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Not a terrible miss: DD15 dropped Blue Tent Online Honors Chem after a week, no real problem, just wasn't a good fit.  She'll do a self-paced chem and is continuing with phytoplankton monitoring at a local lab instead.

Huge hit: AP Psych with Mrs. Gonzalez at PAH.  DD LOVES this class!!  Amazingly well-prepared teacher, fascinating presentation, great organization.  She's constantly referring to concepts she's learning and how they apply to real life.  She's super grateful for this class.  

 

 

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I have a hit. My two, 17, are doing "Dual Enrollment" (half high school and half community college). They're doing amazingly well in community college.

I had no idea how they'd react to typical teachers' schedules and due dates and papers and so forth.

Turns out, they took right to it like little ducks. (I mean, it's not Stanford or Princeton, I know, but they seem to be impressing their teachers.)

This is my way of saying: homeschool works!! 🙂 (Again, only if the parents are called to homeschooling. I feel badly for those who've had it thrust on them by covid.)

W.

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Thanks, @Harpymom for starting this thread. I always enjoy reading it. I would say that all of DD3’s (age 15) outsourced classes are hits, some minor and some major. No misses, thankfully. 
 

Big hits:

CLRC Latin 3– It was a steep learning curve switching to Anne VanFossen’s course from WHA. Essentially, CLRC Latin moves at a quicker pace and the teacher expects full mastery. DD feels like she’s really learning Latin for the first time, rather than going through the motions. Wish I had started her out there two years ago!

PAH AP Lit with Serbicki— much like her AP Lang class, this course is rich, but lean with a very well-organized, predictable format.


More modest hits:

Blue Tent Honors Bio

Blue Tent Honors PreCalc

WHA AP Stats

PAH AP Psych— DD loves the content, but finds the class has lots of busy work and she feels it’s a little scattered at times. She’s used to her classes following a very predictable pattern and this one is a little different. Instructor is enthusiastic and knowledgeable on the subject and DD feels like she’ll be well-prepared for the exam. She said Mrs. G “...gives her art teacher vibes.” 😊 This DD loves art/art teachers, so that’s a good thing.

Curious to read others’ responses.

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My first fail in yrs is Hewitt's Conceptual Physics.  Dd was very frustrated by the "evasion of math" approach.  I bought Giancoli to replace it and it is a better option for her.  Nothing against Hewitt, it just wasn't a good fit for this particular child.

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9 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

My first fail in yrs is Hewitt's Conceptual Physics.  Dd was very frustrated by the "evasion of math" approach.  I bought Giancoli to replace it and it is a better option for her.  Nothing against Hewitt, it just wasn't a good fit for this particular child.

This is your younger girl, the one who likes math? Or the older one? (Sorry, I've never used it, so I don't know what age it's for.) 

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Hits-

Blue Tent Calc BC

& DE Chemistry/ Lab

NSLI-Y online language intensive

ETA- how could I forget? Civil Air Patrol has been perfect. We never could make it work before because of my work hours + it being an hour away. Definitely Dd's crowd.

No complaints-

Blue Tent AP Lang. Probably more hours per week than she planned, but it's a good course. She needed someone grading her that isn't me.

French 3 (Graded by me...)

Prep Scholar SAT prep- She wants to be a one-and-done in November, and the format works for her.

This is our first year doing much outsourcing since I switched to working days. I feel fortunate the transition has gone as well as it has.

 

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Hits:

Pairing Notgrass Exploring America with Apologia (American) Literature for dd16

Conducting dedicated lab days for science

Dh teaching algebra

 

 

 

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My first fail in yrs is Hewitt's Conceptual Physics. 

This very issue came up in my Physics class today (using CP by Hewitt). The more math-y students are using the Practice Book and Problem Solving Exercises book.

 

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Hits:
World Religions (home made program - having an absolute blast with it!)

AP English Literature (home made program using Perrine's Literature (10th edition) and my own lit choices as well)
Annenberg Learner's "Democracy in America" - absolutely impressive program (I am adding lots of movies and some other     literature)

Great Courses "How to Listen to and Understand Great Music"

Galore Park French


Misses: none yet, thank goodness




 

     

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17 hours ago, Alicia64 said:

I have a hit. My two, 17, are doing "Dual Enrollment" (half high school and half community college). They're doing amazingly well in community college.

I had no idea how they'd react to typical teachers' schedules and due dates and papers and so forth.

Turns out, they took right to it like little ducks. (I mean, it's not Stanford or Princeton, I know, but they seem to be impressing their teachers.)

This is my way of saying: homeschool works!! 🙂 (Again, only if the parents are called to homeschooling. I feel badly for those who've had it thrust on them by covid.)

W.

DS is doing his first dual enrollment classes at the local state university. One class he loves and one he hates, but he's doing well in both and keeping up with assignments and due dates. He has a Russian professor who has been excellent and he's really enjoying that class.

