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Hits & Misses? 2019-2020 Edition


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Are we far enough into the school year to decide whether we hit it out of the ballpark or totally struck out? I think I am.

Hits include:

  • Clover Valley Chemistry (just as amazing as I expected - thank you, Connie!)
  • AIM Academy AP English Language (no busywork, appropriately challenging, well-organized)
  • Thinkwell U.S. Government (dirt cheap and gets the job done; self-paced offers much needed flexibility)
  • WHA Algebra 2 with Eric Reini (fav math teacher of all time)
  • PAH AP Art History (very heavy workload but fascinating topic with fun teacher)

 

Just okay:

  • WHA Latin 2 (class is fine, but its very much box-checking for my DD)

 

Complete and utter disastrous miss:

  • WHA AP Art History: Teacher said some disturbing things in his meet-the-teacher introductory class, so I knew right away it was a terrible fit for DD. After hearing him say that preparing students for the AP exam is not really his main focus and berating many of the CB’s choices of art works because they were made/interpreted by feminists or other marginalized people instead of many of the dead white men he respects too much, I very promptly withdrew DD and requested a refund of the hefty tuition for the course. Being WHA, they refused to offer a refund and instead offered a 50% credit toward enrollment in a future course. I was initially furious about it, but now I just feel lucky DD didn’t have to listen to that man rant about why he disagrees with the College Board (calling them “radical leftists”) all year after he and WHA used the CB’s considerable clout/brand to attract students to the course in the first place. I think of us as pretty moderate, politically speaking, but his perspective was much, much too conservative and his tone too angry for our tolerance; the tone was the worst part, honestly, as we prefer a spirit of healthy intellectual inquiry and balanced discussion/debate. Feels like a bullet dodged and a lesson learned on my part. 
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@fourisenough WHA with the right teacher is great as you know. Their refund policy stinks. With the added student fee, we're out. I can't take the chance of a bad fit & being out that much $$$. And, thankfully, my needs-exterior-class-accountability kid is at college.

Too early to tell yet for my high schooler what is a hit & what is a miss. No outside classes. Just a lot of work this year so far.

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So far...

Clover Valley is great. And maybe my kids will finally figure out how to work at a better pace. Sigh. If you read this Connie, I'm so sorry about their handwriting. Double sigh.

Mr. D's Math... a hit for one kid and a miss for the other. Not totally sure how we're going to deal with that. Two different teachers though.

GPS year two (as I'm writing it!) is working well for one kid... less well for the other though not badly. We'll see. I may need to think about tweaking a few things.

Mushroom is doing a year of "World Drama" for English and that's going well. Also, I made a "History of Film" elective for him and that's going well too.

The economics plan for BalletBoy has been rocky. He loves the "fun" books and videos as well as the simulation games I schedule. He's less into the straight test prep and so forth and the stock market class we signed up for fell through (boo!). I'm excited to hand it off to some extent next semester, when he'll hopefully take the G3 class.

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My ds is in 11th grade.

Hits-

-Dual enrollment at the local private university (College Writing, Spanish I, Earth and Space Science). Older boys did plenty of de here so we knew what to expect. They had told him how much he would love going to college (and how much easier it would be) and they were right. He loves the independence and the classes are not difficult. He is in an actual lab class for the first time and he loves that. He is more academic than his older brothers so he comes home excited to tell me about classes so that is fun. He will do primarily de from here on out and hopefully the classes will become a bit more challenging. 

-Statistics with WTMA. This is just a one semester class and he will take stats de probably in the spring. This kid makes spreadsheets and crunches sports numbers for fun so this is right up his alley. He is interested in pursuing stats, data analytics, or something similar in college so it is a nice intro. 

Just fine, no complaints-

-PreCal with WTMA. This is absolutely fine. No complaints but ds doesn't LOVE it. However, it is by far his most demanding class so I wouldn't expect to hear him raving about it. He has done a ton of online classes since 7th grade and the taste of de definitely has him ready to move on from them. But no complaints at all.

We'll see-

SAT prep with Khan Academy. He is putting in about 4-5 hours a week here because his other classes haven't been too demanding. He likes the format and says it  helps. I like being ablel to log in and easily see his progress and what he has done. We'll see if it translates when he takes the test (Nov ?)

