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Mac MacDevitt

  • Reviewed on Monday, February 21, 2005
  • Grades Used: 6-12
  • Dates used: 2004-2005
My sons Ben (13) and Zak (11) are both enrolled in Biology through Personal Professors. I think the course is geared to either middle or high school students. They take the course on-line and both really like it. They get to interact with their teacher and the other students in class, watch archived lectures when we assign them and post questions for the teacher to ask anytime they want to. They also offer math courses, Algebra I (which the boys are also taking) & Algebra II and Geometry, which we haven't taken yet.

Michael Hosking, the teacher, has a Ph.D. He meets with the class twice a week using a technology that lets him use a white board and audio and pose problems for the students to solve. They respond to him and to the others in their class mostly by using text, but also can use their microphones to talk with him when that works better. As students they also access audio/whiteboard lectures that have been archived, each one is about 15 minutes long and there are lots - maybe more than 50 of lectures available that are sequenced into a curriculum. When they have questions between live classes, they post them on a discussion board to Dr. Hosking and usually get answers back promptly.

We like it because the class gives them the opportunity to interact and be connected with other kids who are home schooling, and they are motivated to learn the course materials so that they can come up with the answers in the on-line class sessions.

There are assessment problems that help me get a good sense of how well the boys are doing in each content area.

So far, Dr. Hosking has been able to customize his approach to meet the different interests and skill levels of my boys, and there is a feeling of lightness and fun in the class sessions. No pressure. My son Ben is really interested in epidemiology and Zak in evolution. Dr. Hosking has been able to engage both of them in their interest area and expand their interests into related areas.

Personal Professors charges $40.000 per month for each student per course. You can start anytime and you can move though the archived lectures at as fast or slow as you want to go. We can stop any time we want. The commitment is just month by month. We think it is well worth the expense. Information is at the web site. We like it so much that I'd be glad to talk more about our experience with Personal Professors if you want to e-mail us at