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Everything posted by UmmIbrahim

  1. https://www.zdf.de/kinder/logo It was actually ZDF and not DW that hosts the program. It still seems to be active.
  2. My oldest ds also took German as his main foreign language throughout high school. He did one year DE at the local cc, but then finished German 3 and 4 with WTMA. He really liked both of those classes (he used the Sag Mal materials at the CC and then the geni@l klick materials (by Klett) at WTMA). The Klett materials were pretty much all in German, but he enjoyed them because he thought the readings and cultural notes were interesting. I had another son start with German 1 (no previous exposure) using those same books (all in German) at WTMA another year (he ended up swapping languages after that, but did learn a lot during his German 1 class), and he didn't find the materials to be a problem. I think as long as there is support and other outside exposure, using all German materials shouldn't be a stumbling block even for beginners. You could always purchase another used series that has more English in it if you think that your student is turned off by those "immersion-style" textbooks. One resource that my oldest really enjoyed was watching Logo on Deutsche Welle. It is a news program geared for kids, so they would bring up topics that kids would enjoy and used simpler language. They release a new episode daily (I think?), so that's a good resource that he liked. There are also plenty of online TV shows/etc. available that students can start listening to from the beginning, even when they don't understand much. It's good to start hearing the rhythms and rewarding when you can pick out words that you know as you learn more. My oldest has surprised me by wanting to continue his German studies in college, and is having a lot of fun learning more this year. He may end up studying abroad at some point if his interest continues, so I'd say he was happy with his German experiences in high school that prepared him to study the language further in college. Good luck with the course. I hope the class improves, but keep in mind that a beginner will benefit from approaching the language from lots of different angles, so make sure you are watching media (try out Logo) and building vocabulary (my guys all like Quizlet) as you go. You can even throw in an app or two like duolingo. The more you build a habit of daily exposure, the more successful you will be with the new language.
  3. That's what we did. Once you get their accounts set up, you will just need to enter the join codes that your host school gives you for each of the exams that they will be taking this year. Once you enter the codes, it should display the exam dates and the testing location on the College Board site. If you are taking these AP classes with an online provider, you will also enter the code that they give you to have access to the online prep materials. If you are self studying, it's pretty easy to do a course audit (I did it for the first time this year) to get a syllabus approved, and then you can manage online practice problems, videos, etc. for them as a part of your class.
  4. Definitely agree with this. We had an absolutely exceptional Precalc prof at the CC last year, and I have to wonder how they continue to allow him to run such a great class. He covered lots of extra content (even Gauss-Jordan Elimination and other side topics that not all courses get to), and, unfortunately, way more than half of the class failed. The students (often remedial who were not able to start at the CC with calculus) could not manage the pacing as well as the exams. He was amazing as a teacher, but probably a really bad fit for what the students at that level needed. Most CC precalc classes are not going to be run in such a rigorous manner that would yield those kind of failure rates!
  5. In this particular case, they are all PCR tests (they are not doing rapid testing at all that I know of). The students are getting the results a day or so after going for testing.
  6. Thank you for this thread (loved crying through those poems!). I've been having a hard time to adjusting to not having my oldest at home. I didn't realize quite how hard it was going to be! Having my two younger sons still here is helping some, but DH and the other boys are not outwardly as sad as I am, so I've been more private about my feelings. Thus far, the best coping strategy for me has been to have the "Find My" app to show me my son's location at any time. It's fairly accurate on his campus, so I can see when he's going for dining, when he's in his dorm, when he's at various classes (I can even see that he's been attending all of his 8:30 AM classes, lol!), etc. Knowing vaguely where he is has made me feel a lot better, and it scratches my "where is my child" itch without my needing to text him excessively. We always homeschooled and the only time he was ever away from home was a 2 week summer program. So having one of my flock gone has been such a huge adjustment. Of course it is hard for everyone, but I think that the homeschooling component and ALWAYS being around them is a difficult thing to lose. It also helps that I can tell that he's having the time of his life in so many ways, so I'm trying to keep that in mind. Hang in there and take heart in knowing that you are definitely not alone. It sounds like your DS is already doing a great job of giving updates so that you can share his excitement in the experience, so that's a great thing!
