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A Few General Questions

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    A Few General Questions

    Hello, and thank you for taking the time to answer some of my questions about MPOA.

    For quick background, I direct a hybrid school using MP curriculum. We are small, but growing. Next year, we hope to offer grade K, 1, 2 as separate classes and a combination 3/4 and 5/6.

    We meet four mornings a week 8am-12pm PST.

    The most difficult class we find to teach in a combined-grade class is math. We are considering the possibility of using MPOA to deliver at-level math to our students grades 4-6 next year, and perhaps 3rd as well, if it is offered.

    Here are my specific questions:

    1. Are any of your cottage schools currently using MPOA to supplement instruction in this way? And if so, how it it working?

    2. What online classroom do you currently use? Adobe Connect? Zoom? Something else?

    3. Do you encourage the use of webcam for both students and teachers?

    4. What LMS do you use?

    5. What is the maximum number of students enrolled in an online class?

    6. What is the minimum number of students you require to make an online class viable?

    7. Specifically for R&S math classes, typically when teaching R&S in the classroom, much of the practice work is done in class, For example, we devote about an hour to math instruction in our classroom, and that includes most of the written work, with some taken home. I notice that the online math classes last for 1 hour. Does that include the written practice work? Or would students then also need to complete the written work outside of the online class? How is homework handled? Is it scanned/turned in to the online teacher? Or parent corrected?

    8. Would MPOA be interested in collaborating to figure out better ways to use online classes in a hybrid school model?

    Thank you for your time in answering my questions!


    Shawna Barr

    Another completely different option would be to offer the class remotely with an experienced MP parent or tutorial teacher as your teacher. Anyone with a Zoom account and the experience could do this. That opens up your options to anyone anywhere for the most part. Perhaps you could find an MP parent who is great at this, knows the technology, and could offer it at a win-win price for you and your students. It's also a possibility that your families could pay you and you could pay the teacher (1099, whatever). You could offer a teaching session one day and a work session later in the week, if needed. Possibilities abound.

    We've punted on math until 6th grade because everyone is simply all over the place. We offer R&S Math 6 for 6th graders and for 7th graders as pre-prealgebra, shoring up before they move on. Placement on the front end is nearly impossible because everyone is coming from different curricula and they do not have the same concepts due to the wide range of difference in homeschool curricula.

    Best wishes as you look to expand next year!
    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    '22-'23 • 13th year HSing • 11th year MP
    DS Hillsdale College freshman
    DD 11th • HLN & Latin online
    DD 8th • HLN & Home
    DS 5th • HLN & Home
    Me • Memoria College, MPOA Fourth Form for Adults

    Teaching Third Form Latin and co-directing @
    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School, est. 2016


      Hi Shawna,

      Jessica is right, but I figured I'd answer your specific questions:
      1. Yes, at least one is that I'm aware of. If you contact me privately, I can put you in touch with that director.
      2. We currently use Adobe Connect.
      3. Webcams are just used for the teachers; students aren't required to have them and even if they have them they are used 1-2 times/year for special occasions.
      4. Moodle.
      5. Typically 16.
      6. Policy is 10 but we might make a class go with less than that.
      7. Lower school math (4th-6th grade math) takes place for 3 hours per week (45 min 4 days/week for 4th and 5th grade, 1.5 hours 2 days/week for 6th grade). This is generally the same amount of time we have for math at the full-time program at Highlands. So most of the work is done in class but there are generally homework assignments and quizzes that have to be scanned in and submitted weekly just as we would assign basic homework to be done at home after school at Highlands.
      8. I'd be happy to talk; we might be able to make something work.

      Paul Schaeffer
      Academy Director
      Memoria Press Online Academy


        Thank you Paul and Jessica! Jessica, that is a very good idea, and one that I had not considered. Thank you! How to provide adequate math instruction to two groups of students in the same classroom, at different levels....I need to clone myself.

        Paul, thank you for the answers! Here's another idea, and perhaps better to discuss personally....what about making your archived class recordings available to schools for a fee? This way, our students may benefit from the instruction at their own level, but then their IRL teacher can correct HW, proctor and administer tests, give speed drills, etc. Also, math recitation and flash card games and drills can be combined and happen easily at more than one level. It's really just the specific instruct needed for the daily lesson that must happen at level.

        I taught two levels of R&S to the same class last year. It wasn't great, and I feel like neither group received as much instruction and they could have used. As a stop gap this year, I skipped a couple students out of Math 2 and into 3, and I'm taking it more slowly. Its working because of the particularly students I have this year, but is not a long term solution.

        Thank you both for the brainstorming here!



          And Jessica, what you say about students being all over the place..OYE. Yes indeed. And for kids coming from PS, and doing CC goodness. It's so hard to figure out where they are! In the 2nd grade, they can "solve for x" but cannot add 7 + 6. They can draw a picture of some complex grid to add two numbers, but cannot easily add 68 + 94 with simple carrying....
          The idea of "punting" math is intriguing. It has crossed my mind to ONLY do math recitation during class just do speed drills and flash card practice and games and skip counting, and oral drill of the rules. It seems like those things are what our students benefit from most in the classroom environment. The competition and the simple flash card games really helps them with memory and mastery. Could the parents then take it from there??