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Thread: Suggestions - Academic Excellence

  1. #21
    Senior Member Evolved ScienceGeek's Avatar
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    I was a physics college professor before I had kids and now teach science classes in my home for other homeschoolers as well as teach my own kids. I also homeschool because I wanted my kids to get a better math and science education. My 14 year old is working through the Art of Problem solving and it is definitely more challenging than any math I had at that age. Its also more interesting than most math books as it shows all kinds of neat tricks and short cuts for problems. For science I'm afraid I have yet to find a curriculum I can jump up and down about. REAL Science Odyssey is good for elementary but way too easy for an 11 year old. My oldest son was really interested in carnivorous plants at that age and read all the books in the library on the subject and then we joined a Carnivorous Plant society. He ended up working the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show - helping kids plant their own carnivorous plants to take home, and he was invited to show off his collection at a local nursery during a special show - at age 11! We also did a year of Botany, his request. He also did a 4H Presentation on the subject and made it all the way to the State competition. This is why people are telling you should ask her what she would like to study - you may find she takes to a subject she likes and goes much farther than she would with just an online science program.
    NSTA - National Science Teachers Association has some cool books that would make interesting unit studies. But I'm pretty much giving up on finding spectacular secular science curriculum.
    Good luck!
    Stay at home physicist - Mom to C (14) and J (11)

  2. #22
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    Sciencegeek have you seen the Real Science Bio 2? I am using it with my 10 and 12 year olds now and I quite like it. They aren't academically advanced in science but based on what I can see from the gr 9 curriculum here they are learning at least that level of content if not higher (which I understand may not be saying much). I would be interested in your opinion if you have seen it.

  3. #23
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    We did biology last year and I kept hoping it would come out before we started but we were more than half way through the year by the time it came out. So we missed our window of opportunity with that one.
    Stay at home physicist - Mom to C (14) and J (11)

  4. #24
    Senior Member Arrived farrarwilliams's Avatar
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    Yeah, I had heard that RSO level 2 was good... Maybe even better than the level 1? But I think the reviews are still coming in. Same with the new level 2 on Mr Q.

    We're probably going to go more interest driven for middle school, so no program for us again. That's sooo cool, Sciencegeek. My boys do a botany program at the US Botanic Gardens and they really like it, but I have a feeling they'll want to do something else if they have total choice. I'm hoping we find a project that awesome though.
    Disclaimer: Everything I'm saying is just my own opinion, based on my own experiences teaching and with my own kids and my own life. You should just ignore me if I'm annoying you. I don't mind.

    But if I don't annoy you, feel free to visit my blog:
    http://farrarwilliams.wordpress.com
    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

  5. #25
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    Kym Wright's Botany Unit study was amazing. I just wish all her other unit studies were as good. We tried the bird one but it had bible stuff in it and I have a hard time ignoring that. The botany unit was totally secular as far as I could tell. The microscope one was awesome as well and its good to do that one before the botany one since it uses the microscope a lot.

    Botany
    ksb427 likes this.
    Stay at home physicist - Mom to C (14) and J (11)

  6. #26
    Senior Member Evolved dragonfly's Avatar
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    It sounds like you (that is, the original poster), are not truly interested in homeschooling, but rather in an online private school. I suggest Googling that term, which will yield many potential choices for you. It shouldn't take much research to find one that satisfies your needs, to the extent that it is possible with the online schools available.
    pdpele likes this.
    Kara

    Mom to one, 17 year old son.

  7. #27
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    i've learned more about my fellow secularhomeschool.com posters' professional lives in this thread than any previous...funny and thought provoking, even if aggravating to those who offered genuine and heartfelt advice...a thought sparked by farrar - i think writing/communication skills are just as sorely lacking - and directly related to logical reasoning and critical thinking abilities - as STEM knowledge/skills - at least when I get students at the college level. Everyone can't be everything, obviously, but still. I take time out of my college intro gen ed science classes to talk about writing - and I'm no pro at that!
    Mariam likes this.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Arrived dbmamaz's Avatar
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    I agree with Dragon, I think he really wanted an online private school. accredited, staffed by teachers with advanced degrees.
    Cara, homeschooling one
    Raven, ds 10, all around intense kid
    Orion, floundering recent graduate
    22 yo dd, not at home
    Inactive blog at longsummer

