Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Recommended Posts

I am trying to decide between these three different U.S. History online classes from: Memoria Press, The Potter's School, and Well Trained Mind Academy.

 

I would really appreciate it if any who have experience with these gives me feedback. I'm interested in knowing:

 

1. amount of reading per week

2. amt. of writing per week 

3. View of America:

   a. Traditional, but balanced (aka Larry Schweikart-Patriot's History)

   b.  Progressive (aka Zinn).

4. Teaching style

5. Very discussion-oriented? My son would enjoy one that has an emphasis on discussion and philosophical/sociological movements in         history

6. Not too much religiosity (even though we are a family of faith, he doesn't like it in everything, but where relevant)

 

 

Please share any additional opinions you'd like to and don't be limited to my questions, only, regarding information.

 

 

Thanks,

Rachel

 

 

Edited by historymatters
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am trying to decide between these three different U.S. History online classes from: Memoria Press, The Potter's School, and Well Trained Mind Academy.

 

I would really appreciate it if any who have experience with these gives me feedback. I'm interested in knowing:

 

1. amount of reading per week

2. amt. of writing per week

3. View of America:

a. Traditional, but balanced (aka Larry Schweikart-Patriot's History)

b. Progressive (aka Zinn).

4. Teaching style

5. Very discussion-oriented? My son would enjoy one that has an emphasis on discussion and philosophical/sociological movements in history

6. Not too much religiosity (even though we are a family of faith, he doesn't like it in everything, but where relevant)

 

 

Any additional opinions you'd like to share, please don't be limited to my questions, only.

 

 

Thanks,

Rachel

Following

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

May or may not have some posted reviews for your list:

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/638806-master-list-of-on-line-classes/

 

==============

WTM internal search is very weak.

 

use this style in Google - important

"your search string" site:forums.welltrainedmind.com

 

Thank you. I looked through and didn't see any related specifically to U.S. History.

 

Anyone take any of these?

 

I've checked the MP boards and really didn't get a clear view.

 

Maybe I should just start emailing teachers?

 

All ears...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always hesitate to reply to these threads because I am not very hands on with our outsourced classes. However, l do have a 9th grader in College Prep US History with Memoria Press Online Academy. I am embarrassed to say that I cannot really answer your questions because my ds is very independent.

 

What I can say about MP is that it is well organized and the staff is helpful and supportive. Definitely email Mr. Piland with your questions or post on the forum and he should answer. Expectations are clear, work graded with feedback in a timely manner. My ds works and reads very quickly so he is not burdened by the work but he definitely has plenty to do. He has had several essays such that I feel he is getting significant writing practice along with history.

 

I really cannot answer more specific questions other than to say I feel like we are getting our money's worth and it has been a worthwhile class that ds has benefited from. It is our first experience with MPOA and ds is taking Logic 1 as well. Ds reports that he likes the classes and is learning. He prefers WTMA but it I think the MPOA classes are just a little more serious in tone. The setup and expectations are very similar between the two.

 

For what it is worth, we will be doing a combination of MPOA and WTMA for my 10th grader next year and my 5th grade dd will start with two MPOA classes. Our experience this year makes us comfortable going with them based on course descriptions.

 

I am sorry I don't have more to offer but I would encourage you to seek out answers directly from MP.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too have very little say to answer your query. I am also pretty hands-off with his outsourced classes, short of writing up a detailed to-do list each Sunday night for all. So I DO know the amount of work. As to teaching style, no idea.

 

My ds is currently taking WTMA USH. We chose it as an alternative to APUSH which he started but decided the workload was too much on top of his other APs this year. So it fits the bill for less work, for sure. He reads a chapter a week from his book - and has to write a 1-2 page summary of the chapter. There are no quizzes or tests, which I find odd - so I'm hoping the material is being retained. (As I plan to have him take the SAT II USH test at end of year). There are less than 20 kids in the live class - and participation/discussion is a huge part of his grade. He thought he was participating enough, but as his headset was broken for a bit, apparently not nearly enough - he says like 2-3 kids are the only ones that talk every class. Came back to bite us when he got a 70% participation grade for 1st semester, bringing his semester grade down to a B. He's amped that up, now that we see how important she marks that. He also has quarterly projects (mostly written papers) worth quite a bit - he's in the middle of a midterm project (5-6 page paper answering a specific prompt). That's all I know for now. The workload during week is very manageable, and I think he likes her discussion style (?) - but it's yet to be seen how much he's retaining in this sort of format. Time will tell when SAT II test comes up (which we'll need to spend some heady time prepping for).