  7. Definitely. I think perhaps orientation week was a contributing factor. Initially, masks were not required in common areas of the dorms, and dining halls were open for eating in groups. It is also worth noting that the overall state-wide numbers have been terrible despite the university having good policies with required vaccination and masking. The new variant is just so contagious. Another potential factor–all students on campus last year who received their vaccines on campus in the spring were given J&J. The rationale was that there wasn't time for a full course of the two dose mRNA vaccines before the end of the academic year (and this was, of course, all pre-delta). Additionally, international students this year were given J&J upon arrival to minimize the amount of time they would need to be isolated from the general student population while waiting for the vaccination to become effective. Vaccines are thus far preventing serious cases 100%, but there are lots of different variables in the mix that I'm sure they will continue to study and evaluate with regards to breakthrough cases.
  8. DS's school has been modifying the policy as the situation has been changing. This is the second week of classes. His campus is vaccination required (99% of students vaccinated) and they have surveillance testing for all students, faculty, and staff more than once a week (I'm not sure of the exact frequency, but I feel like DS is going for a test at least every 4 days or so). They are also mask required. As the case numbers have increased, the mask requirements have increased, and now students and faculty must wear masks everywhere (indoor and outdoor) except for their personal dorm rooms. This last week, there were 350-360 positive tests (out of more than 15,000 students). The vast majority of the cases were asymptomatic, and a tiny minority of the positive cases had mild cold symptoms (again, they are all (or essentially all) vaccinated). Students who test positive are quarantined in local hotels for ten days. After this burst of positive cases, the university has switched dining to "to go" options only and offered professors the option to conduct classes virtually if they are not comfortable teaching in person. All of DS's profs are remaining in-person, and he is absolutely thrilled about this. Office hours and study groups are proceeding mostly as normal, with continued masking everywhere. We'll see how things proceed, but DS is feeling good about things so far!
  9. No kidding. My less than keen readers would love a detective fiction class. We are totally doing that next year. Love getting all these ideas!
  10. My son's school has had a few more updates to their policies. In addition to full vaccination requirements, initial testing, and mandatory weekly testing, they have expanded the mask wearing requirements to include common areas in the dorms (previously, mask wearing was required in all buildings except the dorms). So far, my son said student compliance is high in his dorm, at least, so going well thus far. For students attending pre-orientation programs (a fairly small number), I think something like 4 or 5 had initial positive covid tests. Medical school students also started at the university last week, and there were something like 25 initial positive tests (this was a larger pool of students). We'll see how many of the first-year students end up with positive tests (don't have those numbers out yet because move-in was on Tuesday). The upperclassmen will be coming to campus slightly later.
  11. Lol, I kept thinking it would be nice if I could award a credit for "College Application Essay Writing" because my son spent SO MUCH TIME during the Fall semester writing all of those supplemental essays. Edits, revisions, and then just a huge list of schools to apply to. Oof. Hang in there! Congrats on finishing so much of your part nice and early, though. I was scrambling with my paperwork and did not finish things in a timely manner, so good for you!
  12. That's probably what I was remembering. I assume that I saw the 6% getting a 5 number at some point and made incorrect conclusions about that. It is probably likely that a larger pool of weaker physics students take this exam when they don't go ahead with Physics C, and that would skew the numbers. Oh I would definitely not call Physics 1 and 2 easy! Our friend found it to be a very challenging class and ended up taking just Physics 1 in the year instead of doubling up because of the rigor. That friend used the class as a first year introductory course, and he is taking AP Physics C (via DE plus the exam) this year as a secondary, advanced physics course. He expects to find Physics C to be easier than it would be as a first physics course because of all of the conceptual and problem solving ability built in the Physics 1 class. If we had had time, I think my older son could have really benefitted from a Physics 1 class as a first year introduction to the concepts prior to jumping in at the deep end with Physics C. Unfortunately, we ran out of time in the schedule (he was crazy for chemistry and ended up taking 3 credits of that instead of doing 2 for chem and 2 for physics), so he only got one year of physics overall. I'm doing a better job in juggling the course progression with my middle son, so he's taking Jetta's physics class this year (even though he's already had AP Calculus AB), because I think he will enjoy the subject more if he builds a conceptual foundation first. I expect that we may supplement with some Physics 1 problem sets/resources along the way as well. If he enjoys the subject, we would take Physics C in a subsequent year. I probably got the impression that Physics 1 wouldn't give credit at many places because I was looking at STEM majors in a small sampling of schools. As evidenced in this thread, tons of schools do give college credit for Physics 1, so I was definitely wrong there!
