Jump to content

Menu

DS14 to start HS in Sept... please look over plan...


Recommended Posts

I'm very nervous about setting off into high school homeschool.  We've homeschooled from the beginning.  He will be my first in high school.  I've worked through some ideas and plans.  Please look over what I've planned and give any feedback you can offer.  This is kind of an overview for his high school years and not too specific.  Just so you know, he will be doing all his school work by either online courses or computer based courses.  My preference was for him to do most all of his school through The Potter's School online, but we might not be able to if he cannot pass the placement tests for a few courses.  Thoughts on other options are appreciated?  I'm new to this.  We want to prepare him to be college bound, however, we aren't setting our sites on Ivy League or even a specific degree.  He has interests, but nothing he is 100% determined to do.  We plan on doing some shadowing/apprenticing over his high school years to give him a chance to see careers in real life.  His interests lie more in construction, building, engineering and computers than anything else.  He loves to work.  :)  Thank you for your help.

 

English/Lit/Composition--- ????  I thought we would do The Potter's School, but I don't know if his grammar skills will pass the placement test for their freshman English.  We will try and see what happens.  If he cannot get into TPS for this course, then I'm not sure what to do.  I'm also looking at Landry, Veritas, Liberty, and Abeka online.  Opinions?  Advice?  He is currently doing Write At Home for writing, Easy Grammar, and AOY6 literature.

 

Math--- possibly Algebra 1 through TPS if he can get prepared.  He will do tutoring this summer to help.  He is currently doing TT Pre Algebra.  My other options are to continue with TT or choose from other online options.  Opinions?  Advice?

 

Science--- outside class through a local homeschool class group. 

 

History--- My plan right now is to either do Notgrass here at home for World, American, Govt/Eco. or do it through TPS or online.  Again, opinions, advice?

 

Foreign Language--- Spanish through TPS.

 

P.E.--- he rides in the MS150 bike ride every year with his dad and he is in a group like boy scouts that does ongoing physical training with tests frequently as well as yearly camps where they do even more physical training.  Is that good enough?

 

Electives--- through TPS.

 

I think I covered everything.  Please offer any advice.  Again, thank you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry.  I see 50 views of my post, but no replies?  Noone can offer anything?  That's not what I've come to know about the WTM boards.  I'm disappointed.  I've been blessed by these boards for years.  I've asked and answered many times.  I guess I will go elsewhere for HS help.

 

Edited:  I would like to apologize for emotional response here.  I appreciate all the responses I've received.  Yes, I was hurt and disappointed, but I should have waited longer.  These boards have always been helpful.  I am stressed.  Please forgive me. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope someone with more knowledge about TPS and/or his specific areas of interest chimes in. 

 

I have nothing to offer except "welcome to the high school years".

 

I also hope you stick around.  Your post hasn't been up very long and it was posted later in the afternoon (4:39pm).  I hope you give people a chance to ponder before posting their replies. Also, the views can be any number of people, including people who Googled The Potter's School and saw this post at the top of the Google list.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

T did Landry's English IV this year. It's an 8th/9th grade level class. They cover Michael Clay Thompson's Magic Lens (grammar), Word Within a Word 1 (vocabulary), Academic Writing and Poetry. These books are very challenging, especially if you've never used MCT before, but at the end you'll know grammar, have some good tools for vocabulary and write better. They also read Treasure Island, A Day of Pleasure, A Christmas Carol, The Hobbit, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Time Machine and Pygmalion. If the grammar level is a good fit, the literature is challenging enough for an on level 9th grade class.

 

We've used Virtual Homeschool Group's Saxon Algebra 1 at your own pace class this year. It's free, thorough and flexible because it's at your own pace.

Since it's free, it's well worth enrolling and seeing if it's a good fit for you.

 

I think the scout-like group and MS150 training is enough for a PE credit.

 

I've never used TPS. Their Spanish materials look strong and I've heard good things about Sr. Poortenga. Please post a review if you use them. If you can't use them, here's a link to a free, basic Spanish 1-3 curriculum. It looks pretty good, imho:

 

http://allinonehighschool.com/full-curriculum/spanish/spanish-1/

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We're in the same boat with our oldest son entering HS next year.  So welcome to the club!   :)

 

I highly recommend you take at a look Wilson Hill Academy.  We are using them this year for Geometry and will be continuing next year with Algebra 2.  They are excellent and highly recommended!

 

With regards to your choices and your son's interests I strongly encourage you to go with a different math program through High School.  Math is his most important subject for all those areas of interest.   TT, similar to MUS, is on the far end of the easy, least challenging math program spectrum.  If possible, I would encourage you to beef things up starting even now through Summer to better prepare for the next level up (Algebra 1).  But you can't do this unless he is properly prepared.  

 

I have no experience with TPS courses, but that seems to be the focus of your initial choices.  So I can't comment on their merit nor compare them to other programs.  What I can recommend wholeheartedly to shore up his math for next year is TabletClass Pre Algebra.  We used it to prepare DS13 for AoPS Algebra and it really helped a lot.   We were coming from MUS Pre-A which was way too easy and simplistic for him.  He is interested in a STEM career and so math was my #1 priority.  TC really helped bring him up to speed and learn to wrestle with more rigorous, challenging problems and concepts needed.  You could take a look at Wilson Hill's Algebra 1 for the Fall as a possible option.  Either way I think supplementing TT now is #1 for him to be ready for the rigors of college prep style HS math courses.  Don't go too easy/light on him in this area.  But help create a mental bridge to more challenging material to come. 

 

For English/Comp take a look at Lost Tools of Writing online courses. Many forum members enjoy these courses.

http://coramdeotutorials.com/courses/the-lost-tools-of-writing-level-1/  

 

Quite honestly, there are so many good choices we couldn't even list them all in this thread.  And TPS may be just fine in most or all of these areas.  But it doesn't hurt to explore some other 'high quality' options.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to planning for high school! :)

 

I can offer the usual general advice about amount of credits/which credits to cover to cover admissions to a majority of universities:

 

4 credits = English (1/2 Lit., 1/2 Writing)

4 credits = Math (Alg. 1, Geometry, Alg. 2, a higher math requiring Alg. as pre-req)

3-4 credits = Science (with labs)

3-4 credits = Social Science (1 US History; 1 World Hist/Geog; 0.5 each: Gov't & Econ)

2-4 credits = Foreign Language (same language)

1 credit = Fine Arts

4-8 credits = Electives (Computer, Vocational-Tech, Health, PE, special interests, additional credits in Fine Arts; "academic electives" = additional credits in English, Math, Science, History…)

22-28+ = total credits (5-7 credits per year of high school)

 

 

Matching up with that above list, it looks like you are right on track with your selection for 9th grade:

1 credit = English

1 credit = Math (Algebra 1)

1 credit = Science

1 credit = History (World)

1 credit = Foreign Language (Spanish)

1 credit = Electives (0.5 = PE, 0.5 = other)

6 credits = total (plan on approx. 6 hr of work/day, as 1 credit = approx. 1 hr/day, 5 day/week, 36 weeks)

 

No personal experience with outsourcing classes, other than some dual enrollment with our local community college. But, I just wanted to encourage you that you CAN very successfully do high school classes at home.

 

I'd suggest starting with just 1, maybe 2, outsourced classes. It's a big transition for the family, to now be tied to specific hours and days of the week for an outside class. And there is a steep transition for your student -- learning to work under an outside instructor, time management, learning study skills and how to apply them -- even learning how to use the hardware to successfully participate in a live online class, and how to upload papers. And all of that is going to be on top of the transition into an overall heavier workload and higher expectations of starting to do high school work at the same time.

 

In addition to limiting the online outsourcing to 1, maybe 2 classes, when it comes to choosing which, I'd go either: a subject your student has confidence in so he's not also struggling due to it being a weak area AND trying to make all of those transitions into high school work and online classes. Or, keep going with what you have at home as much as possible, and just pick the one subject that would be most difficult to do at home to outsource; familiarity and continuity with the home materials will help allow more time/energy to devote to the online class.

