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Teachin'Mine

An open invitation to all the moms of 8th graders ...

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I fear that I have already irreparably harmed ds when we skipped first grade. He'll turn 14 at the end of August, and throughout his high school and college career, he'll be grouped with students who may be more than a year older than he.

 

I fear that ds will suck up any free time with video games, so I need to tailor a curriculum that will keep him busy but not overwhelmed. My dd is 17, so we've "done" high school before. However, her school schedule is quite relaxed; she's motivated to research and follow outside interests.

 

I fear for our relationship. I always thought it would be dd and I who would clash. She and I are close, but ds is pulling away. I thought I'd always have my little boy!

 

Right now, this minute, it seems like he's on the brink and open to more challenges. I fear that this window is small, and by the time we begin high school in the fall, he'll revert.

 

Ugh, I do not like facing fears!

 

On the plus side, he's usually a happy, easy going kid. He picks up concepts quickly. He's easy to teach, eager to learn, and he's happy to work through his daily list and check things off. He never feels he can't do something (at least academically).

 

I'm looking forward to high school with him, but I feel a bigger sense of responsibility toward him. The pressure is on *me* to make sure he does well, gets into a decent college, is successful at a chosen profession, and can support a family--including my grandkids!--down the road. But I know that I can't do this, I've never been the one who's succeeded at homeschooling. All we've ever done is try to focus on God's will for our family, and He's the One that's kept everything together.

 

Ugh, if I press Submit, my post will be here for eternity.

 

I think I'll go back to bed now.

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I fear that I have already irreparably harmed ds when we skipped first grade. He'll turn 14 at the end of August, and throughout his high school and college career, he'll be grouped with students who may be more than a year older than he.

 

I fear that ds will suck up any free time with video games, so I need to tailor a curriculum that will keep him busy but not overwhelmed. My dd is 17, so we've "done" high school before. However, her school schedule is quite relaxed; she's motivated to research and follow outside interests.

 

I fear for our relationship. I always thought it would be dd and I who would clash. She and I are close, but ds is pulling away. I thought I'd always have my little boy!

 

Right now, this minute, it seems like he's on the brink and open to more challenges. I fear that this window is small, and by the time we begin high school in the fall, he'll revert.

 

Ugh, I do not like facing fears!

 

On the plus side, he's usually a happy, easy going kid. He picks up concepts quickly. He's easy to teach, eager to learn, and he's happy to work through his daily list and check things off. He never feels he can't do something (at least academically).

 

I'm looking forward to high school with him, but I feel a bigger sense of responsibility toward him. The pressure is on *me* to make sure he does well, gets into a decent college, is successful at a chosen profession, and can support a family--including my grandkids!--down the road. But I know that I can't do this, I've never been the one who's succeeded at homeschooling. All we've ever done is try to focus on God's will for our family, and He's the One that's kept everything together.

 

Ugh, if I press Submit, my post will be here for eternity.

 

I think I'll go back to bed now.

 

You can have him graduate younger, or you can even add in a year if you like. If he hasn't taken any standardized tests, no one should know what grade he's officially in - unless you have to report annually to your state. I would love an extra year about now, but her grade has been known for some time now and dd wouldn't want to be "held back".

 

Sounds like he'd enjoy challenging courses and that would have the added benefit of giving him less time to hang out on the computer and play games. :)

 

IMO it's great to look seriously at high school while they're in 8th grade because that gives us time to fill in any holes and to plan what the four years may look like. It's only a rough sketch as things will undoubtedly change as they progress. Look at what the minimum requirements are for your state, if any, and then look at what colleges want the students to do in high school. If you aim for a more than you think they will need, then you'll probably have it all covered and their options won't be limited. I think it's the exception to have an 8th grader who thinks they know what they want to do, but ask them anyway and try to include courses in their areas of interest. Write all of this in pencil, not pen. :tongue_smilie:

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Mallorie and Paula are feeling brave! :001_smile:

 

This was me in 8th grade as I was planning for high school ... :eek:

 

I'm still unsure of many things, but it's been awesome. :) I'd have been

absolutely lost without these boards.

 

Check out Sue in St. Pete's signature too. :D

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I have one boy almost ready for 8th grade and eeep twin girls that are following right behind him...almost catching up!!

but one boy that made it thru already, so I think I have it under control...which makes me quake in fear, as each time I think, I am proved wrong.

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Some advice from one who has been-there-done-that and is now on the other side (phew!)

 

START EARLY AND OFTEN!!!

 

1) Don’t be afraid of AP’s

My daughter took two AP classes online her freshman year and they really aren’t all that bad, especially when you figure out that the exams have a very specific format to them and you can work that format to get the maximum points.Just do your research and choose wisely. She took AP World History thru Keystone and it was a TON of work, way more than necessary, and yet it did a poor job of preparing her for the exam. She also took AP English Language thru Virtual High School and had a great experience. She got 4’s on both exams.

 

Because she started in her freshman year she will graduate with 7 AP’s which looks really good on her transcript. And there are all sorts of “titles†that the College Board gives out with the AP’s. Once she finished with 3 AP’s she got the title “AP Scholarâ€. After 4 AP’s she got “AP Scholar with Honors.†You don’t have to get all 5’s to get these titles, and the more things you can list on a college app the better it looks.

 

Start with the easier ones: AP World History, AP Psych, AP English Language. Stay away from APUSH at first, it is one of the harder ones.

