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Yes, I know about the anti-Christian bias and we can work with that. We just went to a presentation at teh local high school about their IB program and both dd, 9th, and I were impressed. She is very smart but on the shy side. After 9 years of homeschooling, dh would sort of like her to try school. We are in an amazing school district so I'm not concerned about the quality of the program. Anyway, if she wants IB she goes to one school; if she wants AP she goes to another school. Trying to decide which to pursue (if either). Thanks.

 

jeri

who is a little sad about all of this

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No personal experience, but in talking with an IB student and an IB teacher, the courses are more time intensive than AP. The student said that she and her friends basically did nothing other than school work, so it would be a big change from homeschooling. They are also well prepared for top tier schools. Have you thought about homeschooling and having her do some AP courses and/or some cc classes to get the school experience?

 

I'm curious what others have to say about their school's IB program. Good luck with whatever you decide is best for your family. No matter what we choose, it's hard not to feel that the grass may be greener on the other side. :grouphug:

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I went to an IB high school years ago (as it was just beginning to be adopted in the US). If I were you, I would look at the *teachers* at the individual school. Talk to them. Talk to people whose kids have been in the schools. The IB program will only be as good as the teachers. If it was a good school *before* it added the IB program and the teachers are well-respect and involved, I'd consider it. If it were a middling school that they've tried to revitalize by adopting the IB program, I would head straight to the AP school.

 

The program itself is fine. It has many good points. But I would not put a kid in a school *because* of that label. I would consider it a nice little flourish on an otherwise good school though.

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(My experience was that IB was not *significantly* more time-consuming than an equal number of AP courses. I'm always a bit surprised when I read of kids who have time to do "nothing but school" because of such programs. I wonder if teachers are assigning meaningless busywork or if the students need more coaching in better study skills and foundational writing skills.)

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The one thing I would be looking at is how long this school has been an IB school (and how much experience the teachers have with the program). There is a steep curve in IB results directly linked to years of experience for the teachers...

Hth!

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My only experience with IB was that they were starting the program at the school where I was teaching 20 years ago. It looked good.

 

As far as the anti-Christian thing... I just don't get it. Just look at the teachers and the culture of the school. We started doing this Outcome based education and man suddenly people were showing this video at local churches about how it was anti-Christ and all sorts of stuff. We got a copy of the video, and what they said on it just wasn't true at all... I am a very strong Christian. A group of girls met for a Bible study in my classroom once a week. The school ended up dropping that. But just because a program is listed as Christian or anti-Christian, don't believe it. Talk to the teacher. Look at the fruit of the life of that teacher!!! Ok. vent over.

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I have my cousin's kid (now in college) who transferred from a private Catholic School to a public school's IB program as a 9th grader in Austin, TX. As a 7th grader, he took the SAT to get into the DUKE TIP gifted program. It also was a marker for the IB school for acceptance into the program. He did really well with the transition and tho' his family are conservatively religious -- he excelled at the public high school. Got accepted into a top tier college with impressive SAT scores.

 

On the other hand, I also have a friend whose dd went to another IB program in Garland, TX and she did not do well. It was a great program. But for some reason, she never took the time to study seriously. Her dad showed me her final essay for Senior/IB final grade... and I was shocked. It was not that well written nor strongly researched. As a result, she did not pass the IB program. I never heard any complaints from her about being a Christian at her IB program. She is now attending a jc with plans to go to a state school -- she now regrets not taking her IB studies seriously. HTH

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I'm an IB graduate. I loved it. I certainly didn't see any anti-Christian bias or any anti-American bias (something I've also heard) but then I didn't do it in the US. I didn't "do school all the time". I did study a lot but I like studying. I learned SO much. And I felt vastly more prepared for college than my non-IB college classmates.

 

I do agree with those who have said to check out the teachers. However I disagree with those who say that it is a negative if the program is new to the school. I was the third class to graduate from the school I went to and my teachers were still enthusiastic about the program and really engaged in us students. The school I graduated from has consistently had above average results.

 

You and your daughter are more than welcome to PM me with any other questions you might have.

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I looked around the web at IB vs. AP curricula. I thought the IB ones were much more substantive; more writing and creative thinking/analysis. From what I understand, it is best to go to a school where the IB program has been in place for a while. It is quite a shift of gears for teachers as well as students.

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I think success depends on the commitment of the school, rather than necessarily how long the programme has been going. The school converted to IB three years ago; the first year the results were already good. Factors influencing the success: school commitment (because it was the only qualification being offered) and experienced leadership (the headmaster had just transferred from another all-IB school).