 

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1 hour ago, fourisenough said:

I was initially furious about it, but now I just feel lucky DD didn’t have to listen to that man rant about why he disagrees with the College Board (calling them “radical leftists”) all year after he and WHA used the CB’s considerable clout/brand to attract students to the course in the first place. I think of us as pretty moderate, politically speaking, but his perspective was much, much too conservative and his tone too angry for our tolerance; the tone was the worst part, honestly, as we prefer a spirit of healthy intellectual inquiry and balanced discussion/debate. Feels like a bullet dodged and a lesson learned on my part. 

We've got an online class like this too. MPOA's AP European History. Ugghhh. The dude spent 15 minutes of a class that was supposed to be on the Italian Renaissance ranting about transgender pronouns. I am 100% certain there will be no DBQs or FRQs on the use of they as a singular pronoun. If T weren't enrolled in the diploma program, we'd ditch it. As it is, I think the teacher is inadvertently turning my kid into quite the critical thinker. She even googled around to see who Russell Kirk was (they had to read a short article about the death of Western Civilization) and read some critiques of his work. Color me astonished.  

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If any of you want to weigh in, I'm trying to figure out if I should sign my DD up for Lukeion Latin 1b (next semester). She's doing fine right now because it is (almost) all review but says it is stressing her out. It is stretching her and she needs some stretching but she has another outside Language arts class that is also providing challenge.

I was hoping she would take to the teacher right away & it would be obvious whether I should sign her up for second semester, but it isn't. When I asked her, she didn't say yes or no, just that she feels stressed whenever she thinks of the class.

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29 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

-Statistics with WTMA. This is just a one semester class and he will take stats de probably in the spring. This kid makes spreadsheets and crunches sports numbers for fun so this is right up his alley. He is interested in pursuing stats, data analytics, or something similar in college so it is a nice intro. 

I didn't realize they'd added this. That's great news. The only places I've seen stats for high school have been either AP stats or Christian providers. My kids would much prefer to take stats than Calculus their senior year, so maybe this can be an option alongside something else.

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2 hours ago, fourisenough said:

 

...rant about why he disagrees with the College Board (calling them “radical leftists”) ...

This cracked me up, by the way. We all have a lot of issues with the CB and any list of canon is going to be up for debate and imperfect, but you might be pretty out there yourself if you think the College Board is radical leftists.

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15 hours ago, fourisenough said:
  • WHA AP Art History: Teacher said some disturbing things in his meet-the-teacher introductory class, so I knew right away it was a terrible fit for DD. After hearing him say that preparing students for the AP exam is not really his main focus and berating many of the CB’s choices of art works because they were made/interpreted by feminists or other marginalized people instead of many of the dead white men he respects too much, I very promptly withdrew DD and requested a refund of the hefty tuition for the course. Being WHA, they refused to offer a refund and instead offered a 50% credit toward enrollment in a future course. I was initially furious about it, but now I just feel lucky DD didn’t have to listen to that man rant about why he disagrees with the College Board (calling them “radical leftists”) all year after he and WHA used the CB’s considerable clout/brand to attract students to the course in the first place. I think of us as pretty moderate, politically speaking, but his perspective was much, much too conservative and his tone too angry for our tolerance; the tone was the worst part, honestly, as we prefer a spirit of healthy intellectual inquiry and balanced discussion/debate. Feels like a bullet dodged and a lesson learned on my part. 

 

Thanks for the candor. The no-refund policy is one of the reasons we don't do WHA anymore... that and the significant cost increases. 😉

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18 hours ago, Farrar said:

 

The economics plan for BalletBoy has been rocky. He loves the "fun" books and videos as well as the simulation games I schedule. He's less into the straight test prep and so forth and the stock market class we signed up for fell through (boo!). I'm excited to hand it off to some extent next semester, when he'll hopefully take the G3 class.

I just missed the deadline for a stock simulation competition thing but we need a team anyway AND I am overseas now but I am going to convince DH to put a team together next year for sure. I think we just need 4 for a team. DS is really into this and I'd rather he learn valuation with fake money 🙂

I would love if you could share the fun books and videos. DS keeps asking and I don't know what"s "fun" there. We found Black Swan at the American Library so he's reading that one now. 

To the main thread, it's too early but DS is loving Jetta's  physics class. Procuring lab supplies while in an apartment in a foreign country has required a sense of humor but he has done all that work independently.  Great Books IV at CLRC is great as usual but the reading feels like it gets harder, not easier. Maybe we are getting dumber 😉

Having a lot of fun with my home-cooked Euro history and Art History. Not sure what's sticking, but it's fun anyway. The rest of his classes are too early to tell

What's not working is language immersion for DD. She is teaching everyone English instead. We need to supplement math bc so far it's been just as bad as our public school.

