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Does my DD really need all this Math and Science


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We have home schooled our dd for 1 year (8th grade) and are planning for high school.  We will continue home schooling through high school.  My dd struggles with math and science.  She works very hard at both and with enough work she gets by.  She doesn't really enjoy either subject.  She hopes to go to a christian college after graduation and someday teach elementy at a christian school. 

 

She is finishing up pre-algebra and we were planning to have her do algebra 1 in 9th grade, geometry in 10th, and the Algebra 2 in 11th grade.  It is my understanding that most colleges want to see at least 3 years of math.  I am now considering having her do pre-algebra again for 9th.  She is making through but still doesn't have a real firm grasp of all the concepts.  If should took pre-algebra in 9th, algebra1 in 10th, and geometry in 11th would that satisfy most christian colleges?  I am not concerned about her taking anything further than algebra 1 as long as she really understands it.  I think that would be enough to get her through college for an early education degree but I may be wrong.

 

I would also like to take some emphasis off of science.  I would still teach her some of the basics of Physics, Chemestry, and Biology but I am thinking of not following a complete curriculum for these three classes.  Maybe focus on Biology and follow the complete curriculum for it so she is prepaired to take it in college but not teach all of Physics and Chemestry.

 

If we math through Algebra 2 and cover the three sciences completely I don't think my dd will have time to do other things that I think will have a much greater impact on her life.  I want to free up some of her time so that she can do other things (volunteer work, learn to play and instrument, read more, take bible classes, etc.)

 

What do you all think?  Is this a wise thing to do or will it cause problems with her getting into college.  My dd will not be attending prestigious colleges.  She is thinking of possibly Vangard in Costa Mesa, CA or something similar.  I would appreciate any feedback.

 

Matt

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Others will probably have better advice as to what most colleges in general require, but I would advise you to check into several of the colleges that

she would consider attending and find out what their admission requirements are.

 

The 4 year university near us requires 3 years of natural science including 2 with labs.  Doesn't specify which sciences so I will probably not do Chemistry or Physics since my dd is not a math/science person either and pick something like Marine Biology or Earth Science instead.

 

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I agree that you really need to check with specific colleges in your area.  Requirements vary widely where we live.  Keep in mind that the posted requirements are the minimum.  To actually be accepted, depending on the school, your child may need to go beyond those minimums.  Actually calling and talking to the school may be of more benefit than just looking at a website.  Also, what are the graduation requirements for your state, if you are in the United States?  Here where we live, at least at the moment, we have to have math through Algebra II.

 

What has she used for Pre-Algebra?  For helping with understanding Algebra, you might look at Hands On Equations (awesome!), The Key to Algebra Series, Working with Algebra Tiles book (including the tiles) by Don Balka and Laurie Boswell, Real World Algebra by Edward Zaccaro, Practical Algebra: A Self-Teaching Guide by Peter Selby and Steve Slavin and Elementary Algebra by Harold R. Jacobs.  Videos on Khan Academy might help, too.  Maybe even reviewing place value, decimals and fractions might help her get better prepared for Algebra.  I was weak in those areas, even though I made good grades in math, and Algebra ended up being harder than it had to be because I was not rock solid with those in particular.  Going back and reviewing those now (through the Key to ...workbook series) is helping me solidify my own math understanding so I can better teach the kids... Reviewing those areas with your daughter might help her...

 

Best wishes....

 

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Also, have you looked at Landry Academy's on-line science classes and 2 day lab intensives?   Outsourcing some of her science might be helpful and she might enjoy it.

 

FWIW, one thing I would mention, and I have many family members who are teachers, is that to be a truly effective elementary level teacher, having a solid understanding of all the subjects you are teaching gives you a much stronger place to come from for teaching and gives your students a much better chance of truly thriving in your classroom.  There are too many teachers being churned out these days that do not have a really solid grasp of math, language arts, science, etc. and yet they are teaching these subjects in classrooms and frequently end up frustrated and unhappy.  They also end up relying entirely on whatever their text book tells them to do instead of actually teaching the subject.  Teaching at the elementary level is not easy, no matter what anyone tells you, and the more tools she has at her disposal the better off she and her students will be.  

 

Best wishes...

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I'm not sure that Prealgebra would count as high school level math. Most colleges I've looked at want 3 yrs of math to include Alg I & II plus Geometry; that's actually a graduation requirement in many (most?) states. I'd just choose a lighter program (like MUS) and try to get through Alg II, rather than stop at Geometry.

 

For science, you could use Hewitt & Suchoki's Conceptual Physical Science to cover the basics of physics and chemistry, with very little math, followed by a basic Biology course. I'd still try to fit a 3rd science in, but maybe she could do something like Natural History or Astronomy instead of another lab science.

