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How much say does your high schooler get in what courses to take? Physics necessary?


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My son, 10th grade, has had Physical Science in 8th (taught at high school level with added material), Biology in 9th, and Chemistry in 10th. He was going to take Forensics in 11th and Physics in 12th, but we just learned there will be an opportunity to take Advanced Bio next year with our homeschool group. If he does that, he still wants to take Forensic Science in 12th and skip Physics. Most of the colleges we have looked at want either Physical Science or Physics. Can I just count the Physical Science from 8th-most of the kids in the class were high schoolers-and let him skip Physics? He wants to go into the law enforcement field at the federal level, so I think Forensic Science will be better for him than either Adv Bio or Physics. I'm not sure how much input to let him have at this point. I know I picked all my own classes in high school without any parental input. He had a tough time with Physical Science and really really really doesn't want to take Physics!

WWYD?

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If you're looking for permission, here you go. :tongue_smilie: <-- closest emoticon I could come up with, since there isn't one of the "permission fairy" with a sparkling wand...

 

 

Totally my un-expert, un-substantiated opinion (LOL) -- go with DS's interests! You'll have 2 of the 3 "typical" science credits -- and a total of 4 science credits. From what research I've done, it seems like colleges most care about Biology and Chemistry -- those seem to be the 2 that almost always show up as desired by colleges. Physics seems to often be replaced by Advanced Biology or Advanced Chemistry.

 

Especially as he doesn't seem interested in heading into a physics or engineering field... go for it! (And even if he *does* change his mind once he goes into college, then he can just take physics if needed at that time; not a big deal.)

 

BEST of luck! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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I allow my kids to have a huge amt of influence over their course selections. In my mind, by 11th grade they need to be taking control over their own futures.

 

FWIW, my oldest knew in high school that he wanted to major in chemical engineering. He didn't want to take physics in 11th b/c his girlfriend (now wife) was taking anatomy and physiology. He wanted to take what she was taking so he could help her. ;) (he took bio in 9th, chem in 10th and then dual enrolled at our local university and took 2 semesters of chemistry). He went off to college and took cal-based physics as a freshman never having taken any physics before. :)

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Sure you can do it, legally.

 

Personally though, I would not.

:confused: Curious why you would suggest not to? Not to be argumentative, but in all sincerity.

 

It sounds like the student is interested in pursuing Criminal Justice field and it sounds in all likelihood, Forensics would be a good call.

 

Why push physics if they are not going into a STEM field? It still would count as 4 years of science.

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I let my dd pick this year.

 

She did bio in 9, chem in 10. She was going to do physics in 11 but she wanted to do anatomy. I can't remember her reason now but we let her. She was excited about it. And she is doing well. Our plan is still to have her do physics in 12.

 

We looked at the hardest local school to get into (Duke) and are using those entrance requirements for our kids. They will never go to Duke cause we can't afford it, etc but if we hit those requirements, any other college should be covered.

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:confused: Curious why you would suggest not to? Not to be argumentative, but in all sincerity.

 

It sounds like the student is interested in pursuing Criminal Justice field and it sounds in all likelihood, Forensics would be a good call.

 

Why push physics if they are not going into a STEM field? It still would count as 4 years of science.

 

I agree. I don't get it. I never took physics in high school. I didn't need it in college either as a music major or as a secondary education major.

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My dd19 was provisionally accepted into a state university here in Georgia without Physics. They even knew what her senior classes were and will give her full acceptance with her final transcript and GPA. She took Biology, Honors Chemistry, and Environmental Science (maybe they counted this as her physical science?) Physics would have never worked for her.

 

My other two are slated to take Physics as seniors. We have their 4-yr plan made, but it's not written in stone. We do have the core list of classes we feel they must take but the rest of them is up to each student to decide.

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:confused: Curious why you would suggest not to? Not to be argumentative, but in all sincerity.

 

It sounds like the student is interested in pursuing Criminal Justice field and it sounds in all likelihood, Forensics would be a good call.

 

Why push physics if they are not going into a STEM field? It still would count as 4 years of science.

 

I am not EsterMaria, but I would have answered in the same way as she did.

Coming from a different educational tradition, I consider high school the time to receive a broad general education that is not specialized towards a later field of choice, but that delivers the general knowledge that is considered canon for an educated person in a certain society. University is then considered the time to radically specialize according to one's interests. I know that Ester comes from a similar background.

In my home country, every university bound student takes all fundamental sciences for several years; every university bound student takes two years of calculus; every university bound student takes two foreign languages for 10 and 6 years, respectively - regardless of personal interest. This gives the basic foundation to, at the end of high school, specialize in any subject - without having to augment general education at the university level.

