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My son took 4 courses with PA Homeschoolers and had very mixed experiences.  

Susan Richman, AP History, A+++.  We could not have asked for a better history teacher.  She loved the subject and put 100% of herself into the course.  She is a genius at teaching and the kids nominated her for National History Teacher of the Year. Such a warm, kind personality too.  My son already loved history, but her course took his interest to a new level. 

Dr. Carol Gillespie, AP Human Geography, A+.  Dr. Gillespie is an AP test grader and wrote the book "5 to a 5". I don't think you could ask for a more qualified instructor.  She had very fun assignments and videos.  Nothing at all was boring the whole year. This was a great 9th grade first AP class to "get your feet wet". Also, a good natured personality that my son liked. 

Myra Ispektor, AP  English Language, A. My son did not finish this course and left after 6 weeks.  Although she is a very good instructor, the time commitment, for us at least, was extreme.  He was putting in 2 hours a day and really needed to enjoy the content more to be putting so much work into that class. We did our own thing at home and he got a 5 using a prep course.  (You may not be aware of this, but students do not have to be enrolled in an official AP class to take the test).  He had always been very good at writing and grammar but the time commitment was too much with other hard classes, part time job, and extracurricular activities.

Jeff Lanctot, AP Calculus AB, F. I would not recommend this course to anyone, because you will be working completely on your own without help.  I believe he was at one time a good instructor, but after years of doing this course, now gives it very little time and attention. Students must be 100% intrinsically motivated on their own.  Parents will not be notified if students get behind and must keep up with the syllabus (which did not match the weekly assignment page). My son got a 4, but that is because his wore out Khan Academy and the AP study book doing his own thing.  Do not trust the reviews!  My son, as well as a few other students who formed a chat group to help each other get through, were never sent the link to send in a review.  Save yourself $700!!   Calculus is a very hard class to take online unless there is a live meeting time. 

 

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PAH

AP Chemistry (Mr. Moskaluk): Excellent with the caveat that your student needs excellent EF skills, be unafraid of posting questions to the discussion board, and ready to jump on those weekly assignments as soon as they are posted.  (Score: 5)

AP Physics C    Mechanics (Lanctot)  Switched to Kernion after a semester, not sure why, but generally unhappy with Lanctot.  (Score: 5)

AP Physics C E&M (Kernion)  Much preferred to Lanctot and glad she switched.  (Score: 5)

AP Statistics (Matheny):  So- so, especially for my AoPS kid.  Gets the job done but not her favorite.  (Score: 5)

AP Calculus BC (Gilleran): again, not a good fit for an AoPS kid, but gets 'er done.  (Score: 5)

APUSH (Richman): excellent.  (Score: 5)

AP Lang & Comp (Inspektor): excellent prep.  (Score: 5)

Other vendors

AP Bio at Stanford Online High School:  Excellent, probably the best class they offer.  (Score: 5)

AP Statistics at Edhesive:  solid, gets 'er done.  (Score: 5)

AP Computer Science A at Edhesive: (Mrs. Dovi):  Excellent preparation.  (Score: 5)

Edited by daijobu
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1 hour ago, daijobu said:

PAH

AP Chemistry (Mr. Moskaluk): Excellent with the caveat that your student needs excellent EF skills, be unafraid of posting questions to the discussion board, and ready to jump on those weekly assignments as soon as they are posted.  (Score: 5)

AP Physics C    Mechanics (Lanctot)  Switched to Kernion after a semester, not sure why, but generally unhappy with Lanctot.  (Score: 5)

AP Physics C E&M (Kernion)  Much preferred to Lanctot and glad she switched.  (Score: 5)

AP Statistics (Matheny):  So- so, especially for my AoPS kid.  Gets the job done but not her favorite.  (Score: 5)

AP Calculus BC (Gilleran): again, not a good fit for an AoPS kid, but gets 'er done.  (Score: 5)

APUSH (Richman): excellent.  (Score: 5)

AP Lang & Comp (Inspektor): excellent prep.  (Score: 5)

Other vendors

AP Bio at Stanford Online High School:  Excellent, probably the best class they offer.  (Score: 5)

AP Statistics at Edhesive:  solid, gets 'er done.  (Score: 5)

AP Computer Science A at Edhesive: (Mrs. Dovi):  Excellent preparation.  (Score: 5)

 

How would you compare AP Stats at PAH versus AP Stats at Edhesive? Would one prepare better than another?

