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PA homeschooler AP chemistry advice!

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First let me say I tried searching, but it is very wonky tonight ?

Trying to figure out what to do next year. We took WTMA chemistry this year, and want to avoid a similar experience next year, as the course did not live up to our expectations. I'm sure everyone has their opinion, but this is mine, as I think it is the teacher that makes or breaks the experience. I am asking for feedback from anyone currently enrolled in PA homeschoolers. Can you please comment on the following:

a) How much busy work is involved - the description states zero, but I would appreciate if you can clarify if this has been your experience?

b) How many lab reports/papers are required? Do you turn those labs in for grades?  Is there a consistent grading rubric? How long are the lab reports? Are the chemistry lab supplies adequate to run an experiment?

c) It sounds like most of the grading of quizzes/assignment/tests are immediate feedback. Are there other assignments that are not immediate feedback? Are those graded in a timely manner? (1-2 weeks).

d) I know the class is asynchronous. Do you find access to the teacher or TAs easy and helpful?

The course sound great, just hoping for some encouraging words before I purchase it.

Thank you.

 

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My daughter is in the AP exam right now, so I’ll have to post again with her responses. I can’t say enough good things about the class or the teachers. My daughter is a junior and has taken many classes with PAH and this is one of the best.

I think she would tell you that there was no busy work and that access to the teachers and TAs was immediate. As a parent, I’ve been very happy with the class.

ill post later with her responses.

 

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we're on our way to the AP exam now.... fantastic class! one of the best. i concur, no busywork. very well laid out. despite being fully asynchronous. questions were handled very quickly when ds got stuck. labs he is changing for next year - but ample time to do it, kit had plenty of supplies to manage. week looked like this: read chapter in book/extensive outline prepared by Mr. M; watch 1/2 dozen associated videos, from 10min to 30min; do 1-3 exercises that works out problems and really cements what is learned; then a weekly quiz or test (tests are actual ap questions/frqs so these types of questions are tackled the entire year). it's math-heavy fwiw. fantastic class! for my mathier kids, i will certainly go for it again.

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6 hours ago, mirabillis said:

labs he is changing for next year - but ample time to do it, kit had plenty of supplies to manage. 

Can you elaborate on this at all?  We still need to purchase the supply kit from Quality Science Labs.  Is he doing something different?

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How many hours per week did your dc spend on Chem? Looking at reviews on the website, it seems like the average was 8-10 but some people reported much more.

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6 hours ago, sewpeaceful said:

Can you elaborate on this at all?  We still need to purchase the supply kit from Quality Science Labs.  Is he doing something different?

 

i just think he's changing it up for next year. not sure specifics. you should ask him about the lab kit. probably same kit, but i think he's just changing how/when/how often for labs. he mentioned it briefly. not sure how much we used in the kit, how much was consumable - but maybe if it's largely intact, i could sell it to you. let me know if i should ask my ds how much was consumed.

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29 minutes ago, 3andme said:

How many hours per week did your dc spend on Chem? Looking at reviews on the website, it seems like the average was 8-10 but some people reported much more.

 

i'd say 1-2 hours per day. since there's no live class, that's all inclusive. he rarely did work on weekends unless there were labs, tests to study for or sometimes he'd take his tests on sunday (all work due each monday).

mr. m is an amazingly caring teacher! we really enjoyed it. my ds will say it was hard work but he learned a ton and went in feeling confident to the ap exam today

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Two of my kids have taken AP Chemistry with Mr. M.  As other's have said, it is a fantastic class.  There is no busy work and teacher feedback is prompt and thorough.  The class also prepares students exceptionally well for the AP,Chemistry SAT II, and Chemistry Olympiad exams.

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I would agree with the above.  PAH AP Chem is an incredibly thorough course.  DD took it last year as a Grade 11 student. Yeah - I'm a chemistry teacher and I outsourced AP Chem. :biggrin:  Actually, that's probably a pretty good endorsement for how highly I think of the class. :smile:  I hadn't taught AP Chem since 2006 so I wasn't up to date on the new (in 2013) curriculum and didn't feel I had the time to reinvent the wheel for DD two years ago.  I think I've mentioned before that I wouldn't even think of offering my own online AP Chem course to homeschoolers while Mr. Moskaluk is still offering his - there is no way that I could do a better job at prepping kids than he does. :smile:

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1 hour ago, Dicentra said:

I would agree with the above.  PAH AP Chem is an incredibly thorough course.  DD took it last year as a Grade 11 student. Yeah - I'm a chemistry teacher and I outsourced AP Chem. ?  Actually, that's probably a pretty good endorsement for how highly I think of the class. ?  I hadn't taught AP Chem since 2006 so I wasn't up to date on the new (in 2013) curriculum and didn't feel I had the time to reinvent the wheel for DD two years ago.  I think I've mentioned before that I wouldn't even think of offering my own online AP Chem course to homeschoolers while Mr. Moskaluk is still offering his - there is no way that I could do a better job at prepping kids than he does. ?

