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My daughter is taking 3 online classes as a ninth grader at Wilson Hill Academy: Honors Comp with Starlet Baker, Physics 1 with Adair Paul & The Great Conversation 1+4 with Bruce Etter.  It has been a great experience! The education she is receiving is far superior to Classical Conversations Conversation's Challenge Program in which we had been involved as well as the expensive, private college prep schools in our area. 

 

Are there any others taking classes at WHA?  I'm already looking at classes to take next year and which teachers to choose?  I am particularly interested in Rhetoric 1 which is taught by Scott Baker or Tom Vierra as well as Pre-AP Chemistry with Ranya Bailey.

Edited by Lori from Florida
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We have used Wilson Hill for Geometry with Leslie Smith and this year Algebra II with Eric Reini. My ds adores Eric Reini, as he's really funny and goofy - so adds a lot to math. We are very pleased. We will continue with Pre-Calculus through AP Calculus as well for this son (w/ Anne Stublen, whom we've heard great things about!), and who knows for my other kids. Love to hear more reviews. 

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My older son has taken Algebra 2 with Mr. Reini and Honors Chemistry with Mrs. Jester, both fabulous.  He is currently taking pre-calc with Mrs. Stublen and Biology with Mrs. Owens, also fabulous.  My younger son is taking Physics 1 with Mrs. Paul and I am not quite so much in love with that class.  I probably should have signed up my son for Honors Physics but I also have the feeling that Mrs. Paul is a little overwhelmed teaching 4 classes.

 

Edited for accuracy

Edited by rdj2027
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My dd has Leslie Smith for Algebra 1, Mr. Martin for GC 2, Mrs. Coll for Latin 3 and Mrs. Baker for Honors Composition.  Last year she had Mr. Etter for GC 1, Mrs. Hensley for Latin 2 and Mrs. Lange for FOEW.  We are thrilled with the teachers and the school in general.  I'm sorry I can't help with the chem and Rhetoric 1 recommendations but I'm curious too.

 

 

Edited by h2bh
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My daughter is enrolled in four classes there as well. GC 1+4, Honors Comp, Geometry, and General Chemistry. She says they are spectacular (well, she likes the first three best). I find the quality and accountability much better than the CC Challenge program as well (we were long term cc family prior to this). I miss the live discussions, though.

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Just wanted to add to this thread, in the interest of sharing info, that Wilson Hill has the strictest withdrawal/class dropping policy out of all the (many) providers I'm familiar with, in terms of tuition refund. It is published, and so should not be a surprise, but because each and every provider has a different policy, and theirs is on one end of that spectrum, I wanted to point this out. HTH.

 

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I have a daughter in Honors Composition and one in Fundamentals of Expository Writing. (Both are misnamed in my opinion.) Mrs Lange of FOEW runs a tight ship and the class expectations are high, especially for the recommended grade level. (I think it would make for an excellent Intro to Literary Analysis class for many freshmen.)

 

Dd#1 and I are less impressed with Honors Comp (teacher and class content), but it is still early in the year.

 

I am lightly considering WHA for Pre-Calc for Dd#1 next year. If we outsource math, it will probably be to WHA, but I'd rather she use Foerster at home. We'll see.

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My daughter is taking 3 online classes as a ninth grader at Wilson Hill Academy: Honors Comp with Starlet Baker, Physics 1 with Adair Paul & The Great Conversation 1+4 with Bruce Etter.  It has been a great experience! The education she is receiving is far superior to Classical Conversations Conversation's Challenge Program in which we had been involved as well as the expensive, private college prep schools in our area. 

 

Are there any others taking classes at WHA?  I'm already looking at classes to take next year and which teachers to choose?  I am particularly interested in Rhetoric 1 which is taught by Scott Baker or Tom Vierra as well as Pre-AP Chemistry with Ranya Bailey.

 

My daughter is in 9th as well and is taking Great Conversation 3 with Bruce Etter, Logic 1 with Bart Martin, and Latin 2 with Joanna Hensley.  We are doing Physics 1 at home and plan to switch out Logic for Chemistry next year for 10th.  Their science program looks awesome!  This is her second year with them, and she absolutely loves it.  

 

ETA: If you are looking at Rhetoric 1, make sure she has completed Logic as a prerequisite.  (That's what we are doing this year.  She thinks she is just taking another class from Mr. Martin for fun.) :)

 

Edited by Paula in MS
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My daughter is enrolled in four classes there as well. GC 1+4, Honors Comp, Geometry, and General Chemistry. She says they are spectacular (well, she likes the first three best). I find the quality and accountability much better than the CC Challenge program as well (we were long term cc family prior to this). I miss the live discussions, though.

