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Julie in MN

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Everything posted by Julie in MN

  1. I voted for what my kids have done, but not what I would have preferred they'd done. My preference seems to be a European model, focusing on school and family and perhaps volunteering, and not driving. However, my boys especially wanted to work and their dad supported that. Reid has had 3 jobs at once for the last year or two (cash register, electronic advertising signs at high school sports games, and occasional industrial duct cleaning with a relative), and it does interfere with his schooling success. He usually gets jobs through friends or vice versa. We live in an edge-of-city suburb with retail surrounding us, there are 3 Target stores and 5 McDonalds within biking distance of our house (tho none of the high schoolers will go near McDonalds type jobs, it's not cool, mostly Hispanic adults work those jobs). I held them back from getting their drivers license until age 17 (or almost, in one case). They thought not driving at 16 would kill them, and I thought the opposite LOL. I had a girlfriend who was driving when another friend was killed, so that probably skewed my view. I am curious whether European kids are handed money for their needs and wants? Even before the car/gas issue came up, my boys tended to spend their money on things like snowboards/skiing season pass, guitar that they weren't taking seriously enough for me to consider it an instrument, doing things with their friends (fast food, bowling, school dance, etc), and electronics (music, nice phones, computer). In Europe, do studious kids just go without a lot of stuff and outside activities, or do mommy and daddy give them whatever they need? Julie
  2. I have used it. My son did a lot of "real life" government through our homeschool group and our convention, so I added most of Zeezok's video program to round it out. I don't think it's perfect. Sometimes it felt awkward, with things on the teacher CD, and things on the video, and things in the workbook. But pretty much everything feels that way to me sometimes, and if I had created my own, it would have been far more complicated. The lesson plans are pretty straightforward. I liked that it spent a lot of time examining original documents. They are all reprinted in the workbook. You need to buy the workbook to do the course (I didn't at first). There are a lot of quizzes and tests, and my ds didn't do all that great on them, but he was having a bad year and he did this course in spurts over about 1.5 years (11th-12th), so that may be why. Honestly, I don't see how it would be difficult for a 9th grader who was paying attention; maybe some of the original language in the documents is bulky? I had him do an extra credit project to make up for his tests, plus he had those real-life experiences, and I pushed him to do the state gov. portion well - the state portion is mostly research and doesn't of course have answer keys because states vary, but there are lots of things to find out about. The rest of the course has good answer keys on the CD, and there are also full transcripts of the video portion on the CD, so the parent can figure out where the info was presented by a quick scan. It's an American Government course, and doesn't try to cover all world governments, but at the beginning he does a couple of lessons on various forms of government and has them read a few excerpts from England, Greece, etc., and at the end it goes over issues of foreign policy. It's a Christian, conservative course. My guess is that Mr. Spickler has experience teaching in Christian schools. My son got a kick out of him because he said he never says um or ever makes a mistake. I'm not sure what else would be helpful for you. Julie
  3. A couple of things to try. 1. If your right-click paste won't work, can you go to the top of your browser and use edit/paste? 2. There is a feature for pasting in plain text on this board. Maybe you have that turned on? When you are writing a new post, look for the far right button that looks like a white cloud with a red streak coming out of it, left click, and see if the box is checked for plain text? Surely someone more knowledgeable will chime in eventually, Julie
  4. For some reason, the only way I can set up a hyperlink that works is to use my email, so I open a new email, go into the text section, and use "insert" and choose "hyperlink." I fill in the blanks and voila, a hyperlink appears in the email, which I can copy-paste onto websites or whatever. Link to this thread Since it never shows me the coding, I can't help beyond that. Whenever I've tried to code hyperlinks, it seems like different sites use different coding. Or for whatever reason, they never work for me. I'm sure others will give you more technical answers. Julie