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30 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

 

How would you compare AP Stats at PAH versus AP Stats at Edhesive? Would one prepare better than another?

 

I think either one will do a fine job of preparing. 

The Edhesive class has the feature of being self-paced.  My very mathy daughter basically started the class in March, and raced through all the assignments right before the exam.  There are no required discussion board posts or any extraneous activity.    The parent acts as the teacher and grades the student's FRQs.  (A grading rubric is provided.)  So that's a lot more work for the parent, but the parent also assigns the final grade.  I don't think Edhesive provides a transcript.  

If your student requires a more measured weekly schedule, then PAH may be a better choice.  PAH will provide a grade and transcript, and the parent is pretty much hands off, including the grading.  

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12 minutes ago, daijobu said:

 

I think either one will do a fine job of preparing. 

The Edhesive class has the feature of being self-paced.  My very mathy daughter basically started the class in March, and raced through all the assignments right before the exam.  There are no required discussion board posts or any extraneous activity.    The parent acts as the teacher and grades the student's FRQs.  (A grading rubric is provided.)  So that's a lot more work for the parent, but the parent also assigns the final grade.  I don't think Edhesive provides a transcript.  

If your student requires a more measured weekly schedule, then PAH may be a better choice.  PAH will provide a grade and transcript, and the parent is pretty much hands off, including the grading.  

 

How much work is PAH for a mathy kid? I read the reviews say 2 hours. I can’t imagine spending that much time on stats. 

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26 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

 

How much work is PAH for a mathy kid? I read the reviews say 2 hours. I can’t imagine spending that much time on stats. 

 

Is that 2 hours per week?  I don't think that's necessary, but sometimes these classes can require discussion board posts.  I'm not sure if that's the case for PAH AP Stats, but I think it is for some other classes like APUSH and AP lang & comp.  

While requiring discussion board posts by students can ostensibly encourage an online community to interact with each other, I think many students don't give it much more than cursory thought.  

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1 minute ago, daijobu said:

 

Is that 2 hours per week?  I don't think that's necessary, but sometimes these classes can require discussion board posts.  I'm not sure if that's the case for PAH AP Stats, but I think it is for some other classes like APUSH and AP lang & comp.  

While requiring discussion board posts by students can ostensibly encourage an online community to interact with each other, I think many students don't give it much more than cursory thought.  

 2 hours per day. That’s crazy, isn’t it?

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6 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

 2 hours per day. That’s crazy, isn’t it?

 

Yeah, and I thought 2 hrs/week seemed like a lot.  

With the Edhesive class, I thought my dd had decided against it, but lo and behold, come March she started finishing the problem sets, one after another.  It was a struggle for me to catch up because grading FRQs is time-consuming.  You need to check to make sure she wrote everything she was supposed to, and use their rubric to see how many points each thing is worth, so you can deduct the right amount.  

Ultimately it was more work for me, and less for the student.  

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1 hour ago, madteaparty said:

For what class? For the current AP Lang my son is taking teacher states they should be spending 1-2 hrs a day, if they are spending  more or less to contact her. 

 

Stats. It seems crazy considering how simple that course is and how little it covers.

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  • 8 months later...

My daughter is just finishing up AP Human Geography with Carol Ann Gillespie. She liked the subject, but the course was frustrating for her and pretty disappointing. We are giving PA Homeschoolers one more chance next year with a different course, but if it isn't markedly better, we won't be using them again. 

As others have mentioned, it was super tacky to get mailed a $25 book unsolicited so the author could sell it. It should have at least been noted in the course materials. The book was not even central to the course.

