Jump to content

Menu

IB vs AP Capstone vs Homeschooling with college classes.


Dmmetler
 Share

Recommended Posts

We went to the magnet schools fair yesterday for the larger city we live near. We are officially out of district, but since we pay county taxes, DD is eligible to attend their schools vs the tiny separate school district we're zoned into. She may or may not get in-there are a small number of kids assured acceptance into the magnet programs (each middle school principal has 5 slots that are assured acceptance for magnets-scattered over about a dozen programs in different schools), but after that all qualified kids are placed in a lottery for available slots. (DD qualifies for all magnets based on ACT/SAT scores, but higher than minimum scores don't give you any priority).

 

There are two options that seem worth considering for high school (year after next). Both are school-within a school programs.

 

The first is AP Capstone, which requires a major research project as well as competition of stacks of AP courses. The school offers 29 AP classes/exams, some limited just to Capstone students, some open to everyone. The ones that are just Capstone kids have high passing rates. The ones open to everyone, not so much. Rumor has it that the workload is heavy with a lot of busywork, and that it's highly competitive, and that the hosting school students aren't always nice to the magnet kids.

 

The second is IB. There are three campuses that have IB. One is a school where the honors track is the IB track, with about half the students starting and about 25% actually graduating with an IB diploma vs just a plain college bound one. The second and third both are magnet-only campuses, each housing two or more programs. One is creative and performing arts and IB. The other is IB and technical trades. The last is the newest IB program.

 

The third option, of course, is to continue as we are, doing college classes as needed, plus online classes and homegrown ones. The big downside to this is that the social network for kids DD's age is largely limited to a couple of tutorial programs that provide high school classes, so kids outside that network are very left out. And while there are homeschool sports, there simply aren't the fun extras available (although DD has hopes of making the CC cheer team, and we probably will attend some of their basketball games this season).

 

DD's biggest need in a school is flexibility for her research and project needs. But social is also getting more and more important, as teenhood beckons. She says she's not willing to sacrifice academics for friends-but she desperately wants what she thinks most kids have.

 

Sigh..anyone have any suggestions? We'll start the school tours circuit tomorrow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry, no advice, just commiseration. Although social is important to DS, it is not more important than good academic/ intellectual/ emotional fit and we are cobbling together CC, uni, AP based on that need. I do understand the need to investigate, try, etc. How else would you know if there's a better fit right? For us, the current combo is good enough. A semester at a time is what works around here.

 

Good luck!

Edited by quark
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Flexibility:  AP has a general reputation for being more flexible, but you'd want to look at the specifics for these schools.  IB has a reputation for sometimes involving high volume and effort.  Find out if it is busywork or efficient.  It seems to me that for either AP or IB, the particular courses and teachers might make the difference in the efficiency of the learning.

 

Pull up the course catalogs online and make a mock 4-year schedule for the AP school vs the IB programs, considering all graduation requirements, schedule format, etc.

 

If there might be room in the schedule, ask the head of the science department whether there might be an option to create one or more independent study courses that cater to your dd's special interests.

 

Find out whether DE is allowed if she tops out on the schools' offerings.

 

Ask if they allow shadow visits.  (N.B., it's possible to have a shadow day that gives an inaccurate impression, depending on the student being shadowed, so if what would otherwise be the top choice yields a negative shadow day, it's worth giving it another try, a second shadow day.)

Edited by wapiti
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think IB would be the least academic fit for your child based on the IB schools we toured. My oldest seems to have opposite "taste" to your child and he is drawn to the rigid structure of school. He is a box checker for academics and having box to check pleases him. He knows what he will pick if he goes to the private IB high school.

 

Also the graduating with an IB diploma rate for your local school seems low.

 

USA actually has the highest number of IB candidates by citizenship and by country.

Link is to the statistical bulletin for May 2015 exams. Can't find a more recent one. http://www.ibo.org/contentassets/bc850970f4e54b87828f83c7976a4db6/dp-2015-may-stats-bulletin.pdf

 

Flexibility: look at the flexibility of AP vs IB, specifically, the required courses, how much time for electives, etc. Pull up the course catalogs online and make a mock 4-year schedule for the AP school vs the IB programs, considering all graduation requirements, schedule format, etc.

