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.