 

2) Start early with the extracurriculars.

It takes a long time to build up hours and leadership experience. Colleges love what they call “consistent commitment†so it’s better to have a few extracurriculars with some stellar results than 30 hours at one and 40 hours at another. And get those leadership roles. I cannot tell you how many times the word “leadership†has come up on college essay prompts. Just being involved isn’t going to get their attention.

 

3) Sorry, but the SAT scores really count

My daughter was automatically excluded from certain programs and scholarships because her SAT was 30 points lower than the cutoff. It is much harder to try to convince the college you have what it takes despite your SAT score than to just meet the initial criteria, and some colleges take those cut-off figures very seriously.

 

Plus, the better SAT scores will get you "priority" application status, meaning you won't have to pay the application fee ($75 a pop really adds up when you are applying to 10 schools) and sometimes gets you automatic consideration for merit scholarships without additional essays.

 

4) Plan to have your student take SAT II’s

I was surprised at how many parents were not aware of SAT II’s. Some colleges require 2 SAT II’s in addition to the regular SAT’s. Again, start early. The SAT II should be taken as close to when they finish the course as possible.

 

5) Try to get awards and recognitions on both the local and national level. Colleges will have separate sections to list these and you don’t want one section to be blank.

It’s great to get local recognition, but make sure you can list things that have national recognition, like awards from Boy Scouts, or AP awards like I mentioned earlier. Some colleges even make you list out local, state, and national awards separately. You would be surprised how much angst listing out one little title under a whole big empty section can cause!

 

6) Start keeping track of things now

I didn’t do this. It is so much harder to remember what the name of the piano competition that they won in 9th grade was, or what the person’s name that they volunteered under at the hospital 2 years ago is. Keep any newspaper clippings or any relevant certificates. It all adds up.

 

 

If you want to get an idea of what other students are doing (ahem, the *competition*) go onto the College Confidential discussion boards. You can go into threads for different colleges. Students will list out all their SAT scores, GPA's, extracurriculars, and then ask other students to "chance them" for getting acceptance. It is a real eye opener what some of these kids are doing. Don't let it intimidate you, but use it to get ideas.

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IMO it's great to look seriously at high school while they're in 8th grade because that gives us time to fill in any holes and to plan what the four years may look like. It's only a rough sketch as things will undoubtedly change as they progress. Look at what the minimum requirements are for your state' date=' if any, and then look at what colleges want the students to do in high school. If you aim for a more than you think they will need, then you'll probably have it all covered and their options won't be limited. I think it's the exception to have an 8th grader who thinks they know what they want to do, but ask them anyway and try to include courses in their areas of interest. Write all of this in pencil, not pen. :tongue_smilie:[/quote']

 

 

I agree with the bolded. I'm a planner by nature and habit. When I'm nervous or bored I plan. I refuse to name how many times I've planned out ds's four years of high school. :lol:

 

However, we've had some very fruitful discussions as of late. Realizing EVERYTHING can change, I still plan in pencil. I have a rough draft of my requirements, 4 years of this, 4 years of that. How we get there is not yet drafted. Ds and I talked about his desires, his interests, and we've already had a few compromises. Latin is one of those. I'm switching programs so we can finish my requirements for Latin a year early.

 

After reading WTM, LCC, state requirements, local university requirements, and here, I developed my own credit requirements. How we get there is not totally decided, but it gives me a better idea of where I can plan electives, what his transcript may look like, and when we need to think about things like AP or SAT II.

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If you want to get an idea of what other students are doing (ahem' date=' the *competition*) [b']go onto the College Confidential discussion boards[/b]. You can go into threads for different colleges. Students will list out all their SAT scores, GPA's, extracurriculars, and then ask other students to "chance them" for getting acceptance. It is a real eye opener what some of these kids are doing. Don't let it intimidate you, but use it to get ideas.

 

If you're at all nervous about this high school board, you may want to have a paper bag ready before you click onto that one. :svengo: I try to limit how often I peek over there as I tend to stress out my dd over something I've read that she should be doing. :lol:

 

All the advice given was great!!!

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If you're at all nervous about this high school board, you may want to have a paper bag ready before you click onto that one. I try to limit how often I peek over there as I tend to stress out my dd over something I've read that she should be doing.

 

Yes I know. It can be stress-inducing! But remember that the kids that post there are ususually the ones at the top of their game. No one is going to post lousy SAT scores and no extracurriculars and then ask "chance me" haha. So you have to take it with a grain of salt.

 

But it can be good to get some ideas :tongue_smilie:

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Oof. I'm so overwhelmed by choices to be made. Ds is strong academically. But there are so MANY things I want to cover -- how do we enjoy the richness that's available to us without completely overwhelming him?

 

And if he chooses to do ballet conservatory for part of his high school career, how will I ever balance that?!?

 

I worry about him being young for his grade, and yet, he's also advanced for that grade level, so holding him back would just be weird, and if he *does* do conservatory, having an extra year would be helpful...

 

Am I asking too much?!? Not enough?!?

 

Aaaaaah!

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Both my daughters skipped a grade when going back into public school (thank you homeschooling!) and it has not been a problem other than hearing "everyone is getting their drivers license this year but me!" and issues like that.

