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igbu

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About igbu

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    Hive Mind Worker Bee

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    www.BrainSTORMRobotics.blog
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    Western PA

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  1. Our STEM DS took SPA 101 & 102 after a year of high school Spanish. It’s his first on-campus DE course. For this STEM kid, SPA has not been an easy A. As a first on-campus DE experience, in our minds, it has been a very good experience. It has reinforced so many previously “discussed” habits. The pace is certainly faster, the need to study daily, the responsibility to keep track of assignments (he lost track of one), importance of getting to know the prof (and what’s important for the test), learning to ask for help when needed, have all been reenforced and valuable hands-on lessons at a younger age. The fact that there have been several exams (not just a mid-term and final) has been a good first step for a college course and softened one misstep. I think he has learned his current tracking/time mgmt system (largely using the refrig. to plan out only a couple days) may not be enough when he has more college classes. He was worried about starting SPA 102, after SPA 101, knowing it was all new material and after hearing the new prof was much tougher. He’s done well, not perfect, gained confidence, “owns” or should I say has taken responsibility for his learning. He’s asked to take a Comp. Sci course this summer and an Eng course in the fall. We were a bit worried during SPA 101 when he missed an assignment and didn’t put in the necessary study time for one exam, but he learned a great lesson, rebounded, learned the importance of saying ‘no’ to outside activities or at least not overload himself the week prior to an exam. He still needs our help to reenforce to good habits, but nothing like the real thing to get ready. If we had to do it over, we would do it again.
  2. Here’s to extended FIRST seasons👍🏼. We are big fans of FIRST. Our oldest DS’s FTC team won “states” and qualified for Worlds! They started proposing design tweaks on the ride home🤓😂😎.
  3. I would 2nd Rec’s for Hoagies, Davidson, the other sites and the books mention. I’ve spent a great deal of time read thru those site forums and read most of the books mentioned above. Currently reading ‘Smart Boys: Talent, Manhood, and the Search for Meaning’ by Barbara Kerr, Ph.D. I’m 2/3 through it and believe it will become one of my “go to” books, very good so far.
  4. For a few years now we’ve been able to arrange for our boys to take the AMC at first a private HS and this year a local public school. Initially both schools were not sure how to handle combining homeschoolers with their school’s student with respect to the awards and some parent reaction. We offered that any awards should go to the school’s students. For example, last year DS2 finished 1st and DS2 finished 3rd. We received the official AMC school report showing those results. DS2, as a sixth grader made the AMC stats, However, the school’s internal awards for the 1st and 3rd place award/certificate went to the school’s student who actually finished 2nd and 4th on the official report. Our kids didn’t mind. They got their scores, got the official report and kudos from a couple school admin folks. It’s been a good compromise and certainly better than not having access to the AMC.
  5. DS15, taking his first EC courses has cut back this year to accommodate his academics and FTC team (BIG hours including community outreach & volunteer hrs), still plays HS soccer and adv. piano lessons. DS13 stilling doing it all Soccer, B-ball, Chess, FLL, piano, band ....😎
  6. Our youngest had done AoPS classes thru pre-alg, Alg A and intro CP. Last fall we thought he had a busy schedule and we would stretch out Alg B by using WTM version. In the end it was was a good for us to learn or reaffirm our understanding of our son’s preference for AoPS’s discovery approach, pace, depth, and challenge. DS also missed the mathy community. At the mid-point of the year we were back to AoPS. Knowing your child’s learning preference and strength may drive the decision.
  7. Both our boys have late summer birthdays. We "redshirted" both. When our boys were young I asked as many folks who had wrestled with this decision. I don't recall any of our friends regretting their decision to "redshirt" their boys. It is certainly different for everyone. DS14 entered K at 6 years old, but did only 1/2 days as we after-schooled a lot the first few years (simply because he seemed to love it). We didn't know until 2nd/3rd grade that his academics would require accelerating (i.e., subject accelerating). It was during 6th going into 7th that we learned his middle school and high school would probably have to look very different than we had plan/thought due to local schooling limitations and his need for radical acceleration in a couple subjects. As he moved into the middle school years and now high school we are very glad we redshirted him. He attends his local school for Concert band and sports, but at this point most everything else is done thru study centers, online, at home, DE, etc... As long as