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Outsourcing English--What do you think of TPS? Landry Acad? Others?

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Dd has had a great experience with two online courses this year: Derek Owens Geometry and Potter's School French 1. For 10th grade, she's going to be taking a chemistry course from a friend of mine at a local private school, TPS French 2, and DO Algebra 2. I'm considering outsourcing English. She's familiar with the TPS format, so I'm inclined to consider them the most. However, I've seen mixed reviews on the boards about some of the classes/teachers. I think they'd probably put her into British Lit since she hasn't taken their Foundations course. She's definitely beyond Foundations and has done literature analysis using IEW Intro to Lit. Louise Wood is the British & American lit teacher. Have any of your dc ever taken either of those courses with her? Any other suggestions, even if it's not TPS? A course that combines grammar, writing, vocab, lit analysis, & SAT prep is what I'm looking for.

 

Thanks,

Jennifer

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My only experience with the Potter's School was very, very bad.

 

I wouldn't recommend them at all, but of course we are not necessarily

representative.

 

I checked out the samples for two more courses and was not pleased.

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Great experience here with TPS. We have taken many classes with them.

I think you have to "like" their system. In our case, we have only positive reviews for TPS.

But, I will say researching teachers is important.

PM me, if you want a list of "hit" teachers here.

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http://teacherweb.com/USA/BlueTent/Thompson/apt24.aspx

 

I haven't used this, but it sounds like it has everything you are looking for. Plus it is asynchronous, so it would be easy to fit into your daughter's busy schedule. Brigid, the lady who teaches the AP Blue Tent courses, posts on this forum, but another lady teaches the English 1 & 2 courses. It looks really good to me!

 

P.S. and O.T. Jennifer, did you use a particular curriculum for your daughter's "World Geography, Culture, and Missions" course that I see in your sig. or is this a course you designed yourself? I am asking because I would like to put something like that together for my son for next year.

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Not exactly what you are looking for, but we used Laurel Tree Tutorials for HS Composition in 10th grade. I highly recommend Rebekah Randolph. You may read my review here.

 

 

She's only offer this and one other course this year and as of last week this course was almost full so if you are at all interested check it out soon.

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My only experience with the Potter's School was very, very bad.

 

I wouldn't recommend them at all, but of course we are not necessarily

representative.

 

I checked out the samples for two more courses and was not pleased.

 

Could you elaborate a bit on what you didn't like about your experience? We are registered for a class in the fall. Elaine

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My only experience with the Potter's School was very, very bad.

 

I wouldn't recommend them at all, but of course we are not necessarily

representative.

 

I checked out the samples for two more courses and was not pleased.

 

 

Could you elaborate a bit on what you didn't like about your experience? We are registered for a class in the fall. Elaine

 

 

I was going to ask the same thing...which subjects? My dd has had a great experience with French 1, but really, I know nothing about other subjects taught by TPS.

 

Thanks,

Jennifer

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Not exactly what you are looking for, but we used Laurel Tree Tutorials for HS Composition in 10th grade. I highly recommend Rebekah Randolph. You may read my review here.

 

 

 

She's only offer this and one other course this year and as of last week this course was almost full so if you are at all interested check it out soon.

 

 

Sue, thanks for the review and Candid, thanks for the heads up about the class being almost full. If she primarily provides composition, what did you do about literature? My dd has been through R&S Grammar 8, so she's really mastered what she needs to know about grammar. She definitely needs more composition practice especially persuasive essays, longer papers, & MLA format papers. We both love discussing literature, but when it comes to the nuts & bolts of good analysis & writing literary papers, that just is not my forte. I'm a math/science person. DD has a lot on her plate already, so I don't want anything that will overwhelm her and I can't really afford to pay for a composition course & a lit course. According to your review, Sue, this course looks promising, but it still puts me in a quandary about literature. So, if you and Candid, could tell me what you did about lit, that would be great!

 

Thanks,

Jennifer

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Sue, thanks for the review and Candid, thanks for the heads up about the class being almost full. If she primarily provides composition, what did you do about literature? My dd has been through R&S Grammar 8, so she's really mastered what she needs to know about grammar. She definitely needs more composition practice especially persuasive essays, longer papers, & MLA format papers. We both love discussing literature, but when it comes to the nuts & bolts of good analysis & writing literary papers, that just is not my forte. I'm a math/science person. DD has a lot on her plate already, so I don't want anything that will overwhelm her and I can't really afford to pay for a composition course & a lit course. Can you give me some specifics about the composition course?

 

Thanks,

Jennifer

 

 

Sue will have to tell you more about the composition course as we will take it this coming fall, but we are fine with lit because we use Tapestry of Grace which I would highly recommend, but the price for just lit might be a bit steep, but it is excellent. Where I need help is composition which is something that kind of falls by the wayside in our house.

