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Brad S

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About Brad S

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  1. IMHO a smaller math dept. would be less of an issue for someone interested in applied math than theoretical (or "pure") math. And a smaller dept. is less of an issue if someone's not planning on going to graduate school in math. But if your DS thinks he might want to go into theoretical math in graduate school, a small department could get to be an issue in the last two years, especially with the number of courses he's already taken. For example, if he should become interested in modern algebra research, will there even be someone in the dept. that could guide him in the area, or would there just be someone with background in analysis and someone in applied math? I think that theoretical math presents more of a challenge than some other fields. (Of course, a prof with broad interests and experiences can help with a lot.) Or if the college has another college in town, or is in a larger city with access to other mentors, that could work. If DS is more interested in applications, and not primarily interested in proving theorems, I don't it as a big issue. Even if the specific applications covered in coursework or independent study aren't the top interest, the breadth of experience is more important.
  2. DS was accepted to the two colleges he applied to: 1. University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) 2. North Carolina State University It's nice to have that over with!
  3. From what I read about your goals and student's background, I would probably go with one of the Larson/Larson and Edwards calculus books with the associated videos. You can read my review of many of the books in the pinned Homeschool High School Math post for more detail. The book is one of the clearer texts and the associated videos that I've seen were good, and lots of students have found them very clear and helpful. If you have access to the Teaching Company videos at your library, presented by Edwards, they match the text well and are among the highest rated of all the Teaching Company videos on any subject, sometimes the very highest. The Larson Calculus for AP textbook that snowbeltmom mentioned above would work equally well for a non-AP student; it is written a bit more for a high school student, which I think helps with the transition. There is no need to get the latest version, especially since your student won't be taking the AP test, and it's not essential to be matched exactly to the latest test. The material is very similar. Although Stewart's calculus books are often used in engineering and physical science program, it seems to me that it's more because the material "is in there" as asked for by schools rather than it being a clear text. It seems to me it's a bit like public schools using a specific-state-version of math texts since the company was willing to tailor the text to the state department of public instruction (rather than it being the best-written math text). Given how many colleges use it, however, getting a cheaper earlier version might be useful as a second text if you wanted to do that. Foerster's calculus was mentioned. It's pretty straightforward and seems a reasonable option for a high school student. It doesn't get as far as some of the other texts, so you should be aware of that. That's in stark contrast to his precalculus book which is one of the more advanced precalculus books and pretty complete -- it does a nice job of getting the student ready for calculus. I'm not sure about videos to go along with it. The pinned thread on High School Math may have some videos that go along with the text, but I haven't used those. Thomas was also mentioned. The explanations seem more clear to me than Stewart, and there is an older high school version, but I don't know anything about videos to go along with it. Finally, KhanAcademy.org has free videos and online problems linked with the videos -- I haven't looked at them for awhile, but they were good and getting better. My DS liked the Khan videos better than the AskDrCallahan videos for the two courses we used (though I don't think they're bad at all). I definitely like the texts Dr. Callahan chose for algebra and geometry more than those he chose for algebra 2/trig and calculus.
  4. If this is for an 11 year old, have you tried the logic stage board? A class that might be great for a 13-16 year old, might be a poor choice for a 10-12 year old. An 11 year old can learn a foreign language much better but in a different manner than an older student. Sorry that I don't know of good recommendations, but I hope you find a good class for your DS! On a separate but related note, I certainly agree with the PP that "lots of written work is not going to get us to fluency without lots of conversation time."
  5. FYI, I have a syllabus which was approved this year for AP Statistics using Starnes, Yates, and Moore Practice of Statistics 4th edition. You'd probably want to drop the last three topics on the last page (which are useful, but not essential as part of the AP curriculum). ETA: PM me if you'd like a copy.
  6. Today is the deadline for the current year. The site is down in February, and then they start receiving submissions for the 2017-2018 school year in March.
  7. Thanks to all of you!! You're wonderful!!! FYI, I did submit a syllabus for AP statistics and it was authorized about a day and a half after submission, based on Starnes, et al, 4th edition. For AP Spanish Language and Culture, I submitted a sample syllabus, designated as using a sample syllabus, but haven't received the authorization yet after two days. I've started talking with DS about which AP classes he'll do the following year, and we'll submit them early! We thought he'd just do the AP tests, but I thought it might just be cleaner for college applications to be AP authorized rather than "with AP test." Thanks again!
  8. I'd love to do this, but for statistics, the sample syllabus uses the text 3 editions ago, and it's been heavily reorganized. I think the newer editions are better and easier to use, and I have one, so I made one, which I think is ready to submit...though I'm wondering if there's something I should watch out for....
  9. Yep, it's late in the process. I just decided to seek College Board approval to designate two home-school courses as AP. I had been thinking that DS would just take the AP test, but I've decided that it would be preferable to be able to designate our courses as AP. And, yikes, the deadline is January 31 (yeah, I should have decided on this earlier). Specifically, we're thinking of AP Statistics and AP Spanish Language and Culture, but my question is mostly about general words of wisdom from folks who have been there with submitting any syllabus for AP designation. The content of both courses is similar to what we'd do anyhow, so we don't really have any philosophical problems with the course content needed. There do seem to be, however, a whole lot of boxes to be sure are checked and buzzwords to include! Even though I picked a book which is one of the quasi-approved ones for AP Statistics, the sample syllabi on the College Board website and evaluation criteria seem to indicate that a lot of specific wording needs to be included; I'm not sure if that's recent or not, since some older approved syllabi don't seem to have that level of detail. In any case, I don't want to mess this up for some small detail. For the statistics, I'm confident that the main text (Starnes, et al, 4th ed.) does a good job, and I'm confident in my ability to cover any of the material where needed. I think I'm ready to send this proposed syllabus to the College Board, but I'm hoping you all will be able to provide any tips. Please! I'm thinking of just trying to use an existing syllabus which uses Temas for AP -- but NOT the 67 page one on the Vista Higher Learning website! That's too much. In advance, thank you very much! ETA: links.