Edited by madteaparty
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3 hours ago, madteaparty said:

I just missed the deadline for a stock simulation competition thing but we need a team anyway AND I am overseas now but I am going to convince DH to put a team together next year for sure. I think we just need 4 for a team. DS is really into this and I'd rather he learn valuation with fake money 🙂

I would love if you could share the fun books and videos. DS keeps asking and I don't know what"s "fun" there. We found Black Swan at the American Library so he's reading that one now. 

I chose a few popular economics books. The one ds really likes is The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford. Ds isn't much of a reader, but he kept pausing to tell me things he was enjoying about it, so that's high praise from him. The simulations games at https://economics-games.com/games have also been a hit. And he really likes the guy who does the Econ Movies Youtube channel, which someone here recommended to me. Our totally superfluous thing was that I got the board game Power Grid, which I read was the best not computer game for economics ideas. It's actually really fun. Of course, he's also got a textbook and AP prep materials. And next semester, he'll take it as a class.

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We don't do online classes, unless they are at the local CC.

Hits-

Miller Levine Biology- I really like this course!  We are almost finished with the Ecology unit.  I got the student workbook to go with it, highly recommend!  (I used Holt with older DD)

Writing and Rhetoric- this was an unusual pick, but this DD didnt need an essay form program like EIW.  She needed something that was more about stories, writing style, creative writing.  We are in the middle of Narrative 1, and are speeding through, I am pausing when we do lit essays (she's done one so far, it was 4 pages and well organized).  My plan is to try to get through books 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 this school year (9th).  We did books 1 and 2 several years ago, but I am amazed at how much she's getting out of this program.  Shes understanding at a different level, her output is much more advanced, and its fun!!!!!  We mostly do the Word Play and writing sections- the other parts are just read and thought about or discussed.  

 

For ODD, we switched to all DE classes, no regrets!  Shes doing great! 

 

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My kids are eighth grade but mostly doing high school work.  It's still relatively early as we got off to a late start (vacation and then a cold/flu bug hit the entire house.  But so far:

Hits: Clover Valley Hon Chem   -- this definitely takes the brunt of the workday for my son.  He's probably spending about 2 hours a day on it right now. But he loves it -- even to the point that the textbook reading -- the part I worried about the most tbh -- is done without complaint.  He started off a little weak while adjusting to the high expectations, but seems to have hit his stride right now.  Of course it's still early.

WTMA Biology for my dd -- she's enjoying the class and really likes the teacher (Dr. Monica Bennett).  She had her rough patch because it seems like the workload will be somewhat light but the tests are pretty difficult... especially when your student does not see that theres a study guide available.  Whoops.  So this class will definitely stretch her, as she's not really taken many tests before or learned how to study for them. 

AOPS  is always a hit, even with the kid that probably shouldn't be doing AOPS. But she loves the format and we modify a lot.  (no star problems, Alcumus set on easy).  My son will start PreCalc through AOPS in October, but has taken multiple classes before in the online format so I don't expect any surprises.  

Global Perspectives Studies (integrated history and lit)  has been a hit for one kid -- it's basically what she asked for, and it is much more creative than what she's been doing in the past.  The reading level for the Lit is perfect for her so far, though I do need to read the history WITH her as it is pretty challenging.  I should have not been so enamored of the idea of them both working together...  the history is so extremely rigorous and history is my son's absolute LEAST favorite subject. So I am dropping the history requirement for him and just have him do the Lit and writing.  Especially since Chem and Aops take him so much time. 

Son is also taking Linguistics through Online G3.  He's enjoying it so far.  Its definitely a low requirement course, as I knew it would be, but I felt he needed something light to balance the rest out. 

So really I guess everything is pretty much a hit! 

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My dd and ds enjoyed Biology with Fundafunda last year and asked to take Bio2 with her this year. It has been going really well! They really a variety of materials on a particular bio topic and then put together a short write-up every week. It has not required time over the 6 hours a week I scheduled, so my last minute addition of a lab section has been manageable.

Story of the Ancient World had also been going really well. I'm in discussion to add an additional chapter to our weekly work. That would let us get well into the next book before the end of the school year.

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Everything is going well so far, but one thing that stands out as a hit is the Physics 101 DVD. My son is really enjoying it. He really liked the chem one last year and he requested the physics this year. He never requests curriculum, so that says something.