Just a different point of view and perspective.

Of course , the OP may choose whatever she deems suitable for her son. But since she asked how much say our students get:

 

I personally would not let my students opt out of a subject that I consider fundamental just because the student found it difficult and was not interested in pursuing it at university level. My student may choose electives that correspond to his special interests. This might well be science electives. (So, in that example, my kids would have taken forensics as an elective and still be required to take the basic sciences)

 

ETA: I do not find the argument "I am musician and do not need physics" useful. Even a person not working in the field should, IMO, should know enough science to make educated choices and decisions in daily life: I can not judge whether a microwave oven is dangerous if I do not understand how a microwave oven works. I can not understand radiation, electromagnetic waves, household electricity, whether a particle accelerator is dangerous without physics. I can not take care of my health without understanding how diseases spread, how antibiotics work, how the human body functions etc. I can not refute false internet claims such as "microwaving water bottles causes dioxin" without knowing enough chemistry to realize that PE bottles contain no chlorine and hence can not possibly form dioxin.

And, by the same token, I expect my science minded student to study music history and to be familiar with the musical heritage.

Edited by regentrude
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I am not EsterMaria, but I would have answered in the same way as she did.

Coming from a different educational tradition, I consider high school the time to receive a broad general education that is not specialized towards a later field of choice, but that delivers the general knowledge that is considered canon for an educated person in a certain society. University is then considered the time to radically specialize according to one's interests. I know that Ester comes from a similar background.

In my home country, every university bound student takes all fundamental sciences for several years; every university bound student takes two years of calculus; every university bound student takes two foreign languages for 10 and 6 years, respectively - regardless of personal interest. This gives the basic foundation to, at the end of high school, specialize in any subject - without having to augment general education at the university level.

Just a different point of view and perspective.

Of course , the OP may choose whatever she deems suitable for her son. But since she asked how much say our students get:

 

I personally would not let my students opt out of a subject that I consider fundamental just because the student found it difficult and was not interested in pursuing it at university level. My student may choose electives that correspond to his special interests. This might well be science electives. (So, in that example, my kids would have taken forensics as an elective and still be required to take the basic sciences)

 

ETA: I do not find the argument "I am musician and do not need physics" useful. Even a person not working in the field should, IMO, should know enough science to make educated choices and decisions in daily life: I can not judge whether a microwave oven is dangerous if I do not understand how a microwave oven works. I can not understand radiation, electromagnetic waves, household electricity, whether a particle accelerator is dangerous without physics. I can not take care of my health without understanding how diseases spread, how antibiotics work, how the human body functions etc. I can not refute false internet claims such as "microwaving water bottles causes dioxin" without knowing enough chemistry to realize that PE bottles contain no chlorine and hence can not possibly form dioxin.

And, by the same token, I expect my science minded student to study music history and to be familiar with the musical heritage.

:iagree:

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:iagree: and there is also the "you never know" aspect to teenage students. What they are like as 15 year-olds may be v. different from what they are like as 19 year olds. You also never want to close any open doors, as the saying goes. Physics can be hard but, there are ways to make it interesting to your student. You can always look for concept applications that would interest them. EG - if the student is "music", spend time with problems moving pianos, thinking about piano strings, doing sound in a big way, understanding how soundsystems work, etc..... It is possible to take many of the generic problems in the books and shove them into an interesting direction.

BTW - My dd is v. reluctant about physics and math but, I have found inspiration to make them interesting from some of the MIT-OCW courses. She does the hard stuff more willingly that way. It is doable.

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My student may choose electives that correspond to his special interests. This might well be science electives. (So, in that example, my kids would have taken forensics as an elective and still be required to take the basic sciences)

 

.

 

:iagree:

 

Dd took Physical Science (Apologia) in 8th, and is taking Physics (Kinetic Principles of Physics) this year. She has commented that there is a world of difference in the depth of coverage -- she now realizes that Physical Science barely scratched the surface of Physics. Of course, that might be a function of the actual courses she's taking -- I think Apologia is rather fluffy, and Kinetic PoP is a "real" course.

 

Physics is foundational to chemistry and biology.

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Gail,

Kinetic Physics is what I had planned for him to use. Would it be possible to complete it in a semester and therefore leave another semester for Forensic Science?