 

Based on your list of classes and thoughts on them, I'd suggest:

 

Outsourced online class:

1. Spanish

2. and maybe English

 

Homeschool co-op (plus work at home)

3. Science class

 

Home:

4. Math

5. History

6. Elective

 

I'd also suggest keeping as much consistency of curriculum that is working for you now that moves up to the next level, to reduce the stress and additional transition time of getting used to ALL new materials. So, JMO, but I'd suggest the following for your curriculum:

 

- Science = whatever the co-op is using

- Math = TT Algebra

- History = Notgrass World

- Elective: PE = continue what you've been doing

- Elective: Other = pick a personal interest (building, engineering, computers, etc) and ease into informally with local options  (Robotics club, 4-H rockets or ham radio program, etc) and find an informal way of incorporating that into your weekly schedule (as much OR as little as fits nicely) to avoid overloading his first year of high school, and to be able to devote more time as needed to online class work

 

IF you find it doesn't work out to do English with TPS, you might consider outsourcing just the Writing aspect to an online provider (Home 2 Teach, Write at Home, Time 4 WritingBrave Writer, Blue Tent, Laurel Tree, Bandusia…), and then use a curriculum at home for the Literature part at home. I'd suggest something like Lightning Lit. 8, or Literary Lessons from the Lord of the Rings -- both are gentle intro to Lit. programs that can be largely done solo by the student, and you would easily be able to limit or cut the writing portion to focus on an online writing class.

 

Or, if you end up doing the entire English credit at home, consider Bob Jones Literature and Writing & Grammar (DVD lectures), or Excellence in Literature: Intro to Literature, or Windows to the World. All of those would hold your hand nicely into high school work and provide solid instruction in both the Literature AND the Writing.

 

Or, since you are thinking of doing Notgrass, you might look at My Father's World, which combines Notgrass for the History and Literature in a very helpful program.

 

 

All this is just my thoughts, without knowing your student or your family situation, so take it with a grain of salt! ;) And, BEST of luck as you plan for your first high school year! Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

 

PS

 

I'm sorry.  I see 50 views of my post, but no replies?  Noone can offer anything?  That's not what I've come to know about the WTM boards.  I'm disappointed.  I've been blessed by these boards for years.  I've asked and answered many times.  I guess I will go elsewhere for HS help.

 

Please be patient when you post on the high school board; it moves slower than the K-8 board and MUCH slower than the General board. You WILL get good replies, but high school families are super busy, and it usually takes several days to accumulate some responses. :)

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never used The Potter's School -- so my comments below are based upon what I might do/have done.  I also have never really been able to afford putting my kids into a whole school program, which is why what we've done is a bit more "all over the map." I don't feel like every subject a child takes on has to be tougher than it needs to be, so that I can call it "Rigorous."  I try to balance my children's strengths and interests, while providing a solid education.  Unfortunately, I tend to make things more difficult than they probably need to be.  You know your son better than any of us here.  You know his strengths and weaknesses. Putting him into a program that is too difficult will most likely lead to frustration.  Finding the right level of challenge is where we all struggle as parents.


 


Courses I strongly appreciate an actual instructor would be math and foreign language.  Courses we have done pretty well without an instructor would be English/Lit, History, Science, and various electives.  This is *my* preference.  It suits us best.  Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out perfectly.


 


English/Lit/Composition --  I have used Abeka (without the DVDs or online), the grammar is very strong (we only did every other problem, and not the composition).  If your son hasn't done a lot of composition before, you might look at Writing with Skill, because it is a step-by-step program.  Some of the reading portions can be a bit dull, but the instruction is solid.  For literature, I have used Abeka (comprehension questions -- not a lot of deep thinking there), and added 4-6 Progeny Press Literature Guides to add a bit more depth to the overall program.  Vocabulary/Spelling from Abeka is adequate.  My oldest isn't a big reader.  This approach enabled me to ensure he was reading a good overall selection of literature, while giving us time to dive into a few selections on a deeper level.  My daughter is a big reader -- so we just throw lots of great books at her, and then pick half a dozen or so to study more in depth.  Both approaches work -- but they meet the needs of two different students.


 


Math -- there are lots of great options in math, the question as to which will be best for your son will have a lot to do with what kind of foundation he has, and how interested he is in math/what his natural inclination is toward math.  Math courses follow different scopes & sequences -- especially if one jumps from something like TT to Saxon (Saxon is an integrated math program -- their Algebra 1 assumes topics that many Pre-Algebra courses don't teach).  TT will teach the math, but it won't teach it deeply (not a lot of conceptual/difficult word problems).  That said, there are members here who have had children go on to do very well on ACT/SAT and in college afterwards.  TT is not a "bad" course.  If your son has strong interests in math, I would strongly encourage you to look for something else.  Jann in TX has some homeschool math courses that may be a really good fit.  I've seen Derek Owens promoted here, and we've used Math w/o Borders DVDs for Algebra 1/Algebra 2, and Jacob's Geometry on our own.  We've used Phil4 for Geometry and Algebra 2 as well.  I will probably be switching to Chalkdust for Pre-Calculus and Calculus, though.


 


Science -- I know many people use Apologia and love it, the DIVE DVDs may be an option.  It depends upon your son's strengths.  Since he's taking Algebra 1 in 9th, I'd look towards a Physical Science, Conceptual Physics or General Science course.  BJU Online, BJU with DIVE, Apologia with DIVE, etc.  My kids really enjoyed K12's science as well...I liked that I could get everything at once, but I honestly don't know what their high school courses are like.  


 


Foreign Language -- I know there are many great on-line courses for Spanish.  The only FL courses I have really liked (online) were Veritas Press.  But I've only used a couple.


 


P.E.--- You may want to look at a Health component.  Most schools do 1/2 year of PE and a 1/2 year of Health.  Abeka is pretty good there.  We're currently using Time4Learning, but I really don't like the questions on the quizzes -- mainly because they list multiple "arguably correct" answers, but you have to choose one.  While I don't mind the "Choose the best answer" as a testing concept all the time, the use of it in a subject that (in my opinion) should be fairly straight forward is over-kill.  It's also possible we haven't learned how they want us to answer the quesitons yet.


 


Electives -- As long as they are subjects your son is interested in, have fun.


 


 


  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We will be with one leg in grade 9 next year, and as we live in Belgium our 'look' looks different.

To keep it comparable I just mention the subjects you named with our options.

 

English:

The Elegant Essay, Windows to the World, Introduction to Poetry

Math:

Art of Problem Solving

Science:

BJU Physical Science with IGCSE Chemistry

Geography&History:

BJU

Foreign Language:

French, German, Latin, Greek

Arts:

Annotated Arch, History of Rock Music,

attending academy of Fine Arts, Folksdance

 

I don't know the titels you mention.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Lori regarding outsourcing--be careful of how much you take on when it comes to online classes. I won't go into a big discussion of my thoughts on this, but too much time online was very discouraging for my daughter. We learned it was best to try to stick with one class that had live meetings (foreign language) and then we would use courses that didn't have live meetings--like Derek Owens or a few PA Homeschooler classes. 

 

Curriculum specific comments: Your English for this year sounds fabulous. You could do exactly the same thing, using AO Year 7 lit (definitely high school level), Write at Home, and Easy Grammar. We have loved Write at Home.

 

If Math is working, I don't see any harm in staying with the math you have been using. Search for reviews of TT on this board. I've read strong reviews of it on this board, though we have not used it for high school. Read reviews from people who have gone through the program. Another idea for math would be to find a live tutor to work with your son on Algebra next year, maybe even along with the TT. 

 

I would not choose to do an elective or history through TPS. I would stick with just the Spanish class to start. That and co-op chemistry is a good start to outsourcing IMO.

