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  1. #1

    Default New 10th grader in FBISD Houston, Texas

    My daughter and I discussed it and we want to homeschool. I am lost. Any recommendations? Curriculum (especially curriculum, it is religious HEAVY in Texas), cost etc. I am not exactly the monopoly man so I have a budget. My daughter plays jazz/ music and I am also looking for something that is online. I plan on doing a lot of trips, hands-on volunteering and interships. ANY ADVICE on where to start wpuld be soooo appreciated. Before I pull her out of school should I let her take her AP exams or is that pointless.

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  3. #2

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    Welcome, and dont panic!

    There is plenty of secular curriculum, dont worry. And not very expensive, to boot. Dont start with expensive things, especially when you dont have experience homeschooling!
    About AP tests.... those are in May, right? You can take her out whenever you want. I believe she can even take AP tests when the time comes, if you want to. What I would suggest instead would be to take the class that has the AP attached (history or science) at the community college - and get the college credit taken care of. No stinking stupid expensive test, that isnt going to give her lab credit anyways!
    Is there a reason you are looking at online curriculum, instead of more traditional options? Some new homeschoolers think it will be easier to have it outsourced to a computer... but really, neither the computer nor the company behind the program cares about whether your child learns the material. If this sort of online mass distribution of knowledge worked best this way, wouldnt the public schools be all over it, and the world a happier place?
    Other than that, your plan sounds great - plenty of flexibility and time for her to pursue and improve on her interests. I just think you will be horribly disappointed with the lack of quality that an online school is going to give you. (Not saying using online tools to help learn is bogus... just the level of engagement with a real human is going to be a lot better.)
    There are plenty of curriculum to choose from that are written for the homeschool audience, you may feel better and more confident, more in control, if you pick it yourself rather than hope an online school will work for you.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  4. #3
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    There are plenty of curriculum out there or you can make your own. It's about 6-8 books a year per subject, with writing, and things like documentaries, spark notes, crash course videos, Teachers-pay-teachers worksheets and spark notes it becomes easier to design a course. I've found it easier and cheaper to design courses then buy boxed curriculum. The only thing I don't make myself is math and his college courses.
    DS- 17 12 grade Dual enrollment, and 1 co-op.

  5. #4

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    Um, absolutely let her take AP exams. They're usually only administered in the spring though, so I'm not totally sure what you mean about letting her take them before you pull her out - if she took some last year, then she already took them. If she is enrolled to take AP courses this year at her school, she can still take the exams and hopefully your school will accommodate her if you want to take the route. But AP exams are not taken for the school. They're taken for college credit. Many homeschoolers use them as a way to get college credit as well as to school colleges that we can perform well on standard metrics.

    If you're going to be piecing a program together and she's been taking AP exams, PA Homeschoolers is one provider of online AP exams. There are many others though. But you'll find that PA Homeschooler's prices are about on par with what's out there.

    So, the cost and style of homeschooling can vary dramatically. Most high schoolers do use at least some online classes, but most of us here are not doing all online at a single school, even for high school. There's plenty out there in terms of secular options, it just really depends on what you want and what you're envisioning.
    Want to read about my homeschool?
    http://farrarwilliams.wordpress.com
    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

    Want help homeschooling or sending kids to college?
    http://simplify4you.com/

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexsmom View Post
    Welcome, and dont panic!
    What I would suggest instead would be to take the class that has the AP attached (history or science) at the community college - and get the college credit taken care of. No stinking stupid expensive test, that isnt going to give her lab credit anyways!
    A few things.

    1. AP classes do have a lab component for sciences. They can absolutely be lab sciences. I'm not sure where you're getting that misconception.
    2. Don't ever enroll in dual enrollment unless you're pretty sure that your kid is ready academically for a college level course. That grade is on a college transcript and will follow them when they go to apply for college. An AP exam score that they bombed will not if they choose to exclude it. Plus, they can take the AP course, decide they really aren't ready for the exam, and just skip it. It can be a more flexible option.
    3. AP exams sometimes actually provide more credit than dual enrollment. Or sometimes less or none. It really depends on the college. Look ahead at where you'd like to go. But the above implies that the AP exam isn't college credit. If you pass the exam, it typically is.
    4. If you do AP's at home and don't have a program for free or reduced community college classes in your area, or don't have a community college nearby, then AP's can be cheaper than dual enrollment or massively more convenient. It really just depends.

    Dual enrollment is a great option, especially if you have free or reduced community college nearby and double especially if your student plans to go to a state university in your state since often these schools have easy ways to transfer the credits. AP's can be great too. You can do a mix. Or do neither. Just depends on your course and goals.
    Want to read about my homeschool?
    http://farrarwilliams.wordpress.com
    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

    Want help homeschooling or sending kids to college?
    http://simplify4you.com/

  7. #6

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    Oh. I just remember all the AP sciences I took (higher level IB biology, and the correlating AP... and chem and physics), and 4-5 on the tests didnt get me out of having to take college level because “it didnt have a lab”... so essentially, the tests just got me elective credit. That was way back in the 90s, I happily admit that Im not up to date on what goes on.
    The way I understand it, college credit is always college credit, so taking the class at the community college is the more economical route.
    Im pretty sure Houston has more than a few community colleges - not like its Painted Rock, North Dakota.

