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Time4Learning as High School spine? Or SVOHS?


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Okay, I'm playing high school counselor for my sister. She has a recently turned 15 year old she's homeschooling this year for the first time as a 9th grader. He was have behavioral/ social issues in school, and is bright. Nice kid, but kind of of quirky, so always ends up in a crowd of bad kids because he's so socially awkward.

 

Anyhow, home life for 9th grade has been great. He's really blossomed. But, academically, he's not doing so well, except in a Code Schooling class and the classes he takes from Silicon Valley Online High School (English, Health, Spanish).

 

I think if you do the basics, SVOHS is really credit recovery, but they are fleshing things out a bit more (he wrote a literary response essay for me between semesters, for example). He has a D in Derek Owens Algebra and C in his mom-grade Biology.

 

Apparently he understands Algebra, but is sloppy. I've told them he really needs to repeat it, but I'm not sure they'll have him do it.

 

Since the online asynchronous format works so well for them, should I suggest they look at something like Time4Learning, or just have them continue with mostly SVOHS? Mom wants him as independent as possible. How pushy should I be about the Algebra? They school year-round, so there is no summer to catch up, but I wouldn't let my own kids move on.

 

I think he is likely to go to the community college or a junior college for computer technology.

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Hi,

We are familiar with SVOHS...

 

I would say, that T4L is probably much more complete and better than SVOHS.  I would go with that.  SVOHS is really only good for the purpose of getting A-G courses here and there for homeschoolers, or Credit Recovery for public schoolers.  Your nephew won't really learn a body of knowledge or be truly prepared for thinking through anything. 

 

T4L is on the easy side, too but it is complete.  The fully fleshed out concepts, thoughts and applications are there.  Your sister would also need to use Time4Writing which I am using right now and recommend.  With Time4Writing, though, be sure to COMMUNICATE if you have issues, because they are extremely kind and responsive.  

 

Eventually, by 11th grade your sister can add a more challenging online class from WTM Academy or another online school, to prepare him for the rigors of keeping up with schedules, submitting work on time, and being sure to think through and apply writing to other subjects.  Then he could easily go to Community College when he's ready.  

 

If something changes and he decides to be bound for a four year university, they'll need to completely change this plan as he won't have the lab Science, among other things...

 

BUT for now T4L is the better choice, combined with Time4Writing. :)

 

 

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 <snip>

 

Anyhow, home life for 9th grade has been great. He's really blossomed. But, academically, he's not doing so well, except in a Code Schooling class and the classes he takes from Silicon Valley Online High School (English, Health, Spanish).

 

<snip>

 

Apparently he understands Algebra, but is sloppy. I've told them he really needs to repeat it, but I'm not sure they'll have him do it.

 

<snip>

 

I think he has a very typical result for many students: good grades in classes that are easier for him, worse grades in classes that are more difficult for him and/or tedious. Add in the fact that he's adjusting to high school level work, and it's not a great result but also not a terrible one. 

 

Given that he is not aiming for a competitive college, and has other issues going on, I would likely not change what is working. I would continue with the current online classes and enrich when possible. I would also give some weight to what he wants - does he enjoy the current classes? or hate them so much he wants to try something else? 

 

Derek Owens is a fairly tough program, isn't it? I would probably move to something for math that is solid but not as rigorous. 

 

If he does seem to understand most of the algebra, I actually would not have him repeat. With struggling students (struggling for whatever reason), anything that potentially delays graduation puts them at risk for not graduating. Instead, look for a geometry program that includes algebra review. Holt might suit the purpose. It has algebra review, video examples, and you can choose problem sets that are basic, average, or advanced. 

 

To check understanding, she could look for end of year exams online. ALEKS online does assessments, and they have a 48-hour trial she could use for that. If he has to be extremely independent, I would consider ALEKS as his main math program. It's $20/month, less for longer periods of time. I prefer it as a supplement, as it is not as in-depth on explanations and concepts as I would like, but I did have my dd use it as her main program for about half of this year when her schedule got really tight (and the ACT loomed, lol). ALEKS will give you reports on how much time spent and how many new topics learned, and gives periodic reassessments to make sure material is mastered. 

 

What is he using for biology? It could be just fine, most students are going to get the occasional C. 

 

Even if he changes plans, he will get into many non-competitive colleges just fine. If they can take an afternoon here and there to knock out some labs for science, all the better. It will check that box, plus it usually adds interest. They don't have to be complicated or expensive labs. 

 

How are they managing the social side of things? Are there neighborhood friends? It's probably a good idea to get hooked into a local homeschool group. The ones in my area tend to be very accepting to quirky kids. She might even discover a co-op that would work for some things. If a student is largely on their own for school, I think some in-person classes might be great for both social opportunities and just an enhanced classroom experience with discussion and so on. 

 

Good luck! You are a good aunty for helping out. 

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Also, comp Sci is usually a math major.  He will eventually need Calc 1, Calc 2, Linear Algebra, among other things.  The community college should have whatever he needs to transfer to a State University and they can guide him t hrough that, and he can take his time, especially if he starts taking some classes as DE his senior year.

 

HOWEVER I think it's paramount to get a good math foundation.  I would consider a summer math program such as Mathnasium to sharpen ONLY the Alegbra skills he needs. I don't know if it makes sense to re-do all of Algebra, and summer is 3 months...maybe in that time he can refresh his Algebra and be ready for Geometry.  

 

If not, he really should re-take Algebra because he needs to be confident in math.

 

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Also, comp Sci is usually a math major.   

 

I don't think she's referring to computer science. Computer technology is a common 2-yr program at community and junior colleges. There are different concentrations, but they all have much lighter math requirements than a comp sci major.

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To be honest, I think they will take him as far as he can go. Now that things are going so well and they can breathe, there is a chance he could go farther than they initially thought. He does have some group things he does, and he likes to go into work with his dad who works on the financial side of a software company.

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