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Alice

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Everything posted by Alice

  1. Ds got letters from a lot of places, I think everywhere but I can't keep track. But he got the email first. Some places then sent a packet that included financial aid offer. Some places sent a packet of material and financial aid separately. And many of them sent some kind of swag. We have been torn between...this is cool and your reaction of "maybe you could just lower the tuition a little?".
  2. My oldest got a hammock also...from Hendrix. But no candy. 🙂
  3. Dh wnet to Yale. I went to a small private school in my state. He will often remark that he thinks I had a better experience as an undergraduate. I did biochem research for three years and two summers and was able to present at a national convention. I think the research helped a lot getting into med school. I also got into one MD/PhD program, but ultimately chose not to go that route. I don't think I would have gotten into that without the research experience. I was able to do research because I went to the biochem professor as a sophomore student (who had not had anything but basic chem) and said I was interested and asked if there was space in his lab. He said sure and took me on. For the summers I had to compete to get a grant to stay but it wasn't really that competitive, most people I knew got one if they had anything like a reasonable project. So I actually got paid for research for two summers. I also knew my professors really well personally. That Biochem professor was a huge mentor. We would all go to his house for game nights. He had us all to his lake house every summer. The entire Chem department of professors and research students went tubing together in the summer, had movie nights and went crab-picking at a different professor's river place. They knew me very personally. Which also helped I think when applying to med school as far as recommendations and things. Dh had a lot of opportunities as far as going to classes with well-known or even famous people. But he can't think of a single professor he feels like he really knew personally. He had a good experience, but it was mostly due to the other students. When he thinks about mentors, he thinks more toward grad school. He does feel like the name probably helped when applying to grad schools but he definitely isn't pushing or even encouraging any of our kids to try for an Ivy. If they really wanted to, it would be up to them and it would have to work out financially but it's not something he feels is necessarily the best option.
  4. Married in 2000. So many of ours. Dishes- we got really plain white dishes from Crate and Barrel. All the flatware. We only have one glass remaining. Serving utensils, pizza cutters, ice cream scoops (we got four). Right now, I have my feet on a coffee table my bil made for us. I think we still have some towels although they are threadbare. Definitely some dishtowels. Pots and pans. Knives, steak-knives. A silver tray. A chip and dip plate. Wooden bowls. Mixing bowls. A tea kettle. We would have still had a lot of the appliances but we had a house fire last year that was electrical in nature and a lot of those got replaced by insurance. Most surprising to me at the time was a Crockpot (we don't still have it, I got a bigger one after about 10 years and gave it away). At the time I thought it was silly as my Mom never used one but I quickly became a convert. Another one I thought was dumb at the time was an electric carving knife. Every year it gets pulled out at Thanksgiving by my BIL to carve the turkey. Who knew? The things we got that I didn't end up using was crystal vases and knickknack kind of stuff. Not really our style. We have given away most of those over the years. We did get a pair of silver candlesticks from my somewhat estranged grandfather. I do still have those and use them.