I have always set what classes my kids take and have not given them many choices. For example, they have no idea that most colleges only require two years of foreign language. It is expected that they take one every year. However, my son has known what field he wants to go into since 6th or 7th grade and has not wavered once. As there are only so many hours in the day, I have to decide whether to let him spend his time working toward that goal or taking classes that are probably not necessary for him. He struggles with math, so do I really want him to spend a huge chunk of his senior year trying to work through PreCalc/Trig and a Physics program? I just don't know.

 

ETA: I don't personally feel that Physics is a fundamental course for him-at least I am not 100% convinced of that-or it would be a no brainer. I would not let any of my kids out of a class I felt was integral to their education just because they didn't want to do it or thought it was too hard.

I had Physics at the college level and remember absolutely nothing, & still have no idea how a microwave works.;0)

Edited by Kim in SouthGa
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Gail,

Kinetic Physics is what I had planned for him to use. Would it be possible to complete it in a semester and therefore leave another semester for Forensic Science?

I have always set what classes my kids take and have not given them many choices. For example, they have no idea that most colleges only require two years of foreign language. It is expected that they take one every year. However, my son has known what field he wants to go into since 6th or 7th grade and has not wavered once. As there are only so many hours in the day, I have to decide whether to let him spend his time working toward that goal or taking classes that are probably not necessary for him. He struggles with math, so do I really want him to spend a huge chunk of his senior year trying to work through PreCalc/Trig and a Physics program? I just don't know.

 

ETA: I don't personally feel that Physics is a fundamental course for him-at least I am not 100% convinced of that-or it would be a no brainer. I would not let any of my kids out of a class I felt was integral to their education just because they didn't want to do it or thought it was too hard.

I had Physics at the college level and remember absolutely nothing, & still have no idea how a microwave works.;0)

 

Which track would you be using -- Conceptual or Principles? (There's another track, but it's Calculus based -- your comment about math seems to rule that out.)

 

I just read this aloud to dd (and dh, who helps her with it) and got a very vehement, "I would NOT try that" in answer to the question about trying to do it in one semester. Dd concedes that if he's doing Conceptual it might be possible -- Conceptual doesn't cover the infamous chapter 6, for example, which was further applications of Newton's Laws -- I wasn't sure they were going to survive that one.

 

BTW, dd and dh vote he go ahead and take Forensic Science. I'm the lone voice saying, "wouldn't that be easier if you knew the physics behind what's going on?" For example, dd would find it much easier now to find the trajectory of something (eg, blood, body parts, bullets, whatever) than she would have last September pre-physics. I never noticed how much physics supports other sciences until I taught physics and then chemistry to the 3rd-5th graders at co-op -- I was suddenly noticing how nicely it all flows together.

 

BTW, dd is taking Kinetic PoP concurrent with Algebra 2. Dh has been helping her with the math, since she hasn't had that much Trig.

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:iagree:

 

Dd took Physical Science (Apologia) in 8th, and is taking Physics (Kinetic Principles of Physics) this year. She has commented that there is a world of difference in the depth of coverage -- she now realizes that Physical Science barely scratched the surface of Physics. Of course, that might be a function of the actual courses she's taking -- I think Apologia is rather fluffy, and Kinetic PoP is a "real" course.

 

Physics is foundational to chemistry and biology.

 

Physical science is completely different from physics. You may consider Apologia to be fluffy, but I think your daughter would feel differently if she was using their physics or chemistry text. All three are real courses - physical science is an introductory course to the main high school science courses.

 

ETA: Math requirements for Apologia Physics: Algebra I, Geometry, Basic trigonometry functions

Edited by Teachin'Mine
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We have DIVE Integrated Physics and Chemistry with the Bob Jones text sitting on our shelf. He was going to use that in 9th, as recommended by the author, even though he had Physical Science (Apologia) in 8th. However, we decided to go with Biology instead. Anyway, I wonder if he could go through the Physics portion of that in one semester as a "Physics light" refresher. Would that be enough Physics as a prereq for Forensic Science? I remember looking at a blood spatter experiment he wanted to do for our science fair a couple of years ago, and it definitely had some physics involved. I'm sure it would be helpful, but I'm still not sold on his needing a whole physics course. What do you think?

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Would that be enough Physics as a prereq for Forensic Science? I remember looking at a blood spatter experiment he wanted to do for our science fair a couple of years ago, and it definitely had some physics involved. I'm sure it would be helpful, but I'm still not sold on his needing a whole physics course. What do you think?

 

I think it depends on the scope of the forensics program he is planning to use whether he needs physics as a prerequisite for forensics.

Ballistics and trajectory analysis is pure physics (stuff that is typically taught early on in a physics course.) Arson/ accelerants and explosives have to do with chemistry, but the behavior of exploded fragments is explained through momentum conservation, an important physics concept.