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As a previous high school math teacher, unless your daughter is planning on community college before a four year you want to go up through Algebra II. Even then, she will have to take at least one math class (I even took a full year called Math for Elementary School Teaches) that will include topics from high school Algebra II. PreAlgebra is considered a middle school course at this point in many states. Different places have different graduation requirements, but most colleges want Algebra II even if the student has no intention of ever using it in a career. I have struggled with many kids who want to go into elementary ed, special ed, dental hygienist, paralegal, and the like where they are most likely never going to use the math. If they want to go to a four year school their major doesn't matter for admissions.

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We have home schooled our dd for 1 year (8th grade) and are planning for high school.  We will continue home schooling through high school.  My dd struggles with math and science.  She works very hard at both and with enough work she gets by.  She doesn't really enjoy either subject.  She hopes to go to a christian college after graduation and someday teach elementy at a christian school. 

 

She is finishing up pre-algebra and we were planning to have her do algebra 1 in 9th grade, geometry in 10th, and the Algebra 2 in 11th grade.  It is my understanding that most colleges want to see at least 3 years of math.  I am now considering having her do pre-algebra again for 9th.  She is making through but still doesn't have a real firm grasp of all the concepts.  If should took pre-algebra in 9th, algebra1 in 10th, and geometry in 11th would that satisfy most christian colleges?  I am not concerned about her taking anything further than algebra 1 as long as she really understands it.  I think that would be enough to get her through college for an early education degree but I may be wrong.

 

I would also like to take some emphasis off of science.  I would still teach her some of the basics of Physics, Chemestry, and Biology but I am thinking of not following a complete curriculum for these three classes.  Maybe focus on Biology and follow the complete curriculum for it so she is prepaired to take it in college but not teach all of Physics and Chemestry.

 

If we math through Algebra 2 and cover the three sciences completely I don't think my dd will have time to do other things that I think will have a much greater impact on her life.  I want to free up some of her time so that she can do other things (volunteer work, learn to play and instrument, read more, take bible classes, etc.)

 

What do you all think?  Is this a wise thing to do or will it cause problems with her getting into college.  My dd will not be attending prestigious colleges.  She is thinking of possibly Vangard in Costa Mesa, CA or something similar.  I would appreciate any feedback.

 

Matt

By the way, Matt, I don't want you to think that I don't understand where you are coming from.  I do.  I have a child that may not even be starting Pre-Algebra for 8th grade in the fall.  She may not be ready yet.  And that will definitely make getting her through High School level math requirements more challenging.  I offered to let her start 9th grade one year later than normal so she could basically do two years of 8th grade, if you will, so she could catch up.  But she wants to graduate with her peers and has agreed to work through every summer to complete all of her requirements (including Algebra II) in time to graduate with her friends.  It won't be easy, but I will do my best to help her get there.  You might consider doing a repeat of 8th grade, solidifying concepts, going into material more deeply, etc. so that she is better prepared for all the requirements at the high school level in math and science.  Just a thought...

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Random thoughts:

 

-  Vanguard does not appear to have an education department at the undergraduate level though there is a grad level.  Thoroughly research colleges and major requirements as well as admissions requirements sooner rather than later.  I'd guess that the rigor of "most Christian colleges" varies widely.  I've never had a sense that "most Christian colleges" typically require less in the way of admissions requirements than other colleges (high school math through alg 2 or precalc?).

 

-  Regardless of what she ends up doing, it is worth spending the time to solidify her understanding of prealgebra (elementary) concepts.  As pointed out, that might not count as high school math, so it may be worth doing math over summers to catch up.

 

-  Early education (i,e., preschool) and elementary education sound to me like two very different jobs.  FWIW, IMO, the great number of elementary teachers who themselves struggle with math is a serious issue with education in the US generally and as a parent I'd be rather reluctant to pay tuition at a private school for teachers with weak understanding.  (Remember, elementary can mean teaching up to 6th gr and there isn't always a choice of grade levels when it comes to finding a job.)  Accordingly, spending the time and effort on solidifying her math understanding would be especially important.

 

-  Absent a learning disability, math only through alg 1 would not be typical of college-bound students, even for "easier" 4-yr colleges, AFAIK.  Note that to not teach through Alg 2 in high school may mean more math for her to learn in college where you're paying big money for those remedial courses - check the major requirements at the school.  Still, it may be better to take as much time as it takes now to understand prealgebra and algebra well, and take the remedial college courses for higher levels, than to rush now and then have to take remedial college courses going all the way back to prealgebra/elementary topics.

 

-  Ask for advice on what supplements/programs might help solidify her prealgebra understanding this summer - the boards here are full of posters happy to offer suggestions and advice.  OneStepatatime offered some suggestions above.  What is she using now?

 

-  As a point of encouragement for your daughter, occasionally (maybe here?) I've seen stories of people who just didn't understand math well until they were older but then it clicked.  She should keep at it :)

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Wapiti has excellent points.  

 

And yes, usually an early ed degree and an elementray ed degree are a bit different.  However, at least when I was in school, there were actually some additional requirements for early ed that didn't exist for elementary ed.  At the University I went to, I know that several people failed to pass certain tests to receive their early ed degree and I was warned that if I went that route it could be challenging.  I didn't so I don't know why it was difficult to pass those tests. Just thought I would mention it.