 

 

We were a CC family as well before 7th grade.  I have found that the environment at Wilson Hill is definitely more academic than CC which really leads to better discussions in class.  The students are top notch, and their seriousness rubs off on others.  It definitely inspires students to reach higher.  Love Wilson Hill.  Those Great Conversation classes are really amazing.

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My daughter is in 9th as well and is taking Great Conversation 3 with Bruce Etter, Logic 1 with Bart Martin, and Latin 2 with Joanna Hensley.  We are doing Physics 1 at home and plan to switch out Logic for Chemistry next year for 10th.  Their science program looks awesome!  This is her second year with them, and she absolutely loves it.  

 

ETA: If you are looking at Rhetoric 1, make sure she has completed Logic as a prerequisite.  (That's what we are doing this year.  She thinks she is just taking another class from Mr. Martin for fun.) :)

 

My daughter took Logic last year.  I hope she will remember enough for Rhetoric 1.  I really don't understand what Rhetoric 1 will be like.  It sounds like it's a writing and speech class.  

 

My daughter loves science, but I don't like Mrs. Paul's grading scale.  Quizzes, which students take before each class, are 50% of their grade.  In my daughter's other classes they are only 30%.  Lab reports, which my daughter spends hours on are worth 15%, homework 10%, class participation 5%, Semester exams 10%.  It just seems out of balance.

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We've been very happy with all the classes we've taken at WHA so far....

 

- Algebra 1- PreCalc classes with Leslie Smith and Anne Stublen

- Biology with Marie Owens

- Fundamentals of Expository Writing with Cindy Lange

 

The Omni I & II/Great Courses my boys took a few years ago with Bruce Etter and Joanna Hensley were also excellent.

 

A friend's son is taking Latin I/Latin Alive with Deidre Salmon and really likes it. My daughter took a Latin for Children class several years ago with Mrs. Salmon and liked it.

 

We've also taken grammar/logic stage history classes with Julie Etter and been very happy with those.

 

Bottom line..... lots of very positive experiences with teachers and classes at WHA!

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We've been very happy with all the classes we've taken at WHA so far....

 

- Algebra 1- PreCalc classes with Leslie Smith and Anne Stublen

- Biology with Marie Owens

- Fundamentals of Expository Writing with Cindy Lange

 

The Omni I & II/Great Courses my boys took a few years ago with Bruce Etter and Joanna Hensley were also excellent.

 

A friend's son is taking Latin I/Latin Alive with Deidre Salmon and really likes it. My daughter took a Latin for Children class several years ago with Mrs. Salmon and liked it.

 

We've also taken grammar/logic stage history classes with Julie Etter and been very happy with those.

 

Bottom line..... lots of very positive experiences with teachers and classes at WHA!

What was the workload for bio? Was it preAP bio? How many hours a day? Thanks!

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My daughter took Logic last year.  I hope she will remember enough for Rhetoric 1.  I really don't understand what Rhetoric 1 will be like.  It sounds like it's a writing and speech class.  

 

My daughter loves science, but I don't like Mrs. Paul's grading scale.  Quizzes, which students take before each class, are 50% of their grade.  In my daughter's other classes they are only 30%.  Lab reports, which my daughter spends hours on are worth 15%, homework 10%, class participation 5%, Semester exams 10%.  It just seems out of balance.

 

That's a weird grading scale, even with these quizzes being open book.   I don't like that at all. 

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I received information from the WHA Rhetoric 1 instructor clarifying the class.  Here's part of the email:

 

R1 is indeed a writing and speech class, but much more as well.  It introduces the basic concepts and terminology of the art, so it is an introduction to rhetorical thinking, a fulsome approach to persuasion in any context (including the academic context).  This makes all of the practical writing/speech assignments a direct outworking of what amounts to a new way of thinking for most students.  Your daughter's background in both branches of logic will be quite an asset!

 

The curriculum flow from logic into rhetoric works as follows.  There are several major points of direct connection, but here are just a few:
 
1. Rhetoric is what Aristotle and others call the "counterpart of dialectic" (with logic being the art and science of reasoning that disciplines both).  Rhetoric is the art that transforms the rigid and stale ways of logical reasoning into a full art of persuasion, a difference one classical author calls the shift from the "closed fist" to the "open hand."
 
2. Logic, therefore, is enhanced in rhetoric (under the heading of Invention).  You might say that rhetoric "completes" logic.
 