Detection of chemicals using a mass spectrometer is based on physics. How much you need depends on whether you are content to treat the mass spectrometer as a black box that just performs an analysis - or whether you want to know how and why it works.

And then there are large branches of forensics that do not require any physics, just a lot of biology - DNA for example.

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I personally would not let my students opt out of a subject that I consider fundamental just because the student found it difficult and was not interested in pursuing it at university level. My student may choose electives that correspond to his special interests. This might well be science electives.

 

:iagree:

 

if your son doesn't take physics in 12th grade, he is limiting his future options. Physics is an important subject, and to replace it with essentially an elective class would be shortchanging your son educationally.

 

I would encourage him to take the forensics class in addition to but not in place of the physics class.

 

(Yes, I'm an engineer, and dh and I consider physics to be an essential life skill. Physics certainly teaches respect for the iron-clad relationships between a car's mass, its speed, and its required breaking distance!)

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I am not EsterMaria, but I would have answered in the same way as she did.

Coming from a different educational tradition, I consider high school the time to receive a broad general education that is not specialized towards a later field of choice, but that delivers the general knowledge that is considered canon for an educated person in a certain society. University is then considered the time to radically specialize according to one's interests. I know that Ester comes from a similar background.

In my home country, every university bound student takes all fundamental sciences for several years; every university bound student takes two years of calculus; every university bound student takes two foreign languages for 10 and 6 years, respectively - regardless of personal interest. This gives the basic foundation to, at the end of high school, specialize in any subject - without having to augment general education at the university level.

Just a different point of view and perspective.

Of course , the OP may choose whatever she deems suitable for her son. But since she asked how much say our students get:

 

I personally would not let my students opt out of a subject that I consider fundamental just because the student found it difficult and was not interested in pursuing it at university level. My student may choose electives that correspond to his special interests. This might well be science electives. (So, in that example, my kids would have taken forensics as an elective and still be required to take the basic sciences)

 

ETA: I do not find the argument "I am musician and do not need physics" useful. Even a person not working in the field should, IMO, should know enough science to make educated choices and decisions in daily life: I can not judge whether a microwave oven is dangerous if I do not understand how a microwave oven works. I can not understand radiation, electromagnetic waves, household electricity, whether a particle accelerator is dangerous without physics. I can not take care of my health without understanding how diseases spread, how antibiotics work, how the human body functions etc. I can not refute false internet claims such as "microwaving water bottles causes dioxin" without knowing enough chemistry to realize that PE bottles contain no chlorine and hence can not possibly form dioxin.

And, by the same token, I expect my science minded student to study music history and to be familiar with the musical heritage.

 

I see where you are coming from with your educational background.

 

I happen to disagree. But for what it is worth, I don't think this is a matter of who is right or who is wrong. The OP asked for our opinions, truthfully.

 

I just don't see the need to force a student into a course that they may have difficulties in (the OP mentioned he struggles with math and needs to take a slower pace). I personally think it is wrong to force the same "academic mold" for every student as everyone learns differently. What makes one successful in life is not what officially is listed on the transcript, but what drives them from within. Just because a student may or may not be up to Physics in high school does not preclude him from college. That is ridiculous.

 

There are many majors in college that do just fine without taking Physics in high school and are successful in life. I know of one dropout from the first semester of Physics who went on to get a double degree in Kinesiology & Nutrition (my husband). He is very intelligent but with his LD in Dysgraphia made writing laborious problems for higher math a torture over 30 years ago. His handwriting is atrocious and wishes there was DragonSpeak back in his day. Today, he can recite the laws behind Physics like a duck to water in excitement to my son -- but had to change majors from Meteorology to Kinesiology as higher math just did him in.

 

BTW, I do have relatives who are in law enforcement and one recently went on to get her BS in Criminal Justice -- without the need for Physics in her high school or undergraduate years. And she is doing just fine in her new position with the force.

 

The requirements for law enforcement generally run about the same in each state. There will be minor differences. I'll give you a few:

 

1. Age of 21 prior to appointment or hiring.

2. U.S. Citizen

3. No felony convictions or serious misdemeanor convictions.

4. No crimes of Moral Turpitude

5. No alcohol driving violations or serious driving infractions.

6. Good credit rating

7. Pass a medical evaluation

8. High School graduate or equivalent

9. Completion of a law enforcement sponsored training academy.

 

This is not an all inclusive list. Every state has different requirements.

