is not at
  23. Our oldest is a junior and he is very STEM directed. He's leaning toward computer science right now and enjoying those classes at our local CC. We're looking at western WA/OR colleges and not so interested in the eastern side. We also have limited funds as a donut family financially - make too much for need based aid. So we want good public options. Depending on our leaning we will live on one side of the border vs. the other. In terms of schools we're considering a variety. For WA we'll looking at UW Bothell. That is the fastest growing U in WA with a good reputation overall. We don
  24. Hello, I am looking for parents in WA and OR who can share their experiences. Specifically as your kids approach college or have attended college what are your thoughts of the schools? What are some challenges you've faced. etc..? We currently live in CA and are considering a move to the PNW. Our teens are quickly approaching college age and I am looking at the schools, specifically the public colleges. Thanks,
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