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Gwen in VA

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Everything posted by Gwen in VA

  1. Nope. Dd didn't do the master gardener program, though it sounds neat. I did suggest it to her, since she didn't do a science her senior year.
  2. In Massachusetts, homeschoolers have full access to sports teams and extracurriculars IF they live in a school district that is amenable. One hs'er I know was captain of a ps high school swim team; another hs'er I know was co-captain of a ps high school soccer team. My kids participated in Odyssey of the Mind in MA through the public schools. In Virginia, basically the homeschoolers don't have ANY access to school programs, sports or otherwise. :(
  3. My 12th grader does 5 subjects and basically spends "forever' doing them. AP physics -- unknown time AP English Language -- probably 10 hours a week AP Comp; Govt -- depends on the week, but between 8 and 10 Greek 3 -- maybe 7 microeconomics -- 7 If you include Civil Air Patrol and debate, he is pretty much always busy. Occasionally he finds time to play his fife and on the weekends he usually reads for an hour or so, but he is semi-constantly doing schoolwork. My 8th grader (who would be 9th but we're repeating 8th) (daily) algebra 1 -- 45 min geometry -- 45 min writing -- 30 min logic -- 30 min science -- 30 min history -- 45 min literature -- 60 min Latin -- 45 min programming -- as much as it takes FWIW, with my older kids we spent most of 9th grade fighting over the amount of schoolwork. Our church mostly homeschools, but most of the kids are done by noon, so my kids were thinking that dh and I were asking way too much. And then you add in the fact that the kids in CAP who went to public school were talking about only having an hour or two of homework a night and commitment to schoolwork was definitely an uphill battle! About the middle of tenth grade my kids got really excited about their work, and since then they just do it and I sit and wonder at their motivation! (I am still hoping that this miracle happens with child #3!)
  4. You might think about what your long-term Latin plans are. If your child is planning on studying Latin through the AP level, I would encourage you to do Latin with a school/program that does offer the higher levels of Latin. Switching programs can be difficult! My children took one year of Latin from Wes Callihan and then tried to do the second year through Scholars Online/Regina Coeli (they were merged at that time). Neither of my children passed the placement exam!!!!! (Honestly, they are very good students!) So ds switched to Greek (with Scholars Online) and dd ended up doing a wild 6 months' tutorial and then joining a Latin 3 class midyear. The whole experience was quite stressful for everybody. Dd did end up doing AP Latin with Scholars Online (which was a great class) and she did end up with a 5 on the AP Latin Vergil exam, so she has fulfilled her college's foreign language requirement, but we would not recommend the route she took! My younger two children are doing Latin 1 through Regina Coeli and we are VERY happy with it.
  5. Do make sure that your ds has read through EVERYTING that he has sent the college. He should know what is on his transcript, what he wrote his essay about. If he submitted a book list, he should make sure that he is ready to talk about any book on it. If he submitted an extracurricular list, he should make sure to review it. The folks interviewing hm will have studied his application materials and, if my dd's experience is at all typical, will ask 'probing' questions about them.
  6. My kids didn't bring anything. I'll be interested to hear what others say.
  7. I just want to second the recommendation for the Timothy Taylor tapes from the Teaching Company. They are not only excellent but also interesting!
  8. I would definitely have him bring a coat and tie. The only scholarship interviews my kids have attended have been two-day ones, and they both have actually specified the desired dress -- and it was suit-and-tie the first day, sportscoat-and-tie the second (and the equivalent for women -- which left us scrambling!) I will definitely pray for your son -- that if it's His desire for your son to attend that college that He will move mightily in the hearts of the interviewers so they ask the "right' questions and that your son's answers please them and his demeanor knocks their socks off! :). I've just spent the past hour praying and trying to submit my own desires to God. This is hard! May God bless your son in his interview!