  5. Our co-op is great but it works primarily, I think, because it is run by the church it meets at. One of the pastors started it many years ago for his own kids and it's evolved over time. We know have something like 120 families (on a non-Covid year) and classes for kids from nursery to 12th grade. There are no paid teachers so the fees are very low. It is not a drop-off co-op. Everyone has to teach two classes and the third period of the day there is a parent support group. It's a lot of work to run and the pastor who started it does most of that work. There are downsides to that as well (like we have to abide by policies of the church that we may or may not personally agree with) but overall it's a good thing and takes the burden off parents. And it gets rid of a lot of the issues mentioned previously about insurance and legality, etc. There are several other co-ops in our area that are drop-off with paid teachers. One that I have been very interested in has classes that you sign up for by the quarter (so no yearly commitment) and is secular. It is very popular and I've seen it explode in numbers over the past 8 years or so. It's definitely filling a need. The main reason we haven't done it is that the classes are VERY expensive. I'm sure they are worth it in that they are paid professionals teaching, and with the drop-off set-up it's more of a once a week school than a true co-op. But it hasn't been in our budget. One thing I would think about is what YOU want out of a co-op. Is it mostly social? Academic? Those are two very different things, in my opinion. One of the things I like about our co-op is that it offers both kinds of classes. I think it can do that well because it's large. With a smaller group you could run into trouble if you are offering academic classes but some people se it as social or vice versa. We have used ours primarily for social reasons. My kids take things like sewing and drama and book club and games class and art. Some people use it primarily for academic reasons, especially for science classes that they aren't comfortable teaching to high schoolers. One thing you might want to do is to a very focused "co-op or even just a drop-off class. Like a Science co-op which always seems to be a need in high school. You could offer one class with lab Parents could drop-off but to keep the two-deep leadership, you could ask one parent a week to stay on a rotating basis. You could offer some kind of social time after class....lunch followed by sports for example. Other ideas that would work well for that kind of thing for high schoolers would be something like a book club or a movie club or a book/move discussion club. Again, maybe paired with lunch and some kind of activity after. Or anything where a group setting is better than individual, so meeting a need for homeschoolers. A drama class would work. I did a book club in our house for a few years for my daughter and friends. They were younger but we did a combo of discussing books, art and an activity. It met a need as far as social time. Another Mom took it over the next year and they called it "Girl's Fun Day" and they did games, drama, crafts, etc. There was a woman in this area that taught a class using the Omnibus curriculum out of her home. It was very popular and met once a week at her house. I knew some kids who did it and I think it was as much social as it was academic. If you tried the one class method, you could see how it goes and how much work it is and it might help you figure out some of the things you need to know to maybe expand it.
  6. I think I posted here a long time ago. Ds applied to 11 schools and is down to 6 to choose from, although really it's 5 I think. Still in the running: Wooster, Allegheny, Messiah, Centre, Hendrix, Clark (I think Clark is the one that he isn't really considering but hasn't declined yet). He declined: Macalaster, Calvin, Skidmore He got waitlisted at Hamilton but went ahead and declined the waitlist. He knew it was probably going to be out of our financial reach anyway and I think he wants his decision to be over and done. He got rejected from Swarthmore, which was a reach for him and probably would have been a reach financially. Also, he wants to swim and had never contacted the swim coach there (despite bring gently reminded many times that it might be a good idea.) We are going to go visit Centre and Hendrix over spring break in a few weeks. And then he'll have to pick. They are all fairly similar and I really don't know if he has a clear favorite. Financially, they came in at a good range. He got a lot of merit aid at all of them and they are all within what we wanted financially. Hendrix is clearly the cheapest, but it's nice that he won't have to make a decision solely on cost. I'm not sure how he is going to decide but I feel good about all 5 choices and think any one will be a good fit for him. The cost thing is pretty amazing...when he got the acceptance to Skidmore he came down and said "The good news is they gave me a $20K grant but the bad news is they start at $78K". 😬 Crazy. For anyone reading this who hasn't gotten to the college application point yet, I would second the advice given in other places on this board to have conversations early and often about cost with your kids. Going into the process ds knew that Skidmore, Swarthmore and Hamilton were all likely out of our financial comfort zone. They don't give merit aid (or very little merit aid) and we knew we wouldn't get a lot of need based aid from them. We said it was fine to apply but he never got his heart set on something we couldn't afford. Macalaster was a little bit of a harder one. He liked the coach a lot and had talked to people on the team. And it was more reasonable, but still more than what we were comfortable with. He wasn't super excited about Minnesota though (he doesn't like the cold very much) so that made it a little bit easier.
  7. I have gone to mostly audiobooks with my now 9th grader. This was hard for me because I am very much a visual learner and I had a huge bias that listening is not reading. However, I knew that he is a slow reader and I felt like it was going to be hard to have him cover what we wanted to cover by reading. So I reluctantly told him he could do mostly audio. It has been FANTASTIC. I have really realized he is an auditory learner. He also has ADD and just can focus better on the audio. He often draws while he listens. He actually often listens on double speed, which neither his brother ( a voracious reader) or I can believe. We joke that he is a fast listener/slow reader and we are slow listeners/fast readers. And I think there is truth there. He has rediscovered a love of books through audiobooks and is blowing through books, even ones I don't assign. Things like Farenheit 451 and complicated environmental science books and psychology and philosophy. I do have him read some books, because we can't always find what we want on audio. And I do think he needs to learn the skill of reading and retaining info (just like I as a visual learner had to learn the skill of listening to a lecture and taking notes). But it's much less pressure for him to not have to do it for everything and for us to be able to look at it as a skill he is developing rather than one that he needs right now in order to enjoy and learn from books.
