Jump to content

Menu

Homeschool or high school?


4ofus
 Share

Recommended Posts

My DS is 1/2way through 6th grade & the time is passing faster than ever before. I find myself constantly wondering about High School. We have a decently ranked (for our region) ps that we're zoned in. It is extremely diverse & houses an IB program. For 9th/10th you can be in the pre ib classes, then top-qualifiers (I assume) take the limited spots in 11th/12th. I wonder what sort of math progression is part of that. I'm expecting to be through Alg I & Alg II, NT, & C&P by the end of eighth. No significant Geometry yet. Will this put him in a non-productive math pattern if he goes to this school? I know you don't actually know, I'm just trying to gather possibilities. Mid 6th grade is probably too soon to be talking to the guidance counselor. Ib sounds awesome, but but but but...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 160
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

If IB were avaliable near us I would be more torn with my son's high school years. However, IB is much like AP in that the kids are learning to pass exams. They are not learning for the thrill and extent of learning. This is not to say that the students do not enjoy what they are learning, but more that the topics and content are directly tied to testing. That part still bothers me. My son loves to learn. It is exciting to him. I do not want him to begin looking at knowledge as important because it is tested, or that somehow test based knowledge is hierarchical because of deadlines, grade levels, or scores.

 

We have done ancients over and over. We are still doing ancients and we began when Ds was seven. He could not give you much info on the Reniassance or turn of the century at all. It is ridiculous, but you know, he loves it. Today he informed me that it bothered him that most kids do not get to read the Odyssey when they are younger than seventh to ninth grade. According to him, "The Odyssey, Gilgamesh, The Book of the Dead, they are all about life. Hawthorne and Hemmingway write about life just like Rick Roiridan does. People make it sound like unless you are in high school or middle school you cannot see that, but why do you think we keep reading these guys a hundred years later? It is because they matter to all people regardless of time or age!" The conversation turned into a bit of a frantic rant after that and dramatically digressed, but that part really struck me. I do not think my son would be able to say or see that if he was not able to just pursue his learning, to just fill himself up with the words and works of life.

 

I want him to see life in Euclid's Elements and Newton's Laws, in Tolstoy's words and Alexander's conquests. I do not think he would do that if it were about prepping for a test. That is why we are going to homeschool all the way through.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's awesome, EndOfOrdinary. My DS recently surprised me with a rant against his version of King Arthur because there's insufficient character development (something we haven't talked about yet). :)

 

High school is weighing on my mind too. I've decided to put blinders on for the remainder of this year and hopefully next (6 and 7) and not worry about it yet. Easier said than done, for sure. When I start to question, I try to remind myself about my middle school goals--primarily, to make certain he has a solid enough education that he will be ready for whatever happens in the high school years. I want to know he's been through the full history and science cycles, and that his writing (the big bugaboo) will be solid enough that he can take and thrive in any classes he wants. We have many options here--traditional high school, community college, sitting in on private liberal arts college classes, a STEM high school, some combination of several--and right now, I want all of those to be viable options when he reaches that point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We're torn with this, as well.  We would like DS12 to attend the public school for three reasons: to have a chance at guaranteed acceptance at the big state schools, to be eligible for scholarships, and to get used to studying in an environment with thousands of students.  However, we fear he will be bored out of his skull, and the option could backfire.

 

We are deliberately slowing his math progression down.  He completed algebra 2, geometry, and AoPS introduction to probability by the end of 6th grade.  The local school will allow him to accelerate as far as AP calculus in 9th, but he would only be able to take AP calc, multivariate calc, and AP stats (blech).  So, we are adding AoPS intermediate algebra, symbolic logic, extended geometry, AoPS probability & counting, and AoPS number theory to slow him down and have him ready for precalc in 9th.  That still leaves only three quality math subjects for high school (stats has little value for many US scientific bachelor's degrees, as it is far too basic).  4ofus, for your school, you should contact the counselor to discuss independent or guided study beyond what is published.  Many schools offer options, either onsite, or online.  Ours does not.

 

For English, Latin, and German, DS will be ok.  They will be relatively easy, but the extra time would benefit him greatly.  The school offers GT sections for English, and he should enjoy those.

 

For sciences and history courses, trouble is lurking.  He's studying at an AP level already (though not with the pressure of harsh grading or testing).  He would enter high school having completed the equivalent of AP physics B (or 1/2, as you'd prefer), AP chemistry, AP biology, AP computer science, AP psychology, AP US history, AP world history, and AP European history.  These wouldn't show on his transcript, but his knowledge will be on par with the typical student for those courses.  He studied this material for the joy of the material -- he hasn't achieved mastery (nor should he at his age, imho).

 

He isn't mature enough for college, but we feel that is our only other option, because we do not have the qualifications to teach higher-level chemistry, biology, or history.  Local colleges do not allow kids under 16 to attend, so we would have to wait a couple of years for that, no matter what.  That would put us cramming for a couple of years to prepare for a second-rate college.  Not a great option, either.

 

EoO, have you run into subjects where your son seems destined to exceed your expertise?  What are your plans in that scenario?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The IB worked well for us: Calvin chose to do English, Latin and History at higher level; biology, French and maths studies at standard level.

 

It's worth looking at the IB Higher Maths syllabus (there are three levels within the IB).  I'm not knowledgeable about maths at all, but the boys' school believes that higher level IB maths goes further than any other 'high school' offering in the UK.  The syllabus lists pre-requisites.  For less mathy people, the standard level and maths studies courses are quite achievable.