3. The major forms of reasoning (inductive and deductive) are developed as more than cold ways to analyze reasoning but as living methods of persuading specific audiences.
 
4. A big part of the course is the common topic of Definition (especially Genus and Species) as it applies to all of the major types of public communication.
 

 

Keep in mind that logic connects to rhetoric primarily in Invention (while the course covers the other four offices of the canon too).
 

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Wilson Hill is having preview days for prospective families January 24, 25 & 26.  I'll try to attach the link to register.

 

Come see WHA classes in action! Register  HERE to observe first hand what learning is like inside our online classrooms. We look forward to welcoming you to our campus!
 

 

If you have a question, please send it to contact@wilsonhillacademy.com or use the Contact form on the website.

 

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What was the workload for bio? Was it preAP bio? How many hours a day? Thanks!

 

No experience with WHA Bio. But we are taking WTMA Bio this year and really like it!! Mrs. Upperman is fantastic! And we have experience with both WHA & WTMA and find them to be very comparable in experience. A big win for both. Plus WTMA has a great refund policy, so if you don't like it for any reason w/n 30 days, you have some wiggle room.

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No experience with WHA Bio. But we are taking WTMA Bio this year and really like it!! Mrs. Upperman is fantastic! And we have experience with both WHA & WTMA and find them to be very comparable in experience. A big win for both. Plus WTMA has a great refund policy, so if you don't like it for any reason w/n 30 days, you have some wiggle room.

We have decided on Miller Levin text for bio, so the choice of a textbook coupled with writing assignments at WTMA (we do enough writing in other subjects and really would prefer not to be writing in science as well outside of labs) is why we decided to look at WH. I am also considering fundafunda, which uses Miller Levin text.

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Havent read the whole thread, but my son took alg 2 with reini last year (LOVED IT) and has resumed pre-calc with Steublen (loves it). 

 

I am considering other classes next semester for 10th with WHA, but am wary of the Christian component. We prefer secular academics, and I am not sure how much Christianity comes into their Lit, their science etc.

 

Can someone enlighten me? We are so pleased with WHA and I would love to do more with them--it really relieves the burden from me knowing how well he is being taught there.

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WHA is not preachy, but it does support a biblical worldview which our family loves.  Here is their mission statement:

 

Wilson Hill Academy exists to provide college-bound students with a classical and Christian education founded upon and informed by a biblical worldview; equipping them to know, love, and practice that which is true, good and beautiful, and preparing them to live obedient, fruitful lives in the service of God and man.

 

They believe that truth, goodness and beauty are absolutes rooted in the triune God of Scripture.  If you don't believe that, you may not like the literature classes.  Although students are not told what to believe, they do need to use the Bible to support their reasoning for many assignments.  Here are the best examples of how the Bible is used for assignments in The Great Conversation 1+4: 

 
  • The stated theme of The Iliad is the anger of the Greek warrior, Achilles. Find at least five verses in Proverbs about anger. Write them out. Write a brief summary of what you find in terms of the effects of anger in our lives. 

 

  • What is the connection between the anger of Apollo and the anger of Achilles. Look up Psalm 115 (esp. v. 8). Do we become like the gods we worship? How might this apply to both individuals and entire cultures?

 

  • A major theme of The Odyssey is the growing up of Telemachos, son of Odysseus. Discuss what he does in Books 1 - 4 that shows he is growing up and becoming a man. Also, what TRULY makes a boy a man? Cite Scripture to support your conclusions.

 

  • Write a 500 word paper comparing Odysseus (the ideal Greek man) with the ideal Christian man. Take a look at I Timothy 3. In what ways are the two similar? In what ways are the two different? Include a minimum of two quotations properly cited for textual support.  

 

  • Read Colossians 2:8. In light of this warning by Paul, why should Christians spend time studying philosophy?

 

 

Edited by lbell
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WHA is not preachy, but it does support a biblical worldview which our family loves.  Here is their mission statement:

 

Wilson Hill Academy exists to provide college-bound students with a classical and Christian education founded upon and informed by a biblical worldview; equipping them to know, love, and practice that which is true, good and beautiful, and preparing them to live obedient, fruitful lives in the service of God and man.

 

They believe that truth, goodness and beauty are absolutes rooted in the triune God of Scripture.  If you don't believe that, you may not like the literature classes.  Although students are not told what to believe, they do need to use the Bible to support their reasoning for many assignments.  Here are the best examples of how the Bible is used for assignments in The Great Conversation 1+4: 

 
  • The stated theme of The Iliad is the anger of the Greek warrior, Achilles. Find at least five verses in Proverbs about anger. Write them out. Write a brief summary of what you find in terms of the effects of anger in our lives. 