 

As far as the ballet conservatory, I remember some advice I got when my older one was considering being a concert pianist. If you are going to go a non-traditional career route (theater, dance, music, etc.) then you have to do it right.

 

So many kids that major in dance at their local state school find that they have no opportunities to really do well. Majoring in theater and getting the lead in your local play won't help.

 

If my daughter had decided to do music, we would have looked at sending her to a performing arts high school. College would have been Julliard, Berkely, or The New England Conservatory of Music.

 

If you are going to go non-traditional, go big or it has a really big chance of going nowhere.

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to join us here and face your fears. :lol:

 

I'm still in break mode. La' date='la, la, la, la...I can't hear you. :D

 

I refuse to face my fears until sometime next week. [/color']

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Both my daughters skipped a grade when going back into public school (thank you homeschooling!) and it has not been a problem other than hearing "everyone is getting their drivers license this year but me!" and issues like that.

 

As far as the ballet conservatory' date=' I remember some advice I got when my older one was considering being a concert pianist. If you are going to go a non-traditional career route (theater, dance, music, etc.) then you have to do it right.

 

So many kids that major in dance at their local state school find that they have no opportunities to really do well. Majoring in theater and getting the lead in your local play won't help.

 

If my daughter had decided to do music, we would have looked at sending her to a performing arts high school. College would have been Julliard, Berkely, or The New England Conservatory of Music.

 

If you are going to go non-traditional, go big or it has a really big chance of going nowhere.[/quote']

 

Dh and I both went to college "early", so the grade-skipping doesn't "bother" me, but now that we're getting closer, I do lament the fact that ds will be ready to move on in what seems like the very, very near future.

 

As to ballet conservatory... I think you're right. *IF* ds wants to be a professional dancer, there's no question -- he would have to take it very seriously. We're not there yet, in part because he's young (and as a boy, he gets a little more time than girls). But we're on the verge of having to make decisions about how serious he wants to be. Right now he *loves* ballet, but he says he'd rather teach (and we've looked at dance education programs, though I don't really think that's the way to go either) than work towards being in a full-time professional company. ... He's also extremely academic though, and I could see him going into math or humanities fields quite easily... I don't want to limit him in those areas for something as tenuous as ballet unless it's his life's passion, you know?

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LOL, I'm planning and planning and planning.... With my first one, he was so difficult in doing coursework with me at home by this time that I ended up putting him in a number of dual credit and other outside courses his ninth grade year. I really felt like just a facilitator that year. If this next one stays home, we'll be doing most of our work here....

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I am scared. DD13 is officially an eighth grader this year.

 

Academically, if she wanted to, there is nothing that could stop her. But she is not motivated. She is seriously not motivated. And there is little I can do about it.

 

I can not make her learn things she doesn't want to do. I am trying very hard not to flip out.

 

All the advice to start early isn't going to work here.

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I am scared. DD13 is officially an eighth grader this year.

 

Academically, if she wanted to, there is nothing that could stop her. But she is not motivated. She is seriously not motivated. And there is little I can do about it.

 

I can not make her learn things she doesn't want to do. I am trying very hard not to flip out.

 

All the advice to start early isn't going to work here.

 

Jennie, I think you are so right that you can't make her want to learn. What does she think she's going to do after high school? How can you best help her get there? There's nothing wrong with just covering the bascis and getting her to the point where she can graduate. What does she like to do, and how can that be turned into something on her transcript? Homemaking? Day care? Cosmetology? Animals? Missions work? Gardening? Filmmaking? Photography? Crafting? Is there a job she'd like to get that can be counted as vocational hs work?

 

On the other hand, is it just that she doesn't want to try hard? Could she be depressed, or have other concerns that need to be addressed before school work can become a priority?

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Don't actually have an 8th grader this year, she's 7th, but no, I'm not scared. Probably because this will be the 5th time through... :D What I am is sad--ack, last one!

 

My advice: keep records, keep records, keep records. And update those transcripts and course descriptions every single semester! It's so much easier than trying to recreate a year after the facts.

 

Start testing early--your kid may want to do some program or other that requires outside validation. Practice those SATs and ACTs and plan on taking both, twice.

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I have an 8th grader and I am having mild anxiety palpitations over planning high school. After all of my fears that he would want to return to school and not wanting him to choose it now I am scared that he chose to continue homeschooling.

 

How do I know I am doing the right thing? I read these boards and always feel slightly inadequate. We are not doing enough, we are not rigorous enough, we ditched Latin.

 

 

Thanks Homes'cool for the btdt report. All things I have been considering and thinking about.

 

I am going to go back to trembling in my corner.

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I'm here, upcoming 9th grader and I am sickly terrified....all DH says is you can do it :001_smile: however I'm not so confident in myself as he is in me....:001_huh:

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I have a 9th grader AND an 8th grader this year, both boys who will probably end up in STEM careers.

DS #1 (9th grader) transformed tremendously last year during 8th grade, and he is old for his grade as his birthday is on the enrollment cut off. At the beginning of 8th grade he eschewed math text books (ok any text books) and by the end of 8th grade he had worked through Saxon pre-alg and Alg and is now plugging along in AoPS Geometry. DS #2 (8th grade) is young for his grade, and I am waiting to see if he goes through a similar transformation with puberty where he comes out more serious about school. He has always been *easier* though, but he is the kind of kid who goes along with whatever I say and doesn't care at this time to get too involved in the decision making progress. Well, don't want that to sound as though DS #1 is hard, because I am thrilled with how helpful and involved they both are. BUt, DS #1 has various educational issues such as dyslexia and wanting to get the ALL of the information the first time. Doesn't like simplified science text that only mention 3 states of matter to younger students, etc.