Apolgia Physics is probably a miss. DS doesn't like math. We started phyics last year and decided to put it aside until this year. He's doing well with it, but it's the subject he puts off until last.

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17 hours ago, 8filltheheart said:

My first fail in yrs is Hewitt's Conceptual Physics.  Dd was very frustrated by the "evasion of math" approach.  I bought Giancoli to replace it and it is a better option for her.  Nothing against Hewitt, it just wasn't a good fit for this particular child.

I would love to hear how you are implementing Giancoli. I have it on my shelf (as well as Conceptual Physics) and I have the supplementary stuff. I need to figure out labs.

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We have a miss but no real "hits" yet. But my kids are still in the "all school is a slog" phase (other than art? Maybe they would say they like that?)

Hit (in my opinion);

House of Humane Letters' Medieval Lit class.  My son is not as enthused but I think she is great.

Artistic Pursuits taught by my dad.  😃

Miss:

Funda Funda Spanish I. There is a thread on here somewhere about it. It was not a good approach for my kids, and there wasn't enough listening to Spanish imo.  We ended up starting over with Avancemos at home.

Works/No real complaints:

Jurgensen Geometry

Dolciani Algebra I

Miller-Levine Biology

World religions and geography course (homemade) using World Religions: A Voyage of Discovery, Mapping the World with Art, Hungry Planet, Material World, So What's the Difference?, How People Live, and Window on the World: An Operation World Prayer resource

Medieval history (homemade) using History of Western Society, Sources from Western Society, study guides from Great Books Academy and several primary source texts. I will have to reserve judgment until we get to the primary source part of the year. So far the History of Western Society bit is going a bit faster than I planned, but that's probably a good thing. 

Art of Argument

Traditional Logic I

TPS English I and English 3  My youngest should probably be in English 2 but he was too anxious to take the placement so we are just making the best of it. 

 

Sill figuring it out:

Avancemos--I am trying so hard to self re-educate and stay ahead of them. I am not used to not having a course planned well ahead of time. I usually would read the entire book and work through things ahead with a foreign language. Because we dropped a course, I am having to do this as we go along.  

 

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I think our only real miss thus far was a random Bioethics Literature book I plucked from a used book store. We did the first unit and enjoyed it, but they felt the book didn't really add anything beyond what we typically do for literature. Which would be me pounding the internet for study guides and cherry-picking what works best for us. So we dropped it entirely and made our own lit list for the year. 


Hits

-GBP Chemistry: A Study of Matter is working great as our spine, and really seems to be the sweet spot for my current two highschoolers. (He's stronger on the concepts and she's stronger on the math.) Extra reading on the side. No complaints. Other than it expected me to have Easter eggs on hand in October. 😛

-Patterns in College Writing is working really well with both of them. Mr. Why-5-paragraphs-when-5-syllables-will-do is putting thought into his writing and honestly enjoying this book. 

-One Year Adventure Novel (sped up) is going pretty well too. I was shocked when the previously mentioned Mr. 5 Syllables wanted to do this for an elective but he's really doing well. 

Missing out on dual enrollment (we live in a COVID hotspot) felt like a miss at the time, but I'm really loving having them home more this year. ❤️ Next year life is going to fling them out of the nest more and more so I'll take it while I can. 

Everything else isn't blowing socks off but it's getting the job done well. 👍 

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Hits...

Dual enrollment class is good. That's a relief after a total bomb of a class last semester. Design class and he secretly loves it. Prof seems to really like him even though he showed up her skills (sigh) in class by being better than her at software use.

Philosophy class is good. Local teacher but now on Zoom.

American lit is going really well in house.

Misses...

I feel like Derek Owens is not working out. Boo. I really wanted it to. We'll see. I'm just worried right now.

Mushroom wanted a lighter science for bio and I didn't want to teach, but I'm really disappointed by Athena's. I thought it might be a good fit because it would be engaging but not that hard. It turns out it's just messy. Not impressed. 

Entrepreneur class with a local teacher isn't the easy hit I thought it would be. Grrr. Teacher doesn't like or get Balletboy's business ideas. Which, admittedly are often terrible, but some of them were fine and the teacher was like, that's dumb - I think because they're often based around things like gaming or trading stuff and he doesn't realize how huge the marketplace is for that stuff. I've never seen him this down on business as a career or possibility in his life. Kid is impossible to keep down. Not sure what's going on there at all.

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Hits:

Well, the fact my sixth grade dd says she likes everything about school this year.  She has been a reluctant student up to this year.  I increased her workload and actually expected some pushback.  Nope.  I think she just grew into school.  I love teaching her, though, bc, as my youngest there are no distractions and I am able to really dig into subjects with her in a way I couldn't for some of the middle years.  She also likes learning with me, unlike my second dd who wanted (and still wants) to learn independently.

Reading the Chemistry textbook with ds.  I keep up with the work and it's nice bonding time for us

MUS Calculus--perfect for my bright dd who I wanted to cover Calculus with, but wanted it to be clear and not a crazy amount of work.  Hits the sweet spot.