 

For example, to be on a SWAT unit, you will more than likely have to work 1-2 years in patrol before being eligible for SWAT. SWAT team requirements differ from agency to agency. You should be physically fit, good eye sight, excellent shooting skills, good defensive tactics, skills, good decision making skills,and no emotional problems or alcohol abuse problems.

 

I think we need to applaud the OP's son for wanting to go into a career that benefits our society. He sounds altruistic and really is interested in law enforcement. Kudos for him. Why paint all potential college freshman in such a harsh light? Not every student needs Physics. Forgive me for getting on my soap box. But police work is near and dear to my heart. And I think the young man can do whatever he wants to in life. Let's rally around him and encourage him on. He may be a future Police Chief, Academy trainer, Detective, or FBI/Homeland Security Agent protecting us all. :)

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I just don't see the need to force a student into a course that they may have difficulties in (the OP mentioned he struggles with math and needs to take a slower pace).

 

I understand many arguments (about considering the subject as not important - I happen to disagree, but that's not the point), but I completely fail to understand this one: just because something happens to be difficult should not be a reason to not teach a certain subject.

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if your son doesn't take physics in 12th grade, he is limiting his future options.

 

While having high school physics would be beneficial for success in college physics, physics can be taken at the university level w/o prior exposure. It might make the course more difficult, but a student's future ability to take physics is not negated by opting out of a high school level course. The only pre-req for physics are math related.

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While having high school physics would be beneficial for success in college physics, physics can be taken at the university level w/o prior exposure. It might make the course more difficult, but a student's future ability to take physics is not negated by opting out of a high school level course. The only pre-req for physics are math related.

 

:iagree:

 

I did this. I never even considered physics in high school, but I was a Biology major in college. I had to have college physics. I took an intro level course that was designed for people with no prior physics first. For what its worth, I did the same in Chemistry, although I took the intro level course dual enrollment while I was in high school. I only had physical science and Biology at the local high school. No one suggested I should take more and I didn't know better. It was easy to overcome when I realized I did need them.

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He is not that interested in the science part-he doesn't want to be a crime scene investigator or medical examiner. He mostly just wants to wield a gun and chase bad guys :D

I think I will have him talk to his Law & Justice teacher Tues night and get his opinion.

Thank you all for your responses!!

 

Balistics - physics. Just saying.

 

Physics certainly teaches respect for the iron-clad relationships between a car's mass, its speed, and its required breaking distance!)
This too.
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While having high school physics would be beneficial for success in college physics, physics can be taken at the university level w/o prior exposure. It might make the course more difficult, but a student's future ability to take physics is not negated by opting out of a high school level course. The only pre-req for physics are math related.

 

My physicist father discouraged me from taking high school physics. He said to wait until college to take calculus-based physics. The high school physics teacher was also a big time yo-yo according to my dad and another relative who taught AP History at the same high school. So I took AP Biology and Calculus, and did beautifully in physics in college. I ended up scientific research in an area that crossed into my father's work although I was more of a theoretical mathematician/computer scientist. So no, it didn't hold me back. I kept up the math though.

 

So what do I plan to do? We'll do physics. I think that an exposure is valuable. And hopefully I can do it without being a yo-yo. :tongue_smilie:

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I see where you are coming from with your educational background.

 

I happen to disagree. But for what it is worth, I don't think this is a matter of who is right or who is wrong. The OP asked for our opinions, truthfully.

 

I just don't see the need to force a student into a course that they may have difficulties in (the OP mentioned he struggles with math and needs to take a slower pace). I personally think it is wrong to force the same "academic mold" for every student as everyone learns differently. What makes one successful in life is not what officially is listed on the transcript, but what drives them from within. Just because a student may or may not be up to Physics in high school does not preclude him from college. That is ridiculous.

 

There are many majors in college that do just fine without taking Physics in high school and are successful in life. I know of one dropout from the first semester of Physics who went on to get a double degree in Kinesiology & Nutrition (my husband). He is very intelligent but with his LD in Dysgraphia made writing laborious problems for higher math a torture over 30 years ago. His handwriting is atrocious and wishes there was DragonSpeak back in his day. Today, he can recite the laws behind Physics like a duck to water in excitement to my son -- but had to change majors from Meteorology to Kinesiology as higher math just did him in.

 

BTW, I do have relatives who are in law enforcement and one recently went on to get her BS in Criminal Justice -- without the need for Physics in her high school or undergraduate years. And she is doing just fine in her new position with the force.