ETA - Talking with my ds - he does not like the class at all. And he was a big fan of WTMA Bio last year. He likes the discussion/live class well enough, but he hates that he HAS to participate so much. And he's not reticent, he chomps at the bit to speak in math class, Roy Speed, Center for Lit... I think History just doesn't interest him as much. And besides, when you only meet ONE hour per week, I would think it should be more lecture/teaching than relying on 'discussion' time. And to assign so great a value on it, that's rough for many (according to my son, all but 3 who routinely talk, I guess got a low C grade - which is worth far too much!) He also doesn't like the weekly writing summaries - too much writing. He would prefer standard quizzes/tests to drill knowledge. And he is bemoaning his big projects, saying that she only gives about 2-3 weeks' notice of them and has got 3 big assignments all due within 3 days of each other. So we'll pass on this one next time for sure.

Edited by mirabillis
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always hesitate to reply to these threads because I am not very hands on with our outsourced classes. However, l do have a 9th grader in College Prep US History with Memoria Press Online Academy. I am embarrassed to say that I cannot really answer your questions because my ds is very independent.

 

What I can say about MP is that it is well organized and the staff is helpful and supportive. Definitely email Mr. Piland with your questions or post on the forum and he should answer. Expectations are clear, work graded with feedback in a timely manner. My ds works and reads very quickly so he is not burdened by the work but he definitely has plenty to do. He has had several essays such that I feel he is getting significant writing practice along with history.

 

I really cannot answer more specific questions other than to say I feel like we are getting our money's worth and it has been a worthwhile class that ds has benefited from. It is our first experience with MPOA and ds is taking Logic 1 as well. Ds reports that he likes the classes and is learning. He prefers WTMA but it I think the MPOA classes are just a little more serious in tone. The setup and expectations are very similar between the two.

 

For what it is worth, we will be doing a combination of MPOA and WTMA for my 10th grader next year and my 5th grade dd will start with two MPOA classes. Our experience this year makes us comfortable going with them based on course descriptions.

 

I am sorry I don't have more to offer but I would encourage you to seek out answers directly from MP.

 

I'm appreciative that you chose to reply. My son is starting Logic 1, too; at the end of this month. 

 

From what you can tell, do you think the text they are using comes from a traditional, balanced approach or a Progressive one?

(Ex: Schweikart's A Patriot's History or a H. Zinn approach?)

 

You said,

"He prefers WTMA but it I think the MPOA classes are just a little more serious in tone. The setup and expectations are very similar between the two."

 

 Would you be willing to elaborate more specifically on this statement? Why does he prefer WTMA? What about MPOA which makes the tone seem more serious, if the expectations are the same? Thanks.

 

Is there a lot of discussion in the MPOA class, from what you know? Or is it mainly the teacher doing most of the talking (that type of format doesn't work for my highly-verbal, opinionated son)?

 

Lastly, my son will be taking a writing course to prepare for the SAT (fall sem.) and  Research Papers (spring sem). As well as Excellence in Lit with Big River.  Do you think he would be overloaded with writing by taking the MPOA? My son has been struggling with depression since 2014.

 

Thank you for all your help.

Edited by historymatters

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too have very little say to answer your query. I am also pretty hands-off with his outsourced classes, short of writing up a detailed to-do list each Sunday night for all. So I DO know the amount of work. As to teaching style, no idea.