My self-made honors government using an AP text, icivics, movies, some document studies.  Dd wishes it was almost no work, but I love what I came up with.:-)

CADD from Potter's school for ds; Aim Academy French for dd

 

Misses:

I am not loving that I let ds talk me into doing a textbook US history.  He did need a get her done year, but yikes! After years of Tapestry, it's so on the surface.  Next year I think I'll put together a World Wars study for him (bc he says that's all he's interested in.)

Everything else is fine.  We are having another good year.  All online classes are good so far and most of the curriculum I use I've used for years so I already knew that I'd like it.  The biggest miss of all, of course, is the pandemic and not knowing what each week will look like.

 

 

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Misses:

- Trying to learn math by reading out of a book with no teacher. Unfortunately, there is no video teacher option with this particular course, and he doesn't want to wait for me to be done with his younger siblings before I can teach him the lesson. But so far, he is getting through it and he is actually improving at this method. Got a very good mark on the chapter test today. 

- Any course that asks questions like, "What do YOU think about it?" or "What did you find exciting about this lesson?" 16yo boy hates that. 🙂

- the free beginner computer science course I was going to have my 14yo do online says I no longer have access to it, so now I don't know what to have him do. He just finished a beginner Python course at Udemy, but there were no suggestions of what courses to take next. Anybody have any suggestions?

 

Hits:

- TT Algebra 1 is working fabulously for 14yo

- CLE Agriscience

 

Everything else seems to be working out well. No complaints, except for the above.

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9 hours ago, cintinative said:

I would love to hear how you are implementing Giancoli. I have it on my shelf (as well as Conceptual Physics) and I have the supplementary stuff. I need to figure out labs.

We are working through the book and problems and watching GPB's Physics Fundamentals videos.  We do the labs that accompany the videos, virtually if we don't have the equipment.  Improvise and do physically the ones we can.

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Big Hits:

Mr. D Algebra 2 -- my non mathy girl LOVES math with Mr D and is doing great,

Berean Builders Honors Chemistry-- Love! She is loving Dr. Wile, and as she said to me a few moments ago --"I am improving on each test and not even crying during them!" (Huge difference from our experience with another provider last year with Biology). 

Schole Academy American Literature -- Dd is LOVING this class. It is not exactly what I expected it to be, but the conversations have been excellent and she has come out of class on many occasions with great discussions. 

Theological Foundations (mom made and taught but through an online class) Great discussions so far and I am seeing great growth in both of my kids who are taking it. 

Lantern English -- new for us this year, but it is the perfect balance of greatly helping with their composition while not having a live component so it doesn't overwhelm their already full schedule, but still have deadlines to keep them on track. 

Just meh's:

Spanish 3 -- it's just meh because my dd is just not invested and she is overwhelmed with other classes

Compass Classroom American History -- dd and ds like it -- find it interesting, I am not sure why I feel like it is meh? Maybe because we came from Omnibus last year and it was such a richer experience? Honestly, we have a full load this year and having American History not be overwhelming is probably a good thing. They are learning and enjoying it though, so its not a miss. 

I wouldn't say we have any misses yet . . . 

 

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The biggest surprise here is Clover Valley Honors Chemistry. I knew it was an incredible class (my older student took it), but I expected my second one would suffer too much and give up. I have no idea (and almost afraid to speak too soon since fortunes can change quickly) but he is loving chemistry and finding it easier than his older (and generally much more capable) sibling ever did. I wonder if he likes it precisely because his brother hated it. whatever works! 🙂

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Miss -

Great Courses Geometry, it just didn't make sense to my daughter.  We switched to school yourself geometry and she is enjoying and retaining that much more.  Poor thing was crying over the old math when I told her that we would fire that teacher and find her a new one.  She thought that was great and has told several people that I fired her math teacher.  lol  

Hits -

Most things are going fine, but we are especially enjoying the Great Courses World History (high school level lectures) coupled with art history.  DD is an avid artist so she takes the time period covered in the lecture and researches the art of the time.  Then she chooses an art piece to recreate herself.  She happily does history now even though I was told she doesn't like the subject.  

We are doing a unit on Digital Photography for science.  She is watching a Great Courses photography class and I have added in a lot of information on lenses, and light, and color.  She tells me she is doing "labs" as well by taking pictures.  We'll spend the rest of the year on Astronomy.

Mix - 

A writing course at coop.  I love not having to grade the papers, but DD isn't thrilled.  She likes seeing her friends but the homework is annoying.  She'd rather just write an essay a week.  We probably won't return next semester.  Hmmm, maybe I can pay her older sister to be the evil editor for me....

 

 

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On 10/7/2020 at 3:58 PM, hollyhock2 said:

He just finished a beginner Python course at Udemy, but there were no suggestions of what courses to take next. Anybody have any suggestions?