 

Laura

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I think success depends on the commitment of the school, rather than necessarily how long the programme has been going. The school converted to IB three years ago; the first year the results were already good. Factors influencing the success: school commitment (because it was the only qualification being offered) and experienced leadership (the headmaster had just transferred from another all-IB school).

Laura

Laura, I just want to say that I'm so envious of the school and education your boys are getting. I wish there was something similar here. I wish I could replicate it at home. Does the Yahoo group that is in your siggy line help with homeschoolers attempting to replicate the fabulous education that your sons are having? I feel very overwhelmed as my dc are getting older.

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Laura, I just want to say that I'm so envious of the school and education your boys are getting. I wish there was something similar here. I wish I could replicate it at home. Does the Yahoo group that is in your siggy line help with homeschoolers attempting to replicate the fabulous education that your sons are having? I feel very overwhelmed as my dc are getting older.

 

They don't have to teach the national curriculum (as it's a private school) but it is constrained by GCSEs - the teachers don't have much choice in what they teach from age 14-16. The IB gives more flexibility in the later years, and also takes the exam pressure off a bit: rather than having exams (AS/A2/Scottish Highers) at 17 and 18, the IB doesn't have major exams until 18. In the earlier years I think the maths, English and science teaching is good, but the history is very bitty (just like the history I got at school). They currently try to teach more languages than they can really fit into the timetable, but they are planning on redesigning that. It's a friendly school, with lots of opportunity for music, drama, art and sports.

 

My Yahoo group is about Galore Park materials, which are used in private Prep schools up to the age of 13. GP has a few materials that go a bit further than that, but they don't have GCSE level books or later. They have wisely decided that that market is already full, so have kept to their niche. My boys' school uses some GP materials (I think just Latin Prep and SY Latin) but I think that GP would offer a similarly solid education. The Yahoo group is pretty quiet, but the publisher is on there in addition to other users, and is happy to answer questions. It's not a company-sponsored group, however, and polite criticism of the materials is always welcome.

 

I do have some experience of teaching GCSE level from home (Calvin took biology, classical civilisation and Chinese before going to school) and am always willing to answer questions about it, but the GP Yahoo group is not really about that.

 

Best wishes - I know how worrying and isolated it can feel home educating from abroad,

 

Laura

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No actual experience but I would have loved to do IB. My school (in Australia) introduced it a year behind me. My parents considered letting me take six months off school to start year 11 (not sure what you call that) again with IB but they didn't tell me they were considering it. If they'd told me it was an option....

My friends who took IB didn't seem to work considerably harder than the rest of us doing similar courses but they all did very well.

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While you can not do IB at home, you could replicate some of the program at home. Their website has a lot of information on how the program is set up. Course Companions can be bought online.

 

A school in a neighboring town is teaching IB now and I found a lot on the school's website. They had a schedule of classes that showed how they merged state required classes with IB requirements.

 

We plan on going through The Theory of Knowledge book next year, which is one of the first requirements in the IB program.

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Even though in my heart I would love to continue homeschooling this talented, smart, terrific kid of mine, I really feel that she needs more challenge. A lot of you mentioned the teachers and the age of the program. I went to the presentation the other night and apparently it's at least 10 years old. Last year they had 95 of 97 get awarded the diploma. They had some of the kids speak and they are all going to good colleges and all said that they actually *do* have time for other interests such as sports, music and Scouts. I'm really excited for this for my dd!

 

We actually had a mtg with the school yesterday and it's kind of funny since she could skip a grade and enter as an 11th grader with the credits she has. (This wouldn't be my first choice anyway.) But since the IB requires certain prereqs (in her case, history--the bane of her existence, LOL), she needs to take a world history course before she starts in 10th. So now I'm on a search for a world history course she can take over the summer . . . any ideas?

 

On the other hand, she's will be finishing up her 3rd year of German and 3rd or Latin, and will have completed a year of Chem and AP Bio, as well as Alg 1, 2 and Geom. All this puts her on great track for IB since she will have extra electives as she gets into 11th and 12th.

 

Jeri

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I agree that you should look in to the teacher's background. I have no experience with IB, but I did drop an AP coarse because of a teacher. It was her first year teaching that coarse, and she was so disorganized. She decided to do every book that could be covered on the AP test, and announced that there would be no reviews of our Senior Portfolio, or college essay. (which was required work for all English classes. She really just didn't have the time to do all she wanted, let alone portfolios and admission essays.

 

I was pretty organized while in hight school, so I decided to go forward with the class. The last straw was when I realized she was giving us different grades on group/pair work. That is, one person would get a better grade that another on an assignment they did together. She basically was guessing at who did more work, and who should get what grade. I think she was simply drowning in a glass of water, and didn't really have the time to review our work. I moved on, and learned much more in the other class.

