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    Independent vs online classes for Grade 7

    I'm trying to do some budget planning for next year. I've felt for some time that MP grade 7 was where it might be time to shift from entirely mom-lead teaching to some online courses. I've read numerous posts in various forums cautioning against overwhelming kids with too many online courses at once. This makes good sense to me as a fixed schedule, outside expectations, and hours spent in front of the computer will all be new to DD. (We have been using an online Spanish tutor for a couple of years, but sessions are only 25 minutes and it's not a group setting with other students, so not really reflective of an MPOA course.) I'm also reluctant to shift entirely away from the connection we share when completing independent courses where I'm the primary teacher/facilitator.

    That said, I'd love to get opinions from some of you that have gone before me. The wisdom and encouragement shared on this board has always been wonderful. So here are a few of the possibilities I'm considering:

    - Third Form -- I'm wondering whether an expert, live instructor would be a huge asset. I'm afraid of becoming overwhelmed with the complexity of Third Form, and concerned I might not do the material justice, even with the DVDs. Are there any folks that have completed this independently that feel this is entirely doable in this manner with the DVDs, even at this level? I've been completing the material in my own student workbooks alongside DD up to this point; we're now on Lesson 6 of 2nd Form. DD is still doing well but I'm starting to feel bogged down remembering the declensions (middle-aged memory syndrome ; ). I'd love to soldier on independently if possible given the desire to shift to MPOA for other classes, but I'm really torn.

    - Refutation/Confirmation -- We just started Chreia/Maxim over again after a couple of weeks of tears/frustration. It's definitely a step up for DD after Narrative -- moving from the creativity of Narrative to a more disciplined, structured format has left DD bristling against the constraints. I'm so impressed (as always with MP) with the materials, but am thinking that a subject matter expert and outside accountability would be very helpful moving forward with CC.

    - Algebra -- I majored in writing. Numbers are not my strong suit.

    - Science -- DD is completing Trees/Biology this year. Next year could be Novare Physical Science or an outside life science course, with the hope of taking on online earth science course if it's offered through MPOA when DD's completing Grade 8.


    Instinct tells me that more than 2 MPOA courses at a time might be overwhelming for an initial year. For those of you that balance online and independent classes for this age, any thoughts you'd like to share on how you've balanced both (numbers of courses, how you've eased the transition, decisions to go entirely independently, etc.)? We've been schooling year round for years now, so timing the start and end of any online courses with independent courses is a hurdle as well. I'm sure we can work through that but it will be a new aspect to this adventure.

    I really appreciate this board. I don't post very frequently, but I read and absorb the suggestions posted and have found them very helpful. Thank you!
    DD 13 - MP 8

    #2
    Re: Independent vs online classes for Grade 7

    Originally posted by hermione310 View Post
    I'm trying to do some budget planning for next year. I've felt for some time that MP grade 7 was where it might be time to shift from entirely mom-lead teaching to some online courses. I've read numerous posts in various forums cautioning against overwhelming kids with too many online courses at once. This makes good sense to me as a fixed schedule, outside expectations, and hours spent in front of the computer will all be new to DD. (We have been using an online Spanish tutor for a couple of years, but sessions are only 25 minutes and it's not a group setting with other students, so not really reflective of an MPOA course.) I'm also reluctant to shift entirely away from the connection we share when completing independent courses where I'm the primary teacher/facilitator.

    That said, I'd love to get opinions from some of you that have gone before me. The wisdom and encouragement shared on this board has always been wonderful. So here are a few of the possibilities I'm considering:

    - Third Form -- I'm wondering whether an expert, live instructor would be a huge asset. I'm afraid of becoming overwhelmed with the complexity of Third Form, and concerned I might not do the material justice, even with the DVDs. Are there any folks that have completed this independently that feel this is entirely doable in this manner with the DVDs, even at this level? I've been completing the material in my own student workbooks alongside DD up to this point; we're now on Lesson 6 of 2nd Form. DD is still doing well but I'm starting to feel bogged down remembering the declensions (middle-aged memory syndrome ; ). I'd love to soldier on independently if possible given the desire to shift to MPOA for other classes, but I'm really torn.

