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TheAttachedMama

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About TheAttachedMama

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  1. Hi Everyone, I am planning on using the new Memoria Press High School Biology program for my 8th grade son next year. (It uses the Holt Modern Biology textbook.). The program looks very complete, but it does not contain any scheduled labs. So I would like to find a nice (easy to use!) lab program/kit suitable for a high school biology with lab credit. Does anyone have any recommendations? Here is what I looked at so far: 1). QSL Biology. https://www.qualitysciencelabs.com/biology-labs/qsl-biology-lab-kit/ I can't find any samples of this online. Does anyone know if there are any samples out there? Maybe on a blog or something? Or if you own a copy, would you mind snapping a few pictures? And if you have used this for labs, what are your thoughts? 2) I've also looked at the Illustrated Guide to Biology experiments. For some reason I felt very overwhelmed by that book, so I am ruling it out. Although, maybe I judged it too soon. 3). I've also been reading on this forum, and I found a bunch of people talking about LabPaq. However, that doesn't seem to be around anymore? Or they have moved to a customized lab solution only?
  2. Well, I think you only have access to the class website for a few weeks after the class closes. Our class just closed, so I was able to go to the class page directly. (I went through and just added up all of the assigned problems for each of the weeks.). Alcumus remains around though, and you can view those problems by going to the report page. (Of course, if your child took those classes awhile ago, Alcumus will also include any review problems in the total count for that subject too.). ...Also, my problem count won't necessarily represent every student's problem count since Alcumus is adaptive.
  3. Just to give an update, my son worked really hard and manage to do really well in a class! NOW we are both feeling really good about the class and think it was the single best thing we did this year in our homeschool. (Aren't we funny?!) Was it challenging? YES! But was it worthwhile? Without a doubt. I equate it to the feeling you might get at the end of running a marathon (or having a baby for all of you mamas out there). In the midst of it (and especially at the end), the tasks seems impossible. But a few weeks removed, and you are so glad you had the experience. Perhaps a bit melodramatic, but that is how we are both feeling right now. My son has also BEGGED me to keep going with AOPS classes. So that is our short term plan. He is going to work through the NUMBER THEORY book at home with mama.. (He prefers that to counting and probability and finds the questions more interesting.). Then I am going to have him work through the rest of the Algebra book this summer and take the online class this fall. I think that will make the pace very manageable. (And hopefully he will go back and complete Counting and Probability this spring when Algebra B is finished.) He will go into some sort of math or science field most likely. He has always said that he wants to be a wildlife biologist. (That is what he would tell you if you asked him today.) But I imagine him being a professor of....something. He loves to talk at length about topics that interest him (and teach). (But what do I know? It is so hard to answer that question when your kid is only 13!) Sorry, he was 12 while he took this class. 🙂. (7th grade). He just turned 13. YES! We had a substitute who did that one week. VERY annoying. I didn't like that teacher much at all. They would pause for WAAAAAAAY too long waiting for a simple answer. (Like how do we get a common denominator? Or how do we add like terms? <Pause for 15 mins>.) Then, paste the equivalent of a novel in 2 second flat and move on to another novel of text the next second. He also didn't share many student responses. Kids seem to become less engaged when they think no one is reading or paying attention to their responses. And when they stop engaging, they stop paying attention. His regular teacher (Benjamin Engwall) was a FABULOUS teacher. (Sign up for his class if you can!). His pacing was great. He also did a great job keeping students engaged in a text forum. He would share student responses and even just comments. This helped remind everyone that there were real human beings behind these keyboards. Not just a teacher pasting in content. We are on EST, so the classes were pretty late for us. So getting tired and spacing out was a concern of mine! I got some great tips on this forum before starting: We put on fun music. I also stocked my fridge with ice cream or made fresh popcorn whenever we had an AOPS class. We usually don't have food like that, so it made my son look forward to AOPS night. It also allowed him to munch while he waited for kids to solve the problems in class. My son also started a (weird, but fun for him) tradition: Anytime his response was "shared" (a huge honor for him), he would literally howl...which would make our dog howl. haha So the entire family would laugh and say, "I guess M-- got shared in his math class." That became a tradition, and now my middle daughter is doing this in her Mathcounts class. 🙂 Silly things like this helped him stay engaged. and and I guess I am in the odd one out. I feel like the online classes gave us much *more* depth than when we just worked through the book alone. I suspect that you are correct: *most* kids in the class probably did not not need to do the textbook problems in order to complete the challenge problems. However, like roadrunner, My son was not one of those kids. 😉 He had to work through the book in order to figure out some of the more tricky challenge problems assigned as homework. According to my son, who likes to chat with the kids in his class, most of the kids in his class had already been through Algebra at their schools and were repeating the subject with AOPS for enrichment/added depth. My son was coming in cold with only pre-algebra. ------ FYI...Here are some numbers to compare workload: I just checked my son's profile, and he did 1157 problems in alcumus alone *just* for intro to algebra A, plus 131 challenge problems assigned in class, plus 16 full blown written written solutions. That averages 81.5 problems a week that go much further in depth than any Algebra class I have ever seen. (Even Honors Algebra classes). Those are the problems he completed in addition to the textbook and problems worked in class. Like I said in a previous post, I feel like he really knows Algebra now.
