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Ruth in Canada

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  1. DD was in that boat. Enthusiastic about the concept of college, but overwhelmed by all of the logistics of getting there. I helped out more than I expected to. She's now happily starting her year at the college of her choice, wildly enthusiastic. However, if she had not been enthusiastic, we would have encouraged her to find something else to do this year. Where we live, it's not unusual for kids to do a 5th year of high school--so we could have stretched high school out, or had a transition year at the local university, or she could have found a job or traveled.
  2. but I also have the set of tests. We haven't needed any supplements or websites, but both dh and I are comfortable teaching math. --Ruth
  3. There's usually a free trial for homeschoolers--I can't remember where that is now, however. I don't recommend Aleks as a primary curriculum because I think it doesn't provide the "big picture" and I think the problems are too repetitive. But if you are trying to figure out what skills are missing, or to reinforce skills that are weak, this is a good way to go, I think. Aleks can also be used independently, which would be helpful in your situation. MUS is also another option. It's not as in depth as other options, but at this point you don't have time for depth. (You probably also don't have a kid who needs depth.) I know a lot of people swear by Lial's books, but I don't have any experience with them. I would not use Jacobs or Foerster's books--they are more in depth than you need or want at this point.
  4. We did not do any fine arts because our kids were so heavily involved in music. We did count music credits because our kids are using the Royal Conservatory of Music curriculum, including theory, and taking exams. I don't know that you need a full half credit for key boarding. My kids practiced 15 minutes a day or so from a very young age. I'd make this informal--leaving time for theory. Often English and grammar and comp are combined for a single credit. You say these courses are mandatory--but is it a school that you've chosen? Would you consider other choices?
  5. and perhaps then to work on improving reading speed. We've been assuming both dc are excellent readers, but I recently had reason to wonder if we should at least screen ds for slow reading speed.
  6. This is a university level book--dd found it a stretch in grade 9, but grew into it. We are using it over 4 years, which leaves plenty of time to supplement with other material. I think you could use this book over 2 years with an older high school student. I'm fairly certain they only use parts of it for a 1 semester university course--it's available in several parts for those courses. I haven't used the other books, so I can't comment on them. I selected this because I wanted world, not western, coverage, and wanted something we could use comfortably over the full 4 years.
  7. This is a university-level text--we are using it over 4 years, supplementing with whatever interesting stuff we can find. It was a stretch in grade 9, but now works quite well.
  8. I think dsygraphia can have a variety of symptoms. In ds's case, he's good speller and reader, and his handwriting is very clear--but also very slow. A year of occupational therapy, and teaching him to write in cursive rather than print, helped, but not enough to bring his handwriting speed up dramatically. We also (still) do a lot of school work orally, but I want dd to do at least some writing every day. Not enough to get frustrating, but enough to get some writing practice in. In our case, teaching our kids to type has been a huge help. We started fairly early because we could tell handwriting was going to be an issue. Now in their teens, they type easily--making written schoolwork much easier.
  9. Just in case you are wondering, there are no "stellar, self-directed, over achievers" in my house. I wish there were, but parental pushing is what keeps things moving, at least for those under 16 or so.
  10. I really appreciate the help provided by people like Lori who've worked with lots of kids.
  11. I'm realizing that what I'm really trying to decide is if we do these topics again at the Foerster pre-calculus level. We've already covered most of them once in either algebra I or II or in physics. I like your quote, Lori--but there's also the quote "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink." It's hard to convince dd that she really should be doing these topics when she will have 2 years more math than required for an Ontario liberal arts candidate! (Three years are required by everyone--engineering/science candidates take another two math courses in grade 12.)
  12. I've just cross-checked Foerster's Pre-Calculus against the Ontario math curriculum. In Ontario, one apparently does not learn about matrices, fractals, conic sections, quadric surfaces, polar coordinates or complex numbers. (Well, I think polar coordinates are mentioned briefly--but barely). These are chapters 11, 12 and 13 of Foerster's Precalculus. I'm wondering how important these topics are now for 1) anyone and 2) a kid who is very unlikely to take more than a statistics or data management course at the university level. Matrices must be less useful now that we have powerful calculators. Fractals weren't really around back when I was going to school. Polar coordinates are needed in physics or electrical engineering--but I think I learned that topic in a university calculus class. What do you think? I don't really want to put this kid through more math than necessary--or, more precisely, I'd rather use extra time, if we have it, for more work on financial calculations and statistics, which I think she'll use more often. We will do at least an intro do calculus next year--but in Ontario that just means derivatives.
  13. I tease my daughter about how she's helping me keep my mind young by working on physics, math, etc. I do the even problems and compare them to her answer. Solutions would be nice sometimes. This doesn't bother us too much--I am a physics major and dh did lots of kinetics as part of his mechanical engineering job. Do you have a friend who might help if you get stuck? I find myself increasingly helping kids of friends with math and quite enjoy it.
  14. KB Physics comes in 3 levels: conceptual, principles and scientists and engineers. I'm told the conceptual level is a bit more mathy than Hewitt--but I don't actually know that. "Principles" assumes comfort with trig--I'm not sure you want that yet. I did not get the hard copy text book--a pdf of the hard copy book comes with the CD version. I got the CD (rather than on-line access) so we could use it for longer than a year.
  15. We are using Hewitt's Physics w/ ds, who is in grade 8, has done algebra I and is working on Jacobs Geometry. We have the high school level book because that was what was available. (We used the university level Conceptual Chemistry book in grade 7 without any problem, so it may not matter what you get.) I'm not worrying about labs because we'll do physics again later. We add in videos from the internet for fun--I'm surprised how much is out there. I'm not going to consider this high school level work because he won't need the science credits and it's not the high school level work a university would expect to see from a science/engineering major. I'm doing Kinetic physics with dd (grade 11)--their middle (algebra) level. This assumes trig. She did Hewitt's physics in grade 8 and is currently doing Foerster's pre-calculus for math. I have the Kinetic Physics Labs CD and plan to add some real life labs as well. We'll see where ds is when he gets to that age--I may attempt the calculus-level course with him because it may fit his goals better.
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