The IB diploma program is in 11th and 12th grade. How rigid the other grades are depends on the school. 11th and 12th grade is when the kids do 4HL+2SL or 3HL+3SL.

http://www.ibo.org/programmes/diploma-programme/curriculum/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This depends more on her long-term goals than anything else. Does she want to finish college early, or is she more interested in (relatively) on-time college, which in itself can be a great experience, at a more elite level?

 

Homeschooling plus early college is going to get her a degree early at the cost of peers. All the way through. It will matter less as she gets older, but even being five years younger in grad school makes a difference. The tradeoff as well is that it's going to be hard to get an elite education, if that's her goal. Basically, a community college offers significantly weaker classes than an elite university (or even a solid state flagship). I tutored a state school student who took one class at my elite university. He was the best student at that school and still significantly weaker than the other students at our university. His math and science background was weaker, which meant that he had trouble keeping up with the high level class. 

 

The advantage though of early college is that a highly motivated individual can reach a terminal degree early and start earlier on the carrier ladder. 

 

Regarding IB vs. AP, if I had a choice for my kids, I'd vote for IB. DH did IB at school; I did AP. IB is much more rigorous; AP can be a joke (though perhaps it's gotten better over the years). I'm perpetually skeptical of magnets, though.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fwiw, I did IB and loved it. It was a pretty great bonding experience because everyone had some common courses. The projects were really great and independent. Art history for example, required us to work through the textbook over the summer, and spend the year on independent projects....I did a project on henna art and tattooing in different cultures and worked with henna artists and tattoo artists to learn how to design body art.

 

All our courses had an independent interest based component. Honestly it was often more in depth and interest based that college.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This depends more on her long-term goals than anything else. Does she want to finish college early, or is she more interested in (relatively) on-time college, which in itself can be a great experience, at a more elite level?

 

Homeschooling plus early college is going to get her a degree early at the cost of peers. 

This.

 

I admit that I was a bit surprised at how important good age-peer friendships have been to my two oldest kids.  When they were younger, they loved hanging out with friends, but they were pretty happy away from friends, too.  Now, as high school aged kids, they really crave that connection with age-peers.  I am so relieved that they have made those strong connections with some really great kids.

 

**Adding that attending school is not necessary to develop those strong peer connections, but for those who have limited means to find them outside of school, it can be a valid reason to consider school.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does she want to finish college early, or is she more interested in (relatively) on-time college, which in itself can be a great experience, at a more elite level?

I was just discussing this perspective with ds and a friend in my car after a very long Robotics meeting. Ds and a bunch of his friends had the option of graduating high school early and heading to college early... but they decided that they'd rather do dual-enrollment and have a better chance of getting into an elite college at the typical age (being old enough to live in the dorm on their own, having a more well-rounded college experience, etc.). They actually said something very like, "Well, we could have probably gotten into X University earlier, but if we did dual-enrollment and waited, our applications would be a lot stronger and we have a good chance and Y and Z Universities.  Yeah... who wants to go to X University?" -- followed by brisk laughter.  (I suppose this is elitist, but it's reality for them. Their applications are more competitive and they are more mature than they were two years ago, and college will be a completely different experience for them next year than it would have, while living at home, last year or the year before.)

Edited by zaichiki
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right now, DD doesn't want to graduate particularly early. She wants to be a normal teen girl, with all she thinks that entails. Just with microbiology, organic chemistry, and lots of field work added. Having said that, being attractive to highly competitive schools isn't a major goal. Undergrad schools that have herpetology students presenting at a national/international level tend not to be the ivy or public ivy ones. Even at the grad level, about 3/4 of the top programs are at schools that many of the parents on this group would probably consider safety schools. The goal there is to find a school that will let her dive in and work and research. And that is more likely to occur via her presence and presentations at conferences than whether she has a stack of IB or AP credits.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I understand wanting the flexibility to travel to conferences, and I agree that is important and is a great opportunity for your daughter, finding a high school that is flexible about absences is going to be difficult. We have a friend whose son plays for the US Men's Soccer Team. He missed four weeks of school this fall. When he is traveling with the team, there is no extra time to study or write papers. The amount of make up work--just tests, quizzes, and papers alone--was too much. He has switched to online school for this next semester. Just something to keep in mind.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Look carefully at the academics and decide what works for you. How much is redundant? We stayed in this district for IB , but found the top students weren't using it because the math was too little, then it was cancelled as elitist.

