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About TarynB

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  1. @RootAnn I was hesitant to put it in my original post because the last couple of tests haven't been returned and grades are not final yet. 😉 I am willing to share it via PM for now, and I will come back and edit my post once the class is officially over. I know how much this community values this kind of info and I have benefited from it myself!
  2. Our standout hit this year: Logical Communication with Mr. Roy Speed has been a big hit. It focuses on clear thinking, organizing ideas and arguments, backing up your ideas with evidence, logical flow, and rhetorical devices, all in conjunction with analyzing high-quality essays. The instructor has appropriately high standards and is enthusiastic, the live classroom is well-managed and has interactive discussions, the workload is just right (emphasis on quality, not quantity), and the feedback is individualized (appropriate for a range of abilities), prompt and constructive. DS has taken several composition courses before this, and this one is the best he's had by far. Mr. Speed is known here on the forum for his Shakespeare courses, and he's offering full-year writing courses online now too. He also teaches writing to corporate professionals. DS will be taking his Essay Writing and Appreciation course next year. Another hit: Derek Owens for math continues to be a hit for us. DS has done DO Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2, recently finished Honors Pre-Calc, and is looking forward to AP Calc next year. Misses: No real misses for us this year. However, I have been a bit disappointed with slow grading and little feedback from a foreign language teacher at Big River Academy. Grading and feedback in foreign language seems significant since the work builds on itself every week. But overall the course is solid, the workload is appropriate for high school, and DS has enjoyed it. ETA: I am willing to share the course specifics via PM for now, but I will come back and edit my post later, after the course is officially over.
  3. I think your DD's job shadowing would make a fantastic elective credit. Esp. if you could formalize or document it somehow, like CityMouses's example. For more science credits, if that's what your DD wants, just throwing out some ideas here. My DS is in a similar situation, rising 12th grader, looking at medical or related health field, doesn't need or want AP science credit prior to starting at a university. (He needs to take his college science credits on the campus at four-year university, not transfer in credits or test out of them.) So we're going interest-led and also beyond the traditional high school science sequence. He's going to take DE chemistry in the spring, fully intending to take chem again once he gets to his four-year university. We're going to list the DE chem course Advanced Chemistry on his high school transcript, and he won't apply for or accept college credit for it from the university he eventually attends. We also looked into using Thinkwell and a textbook for chem. Thinkwell's basic chem class, not the AP version, is an intro-level college course. He's also going to take a one-semester class called Biomedical Science through Excelsior Classes. Regular high school bio is a prerequisite. It goes a step further than regular bio and is more interest-led, not a standard high school class. More appealing to DS than a plug and chug, teach-to-the-test AP Bio course would be. DS took two classes this year with Excelsior Classes and both were very good experiences. DS is really excited about taking this course: FundaFunda Academy offers a Biology 2 high school course in which the student gets to choose from different modules to basically create a course that interests them most, can be one semester or two, and they research topics and write about them with the instructor's guidance and mentoring. DS had this same teacher, Dr. Underwood, for Bio 1, and we thought she was great. She also posts here on the forum, I think as ClemsonDana, and she's extremely accessible and helpful. I wish DS had time to take this course with her next year. Here is the course description: One final idea, maybe your DD could pick some titles from The Great Courses and pair them with a spine or two to create her own interest-led science class(es)? We've done quite a few. They have courses on neuroscience, botany, marine biology (I know you mentioned that), physiology, genetics, infectious diseases, and so on.
  4. I agree, and I would think that some (many?) of the WTM HSers here would already be following this model. DS learned to do these things well with Writing With Skill . . . in middle school. DS just got back his end-of-semester research position paper in his first-ever DE (humanities) course - he aced it, yay! So something about our relaxed approach seems to have worked. The preferred citation method may be important in certain courses, or at certain schools, but for DS's class, the prof just asked the students to pick a method and use it consistently. He didn't care if it was APA, MLA, or Chicago as long as it was consistently applied. This was an intro level course - a major level course would probably have different expectations.