 

My ds is currently taking WTMA USH. We chose it as an alternative to APUSH which he started but decided the workload was too much on top of his other APs this year. So it fits the bill for less work, for sure. He reads a chapter a week from his book - and has to write a 1-2 page summary of the chapter. There are no quizzes or tests, which I find odd - so I'm hoping the material is being retained. (As I plan to have him take the SAT II USH test at end of year). There are less than 20 kids in the live class - and participation/discussion is a huge part of his grade. He thought he was participating enough, but as his headset was broken for a bit, apparently not nearly enough - he says like 2-3 kids are the only ones that talk every class. Came back to bite us when he got a 70% participation grade for 1st semester, bringing his semester grade down to a B. He's amped that up, now that we see how important she marks that. He also has quarterly projects (mostly written papers) worth quite a bit - he's in the middle of a midterm project (5-6 page paper answering a specific prompt). That's all I know for now. The workload during week is very manageable, and I think he likes her discussion style (?) - but it's yet to be seen how much he's retaining in this sort of format. Time will tell when SAT II test comes up (which we'll need to spend some heady time prepping for).

 

You've been very helpful. It's wonderful to have back-to-back answers detailing experiences from the different sources.

 

Do you think the text they are using comes from a traditional, balanced approach or a Progressive one?

(Ex: Schweikart's A Patriot's History or a H. Zinn approach?)

 

I, too want my son to take the SAT II. That's interesting that there are no quizzes or tests. So, would you say that the teacher seems to use Bauer's/CM style of writing a summary/narration about what he's read in lieu of testing? 

 

Am I right to say that essays for the quarterly projects (3 or 4 quarters?) are the significant written requirements?

 

My son would be one of those 2-3 kids who talk! That's good to hear that discussion is so important.  

 

 

Thanks!

Edited by historymatters

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm appreciative that you chose to reply. My son is starting Logic 1, too; at the end of this month. 

 

From what you can tell, do you think the text they are using comes from a traditional, balanced approach or a Progressive one?

(Ex: Schweikart's A Patriot's History or a H. Zinn approach?)

 

You said,

 Would you be willing to elaborate more specifically on this statement? Why does he prefer WTMA? What about MPOA which makes the tone seem more serious, if the expectations are the same? Thanks.

 

Is there a lot of discussion in the MPOA class, from what you know? Or is it mainly the teacher doing most of the talking (that type of format doesn't work for my highly-verbal, opinionated son)?

 

Lastly, my son will be taking a writing course to prepare for the SAT (fall sem.) and  Research Papers (spring sem). As well as Excellence in Lit with Big River.  Do you think he would be overloaded with writing by taking the MPOA? My son has been struggling with depression since 2014.

 

Thank you for all your help.

He said there is some discussion but a fair amount of teacher lecture, so maybe not what you are looking for. There is no specific participation grade. He reports that there is more discussion in Logic than in History if that gives you any reference.

 

His perception that it is more serious than WTMA could be that he went from a middle school history class at WTMA to a high school class at MPOA. He perhaps is referring to light hearted or slightly off topic moments in WTMA that are lesser in MPOA.

 

I really can't speak to whether or not your ds would be overloaded with work. Kids vary so much. Mine is taking MPOA College Prep US History, Logic 1, WTMA AOPS Algebra II and Expository Writing III, as well as a physics class and biology and geography at our local co-op. He is not at all overworked. However, other kids would melt with his schedule as would he with what some other folks here report.

 

Sorry I can't help more. My involvement with this course has been pretty much letting him choose between MPOA or Ancient History with WTMA and logging into his account every 2-3 weeks to make sure he is doing okay and asking casually once a week or so "hey what are you doing in history?" or "how is history going/" I have not communicated with the teacher or listened in on class or even read any of his work. I'm always embarrassed on these threads when I admit how uninformed I am. It is a situation that works for us. Sorry!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WTMA USHistory class is my dd's  all time favourite classes.  I am sure she is one of the class talkers.  The primary source work has been outstanding.   Currently she is writing the 5-6 page midterm.  It seems like a lot to me but she is not complaining.  I am amazed at the amount of writing she does for this class.  I will seek out this teacher again.     