  9. #29
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    When I woke up Wednesday morning the very last thing on my mind was homeschooling a child. All of this has transpired since then and I came on here trying to learn what was the best that was available. I made a big mistake in assuming that the homeschool world and the world of technology had intersected. I honestly expected to find a host of excellent homeschool programs in both math and science. Wow, when I looked i saw very little for younger students which shocked me. What kind of marketplace should there be out there for using today's technology for educating students, especially considering we are bringing up the rear worldwide in science and math? I would think it would be massive, but, apparently not. To make things worse, my neighbor is an Internet security expert and he looked at some of these online programs where students interact directly with teachers and other students online and he was stunned. He tells me the average predator can easily breech these systems and solicit a child through these programs, and he tells me the teaching world is polluted with predators. He actually called one of these programs for me and asked them to explain what their safety program is to ensure no predator could solicit a child through the program. He called me afterwards and these were his exact words: " I called and checked out their safety program.....they don't have one, in fact, when I pressured them their final answer was we are keeping our fingers crossed." Maybe it is time to take a good close look at what we are doing and what we are not doing. Just a suggestion.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Arrived farrarwilliams's Avatar
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    I think that we're experiencing a serious problem in terminology here.

    Homeschooling is teaching your child yourself at home with programs you choose or create yourself. This is legal in every state in the US and many countries. Homeschoolers must follow the regulations set forth by their state.

    Online school students are NOT homeschoolers. Online schools are NOT homeschools. There is an overlap in that some students move in and out of homeschooling and online schooling. Some online schools, including K12, Calvert, and Oak Meadow, which were all mentioned here, sell their programs to homeschoolers who then use and adapt them how they please in a homeschool setting, just as some homeschoolers use programs that are also used in public schools and adapt them. Also, many online schoolers take advantage of homeschool programs in order to have social interaction. Most homeschool groups welcome these students. Some of them even refer to themselves as "homeschoolers." While colloquially speaking, that may be true in the mind of the general public, legally speaking, it is not.

    This is a homeschooling board, not an online schooling board. We are not experts on most of these programs as online schools. There are several people here who have used some of them, usually the "independent" option of them. In other words, as homeschoolers, not online schoolers (though there are a few former K12 charter folks). Because there's some fluidity, occasionally we field questions about online schooling, but nearly ever user here is a homeschooler. We believe in homeschooling. We believe that parents (or grandparents or guardians or beloved aunts and uncles or whatever) can teach their children successfully.

    You don't seem to believe that, so I don't think you want to homeschool your granddaughter. You're looking for another option.

    There are amazing homeschool math programs out there. MEP, Singapore, Math in Focus, Math Mammoth, and Art of Problem Solving are all great math programs, many of which are internationally renowned. Once a student is ready for pre-algebra and above, many homeschoolers use programs such as Jacob's, which are used in colleges. Art of Problem Solving has online classes and there are other algebra and up online options. You're simply refusing to acknowledge that there are such options. Or, you're confused about the terms you're using because, again, "homeschooling" means buying one of these great programs and teaching it. There is less out there in science, sadly. Part of this is that public schools also do not have great science programs for elementary and middle school. However, there are some middle school science options that are considered very solid, or, if you want to teach at the high level that you're touting, you could simply move into a more basic high school program, for which there are more options that are used by traditional public schools.

    In order to work with children in an accredited school, including all the online schools I have ever heard much about, you must be fingerprinted and background checked. To work for many of them, including K12, the largest in the country, you must be a certified teacher, which also involves background checks. The teaching profession is not rife with sexual predators. That's just not statistically true.

    I'm sorry that the perfect solution you're looking for, where someone takes charge of your granddaughter's education on a computer and provides the level of instruction you're looking for doesn't exist in one neat package. Many of the posters here feel a similar frustration about their educational options, which is why they've chosen to become their children's primary teacher. If you decide you'd like to take that route, then I'm sure lots of people will have good advice for you. If not, you should probably look for a different board.
    Teri, melissa, JenRay and 2 others like this.
    Disclaimer: Everything I'm saying is just my own opinion, based on my own experiences teaching and with my own kids and my own life. You should just ignore me if I'm annoying you. I don't mind.

    But if I don't annoy you, feel free to visit my blog:
    http://farrarwilliams.wordpress.com
    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

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