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About jplain

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  1. Happy surprise here — my 11th grader got a 5 on AP Spanish Language & Culture. 😊
  2. Thanks! I know Jody Best’s class filled last year, so I’m surprised no one around here seems to have feedback! I’m certain mine isn’t ready for AP yet. She did all of WWE and has done WWS1&2, but she’s balking at WWS3 and wants a change. Thanks for the Debra Bell recommendation. That might work for next summer — this one is looking pretty full already.
  3. Too lazy to start my own thread, LOL. This one’ll do, since I have the same question!
  4. Same boat. My 11th grader has her last final on Friday. I know her profs did their best, but her online classes were pale shadows of their in-person selves. I am extremely conflicted about sending her back to the middle college in the fall. I would like for the middle college to retain her as a student, because I think they may be in desperate need of per-pupil funding next year. Plus if she decides to attend the state university, there are some advantages to graduating with a state-issued HS diploma. But I’m not going to be pressured into sending her back to campus before I think it is safe, and I don’t want to compromise on the quality of her education. If the principal will let her take one online class per semester at the CC and let us do the rest at home via accredited online course providers (our choices, out of my wallet), that’d work. But I realize a take it or leave it deal like that might be super-insulting.
  5. My 11th grader took AP Spanish Language & Culture this year, and she really wants to take AP Spanish Literature & Culture next year. I’m not prepared to teach it, and she’d rather not self-study, so she is hoping to find a College Board-approved provider. Dual enrollment in a comparable course with a local college is not an option; the CC doesn’t offer Spanish lit, and the closest private college is not accepting single course enrollments right now. I’ve found both Johns Hopkins CTY and One Schoolhouse. The price tags are jaw-dropping, at slightly over $2K after including textbook and AP exam fee, and I’m having no luck finding reviews. Northwestern used to offer it, but no longer does. Several public school systems used to allow non-residents to pay tuition for their distance learning AP Spanish Lit, but the ones I’ve contacted have all changed their policies to exclude out-of-state students. Does anyone know of any other options? Thanks!
  6. FYI, PA Homeschoolers has a new AP Spanish Language & Culture teacher. Ray Leven is still teaching, but only through his own website, and I believe he doesn’t plan to teach AP Spanish Language during the ‘20-‘21 school year.
  7. This is not accurate information. Although College Board administers both the SAT and AP exams, the registration process for them is completely different. AP exam registration is accomplished directly through the school (or test center) hosting the exam. Schools are encouraged but not required to accept outside students when they place their initial exam order in November. There is no way for a student to register online. This year, March 13 is the last possible date for schools to make changes to their November order. It really is too late; school AP administrators are unlikely to go to the trouble of making changes unless they are needed by their own students. However, you can identify possible sites by searching the site listed in my previous post on the topic of securing an exam site for a homeschooler. Other relevant info can be found here:
  8. Older kid is dual-enrolled full time (plus Leven AP Spanish). That means I only have my younger kid to deal with, and it suddenly seems like I have so much more time! I'm actually making progress with my Spanish, and I'm starting to learn Python. I'll be doing AoPS Intro Algebra alongside my younger one. And for fun I'm taking a world architecture class at the community college on one of the evenings my older one (no driver's license yet) has an evening class.
  9. My baby with be a 9th grader! Ray Leven Spanish 4 + conversation practice via LiveLingua French 1 independently (tentatively Espaces 3rd ed., conversation via LiveLingua, adding French in Action mid-year) WTMA Expository Writing III World History (year 2 of 2) using K12's Human Odyssey Funda Funda Academy Biology (+ honors option) Edhesive AP Computer Science A Geometry (not sure yet, considering WTMA's AoPS class, AoPS's online class, AoPS indpendently, or Derek Owens) She also has teen homeschool co-op 1 full day per week, art studio once/week (might increase to twice/week?), robotics twice/week, and weekly YMCA leaders club. Plus she's just joined a folk dance team.
