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jplain

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  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. FYI, PA Homeschoolers has a new AP Spanish Language & Culture teacher. https://www.aphomeschoolers.com/cgi-bin/choose.pl?class=apspanish 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. https://sites.google.com/site/spanishlearningonline/
  4. 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: https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/register-for-ap-exams https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/ap-coordinators/administer-exam
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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) http://www.tobefluent.com/2013/07/24/destinos/ 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 https://www.learner.org/series/destinos-an-introduction-to-spanish/ A comprehensive compilation of resources, including the audio files needed for both text and workbook, can be found here: https://destinostelenovela.wordpress.com I was able to find cheap copies of the printed materials. Amazon, eBay, gettextbooks.com, 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 (https://oli.cmu.edu/courses/elementary-french-i-independent-paid/). 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Thanks for your thoughts! I’m glad to hear that your daughter did this successfully without a formal course. I suppose we could do the same, probably using BtB and French in Action, unless I can convince my Vista Higher Learning rep to give me teacher access to their French texts (very unlikely). I even have a French in Action textbook and workbook waiting patiently on a shelf, intended for my future self’s use, but maybe I can share. I’m considering an online class mostly to protect my Spanish study time. This kid sucks me in to all of her studies, LOL. And French would not be a hard sell. My other thought was to nudge her to pick up OSU German instead, because my older daughter is hoping to add that in the fall . . . then it could be their thing together.
  14. My 8th grader will be finishing up Ray Leven’s Spanish 3 this spring, and though she’ll be continuing Spanish, she’s also toying with the idea of adding French. I did the same, and my experience was that after a month of French 1, learning pronunciation and spelling rules, I was moved up to French 2. Prior Spanish experience meant I had acquired loads of cognates, and the grammar was very similar. I suspect it’ll be the same (or worse) with this kid. We had a tough time finding a Spanish 1 class that moved quickly enough for her last year. She hated the first two online Spanish 1 classes she tried. Ray Leven’s classes have been (just barely, lol) fast enough for her. Can anyone recommend an online French class that might be a good fit? Or is there something like Homeschool Spanish Academy for French? A college-pace course would seem the obvious solution, but our local community college only offers ASL and Spanish. We do use LiveLingua for Spanish conversation, and they do have French tutors, but they don’t provide a structured curriculum. Thanks!
  15. My 8th grader will be finishing up Spanish 3 this spring, and though she’ll be continuing Spanish, she’s toying with the idea of adding French. I did the same, and my experience was that after a month of French 1, learning pronunciation and spelling rules, I was moved up to French 2. My Spanish experience meant I had acquired loads of cognates, and the grammar was very similar. I suspect it’ll be the same (or worse) with this kid. We had a tough time finding a Spanish 1 class that moved quickly enough for her last year. She hated the first two online Spanish 1 classes she tried. Ray Leven’s classes have been (just barely, lol) acceptable to her. Can anyone recommend an online French class that might be a good fit? I’m a big fan of teachers who put a lot of emphasis on correct pronunciation and spelling, but aside from that she will want to move quickly. The local community college is unfortunately not an option; ours only offers ASL and Spanish. Or is there something like Homeschool Spanish Academy for French? We use LiveLingua for Spanish conversation, and they do have French tutors, but they don’t provide a structured curriculum. Thanks!
  16. We have had positive experiences with both Dale Gamache and Ray Leven. My older daughter took Gamache’s class for Spanish 1-3 and Leven’s class for Spanish 4 and (currently) AP Spanish Language & Culture. She took the Spanish CLEP test (free via Modern States) right after Spanish 4, and she scored 79/80. My younger one started with Leven because she already had a pretty solid base and wanted a smaller class size and faster pace than Gamache offers. The downside is that Leven’s class only meets 1 hour per week, while Gamache’s meets a total of about 3 hours per week (and costs less too). Both kids also regularly practice conversational skills via Skype with a Mexican tutor employed by LiveLingua. This has immensely improved their ability to use the language, and both kids are well on their way to functional fluency. I’m a big fan of the textbook series Gamache & Leven use. They both use Vista Higher Learning texts, which have excellent online components. The transition from Gamache Spanish 3 to Leven Spanish 4 was seamless.
