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  1. For anyone that has used Tablet Class math for Algebra 2, does anyone have any suggestions for ways in which the material can be compacted down a little. Are there any topics in Algebra 2 that maybe don't need to be covered as in depth? My dd wants to finish the course in a few months (2 to 3 months). I know that seems short, but this is her last course for high school and she is not taking anything else right now. She has already started and completed the first 2 chapters and we are about to start chapter 3, but looking over the material some of it seems a bit repetitive. Just want to see if anyone has any suggestions. Thanks!

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    Basic Latin – Practice Makes Perfect – Latin Workbook – ISBN 9780071821414 - $6 Thinking Through Grammar – ISBN 0970907567 - $10 Cambridge Latin Course Unit 1 – North American Fourth Edition - text (slight wear to cover), workbook (pencil writing on first page only), and teacher’s manual – ISBN 9780521004343, ISBN 0521787475, ISBN 0521787408 - $35 for set Cambridge Latin Course Unit 2 – North American Fourth Edition – text, workbook (pencil writing on 1st page only), student study book answer key – ISBN 0521004306, ISBN 0521787416, ISBN 9780521685948 - $35 for set English From the Roots Up – Volume 1 – ISBN 0964321033 - $12 Glencoe World History Textbook by Spielvogel – ISBN 0078285577 - $20 Derek Owens – Algebra 2 – Semester 1 Student Workbook – no writing, like new - $10 Hole’s Essential Human Anatomy and Physiology – 10th edition textbook – some highlighting, otherwise really good condition – ISBN 9780072965636 and Hole’s Essential Human Anatomy and Physiology – study guide – ISBN 9780072965681 - $15 for set Prices include shipping. Smoke free home. Paypal or Amazon gift card accepted for payment.


  3. You definitely can find lots of algebra practice sheets. My problem is I don't have the time to go looking for extra things. I prefer programs that have everything included. I am trying to work while homeschooling, so leaves me with little time for planning. I think in the past they had a soft-cover version of the book, not sure why they changed it. I am starting to like ebook options more, so wish more math programs offered that, kind of like Math Mammoth.
  4. We are using Fresh Approach Algebra this year. We just started chapter 1 and are about halfway through. I cannot give a complete review since we are only starting the book, but I can give a general overview. Last year, we used Derek Owens prealgebra and the only reason I did not continue with his Algebra course is it was too costly for us this year. I already owned the Fresh Approach Algebra book so we decided to go with that. My dd hates math and prefers a math program that has a workbook format. That format is really difficult to find in high school algebra programs. She completed half of the Key to Algebra books last year, but they only go so far so I needed to find something else that would carry her through Algebra 1, 2, and geometry. From browsing through the Fresh Approach Algebra book it does seem to cover algebra pretty thoroughly. There are quite a few chapters that have numerous word problems. There is plenty of review in chapter 1 covering fractions, decimals, negative numbers, etc. Each section in the book has an explanation of the topics that will be covered which I find to be really clear and easy to understand with good examples. I like the font in the book which seems to be easy on the eyes, not too small. There are not an enormous amount of problems in each exercise, but just enough to get good practice. One negative I can see is that if more practice is needed on one of the sections then you would have to look elsewhere for practice sheets. For example, MUS has numerous practice sheets, so if your dd or ds needs a lot of practice before solidifying a topic, then this program may not be a good fit. Also, I think this is a very basic straight to the point algebra program. If your child likes to think outside of the box and might be a future math major then this program probably won't be as challenging or interesting. That being said, this is a solid algebra program, maybe does not have all the bells and whistles, but depends on what your needs are. One thing I don't like about the book itself, is that it is a hardback book. I wish it came in a softback or spiral or even an ebook format. It is kind of hard to open the pages in the book because the binding is so tight. I am seriously thinking about cutting off the binding and putting it into a notebook. Also, we briefly tried out Jacobs Algebra last year and hated it. I know a lot of people like that algebra program but it was a terrible fit for my dd. There is absolutely no explanation in the Jacobs textbook before completing problems and there are a lot of different types of problems that require a lot of out of the box thinking. Not a great fit for my non-math dd. She also struggled with writing out all of the problems on paper, etc. So, I guess I would say that Fresh Approach Algebra is the complete opposite of Jacobs Algebra. The way we are using Fresh Approach Algebra is a little different as well. I am having my dd pre-read the explanations for a particular section, then the following day we work the problems on a white board together and then she writes the answers in the book. So, for now we are using a white board to work the problems rather than writing out the steps in the book. This may change as we go along. Anyway, that is all I can say about Fresh Approach for now, but will update later in the year when we have used the book a little longer.