 

 I would like to add that Early Education (preschool) usually pays less and is still a very stressful job.  Education expectations for 4k have increased tremendously over the past 30 years so she will likely be facing trying to teach reading, math, science, etc. to 4 year olds, many of whom may not be developmentally ready.  And these are not usually independent learners so each one will need more one on one assistance than she may have time to give them.  Having a solid understanding of math, science, language arts, etc. for this level may seem like it isn't necessary, but I disagree.  Having that understanding may help her to find more productive pathways to help the various levels of students she will be teaching.

 

 

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For Algebra Curriculum (Science too) you could try Walch Publishing's "Power Basics" Algebra 1, followed by Geometry.  It is very gentle and explains in a way even I can understand. They also have Science curriculum.  Walch publishing is used in public high schools for remedial classes, for students who just don't get it the first time. I would think that if you used the Alg 1 in 9th, followed by the Geometry in 10th, then took the next 2 years to do Alg. 2 (slowly) you would officially have covered 3 years of math.  As for Science you could do 1 "conceptual" Science (Physics?) and then cover Biology and Chemistry (or Marine Bio, Environmental Science, Geology....) with labs over the next 3 years, again going slowly.  Check out "Chemistry, All Lab, no Lecture" also there's one for Biology.  HTH

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I have only skimmed the thread thus far.  My dd was not ready for Algebra in ninth.  She did Pre-Algebra, then Life of Fred Algebra and Advanced Math (Alg. II).  Both courses can be completed in about a semester, yet yield a full credit each.  We did them sloooooowly.  She is now a junior and is working through TT Geometry.  The sequence is not ideal, especially for standardized testing, however she is now caught up and will be able to do a Pre-Calculus with Trigonometry course next year.  If she didn't need another math course for her intended course of study, we would be done after Geometry and not go on to Pre-Calc.

 

 

 

ETA:  I just read your op.  I wouldn't skimp on the sciences.  You can find lighter versions if you choose, but please don't put a full credit on the transcript if you don't do the course in its entirety.  Colleges expect labs, also.  You are not limited to biology, chemistry and physics.  You can do horticulture, astronomy, environmental science, etc.  Find something she likes and expand on it. 

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Make sure you know what standardized tests the college will want to see. She will be at a disadvantage with the ACT or SAT if she has not done enough math. You might plan on delaying the test until the spring of her junior year or fall of her senior year, so she will be as far along in math as she can.

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-  Vanguard does not appear to have an education department at the undergraduate level though there is a grad level.  

 

 

It's under "Liberal Studies" and does include a "Math for Elementary Teachers" sequence.  The "Four Year Plan", however, also includes Biology and Macroeconomics, which will be MUCH easier if she has had Algebra II. 

 

Vanguard claims to offer a K-12 multi-subject certificate, which I doubt would be recognized in any state.  States (I've looked at several but not all) usually offer some variety of grade school (ie. K-2, 1-5, etc) but require a subject major for high school.  You need to research your state's requirements.

 

I would also look into the teacher credentialing tests in your state to see what math is covered.  It doesn't matter if she gets the degree, if she can't pass the test she won't get a teacher's certificate.

 

 

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I have visited several colleges with my dc. All we have visited expect Algebra 2. Some expect precalc. Competitive colleges expect calculus for all applicants, including nonSTEM. 

 

So, if your student is planning college, she needs to set Algebra 2 as a goal for high school. As you plan her high school, add in extra work on solidifying basic math skills. 

 

You and your dd need to keep in mind that an elementary teacher is expected to teach math through prealgebra. So, she needs to be solid on this and have good familiarity with the high school levels as well so, that she can prepare her students for high school level math. 

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It's under "Liberal Studies" and does include a "Math for Elementary Teachers" sequence.  The "Four Year Plan", however, also includes Biology and Macroeconomics, which will be MUCH easier if she has had Algebra II. 

 

Thank you for finding it.

 

OP, requirements include the following math courses:

 

MATH 120 • Mathematics for Elementary Teachers (3 units)

 

 

Prerequisite: MATH 116 or consent of the instructor. Introductory set theory, problem solving, basic algorithms, elementary number theory, geometry and coordinate geometry. Emphasis will be on the structural and logical foundations of mathematics. This course does not fulfill a core curriculum requirement.

 

 

 

MATH 145C • Data Analysis (3 units)

 

 

Prerequisite: Two years of high school math or consent of the instructor. The use of mathematics as a thinking and problem-solving tool, emphasizing data interpretation, graphs, tables, statistical arguments, probability, statistics, and the use and misuse of numbers. Spreadsheet applications include variables, conditionals, and statistical functions.

