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Janice in NJ

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Hi Laura,


Yes, the three kids are signed up for Potter's English classes. I love teaching literature. I enjoy teaching composition (sometimes). But I just don't have the experience to pace a composition course; I never know when enough is enough. The whole process generates too much stress around here. I tried to outsource composition this year, but it didn't work out. I picked the wrong class for my oldest - AP Composition - WAY too much! :001_smile: The class was past his learning level. He was doing the assignments, and his teacher had good things to say about his progress, but I knew that the bar was too high. He wasn't practicing at his stretched-but-not-over-stretched level. The class was taking up too much time. A terrible fit for this kid at this point. We withdrew at the end of November.


And I picked the wrong company for classes for my two younger kids. A bad fit for our family; the instructor insisted that the parent provide no input and then failed to communicate with me (at the level that *I* need) about my kids' progress. While I agree that the parent shouldn't be doing the assignments, my kids need to be held accountable. I want on-line instructors who are covering the material and are setting the bar, but know that the kids need to be held to task by a flesh-n-blood someone until they are ready to hold themselves accountable. I am NOT interested in baby-sitting my kids, but I live in a place of reality around here. My kids are not adults yet; they still act like kids sometimes. And we operate best - make the most progress - when there is a net.


We haven't taken PS English classes yet, so it may be a bad fit for us too. :001_smile: But I've sat in on many of their English open-house sessions. I think it's going to be a great experience.


Setting "English" goals and knowing when we have reaching them has been my most difficult task. So that's where we are putting our money right now; I am looking forward to spending a year riding side-car. :001_smile:


And no, we didn't use Writing Aids for composition this year. We used a bunch of IEW materials. It was a good skill-building year, but I'm looking forward to letting someone else drive the English bus next year. I only took it back THIS year because I felt like I had no choice! And the IEW videos provided the instruction for the year. (Remember that I built our families master schedule for the fall thinking that someone ELSE was going to "teach" composition this past year. I had to choose a program that provided the instruction FOR me. I had to work with the kids and grade their assignments and all of that, but the videos provided the bulk of the instruction.)


And I'm seriously leaning toward a year of American History with American Lit Great Books tucked in around the edges rather than a year focused on West Civ/19th Century ala TOG 3. The weird thing is that I have TOG 3 waiting on the shelf - seems like a waste of a good curriculum. But I know myself. There is no way I could JUST cover American History - we'll have to dip in and out of world history as we go. So I've seriously considered selling TOG because I just don't know how much I need it or will use it next year, but for now it still sits down there....


The jury is still out on what the final plan will look like .... TOG sets up a great program with terrific integration of the humanities but the longer I do this, the more I know. And the more I know, the less I feel like I need to use someone else's plan - books, questions, tests, etc. AND TOG really is set up to encourage a weekly discussion time. Right now I think that I want to run a year with more daily interaction with my high schoolers. So I am finding that it actually looks easier to use different materials to do that. Right now I'm leaning toward using a lot of the literature from Sonlight's level 400 American lit list - BUT I don't like a lot of their instructor's guide - doesn't fit my style and I'm not planning to use their American Government course. AND I keep adding and taking away titles from even the lit portion until it really isn't fair to say that I'm using that either. The more I read, the more things I uncover that will be perfect for us though.


So yes, all three of my kids are signed up for Potter's English classes. (English I, English III, and Advanced Composition)

No, we aren't using Writing Aids this year or next year. It's not that I don't like it. I've never given it a fair shot.

And I've still not made a final decision on our history course for next year.


I'm not sure how ANY of this helps you. :001_smile:

But you asked - so I thought I would let you peek at my brain's current wander. Maybe it will help you. Honestly, I spend most of my time thinking "Huh?" when I try to understand it. :001_smile:





Enjoy your little people

Enjoy your journey

Edited by Janice in NJ
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When were the open houses for Potter's School? I completely missed those. My dd is registered for English 1. I'd love for her to be able to take English 2, but I don't want her to be overwhelmed so I've decided English 1 will be the best choice for her.


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They are recorded for those who couldn't watch them live. My youngest is taking a computer programming course this year, so as a current PS family, we had access to the open house sessions. I don't know if families who aren't using PS for the current school year have access to the open house sessions. You could ask.


And yes! I tried to sign them up based on their skill level not their grade level.


Are you using TOG this year?








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I had planned on beginning TOG in January, but I decided to wait until the fall. My ds is using Core 300 and my dd is using Core 7. My problem is I can't decide whether to use TOG year 1 (which I have) or SL 100 (which I also have) for my dd next year. I'm leaning towards beginning TOG so we can cover all 4 years before she graduates. My son is going to take the Potter's School Government and Economics courses and the Liberal Bias in History course.


Do you school year-round? My dh has to deploy for 6 months and leaves in November, so I'm thinking of actually beginning our year this summer so we can take off the weeks before he has to leave. Plus, it gets so miserably hot here during July and August that indoors is the best place to be unless you're in the water!


Thanks for the info regarding the open house sessions. Since we're 13 hours ahead of EST, I probably would not have been able to attend anyway.

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