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Senior DS is doing a DE Intro to Business and it's an 8 week course instead of 16, which I was very worried about, but it's foing great and his professor has commented several times that she's impressed with his work, so that's definitely a hit for him! I wanted him to have time to dedicate to his DE course, so he's only doing Chalkdust Precalc and Apologia Physics and both of those are good. When his DE course is done he'll be doing a homemade Journalism course and Dave Ramsey's personal finance as well.

10th grade DD is enjoying all of hers so far. VT Geometry and Apologia Chemistry and WttW are too soon to tell, but were all a hit with both my older boys so I assume it will be for her too. She is loving Great Courses for US History and tells us all about what she's learning! She's also liking her homemade Intro to Architecture and Engineering. Visual Link Spanish is just ok.

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10 hours ago, Momto6inIN said:

 She is loving Great Courses for US History and tells us all about what she's learning!

Do you just have her watch the videos & discuss? or are you adding anything to it? Papers? Quizzes/tests of any sort? I’d like to consider this for next year, but not sure how to round it out to a full course.

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My oldest is in 8th so we are not on a full high school load. He is taking 3.5 credits. 

So far, 

  • Algebra I  by Dolciani (as a follow up to the Pre-A, it's fairly easy to implement and follow for us)

 

  • Art of Argument--This works but we had to drop the videos (we just could not stand them) and so I had to tweak the assignments, etc.

 

  • Latin Alive 2-- This works, but my son refuses to watch the videos so he is basically teaching himself from the text, which I really don't recommend. But I did watch all the videos myself, and so far we have been able to muddle our way through.  Overall though, I have a number of complaints about CAP's editing/errata reporting process, which might be better left to another thread.  This will be his last year of Latin, and I am leaning towards letting my youngest drop after Latin Alive 1. I am just tired of the complaining.

 

  • English 2 with The Potter's School--This is a new provider for us and new interface. Also, a new "structure" for writing after doing IEW and Lost tools. I thought it would go more smoothly than it has, but we are having issues with the assignment expectations not being clear.  The slides are incorrect and are "corrected" verbally by the teacher. Assignment handouts are also incorrect and have been for ages but are not fixed, causing confusion on what is actually required. Emails are sent correcting things after the assignment is made.  IMO, lots of things that are easy to "fix" but have caused my son and I a lot of frustration. I had hoped we would stick with TPS for their integrated humanities, but I am no longer sure, if this is the way things run. It's just not a good fit for my rule-centered son. And honestly, I am struggling with it too. If anyone has BTDT experience, I would love a PM.  My other son is in WF6 and he still hasn't received feedback on a paper from over a week ago. He is the one who really needs help, so I am concerned. UPDATE 12/20/19: it is going much better. We do struggle with expectations at times in English 2 where I am not totally clear on what the teacher wants, and even after asking, I am still not confident. Sigh.

 

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On 9/22/2019 at 8:12 AM, fourisenough said:

Do you just have her watch the videos & discuss? or are you adding anything to it? Papers? Quizzes/tests of any sort? I’d like to consider this for next year, but not sure how to round it out to a full course.

Funda Funda has a fantastic syllabus that uses the Great Courses. We had a fantastic year with it and my dd did the AP test and scored a 5 so an all round win for us.

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Well, apparently this is week 6/7 of classes for dd. I hadn't realized. Time flies when you aren't teaching I guess. I can now say we officially have had no misses. Cue the applause track- yay!!! The sleeper hit is Music History and Appreciation with WTMA. That was a sort of last minute suggestion on my part, since I feel like she's been super heavy on art and extremely light on any music over the years due to my oversight. I was expecting her to barely tolerate it. Instead this is her favorite class. I love happy surprises like that! 

Overall there have been no voiced complaints about instructors, instructor organization, or tears of overwhelm, so I'm calling that a win. She's got one class I will give some more feedback on at the end of the semester, but I'll wait on that until after the final. It's the only one that's probably a "meh" simply because it isn't what she expected. But it's nothing bad. And is only a semester so that helps. 

(Online classes this year are-  CV Chem, WTMA Graphic Novel, WTMA Govt, WTMA Music History, Schola Tutorials Works of CS Lewis, Schola GB4) 

 

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On 9/22/2019 at 9:12 AM, fourisenough said:

Do you just have her watch the videos & discuss? or are you adding anything to it? Papers? Quizzes/tests of any sort? I’d like to consider this for next year, but not sure how to round it out to a full course.

Sorry, I just saw this! She takes notes on the lectures and then I also have her do some of the lessons in Critical Thinking in US History (older 4 cd set, not the newer books) as output. Some of the lessons are just short answer questions, but for some of  the more open ended ones I have her write a short essay.