 

 

 

If required to take the prerequisite Math 116 above:

MATH 116 • College Algebra (3 units)

 

 

Prerequisite: Two years of high school algebra or consent of the instructor. Sets and real numbers, linear equations and inequalities, polynomials, functions, graphing linear and polynomial functions, exponential and logarithmic functions, systems of equations, matrices and determinants, sequences and series. This course does not fulfill a core curriculum requirement.

 

 

 

 

Not surprisingly, it sounds like math through at least Alg 2 is required.

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Just adding some quick thoughts to ponder:

 

1. High school science credits.

If you do not finish the complete high school science program, you can only award partial credit. So doing 1/2 or 2/3 of the textbook = 1/2 to 2/3 of a credit. You really do need 3 full credits of science, with labs, to meet college admission requirements. They can be six 1/2 credits, each of a different science, if you want. (An aside: JMO: if you want your student to be able to successfully complete ANY kind of college course later on, you really need to help them learn to prepare for the workload and expectations NOW, in high school, by having them learn how to persevere, even if it is in their weak area. Required classes for a degree almost all require College Algebra and two 4-credit science courses.) Another way to complete 3 full science credits is to do 3/4 of science in each of 4 years. Example:

 9th = 3/4 of Biology text

10th = 1/4 Biology remaining text, 1/2 Chemistry text

11th = 1/2 Chemistry remaining text, 1/4 Physics text

12th = 3/4 Physics remaining text

TOTAL = 3 complete science credits

 

2. Less math and science can limit college options.

The more math credits, the more school options are open to your student. The number of colleges that accept just 2 math credits, just up through Geometry are very few. There are more colleges that accept 3 math credits that go with up through Alg. 2 as admission requirements. To be eligible for the highest number of colleges, then 4 math credits, up through Pre-Calc will meet the most amount of admission requirements. Math is more required across the board for admissions than science -- 3 science credits (with labs), esp. if your student is NOT going into a STEM field, will be fine.

 

3. Colleges change their requirements.

Even if the specific college your student wants to attend only requires up through Geometry, or even Alg. 2 right now -- they may change their policy. Monitor carefully to not get cut out of possible admission.

 

4. Don't set all your hopes on one school.

You may not be admitted, even if you have all the credits required for admission. Or, you may find you can't afford the school even if accepted, and you may need to end up going to college elsewhere -- so it pays to keep up with the math and science credits that will make you eligible for more than just one school.

 

5. Many paths for accomplishing math credits in high school.

If Pre-Algebra is where DD needs to be in 9th, then do it. The harder levels of Algebra build on these foundational skills, and it is MUCH more difficult to do Alg. 1 and Alg. 2 if your foundation is shaky. There are multiple ways of still getting math through Alg. 2 or Pre-Calc. done if doing Pre-Algebra in 9th:

- do Pre-Algebra in the summer before 9th, and start 9th with Alg. 1

- do 2 math credits in one year -- Geometry can be done concurrently with Algebra 1

- use Saxon math which integrates the Geometry in the Alg. 1 and Alg. 2 programs -- so, 3 math credits in 2 programs

- make the math credits gentle by using a "lite" math program such as Math-U-See or Teaching Textbooks

- summer school -- consider doing Geometry in the summer between Alg. 1 and Alg. 2 years

- school math year-round, giving you more time to spread and take your time with

- in the senior year, do math as dual enrollment: 1 semester as Alg. 2, and 1 semester as Pre-Calc.

- consider a tutor to help your student get through the math credits required for admission to her schools of choice

 

6. Maturity

Remember, teens change and mature a LOT from year to year in high school, and while math is a real struggle right now, by 11th and 12th grades, it may not be so much of a struggle, and easier to "catch up" any lagging credits.

 

7. Admission to CA colleges is extremely competitive

I've read multiple times on this board how hard it is for CA residents to get into CA colleges. Stopping math early (at Alg. 1 or Geom.) would almost certainly knock out a student's chances for admission where it is so competitive to get in.

 

8. ACT/SAT prep

Be sure to prep hard with a course that teaches you how to take these tests, because if you don't make a minimum score, you will not be admitted to the college. Also, higher scores = scholarships. (And believe me, when you start looking at what college is going to cost -- tuition & fees, books, room & board, transportation… you really DO want as many of those grants and scholarships as possible to make being able to afford to get all the way through college a reality!

 

 

BEST of luck! Warmly, Lori D.

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-  Vanguard does not appear to have an education department at the undergraduate level though there is a grad level.  Thoroughly research colleges and major requirements as well as admissions requirements sooner rather than later.  I'd guess that the rigor of "most Christian colleges" varies widely.  I've never had a sense that "most Christian colleges" typically require less in the way of admissions requirements than other colleges (high school math through alg 2 or precalc?).

it :)

 

here is an example Christian school with an Elementary Education degree:

 

http://degree.gcu.edu/edu/bachelors/elementaryed/lp-two.php

 

If she is willing to do Special Ed then she may have more job opportunities.  She could try volunteering at a nearby Elementary school to see if it is a fit.

 

A lot of programs require College Algebra even for Education majors.