There were almost weekly problems with the instructor evidently not knowing how to manage her web platform and essentially trying to coast on stuff from past years: There were things posted with multiple due dates, different assignments in different places, the posted syllabus not matching the other places assignments and due dates were posted, multiple places to upload the same assignment with conflicting directions or requirements in the two places, using "randomize answers" function on MC tests with answers like "all but A" or "A and B" when A and B were different for different students, making the tests wrong (but she couldn't seem to understand why when students complained, because her version looked different). Many of the videos were from years past and some are really are out of date (like, from the early 2000s.) for a subject that should be incorporating current events and global trends. Videos she has uploaded recently are in some wacky format and take an hour to download, so my daughter just doesn't watch them. She also would do things like post a question based on a graph, and not attach the graph, and when it was pointed out, just never get back to the question. It often took her three or four days to respond to student questions. It was typical for her to respond on Friday to questions asked on Monday when the work was due Sunday night. 

There was minimal to no feedback. Most of their practice test writing they were given rubrics and told to grade themselves. My daughter had 252 out of 139 points on her writing assignments that were turned in, but aside from minimal comments like "good reasoning" on about half assignments (immediately after a group of students decided to email the administrators and complain about how every one always got 100% and no comments.) there has been virtually no interaction with their writing that could help them improve. My daughter is a good student, but she is a freshman, and she could use guidance improving her writing for AP FRQs. I don't believe the instructor actually reads most of them. For example, last week my daughter wrote an FRQ response where she gave China as an example of a unitary state and explained why. She was completely confused, but got "100% Excellent" on the assignment. Then the weekly quiz asked, "Which of the following is a unitary state? U.S., Canada, China, or France. She picked China, but the answer was France. 

My daughter put in a lot of work and used additional resources from College Board and feels prepared, but gives herself most of the credit. Plus, now with the COVID-19 situation, the exam is all writing, and the course definitely did not help her much with that beyond what she could figure out herself. The course was essentially independent study, and you can find those for a lot less money than $750. Considering that is more than what we pay for Wilson Hill Academy classes that have 3 hours of live instruction and tons of feedback on assignments, it was nowhere near a comparable value. 

 

 

    

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AP Art History with Amber Kane has been a very solid course. The reading/workload has been heavy and there is a lot of memorization involved, but my DD loves the instructor. It took a bit to get the hang of writing in the style required of this discipline, but the instructor’s feedback was specific and plentiful, enabling DD to progress quickly. She has learned loads, is now quite smitten with art history, and feels well-prepared for the exam. Win, win, win. Ms. Kane is offering two summer mini-courses this year and DD has chosen to take them both. (Prior to this year, DD has never taken or even showed any interest in art.)

AP English Language & Composition with Lili Serbicki  is an excellent class. I’ve described elsewhere as ‘rich, but lean’. There is no fluff, nor busy work. She’s a tough grader, but gives clear instruction and generous feedback. DD’s writing skills have developed nicely this year under Mrs. Serbicki’s guidance, and DD will continue on into her AP Lit class next year. I highly recommend this class and instructor.

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8 hours ago, Christy-Jean said:

My daughter is just finishing up AP Human Geography with Carol Ann Gillespie. She liked the subject, but the course was frustrating for her and pretty disappointing. We are giving PA Homeschoolers one more chance next year with a different course, but if it isn't markedly better, we won't be using them again. 

r put in a lot of work and used additional resources from College Board and feels prepared, but gives herself most of the credit. Plus, now with the COVID-19 situation, the exam is all writing, and the course definitely did not help her much with that beyond what she could figure out herself. The course was essentially independent study, and you can find those for a lot less money than $750. Considering that is more than what we pay for Wilson Hill Academy classes that have 3 hours of live instruction and tons of feedback on assignments, it was nowhere near a comparable value.    