  9. We are sort of doing a 5-year high school plan with my younger ds. He is a bit low to mature (he still has baby teeth....) and at 14 was just not capable of what dh and I consider high school work. He had, however, completed 8th grade....We didn't want to add a fifth year of high school at the end, so we decided to give him another 8th grade year. He can sort of write an essay now, and will actually finish algebra 1 and half of geometry before next fall, so he is definitely ready for high school now. This "fifth year" will be invisible to colleges and won't appear on his transcript, but it gave him time to mature. I figure that he will do enough in high school that he won't need to "borrow" any classes from either of his 8th grade years! :-)
  10. "Head vs. heart". Doesn't that sum it up well! It is so cool when the head and the heart both point to the same school, but it doesn't always happen that way..... We heard from another school yesterday. It gave him really pathetic merit aid and wasn't his first choice, so it's gone -- the list is now down to 5. This sounds like "And Then there Were None", doesn't it? As a feeble encouragment, my dd is totally happy at her "head" school. Her "heart" school didn't give enough merit aid, but she is having such a great freshman year that I can't imagine how a different college could have improved things.
  11. Ds has heard from some schools and has been invited to a scholars weekend (hurrah!), but somehow April 1, when we will have all acceptances and financial aid offers in hand, seems a LONG way off. Time does pass, and I know that God knows exactly where ds will be going and how the financial end will work out, but this is a lONG process.....
  12. Talking about biology -- Is there anyone who is taking biology through Scholars Online this year? I would like to ask you a question!
  13. Our long-term goal is AP Latin Vergil. Dd is reaping the benefits of getting a 5 on the exam -- she entered college with her language distribution fulfilled! We do Prima Latina and Latina Christiana 1 at home and then switch over to an online course. We have used both Scholars online and Regina Coeli, and both are excellent.
  14. One last thought -- I put off having my kids do AP courses because when I was in high school only the "top" juniors and seniors did them. My older two have done a bunch of AP's, and I wish we had started doing them in their sophomore year instead of their junior year. My younger dd, who is very motivated academically, will probably do two AP's her sophomore year -- music theory and US Govt.
  15. I would definitely think a motivated fourteen-year-old could handle the PAH AP Govt. It was the easiest of all the AP courses my kids have done, and the teacher was GREAT about being really organized with assignments, etc. She even gave outlines of each chapter -- they helped my kids in studying for the AP exam a LOT! If a student just does the assignments reasonably thoroughly and stays up with the reading, he/she will be successful in the course. Writing is definitely part of the course, so I would just make sure that your child is comfortable writing an essay and a short-answer response. My younger dd is a strong writer and will probably take the course in 10th grade; my younger ds is an abysmal writer and will take the course later...... :-/
  16. Congratulations to both of you. That is wonderful news!
  17. What do you want to know? The College Board has a LOT of information about the SAT's at collegeboard.com Do you want review books? Or when to take them? Or ????? I noticed that your oldest is 13. Are you planning ahead, or is he taking the SAT's for a G&T program?
  18. My kids did AP US Govt through Penn. Homeschoolers. They loved the class and learned a LOT!
  19. Wow that is a LOT of tests!!!!! Before you go too far in planning which test to take when, I would really sit down and think about the colleges you could imagine your child going to. Find out what those colleges give credit for and what tests they encourage high schoolers to take. Different colleges require and/or desire and/or give credit for different things. Our local community college gives NO credit for AP exams! (REALLY!) Many of the more elite colleges give NO credit for CLEP exams. Some of the more elite colleges give NO credit for any classes taken at a community college. I think it would be an unusual college that would both require SAT-II's and give credit for CLEP's, so I would guess that you probably don't want to do both. (Check with the colleges!) My kids did no CLEP exams because almost none of the colleges they are applying to give credit for them. So why bother? Lastly, for some folks taking both the ACT and the SAT may be a good idea, but it is certainly not required. My kids took the SAT early (January of junior year) and did fabulously, so neither ever even considered doing the ACT. The ACT score would add nothing to their transcript. If you have a specific reason for doing both, by all means do, but you don't have to!