 

  • What is the connection between the anger of Apollo and the anger of Achilles. Look up Psalm 115 (esp. v. 8). Do we become like the gods we worship? How might this apply to both individuals and entire cultures?

 

  • A major theme of The Odyssey is the growing up of Telemachos, son of Odysseus. Discuss what he does in Books 1 - 4 that shows he is growing up and becoming a man. Also, what TRULY makes a boy a man? Cite Scripture to support your conclusions.

 

  • Write a 500 word paper comparing Odysseus (the ideal Greek man) with the ideal Christian man. Take a look at I Timothy 3. In what ways are the two similar? In what ways are the two different? Include a minimum of two quotations properly cited for textual support.  

 

  • Read Colossians 2:8. In light of this warning by Paul, why should Christians spend time studying philosophy?

 

Thanks for sharing these specific examples. I'm another secular homeschooler who is interested in WHA courses based on their very positive reviews, but after seeing the above, I know Great Conversations classes wouldn't be a good fit for us. I wonder about the science courses? Do you have any experience with them so that you could provide details about how religious they are? 

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We are secular homeschoolers.  My older son has taken Alg2, Chemistry and is currently taking Biology and Pre-Calc.  My younger son is taking Physics.  My older one is set on taking Calc with Mrs. Stublen next year and my younger one will continue with Chemistry.  In Alg2 and Physics there was a short prayer before class which none of us mind.

 

There has been one assignment in Biology where religion came up, and one in Physics.  All have provided interesting and meaningful discussions and definitely broadened my sons' understanding of how and what other people believe.  At no point was there any proselytizing, loss of points for their argument nor were they told that they were wrong.  

 

As a secular homeschooler, I thought about signing up with WH for quite a while before I did but I have been nothing but pleased with every class and every teacher.  I do agree that the Great Courses would not be a good fit for us at this point.

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We are secular homeschoolers. My older son has taken Alg2, Chemistry and is currently taking Biology and Pre-Calc. My younger son is taking Physics. My older one is set on taking Calc with Mrs. Stublen next year and my younger one will continue with Chemistry. In Alg2 and Physics there was a short prayer before class which none of us mind.

 

There has been one assignment in Biology where religion came up, and one in Physics. All have provided interesting and meaningful discussions and definitely broadened my sons' understanding of how and what other people believe. At no point was there any proselytizing, loss of points for their argument nor were they told that they were wrong.

 

As a secular homeschooler, I thought about signing up with WH for quite a while before I did but I have been nothing but pleased with every class and every teacher. I do agree that the Great Courses would not be a good fit for us at this point.

This is so encouraging. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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We are secular homeschoolers.  My older son has taken Alg2, Chemistry and is currently taking Biology and Pre-Calc.  My younger son is taking Physics.  My older one is set on taking Calc with Mrs. Stublen next year and my younger one will continue with Chemistry.  In Alg2 and Physics there was a short prayer before class which none of us mind.

 

There has been one assignment in Biology where religion came up, and one in Physics.  All have provided interesting and meaningful discussions and definitely broadened my sons' understanding of how and what other people believe.  At no point was there any proselytizing, loss of points for their argument nor were they told that they were wrong.  

 

As a secular homeschooler, I thought about signing up with WH for quite a while before I did but I have been nothing but pleased with every class and every teacher.  I do agree that the Great Courses would not be a good fit for us at this point.

 

 

This is fantastic news re the science. We are doing Clover Creek Physics next year but want to do Chem through them. Thank you!

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My daughter is using the Introductory Physics this year.  She likes that it includes history and interesting facts about scientist. My husband has been acting as her tutor for the math.  He's a doctor and thinks the book is well written.  

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I have a daughter in Honors Composition and one in Fundamentals of Expository Writing. (Both are misnamed in my opinion.) Mrs Lange of FOEW runs a tight ship and the class expectations are high, especially for the recommended grade level. (I think it would make for an excellent Intro to Literary Analysis class for many freshmen.)

 

Dd#1 and I are less impressed with Honors Comp (teacher and class content), but it is still early in the year.

 

I am lightly considering WHA for Pre-Calc for Dd#1 next year. If we outsource math, it will probably be to WHA, but I'd rather she use Foerster at home. We'll see.

Are you willing to give an updated review of both FOEW and Honors Comp now that a couple more months have passed? And can you speak to your comment that they're both mis-named? Thanks in advance!

