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Julie in MN

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  1. It would depend on what you did with them. It could be part of a vocabulary/English course, if you just spent a class hour or soo going over the meaning behind the word. It could be part of a Bible/worldview course, if you were comparing the Biblical view with the other view. It could be part of a social studies course, in world history or whatever fit. You could call it whatever you like, but I think it would be useful to categorize it under one of the main subjects, English, Social Studies, elective (the other main subjects I think of are Science, Math, and Foreign Language).
  2. I agree with the others that the end of the Berlin Wall & USSR, as well as 9/11 and all that represents (new types of war etc) are huge. I would want to go through each US president and his major traits and challenges, if you haven't already covered that in US history. They are recent enough that they are referenced all the time -- Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama. It's nice because the modern presidents can be seen and heard on Youtube, History Channel, CSPAN, WhiteHouse.gov, and the like. There are a few other events I'd want to include, like trying to figure out AIDS, the end of apartheid, and national debt was something my son got into. You can find lists online and go from there, for example About.com and Wikipedia. http://history1900s.about.com/od/timelines/tp/1980timeline.htm Some sites cover more social/cultural details like what was watched on TV or in the theaters, e.g. the History Channel (though it has a lot of ads). http://www.history.com/topics/1980s Julie
  3. Agreeing with Lori about the gym. My ds bought weights on Craigslist but they quickly became too light for him. He has a YMCA membership for a student which is $38/month. He spends quite a bit of time there lifting weights, going in the hot tub, playing basketball, etc. We also had things around the house - chin-up bar in doorway, large exercise ball for when he's listening, etc. Doing something short between classes was essential for a while. There are also homeschool days at many places around here. My ds liked the ski hill ones, once a month for like $20 including equipment and a lesson if needed. And finally, there was a mom in our area who hosted a book club that was followed by exercise time -- hockey in winter, basketball or touch football at the park in nice weather, pitching in to rent a gym in rain etc. You might put the word out around where you live, to see if there are any groups or any interest in forming one. You are wise to plan for physical outlets. Julie
  4. My oldest is a petroleum engineer, never homeschooled, he does manage several natural gas sites and has worked "in the field" for summers and for a few years after college, but it is not the kind of engineer that is out on the rigs, the petroleum engineer is doing the more problem-solving/planning/managing part overseeing the rigs. Quite a bit of desk work, computer work, etc. He went to a low quality high school, didn't have more than the basic high school chem/bio/physics, no 4th year science (some requirements are changing on that), but it was the math that not only made college science easier but made admission easier. The kids who dropped out of college science usually did so because they couldn't stand all the math, not because they didn't like the science. What does Regentrude mean by math math math? I'll add to the info you are gathering: 1. Solid understanding in every level of math so that a grade of A is not difficult 2. Progressing as far as possible, at least precalc and hopefully calc, and consider taking an outside math course for verification of mommy grades (or verifying grades from a poor high school like my son went to) 3. Solid ACT math scores, which is not going to depend a lot on calculus but more on very good understanding of algebra, exposure to geometry, speed, and ability to adapt quickly to random problems not just discussed in the textbook yesterday 4. Hopefully something mathy that makes your student stand out -- an exceptional ACT, outside math teams & competitions (MathCounts, AMC), or special math programs (Minnesota has something through the university called UMPTYMP) I think you need to look not only at acceptance, but at success once in college, because a lot of engineering students drop out. And I think being comfortable with math is one of the biggest contributors to success. I also agree that writing/communication are important, too, especially once on the job (getting the job might depend more on college grades, but keeping that job in a volatile industry and moving ahead will be affected by ability to write up and present findings, etc.). Julie
  5. I am a fan of Math Relief (which Lori linked). It's all on video, the answer key has the problems completely worked out, and they answer emails in detail if your student gets stuck. Julie
  6. Each Kumon center is individually owned and will use the same materials but have different quality tutors. The one I worked at had at least two advanced math tutors, retired men who had advanced mathematics degrees and math-related careers, and the Kumon math materials do go through all levels of calculus and beyond. However, I do agree that students are expected to be doing a full math program alongside. Kumon is more a discipline that builds speed and fills in gaps of understanding. Just in case that helps, Julie