 

There is nothing to worry about with high school. Talk to those who've BTDT. If your child reads challenging books and you discuss (covering history and lit), writes (such as with Write at Home), and does a math program, you are well on your way to providing a solid education IMO. Then, add in the credits for foreign language, science, and electives. Don't forget that you can also use community college when he is older if that's available to you. Best wishes. :)

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My DS is an Aspie and struggles with perfectionism, so I plan to use PLATO's materials for DS' freshman year to get him adjusted to regular output and grades, but without the human component.  With the Plato materials he can review tutorials, etc. and I can really see how he handles high school level work.   

'm pretty secure with his science and history knowledge so this year is pretty much dedicated to firming up language arts and math. We will be "warming up" over the summer with the PLATO 8th grade materials for language arts. I'm currently using Tablet Class Math and CTC Math to prep him for Algebra I.

 

 

If and when I choose live or teacher moderated classes, I'll probably go with Indiana University's virtual high school courses.  They offer everything I need at one location and classes can be started at any time.  The program also says it will work with an IEP so that makes it more attractive to us.

 

I plan to follow the diploma track plans from the IU website as best as we can so that DS can get as close to college ready as possible. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest jvikiiT

We took 1 TPS class last year and 3 this year. Their English program is probably their biggest strength. I highly recommend it. If you are concerned about the grammar portion of the Freshmen class maybe consider doing their summer grammar class. I very much feel that their English program is going to really help prepare my kids for the future. 

 

We are also doing their science and math classes. I'm also very pleased with those. 

 

I haven't heard as many good things about their history programs. I haven't them though so I can't really say. 

 

This year we are doing 3 classes with them and another with a different school. The other school has different breaks from TPS. We won't do that again next year. It is a big adjustment having a less flexible schedule but not being able to have a real spring break was the biggest challenge for us.

 

Blessings in your journey.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You will get the best results if you outsource those subjects that you are not comfortable teaching. Popular outsourcing subjects are higher levels of math & science, foreign language, and English composition. We use TPS for French. If you want a very gentle intro to English grammar/composition, you may want to try a recorded or live class (or recorded with a teacher grading option) from Homeschool Connections which offers online Catholic-based courses. They offer a grammar & punctuation for high school students course which may be taken along with a course called "Simplified Writing."  A big advantage of HS Connections is the reasonable cost.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are IGCSE courses available as a home-school product?

A local HS here just started using that for their honors program.

Personally I just use the book:

http://m.bookdepository.com/Complete-Chemistry-for-Cambridge-IGCSE-with-CD-ROM-Ingram/9780199138784

 

But one can enroll here:

http://www.oxfordhomeschooling.co.uk/subject/chemistry-igcse-course/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to high school! It sounds to me like you are panicking a little and throwing out all the you have been doing and considering turning over most of his school to TPS. I'd encourage you not to be so intimidated. 9th grade is just the one that follows 8th. 

 

If you are going to outsource, I would encourage you to think about what you are really not comfortable teaching, schooling at home or what hasn't been working and outsource only those subjects.

 

If TT Pre-Algebra has gone well, I would let him continue with Algebra. If not, and you think he needs a teacher, the only Algebra class I know to recommend is the one from Jann in TX. Derek Owens math classes are often well reviewed here, but they are asynchronous and that doesn't work for everyone.

 

If you enjoyed this year's English, you don't really need to change it. We really liked Excellence in Lit for high school lit. Writing assignments are included. I don't know if he still needs writing instruction, if so you could just continue with Write at Home. You might consider Analytical Grammar for a quick pass through grammar at a little higher level than Easy Grammar. If you feel like English is a subject you need to outsource, we have been satisfied with Blue Tent Honors English 2 this year. They have an English 1 class that I'm sure your ds could fit into, no grammar test needed. :)

 

You've got a plan for science

 

History, I wouldn't consider outsourcing it if you are outsourcing English and Math. I always consider history to be the easiest subject to keep at home. There is no set amount of history that must be learned in high school. It isn't covered on college entrance exams. You really can't mess this one up. Unless he wants to be a history major and you just feel like you can't feed him enough to fuel the passion, try Notgrass this year. If you don't like it, try something else next year. This doesn't have to be a big issue.

 

Foreign Language is the one thing I have always found it necessary to outsource. We tried a couple years at home then switched to dual enrollment to get it finished. I've heard good things about TPS French. I never researched Spanish, but I'm guessing it is good too. If I were picking one outsourced class to keep, it would probably be this one.

 

PE - not really an issue at all in high school. No college ever denied a student entrance because they didn't have enough PE on their transcript. I wouldn't even count it as credit I would keep something as awesome as training for and participating in the MS 150 as an extra curricular activity. It will look much better there and colleges do care about those.

 

Electives - Follow his interests here. What does he want to do? What is he interested in? What do you want to make sure he learns? There are some pretty standard electives such as health that are easy to do at home and you don't need to outsource. 

 

I think perhaps the reason you didn't get very many replies is that your list looks like you are basically planning to enroll your ds in TPS full time. Most of us are teaching our kids at home full time, with maybe a few outsourced classes added in here and there. It is hard for us to advise someone who is taking a very different path. That doesn't make the path wrong or bad. There are as many ways to homeschool as there are homeschoolers. However, if you path is to enroll in all outside classes, we might not be able to offer much. Clarifying that you are interested in alternatives gives us a little room to try to help.

 

My best advice, don't panic. Take 2 views of high school: The long view, map out a rough idea of the next 4 years. The short view, this is just the next year of homeschooling. Don't throw everything out or change all you've been doing just because "high school" came in to play.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

thanks

 

any difference between 

"Edexcel International GCSE Physics" and "Complete Physics for Cambridge IGCSE"  books?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry.  I see 50 views of my post, but no replies?  Noone can offer anything?  That's not what I've come to know about the WTM boards.  I'm disappointed.  I've been blessed by these boards for years.  I've asked and answered many times.  I guess I will go elsewhere for HS help.

Sounds like you have a great plan to me.

And don't take offense if you don't get a lot of answers, because sometimes people look, and see that they really have no advice to add, so they move on.  It doesn't mean that no one is interested.  Just that someone already said it, maybe.  Or they really don't know what to say. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm another than outsources very selectively.  If you outsource too much, you lose some flexibility and also increase your school day.  The reality is that hours in class are not hours doing homework.  That said, I have friends who outsource almost everything.  It is an option for high school if you choose to go that way.

 

For us, right now we outsource languages and literature/history.  I feel comfortable doing everything else though, so YMMV.  Being able to stretch the subjects I do into the summer or adjust the work helps a lot when their outsourced classes have heavy deadlines.  Mine have always needed a lot of tutoring and help with math, so I'd rather do that at home anyway.

 

All of the choices you list are good, but it just depends on your preferences really.

 

We do martial arts for PE, so indeed there's a lot of latitude there.  I do keep track of hours to make sure the credit is justified.  One of mine had surgery that took them out of martial arts for several months, but I think we'll be OK with the hours because I count summer too.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, everyone!  I've read each one of your comments and it has helped SO much!  I've been working through his plan and getting back to reality.  Someone said, "9th grade is just the year after 8th grade" or something like that.  That made me smile and snicker because it's true.  I've realized that he won't be able to take English through TPS so I am looking at alternatives there.  Thank you for your suggestions, which is what I wanted.  My plan was listed, but I also wanted advice/opinions and suggestions for alternatives as I stated, so thank you for offering those.  :)  I also bought Tablet Class, which someone highly recommended, to go along with his TT because he does need the extra help and support and that can't hurt.  That was an easy fix in the short term and in the long run will only serve him better.  So, my revised plan now looks like this:

 

English/Lit/Composition:  still figuring it out... possibilities... Analytical Grammar, Write At Home, Excellence in Lit, Lost Tools, Landry, Wilson Hill, SMARR...so many option that it is overwhelming!  This is an important subject.