 

ETA: typo

Edited by fourisenough

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My son is taking Pre AP Chemistry with Mrs. Bailey this year and absolutely loves the class.  She is one of his favorite teachers.  He also really likes the textbook that is used.  He said he has no complaints about her class!  

 

He is also taking Rhetoric 1 with Mr. Vierra.  He said it is a hard class but good.  

 

We have really enjoyed our experience at Wilson Hill Academy the last two years.

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The 2017-18 schedule was just released. I'm disappointed that Lange is not teaching other classes. I hope I read it correctly. I thought she was going to teach more classes. So it's Baker or Starlet for Fundamentals of Academic Writing, formerly known as Honors Composition.

 

DD's enrollment will all depend upon RootAnn's opinion. :D So speak up Ann!

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My son is taking Pre AP Chemistry with Mrs. Bailey this year and absolutely loves the class. She is one of his favorite teachers. He also really likes the textbook that is used. He said he has no complaints about her class!

.

Is there a lot of religious discussion? Also how many hours of study per week would you estimate?

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The 2017-18 schedule was just released. I'm disappointed that Lange is not teaching other classes. I hope I read it correctly. I thought she was going to teach more classes. So it's Baker or Starlet for Fundamentals of Academic Writing, formerly known as Honors Composition.

 

DD's enrollment will all depend upon RootAnn's opinion. :D So speak up Ann!

I just logged in and I can't see the 17-18 schedule yet? I wonder if it is because we're not a currently enrolled family? Or maybe I'm doing something wrong: when I log-in with my parent account, chose my student name, & select 'enroll' I see only one course and it is from the 16-17 school year. ???

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I just logged in and I can't see the 17-18 schedule yet? I wonder if it is because we're not a currently enrolled family? 

 

I haven't checked the WHA site, but the schedule came in an email from "All School Announcements", so I think it may have only gone out to currently enrolled students. It does say "Public" on it, however, so they will probably release it very soon on their website.

 

Registration for current students: February 1

Registration for siblings of current students: February 4

Open Registration: February 8

 

Although some of the WHA classes fill quickly, they don't usually fill immediately, so hopefully everyone can get in the course and time slot that they want!

 

Just an fyi: Definitely check WHA's refund policy before you register for a class. It is quite strict. 

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Has anyone had a student take Spanish with K. Venable?

 

What about a class with Scott Baker?  

 

curious about spanish also. i want my son to take spanish 2 next year. i think he needs to do a placement exam. 

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Has anyone had a student take Spanish with K. Venable?

 

 

 

No Spanish with Venable, but my ds took two years of Spanish with Mrs. Pliego and she is wonderful!  Very caring and committed to the success of the students.  

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Are you willing to give an updated review of both FOEW and Honors Comp now that a couple more months have passed? And can you speak to your comment that they're both mis-named? Thanks in advance!

 

ETA: typo

 

I'm not RootAnn, but I do have a child in Honors Comp after FOEW last year.  According to the parent meeting as I understood it, Honors Comp is going to change names and become a supplemental class for those who need more work with the essay form after completing FOEW.  Under this new guidance, I probably would not have signed my daughter up for the composition class this year.  

 

I think someone asked if FOEW would be labeled honors at last night's meeting and the answer was no.  I definitely disagree, but I suppose it doesn't matter in the junior high years anyway.

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I've commented plenty on FOEW in the Rigorous Online Writing thread (which you've seen). It is tough & would be a good non-honors 9th grade class, in my opinion. Honestly, I'd love to see it geared toward (average) 9th graders or above-average 8th graders. Mrs Lange is a caring teacher who expects a LOT from her students. I think she's already lowered requirements on some of the essays vs. last year - maybe because the kids aren't keeping up with the high expectations she has (or maybe she learned last year's group thought it was too much??). It could easily be a higher grade / level class. I think FOEW should be named for what it does - teach literary analysis (including essays & literary terms). It should be "Fudamentals of Literary Analysis."

 

Are you willing to give an updated review of both FOEW and Honors Comp now that a couple more months have passed? And can you speak to your comment that they're both mis-named? Thanks in advance!

ETA: typo

 

Here is the description of Honors Composition as posted in a previous thread:

Also known as Fundamentals of Literary Analysis, this course will trace the trajectory of the writing process from pre-writing to final revisions.  As we explore the purposes of writing (with a special emphasis on exposition and persuasion), students will gain greater proficiency in the art of a well-crafted sentence and a coherent paragraph.  We will use student writing samples to practice the revision process and to identify common writing blunders. Outside of class, students will read a variety of critical essays, poetry, and short stories so that they may learn to compose written responses across academic disciplines. While a basic understanding of grammatical conventions is a course pre-requisite, the class will spend time clarifying and reviewing various grammatical conventions/usage for the sake of clearer writing.

