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quark last won the day on March 13 2014

quark had the most liked content!


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  1. Hi all, It's been a long time! Hope you are all hanging in there. I'm trying to help a good friend who has just started homeschooling her sweet, shy, quirky young lady. They are in Perth and I have no clue at all on what's available locally. Please PM me and sorry if I take a little time to respond. Thanks so much! Big hugs, quark.
  2. I don't do for-fee counseling anymore, but can provide some insight based on our own experience. Short answer, afaik, no diploma is actually required but as people have said, fine print can change and I haven't looked at UC's for a while. I have PMed you back, EKS. Let's chat over the phone if you have time! Thanks for connecting us Arcadia!!
  3. Hi Gil, I have not read all the responses yet so this might be repetitive. Here's a book that we explored a while back when kiddo was still considering options: How to Study as a Mathematics Major - https://www.amazon.com/How-Study-as-Mathematics-Major/dp/0199661316 I also really like this section from the Princeton Companion to Mathematics (an oh-so-drool-worthy compendium for aspiring mathematicians): Advice to a Young Mathematician - http://assets.press.princeton.edu/chapters/gowers/gowers_VIII_6.pdf I also suggest looking for advice on Quora and Math Stack Exchange. PS: I realize these are not math graduate student resources, but I think first understanding what it is like to create/study math for a living (or living to create/study math, as my kiddo would say) might be a good approach. PPS: Kiddo is not yet in grad school but is taking grad math classes and says the following (true at least at Berkeley): Classes are more challenging than undergrad level. Homework seems to be less important. Exams are usually take home. Which is not really helpful as the problem sets are extremely challenging. You may get taught by even cooler profs vs undergrad classes (one of kiddo's profs is a Fields medalist). Some of these grad level profs may not love teaching though (which is the same for undergrad) - their true passion being research.
  4. I loved scrolling through everyone's responses. Wow, six years ago...I am slowly losing some of my memories of our earlier homeschooling years but I know that six years ago the kiddo (now a sophomore in college) was already into puberty (which started around age 9) and I was quite worried about challenge level but also trying to keep us "well balanced" (whatever that means) between structure and relaxed homeschooling. What have I learned now that I'm on the other side? Our happiest homeschooling memories are from the times when we "ditched school" and learned on the fly, be it from documentaries, spur of the moment experiments, diving into books from the library (often chosen at random but kiddo tends to choose more complex/well written books anyway), meeting experts who loved their chosen subjects/life journeys (so important to have role models), or taking a walk with the dogs and just talking about everything. Our most meaningful experiences were from doing something hard, failing, crying from perfectionism/frustration, learning from the mistakes, getting mentally stronger to face the next intellectual/physical/emotional curve-ball. I think kiddo actually finds hard math relaxing! My challenge was pulling kiddo away from the computer/books to take a break and do a little more of #1 above. My most treasured memories...kiddo coming to me and saying how much math means to kiddo...and how grateful kiddo is to have been homeschooled. More than the SAT/AP/CC/UC scores or grades...this. This validates the decision I made all those years ago to grit my teeth and learn how to navigate our non-traditional math path. That linked thread by the way is a misnomer...my kid is not structure-hating. My kid loves structure (and to be a little tongue in cheek, algebraic structures!) but it needed to be structure that was self-created, not imposed (and I was struggling with that because I wanted our homeschool to look more WTM, less free-flying). Teach them what you love...because you can't fake the love. I love poetry, animals, design, music, writing, books, classic lit. My kid now loves these too (shyly came up to me during our trip to a local used book store the other day, and asked if it was okay to buy a book of annotated Emily Dickinson poems...I love those moments!). I could not get my kid to love writing in the traditional sense that we homeschoolers think of writing. Again, that was because I was imposing a specific type of writing schedule/structure/style on my child. I let it go for 2-3 years. We did not do any structured writing at all in that time (this was just before my kid started CC for high school so trust me I was second guessing this a lot!). Every bit of writing after that was self-led e.g. a puzzle blog, short stories often of a very philosophical nature, community college classes, then college classes...and my kid always did really well in writing and received great feedback from profs. (Disclaimer: kiddo does not have learning disabilities.) The most important thing that I can think of is to have an inner happiness that comes from feeling safe, well-adjusted. As in truly happy inside. An unshakeable happiness. It doesn't necessarily come from gifts or even spending money. I think it comes from trust and taking leaps of faith whatever that might mean to your family. I'm learning to trust. Sometimes I am good at it. Sometimes I am afraid and make mistakes. But eventually I want my kiddo to know I have their back. My vision was to have a relationship where kiddo would continue to confide in me and so far that's been true and I really hope I don't mess that up ever. Everything else is just a passing thing...curriculum, what books to read, what scores you get in the SATs. But to get here, you have to let go a little. Trust more than a little. Breathe more than a little. It's hard to do that if you are rushing everything or second guessing everything. I second guess a lot so I know how hard it is to let that go a little. The A's matter but not all that much. My kid is scoring a couple B's now in college, and even risking a few Cs during midterms. I do watch the GPA as far as kiddo will let me and it's still a very strong GPA but every time I learn kiddo was well challenged and had to work even harder to pull an A, I feel really proud. All that earlier crying from frustration stuff (#2 above) has built a good level of resilience...enough resilience to reach #5 above. My job now is to help kiddo stay at #5. My work is not done. Our work as parents is never done is it? That's why I think it's important to let go a little because if you don't you will burn out. That's it from me for now! Happy New Year everyone!