  8. We have used the Global Perspective Studies course by Simplify4you for my 9th grader and 12th grader. https://simplify4you.com/gps/ (Farrar from here at WTM is one of the authors...or maybe the only author, I'm not sure). It's been excellent. The first year covers Africa/Middle East/India/China and Japan from ancients to modern day times. It's a broad brush but has been a great introduction (including for me) to areas we hadn't previously covered in depth. It covers both History and English so can be a two credit class, or you can modify to cut out the Literature/Writing portions. They also have a Europe year but we haven't used it so I don't know the specifics of it. It uses a lot of videos. It does have a fair amount of reading, but we have used audiobooks for my 9th grader who is a slow reader and greatly prefers audio. Almost everything has been available on either Audible or our library. They also have a fairly comprehensive list of alternative books if you can't find the books. They use a textbook to fill in gaps but each unit has a non-fiction book as the spine. Some were challenging for my 9th grader. One thing I really liked is that they have assignments that help scaffold things like taking notes for a younger high schooler. They also have history questions for each week that the student has to answer. That helped my 9th grader (who also has ADD) focus on some key points rather than just read/listen and then forget. I am very much a tweaker and modifier of curriculum. I almost never get something and use it as meant to be used. One of the things I really loved about this was that it provides a great list of assignments each week so I didn't have to research or plan...but it was also easy to modify. It's all laid out so you could hand it to a student and have them do it themselves and not modify at all; it tells them what to do each day. I cut out some things that didn't work for us for various reasons and added some things that I wanted to. But it was so helpful to already have the structure there.
  9. This is true. Although it's not a monolithic "medical board" which is actually a thing, just not in this instance. Med schools will vastly prefer that pre-requisite classes are taken at a college. This doesn't mean you can't use DE and AP classes to place out of classes in college but would be an issue if you were going to major in a non-science but use the DE pre-reqs. So for example, if you took regular chemistry DE and your college allowed you to then take Organic Chemistry and you did well, I can't imagine a med school caring where you took the Intro level Chem. Or if you are a Bio major and you use an Intro Bio DE or AP credit to check off the Intro Bio box but then take much harder Bio classes and do well, it should be fine. However,It is also true that many colleges prefer science students not to use AP credits for their majors, as they don't always truly prepare you for the harder level classes. So even if you take them it's often recommended to repeat the Intro classes at your school. As for the family member in medicine, they are looking to see if you know what it is like. A lot of people go into medicine thinking it sounds good but not having a great idea of what the commitment is like as far as time for education and then lifestyle, etc. You can demonstrate that lots of ways if you don't have a family member in medicine...show you have volunteered, shadow doctors you know, be up on current events in medicine, etc.
  10. I'm a pediatrician. I knew I wanted to be a doctor from the time I was a preschooler and I had a lot of people doubt that I could really know that, so have no problem believing that your daughter knows what she wants and is committed and it's not just a phase. (Surgery as a specialty might change...I went through all kinds of specific doctor phases including a great desire to be a reconstructive plastic surgeon or a neurologist/neurosurgeon. In fact, the one thing I was NOT going to do was pediatrics. 🙂 Or maybe she will continue to love surgery.) That said, whenever these questions come up, but reply is to just get a good strong foundation in science. Med schools really don't care what you do in high school. Nothing in high school or earlier will count and I don't think there are really any skills beyond the skills any college bound student needs. How to communicate well both orally and in writing, how to manage time, how to think critically. Having a good foundation in science and math will help in the pre-requisite classes she will take in college, or if she is a science major the science classes in college. If she loves medicine and wants to get into volunteering or doing the kinds of shadowing or medical camps those can be fun. But they are really truly not essential and there are no skills you will learn that you need or that will set you back if you haven't done them. I read a lot of medical related books in high school because that was my interest...books by Atul Gawande, Oliver Sacks, Jerome Groopman are all great. There is a series called The Medical Detectives that I loved as a teenager that is about the real-life Public Health Corps of the CDC that researches outbreaks. Good luck to you daughter!