  13. My ds left for a pre-orientation program this last Monday. He is having an absolute blast so far, which I hope will carry him through in the event that things end up in bad shape during the semester. He already took a gap year, so he's got to make it work, even if things revert to primarily virtual. Right now, his university is requiring both vaccination as well as entry COVID testing for all students upon arrival. The original plan for on-campus buildings was to not require masks in classrooms for vaccinated students (i.e. basically all except for a teeny tiny percentage of medical exceptions), but that has just been modified. Everyone must wear masks at all times in all on-campus buildings except for the dorms. Some of the kids are bummed about needing to wear masks in the gym, but most are happy that classes are going forward as in-person sections. We'll see how things play out this year!
  14. Oh this is really good to know. I was not reading the score cancellation policy correctly AT ALL. I guess that mention of the 15th and cancelling before then had me misinterpreting cancellation as something done without seeing the scores. I'm slow! We never used any of the free score sends with my older son for his applications because he just self-reported the scores on his Common/Coalition app. Then we only sent them to one school after acceptance. Thank you so much for sharing! That may cause my son to be more adventurous and "chuck" a few exams to try new things knowing that he could cancel any scores he doesn't like. So useful to know.
  15. Okay, I'm curious how you use this, because I was familiar with the option to cancel scores prior to knowing the score (i.e. the kid is pretty sure they bombed the exam before scoring and know they want to cancel), but the withholding thing is confusing me. It says by June 15 of the year you take the exam you can withhold the score from a particular school or scholarship. My first question would be about the date. We didn't have scores by June 15 of this year. Does this mean that you withhold your score preemptively, sight unseen from any school that you may not want to send it to down the road? Like if we don't know where we will apply, do we just pay the fee to withhold from schools that are future maybes to have control over the score in the future? And we would pay this fee for every exam and school separately to be able to control the score releases individually for each exam? I'm really curious how to use this in practice to maybe try out a wider variety of exams without being stuck with low scores if a few of them don't "click."
  16. We had a homeschool friend of ours take Physics 1 and 2 with Kernion last year. Our friend is really into physics, but was juggling a lot of DE courses at the same time, so the combination Physics 1 and 2 quickly got out of hand for him in terms of workload. This is a kid who is very strong in math and was taking calculus simultaneously, but still found the pace to be extremely challenging. This is, of course, a YMMV kind of a situation, and a lot will depend on what other rigorous classes your child has scheduled for next year. Kernion will allow students who are trying to combine 1 and 2 in one year to drop back and then join the slightly slower paced class which just covers Physics 1 throughout the year. Our friend ended up "dropping back" and just completing Physics 1 by the end of the year. Even so, his mother mentioned to me that many weekends were needed to catch up with all of the work at various points throughout the year. So keep in mind that "just" doing Physics 1 in one year is by no means light. Kernion is also generally easygoing, in our experience (my oldest son took Physics C with him a few years ago), so I don't think you have to worry about an overly strict instructor. Most of the work of the course is done independently using his website and pre-recorded videos. Back when we took Physics C, there was just a live class every other week for an hour, so it wasn't a ton of "class time." For our family, looking back, we wish we had saved the extra money and just bought the self-paced version of the course (which is basically the same thing minus the live lectures and grading) from his website (physics prep) instead of doing it through PA Homeschoolers. A lot of that preference will depend on how your student likes to work. Regarding the AP Physics 1 exam itself, if I'm remembering correctly, it tends to have one of the harshest grading curves for getting a 5. (Certainly double check on that). It might be enough for your purposes to take the course to show rigor or as a sort of preview for taking AP Physics C in the future, but then not take the exam at the end. I don't know of many (any?) colleges that would give credit for an algebra-based physics class, so the exam probably isn't going to do anything for you unless you are really counting on it to be your only outside testing or have some other reason that you really want to pursue this particular exam. Finding a testing site for Physics 2 was particularly challenging for my friend, because that one is really not offered many places and can be somewhat difficult to find a seat to test. Of course, since they ended up dropping the Physics 2 exam in favor of just covering Physics 1 for the whole year, that became a moot point. Good luck in planning your year. Also, again, if I'm remembering this right, the first unit of Kernion's courses are available for free on his website as a sort of "preview," so if you are really chomping at the bit to get your student started working with the material, you don't have to wait for an email confirmation to start the content.