A note for those reading this that haven't seen that the new emojis (except the ones labeled "default") look ok until you post with them - and then they show up as "?" So, when you see ? in her post, think of the emoji that she most likely put in there. :smile:

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13 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

A note for those reading this that haven't seen that the new emojis (except the ones labeled "default") look ok until you post with them - and then they show up as "?" So, when you see ? in her post, think of the emoji that she most likely put in there. :smile:

Thanks, RootAnn!  I didn't even notice after I hit "post"!  I'll see if I can fix things.  BTW - I like the smiley that you did.  How did you do that one?

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6 minutes ago, Dicentra said:

Thanks, RootAnn!  I didn't even notice after I hit "post"!  I'll see if I can fix things.  BTW - I like the smiley that you did.  How did you do that one?

Choose "default" category. Some of the old ones are on there, one or two new ones. Many of the favorites are missing. :sad:

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On 5/6/2018 at 8:08 PM, DocMom said:

 

b) How many lab reports/papers are required? Do you turn those labs in for grades?  Is there a consistent grading rubric? How long are the lab reports? Are the chemistry lab supplies adequate to run an experiment?

c) It sounds like most of the grading of quizzes/assignment/tests are immediate feedback. Are there other assignments that are not immediate feedback? Are those graded in a timely manner? (1-2 weeks).

d) I know the class is asynchronous. Do you find access to the teacher or TAs easy and helpful?

The course sound great, just hoping for some encouraging words before I purchase it.

 

b) There is a quiz for each lab and the student would need the recordings he/she did to be able to complete the lab quiz. The lab reports are not graded. The lab kit has much more than needed for the course. There were some household supplies (e.g Epsom salts, isopropyl alcohol) that we didn’t have at home but a quick trip to the Dollar Store or Walmart or any large supermarket solves the issue. The lab instructions were uploaded way before deadlines so there is more than adequate time to make trips to dollar stores for any household items that you might need.

c) All the assignments that are instructor graded are graded in a timely manner, definitely less than a week. 

d) my kid only bugs the teacher and he always response fast in a helpful manner. Can’t comment on TAs since my kid prefers to bug his teachers. Daijobu’s daughter is a TA for this class.

I signed up and paid up for my kid for this class last February after exchanging emails with Mr Moskaluk to make sure it would be a good fit for my quirky kid (who drew the picture I am using for my avatar after his AP Chem exam). 

22 hours ago, 3andme said:

How many hours per week did your dc spend on Chem? Looking at reviews on the website, it seems like the average was 8-10 but some people reported much more.

 

It depends on what is on the weekly schedule.  The MCQ quizzes are untimed which means my perpetually hungry kid takes frequent breaks to eat since he is not in a rush to finish.  For labs he takes a whole day again because he is in no rush to finish them. So your child could probably finished those at a much faster pace than my kid. The practice exams are timed and those he did according to the time allowed. 

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We're taking Honors Chem with Dicentra next year, 8th grade, but what sort of math is required for AP Chem? Will having finished AoPS Algebra 2 be enough? Or maybe Precalculus? Just wondering if AP Chem requires a certain level of maturity. Is it a big jump from Chemistry to AP Chemistry? DD will be in 9th grade, and her strengths are languages despite her math progression. 

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4 minutes ago, crazyforlatin said:

We're taking Honors Chem with Dicentra next year, 8th grade, but what sort of math is required for AP Chem? Will having finished AoPS Algebra 2 be enough? Or maybe Precalculus? Just wondering if AP Chem requires a certain level of maturity. Is it a big jump from Chemistry to AP Chemistry? DD will be in 9th grade, and her strengths are languages despite her math progression. 

I first want to add to the chorus of praises for Mr. Moskaluk.  My daughter took this class 7 or 8 years ago and took a total of 11 or 12 AP exams over probably 3 or 5 years.  She made 5s on all, but she was the most confident of a 5 in chem.  On her own initiative, she actually emailed Mr. Moskaluk after the class was over to ask where she could leave a review.