Which course did he take? I have a kid working through Udemy's Learn Python Programming by Buchalka. I don't think it is "beginning" so much. It certainly is a lot. She also has a book that she works on when she needs a break from the Udemy course.

-----------

Hits: 

I'm happy with American Government with my two high schoolers using an older textbook & mom plans that I put together for a co-op group four years ago. I've updated them for some more recent debates & papers although some stuff like gun control & Supreme Court justice appointments are still timely! At the end of the semester, they'll both do some targeted prep & take the CLEP exam.

Neither a hit nor a miss:

Dual enrollment at the local college for DD#2. One online class (double speed) finished already. The in person one is good for her as it is in an area of interest (health & nutrition), not too difficult (because of how many athletes are in it, the prof tries to give them lots of grace) but challenging in that it is her first in person college class & she's an anxious kid.

Homeschool Connections Biology (recorded): not super interesting class-wise, but plenty of work & dd#3 seems interested in the actual subject matter. Hit for me because I have basically nothing to do with it. Dd#3 has learned it is better to go through the vocab & read the book first before watching the class video in order to understand the best.

Homeschool Connections Latin (recorded):  dd#3's going a bit faster than a chapter a week. It isn't Lukeion (which she disliked partly because of the competition aspect to the class), but it's a decent get 'er done.

Still too early to know:

ASU College Algebra:  The jury is out on this until DD#2 takes the two practice tests after finishing up ALEKS - which will be early January, hopefully. If she does well enough, I'll have her try the proctored final. Otherwise, she'll try to CLEP it by next May. This is one of the only two math classes she needs for her planned college major & she struggles in math, so I'm hoping she can just get this one done before she's in college full time & worrying about 4-5 classes at a time.

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On 10/8/2020 at 9:24 AM, ByGrace3 said:

Big Hits:

Mr. D Algebra 2 -- my non mathy girl LOVES math with Mr D and is doing great,

Berean Builders Honors Chemistry-- Love! She is loving Dr. Wile, and as she said to me a few moments ago --"I am improving on each test and not even crying during them!" (Huge difference from our experience with another provider last year with Biology). 

Schole Academy American Literature -- Dd is LOVING this class. It is not exactly what I expected it to be, but the conversations have been excellent and she has come out of class on many occasions with great discussions. 

Theological Foundations (mom made and taught but through an online class) Great discussions so far and I am seeing great growth in both of my kids who are taking it. 

Lantern English -- new for us this year, but it is the perfect balance of greatly helping with their composition while not having a live component so it doesn't overwhelm their already full schedule, but still have deadlines to keep them on track. 

Just meh's:

Spanish 3 -- it's just meh because my dd is just not invested and she is overwhelmed with other classes

Compass Classroom American History -- dd and ds like it -- find it interesting, I am not sure why I feel like it is meh? Maybe because we came from Omnibus last year and it was such a richer experience? Honestly, we have a full load this year and having American History not be overwhelming is probably a good thing. They are learning and enjoying it though, so its not a miss. 

I wouldn't say we have any misses yet . . . 

 

What is it about the Schole lit class that is different than you had expected? We are considering that class in the future.

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Senior Hits- 

English 2 DE class- going really well and still meeting 2x a week on campus.  This is her favorite teacher.  The only complaint is that between social distance and masks, shes not getting to hang out with others.  

She's got 3 other online classes- I would say all are just okay, not a lot of depth.  Overall not a good Sr year, but with Covid it is what it is.  I'm trying to look for better options next semester!  

 

Sophomore Hits

Writing and Rhetoric- I know this is not aimed at high school,  but its been a fantastic choice.  Highly recommend if you are wanting something beyond the structure programs like IEW, EIW, ect.  I think we will do books 7, 8 snd 9 this year- with added assignments and literature picked by me.

Holt Earth Science- I'm calling this one a hit- its so easy to teach note-taking, its a much easier book to read, and the kids seem pretty interested in the content.  I chose it bc I was concerned that Chemistry would be too much math this year, but it turns out there has been some chemistry and biology overlap.  We should finish in 3 quarters, so I'm doing Health the last semester. This is with my 7th graders who are enjoying it, too. 

Joy Hakim plus Holt American History- Holt gives you the basics, Hakim makes the people come alive- its a good combo, especially when adding documentaries.  I also got American Cakes cookbook thats been fun!  My focus on this class has been more conversational and less writing, so its a bit hard to grade, but it feels like there is understanding going on.  Strangely Joy Hakim was not the plan, but I found that so much was missing when studying early America that I brought it out.  Kids seem to enjoy the read aloud from there so I've kept it up.  I only have books 1-5, so not sure if I'll continue or justcswitch to only Holt.  I threw out my schedule,  so not sure how much we will get through this year.  I may do a 1 semester Modern America next year if we don't get far enough.

 

???? Saxon Algebra 2- I'm not sure what to think, we are going slowly.  It nay take 1.5 years to finish, which I had kinda thought might happen.   I look at other options, and its still the best approach for her (i think).

