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Help w/ 8-10th grade plan for dd


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So, it's looking more likely that younger dd will not go to ps for high school, as her sisters did.  On the one hand, this is very exciting.  On the other hand, this is very terrifying.  Dd is bright but not super-gifted, and likes to put in the least effort possible.  She likes math, tolerates science, likes building things, really doesn't care for reading/writing/history.  I'm thinking it might be a great idea to try to get her into a local Math/Science Academy that is only 11th/12th grade, and if that didn't happen, plan to have her dual enroll most of her courses those last two years.  So that's why 8th-10th. 

 

I want to outsource History if she stays home for high school, as since she doesn't like it much, I don't want to be fighting her on it.  I had been thinking the same for English.  I'd been planning to do Math at home, but this year I see that even though she's advanced in math she needs more review to retain it, and I'm thinking maybe that should be outsourced too (she likes to do fewer harder problems a la AoPS, but that isn't enough review, and I doubt she'll do more problems or review for me). But I need to find the right classes - challenging, with a good amount of review, but not mind-numbingly repetitive (ie NOT Saxon). 

 

Help me fill in this grid!  Bolding the stuff where I've got the biggest questions...

 

English:

7th was: 4Practice, part of WWtW, about 12 books with fairly brief discussion w/ help from Shmoop, writing class w/ AiM Academy, a local class that read and discussed short stories and essays and wrote less than I'd hoped, and a 5-week research writing class.

 

8th: Lively Art of Writing, some of the writing from LL8 and WriteGuide (writing across the curriculum).  More 4Practice and WWtW.

 

9th/10th: ??  She's not going to want to read great tomes of classical works, but she can read/comprehend and I'd like her to engage with literature, perhaps just something a bit more accessible than many of the Classical online schools have.  I'd also like her to learn to write really well.  Her grammar, mechanics and vocabulary are fine.  She needs help constructing an argument, defending it, using varied vocabulary.  Hopefully she'll make a lot of progress w/ WriteGuide next year.  What would be some good online classes for her that would bring her writing to the next level?  I'd need lots of constructive feedback on the writing.   Should I just keep assigning her books at home, or are there any LIt classes that have good yet not ancient lit?  Would I need to sign her up for separate Comp/Lit classes, or is there a good class that does both?

 

Math:

7th was: AoPS Intro Algebra (started in 6th, we're now a couple of chapters from the end).  She did well with it, and says she loves it, but I see when I give her test prep review type questions, she can forget which tools to use - I think she needs more ongoing review.  Adding ongoing review on top of AoPS will be Too Much Math per day.

 

8th: strongly considering Wilson Hill w/ Jurgensen text.

 

9th/10th: Need a strong Alg2, then Precalc.  She's already done many of the Alg2 material in AoPS; she'll need a review after a year of Geo, but I want it to build and go further.  Maybe stick with Wilson Hill if that goes well?  They use Dolciani for Alg2, then Brown for PreCalc.  Those are good texts, yes?  Anyone have any info on the teacher(s) for those classes?  Other ideas?

 

Science:

7th was: Mr. Q Adv. Chem w/ Lab class, Exploring the Way Life Works (Bio) w/ Lab class

8th: CPO Physics: A First Course w/ Lab class

9th: Kolbe (Honors?) Bio syllabus w/ Lab class

10th: Maybe ChemAdvantage AP Chem?

 

History:

7th was: 20th Cent. World History w/ K12HO3, documentaries, biographies and mapwork

8th: Hakim Story of US Concise w/ Hewitt syllabus

 

9th/10th: I was thinking Geography in 9th or stretching the Hakim over two years, then World History, then US History again in 11th with K12 American Odysssey  But the Math/Science Academy does World Civ in 11th, so then she'd have no US History on her high school transcript.  So I was thinking...

 

9th: Laurel Springs World History online (not text-based)?  This is a 10th-grade course, would they let her take it in 9th?  There's also an honors option, but maybe I'm stupid to consider it for this kid??  Either way there's a weekly writing assignment, but all the reading is online including multimedia.

 

10th: K12 US History? - just sign her up for the course and not have to worry about nagging her to get the assignments done?  Would they let her do this in 10th (is it an 11th class?)

 

For foreign language she'll continue with German @ the Sat. School.

 

For electives, probably a lot of technology/programming.  She's taking a C++ class starting next week, then hopefully KidCoder Java next year.  If she does well with that I think I could have her do the APCompSci in 9th with the MOOC.  Not sure what she'd do for 10th yet...

 

She'll probably join a Robotics group next year.  She's going to check out two of them.

 

Does that sound doable?  Any suggestions for alternatives to things I'm iffy on, or things I've left out?

 

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Maybe BYU's online high school classes would be a good choice? They're secular and accredited, in fact they even have a diploma program. I know they offer AP Bio and a range of history classes. Their English may even work for you. Another secular option that might fit the bill is Oak Meadow's history curriculum. It offers a wide choice of projects, but it's still structured enough to be a "git 'er done" course. I haven't used either of these, I've just looked at them and put them on my possibility list.