  11. I kept a list of books read and then also listed assigned books read under course descriptions. It was a habit for us to keep track of books read, just for fun (I do it for myself) so that wasn't a big change. I made overly detailed course descriptions as we went along that listed every single book read or thing we used. I would just do this every now and then, like every few months and then at the end of each year I went in and made sure we had a course description for each class. Then when it was time to send them in, I edited. I figured it was way easier to edit down the course descriptions than to try and remember "what did we read for English in 9th grade?" I did send in as a separate document a list of books read in high school, and clearly marked it "Independent reading". My ds is a voracious reader and that's really a main part of his personality so I felt like even seeing the list told them something about him. I assume very few any people actually read it. I'm doing the same for my now 9th grader. He doesn't read a lot but he reads pretty impressive books for his age. And he will likely be a kid who doesn't have a lot of traditional academic appeal (doesn't test well and has no interest in doing anything "to check a box"). So his reading list is more to show his intellectual curiosity and that he had a deep education, even the part that was self-directed. I don't think it's essential to turn in a list of books read. I would keep a list of what you assign for classes so you can at least mention some of them in the course descriptions.
  12. No worries! I appreciate the suggestions, I’ll check out the one in your last post. 😃
  13. She was someone that we knew the family from our homeschool co-op and I knew she had majored in Math and had an interest in teaching. I think other people have found similar situations through local homeschool groups or with local colleges where a current student might be interested. With so many people able to do Zoom or other online options, you don’t have to find someone local.
  14. A thousand times this! I help with a high school Chemistry class at our co-op and I find this is the hardest thing for the kids to understand. “It didn’t work” they will say. Well, no...what you expected to happen didn’t happen. Figuring out WHY is just as (or sometimes more) useful. I always tell them when I grade their labs that we don’t grade on them getting the “right” answer. As long as they did calculations correctly, we grade on how they explain the answer they got. Ha! I was reading through it and all excited at the topic and then when I read @Penguin post about being in Denmark.....I came up short and was like “wait, what??” Because I was pretty sure she doesn’t live there anymore. Its still a great post after 9 years!
  15. Yes, we have done a couple. My daughter loves them because she likes the chat board and the interactions. But I have just found them a bit light for what you pay for. I love Bravewriter and we use a lot of the other materials, it’s just hard to justify the classes in the budget. I might end up letting her do one a semester and then supplement with other things.
  16. That's a great idea! She did do it one year and actually wrote a whole story that we had bound as a book by Blurb. It was about her stuffed Bunny and adventures that her Bunny had. She loved doing that. It was a few years ago...so maybe she was 9 (or 8?) and the one month turned into about 4 months. But she was so into it that I just let it go and it was our LA for most of the year. But we didn’t really participate in the community, due to her age. That might make it more fun and interesting. Interesting! @PeterPanWhat kind of writing competitions?
  17. A solution we ended up with this year for my senior was to hire a tutor. He will likely major in Math and had done well working through the AOPS math books on his own, but for Calculus I felt like he needed more than I could offer. We hired a recent college graduate who had been homeschooled and was a math major. She meets with him once a week on Zoom and they have worked through the AOPS Calculus book together and are now working on the Intermediate Counting and Probability Book. The main benefit has been that he really enjoys having someone to talk to who really gets math. It’s a pricier option but has been worth it for the year.
