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Everything posted by NittanyJen

  1. No; when you sign up to sit for an exam, they issue an exam-only join code. The student still uses your classroom code that you can issue for the course once you have passed your audit.
  2. And done. At least with the Common App part of things. I know there is more to come, when the portal invitations arrive, and then FAFSA. But SAT results arrived today, and they were right on his target, so with the applications turned in, we are set to focus on enjoying his senior year. Yippee . . . And yikes. And boo hoo. He’s my last one. I really, really, really could only vaguely imagine this day when I went to clean all his stuff out of the little peanut’s school desk one day a little over a decade ago. Next year will be *really* weird. It is for all new empty-nesters, but I think for those of us who homeschool and are used to having them around 24/7, it’s a little. . . . Extra.
  3. Nope, we cannot order or proctor the tests ourselves. The College Board takes exam security and standardization of administration incredibly seriously, and that would instantly fall apart-- even in schools, teachers who teach the courses are not permitted to have even incidental contact with the students they teach in AP courses (not even in the halls or lunchrooms) until after their AP exam is finished for the day. So by definition, you could not proctor your child at home (during the digital exams at home last year, students were required to take the exams in a room without others present, so if a parent had been the teacher, again there was supposed to be no contact during the exam. I actually left the house to avoid even the appearance of impropriety wrt my son, and let my students who were online across the globe know that I was not going to be reachable until after the exam time expired). It is really frustrating that schools play gatekeeper on these exams :(.
  4. The College Board needs to step up and tell schools— if you are going to use our trademark, you cannot discriminate. You must offer a seat to any student who wishes to test who resides in your feeder pattern. This would also get rid of the problem of public schools cherry-picking which students of their own can take the tests so their scores look better (yep, it happens).
  5. My kid is bummed. His classes seem to be mostly in person. To him, having online and/or asynchronous classes feels a lot more like homeschooling did, and saves him a lot of hiking around from his apartment lol. My husband is still preparing to teach in person, too, as long as everyone wears masks, and wears them properly.
  6. We started halfway through 2nd and 4th grade. My oldest is now a college junior, and my youngest just started his senior year. Both homeschooled (with the youngest about to finish up this year) all the way through high school. Our only regret was not starting homeschooling sooner.
  7. Woot. Test is in progress. Last kid, last standardized test. Tonight, we celebrate. Best wishes to all who are testing today and this fall. May your stress levels be manageable, your test centers remain open to you, and your results be what you hope for.
  8. Crossing fingers that all goes well. It’s extra complicated because we live in a college town, and of course it’s also move-in day for the university, so traffic will be fascinating to get there in time.
  9. <lots of good info clipped out above and below the elipses> One major correction to the above: you absolutely CAN retake an AP exam in a subsequent year. The information listed above about that is incorrect.
  10. It is going to vary a lot from one student to the next. The actual mandatory assignments, other than the chapter tests, which should take about 45 minutes each, are usually a few pages of reading and a handful of homework problems, plus scanning the daily message in whatever depth the student finds helpful; in each chapter there is one short hands-on activity. However, many students will want more reinforcement than that, and I do have a menu of optional activities available that I find to be of high value, that students can pick and choose from, depending on what they find to be of the most value to them-- daily multiple choice questions with immediate feedback, additional video lessons, practice Free-Response Questions with feedback, and practice questions on the College Board site, for example. I do, like Carole, offer extra credit points for these additional activities, because they are all curated and not "fluff," but I actually put a cap on how much credit can be earned across the course that way, to discourage students from getting too distracted by all of the extras, or drawn into thinking they need to do everything offered. In many brick-and-mortar school AP classes, the students are in class for 50 minutes per day, and then have an hour of homework per night for that class (or some variation thereof with block scheduling), so two hours is not completely unreasonable, but I believe the material in this class can be handled in less time than that for many students. I just looked at a random assignment-- the eighth day of chapter six-- and the assigned homework for that day consists of 8 pages of reading from the text plus four homework problems. This is a pretty typical example. If your student keeps up with daily assignments each day, they should be able to invest less than two hours on many days. If your student waits until two days before the homework is due at the end of the chapter to begin, it will require considerable time (and, in my opinion, be less effective). Some days will require more time, for review, completion of an activity, or for asking questions or taking the time to pick through a tougher concept more carefully, or if they choose to invest in the additional activities available, such as the additional practice questions or an additional explanatory video. I'm sorry I can't give a more precise answer, but the necessary time will really vary considerably from one student to the next! Hopefully I gave you something to work with?
  11. Yes, Carole and I have planned for this transition for the past several years, and she gifted me all of the materials she has compiled over the years. I also shadowed her as she taught the course over the past two years, including last year while my son was in the class. I am, of course, making the course my own, while using many of the materials, plans, and methods given to me by Carole, including moving the course to a Canvas site. Several of last year's students and TAs are joining us this year as TAs as well, which is really exciting-- I think those student mentorships are really valuable for both the current students and the TAs. I taught another AP Course with PAHS last year, co-teaching AP Environmental Science with Terrianne Lavin, and our students had stellar results. One of the students even left me a nice review on the AP Stats page (he also took stats with Carole Matheny, so he wrote a review that included both Carole and I). I am always available to answer any questions.