    - Refutation/Confirmation -- We just started Chreia/Maxim over again after a couple of weeks of tears/frustration. It's definitely a step up for DD after Narrative -- moving from the creativity of Narrative to a more disciplined, structured format has left DD bristling against the constraints. I'm so impressed (as always with MP) with the materials, but am thinking that a subject matter expert and outside accountability would be very helpful moving forward with CC.

    - Algebra -- I majored in writing. Numbers are not my strong suit.

    - Science -- DD is completing Trees/Biology this year. Next year could be Novare Physical Science or an outside life science course, with the hope of taking on online earth science course if it's offered through MPOA when DD's completing Grade 8.


    Instinct tells me that more than 2 MPOA courses at a time might be overwhelming for an initial year. For those of you that balance online and independent classes for this age, any thoughts you'd like to share on how you've balanced both (numbers of courses, how you've eased the transition, decisions to go entirely independently, etc.)? We've been schooling year round for years now, so timing the start and end of any online courses with independent courses is a hurdle as well. I'm sure we can work through that but it will be a new aspect to this adventure.

    I really appreciate this board. I don't post very frequently, but I read and absorb the suggestions posted and have found them very helpful. Thank you!
    My daughter started in 7th with two MPOA classes and it worked well. She did a summer Latin review and loved it, so her initial classes were third form and classical composition. Third form is tough either way, but I decided that if Latin was going to be the center of the curriculum then she needed a better teacher. I still try to keep at it, but I am stuck in second form while she has moved on to Henle 2. I also decided a neutral third party was best for composition as well. She remarked the other day that while she loved me for some classes she was very glad to have a writing teacher who was actually enthusiastic about the topic. We added Greek last year. Next year we may add logic and a literature class, but she will be done with CC by then. We do school in the summer, but my daughter has enjoyed having a couple of classes be done so she can focus on fewer things over the summer. Summer is a great time to focus on science around here.

    Hope that helps.
    Dorinda

    For 2019-2020
    DD 16 - 11th with MPOA(AP Latin), Lukeion (Greek4 & Adv. NT Greek), Thinkwell (Economics and Chemistry), plus Pre-Calculus, American G’ment, Early Church History set, and British Lit
    DS 14 - 8th with MPOA(Fourth Form), CLRC(Intro Lit and Comp), plus Algebra, Field Biology, Classical Studies 1
    DS 11 - 6th with Right Start Level G online class
    DS 6 - 1st with Prima Latina

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Independent vs online classes for Grade 7

      You are wise to seriously consider your daughter's move to 7th. Although I do not ascribe to all of the "middle school model" that is used in brick and mortar schools, I have seen first hand how most 12 year olds can benefit from the ability to circle the wagons and regroup mentally and physically. It seems to be a year that can make or break the confidence of a child as they move toward full on adolescence.

      That said, it is rare, rare, rare to meet a student who is mentally ready for the challenge of algebra in 7th. The child who can master algebra in 7th will be demonstrating what I call "math intuition" readily. Go over to the Mensa pages and read your child a few word problems/puzzles. If the child can begin the process of solving, then go ahead with algebra. Personally, I started my 3rd child too soon in algebra and it was a nightmare trying to back track to her math comfort *and* to rebuild her confidence. FYI, she did Saxon Alg 1/2 in 7th.

      Cindy in Indy might be able to expound a bit here, but the bottom line is that most 12 yr olds don't have the ability to look at an algebraic system as anything other than an algorithm to memorize. They continue to memorize HOW to solve the problem without understanding of the system, until their brains explode and they stall. I would rather see a non-engineering bound student attempt algebra in 8th, and even then it is not a given that a student is prepared to intuit an algebraic system as anything other than a series of steps to memorize.

      As for science... same. No need to rush and squish unless she is headed for engineering school in college. The MP elementary science sequence has shown me the way to make science something that a child can internalize and keep for a lifetime, rather than a set of random facts a child might (or might not) retain. I'd pick a topic that she likes, then cover it deeply. If you are going to limit her exposure to MPOA as she adjusts (wise), I'd not blow the pick on middle school science. Pick something you can both enjoy (learn!) and dig in. I promise you that YOU can handle middle school science still. May as well enjoy that ride for another year, eh?