Edited by Momto6inIN
Eta We didn't do the funda funda course because it was just too much if a time commitment to watch videos and read and do CTinUSH. But if we were going for AP we totally would have done that.
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So we're only doing two classes at home, and so far all of the resources I've chosen have been hits.  This has never happened before!

Current hits:

  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
  • Justice videos by Harvard professor Michael Sandel
  • The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt
  • Ways of the World by Robert Strayer (chapters on the twentieth century)
Edited by EKS
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11th grade-all hits!  She will have a total of 6 for the year-Comp.I, Anatomy'Physiology, Psychology, Health/Wellness, Spanish and TBD elective.) Algebra II is tutor based using Holt textbook, and American History/literature is based on Great Courses and texts. 

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Well, I had high hopes for using more of the Schoolhouseteachers dot com classes since they are planned out for me. But in each class there is something that just doesn't work right. The pages are not numbered in the Spanish when I print them out. So the lesson plans tell my dds to do activity 2.1. they have several things for a week, and we have to get the computer out and look at the title for each downloaded file to see which is 2.1. it should be on the sheets too, but it's not. Little things like that are annoying in each class. It's a decent price, and it less planning for me, but I am still way more involved than I'd like to be in the day to day stuff. I'd prefer to do one lesson time a week together, then give them the instructions for the week to complete. You get what you pay for though. I cannot pay for a bunch of separate classes or expensive curriculum. 

Hit- DE classes. Like a pp said, the workload is way less for my DD than one of my classes, and she loves being on campus. 

Hit- one schoolhouseteachers class is a huge hit. It's a unit study on the History of Fashion. It is very well put together, and easy to expand upon for my 10th grader. We are loving it. 

 

 

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On 9/18/2019 at 7:26 AM, Farrar said:

So far...

Clover Valley is great. And maybe my kids will finally figure out how to work at a better pace. Sigh. If you read this Connie, I'm so sorry about their handwriting. Double sigh.

Mr. D's Math... a hit for one kid and a miss for the other. Not totally sure how we're going to deal with that. Two different teachers though.

GPS year two (as I'm writing it!) is working well for one kid... less well for the other though not badly. We'll see. I may need to think about tweaking a few things.

Mushroom is doing a year of "World Drama" for English and that's going well. Also, I made a "History of Film" elective for him and that's going well too.

The economics plan for BalletBoy has been rocky. He loves the "fun" books and videos as well as the simulation games I schedule. He's less into the straight test prep and so forth and the stock market class we signed up for fell through (boo!). I'm excited to hand it off to some extent next semester, when he'll hopefully take the G3 class.

Well, Connie may have had to put up with hearts and doodling. I believe Connie's resilience was built during her first year class no thanks to Dd's late night questions which were promptly answered.  🧐

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On 10/3/2019 at 12:28 PM, crazyforlatin said:

Well, Connie may have had to put up with hearts and doodling. I believe Connie's resilience was built during her first year class no thanks to Dd's late night questions which were promptly answered.  🧐

😄  I think it helps to work with teens when one is a night owl one's self. 🙂  Hope your dd is doing well this year!  Tell her that Chemistry Mole and I miss her!

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Is everyone's kids doing the honors version of Clover Valley or is anyone taking the mere mortals version? Wondering how the regular version is going, if anyone has any commentary. I know the honors version will be too much for my kid (this would be for next year). Also, Farrar mentioned handwriting. My kid types everything. Is that possible? Because, heaven help you if not, Connie! 😉

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53 minutes ago, SeaConquest said:

Is everyone's kids doing the honors version of Clover Valley or is anyone taking the mere mortals version? Wondering how the regular version is going, if anyone has any commentary. I know the honors version will be too much for my kid (this would be for next year). Also, Farrar mentioned handwriting. My kid types everything. Is that possible? Because, heaven help you if not, Connie! 😉

Interested in the response to this too!  My boys are doing a local Honors Biology class for 9th grade.  They are doing great, but it is a LOT of work.  Trying to decide what I want to do the next 3 years with science (honors vs. regular) because neither of mine will be going into a science related field (I don't think).