 

The requirements for law enforcement generally run about the same in each state. There will be minor differences. I'll give you a few:

 

1. Age of 21 prior to appointment or hiring.

2. U.S. Citizen

3. No felony convictions or serious misdemeanor convictions.

4. No crimes of Moral Turpitude

5. No alcohol driving violations or serious driving infractions.

6. Good credit rating

7. Pass a medical evaluation

8. High School graduate or equivalent

9. Completion of a law enforcement sponsored training academy.

 

This is not an all inclusive list. Every state has different requirements.

 

For example, to be on a SWAT unit, you will more than likely have to work 1-2 years in patrol before being eligible for SWAT. SWAT team requirements differ from agency to agency. You should be physically fit, good eye sight, excellent shooting skills, good defensive tactics, skills, good decision making skills,and no emotional problems or alcohol abuse problems.

 

I think we need to applaud the OP's son for wanting to go into a career that benefits our society. He sounds altruistic and really is interested in law enforcement. Kudos for him. Why paint all potential college freshman in such a harsh light? Not every student needs Physics. Forgive me for getting on my soap box. But police work is near and dear to my heart. And I think the young man can do whatever he wants to in life. Let's rally around him and encourage him on. He may be a future Police Chief, Academy trainer, Detective, or FBI/Homeland Security Agent protecting us all. :)

Thank you so much! :grouphug:

 

And I will say again, I am not considering letting him skip Physics simply because it is hard. The question is whether or not to make him take a course that will be very difficult for him when it is not necessary. Two hugely different things. If I can be convinced it is necessary, he will no longer have a choice.

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And I will say again, I am not considering letting him skip Physics simply because it is hard. The question is whether or not to make him take a course that will be very difficult for him when it is not necessary. Two hugely different things. If I can be convinced it is necessary, he will no longer have a choice.

Strictly speaking, nothing is "necessary knowledge" past elementary school. If you are functionally literate, versed in arithmetic and have the basic notions of history and geography, you have all the tools that are immediately necessary for everyday life, plus you will pick up other useful knowledge by simply living. You could consider every purposeful academic formation past that to be essentially "unnecessary" and a subject to either individual student's personal interests and fits, either to a systematic education in line with a certain tradition or ideology (or anywhere on the vast grey area in between). I happen to be in the second camp, rather than the first one - I do not think that the student's interests are a principal criteria when forming their academic load and as a consequence, I am totally okay with them studying "unnecessarily difficult" areas if I consider those to be a part of the repertoire of an educated person in their (sub)culture, time and place. It is my job as an educator to ensure a broad formation - it is their job as intellectually mature people, as they age, to find their own niche and voice *within* that structure (rather than adapting the structure to them), and take it *outside* and invest into those interests further... while satisfying the criteria for other required areas. A basic physics course is a must IMO, in some form, at some stage. I am extremely against tailoring an education specifically to a child's interests also because those change (*willdly* change, in my experience) - I am okay with skirting the edges, so to speak, but NOT with *ruling out* entire areas of canonical high school knowledge exclusively due to the lack of personal interest or perceived utility. That is the basis of my reasoning.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kim in SouthGa viewpost.gif

He is not that interested in the science part-he doesn't want to be a crime scene investigator or medical examiner. He mostly just wants to wield a gun and chase bad guys :D

I think I will have him talk to his Law & Justice teacher Tues night and get his opinion.

Thank you all for your responses!!

 

Balistics - physics. Just saying.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gwen in VA viewpost.gif

Physics certainly teaches respect for the iron-clad relationships between a car's mass, its speed, and its required breaking distance!)

 

This too.

 

 

:iagree:

 

And I'm assuming he's going to live somewhere and drive a car? Basic physics will help keep both operational.

 

OTOH, if he doesn't want to work in a lab, why would he take AP Bio?

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:iagree:

 

And I'm assuming he's going to live somewhere and drive a car? Basic physics will help keep both operational.

 

OTOH, if he doesn't want to work in a lab, why would he take AP Bio?

 

But wasn't "basic physics" learned in Physical Science? Kids start driving at 15 here (permit), most of whom haven't had physics yet. Are we talking stuff like driving a nail in the wall or building a roof? My husband is not a handy man at all, so I'm under no delusions that my son will suddenly decide he wants to do major repairs/home building himself. Thankfully we live in a country with lots of professionals for that! :D

 

He took the SAT subject test for biology last year and did not do great on it, so my thought was that after taking advanced (not AP) biology, he could retake it to up his score. I'm not sure that is necessary, but it is one of the factors in my reasoning. The original plan before I knew the advanced bio class was going to be offered next year was to have him do Forensic Science in the fall (block scheduling online class) and then do Biology for non-majors class at the local college as dual enrollment in the spring. Then physics as a senior. Dual enrollment is sort of a mixed bag here. Some kids have good experiences and for others it has been horrible.