 

Anyways, yea, very fearful and recently had a family discussion about whether or not the kids should just go to public school for high school.

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Ugh, if I press Submit, my post will be here for eternity.

 

Okay. I wasn't going to tease you, but someone posted my name on this thread and now I have to. You know that you can go back for a few days and delete your post, right?

 

Check out Sue in St. Pete's signature too. :D

10th grade and I'm still freaking out.

 

5) Try to get awards and recognitions on both the local and national level. Colleges will have separate sections to list these and you don’t want one section to be blank.

It’s great to get local recognition' date=' but make sure you can list things that have national recognition, like awards from Boy Scouts, or AP awards like I mentioned earlier. Some colleges even make you list out local, state, and national awards separately. You would be surprised how much angst listing out one little title under a whole big empty section can cause!

[/quote']

Are you serious? This is one of the reasons I freak out. Does MVP of the JV basketball team in 9th grade count?

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I think parents need to figure out what their goals are before getting scared or feeling they have to be super prepared to do fabulous things.

 

Many, many students get into college without any AP or SAT II scores (my oldest is one of them - with significant merit aid too, but also many from the high school where I work).

 

Many, many students opt to go to community college first - or trade school - or skip college.

 

A few opt for competitive 4 year schools. The most highly competitive of those need all of those "ideas" mentioned before. If one wants highly competitive, then yes, having a good, solid plan to get there is somewhat necessary. Anything lower than that and it's not all needed IME.

 

One thing I won't disagree with is that the ACT or SAT (need not be both) scores are VERY important for 4 year college bound students who homeschool. Even schools that claim to not require these scores often want them from homeschoolers. It's worth it to prep for them. Good scores can provide more money for college than any summer job.

 

We start our testing with the PSAT in 10th grade (need to sign up for it at a local school in the early fall of their 10th grade year as it's only given in October). Then we repeat it in the fall of 11th grade along with either the ACT or SAT (whichever they are better at). In spring of 11th grade mine repeat the ACT or SAT (again, whichever they are better at). If necessary they can repeat it as a senior, but mine have never needed to so far.

 

College apps start the summer/fall of senior year and the earlier you get them in, the better. But as parents of 8th graders, you're a long way from that point. ;)

 

My oldest had no AP nor SAT II. He did have one community college class his senior year (English). The rest we did at home. He had a reasonably good ACT score (31), but it wasn't super high. He got in to all three schools he applied to and had merit aid offers at all three. None were highly competitive, but he DIDN'T WANT those. Why aim for what he doesn't want?

 

Middle son has one AP score and no SAT II. He had two community college classes from junior year and one from senior year. He has a high ACT score and just missed National Merit due to a technical error that testing day. So far he's been accepted to all three colleges he's applied to that notify early (with significant merit aid at all three) and he's waiting on three more that notify later.

 

Youngest won't have the high scores middle son has, but could be more similar to oldest. I'm more worried about how much his PUBLIC school is going to affect his applications. ;)

 

To those with unmotivated academic students - start looking into other options including potentially visiting colleges. My youngest wasn't motivated until we started college visits with middle son. Then he found a field he liked and is now self-motivated. Not all students are cut out for top schools or certain fields. Those who are don't have to be prodded - they are naturally self-motivated and all we have to do is hang on while they fly. Putting square pegs into round holes won't help anyone. It's better to find their niche and enjoy the ride.

 

FWIW, adcoms have told me they have a GPA/SAT/ACT (stats in general) "bar" and once potential students have met it they care more about the rest of the student - not more of the same academically with oodles of scores. Let them be involved in what they like and develop who they are. Mine are super active in what they like (chess, youth groups, church activities, family activities) and have an award or two plus really good letters of recommendation. They're well-liked teens. It all counts.

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Are you serious? This is one of the reasons I freak out. Does MVP of the JV basketball team in 9th grade count?

 

I don't suppose the perfect attendance award will be helpful. :tongue_smilie:

 

Seriously, my son may not not end up with a bunch of awards, we'll do some, but he's not competitive at all. In his current area of interest a portfolio of work may be better. But I don't know. He most likely won't be aiming for top tier schools either.

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Thanks, creekland, I was coming to ask about when we need to be ready for the PSAT, SAT and ACT.

 

I think we're getting there with curriculum. Going to post mine soon for critiques.

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Many, many students get into college without any AP or SAT II scores (my oldest is one of them - with significant merit aid too, but also many from the high school where I work).

Thank you for the voice of reason. I can calm down now.

 

Not all students are cut out for top schools or certain fields. Those who are don't have to be prodded - they are naturally self-motivated and all we have to do is hang on while they fly. Putting square pegs into round holes won't help anyone. It's better to find their niche and enjoy the ride.

I am more ambitious than ds has ever been. As much as I'd like for ds to go to a top-tier school, I know it would be disastrous if it wasn't his desire. And so far, I've seen no desire. He does want to go to college (and play Div 1 basketball), so that's a good thing.

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Dh and I both went to college "early", so the grade-skipping doesn't "bother" me, but now that we're getting closer, I do lament the fact that ds will be ready to move on in what seems like the very, very near future.