  7. I wonder if you are thinking along the lines of humanities? More a history of culture, and how thoughts on everything from faith to architecture to heroes to beauty interact into different eras that are unique from one another? You can find humanities textbooks on Amazon. The humanities I took in college used a lot of original examples of literature and architecture and such, and as an overview used the Time-Life series on Great Ages of Man, though it's out of print. A lot of the Christian worldview programs also go through some of these eras. For instance, Francis Schaeffer's "How Should We Then Live" videos are on Youtube, and go through various phases of western culture. Philosophy is a piece of both humanities and worldview studies. Philosophy tends to be on the technical framework side rather than the artistic expression side. Western philosophy tends to begin with the big 3 - Socrates, Plato, Aristotle. There's another thread with some philosophy materials. I like some of the suggestions to start simple, before jumping in to something big like a Teaching Company series. I get more out of things that way, and I also avoid spending time on something I didn't realize I didn't want to spend time on. eg We have a DK book, A Young Person's Guide to Philosophy, or a little bit longer is Sophie's World. Julie
  8. MFW is a good example because it includes a full Bible credit every year. It is a meaty credit, about the same investment of time as the history credit, just like it would be in college. The basic plan is Old Testament, New Testament/Church History, Worldviews, and Applications. There is plenty of reading over the 4 years. Things like personal Bible time and service projects are just a small part of the weekly assignments, maybe a total of 1/5 rather than 3/5 of the credit. There is more credit to personal time in year 4, since students are preparing to find out how Bible study will continue in their own adult lives, but there is still daily work. I would have a hard time considering church service as part of a high school credit, for several reasons, but a Bible study with others might qualify in my homeschool if the focus was an academic treatment of the Bible (my Bible study group spends too much time on prayer needs and other things to be considered academic). Just adding another point of view, Julie
  9. Book 11 in the Hakim set, History of US, is a Sourcebook with lots of original documents. I haven't seen Notgrass's American book, but I loved his "purple book" of original sources that went with his world history, and he had quite a range including poetry. Julie
  10. In our city, it's one play and that's it. The other "big" study is the Odyssey, I can't remember which was done which year, now that I think of it. Other "literature" was things like Tuesdays With Morrie and excerpts and such. Of course, none of my kids or their friends did any advanced literature classes in high school, so that is basic "English 9, 10, 11, 12." And there are more college-prep schools the next suburb over. Julie
  11. We're going to use Economics in a Box (via MFW). I also think the Teaching Company economics course by Timothy Taylor is good. It's pretty long and doesn't go up to the most current situations (probably few programs do?). I like some of Dave Ramsey, although it could never be considered a full "economics" since it doesn't cover very much national and no international (maybe he's more personal finance, now that I think about it). I wouldn't use Uncle Eric as a full course, either. His stuff is pretty theoretical (i.e. no one has ever put it into practice) and single-model (extreme libertarian). You could add some John Stossel clips for similar theories but he finds vignettes that seem to show them put into practice. And you might add some other worldwide economic systems? (Economics in a Box does some of this.) Julie
  12. Well, since the comedies are already well represented by EVERYone LOL, I'll give a plug for other options. I think it partly depends on how much time you have to spend on Shakespeare over the 4 years of high school. If you're like the public schools and typically only cover one Shakespeare in 4 years, then I personally probably would do one of the history plays (probably Julius Caesar) or one of the most famous plays (Hamlet and Macbeth come to mind, although I'd prefer closer to 12th grade than 9th). Another factor is how you are going to present Shakespeare. Reading Midsummer can be far less fun than watching (I remember teaching it to students when I was a Kumon teacher & I spent far more time explaining than we actually spent reading). However, reading (especially reading aloud) some of the more dramatic works can give more attention to the words and the wording. Julie
  13. I might email AOPS and get an "official" answer. Then, if you like their grading scale suggestions, I'd print out their email reply and put it in my records. It would be all official and tidy then, and I wouldn't worry any more. Julie
  14. I have never thought a really condensed block schedule would be very good for retention, but my ds has insisted on doing things that way this semester and it is working for him. Right now, he's doing US history all day, every day. We do discuss every day, every few chapters, so he has some processing/reinforcing. And subjects do build on themselves, so there's reinforcement that way (e.g. he's doing civil rights right now, and that reinforces previous historical events such as Dred Scott, Plessy, and Brown, which weren't months back). I don't think he'll remember a lot, but he'll have had good exposure and some growth in thinking more 3-dimensionally. This kid was dying with drawn out courses that he didn't want to be doing any way (not a natural academe but I require US history), so he's responding better to just absorbing one thing at a time. I have to admit that for him, he seems to get it better this way, because he isn't moving on after an hour. Just to say that each kid is unique. Julie