 

 

I still haven't quite figured out what Honors Composition is teaching. I'm far less impressed with Starlet Baker (than Mrs. Lange). She's a "fun" teacher, but kinda flighty. I'm sure I'm missing the forest for the trees, but she jumps around a lot on topics & what they are working on. I'm less involved with this class, though, so perhaps I'm wrong. The class doesn't seem nearly as rigorous (in terms of assignments or grading) vs. FOEW. It isn't, IMO, an "honors" class. It definitely doesn't match the description above. I would have to go back to the assignments to tell you what all they have covered so far because they are so all over the board. There is more Christian content in this class than I thought there would be. Several assignments (one out of two or three of the larger writing assignments) have asked kids to use the Bible or actually been on a Bible passage (parable). We're not secular homeschoolers although we prefer to use secular resources. It has been mildly annoying for my DD, but she also doesn't care for all the football talk (teacher included) or the teacher's voice - so lots to pick from when complaining.  :crying:

 

The 2017-18 schedule was just released. I'm disappointed that Lange is not teaching other classes. I hope I read it correctly. I thought she was going to teach more classes. So it's Baker or Starlet for Fundamentals of Academic Writing, formerly known as Honors Composition.

DD's enrollment will all depend upon RootAnn's opinion. :D So speak up Ann!

 

I don't know what other class to recommend, but at this point, I wouldn't necessarily recommend Starlet Baker's Honors Comp (or whatever they will call it next year) for a "next step" after FOEW. We didn't have a whole lot of options for dd#1 this year that I liked. DD is writing, but I'm not sure how much she's LEARNING.

 

I'm not RootAnn, but I do have a child in Honors Comp after FOEW last year.  According to the parent meeting as I understood it, Honors Comp is going to change names and become a supplemental class for those who need more work with the essay form after completing FOEW.  Under this new guidance, I probably would not have signed my daughter up for the composition class this year.  

 

I think someone asked if FOEW would be labeled honors at last night's meeting and the answer was no.  I definitely disagree, but I suppose it doesn't matter in the junior high years anyway.

 

:iagree:  I've already put my $.02 in on this. (Not an honors 9th grade class, but a stretch for average 8th graders, YES.) There seems to be a lot of kids who are taking Great Conversations classes at WHA along with their composition classes. (Both my daughters comment that they are generally the odd-man-out when the kids in class talk about GC class content.) I suppose there is some overlap.

 

I was actually thinking they would add another composition class into their high school lineup. I haven't seen a link to the recording of the parent meeting & I wasn't able to attend. I'm going to try to watch it to see what else was said.

 

My personal take, so far:  FOEW - for strong readers & writers (if you are on the young side), great teacher, lots of stretch & learning in this class. Great 9th grade class for an average reader/writer to get Literary Analysis down. Just enough scaffolding to make it do-able without dumbing it down too much. Honors Comp (or whatever they call it next year) - not very friendly for secular homeschoolers, definitely not an honors class, not really that great of a class for average (or above-average) high school writers. All IMO! Your mileage may vary.

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I've commented plenty on FOEW in the Rigorous Online Writing thread (which you've seen). It is tough & would be a good non-honors 9th grade class, in my opinion. Honestly, I'd love to see it geared toward (average) 9th graders or above-average 8th graders. Mrs Lange is a caring teacher who expects a LOT from her students. I think she's already lowered requirements on some of the essays vs. last year - maybe because the kids aren't keeping up with the high expectations she has (or maybe she learned last year's group thought it was too much??). It could easily be a higher grade / level class. I think FOEW should be named for what it does - teach literary analysis (including essays & literary terms). It should be "Fudamentals of Literary Analysis."

 

 

Here is the description of Honors Composition as posted in a previous thread:

 

I still haven't quite figured out what Honors Composition is teaching. I'm far less impressed with Starlet Baker (than Mrs. Lange). She's a "fun" teacher, but kinda flighty. I'm sure I'm missing the forest for the trees, but she jumps around a lot on topics & what they are working on. I'm less involved with this class, though, so perhaps I'm wrong. The class doesn't seem nearly as rigorous (in terms of assignments or grading) vs. FOEW. It isn't, IMO, an "honors" class. It definitely doesn't match the description above. I would have to go back to the assignments to tell you what all they have covered so far because they are so all over the board. There is more Christian content in this class than I thought there would be. Several assignments (one out of two or three of the larger writing assignments) have asked kids to use the Bible or actually been on a Bible passage (parable). We're not secular homeschoolers although we prefer to use secular resources. It has been mildly annoying for my DD, but she also doesn't care for all the football talk (teacher included) or the teacher's voice - so lots to pick from when complaining. :crying:

 

 

I don't know what other class to recommend, but at this point, I wouldn't necessarily recommend Starlet Baker's Honors Comp (or whatever they will call it next year) for a "next step" after FOEW. We didn't have a whole lot of options for dd#1 this year that I liked. DD is writing, but I'm not sure how much she's LEARNING.