 

Get the inside scoop on AP. Here the goal is a three, because its inclusive. APUSH for ex, was virtually identical with 8th Honors USH as the teacher tried to get the former gen ed students up to a pass. Former honors students were told to buy a prep book if they wanted more, and were not excused from busy work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Look carefully at the academics and decide what works for you. How much is redundant? We stayed in this district for IB , but found the top students weren't using it because the math was too little, then it was cancelled as elitist.

 

Was the school offering all three levels of IB maths?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Was the school offering all three levels of IB maths?

No,which is why I mention it. Top students in my region have calc thru DiffEq available at their school, then DE or do research with a mentor. I would pick a school with a double accel track over a school with just IB or AP....those schools here have students prepared and successful in AP Science w/o requiring gen eds as pre-reqs, and don't waste time with busywork in math. They also have honors sections available.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No,which is why I mention it. Top students in my region have calc thru DiffEq available at their school, then DE or do research with a mentor. I would pick a school with a double accel track over a school with just IB or AP....those schools here have students prepared and successful in AP Science w/o requiring gen eds as pre-reqs, and don't waste time with busywork in math. They also have honors sections available.

 

Sorry - I wasn't clear so I'm not sure that I understand the answer: IB has three levels of maths: Studies, Standard and Higher, but schools don't have to offer all three.  I was wondering if not offering Higher was the issue, or whether Higher wasn't enough for the students.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The levels of IB is one thing I am hoping to drill down into on the school tours. The school descriptions list IB courses and options, but not which are which level. If the only things they offer HL classes in are humanities, that makes them a poor fit for DD.

 

The same is true on AP. The Capstone school is high on the US News ratings because of the number of students taking AP tests, but for some of the more common tests which are open to the non-magnet program students, the pass rate is low. Which makes sense, since, as far as I can tell, the school doesn't even offer non-AP classes for some of these subjects, and they're things everyone has to take. I am hoping to find out whether the Capstone program kids have their own sections and what their pass rate is, because I really don't want to send DD to school and then find that she has to self-study to have a prayer of a passing score on APUSH.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry - I wasn't clear so I'm not sure that I understand the answer: IB has three levels of maths: Studies, Standard and Higher, but schools don't have to offer all three. I was wondering if not offering Higher was the issue, or whether Higher wasn't enough for the students.

Both. Only the lowest level IB math was offered, and its too low for our top students. Edited by Heigh Ho
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right now, DD doesn't want to graduate particularly early. She wants to be a normal teen girl, with all she thinks that entails. Just with microbiology, organic chemistry, and lots of field work added. Having said that, being attractive to highly competitive schools isn't a major goal. Undergrad schools that have herpetology students presenting at a national/international level tend not to be the ivy or public ivy ones. Even at the grad level, about 3/4 of the top programs are at schools that many of the parents on this group would probably consider safety schools. The goal there is to find a school that will let her dive in and work and research. And that is more likely to occur via her presence and presentations at conferences than whether she has a stack of IB or AP credits.

 

I may have said this before, but I would make educational plans for your daughter that allow for easy movement into other fields of science, as her interest may change. The sort of biology/ecology research she does now isn't particularly attractive to highly STEM-oriented students because it's not very high level. She may realize as she matures that genetics in her snakes is interesting, but that her real passion is understanding how the proteins responsible for DNA replication mechanics leads to errors that cause human disease. Or how misfolded proteins cause disease states. Both of these topics were discussed in my intro bio class in college, so I'm sure the ivies are doing much more interesting research on these topics (full disclosure: I'm a chemist who tried very hard to like biology, but even biochemistry didn't suit me well -- organic chemistry is absolutely my passion though).

 

She'd be more likely to find intellectual peers at better universities. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We went to the open house/information session at the AP Capstone school. Let's just say that I came away underwhelmed and DD came away with the single word one word "no". The fact that the science Olympiad coach basically treated DD that she was a cute kid, told her that biology was less important than physics, but that she could "convert her", tried to tell DD that herpetology involved plants, and claimed that they didn't have snakes due to allergies, but they did have a cute little bunny didn't help.