 

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Thank you all so much for all the information and advice.  I will look more carefully into the requirements for the colleges my daughter might apply to.  Looks like we will have to go at least through Algebra 2.  I am not trying to make school easier for her.  She works very hard and spends 8-10 hours per day most days working on her school work.  We also want her involved with church and we like her to play a couple sports during the year as well.  That pretty much takes up all of her time.  She doesn't have time to read nearly as much as I would like.  Also no time to learn to play a musical instrument.  No time to volunteer or serve on a regular basis.  She is just missing out on many things that I think are very important.  I guess I have to do a lot more research to try to figure this all out. 

 

Thanks again for all your help and advice.  I would appreciate any additional advice anyone has.

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I would appreciate any additional advice anyone has.

 

Are there any other specific areas of academics that are especially difficult for her (for example, does it take a long time for reading, handwriting)?

 

Also, if you want to discuss her specific difficulties with math, such as whether she has difficulty understanding some concepts, difficulty remembering math facts or how to do things, or needs more review, or a particular topic continues to cause trouble for her, for example, maybe there might be a more optimal way to go about it.

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Thank you all so much for all the information and advice.  I will look more carefully into the requirements for the colleges my daughter might apply to.  Looks like we will have to go at least through Algebra 2.  I am not trying to make school easier for her.  She works very hard and spends 8-10 hours per day most days working on her school work.  We also want her involved with church and we like her to play a couple sports during the year as well.  That pretty much takes up all of her time.  She doesn't have time to read nearly as much as I would like.  Also no time to learn to play a musical instrument.  No time to volunteer or serve on a regular basis.  She is just missing out on many things that I think are very important.  I guess I have to do a lot more research to try to figure this all out. 

 

Thanks again for all your help and advice.  I would appreciate any additional advice anyone has.

That seems like a really long school day.  What is she taking right now?  And from what sources?  If the 8-10 hours a day is only on her school work, not including extra-curriculars at all, I would be concerned that something isn't quite right, especially since she hasn't even hit high school level work yet.  Does she struggle to read material quickly and efficiently?  Does she have trouble getting her thoughts on paper?  Is her workload too high?

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My daughter struggles with most subjects.  Reading is her strength but even that is a little slow.  She must do a lot of math problems before she begins to understand the material.  She also forgets things she previously learned so we need to make sure to go over previous material often. 

 

My daughter also struggles with English and we are spending a lot of time on writing and grammer.  Writing is very difficult for her.

 

She is taking classes through TPS.  She is taking transitional math, writer's workshop, grammar, physical science, US history for jr high, and propositional logic and apologetics.

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Thank you all so much for all the information and advice.  I will look more carefully into the requirements for the colleges my daughter might apply to.  Looks like we will have to go at least through Algebra 2.  I am not trying to make school easier for her.  She works very hard and spends 8-10 hours per day most days working on her school work.  We also want her involved with church and we like her to play a couple sports during the year as well.  That pretty much takes up all of her time.  She doesn't have time to read nearly as much as I would like.  Also no time to learn to play a musical instrument.  No time to volunteer or serve on a regular basis.  She is just missing out on many things that I think are very important.  I guess I have to do a lot more research to try to figure this all out. 

 

Thanks again for all your help and advice.  I would appreciate any additional advice anyone has.

I agree those are important priorities!  You didn't mention what curricula you're using.  People could help you more if you tell them what you're using.  For instance, if you were pulling her out of school and just decided to get a full grade level from one of the major publishers (typically BJU or Abeka) you might not realize why things are taking so long.  You also didn't mention why you pulled her out.  If she has some undiagnosed special needs or a vision problem or needs a grade adjustment (polite way of saying an extra year to mature before high school), those issues don't go away just because she came home, kwim?  

 

If you tell us more about what's going on, people will try to give you some ideas on how to trim or make things more realistic or just insights into what might be causing it to take so long.  Is the curriculum she's using the same as what she used at her old school?  Is she using videos?  

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My daughter struggles with most subjects.  Reading is her strength but even that is a little slow.  She must do a lot of math problems before she begins to understand the material.  She also forgets things she previously learned so we need to make sure to go over previous material often. 

 

My daughter also struggles with English and we are spending a lot of time on writing and grammer.  Writing is very difficult for her.

 

She is taking classes through TPS.  She is taking transitional math, writer's workshop, grammar, physical science, US history for jr high, and propositional logic and apologetics.

Have you ever considered a learning eval or vision eval?  She sounds very bright, with the classes she's doing.  How are her grades when she works that hard?  

 

TPS shoots to be very rigorous.  To go into all that her first year home was a big load.  It might be easier to have a mix, with some things online and some things she does independently.  Online classes add a lot of hoops and can take a lot more time.  Have you started thinking about your plans for next year and what you might change?  

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My daughter struggles with most subjects.  Reading is her strength but even that is a little slow.  She must do a lot of math problems before she begins to understand the material.  She also forgets things she previously learned so we need to make sure to go over previous material often. 