  17. Hard agree. The same thing happened to us. I hadn't done the research before my son's first SAT sitting, so I just figured "Sure! Go ahead and take the writing section too." Lol, big mistake. Luckily, we were able to ditch the scores from that administration entirely, because he did better later (and none of our schools required reporting all scores), but we should have looked into things first!
  18. I don't know anything about the PERT test, but my oldest had a somewhat similar placement situation when he was preparing for his first dual enrollment classes. He had completed Algebra 2 at that point, but never had any precalc/trigonometry. The placement test told him that he should skip directly into calculus I. We laughed about it, and he just signed up for the second precalculus class at our cc (which was the trig precalc... the first one at our cc is pretty much the same as algebra 2). He thinks he just did a good job of eliminating answer choices based on applying what he did know, but it was a pretty inaccurate placement result. I wouldn't put much stock in a placement test, and I would place your student in the first level that will present new concepts (whatever will cover algebra 2)
  19. Definitely agree with this. Being a "joiner" in lots of public school extracurricular clubs doesn't buy you anything in competitive admissions nowadays. They want to see you starting stuff/leading and following your passions. "Spiky" students are definitely "in" right now. Your daughter sounds very spiky, so this is great for some of the schools that you are considering. I'm sure she has a compelling story about her passions and dance, and the Inspektor summer class should help her produce a really great essay! My son was so happy with how his came out after that class. As homeschoolers, we would sometimes lament not having lots of clubs to join. Before we learned more about modern competitive admissions trends, we thought (like most homeschoolers in our area) that we needed more volume in the extracurriculars with lots of random volunteering/service sprinkled here and there willy nilly. Because of the lack of organizations to join, my oldest son just had to create clubs/groups for what he really wanted to do (he had two main extracurricular passions and he built groups to share those with). He absolutely did not fill up all of his ten extracurricular slots on the common app and wondered how that would look, but things ended up going very well. We concluded that they'd rather see the initiative in going out and starting something than just ten slots filled with joining something. We stumbled on to the reality that it's really more about quality and commitment over time to a few activities than a laundry list of many. Not to say that students with massive lists of clubs don't go to competitive schools, but I think it really ends up being more about your narrative and showing what you've done.
  20. Ahh... gotcha. Yep, they just seem to be adding sections to some of the high school-level sciences, but no luck with the middle school physics. Good luck in finding something that will work for you!
  21. Just this morning I noticed that they added some new sections of a few science classes. Physics has a new section listing with 14 spaces open, and they added a new biology teacher. Thought I'd throw it out there in case you are really interested in the physics class.
  22. We used both the Common App and the Coalition App for my oldest son's application process. He found them to be equally simple to fill out, no spam emails were generated (this is not at all like when you tick the box with the college board to let universities contact you directly!), and it was nice to not have to reinvent the wheel by repeating demographic information everywhere. I also liked that the teachers my son asked for letters did not have to manage submitting documentation at multiple different universities and potentially having to modify their letters for different prompts/formats. It was one and done (well, two, because of the Coalition, but still not bad). We did have a lot more than three applications though! None of our state schools (we're in VA) are shoo-ins as far as admissions go, so there were no guarantees here regarding apply to a state flagship and be done. It's nice that you still have less cutthroat admissions at your state schools! Seeing just how competitive ours were was VERY surprising to my husband and I, who hadn't really looked at admissions and test score averages in so many years. As others have mentioned, if you just want to take a look, create a dummy email address and see what sorts of information you will be filling out. Then you could always compare it with your state school applications to see what seems easier!
  23. Python is syntactically much easier to learn for beginning programmers, so some students might find it to be a less intimidating entry to coding in general. It is, however, in no way necessary to learn Python first, and some kids might not enjoy switching from one language to another and having to learn a whole new set of syntax and methodologies. I've done it two different ways with my older two kids (one had some Python exposure first, the other did not), but that was more a matter of circumstance and opportunities that we found along the way. My youngest son really wants to do AP CSA next year and just wants to jump straight in with Java. He's started messing around with the free, online Runestone (AP CSAwesome) materials on his own, and isn't finding the Java syntax to be overwhelming. I'd say just go with what the particular child wants to do. If you do Java first and find it overwhelming, you could always switch gears, do some Python first to build confidence, then retry with Java again later. There are many roads to coding!
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