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Brenda in MA

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  1. Coops are generally longer assignments -- usually a summer and the following fall, or a spring and the following summer, so usually 8 mon. or so. Employers like them because they are long enough for them to get useful work out of the student and for them to see if this student is someone they'd want to hire full time. Often summer internships are only 2 - 3 months, too short of a time for the student to really become trained and useful to an employer. There are some colleges that specialize/encourage the coop route. Here are few I know of; I am sure there are others: RIT, Va Tech, Drexel, Northeastern, etc. These colleges have a normal plan (usually 5 years to Bachelors) that includes periods where the students are expected to work a coop. My son's school didn't have this route, but it was possible with his major to take a semester off and then just go one additional semester later. Not all schools can be this flexible either because some courses are only offered once/year, etc. I think coops are more popular for science/technical fields, but I believe that at some of the above colleges, students in other majors do coops as well. Another plus for cooping is that students can earn signifcant $ during that 8 month stretch. My son applied some of his earnings to his college's bill instead of taking out a student loan one year. I think it used to be that coop earnings could mess with a student's financial aid, but I think this was changed and now coop earning are excluded from the student's FAFSA income -- but I'm not totally sure, so this something to confirm. Just one more thing to think about. Brenda
  2. My oldest did have a hard time find an internship. He started looking at the job fairs at his school his freshman year. Realistically, we didn't think he'd have a shot after freshman year, and he didn't -- ended up scooping ice cream. After sophomore year when he couldn't find anything, we got worried. That's when we advised that he take a semester off and work a coop. He interviewed for many coops fall of senior year, and he finally got one. He is pretty introverted and doesn't interview well, so it was a hard process, but good experience. Once he had that experience, he was able to find a full-time job after graduation. I think it would probably be fine to just have a major-related job after junior year for good experience, the problem is -- what if that is your plan and it doesn't happen? At that point, you're almost too late to do anything other than finish senior year and graduate. At that point it would be too late to late to look for a coop in most places. My younger son is just finishing his sophomore year. He is majoring in physics and applied for at least 6 different research opportunities over Christmas break for this coming summer. He ended up getting two offers. So he fared a bit better. He goes to a smaller college, and his advisor has been bugging the kids (esp. current juniors) to apply to at least 15 research opportunities. They also hire some students on campus and give preference to those who have tried to find outside opportunities and could not. In this case, the small school is doing a much better job (IMHO) of helping the students find career-related summer work. I would suggest that when you do the college search, if this is a concern, than it would be important to investigate how good the prospective colleges are with helping their students find major-related work. Good for you for thinking about this stuff ahead of time! HTH, Brenda
  3. I haven't had a chance to listen to the link you provided, but I have a couple of older kids who have gone through/are going through this transition. I personally did not believe in having my kids work outside-the-home jobs during the school year while they were in high school. In the summers, they worked if they could find something. During the school year, I felt their time was better spent on their academics and extra curricular activities. As a result of the focus on academics, they were both able to get excellent scholarships that well exceeded the amount of money they could have earned at a minimum wage job during high school. I know that if they had worked significant hours during high school, their learning/grades would have suffered. Once they hit college, the story was entirely different. My dh and I pushed both of them to look for summer jobs and insisted that they do something, even if it was minimum wage. Their colleges have been some help with leads for major-related jobs, but the student has to go out of his way and put in a lot of effort to land something. Family and friend connections have helped both of them on occasion as well. When my oldest had trouble finding a major-related summer job, we steered him towards taking a semester off and seeking a longer term coop job, which was easier to find. In the long run, it turned out to be very worthwhile in him getting a full time job after graduation. During his senior year in college, he discovered that the only ones of his friends who got full-time job offers were the ones who had worked major-related coops or internships. Employers didn't care about experience working in fast food, etc. I've also found similar outcomes with friends' children. The ones who cruised through college and spent their summers at the beach with friends or taking an extra college course were not able to find full-time jobs in their major. I personally think that the colleges can be helpful in connecting students with internships, research, etc., but that the onus has to be on the student, and often on their parents to motivate them to look. My kids have both complained about having to work their summers when some of their college friends are traveling or at the beach. Too bad, so sad. At the end of the day, my oldest is happy and thankful now that we made him work, and we're happy too, since he is supporting himself! Best wishes to you as you help your youngsters navigate the final stages towards adulthood! Brenda
  4. First, let me say that I disagree with the above. Some students (and I had one like this) are just reluctant and don't like change. They won't take ownership of a college search process because they don't understand it and deep down are fearful. If you the parent feel like your child is ready for college and would succeed there academically, then I don't see anything wrong with leading them through the application process. Real decisions of which college to attend are 6-7 months off. My experience and that of my IRL friends is that boys, in particular, usually seem to need more help with the process. I would also suggest that it looks like from your signature line that this is your oldest child. If so, he probably doesn't have much sense of what college is all about. I know my oldest didn't. My next one, having toured many places with his brother, dropped his brother off at a dorm, etc. was much more mentally prepared for what lay ahead when it was time for him to apply. JMHO. If I were you, I would make your son apply to the local safety. You obviously can't make him attend there, but at least it would give him options come spring time. He could still decide on a gap year, but at least the door to the local place wouldn't be closed. My rationale for this is that in my experience, children who are 17 yo are rapidly changing. I saw this with my kids at that age. What they thought they wanted in October of senior year was not the same thing they wanted come April or May -- so I say keep some options open. I also have one IRL friend whose dd applied to only one college in the fall because she was very convinced it was the school for her. After the holidays, she started to have regrets, and by graduation, was not at all happy with her choice. She ended up going there for one semester and is now in the process of transferring. All of this drama could have been avoided had she applied to a few more places last fall. Best wishes during a tumultuous time! Brenda
  5. Tara, Here's my idea for one that my son and I did several years ago (Copied from an old post. Someone had asked about which version of Democracy in America to get): Not an edition of the book, but I would highly recommend the Great Courses lectures on Democracy in America. The set is called Tocqueville and the American Experiment, and the lecturer is Prof. William Cook. My son and I used this set along with one on the Federalist Papers and the "Idiot's Guide to Gov't" for his 1/2 credit government course. This combination was fairly easy to implement, and we both learned so much. Brenda
  6. I'm with Sharon. We use google calendar as a family, and we can all see each other's appointments/classes, which is helpful if we need to contact each other, we can see what would be a good time to call. My son and I each have one shared calendar for appointments, and a second one for personal stuff that is not shared. He keeps his school assignments on the unshared one. When he was home, I could look over his shoulder and see what he had planned, but now that he is away, I can't see his assignments planned out. He likes it better that way, which is fine with me. We both started using this his senior year of high school, and I think it was good to have that year for both of us to get the hang of using it before he left for college. Best wishes, Brenda

