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I am needing to adjust my High School plan after finding out today that our local enrichment program has already filled up the Biology class my son was going to take. So, he has had physical science w/Apologia this yr- 8th grade. My next plan was, of course, Biology. However, since I might not be able to find a class for this, this year, should I consider something else? I know he would prefer to do this class with a peer group. He just loves science. So, I'm just lost as to what to do. Is this the normal sequence:

physical-8

biology-9

chemistry-10

physics-11

 

If I hold off on Biology, what should we do in place of that course? Thanks for your input!

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That was the normal sequence when I was in high school.

 

Now I would recommend chemistry before biology. I actually prefer physics first.

 

Start with the highest level physics class that your ds has the math for (conceptual, regular high school level, honors, AP - B, AP - C), then do the highest level chemistry class your ds has the math for (conceptual, regular high school level, honors high school level, AP level). After that, do biology.

 

ETA:

I figured I should make some changes here. I left the post above exactly as I first had it. My changes are below.

 

I would not recommend jumping straight from middle school level chemistry to AP chemistry. I would recommend taking some level of chemistry in between them. Honors high school level has a LOT of algebra in it, so it is only recommended for students who are very strong in algebra I or who have finished Algebra II if they weren't as strong in Algebra I. Jumping in at the honors level isn't a problem for a strong science student who is good at algebra. Jumping in at the AP level is quite difficult.

 

Plenty of high school students take AP Physics B as their first physics course, so it is quite doable. An honors level version of physics is usually AP just spread out over the entire school year and without the AP test. The college board is breaking AP Physics B into two year-long courses and I think that was a wise move. Physics I and Physics II are definitely courses that you can jump into without previous physics as long as you have the math you need. Most students take this level of physics after completing Algebra II (concurrent with precalculus), but strong math students can take it concurrent with Algebra II.

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That was the normal sequence when I was in high school.

 

Now I would recommend chemistry before biology. I actually prefer physics first.

 

Start with the highest level physics class that your ds has the math for (conceptual, regular high school level, honors, AP - B, AP - C), then do the highest level chemistry class your ds has the math for (conceptual, regular high school level, honors high school level, AP level). After that, do biology.

 

 

I've been wondering about this. Can a student do well in AP/college level chemistry without having had a high school level chemistry class, so long as the student has the needed level of math? I'm worried the amount of vocabulary / new information would be too high when skipping from middle school chemistry (or high school level physical science) straight into college level chemistry, even with the necessary math skills.

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A strong math/science student can skip directly to the AP level, but not all students should do that. I really should amend that post. Look first at the highest level science class that your student has the math for and decide between that one and the level right below it. For instance, if you have a student who has completed Algebra II, then AP Physics B or honors physics is what I would decide between unless the student hated science. If the student hated science, then I'd choose between regular and honors.

 

My middle dd did AP Physics B as her first-ever physics class in 10th grade and did well with it. She still says that's the most difficult course she has ever had. She got a 3 on the AP test. If she had taken a lower level physics first and then taken an AP level class, she would have done a lot better on the AP test. However, physics is not her thing and she is unlikely to ever take any more physics.

 

My youngest struggles with math and doesn't like science either. She is taking conceptual physics this year for 9th grade and will take conceptual chemistry next year.

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A strong math/science student can skip directly to the AP level, but not all students should do that. I really should amend that post. Look first at the highest level science class that your student has the math for and decide between that one and the level right below it. For instance, if you have a student who has completed Algebra II, then AP Physics B or honors physics is what I would decide between unless the student hated science. If the student hated science, then I'd choose between regular and honors.

 

My middle dd did AP Physics B as her first-ever physics class in 10th grade and did well with it. She still says that's the most difficult course she has ever had. She got a 3 on the AP test. If she had taken a lower level physics first and then taken an AP level class, she would have done a lot

better on the AP test. However, physics is not her thing and she is unlikely to ever take any more physics.

 

 

My youngest struggles with math and doesn't like science either. She is taking conceptual physics this year for 9th grade and will take conceptual chemistry next year.

 

What are you using for your conceptual physics and chemistry?

 

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I'm using Hewitt for conceptual physics. I do have some issues with the text. Most chapters have some problems that you have to work through the problem-solving workbook in order to know how to solve them. Sometimes information that you need in order to do problems is buried in a footnote in tiny print at the bottom of a page in the chapter. Sometimes it is kind of hard to figure out what he is actually asking for in a question. I still like the text, but you should be aware that you can't just assign all the problems or all the odds, or whatever and expect that all the information needed to do those problems is actually in the text.

 

I haven't actually used conceptual chemistry yet, but that is what I am planning to use for next year. The text I am planning on is by Suchocki.

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I am needing to adjust my High School plan after finding out today that our local enrichment program has already filled up the Biology class my son was going to take. So, he has had physical science w/Apologia this yr- 8th grade. My next plan was, of course, Biology. However, since I might not be able to find a class for this, this year, should I consider something else? I know he would prefer to do this class with a peer group. He just loves science. So, I'm just lost as to what to do. Is this the normal sequence:

physical-8

biology-9

chemistry-10

physics-11

 

If I hold off on Biology, what should we do in place of that course? Thanks for your input!

 

As Angie pointed out, in many places in the country, the science sequence has changed since we were in high school. You might try the following:

 

Conceptual Physics - 9th

Chemistry - 10th

Biology - 11th

AP science course of your choice - 12th

 

The levels of your coursework will depend on your student's progress in math. You can obtain schedules and text suggestions for the 9th - 11th grade suggestions by searching the high school board.

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