 

L

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We're torn with this, as well. We would like DS12 to attend the public school for three reasons: to have a chance at guaranteed acceptance at the big state schools, to be eligible for scholarships, and to get used to studying in an environment with thousands of students.

If your child is that strong academically, they most likely do not need to rely on guaranteed acceptance policies to be accepted. Students do not need to be ps grads to be eligible for scholarships. If your child can DE in high school, even if it isn't until 16, that can provide the opportunity for studying in an environment of thousands while still being in a supportive environment.

 

Fwiw, I suspect if you approached the local colleges with high AP and SAt/ACT scores, you would probably find via personal meeting with the registrar that the age rule is generic and not inflexible. We have had 2 universities in 2 different states bend DE age, class, and hour rules.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Following.  I'm pondering high school too.  My 7th grader has no desire to go to high school at this point. so it will probably be a combination of home stuff and DE when she is ready.  I'm not particularly impressed with our zoned high school, but I do keep looking at the local public/charter/magnet school options (private school not an option due to cost), and some of them are tempting, to the extent they offer things we can't do at home.  But each of them only has one or two things, and I'm hoping that by doing it ourselves we can pick from a menu of options, rather than be stuck with what the high school serves, KWIM?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

For sciences and history courses, trouble is lurking.  He's studying at an AP level already (though not with the pressure of harsh grading or testing).  He would enter high school having completed the equivalent of AP physics B (or 1/2, as you'd prefer), AP chemistry, AP biology, AP computer science, AP psychology, AP US history, AP world history, and AP European history.  These wouldn't show on his transcript, but his knowledge will be on par with the typical student for those courses.  He studied this material for the joy of the material -- he hasn't achieved mastery (nor should he at his age, imho).

 

 

We came across an input vs. output problem around age 10 to 12.  Calvin was definitely learning at a high school level but didn't have the output to match.  He took a high school biology exam (GCSE) at eleven, because it didn't involve too much writing.  Most other UK exams are essay-based, and we had to wait another couple of years for him to be able to show his abilities in essays.  In the mean time, we went very broad and kept the learning going, alongside lots of writing practice.  By the time he finally went to 'high school' at 13, he was studying three languages in addition to three sciences, a musical instrument, a martial art and the usual slew of other subjects.

 

When he did go to school, his academic learning stalled somewhat for the first year: but he was really, really concentrating on learning how school worked, how relationships with pupils and teachers should be managed, how to budget his time.....  It was a tough year but a good one.

 

L

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IB math can potentially go one year beyond the equivalent of calculus (sort of) with their Further Math option.  However, the school has to offer Further Math, which is not a given.  In fact, it's not necessarily a given that they'll offer HL math.

 

My son was in an IB program at a tiny private school.  The size of the program brought out the worst in IB in that there was no choice.  So, the kids were required to take HL English and history and they did not offer HL math.  They only offered biology for the science.  So the STEM kid who needed (and preferred) advanced physics and chemistry for application to engineering schools was out of luck.  Also, at least at this school, IB art was "academized" in that there seemed to be just as much homework (which consisted of writing, not creating art) for it as for the rest of the classes.  

 

You're going to want to determine whether this school actually offers a good selection of classes (IB makes it seem as though there are tons of classes to choose from when in fact, depending on how the school structures their program, there can potentially be no choice at all--in my son's school the only choice was between French and Spanish).  Make sure those classes line up with what your son is interested in and his goals for college and his life beyond.  Also a kid who has a lot of extracurricular commitments that are important to him but not considered CAS by the powers that be is probably going to have a hard time keeping up with everything.  Again, depending on how the school structures things, and on the kid himself, IB has the potential to suck away all of a kid's free time.  That's how it was at my son's school.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IB math can potentially go one year beyond the equivalent of calculus (sort of) with their Further Math option.  However, the school has to offer Further Math, which is not a given.  In fact, it's not necessarily a given that they'll offer HL math.

 

My son was in an IB program at a tiny private school.  The size of the program brought out the worst in IB in that there was no choice.  So, the kids were required to take HL English and history and they did not offer HL math.  They only offered biology for the science.  So the STEM kid who needed (and preferred) advanced physics and chemistry for application to engineering schools was out of luck.  Also, at least at this school, IB art was "academized" in that there seemed to be just as much homework for it as for the rest of the classes.  

 

You're going to want to determine whether this school actually offers a good selection of classes (IB makes it seem as though there are tons of classes to choose from when in fact, depending on how the school structures their program, there can potentially be no choice at all--in my son's school the only choice was between French and Spanish).  Make sure those classes line up with what your son is interested in and his goals for college and his life beyond.  

 

Goodness.  I've never heard of so little choice in an IB programme.  I had always assumed that a school would have to offer choice to be accredited.  For comparison, and for those looking at IB schools, the boys' school offers (from memory):

 

Maths: studies, standard level, higher level (maybe further?  I'm not sure)

English: standard, higher and second language

German and Chinese: standard, higher and first language

French, Latin, Spanish: standard and higher

Italian: ab initio (standard)

Physics, Chemistry, Biology: standard and higher

Psychology: standard

Geography and History: standard and higher

Economics: standard

Art, music and drama: standard and higher.

 

L

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If your child is that strong academically, they most likely do not need to rely on guaranteed acceptance policies to be accepted. Students do not need to be ps grads to be eligible for scholarships. If your child can DE in high school, even if it isn't until 16, that can provide the opportunity for studying in an environment of thousands while still being in a supportive environment.

 

Fwiw, I suspect if you approached the local colleges with high AP and SAt/ACT scores, you would probably find via personal meeting with the registrar that the age rule is generic and not inflexible. We have had 2 universities in 2 different states bend DE age, class, and hour rules.