  5. All the Great Courses we've used had an outline or summary for each lecture followed by a couple of extension questions for the student to research/write about/discuss/think more deeply about the topic. We've used those as a springboard for discussion here. But, hey, I've never been a real teacher, so my experience has no validity and you probably shouldn't listen to me. 😁
  6. We've done history in a pretty relaxed way. I read advice here on the boards at some point when DS was middle school age that resonated with me: history is one of those subjects where there is not a defined body of knowledge that one is expected to know and must know in order to advance (unlike math, for instance). We've focused on input - watched Great Courses lectures and read from a spine or two. Very little written output. As long as you're covering writing skills elsewhere (thesis-driven essays, research papers, short answer responses), I don't think writing specific to history is strictly necessary. I view end-of-chapter review questions as a form of busywork and we don't do them. If there's any doubt about comprehension or understanding of a topic, we just talk about it. I know for sure that DS has learned, retained and understands more about history than his dad or I ever did, as products of public school.
  7. Amazon. I bought a blank key with an unprogrammed remote for our make of vehicle for $15. Then had a locksmith cut the key. He charged $22. Then programmed the remote myself using a Youtube video plus the original key/remote, which took less than 60 seconds. I was skeptical but it worked. Easy peasy!
  8. I understand. You might want to email Mr. Speed and ask about it. Maybe your daughter could attend the live class once per week, whichever fit her schedule better, and then watch the recording for the other class session that week. After seeing what DS has experienced this year, I think that would be worth asking about.
  9. I understand you're looking for a curriculum to use at home, but maybe you'd be interested in this or it will help someone else: a class that does exactly this is Roy Speed's Logical Communication, and the follow-up course, Essay Writing and Appreciation. (Mr. Speed is known here on the forum for his Shakespeare classes, but he offers year-long writing classes online now too. He also teaches writing to corporate professionals.) My son is taking it this year and the difference in his ability from last fall to now is astounding. I thought he might be too old or too far along, as an 11th grader, to benefit from it much, but that is not the case at all. DS is unlearning lots of bad habits and "skills" that he learned in previous writing classes from other providers. DS has asked to be in Mr. Speed's class again next year instead of knocking out his college English credits through DE - that's how much he believes in Mr. Speed's process and enjoys the class sessions with him. A quote from Mr. Speed: An excerpt of the Logical Communication course description: From the course description for Essay Writing and Appreciation:
  10. This is awesome! Thank you for sharing this great news. I love seeing your updates.
  11. Actually, there is a separate text for the DO precalc course. Some of the other DO courses don't have one, but precalc does. It is Sullivan, 4th edition. The assigned problems to be completed from the textbook are listed in the student workbook. The student checks their own answers for the textbook problems; they aren't submitted for grading. Then there are also separate HW sheets to be printed from DO's website that ARE submitted for grading. ETA: DO calls the textbook problems "practice problems". Perhaps some kids don't do them, but they are assigned as part of the course.
  12. Not all open source texts can be altered. CK12 advertises the ones they use as being "flex-books" that can be customized by their end-users. The flex-book that has been customized by Guesthollow is (or was, at least) available on the Guesthollow website. That is NOT the same thing as the original flex-book available from CK12.
  13. I haven't used either of those courses specifically, but I've researched CK12, and the texts they use are written by a variety of different authors (at the time I last looked, anyway). CK12 as an entity does not write the texts they use. Open source texts are licensed in such a way that allows their use by anyone online, for free. (I believe open source textbook authors are usually compensated for their work through grants and/or indirectly by various entities that use/promote their work.) And with CK12 it's the same as with any other provider - the quality varies widely depending on the individual course. I'd spend some time googling each textbook author's name and their qualifications, as a place to start.
  14. I don't pretend to know anything about the ailings of California's education system or the UC system, but I live smack-dab in the middle of the Midwest, and when DS toured our state flagship public univ, we were told that students from California make up the largest "out of state" group in the undergrad student body. They didn't give the specific percentage, but said it was well into the double digits. I thought that was surprising considering how far we are from CA.
  15. I can recommend Wasko Lit, taught by Brian Wasko of DS has taken Great Books courses with him for three years now, after trying a couple other online providers. These courses have a reasonable reading load and pace, but they cover a lot of ground and you can check the book lists at the link below. There is minimal required output: a short weekly online comprehension quiz to keep the kids on schedule and accountable, plus one paper or creative project (for example, a Powerpoint presentation about an author), per semester. The focus is really on the books, not composition. Lots of good discussion. Mr. Wasko is personable and enthusiastic and relates well to his students. No proselytizing. Classes meet live once per week.
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