  5. Was peeking in to look at the acceptances thread and saw this. So nice to read about all your college kids. Congratulations everyone! Have missed reading about them! I'm sorry to hear of illness and emotional exhaustion. Parenting only gets harder I think...when they are younger, you can still step in to help but when they are older, it's so hard to have to keep back, hold your tongue, let them figure things out. Big hugs! My A just wrapped up fall semester of sophomore year. Started grad math classes and loves them -- one was a regular class that A attended twice a week and the other, A challenged by just taking the final exam (pass/fail only) and we just heard that A has passed it. My usually competition-averse kid also took the Putnam this fall and got more questions done than expected. It's been great because A is finally being challenged and has actually received Bs for the first time in academic career. My kid isn't coasting anymore! A also works for the university as a grader, earning enough to cover food and train fare and still has a little left over to save (still lives at home with me for now). Interestingly, my kid has started French classes now (I always thought A would go into more depth in Japanese vs starting a new language) and is top student in the class every semester so far. Even received a cute crown from the prof a few weeks ago. 😄 I've seen so much maturity in the last 3 semesters with this already mature kid that sometimes I just have to take a deep breath and try not to grieve about how quickly they grow up. A is now pestering *me* to read/advice on REU application essays (instead of me pestering A about deadlines which I no longer have energy or time to do anyway), thirstily looking for challenging opportunities for next spring's classes (is adding 2 more grad math classes), and is ecstatic about grading math papers for a beloved abstract algebra prof in spring. I love that A is reaching out independently to create these experiences and learning a lot from them. Just keeping fingers crossed that things stay sane. Happy holidays everyone!
  6. Yes, others have answered about the difference but I wanted to say kiddo went from knowing zero LateX to using it almost exclusively now at advanced level. It's a lot like learning any other formatting software.
  7. Some good places to start. No hurry. Whenever he is ready. http://artofproblemsolving.com/wiki/index.php?title=LaTeX https://smile.amazon.com/Learning-LaTeX-David-F-Griffiths/dp/0898713838/ Lots of kids learn by just doing it for classes etc too.
  8. Another idea is to do a fun foray into LateX. I was a bit of a traditionalist with hoping for kiddo to hand write proofs and kiddo wasn't into LateX then (can't live without it now) but kids we know learned to LateX it instead.
  9. If he continues to do well with Algebra I with CTY moving to AoPS Algebra next is a no brainer to me. Plenty of kids have done well with that strategy. Pre-A was not around when we homeschooled and kiddo did fine using Dolciani with some AoPS supplementation afterwards. There are other options to moving to Geometry in 5th! He could take another year to work on his writing skills via a milder Geometry while doing Algebra 2 concurrently. Or do a year of problem-solving or number theory/counting and probability. If he does really well with CTY Algebra I he could take physics while concurrently pursuing AoPS Algebra. Kiddo is a pure math kid at heart and learned how to write proofs with Jurgensen at 9. I did not think kiddo would be ready but kiddo was. Sometimes it happens!
  10. Wouldn't bet on bolded, unfortunately. I don't think different UC campuses talk to each other let alone have admissions take time to tease out nuances between PS, homeschool charter student, and homeschool PSA student but they do seem to be taking note that PSA homeschoolers do things differently and that these PSA students have lots more room to carve their path purposefully. Don't forget, your student also has 4 essays in which to write their story, hopes, goals, pathway, etc. The personal insight questions carry a lot of weight. Every admission talk I attended at UC stressed them over and over again. At the very least, that section is read holistically even if the rest of the charter school student's academic history section mimics what PS kids do.
  11. Sorry just saw this. Calming Tea, I'm glad you called and that they were able to reassure you. I'd like to know who the homeschool specialist is. That sounds like a cover-my-behind reply if there ever was one. ? My suggestion is to apply widely to all the UCs but if she is dead set on UC Davis, is there something else she can do in the way of summer programs at the campus, for example? It's no guarantee but it shows them her interest in the campus and they will very likely take note of it at least. I can explain to you many times that homeschoolers have been accepted without dotting every i and crossing every t but I understand the doubts and concerns you have that she might end up being the exception. If she doesn't test well I would recommend lots of essay practice to fine tune her story the best she can. Make it real. Make it heartfelt. And to take DE classes she loves and perform very well in them. Given what happened this year, it's really hard to say with UCs. But they do consider PSA homeschoolers and their unique stories. You only have this one chance to homeschool this child of yours. Don't second guess the message in your siggy. ?
  12. Berkeley at 14 (with concurrent enrollment at 13). Community college at 11. ?
  13. Happy CC, are you saying that you are not with a charter school? If you are not and you are filing your own PSA, you do not need to worry about taking A-G approved classes. UC will assess your students' applications primarily by exam while UC Berkeley and UCLA and possibly a couple others will assess them via holistic factors as well.
  14. Unfortunately I don't remember it. We might have missed it as we don't do books cover to cover here. We used it in a small group setting with another parent leading discussions. I'm not a physics geek! But I liked the way it was presented with examples and thoughtful questions.
  15. We used Derek Owens Honors Physics when kiddo was 9. For kiddo, it was a good program and went at the pace kiddo was comfortable with so that kiddo could spend more time on math. We used lots of living books type resources too and kiddo's dad would help with deep questions and wondering alouds. But I get how Derek Owens might not fit every kid. Does he have an option now to speed up the videos by any chance? And yes, his homework problems can feel like plug and chug (hmm, not always though because I am sure my kiddo would have complained if so). Chapter 2 is hard. It's a very long chapter. I wrote to Derek to ask if kiddo could skip Chapter 2 and move on to Chapter 3 and he was happy to oblige. Kiddo went back and finished Chapter 2 much later. It wasn't an issue for kiddo to understand Chapter 3 without having finished Chapter 2.
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