  17. Here’s my list of steps: 1. Search AP Course Ledger to determine which schools have been offering the course in recent years. https://apcourseaudit.inflexion.org/ledger/ 2. Call College Board and ask for the AP Coordinator contact info for each school of interest: 888-225-5427. They should provide you with a name, phone number, and email address. It’s fine to skip this step and call the school directly, but I wouldn’t advise it. In some schools the front office staff tend to act as gatekeepers, and they may incorrectly claim that their school does not allow outside exam-takers. 3. Contact the school AP Coordinators directly. Schools are encouraged but not required to accept outside students, so be very nice about it! My email mentioned the test my daughter wants to take and asked if the school would be willing to host her for the exam. I also asked about the exam fee and deadline. (Host schools are allowed to charge a proctoring fee for outside students. Our experience: last year’s school charged $6, but this year’s school charges nothing.) Our school’s deadline is October 25. 4. After receiving payment, the host school’s AP Coordinator should generate an exam-only section code and provide it to the student. That code should be entered in the student’s College Board account. This is the step that auto-populates the documents that will be sent to the school, so there shouldn’t be any need to go in and pre-fill out stickers like my daughter did last year. 5. Our host school says they’ll be back in touch in April to provide final exam-day details. She’s taking an AM exam, so the school expects her to be there no later than 7:30. If we haven’t heard by May 1, I’ll have my daughter reach out to the AP Coordinator. Note that schools may be able to order exams for courses they do not currently offer, but most probably won’t. The school we used last year says they’re willing to order and proctor the AP Spanish Language exam for my kid, even though they haven’t taught the course in a few years (they switched to IB). However, the world language AP exams have a lot of moving parts (audio listening and voice recording), so I decided to arrange testing with another school that administers that exam every year.
  18. Pages 35-36 of this document detail the procedures for homeschoolers, independent learners, and students whose schools don’t offer AP exams: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/pdf/ap-coordinators-manual-part-1-2019-20.pdf Because I went through Course Audit and was given a join code, my daughter has joined my class section in MyAP, the same way a virtual provider’s student would join the virtual school’s class section using the join code provided by the instructor. The AP coordinator at our test site will provide a second exam-only code for exam registration purposes, and my daughter will enroll in that class section in MyAP as well. (Crossing fingers this goes smoothly. We have the added complication of needing digital audio submission since she’s taking a foreign language AP exam. Considering prayers to the patron saint of homeschoolers — we must have one, right? The school seems confident, but they don’t normally offer foreign language AP exams. I may have to scramble to find another site if the coordinator turns out to be clueless about proctoring and submitting the recording. Eek!) So to sum up, my daughter will be enrolled in two sections: my class and the exam-only section at her exam site. The exam-only section will allow the AP coordinator to order her exam. My class will give her access to the AP Classroom materials, and it will also direct the score report to me.
  19. So far so good. I just logged in to my teacher account and created my class. That generated a join code that my daughter will have to use when she logs on to join my class. She’s outta town at the moment, so I’m still not sure if she’ll use my join code or her exam site’s “exam only” code to register for the actual exam.
  20. I can’t be entirely sure, but I suspect the new system that opened up today will prevent me from seeing other homeschoolers’ scores in the future. After logging in to my teacher account, I had to create a class for each subject, and a join code was generated. My daughter will need to use that join code to join my classes and get access to online materials. I’m not sure yet whether she’ll use that same code to register for the exam, or whether she’ll be using an “exam-only” code provided by the AP Coordinator at her test site.
  21. Thanks for posting this! I wonder if my having gone through Course Audit changes anything . . . Hopefully all will become clear after August 1, when the new teacher resources are supposed to be made available.
  22. Homeschooling parents don’t have the option of requesting a unique school code. When going through Course Audit, both last year and this year I had to register as [My State] Home School. The code is a homeschool-specific code for my state. I, too, am surprised that we have access to other homeschoolers’ scores. Personally, my kid and I don’t care if her scores are visible to others, but I completely understand that others may feel very differently. As it turns out, my daughter was the only homeschooler in our state who took the AP Computer Science A exam this year (or perhaps just the only one who took it without using an online provider code). I was relieved not to see other students’ scores.
  23. Students still have to wait for their designated score release date, but if you went through the Course Audit procedure as a homeschool educator and your student used the state homeschool code as their school code, all scores are available today. Go to https://scores.collegeboard.org/ and log in to your educator account to access them. 😁
  24. My daughter read both Lombardo and the newer translation by Emily Wilson. She really enjoyed Wilson’s translation. https://www.amazon.com/Odyssey-Homer/dp/0393089053 https://www.npr.org/2017/12/02/567773373/emily-wilsons-odyssey-scrapes-the-barnacles-off-homers-hull (She read Fagles and Lattimore for the Iliad, so she wanted to mix it up and give Lombardo a try for Odyssey.)
  25. The Spanish language courses taught by Bill Worden are quite good. I first checked the level 1 course out of our library, but have since subscribed to Great Courses Plus. If looking for supporting materials beyond the slim course workbook, the Vistas or Descubre texts from Vista Higher Learning are a good fit. (Not surprising, since Prof. Worden has taught from the Vistas text.) https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/learning-spanish-how-to-understand-and-speak-a-new-language.html
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