 

My daughter also struggles with English and we are spending a lot of time on writing and grammer.  Writing is very difficult for her.

 

She is taking classes through TPS.  She is taking transitional math, writer's workshop, grammar, physical science, US history for jr high, and propositional logic and apologetics.

Why did you decide to homeschool?

 

 If your child was struggling academically in a brick and mortar, and is still struggling at home, I agree with OhE that you might consider getting evaluations to determine if there are underlying issues tripping her up.  She really does sound bright to be able to handle that workload straight out of a brick and mortar.  As the parent of a child that made it through 5th grade in a brick and mortar, usually maintaining As and Bs, but having to fight for every one of those grades, it took me years to finally admit my child needed an evaluation.  And it was a HUGE help.  We were finally able to ask the right questions, seek the right information, and get concrete answers on the specific areas that she was struggling and WHY and how to effectively target those areas while also seeing where her strengths are and letting those strengths finally have a chance to come through.  The strengths were masking her true weaknesses and her weaknesses were masking her true strengths.

 

At the very least, since your child is having difficulty in many subjects, you might read The Mislabeled Child by Brock and Fernette Eide and see if anything in that book speaks to you.

 

Best wishes....

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My daughter mostly gets B's with an occasional A or C.  We decided to home school her because we thought she needed more individual help and we wanted more control over what she is being taught. 

 

Where did you pursue these evaluations?

 

We have started to plan for next year.  We are planning to cut back on TPS classes.  She is going to take the Omnibus 1 Secondary class.  We are not sure if we should press on with Algebra or continue with pre-Algebra.  We haven't made a decision on Science.  For English we are considering having her take a class at a local private school or possible use the Biola program.  My daught thinks she wants to work with Special Needs children in the future (she has a younger brother with special needs) so we are thinking of her taking a sign language class.  She also will take a bible class.  This will be a pretty big load for her.  We are hoping she will have time for the reading in the Omnibus class but if not she may not read all the books.

 

Thanks again for all the help and advice.

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With my dd I find it really helpful to take our list of ideas for the year and actually sit down and put TIME allotments for each one.  In your list, I see a full english class AND the Omnibus secondary lit.  That's a 2nd full lit class.  There's just no need for that.  Don't overkill and double things that don't need to be doubled.  You can do the Omnibus secondary lit together if you want, you know.  The version of the text that includes the cd in the back will have full, complete answers.  As long as you have someone with her who can discuss, say once a week, you could do it on your own and trim the time and customize.  

 

ASL would be WONDERFUL to do!  There's a free online ASL class that seems really awesome.  Someone else can pop you the link.  The teacher is deaf and has put all his materials online.

 

I think finding a math that works for her is more important than what level it is.  Maybe she'd like to switch to something a little more independent like Teaching Textbooks?  If you make a switch, simply do a placement test for your intended curriculum and start.  You can start and end courses at unusual points in the year, no problem.

 

Btw, did VP just announce they're bringing out the secondary lit courses as self-paced?  Look for that.  Instead of the live classes, you could do their new self-paced courses.  Those might be fabulous for her, because they would give her the type/quality of instruction you seem to want but allow her to work at a pace that gives her a life.  She could spread the course over a full calendar year even.  

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She must do a lot of math problems before she begins to understand the material.  She also forgets things she previously learned so we need to make sure to go over previous material often. 

 

She is taking classes through TPS.  She is taking transitional math, writer's workshop, grammar, physical science, US history for jr high, and propositional logic and apologetics.

 

 Matt,  My dd is the same way in math, although she does fine in English.

 

I'm also impressed that your dd is taking that many online classes as a new homeschooler.  :001_smile:  Perhaps there are ways to lighten her load. I already PM'd you about some ideas.

 

I eased my dd into online classes, so she wouldn't be overwhelmed.  In 7th grade she took a one semester writing class.  In 8th grade she took a year-long English class, and a one semester writing class.  This year in 9th grade, I upped her load, so she is now taking online classes for Spanish, Science, Writing, 1/2 semester Literature, Algebra 1 (although we had to drop it recently in order to slow down the pace for her since she struggles with math).  But none of the classes are overly rigorous, so they are manageable for her.

 

TPS is known for its rigor.   I think Landry Academy might be worth considering especially in the subject areas that you want to spend less time on.  I don't have a ton of experience with their classes (dd has taken English 3 and Spanish 1), but they've been a good fit for my dd.  

 

 

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Thanks again for all the suggestions.  The VP Omnibus 1 Secondary she is taking is self paced.  So she can go at any speed that works for her.  They read some great books in that class so we are hopeful she can read many of them but if not that is alright.

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My daughter mostly gets B's with an occasional A or C.  We decided to home school her because we thought she needed more individual help and we wanted more control over what she is being taught. 

 

Where did you pursue these evaluations?