  4. He completed the AOPS Pre-Algebra book last year on his own (no class) before attempting the algebra class. So, this is his first online class with AOPS--but not his first rodeo with AOPS if that make sense. The challenge wasn't a surprise for him, it has just been the pace which has been hard. He has learned a LOT this school year. He went from knowing nothing about latex---to becoming a latex master. And I have seen a lot of growth in his ability to write out solutions since he practices this every week. Not to mention, he *really* knows Algebra. Concerning your suggestion, that is exactly what we plan to do. IF I stick with AOPS, I am going to attempt to modify the pace at home on my own. I am going to have him go through the Counting and Probability book on his own (reading the book, watching the videos, and mastering each topic in Alcumus as a test for understanding/opportunity for review). Then, I am going to sign him up for the online class *after* he has done that so he can review and keep making progress with the written solutions. (I'm a big fan of that aspect of the class--can you tell?) I talked to my son today about math options. I showed him the Derrick Owens samples. He was very frustrated/annoyed with how slowly they move. (Even the Algebra II stuff and Pre-Calc samples.). He says that he REALLY wants to continue with AOPS, so I guess that is what we will do. The bad thing is that my son also wants to compete in debate next year (another time suck!). I guess I have to help him make decisions, but it is so hard to prioritize all of these very worthy things. Sigh.
  5. Yes, see, my son is spending about 2.5 hours per day on the Alg A class and does have a few green weeks. Does that mean Geometry will take him 3+? Ack!
  6. Yes, that is one of my concerns. Things aren't going to get easier. I'm very torn: on one hand, I don't want him to run away from a challenge. On the other hand, I want him to have a reasonable schedule
  7. Hi Everyone, I could use some math advice for my son....or at least a friendly person to "talk" to about math and our future homeschool "path" in general. 😉. Forgive me if this post rambles a bit...but I am thinking towards the future and could use some direction. My son is just about to complete the AOPS Intro to Algebra course online. He is currently getting a "blue" for the course---but just barely. (For those that don't know, AOPS online rates students on a color code system. Blue= Mastered the material, Green = Pass, Orange = keep working, and Red = something worse than keep working...I forget the name. haha). HOWEVER--the class has sort of taken over his life this school year. I worry that it is causing him too much stress. He is a bright kid, but the class moves VERY fast. I would say that the only reason he is doing well is through sheer hard work and determination. He works several hours per day on the class, both Saturday and Sunday; he worked all Thanksgiving break in order to catch up on homework; he worked ALL Christmas break (almost all day long!) in order to catch up on homework (except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), and even now he is scrambling to finish everything before the course ends. If he wouldn't have had those extra weeks to catch up, I am not sure if he would be doing well. Another thing that makes it tough for him is that I haven't been able to give him much help. He has surpassed me in math (which is REALLY sad, I know.). I have learned this math before --but I haven't used it in a long time. It takes me so long to refresh my memory---and the problems are so challenging---that I haven't been able to help him much these past few weeks. There *are* online forums where you can post for help, but those haven't been very useful for my son. It takes awhile to get a response back to your question, and most of the time the responses are sort of vague and cryptic. Occasionally, my son has called my mom who is a retired physicist for help over the phone. However, she isn't available reliably or on a consistent basis to help. Another thing that adds to the problem is that his other courses take a fair amount of work/time too. We have used Memoria Press cores for several years, which I love. (The only thing I don't love about them is their math and science are a little weak IMHO.). The problem is that the high school cores are VERY heavy in literature and humanities. It is hard to spend so much time on math and science and also maintain such a heavy humanities load. My son loves math and science, but he is also very much interested in Latin and history and philosophy. So it makes it hard to find balance, you know? I am trying to consider my options as we move forward. What other math options should I be looking at as an alternative to AOPS?