QUESTION HERE:  Right now, I'm leaning towards doing this at home since TPS will not work out.  I don't want to spread us out too much on outside classes either, so may not look into another online course, but I don't know.  Right now, I'm thinking about using Analytical Grammar, Write At Home (quality at higher levels?  Reviews? We are doing Comp 3 for Middle School right now)  and ???? for Lit.  I'm wanting something along the lines of Progeny Press to go along with the books he's reading.  OR, would this truly be done best in a class setting or with something like Lost Tools online?  Does Lost Tools have enough of everything?  (grammar, comp, and lit discussion).  I really want something that has it all included.  Best choices for that?????

 

Math:  if he can do well from now through the summer (may take the TPS algebra summer camp class) and pass the placement test, then TPS Alg. 1.  If not, then we will do AoPS at home?  That's the thought right now.  Other favorite options you can suggest?  I don't know a lot about higher math programs.  I know that's a loaded question.  :)

 

Science:  still the same.  I just feel so much better outsourcing this away from home because of all the lab work and we are not science people at all.  :)

 

History:  same with additional supplemental things, lots of literature/reading.

 

FL:  same, TPS Spanish.  His choice of language.

 

PE:  same

 

Bible/Worldview:  TPS

 

Electives:  TPS, his choice/interests/life skills

 

Thanks again for your help so far.  :)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you, everyone!  I've read each one of your comments and it has helped SO much!  I've been working through his plan and getting back to reality.  Someone said, "9th grade is just the year after 8th grade" or something like that.  That made me smile and snicker because it's true.  I've realized that he won't be able to take English through TPS so I am looking at alternatives there.  Thank you for your suggestions, which is what I wanted.  My plan was listed, but I also wanted advice/opinions and suggestions for alternatives as I stated, so thank you for offering those.  :)  I also bought Tablet Class, which someone highly recommended, to go along with his TT because he does need the extra help and support and that can't hurt.  That was an easy fix in the short term and in the long run will only serve him better.  So, my revised plan now looks like this:

 

English/Lit/Composition:  still figuring it out... possibilities... Analytical Grammar, Write At Home, Excellence in Lit, Lost Tools, Landry, Wilson Hill, SMARR...so many option that it is overwhelming!  This is an important subject.

QUESTION HERE:  Right now, I'm leaning towards doing this at home since TPS will not work out.  I don't want to spread us out too much on outside classes either, so may not look into another online course, but I don't know.  Right now, I'm thinking about using Analytical Grammar, Write At Home (quality at higher levels?  Reviews? We are doing Comp 3 for Middle School right now)  and ???? for Lit.  I'm wanting something along the lines of Progeny Press to go along with the books he's reading.  OR, would this truly be done best in a class setting or with something like Lost Tools online?  Does Lost Tools have enough of everything?  (grammar, comp, and lit discussion).  I really want something that has it all included.  Best choices for that?????

 

Math:  if he can do well from now through the summer (may take the TPS algebra summer camp class) and pass the placement test, then TPS Alg. 1.  If not, then we will do AoPS at home?  That's the thought right now.  Other favorite options you can suggest?  I don't know a lot about higher math programs.  I know that's a loaded question.  :)

 

Science:  still the same.  I just feel so much better outsourcing this away from home because of all the lab work and we are not science people at all.  :)

 

History:  same with additional supplemental things, lots of literature/reading.

 

FL:  same, TPS Spanish.  His choice of language.

 

PE:  same

 

Bible/Worldview:  TPS

 

Electives:  TPS, his choice/interests/life skills

 

Thanks again for your help so far.  :)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't want to discourage you from The Potters' School because I believe they offer quality classes with quality teachers. However, I want to caution you to make sure the classes are a good fit for your son. My son is also an engineering, construction-minded,likes to build and work with his hands kind of guy. And while he is bright, his freshman year with TPS was a complete failure.

 

My biggest mistake was moving from one online class in 8th grade (Writers' Workshop at TPS...excellent class and teacher!) to 5 online classes in 9th. Also, the workload in TPS classes can be overwhelming, especially for boys who do not like to sit at a desk all day reading and writing.

 

This year has been much better. We scaled back on the number of online classes. We also chose classes carefully. I absolutely recommend Jann's math classes (myhomeschoolmathclass.com). And Landry has some semester long writing classes which have been a much better fit...take a look at Intermediate Composition.

 

Hope this helps! Embarking on the high school journey is intimidating. But after listening to stories from my friends who enrolled their kids in high school this year, I am convinced that we can't do any worse.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have no experience with TPS or any other online classes, but I DO have experience with homeschooling high schoolers.  YOU CAN DO IT!!  I have found it to be much less intimidating than I imagined.  I did a ton of research when our oldest was in 8th grade.  I felt prepared, but also knew that nothing was set in stone....our 4-year plan could always be tweaked.  Best of luck - I hope you get the advice you're looking for!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

… My plan was listed, but I also wanted advice/opinions and suggestions for alternatives as I stated… 

… So, my revised plan now looks like this:

 

English/Lit/Composition:  still figuring it out... 

Math: may take the TPS algebra summer camp class…  then TPS Alg. 1.  If not, then we will do AoPS at home? 

Science:  still the same.

History:  same with additional supplemental things, lots of literature/reading.

FL:  same, TPS Spanish.  His choice of language.

PE:  same

Bible/Worldview:  TPS

Electives:  TPS, his choice/interests/life skills

 

Always helpful to be able to think it through aloud with others. :)

 

Totally want to be supportive and respectful of your choices, as you best know you DS and your family's needs. Just want to echo again the advice to be very careful about doing more than one online class to start with -- twoboysmom gives great advice out of personal experience very similar to what you are considering, about overwhelming a 9th grader with too much change and too many online classes. 

 

Gently, and I could be way off base here, but it sounds like you are fearful that you won't be able to make high school "rigorous" enough and are changing up a LOT of what you are doing that has been working out of a little bit of panic:

- switch away from a gentle math (TT) to a very rigorous math (AoPS) with a VERY different presentation

- outsource 3-4 subjects as online classes -- and not having done online before

 

Again, very gently, high school is a marathon, not a sprint. And it is a *transition* for students to move into doing high school work -- not a light switch that flips on day 1 of 9th grade. Some students are fully high school ready in middle school or by end of middle school. But a large number of students are are a "mixed bag" at 9th grade, working at high school level for some subjects, and at middle school level for one or maybe several subjects. Some students aren't ready for all high school work until 10th or even 11th grade! That is okay -- everyone has their own academic maturing timetable.

 

Not only is it okay to keep gently moving forward from where your student is at, in the long run, you'll build a MUCH more solid foundation and avoid a LOT of tears and stress all around instead of trying to force brain development and maturing. Really, it will be fine! By the time your student is in 12th grade, you'll be amazed at how much maturing he's done -- in his own unique timetable.

 

 

With that as preface, here's just another of my 2 cents, FWIW ;). Your revised list of credits:

1. English

2. Math: Algebra 1

3. Science

4. History

5. Spanish

6. Elective: PE

7. Elective: Bible/Worldview

8. Elective: choice

 

A few thoughts:

 

Streamline

You're planning so many different options to accomplish the different credits -- be prepared that it will be hard on your family's schedule and hard educationally for both you and DS to bounce in multiple directions each day to accomplish the different credits.

 

Something like My Father's World could be a great choice for both your DS AND for you. It combines your History and English (Literature/Writing) in a very helpful way, and it really streamlines your scheduling and subjects, so you are not having to figure out how MUCH history or literature to do, how to come up with assignments, etc. All that is done for you. It also includes Bible/Worldview! So further streamlining which simplifies things for you. And you could choose to not use the writing in the program and go with Write at Home or other focused writing helps program.