      Just my $0.02. Feel free to ignore.


      Jen
      DS, 27 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace)

      DS, 25 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

      DD, 22 yrs, graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; 2nd grade teacher.

      DS, 12 yrs, 8th grade; attends a private classical school, 7th - 12th.

      All homeschooled for some/all of their K-12 education.

      Me: retired after 16 years of continuous homeschooling. Ahhh....

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Independent vs online classes for Grade 7

        Originally posted by Mom2mthj View Post
        My daughter started in 7th with two MPOA classes and it worked well. She did a summer Latin review and loved it, so her initial classes were third form and classical composition. Third form is tough either way, but I decided that if Latin was going to be the center of the curriculum then she needed a better teacher. I still try to keep at it, but I am stuck in second form while she has moved on to Henle 2. I also decided a neutral third party was best for composition as well. She remarked the other day that while she loved me for some classes she was very glad to have a writing teacher who was actually enthusiastic about the topic. We added Greek last year. Next year we may add logic and a literature class, but she will be done with CC by then. We do school in the summer, but my daughter has enjoyed having a couple of classes be done so she can focus on fewer things over the summer. Summer is a great time to focus on science around here.

        Hope that helps.
        Dorinda,

        Thank you so much for this input. I think a start with 2 classes sounds about right, and your comments about both 3rd form and CC line up with my current thoughts. Latin is front and center for us as well, and my fumblings alongside her aren't equivalent to a master teacher. I'll continue to mull this over with my husband, but I'm thinking dipping our toe in the water with 3rd form and Ref/Confirmation sounds like it might be a great path for us to take. We attempted to take an MPOA class last year, and DD wasn't ready (academically yes, maturity no). So we withdrew and waited. I think next fall will be a nice fit.

        Thanks again!
        DD 13 - MP 8

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Independent vs online classes for Grade 7

          Originally posted by Jen in Japan View Post
          You are wise to seriously consider your daughter's move to 7th. Although I do not ascribe to all of the "middle school model" that is used in brick and mortar schools, I have seen first hand how most 12 year olds can benefit from the ability to circle the wagons and regroup mentally and physically. It seems to be a year that can make or break the confidence of a child as they move toward full on adolescence.

          That said, it is rare, rare, rare to meet a student who is mentally ready for the challenge of algebra in 7th. The child who can master algebra in 7th will be demonstrating what I call "math intuition" readily. Go over to the Mensa pages and read your child a few word problems/puzzles. If the child can begin the process of solving, then go ahead with algebra. Personally, I started my 3rd child too soon in algebra and it was a nightmare trying to back track to her math comfort *and* to rebuild her confidence. FYI, she did Saxon Alg 1/2 in 7th.

          Cindy in Indy might be able to expound a bit here, but the bottom line is that most 12 yr olds don't have the ability to look at an algebraic system as anything other than an algorithm to memorize. They continue to memorize HOW to solve the problem without understanding of the system, until their brains explode and they stall. I would rather see a non-engineering bound student attempt algebra in 8th, and even then it is not a given that a student is prepared to intuit an algebraic system as anything other than a series of steps to memorize.

          As for science... same. No need to rush and squish unless she is headed for engineering school in college. The MP elementary science sequence has shown me the way to make science something that a child can internalize and keep for a lifetime, rather than a set of random facts a child might (or might not) retain. I'd pick a topic that she likes, then cover it deeply. If you are going to limit her exposure to MPOA as she adjusts (wise), I'd not blow the pick on middle school science. Pick something you can both enjoy (learn!) and dig in. I promise you that YOU can handle middle school science still. May as well enjoy that ride for another year, eh?



          Just my $0.02. Feel free to ignore.


          Jen
          Jen, I appreciate your thoughts on math readiness. I did have the privilege of having lunch with Cindy at Sodalitas 2 years ago (have to admit I felt like I was meeting a celebrity and was a little nervous ) and picked her brain about my daughter and paths for math and science. It was so helpful, so thank you Cindy! Your guidance continues to bear fruit as we move forward.