 

OK I am SHOCKED to see this is still the same poor class as ever. I posted my rather similar scathing review back in 2016-17 and after that time, I had heard through the grapevine, some had said she'd changed for the better. I guess not! Shocking! PAH should really look into a new option. We have gone onto numerous PAH classes - AP Chem, AP Lit, AP Lang, AP Macro, AP Micro, AP Comp Govt, AP Psychology, and loved them all! Lots of Wilson Hill classes, Edhesive, Derek Owens... AP HUG was the WORST online class ever - and seems it hasn't seasoned over time. I'd also suggest staying away! Unless you're really keen on throwing away $750 to self-study. (OP - happy to share my personal recommendations of other PAH classes - shoot me a PM)

Here's my review:

 

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On 5/2/2020 at 3:44 PM, fourisenough said:

Ms. Kane is offering two summer mini-courses this year and DD has chosen to take them both.

 

My daughter was on the fence about the sketchbook one, I'll let her know the teacher has a good rep. 🙂

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AP Physics C - first semester Mechanics, second semester Electricity and Magnetism with Kernion
My oldest son just finished this class and these are his impressions. Most of the content comes from the Physics Prep site that Mr. Kernion runs. The site has video lectures, problem sets, labs, tests, and quizzes. Taking the course through PA Homeschoolers provides live lectures (one every two weeks) and discussion boards. My son ended up having a DE class that conflicted with the timings of the live sessions, and we didn’t know that would happen at the time that we registered. He listened to the recordings, but if I had known that we would have a conflict, I would have signed up for the course directly with Mr. Kernion through the Physics Prep site and saved a lot of money. A student just going through the Physics Prep site would be just fine regarding preparation for the exam, and not missing out on much additional content. My son is also not a big discussion board user, so I wish we’d skipped the PA Homeschoolers middle man based on how the year turned out.

AP Computer Science A - Cynthia Lang
My middle son is finishing up with this class and has really liked it. Weekly, live zoom sessions were great, and the homework was fun for him to complete and provided a nice pass through the material. Used the standard Practice It and coding bat sites as well as an online book, additional coding assignments, and prep materials. He’s not going to be taking the AP this year (because we are assuming that some universities won’t give their usual credit for the 2020 home exam), but will continue to play around with coding and take it next year. A pretty great class overall.
 

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34 minutes ago, UmmIbrahim said:

AP Physics C - first semester Mechanics, second semester Electricity and Magnetism with Kernion
My oldest son just finished this class and these are his impressions. Most of the content comes from the Physics Prep site that Mr. Kernion runs. The site has video lectures, problem sets, labs, tests, and quizzes. Taking the course through PA Homeschoolers provides live lectures (one every two weeks) and discussion boards. My son ended up having a DE class that conflicted with the timings of the live sessions, and we didn’t know that would happen at the time that we registered. He listened to the recordings, but if I had known that we would have a conflict, I would have signed up for the course directly with Mr. Kernion through the Physics Prep site and saved a lot of money. A student just going through the Physics Prep site would be just fine regarding preparation for the exam, and not missing out on much additional content. My son is also not a big discussion board user, so I wish we’d skipped the PA Homeschoolers middle man based on how the year turned out.

AP Computer Science A - Cynthia Lang
My middle son is finishing up with this class and has really liked it. Weekly, live zoom sessions were great, and the homework was fun for him to complete and provided a nice pass through the material. Used the standard Practice It and coding bat sites as well as an online book, additional coding assignments, and prep materials. He’s not going to be taking the AP this year (because we are assuming that some universities won’t give their usual credit for the 2020 home exam), but will continue to play around with coding and take it next year. A pretty great class overall.
 

I am so grateful that you posted! I was going to put oldest DS in AP HSers with Kernion, but he doesn't like discussion boards at all either. I'm thrilled to know Mr. Kernion runs the other site. Thanks so much for the great information! You saved me a bundle!

Glad to know about the Comp Sci too, since I might have DS13 take that in the future.

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48 minutes ago, Alte Veste Academy said:

I am so grateful that you posted! I was going to put oldest DS in AP HSers with Kernion, but he doesn't like discussion boards at all either. I'm thrilled to know Mr. Kernion runs the other site. Thanks so much for the great information! You saved me a bundle!