 

English

These sound like fine choices for grammar and writing: Analytical Grammar, Write at Home. If you don't want to go with a package for History/English, and just want something to fill in for Literature, I'd suggest something to really hold your hand and to be a gentle intro into literature: Lightning Lit. 8. (Yes, it can be a great option for a 9th grader; one of my DSs did it in 8th, the other has mild LDs and it was perfect for 9th.) Everything is very laid out for you, and much of it can be done independently by the student. And, you can add some Progeny Press guides or other individual guides to the books to "beef up" the discussion aspect if you wish.

 

Math

I really suggest NOT switching away from a math that is working. Especially at the critical foundations of Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1, which all the higher maths build on. TT is a fine program, and if DS is connecting with it, stick with it. You'll be able to go all the way through Pre-Calc (12th grade), which definitely covers everything you need for college prep. You can also use supplements as needed. The Tablet Class you've purchased. Khan Academy free tutorials. A local math tutor. And if you find that TT is NOT working, then consider a switch after Algebra 1 and repeating Algebra 1 with a different program the following year. You absolutely do NOT want to push forward with Math without a firm understanding of the foundations laid out in Algebra 1. Why not wait until you see how things go with Math next year, before making a switch? Another year of brain maturing might be all it takes… :)

 

Science

A good plan! Co-op support for science is always helpful. And it gets you out and being with other students.

 

History

At home for sure! Great choice to do this subject yourself. One suggestion: see above under Streamlining above about going with a packaged History/English could simplify things for you this first year of high school, and you can branch out and make it more "Do It Yourself" the following year.

 

PE

A good plan! Good to keep up with enjoyed activities and friends this way. :)

 

Electives

This is a heavy load for just starting 9th grade -- if everything is 1 credit, then you're looking at starting high school with 8 credits (8 hours of work per day). Even if each of the electives is just 0.5 credit of time/work, that's still 6.5 credits, so plan on 6.5 hours of work a day. Plus time spent on the online class(es). Plus time spent away from home for Science at the co-op and for PE activities. Plus time spent away from home for other extracurricular activities…

 

For the electives, I would recommend NOT using any online classes this year. Let the electives be the flexible part of your schedule. So, once you get into 9th grade, if you find you need a lot more time than originally planned for the core classes of English, Math, Science and Foreign Language, you can back off on the Electives -- drop them down to just 0.5 credit or even just a 0.25 credit of time put in this year. That is okay! You can spread out a 1 credit Elective over all 4 years of high school. :)

 

 

BEST of luck at you continue to research and plan! Warmest regards, Lori D.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I clicked through and read your post because I have started thinking about what my rising eighth grader is going to do for high school, and I don't have even a framework in my head for him, since he's so different from his older brother. Seems like he is pretty different from your kid, too, so I don't have much input.

 

I do wonder, looking at your plans, if you might want to prioritize catching him up in math so he can take the SAT and ACT on schedule. I would consider doing more get-er-done history than Notgrass in order to give more time to math. Trades work sometimes does require college, and it always requires math, so comfort and proficiency there seems important. But I would NOT switch to AOPS from TT. TT walks one through it. AOPS makes one reinvent it. If TT works just use that, plus tutoring, and maybe fit more in a week.

 

You might look at local unions and see what is required of apprenticeships. He may want more than a standard bio-chem-physics sequence. You don't mention what kind of science the local group is doing.

 

What are your goals for him for writing? Is he comfortable knocking out a quick essay right now?

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't like Lori D's post enough. You are making some extreme jumps and I think it is going to a rough year. You know your ds and I don't. He may be very capable of doing what you are asking, but I have personally burned out a willing, hard worker and learned that lesson the hard way. 

 

If the only online class you are doing this year is Write at Home, I wouldn't do more than 2 TPS classes in addition to Write at Home next year. If you are doing TT now, thinking he will be able to jump to AOPS is probably unrealistic, unless you are planning to repeat the level he did this year.  The jumps are too big, the difference too dramatic. You are looking at 7-8 credits, a heavy load, but not unreasonable. However, if you maintain 4 online classes which often represent 60-90 min of work/day, a coop for science (I'm assuming some drive time and other time burn there), math that will probably take 2 hours/day if you jump to AOPS from TT... I think you could easily be setting him up for a 10+ hour school day. Is he really up for that? Are you?

 

Your plans for individual subjects are good. It is just the sum of the parts that I see as a problem. 

 

You are far from the first parent to try to take a two footed jump into high school. Don't go off the diving board until you have stuck your toe in the water. You can do this. You don't have to crush your ds to get him ready for college. I promise. 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Always helpful to be able to think it through aloud with others. :)

 

Totally want to be supportive and respectful of your choices, as you best know you DS and your family's needs. Just want to echo again the advice to be very careful about doing more than one online class to start with -- twoboysmom gives great advice out of personal experience very similar to what you are considering, about overwhelming a 9th grader with too much change and too many online classes. 

 

Gently, and I could be way off base here, but it sounds like you are fearful that you won't be able to make high school "rigorous" enough and are changing up a LOT of what you are doing that has been working out of a little bit of panic:

- switch away from a gentle math (TT) to a very rigorous math (AoPS) with a VERY different presentation

- outsource 3-4 subjects as online classes -- and not having done online before

 

Again, very gently, high school is a marathon, not a sprint. And it is a *transition* for students to move into doing high school work -- not a light switch that flips on day 1 of 9th grade. Some students are fully high school ready in middle school or by end of middle school. But a large number of students are are a "mixed bag" at 9th grade, working at high school level for some subjects, and at middle school level for one or maybe several subjects. Some students aren't ready for all high school work until 10th or even 11th grade! That is okay -- everyone has their own academic maturing timetable.

 

Not only is it okay to keep gently moving forward from where your student is at, in the long run, you'll build a MUCH more solid foundation and avoid a LOT of tears and stress all around instead of trying to force brain development and maturing. Really, it will be fine! By the time your student is in 12th grade, you'll be amazed at how much maturing he's done -- in his own unique timetable.

 

 

With that as preface, here's just another of my 2 cents, FWIW ;). Your revised list of credits:

1. English

2. Math: Algebra 1

3. Science

4. History

5. Spanish

6. Elective: PE

7. Elective: Bible/Worldview

8. Elective: choice

 

A few thoughts:

 

Streamline

You're planning so many different options to accomplish the different credits -- be prepared that it will be hard on your family's schedule and hard educationally for both you and DS to bounce in multiple directions each day to accomplish the different credits.

 

Something like My Father's World could be a great choice for both your DS AND for you. It combines your History and English (Literature/Writing) in a very helpful way, and it really streamlines your scheduling and subjects, so you are not having to figure out how MUCH history or literature to do, how to come up with assignments, etc. All that is done for you. It also includes Bible/Worldview! So further streamlining which simplifies things for you. And you could choose to not use the writing in the program and go with Write at Home or other focused writing helps program.

 

English

These sound like fine choices for grammar and writing: Analytical Grammar, Write at Home. If you don't want to go with a package for History/English, and just want something to fill in for Literature, I'd suggest something to really hold your hand and to be a gentle intro into literature: Lightning Lit. 8. (Yes, it can be a great option for a 9th grader; one of my DSs did it in 8th, the other has mild LDs and it was perfect for 9th.) Everything is very laid out for you, and much of it can be done independently by the student. And, you can add some Progeny Press guides or other individual guides to the books to "beef up" the discussion aspect if you wish.

 

Math

I really suggest NOT switching away from a math that is working. Especially at the critical foundations of Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1, which all the higher maths build on. TT is a fine program, and if DS is connecting with it, stick with it. You'll be able to go all the way through Pre-Calc (12th grade), which definitely covers everything you need for college prep. You can also use supplements as needed. The Tablet Class you've purchased. Khan Academy free tutorials. A local math tutor. And if you find that TT is NOT working, then consider a switch after Algebra 1 and repeating Algebra 1 with a different program the following year. You absolutely do NOT want to push forward with Math without a firm understanding of the foundations laid out in Algebra 1. Why not wait until you see how things go with Math next year, before making a switch? Another year of brain maturing might be all it takes… :)

 

Science

A good plan! Co-op support for science is always helpful. And it gets you out and being with other students.

