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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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. This is basically what we did. Go to PreAlgebra, and then onto Dociani for Algebra 1/Geometry/Algebra 2/Advanced Math (PreCalc), followed by Larson (Chalkdust) for Calc. This sequence led to excellent math SAT scores and success in college Calculus. Brenda
  14. Quill, Personally, I think you were smart to entertain both in-state and out-of-state options. If you had limited your dd's choices from the start, she may have always been wondering "what if"? What if that OOS place had given me a scholarship? What if their financial aid had been good? -- since everyone tells me to "dream big" because financial aid will fill in the gaps. I think there is a real value for our young adults to go through the process and then have to face reality -- there are only a certain amount of dollars available. They will face this situation many times in life. They will probably want a bigger house than they can afford and will have to "settle". That's just life. Both of my kids had college options that ended up being off the table due to finances. Because we picked schools carefully, they also had some excellent choices that we could afford. Neither of them is the worse for wear. I think the most important thing is to set expectations right off the bat so they don't spend the entire year thinking they can attend whatever school they get accepted to. Best wishes to both of you! Brenda
  15. I agree with this advice. If you live near a college or CC, I'd suggest having him take Chemistry + lab there. Depending on which college he is looking at, he might be able to transfer that Chem class and not have to take Chem again. That is what my MechE ds did. The chem course at engineering school was a weeder course, and he was very glad not to have to take it. I would also second the suggestion for some kind of programming course, and possibly a CAD course if you can find something. If he goes to the CC, you might also have him look into taking some other classes that might transfer. My son also took English 101 and Psychology. Best wishes, Brenda
  16. I understand that the Hakim books don't have the depth necessary for high school, but that's why one can supplement them. The Critical Thinking in US History series is labelled as grades 7-12, so that is definitely high school level. I stand by my choice to use Hakim with supplements with both of my sons in high school. The courses were enjoyable, they learned a lot, and they were low stress. Both of my boys have gone into STEM fields (engineering & physics) in college. They both like history, but it wasn't something they wanted to major in. I was not interested in AP History credit for either of them. They both have gone on to take college-level history and have done fine. I think the OP is wise to tailor an approach that aims for AP in a few areas, and also to do DE in some. One of my sons did no APs and 4 DE courses, and the other one did 4 APs and 2 DE courses -- it just came down to what was best for each of them at the time. I will also stand by what I have said in other posts about finding balance in high school. It's such a busy time. I found with both sons that we had to choose which subjects they "hit hard" in high school and which to make "get 'er done" subjects. For us, history and government fell into the "get 'er done" subjects. I believe that the courses they did do were informative for them and gave them the foundation they needed for college study. They were at least as good as what they would have gotten at the local ps, and that was good enough for us. I would rather that they spent lots and lots of hours on their math courses and fewer on history, given what they wanted to pursue later. So that's my 2 cents on the matter. Brenda
  17. We used the Hakim books for high school, too. Actually, both of my boys did a two year US History class in 8th and 9th grades. We covered up the Civil War the first year and the rest the second year. We used the Hakim books and their associated multiple choice tests, and like J-rap, we also added in a lot of biographies and historical novels to coordinate. We also did most of the Critical Thinking in US History books as well, and we went on some related field trips -- to Philadelphia, Gettysburg, Washington, DC, etc. Mine didn't do essays specifically for "history", but one them used the IEW US History-based writing lessons along with the history stuff, and I counted that as a part of his English credit. HTH, Brenda
  18. My son applied to and was accepted to Allegheny College. We toured the campus one summer. We were both very impressed by the school. Ds was interested in physics, and for a smaller, liberal arts school, they had a pretty big physics program. The profs we met were very impressive. They seemed very interested in my son's homeschooling background. It so happened that there was a lunchtime research seminar going on that day, and they invited us to attend. We got to hear 3 or 4 student students present their research in front of a large audience. Only one of them was a science major (biology). The others were from other liberal arts disciples, like psychology. All of the student presenters were polished and professional. One thing I took away from our visit to the school is that Allegheny works hard to develop their students so that they have a smooth transition into the working world or to graduate school. I seem to recall that each student has to do some kind of senior research project, and that helps the students mature and gain polish. Everyone we talked to at the school was friendly and helpful. We ended up sitting next to a man at the luncheon who was in the alumni relations department. He gave us his card and told us that we could contact him with any questions. Allegeheny was one of my son's top choices for a small physics school, and he was offered a nice merit scholarship there. His only misgiving about the school was that Greek life seemed pretty big there. In the end, he choose another small liberal arts school that is specifically Catholic. We definitely were left with a good impression of Allegheny. Best wishes in your search. Brenda