 

Danielle

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They had some of the kids speak and they are all going to good colleges and all said that they actually *do* have time for other interests such as sports, music and Scouts. I'm really excited for this for my dd!

 

It's not a massive number of hours, but the Creativity, Action, Service component requires some form of artistic endeavour, physical exercise and service to others.

 

Laura

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Joan, I didn't get any tags (?)

Laura, that is good since she is very involved in leadership anyway and loves doing that kind of thing.

 

jeri

 

Tags are the things under the post reply button. If you click on them they'll take you to other threads also tagged.

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Even though in my heart I would love to continue homeschooling this talented, smart, terrific kid of mine, I really feel that she needs more challenge. A lot of you mentioned the teachers and the age of the program. I went to the presentation the other night and apparently it's at least 10 years old. Last year they had 95 of 97 get awarded the diploma. They had some of the kids speak and they are all going to good colleges and all said that they actually *do* have time for other interests such as sports, music and Scouts. I'm really excited for this for my dd!

 

We actually had a mtg with the school yesterday and it's kind of funny since she could skip a grade and enter as an 11th grader with the credits she has. (This wouldn't be my first choice anyway.) But since the IB requires certain prereqs (in her case, history--the bane of her existence, LOL), she needs to take a world history course before she starts in 10th. So now I'm on a search for a world history course she can take over the summer . . . any ideas?

 

On the other hand, she's will be finishing up her 3rd year of German and 3rd or Latin, and will have completed a year of Chem and AP Bio, as well as Alg 1, 2 and Geom. All this puts her on great track for IB since she will have extra electives as she gets into 11th and 12th.

 

Jeri

 

Your school's program sounds wonderful!!! I hope it's a great experience for your daughter. :001_smile:

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My brother many many years ago went to an IB program - it was so good that he was willing to take an hour one-way bus trip every day to go there, and when my dad wanted the family to move many states away my brother (who only had 1 year of high school left) decided to stay behind and live with a friend so he could finish his last year there.

 

Now, many years later, he has finally finished his phd and is a professor at a good university.

 

So - I don't know much about the IB program, but I do know that there are some out there that can change your life! :)

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  • 1 year later...

I went to an IB high school years ago (as it was just beginning to be adopted in the US). If I were you, I would look at the *teachers* at the individual school. Talk to them. Talk to people whose kids have been in the schools. The IB program will only be as good as the teachers. If it was a good school *before* it added the IB program and the teachers are well-respect and involved, I'd consider it. If it were a middling school that they've tried to revitalize by adopting the IB program, I would head straight to the AP school.

 

 

The program itself is fine. It has many good points. But I would not put a kid in a school *because* of that label. I would consider it a nice little flourish on an otherwise good school though.

 

 

This is interesting. The school i am eyeing is a middling school which has had an IB program for 17 years. I guess the next step is to talk to the teachers.

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All the notes above about the program being dependent on the staff administering it really jive with what we see locally. The one real failure I saw came when a parent insisted their child do at home AP each year 10-12th on top of the program (gotta get that extra edge ....type thinking). It was awful for the teen and when they graduated last year they were completely exhausted. In talking with others, it really is a program that is "all in" and not served well by trying to be IB plus.

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No experience but our local school does IB and from the descriptions, some of

their classes seem to put in content that seems like a waste of time, especially

the math. We were considering

the local PS but after seeing the descriptions decided not to. Now, maybe the descriptions

are not as good as the IB program itself.

 

That said, everyone I went to college with who did IB outside of the US had an excellent preparation.

I never met someone who did IB in the US.

 

I would choose AP though.

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I agree that you should look in to the teacher's background. I have no experience with IB, but I did drop an AP coarse because of a teacher.

I chose not to do IB because of the teacher. And AP Lit, too (same teacher). I'd had him before, felt he was not intellectually honest, and not someone I wanted to be learning from.

 

At my high school, IB and AP were basically the same program. IB students took ToK, but otherwise the classes were the AP classes. I don't know if the program has changed since then, but, since you don't have to actually take the AP class in order to take the test, there is nothing stopping an IB student from taking the relevant AP test regardless of whether they've had the official AP class or not.

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I hated the IB program I went to. The stress and push for college level academics at such an early age was very very hard on the students. Several ended up with ulcers, many turned to drugs. The staff just cared about grades grades grades. I got tired of being told over and over "you have to do it this way because that is what they do in college." Yeah, well i'm not IN college, I'm in 9th grade, thank you very much. I transferred to a regular school, took AP classes Junior year, then early enrolled (even lived on campus) my senior year. So I ended up with more credits, less stress, and was much happier.

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No experience but our local school does IB and from the descriptions, some of

their classes seem to put in content that seems like a waste of time, especially

the math.