          My desire isn't to accelerate math beyond DD's readiness and I respect and agree with your thoughts on execution vs. understanding. We're repeating an additional year of pre-algebra this year to slow things down a bit and ensure DD can handle the abstract thinking of algebra. Fortunately I have my husband, who's quite a quantitative guy (engineer) as the yin to my yang (quantitatively impaired), which helps us stay on the straight and narrow regarding what DD's readiness is. My goal is not to rush her to Calc 2 by age 12. Just meeting her where she is.

          Thank you for your thoughts on science as well. We LOVE the Tiner series and could spend another year on Exploring Planet Earth or other another Tiner selection. Good thought. I'll save our online capital for Latin and CC.
          DD 13 - MP 8

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Independent vs online classes for Grade 7

            Hermione,

            ETA: You and I must have been typing at the same time! Sorry to repeat advice you had already answered! But take what you can from what I wrote anyway. .

            MPOA is a great option for helping your daughter navigate the transition to upper school level courses, and the choices you are considering would all be things that would be beneficial. I do want to chime in and offer a "I second that" to what Jen in Japan cautioned you about the maturity that some of these courses require. I noticed in your signature that your daughter is currently 10, and will therefore be only 11 next year. This seems young to me to be considering some of the courses you have listed for next year. I have included some thoughts on each of them inline below.

            Originally posted by hermione310 View Post

            - Third Form -- I'm wondering whether an expert, live instructor would be a huge asset. I'm afraid of becoming overwhelmed with the complexity of Third Form, and concerned I might not do the material justice, even with the DVDs. Are there any folks that have completed this independently that feel this is entirely doable in this manner with the DVDs, even at this level? I've been completing the material in my own student workbooks alongside DD up to this point; we're now on Lesson 6 of 2nd Form. DD is still doing well but I'm starting to feel bogged down remembering the declensions (middle-aged memory syndrome ; ). I'd love to soldier on independently if possible given the desire to shift to MPOA for other classes, but I'm really torn.

            I agree with Dorinda here, that it can be great to learn Latin alongside our kids, but they very often outpace us - at which point having an outside teacher becomes ideal. I would caution you first of all that even if you do not keep up on the memorizing of Second Form, make sure your daughter does. The beginning of Third Form has only a brief bit of review and then jumps right into new material. Make sure you get all the way through Second Form, and then even consider doing a review over the summer before the class begins.

            - Refutation/Confirmation -- We just started Chreia/Maxim over again after a couple of weeks of tears/frustration. It's definitely a step up for DD after Narrative -- moving from the creativity of Narrative to a more disciplined, structured format has left DD bristling against the constraints. I'm so impressed (as always with MP) with the materials, but am thinking that a subject matter expert and outside accountability would be very helpful moving forward with CC.

            This is one of those classes where age may be playing a part in the angst your daughter is experiencing. Fable and Narrative offer children a chance to work with source material and get comfortable learning structure and variation. But Chreia/Maxim is the beginning of when children really have to start to think, to come up with arguments of their own to support a topic. To start off the year we do a lot of modeling, to help them learn this skill, but if a child is not ready for that level of abstract thought, it can be an extremely frustrating exercise. I have a 12 year old in this level now, and as you described, she is bristling at the new expectations. But considering her ability to argue with her brother, I know the thinking skills are there. She just has to learn to apply them in this new way. Our first time through each one of the paragraphs she starts out acting as though it is completely impossible. But as I walk her through it, she is catching on to what we are doing, and ends up writing a very good paragraph. I offer her a ton of modeling right now, but I can see that within the next lesson or two, she is going to "get this" and do well.

            I offer this to you as a caution. Take your time with C/M. It may be that she is a bit young yet for the thinking she is being asked to do. There truly are developmental levels for children that cannot be rushed. It may even be a good idea to hang on to C/M and have her do it in a class setting next year. Because Ref/Con seems like a really big stretch for an 11 year old. I had a 13 and and a 15 year old do that level last year, and the extra maturity makes a huge difference in what they are able to learn from it.