Glad to know about the Comp Sci too, since I might have DS13 take that in the future.

Yay for information sharing! Mr. Kernion is very thorough and the videos cover everything that your son will need. You can always add in a prep book of some sort (we liked Princeton Review AP Physics C) to round out his practice as the exam gets closer.

I will also note that my older son definitely prefers live classes, which is why it didn't fully occur to me to check out the "asynchronous only" option initially. Then our schedule got zapped with conflicting DE classes both semesters, and I was wishing that I'd opted for Physics Prep. Once every two weeks isn't really that "live class" kinda feeling that my kids get when they have 3xweekly live classes or DE classes in-person anyway, so I don't think you'll miss much by not having the live component. There are also some truly stellar youtube videos out there that cover a lot of the topics from another angle in case some more challenging concepts could use a bit of reinforcement. I hope your son enjoys the class!

Mrs. Lang was also very kind and supportive of the kids. Willing to help with questions and very responsive outside of class. She was a really good fit for my middle son who doesn't love high-stress environments!

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On 5/5/2020 at 10:22 AM, fourisenough said:

Can anyone offer a review of AP Bio with Dr. Kanner? I saw a couple from 2015, but would love more recent info. I’m sure her teaching and the class structure has changed/evolved over the years.

Updating my own post to say that I just discovered Dr. Kanner is now teaching science courses through Debra Bell’s Aim Academy, including Bio, Honors/Pre-AP Bio, and A&P. I think that’s a new development, but it could just be news to me. I’d still love someone with recent experience in one of her classes to chime in with a review.

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On 5/5/2020 at 10:22 AM, fourisenough said:

Can anyone offer a review of AP Bio with Dr. Kanner? I saw a couple from 2015, but would love more recent info. I’m sure her teaching and the class structure has changed/evolved over the years.

Updating my own post to say that I just discovered Dr. Kanner is now teaching science courses through Debra Bell’s Aim Academy, including Bio, Honors/Pre-AP Bio, and A&P. I think that’s a new development, but it could just be news to me. I’d still love someone with recent experience in one of her classes to chime in with a review.

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On 5/6/2020 at 10:19 AM, fourisenough said:

Updating my own post to say that I just discovered Dr. Kanner is now teaching science courses through Debra Bell’s Aim Academy, including Bio, Honors/Pre-AP Bio, and A&P. I think that’s a new development, but it could just be news to me. I’d still love someone with recent experience in one of her classes to chime in with a review.

 

She has been teaching there for awhile. We signed up for regular bio two years ago, but it was heavy on the output, so we dropped it. It would have been too much busy work for my son. But, it seemed like a good match for someone needing a lot of support. I've heard nothing but good reviews of Dr. Kanner, and she was very responsive via email (and was quite lovely about letting my son register for her course, given that he was substantially younger than high school age at the time). I am sorry that I don't have anything more substantive to offer. 

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DS took AP Bio w/ Dr Kanner 2 years ago., The materials were good, and he got a 5 on the exam, but he found the class frustrating and somewhat disorganized. Assignments changed at the lat minute and it sometimes took ages to get grades back.

Current year experiences:

- AP Stats (Carol Matheny):  A-.  The class has been fine, the teacher responsive, etc. It's not clear this really NEEDs to be a PAH class, though. There just isn't that much material to be covered.

-AP Psych (Bonnie Gonzalea) : A-. Solid class, well taught. Assignments were fine. He's feeling quite well prepared for the test.

- AP Music Theory (Hannah Jackson): A+ DS loves this class, though it is a huge pile of work. He's passionate about music (music theater), but had 0 formal music theory background and his vocal training was 95% performance oriented. Ms Jackson's class has been fantastic and he loves it.

