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AP Bio Class (not book) options

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DS15 did Bio at home (M&L macaw) a year ago, and Chem (Chang Gen Chem) at home this year.  Wants to do AP bio next year and I think we need to sign him up w/ a class for that.



- at least some interaction w/ an actual human teacher

- some provision for missing class times occasionally

- secular

then, of course, cost, convenience


I am aware of the following:


- Thinkwell seems uninteresting - totally automated?


- Oak Meadow AP Bio (http://oakmeadow.com/courses/ap-biology/)


- PA Homeschoolers  (http://www.aphomeschoolers.com/cgi-bin/choose.pl?class=biology)  which seems quite rigorous from the description.  Description mentions no 'live' component, but also 'regularly planned student interaction'??


 - Potter's School (https://www.pottersschool.org/course/list/#course-2721).  Anyone had a student take this?  Not clear from their site what the class structure is (how frequent it meets, live vs not, labs, etc.)


any others I missed?

anyone have recent experience w/ using one of the above?



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We did not have good experiences with Thinkwell. Originally, I thought the video component would be engaging. However, it felt much more as though the student was supposed to link the infirmation from the various videos in a specific way, which was not explicit anywhere. There were very few exercises, no practice problems, and a general inability to ask questions. It made the course toggle between direct regurgitation and fuzzy complex understanding.


I do not know if that helps.

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that does help - it cements my feeling that Thinkwell is not what we're looking for.


Wilson Hill looks possible.  I couldn't find anything on their site about how the class runs - how often do they meet, structure of assignments, teacher interaction, cost, labs (actual dissection of whole animals is going to be a problem), etc...so sent them mail.  We'll see what they say - though if someone has first-hand experience w/ any of the three (PA, Potter, Willson Hill) I'm all ears.



Edited by AEC
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There is a thread about PA homeschoolers classes. Not specifically bio, more just any/all classes. Bio was discussed, though. I am on my iPad, but I will try to find it.


ETA: http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/629913-who-did-not-like-pah-ap-chem-ap-macro-andor-ap-eng-lang-and-other-pah-courses/


This thread seemed to be a more open discussion than merely rave reviews.

Edited by EndOfOrdinary
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Stanford Online High School.  It's expensive and you need to complete and fairly extensive application, but it was worth it for us.  Dd loves her class, they meet in person by video 2x a week, with some flexibility in that you can join another section of the class, or ask for an excused absence.  She's learning a whole lot and just gave a presentation to the class at their last meeting.  

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My children have taken many PA Homeshoolers AP classes (9 altogether), and AP Bio was the one my ds liked the least. It wasn't a terrible class, but ds felt the instructor was unorganized. She often changed the due dates (making it later, but this frustrated ds because he worked hard to get the assignment done on time). She also lost some of his work (thankfully he had proof that he had emailed them to her). Ds felt the program the instructor used for the online labs was archaic and pointless at times, and he also felt like there was a great deal of busy work (although she did cut back on some of that busy work half way through the year). I do hunk ds had to work around his swimming and debate schedule a couple times, and the instructor was easy to work with in regards to this. Again, the class wasn't terrible, but it was not inspiring, either. Ds had taken AP Chem, AP Physics B, and both AP Physics C classes through PA Homeschoolers and really enjoyed all of them. Ds did do well on the AP test and was granted 8 credit hours at his university, so the class accomplished his goal.

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I hope Wilson Hill gets back to you. All I know is that it is taught by Marie Owens. They will meet twice per week (Mon/Wed) for 90 minutes a shot (11-12:30 eastern time). There is a little bit of info (but not much) in the link I pasted below.


AP Bio


And in the PA Homeschooler thread, there was one fairly recent taker of the PAHS AP Bio class. You could PM Matryoshka and see what she thought in retrospect, especially now she knows what her daughter got on the AP exam.

Edited by RootAnn
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