  19. Here's how I've seen it play out, using your numbers: cost = 21,000 - EFC 6,000 = 15,000 of "need". Now, subtract $5500 (max fed. loan), subtract say $1500 (work study), and that leaves you with a "need" of 8,000. If the college meets 77% of need, then your child might qualify for a scholarship of around $6160 based on need. So in the end, the student gets perhaps $6160 of "free" aid, and you/he/she would still pay $14840 that year (including your contribution, the work study, and the loans). I say "might" because the average need met is just that, an average. Some colleges will give better aid to those with higher grades/desirable extracurriculars/etc. and less aid to those that have stats on the low end. If this prospective college is a larger/more popular one, you might look on college confidential to see what other folks' experience has been with financial aid at the school. When mine were looking for colleges, I spent a considerable amount of time investigating merit scholarship opportunities at various schools. It really was a bit of work to come up with schools where I thought they had a decent chance at scholarships and that we could afford in the end. Best wishes, Brenda
  20. My son's school didn't use that particular Facebook app, but something similar. He had to post a profile about himself, including things like favorite sports, books, movies, music, etc. He also had to answer about 10 questions about living habits -- bed times, messy vs. neat, introvert vs. extrovert, etc. The kids could send each other emails through this site and get to know one another. They exchanged phone numbers, and my son and his current roommate ended up speaking on the phone a couple of times before decided to be roommates. After a certain date, they were able to choose someone specific for a roommate if they wanted through the site. The whole thing took a bit of time, but it was really worth it. My son has a wonderful roommate. They get along very well. In contrast to that, my older son's school just had a very short questionare, and his freshman roommate was a terrible match. So if your child has the choice to use a roommate matching app, I'd highly recommend it. Brenda
  21. I didn't see the list of courses she is taking in your sig line before. Wow. She's got 3 reading-intensive courses, and two of them are AP level. Add Lukeion Latin on top of that and rigorous math and science, and I'd say double-wow, esp. for a 10th grader. I know there are some kids out there who could handle that level of course work without a lot of stress, but mine certainly was not one of them. We had to have at least 2 of the 6 courses be a little more low-key/non-AP level stuff. I can see your logic of having her continue with Latin, but I can see her reluctance due to the amount of work. I'd suggest thinking about what her interests are (and possible college majors), and if she continues with Latin next year, consider going a bit "easier" in one of the other areas -- history or maybe science? JMHO, Brenda
  22. I'm not familiar with 38 Latin Stories, but that sounds like a good idea to practice with. We did extra reading from Colloquia Personarum (from the publisher of Lingua Latina). I think one of the keys to increasing speed is to practice with very easy reading material first, and then slowly move to harder material. Another important thing is to really drill vocabulary words continuously -- as in all year long, even in the summer. We used a computerized flashcard system called Anki that continually adjusts which cards it shows you based on how long it takes you to answer. I got a pre-made card deck for Wheelock Latin on-line for free. I started with that base deck, and then as he came across new words in his Latin homework each week, I'd add those to the deck, too. If your goal is the AP exam, realize that there are "unseen" or sight passages that make up a good part of the exam. The key to doing well with those (in addition to a good foundation in grammar) is having a decent-sized vocabulary. So it's a good idea to really start working on the vocabulary now in Latin 2. If your student goes on to Latin 3, there will be many authors covered, and a lot more new vocabulary to learn. So don't just learn a week or two's words for the quiz and then stop reviewing them. If you do this, you will be sorry later. My son took Latin 3 & 4 with Lukeion a couple of years back and did well on the AP exam. He tested into 4th semester Latin at his college, and he found it pretty straight forward with the background he had. Best wishes, Brenda
  23. Congrats!!!! It is so amazing when they graduate college and get that job offer. As my brother said about my oldest recently, "he's actually a productive member of society now". Feels so good, too, when they can completely pay their own bills. The final verification that homeschooling works, too!!!! Good work, Mamma! Brenda
  24. Since you mentioned Biology, how about Nursing? I'm suggesting that because, hopefully, it would only take you 3 - 4 years more to earn that degree, and then you would have access to a good-paying field that is in demand everywhere. I have several friends that are nurses, and I envy how easy it is for them to work part-time while they raise their children. The thing with a Biology degree is that you really do need to get a PhD and probably do several years of post-doctoral work if you wanted to head a research lab. With a BS degree, you might be able to get a job as a lab technician, but there probably wouldn't be much hope for advancement, and I don't know how easy it would be to work part-time in that field. Best wishes to you whatever you choose to do! Brenda
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