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1 hour ago, SeaConquest said:

Is everyone's kids doing the honors version of Clover Valley or is anyone taking the mere mortals version? Wondering how the regular version is going, if anyone has any commentary. I know the honors version will be too much for my kid (this would be for next year). Also, Farrar mentioned handwriting. My kid types everything. Is that possible? Because, heaven help you if not, Connie! 😉

My DD is taking regular chem (non-honors) with Connie. It’s perfect for her needs: excellent teaching, thoughtful organization, quick responses from teacher, and manageable work load. My kid is NOT a chemistry lover, but she’s enjoying the class and learning a lot. My DD is also taking two APs (English and Art History),  Algebra 2, Latin 2, and Government in addition to an 25+ hour per week EC, so she just simply wouldn’t have the time for the honors version.

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5 minutes ago, fourisenough said:

My DD is taking regular chem (non-honors) with Connie. It’s perfect for her needs: excellent teaching, thoughtful organization, quick responses from teacher, and manageable work load. My kid is NOT a chemistry lover, but she’s enjoying the class and learning a lot. My DD is also taking two APs (English and Art History),  Algebra 2, Latin 2, and Government in addition to an 25+ hour per week EC, so she just simply wouldn’t have the time for the honors version.

Wow, that is quite a workload! How much time would you say she is spending on chemistry? How much time on labs vs the other portions of the class, etc.

Also, thank you for speaking out about the art history class. That is awful!

ETA: How are your nursing students doing? I had my first round of clinicals last month and ended up on night shift! I survived with a lot of coffee, at almost 45 years old (but barely)! 🙂

Edited by SeaConquest
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4 hours ago, SeaConquest said:

Is everyone's kids doing the honors version of Clover Valley or is anyone taking the mere mortals version? Wondering how the regular version is going, if anyone has any commentary. I know the honors version will be too much for my kid (this would be for next year). Also, Farrar mentioned handwriting. My kid types everything. Is that possible? Because, heaven help you if not, Connie! 😉

I'll let others speak to time committment.  (And please - no one hesitate to speak out 'cause I happen to be a member here!  Give the good, the bad, and the ugly - I can learn from all feedback on how to make the courses better! 🙂 )  For typing - it's not that I don't allow typing (I do :)) but it becomes difficult for chemistry when students have to start typing in solutions to chemistry math problems or typing in formulas and chemical equations.  If we can figure out a way that doesn't drive your kid bonkers with all the superscript/subscript stuff that has to go on with chemical formulas and with being able to show work in math-type problems, then typing is just fine.  Don't worry about me reading handwriting, though - my husband is a pharmacist and if I can read his handwriting, I can read ANYONE'S handwriting. 😉 😄

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My boys are doing regular. It's right for them. Balletboy is focused on his economics class as being his big "honors" class. And I push hard for history and English and he's doing okay with that. French is a drag on him. Algebra II has been easy so far, but overall, I think he's just mostly a "regular" student. I was mostly being jokey about the handwriting. Neither of my kids have good handwriting. They do type for everything else except math (and it certainly helps my abysmal speller with a learning issue spell check) and I pointed out that they could for some things in chemistry, but they have been printing and handwriting, which is fine.

Once he got into the swing of things, one of my boys now seems to have too much time on his hands. Not sure what I'm going to do. He's doing a film studies class he enjoys and I might up the work on that to be more of a full credit. We'll see.

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6 hours ago, SeaConquest said:

Wow, that is quite a workload! How much time would you say she is spending on chemistry? How much time on labs vs the other portions of the class, etc.

Also, thank you for speaking out about the art history class. That is awful!

ETA: How are your nursing students doing? I had my first round of clinicals last month and ended up on night shift! I survived with a lot of coffee, at almost 45 years old (but barely)! 🙂

It’s really hard to say how much time she’s spending; I think it really depends on how long the video for that day is. She is living away from home training at a ballet school, so I don’t see her do the work, but I’m guessing somewhere between 30-50 minutes per day, at most. She is a very quick, efficient worker, though, so ymmv.

Both my nursing students are doing very well. Oldest is in final year. She has two clinicals this semester: adult health 2 & community health. One is afternoons (3-11) and one is day shift. She hasn’t had a night shift yet; I know that will be a challenge for her! She learned a ton more last summer during her externship in a busy ED than any of her clinicals during the school year. She’s convinced she’ll really learn nursing by working as a nurse. She had two excellent preceptors who gave her a lot of freedom and opportunity. By comparison, this semester’s clinicals have been underwhelming.

Younger DD is in sim lab for two more weeks, then will begin her first clinical rotation in a long-term care facility for the last half of the semester. She’s loving it so far. Next semester will be her maternal fetal rotation; I’m convinced she’s going to step one foot in L&D and never want to leave. But, time will tell...