            - Algebra -- I majored in writing. Numbers are not my strong suit.

            Again, I agree with Jen here, that Algebra I for an 11 year old seems like a big stretch. I know there are varying opinions about early advancement in math, so as Jen said, choose to ignore this advice if you wish, but I would really hesitate at putting someone so young into this level of math. There are a lot of ways you can build in a year (or even two!) so that your daughter will have a more successful approach to upper level math classes.

            - Science -- DD is completing Trees/Biology this year. Next year could be Novare Physical Science or an outside life science course, with the hope of taking on online earth science course if it's offered through MPOA when DD's completing Grade 8.

            I think the physical science, earth science, and then into high school level sciences will be a good path for her. We have used the Physical Science book at home without a class and also with a class. It is great either way. Definitely doable on your own, and I have heard similar comments about the Earth Science book. (It is so new we have not used it in our home yet - next year I will have one in it.). But the Novare books are all great, and I think you will find them to work well for what you want - whether or not you enroll her in a class.
            I hope these comments are helpful. I think the adjustment to upper school levels is almost as hard on a mom as it is on your child. It is harder to be actively involved in every thing they are doing every day because we just don't have the time to devote to it. This places a greater amount of responsibility on their shoulders and takes trust on our part. We also need to know how much oversight to offer and how to engage in meaningful discussions along the way. Having a class or two to help her get used to this new level of responsibility will be very helpful.

            I will just say one last time not to rush too far too fast at this point though. I have kids who are super bright, but highly impatient; and I have kids that are probably 'regularly' bright but who are very strong workers. Either way you slice it, they hit maturity milestones at roughly the same times. Things like upper level writing, math, and even Latin can be really challenging simply because a child is not old enough - regardless of their preparation. Watch your daughter carefully as this year progresses before you decide what to put on her plate for next year. Do not hesitate to build in a buffer year or two with additional things MP offers or with additional math and writing so that she can be more confident and successful when she does reach those upper levels.

            AMDG,
            Sarah
            Last edited by KF2000; 10-24-2017, 09:28 AM.
            2020-2021
            16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
            DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
            DS, 16
            DD, 14
            DD, 12
            DD, 10
            DD, 8
            DD, 6
            +DS+
            DS, 2

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Independent vs online classes for Grade 7

              If I were to choose two, I would choose Latin and composition. I think those two courses offer more benefits in a group atmosphere. In Latin they are kept on their toes answering questions and polls. In comp they are sharing work with the class and offering edits to classmates.

              That said, one other thing to consider is that she will likely be the youngest in her classes - being young for her grade and accelerated. If she takes Ref/Con in 7th as an 11 year old, the logical progression for MPOA puts her in HS Comp II in 8th grade as a 12 year old. Her work will be graded amongst children with considerably more maturity than she has. This would be more of a concern in a class like composition or classical studies where papers and essays are required. My daughter has a late summer birthday, and she is normally the youngest in her class. She is newly 13 in 8th grade. It's not been a huge issue for her, but it is something to consider.
              DD 16 | 11th
              DS 14 | 8th
              DD 12 | 7A

              12th Year HSing, 8th Year MP

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Independent vs online classes for Grade 7

                I'm always nervous recommending parents hold off or slow down, mostly because my oldest was 3-4 grade levels ahead for his entire school journey, and that would have been the wrong advice for me to follow in his case. He is the exception to (pretty much) every rule, but as I am well aware, those kids are out there.

                My oldest was easily managing algebra in 6th, but I panicked and held him back. Happily, I didn't harm him by doing so. HOWEVER, in my 15 years in the homeschooling community, the #1 biggest mistake I have seen is parents pushing a child to higher and higher levels until the bottom drops out. Either the child hits the much needed "pause" button so that maturity catches up with academics, or the parent hits a this-is-too-much-for-me moment because she is having to facilitate more and more, rather than less and less. I am deadly serious when I say that in my observation, this tends to hit most homeschools when the child is about 12 yrs old.