 

Regarding workload:  My dd14  is taking WTMA AOPS alg2, WTMA Lit, WTMA SAT prep, WTMA USH, Local poetry, toastmasters, web-design and writing classes & Biology at Fundafunda.  (She does not like the format of the FundaFunda class but the class is solid.)    She took WTMA Exp Writing 3 last year. 

 

1. amount of reading per week - The book is college level and they appear to be covering all of the book.  

2. amt. of writing per week -  My daughter says it takes her 2-3 hours per week for reading and writing.

 

 

I have not listened to any of the USH lectures.  I will put that on my todo list.  

 

 

I would be happy to send you an example of the work my daughter is producing and teacher feedback.  I don't want to post it on the forum but happy to message you privately. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes my son just completed his 5-6 page paper midterm. Due 1 hour ago. :-) Just in the nick of time. We'll see how she grades it - she's been harsh with his grades so far (70% participation, 85% PSD analysis)... so I helped him to edit this time, to make sure he has his best chance. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes my son just completed his 5-6 page paper midterm. Due 1 hour ago. :-) Just in the nick of time. We'll see how she grades it - she's been harsh with his grades so far (70% participation, 85% PSD analysis)... so I helped him to edit this time, to make sure he has his best chance.

What's PSD analysis?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3. View of America:

   a. Traditional, but balanced (aka Larry Schweikart-Patriot's History)

   b.  Progressive (aka Zinn).

 

I put the ISBN of the WTMA US History class into Amazon & skimmed the reviews. Very few discussed the view of America that the book puts forth. Here's the only one that I think might make you look twice:

I realize its a course requirement for most people purchasing it so you don't have a choice but if you do have a choice, find something else. Its full of leftist revisionist history. Basically it just goes through various reasons why America is evil and all the bad things that Americans have done. From chapter 1 which gives a brief overview of the discovery and settling of the Americas, " The Europeans were were appalled by the human sacrifices of the Aztec, apparently they didn't find their own culture so detestable." It is completely biased and agenda driven.

 

I'd recommend you "look inside" the two MPOA textbooks to see what you think of the perspective. It looks like the American Political Tradition was written by a "Consensus Historian." I had to look up what that meant. There should be enough in the "look inside" feature to show you what the writing slant is for any number of topics (Native People Relations, Imperialism, Civil War, New Deal, etc.).

Edited by RootAnn
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What's PSD analysis?

 

I'm guessing PSD in this context stands for primary source documents.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He said there is some discussion but a fair amount of teacher lecture, so maybe not what you are looking for. There is no specific participation grade. He reports that there is more discussion in Logic than in History if that gives you any reference.

 

His perception that it is more serious than WTMA could be that he went from a middle school history class at WTMA to a high school class at MPOA. He perhaps is referring to light hearted or slightly off topic moments in WTMA that are lesser in MPOA.

 

I really can't speak to whether or not your ds would be overloaded with work. Kids vary so much. Mine is taking MPOA College Prep US History, Logic 1, WTMA AOPS Algebra II and Expository Writing III, as well as a physics class and biology and geography at our local co-op. He is not at all overworked. However, other kids would melt with his schedule as would he with what some other folks here report.

 

Sorry I can't help more. My involvement with this course has been pretty much letting him choose between MPOA or Ancient History with WTMA and logging into his account every 2-3 weeks to make sure he is doing okay and asking casually once a week or so "hey what are you doing in history?" or "how is history going/" I have not communicated with the teacher or listened in on class or even read any of his work. I'm always embarrassed on these threads when I admit how uninformed I am. It is a situation that works for us. Sorry!

That makes sense that there's more discussion in Logic 1. I'm hoping he enjoys this one. This topic should be one he enjoys, but Introductory Logic did not work for him. The teacher for spring TL1 is Maycock.

 

My son is carrying around a lot of emotional stress, gets migraines, and has sleeping problems due to my daughter's mental illnesses and the toll they take. This added stress reduces his ability to concentrate as well as he used to be able.