 

The same person basically said that DD would have to redo all math and science not done in a high school, period. So, even having credits for college biology or having completed and passed an AP exam in bio wouldn't get her out of high school general bio. College calculus would not get her out of algebra. Because they know what smart kids need, darn it.

 

There definitely was a "the one who survives on least sleep wins" competitive vibe, even from the adults.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well that's disappointing.

 

The same person basically said that DD would have to redo all math and science not done in a high school, period. So, even having credits for college biology or having completed and passed an AP exam in bio wouldn't get her out of high school general bio. College calculus would not get her out of algebra. Because they know what smart kids need, darn it.

 

FWIW, placement would be a deal breaker for me.  However, this doesn't exactly sound right, that they wouldn't allow a higher placement, at least in math.  I suspect that they'd allow a higher placement as long as the proper placement tests were passed.  (Otherwise few would ever reach calc.)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well that's disappointing.

 

 

FWIW, placement would be a deal breaker for me.  However, this doesn't exactly sound right, that they wouldn't allow a higher placement, at least in math.  I suspect that they'd allow a higher placement as long as the proper placement tests were passed.  (Otherwise few would ever reach calc.)

Disappointing.

 

FWIW I've had individual teachers tell me there was no acceleration available, but when administrators were approached with "proof" (like AP scores or transcripts or even work samples), a different answer was given. Years ago I walked away from a school based on the answer a teacher gave... and the lack of answers when asked about acceleration... It is eye-rolling ridiculousness.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I expect it may be homeschool bias-if for no other reason that when I used to teach in this district pre-DD, I had a couple of 6th graders who did Algebra 1 with me-which means they should have gotten through Geometry and Algebra 2 without stepping into a high school. But I still definitely feel that the school is a poor fit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FWIW I've had individual teachers tell me there was no acceleration available, but when administrators were approached with "proof" (like AP scores or transcripts or even work samples), a different answer was given. Years ago I walked away from a school based on the answer a teacher gave... and the lack of answers when asked about acceleration... It is eye-rolling ridiculousness.

 

That would be infuriating!  In our area, I have yet to hear of a high school that won't allow testing out of math courses.  Other proof is not easily accepted and depends on the situation, but placement testing is a go, usually a full test per math course.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I expect it may be homeschool bias-if for no other reason that when I used to teach in this district pre-DD, I had a couple of 6th graders who did Algebra 1 with me-which means they should have gotten through Geometry and Algebra 2 without stepping into a high school.

San Francisco Unified and Saratoga Union school district did change the math pathways after common core. Saratoga used to have Algebra 1 in 6th. So it may or may not be a homeschool bias with regards to math.

 

Sorry about the information session for the AP Capstone school being so disappointing. At least one less choice to think about.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The claim is that the state requires specific courses during high school. It is true that specific courses have to be on the high school transcript, but based on everything I've found, having a column of "before 9th grade" suffices. DD currently has courses approved for high school credit from our cover school down to when she was in 4th grade. And everything I've read says that any college credit (non-leveling) class can count for high school credit (so, for example, you could take a course at a program like THINK or at a local college) and it can count on the high school transcript and replace an equivalent class.

 

And I don't believe for a second there isn't some way of testing out at least for math-if for no other reason than a kid coming in from out of state might well have Algebra 2 before Geometry vs after.

 

But, it really doesn't matter. It's not like DD has to go there and we have to make it work.

Edited by dmmetler
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Both. Only the lowest level IB math was offered, and its too low for our top students.

That's awful. Both my boys did Maths Studies, but they had no ambitions to study maths or sciences at university. In UK terms, for even basic university entrance, you would need Standard level to specialise in sciences and Higher level to specialise in maths.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's awful. Both my boys did Maths Studies, but they had no ambitions to study maths or sciences at university. In UK terms, for even basic university entrance, you would need Standard level to specialise in sciences and Higher level to specialise in maths.