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Nam2001 said:

What is it about the Schole lit class that is different than you had expected? We are considering that class in the future.

It is still early in the year so not sure how it will continue. . . we have not really had a Schole class we have not been happy with. This particular class, the teacher is very passionate and brings joy to the subject which is wonderful. There are no tests, only essays. The class has not been high on the rigor scale, but has kept my dd engaged in the material. So far, we would still recommend the class, but I am curious to see how it progresses. 

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17 hours ago, RootAnn said:

Which course did he take? I have a kid working through Udemy's Learn Python Programming by Buchalka. I don't think it is "beginning" so much. It certainly is a lot. She also has a book that she works on when she needs a break from the Udemy course.

He did Automate the Boring Stuff with Python by Sweigart, and now he's doing Learn to Code in Python 3: Programming Beginner to Advanced by Gomes. It's much the same as the first course, but he wants to keep up the skills and learn the few new things. Maybe the one you mentioned would be a good next step. He needs a step up from beginner, I think. Thanks!

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Oldest – taking a gap year and enjoying it (yay!)

Middle – This is his most rigorous year of academics thus far, and he’s keeping his head above water for the moment.
Hits:
AP Calculus AB with Regina London at HSML – 
My ds LOVES Mrs. London. She has clever little ways of helping students remember not to make common mistakes (doing the chain rule and telling the kids to “don’t ya dare touch it,” (in her awesome North Carolina accent) when taking the outside part of the composite function derivative… or cute ways of remembering the quotient rule). Her method of teaching is a great fit for this kid!

First DE class – Precalculus – 
It’s kind of awesome how often the calc class and the DE class are covering similar types of functions/topics simultaneously at different levels of complexity. Adding a DE class was a last-minute schedule change but doing these two math classes simultaneously has been amazing (I couldn't have planned it better if I had tried). This prof. loves math and manages zoom lectures really well. He’s getting a great foundation at a higher level than a high school-level precalc class, so a big win.

Clover Valley Honors Chemistry – 
My ds has learned more in a short time in this class than I ever could have imagined. His older brother (who took chem all the way through orgo) keeps telling him how fast this class is going compared to how his DE classes went. It is RIGOROUS and moves at a blazing pace. He’s having to debug a lot of his study processes and really figure out how things stick best for him. I’m happy that he’s doing this during high school, and this will be an amazing foundation in the sciences if he can keep up with it.

Expository Writing and Grammar at WTMA – 
We have not been strong with our writing and grammar foundation, so this year is a lot of catch up. ALL of my sons are very reluctant writers, and this child in particular would have tears when trying to figure out “but what do I write about.” I am stunned at how well he’s doing with the WWS materials and how having a little bit of a framework with a very clear explanation of what is expected on assignments is producing some great writing. I hope it continues.

Youngest – 
Hits:
FundaFunda Spanish 4-8 – 
I am pretty surprised how well this is going, and I just got lucky that this method of learning is a great fit for this particular kid. This class would have been a total bomb for my other two boys. It’s not very structured, is asynchronous for the most part, and doesn’t have a text. It’s a combination of quizlets, online games, videos, and assignment sheets. All of the students in the class use the same quizlet sets and can compete against one another. My competitive kid (youngest of 3 boys, lol!) loves trying to get the fastest time on the games and, in so doing, is learning a ton of vocabulary. He is not good at memorizing and hated an in-person Spanish class we tried last year, so this “stealth learning” method is helping him get his confidence back. There is only one live meeting every several weeks, so not a good fit for students who want interaction. Just a quirky good fit for us for this year!

Derek Owens Algebra I – Discovered this after we had already signed up for a live Mr. D class for the year. The videos are very clear and make sense to my ds. The problems are thorough, and he likes the way things are laid out on the homework pages. 

Meh: 
Mr. D Math Algebra I – 
Mr. H is funny and fabulous. Ds loves his humor and he really makes the class. That said, ds is not a fan of the presentation style with lots of focus on “tricks.” He doesn’t like the ways that they try to show the basic concepts with little, memorable “phrases.” That is driving him up the wall. It was worse at the very beginning of the class when they covered basic arithmetic with their “special way” of doing the problems, which did not mesh with the way my ds wanted to do the problems. They have moved on to more traditional algebra topics, which is better, but I’m letting him switch over to Derek Owens for content coverage and just having him take the quizzes and attend the live sessions. We will be doing a mish mash of these two programs for the rest of the year. This ds is my least mathy kid, so I thought it would be a nice presentation method for him, but, no, he prefers the DO content and explanation style.

Miss: 
WTMA Reading for the Logic Stage and Story of the Ancient World – 
This ds is not a big reader, and the reading pace in this class is brutal. I probably should have looked at how many books are covered in the reading list and known this wouldn’t work great. Oh well, we are getting some reading done during the pandemic. The resources they use for the history are good, but ds is not a fan of the live class presentation. We signed up for a few too many “live” classes this year (trying to avoid pandemic motivation slump), and he’s losing patience. Nothing terrible, but he’s not a history fan to start with. At least it is getting done.
 

