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Not yet, but both my boys are heading towards an IB school. I like very much the combination of breadth and depth, the stress on thinking skills, and the compulsory service.

 

I have a friend who teaches pre-IB. The techniques that she describes seem likely to produce thinking, reasoning pupils.

 

Laura

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I did this in highschool and I thought it was fabulous. What would you like to know about it? My particular program was in a regular public school and our classes were just a subset of the classes offered at the school. There were about 50 of us in the program, so we ended up being our own mini-school within the greater public school.

 

I am happy to answer any questions you have.

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She too will be in a regular hs, with an IB program.

I am so glad to see that it was a positive experience for you - that in itself speaks volumes

She will be taking the following her freshman year

Pre-IB English, Pre-IB World History, Biology, Algebra 1, French 1, and Surf Team

The counselor told us the heavy classes would be the Pre-IB English and History

She said to expect about 2 to 2 1/2 hours of homework per night for all the classes

 

Looking back, did you find the homework managable?

 

I know I have more questions - but I don't want to overwhelm you : )

 

thanks so much

Edited by Chris in CA
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Do any of your dc participate in this program? Has it been a postive experience?

My dd is due to begin the program with pre-IB classes in the fall

thanks

 

My dd will be in her second year of Pre-IB this fall. She really enjoyed her classes, because everyone in her classes was motivated to be in school, learning. No one was there to float through or goof off. (Well, there were a couple but they quit the program within the first two months.)

 

For the most part, the teachers are also highly motivated and not burnt out. Dd's english teacher had been an administrator, but missed teaching. She waited for a literature pre-IB position to open up, and went back to teaching. She loves what she does. This is typical for the IB teachers I've met.

 

You will run into some political correctness and liberal agendas, because that's kind of what the IB program is about. But I think you'll run into that kind of thing (teachers pushing an agenda on kids) no matter what program you're in. Not all teachers are interested in teaching both sides. I think it's the parent's job to keep an eye on their kids' educations.

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I'm glad you have had a positive experience as well. I agree about parental involvement and the liberal slant being pervasive in the educational system in general.

I'm looking forward to the new year.

If you don't mind I may ask further questions as we get into this

thanks so much

Chris

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Well, I don't think a program emphasizing the importance of international activity always attracts the hyper-xenophobes who only want to trumpet American accomplishments.

 

Is it possible to get a sense of what is done in the IB program? I've scoped out the website but I don't really understand it very clearly.

 

I assume there's not homeschool IB.

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I'm glad you have had a positive experience as well. I agree about parental involvement and the liberal slant being pervasive in the educational system in general.

I'm looking forward to the new year.

If you don't mind I may ask further questions as we get into this

thanks so much

Chris

 

Ask as many questions as you want! I don't come here every day anymore, so you might want to send me a PM when you have an IB question.

 

I think the liberal slant of the teachers will be similar to that of the rest of the school. Dd only had one teacher who really pushed her views on the kids, she was the French teacher.

 

The kids really got an earful about how France is going to hell now that Sarkozy is president. She completely slandered the man. I'm not a huge fan, but give me a break. Unfortunately, this woman was also a lousy teacher who played favorites and required kids to kiss her ass.

 

I don't care what your views are, a teacher should tell both sides of the story.

 

Fortunately she only teaches first year French, so dd shouldn't have to go through that again.

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How would one do a mock IB type program, if one was interested? In other words, how could one bring the goals of the IB program into the homeschooling environment?

 

I downloaded a brochure about the IB a couple months ago from IBO: primary curriculum , middle years curriculum, and diploma program(me).

 

ETA: In their online store, there appear to be some scope and sequence type documents available for purchase by members of the public (as opposed to their online curriculum center, which is for teachers).

Edited by stripe
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How would one do a mock IB type program, if one was interested? In other words, how could one bring the goals of the IB program into the homeschooling environment?

 

You know, it's really not magic. :) While one can't "do IB" in a home school, I certainly think one can provide a child with a similarly rigorous education and even get similar credit going into college while home schooling.

 

Off the top of my head, and based on my own experience in an IB high school...

 

1) Achieve a level of proficiency in a world language that includes both conversation (not just asking for directions around a train station or some such -- really able to "chat" about every day things comfortably) and an ability to read important literature originally written in that language and discuss it in the target language. AP level study (both the "language" *and* "literature" exams) would be very similar to IB level for a second language.

(See syllabi for AP courses here.)

 

2) A strong foundation in mathematics and science. Either a strong base in algebra, geometry, and trig followed by math analysis and AP level calculus and/or statistics *or*, for a more liberal arts-oriented student, those base courses (algebra, geometry, trig), and a study into mathematical thinking (there are several high school and college level textbooks that could be used and that focus on creative problem solving, looking at mathematical problems and solutions in history, etc). For science, consider honors or AP level courses in two branches, then a longer, more in-depth study of a third. So, perhaps, an "honors" high school level chemistry class, then AP physics, then two years of a more in depth biology study (AP level and beyond).

 

3) World history and great books study. The schedule is different in IB schools, but the end goal is pretty similar to that laid out in WTM: gain a firm grasp of world history (IB probably lays a stronger emphasis on 20th cent+ while WTM spends more time on ancient history, but also spends a full four years rather than two on world history), and study great literature. IB pushes more modern literature and emphasizes more world lit than WTM, which advocates more heavily for the Western canon. (Personally, I think that having a really great grounding in "the great books" better prepares students for college, where they'll have lots of time to explore more modern and less influential works...) But students who follow the WTM scope and sequence for high school history and literature should have at least as strong a background as IB students. One can "prove" this for a transcript by taking AP exams like English Language, English Literature, World History, European History. (In my school, 11th graders took the AP Literature exam, then spent another year beyond that on literature. In some ways, the Language exam is even easier.) Lots and lots of writing.