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http://teacherweb.co...pson/apt24.aspx

 

I haven't used this, but it sounds like it has everything you are looking for. Plus it is asynchronous, so it would be easy to fit into your daughter's busy schedule. Brigid, the lady who teaches the AP Blue Tent courses, posts on this forum, but another lady teaches the English 1 & 2 courses. It looks really good to me!

 

P.S. and O.T. Jennifer, did you use a particular curriculum for your daughter's "World Geography, Culture, and Missions" course that I see in your sig. or is this a course you designed yourself? I am asking because I would like to put something like that together for my son for next year.

 

 

Wow! This looks really great; it does cover everything I'm looking for. It sounds like the workload will be tough, which definitely will crank things up a notch for dd. That's not a bad thing, but I also don't want to burn her out. I'm going to investigate this a little bit further. Thanks so much for the link! Very helpful!

 

About geography...dd and I put together this course. Really it has been "her baby" this year. By the time she finishes, she will have researched EVERY country in the world. She has put together a notebook that includes large continent maps that she has colored and labeled with country, capital, large cities, and physical features. She also completed a one page analysis of each country using the newest version of the Kingfisher Geography Encyclopedia and the CIA website. She's been particularly interested in political disputes, terrorism activity, religious influences, and drug/human trafficking. (She's interested in foreign language & intelligence work for a career.) The missions component has been guided by two books, Praying for the 100 Gateway Cities in the 10/40 window (newest ed.) and From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya, a history of world missions. We have prayed over each of the gateway cities and had so many thought-provoking discussions based on our readings/research--probably more so than any other time I can remember. Below I'll link the map sources that I bought at Rainbow Resource. If you have any other questions, I'll be happy to answer them!

 

Maps of the World Curriculum http://www.rainbowre...l.php?id=043296

Geography Matters Continent Maps paper http://www.rainbowre...1c7ae38912e03fb

 

HTH,

Jennifer

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Great experience here with TPS. We have taken many classes with them.

I think you have to "like" their system. In our case, we have only positive reviews for TPS.

But, I will say researching teachers is important.

PM me, if you want a list of "hit" teachers here.

 

 

Thanks! PM'd you.....Jennifer

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My only experience with the Potter's School was very, very bad.

 

I wouldn't recommend them at all, but of course we are not necessarily

representative.

 

I checked out the samples for two more courses and was not pleased.

 

 

I'm very surprised to hear this! We've been using TPS classes for 3 years now and are registered for many more classes for next year. We've have had very good experiences and highly recommend TPS!

 

 

So far at TPS, my kids have taken:

 

Math: Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2

 

English: Writer's Workshop, English 1, English 2, Classical Track American Literature and Composition, Classical Track Ancient Literature and Composition

 

Science: General Science, Physical Science, Biology, and Chemistry

 

History: Ancient History for junior high, Classical Track American History, and Classical Track Ancient History, Philosophy, & Culture.

 

Foreign Language: Junior high Spanish 1 & 2, High School Spanish 1 & 2, Koine Greek 1 & 2

 

Other: Propositional Logic and Apologetics, Study Skills, Photography, Bible Survey, Starting Points

 

 

Regarding TPS English, I think it's very strong! Their writing instruction is especially good, and I'm very happy with what I see in my kids' writing skills. I'd definitely recommend TPS English! We haven't taken British Lit yet, but I have one enrolled in it for the fall.

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I'm very surprised to hear this! We've been using TPS classes for 3 years now and are registered for many more classes for next year. We've have had very good experiences and highly recommend TPS!

 

 

So far at TPS, my kids have taken:

 

Math: Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2

 

English: Writer's Workshop, English 1, English 2, Classical Track American Literature and Composition, Classical Track Ancient Literature and Composition

 

Science: General Science, Physical Science, Biology, and Chemistry

 

History: Ancient History for junior high, Classical Track American History, and Classical Track Ancient History, Philosophy, & Culture.

 

Foreign Language: Junior high Spanish 1 & 2, High School Spanish 1 & 2, Koine Greek 1 & 2

 

Other: Propositional Logic and Apologetics, Study Skills, Photography, Bible Survey, Starting Points

 

 

Regarding TPS English, I think it's very strong! Their writing instruction is especially good, and I'm very happy with what I see in my kids' writing skills. I'd definitely recommend TPS English! We haven't taken British Lit yet, but I have one enrolled in it for the fall.

 

 

WOW! You really do have a wealth of experience with their courses! I'm glad to hear the positive review of the English courses you've used. Can you give an idea about the weekly workload and types/lengths of papers that students write? What about lit analysis & SAT prep?