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Well, we are still adjusting but:

Videotext Algebra is working well for the youngest. It dawned on me as a copied his quizzes out that this will be the last time I have to teach Algebra! I know it really well now. 😂

Forester is also working well for his brother with the Math Without Borders lectures.

They both are doing a local writing class using Lost Tools of Writing and that is so far so good. 

Youngest is enjoying Potter's School German.

3rd is enjoying local ASL class.

2 youngest are enjoying economics. Currently we are reading Extreme Economies by Richard Davies and using videos at Marginal Revolution University. It was supposed to be for the Senior but she currently enjoys nothing. She was supposed to be doing dual enrollment but everythings online so she has the covid blues and doesn't count. Nothing will make her happy right now and she knows it and tries to just "be responsible". 

 

 

Almost Misses. I'm adjusting.

Novare Intro Physics. It's a Physics first program and says it can be done simultaneously with Algebra but it's a stretch. We decided to cut the book in half. We will do half this year and half the next year. Novare is terrific at skills, the math and lab reports but isn't fun or filled with extra stuff so we are adding Great Courses each semester to fill in the credits. This semester we added Understanding the World's Greatest Structures. 

 

Omnibus 2. This isn't exactly a miss because I never liked the curriculum in the first place and my son doesn't do it. Shhhh  But a good friend organized the discussions and youngest just reads the books and goes to the discussion times. It has been ok. He enjoys the books. We are only doing the secondary not the primary.  I wasn't good at really getting the kids talking and I led discussions the last couple weeks so maybe the next mom will be. I had the first few books and some received their books late making discussion hard with few of the kids having completed things but hopefully people are catching up.

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5 hours ago, UmmIbrahim said:

.Youngest – 
Hits:
FundaFunda Spanish 4-8 – 
I am pretty surprised how well this is going, and I just got lucky that this method of learning is a great fit for this particular kid. This class would have been a total bomb for my other two boys. It’s not very structured, is asynchronous for the most part, and doesn’t have a text. It’s a combination of quizlets, online games, videos, and assignment sheets. All of the students in the class use the same quizlet sets and can compete against one another. My competitive kid (youngest of 3 boys, lol!) loves trying to get the fastest time on the games and, in so doing, is learning a ton of vocabulary. He is not good at memorizing and hated an in-person Spanish class we tried last year, so this “stealth learning” method is helping him get his confidence back. There is only one live meeting every several weeks, so not a good fit for students who want interaction. Just a quirky good fit for us for this year!

Derek Owens Algebra I – Discovered this after we had already signed up for a live Mr. D class for the year. The videos are very clear and make sense to my ds. The problems are thorough, and he likes the way things are laid out on the homework pages. 

Meh: 
Mr. D Math Algebra I – 
Mr. H is funny and fabulous. Ds loves his humor and he really makes the class. That said, ds is not a fan of the presentation style with lots of focus on “tricks.” He doesn’t like the ways that they try to show the basic concepts with little, memorable “phrases.” That is driving him up the wall. It was worse at the very beginning of the class when they covered basic arithmetic with their “special way” of doing the problems, which did not mesh with the way my ds wanted to do the problems. They have moved on to more traditional algebra topics, which is better, but I’m letting him switch over to Derek Owens for content coverage and just having him take the quizzes and attend the live sessions. We will be doing a mish mash of these two programs for the rest of the year. This ds is my least mathy kid, so I thought it would be a nice presentation method for him, but, no, he prefers the DO content and explanation style.

Miss: 
WTMA Reading for the Logic Stage and Story of the Ancient World – 
This ds is not a big reader, and the reading pace in this class is brutal. I probably should have looked at how many books are covered in the reading list and known this wouldn’t work great. Oh well, we are getting some reading done during the pandemic. The resources they use for the history are good, but ds is not a fan of the live class presentation. We signed up for a few too many “live” classes this year (trying to avoid pandemic motivation slump), and he’s losing patience. Nothing terrible, but he’s not a history fan to start with. At least it is getting done.
 

Just curious: how old is your youngest?

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1 hour ago, fourisenough said:

Just curious: how old is your youngest?

13, so on the high end of the age range for the class. I really wanted to build confidence for him in being able to learn a language this year after a bad experience last year, and it is working well so far!

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12th grader

Hits: Most of the math, Greek, & Latin courses audited at Big State U.; the classics reading group at BSU. (Sub-text of her application essay for BSU: "I'm already taking your classes for free; wouldn't it be a win-win if I started paying for them?")

Post-Civil War American History (literature & film approach) with Mom. 

Misses: One of the Latin courses at BSU. Too much Petrarch, too little time.

English Satiric Poetry with Mom. We both really wanted to make this work, but neither of us is getting in the reading.