 

 

:iagree: I've already put my $.02 in on this. (Not an honors 9th grade class, but a stretch for average 8th graders, YES.) There seems to be a lot of kids who are taking Great Conversations classes at WHA along with their composition classes. (Both my daughters comment that they are generally the odd-man-out when the kids in class talk about GC class content.) I suppose there is some overlap.

 

I was actually thinking they would add another composition class into their high school lineup. I haven't seen a link to the recording of the parent meeting & I wasn't able to attend. I'm going to try to watch it to see what else was said.

 

My personal take, so far: FOEW - for strong readers & writers (if you are on the young side), great teacher, lots of stretch & learning in this class. Great 9th grade class for an average reader/writer to get Literary Analysis down. Just enough scaffolding to make it do-able without dumbing it down too much. Honors Comp (or whatever they call it next year) - not very friendly for secular homeschoolers, definitely not an honors class, not really that great of a class for average (or above-average) high school writers. All IMO! Your mileage may vary.

Thank you for sticking your neck out by offering your detailed review of each course. I'm sure it will be helpful for many!

 

I just want to clarify: FOEW is secular-friendly in your opinion?

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I'm always glad for detailed reviews (pro & con) to help me make decisions. Sometimes, what someone else considers a negative is a positive for me & vice versa.

 

I just want to clarify: FOEW is secular-friendly in your opinion?

 

FOEW, so far, is secular-friendly, IMO. There is a prayer at the beginning & sometimes Mrs. Lange offers a comment on who wrote the prayer (often a saint or monk, but sometimes a non-religious historical figure), but it isn't much & is never lingered on long.

 

She actually points out that you shouldn't add extraneous Bible quotes to your essay conclusions as it comes across as preachy. (That's my interpretation of what she's said a couple times in class. Those are not her actual words.)

 

I'm comparing it to Honors Comp, so perhaps other people will have a different impression. I usually judge based on how obvious the Christian content is in the class. From the classes I've sat in on, there isn't stuff that isn't related to the readings/assignments. (Right now, the FOEW class is reading from Canterbury Tales, so there is some Christian-related comments as the pilgrims are going to where Saint Thomas a Becket was murdered. Mrs. Lange provides background for this, but doesn't dwell.)

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Are you willing to give an updated review of both FOEW and Honors Comp now that a couple more months have passed? And can you speak to your comment that they're both mis-named? Thanks in advance!

 

ETA: typo

 

My daughter is in Honors Comp with Starlet Baker and really likes the class.  Formerly we were in Classical Conversations and although Challenge A & B do a lot of writing, it is very scripted and they don't focus on mechanics & grammar, so this has been a "fill in the gaps" year.  

 

I asked my daughter why she likes the class, and she said it was because Mrs. Baker explains the material well and has breakout rooms where the students can collaborate.  For us, Mrs. Baker and Honors Comp has been a good fit.  It sounds like it's a better class for students new to WHA though. If your student is a strong writer and knows mechanics and grammar well, they won't need the course which is now called Fundamentals of Writing.

 

In regards to the curriculum, my daughter's friend is taking a local, homeschool writing class.  She is usually at my house on Thursdays when her mom works and listens in on Honors Comp.  Almost weekly she states, "That's what we are learning!"  

 

Here is a summary of what I know was covered 1st semester:

  1. 5 Cannons of Rhetoric
  2. Paragraph structure
  3. Key components of a topic sentence
  4. Concrete details & commentary sentences
  5. Essay arrangement
  6. Thesis statements
  7. Paraphrasing vs summarizing
  8. In-text citations
  9. MLA Citations
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Thank you for sticking your neck out by offering your detailed review of each course. I'm sure it will be helpful for many!

 

I just want to clarify: FOEW is secular-friendly in your opinion?

I would say yes, despite the written prayer at the beginning and read by a volunteer. Mrs. Lange made it clear she does not want essays which are preachy. She mentioned once that her pastor gives great sermons and what makes it great is that he is not preachy.