    • For Sale
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    I have for sale a complete set of Prentice Hall Biology. This is the dragonfly book. The set is from a non-smoking and no-pets home. Everything is in excellent condition with no writing inside. The student book does have a little pen writing on the cover and on the spine. I accept paypal. Please email or PM me if interested. I'm asking $35ppd for the set which includes: student 013050730X TM 0130507423 Lab Manual A 0130544035 Chapter Tests 013044166X Thanks for looking, Brenda


  8. Both of mine have taken 17 credits the fall of their freshman year. That was the normal load for the STEM majors they were/are in. Both of them had excellent preparation at home and had done outside and CC classes. They both worked hard, but they did well. I think you've gotten good advice -- particularly to look at your dd's strengths and go from there. Also see how easy it is to drop a class. Personally, I might be a little concerned about the Chinese, but since she has had some before, it might be OK. You might also see if you can find out somehow what the language classes are like at that school (maybe ratemyprofessor or college confidential, or better if you know some current students, as them and their friends). If Chinese seems like it might be tough, maybe see if there is another liberal arts requirement, like psychology, that she could take instead of another science. I'd be concerned with how much lab work might be required if she took 3 science classes. Best wishes, Brenda
  9. I tend to use homeschool classified and the sale/swap board here. In fact, i just posted a bunch of Latin materials I am trying to sell. Best wishes. Cleaning out is hard! Brenda