  15. We also did Spectrum and I had a "lab partner" for my son. I was going to mention that when the labs required a long wait time for results, they would text each other photos so the lab reports could be finished at home. Not ideal, but it worked for us. Other than the lab itself, I might talk about a concept they were having trouble with, and then I would use the teacher guide to discuss the main points of the lab at the end. Each parent did all the grading (although when we did Rainbow with a lab partner, I did all the correcting and I liked that it helped me see areas we should chat about). We rarely spent more than an hour together. Julie
  16. I strongly agree with Regentrude, and think good writing comes from (1) writing, (2) having feedback from a reader, and maybe (3) lots of time spent editing. Since every writer is unique and has totally different strengths and weaknesses, I think writing programs (especially big programs) can result in wasted time and poor writers, because the program can't give feedback and can't know whether your student needs more work or less in a particular area. Sorry, don't want to offend anyone who finds a writing program necessary in their homeschool. I'm sure if you find a perfect match for your student, it can be helpful. But writing and feedback still seem to be the most important elements. Julie
  17. I totally agree with the others that US1 is an 11th grade program. That said, if it were me, I'd still look into it a bit. The trade-offs of having to tone down the program vs. having my child be enthused to be in a group would depend on the child. I wouldn't worry too much about the composition or the Bible, as long as the student would get AHL and WHL later, but the amount of reading in history and American Lit would likely be too much for a "not super academic" 9th grader. I'd talk to the teacher about whether she'd be okay with your cutting down on some of the reading (to insure it wouldn't affect the other students), and I'd talk to your dd about how much a group would motivate her and have her look at a sample of the BJU history textbook (it's an 11th grade textbook). This is all said from a mom whose 18-year-old is super-hard to motivate (academically) this year! Julie
  18. Yes, going in-person usually will be after the online app. Follow up, be in front of the person on the day when someone didn't show up for work. Most jobs that teens apply for will have managers who are also part-time and young, so not a well-thought-out process, a lot of spontaneous hiring that changes from one day to the next. Also, this is a bad time to apply. The holiday season and post-holiday season are over and the current staff isn't getting hours, so no newbies may be needed even on bad days. Good times: pre-holiday season (my son even started one job *on* black friday), and then pre-summer (BEFORE college kids get home in late May) and pre-back-to-school. Contacts definitely help. Not just professional contacts. My youngest has gotten a LOT of jobs through friends, or gotten a lot of jobs for friends. It seems to be more comfortable to hire a known commodity. ETA: Also where your kid hangs out. My son lives at the YMCA, so he's been encouraged to work at their summer camps and such. Homeschoolers can have an advantage if they are available for any time of day. This, of course, wreaks havoc with schoolwork, so I can't say I totally advise it, but most businesses have less cheap labor available during school/workday hours. This has to be paired with actually showing up and following through. My son has been able to get by with saying he'll work any hours, and then saying he can't work certain times, as long as he is available other times and as long as he doesn't cancel at last minute or show up late. Remember, also, that being "hired" is just the first step. You can be hired but given no hours, and you can be hired but scheduled for too many hours you said you weren't available. A great letter of recommendation goes a long way. My son has brought them from VBS, etc. I've written them for kids whom I've hired for babysitting or even digging - always building up their skills and their diligence and such to be great job skills (as long as it's true LOL). I agree with thinking outside the box. We are in a very dense area, I like to point out we have three different Target stores within a 5 minute drive, four McDonald's. However, we also have tons of teens and young adults wanting jobs. Besides the usual jobs (Target, mall), my youngest has gone to neighbors and offered to mow for $10, he now has a job running electronic advertising signs at high school sports games, he pitches in cleaning ductwork in a hospital at night when our cousin is short-handed, and he considered trying for a ski hill job. My sister worked at the amusement park summers. I cleaned motel rooms. My oldest did a motel front desk late evenings and his friend did something to do with running the motel paperwork during the evenings, as well. Kids need to be 16 here for most jobs, due to child labor restrictions and such. Younger kids here sometimes get jobs pushing carts in parking lots, serving food at senior high rises, short-term state fair food vendors, and of course delivering newspapers. HTH, Julie P.S. If he never gets a job, maybe that will be a good motivator for working hard in school and going to college LOL.