 

I definitely appreciate the input.  We have contacted the local colleges (DW teaches at one), and even with his SAT scores, they won't accept him.  It's a question of liability.

 

In Texas, there is a guarantee of acceptance for the top 7% of school graduates, with a very small reserve set aside for out-of-state students.  Homeschoolers often have to pick through the scraps.  While his performance is high, the odds are not exactly fair.  It's a weird system in some regards.  He would probably make it, but why take the chance, when the end result is at best the same?

 

One interesting option nearby is the UTHSC FAME program, which gives an accelerated path to an MD. He's showing a lot of curiosity about biochemistry and psychology, so we have to give it some consideration.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We came across an input vs. output problem around age 10 to 12.  Calvin was definitely learning at a high school level but didn't have the output to match.  He took a high school biology exam (GCSE) at eleven, because it didn't involve too much writing.  Most other UK exams are essay-based, and we had to wait another couple of years for him to be able to show his abilities in essays.  In the mean time, we went very broad and kept the learning going, alongside lots of writing practice.  By the time he finally went to 'high school' at 13, he was studying three languages in addition to three sciences, a musical instrument, a martial art and the usual slew of other subjects.

 

When he did go to school, his academic learning stalled somewhat for the first year: but he was really, really concentrating on learning how school worked, how relationships with pupils and teachers should be managed, how to budget his time.....  It was a tough year but a good one.

 

L

 

This sounds like DS. :). He learns languages at an astonishing rate.  It's one of the ways we fill his time!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OP, if you can't find math track info on the school's website someplace, I would contact a math teacher for the reason that the track ahead may slightly impact your decisions for middle school.  For example, the progression for many schools would have geometry before alg 2, and trig might be a part of the alg 2 year... or not.  In our area, that is the case - some advanced students take geometry in middle school, but almost always prior to alg 2.  Ask about placement exams, ask what if you teach alg 2 and your student takes geometry at the school - can they place out of alg 2 and *when*.  Ask what math texts they use.

 

I don't see any reason to wait - hunt down emails on the website (BTDT :)).  Find out what they offer, how they typically structure calc, whether they offer anything beyond first year calc, how the IB calc compares to the AP sequence (maybe google that part), and how much flexibility the student is allowed if the student surpasses the math courses offered at the school - can they take online courses or DE for high school credit, etc.

 

Find out how the schedule is structured - daily/regular, modified block, true block, etc.

 

Find out if there's a math club for students looking to take the AMC or other clubs your student might be interested in, such as robotics.

 

Ask the counselors about college acceptances - hopefully they will have a list for recent year(s).  Try to figure out whether your student would have some academic peers at this school and roughly how many (2, 5, 10, 20?).

 

It's early, but it really isn't too early to start digging for info that might affect your decision on B&M vs homeschool.  I have an 8th grader applying to private high school right now and two sixth graders who will as well - I've been digging into this for a long time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You will want to look into the actual results students in this school achieve on their IB exams, I have seen rather disappointing statistics from some IB programs in the US. Just as the fact that a school offers AP classes does not mean it is providing superior instruction and resulting in high achieving students, the fact that the IB program is offered at a school does not guarantee quality instruction. Some IB programs are excellent and rigorous. Others are not.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You will want to look into the actual results students in this school achieve on their IB exams, I have seen rather disappointing statistics from some IB programs in the US. Just as the fact that a school offers AP classes does not mean it is providing superior instruction and resulting in high achieving students, the fact that the IB program is offered at a school does not guarantee quality instruction. Some IB programs are excellent and rigorous. Others are not.

 

Yes.  The worldwide average for IB points is 29.81.  To get into a top university in the UK you would need at least 38 points.  That's a big discrepancy that people with bright children need to watch out for.  

 

L

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm torn as well. We never planned to homeschool high school, but at this point, by the time DD gets to high school age, she'll be beyond high school in pretty much everything but history and possibly not having read all of the high school lit standard selections yet (and in both cases, that has more to do with holding back on content for emotional reasons than the depth at which she's doing them). We have an IB option as well as a mediocre magnet high school (that does well on US News ratings, and does tend to have a couple of students doing some pretty neat biomedical stuff each year that does halfway decently at the state science fair and ISEF. It seems to be the sort of school where a small number of kids really get a lot of opportunities, but the rest just kind of slide through), but neither seems like a great choice. And private schools tend to be in the price range where we might as well send her to college. They get good stats and have good college records, but when you're talking parents who can pay up to 40K/yr for private high school in an area where a large percentage of families make less than that a year, it's hard to say how much of the record is actually due to what the school teaches.  I refuse to take out loans or drain our savings for high school, darn it!

 

DD has been beyond me in biology for awhile, but she's got good support from others, and as long as they're able to keep funneling her information and opportunities, I don't think she'll get bored in that area. Fortunately, biology and zoology are very broad, and there's a lot that she can dive into without trouble. Chemistry and physics (and areas of biology like molecular biology and biochem that require higher levels of background in chem and physics than she has currently ) are moving at a slower pace because she's not as advanced at math as she is in science. She's done what I'd call a solid middle school level course in both (mostly using non-major college textbooks and kitchen table labs/virtual labs). By high school age, though, she'll probably have done AP level work in them as well, since that's still a few years down the road.

 

It would be so much easier if she weren't small and physically young for her age. It makes acceleration far more problematic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes. The worldwide average for IB points is 29.81. To get into a top university in the UK you would need at least 38 points. That's a big discrepancy that people with bright children need to watch out for.