                I am in no way saying that this is you (!). It's just a cautionary tale that I pass along so that you do not have to learn this lesson for yourself. Personally, I *did* need to learn this lesson with my third child. She was going along, happy go lucky, hit 12 yrs, then all the wheels fell off our progress. She needed some time to come to grips with growing up, and I saw academics going on hold. It was strange to me. I pushed her into algebra, then regretted it immensely. This would be the case for *most* children... but was not the case in the least with her oldest brother.

                It sounds like you are feeling consoled by some of the advice to your questions. Awesome. Good luck with your ultimate decision!




                Jen
                DS, 27 yrs, graduated from MIT (Aerospace)

                DS, 25 yrs, graduated from SIU's School of Business, ENGAGED!

                DD, 22 yrs, graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC; 2nd grade teacher.

                DS, 12 yrs, 8th grade; attends a private classical school, 7th - 12th.

                All homeschooled for some/all of their K-12 education.

                Me: retired after 16 years of continuous homeschooling. Ahhh....

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Independent vs online classes for Grade 7

                  Sarah,

                  I always appreciate your wisdom and found your comments so helpful. Thank you for taking the time to respond.

                  Your thoughts on maturity levels and Chreia got me thinking. We bought the 7th grade package to get a discount, so I took the Ref/Con book out to get a preview of what's coming. I completely agree with you -- although my daughter's resistance was more about wanting to write completely creatively vs. within a structured format (which she _can_ do, she just doesn't want to), this too is related to maturity. And when I took a gander at the Ref/Con book, your point really hit home. Next year is definitely premature for the insight, perspective, and self-discipline required for that course.

                  I appreciate your suggestion to shelve Chreia for now and start it next fall with MPOA. I started poking around MP's website at the different grade-level packages, and it hit me. I've accelerated composition beyond the package I intended to start. DD completed 4A, and I thought it might make the most sense to migrate to grade 6 vs. 5A at that point. I don't remember what led up to that decision; most likely conversations with MP folks where I wasn't factoring age into the equation, just academic fit (my fault, not theirs). We completed half Fable and half Narrative to make the switch to Chreia with 6. At any rate, I saw that 5A has Narrative in the package, not Chreia. This all makes more sense for DD's age. I realize this sounds like a jumbled mess. The upshot is......I'm taking your suggestion to postpone Chreia until next fall. We'll complete additional Narrative lessons in the interim period. I feel very relieved by this decision -- it feels right.

                  Thank you for the encouragement to do plenty of review with Second Form. DD and I have been doing daily vocabulary, question, and grammar review, and I can see that it's essential. Her brain is far more nimble than mine, and she's soaked it up like a sponge while I've struggled. Part of it is "mom-brain" as I'm thinking of multiple other things during the lessons (bad, bad momma!) vs. 100% focusing on Latin. I think the suggestion of a Second Form review course over the summer for DD to dip her toes into the online class waters is a good one.

                  Whew! Thank you again for sending such thoughtful suggestions, phrased in such a gentle manner. I feel very encouraged.
                  DD 13 - MP 8

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Independent vs online classes for Grade 7

                    I am so glad I could be helpful. It is exactly what I hope whenever I offer any specific advice like in your case. I am glad to hear a sigh of relief! Good luck, and keep asking good questions - that is how we know how to help!


                    AMDG,
                    Sarah
                    2020-2021
                    16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
                    DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
                    DS, 16
                    DD, 14
                    DD, 12
                    DD, 10
                    DD, 8
                    DD, 6
                    +DS+
                    DS, 2

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Independent vs online classes for Grade 7

                      Sharing our experience...

                      My daughter took First Form Online in 4th grade and completed Second Form at our Cottage School last year.

                      This year I really needed to put in the energy and focus for her younger siblings who are in fourth, second and Kindergarten. They are slightly below grade level, so I need to have the time and energy to focus on them this year. So, my sixth grader jumped in this year with 5 online classes. I hedged my bets and was prepared to move FMMA and Christian Studies to a summer term if needed, but she has really surprised me and risen to the occaision.

                      She loves her online teachers, and they really are fabulous. She is feeling motivated to work on those grades which is something that I never bothered with. Currently, I sit with her and make a schedule for the week to stay on task with all of her work, but eventually she will take that over. I must say that this is fabulous preparation for the skills that a student will need to master to be successful in college.