  10. These recommendations have the added benefit of linking psychology and economics. IMO more than one or two of Tversky and Kahneman's works would preclude enough time to cover economics with some breadth. From an investing perspective, Jason Zweig has a simpler overview of their findings on psychology which impact finance. The best fairly balanced overview of basic economics I've seen in textbooks is McConnell, et al's Economics, picking the chapters listed as corresponding to their Essentials of Economics book or buying the shorter book if you prefer; the previous edition or one before should be a lot cheaper and not too out of date. If you can stand the multiple grammatical errors in some of the earlier lectures, the Great Courses lectures by Timothy Taylor on Economics (the basic one, not the others by T Taylor) does an excellent job of giving a brief, balanced overview with ample relevant examples, and geared to an older teenage audience. (At least the GC transcripts correct most or all the grammatical errors.) If you'd like a somewhat historical approach which explains how many modern societies have become much wealthier after being extremely poor for most of humanity, you could read Wm Bernstein's Birth of Plenty. If you're somewhat intellectually oriented and want to cover the great economic thinkers over recent centuries, you could read Heilbroner's The Worldly Philosophers. The Economist newsmagazine has a lot of articles which cover economics in current events, which could be used to supplement a class.
  11. I would definitely NOT learn Homeric Greek first if your main goal is to read the New Testament in Greek. It's simply too much work for the payoff. Homer is so far off in time, the vocabulary is more different from the NT than later Attic Greek -- the overlap in style, topic and vocabulary is going to make learning Greek a very long process. Learning either later Attic or Koine would be fine.
  12. We're doing an econ and government course this year (~3/4 econ and 1/4 government due to background in government and none in econ). The Great Courses audios are pretty good if you can get over a number of grammar errors, esp. in a few of the earlier lectures (at least most or all are corrected in the transcript). Timothy Taylor does a very good job of explaining how the material is very relevant and does a commendable job of covering economics without incorporating hidden left or right political biases. I think he makes the material pretty interesting for a high school student or college freshman. Lectures 3 and 5 are probably better covered via a textbook, but it's certainly possible to cover with the accompanying guidebook. We're also using McConnell et al Economics textbook (19th edition); we're covering the chapters which are identified in the inside cover as Essentials of Economics, which is also sold separately. Those chapters and/or the Great Courses lectures cover the basics of microeconomics and macroeconomics to the extent I would consider as the bare minimum I'd consider graduating my DS from high school -- as IMO the minimum acceptable to be a minimally-educated voter. We're also including some weekly readings from The Economist magazine. Beyond these basics a bit, and probably more than you want to do, but we'll include Bernstein's Birth of Plenty for a simple economics history with relevance to today and some readings from Heilbroner's The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times, and Ideas of the Great Economic Thinkers since we're doing a WTM-like Great Books approach to literature to accompany our parallel world history (I got the idea from a syllabus of a high school AP econ course and some things I did in high school). FYI, finally, we'll do a simple economic analysis or two.
  13. DS read Aristotle's Poetics in 9th grade, unabridged. (I did too in high school, and again in Greek in college.) If I were to do it over again for DS, I'd probably have him read the abridged version from the Norton Anthology of World Literature, although in the 2nd edition at least, it's only about 6 pages and I'd prefer a bit more than that. The brief introduction in the Norton Anthology plus the 2 pages in the Guide for Instructors adds some background. DS read several Greek plays, and I would certainly do that again, as I suspect you will be doing. The Great Courses has a pretty good course on Greek Tragedy. While I don't think it's as good as Elizabeth Vandiver's course on The Odyssey, it's pretty good. Another thing I did in high school was read Horace's Ars Poetica alongside Aristotle's Poetics and analyze them, which was somewhat useful if you're really into that stuff. This may not be exactly what you're looking for, but it's the best I can do and I don't see anything else posted yet. Best wishes. ETA: I would take a close look at the translation/edition of the Poetics you're using. A literal translation of the lecture notes, which the Poetics appears to be, can be unnecessarily challenging and awkward to read. I don't have a particular recommendation of an edition, but I would preview whatever you use a bit.
  14. I'm not familiar with the two courses, but ancient Greek is a general term I'd apply from the time of Homer through the end of the time of everyday usage of Koine Greek. If you're learning the classical Greek of Athens in the time of Plato or Aristotle, going to Koine Greek is very straightforward as Koine as it followed from that period only a few years later with the conquests of Alexander the Great. It's perhaps somewhat simpler going from the classical Greek of Athens to Koine than vice versa, but, as the previous post said, it doesn't really matter much at the beginning. I'd go for what's easier to use. IMO starting from Homeric Greek before Koine Greek (Koine was widely used from approx 330 BC to AD 300 and beyond) would be a lot of extra work if your primary goal is to read the New Testament in Greek. By the way, if you're going to read the New Testament in Greek, an excellent book, in English, about the text of the New Testament is The Text of the New Testament by Metzger and Ehrman. If you get an earlier edition, you'll still get the main ideas. Best wishes in your study.
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