  20. I hear you. I am not crazy about tests either. I don't know what tests you were having your son do at age 9. When my kids were younger I balked at having them do many tests. My homeschool "we're here to learn, not do test prep" approach completely dominated what we did until around 9th grade. Other than the yearly Stanford Achievement Test, my kids didn't do tests of any kind until freshman year. (And I mean any kind -- we didn't do spelling tests or history tests or....!) Then -- 1) I really looked at the AP course descriptions and got really excited. These course descriptions really covered what we wanted our kids to cover in many subjects. So they have done lots of AP courses. 2) Even in high school, outside of their online courses and the College Board tests, my kids don't do tests. My kids don't do midterms or finals in their classes done with me. Honestly, I don't give my any tests other than math tests, and I have an open book policy, so the math tests aren't really any different than any other math assignment! I could count all the tests my ds and dd have taken in high school, and the number would at a guess be around 30. That includes all the College Board ones and all the midterms and finals for their online ones. That really isn't that many tests! So even though my kids have each done 5 SAT-II's and 5 or 6 AP's, they have done fairly little other testing. They certainly haven't been slaving away, going from test to test. Studying for tests is a useful skill that they need to be good at before college.....My kids have learned an AMAZING amount about how to approach learning in the weeks before AP and SAT-II' exams! 3) I do sympathize a bit with the dilemma of colleges. So many talented students, so little space. I even sympathize with the colleges on the issue of homeschoolers -- how can the admissions folks compare hs'ers to other well-qualified students? I want my kids to get in to the college of their choice, and if taking a few SAT-II's will help them achieve that goal, then I feel that they should jump through the hoop and take the tests!
  21. Colleges want to do an "apples-to-apples" comparison, and for whatever reason the more selective schools use SAT-II's for that, not AP exams. Not all schools require SAT-II's, but some that don't require "normal" students to take them really want homeschoolers to have taken some (like William & Mary). And some schools really do require three SAT-II's. Do check with the individual schools your child is interested in, though. Why make the College Board richer than it already is? (I feel like we have given the College Board so much money.....) If your child is taking an AP exam in May, working through and SAT-II study guide and then taking the SAT-II subject test in June is pretty straightforward, and your child will probably do VERY well on the SAT-II.
  22. Ereks Mom -- Yes, I agree. The EFC can come up with truly scary numbers. Are we supposed to sell our house to pay for college tuition? As an encouragement, I just want to mention that there is a lot of merit aid out there, especially if you apply to not-top-tier schools. My ds is a senior and he is applying to a VERY strange list of schools. After telling a college prof friend of mine the list of schools, she asked HOW we came up with the list. Our answer was quite simple -- one dream school (that does give some merit aid, though not much) and several schools that give generous amounts of merit aid. If we had a money tree in the back yard, his list of colleges would look VERY different. Best wishes -- senior year is stressful enough without having to think about merit aid and scholarships etc. Most of the time I remember that God loves my son far more than I do, and He has a wonderful plan for my son, but occasionally I lose track of that thought! BTW, my dd went to her not-top-choice school because it gave her a full-tuition scholarship, and she is having a WONDERFUL time. She has even said that she would choose this school as her first choice if she could do it all over again.
  23. I have been haunting the high school boards for several years now. I do some subjects (mostly history) a la WTM, but mostly I have found this place to be a wonderful source of ideas and inspiration for the homeschool journey! My hd and I, both engineers, have been married 21 years and have four children whom we have homeschooled all the way. Our oldest (dd) is a freshman at Washington & Lee majoring in chemistry and art history, with an eye towards going into art conservation. Her gpa last semester was 4.2/4.0, so she is doing well! She is loving college, both the academics and the activites/friends, and she feels that homeschooling totally prepared her for college. She especially values her ex-homeschooled friends, who she says are her most interesting friends! She took many AP classes through PAH and SO. In high school her main extra-curriculars were volunteering at historical museums (over 1200 hours), reenacting, and fifing. Our second ds is a senior, with acceptances to U. Chicago, U. Pitt UHC, and U. Dallas at the moment. He is waiting to hear from three other colleges, and we are praying for extensive merit aid! Like dd, he has done many many classes through SO and PAH, including 6 AP's. He has been active in CAP and debate. Homeschooling him has been the biggest challenge of my life, but it has also been very rewarding. #3 will be entering 9th grade and #4 will be entering 7th, so I will be hanging around these boards for many years! I really appreciate this vitual support group -- thank you all!
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