- AP CompGov (Julia Reed) : C. I am shocked, but he really dislikes this class. He loved HumanGeo, Econ, history, and generally all social sciences. The teacher is not a fit here.  She provides all feedback via short recorded video commentary, which he really dislikes. Much of her feedback seems quite arbitrary. When he's asked questions and I hear her response, I sometimes feel like she didn't actually read the question he asked and the response feels....aggressive? He may do well on the test - he's been working w/ a Baron's book and the systematic review has been super helpful. I was certain he'd love the class and he really dislikes it - I think mostly because of the teacher.

-

 

 

 

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This year's experience with PAH: 

 AP US History (Richman) - Excellent class. Rigorous with excellent feedback. The class offered a very broad and deep study of history without feeling like a test prep class, while weaving in all the test prep necessary. Best of an independent learner. 

AP US Government (Reed) - Somewhat disappointing and underwhelming experience. Weekly lectures were largely retelling of the textbook chapter, hardly any discussions of current events, very limited feedback on assignments. Exam prep was practically non-existent if not for an excellent TA who offered invaluable help with FRQ practice. 

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Our collective experiences since 2016, for my now graduating senior:

AP Human Geography - Awful. See review above.
AP Chemistry (Moskaluk) - AMAZING! I worried over it being asynchronous but my ds learned an amazing amount. He took it 10th grade, with no prior Chem experience. But he is very mathy, and this Chem is particularly mathy. Got a 4
AP Macro (Richman) - DOUBLE AMAZING! I've had 2 kids take this now - totally different beings, and they both LOVED it! Learned so much, not too much busywork, games are fun and great prep for the AP. DS earned a 5 - dd takes this year
AP Micro (Burns) - Took after AP Macro. Not as good as Macro but got the job done. DS earned a 5. DD taking now, she's finding it more work to keep up with than I remember my ds talking about, but we'll see how she fares post-exam.
AP Comp Govt (Reed) - Pretty enjoyable, esp if interested in politics. Not fantastic, but solid class. Liked the live aspect - my ds thrives more on live interactions when possible. He felt she was a bit scatterbrained. DS earned a 5
AP Psychology (Gonzalez)- Fantastic class. Interactive, lively. Taking this year. DD taking next year
AP Eng Lang (Walker) - She is no longer teaching there. Boo-hoo. DS (not a writer) learned a lot, she helped on the side grade his SAT/ACT essays. Earned a 4. DD will take AP Eng Lang with Serbicki next year
AP Eng Lit (Serbicki) - good class, no busywork. Thorough feedback on essays. Taking this year. 
APUSH (Richman) - started this and realized this was way over the top for my ds - too much, too much for him. So we dropped it first few weeks. This was in a year with 4 other APs though - so we might try again for DD in 12th grade as I think it should be a great class for the right student.

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8 hours ago, mirabillis said:

Our collective experiences since 2016, for my now graduating senior:

AP Human Geography - Awful. See review above.
AP Chemistry (Moskaluk) - AMAZING! I worried over it being asynchronous but my ds learned an amazing amount. He took it 10th grade, with no prior Chem experience. But he is very mathy, and this Chem is particularly mathy. Got a 4
AP Macro (Richman) - DOUBLE AMAZING! I've had 2 kids take this now - totally different beings, and they both LOVED it! Learned so much, not too much busywork, games are fun and great prep for the AP. DS earned a 5 - dd takes this year
AP Micro (Burns) - Took after AP Macro. Not as good as Macro but got the job done. DS earned a 5. DD taking now, she's finding it more work to keep up with than I remember my ds talking about, but we'll see how she fares post-exam.
AP Comp Govt (Reed) - Pretty enjoyable, esp if interested in politics. Not fantastic, but solid class. Liked the live aspect - my ds thrives more on live interactions when possible. He felt she was a bit scatterbrained. DS earned a 5
AP Psychology (Gonzalez)- Fantastic class. Interactive, lively. Taking this year. DD taking next year
AP Eng Lang (Walker) - She is no longer teaching there. Boo-hoo. DS (not a writer) learned a lot, she helped on the side grade his SAT/ACT essays. Earned a 4. DD will take AP Eng Lang with Serbicki next year
AP Eng Lit (Serbicki) - good class, no busywork. Thorough feedback on essays. Taking this year. 
APUSH (Richman) - started this and realized this was way over the top for my ds - too much, too much for him. So we dropped it first few weeks. This was in a year with 4 other APs though - so we might try again for DD in 12th grade as I think it should be a great class for the right student.