  5. Hmm, sounds interesting, too bad my youngest is graduating this year LOL.
  6. I am one of those who thinks Rosetta can be a main high school program. We used the MFW lesson plans, which scheduled all the different Rosetta materials plus added an outside component for cultural exposure etc. By year 2, I start adding more serious things (part of a grammar workbook, and a little time with a French speaker). I'm sure you can see by the posts so far that I'm in the minority. However, I've had a range of experiences with high school foreign language (public schooled kid, homeschooled kid, a third kid who did some foreign language at home and some at public school for a total of 4 years, French exchange student staying in my home) and my opinion is basically this: 1. Students will not become fluent or really remember much at all unless they are exceptionally diligent, working every day, and choosing to investigate whatever they don't get, no matter what materials they use. This includes the foreign exchange students we knew who had EIGHT years of English -- only those who were really passionate could speak a whit. Most students just won't get much more than exposure after several years of high school foreign language, because they aren't immersed and aren't actively pursuing. Of course that includes Rosetta students, where the hype sometimes makes folks think they can sit back and become fluent magically. 2. Textbook-based programs can be difficult to use at home (teacher materials in a foreign language by year 2) and can kill the interest for some students. Of course, #1 again is diligence and passion, and some kids have what it takes. The weakness I see with textbook programs is kids kind of skim over the speaking/listening component, similar to where Rosetta can allow kids to skim over grammar. Even for those young people I know who have college degrees in a foreign language, it seems like kids who gravitate towards textbook programs tend to have an interest in getting written sentences correct but a kind of embarrassment about the whole speaking aloud thing and lack of confidence in listening. 3. Rosetta is more comprehensive (and better scheduled using MFW lesson plans) than some of the library alternative materials I've used such as Pimsleur. 4. Barron's E-Z French is an inexpensive, do-able workbook for grammar supplementing. Tutors in-person and via skype also tend to be big on grammar. Julie
  7. I just don't think high schoolers have enough life experience to see the various points of view that people of the world are passionate about, whatever program they use. I would think reading articles or maybe letters to the editor or the opinion page might help? Julie
  8. Teaching textbooks had them on disk when we used it. Not sure how the new online system works. Julie
  9. Oh, what a well-read, wonderful son you must have. It would be fun to sit down and chat with him about the male perspective on some of his reading :) I suppose he's read C.S. Forester? Well, Forester wrote more into the 1900s but many of his novels are set in the 1800s. His writing is supposed to have influenced several authors. Julie
  10. I had never heard Charlotte Yonge mentioned until Beautiful Feet republished The Daisy Chain. I think of her as a step in between Jane Austen and Louisa May Alcott, and I enjoyed a glimpse closer into an 1800s home trying to teach faith and values to their children alongside current events and life events. http://bfbooks.com/The-Daisy-Chain?sc=17&category=878 Just one random addition. Julie
  11. I'll throw another one in the mix. I am a fan of Math Relief. Very gifted in teaching algebra. Very streamlined program, with problems already written out, and answer key with problems worked start-to-finish. You can sample a video on YouTube or their website MathRelief.com. My kids who used it are 18 & 27 now, mathy and not, and they still wish everything on life were explained as clearly as Mr Firebaugh did. Julie
  12. I definitely agree that we need to push our kids as far as we safely can, by taking away unnecessary things etc. I just wanted to add a dimension I don't see being covered. That is something along the lines of kids aren't going to be perfect, and we as homeschoolers tend to analyze their every breath whereas in a group school, not every student would be attentive at every time. Some classwork is just pass/fail, a warm body was there and he gets credit for class time. Or the students glance over one another's shoulders to figure out what to do, share homework, etc. For bigger assignments, yes, they shouldn't go away once you get to high school. However, I have no problem with adapting them. I always told my homeschooled kids that they could suggest alternative ways to learn the material -- the only option not allowed was doing nothing. I realize some bosses will insist you do it their way, and that lesson must be learned somewhere in life, but good bosses will let you do things any way that gets the job done properly. (And a side benefit is often giving this kind of freedom makes the kid decide to do it your way because that's easier than figuring out a new way.) I may be overly cautious, but my son has already been to a funeral for a suicide. I am very careful not to take away too much especially things that are healthy, like time spent exercising or learning things the kid is interested in, and even just things that bring a certain amount of joy, because some kids can become accustomed to doing nothing at all after a while and don't care what you take away. I also want to make homeschooling appealing, because sending an unmotivated teen to public school can teach a teen how really unmotivated a person can be, at least in my urban area. Just wanted to add that, especially for those who are really struggling. Julie
  13. I think the study ideas so far are great and always useful. However, my son did an entire College algebra class after Algebra 1 & 2. They aren't the same thing. They may "look" like the same thing - for instance, all three classes cover the quadratic equation. However, as my son says, college algebra is the quadratic on steroids. Julie