 

 

Well, we went with a C.A.L.T. specialist certified to do in depth evaluations, but that is not the normal route, apparently.  Most people seek out a really good neuropsychologist who is capable of doing evaulations to determine any learning issues and strengths.  Don't let the "psychologist" term confuse you.  This is not someone trying to determine if your child is depressed or whatever.  They are professionals that look at things like Executive Function issues, working memory issues, dyslexia, processing issues, etc.  The list is long.  And you would probably want someone that has experience with 2e kids (gifted but also have some learning issues) since your child could be 2e.

 

 But before you leap down the evaluation road, read The Mislabeled Child by Brock and Fernette Eide and do some research on difficulties with learning.  Another book that might help is Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner by Kathy Kuhl.  I believe her SIL posts on these boards upon occasion and I met her at a convention last year.  Really nice, knowledgeable lady.  If you can figure out exactly what is causing your child to bog down in certain areas (and has apparently had some struggles for a long time) it may help tremendously with finding out how to help her truly thrive not just survive her education.  Hope that helped some.  Best wishes.

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Oh sorry, OneStep is right, we never answered your question about evals!  Someone can be very smart but have some pesky vision problems or low processing speed or other things dragging them down.  Sometimes it will be masked by how hard they're working and their gifts at things.  However when someone is working BEYOND the norm for their peers and still struggling and KNOWS they have low reading speed, that's a really good time for evals.  

 

Since you mentioned reading speed, I would start with a good eye check.  It's affordable, quick to get into, and can be VERY revealing.  Trick is, a regular optometrist won't do.  For that you need a *developmental* optometrist.  You find them with the locator at COVD.org.  Definitely ask around, get some reviews, visit, etc. to make sure it's a good one.  Some do this more than others, so of course they vary.  They have a regular exam where you can ask them to *screen* for the developmental vision stuff (convergence, focusing, etc.) and then they have a full developmental vision eval. At our place that eval is 2 1/2 hours, and they have tons of tools to dig in and find out what's going on.  She could have reasons you're not even fathoming, like one eye shutting off because of double vision due to convergence issues.  There are all sorts of vision issues like that, that the dc would not realize necessarily are going on.  The developmental optometrist has the tools to look for all that.  Typically you can get in quickly, and it *might* explain things.  You never know.  To me it's one of those things you start with, because you're eliminating less expensive, common physical explanations before you bump up to the more expensive psych evals, kwim?  We've done it ourselves, and yes there were issues for us.  HIGHLY recommend for someone who knows they're having issues with reading.  If vision is part of the problem, you want to know.  A regular optometrist or even an ophthalmologist won't do.  :)

 

OneStep mentioned psychs.  Yes, there's that dreaded term psychologist.  Sometimes people will go to tutoring places ($$$, not going to result in the paper trail for accommodations with testing and college), and some people go through the public school system (free to you, required by law they do, quality varies).  We went with private evals.  There are different kinds of psychs, yes.  I suggest you talk with homeschoolers in your area and see who the popular psych is for evals.  There's usually someone who is known for doing great evals.  They'll typically have a 1-4 month waiting list, so one thing you might consider is finding that name, getting on the waiting list, and then CANCEL it if the other things you pursue in the meantime (vision, etc.) explain everything fully.  There's no cost or harm there.  The bummer is if you don't make the appt, wait 6 months, get farther into high school, and then realize you really, really want those evals.  Then you may have another 6 month wait on top of that to get the info.  

 

If you start this process now, you'd probably have the results by fall, which would give you new information to make this coming school year go better.  Our evals were game changing for us.  The psych found things I never could have DREAMED of and then showed us how to apply those things to her school work.  It's really not about the label.  You want someone known for digging in and showing you what's going on and how to apply it to the dc.  For us, it was game-changing.  The psych put our problems into words, told us what was going on very precisely, and with that we turned our whole situation around, from frustration to peace.  

 

Just for your trivia, my dd has very low processing speed and word retrieval.  I never would have expected those things or looked for those things going into the evals.  It's not like people talk about that when they talk about their kids, lol.  She wears out when she does really hard work, because she's working a lot harder than a more typical person would to do the same amount of work.  With the psych's help, we were able to understand that basically we have to keep her assigned school work to 4-6 hours a day.  He specifically said NOT to wear her out, to cut back on academics (but keep the level) to make sure she had energy left for her creative things.  When you say your dd is working so hard she has nothing left to give to youth group or other activities, I totally identify with this.  It took professional evals where the doc said this is what it is, this is what's causing it, this is what to do about it, for me to be BRAVE enough to buck the system and make radical changes.  When I suggested to you that you write out the classes in a list and assign probably time amounts per day/week to see if the physical load is doable, I suggested it because THAT'S WHAT WE DO.  I literally sit there every semester, and have for years, writing times beside each thing to make sure the total is doable.  