                      She is taking Third Form, Middle School Science I, Narrative, Literature, and Math 6. Her Latin is definitely way above my pay grade and I needed the outside instructor and she LOVES her teacher who she also had for First Form. For composition, I wanted her to have an online teacher, because I was not sure if my expectations were realistic. Science, Literature and Math are going much more efficiently when we have the outside driving force. It motivates me as well as her!

                      I definitely view it as money well spent...as they say the best school is the one that gets done and MPOA definitely helps us get it done!

                      Heidi ADams
                      Heidi in WV

                      Blaise- 7M and MPOA
                      Roman - 3M (technically 5th)
                      Fiona - 2 (technically 3rd)
                      Aurelia - 1
                      Penelope - Preschool
                      Little One due October 2018

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Independent vs online classes for Grade 7

                        Originally posted by MountainMi View Post
                        Sharing our experience...

                        My daughter took First Form Online in 4th grade and completed Second Form at our Cottage School last year.

                        This year I really needed to put in the energy and focus for her younger siblings who are in fourth, second and Kindergarten. They are slightly below grade level, so I need to have the time and energy to focus on them this year. So, my sixth grader jumped in this year with 5 online classes. I hedged my bets and was prepared to move FMMA and Christian Studies to a summer term if needed, but she has really surprised me and risen to the occaision.

                        She loves her online teachers, and they really are fabulous. She is feeling motivated to work on those grades which is something that I never bothered with. Currently, I sit with her and make a schedule for the week to stay on task with all of her work, but eventually she will take that over. I must say that this is fabulous preparation for the skills that a student will need to master to be successful in college.

                        She is taking Third Form, Middle School Science I, Narrative, Literature, and Math 6. Her Latin is definitely way above my pay grade and I needed the outside instructor and she LOVES her teacher who she also had for First Form. For composition, I wanted her to have an online teacher, because I was not sure if my expectations were realistic. Science, Literature and Math are going much more efficiently when we have the outside driving force. It motivates me as well as her!

                        I definitely view it as money well spent...as they say the best school is the one that gets done and MPOA definitely helps us get it done!

                        Heidi ADams
                        Hi Heidi!

                        Thanks so much for sharing your experience. It's a great reminder that there are so many alternatives available -- completely independent, a class or two, or a fuller complement of classes for the right student. I'm so glad MPOA has worked out for you, and although I doubt we'd sign up for 5 classes, it speaks volumes about the quality of the instruction that you'd enroll and have success with that many at once. I'm going to keep your post in my pocket as food for thought when enrollment rolls around.

                        Since online classes are new to me, I'm curious -- how do you get a gauge of what's being covered? Do you have her in a place where the instruction is within earshot, so you can hear the material? Or do you just peek at her work throughout the week (or whatever interval works for you) and gauge progress from the workbooks/tests?

                        Thanks again for taking the time to reply! It's really helpful.
                        DD 13 - MP 8

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Independent vs online classes for Grade 7

                          Originally posted by hermione310 View Post

                          Since online classes are new to me, I'm curious -- how do you get a gauge of what's being covered? Do you have her in a place where the instruction is within earshot, so you can hear the material? Or do you just peek at her work throughout the week (or whatever interval works for you) and gauge progress from the workbooks/tests?

                          Thanks again for taking the time to reply! It's really helpful.
                          Most of the teachers all post syllabus for the classes just like you would receive for a college class. It shows what will be covered each week, what assignments are due when, if there are large projects and how grades are calculated. I think it is an excellent preparation for the long range planning they will need one day in class. I sit in on a smattering of classes here and there...mainly ones like composition where I know I "could" teach the class to my younger kids, but I really enjoy the aspect of seeing someone else teach the material. I know that my son definitely would not be able to handle all these online classes at once, so I am taking mental notes on how to teach the material at his pace when he gets to those classes.