 

History

At home for sure! Great choice to do this subject yourself. One suggestion: see above under Streamlining above about going with a packaged History/English could simplify things for you this first year of high school, and you can branch out and make it more "Do It Yourself" the following year.

 

PE

A good plan! Good to keep up with enjoyed activities and friends this way. :)

 

Electives

This is a heavy load for just starting 9th grade -- if everything is 1 credit, then you're looking at starting high school with 8 credits (8 hours of work per day). Even if each of the electives is just 0.5 credit of time/work, that's still 6.5 credits, so plan on 6.5 hours of work a day. Plus time spent on the online class(es). Plus time spent away from home for Science at the co-op and for PE activities. Plus time spent away from home for other extracurricular activities…

 

For the electives, I would recommend NOT using any online classes this year. Let the electives be the flexible part of your schedule. So, once you get into 9th grade, if you find you need a lot more time than originally planned for the core classes of English, Math, Science and Foreign Language, you can back off on the Electives -- drop them down to just 0.5 credit or even just a 0.25 credit of time put in this year. That is okay! You can spread out a 1 credit Elective over all 4 years of high school. :)

 

 

BEST of luck at you continue to research and plan! Warmest regards, Lori D.

I was thinking that PE and Bible/Worldview were seperate classes and then there were electives.  Duh!  Thank you.  :)  I gotcha now.  As for TT, I just continue to hear how it's not the best math program (weak) to prepare a kid for college, so that's why I was going to change to something else (stronger program) and just deal with it.  Humph.  I guess I'm thinking that challenge is good and now's the time to start.  But, I also truly understand what you are saying.  I'm taking high school seriously and finding it hard to relax in it because we are "running out of time".  :-/  I want him to be prepared.  I know I'm not the first parent to feel this way.  It helps so much to hear your words and the words of others.  I truly know that this is a "one step at a time" thing still and not to shove it all down his throat just because he's starting high school.  I also feel lots of pressure because honestly I won't have anyone to blame but myself if he's not ready for college or life when we are done.  Sigh.  I don't want him to regret being homeschooled.  I don't want him to feel as though he received a sub-par education.  Yes, I'm insecure.  Yes, I'm lacking confidence in my abilities.  Yes, I'm stressed.  :(  He's a great kid with great potential and we are so excited to see what God will do with him despite us even.  I just take my job as his mom seriously, especially now and don't want to squander this time in high school.  I know I can't force, though.  Thank you for you encouragement and step by step advice.  I so needed it.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I might add take reviews with a grain of salt, in our hurry to get the best, we sometimes forget what others think of as too easy or too challenging might be perfect for your student. I have heard conflicting information about TT over the years, I think it fits a certain type of student and that for some kids and their long term goals it is the right fit.

 

Also if your student has never worked in a AOPS book, you might want to try it before you buy it. It can be very overwhelming for a lot of students (and parents).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Always helpful to be able to think it through aloud with others. :)

 

Totally want to be supportive and respectful of your choices, as you best know you DS and your family's needs. Just want to echo again the advice to be very careful about doing more than one online class to start with -- twoboysmom gives great advice out of personal experience very similar to what you are considering, about overwhelming a 9th grader with too much change and too many online classes. 

 

Gently, and I could be way off base here, but it sounds like you are fearful that you won't be able to make high school "rigorous" enough and are changing up a LOT of what you are doing that has been working out of a little bit of panic:

- switch away from a gentle math (TT) to a very rigorous math (AoPS) with a VERY different presentation

- outsource 3-4 subjects as online classes -- and not having done online before

 

Again, very gently, high school is a marathon, not a sprint. And it is a *transition* for students to move into doing high school work -- not a light switch that flips on day 1 of 9th grade. Some students are fully high school ready in middle school or by end of middle school. But a large number of students are are a "mixed bag" at 9th grade, working at high school level for some subjects, and at middle school level for one or maybe several subjects. Some students aren't ready for all high school work until 10th or even 11th grade! That is okay -- everyone has their own academic maturing timetable.

 

Not only is it okay to keep gently moving forward from where your student is at, in the long run, you'll build a MUCH more solid foundation and avoid a LOT of tears and stress all around instead of trying to force brain development and maturing. Really, it will be fine! By the time your student is in 12th grade, you'll be amazed at how much maturing he's done -- in his own unique timetable.

 

 

With that as preface, here's just another of my 2 cents, FWIW ;). Your revised list of credits:

1. English

2. Math: Algebra 1

3. Science

4. History

5. Spanish

6. Elective: PE

7. Elective: Bible/Worldview

8. Elective: choice

 

A few thoughts:

 

Streamline

You're planning so many different options to accomplish the different credits -- be prepared that it will be hard on your family's schedule and hard educationally for both you and DS to bounce in multiple directions each day to accomplish the different credits.

 

Something like My Father's World could be a great choice for both your DS AND for you. It combines your History and English (Literature/Writing) in a very helpful way, and it really streamlines your scheduling and subjects, so you are not having to figure out how MUCH history or literature to do, how to come up with assignments, etc. All that is done for you. It also includes Bible/Worldview! So further streamlining which simplifies things for you. And you could choose to not use the writing in the program and go with Write at Home or other focused writing helps program.

 

English

These sound like fine choices for grammar and writing: Analytical Grammar, Write at Home. If you don't want to go with a package for History/English, and just want something to fill in for Literature, I'd suggest something to really hold your hand and to be a gentle intro into literature: Lightning Lit. 8. (Yes, it can be a great option for a 9th grader; one of my DSs did it in 8th, the other has mild LDs and it was perfect for 9th.) Everything is very laid out for you, and much of it can be done independently by the student. And, you can add some Progeny Press guides or other individual guides to the books to "beef up" the discussion aspect if you wish.

 

Math

I really suggest NOT switching away from a math that is working. Especially at the critical foundations of Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1, which all the higher maths build on. TT is a fine program, and if DS is connecting with it, stick with it. You'll be able to go all the way through Pre-Calc (12th grade), which definitely covers everything you need for college prep. You can also use supplements as needed. The Tablet Class you've purchased. Khan Academy free tutorials. A local math tutor. And if you find that TT is NOT working, then consider a switch after Algebra 1 and repeating Algebra 1 with a different program the following year. You absolutely do NOT want to push forward with Math without a firm understanding of the foundations laid out in Algebra 1. Why not wait until you see how things go with Math next year, before making a switch? Another year of brain maturing might be all it takes… :)

 

Science

A good plan! Co-op support for science is always helpful. And it gets you out and being with other students.

 

History

At home for sure! Great choice to do this subject yourself. One suggestion: see above under Streamlining above about going with a packaged History/English could simplify things for you this first year of high school, and you can branch out and make it more "Do It Yourself" the following year.

 

PE

A good plan! Good to keep up with enjoyed activities and friends this way. :)

 

Electives

This is a heavy load for just starting 9th grade -- if everything is 1 credit, then you're looking at starting high school with 8 credits (8 hours of work per day). Even if each of the electives is just 0.5 credit of time/work, that's still 6.5 credits, so plan on 6.5 hours of work a day. Plus time spent on the online class(es). Plus time spent away from home for Science at the co-op and for PE activities. Plus time spent away from home for other extracurricular activities…

 

For the electives, I would recommend NOT using any online classes this year. Let the electives be the flexible part of your schedule. So, once you get into 9th grade, if you find you need a lot more time than originally planned for the core classes of English, Math, Science and Foreign Language, you can back off on the Electives -- drop them down to just 0.5 credit or even just a 0.25 credit of time put in this year. That is okay! You can spread out a 1 credit Elective over all 4 years of high school. :)

 

 

BEST of luck at you continue to research and plan! Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

Are the reviews of upper level MFW and upper level Write At Home good?  Does anyone know personally or just in general?

