Sep 25 2008

Technophilia: Get a free college education online

Tag:Tag , , , , Cyn @ 0:16

I adore Life­Hacker. They have a sweet list of
free online col­lege courses!


Jan 19 2008

Homeschooling High School in College?

It’s be SO long since I updated things here! Not that I think any­body really missed me, but still, I should have kept it up a bit better.

Katie tried attend­ing a good high school near us, and loved it. She got great grades, was cho­sen to work on the year­book (it’s a very com­pet­i­tive process there), and was even made the chief pho­tog­ra­pher right away! She was also get­ting involved in other activ­i­ties, and she made some good friends. She really loved the art classes, in particular.

Unfor­tu­nately, her health suf­fered. She has severe rest­less leg syn­drome, fibromyal­gia (which causes sleep prob­lems), and truly hor­rific migraines in addi­tion to being aller­gic to all kinds of things. The migraines aren’t well-managed any more, so that she has a migraine almost every day despite tak­ing Trilep­tal as a pre­ven­tive. She’s had to use her res­cue med­i­cine so much that it’s no longer very help­ful, either. She just can’t get any decent sleep, thanks to the RLS and fibro, which means that she needs a min­i­mum of ten to twelve hours every night, and still wakes up unrested. And our insur­ance has gone stu­pid, repeat­edly refus­ing to cover her allergy med­ica­tions, in par­tic­u­lar. 1 Right now, they’re refus­ing to cover Provigil, which was the only thing keep­ing her awake enough to even con­sider attend­ing school. She’s under doctor’s orders to stop dri­ving until the sleep sit­u­a­tion is ame­lio­rated, and has been for some time, so she’s been delayed in learn­ing to drive and get­ting her license.

So she’s back at home, which is a real dis­ap­point­ment to her. We’ve decided to try mak­ing the best of it, and focus on the good things. For instance, she’s no longer held back to any­one else’s learn­ing pace, and she doesn’t have to jump through bureau­cratic hoops. She can learn when­ever she is awake, hon­or­ing her body’s need for more sleep than most people.

She wants to take col­lege classes online, which is how I’m man­ag­ing to con­tinue my edu­ca­tion despite health prob­lems. I think it’s a good idea, so now we’re con­sid­er­ing schools and money. While the Uni­ver­sity sys­tem schools here in Geor­gia tech­ni­cally have all their core classes online, the real­ity when I attended South­ern Poly was that the entire school usu­ally had only one or two seats for any par­tic­u­lar course, and of course those seats were taken immediately.

We’d love to hear about the expe­ri­ences of any other home­schooled teens who are fin­ish­ing high school in col­lege, par­tic­u­larly those who are tak­ing classes online.

Her even­tual goal is art school, and while there is a local school that has an online pro­gram, I just don’t see how it’s pos­si­ble to learn some things through the inter­net. Nei­ther does she. So we’re also look­ing for good art classes to sup­ple­ment what­ever she does online. We’re in Decatur, and since nei­ther she nor I are dri­ving, close is good. MARTA acces­si­bil­ity is absolutely necessary!


1 hey insist that every­body should be just fine with Clar­itin, which is avail­able over-the-counter. Not so!


Jan 02 2007

Katie, Me and Schools

Tag:Tag , , , , , Cyn @ 15:36

Well, we’re wait­ing for Katie’s final grades for fall semes­ter while enjoy­ing win­ter break for both of us. We had Sam home for the first half of our breaks with us, but unfor­tu­nately work­ing for a school isn’t quite as lux­u­ri­ous as being a student.

Katie has had mostly As in her progress reports across the term, so I expect that should be what we see on her report card. We’re work­ing on an alge­bra refresher/wrap-up here at home, as she’ll be going into geom­e­try at school when she goes back next week. I don’t hon­estly recall using a great deal of alge­bra in geom­e­try, do you? Of course, I absolutely loathed geom­e­try and never “got it” to any real extent. This doesn’t bode well for home­work help this semester.

She has truly loved her art class. While she has had more access to art sup­plies at home than I ever had in school or out­side it, and I’ve taken her to a fair num­ber of muse­ums and tried to give her some ground­ing in art his­tory, I’m no artist. She’s learned more in that one art class than I could have ever taught her, and she’s hun­gry for more. So hun­gry! I should have given her access to art classes ear­lier, obvi­ously — but hind­sight is 20/20. She wants to take sum­mer school classes this year, and I’m even more in favor of it if it means she can con­tinue her pur­suit of art.

I’ve already got­ten my grades. The fan­tas­tic sup­port I’ve got­ten from Sam and Katie made it pos­si­ble for me to get As in both of my courses for the first half of fall semes­ter. The sec­ond half of fall semes­ter (Devry does things oddly) starts on 8 Jan­u­ary. I’m tak­ing all my courses online again, as that works bet­ter for the fam­ily and my ridicu­lous body.

Oh, I nearly for­got! We got the results back from Katie’s first PSAT. She didn’t do so great in the math, which isn’t sur­pris­ing, not hav­ing had any geom­e­try yet. She didn’t do too badly on it either—84th per­centile, some­thing like that, as I recall. She ran out of time on that sec­tion. She was in the mid to upper 90s on every­thing else. We were a bit con­cerned, because the coun­selor at the high school couldn’t be arsed to get Katie’s accom­mo­da­tions in place in time for the test, but obvi­ously it turned out quite well any­way. The accom­mo­da­tions will be in place and she will have passed geom­e­try before she takes it “for real” next fall, when it counts as the National Merit Schol­ar­ship Qual­i­fy­ing Test.

Well, back to “stor­ing up” sleep and tak­ing pic­tures of every­thing, most espe­cially spoiled lit­tle Kiyoshi the solar-powered cat. I miss spend­ing this much time with Katie on a daily basis. It was much nicer, but she does love her school. She is obvi­ously ener­gized by the aca­d­e­mic dis­course, even by dis­agree­ing with an annoy­ing teacher. She was ready to try out her wings, and we had a good school nearby where she could do so. I’m glad we could go back to home­school­ing if we chose to or needed to do so, but I’m glad the fledgling’s flight is going so well, too.