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We are getting a new charter school or this in our town. Did you go to one of these schools or have experience with one? What is the coursework like? How does it help with college admissions/scholarships? How does it compare to WTM or LCC style education at home?

 

I had planned to homeschool all the way through but am wondering if this might be an alternate/backup option.

 

Thanks.:001_smile:

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I am an International Baccalaureate graduate. You take 6 course. Two of them languages (your native + one other). One maths course. One humanities. One science. And then the 6th course can be another language, science or humanities or a locally organised course. The courses are offered at either Standard Level or Higher level. Standard level courses are 150 hours over 2 years. Higher level is 240 hours over 2 years. You also write a research essay of about 4000 words. You have to do community service, some sort of physical activity and some form of art. And you take a course called Theory of Knowledge which is supposed to tie it all together.

 

I really enjoyed it. It was quite rigorous. There was quite a bit of coursework but it suited my personality.

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I went to an IB school for high school for two years. I did some of the exams, but I left after my junior year to go to college, so I didn't finish the diploma. (With most IB schools in the US, some students get "certificates" in individual subjects -- sometimes nearly all of them -- and only a smaller percentage go through with the full diploma.)

 

For me it was good, in that it forced my school to offer higher level English, math and foreign language courses than they otherwise would have offered. It was also a draw for other motivated, academically apt students. But it was, as with most schools, something of a mixed bag. Some of my teachers were great, and IB pushed them to offer more challenge. Other teachers were mediocre and remained mediocre even with the IB standards pushing them.

 

IB is certainly helpful on a college application, but if you're going to a college in the US, I don't think it's more helpful than having a handful or more of very solid AP exam scores. (If your child wants to go to school in Europe, having the full IB diploma would be helpful -- just having done *some* IB coursework likely would not.)

 

Certainly as a *part* of my college application, my IB and AP course/exam background was helpful. And I was given a full scholarship. All of the IB diploma students from my school in the years around mine went to very ood colleges and universities, many with varying amounts of scholarship dollars. They did not all get into their first choice schools, however. (They went to UVa instead of Duke, or W&M instead of Georgetown -- still very good schools...)

 

I'm aware of Patty's concerns about the curriculum, but I didn't run into any of that as a student. The material studied in literature classes was pretty standard. The requirements for foreign languages were (rightly!) more rigorous than other schools. Math, science, and social studies were pretty straightforward. My experience of Theory of Knowledge was very poor due to the teacher (a very kind, generous man who had no business attempting to teach that class!), so I suppose if that class had had any real content in my school, it could have held some world view issues... Maybe. In reality, the "slant" of the classes depended most on the individual teachers -- not IB.

 

If there were a great school available to me that also had IB, I'd think that was nice. IB alone would not convince me to send my kids to a particular school...

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I went to an IB school for high school for two years. I did some of the exams, but I left after my junior year to go to college, so I didn't finish the diploma. (With most IB schools in the US, some students get "certificates" in individual subjects -- sometimes nearly all of them -- and only a smaller percentage go through with the full diploma.)

 

For me it was good, in that it forced my school to offer higher level English, math and foreign language courses than they otherwise would have offered. It was also a draw for other motivated, academically apt students. But it was, as with most schools, something of a mixed bag. Some of my teachers were great, and IB pushed them to offer more challenge. Other teachers were mediocre and remained mediocre even with the IB standards pushing them.

 

IB is certainly helpful on a college application, but if you're going to a college in the US, I don't think it's more helpful than having a handful or more of very solid AP exam scores. (If your child wants to go to school in Europe, having the full IB diploma would be helpful -- just having done *some* IB coursework likely would not.)

 

Certainly as a *part* of my college application, my IB and AP course/exam background was helpful. And I was given a full scholarship. All of the IB diploma students from my school in the years around mine went to very ood colleges and universities, many with varying amounts of scholarship dollars. They did not all get into their first choice schools, however. (They went to UVa instead of Duke, or W&M instead of Georgetown -- still very good schools...)

 

I'm aware of Patty's concerns about the curriculum, but I didn't run into any of that as a student. The material studied in literature classes was pretty standard. The requirements for foreign languages were (rightly!) more rigorous than other schools. Math, science, and social studies were pretty straightforward. My experience of Theory of Knowledge was very poor due to the teacher (a very kind, generous man who had no business attempting to teach that class!), so I suppose if that class had had any real content in my school, it could have held some world view issues... Maybe. In reality, the "slant" of the classes depended most on the individual teachers -- not IB.