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would like to tag onto the recommendation for Algebra 1 with Jann in Texas.  You will have the summer to prepare your student for Algebra 1 using materials such as Key to Algebra and Zaccaro's Real World Algebra (my two personal favorites).  My son is in a Algebra 1 class with Jann this year, and she is quite experienced at teaching the average-ish student, which describes my son.  She offers extra tutoring free as needed.  I think this would be a gentler introduction to an online math class for your son.  Jann is very responsive to emails.  My son and I watched an online class or two before committing to join the class.  Registration is open now for next year.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for TT, I just continue to hear how it's not the best math program (weak) to prepare a kid for college, so that's why I was going to change to something else (stronger program) and just deal with it...

 

The best math to prepare a student for college is the one that CLICKS for that student and WORKS for that student. Loads of examples on this board of that being ANY ONE of the many math programs out there.

 

For example: people who used MUS (the "lite / remedial" math) and in college their students so thoroughly understood math that they ended up tutoring other students through math. Same story with any other math program out there.

 

Use what works for YOUR DS. :) That's the math that will prepare him for college. And yes, that MIGHT mean a change to a different curriculum at some point, but only make a change when what is working stops working, or if you really know you are not able to help at the higher maths level and need to outsource.

 

 

I also feel lots of pressure because honestly I won't have anyone to blame but myself if he's not ready for college or life when we are done.  Sigh.  I don't want him to regret being homeschooled.  I don't want him to feel as though he received a sub-par education. 

 

Pep talk alert ;) :

 

This is absolutely NOT true! DS is very much responsible for his own education; he will get out of it what he puts into it. If he wants to go to college, this is the time for him to start taking ownership and understanding it is on him to make it happen.

 

At the high school level, you do increasingly less teaching, and increasingly more of the work of facilitator, researcher, mentor, counselor. You are NOT the fairy godmother who waves a wand and "makes it happen for him". Your job is not to push a boulder uphill, but to pass on the baton and cheerlead as he runs with it.

 

And yes, I speak from experience of two unmotivated DSs, who repeatedly dropped that baton all through high school. ;) That's what high school is for. It's preparation (not the real deal yet). It's practice. It's the safe place to fail and learn how to pick yourself up and go again.

 

Even students who bomb high school spectacularly can make a comeback and end up later going to college (or apprenticing, or on-the-job training and moving up, or...) and having a great career. It is NOT the end of the world.

 

 

He's a great kid with great potential and we are so excited to see what God will do with him despite us even.  I just take my job as his mom seriously, especially now and don't want to squander this time in high school.  I know I can't force, though. 

 

Having a great kid means you're already halfway there. Taking your job as mom seriously is the other half, as it makes you a great homeschooler. You care enough to put 100% into your part of it. Seek the Lord's wisdom, trust His inspiration and guidance, and do your best at the job he has called you to -- while giving Him room to work in, and mature, your DS in the perfect timing. :)

 

 

You're doing great! High school will be fine. You will make some mistakes (we ALL do) -- and you'll recover, learn from them, and keep going stronger. It will be fine. Deep breath. ;)

 

Remember to ENJOY these years! This is the time that is the real "fruit" of all your labors, where you see your student take flight at different times in different ways, and you get to enjoy seeing who they are becoming and in discussing everything. Best wishes! Warmly, Lori D.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are the reviews of upper level MFW and upper level Write At Home good?  Does anyone know personally or just in general?

 

You'll likely get more responses by posting this as a separate thread (one for each curriculum).

 

Here are past threads to get you started on MFW:

My Father's World

My Father's World for high school anyone?

Sonlight vs My Father's World for high school (the responses were all about MFW)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There have been many great suggestions.  One of my favorite points which I have to remember also was made by Momto2Ns:

 

"Your plans for individual subjects are good. It is just the sum of the parts that I see as a problem."  

 

I have talked with other zealous homeschool parents with older kids and have been gently warned not to burn our ds13 out like they did with their dc in all their fervor.   So I have to take a step back and look at everything together.  Then decide where I want to put the primary focus and possibly back off on some things.  Everything can't be super rigorous and time consuming.  Otherwise he'll have no life outside his freshman year.  And I certainly don't want to burn him out before the 'really' tough stuff comes in his later high school years including some AP and dual enrollment.

 

With regards to math I hope you take my recommendation with a grain of salt.  I definitely believe math should be one of your son's most important areas to focus on given his interests.  Having solid math skills will serve him well in all those areas.  I'm glad to hear you got TabletClass to help supplement his current program.  I would also have to agree with others that AoPS may 'not' be the best choice since it is the polar opposite of TT in terms of difficulty.  Even though ds13 liked AoPS Algebra he is very much a natural at math and enjoys it.  He was acing everything else 'until' I threw AoPS at him.  And it was truly challenging him in a way nothing else had before.  There are some ridiculously hard problems at times, especially the challenge problems.   After that experience I definitely wouldn't recommend AoPS to the majority of students, even those who are good at math.  There are a lot of other very solid, college prep math programs out there.  I think Jann in TX is a good recommendation, along with WilsonHillAcademy.  DerekOwens is also another highly regarded program.  TPS math may be very good as well.  As some have said slow and steady wins the race.

 

I look forward to seeing your revised schedule.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There have been many great suggestions.  One of my favorite points which I have to remember also was made by Momto2Ns:

 

"Your plans for individual subjects are good. It is just the sum of the parts that I see as a problem."  

 

I have talked with other zealous homeschool parents with older kids and have been gently warned not to burn our ds13 out like they did with their dc in all their fervor.   So I have to take a step back and look at everything together.  Then decide where I want to put the primary focus and possibly back off on some things.  Everything can't be super rigorous and time consuming.  Otherwise he'll have no life outside his freshman year.  And I certainly don't want to burn him out before the 'really' tough stuff comes in his later high school years including some AP and dual enrollment.

 

With regards to math I hope you take my recommendation with a grain of salt.  I definitely believe math should be one of your son's most important areas to focus on given his interests.  Having solid math skills will serve him well in all those areas.  I'm glad to hear you got TabletClass to help supplement his current program.  I would also have to agree with others that AoPS may 'not' be the best choice since it is the polar opposite of TT in terms of difficulty.  Even though ds13 liked AoPS Algebra he is very much a natural at math and enjoys it.  He was acing everything else 'until' I threw AoPS at him.  And it was truly challenging him in a way nothing else had before.  There are some ridiculously hard problems at times, especially the challenge problems.   After that experience I definitely wouldn't recommend AoPS to the majority of students, even those who are good at math.  There are a lot of other very solid, college prep math programs out there.  I think Jann in TX is a good recommendation, along with WilsonHillAcademy.  DerekOwens is also another highly regarded program.  TPS math may be very good as well.  As some have said slow and steady wins the race.

 

I look forward to seeing your revised schedule.

 

I had looked at AoPS in the past and I liked what I saw.  Your post reminded me of it and didn't push me towards it at all.  :)  I am one who isn't afraid to challenge or push my kiddos, but I can get too eager also.  I'm glad to have this board to come to for that reason because you all help reel me back in.  :)  I am so happy that you told me about TabletClass!  He is really going to love it, I think and he is looking forward to getting stronger.  I know now that it's not necessarily the program, it's just that he needs time and these two are going to serve him well and he likes them.  :)  Score!  We will see what time brings.  Right now, this is our plan.  Thank you!

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are waiting on foreign language beyond 9th grade.  We may even look for dual enrollment to get the lower division done for college simultaneously.  Many others put greater emphasis on these courses including multiple languages.  So it varies a lot of the forum.  But for us it is a lower priority than certain other subjects.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are the reviews of upper level MFW and upper level Write At Home good?  Does anyone know personally or just in general?

 

 

 

My second daughter used a few Write at Home workshops in 11th-12th grade - Essays and Research Papers. I thought they were well-organized. The price was not too stiff and I especially liked that they weren't full year courses, so we could fit them in around her other work.