As for the math, I don't remember there being anything higher than Algebra I in chemistry.  Balancing equations and working with exponents were the bulk of the math.  She had never taken chemistry, but she did read through an on-level chemistry text the summer before this class.  Most people who take AP chem in a B&M school, though, will have had on-level or honors chemistry before AP chem.

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32 minutes ago, crazyforlatin said:

We're taking Honors Chem with Dicentra next year, 8th grade, but what sort of math is required for AP Chem? Will having finished AoPS Algebra 2 be enough? Or maybe Precalculus? Just wondering if AP Chem requires a certain level of maturity. Is it a big jump from Chemistry to AP Chemistry? DD will be in 9th grade, and her strengths are languages despite her math progression. 

 

Algebra 2 would be enough. AoPS Algebra 1 is probably enough in terms of math background needed.

My kid did Thinkwell Chem haphazardly before AP Chem and it wasn’t a jump. Does your daughter like chemistry enough to want to do chemistry courses for two concurrent academic years? My kid took physics course in 6th, took a break in 7th from physics, then take physics C course in 8th so that he didn’t take physics courses two years in a row and gets bored. So YMMV.

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2 hours ago, Arcadia said:

 

Algebra 2 would be enough. AoPS Algebra 1 is probably enough in terms of math background needed.

My kid did Thinkwell Chem haphazardly before AP Chem and it wasn’t a jump. Does your daughter like chemistry enough to want to do chemistry courses for two concurrent academic years? My kid took physics course in 6th, took a break in 7th from physics, then take physics C course in 8th so that he didn’t take physics courses two years in a row and gets bored. So YMMV.

 

Did he do AP Chem in 7th or 9th, then?

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11 minutes ago, SeaConquest said:

Did he do AP Chem in 7th or 9th, then?

 

8th grade, with AP Physics C. He decided to do the two required lab sciences in 8th so he can do whatever science he like for high school. He won’t be doing biology. 

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13 hours ago, crazyforlatin said:

We're taking Honors Chem with Dicentra next year, 8th grade, but what sort of math is required for AP Chem? Will having finished AoPS Algebra 2 be enough? Or maybe Precalculus? Just wondering if AP Chem requires a certain level of maturity. Is it a big jump from Chemistry to AP Chemistry? DD will be in 9th grade, and her strengths are languages despite her math progression. 

 

The difference between Honors Chem and AP Chem in terms of math skills is more in the application than in the skills themselves.  I agree with previous posters - Alg 2, even non-AoPS, would be more than enough for AP Chem.  The difficulty comes in know how and when to use the math and for that, a good solid understanding of what's going on chemically in a question is required.  That's what I want to give my students - good, solid base chemical knowledge that will confidently take them into AP Chem or college chem. :smile:

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On 5/9/2018 at 12:45 AM, Arcadia said:

 

8th grade, with AP Physics C. He decided to do the two required lab sciences in 8th so he can do whatever science he like for high school. He won’t be doing biology. 

Arcadia: can you share how much physics he had taken before to be doing Physics C? Did he do 1&2 before? Did you do an AP class to prepare for this?

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6 hours ago, DocMom said:

Arcadia: can you share how much physics he had taken before to be doing Physics C? Did he do 1&2 before? Did you do an AP class to prepare for this?

 

He did Clover Creek Physics in 6th grade, then prep for the SAT Physics subject test after his AP Calculus BC exam in 7th grade. He did the AP class with Jeff Lanctot (PAHomeschoolers) in 8th class. 

He didn’t do AP Physics 1 & 2 exams as there is no point since one of his preferred major is computer engineering. It makes more sense for him to go directly to the Physics C exams (Mechanics exam, Electricity & Magnetism exam) because those would be relevant for engineering school application. He used AoPS for calculus.

I could help him with calculus based physics but I prefer to outsource the nagging and deadlines. 

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2 hours ago, Arcadia said:

 

He did Clover Creek Physics in 6th grade, then prep for the SAT Physics subject test after his AP Calculus BC exam in 7th grade. He did the AP class with Jeff Lanctot (PAHomeschoolers) in 8th class. 

He didn’t do AP Physics 1 & 2 exams as there is no point since one of his preferred major is computer engineering. It makes more sense for him to go directly to the Physics C exams (Mechanics exam, Electricity & Magnetism exam) because those would be relevant for engineering school application. He used AoPS for calculus.

I could help him with calculus based physics but I prefer to outsource the nagging and deadlines. 

What a great line!

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