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  1. #1

    Default Anyone have any experience with Athena or G3 Online Courses?

    I am in need of recommendations for Biology and Language Arts classes for my gifted 13yo. He is particularly interested in science and would flourish in a well designed course. He's not as fond of writing, and while he possesses an impressive vocabulary, he struggles to express himself well on paper. I would prefer a program that has little parental involvement as he is a very independent student.

    At the moment, I am considering various options and would like to hear back from anyone willing to share their experience with any of these programs (or others). I am considering Well Trained Mind Academy, Athena, G3 and Oak Meadow. From what I could find, WTMA has mixed reviews, particularly when it comes to religious content. My understanding is that it is very slight and limited to their history courses. Additionally, most courses appear to be very homework intensive. I have not found any feedback on Athena or G3, and the Oak Meadow feedback is very mixed.

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

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  3. #2

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    I would steer clear of any online courses. Inherently, they dont provide feedback in realtime, and there is no warm body seeing that he understands or is even paying attention.
    I dont care for the drudgery of WTM in general, so have no personal experience using their products.
    For literature and science in general, what have you been using? It might give some idea of the direction youd like to go, unless you are committed to online.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  4. #3

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    This past year he was enrolled in the AoPS language arts program which uses the MCT's Word Within the Word series. While the material is very substantial, the program design at the AoPS location he attended involves minimal amounts of writing. They only use part of the intended curriculum. Sadly, the academy seems to be attended by students who are enrolled in schools and are attending for enrichment purposes only. The MCT program is rather impressive and my son's mastery of latin root words was the biggest take away. The year prior we used MBTP, but he got bored of that very quickly as it wasn't challenging enough.

    Last year he completed a year of high school chemistry in four months in a combination online/in person program with a chemistry professor, but she no longer teaches. This year he attended an excellent homeschool group in VA called Compass Homeschool where he just completed a year of integrated science (Honors). Unfortunately, next year's Biology class conflicts with another course we have already paid for so we need to find another option.

    We prefer live online classes because he enjoys the interaction. Unfortunately, the only in person classes available to us locally are faith based, and hard core at that. We drive an hour and a half each way to take him to the Compass Homeschool classes in VA. There aren't many other options.

    Lastly, I prefer to stay in my 'mom' lane as much as possible. I've learned the hard way that it is far easier when he has to be accountable to someone else! Thank you for your feedback. I really appreciate it.
    Last edited by Gingerela; 05-24-2019 at 07:10 PM.

  5. #4

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    Sorry I don't have any experience with the courses you are looking at. Have you looked at the Bravewriter online courses for language arts? My daughter is much younger, and we have not tried Bravewriter online (only the written products and general "lifestyle" [e.g., poetry teas, art appreciation, and movies]) but it has been great for her.

    For biology, are you only looking at online courses, or can you look at texts as well? If your son is an independent learner, he may flourish and learn just as much with a self-guided text based course as an online one. I don't have any suggestions of texts but I am sure others here will.
    New Zealand-based. DD 11 (year 6 [NZ system]) homeschooled, and DD 6 (year 1 [NZ system]) who is currently trying out public school.

    Freelance copyeditor, specializing in scientific text, who will make mistakes in my posts (I don't self-edit).

  6. #5

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    Anyone have any experience with Athena or G3 Online Courses?
    For books, as NZMama says, You can get FREE EOWilson’s Life on Earth series from itunes.
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    Each chapter has questions, its formatted like a textbook. I enjoyed reading the first couple of them, havent done the rest yet.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by NZ_Mama View Post
    For biology, are you only looking at online courses, or can you look at texts as well? If your son is an independent learner, he may flourish and learn just as much with a self-guided text based course as an online one. I don't have any suggestions of texts but I am sure others here will.
    Adding to NZ_Mama' suggestion about looking at texts, a homeschool mom has listed an entire year of biology readings, websites, videos, and labs. One version is here, while another similar version can be found here. (The second one is in reverse chronological order.)

    My kids used the Campbell text that this mom also used. It's pretty good. Keep in mind it is also full of topics, and most kids will not complete the entire text. We left out anything about human anatomy and ecology, as they covered it in other courses. You can usually find slightly older used versions at Amazon or Abebooks.
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward


    Daughter (22), a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son (21), a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

  8. #7

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    Thank you so much for the great resources. I'm still hoping to find a live online class for the sake of timing and being more 'hands off' when it comes to accountability, but if not, these seem to be very viable options for us. Thanks again.

  9. #8

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    I hear you on the having something you do not have to police or monitor, but your child may surprise you too. My daughter is an independent learner, and with her math curriculum (Beast Academy), I could pretty much just give it to her and not have any input. (For us, I like to have some input, so I still get her to come to me when she has issues and I mark and go over her questions with her. But I could easily not do this and it could be self-guided.) So if you can find a well structured text-based course with an answer guide for the questions, it may still work out for you. It can be a good skill to learn as well for future study post-school when it is more teach it to yourself from resources (books, documentaries, online videos etc.) than teacher-presented learning.

    The other thing I forgot for language arts, which would be more supplementary or short courses, are the ones run by a member from here (Farrar). They only recently started them, and I am not sure what they will run for next year and your son is at the top end of their recommended age range, but they have some fun courses up for summer at the moment https://simplify4you.com/classes/. I have enrolled my daughter in the mystery book club.
    New Zealand-based. DD 11 (year 6 [NZ system]) homeschooled, and DD 6 (year 1 [NZ system]) who is currently trying out public school.

    Freelance copyeditor, specializing in scientific text, who will make mistakes in my posts (I don't self-edit).

  10. #9

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    In case you are still looking, here's another complete Biology course, laid out by one of our members, HomeschoolScienceGeek!
    Carol

    Homeschooled two kids for 11 years, now trying to pay it forward


    Daughter (22), a University of Iowa graduate: BA in English with Creative Writing, BA in Journalism, and a minor in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies

    Son (21), a Purdue University senior majoring in Computer Science, minoring in math, geology, anthropology, and history

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Anyone have any experience with Athena or G3 Online Courses?