 

4) Study logic. Again, pretty WTM. Do both symbolic and traditional logic, and read some (very) basic philosophy. (That last really fits in with the great books study outlined in WTM.)

 

5) Participate in community service. Obviously home schoolers can do that. If the student isn't involved in a structure program (for instance, working towards becoming an Eagle Scout), then keep a record of hours worked, goals achieved, etc. This may even lead to an excellent letter of recommendation for colleges later -- though that's not *why* one should do it. Number of hours would certainly depend on whether the student had an outside job during high school as well.

 

6) Do an extended research project, write a related paper (4,000 words), and present the paper (either as a talk, or in some creative manner). Begin the research in the spring of the junior year, identify a mentor outside of the home, and go through several drafts based on feedback from the mentor (and an additional writing coach, if necessary). The *topic* doesn't matter so much as the research, the writing, and the presentation itself. It could be nearly anything that you approve and that reflects the student's interests in some way. Finish by mid senior year.

 

7) Pursue 2 electives to a high level of competency. Art (history and appreciation or studio art). Music (appreciation, performance, theory). Classical Language (3-4 high school years). etc...

 

8) Seek mentors beyond mom and dad. Encourage discussion and exploration beyond the home. Some mentors may only be able to give an encounter or two. Others may be longer-term affiliations. But find people who will question and challenge the student beyond his or her comfort zone, and present things differently than mom and dad. That doesn't mean mentors you would consider dangerous to your child's moral character, of course! But find someone who will *push* them *and* give them the chance to try out new ideas and work through puzzles in a way that might not feel "safe" with mom and dad any more.

 

Okay, that's all I can think of right now. I know it's not all tied up in a pretty bow like the IB name is. :) But truly, I *do* think that with hard work, community resources, and AP, one can create a home school program that is as challenging and thorough as IB -- *and* as impressive (or more so) to potential colleges.

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She too will be in a regular hs, with an IB program.

I am so glad to see that it was a positive experience for you - that in itself speaks volumes

She will be taking the following her freshman year

Pre-IB English, Pre-IB World History, Biology, Algebra 1, French 1, and Surf Team

The counselor told us the heavy classes would be the Pre-IB English and History

She said to expect about 2 to 2 1/2 hours of homework per night for all the classes

 

Looking back, did you find the homework managable?

 

I know I have more questions - but I don't want to overwhelm you : )

 

thanks so much

 

Sorry my reply is so LATE!! :) We had a very busy day of the library, Lowe's, lunch, and haircuts!! :)

 

Anyway, in direct response to your question, I did have a lot of homework, but it was all very good stuff. I did not feel like any of it was busy, silly work. I was challenged and learned a lot from my classes. It made my non-IB classes (pre-IB doesn't have IB language, so you take a regular language class until your Junior year when the actual IB program starts) seem like a joke.

 

The homework was never overwhelming. I was on the soccer team and involved in other extra curricular activities, was able to get home, do my chores, do my homework, still be in bed by my 10pm bedtime, and rank very high in my class.

 

My freshman course load was Pre-IB English Lit, Pre-IB History, Pre-IB Biology, Pre-IB Algebra II (Geometry was sophomore year at this particular school), Spanish I (regular course), JROTC (P.E. class, regular course), Pre-IB Computer "skills" (wordprocessing, computer programming, research, etc.)

 

The classes were blocked together, english and history as a group and math and science as a group. On MWF, English would be 75 and History would be 55 minutes, and that would reverse on TR. The same happened with math and science. We had the same 25 kids in our class for all of our IB classes, because that is how the blocks ended up working out. We were our own little school in this massive public school! It was quite fun.

 

I REALLY loved the program, but was unable to stay and earn the diploma because my Dad is in the military and we ended up moving to Japan where I attended an on-base school that didn't offer IB. We were all very sad, but, as an aside, it was really great having the cultural experience of being nearly a grown-up in a foreign country. :)

 

I hope this is somewhat helpful. I will say that in regard to the idea of classes being liberal or conservative that a generalization like that really can not be made. How liberal or conservative the class is REALLY depends on the teacher, not on the IB program itself. To sum it up, it is a real crap shoot as to whether or not you will have an awesome teacher. While the teachers go through the IB training, they are still individuals with their own opinions and methods of teaching/subject emphasis.

 

Hope this helps! I am happy to answer anymore questions you might have!

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You know, it's really not magic. :) While one can't "do IB" in a home school, I certainly think one can provide a child with a similarly rigorous education and even get similar credit going into college while home schooling.

 

Thank you for your list. I appreciate your insights. I am not necessarily looking for something with a label or snazzy name, but I would like similar content. I definitely am interested in the world focus and multilingualism due to our family dynamics.

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The classes were blocked together, english and history as a group and math and science as a group. On MWF, English would be 75 and History would be 55 minutes, and that would reverse on TR. The same happened with math and science. We had the same 25 kids in our class for all of our IB classes, because that is how the blocks ended up working out. We were our own little school in this massive public school! It was quite fun.

 

I just wanted to mention that this type of scheduling isn't necessary for IB. Scheduling is really up to the individual school. Some schools (like mine) use more traditional "period" scheduling and keep those subjects more or less separate.

 

I did have a similar experience in terms of feeling like I was in a small school in the middle of a much larger one. That part was certainly a positive.

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Thank you that is so helpful. She isn't on IB track for math, but everything else looks about the same - except she opted to take the computer/health class next summer to avoid 7 classes her first year and French instead of Spanish.

They don't block the subject together, but they do say that the world history and the english classes are linked in some way - I guess we will see.

I'm glad the homework wasn't so overwhelming - I had told her to expect 2 hours per night - is that about right?

thanks again

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