 

As to ballet conservatory... I think you're right. *IF* ds wants to be a professional dancer, there's no question -- he would have to take it very seriously. We're not there yet, in part because he's young (and as a boy, he gets a little more time than girls). But we're on the verge of having to make decisions about how serious he wants to be. Right now he *loves* ballet, but he says he'd rather teach (and we've looked at dance education programs, though I don't really think that's the way to go either) than work towards being in a full-time professional company. ... He's also extremely academic though, and I could see him going into math or humanities fields quite easily... I don't want to limit him in those areas for something as tenuous as ballet unless it's his life's passion, you know?

 

Just FYI, a good friend was a professional ballet dancer and went on to become the senior vp of finance for a large company. So it is possible for your ds to fulfill his professional dreams and move on into a satisfying career.

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Thanks, Creekland, for your thoughtful and encouraging post. I have been stalking the high school board for a few weeks now and have enjoyed your balanced input in several threads.

 

My eldest will be a freshman this coming school year. I am a bit terrified. My ds is very academic and an eager student. Hopefully the road won't be too bumpy for us.

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Subscribing to this thread as I suspect there will be a lot of helpful advice! My dd is already doing some highschool level courses this year. I'm trying hard to keep track of things now.

 

It's daunting, but we're plugging on!

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I am back to being nervous. My dd is now 10th grade but her freshman year was quite rocky and stressful. So, I can learn from that (1st child guinea pig). But ds is a different animal. She is more mature (she was 14 going on 20), he is not (14 going on 9). He's a little brighter academically, she's more intrinsically motivated. He's more of a STEM guy, she leans toward the liberal arts. Just writing these down and considering my plan for his high school (he doesn't want to even admit that he'll be in high school next year - he still plays with the kids on the block (they don't "hang out") spikes my anxiety level.

 

Anyway, I'm here to get on board. Thanks for starting this.

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Busted. :tongue_smilie:

 

Ok, here are the particulars ....

 

Smart but unmotivated teen boy

Likes history and science

Likes computers

Not a fan of math

 

 

We did one of those career aptitude tests for fun with him and it showed his top areas as teacher, lawyer, and police officer. He likes the idea of being a high school history/science teacher... I am a principal so he has it in his blood I suppose. Of course he could change his mind at any second.

 

What we know for sure is that he will go to a conservative Christian college (not sure which one obviously) and that he will need lots of aid/scholarships, etc. as we love our life here but don't earn squat.

 

I am tossing around the AP vs. DE thing in my head. Any advice on that? CC is not an option because of where we are.

 

For 9th grade I am tentatively considering the following:

 

Math-videotext algebra

Science- apologia biology

History- SWB Medieval history (we are doing her ancients book this year)

English- he is begging to do LLFLOTR... Thoughts? And continuing with vocabulary from classical roots

Bible- survey of the OT

Electives would be Traditional Logic II, Spanish (I need a good online program for this... Ideas?)

 

That's what I am looking at so far.

 

Yes. I have two master's degrees and 17 years in education as a teacher and principal. It means NOTHING. I am still terrified to do this. Now that I have spilled my guts....

 

Advice? Mockery?

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For 9th grade I am tentatively considering the following:

 

Math-videotext algebra

Science- apologia biology

History- SWB Medieval history (we are doing her ancients book this year)

English- he is begging to do LLFLOTR... Thoughts? And continuing with vocabulary from classical roots

Bible- survey of the OT

Electives would be Traditional Logic II, Spanish (I need a good online program for this... Ideas?)

 

That's what I am looking at so far.

 

Yes. I have two master's degrees and 17 years in education as a teacher and principal. It means NOTHING. I am still terrified to do this. Now that I have spilled my guts....

 

Advice? Mockery?

 

LLfLotR has been a big hit here. We've not read the books before and we're reading them together. I would also recommend Tolkien bio (Carpenter) before starting. It gives a lot of insight into the labor of love that went into Middle Earth, especially for someone interested in education. The Middle Ages is a great time period to study with this program.

 

Another note: the SWB Medieval book only goes to the 1100s, so if you want to cover more of the Middle Ages you'll need a second resource.

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Busted. :tongue_smilie:

 

Ok, here are the particulars ....

 

Smart but unmotivated teen boy

Likes history and science

Likes computers

Not a fan of math

 

 

We did one of those career aptitude tests for fun with him and it showed his top areas as teacher, lawyer, and police officer. He likes the idea of being a high school history/science teacher... I am a principal so he has it in his blood I suppose. Of course he could change his mind at any second.

 

What we know for sure is that he will go to a conservative Christian college (not sure which one obviously) and that he will need lots of aid/scholarships, etc. as we love our life here but don't earn squat.

 

I am tossing around the AP vs. DE thing in my head. Any advice on that? CC is not an option because of where we are.

 

For 9th grade I am tentatively considering the following:

 

Math-videotext algebra

Science- apologia biology

History- SWB Medieval history (we are doing her ancients book this year)

English- he is begging to do LLFLOTR... Thoughts? And continuing with vocabulary from classical roots

Bible- survey of the OT

Electives would be Traditional Logic II, Spanish (I need a good online program for this... Ideas?)

 

That's what I am looking at so far.