Its head banging to live here, as each BoEd decides what courses to offer and they don't have to include university prep. In the past, one could pay tuition and go to a neighboring district that did have U prep and often plenty of empty seats, but the schools are so overcrowded now that that option isn't available. The propaganda that only the rich take U prep is widespread.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Testing out policy is set by the state here in terms of what can be subbed for Regents scores. The individual principal sets the course credit policy, and has to abide by the state policy of only five credits taken elsewhere and transferred in. Some of the policies I saw when school shopping were very difficult...course taught certified teacher or accredited provider plus take school final and do a project, for ex. Some of the courses are bizarre Because.they want to meet some state reg...for ex,after AP exams until mid June,AP English class works on public speaking and lit from Regents English. Quite the jobs program.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its head banging to live here, as each BoEd decides what courses to offer and they don't have to include university prep. In the past, one could pay tuition and go to a neighboring district that did have U prep and often plenty of empty seats, but the schools are so overcrowded now that that option isn't available. The propaganda that only the rich take U prep is widespread.

 

I'm sorry.  That's so frustrating.  Do you mind saying where you (roughly) live?

 

Edited by Laura Corin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This morning we did a tour of a small K-8 magnet that is the lab school for the HBCU here. It was the one K-8 DD was willing to look at (we have a STEM magnet middle school, but it's very engineering heavy)-it's a math and exploratory learning school. After the AP school it was kind of a breath of fresh air-the math coordinator talked to DD a bit, stated that DD was beyond their math classes, but if she decided to attend, they'd expedite her GT identification, and see what they could do on making individualized classes for her or sending her to the affiliated college part time. Of the 8th grade classes we saw today, the only subject doing anything she didn't do years ago was art. There really isn't a true science lab-we have more equipment at home than they have for the school. DD did like that they have a nice community garden and a bulletin board of "garden friends"which included a correctly labeled photo of a ribbon snake.

 

DD and I have consensus that if she needed to go to school it somewhere, at least the people seem nice and are willing to try, but that if she's going to end up learning by herself and taking college classes anyway, we might as well continue homeschooling. (The fact that it is almost an hour drive at the time she'd need to go to school doesn't hurt, there, either-the CC campus she's attending this Spring is only about 10 minutes, and we can get to the state U in about 30, even in busy times of the day as long as I avoid the interstate).

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry. That's so frustrating. Do you mind saying where you (roughly) live?

 

I live in NY,where the Governor has just proposed free college tuition . Most people around here, rural, just shake their head. Our children are required to attend school until age sixteen, but if they are in a zip code like mine, no U prep offered, the sixteen year olds in twelfth grade (and there are plenty since we have Dec cutoff) have a half day of study hall if the parents don't pay for DE. We would rather the Gov fund high school fully enough that the poor can take preCalc etc while in high school, rather than hang out and take the class in college after they have forgotten their Algebra 2. Or give us a tax credit or a grant for paying for DE, since the high school won't offer anything approriate.

 

Do you find in the UK that students who need A level coursework are refused due to the local school deciding not to offer, or are those students given a place elsewhere?

Edited by Heigh Ho
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do you find in the UK that students who need college prep are refused the class, due to the local school deciding not to offer it, or are those students given a place elsewhere?

 

There are problems, but they are a bit different with other options.  Often areas that have a hard time attracting specialist teachers, or where schools think that local parents would prefer to see good grades in whatever subject, will offer a limited number of subjects, but I think that those limited subjects will all be available to university-entrance level.  Whether the school encourages people to take 'difficult' subjects is another matter, as the grades may go down, making them look bad.

 

I haven't heard of dual enrollment, but there is a tradition of sixth form colleges, which cover the last two years of school and often offer options that individual schools do not.  So you would leave your school and study there instead.  That used to work okay (it's the route both my brothers took) but I don't know if it still does.

 

The IB is only taught in private schools in the UK, so I wasn't comparing NY to state (public) schools here; I was just surprised that anyone would bother teaching the IB at low level only.

Edited by Laura Corin
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Both. Only the lowest level IB math was offered, and its too low for our top students.

This course sequence is from a big k-12 school district near to me. They have HL for maths, sciences, music, art, languages. The district has a high/large Latino population so Spanish and Portuguese being the only two foreign languages offered isn't unusual.

http://www.sjusd.org/san-jose-high/docs/SJHS_IB_Course_Sequence.pdf

 

ETA:

This one offers calculus in 10th grade as a option for both IB and non-IB track

http://www.quarrylane.org/uploaded/Academic_Tracks/SET/Science_Magnet.pdf

Edited by Arcadia
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We visited the first of 2 IB schools on our list yesterday. Overall, I like it better than the AP Capstone school, and DD is lukewarmly positive (in the "if I go to high school, this might not be bad" category).