    At any rate, Im sure there are good curriculum to be found to match DD’s needs and interests.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  8. #7

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    Welcome!

    I want to join in on the AP science discussions. You can certainly take AP tests as homeschoolers. You may have to call around to find a school that will order a test for the student and let them take them at the school. In our area, many public schools are averse to letting homeschoolers do so, but private schools are much more accommodating. I called the guidance department in the fall to make sure they could add my son to their list and then followed up periodically through the year, just to confirm.

    In terms of transcripts when your daughter is applying to college--even if she takes an AP test and does well, unless she took a course (either an outside provider or on her own), you can NOT list it as an AP course unless the curriculum has been approved by the College Board AP people. I figured it was irrelevant if the score was good, but just an FYI.

    Personally out of both of my graduated kids, only one took an AP course and test, in Computer Science. The course was online through what is now Edhesive (at the time it was free, but they were also just getting started. Not sure if there is a fee now), and he got a 5 on the test. As Alexsmom stated, it didn't really help him all that much in terms of courses for his CS major. He simply got 4 more credit hours tacked on to his total. We used it more as a way to validate his skills and knowledge, as opposed to a "mommy" grade.

    I also agree with Farrar that a student shouldn't take dual credit courses unless she is ready. That being said, both my kids took dual credit courses, and it was the best thing they did. They got a ton of credit for the general education requirements (English composition, foreign language, speech class, math courses, intro science courses). My daughter entered university with a year of credit, while my son entered with two years of credit. (So the 4 credits of AP didn't really matter...) They each took a course or two each semester--over 3 years for DD and over 4 years for DS.

    I can't help you with specific curriculum. We developed our own courses or used dual credit. Designing your own course doesn't have to be difficult (although you certainly can make it that way!). For example, my daughter wanted to spend a semester reading works from women authors. So the two of us sat down and selected novels, poems, etc from women authors. She'd read, we'd discuss, we'd decide upon some essay ideas, and so on.

    I plan on doing a lot of trips, hands-on volunteering and internships.
    Definitely do this! One of the best things we did with our kids was travel. My son also found an CS internship through a family friend that proved to be invaluable. If she can juggle it, working part-time, even in a non-skilled job teaches time management, money management, working as a team, etc. Both of my kids worked in a restaurant from the time they were 15 until they went to college, just 10 hours a week. Between that and the dual credit courses, they were definitely prepared for the demands of college once they went.

    Feel free to ask more questions as they occur to you. You may also want to look into the Homeschooling Middle/High School sub forum, which also includes threads on college prep.
    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

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexsmom View Post
    Oh. I just remember all the AP sciences I took (higher level IB biology, and the correlating AP... and chem and physics), and 4-5 on the tests didnt get me out of having to take college level because “it didnt have a lab”... so essentially, the tests just got me elective credit. That was way back in the 90s, I happily admit that Im not up to date on what goes on.
    The way I understand it, college credit is always college credit, so taking the class at the community college is the more economical route.
    Im pretty sure Houston has more than a few community colleges - not like its Painted Rock, North Dakota.

    At any rate, Im sure there are good curriculum to be found to match DD’s needs and interests.
    IB doesn't usually give college credit. It's the AP exam that gives the credit. Also, there are two things going on here. The AP exam is measuring your knowledge of the science, so the credit that some schools give may be just for the theoretical knowledge. But others might give the lab credit too. It totally depends. So that's the credit when you get to the university. But to apply you need 2 or 3 (again, totally depends on the school) lab sciences. That's the class - not the exam.

    College credits are college credits... but when you transfer them, individual colleges don't have to allow them to count toward anything useful, which can render them a little useless. As in, let's say you take Chem 101 at your local community college. Then you head off to a private uni in another state, hoping to major in something that requires their version Chem 101. They've given you 3 credits for your class (or 4 or whatever they do... different places run the numbers differently), but those credits can't count toward your major, or can't count toward satisfying general ed requirements, or possibly both. Or maybe it can. It really depends.

    Case in point. There are now a lot of places that apparently give credit for the AP calc exams, but then require incoming first years to take it again at their school.

    In the case of sciences, I agree that you're usually better off with CC credit than AP. But for humanities, not always. Some private colleges give more credit for AP's - like a semester and a half - for some AP exams, while the CC credit will only transfer in as a semester worth of credit. And some colleges are going to take AP's and allow them to count for general ed requirements or for majors, but not CC credits. But other schools will be the complete opposite. There are no hard and fast rules.
    Want to read about my homeschool?
    http://farrarwilliams.wordpress.com
    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

    Want help homeschooling or sending kids to college?
    http://simplify4you.com/

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New 10th grader in FBISD Houston, Texas