                          Currently, when I sit down each week to type up her weekly agenda, I go to the class pages and copy directly from them what the teachers assign her for the week, so that it is in one nice place for her to refer to. I would expect by high school she will be completely able to schedule, but I am trying to teach good habits now. (I think that she will be a good candidate for the diploma program.)
                          Heidi in WV

                          Blaise- 7M and MPOA
                          Roman - 3M (technically 5th)
                          Fiona - 2 (technically 3rd)
                          Aurelia - 1
                          Penelope - Preschool
                          Little One due October 2018

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                            #14
                            Re: Independent vs online classes for Grade 7

                            Heidi,

                            Thanks once again for this insight on scheduling, sitting in on your daughter's classes, etc. It's really helpful to see is working for others. Creating one master schedule in the early years sounds like a great idea. We've gotten spoiled by the curriculum guide; your approach sounds like it lays a great foundation for future independent planning.

                            I appreciate your thoughts and time!
                            DD 13 - MP 8

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                              #15
                              Re: Independent vs online classes for Grade 7

                              Chiming in with my .02 as well since I have a daughter in the same age range.

                              We use a combination of the local HLS Cottage School, as well as the MPOA for some classes. We've been at the Cottage School for 4 years now (the best decision I've made, other than homeschooling from the beginning ), and began the MPOA for summer Latin review classes for SFL and TFL.

                              Currently, our lineup looks like this. (My daughter is 11)

                              Cottage School
                              TFL
                              6A Lit (Trojan War, Anne of Green Gables, etc)
                              Chreia/Maxim
                              Famous Men of Greece

                              MPOA
                              Math 6
                              Science

                              I made these decisions based on what we had available to us --- Cottage School is always our first choice --- it's local, she loves the teachers, her friends attend, etc. MPOA is a bit harder to juggle, but I decided to use it to fill in the gaps. Math is a HUGE struggle for us, and I wanted to outsource that to another teacher. We tried Teaching Textbooks, which was fine, but didn't really have enough practice for her. Science is an area that I struggle to fit in, so I chose the Middle School Science I and Math 6 classes for her. (looks like Heidi and I have children in the same classes)

                              She's doing fine in Lit and FMOG, but struggling a bit in TFL and C/M. With TFL, there are areas from SFL that she didn't learn that well (hello, prepositions), and that's coming back to bite her. With C/M, I think it's a middle school confidence level thing. She's becoming more aware of her peers, and as an introvert, she HATES having to ask questions in front of people, etc. I've tried to explain to her that 1)I'm paying the teacher so that she can ask questions, and 2) if she has the question, it's likely that other children do as well. It's frustrating to me, as I've had to burn up the teacher email lines, peppering them with questions that I feel she should be asking herself.

                              MPOA is a wonderful resource, but I'm the kind of mom who leans toward micromanaging. I stay on top of her assignments, grades, etc, because I know she won't, for the most part. She doesn't enjoy either topic, but they are necessary.

                              I'd caution you to consider her maturity level, and also know that these classes aren't entirely hands off (MPOA), unless you've got a very motivated, well organized student. We're working on that SLOWLY but surely. I stay within earshot for most of the class time, because I know she can get easily distracted (like opening a second window to play Animal Jam during class ). That's a bit challenging for me, as I have lots of other small fry to manage.

                              I know for a fact that my daughter isn't anywhere close to being ready for PreAlgebra, much less Algebra I. Over the summer, we'll be going back and shoring up math facts solidly. She's accurate with her facts, but slow, which makes this higher level math so much harder for her. #sigh
                              One thing I've learned? Speed drills are a hill worth dying on around here.

                              Cindy From Indy shared an alternative math and science track during the Sodalitas Gathering that really put my mind at ease more about math and science struggles. Maybe she can share it here as well.
                              Plans for 2020-21

                              Year 10 of homeschooling with MP

                              DD1 - 25 - Small Business owner with a STOREFRONT
                              DD2 - 14 - 9th grade - HLS Cottage School/MPOA - equestrian
                              DS3 - 12 - 5A Cottage School - soccer
                              DS4 - 12 - 5A Cottage School -soccer
                              DD5 - 8 - 3A, Cottage School -equestrian and Irish dance
                              DS6 - 6 - MP K - home with Momma

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