 

This school is relatively close to home for us-about 15-20 minutes in the opposite direction of traffic. It is a fairly small IB program, with 42 kids graduating in IB this year, out of a graduating class of about 500. The school also houses an IT magnet and an automotive technologies magnet.

 

The selection of IB classes is limited. The only HL classes offered are English, History, Biology, and Spanish. Everything else is SL. The program has been fully accredited as an IB world school for 5 years.

 

One thing I did like was that there is a big focus on finding a financial safety first in college admissions, and then also applying to a dream school. The goal that the IB guidance counselor said was to have all the kids be able to graduate from college in a school that was a good fit where they could finish without debt, so they encourage applying and really looking at schools where the students qualify for automatic merit aid. And yes, that means that they send more kids to state schools than private ones, but so far, all their past IB students have either completed college or are on track to do so.

 

The IB counselor and IB coordinator said that they could be flexible in the pre-IB years, so, for example, DD could take AP Chem and Physics or honors engineering (all of which are offered for the IT and mainstream kids) in lieu of pre-IB bio and chem, and could substitute AP Statistics and another math class (she suggested a numerical problem solving class that is a pre-calculus class for the IT program) for the pre-IB integrated algebra/geometry/trig. She does recommend DD do the pre-IB English and History, because that's where the writing for the IB program is taught, and DD would have to switch from Latin to Spanish (which she can read Harry Potter in, but not much else. We kind of stagnated at that point in our homeschooling). The IB coordinator feels her herpetology research and education/advocacy could easily be used for the extended essay and as part of the CAS requirements. She does suggest that DD try to "save some high school courses for them-that, for example, she not take college anatomy and physiology because that's covered as part of the IB biology (she suggested geology or astronomy or basically anything that isn't general chemistry, physics or biology) and that she look for math that is more off the beaten path, like Discrete math or number theory for next year. They would want to, next Spring, have DD formally tested by the school district and set up an IEP for GT to allow them more flexibility.

 

The counselor is a little concerned that DD may not have a "tribe"-as she said, they tend to get academically solid, hard working, but often not gifted, kids in the IB there. It's a very cooperative, collegial program as opposed to a competitive one, and the schools that are more competitive tend to get the kids who have the ultra high test scores, talent search participation, etc. She did say (when asked) that the IT program gets a lot of kids with splinter skills who are asynchronous, and that they have gotten fairly good at supporting EF issues. She suggested that by DD doing math and science with the IT kids the first two years, she may be able to find some like minds there to some degree, with the IB providing additional challenge, and that they have had a handful of kids who essentially do both programs, taking many of the IT classes as their electives, and often picking projects that relate to both.

 

At least it's nice to feel that there may be a viable option.

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My personal take on IB (as an IB diploma graduate) is that the lack of flexibility in the program is a major drawback. The fact that there are only four high level options at this school is particularly concerning. Did you find out how well the students score on their exams, especially the high levels?

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That concerns me as well. I doubt DD would choose to do higher level English or History if she had a choice. And the amount of sheer time that going to high school takes up (compared with doing similar level work at a college) is dramatic.

 

One more IB school to visit (out of the magnets). It's a larger, older program, so hopefully will have more options. There are a few private schools, but if I'm going to spend that kind of money, I'd rather it have a college degree attached.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The claim is that the state requires specific courses during high school. It is true that specific courses have to be on the high school transcript, but based on everything I've found, having a column of "before 9th grade" suffices. DD currently has courses approved for high school credit from our cover school down to when she was in 4th grade. And everything I've read says that any college credit (non-leveling) class can count for high school credit (so, for example, you could take a course at a program like THINK or at a local college) and it can count on the high school transcript and replace an equivalent class.

 

And I don't believe for a second there isn't some way of testing out at least for math-if for no other reason than a kid coming in from out of state might well have Algebra 2 before Geometry vs after.

 

But, it really doesn't matter. It's not like DD has to go there and we have to make it work.