 

Yes. I have two master's degrees and 17 years in education as a teacher and principal. It means NOTHING. I am still terrified to do this. Now that I have spilled my guts....

 

Advice? Mockery?

 

Looks good to me. Conservative Christian colleges tend to be easier to get into as there is less demand for them (considering the bulk of students go secular - supply/demand). There's not necessarily as much aid at these schools, but some do give decent scholarships. I'd concentrate on getting his SAT/ACT scores as high as he can as many scholarships use those as a "bar." I would think his international experience would give him decent essay material and be a nice "different" aspect to his applications.

 

Be certain HE wants to go to a conservative Christian school... those aren't for just "any" student or even "any" Christian.

 

Are you looking for a young earth only conservative Christian school or just conservative in general?

 

Some to consider that I know of (not necessarily young earth based) would be:

 

Cedarville

Grove City

Harding

Liberty

Le Tourneau

Covenant

Union (TN)

Wheaton (IL)

Patrick Henry

Bob Jones

 

There are probably more that aren't coming to mind. My oldest goes to Covenant, so I could answer questions about that school, but my knowledge about the others is somewhat limited.

 

Look around on their websites and see what they want to see for incoming students and/or homeschoolers. Some also mention what's needed stat-wise for merit aid, etc.

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Another note: the SWB Medieval book only goes to the 1100s, so if you want to cover more of the Middle Ages you'll need a second resource.

 

Ugh. I know. I wish SWB would hurry up and write the next one. :D

 

Any ideas for resources to bridge the gap from 1100 to early America (I have some resources already picked out for American history)?

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.

 

 

Are you looking for a young earth only conservative Christian school or just conservative in general? YEC vs. OEC is not a deal breaker for us. By conservative Christian I mean solidly Christian, classes taught from a biblical worldview (not pink and blue sidewalks). We are pretty conservative but we are not THAT conservative. :lol: No charasmatic colleges or emergent church/spiritual mysticism type places either.

 

There are probably more that aren't coming to mind. My oldest goes to Covenant, so I could answer questions about that school, but my knowledge about the others is somewhat limited.

 

What are your opinions on Covenant? We are reformed so that school interests me.

 

Look around on their websites and see what they want to see for incoming students and/or homeschoolers. Some also mention what's needed stat-wise for merit aid, etc.

 

Is there a one stop resource for information on all Christian colleges that you know of?

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Checking in also. My biggest fears are not academic but social. I haven't figured out how to exactly word my concerns, but I do have them.

 

As far as academics, I don't know any home schoolers IRL who set the bar very high. I am very glad for the resource of the WTM forums to help me know how to do this.

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So, coming out of the corner to face my fears....

 

What I could use help with:

 

Feeling like yep, i'm one of those moms..."hs'ing without a teaching degree?". Yep....w/out any degree. I've seen the looks on my teacher-friends faces that i'm going to mess my kids up, because "there are just things you cannot teach at home".

 

I am looking strongly at MFW AHL. The other two will do MFW CtG, so we'll be on the same historical period. That could change, but I don't think it will. I need help with the extras.

 

Science? Apologia Biology? He's doing physical science this year, it's going ok. I can't say he loves it, but he doesn't complain.

 

Math...I already posted about that, lucked out with finding Lials' algebra 1 at the library, we will give that a go for a couple of weeks. If he sticks with that and completes it by fall we'll move to geometry.

 

I need a foreign language. Latin? Oh, where to start?

 

So, here's my latest thorn (now that I'm figuring out math): Language arts. He has had little/poor instruction at school, not much retention at all in grammar. He has been doing Applications of Grammar per MFW, but it is.not.going.well. He manages to do it, but doesn't understand or remember a lick of it. I need something else. I will back up several years in a curriculum if I have to, but i'm dreading that. I'm considering Analytical Grammar. He can be taught, and is willing to learn, but AoP is just not making sense to him.

 

Writing: oh boy. He LIKES to write. He just needs it cleaned up. Writing Strands has been ok, but i'm looking.

 

The rest, well. I'm just muddling through trying to figure out when to do testing, how to write transcripts, how to keep neat records, etc.

 

I'm sure there is a lot more I could write, but i'm sleepy and trying to purge some of these nerves before bed. :)

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I'm here.

 

*ahem*

 

I'm here. 98% sure we are homeschooling next year. My daughter just assumes we are continuing this adventure we started when she came home from PS at the end of 4th grade. It's me that's having doubts. When asked by friends "You're going back for highschool, aren't you?" she tells them "Nope! I'm staying home until college!" I don't know whether to be pleased or petrified most days.

 

I have 3 grown kids, all PS from start to finish. So I have the confidence that comes from knowing I have at least had some exposure to things like driving lessons, college campus tours, and FAFSA forms. I have an inkling of what a few local universities are looking for. I know a tiny tad about education now, being in the trenches and not watching from the sidelines. BUT, I realize that's the tip of the iceburg. I have never had to feel the full weight on my shoulders before this child #4.

 

My older kids had so many opportunities through the local highschool that are no longer available because of budget cuts. Enrichment programs were in place, meaningful competitions were available, dual-enrollment was available, and wonderful mentors hadn't taken early retirement yet. blech... I'm still having trouble accepting that it's a tough new game for any of the kids around here, not just my youngest.

 

I will be more confident when I fully realize I may really be my child's best option. Can-do attitude coming soon, I hope!