  19. Gillian, I am probably the one who brought up the evolution issue with these materials on another thread. I just wanted to say that HHMI provides very nice materials on some good science topics, sometimes really showing how scientists have approached a particular disease and teased out unexpected results that helped improve lives. And all of their nice videos are free, including shipping. I have watched lots of their videos and showed a few segments to my son, not as many as I could have due to time constraints. I do believe they are sometimes over-the-top in trying to promote or advertise evolution every chance they get, but other than that, I respect their efforts to offer free materials to high schoolers on quality science topics. It's good that someone shares their info every so often for newbies. Julie
  20. I am not familiar with the dual degree, but I thought I'd share that my oldest is a Petroleum Engineer and he is now going to night school to get a master's in business. He has had bosses who had a similar track. I haven't chatted with him a lot about it, but based on his job responsibilities, it makes sense that understanding the business or economic side of things would help someone in his field. His responsibilities have been things like making sure a group of natural gas wells is performing well, deciding what measures to take if they are having problems, and sometimes making decisions about future moves. All of these rely on technical engineering skills, but I think it would be a big help to also understand the business side of things. The last presentation paper he asked me to edit had a lot to do with cost/benefit, as well as evaluating whether any known ethical concerns had merit, so not just technical engineering skills. Of course he needs to be able to do the math and understand the geology and whatever other science, but some business or economic understanding would, I think, help him be a more valuable employee. He does work with engineers out in the field who are more in the role of "tell me where to dig" (or where to have someone dig). I imagine they need fewer business/econ skills, but even in their role, I would think there are hiring decisions and cost considerations, and a bigger picture would be helpful. Interesting topic, Julie P.S. There was plenty of math required in his engineering degree, so I can't see it would be an issue with econ requirements.
  21. Just wanted to mention that there are, in fact, science programs these days that go to great lengths to discredit young earth, just the same as Apologia sometimes does about discrediting old earth, especially in the area of Biology. Miller-Levine has an entire website dedicated to the topic, including "Articles on the Failure of Intelligent Design," and a page is specifically to help teachers convince students of evolution -- which to me must clearly mean he wants teachers to discredit parental teaching. One of his articles for teachers includes this quote, which I think shows there is a "bash on the head" of sorts going on, even if it isn't out loud. "Finally, I will argue that science educators have a powerful, surprising ally that can be enlisted in our efforts to normalize the teaching of evolution — 21st century American popular culture. Evolution's power as an explanatory narrative of our planet's human and biological past has influenced movies, television shows, books, even games and toys. By using these media as classroom tools, one can fire the imagination of our students and simultaneously defuse the issue of evolution as a "controversial" theory." http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/ millerandlevine.com/evolution/index.html Howard Hughes Institute has conferences every year for science-minded high schoolers and several times the whole theme has been to enthuse teens about evolution, including young earth teens they have specifically invited into the audience. I would also say that almost every Teaching Company science course has spent about 30 seconds making clear that young earth was wrong and not worth discussing further - not permeating the entire course but not left out, either, sort-of implying young earth is so wrong that there is no scientific discussion possible. I don't have much experience with other secular high school textbooks, but I do feel the word "evolution" has crept further and further into textbooks I've looked through, even where it isn't necessary, so it feels to have a kind of promotion to it. I just felt this conversation was missing that info. Julie
  22. My 12th grader has used MFW throughout high school, but as everyone has mentioned, it is a tool in our homeschool that we fit to our needs. There have been times when I've changed things a lot, and there have been times when I need to just open the grid and make sure my son does what is on there. Having homeschooled a high schooler without MFW, I so appreciate having that plan in place when needed. Bible: Ds did all of AHL, WHL, and 1st semester US1, and responded well to everything. We did some of them together, such as the Bible history portions, the Church History book, and the Thinking Like a Christian parent-led track (there are 2 options with that). Sometimes I changed the writing-type ssignments to more of a "write what you learned today" type thing, instead of some things like the Old Testament Challenge questions (I preferred that he just focus on absorbing what he'd just read, rather than jump around to compare other verses, but that's based on a strong feeling about my own past). In US1, we really dug into 1st semester but I started a little subbing in 2nd