  14. I would use Friendly Chemistry with a student who really couldn't stomach a regular chemistry course. I don't think I'd use it with a future nursing student. I used it with a dd who just wasn't going to do a regular chem but I wanted her to have a certain level of solid understanding, and it fit the bill; I also had her do the chemistry portion of Rainbow Science and was going to have her do a separate lab (Experiences in Chemistry) but she didn't end up earning a lab credit from me. Friendly Chem doesn't have much math or lab, compared to Spectrum Chem which my more STEM student used. Even though I think math is more important than science for a STEM student, I still think exposure to some of the high school level science equipment and science equations would be ideal for a future nurse or other science student, to prevent shell-shock in college. Of course, she'll get some of that in her Apologia series. I haven't used Conceptual. Normally, those conceptual courses are courses for younger students, like 9th graders who may do a fuller course in 12th, but I'm guessing the Conceptual book will be more textbooky than Friendly Chem. Julie
  15. I have that around here somewhere. I could dig it out if needed. But I never used it with MFW, because it's meant for their "Record of Time" book, which is a different size and style than the MFW timeline (for others who might wonder, I posted a couple of pictures of my son's AHL timeline here, with the disclaimer that the timeline book has changed a bit - it's a little fancier now http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=3889&start=25#p93520 ). I also like the idea of using the completed timeline and using the time to discuss/write. Julie
  16. My son groaned about the timeline. However, not only do I value seeing the big picture, but I also felt that both the timeline and the DK-type book were filling in details about history that he wasn't getting in some of the other materials, since so little of Notgrass is about the ancients and literature often misses some of the historical events I felt were important (some of the Greek battles come to mind). To make it go faster, I did all the prep during the summer. I copied onto sticky paper (the kind MFW recommends really does work better), cut out, sorted by week into envelopes (saved from junk mail), and put them all in a drawer in his school cart. I didn't want him to waste school time on this. I usually did it while I was listening to something else, etc., so I didn't have to set aside a lot of time. The WHL timeline is much more, and WHL has more of Notgrass and more mapping (the extra 0.25 credit), so I almost opted out of timelining that year, but ended up having ds do it. In other words, I do think it's possible to opt out of timelining, it's not something I haven't considered, but those are the reasons I stuck with it. (And MFW's timelining is much more efficient, with all the specific assignments and notes, compared to my using the same timeline figures with my older dd and making her figure it all out herself.) I'm hoping my ds values it in his future, but if not, I'll keep it -- folks are always "learning something" by leafing thru stuff at my house LOL. Julie
  17. Typically government includes 3 things: 1. If she's done the founding documents then she probably has had exposure to US government. 2. Local government can be done by visiting a session of legislature and a town meeting or things like that, or she can research how your local government is set up. 3. International gov might have been covered in her documents course, not sure, depends on whether they read things like UN documents and the Monroe Doctrine, but if she hasn't gotten much international, that might be an area to find a good book. Usually a text will cover things like types of governments today, proactive and reactive policymaking, and the UN. There's some cross-over with economics and history, so she may have gotten some exposure in other areas. Hoping to help you weed out what bits you want to fill in, if she's already taken a gov. documents class. Otherwise, you could just put "government documents" on her transcript. Julie
  18. Hmm, I've never thought about that, maybe poetry can be more conservative, not sure. It certainly depends on the poets chosen, but there are a lot of very God-honoring poets. I thought LLATL was more about getting away from the typical public school system of using snippets of literature, trying instead to use whole works, but using smaller works so that it didn't grow impossibly large. So short stories, short novels, and poems. Now of course we have WTM-ers who read lengthy novels each week, and LLATL is not that. LLATL to me felt Christian but it's high school, so not sheltering students from things written from a non-Christian viewpoint, but having the student examine the viewpoint. For my kids (dd who has some Aspie-type traits and ds who is, well, all boy), it helps with any of these types of lessons when I go over the answer key and cover the points so they can see the lesson-with-the-lesson, e.g. a particular worldview (such as superstitions) wasn't working for the character, etc. These are all pretty vague, but my dd who used some of LLATL is 27 now :) Julie
  19. Enjoy. Our family time reading the Bible together or discussing what we've read have been the best parts of our homeschool journey. Julie
  20. I've only used portions of the Gold with my older dd as individual book studies etc. I thought the book studies were fine, the questions were better than some guides we had used. I believe in high school writing mostly by just reading and responding, rather than a program, so that wasn't an issue for us. If you have any trouble with (or don't connect to) the Gold poetry, we found going back to the green level where LLATL introduces poetry was helpful. Julie
  21. I require my high schoolers to read the entire Bible. It is different now that they are at the rhetoric level. With my dd, I started with the Greenleaf guide and branched from there. With my ds, MFW was his base.