  18. Thanks, Farrar. Those are good thoughts. I’ll check them out.
  19. I'm looking for a writing class for my rising 7th grader. She LOVES writing, which is a new thing in our house. She's a good natural writer and the one thing she wants to do more of next year is write. I can obviously give her writing assignments myself, and I'm fairly comfortable doing that. However, she also LOVES the few online classes she has taken and really thrives on feedback. (Because of that I've asked her if she would prefer to try public school next year and she wants to homeschool.) So I'd like to find an online class for her. I know what I'm not looking for more than what I am looking for: I'm not looking for something IEW like. We took one class using a local provider (who now runs an online very popular site) and it was horrible and about killed the small amount of tolerance for writing my oldest had. We have used a few Bravewriter classes and I like the idea but they have seemed very pricey for what you get. It's hard for me to justify it, and since they are so short it's hard to really have that be something where she gets to interact with a class/teacher. I've also thought about Lukeion. We used them for four years with my oldest and it was a great fit so I'm familiar with them. But she's both creative and a perfectionist. I worry that Lukeion will stress her out. But maybe they are different for the non-Latin classes? I am looking for something ideally year long, or at least a semester. Live would be better. A mix of creative writing and essays would be fabulous, but not essential. It would be fine to combine with literature, she's a strong reader. Mostly something where she can write a lot and get feedback from a teacher and also have a bit of interaction with a class. She's a kid who longs to have assignments to put in her planner and loves classes where she gets to chat with the other students a bit.
  20. I'm looking for a writing class for my rising 7th grader. She LOVES writing, which is a new thing in our house (her two older brothers are not fans). She's a good natural writer and the one thing she wants to do more of next year is write. I can obviously give her writing assignments myself, and I'm fairly comfortable doing that. However, she also LOVES the few online classes she has taken and really thrives on feedback. (Because of that I've asked her if she would prefer to try public school next year and she wants to homeschool.) So I'd like to find an online class for her. I know what I'm not looking for more than what I am looking for: I'm not looking for something IEW like. We took one class using a local provider (who now runs an online very popular site) and it was horrible and about killed the small amount of tolerance for writing my oldest had. We have used a few Bravewriter classes and I like the idea but they have seemed very pricey for what you get. It's hard for me to justify it, and since they are so short it's hard to really have that be something where she gets to interact with a class/teacher. I've also thought about Lukeion. We used them for four years with my oldest and it was a great fit so I'm familiar with them. But she's both creative and a perfectionist. I worry that Lukeion will stress her out. But maybe they are different for the non-Latin classes? I am looking for something ideally year long, or at least a semester. Live would be better. A mix of creative writing and essays would be fabulous, but not essential. It would be fine to combine with literature, she's a strong reader. Mostly something where she can write a lot and get feedback from a teacher and also have a bit of interaction with a class. She's a kid who longs to have assignments to put in her planner and loves classes where she gets to chat with the other students a bit.
  21. There was a fair amount of writing in Latin 3 and definitely in the AP Latin 4. I can’t remember if there was any in Latin 2. He also did two English classes there (College Comp and Shakespeare). Those were also very good but I felt like it was really Latin that taught him how to write and that was because of Mrs. Barr. It’s a very specific kind of essay, but more important for my son was being forced to do it on a deadline and then that Mrs. Barr has such high standards. Learning how to master those essays have home the confidence to write other kinds of essays.