Edited by Kim in SouthGa
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Maybe I'm crazy, or maybe I am just coming from a different worldview, but I have always thought one of the greatest things about homeschooling was the opportunity to customize their education. I am so proud of my son for knowing what he wants to do, for wanting to serve his community and country. I also know he could change his mind, but is skipping physics really going to limit opportunities for a child who knows that he would never choose a career in the math/science field? If anything else, it would be law school or teaching.

Wouldn't the physics principles he needs to know for ballistics,etc, be included in the class, since physics is not a prerequisite for taking the class? His math and physical science classes have covered speed, distance, friction, angles, etc.

I'm still not sure what to do. Honestly, the Kinetic Books Conceptual Physics looks fun to me :D We will talk to his Law and Justice teacher and probably call a couple of the colleges he's interested in and get their take. As far as taking physics simply for the sake of it, in order to understand the workings of things-I'm really in awe of people who can do that. I remember next to nothing from college physics, biology, or chemistry. The saying "if you don't use it, you lose it" has been especially true for me. I went right into mommy-hood from college and never worked in my field, so all the knowledge fled. It has helped vaguely in teaching my own kids, but that is about it. If he was going into a major that required physics in college, there would be no question about it. But he's not.

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If he was going into a major that required physics in college, there would be no question about it. But he's not.

 

Just a pure education-philosophical remark (not to intended to persuade you to do one thing or another):

To me personally, it would be even more of a reason to cover a subject during high school if I know my student will not have exposure to it during college.

I guess I am coming from a fundamentally different angle: I do not see high school education as fulfilling requirements to get into college, nor do I see it as a preparation for a specific field - I see it as the general education a student gets before he chooses to specialize and drop certain subjects in which he has no further interest. So, at the end of high school, my student should have learned everything I would expect a generally educated person to know - and use university to acquire a very specialized knowledge in a field he intends to devote his life to.

So, to me it makes a lot more sense if somebody says "my student will take xyz in depth at the university, so he does not absolutely need to cover this in high school" rather than "subject xyz is not needed for admission or major, so he does not need to study xyz at all".

 

I would assume our different viewpoints reflect more general differences in educational philosophies between the US and Europe.

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I never took physics. I understand and appreciate the mass of a car and breaking distance. We learned that in physical science and driver's ed. In my high school 8 of 56 members of my graduating class took physics and we had an amazing teacher. My husband never took physics and he is perfectly able to keep our case in good working order.

 

I chose to take anatomy and physiology because it was more interesting. I also did not want two difficult math based classes my senior year when I did not need them. I took calculus and skipped physics.

 

FWIW I was accepted into several highly selective colleges amd universities and received scholarships from every school to which I applied. I also only took one AP test.

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I would assume our different viewpoints reflect more general differences in educational philosophies between the US and Europe.

 

All European children do not receive the same education, though -- or has this changed? Specifically, do all German kids attend Gymnasium nowadays? (I don't know if this has changed since I briefly attended one years ago.) Do all students take the same courses but of varying difficulty? I'm asking out of curiosity.

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All European children do not receive the same education, though -- or has this changed? Specifically, do all German kids attend Gymnasium nowadays? (I don't know if this has changed since I briefly attended one years ago.) Do all students take the same courses but of varying difficulty? I'm asking out of curiosity.

 

 

No, it has not changed. I am said before that I am using as a guide what a university bound student would have to learn in Germany. About 50% of the children attend Gymnasium.

At gymnasium, during the last two years, students are required to take harder courses in a certain number of subjects; they take the normal courses in the other subjects.

A non-university bound student is done after 10th grade and will then enter apprenticeship of vocational school (which counts towards the 12 years of state mandated schooling)

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I personally would not let my students opt out of a subject that I consider fundamental just because the student found it difficult and was not interested in pursuing it at university level. My student may choose electives that correspond to his special interests. This might well be science electives. (So, in that example, my kids would have taken forensics as an elective and still be required to take the basic sciences)

 

This is how I do things as well. I have what I consider the basics for an education. From there we add electives. I consider Conceptual Physics to be fine for high school - I don't make my kids take a trig/calculus based physics unless they are interested in pursuing it themselves. My oldest 2 sons have only had CP in high school and have had no problems with physics at the college level (both engineering majors).

 

Forensics can be added as an elective along with any of the other sciences. I don't think it is unusual to take a base science at the same time as an elective science. And all my boys have slogged through music and art courses as well...even though they are more STEM oriented. It's what makes a well-rounded person, IMO.