 

L

Unfortunately average number of points in the US is lower than the worldwide average, with some schools achieving less than a 50% pass rate (if memory serves, 24 points are required for a passing score).

 

Some IB programs are truly excellent, just don't assume the name itself indicates a best quality education; you need to research the specific program your child is considering.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm torn as well. We never planned to homeschool high school, but at this point, by the time DD gets to high school age, she'll be beyond high school in pretty much everything but history and possibly not having read all of the high school lit standard selections yet (and in both cases, that has more to do with holding back on content for emotional reasons than the depth at which she's doing them). We have an IB option as well as a mediocre magnet high school (that does well on US News ratings, and does tend to have a couple of students doing some pretty neat biomedical stuff each year that does halfway decently at the state science fair and ISEF. It seems to be the sort of school where a small number of kids really get a lot of opportunities, but the rest just kind of slide through), but neither seems like a great choice. And private schools tend to be in the price range where we might as well send her to college. They get good stats and have good college records, but when you're talking parents who can pay up to 40K/yr for private high school in an area where a large percentage of families make less than that a year, it's hard to say how much of the record is actually due to what the school teaches.  I refuse to take out loans or drain our savings for high school, darn it!

 

DD has been beyond me in biology for awhile, but she's got good support from others, and as long as they're able to keep funneling her information and opportunities, I don't think she'll get bored in that area. Fortunately, biology and zoology are very broad, and there's a lot that she can dive into without trouble. Chemistry and physics (and areas of biology like molecular biology and biochem that require higher levels of background in chem and physics than she has currently ) are moving at a slower pace because she's not as advanced at math as she is in science. She's done what I'd call a solid middle school level course in both (mostly using non-major college textbooks and kitchen table labs/virtual labs). By high school age, though, she'll probably have done AP level work in them as well, since that's still a few years down the road.

 

It would be so much easier if she weren't small and physically young for her age. It makes acceleration far more problematic.

 

I hear you.  I have the opposite issue - a just turned 12 year old who is 5'6", fully developed, and who looks at least 15. And who is very articulate and very mature. It can make it hard to remember that she's still essentially a little girl!  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I definitely appreciate the input.  We have contacted the local colleges (DW teaches at one), and even with his SAT scores, they won't accept him.  It's a question of liability.

 

In Texas, there is a guarantee of acceptance for the top 7% of school graduates, with a very small reserve set aside for out-of-state students.  Homeschoolers often have to pick through the scraps.  While his performance is high, the odds are not exactly fair.  It's a weird system in some regards.  He would probably make it, but why take the chance, when the end result is at best the same?

 

One interesting option nearby is the UTHSC FAME program, which gives an accelerated path to an MD. He's showing a lot of curiosity about biochemistry and psychology, so we have to give it some consideration.

We are in San Antonio--I teach at one univ and DH teaches at another.  One school agreed to let our son audit a class at 14; he is now 15 and enrolled in a class as a regular student at another university.  So, when it actually came down to it, we found a bit more flexibility than the stated policy.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a sixth grader also. Our local public school would be an IB school that I hear good things about. We also live near a science magnet high school that is consistently ranked amongst the highest in the country; it has been ranked #1 but I'm not sure it still is. We used to think we'd at least consider applying to that school and see if he could get in. However, at this point, unless he expresses an interest in attending school elsewhere we have decided not to. Unless he asks to not homeschool at this point we will homeschool high school. 

 

For us that comes down to three things: 

1) Can we provide as good an education as he would get elsewhere? We think the answer is yes. It won't be identical or have every opportunity that super-elite magnet school has. But we can do a lot of things he couldn't do there. So I think it will be at least as good. 

 

2) The individual child's personality. Our oldest is a very good self-motivated learner but likes to do it at his own pace. Some days he will get up and start school at 7 am on his own. Some days he wants to get up and read for fun for a couple of hours before doing school. He has a great sense of when he needs a break and will go out and roller-blade or bike to clear his head. But if he knows he has a full schedule the rest of the week he also does a good job of managing his time and working when he needs to work. He loves to be busy but he also is an introvert who needs time alone. He learns best by reading and processing on his own before discussing. He's kind of made for homeschooling, in my opinion. I'm not so sure my second and third kids will be the same. My middle son may be someone who really needs a classroom for motivation and my daughter is super extroverted and may eventually need more social interaction. We'll see. 

 

3) Kind of going with both #1 and #2, are there other opportunities that help fill in whatever areas we can't provide?I felt like my oldest needed to do more working in a group as a team. Planning with other kids, brainstorming, interacting, having an opportunity to be a leader. Last year we started doing Odyssey of the Mind which has allowed that. We have a lot of homeschool groups in our area that allow for both outside classes and extracurricular opportunities to give him some of those away from Mom kind of interactions. 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm hoping a few of you have the context to be able to help me *guess* how IB this IB program actually is.

 

 

 

I'm going to share the 3 things from their website that seem notable.:

 

 

 

1)Recommendations for Diploma Programme applicants: Diploma candidates should be organized as well as highly motivated to succeed and reach their full potential. All students are welcome to apply and there is no specific
GPA requirement for consideration. It is recommended that students applying for the full diploma programme have been following the Honors/AP track, at least partially, as freshmen and sophomores due to the number of Higher Level (HL) courses they must take as a requirement for the IB Diploma. Motivated students that are not currently on the Honors/AP track can be excellent candidates if they are achieving high marks in their current course load and are ready for a more rigorous curriculum.
Required: Minimum successful completion of: English 1 and II, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Biology I, Chemistry I.and two years of the same World Languge. 