 

Thanks,

Jennifer

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We've been extremely happy with Melodee Skiles' literature classes at Captive Thought Tutorials. Melodee leads wonderful discussions. She does not cover grammar or vocab, or the nuts and bolts of writing, at the high school level. She does give excellent guidance and feedback on 5 or 6 response papers and two literary term papers per year in her Brit Lit and American Lit classes. All of my kids have been through Laurel Tree Tutorial writing classes, too, and I highly recommend them. Your dd could always do a one year composition class and follow it up with lit classes during 11th and 12th grades. Maybe do a "light" lit study independently next year.

 

My middle dd has taken both writing and lit classes with Rebekah Randolph of LT. She is going to try Blue Tent Honors English II next year, mainly because it is an asynchronous class. Hopefully I will be able to post a good review for it, too!

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If she primarily provides composition, what did you do about literature?

 

We did nothing. <oh my gosh did I really say that on TWTM forums? >

 

Let me tell you a true story. For 9th grade, we used LLfLOTR (English 9). For 10th grade, we used Laurel Tree HS Composition. In the fall of 11th grade, ds took Honors Composition 1 at CC which is worth a year of HS English credit. What to do for his 4th year of English? I wanted him to take a literature class at CC, but they offered very few in our narrow time window. OTOH, they offer a good number of Composition 2 classes. I wondered how his transcript would look to colleges if it had 1 year of English and 3 years of English Composition. I contacted 4 colleges: private out-of-state liberal arts, private in-state liberal arts, private in-state science/technology,public in-state. What did they think? Not one of them cared. Interesting, eh?

 

FWIW, ds opted to take American Lit at CC online.

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We did nothing. <oh my gosh did I really say that on TWTM forums? >

 

Let me tell you a true story. For 9th grade, we used LLfLOTR (English 9). For 10th grade, we used Laurel Tree HS Composition. In the fall of 11th grade, ds took Honors Composition 1 at CC which is worth a year of HS English credit. What to do for his 4th year of English? I wanted him to take a literature class at CC, but they offered very few in our narrow time window. OTOH, they offer a good number of Composition 2 classes. I wondered how his transcript would look to colleges if it had 1 year of English and 3 years of English Composition. I contacted 4 colleges: private out-of-state liberal arts, private in-state liberal arts, private in-state science/technology,public in-state. What did they think? Not one of them cared. Interesting, eh?

 

FWIW, ds opted to take American Lit at CC online.

 

:lol: I am just cracking up at your response!! Very interesting that no one seemed to care about lit. Hmmm. Maybe I'm worrying too much about lit and need to just concentrate on writing. Thanks so much for your info and transparency!

 

Jennifer

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We've been extremely happy with Melodee Skiles' literature classes at Captive Thought Tutorials. Melodee leads wonderful discussions. She does not cover grammar or vocab, or the nuts and bolts of writing, at the high school level. She does give excellent guidance and feedback on 5 or 6 response papers and two literary term papers per year in her Brit Lit and American Lit classes. All of my kids have been through Laurel Tree Tutorial writing classes, too, and I highly recommend them. Your dd could always do a one year composition class and follow it up with lit classes during 11th and 12th grades. Maybe do a "light" lit study independently next year.

 

My middle dd has taken both writing and lit classes with Rebekah Randolph of LT. She is going to try Blue Tent Honors English II next year, mainly because it is an asynchronous class. Hopefully I will be able to post a good review for it, too!

 

Thanks, Caroline. I did not know about Melodee Skiles' classes. I love her choice of books, but I'm unsure if dd would get enough writing instruction. I'm sure she would love the lit discussions. Did your dc take the Laurel Tree Writing classes before Captive Thought courses? And if so, was that helpful for the writing component in Captive Thought courses? Morningglory also mentioned Blue Tent, and I guess, so far, that looks like it covers BOTH lit & comp so I'd spend less $$ overall. Do you know anyone who has taken Blue Tent courses? They are also a provider I am not familiar with.

 

Thanks,

Jennifer

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Thanks, Caroline. I did not know about Melodee Skiles' classes. I love her choice of books, but I'm unsure if dd would get enough writing instruction. I'm sure she would love the lit discussions. Did your dc take the Laurel Tree Writing classes before Captive Thought courses? And if so, was that helpful for the writing component in Captive Thought courses? Morningglory also mentioned Blue Tent, and I guess, so far, that looks like it covers BOTH lit & comp so I'd spend less $$ overall. Do you know anyone who has taken Blue Tent courses? They are also a provider I am not familiar with.