 

This is one of the best classes we've taken, and we've taken a number over the last 3-4 years. But DD hasn't had a lot of writing experience either, mainly just WWE and WWS1 with WTMA and a few other writing books from CAP. I never taught her to write a 5 paragraph essay for fear of the formulaic aspect, but she's learned so much in this class.

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The 2017-18 schedule was just released. I'm disappointed that Lange is not teaching other classes. I hope I read it correctly. I thought she was going to teach more classes. So it's Baker or Starlet for Fundamentals of Academic Writing, formerly known as Honors Composition.

 

DD's enrollment will all depend upon RootAnn's opinion. :D So speak up Ann!

 

WHA just added a new class taught by Mrs. Lange.  It is Literary Analysis and Argumentation T/R 2-3:30.  My dd wants to add it to her schedule because she loves being in class with Mrs. Lange.

 

eta: The class is intended to be for upper level high school, so it doesn't appear to solve the dilemma of what to do immediately after FOEW.

Edited by h2bh
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The FoEW class (with Mrs. Lange) was very good for my daughter's writing, as well.  We, too, didn't see a clear step forward from FoEW at WHA. The Lit Analysis & Argumentation class sounds really good, but, as the pp mentioned, it was intended for an older student, so I didn't think it would be the best placement for my dd.

 

I get the feeling that WHA is still shaping their English program. There seems to be a tug-of-war between purely composition courses and lit-based writing courses.  Personally, I prefer lit-based writing courses by high school because there just is not enough time, in an academically rigorous schedule, for a student to do two full courses to cover one subject area (English.)  For heavy STEM students who don't really want the lit, just composition might make sense, but, in general, for a less "pointy" student, writing about lit gets writing instruction in and also get the deeper analysis of lit in. I know the better, private, college prep schools in our area go the lit-based writing route for their English classes. It baffles me why the academically rigorous online providers offer so many pure composition classes, usually at the expense of offering lit-based writing classes! 

 

I'm not sure what the secular options are for a solid, post-FoEW, lit-based class, but one Christian provider that might have the "next step" is TPS. My boys really appreciated their 9th grade English 3: Lit Survey class with Linnea Geno. That class hit lit analysis hard and writing hard.  It was one of the best classes we've taken. The one downside to it when my boys took it two years ago was that there was a style & format checklist to which they had to strictly adhere. It made for some stilted-sounding sentences sometimes. At the beginning of this past year when I was looking at it for my daughter, I asked if they still had the same checklist/essay requirements. Mrs. Geno said that it had been simplified, so that one disadvantage might be gone.

 

My dd would have taken Mrs. Geno's class this year if she hadn't placed out of it. By the time I'd looked into it, the other TPS Eng 3 & up classes were full. Otherwise, I think TPS's Eng 3 & up classes would be a solid follow-on to FoEW.

 

 

Edited by yvonne
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I get the feeling that WHA is still shaping their English program. There seems to be a tug-of-war between purely composition courses and lit-based writing courses. Personally, I prefer lit-based writing courses by high school because there just is not enough time, in an academically rigorous schedule, for a student to do two full courses to cover one subject area (English.) For heavy STEM students who don't really want the lit, just composition might make sense, but, in general, for a less "pointy" student, writing about lit gets writing instruction in and also get the deeper analysis of lit in. I know the better, private, college prep schools in our area go the lit-based writing route for their English classes. It baffles me why the academically rigorous online providers offer so many pure composition classes, usually at the expense of offering lit-based writing classes!

 

This exactly! I have really loved the Expo Writing classes at WTMA (my DD has taken Expo 1 and is currently in Expo 2), but I just don't think we have the time to take both a literature class and a composition class next year; I think there is great value in linking writing to lit analysis at this point. We're 'done' with grammar, as DD is completing AG now and will move-on to their HS reinforcement books which require only lesson every-other week, but must combine writing and literature next year and onward if we're going to be able to do foreign language study at a high level, rigorous math, high-school level sciences, and her desired electives.

 

Blue Tent seems like a great secular option, but, alas, it doesn't include a live class, which is a must for my DD (now that I've presented both options to her, I know her very strong feelings on the subject). So, we'll do FOEW next year and ?? the following year...

Edited by fourisenough
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Although some of the WHA classes fill quickly, they don't usually fill immediately, so hopefully everyone can get in the course and time slot that they want!

 

Just an fyi: Definitely check WHA's refund policy before you register for a class. It is quite strict. 

 

... And sometimes WHA will add sections if there is a high demand.

The refund policy pretty much is "no refund." (Not quite, but close.) So, make sure you really need/want the class before you sign up.

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