  22. My oldest (now a senior) did Lukion 1-4. He really liked it and did well on the AP Latin Exam last year. He really liked Mrs. Barr. It was overall a great experience. It is rigorous and a lot of work but we were pleased with our experience. I think in Latin 1 and 2 that I'd guess he spent something like an hour a day on average. By AP Latin 4 it was probably more like an average of 8-10 hours a week because there is more writing and just a lot of translation. He is also a STEM kid (mostly Math) and not a writer or really that into languages; I think he liked Latin because it's somewhat logical. He is a fast reader and bright and generally a good student. He is not a natural writer and I credit Lukeion with really helping him with writing. Mrs. Barr was by far his hardest teacher in any setting he's every had and he often half-joked about being scared of her. Even to the point of trying to participate in his class from his phone on our lawn while we were in the midst of a house fire last spring (yes, seriously...he finally had to type into the chat that he had to go because the firemen wanted him to move.) He had it so ingrained that you NEVER miss class or are late. For him, it was a good thing. I think he liked rising to the challenge. He is also a competitive swimmer and he would sometimes compare her to his swim coach who has some of the same no-excuses mentality. We are fairly relaxed in our homeschool overall and he didn't do a ton of online classes other than Latin so having that experience of hard deadlines and no-excuses was good. Every year I gave him the option of switching to a different Latin class that might be less rigorous. I somewhat pushed that idea for junior year as I really wasn't sure he needed to spend so much time on Latin. But he very much wanted to stick it out and I think came out of the 4 years with a huge sense of achievement. This year he is juggling several demanding online AP classes and I think the experience with Lukion set him up for success. He didn't mind the names of the top students being listed as far as the exam scores. She doesn't ever call out people who did poorly. And again, as an athlete he has that competitive mindset a bit. I think he liked it when his name was listed (which was not often, he did well but wasn't usually one of the top three) but he didn't stress about it when it wasn't. I'll also say that he got great feedback from Mrs. Barr. She was hard on his writing when it wasn't good but in a constructive way. And then when she did praise him, he felt like he earned it. And she wrote a recommendation for him for college (I assume it was positive since he's gotten in everywhere he applied so far :)). All that said, it's a great experience for the right kid. My second son would never in a million years be a good fit for Lukeion. He's a totally different kid and learner.
  23. Ds did AP Macro and AP Micro this year, both the one semester options. He is also doing AP Physics Mech and E&M this year. He has Burns for Econ and Kernion for Physics. Both have been fabulous and I've been very happy with them, which I guess isn't the original poster's question...but I figured it might help someone anyway. I would say neither is truly self-study. Slightly more Econ which has no live component. It does have a very detailed syllabus with specifically laid out assignments. Ds has LOVED the games and spends a lot of time on them and I think has learned a lot. He was in group that had conference calls about the games and got really into them so it also became a fun social thing. He hates to write so having to write papers quite often has been really good for him. As far as time, I'd guess he spends about an hour a day on average on Econ. He easily spends several hours a day on Physics on average. Physics has a live class every other week. The professor (Kernion) has also been very responsive. I've seen lots of emails in Ds's inbox discussing physics with various class members and the professor (someone asking questions). The lab kit was optional and inexpensive and I've been impressed by the labs he's done. I feel like both classes are somewhat interactive, but that might depend on the students. HIs Physics class also has some kind of chat going and they talk physics, I think. I feel like they have been well worth the money. If nothing else, ds has really loved both classes. He is now talking about possibly majoring in Physics (before it was just Math). I think he has gotten much more out of them than something that I put together or that he self-studied. The flexibility of the schedule has also been good as it gives him the ability to manage his work around other things going on .
  24. Pretty much sort of both of these. I have notebooks that I write down weekly assignment in. My high schoolers figure out how they want to do the work in order to get it done. There are times we sit down and check-in or learn together but I don’t have a set amount of time they have to spend on anything. I find that a lot of times they get into one thing and then want to finish it. So one day might be a lot of time on Math and no Writing. Another day might be a little Math and a lot of time on an essay. Now with my senior, he pretty much has all classes that are outside except for a humanities course with me. So I basically check weekly his class websites to make sure he is on track and see how is doing. He keeps up with what he needs to do when. I have more regulated that they are spending time on the things they don’t like or that are hard for them. My now senior would happily spend all day on Math and never write a single word. My 9th grader is the opposite. So for each of them I have taken a more hands-on approach to the subject they would rather avoid. With subjects that are hard for them or they don’t like I am much more likely to focus on effort/time/masterythan completion of a certain amount of work. My senior wrote very few essays in terms of numbers in 9th grade because it was torture for him. So I allowed him to spend just a little bit of time regularly on writing. Now, he hates to write but he can write an essay in 30-45 min when he has to for a class (he has twice a week timed essays for one class). On the other hand, my 9th grader took 1 1/2 years to complete Algebra 1 and will likely take a similar amount of time to complete Geometry. I am much more concerned with him understanding the material than finishing it in a set amount of time. So I ask him to work every day, but it’s ok if it’s slow. If I asked him to keep up with the syllabus for the course he uses, he would absolutely rebel.
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