 

 

2) Offerings: (note the names of the maths & how not-helpful that is to me :/)

 

Group 1: Language A1

English A1 HL and SL

Group 2: Second Language

Spanish HL and SL French SL German SL

Group 3: Individuals and Societies

History of Europe HL Psychology SL

Group 4: Experimental Sciences

Biology HL
Chemistry HL
Physics HL Environmental Systems and Societies SL

Group 5: Mathematics

Math Studies SL Mathematics SL Mathematics HL

Group 6: The Arts

Fine Arts SL and HL Music SL Theatre SL 

 

 

And finally:

 

3)International Baccalaureate Programme Statistics - 2014

79% of Diploma Candidates earned the IB Diploma (22 out of 28)
The Class of 2014 had 28 Diploma Candidates and 55 Certificate students.
The Class of 2014 earned a total of $8 million in scholarships.  IB students earned $6,158,000 of the total scholarships awarded.
 
 
International Baccalaureate Programme Statistics - 2013
53% of Diploma Candidates earned the IB Diploma

The Class of 2013 had 34 Diploma Candidates and 55 Certificate students.
The Class of 2013 Diploma Candidates earned over $5million in scholarships.
Average SAT Scores of IB Students in 2012-2013:  CR- 639  Math-644  Writing-679

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From what I gather, the IB program is actually only 11th/12th grade. The school does offer AP & honors classes besides the IB program. They are suggesting that the applicants have been taking rigorous classes (AP/honors) to prepare for the IB program.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll give this a whirl - my comments in blue

 

 

 

1)Recommendations for Diploma Programme applicants: Diploma candidates should be organized as well as highly motivated to succeed and reach their full potential. All students are welcome to apply and there is no specific

GPA requirement for consideration. It is recommended that students applying for the full diploma programme have been following the Honors/AP track, at least partially, as freshmen and sophomores due to the number of Higher Level (HL) courses they must take as a requirement for the IB Diploma. Motivated students that are not currently on the Honors/AP track can be excellent candidates if they are achieving high marks in their current course load and are ready for a more rigorous curriculum. Required: Minimum successful completion of: English 1 and II, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Biology I, Chemistry I.and two years of the same World Languge. Yes - it's a pretty full-on course and hard to succeed at it the pupil is not prepared to work, and also doesn't have a strong background.

 

For the IB diploma, you need to complete three standard level courses (SL) and three higher level (HL).  You need to choose one thing from each group, although for the sixth group you can (usually) double up on one of your areas of interest instead (Calvin did two foreign languages and no art subject).  The offerings below seem a bit uneven.

 

2) Offerings: (note the names of the maths & how not-helpful that is to me :/)

 

Group 1: Language A1

English A1 HL and SL - normal

Group 2: Second Language

Spanish HL and SL French SL German SL - so you can only do higher level in Spanish - may or may not be an issue, depending on the pupil's university plans

Group 3: Individuals and Societies

History of Europe HL Psychology SL - this seems rather thin.  Only one higher and one standard level in the whole group.  You will have to choose one or the other of these...

Group 4: Experimental Sciences

Biology HL
Chemistry HL
Physics HL

Environmental Systems and Societies SL - so only one choice at standard level.  The higher level is really quite high (for a non-STEM candidate)

Group 5: Mathematics

Math Studies SL Mathematics SL Mathematics HL - a full range of maths.  MS is (in the boys' school) maths for humanities people; the other two are different levels of proper academic maths.

Group 6: The Arts

Fine Arts SL and HL Music SL Theatre SL - a bit thin.  Only one higher level arts.  

 

Over all, much more higher level science than humanities options, it seems to me.

 

And finally:

 

3)International Baccalaureate Programme Statistics - 2014

79% of Diploma Candidates earned the IB Diploma (22 out of 28)
The Class of 2014 had 28 Diploma Candidates and 55 Certificate students.
The Class of 2014 earned a total of $8 million in scholarships.  IB students earned $6,158,000 of the total scholarships awarded.
 
I don't know how this compares to the national public school average.  The diploma is the full 'I did the IB' award.  So the school has only one third of their IB pupils attempting the full diploma, and only three quarters of them achieving it.  I can't find matching statistics for my boys' school.  You need to find out the average IB score for those who achieved the diploma.
 
 
International Baccalaureate Programme Statistics - 2013
53% of Diploma Candidates earned the IB Diploma

The Class of 2013 had 34 Diploma Candidates and 55 Certificate students.
The Class of 2013 Diploma Candidates earned over $5million in scholarships.
Average SAT Scores of IB Students in 2012-2013:  CR- 639  Math-644  Writing-679

 

 

I'll come back later if I have any other thoughts.  Off to yoga.

 

ETA: you need to know the range of marks as well as the average.  Did anyone get over about 36?  I would think that if no one is hitting high scores, it might show that the teaching is not up to scratch.

 

L

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm hoping a few of you have the context to be able to help me *guess* how IB this IB program actually is.

 

2) Offerings: (note the names of the maths & how not-helpful that is to me :/)

 

 

Group 1: Language A1

English A1 HL and SL

Group 2: Second Language

Spanish HL and SL French SL German SL

Group 3: Individuals and Societies

History of Europe HL Psychology SL

Group 4: Experimental Sciences

Biology HL

Chemistry HL

Physics HL Environmental Systems and Societies SL

Group 5: Mathematics

Math Studies SL Mathematics SL Mathematics HL

Group 6: The Arts

Fine Arts SL and HL Music SL Theatre SL

 

I would look at the lack of choice in the humanities as a red flag, particularly if your child likes the humanities. The HL options in science and math are what you're looking for if your child is a STEM kid. However, keep in mind that HL math is essentially precalculus and calculus with a few extra topics thrown in and if your child is beyond that going into the program, there isn't anything beyond it if the school doesn't offer Further Math. And IB requires that you take their math so dual enrollment at the local college isn't the answer if your child wants the diploma.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mike, you could consider a high school that has DE options. It is possible to take the courses younger than 16/official jr status if college credit is not a necessity. Then at 16 go off to an appropriate college or early college program.