  22. My oldest son was public schooled and just used PSEO for 12th grade math, after he had already exhausted all of his school's math resources (through calculus). That's the way I feel like PSEO was designed to be used, giving high schoolers broader options where needed, and it worked well for us. (At my house, we never tried to reduce the number of college courses needed in the future, only to be better prepared for those courses and more aware of the future plan.) My youngest wanted to do more PSEO. He's been homeschooled since 3rd grade, using MFW every year (plus this and that which I already had from my middle dd etc). He started with 2 PSEO classes per semester in 11th (math, Latin, math, Psychology), then did 3 for his first semester of 12th, and now is doing none, just catching up on homeschool things this last semester before graduation. That much PSEO was NOT my preference, as I don't think high schoolers are necessarily mature enough to absorb college level material or to contribute to college level discussion, but of course every situation is unique and girls may be ahead of boys. My youngest especially is, well, a youngest, and has gone through a lot in his life, and I just would have "home" schooled him more if it were my choice. But there were benefits to the outside courses, too. If you are near the Twin Cities, one good option is taking college courses through the giant co-ops where professors have been arranged to teach classes of only homeschoolers (YEAH, CHAT, not sure if South Heights has PSEO). Some say these classes are even harder, but either way, they are not discussing the drinking parties they attended last weekend. I was willing to send my 11th grader to those more comfortably than I would have sent him to a campus. Or, there are some solid Christian colleges with moral codes I have appreciated. I have just heard too many inappropriate things in the wider college world, including professors who try to draw in students by being racy; I have enough to deal with between my very social son and the teens of our urban neighborhood, so I don't need adults helping them along. YMMV. And that probably was a digression. Online wasn't an option for my son, as he was seeking the live professor and the live classmates. As far as prep, I think what Ms. Riding Hood said is correct, they need to write (communicate clearly, back up arguments/statements with facts), read (stepping past what is fun and easy to understand), and do math (which affects both the maths and sciences). Each student will have different weaknesses, so build up those muscles where they are needed. I found plenty of opportunity to do this within the framework of MFW. I like that MFW has high standards but is realistic; for example, argumentative essays in 9th grade, but only like 5 of them over the year, and beginning fairly light; lengthy research papers but only one in 10th and one in 12th (by then, my son was doing lots of papers at the college, so we didn't need that assignment, but if he hadn't been doing that, the assignment would have been on-target). As far as meshing with MFW, I wrote a post over on their board not too long ago, if it would help: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=14716&p=98350#p98350 Julie
  23. Well, it will help that you've both already done MFW high school. I think it's possible if you have the teaching materials (American lit supplement, Early American set, and Progeny Press guide). You'll have most of the main assignments then. The biggest problem, though, will be scheduling it all out yourself. You know how much easier it is to use a MFW schedule than to pick up something like Stobaugh's American lit and try to figure out how much to do in a day. Again, it will help that you're used to MFW materials (the Early American set, for example, is pretty much the same as the British lit set, for example). Are you subbing out all the rest -- early American history, government, and Bible/Worldviews (or other elective)? Julie
  24. We watched an old Hallmark miniseries version of the Odyssey (look for Bernadette Peters). I think it's free on YouTube too. It was fine, they made an attempt to show the culture, there was a bit of humor as I recall, or maybe we just laughed at some of the adventures :) However, movies are always different than books, so I find it best to watch them after the book, and after any assignments, so the student doesn't get confused. Julie
  25. We're long-time subscribers to their yearly CDs, which we enjoy. This year, ds is doing Econ and using Economics in a Box. It includes Stossel's Macro & Micro DVDs (not the free ones), plus other Stossel videos, plus other videos, plus books and articles. My impression is that the Econ videos are still just clips and you'd need a program to make them into a class. I haven't looked at the added Stossel materials you said are rich, so maybe that will be fine. My son has plenty of questions to answer daily using his Econ in a Box workbook, although the questions aren't really on the Stossel videos themselves. I'm not making sense, but you really need something to flesh out the Stossel clips, describing his economic ideas as well as different points of view on economics (e.g. socialist economics), etc. But we do enjoy Stossel. He not only is up-front about his point-of-view, but he also gives real-world examples to back up what he says. It's just that the clips need some study alongside them. Julie
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