 

You've been very helpful. And I understand about being hands-off regarding online classes. My son actually prefers it that way. I can check in at any time tp check his progress, but besides a few questions here and there, I am hands-off, too.

 

I put forth the effort to find and research the class, it's his job to take it!

Edited by historymatters
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WTMA USHistory class is my dd's all time favourite classes. I am sure she is one of the class talkers. The primary source work has been outstanding. Currently she is writing the 5-6 page midterm. It seems like a lot to me but she is not complaining. I am amazed at the amount of writing she does for this class. I will seek out this teacher again.

 

Regarding workload: My dd14 is taking WTMA AOPS alg2, WTMA Lit, WTMA SAT prep, WTMA USH, Local poetry, toastmasters, web-design and writing classes & Biology at Fundafunda. (She does not like the format of the FundaFunda class but the class is solid.) She took WTMA Exp Writing 3 last year.

 

1. amount of reading per week - The book is college level and they appear to be covering all of the book.

2. amt. of writing per week - My daughter says it takes her 2-3 hours per week for reading and writing.

 

I have not listened to any of the USH lectures. I will put that on my todo list.

 

I would be happy to send you an example of the work my daughter is producing and teacher feedback. I don't want to post it on the forum but happy to message you privately.

 

Thank you. That gives me a good idea of the workload.

 

I may take you up on your offer to provide an example. That's very generous.

 

I'll contact later this weekend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I put the ISBN of the WTMA US History class into Amazon & skimmed the reviews. Very few discussed the view of America that the book puts forth. Here's the only one that I think might make you look twice:

 

I'd recommend you "look inside" the two MPOA textbooks to see what you think of the perspective. It looks like the American Political Tradition was written by a "Consensus Historian." I had to look up what that meant. There should be enough in the "look inside" feature to show you what the writing slant is for any number of topics (Native People Relations, Imperialism, Civil War, New Deal, etc.).

 

Thanks a lot. I looked up consensus historian, (and consensus history) as that was new to me, too. There's quite a bit out there about Hofstadter, so I am reading up.

 

Definitely less on WTMA's text choice, so I've started looking at the author's other books to get a better idea of how he has presented other figures in history.

Edited by historymatters

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hi there! It’s great site. so many topics and opinions. I used to read  but now your site one of my favorites. Thank you!

Edited by emzhengjiu
Removed links

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Received great feedback on WTMA and MPOA. These answers have been very useful in helping me to put pictures together of these courses.

 

Would love some for The Potter's School, too!

 

Thanks.

Edited by historymatters

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WTMA USHistory class is my dd's  all time favourite classes.  I am sure she is one of the class talkers.

 

 

homefree, i would love to know what makes this one of her favorite classes.

 

we loved WTMA Bio last year (also an all time favorite class)  - so I know it's not WTMA in particular for us. love to know why! (and then i can go to my ds and see if we can salvage the rest of the year. it might have just been the ridiculously low participation grade as this son has never received a grade as low as 70% in his life that soured him)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 he hates that he HAS to participate so much.

...

And besides, when you only meet ONE hour per week, I would think it should be more lecture/teaching than relying on 'discussion' time.

...

And to assign so great a value on it, that's rough for many (according to my son, all but 3 who routinely talk, I guess got a low C grade - which is worth far too much!) He also doesn't like the weekly writing summaries - too much writing. He would prefer standard quizzes/tests to drill knowledge. And he is bemoaning his big projects, saying that she only gives about 2-3 weeks' notice of them and has got 3 big assignments all due within 3 days of each other.

 

Yeah, I'm not big on classes requiring "participation" and counting it as a large part of the semester grade. Makes it very hard for naturally introverted/quieter students.

 

I assume online courses do it more than in-person classes in order to ensure that students participate, but it makes for an artificiality, I think. I was introverted & quiet in my b&m high school courses, but it didn't impact my grade much, if anything. Teachers would call on me/others who were naturally quieter students and got a sense from that and from our work of how engaged we were in the class. Online instructors don't have the benefit of actually seeing the quiet students, so they have no way of knowing whether the student is engaged or even listening. I'd rather see online instructors call on individual students to keep everyone engaged. It also keeps the class from being monopolized by a handful of students who like to talk, whether or not they have anything significant or valuable to add.