 

If there were a great school available to me that also had IB, I'd think that was nice. IB alone would not convince me to send my kids to a particular school...

 

Did you go to my school?:glare::D My ToK teacher didn't have any business teaching that course either. I have however heard from students at other schools that ToK was a favourite subject.

 

Me and my classmates went to some of the top schools in Europe. The schools I applied to were all very favourable towards my IB diploma.

 

The only class that I remember there being anything even remotely like a slant was in economics and I think that was more the teacher than the course. I have a friend who took the same course but in the US and he felt that the course was slanted the other way so again I think the teacher has more to do with it than anything else.

 

I was lucky with my teachers. They were all very dedicated to us and to their subject. I think they liked us because they didn't have many students of our calibre.

 

Look at the IBO website http://www.ibo.org. There should be some good information for you there.

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My older son was on the IB track for his first two years of high school in a suburb of Atlanta. These years are considered "Pre-IB" as you take regular courses but on a slightly different timetable as you need to get ready for your IB classes in Junior and Senior years. For example, he did World History as a freshman rather than a sophomore, and I think economics and political systems earlier than normal.

 

It was clear that the IB workload was heavier than for upper year students than for those taking regular or even AP classes. Unfortunately, we left the country after 10th grade and he did not attend an IB school for his last two years of high school. But it was common knowledge that the best teachers in the school were assigned to the IB and AP classes, so that was a bonus.

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I haven't studied the IB but I do know that it is highly thought of here in the UK by many of the top schools.

 

Some examples of schools that follow the IB are:

 

The top performing girls school in the UK: The Cheltenham Ladies' College

 

The school Tony Blair attended: Fettes College, Edinburgh

 

The school C S Lewis attended: Malvern College

 

also Malborough College and Liverpool College

 

The IB is by no means studied widely here but it is gaining in recognition as one of the most rigorous educations available - hence a high interest by the UK's top schools.

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We are getting a new charter school or this in our town. Did you go to one of these schools or have experience with one? What is the coursework like? How does it help with college admissions/scholarships? How does it compare to WTM or LCC style education at home?

 

I had planned to homeschool all the way through but am wondering if this might be an alternate/backup option.

 

Thanks.:001_smile:

 

My dd is Pre-IB at the local high school. IB and Pre-IB classes have very motivated teachers and students. I think slant can be added or not by teachers- dd's French teacher ads a LOT of slant.

 

I like what I see so far; dd has good homework and is expected to use her brain. Not many multiple-choice questions on tests.

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Sort of. The school would be unlikely to allow a student to join the full IB program *after* their sophomore year. She would be unlikely to have the pre-requisites for those classes, and even if she were capable, it could be very tough to convince the school to let her in. If you want her to do IB, you'd likely need her to attend the school for all four years. (The school I attended also had strict requirements for 8th graders -- they pretty much needed at least one full year of high school level language and Algebra 1 before high school to have any chance of getting through IB.)

 

So you would need to discuss the admissions requirements with the school, and if you weren't planning to send her for all four years of high school, well, you could just be out of luck.

 

The IB diploma means a lot to the IB people. ;) It could have a positive effect on her college applications. But it's not really recognized in its own right, and in order to graduate from high school, she would still need to fulfill your state and local school's graduation requirements.

 

But it's a good program. As others have said, it usually means having the best teachers in the school (some of whom may be truly excellent, many very good, but some could be ... weak), and it means being in a group of more motivated, stronger students. All of those things are positive. I did not find the amount of work to be overwhelming, but some kids did. (Some of that is just a matter of how quickly one works -- I read slowly, but could complete other assignments quickly enough not to be bogged down.)

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Sort of. The school would be unlikely to allow a student to join the full IB program *after* their sophomore year. She would be unlikely to have the pre-requisites for those classes, and even if she were capable, it could be very tough to convince the school to let her in. If you want her to do IB, you'd likely need her to attend the school for all four years. (The school I attended also had strict requirements for 8th graders -- they pretty much needed at least one full year of high school level language and Algebra 1 before high school to have any chance of getting through IB.)

 

This is all true- there were about 300 applicants for pre-IB at dd's school, and about half were accepted. Many will drop out before true IB starts. There are usually some kids who transfer in to IB from AP classes after freshman or sophmore year, but they do need to have completed some minimum requirements.

 

There are a lot of previously homeschooled kids in the pre-IB program, but I have not heard of anyone transfering in from homeschooling for the last two years.

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