How much work was AP Macro?  DS is taking the class this fall (assuming section doesn’t fill up) at a local liberal arts college, but I wonder if I can have him “audit” the PA one for fun.  I tried messaging you but your inbox is full 🙂 

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DS took the 1/2 year Macro (Richman) and 1/2 year Micro (Burns) combo 2 years ago. nHe was a sophomore and I'd rank it as middle-of-the-road work-wise compared to AP classes.

He LOVED the Macro w/ Richman. Micro with Burns was acceptable.   5 on both.

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10 hours ago, madteaparty said:

How much work was AP Macro?  DS is taking the class this fall (assuming section doesn’t fill up) at a local liberal arts college, but I wonder if I can have him “audit” the PA one for fun.  I tried messaging you but your inbox is full 🙂 

i agree with AEC - middle of the road work-wise. Macro for my kids, more than Burns' Micro. Macro goes like this:

Monday - watch Timothy Taylor video lecture, answer short-answer Qs
Tuesday - read text, answer short-answer Qs about reading
Wed - respond to peers' essay from week before before Thanksgiving, then Nov-Jan Wednesday FRQ
Thurs - random things - maybe YT video, maybe discussion board
Fri - every other week economics' essays - after Thanksgiving Friday FRQ

plus the games! super fun collaborative and interactive games with their peers.

I deleted a few msgs in my inbox, thanks for the heads-up 🙂

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  • 8 months later...

It's cool to see this thread still helping each other so long after I started it! As my last kid is wrapping up her last year of high school doing nearly 100% dual enrollment classes at our local uni, I am now "retired" . . . but I thought I'd add a review echoing others above ...

 

Human Geography with Gillespie: F 

I signed up my youngest for Human Geo with Gillespie for 2017-2018 school year. It was an unmitigated disaster. After her doing some advance work over the summer (including that book we had to buy from Gillespie), I withdrew her within days of the official start of the class. The other criticisms above echo my own complaints. Another real issue for me that came up was the teacher's clear political/religious agenda. She was, at that time, teaching at Liberty University as well as PAH, FWIW. Among other things, she directed students to a "free course on the constitution" that was by a very political (right-wing) organization. My kids took many courses through PAH and were/are accustomed to having challenging communications with classmates, as we all know homeschooling is a diverse community. This class was totally out of bounds and awful. 

Sorry for the long lapse in sharing my experience. I hate to give negative reviews, but that class was nuts, IMHO. Just don't do it. Pick another class!

 

 

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This thread is great! My question: How hard is it to actually get into/register for the classes? Do they sell out super fast? Are there lots of sections of each class offered? (I'm likely not going to take advantage of APs until 11th grade or 10th at the absolute earliest, but I'd love to know how to plan for registration, etc.) 

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Anyone have any reviews on either of the AP World teachers? Jessica Newman or Benjamin Osborne? In addition to whether they're any good or not, I'd be especially keen to hear any sense of "worldview" biases in their courses. 

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11 hours ago, cuckoomamma said:

The only classes we know of that fill if you don’t register right away are the English ones with Maya Inspektor.

Her class is amazing. It’s my daughter’s favorite class EVER. And so it does fill up VERY quickly. 

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36 minutes ago, stripe said:

I am very disappointed by online classes that involve Great Courses or Crash Course videos.

Hm. I'm not bothered by that. I mean, if you want a 10 minute summary, even a really good teacher isn't likely to be able to make a better one than Crash Course. The thing that I'm looking for in a great online class is more the discussion elements and the feedback. The presentation of information and teaching - that could be the teacher, the textbook, videos, whatever. As long as it's well-curated and supported.