 

I've discovered that online math classes don't work well for us. T managed to be both bored and, occasionally, stressed by her online prealgebra review. If you take a class, you have to keep up with the class. If you have a brain bloop and forget how to multiply decimals, you better remember pdq or you won't be getting an A on your quiz (a tragedy in Trinqueta World, even if she still has an A+ in the class). If the teacher is droning on about simplifying fractions and you've got it down cold, you still need to pay attention in case she covers something you don't know. I have to say this experience has explained a lot of my math issues as a student and highlighted why math is definitely a go-at-your-own-pace subject for us. My advice is that if you haven't used an online synchronous math class before, try to avoid doing it for the first time when the grade will count. If you'd like an outside math class, I'd highly recommend trying one like Derek Owens or BYU that go at your pace in case you hit some snags or have already studied a few topics.

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Maybe BYU's online high school classes would be a good choice? They're secular and accredited, in fact they even have a diploma program. I know they offer AP Bio and a range of history classes. Their English may even work for you. Another secular option that might fit the bill is Oak Meadow's history curriculum. It offers a wide choice of projects, but it's still structured enough to be a "git 'er done" course. I haven't used either of these, I've just looked at them and put them on my possibility list.

 

Anything she does online has to have a live class with interaction.  I think most of the ones you mention are online with videos, or self-paced, or maybe with a tutor?  She needs a meeting time, interaction with other kids and the teacher, and a deadline...

 

Composition classes would have to have a lot of teacher feedback (not peer feedback) through the writing process, not just comments on the final paper.  As I said, she likes to do the bare minimum, but she can do a lot more.  She needs to be inspired (or more likely, pushed) to do better than that, because she most certainly can.  Unfortunately, me pushing her just results in pushing back.  And this 13yo is not inspired by anything I can say these days. ;)

 

It would be great if I could get a better mix of in-person classes.  The science, at least will have live labs with other kids and a teacher supervising for everything but AP Chem, but for that one she will probably have a friend as a lab partner, which will be great.  There's a Lit/Comp class that would fit the bill great, but it's 45 min. away, 2x a week, and costs $1500(!!!) a year (not counting all that gas back and forth).  The online options start to sound cheap...  They also tend toward those classical tomes...

 

Thinking about it some more, I'm wondering if World History in 9th is even the right idea.  She just had 4+ years of World History with the K12 books.  A one year whirlwind break for US and then back to it?  Is there any kind of Civics or Govt course appropriate for a 9th grader that perhaps incorporates some Greek or Roman history and maybe some economics?  She might like that.  Different enough that a return to a regular high school US History course in 10th wouldn't just seem like more of the same...  If she goes to the Math/Science Academy, they do World Civ in 11th, or she could dual enroll for that in 11th, so that would still be on her transcript.

 

I've discovered that online math classes don't work well for us. T managed to be both bored and, occasionally, stressed by her online prealgebra review. If you take a class, you have to keep up with the class. If you have a brain bloop and forget how to multiply decimals, you better remember pdq or you won't be getting an A on your quiz (a tragedy in Trinqueta World, even if she still has an A+ in the class). If the teacher is droning on about simplifying fractions and you've got it down cold, you still need to pay attention in case she covers something you don't know. I have to say this experience has explained a lot of my math issues as a student and highlighted why math is definitely a go-at-your-own-pace subject for us. My advice is that if you haven't used an online synchronous math class before, try to avoid doing it for the first time when the grade will count. If you'd like an outside math class, I'd highly recommend trying one like Derek Owens or BYU that go at your pace in case you hit some snags or have already studied a few topics.

 

In my kid's case, videos don't work at.all, except maybe to supplement.  That's where she tunes out, because it is just the teacher droning on...  that's where I'm hoping the interactive nature of a live class will keep her more engaged.  That's also why I need challenging classes.  Easy classes will also have her tune out.  With self-paced classes, there would be a lot of "I'll finish it tomorrow" - but she will respect outside deadlines. Fortunately, next year won't "count" yet, so maybe it really is the perfect time to have her try that synchronous online math class...

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Matroysha, you might want to look at G3 Online and Athena's Advanced Academy:

 

http://www.athenasacademy.com/

 

http://www.onlineg3.com/

 

G3 offers American history and government classes that use Hakim for US history. T is going to do 1A next fall. They'll offer live discussion and will have writing prompts in the forum. Athena's is going to start an American literature class with a writing component, but I don't think it will include the level of feedback you're looking for. There's also a teen reading club that might work for you. I didn't check it out because you must be at least 13 to enroll. I think it also has a separate writing class associated with it. Athena and G3 are secular. They don't grade the forum posts or do tests, so if you want a grade, you'll have to do that on your own. IME, it's hard to find secular online, synchronous classes for high school that aren't prohibitively expensive. If you find some, please post them here!