  5. We are in Texas, but my oldest dd is enrolled in Kolbe Academy which is in Napa. We just enrolled for 10th grade a week ago. I also placed a book order that will probably be taking a long time to get to me. They have pictures of some of the damage on facebook: Kolbe Academy Facebook
  6. These are the ones I have been eyeballing: Introduction to Literature and Composition The Hero’s Journey http://oakmeadow.com/courses/intro-to-lit/ World History http://oakmeadow.com/courses/world-history/ (I already have the text so this would be a no brainer) The Study of Music http://oakmeadow.com/courses/the-study-of-music/ I originally thought we would go with an art course, but my dd (who happens to be really great at art and drawing), does not want to take art courses for high school credit!!! We need a fine arts credit for Kolbe so this music course looks pretty good. Integrated Health and Fitness http://oakmeadow.com/courses/integrated-health-and-fitness/ I would like dd to take at least one health course and this one looks like it has a few interesting books.
  7. I was just browsing the Oak Meadow website for high school course options and realized they redesigned their website and it looks like they redesigned some of the course syllabi as well. There is also a new English course called Introduction to Literature and Composition The Hero's Journey. Just thought I would throw this info out there for anybody looking for curriculum for the upcoming year. http://oakmeadow.com/ Here are their curriculum samples: Oak Meadow Curriculum Samples
  8. Kolbe also has syllabi for Henle and Wheelock Latin. Kolbe Wheelock Latin 1 Kolbe Henle Latin 1 If you decide to use Latin Alive there is an awesome Yahoo group where they have worksheets, quizzes, tests, and more under the files section: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/LatinAlive/info I have also been eyeballing Cambridge Latin. I like the interactive website they have with the online activities, etc: Cambridge Latin 1 Some of the resources are free, some of it only available with a subscription, but it is reasonable. I tried to sign up for it a few days ago, but have not received an email yet, so until I get that worked out I cannot really comment much more on the website.
  9. We were enrolled with Kolbe this past year and I purchased the physical science online workbook/answer key. Basically, the online access gives you everything online. You can print out the workbook, have access to answers, there are extra activities that go with the textbook. I picked up a used copy of the biology textbook to use for this next year so I am going to buy the online access again, I think it is $25 at Kolbe. I think it is the best deal. It looks like buying the hard copy of the workbook and workbook answer key through Kolbe is pricey (at least for the answer key anyway). I guess you could also look for it used if you wanted to save money. So, you don't need all those items you listed. You definitely need the textbook. I suggest looking for a used copy on Amazon or Ebay. You would need the virtual labs. The workbook is optional. I don't think the course plans even schedule anything in the workbook. There are questions, quizzes, tests in the course plans so you really don't need the workbook. If you decide you want the workbook or extras that go with the text then I would purchase the online access. For the religion component, those books would be optional. You may or may not even need the lab report writing guide, but it looks fairly inexpensive so I guess it would not hurt to have as a reference.
  10. The math lesson plans do not have answers to the textbook, just what exercises to complete and exams for which there are answer keys provided. Jacobs Algebra was used last year, not sure if they are still using it or not since it went out of print this past year. I had purchased a complete set used which included the answer key to the text, however, we ended up going a different direction with math anyway, just did not like Jacobs at all. It is really hard to convey how much extra work it is to keep paperwork for high school whether through Kolbe or for your own records. For junior high we just completed the next lesson in the book and if my dd did not understand something I would have her work extra problems. I never really graded anything or kept records. I just gave her extra work or had her spend more time on a topic if she was missing too many problems. Now, I am practically designing and implementing courses from start to finish. It is extremely time consuming. First you have to research what curriculum/books/videos etc to use (not as easy as earlier years because everything is beefed up in high school). Then, if you are assigning grades you have to decide what percentage each part of the course will be for the final grade. For example, for math the final grade might be based on homework assignments, quizzes, and tests. For other subjects it can get more complicated. Maybe you have writing assignments/essays, projects, etc. Some assignments are easy to grade (math), others are more subjective (writing). Then even once you have figured out what curriculum you are using and how you will be assigning grades/credit, then you have to keep up with your student every week to make sure they are on track and completing assignments, understanding material, recording their grades, etc. Kolbe also wants you to keep an attendance record so that is one more thing on the list. If your student is not that great at being self taught or creating their own schedule then you will have to sit down and make a schedule for them each week (this possibly could be done once a month, but things change, sometimes they get behind in math because they don't understand something). For Kolbe you will be sending in copies of