 

Plugging along, and grateful for the Hive.

 

ETA: Good grief. Should I be homeschooling at all?? I can't even flip my avatar around correctly! LOL

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Are you looking for a young earth only conservative Christian school or just conservative in general? YEC vs. OEC is not a deal breaker for us. By conservative Christian I mean solidly Christian, classes taught from a biblical worldview (not pink and blue sidewalks). We are pretty conservative but we are not THAT conservative. :lol: No charasmatic colleges or emergent church/spiritual mysticism type places either.

 

There are probably more that aren't coming to mind. My oldest goes to Covenant, so I could answer questions about that school, but my knowledge about the others is somewhat limited.

 

What are your opinions on Covenant? We are reformed so that school interests me.

 

Is there a one stop resource for information on all Christian colleges that you know of?

 

Covenant is not a young earth only college. Their stance on the whole beginnings thing is that one must give God credit however one figures it happened. There's a mix of beliefs about the issue. In my guy's Bible class he told me many views were presented along with the arguments for them, and in the end, the prof wouldn't tell the class which way he, himself, believed. Personally, I like that stance!

 

Otherwise, Covenant is definitely reformed (we aren't) and it's definitely grounded in the Bible without being overly legalistic like some other VERY conservative schools (Pensacola comes to mind). My guy absolutely loves it there. Like any Christian school, there are students there because mom or dad insisted they go there and not because they want to be there, so there's a crowd that "rebels" (for lack of a better word), but there's also a huge crowd who does want to be there and enjoys the atmosphere.

 

Profs are Christian (reformed), knowledgeable, and grads seem to do well. I checked the results of the school's Major Field Tests for Business before I let my guy go there and they were in the 95% range - beating every other school he was looking at both Christian and secular.

 

Bible-wise they definitely are solid and deep. Classes consider Christian ethics in discussions (when it fits in).

 

Dorms are older and don't have nearly as many bells and whistles as a more monied school. Food is only so-so.

 

There is no Greek system, so life revolves around planned dorm activities that are designed to get all involved. Each hall seems to have developed their own character and they try hard to place students into halls matching their character.

 

There is no real town close by for food or other such things (there are houses all around - it's not in the boonies), so again, campus life dominates. However, my guy and his friends sometimes go down into Chattanooga. My guy doesn't have a car, but others do and catching a ride isn't an issue. The view is outstanding.

 

If there's any issue "I" have with the college it's that it's so small (roughly 1000 students). I went to a large public U and thoroughly enjoyed my time there complete with oodles of bells and whistles. Many of the bells and whistles are lacking at Covenant. The trade off is that all classes are small and much, MUCH more personal than I had. One is known by name at Covenant. That wasn't really true (with small exceptions) where I went.

 

Based upon what you said you're looking for, it could be worth a look if they have the major your guy is looking for.

 

As for a single source resource - no - I never found one. The ISI site linked before is good to know the political climate and some inner workings of schools plus it gives a nice write-up of the schools it covers, but it doesn't cover many schools out there. When my oldest decided he wanted a Christian school we just had to look at lists of schools and investigate each of them one by one. It took quite a while - and I'm still finding Christian schools I didn't know existed.

 

Here's an older thread I created with a list of many Christian colleges and their incoming Freshman test scores if that interests you. Check later pages for a more complete list. For me, having a higher level student population was important - hence - the schools at or near the top of the list got more of my attention.

 

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=160154

 

 

I'm here.

 

*ahem*

 

I'm here.

 

Welcome here! ;) I'm here because I wasn't pleased with the level of academics our local ps provided... and my two oldest did very well with homeschooling. My youngest insists on being at the ps for high school, but we're doing extra to try to provide him with an academic education too. :tongue_smilie:

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I'm considering Analytical Grammar

I loved AG. Clear and concise and efficient. Ds scores very well on all standardized tests for grammar. You may read my review here. There is also an 'Analytical Grammar' tag with a dozen threads.

 

Good luck!

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So, coming out of the corner to face my fears....

 

I love my parents, but they really didn't have a clue. I survived high school. I started tech school, one semester, dropped out. Became a stay at home mom and now, a homeschool mom. I'm no brainiac, but i've always wondered how much farther I could have come in terms of my education if I would have had an adult to guide me. For an added bonus, as I read how to educate my kids, i'm putting 2+2 together to see that my eye condition (tracking issue) probably compromised my learning early on.

 

I still feel like i'm struggling, still feel like i'm playing catch-up. Anything I know or know how to do I have had to teach myself. Praise God, I <3 research.

 

So, now I have these kids, these awesome kids. They are smart. My oldest is less than a year away from high school, and I can't help but feel that i'm in over my head. He wants to be an engineer, and he has ZERO interest in going back to public school. I'm good with that, what with the social climate at our local school compared to the friendships he has made at hs coop. He is where he belongs.

 

What I could use help with:

 

I am looking strongly at MFW AHL. The other two will do MFW CtG, so we'll be on the same historical period. That could change, but I don't think it will. I need help with the extras.

 

Science? Apologia Biology? He's doing physical science this year, it's going ok. I can't say he loves it, but he doesn't complain.

 

Math...I already posted about that, lucked out with finding Lials' algebra 1 at the library, we will give that a go for a couple of weeks. If he sticks with that and completes it by fall we'll move to geometry.

 

I need a foreign language. Latin? Oh, where to start?