semesterf. We are probably not going to do the Bible credit in US2, since we haven't started it yet LOL. He did service projects in summers or on Sunday mornings, rather than on Fridays. English: I like the reading choices, including the US1 American lit/founding documents types of studies in the Stobaugh supplement. That said, my ds doesn't like to read at all, so I encouraged him by using audios, reading aloud sometimes, and subbing several pieces out for his book club readings - discussion with other boys helped motivate him (occasionally we'd even "study" a video of the MFW selection, if I had subbed it out but thought it was worth being familiar with -- we did the Progeny Press guide for Scarlett Letter using the 4-hour miniseries, and it went well for him, hope that doesn't shock anyone!). Oh, I also did my own thing a bit in 9th with the Bulfinch Mythology study, so that my son would get what I wanted him to get out of it, but it was with the same goals and basic sequence. He's done pretty much all of the essays, although I spent way more time on most of them, as I feel editing/improving writing is my main job in high school, and I love the opportunities he's had to form his thoughts and beliefs into words in the MFW assignments. For grammar, discussion during the editing process works better for him than exercises with random sentences. He did a college Communications course instead of English in US2, but I like that US2 has a lot more room for that kind of outside exploration. "Social Studies": I like BJU far more than Notgrass, but my son likes Notgrass far more than BJU and in fact I gave up on BJU with him after giving it all our effort for a few months. I don't regret exposing him to it and working hard on it while we did. But he was reading college textbooks by then in his dual enrollment, so I felt some of the BJU goals were being met in other ways. I guess I have subbed a lot in US1 and US2 "social studies," since we switched texts and he also did a lot of his government credit through participating in outside events & watching Zeezok videos, but I've still used most of the MFW materials in smaller ways these 2 years. He is hoping to do the entire Econ course as written, before the year is out. We used all the materials in AHL and WHL, before our family situation got hard and dual enrollment started taking ds's greatest concentration. Four years is a lot to discuss! Julie
  23. I don't have this exact experience, but I attended three different public high schools, the last one for just 6 months of 12th grade since i graduated in March, and I just had one transcript. It doesn't seem all that unusual to switch schools. When you admit him into *your* school, you evaluate whether you accept previous credits, and if so you put them on your transcript. If you want to acknowledge they were outside courses, then you can attach the outside transcript, or you can put a symbol such as an asterisk after those course names, with a key down where you give your grading scale. I realize some college folks have biases, but they have to know that students are transferring all the time. Solid test scores will help confirm. Julie
  24. Summit is the same group that does Thinking Like a Christian that Dawn mentioned. Here is a thread where I described all the worldview things I've read through, and Lori and others described even more: http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/229676-christian-worldview-curriculums-tell-me-about-your-favorite-and-least-favorite/ Julie
  25. I used Friendly Chemistry with my dd, probably at least 10 years ago so my memory isn't crystal clear. At the time, it was somewhat hard to schedule for one student, as I believe it emerged out of a co-op teacher's lessons, but I did it and probably have my lesson plans around here somewhere. I do think newer versions may have taken care of that problem. As for the content, my goal at the time was to get the overall concepts into my dd, and I think it did a good job with that. It used very visual and hands-on materials he had created in order for students to really get what they were doing. I am pretty sure some of those have changed now, but we used a board with lids for distributing the electron orbits, a set of cards of different lengths for combining elements, and a skit for memorizing the Noble gases. The math was very basic, nothing near the long processes of recombining and balancing that my ds was doing by the end of Spectrum chem. So in some ways, dd missed seeing the bigger picture that comes out of understanding more details, while I was trying to focus on big concepts and not details, which is kind of an irony. However, for her, I think the road would have been too long. I preferred expending more effort elsewhere at the time. If she ever did college chem (unlikely, although in an ideal world I think she could be gifted there), then she would have an adjustment to make. Even though I think the Friendly Chem science credit is acceptable for some high schoolers, based on the variety I've seen in public schools, I don't personally agree with Friendly Chem that a high school LAB credit is legitimately earned, unless maybe I renamed it introductory chem/lab. I had and planned to use Experiences in Chemistry, but I think I made do with the Rainbow chem section, not sure, I'd have to dig through her records to refresh my memory. The Friendly Chem labs included the hands-on activities, plus a handful at most of home kitchen-type actual labs - one I think burnt marshmallows to reveal carbon, if I remember correctly. HTH, Julie
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