his need for academic peers and rigor is met, we do not plan to have him graduate early. However, we've learned to be very flexible as every year or two it seems we need a new plan. Our DS12 is in a very similar situation, he is physically and socially not as mature as his older brother was at the same age. Again for us (and him) "redshirting" him and choosing to subject accelerate the academics has worked well so far. He would be undersized and maybe a bit less mature around older middle school kids. Academically, his needs for accelerating and rigor is greater than his older brother. For us we believe finding balance between their need for academic peers, rigorous studies and their social and sporting desires to be very important. Some years we can see a need for more of one than the other. We've adjusted the schedule accordingly during those times. So far its worked well. Having a little more maturity or at least being on par with the girls has helped during middle school as we discuss and navigate these early social years. Also, it certainly doesn't hurt during the middle school and early high school sporting years, to be one of the taller/bigger kids (one of our boys fits that bill). If the academics (during HS) drive an early college decision so be it although that's not the current plan. I think we've come to believe that accelerating academics is a bit easier (today) than ??de-accelerating?? to meet social/sporting needs. We are thankful that so many resources have become available over the past few years that allow subject acceleration. Don't know if we could have done it 10-15 years ago.
  8. Sometimes when I stop and listen to some of the questions I’m thinking about, I remember why this board is such a blessing. With much digging yet I’m wondering if we have to worry about the following: Had anyone taken a Chem, Math (Calc.), CS or other early college courses and still needed to take an SAT subj. tests to meet an app requirement at certain more select schools? Thanks in advance.
  9. A 2nd for FLL! One of the best experiences our two geeks have had both academically and socially. We started by finding an outside team. We had to travel an 1:20 minutes away, later formed our own team, now provide workshops at the local libr. It’s been a great deal of work, but worth it!
  10. After a good SAT score at the end of 7th, DS14 took EE at JHU-CTY last summer, will go back again this year, loves his AoPS, Robotics, piano and trombone. He had an excellent (if not entirely too full) 8th grade year (blended/hybrid/homeschool) full of high school classes. He came into his own as a soccer player and played U19 this spring in prep for HS school soccer. He is finishing a UAEC college prep class and will take a couple on campus classes (CS152 and SP101) in the fall at a local college. He really grew up a lot this year. Younger brother (DS12) just rocked the SAT himself, loves his AoPS, took several high school level classes, won a local chess tournament, went AG Nationals for the third straight year, had a great FLL season, and is a U14 soccer stud himself! Thanks for the opportunity to share?
  11. Our sons have found AoPS’s classes and AoPS’s online community (I.e., classes, message boards, study groups in the online classrooms) to be one of their best educational experiences thus far. As pointed out earlier, it may not be for every student, but for ours it’s been a blessing.
  12. We have had similar feelings as we plan next year. DS will be taking EC classes and could finish his HS freshman year with 18-20 HS credits. For whatever reason we would be more comfortable (right now) with him taking all these classes early (and his EC classes) rather then calling him a HS sophomore or junior. As I write this, I can’t say why. It may be that we understand his asynchronous development in his academics, sports, music, social and other areas of his life. We don’t see him or label him as any one “thing”. He’s not defined solely by his academics, music, social or sports. And he’s essentially in a different age or peer group for each. It seems easier to accept his taking EC classes as being only one part of who he is...no label there. But officially assigning him as a sophomore or something else just seems unnerving to us at this point. But again we haven’t really thought this through... we are just experiencing this feeling over recent months as we prepare for next year. Right we see it as the next stage, every year seems to bring a new stage or challenge. It’s all good.
  13. I would echo what dmmetler said above, except for us it’s our oldest DS14. DS has several different groups of friends or schoolmates or teammates. He floats between the various groups. His schoolmates/mathgeeks/robotics kids are mostly older, his sport teammates or buds are mostly his age...a couple years ago he was spending more time with his “schoolmates”...now it’s about even as the teen year begin/progress and all that comes with it are upon us...any co-ed gathering are with the kids his age...as that group is going thru their teen years (and drama) at the same time. I believe he needs both and knows it. Any extended time with one (either academic or age) and he will miss that connection. It’s been a lot of intentional effort to insure he has access to both groups.
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