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    Finished homeschooling, so I'm clearing out many of my Latin books and materials. All are from a non-smoking, no-pets home and are in excellent condition. Please email or PM me if interested. Shipping is via media mail. Paypal preferred. Thanks for looking. Brenda AP Latin Caesar textbook -- $18ppd (for the current AP syllabus) AP Latin Caesar workbook Set -- $27ppd (includes workbook and answer key for current AP syllabus) Henle Latin Second Year Set -- $16ppd (includes student book that has been spiral bound in 2 parts for ease of use, and answer key) Lingua Latina Set -- $35ppd (includes Familia Romana, Roma Aeterna, TM & Answer Keys for Parts 1 and 2, and Student Manual) Lingua Latina Supplements -- $16ppd (includes Colloquia Personarum and Fablae Syrae) Latin Vocabulary Cards -- $12ppd (set of 1000 cards containing 2000 words from vis-ed.com) Wheelock's Latin Reader (2 copies) -- $7ppd each or $12ppd for both Rea Latin SAT Subject Test (w/CD) -- $10ppd Excelability in Advanced Latin Set -- $29ppd (includes student edition with 4 pages marked in pen, rest is clean; and TM (in new condition)) Ovid, Amores & Metamorphoses Set -- $16ppd (includes student text and matching TM, used in one version of the old AP Latin Lit exam) Loeb Classical Library Set -- $15ppd (includes Augustine's Confessions, books I - VIII and Ovid's Metamorphoses, books 1 - 8) Cicero Set -- $12ppd (includes 3 books, Pro Caelio, De Amicitia Selections, and Pro Archia Poeta Oratio, student books only, used in the old AP Latin Lit exam) The Student's Catullus, by Daniel Garrison, 4th edition -- $12ppd (student text, some light pencil writing on 5 pages) Vergil's Aeneid Expanded Collection -- $15ppd (student text, some light pencil writing on 8 pages) Roman Map Workbook by Heimbach -- $12ppd (new) Vergil: A Legamus Transitional Reader -- $10ppd (new)


  11. My son and his Dad and I have linked calendars through Google. We can each enter things and they show up on all 3 calendars. We can view them from PC or phone. My son puts his classes, appointments, and work hours on there. He also has a 2nd private calendar that he uses to keep track of when he has tests and homework due. We started experimenting with using this his senior year of high school, and it has worked really well for college, too. HTH, Brenda
  12. Cynthia, It sounds like you've given him some good advice/options. I can really relate to this -- it is how I felt when I finished undergrad. I had job offers, but they weren't where prospective dh was, and my only option in that area was grad school. I reluctantly went to grad school, but I was so burned out, it was really, really tough. Back then, I don't even know if deferral was an option. If it was, I wasn't aware of it. If you think your son would be interested in grad school eventually, and if they would accept a deferral, I'd say let him go to the Bible school for a year to decompress. Is there a chance he might be able to get an ME-related summer job either with a professor or in industry and then go to the Bible college in the fall? I also liked the idea of the co-op job -- defer the grad school, do the cop-op to test-drive a job in that field, and then choose to either work or go to grad school in a year. So many options. I think most students are just soooo tired this time of year. I can even hear it in my college freshman, and he still has 3 years to go.... Best wishes to all of you! Brenda
  13. I was going to suggest Wooster as well. Ohio isn't that much farther than PA. Maybe if you have the time this summer, you might make a road trip out there and take a look. I found that my oldest son's ideas of how far he was willing to go changed dramatically during senior year. If you think Wooster is a great fit academically and socially, maybe you could just get her to apply so she has that option come next spring. I think Jane's son also looked at BU, if I recall. Maybe you could PM her specfically and ask about archeology. Best wishes finding a good fit. Brenda
  14. How about Allegheny College in Meadville, PA (from the colleges that change lives book)? It's about 2 hr north of Pittsburgh, so on the outside of your distance range. My son applied there, and when we visited, I was impressed with how focused the school was on preparing students for life after college, whether it be grad school (which many do) or a career. They place a strong emphasis on teaching writing and public speaking so that students will be able to present their work in the professional sphere. I think all students had to do a senior project as well. They do offer merit aid. Best wishes finding a good fit! Brenda
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