  8. Thank you so much! Yes, I should have also said that my son is a STEM kid. His math alone takes him a few hours per day. I want him to be able to write well, but there are only so many hours in the day. One thing I like about Memoria Press is that they tend to do fewer books, but REALLY teach them in a thorough manner. I do not want a program where it feels like drinking from a firehose! 🙂
  9. Well, for the record I really appreciate you starting that thread on the MP forum. I wanted to send you a private message several times telling you that...but I chickened out. I never knew what was meant when people talked about a "culture" on a forum until this year. However, I think I understand now. On the MP forum, people hardly ever share anything negative about the curriculum. Memoria Press representatives are very active on the board, and many of them have personally worked very hard to make those books/classes/lesson plans. And they are such nice people that I think many parents are hesitant to give them any criticism. (Which I totally understand! I feel the same way). For the most part, their books and classes are great so there isn't a problem. However, no company or person is perfect. And the problem is---sometimes many of us are having similar problems / thoughts, and we can't actually help one another if we aren't honest that a problem exists. Now TWTM forum is very different. I hope poor Ms. Bauer has very thick skin because people are never afraid to criticize her books or products here. 😉 Said wtih tongue in cheek. (THANK YOU MS. BAUER FOR EVERYTHING YOU DO FOR HOMESCHOOLERS...just in case you happen to be reading this! We do love you, and we are grateful for the freedom to express options on your forum.). SO--all that to say thank you for being brave and speaking up about a problem. With their progym program, we kept being told to just "trust" the process and MPs chosen path. However, I don't like to *trust* things blindly! So thank you for speaking up. You might have saved me hundreds of dollars...and more importantly YEARS of time that I would never be able to get back. SO thank you! (And as an aside, I am grateful for people speaking up about their science path. For a few years, everyone was towing the line saying, "Middle School Physical science in 9th grade. It's fine." NOW--thanks to a few brave people that has changed to, "Physical Science in 9th grade is fine IF you are weak in math in science."
  10. So, looking at Cindy Langes class---I would pay $1250 for a class that met twice per week---and this would cover both literature and composition for the year? I am considering IEW's courses. However, I keep seeing mixed reviews about the online classes.
  11. Thanks! Could you tell me more about this class? What specifically makes it so special?
  12. Hi Everyone, I have a middle school aged son and daughter, and I am trying to formulate a plan to get them up to speed in writing and composition before high school. I am not a strong writer myself, and I am finding it VERY difficult to give them the type of feedback they need to improve. I even doubt my ability to edit a paper. ☹️ (I am sure that there are a lot of errors that I am letting slip through the cracks.). I also feel like writing is a very subjective thing---in general. I think it is very helpful to have a variety of opinions over the years when learning to write. For these reasons, I am strongly considering an online writing class for next year. The problem is---I am totally overwhelmed with my options. Both of my children have taken Latin and Classical Study classes at MPOA (Memoria Press Online Academy). So I feel comfortable with that platform and the quality of instruction. I also love how they teach literature and classical/christian studies. Very slow, fewer books, and more depth. HOWEVER---I am not sold on their writing classes. I've heard grumblings on the MP forum about students not being prepared for more "modern day writing assignments" after completing the progym..... and this concerns me since people don't usually say anything negative on the MP forum. Their path with MPOA would basically be 8th grade- Foundations of Composition (IEW C with a bit extra thrown in); Then they would work through the progym in 4 years with their High School Composition I-IV courses. I've been looking at TPS (both their integrated humanities course and their standard English classes.). I like that they have a placement test, and I like that going with them might give me a "spine" of sorts to put my high school plan together. I've also been looking at the composition courses at WHA. And...I've been looking at the composition courses at Lantern English and IEW and even Brave writer. Basically, my head is spinning at this point, so I am turning to the HIVE for some much needed help. --------- IF your child has taken an online writing class that you were really impressed with, could you tell me about it? THANKS...
  13. Thanks! I will look into those. Does anyone have any reviews on Write at Home or Lantern English? I am not familiar with either of these approaches.
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