 

Thanks,

Jennifer

 

Yes, both dds took the LT writing courses before taking a lit course, although only my oldest dd has taken lit with Melodee. Oldest dd took LT High School Comp course in 9th grade, and we worked through about half of Windows to the World at home. The combination prepared her well for the writing in her CT course.

 

I'm sorry I don't know anyone who has taken a Blue Tent course. I was looking for a course that would prepare middle dd to take AP English Comp or Lit, and this seems to fit the bill. It was also important to us that the course be asynchronous because dd is a musician and her lesson and rehearsal schedule varies from week to week. Our few communications with Blue Tent have been positive.

 

Have you looked at Debra Bell's classes? No experience with them, but you might find something there. I think it's called AIM Academy?

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http://teacherweb.com/USA/BlueTent/Thompson/apt24.aspx

I haven't used this, but it sounds like it has everything you are looking for. Plus it is asynchronous, so it would be easy to fit into your daughter's busy schedule. Brigid, the lady who teaches the AP Blue Tent courses, posts on this forum, but another lady teaches the English 1 & 2 courses. It looks really good to me!

 

Dd will be taking the Blue Tent Online English 1 course next year. I had searched for a class that combines literature with writing, that is secular, and that had an asynchronous format (no specific weekly class meeting time) with a discussion board.

 

My energy and time will be consumed with dd's math and science requirements. I need to hand off English to a professional!

 

Morningglory also mentioned Blue Tent, and I guess, so far, that looks like it covers BOTH lit & comp so I'd spend less $$ overall. Do you know anyone who has taken Blue Tent courses? They are also a provider I am not familiar with.

 

I found a few reviews of Blue Tent's classes when I was searching earlier this year. Let me go see what I can find...

 

Wildcat references Blue Tent in this thread http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/454372-best-pa-homeschoolers-ap-classes-ap-english-comp-especially/page__hl__+blue%20+tent#entry4698926 (scroll down).

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Yes, both dds took the LT writing courses before taking a lit course, although only my oldest dd has taken lit with Melodee. Oldest dd took LT High School Comp course in 9th grade, and we worked through about half of Windows to the World at home. The combination prepared her well for the writing in her CT course.

I'm sorry I don't know anyone who has taken a Blue Tent course. I was looking for a course that would prepare middle dd to take AP English Comp or Lit, and this seems to fit the bill. It was also important to us that the course be asynchronous because dd is a musician and her lesson and rehearsal schedule varies from week to week. Our few communications with Blue Tent have been positive.

Have you looked at Debra Bell's classes? No experience with them, but you might find something there. I think it's called AIM Academy?

 

Just wanted to thank you ladies for recommending the Blue TEnt program. It does look exceptional and certainly meets the criteria I mentioned in my OP. Oh, & thanks for the link to Wildcat's post.

 

Jennifer

Dd will be taking the Blue Tent Online English 1 course next year. I had searched for a class that combines literature with writing, that is secular, and that had an asynchronous format (no specific weekly class meeting time) with a discussion board.

My energy and time will be consumed with dd's math and science requirements. I need to hand off English to a professional!

I found a few reviews of Blue Tent's classes when I was searching earlier this year. Let me go see what I can find...

Wildcat references Blue Tent in this thread http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/454372-best-pa-homeschoolers-ap-classes-ap-english-comp-especially/page__hl__+blue%20+tent#entry4698926 (scroll down).

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I have liked every English course we have taken with TPS. Recommend them highly.

 

Glad to hear this. It seems to be the general consensus for the English courses. Thanks!

 

Jennifer

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Jennifer - did your daughter take one of the literature classes from TPS this year? What did you think of it?

 

Belliot, she did not. Last summer, she came to dh & I and told us that she loathed homeschooling and wanted to go to the local public school. So, she has attended there for 10th grade. However, as you can tell from the thread, there have been many positive reviews of TPS English program. I don't think you could go wrong. You may want to start a new thread and pose this question again, to get of sense of what others report for this year. Good luck with whatever you choose. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

Jennifer

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Do you know anyone who has taken Blue Tent courses? They are also a provider I am not familiar with.

 

My dd took Honors English 1 and we were both extremely happy with the class. The workload is heavy, and that was my only hesitation with going forward into their Honors English 2 class, but we are going to do that anyway just because my dd loved it so much and really wants to. This class took the most time of any of her classes last year, so it's definitely not an easy way to just check the box. I wouldn't on my own have chosen to load her schedule as heavily as this makes it loaded. I think some kids are faster though, and it doesn't take them as long. (I'd say mine worked a minimum of 15 hours/wk on it most weeks, some weeks much more, occasionally less, but never less than 10.)

 

If you search, there are other Blue Tent reviews here. The classes fill quickly, so it's possible they're already full for the upcoming year.

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