 

Ours offers DE, but the only options have a reduced ranking value.  :(  Also, kids still have to be 16 or older and juniors or higher.  It's the same for all the local school districts - we've checked.

 

Eg of DE offerings: college algebra or US history, both of which carry smaller gpa multipliers than their AP counterparts.  The full slate of AP courses are available, though, starting in 11the grade (that 16 year old catch, again).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I attended some info sessions at Stanford this weekend.  Beyond reinforcing the fact that everything Stanford offers is out of our financial reach, it also really left me questioning what value some of these precollegiate programs added.  Some teachers from a (non-Stanford) school district/junior college were there talking about Early College High School/Middle College programs.  Which sound great, but when I looked into what was offered locally, I didn't see that it would buy us much more than just doing DE.  You get a high school advisor and a same-age community, but then you are also stuck taking half your classes at the high school, the other half at the cc.  Unless you have a child that really wants to be part of the high school community for social or extracurricular reasons (sports, band, etc.) it seems a lot easier to do DE on our own.  We have more control that way, for sure.  Same thing that keeps us from joining a charter too, I suppose.  We like independent around here.

 

My 2nd child, however, does seem to have stronger social needs.  I could see some kind of an early college high school program appealing to her more.  But so much can change in 6 years, it's impossible to predict.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess the question is if the end result would be same. Our experience is that schools cannot match what we can accomplish independently.

 

I suppose I am not looking at the end result as being high school.  We could definitely beat that, which is why we are torn.

 

If we consider early college (which we will), we will probably have him repeat introductory science years, but let him skip into advanced history, unless his mastery is obvious.  It was in this context that I was alluding to, where at the bachelor's degree, things would even out.  I can't see this kid possibility stopping there...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are in San Antonio--I teach at one univ and DH teaches at another.  One school agreed to let our son audit a class at 14; he is now 15 and enrolled in a class as a regular student at another university.  So, when it actually came down to it, we found a bit more flexibility than the stated policy.   

 

Which school was that, might I ask?  It definitely would help.  We spoke with the head of recruiting at UTSA and the heads at ACCD, and my wife with (I believe) Trinity...

 

Please say Trinity, and please let it be free.  :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is something to watch out for. Sometimes these school rankings are based on the percentage of students that are "at least mediocre" (i.e. they pass some at-grade-level standardized test). This ranking methodology doesn't distinguish between students who are barely passing and students who above the 99.9th percentile.

 

 

Hear, hear.  Even BASIS is a great school for hard workers, but doesn't really offer much for the GT crowd.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it 16, or Jr. status? Here, getting DE funded is predicated on being a junior, but I could theoretically retroactively list DD9 as a Freshman right now (and she has enough classes that are at a high enough level that I could do so fairly honestly), and she'd be eligible to have DE funded her Jr/Sr years as I read it, as long as she meets the ACT requirement.  Now, whether a specific school would let her enroll is another story, and the local options aren't the greatest. I think I'd rather leave her at grade level, let her work where she is, and if we end up paying for some DE courses out of pocket, well, it's likely to still cost less than a good private high school.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suppose I am not looking at the end result as being high school. We could definitely beat that, which is why we are torn.

 

If we consider early college (which we will), we will probably have him repeat introductory science years, but let him skip into advanced history, unless his mastery is obvious. It was in this context that I was alluding to, where at the bachelor's degree, things would even out. I can't see this kid possibility stopping there...

I am unclear as to your point. Depending on the university and whether or not they accept credit hrs, what they enter college with can make a huge difference in their schedules and options for undergrad. Bc our Ds entered with so many math and physics credits, he can double major and still take fewer hrs than if he were just a single major. It also opened the door to undergrad research opportunities and being qualified for REUs between freshman and sophomore yrs vs. having to have more hrs completed to be competitive. (Whether he will be selected for an REU remains to be seen, but he exceeds their requirements.)

 

Being able to complete research projects, etc will hopefully make for a stronger grad school application.

 

Flipside, if you are considering colleges where they don't accept transfer credit, the unique opportunities available from homeschooling might make a student more competitive for admission.

 

Which school was that, might I ask? It definitely would help. We spoke with the head of recruiting at UTSA and the heads at ACCD, and my wife with (I believe) Trinity...

 

Please say Trinity, and please let it be free. :)

Her experience is what I was alluding to. Simply having a hypothetical discussion is not the same as having a sit down meeting with the registar with multiple 5s on APs and high test scores. When you can demonstrate that they have exhausted all other academic options, you may find they are open to discussing options. A simple phone call resulted in a no. A file of test scores, LOR, and syllabi of completed coursework completely changed the conversation.

 

One university where ds DE allows sr's with a certain test score to enroll in 1 class from a limited list of options (all 100 level courses). Ds, otoh, took linear alg, modern physics, physical mechanics 1 & 2. The only thing they did not allow him to do was travel for an undergrad research experience BC he was a minor.

 

We had to pay for DE. It paid off, though, bc ds is attending undergrad on full scholarship.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always planned to homeschool all the way through, but I am finding it getting tougher and tougher.  Not only am I trying to provide advanced high school material or even university material in all subjects, but I am also fighting with the school system exams and university entrance policies.