7th grader

Hits: Everything, now that she has a homeschool buddy. She actually likes science with a lab partner.

Confirmation class: Covid requirements mean the parish had to just send the (wretched) textbook home with us and ask me to teach her myself. Eheu! It is possible I'm using my own materials instead as supplements.

Misses: Greek. Can't do it with homeschool buddy, and too tired in the evenings to do it separately.

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Hits:

Integritas Academy's Literature and Composition for Underclassmen with Cindy Lange. This is for my 14 year old 9th grader, and it is going very well! So glad I found Cindy! 

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3 hours ago, ballzy said:

Hits:

Integritas Academy's Literature and Composition for Underclassmen with Cindy Lange. This is for my 14 year old 9th grader, and it is going very well! So glad I found Cindy! 

Glad to hear a recent review. My DD took a class with Cindy three years ago. She was clearly a very strong teacher with a good sense of what young writers need to master. I particularly remember how she focused on getting the kids to think clearly so they could write effectively and support their assertions with evidence from the text. That’s what it’s all about, right?! I’m keeping an eye on her offerings for my youngest in a few years (she’s just 11 now).

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16 hours ago, ballzy said:

Hits:

Integritas Academy's Literature and Composition for Underclassmen with Cindy Lange. This is for my 14 year old 9th grader, and it is going very well! So glad I found Cindy! 

Us too!   This is our first year with Mrs. Lange---and I cannot say enough good things.   The class is expensive, but very worth it.  

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For me it is considered a hit if the boys will actually do something without much, if any, complaining.  So with that in mind.

Hits:

10th & 12th graders combined:  Marine Biology (Apologia), One Year Adventure Novel (more so for the 12th grader), and Understanding the Times (Summit Ministries)

12th grader: History - we are using tweaked MFW.  I have added in a lot of documentaries this year and DS is really liking that.

10th grader: Teaching Textbooks Geometry

Misses:

12th grader: Financial Literacy, he isn't enjoying it much at all, but I think it is something that he needs to finish anyway.

10th grader: History (biblioplan) namely the map section.  He hates maps, but I make him at least look at them because I find Geography a very important thing to know about.

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Hits.....

French 2 with Sally Barstow of Aim Academy

Experiencing Astronomy

Dave Raymond's American History

Writing and Rhetoric: Thesis

 

Just okay because child isn't down with....

Schole Academy American Literature

Shormann Algebra 2 and Geometry

          

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  • 4 weeks later...

I feel like I can finally respond to this! I'm just doing the high school level classes in this post. Will do 8th grade classes on the other board.

Hits:

Algebra 1 with Foerster text and Math Without Borders videos: This has been a great move for us. The videos do a fabulous job explaining the concepts and our DD is gaining a really solid understanding.

Homeschool Spanish Academy Spanish 1: This started out as a complete disaster. My dd had a hard time adjusting to the work load and I was overwhelmed by the scheduling. We persevered, everyone adjusted, and I am so impressed with how much dd is learning. Plus, she rolled her r's successfully for the first time on Friday! I thought for sure it would be a big miss and am so glad I was wrong.

 

 

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No real misses so far this last year of homeschooling my 12th grader.

The big surprise hit is a DE US Government class.  It went 100% online due to Covid and I figured a dry class would get even drier, even during an election.  But the professor has been amazing and dd loves it.  We are all learning a lot from it.  

The closest to a miss is home-based US History.  I'd call it a "meh."  It is fine and dd is not really complaining but you can tell I am tired and distracted with a whole lot of other things right now.  It could be so much better but I just don't have the bandwidth right now and have treated more like box-checking.

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I'm late to this party but maybe the party was early this year 😛 

Miss:

-DE ASL. They moved to online due to Covid, the teacher was not the recommended teacher, and it was not a good fit. She refused to accept late work for points off--anything that wasn't submitted on time was an automatic zero unless you had a doctor's note. I understand that it's every teacher's choice how to run their class, but my DS15 just wasn't ready for that level of responsibility.

Hit:

-Homebrew US History class. I agree with @skimommaabove that the way I'm running it feels a bit like box-checking, but to be honest, I'm working full-time and don't have what it takes to do more than box-checking. They are getting the work done, giving generally acceptable answers to the tests/quizzes, and that feels like a hit for me this year.

Everything else is just OK. Both of them got thrown off schedule in the second week of classes this year when a beloved friend came for a surprise visit, and all the "catchup days" that I had carefully built into the calendar this year haven't helped--they've both just been behind ever since. I'm pleased that they got to spend time with their friend, but I worked really hard to create a calendar that wasn't overwhelming for them or me, and it still wasn't flexible enough to accommodate missing 3 days of class in the second week without a ripple effect. So that's discouraging for me, although they obviously don't care very much 😉 

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On 10/10/2020 at 9:18 AM, Violet Crown said:

Post-Civil War American History (literature & film approach) with Mom. 