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Matroysha, you might want to look at G3 Online and Athena's Advanced Academy:

 

http://www.athenasacademy.com/

 

http://www.onlineg3.com/

 

G3 offers American history and government classes that use Hakim for US history. T is going to do 1A next fall. They'll offer live discussion and will have writing prompts in the forum. Athena's is going to start an American literature class with a writing component, but I don't think it will include the level of feedback you're looking for. There's also a teen reading club that might work for you. I didn't check it out because you must be at least 13 to enroll. I think it also has a separate writing class associated with it. Athena and G3 are secular. They don't grade the forum posts or do tests, so if you want a grade, you'll have to do that on your own. IME, it's hard to find secular online, synchronous classes for high school that aren't prohibitively expensive. If you find some, please post them here!

 

Hm, I hadn't realized that they offered high-school level stuff - I see they're adding some.

 

The problem I have with these providers, however, is twofold.  One, they mostly offer classes based on materials that I love - and can easily teach at home, possibly more effectively (ie Hakim, MCT, Lightning Lit).  Two, since they're specifically for gifted kids, they assume everyone gets it quickly and by design don't usually bother with the level of output and feedback that this kid would need to retain the info long term.  Again, she's bright and a bit advanced, not crazy gifted with a mind like a steel trap.  She can handle higher level work, but there have to be structured expectations and output.

 

The teen book club Athena's running could be of interest, however - thanks for pointing that out. 

 

Anyone have any feedback specifically on the things in my plan?  I'm mulling it over some more, and I'm wondering if maybe in 9th World Geography/Cultures would be a good idea.  Either make something up at home (suggestions for materials?) or maybe even AP Human Geography?  Don't many kids do that in 9th?  How expert does she have to be in writing for that course?

 

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Thinking about it some more, I'm wondering if World History in 9th is even the right idea.  She just had 4+ years of World History with the K12 books.  A one year whirlwind break for US and then back to it? 

 

 

One possibility (no personal experience with it) might be AP Human Geography by Carol Ann Gillespie through PA Homeschoolers.  It seems to be a not uncommon first AP course for ninth graders.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Would you like all 24 titles :lol:

 

Do they have to read them all?? :svengo:  My not-so-crazy-about-reading dd would totally balk at 24 books over the summer!!  I thought it said right in the course description (just read it ;) ) that this class wasn't super reading and writing intensive (I'm guessing that's compared to other AP classes, but still...)???

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No, these are just suggestions and while she encourages to read as many as they can, she says simply watching the world around them, watching the news, reading articles or do some interest bases research is great preparation for the class.  My son picked 5 of the books that are of interest to his mother :lol: .  There is a fairly wide range of difficulty level so we picked some more complex books and some that promise simply good reading.

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AP Human Geography Suggested Reading List put together by Dr. Carol Gillespie

 

Why Geography Matters by Harm de Blij

The Power of Place by Harm de Blij

The Coming Anarchy by Robert Kaplan

The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner

Confucius Lives Next Door by T.R. Reid

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles- Adventures in the WOrld of Chinese Food by Jennifer 8 Lee

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace by Greg Mortenson & David Relin

Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson

What Every American Should Know About the Rest of the WOrld by M.L. Rossi

The United States of Europe by T. R. Reid

China Inc. by Ted Fishman

The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman

Jihad Vs. Mc World by Benjamin Barber

The Clash of Civilizations by Samuel Huntington

Who Are We? by Samuel Huntington

State Building by Francis Fukuyama

Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks

How the Scots Invented the Modern World by Arthur Herman

The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Friedman (this seems to be a revised edition of The World is Flat)

Them by Nathan McCall

Mountain Mists: Appalachian Folkways of West Virginia  by Carol Ann Gillespie

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

The Geography of Nowhere by James Howard Kunstler

 

By the nature of the beast, some books are probably rather controversial but that should lead into some rather interesting discussions:-)

 

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Matroysha, you might want to look at G3 Online and Athena's Advanced Academy:

 

http://www.athenasacademy.com/

 

http://www.onlineg3.com/

 

G3 offers American history and government classes that use Hakim for US history. T is going to do 1A next fall. They'll offer live discussion and will have writing prompts in the forum. Athena's is going to start an American literature class with a writing component, but I don't think it will include the level of feedback you're looking for. There's also a teen reading club that might work for you. I didn't check it out because you must be at least 13 to enroll. I think it also has a separate writing class associated with it. Athena and G3 are secular. They don't grade the forum posts or do tests, so if you want a grade, you'll have to do that on your own. IME, it's hard to find secular online, synchronous classes for high school that aren't prohibitively expensive. If you find some, please post them here!

 

Hmm G3 seems to be at first glance based on their videos - we don't need no stinking books - technology rules - life is a video game!  Maybe that's not the case in reality.

 

This is not my approach and certainly others here would agree, for math I even prefer less calculator more mental math.

 

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Hmm G3 seems to be at first glance based on their videos - we don't need no stinking books - technology rules - life is a video game!  Maybe that's not the case in reality.

 

This is not my approach and certainly others here would agree, for math I even prefer less calculator more mental math.

I think you might be thinking of another G3. Guinevere's Gifted Group uses Hakim's History of US and Lightning Lit's courses for their history and literature classes. They don't offer math.

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