  10. I have no feedback on ACE or SOS, but if you’re open to other options, I’d say Destinos is pretty gentle. Be warned that the (free!) telenovela component is early 90s cheesy. We loved it anyway . . . or maybe partly because of that. Having at least one “classmate” is important for language learning; is a parent or sibling willing to co-learn? Here’s a blog post describing Destinos (not my blog) If using it as a full curriculum rather than a supplement to another curriculum, the student works with the text briefly prior to watching the episode (Preparación), watches the episode, returns to the text for more activities, and then moves on to the consumable Study Guide/Workbook where most of the grammatical instruction is found. The curriculum creators suggest that it be covered in two college semesters: Lessons 1-26 the first semester, and Lessons 27-52 the second semester. At high school pace, you’d cover 1-26 the first year and 26-52 the second year. As far as scope & sequence, I’d say it covers less vocab than many high school texts, but it focuses on the most useful vocab. In terms of grammar topics, by the end it has covered more topics than many high school Spanish 2 curricula, but not at an overly challenging level of depth. Videos are at Annenberg Learner A comprehensive compilation of resources, including the audio files needed for both text and workbook, can be found here: I was able to find cheap copies of the printed materials. Amazon, eBay,, etc. are all good places to search. Textbook 978-0070020696 Study Guide/ Workbook 1 (Lessons 1-26) 978-0070020726 Study Guide/Workbook 2 (Lessons 27-52) 978-0070020733 There are various other teacher-created resources that you can find by searching either the internet or Teachers Pay Teachers.
  11. My state does not require a Notice of Intent letter and does not provide any sort of homeschool status confirmation, so I printed out the hypothetical NOI letter I could have submitted and sent that to College Board. I did not include any info other than name of student, grade level, and a statement that we would be homeschooling in accordance with the applicable state statutes. I don’t believe homeschool educators are allowed to run their approved courses for other people’s children. In that situation, I’d help all of the other parents to go through course audit themselves, using whatever syllabus I chose to use. I’d teach the course, but the other parents would use their own approval letters as authorization to designate the course AP on their children’s transcripts.
  12. My younger daughter is taking Spanish 3 with Leven this year. She’ll continue with him, but also wants to add French next year. So we’re using Getting Started with French this semester, and we’ll officially start French 1 in the fall, with me as co-student. (I took French in high school, but most of it is long gone.) Because we’ve used Vistas (Sr. Gamache) and Descubre (Sr. Leven) texts for Spanish, we’re super comfortable using Vista Higher Learning’s materials. Since I found a couple copies cheap on Amazon with unused codes, we’ll use Espaces 3rd edition + workbook + Supersite (online component including audio & vídeo content). I doubt I’ll be able to get instructor access because the rep assigned to my geographic area says that’s no longer allowed, but that’s okay, we’ll just use the auto-graded online exercises. (Espaces is the same as textbooks D’Accord 1 + 2. D’Accord is packaged for high schools, while Espaces is the same curriculum packaged for colleges. An Espaces online code is good for 3 years, and completion of the entire text would be a solid French 1-3 sequence. An ambitious student could complete it in 2 years. That is my daughter’s current plan, but we’ll see. This is a grammar- and vocab-heavy curriculum, which some students hate, but my kids have done well with that approach for Spanish.) I don’t speak French, so we’ll add weekly conversation sessions, probably with a LiveLingua tutor, but if we don’t find a good fit there we’ll look on iTalki. I’ll probably also purchase access to CMU’s inexpensive courses to use as a secondary resource ( And I’ll likely add French in Action videos at some point, but I understand that many students enjoy it more if they already have a foundation in the language.
  13. I don’t think it’d be a problem. The AP Course Audit is to approve the instructor and syllabus, not the students. Based on my reading of College Board documentation, after AP Course Audit you are allowed but not obligated to use the AP designation on transcripts. Indeed, there are high schools that withhold the AP designation on a student’s transcript if the student chooses not to take the AP exam.
  14. You may still have refund/withdrawal options available via appeal. If the course is clearly not a college-level course, the school could jeopardize their accreditation if they do not fix the problem. Agreeing to withdraw/refund a student currently earning an A should be an easy sell.
  15. My older daughter did Funda Funda Academy’s 5-week Python classes a few years ago, and last year she did Edhesive’s AP Computer Science A (Java-based). She enjoyed both and got a 5 on the AP exam. She thought Funda Funda was accessible for a beginner, but she did have some prior Scratch experience. Recently she’s been going through the Khan Academy programming for fun. She says she’s enjoying picking up bits and pieces that she hadn’t learned elsewhere.
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