 

I'd love to hear how you recorded this and some of the course work you recorded from elementary/middle school.  I also don't know exactly what a cover school means.  I assume this is a charter program of some sort.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my state, you can either register with the local school district, or with a private school, which then lists you as a satellite campus and keeps records for you. I go the private route because I am very aware that the school district's homeschool office is one overworked woman who also is responsible for all kids on homebound. Having worked for the school system, I didn't want to risk my kid's records getting lost in the shuffle and being truant when the alternative was paying about $50 a year to a place with a dedicated staff that just works with homeschoolers. I submit what materials/courses we're using for each subject, days of attendance, and grades. They also get copies of all test scores (and that includes my making copies of competition scores and the like to send to them).  When I need a transcript, they're the ones who send it. I admit that I picked one with a reputation for being flexible and easy to work with for kids out of the norm, and that they stopped questioning me on what DD was doing by about age 6, and now mostly just are willing to go with whatever I want.

 

Normally, high school credits cannot be recorded before 8th grade. However, last year, I wanted to make sure Geometry was on DD's transcript for high school, because legally it's a graduation requirement in our state.  They counted all of her AoPS math (including pre-algebra, which I question, but apparently it is considered high school level for the purposes of the four math classes required by the state, even though most kids do more), High school Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics done on a software package with virtual labs, Latin from Cambridge Latin 1 on (with NLE scores), Literary Lessons from LoTR with lots of additional literature (including the Iliad and Odyssey, with perfect NME scores on all subtests), Entomology and Herpetology with a college professor science mentor, and Classical Etymology with the NCEE to back it up. They also counted British history from last year, although I'm pretty sure we were using materials that would be middle school level in the UK (Key stage 3). This year I just listed everything that seemed high school level to me as getting high school credits, and the counselor approved it without even asking me for more information.  I don't know if they would have counted so much had she not had 3rd grade EXPLORE scores that showed she was ready for high school content, and 6th grade ACT and SAT scores that backed up her level of performance.

 

I did have to then fight them to make sure that she wasn't reclassified automatically as a junior-because I didn't want her to have that many years of high school on a transcript (or to have to take a year of all history, English and PE, all of which she's short on credits on compared to math, science, and Latin. I think that is probably close to DD's definition of hell...)

 

 

 

 

Edited by dmmetler
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We went to the open house/information session at the AP Capstone school. Let's just say that I came away underwhelmed and DD came away with the single word one word "no". The fact that the science Olympiad coach basically treated DD that she was a cute kid, told her that biology was less important than physics, but that she could "convert her", tried to tell DD that herpetology involved plants, and claimed that they didn't have snakes due to allergies, but they did have a cute little bunny didn't help.

 

The same person basically said that DD would have to redo all math and science not done in a high school, period. So, even having credits for college biology or having completed and passed an AP exam in bio wouldn't get her out of high school general bio. College calculus would not get her out of algebra. Because they know what smart kids need, darn it.

 

There definitely was a "the one who survives on least sleep wins" competitive vibe, even from the adults.

 

 

UGH!  Sometimes, though, it's best that the NO is pretty loud.

 

 

As for social life--I did have a social life when I was doing DE.   In fact, at some point my senior year, i spent most of my free time with my college friends instead of my high school ones.  I think it [social life in early college] can work, but I'd keep close tabs on any "romantic interests."  It's pretty weird, in retrospect, to know that I had guys interested in dating me ranging from 21 years old to 35 (yeah that's creepy).    Kudos to the guy who found out I wasn't 18 yet and abruptly stopped bringing me flowers.  He had better judgement than the rest.

Edited by tiuzzol2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Visited high school #3, also an IB school. This one was nice, because we got to talk with the IB director, one of the guidance counselors, the IB Bio teacher, and the IB Chem teacher.  They seem nice and enthusiastic.

 

The IB program is tiny-about 120 kids right now grades 9-12 in a 1200 student school. 9th graders are in a separate building, although can take classes in the 10-12th grade building (and some departments are completely in the 10th-12th grade building (making umbrellas a requirement, since rain, snow, sleet, etc are not excuses for missing class...). Only about 50% of kids actually complete the IB diploma. They put a high value on getting kids into college with scholarships to cover much or all of the expense, and with getting them in with transferable credit.

 

They offer more HL course options than the other school. Unfortunately for DD, they aren't the right ones. Everyone in IB not only takes IB history and IB English, but takes AP Human Geography and AP World history in 9th and 10th. They offer music, art, and theater all at HL, but the only HL science they offer is Chemistry. Bio is offered only at SL. Math is offered at SL or Studies. Spanish is offered at SL.