 

I'm also not a big fan of classes that require x discussion board posts and y responses to other posts.  But I don't know of any other way to ensure that all students maintain some minimal level of involvement in an online class.

 

Regarding lecture vs discussion.... I actually prefer more discussion than lecture in a class like WTMA's history. The text has more than enough lecture type material. And the fact that the students have to read & narrate (write a summary) of each chapter ensures some level of digesting the material. So, assuming students come to class with a given foundation of facts/knowledge, I think an instructor (esp one like Ms Brian who has a deep understanding of the subject) adds the greatest value by guiding a discussion of the material rather than filling the students with more facts/information. But, the value of discussion is completely dependent on the ability of the teacher.

 

You might want to check the syllabus for the WTMA history class. I know my boys did most of the big essays/projects at the last minute, but I also know that they had a LOT of notice ahead of time. In fact, I think when they took the class  2 years ago, there were intermediate milestones.... submit your topic (four or five weeks ahead of the final due date)... submit a general outline for your paper (a couple weeks later).....  I'm pretty sure the instructor gave good feedback on the outline/direction of the project and also made it clear that students should contact her if they needed any help. (Hope I'm not confusing this with another class...)  Things might have changed, though. I hope not because I really liked that aspect of the course.... not just learning content, but also learning time management skills and the step-by-step research paper writing practice!

 

 

ETA:  I've mentioned this before, but I'll reiterate.... I think this is one of those classes where one gets out of it what one puts into it.  Not at all a bad thing... My boys, for example, aren't big on history, so they didn't put as much into it as a history buff student would. They still got a lot, I think, out of it, but definitely not as much as a more interested history student would. They were still able to earn a good grade by doing a certain level of work. (I don't think participation counted as much back then, though.)  If they'd been into history, I think Ms. Brian could have taken them even further. So, bottom line, I think the class worked for either type of student. Don't know how it's set up now, though!

Edited by yvonne

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

"Yeah, I'm not big on classes requiring "participation" and counting it as a large part of the semester grade. Makes it very hard for naturally introverted/quieter students."

 

Yes, I agree. And even though my.

son is a talker, he too doesn't.

like the requirements to post

responses to other's work; he

resents it as eating into his time

that he could be applying to his

own work. I would feel the same in

his shoes.

 

 

"I assume online courses do it more than in-person classes in order to ensure that students participate, but it makes for an artificiality."

 

Yes, and 70% is too much for.

participation.

 

"I'd rather see online instructors call on individual students to keep everyone engaged. It also keeps the class from being monopolized by a handful of students who like to talk, whether or not they have anything significant or valuable to add."

 

 

Ditto

Edited by historymatters

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No I don't know how much the participation accounts for - not 70%. But it's a pretty big amount - 10-20% maybe? I'm saying he got a 70% for his participation which dragged his grade from an A to an 88% B for the semester.

 

Thanks for all the tips, guys! I'll look into the syllabus. Could very well be it wasn't posted early - but my ds said it was only posted a few weeks ago. There definitely aren't milestones required at least for this midterm project. WTMA Bio did - and we also liked that a lot.

 

Gotta run!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No I don't know how much the participation accounts for - not 70%. But it's a pretty big amount - 10-20% maybe? I'm saying he got a 70% for his participation which dragged his grade from an A to an 88% B for the semester.

I'm sorry, reading while sleepy!

I see on the syllabus it's 10%.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER & RECEIVE A COUPON FOR
10% OFF
We respect your privacy.You’ll hear about new products, special discounts & sales, and homeschooling tips. *Coupon only valid for first-time registrants. Coupon cannot be combined with any other offer. Entering your email address makes you eligible to receive future promotional emails.
0 Shares
Share
Tweet
Pin
×