work they have completed, assignments, essays, tests, etc. So, as you are going through the year, you are always thinking about have we completed something on paper that we can send to Kolbe (you will need at least 1 item for each quarter per subject and I think you might have to send other tests/essays as well if you are on a different track or trying to get Kolbe designation on the transcript). I had to convince my dd to please write neatly so the staff at Kolbe could actually read her handwriting (some things she can type of course). The other wrench I had to deal with was that we did not end up using most of the lesson plans! I know it seems strange, but we started with the math lesson plans, then ditched that because Jacobs was not working. Switched over to a combination of Key to Algebra and Derek Owens. Derek Owens has been a lifesaver for us, finally a math my dd can do on her own and no arguing with mom. English comp and rhetoric was another one that we started off using the lesson plans, but now we are doing our own thing. I just did not like the Sadlier Vocab workshop books (just were not effective for my dd) and the writing workshop books were okay, but nothing spectacular. For science my dd is completing Introduction to Physics and Chem, however, my dd read the entire Prentice Hall book in a week that is recommended by Kolbe so I have added on PAC Integrated Chem and Physics workbooks. She is also working on a half credit in earth science with another book that we have. For lit, we ordered the junior high lit course plans which is fine to use for high school. There are a lot of good books in there that we had not read yet. Other than picking books from the course plan, we have not been following them either, but the lit plans are really nice. My dd is not completing latin or religion this year, so we went ahead and ordered those plans, but have not even looked at them, probably save them for next year. We are also doing world geography this year instead of the world history (greece) that Kolbe recommends. As far as rubrics for grading provided by Kolbe, they have something in the course plans, but it is not very helpful to me since we have changed everything so much and I don't think their grading rubrics are as thorough as they could be. Honestly, the grading is not always black and white, some subjects are just easier to grade than others. You can always call Kolbe and talk to them if you have questions, so that is another option if you cannot get a hang of grading and record keeping. I guess we chose Kolbe for the freedom to change curriculum if needed and to have a little bit of say in how we design the courses, while at the same time receiving a diploma from a recognized school. Overall, I am happy with what they provide, but it has just been a tremendous learning curve this year. I would not suggest going down this path where the parent has to be so involved with every step of the process if you are really busy with other things in life, like working a lot of hours, sick family members, etc. In that situation, I would highly suggest signing up for courses where there is a teacher to do the grading, give feedback, and of course offer instruction in topics the student might struggle with. Next year, my goal is to get my dd as independent as possible so that she has to take responsibility for her future and mom can just be a sounding board/counselor, etc every now and then.
  11. I currently have my dd 9th grader enrolled in Kolbe. If you just use the course plans from Kolbe as written then everything is spelled out for you, however, you still need to make sure your student gets the work done and keeps somewhat of a schedule so you don't get behind. The parent is the grader which I find challenging. We never really assigned formal grades for anything before this point, so I am finding it time consuming. Really, all the paperwork, grading, etc with Kolbe I find a bit too much. Some days I think about just designing our own transcript without Kolbe. Another thing to consider is if you choose to use different curriculum then you won't have the nice lesson plans and you might have to make a schedule for your student's work. At first I thought I could just hand off books to my dd to figure out what to do next and how to pace her work, but it did not work out very well. I have had to sit down and type up a schedule every week of how many lessons, what pages, worksheets, etc, everything and that is another time zapper for me. Maybe next year she will be more motivated, but this year not so much and I am determined to keep her on track, no excuses. I like the freedom that Kolbe offers, but I hate having to do paperwork and honestly it probably would have been a lot easier for me to just sign up my dd for classes from a place like Keystone where she would have to send in homework to an actual teacher other than me. Then they would be responsible for keeping paperwork and grading. I know I sound a bit negative, but I would not suggest Kolbe to anyone that knows that they don't have a lot of time on their hands. It probably works better for students that are more self motivated. So, if you have a self motivated student and don't mind doing the paperwork/grading then Kolbe is perfect. They do offer a lot more freedom to design your own courses/transcript than a lot of other schools. I do like the new options for online classes at Kolbe. I think that may be a better option for my dd to keep her on schedule a little better. Next year, we might do a combination of using some of their lesson plans and some online classes through either Kolbe or Keystone. Anyway, hoping next year will go a little smoother. I think 9th grade is a learning curve for most homeschooling moms in general. If anyone has any other questions about Kolbe let me know!