 

My solution to the difficulty of providing high level material across the board has been to outsource.  We have hired private tutors for both music and mandarin.  For math, my son has been taking the AoPS classes and will now be going to the local university in 9th grade for 200 level classes. So all I have to teach is Science and English, and dh does the 1/2 class in history.  The biggest problem I have is trying to keep up even in just the two classes I teach -- I am having to relearn AP Physics and *read* all the novels for English.  This is actually a lot of work!  Plus, I need to spend quite a bit of time teaching study skills in all his subjects, as he just doesn't do output to the level of his input.

 

As for exams, university entrance, and general education policies, I am fighting a similar battle to Mike.  I won't go into the details, but it is a serious mess and I will be talking to the policy people at the Ministry of Education later this week.  I have a fall back option, but not a nice one.

 

The reason I am willing to fight these battles is the same reason that Alice does.  My older son is just made for homeschooling.  Very focused, enjoys self-study, likes to manage his time in his way, enjoys people in his extracurriculars but would rather get down to business in his studies, etc. He is just in his element and the passion I see makes it worth every effort on my part.

 

Ruth in NZ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Love this thread.

 

This question about b&m school is looming before us as ds is in grade 6. There is an option for a specialist math and science school from grade 7, and ds' social needs are propelling him in that direction. He's a competitive kid. But ds also has LDs and at the moment, tests horribly (this is my gut instinct, based on frequent errors) for these reasons. I would rather have him home so that he can mature and evolve deeper learning habits and test taking skills without the stress of exams at school. Don't get me wrong- we haven't really found our homeschooling mojo, except by way of outsourcing, and it is a nascent, fragile treasure. I've had dreams of throwing in the towel many a time! So it's great to finally see ds happy and engaged with his tutors, and he's developing a good work ethic to boot while I focus on looking for interesting material to discuss.

 

At the moment, his heart is set on school. Because he responds well to tutors (no experience in a live classroom of 30 kids in recent memory), there is a chance that he may thrive. There will be curriculum overlap, but with LDs, it's always a good thing if ds needs to go through a subject a second time (or not- the school encourages testing out of the subject). But with the recent positive development with tutors, at least we have options to go back to homeschooling if the need arises.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One option would be to attend the IB school but not do the full diploma program. I chose full IB when I was in high school, but my siblings who graduated from the same school both opted for a mix of IB and non-IB classes because they had more freedom that way to pursue individual interests and goals. FWIW, both ended up at extremely selective universities; in the United States the IB diploma itself is not a gatekeeper to admission.

 

Does the school offer a variety of AP and honors classes in addition to the IB offerings? Is dual enrollment a possibility for some courses? If so it might make more sense to mix and match courses according to your student's needs and interests.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's also worth talking to an individual school about how high flyers are treated.  At my boys' school, anyone can work ahead in the maths syllabus, or test out of chapters.  They are very happy having a pupil working fairly independently in the classroom, just asking questions of the teacher as necessary.  

 

There are some teachers who are scared of someone who is ready to go beyond the curriculum, and some teachers who embrace it.  Calvin's classics teacher taught him Greek in his own time - he just loved to nurture C's enthusiasm.

 

L

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So much food for though here! I didn't realize there was such variance between programs. It sounds like IB isn't quite as standard as I imagined. I guess, like everything, the standard is in the minimum standards. I just hadn't thought of it like that. You all are giving me tons to think about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am too scared to think high school and homeschool in the same sentence. We have always intended to go back to PS in high school for social and academic reasons, but I am questioning if the return to the PS is wise especially for my older son. Navigating AG requirements for UC admissions is another terrifying prospect. I wonder if we could homeschool through 10th and then send him to a private school.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am too scared to think high school and homeschool in the same sentence. We have always intended to go back to PS in high school for social and academic reasons, but I am questioning if the return to the PS is wise especially for my older son. Navigating AG requirements for UC admissions is another terrifying prospect. I wonder if we could homeschool through 10th and then send him to a private school.

 

Not every private or public high school will accept homeschool credits for work done in 9th or 10th grades, unless those courses were done through a charter umbrella.  

 

Also, as has been discussed in other threads, many CA homeschool kids get around those A-G requirements by starting at a community college and transferring to a UC.  A few hardy souls test out of those requirements through lots of SAT IIs and AP exams.  Others, like mine, simply avoid the UCs altogether, and attend private, out of state schools which have been no more expensive, thanks to merit scholarships, than attending an out of town UC. 

 

The point I really want to add to this thread is that homeschooling high school is a joy.  It was as big a joy as the early years of homeschooling; it felt like a reward for having survived the middle school years!   There are outside courses for anything you need to outsource, whether on-line, at a public charter or community college. There is the huge flexibility that allows homeschooled teens to either specialize in a subject or field, to work, or to have internships.  And there is the family time, those precious last few years of reading aloud and discussing literature, of taking advantage of a beautiful day just to drop everything and go to the zoo. 

 

There are many homeschool kids who want to attend a brick and mortar high school, whether for social or academic reasons. Most of the kids I know who did so made the transition and thrived.  A few came back home because they wanted the freedom and flexibility back. 