 

 

There are three levels of maths from which students can choose: the lowest level is not much higher than the maths that Calvin took for his GCSE at age 16 - roughly SAT II level. Then there are standard and higher levels, which get increasingly intensive. I don't know which one you saw, but the lowest one probably doesn't look very sophisticated.

 

Laura

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In my first reply (#31 in this thread) I included this link:

http://lhs.lubbockisd.org/modules/cms/pages.phtml?pageid=133151

but I forgot to mention this:

 

If you are in Texas, this, to me, would be a HUGE "Plus" of being an IB graduate. If you are not in Texas, possibly your state has something like this:

 

"In state supported colleges and universities in the state of Texas, students who earn an IB diploma and score at least a 4 in all six areas will be awarded 24 hours of college credit towards their degree.

Students may earn more than 24 hours of college credit---last year one IB Diploma recipient earned 54 hours of college credit from the University of Texas , Austin. Another IB grad earned 51 hours from Texas Tech University and is a Terry Scholar. Amounts awarded vary from college to college.

Elite colleges look quite favorably upon the IB as evidenced by the number of LHS IB grads who attend Cornell, Columbia, University of Texas Honors programs, William & Mary, University of Chicago, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, UC, Berkeley, and other elite programs."

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I agree with the PP who said that you need to take a look at how long the school has been in the IB business. The school my son was at (that we withdrew him from midyear) just started their IB program last year. I think that contributed to my son's problems with IB.

 

I just wrote another post about IB on another thread, but here is my take on it in a nutshell:

 

IB is great for kids who are bright, motivated, organized, and humanities/social science focused. If your child struggles with executive functioning or has an LD, is an average student, or is not motivated, IB is not going to be a good fit. If your child is STEM focused, take a close look at the specific program to see if it will allow a student to do more than one science (unfortunately at the expense of art) and if they offer HL versions of the science and math courses.

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I had a family thinking about taking their daughter out of the IB program to do homeschooling this year because they felt it was too confining....Homeschooling high school is not that easy here so I think they left her in.

 

I think of it as a socialist approach to education because it keeps students going at the same pace with the 'lock-step' mentality of the IB program...It's not like AP's where if you are motivated, you can already be studying in an area at a younger age. So I see it as inherently 'unAmerican' :-)

 

It seems like schools end up spending a lot of money on maintaining the IB program too....

 

The depth that they get to on the High Level courses is quite interesting but not really worth it on the whole...

 

Joan

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No personal experience, but in talking with an IB student and an IB teacher, the courses are more time intensive than AP. The student said that she and her friends basically did nothing other than school work, so it would be a big change from homeschooling. They are also well prepared for top tier schools. Have you thought about homeschooling and having her do some AP courses and/or some cc classes to get the school experience?

 

I'm curious what others have to say about their school's IB program. Good luck with whatever you decide is best for your family. No matter what we choose, it's hard not to feel that the grass may be greener on the other side. :grouphug:

 

We considered both. The IB school admissions person told us, "Those prepared by AP classes do well on the test. Those prepared by IB classes can tell you what's wrong with the test."

 

We seriously considered that school but it was 20 grand a year and didn't have high level Latin, which is what my daughter wanted. We chose another school, because of the AP Latin. She completed AP Latin as a sophomore so we moved on to an elite high school (you have to be admitted) where all kids do all college-level work (and/or actual college classes).

 

So, I can't really answer your question. But I will say that my daughter's current high school is far more difficult, intensive and challenging than her college classes that she has taken so far.

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I hated the IB program I went to. The stress and push for college level academics at such an early age was very very hard on the students. Several ended up with ulcers, many turned to drugs. The staff just cared about grades grades grades. I got tired of being told over and over "you have to do it this way because that is what they do in college." Yeah, well i'm not IN college, I'm in 9th grade, thank you very much. I transferred to a regular school, took AP classes Junior year, then early enrolled (even lived on campus) my senior year. So I ended up with more credits, less stress, and was much happier.

 

That made me laugh. I can just see you saying this.

 

I'm glad you did what was right for you. I think about this sometimes, as my daughter expresses being under a lot of stress at certain times. Then other times, she seems to love it....?

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We considered both. The IB school admissions person told us, "Those prepared by AP classes do well on the test. Those prepared by IB classes can tell you what's wrong with the test.

 

There is probably some truth about this for some IB candidates due to the Theory of Knowledge course which isn't even a possibility for AP - but I don't think it would apply to all graduates by any means because they can pass the IB without doing that well with High Level courses in subjects that aren't so difficult (and not even be admissible to the local university here)...but I'm going to try to find out how true this is, at least here....

 

Joan

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