 

Well that's a lot to take in!  :)  Maybe some applies and some doesn't.  That's what it took to get us peace, and I totally agree you need more information and help to get your peace.  It's awesome she's working so hard, but sometimes the problems get to where no matter how hard they work the dc can't keep up. That's when you step in with evals.  I will would do the vision first, because it's less expensive than a psych eval and very possibly going to turn up something.  While you're in that process, do your research on who the good psychs are within a sane drive of you and see what your options are.  That way you have options.  And if you want to chat about it, you know we have this super awesome Learning Challenges board (LC/SN) just a click away here.  You don't have to be diagnosed to come hang there, and people will support you in your journey.  :)

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Ok, yes OhE has a good point.  You might want to look at a vision screening with a Developmental Optometrist first.  My DS10 has breezed through every eye exam he ever had because he has 20/15+ vision.  But thanks to the wonderful ladies on the Learning Challenges board, I finally took him to a Developmental Optometrist, not a regular Optometrist or an Opthalmologist, to check his vision because he was wearing out so much when reading and seemed to have difficulties tracking across the page.  Sure enough, he has heterophoria, his left eye drifts slightly out of alignment.  He is not conscious of it and you cannot spot it as a layman unless you know what to look for, but he has had this all his life.  It took us 10 years to find out and start him on Vision Therapy (just began this 3 weeks ago or so).  There are several developmental eye issues that a normal eye doctor is just not trained to catch.

 

And definitely posting on the Learning Challenges board might help.  It is for ANYONE who has a child that may not be thriving in their learning, for whatever reason and there are a lot of great parents that monitor that board and can make helpful suggestions on how to address specific areas of struggle.

 

Best wishes.

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She is finishing up pre-algebra and we were planning to have her do algebra 1 in 9th grade, geometry in 10th, and the Algebra 2 in 11th grade. 

 

If she struggles through Algebra 1 and Geometry - you may want to use 11th and 12th for Algebra 2 and slow the pace down.

Score it like she took it in 12th grade only.

 

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After 18 years of homeschooling (my baby is now 21), I can honestly say that my answer to this question (which I have seen several times over the years) has not changed.

 

I do not think that we teach our children math, literature, science, logic, or Latin based upon what they are going to take in college. We are preparing them for life.

 

My middle child took 3 years to learn the multiplication tables. Math was his bane. We kept on keeping on through high school.

 

He will graduate in May in Mechanical Engineering. Never would have guessed that one. He is excited about job hunting and has goals in life beyond all boundaries I had set for him.

 

My youngest struggled to read--didn't start being able to do so until he was in 4th grade. He struggled with everything in those early years. He is a Cadet Colonel in the Civil Air Patrol and a sophomore in Software Engineering--grimaces when he gets anything beneath a 4.0 for his semester grades. Nope, would not have predicted that one either. And believe me, this kid plans to go and do and live!!!

 

And then--me. I did O.K. in Math. I did O.K. in Science, but got my high school physics grade up by doing extra credit, not by understanding it. I was having a discussion with my youngest last night on Einstein's special relativity. Why? Because he is interested in studying it further and I am now the president of an astronomy club. I picked up that hobby while homeschooling. I wish I had taken more math and science so that my self-led studies would go a little faster, but I cannot pick up what I did not do back then.

 

You might be surprised what a lifetime of interests brings to your child. Even if it is hard work, that won't hurt anyone. And maybe, just maybe, it will open doors later that you never dreamed of opening.

 

Jmo--

Jean

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I had such a bad experience with Sylvan that I cannot personally recommend it.  I have heard that some Sylvan centers actually are really well run, though.  Just not the one where we are.  The only experience I have had with Kumon was second hand through a friend that found it to be a dismal failure and a sea of frustrations.  Again, though, it may just be the one in this area.  Others have seemed to like both systems quite well.  You could ask around in your area to see if you could get an unbiased review from several parents (definitely get more than one review, though, since one might just be a whiny gripper or a things are always perfect and everything is great type person but if several said it was great or awful then...).

 

A private tutor might really help more, though, at least at first, depending on how well the tutor actually understands math and how adaptable they are to your own child's needs.  

 

Hands On Equations might be worth a shot.  In fact, I really recommend trying it.  It comes with an instructional DVD that the parent can use or the student, TM for all three levels, workbooks, manipulatives, etc. and is a really good system.  It is designed to really help demystify Algebra.  They recommend using it with kids even as young as 4th grade, as well as kids in middle school to help solidify concepts, terms, etc. for basic Algebra, or to use with kids in High School that are struggling with Algebra.  It was recommended to me by quite a few posters on the WTM and they have all found it extremely helpful and actually fun....so far I have really found it quite helpful, too.  

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Kumon is very good as supplemental drill for earlier math. It's not going to help in this situation.

Each Kumon center is individually owned and will use the same materials but have different quality  tutors.  The one I worked at had at least two advanced math tutors, retired men who had advanced mathematics degrees and math-related careers, and the Kumon math materials do go through all levels of calculus and beyond. 

 

However, I do agree that students are expected to be doing a full math program alongside.  Kumon is more a discipline that builds speed and fills in gaps of understanding.

 

Just in case that helps,

Julie

 

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