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1 hour ago, Farrar said:

Hm. I'm not bothered by that. I mean, if you want a 10 minute summary, even a really good teacher isn't likely to be able to make a better one than Crash Course. The thing that I'm looking for in a great online class is more the discussion elements and the feedback. The presentation of information and teaching - that could be the teacher, the textbook, videos, whatever. As long as it's well-curated and supported.

Copious discussion and feedback are good. But asynchronous classes that use Crash Course videos or where I must pay an additional fee to buy Great Courses, and are several hundred dollars per semester, are massively overpriced, in my opinion.

 

ETA: To clarify — a class should be more than a collection of ten minute summary videos. Especially when I can get the videos by myself for free. There needs to be significant added value.

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1 minute ago, stripe said:

Copious discussion and feedback are good. But asynchronous classes that use Crash Course videos or where I must pay an additional fee to buy Great Courses, and are several hundred dollars per semester, are massively overpriced, in my opinion.

 

ETA: To clarify — a class should be more than a collection of ten minute summary video.

Maybe I'm taking this too personally, and obviously this is way tangential to the PAH reviews, but I assign my online students for my history/lit class to watch Crash Course, as well as a number of other short summary videos. Each week, they have a list of short videos (and occasionally a longer one), significant readings for the lit portion of the class, and then there are usually other assignments as well - history questions that require the textbook and in depth answers, mapwork, primary source readings, history book readings (for example, they have to start The Ghost Map this week), shorter lit readings like poems, choosing artwork or poems that we'll discuss later, and also periodic essay assignments. I give major feedback on essays and meet with students individually about them routinely. We have a 2 hour live meeting once a week. Yesterday, we spent well over an hour discussing Frankenstein. The fact that they had read the book and watched the Crash Course discussion of the novel deepened their ability to discuss it. 

No course should be totally predicated on a single summary resource. But I don't see this one as any different from any other summary text. Same thing with Great Courses. It's like how you have to buy the textbook. A GC Plus subscription isn't that expensive and they're available through the library for free in many places. But regardless, it's just the cost of the resource for the class. Gathering and curating resources - as I think we all know - is hard work for teachers and is a portion of what comprises a good course. I like a course with eclectic resources. I do think some teachers over-rely on things like Crash Course to do the work of discussing and reading and teaching. It's a good summary and nothing more. A good course has to go way beyond that. But I also don't think their inclusion is a bad thing at all. They're very well constructed for what they are.

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23 hours ago, calbear said:

Would it be possible if reviews could note if the class is live or asynchronous since not everything is at PAH is asynchronous any more?

Although AP English does not include a live class, it does have A LOT of interaction with both the teacher and students. And assignments have daily and weekly due dates and immediate feedback. Maya’s daily morning messages contain a lot of teaching content. So in a sense it feels to her very much like a live class, or at the very least, I personally don’t feel like the lack of a live class has decreased its benefit or engagement in any way. My daughter, who normally prefers live to asynchronous, loves Maya’s AP English class more than any other. However, it is VERY time consuming. 
 

My son (now studying software engineering at Penn State) had LOVED Moskakuk’s AP Chemistry class (also not live but equally beneficial IMHO). 
 

These two teachers have really inspired, motivated, and challenged (in a good way) my kids. 

Edited by Maryam
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53 minutes ago, Maryam said:

Although AP English does not include a live class, it does have A LOT of interaction with both the teacher and students. And assignments have daily and weekly due dates and immediate feedback. Maya’s daily morning messages contain a lot of teaching content. So in a sense it feels to her very much like a live class, or at the very least, I personally don’t feel like the lack of a live class has decreased its benefit or engagement in any way. My daughter, who normally prefers live to asynchronous, loves Maya’s AP English class more than any other. However, it is VERY time consuming. 

We imagined the students submitting their papers and going to sleep as Maya (in Israel) wakes up and begins reading.  She submits her feedback, goes to sleep.  Our kids wake up and read her feedback.  And so on.  It's kind of efficient that way.  

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