Good luck to you! You have my admiration for tackling nursing school as an adult (while also homeschooling). 

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To early to say what would be hits or misses. DS14 wants to do as much dual enrollment as possible next year so I would count dual enrollment as a hit for choice of schooling. He started his first dual enrollment class last month and really loves being in a classroom in a “school”. Below photo is the community college campus he picked because of architectural  aesthetic.

 

Edited by Arcadia
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1 minute ago, mathnerd said:

@Arcadia, which one is that campus? It does look somewhat familiar to me.


Foothill. The photo was taken at the Building 4600. No smokers at all on campus compared to De Anza. They have a grand piano in the dining hall which is another perk compared to De Anza’s upright piano. My kid is picky on campus facilities.

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  • 2 months later...

Well, how'd the semester go for everyone? Any input? 🙂

I have zero complaints and a very happy senior who gave thumbs ups to all. I was a little nervous at the beginning of the year about Graphic Novel taught by Thomas Hummel with WTMA-  the first couple of books in, I think the way they were stacked as far as depressing content, dd was "what did I get myself into? Is this going to be a spiral into darkness?"  But, she stuck it out past first impressions and ended up really getting a lot out of the class and enjoying it. The instructor was super encouraging from what she said, and most importantly for me, she feels it's made her a better writer and given her better framework for thinking more deeply about what she's reading. 

She absolutely puffy heart loved WTMA Music History and Appreciation with Erin Kennedy. She's sad this one has wrapped. This was a class we threw in spontaneously and it's been such a huge hit. It's opened up a whole world- she now wants to take piano and is thinking of taking Music History next year instead of Art History (which is more her strength). 

WTMA Government with Mr. Caro gets two thumbs up too. I admire that he managed to teach Government in one of the most highly politicized periods ever and not politicize the class from the reports I get from dd. She's looking forward to continuing on with him for Economics and also adding Intro to Philosophy with him next semester. 

She's taking regular Chem with Connie and says Connie is a phenomenal instructor. I can't help you @SeaConquest as far as time spent. I'm a very (extremely?) hands off Mom as long as things are getting done with her this year. I check grades, I proctor tests, and that's about it. She does not seem to be overly taxed, I can say that. She's had a pretty heavy writing load across her other classes, but is managing everything fine. I don't think she could handle the Honors course, but there have been no tears with Regular, she is glad she's taking the class, her grades are better than mine were for Chem too, and that's about all I could ask! And most importantly she is understanding what she's learning. She took the midterm today, so I will be curious to see how she did on that. She's freaked herself out because she finished it faster than she thought she would, LOL. 

Her other classes are with Wes Callihan- CS Lewis and GB4, and of course those are wonderful. Art with our instructor is 👍. I need a thesaurus for alternatives to "great" "good"! Nice problem to have I guess. 🙂

Oh and math. MUS Pre-Cal. It's just, math. She's happy, I'm happy, thanks Steve Demme. 🙂

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Hit: ULAT Spanish. We really struggled with foreign language. I won't go through the many "fails" we've had over the last couple of years, but we finally found ULAT and it has been going so well this year. They are learning and actually enjoying themselves.  

MathUSee Geometry was a great fit for one of mine. He learned. retained, and gained confidence. It's by far the best math experience he's had to date. It worked so well that we ordered MUS Alg 2 for him this week. (I've had a lot of Alg 2 fails/won't work for us moments with the other teen this year. We've started Saxon, and I'm hoping it's a decent fit for him.) 

We're using Oak Meadow Geography. I really like the assignments--meaningful and interesting. I think we'll use it for US History as well

Other things I'd say are kind of a mix or good and bad/hit and miss. 

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9 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

 

WTMA Government with Mr. Caro gets two thumbs up too. I admire that he managed to teach Government in one of the most highly politicized periods ever and not politicize the class from the reports I get from dd. She's looking forward to continuing on with him for Economics and also adding Intro to Philosophy with him next semester. 

 

My 11 th grade ds will be in the Intro to Philosophy next semester too. He doesn't need the credit for anything he just loves Mr Caro. Ds has had Mr Caro for several classes all the way back to middle school Story of the World and this is his one last hurrah with Mr. Caro. 🙂

 

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On 9/18/2019 at 9:00 AM, fourisenough said:

Are we far enough into the school year to decide whether we hit it out of the ballpark or totally struck out? I think I am.