Edited by CynthiaOK
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Thanks, regentrude.

 

**************

Regarding forensics, the prerequisite for taking it at my son's school is biology. Forensics would count as a science course, although not as one of the two required courses. Just an FYI for those who might be curious.

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Just a pure education-philosophical remark (not to intended to persuade you to do one thing or another):

To me personally, it would be even more of a reason to cover a subject during high school if I know my student will not have exposure to it during college.

I guess I am coming from a fundamentally different angle: I do not see high school education as fulfilling requirements to get into college, nor do I see it as a preparation for a specific field - I see it as the general education a student gets before he chooses to specialize and drop certain subjects in which he has no further interest. So, at the end of high school, my student should have learned everything I would expect a generally educated person to know - and use university to acquire a very specialized knowledge in a field he intends to devote his life to.

So, to me it makes a lot more sense if somebody says "my student will take xyz in depth at the university, so he does not absolutely need to cover this in high school" rather than "subject xyz is not needed for admission or major, so he does not need to study xyz at all".

 

I would assume our different viewpoints reflect more general differences in educational philosophies between the US and Europe.

Ah...this makes much more sense now. I think it is a difference b/w countries. Most people I have talked to, whether public, private, or homeschooling, are focused on high school as prep for college. That is probably one aspect of classical schooling that I have failed in(one of many, lol).

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I'm in GA too. I also like to let my kids have some say in their curric. choices at this age. I'd be cautious about this one though.

 

My dh is a p/s science teacher in state. He's always mentioned that either Physical Sci. or Physics is a grad. requirement. Although we are not strictly bound by this, it's worth considering that requirements of the university system in Georgia. They also state that one unit of Phys. Sci or Physics is required for entrance to any of the state schools. See here:

http://www.usg.edu/student_affairs/documents/Staying_on_Course.pdf

 

Although people used to omit a course in years past, graduation requirements changed as of the class of 2012 (now requiring 4 credits instead of 3), so the university system has updated their requirements as well. Before 2012 you could have omitted Physics as they were required to have 3 sciences: one life, one physical (guidelines specified that Chemistry, Physics, or Phys. Sci would cover this), and one additional science elective.

 

I interpret this to mean that if a child does phys. sci in 8th (both of mine did), they will be locked into a true high school physics of some sort since the 8th grade course does not earn transcript credit. One of mine who is not science inclined is going to use Conceptual Physics to fulfill this requirement.

 

My husband has had to teach more sections of Physics than usual because of the guideline change. Honestly, the guideline does not make sense for every student. Some kids don't have the math background or interest to tackle Physics. The quality of the course at my husbands school has been watered done. But, that's how the guideline is at this point.

 

I would only consider deviating if I was quite sure that my child would not attend a four year program in state.

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I'm assuming that conceptual physics is lighter in the math department? Is there a prerequisite for it, or could a child doing Algebra II work through the conceptual physics at the same time?

 

Yes, according to my husband as long as a student has solid alg 1 skills this would be appropriate. We're going to use one of the Hewitt texts.

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I'm assuming that conceptual physics is lighter in the math department? Is there a prerequisite for it, or could a child doing Algebra II work through the conceptual physics at the same time?

 

Algebra 1 is sufficient. The student needs to know how an equation can be rearranged for a variable, and to be familiar with the idea that symbols stand for quantities and that you can do math with them.

I have not seen any math harder than plu-chug or rearranging an equation for a quantity that occurs linearly; there are no quadratic equations and no systems of equations, as would be needed in an actual algebra based physics course.

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I only skimmed responses....

 

Physical Science has some physics in it. Ds and I worked through Apologia Physics. It was rough, he is liberal arts based and I never took physics. Physics isn't something that is open and go. So with dd, we are doing an advanced biology (anatomy) for her 3rd science. Physical Science did not count toward science requirements for the state college. We were required to do biology, and two more sciences that have biology as a prerequisite and two categories. So, dd's sequence was physical, biology, chemistry, anatomy. (Ds did physical, biology, earth, chemistry, physics; earth and physical ended up being electives).

 

Definitely follow state college requirements, kids always change their minds.

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I'm assuming that conceptual physics is lighter in the math department? Is there a prerequisite for it, or could a child doing Algebra II work through the conceptual physics at the same time?

 

In Kinetic Physics, I think most of the co-op class is taking Alg. 2 concurrently with the Conceptual Physics. It hasn't been a problem. It helps to have some trig and geometry -- sine, cosine and tangent (dd: "If you haven't had sin, cos, and tan you'll just curl up on the floor and die.")

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