So awesome that you're learning The Steno Master Theory from the get-go. I bought some of Mark K's books, and I'm implementing it to the theory I learned... but I really wish I had started first and foremost with just Mark K's theory. You're going to have an easier time in court reporting, I think, because you get to write short from the very beginning. Very awesome! :)
I have a blog -- stenonerd.blogspot.com -- that is basically me talking about my days as a court reporting student... but I also hope fellow court reporting students can benefit from it. Please check it out! And thank you in advance. :)
I hope you have a great year ahead of you, Kim! Happy Birthday!
Sounds like you've made it pretty much through the book. I can't remember how many chapters there are, but, if it's not too late . . .
My quick advice is not to learn every single outline in the theory book. We learned the bulk of the required briefs, not all. I skipped teaching Clay little sections here and there. I have my book at work, so I can't tell you what sections we skipped, but I could check when I get back on Monday. You'll just have to remind me.
If Clay was feeling bogged down, I'd skip teaching him a few sections, and he went back and got them later after he started speed building.
When it got to the lessons with all the endings in one chapter, like -rch, -nch, etc., Clay was done learning theory and just wanted to start speed building. That's when he went off to the brick-and-mortar school.
We took about three months together. It definitely was a teacher/student environment, and even though I was his mother, he did his best to stay tuned in.
He picked up those endings the first semester (and other small sections we skipped). He'd come home on the weekends, and we'd finish up what we skipped over during his first three months.
Another reporter who can probably really help with how you feel at a certain point is my friend Christine Kirley. Her daughter Megan learned the Stenomaster theory online through Mark's ex-partner. It was not the greatest program as the instructor pretty much sucked, BUT, of course, the theory is awesome. I really think nothing else out there comes close.
Christine is on CSRnation, too. She's the one that holds the HUGE gun as her avatar on here. She is also a member of the Magnumsteno Club and Fan Club. She's just a gem of a person.
Talking about skipping around, I was skipping all over the place writing this, so I hope it makes sense. I got to get going, but you just post me any time if you need help.
If I can be of any help, just message me. I taught my son the Stenomaster theory and can tell you our triumphs and frustrations. Of course the triumphs were a whole lot more common than the frustrations.
What an incredibly smart decision it was to start with the theory. It would be tough to do it alone, but there's another student on here who has been really successful doing so. I think it's Kim Gebney, but it's difficult for for me keeping everyone straight.
Anyway, I think you're going to love the decision you made!!