  12. I have barely finished planning this year, we keep changing things! After discovering that we did not like using textbooks so much this year, next year will be completely different. For 10th grade next year (dd): Algebra 2 - Videotext Algebra - we will complete the entire thing Science - Cannot decide between biology and chemistry, if we go with bio we will use PAC Biology, if we go with chemistry will probably use Friendly Chemistry History - World History, not sure what we will use, maybe PAC World History, we are mainly focusing on medieval and modern history since we have covered the ancients a few too many times English - Medieval Literature, using either Kolbe's literature plans or Lightning Lit, no idea what we will use for writing Latin - Latin 1 - will most likely use the Latin Alive series which I already own, also looking at Cambridge Latin or Latin for the New Millenium Religion - World Religion - I will create this course from several sources since my dd needs religion credits for Kolbe Electives - We will probably decide at the last minute, most likely photography, advanced computer courses, maybe psychology
  13. A couple of ideas: You could use Key to Algebra to review everything again at a pretty quick pace. The Key to books are good for practicing math calculation. Then, when finished with those choose another program for algebra 2 since Key to does not go that high in level. The books are pretty much as good as getting to the point as you can get. Another option, start up with Videotext Algebra which technically starts at prealgebra, but then quickly moves into algebra and even moves into algebra 2 so you could finish all of algebra with this program. The first few modules would be review and then you could slow down when you get to new material. I like how the author of the program suggests doing less problems and motivating the child to work carefully so they don't have to do as many problems. They only do all of the problems on the page if they get some wrong or don't understand the concept. It is also suggested to have the child review their own answers that are incorrect to figure out what they did wrong (mostly so they understand what they got wrong, but also to give mom a little break). My other suggestion is Chalkdust Algebra because Dana has such an easy style in explaining the concepts in his videos. You could work through the text doing a few problems or even just the chapter reviews so see where there are weaknesses. I am one of those moms that likes to use whatever works for math at that moment. I don't tend to get completely attached to a math curriculum. This year my dd is in 9th grade, but I felt she was kind of weak on Algebra skills at the beginning of the year. We had started with Jacobs Algebra, but had to toss it because the style was just too difficult for both of us. I needed something I could teach from easily and something my dd would not have a meltdown with. The first thing I did was put her in Horizons Prealgebra book. We worked through the first part of the book for a little review. Next we started Key to Algebra books and she is understanding everything really well, doing amazing, getting 100s on almost everything, and it just plain makes sense now for some reason. We are about halfway through the series. Next, I am going to start Videotext which we are going to do simultaneously with the Key to Algebra books. We will probably just get through the prealgebra portion of Videotext this year, but then once we finish the Videotext next year she will have completed algebra 1 and 2. Hope this was not too confusing. You don't have to use 5 million math programs like me, but sometimes you just have to try something different to see what will work.
  14. My dd is currently enrolled in 9th grade with Kolbe, feel free to ask me any questions. For the magna diploma there are a total of 50 credits or 5 years of english/literature required with 2 of those 5 years in literature. For example, you could complete english rhetoric/writing for 9th, 10th, and 11th grade and then complete 2 years of literature maybe starting in 11th grade going through 12th grade. We are not following the Kolbe plans as closely as this, so will probably end up aiming for the standard diploma, but it is still early for us to decide. For 9th this year, I went ahead and ordered all the plans from Kolbe even if I was not going to use them, just in case. So, I have the plans for the english 9 and ancient greek literature, but I also ordered the junior high lit plans as well (no extra charge if you just add one or two more plans I think). We are using the junior high lit plans instead along with the english 9 plans, although we also added in Easy Grammar Plus for grammar review and have been doing some spelling review from Spelling Power. I have not been super excited with the vocabulary and writing books that Kolbe uses, so will probably use something else next year. If I end up giving my dd credit for literature this year, it will probably be something like Intro to Literature and just be a half credit. Although I like most of their lesson plans, we ended up switching out of Jacobs Algebra because it was just not a good fit, so I have those plans unused as well. I don't mind the money spent on unused lesson plans though because Kolbe allows so much flexibility and is so darn inexpensive for everything they offer. I don't know if colleges see a transcript from Kolbe with all the extra literature, etc as padded or not, but lots of their graduates get into really amazing colleges and with scholarships too! I am attaching the PDF that shows the Kolbe Class of 2013 acceptances. KolbeGraduatesClassof2013.pdf
  15. This page has samples of the newer editions of the Holt high school science texts: Holt Science
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