Hits include:

  • Clover Valley Chemistry (just as amazing as I expected - thank you, Connie!)
  • AIM Academy AP English Language (no busywork, appropriately challenging, well-organized)
  • Thinkwell U.S. Government (dirt cheap and gets the job done; self-paced offers much needed flexibility)
  • WHA Algebra 2 with Eric Reini (fav math teacher of all time)
  • PAH AP Art History (very heavy workload but fascinating topic with fun teacher)

 

Just okay:

  • WHA Latin 2 (class is fine, but its very much box-checking for my DD)

I continue to feel like we nailed it this year. DD really enjoys and is doing very well in/learning a lot in all her classes.

The biggest highlight is Clover Valley Chemistry. Wow, wow, wow! Connie deserves her stellar reputation and then some.

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Looking back... I don't have much of an update. We have a great ASL tutor for Mushroom now and he likes that subject. BalletBoy's French class for spring got canceled. I'm losing patience with the whole thing. He's just abysmal at languages. It's enough that I'm like, geez, maybe he's got some of the same issues as Mushroom around his memory. It's driving me bonkers.

Mushroom has really excelled with his writing out of nowhere. He was doing okay, but he's now doing great. And he's really enjoying Connie's chemistry class. BalletBoy is... er... gosh, I hope he takes that midterm today. He's dancing tonight and two shows tomorrow and one Sunday. Nutcracker can't be over soon enough.

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I'm surprised I haven't posted to this thread yet.

Hits:

Rhetoric Alive at co-op. Wouldn't have been as fun solo.

Derek Owens Precalculus

Arts are done. Using private teachers. All went well.

I'm not sure if this is a hit or a miss, but dd did the AoPS AMC 10 class. She ... just was. She didn't love it, but has the C & P and NT Theory books and are working through them on her own now. She's my former AoPS dis-liker, although she likes competition math and number puzzles and such, so I guess I'll call this a hit.

Misses:

Holt Biology (Owl) with the worksheets and tests from the publisher's Teacher One Stop. The text is good, but tests are weirdly nit-picky. We really need to work on test taking skills, and this isn't quite hitting the right notes.

Getting the job done:

Online foreign language. I don't want to complain openly about this provider b/c dd is learning stuff and needs to work on her own executive function skills, but it's been a bumpy semester. Three textbooks, five different online resources that require accounts + the assignment page and a separate online grade book. And of course, some of this only works in Chrome and some of it only works in Firefox. Too many moving parts. Both the teacher and the kid have lost assignments.

Local dual credit- just okay

 

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DD is 15, in 10th grade. For context, we have a somewhat unusual situation as she's academically strong, and had to decide between a science career (physical therapy or paleoanthropology) or a circus one. She's choosing to take a gap year post high school so she can teach, train, and perform more before applying to circus schools. She's applying at the level of a professional dancer or athlete even though it sounds weird to say "circus". So, I strike a balance between intensive academic courses for her brain while leaving time for her circus classes, training, teaching, and leadership.

We honestly don't have any misses this year, and I think it's because I've just finally figured out how best to approach everything!

  • Biology - taught locally by a scientist homeschool mom, and it's been perfect for us.
  • Algebra 2 - Derek Owens. We made the switch to DO from AoPS starting with geometry last year. She gets nothing wrong, ever on the homework, quizzes, or tests, but she has no desire to spend more time on math. It's clear that she's still naturally strong but doesn't want to go back to AoPS. There are worst things that using math that's too easy, and it's not like Derek Owens is anything to sneeze at! So, we'll use it next year too but I was planning on doing something different for 12th. Considering that new stats class mentioned with WTMA.
  • Spanish 3 - we're using a mix of Senderos (full course, taught by me) and a review of Spanish 2 for extra practice and conversation with Homeschool Spanish Academy. Her favorite instructor left but is happy enough with the new one.
  • American History - taught and developed by me. I honestly didn't want to teach it again as we did an incredibly high-level modern US course in 8th. But, the local class she was going to take wasn't going to work out. We very much focus on the minority voices in our course. 
  • US Women's Literature - taught and developed by me. 
  • Bravewriter essay class - taking the rhetoric one in the spring with Rebecca.
  •  Loves her handstand, acro, juggling classes. We've been lacking a high level aerial coach but I think we are sorting that out. She's still TAing. Would have loved more dance again this year, but maybe next. She's performing a lot more with her circus troupe and has taken on a lot of leadership in the local circus community.

Love seeing great reviews of Clover Valley Chem as it's on our list for next year. Has anyone done the self graded option? 

Edited by deerforest
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