  12. I hear you. We can never get a public school to take us— it’s not official policy; the schools are allowed to just say no. So far we have been lucky enough to get private schools to work with us. Others have had to travel considerable distances. Given how early in the morning some exams start, this is a massive disadvantage to homeschoolers, for no reason. But if you haven’t yet, do try all the private schools in your area, too.
  13. Making good progress. Transcript is done. School description is done. Counselor letter is next for me. He has entered a lot of the college-specific questions and all of the background info, and is polishing his personal essay, and has a couple of LOR’s lined up. So far, knock on wood, SAT looks good to go for the end of August. We could potentially have this all knocked out except for the stupid FAFSA by early September, possibly before the end of August. I think he made some good choices for his schools to apply to. Like his brother, so far he’s only applying to four. Best wishes everyone! It feels so odd to be at this point— I can still remember first dipping my toes in here about ten years ago, and I’m getting ready to launch my last one!
  14. Many dorms have closets or wardrobes with a towel bar on the outside of the door. Usually hanging the towel on this bar lets it dry out just fine. Can you get a photo from the college website or from a parent FB group of what the dorm setup looks like? If it doesn’t have one, or if she also wants space to hang a wet coat, I actually sent in a freestanding coat rack with my freshman a couple of years ago. He was in a seriously overcrowded triple room (so much for glamorous honors housing . . . ) and he and both of his roommates loved having a place to hang their wet coats. I supplied a thick, washable bathmat to place under it to contain the puddles and for a place for them to toss their wet footwear as well. The coatrack got used, and supposedly they even washed that floor towel on occasion, because they appreciated it!
  15. When all else fails, look up the official answer! You are correct! From the College Board website: ”You must provide a photo when you sign up for the SAT. New this year, the photo won't be part of your admission ticket. However, the test coordinator or proctor will still be able to view the photo and check it against your photo ID on test day to ensure security.”
  16. Thanks for the advice— I’ll make sure he checks again. I know when he registered it showed the picture he used last time and accepted it, but he has printed his ticket twice, and no photo. Maybe I’ll peek and see if there’s a place to upload a new one.
  17. Update: after reading through all of the responses to my question (thank you everyone!) I went back to the College Board website, and found the following: “You must provide a photo when you sign up for the SAT. New this year, the photo won't be part of your admission ticket.” My son’s photo didn’t print on his SAT admission ticket. Should I be concerned? Or did they change this because everyone will be wearing a mask anyway?
  18. I can’t answer your geography question; we covered it embedded with history and lit. We covered World history in 2 years, did a semester each of US Gov’t and economics, and a free year for them to self-design what to study. One kid chose political science and more Econ at the local U to fill that year; the other is doing an independent study on historical bias that he’s working on designing right now.
  19. Yikes. Now I’ll be checking daily between now and the end of August. He already had his last subject test cancelled twice before they finally announced there would be no more subject tests, ever. I just want this to go smoothly so we can finish those college apps ASAP and enjoy his senior year.
  20. The unit circle is rather helpful to understand for calculus. The trig identities can be handy, but those can also be looked up when needed, and then practiced with plenty of problems in context until learned sufficiently. Basic function graphing. This can be accomplished with or without tech, as long as the student is explaining the major features of what is happening in the graph and what they mean, and can follow up by sketching by hand when needed.
  21. Yes, 18 labs is plenty. She can do pre-lab reading or write up lab reports in the off weeks. Pick and choose the labs that both make the most sense for your plans and that are the most practical to actually make happen (some labs, even in a kit, tend to me more aspirational than realistic . . .). When faced with something that feels like too much, I remember my mantra— “More isn’t always more.”
  22. And unless something has changed since the last time I checked— they have to use regular #2 pencils— mechanical pencils are not permitted, nor are phones or any type of smart watch/internet connected device. Leave the Fitbit/Apple Watch etc home!
  23. I listed my boys’ transcripts by subject. The only grade indicator I gave was that on the front summary page, I did list “Courses taken in the senior year.” Since we don’t start and stop every course at the same time, or even at a neat “year end” break, listing by “year” would end up being rather arbitrary on my part (and not always accurate). Where courses were connected, in the course description, I did list “taken at the same time as x, y, and z.” Now, I did not make any attempt to obfuscate— within each subject, courses are listed in the order they were initiated, and of course, I only included courses completed during high school.
  24. Yes, you can get formal accommodations in college. You probably don’t need a 504 to get testing accommodations as a homeschooler, but under the new rules, it won’t hurt. Many kids get testing accommodations without one. The accommodations in the 504 for high school do not necessarily follow him to college, because: 1) college responsibilities to students are different (in college, the keyword is allowing the student to access the curriculum, not making anything equal). 2) student needs are very different between high school and college. They can even vary from one course to the next. One major myth you may run into, so I’ll dispel it now: it’s easier to get into college with a 504 than an IEP. This is completely false. Admissions should have zero knowledge of either status, unless the student tells them. The College Board does not disclose the use of accommodations to colleges, either.
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