Oh, can you tell me more about this? We may eventually get to the Civil War. Found the Yale open prof. Freeman class on the Revolution and might be stuck there all year, it’s more fun than it should be. 

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2 hours ago, Roadrunner said:

We despise AP Stats. I don’t want to say more, but yes, despise. 

Can he drop it? I don't think many colleges take it as a credit, anyway. Surely there are fun ways to cover stats.

 

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We are back to homeschooling this year with a high school junior who had been a happy public schooler since the 5th grade. So "hits" might be a strong term for the classes that are working just fine . 😉

Hits:

Funda Funda US History.  I had not used this one before or maybe it was not around when my olders were homeschooling high school. She was supposed to do APUSH in public school, but when I asked if she wanted AP or something easier, she said "easier". LOL

Derek Owens Precalculus. Still the quality that I remembered from my older daughter's days. I've recommended it to a few people this year who have all liked it.

Physics at the co-op with Apologia spine. This has turned mostly into a Zoom lab class unfortunately, but it is what it is.

Photography in a small class of teens with a local photographer. I am actually a pro photographer, but it works WAY better to have her learn with her friends with another instructor.

German with the local high school. Her teacher of the last two years. All Zoom, but it's fine.

MISS!

Definitely PAH AP English Lang with Ms. Dean. Very disappointing after the positive experience my older daughter had with various PAH instructors. That said, is it worse than AP English Lang would have been at the local high school? Maybe not. That teacher was lacking as well. Really wish I could have gotten my daughter in with Ms. Inspektor though.

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7 hours ago, GoodGrief3 said:

Definitely PAH AP English Lang with Ms. Dean. Very disappointing after the positive experience my older daughter had with various PAH instructors. That said, is it worse than AP English Lang would have been at the local high school? Maybe not. That teacher was lacking as well. Really wish I could have gotten my daughter in with Ms. Inspektor though.

Can you say more about specifically what you don’t like about this class? I love getting honest, detailed feedback from other parents, so I think it would be helpful to hear. 

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21 hours ago, fourisenough said:

Can you say more about specifically what you don’t like about this class? I love getting honest, detailed feedback from other parents, so I think it would be helpful to hear. 

I will try to be specific. It's going to sound whiny and helicopter-ish. All I can say is that I am not that parent, lol.

The content itself is fine. The issue is with the way the instructor organizes the class and the difficulty in communicating with her. We choose asynchronous classes to maximize flexibility. Our time zone is quite a bit behind the East Coast and we are busy people, so specific class meeting times don't work well and it is best to have a situation where work can be done at the time we deem more convenient.

An example of one practice in this class that has proven stressful: the instructor does not open up assignments until the week that they are due. On Monday, in the early AM there is an assignment given that is due later that day. Keep in mind, 8 AM on the East Coast is 4 AM in our location. So even rising at 6 or 7,  my daughter has less time to finish the assignment than others. She has to leave the house at 11-ish for another local class that happens to meet on that day for two hours, then she has to go to her job for five hours. So there is not a whole lot of time to finish the assignment that is due that evening. Is it doable? Yes, sure. Would it be nice to get the assignment on say, Friday, so there's not a mad rush on Monday morning? Absolutely.

My older daughter took several PAH classes. We never experienced this particular rigidity before. Communication allowed for working assignments around various commitments fairly easily.

My daughter has a difficult time communicating with the instructor about the various problems that crop up, and that is not normally a problem for her. I have corresponded with the instructor a few times myself (not about contentious issues, more logistical type things) and had a similar odd feeling about our interaction. I will say that the instructor's response to my daughter's attempts to explain her scheduling difficulty with that Monday assignment has been a blanket "College courses are difficult." Fair enough 🙂

To be clear, this is not about the instructor's assignments being difficult, per se. Unfortunately, the problems with this instructor has made my daughter unenthusiastic about the content, and I hate that. When she doesn't understand something, she is reluctant to ask clarifying questions of either Ms. Dean or the TA because the answer is rarely satisfactory. My older daughter was really inspired by her AP English Lang class with Ms. Inspektor, and AP English Lit with a no-longer-there instructor named Ms. Green.

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@GoodGrief3 Thanks for taking the time to write that out. I empathize with your/DD’s complaints about the class. We’ve found the best asynchronous classes open work in at least two-week chunks allowing maximum flexibility.
 

My DD was initially annoyed that one of her PAH classes this year was structured differently/rigidly. To ‘encourage’ participation in the live sessions, the teacher doesn’t post the recorded lectures until late in the week. This means DD can’t even begin the week’s work until Friday and must complete it by Sunday. Luckily it is an easy class for here and she can essentially do all the work for it in one sitting, but it still frustrates her because she prefers to front-load her weeks rather than pushing things to the weekend. For busy kids, these are important issues. Workflow is key!

And that doesn’t even touch the issue of not getting satisfying answers to questions. Ugh.

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