 

So, DD would basically be forced into doing HL English, History, and a fine arts since she would rather do bio than chemistry, and while she might enjoy HL music, she would rather spend her time on science or math.

 

The biology teacher seemed excited about the idea of DD attending, and after talking to her about the research, took the lead in trying to find solutions that wouldn't require DD repeating science classes. She also suggested that maybe she could do an independent study of some form. The school backs onto a large nature center owned by the city museum system, and is the one high school in the city with a community garden project. She is primarily a botanist. She says the SL Bio is like college freshman bio with more narrative writing. The Chemistry teacher says DD could pretest and compact much of the Pre-IB Chem, basically just doing labs and lab reports, and that the HL bio involves a lot of organic and biochem and may be interesting to DD.

 

The guidance counselor expressed concern about math classes, and the IB coordinator suggested that maybe DD could do Math Studies in 9/10 and just not take the exam, and then do SL in 11/12.

 

The location isn't bad, mostly due to hours-the school starts at 7:15, so DD would need to be there before rush hour really starts, and it would be a reverse drive back (that particular part of town from where we live is 30 minutes when it's not rush hour, and easily over an hour when it is).

 

DD says that it would probably work, but that she likes the other IB school better since they have more STEM options. And she prefers the CC to all of the above. 

 

At this point, I think continuing to homeschool and CC/University classes is our most likely outcome.  We may look at private schools, but they'd have to offer a LOT more than the public magnets do to make it worth spending the money.

 

 

 

 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It has been helpful to hear all these details, and it sounds like you have figured out a good plan. We are trying to sort through programs that are similar to what you have described. We have a few public IB options, but it doesn't sound like a good fit for my dd either. She is hoping to go to a performing arts high school with DE options. Since arts are the draw, rather than academics, they have a huge variety of abilities on the academic side. Dd would still be done with their math offerings after grade 10, but theoretically would then use DE for math for the next couple of years. I might suggest something like AOPS online classes instead. Gotta get creative here!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have said this before and I wanted to say it again...I know how hard it is to have both flexibility and social satisfaction. We've chosen to go with flexibility and to try to find little pockets of social stimulation where we can but it is proving to be very, very tough these last 2 semesters with the academic side demanding more time. My only consolation is that he probably will not be able to enjoy *meaningful* social stimulation in school anyway (if any school could challenge him at this level) and better to bite the bullet, pull through one more semester and work out the social side from summer onwards. Flip side is having to force himself through certain social interactions that will annoy him no end so maybe better to not have it at all? I still question myself on this despite kiddo assuring me he is able to choose the best for that given time through CC/DE.

 

I really, really hope the social aspect comes through for her some how. Maybe even at the CC. Maybe it won't be with everyone but she might find one group, one elective class, or one EC style class that will give her some of what she craves.

 

:grouphug:

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Saw this article. The child was 12 year old at time of article in 2014. Want to relocate to Virginia for Thomas Jefferson High School?

 

"What are some things you’re excited about learning this year?

I’ve done a lot of intellectual stuff so far, but I’m really interested in lab work. There are a lot of programs I can use. Most of the classes have labs, like DNA science. I’m also working on a proposal for a project where I go and do an experiment that I designed myself. My project is about the sonic hedgehog signaling pathway. Sonic hedgehog is a protein that’s used in making all the different sections of the brain, the floor plate makes SHH, and the rest of the cells respond according to the levels of SHH, and my project concerns how the cells detect and respond to sonic hedgehog.

How did you get that idea for the project?

I was interested in knowing how all the different molecules and proteins work to make all the characteristics of the body, and also why usually the body characteristics are so similar for everyone. For example, the arm length of people is roughly constant, and doesn’t vary wildly at all."

 

"“I think I’m still in the ‘sopping up as much knowledge as I can’ phase. I have my favorite stuff, but that changes a bit. When I was really young, I apparently liked astronomy a lot. But I’ve moved away from that by now.â€

TJ seems very flexible. It’s cool that you can take something like Chinese I and also quantum physics."

 

https://psmag.com/what-makes-you-so-smart-brilliant-12-year-old-1b9128a22b2#.crpuhxrv4

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

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

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

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

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

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

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...