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PAHS Government and Politics classes?


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Does anyone have experience with PAHS's AP Comparative Government and Politics class or the AP US Government class?

 

Was your student engaged? How much interaction with other students was there? Did your student feel it was worth the time and did you feel it was worth the investment?

 

Most schools offer both classes as part of a year long course. Did you feel that each course justified an entire year's study given the class format?

 

If you had a student that self-studied for the exams, was their primary goal to take the exam or were they genuinely interested in the material. Were they satisfied covering the material on their own?

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(I'm hoping you and Sailor Dude will do comparative instead of US so that I can learn from you :D Dd was talking about that course for her junior year.)

 

I have been poring over syllabi for both government classes, US history, marine/earth science, and the readings for the TTC course I want to adapt for English 12 and weighing out what I can reasonably do and what would have to be sacrificed.

 

Luckymama, as much as it pains me to say this, I think I am still going to have to farm out at least one more class, if not two. Or I would have to scale back my expectations significantly. Sigh. Sailor Dude has to discuss everything, which means if I am the teacher, I have to really know my materials. I don't think he would be satisfied with self-study for topics of interest like government and politics and even the US history.

 

I emailed yesterday with both Susan Richman and Julia Reed about the government classes.  At this point, I think the plan would be to take the Comparative Government class which does cover the US to a certain extent and then probably audit the US class to make sure he has the foundational work and understanding. This is a high priority area of interest for him next to his AP Spanish class. 

 

Besides, when I mentioned to dh that I would be teaching ds four classes next year and that I wouldn't need as big a budget, he turned rather pale and said he would happily pay for classes. Then he muttered something under his breath about seeing if he could sleep on the couch at our older son's apartment. :tongue_smilie:

 

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Besides, when I mentioned to dh that I would be teaching ds four classes next year and that I wouldn't need as big a budget, he turned rather pale and said he would happily pay for classes. Then he muttered something under his breath about seeing if he could sleep on the couch at our older son's apartment. :tongue_smilie:

 

:lol: Yep, there may have been a similar discussion in this house when I was going back-and-forth over AP Calc at home or outsourced!

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My oldest ds (now 24) took Rachel Califf's AP Us Government years ago and it was AWFUL -- the only PAH course that I'd advise people to stay far away from. She was terribly slow about grading and assigned lots of busy work.  He could have easily self-studied for the exam and saved the money and hassle.

 

My friend's ds took the course last year and she came away feeling the same way, so it doesn't sound like it has improved.

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My oldest ds (now 24) took Rachel Califf's AP Us Government years ago and it was AWFUL -- the only PAH course that I'd advise people to stay far away from. She was terribly slow about grading and assigned lots of busy work.  He could have easily self-studied for the exam and saved the money and hassle.

 

My friend's ds took the course last year and she came away feeling the same way, so it doesn't sound like it has improved.

 

This worries me. I am looking at Julia Reed's class. Her background is intriguing and ds could probably use a different perspective on government and politics than that of his left leaning family. However, this is her third year teaching at PAHS and there are no reviews. Usually, people are fairly happy and leave reviews. If they are not happy, they explain why and PAHS leaves the review there. For these two classes, there is nothing to go off of.

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I think it is her first year with US Gov, my daughter is in there. And her maybe 2nd or 3rd year with Comp Gov. My daughter really likes it but it is hard. She has only a high B test/quiz average but hopefully she'll earn an A with assignments etc. I can review better after her AP test. My daughter says her classmates who took Comp Gov with the same teacher have the highest grades - better prepared or really smart? Some already took APUSH so they have more background knowledge.

 

They are getting through the textbook on time to finish to test prep. Hth.

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I think it is her first year with US Gov, my daughter is in there. And her maybe 2nd or 3rd year with Comp Gov. My daughter really likes it but it is hard. She has only a high B test/quiz average but hopefully she'll earn an A with assignments etc. I can review better after her AP test. My daughter says her classmates who took Comp Gov with the same teacher have the highest grades - better prepared or really smart? Some already took APUSH so they have more background knowledge.

 

They are getting through the textbook on time to finish to test prep. Hth.

 

Thank you, this is very helpful. I am trying to scale back our plans, keep things doable, but not make myself and Sailor Dude crazy by trying to teach too many classes myself.

 

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Ds took US Politics and Government as a 9th grader last year. There was very little "teaching", and I would describe this class as a "teacher guided self study". I did like the online textbook used for the course, it's got a pretty balanced view instead of leaning right or left. From my memory, the course material consists of 1) reading the online textbook and take the chapter quizzes, 2)participating in the student forums, this includes both class related topics and current events, the majority of the students hold very conservative views, 3)FRQ grading exercises which later turn into FRQ writing exercises, 4)misc. class projects.

 

As for the teacher, she did grade student's work very slowly at times because her husband was deployed that year and she had a very young baby at home. But I don't remember it being a huge problem.

 

The course and the AP test was very easy for ds because he is very politically minded and he reads news and watches c-span for fun. But even if he weren't, I would imagine this course could still be easily self studied.  All you need is a good structure: get a good textbook, plan out your weekly schedule, start prepping for test in either Feb or March using online resources including CB's printable past FRQs and do them once a week until May, and maybe get a good prep book for review.

 

 

 

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  • 2 years later...

Bumping up this thread to see if anyone has anything to add. I hate to pay for something that we don't need to pay for. OTOH, I'm afraid that Thinkwell won't be enough prep.  I purchased the text that PAH uses for this course,and she likes it.  I'm toying with having her do Thinkwell and then supplement.  Just looking for something that I can easily outsource.  She does very well with self-study.  Is there anywhere else that offers a full syllabus she could follow that would prep her well?  Or am I worrying over nothing?

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  • 1 year later...
On 5/28/2017 at 5:42 PM, mirabillis said:

I can tell you how well Thinkwell prepares a student when scores come back in July... PM me then and I'll let you know.

How well did Thinkwell prepare your student for the AP Govt exam?

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1 hour ago, fourisenough said:

How well did Thinkwell prepare your student for the AP Govt exam?

 My daughter used Thinkwell several years ago, and got a 5 on the exam. She did use a test prep book before the exam though.

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