 

The decision will come down to what your child wants and needs.  I think that any school with a decent program, with at least some challenging coursework, will be a good fit for the bright and motivated kids represented on this thread.  You won't know til it is time to make that choice, though, what will fit your child. And it is hard for homeschool moms (and dads) to let go of the control, to watch their kids cope with so much bureaucratic nonsense that is rampant at even the best public schools.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My DS is 1/2way through 6th grade & the time is passing faster than ever before. I find myself constantly wondering about High School. We have a decently ranked (for our region) ps that we're zoned in. It is extremely diverse & houses an IB program. For 9th/10th you can be in the pre ib classes, then top-qualifiers (I assume) take the limited spots in 11th/12th. I wonder what sort of math progression is part of that. I'm expecting to be through Alg I & Alg II, NT, & C&P by the end of eighth. No significant Geometry yet. Will this put him in a non-productive math pattern if he goes to this school? I know you don't actually know, I'm just trying to gather possibilities. Mid 6th grade is probably too soon to be talking to the guidance counselor. Ib sounds awesome, but but but but...

I am trying to deduce why IB? This is not due to my personal preference, but more trying to figure out exactly what it is about the program that so appeals to you. If it is merely due to advanced math options, there are quite a few out there involving all forms of instruction. Is it something specific about IB being international? Or is it just a program that seems distinguished? I think it might help to narrow down exactly what the allure is.

 

The idea of IB is alluring to me because it provides a cohort for my extroverted son and lessens the level of responsibility that I worry about handling. (There was also a boy I had a major thing for who was in IB when I was a freshman, so I have a bit of a bias.) When put into those terms, I can see that cohorts can be found anywhere and having me as a guidence counselor sets my son up far more so than I had or the counselor at Dh's public high school. I am scared to screw up so I am looking for an out. In no way am I saying this is you or your situation. I am saying isolating my desire shows me what I am actively looking for. What are you looking for in the IB program?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Basically, we don't live in an area with strong academics :/. Our community isn't cranking out kids that are going to selective schools. NOT that I'm requiring a selective school for my kids, just that I'd like opportunities for my kids. They ultimately get to choose their own path, of course. 

 

There are a few religious-based schools that produce some academically competitive kids, & there is one non-religious private school, very expensive & exclusive (for our area). But, in looking at the landing-places of its graduates, they by-and-large don't go to selective schools either! We really can't send 2 kids to this expensive high school anyway.

 

All those options aside, this ps school looks like the strongest academically in my area that is within our reach. That is not really to say that it is all that strong. :/ Whether its merits are due to the IB program or b/c many of the kids take APs or b/c of the quantity/quality of the APs or some other mysterious factor I'm not sure yet. I'm really just beginning my research into this stuff. Sometimes I think, "oh, there's time to think of that later," then the next day, "I must know now!" Haha. 

 

Unraveling the mystery of the IB program is the first step of many for me & mine ;). I came here early in the process as I've witnessed what a treasure trove of information you ladies are. 

 

I LOVE the idea of an interrelated program, thinking & learning deeper ~ not wider. All of the elements connected & finding the connections. It's so...Well Trained Mind sounding! Haha! But truthfully, I'm not sure it would be the best fit for my guy if it is all-encompassing. He loves so many facets of life, he'd possibly not be very happy with no time to explore his outside interests.  It's too early to tell, at least for us, but when the time is here, I'd like to have the information-collection phase in the past & be well-versed in guiding him toward his best options.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I LOVE the idea of an interrelated program, thinking & learning deeper ~ not wider. All of the elements connected & finding the connections. It's so...Well Trained Mind sounding! Haha! But truthfully, I'm not sure it would be the best fit for my guy if it is all-encompassing. He loves so many facets of life, he'd possibly not be very happy with no time to explore his outside interests.  It's too early to tell, at least for us, but when the time is here, I'd like to have the information-collection phase in the past & be well-versed in guiding him toward his best options.

 

This jumped out at me b/c all of the kids I know in IB programs have no free time.  Their IB courses contain so much busy work that they have hours upon hours of homework.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This jumped out at me b/c all of the kids I know in IB programs have no free time.  Their IB courses contain so much busy work that they have hours upon hours of homework.  

 

 

This is what I wonder. I'm all for working harder than the next guy & taking the most rigorous courses available to you. I think it's important.

 

But, does it have to cost everything? OR if it does cost everything..are you really the target student anyway? 

 

He imagines being able to teach at his TKD school as a teen, continuing his instrument, & play a team sport FOR JOY. If he couldn't teach & play he would wither up. I wouldn't wish that upon anyone.

 

Again, we'll have to see how he comes along. Lots of changes in his mind & body during the coming years, so...it's hard to say at this point. If I'm going to be his guidance counselor I need to be prepared!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is what I wonder. I'm all for working harder than the next guy & taking the most rigorous courses available to you. I think it's important.

 

But, does it have to cost everything? OR if it does cost everything..are you really the target student anyway? 

 

He imagines being able to teach at his TKD school as a teen, continuing his instrument, & play a team sport FOR JOY. If he couldn't teach & play he would wither up. I wouldn't wish that upon anyone.

 

Again, we'll have to see how he comes along. Lots of changes in his mind & body during the coming years, so...it's hard to say at this point. If I'm going to be his guidance counselor I need to be prepared!!

 

I think that the IB can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be.  Three factors that I observed:

 

- The school has to be well set up for it.  The IB is not a set of text books, but a series of aims.  Those can be taught in a way that is efficient, or it can involve a lot of busywork.

 

- The pupil has to have a good academic background, good ability and good motivation

 

- The extra-curriculars need to fit into the creativity, action, service requirements of the IB, otherwise the pupil will be doubling up.  A team sport would cover the action; teaching (volunteering) at TKD would probably cover the service; playing an instrument covers the creativity section.  In Calvin's case, the 'action' section caused him grief.

 

L

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...