 

And I wanted to comment about Teaching Textbooks. My oldest, who is now in Grad School, used it through High School and she did fine in math. Average math on the SAT of 550, which was plenty with her 760-780 in Reading and Writing for the kind of college she wanted to attend. Good scholarships, etc. She majored in Psych and is working on a Masters in Educational Psychology so she didn't need much math in college, but she did get As in Algebra and the several Statistics classes she has had to take.

 

My next daughter, who is in college, majoring in International Business and German and minoring in Spanish, also used TT. We beefed it up with Life of Fred for Alg 2, but it was just not enough. She got somewhere in the 300s on the SAT, even after taking it twice. She also took the ACT and did a little better, but not well enough. The scores were not high enough to get into the college of her choice ( although her reading and writing scores were ok - about 650 on both, I think), so she started at community college, where she had to take a few remedial math classes. Her last class in math was Pre-Calc. We all did the happy dance when she got a D,  because she actually passed! After that, she was able to transfer to the 4-year college of her choice. She is doing fine in her field - As and Bs in Economics and Statistics classes. But from what her professors said about how she handles math, I am not sure that changing programs in High School would necessarily have helped her. She can get the work done when she works slowly and methodically, but she tests horribly.

 

#3 daughter is even worse in math - TT was challenging for her. She is doing remedial math with ALEKS now, and we are hopeful that it will be enough to get in to the Fashion school she wants.  If not, she can start at the community college as well. You would think that I would have gotten a tutor for them...my 21yo was too proud, but did use them quite a bit in college, and my 16yo is difficult with strangers and with being in a room too close to anyone, etc.- several issues.

 

My son used TT for a few years. Then I decided that maybe it wasn't enough, so we have tried different things since. He did 8th grade Pre-Algebra with ALEKS but got tired of the all-on-the-computer approach. He is using Lial's Algebra 1 now, independently. I wanted him to take an online class with it, but he was so against it that my husband and I thought that he should try to teach himself, if that was what he wanted. His daily work and tests range from 75s to 95s, so I am giving him a B. Lials absolutely goes further than TT. We have no idea what we are preparing him for, so I thought that it would be good to bump it up a notch each year, but not so much that he is overwhelmed.

 

All that to say - TT is not "bad". It all depends on your child and his abilities and what he will need in the future. It was a perfect fit for my "average in math" daughter, not enough practice for my "struggles in math" daughter, too much for my "struggles with all kinds of stuff" daughter, and doesn't go far enough for my "ok in math but might need more math in college so he needs to beef it up now" son.

 

I would recommend that you move on from TT, but don't make a giant jump into something designed for advanced students. There are a lot of solid math programs.

 

Hth!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can foreign language wait or is it best to get it over with in 9th and 10th grade?  Only 2 credits are truly necessary for a normal diploma track right?  Is 3 best?  Thanks.

I have enrolled my sons in an online Spanish class (Landry Academy) for 9th grade in order to give them the option of having 3-4 years of foreign language.  They have had three years of Latin so I am hoping their move into Spanish is eased by that.  We are in Texas, and being bilingual in Spanish is valuable.  Also, one of my sons had an affinity for Latin so if he enjoys Spanish, taking it in 9th grade gives him the chance to take it every year in high school if he chooses.  I had two years of college Spanish so I can help them some, if needed.

 

ETA:  Waiting is fine, as well.  Just giving you my reasoning for not waiting past 9th grade to start Spanish for my boys.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can foreign language wait or is it best to get it over with in 9th and 10th grade?  Only 2 credits are truly necessary for a normal diploma track right?  Is 3 best?  Thanks.

 

Short answer: 2 or 3 is usually fine.

 

 

Long answer:

 

There are two sets of credit requirements you are working to fulfill:

 

1. high school graduation diploma requirements

(if your state requires homeschoolers to complete certain credits, or if not,  loosely matching what public schools are requiring for graduation)

 

2. college admission requirements

(credits required by incoming freshmen for entrance to college)

 

3. college degree requirements

(once in college, many programs require 4 semesters of a foreign language as part of earning the degree)

 

For #1, usually 2 credits of the same foreign language.

For #2, many colleges only require 2 credits; the more selective, competitive and top tier colleges tend to require 3 or 4 credits of the same foreign language.

For #3, it can be nice to have done dual enrollment as the way of fulfilling not only #1 and #2, but it also works ahead and starts fulfilling any college degree requirements.

 

 

We waited and did just the 2 credits as 2 semesters of dual enrollment in the senior year. That's cutting it a little close, in case one of my students had bombed the dual enrollment. Fortunately, both were ready for the challenge and did great, and it started them off with 2 semesters of college, as well as fulfilling the high school requirement.

 

So, yes, you can wait until 10th or 11th grade and do just 2 or 3 foreign language credits. And if your student really wants to go to school that requires more foreign language, there is always the possibility of:

- summer school during high school

- or in the summer between high school and college

- or dual enrollment in 11th and/or 12th grades (1 semester college foreign language = 1 year of high school foreign language)

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can foreign language wait or is it best to get it over with in 9th and 10th grade?  Only 2 credits are truly necessary for a normal diploma track right?  Is 3 best?  Thanks.

 

It depends on your goals and where you live.  The mid-range schools in my state all want 3 years of language, and several have told me that 4 is better for scholarships/honors program.  But I live in a state with top-notch public education in some counties where the more competitive students almost always have foreign language AP's or SAT III's.  The price private schools in my area ($30,000/year) all require 3 years.

 

My oldest is headed to community college to explore majors and keep the costs down, but he has multiple languages including one AP.  We didn't have to do that for admission there, but he likely will get some merit aid and admission to the honors program because of his transcript.

 

And frankly you really don't know where they're headed in 9th grade.  A lot changes in those first two years of high school.  Mine have surprised me!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Preach it, sister!

 

:eek: <--- this is me since December

 

My oldest in 9th was utterly passionate about Latin and Russian.  We were repeating Algebra I, and also having a lot of conflicts over outside classes with low expectations.  I'm not proud of the academics that happened that year.  We had a lot of conflicts between us.

 

In 10th, we left the local classes, and had a great year, catching up in many ways.  Still lots of Latin and Russian.

 

By 11th I was were I wanted us to be academically, and the college and AP testing came out very well.

 

This year he ruled out languages as a career after taking dual enrollment Spanish.  Talking about an accounting degree.  I would have NEVER expected that.  Seriously.  Also wants to go to school locally to explore and continue local interests and volunteer work.  Also a surprise.

 

My next one is the same as we prepare for 11th.  Lots of exploring and changes, but very focused now. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My oldest in 9th was utterly passionate about Latin and Russian.  We were repeating Algebra I, and also having a lot of conflicts over outside classes with low expectations.  I'm not proud of the academics that happened that year.  We had a lot of conflicts between us.

 

In 10th, we left the local classes, and had a great year, catching up in many ways.  Still lots of Latin and Russian.

 

By 11th I was were I wanted us to be academically, and the college and AP testing came out very well.

 

This year he ruled out languages as a career after taking dual enrollment Spanish.  Talking about an accounting degree.  I would have NEVER expected that.  Seriously.  Also wants to go to school locally to explore and continue local interests and volunteer work.  Also a surprise.

 

My next one is the same as we prepare for 11th.  Lots of exploring and changes, but very focused now. 

 

Wow, from a linguist to an accountant.  What a switch!  As crazy as that sounds to us parents when trying to map out a plan for college change is 'so' very common at this life stage.  I changed majors a lot myself and then careers later in life which included going back to school for graduate work.  Another mom on here posted about her humanities focused daughter who wanted to be a musician and was accepted into a very exclusive music school. But after one year had enough of it and decided to switch majors to math.  Fortunately for her, her parents made her complete math through Calculus 'even if she would never use it' in her career.   ;)

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...