 

So, here's my thorn: Language arts. He has had little/poor instruction at school, not much retention at all in grammar. He has been doing Applications of Grammar per MFW, but it is.not.going.well. He manages to do it, but doesn't understand or remember a lick of it. I need something else. I will back up several years in a curriculum if I have to, but i'm dreading that. I'm considering Analytical Grammar. He can be taught, and is willing to learn, but AoP is just not making sense to him.

 

Writing: oh boy. He LIKES to write. He just needs it cleaned up. Writing Strands has been ok, but i'm looking.

 

The rest, well. I'm just muddling through trying to figure out when to do testing, how to write transcripts, how to keep neat records, etc.

 

I'm sure there is a lot more I could write, but i'm sleepy and trying to purge some of these nerves before bed. :)

 

IMO the more they write, the better their writing gets. Even without any editing and re-writing, if they write a lot, they will naturally improve as they age. But you're right - at the high school level they need to learn the skills of re-writing and editing to produce a nicely finished paper. Don't forget that reading good books also helps to form a good writer. As he's still in 8th, let him write about what he likes and then just pick one or two things to work on with each paper. If you try to fix everything at once, it can be discouraging. Don't forget to tell him what you like about his writing too. :)

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I'm here.

 

*ahem*

 

I'm here. 98% sure we are homeschooling next year. My daughter just assumes we are continuing this adventure we started when she came home from PS at the end of 4th grade. It's me that's having doubts. When asked by friends "You're going back for highschool, aren't you?" she tells them "Nope! I'm staying home until college!" I don't know whether to be pleased or petrified most days.

 

I have 3 grown kids, all PS from start to finish. So I have the confidence that comes from knowing I have at least had some exposure to things like driving lessons, college campus tours, and FAFSA forms. I have an inkling of what a few local universities are looking for. I know a tiny tad about education now, being in the trenches and not watching from the sidelines. BUT, I realize that's the tip of the iceburg. I have never had to feel the full weight on my shoulders before this child #4.

 

My older kids had so many opportunities through the local highschool that are no longer available because of budget cuts. Enrichment programs were in place, meaningful competitions were available, dual-enrollment was available, and wonderful mentors hadn't taken early retirement yet. blech... I'm still having trouble accepting that it's a tough new game for any of the kids around here, not just my youngest.

 

I will be more confident when I fully realize I may really be my child's best option. Can-do attitude coming soon, I hope!

 

Plugging along, and grateful for the Hive.

 

ETA: Good grief. Should I be homeschooling at all?? I can't even flip my avatar around correctly! LOL

 

 

Bad news: budget cuts

 

Good news: No avatar flipping required! :thumbup:

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Covenant is not a young earth only college. Their stance on the whole beginnings thing is that one must give God credit however one figures it happened. There's a mix of beliefs about the issue. In my guy's Bible class he told me many views were presented along with the arguments for them, and in the end, the prof wouldn't tell the class which way he, himself, believed. Personally, I like that stance! I can live with that too.

 

Otherwise, Covenant is definitely reformed (we aren't) and it's definitely grounded in the Bible without being overly legalistic like some other VERY conservative schools (Pensacola comes to mind). That sounds great!

 

There is no Greek system, so life revolves around planned dorm activities that are designed to get all involved. Each hall seems to have developed their own character and they try hard to place students into halls matching their character.

 

There is no real town close by for food or other such things (there are houses all around - it's not in the boonies), so again, campus life dominates. However, my guy and his friends sometimes go down into Chattanooga. My guy doesn't have a car, but others do and catching a ride isn't an issue. The view is outstanding. This all sounds really good too. My ds is not the kind of kid that would go Greek.

 

If there's any issue "I" have with the college it's that it's so small (roughly 1000 students). I went to a large public U and thoroughly enjoyed my time there complete with oodles of bells and whistles. Many of the bells and whistles are lacking at Covenant. The trade off is that all classes are small and much, MUCH more personal than I had. One is known by name at Covenant. That wasn't really true (with small exceptions) where I went.

 

Based upon what you said you're looking for, it could be worth a look if they have the major your guy is looking for. He would like a smaller school and he is possibly thinking of going into teaching.

 

Here's an older thread I created with a list of many Christian colleges and their incoming Freshman test scores if that interests you. Check later pages for a more complete list. For me, having a higher level student population was important - hence - the schools at or near the top of the list got more of my attention.

 

http://www.welltrainedmind.com/forums/showthread.php?t=160154

 

That is an awesome list!!!!!

:

 

How does your ds feel about the spiritual climate there? Is he growing in his faith in his time there? Are there like minded believers that he can do bible studies with, etc.? Good spiritual mentors?

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How does your ds feel about the spiritual climate there? Is he growing in his faith in his time there? Are there like minded believers that he can do bible studies with, etc.? Good spiritual mentors?

 

He loves the spiritual climate and is definitely growing in his faith. When he came back home, one of his biggest "complaints" was how shallow many local believers are. We had a discussion about that as he needed to understand more about "life" and how not many necessarily want to be as deep into faith, but can still love God. Personally, he loves the depth they can get into there and knowing that many "educated" (academic) people are, indeed, believers. He has a couple of different Bible studies he participates in.

 

If you want his e-mail address, send me a pm and you can ask him any questions personally. He'll be there for a couple more years, so no rush. ;)

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