Tammi K Posted June 1, 2013 Share Posted June 1, 2013 My ds12 just finished 6th grade and completed Algebra 1 with Thinkwell. I'm looking for some ideas for a middle school/ high school sequence. Our state offers a wonderful performance scholarship for graduating students however, it requires a pretty specific selection of classes to qualify. In addition, our public school charter program will not grant high school credit for math until year 8. (No flames please. Our state is very homeschool friendly with minimal requirements but if we use the public charter we get a $2,200/year allotment with very little interference and very little over-site.) Also, the scholarship is much more likely as a public-schooler (albeit on taught at home) than for an independent homeschooler. So, here's what I'm trying to wade through: If we progress with a typical sequence he will do high school level math at this pace: 7th Geometry, 8th Algebra 2, 9th Trig, 10th Pre-Calc, 11th Calculus 1, 12th Calculus 2. This sequence would fit the bill for the required courses for the performance scholarship. The only other option for the scholarship is Statistics at some point. Four years of math during the high school years are mandatory and the courses I listed are the only options. The other option is to do Geometry next year in 7th and then Algebra 2 in 8th and then allow him to take college classes starting in 9th grade with Algebra 1 and progressing through the sequence for duel high school/college credit. I suspect he will be interested in a STEM career. But, really he just turned 12 and has no idea what he wants to do with his life. So, high school algebra math in 7th/8th and college algebra in 9th/10th OR high school math through calc in high school and then the same classes again but at a collegiate level after graduation when he has a better idea of career plans? I would love to hear any and all thoughts. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

wapiti Posted June 1, 2013 Share Posted June 1, 2013 I'll give this a bump. I don't have the experience to offer actual advice. Maybe flesh out the question a little more: I'm not sure what the problem is with doing the usual high school sequence that you list, through "calc 2" (or AP stats in lieu of calc 2). Why not? For planning purposes.I'd want to find out what calc 1 and calc 2 are (which one would be equivalent to AP calc BC). I'd also consider what types of colleges your student may be considering - if he's interested in top-tier colleges/programs for STEM - which may be within his reach so you'd want to keep those doors open - you may want him to take as much math as possible before applying to colleges anyway, through senior year. There are frequently discussions on the high school board about AP vs DE for math, and with an advanced student I'd pay special attention to posts from posters with kids applying to high-level colleges. (For top-tier schools, my gut says AP calc BC would be the way to go rather than DE, then DE or an on-line course for subsequent math if there's time.) Note that following the required sequence for the scholarship wouldn't prohibit him from also taking any extra courses outside of the sequence if your student is interested. As for the sequence you list, I didn't think that trig is usually a whole separate year by itself - my (inexperienced) understanding is that it's usually coupled with algebra 2 or with precalc, depending on the particular school. I'm sure someone will chime in on this! If I'm correct, and he has an extra year, that would be the time to do DE. If he completes the subjects listed in the standard sequence, can you simply say that he completed them and give the grade? Does the charter have a say over the materials you use? It seems that there should be a path for you to list the necessary courses and teach (or outsource) what he needs to learn. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

regentrude Posted June 1, 2013 Share Posted June 1, 2013 If we progress with a typical sequence he will do high school level math at this pace: 7th Geometry, 8th Algebra 2, 9th Trig, 10th Pre-Calc, 11th Calculus 1, 12th Calculus 2. This sequence would fit the bill for the required courses for the performance scholarship. The only other option for the scholarship is Statistics at some point. Four years of math during the high school years are mandatory and the courses I listed are the only options. Trigonometry is part of precalculus; you won't need two years for trig and precalc. I would go this route, but switch to a more challenging curriculum, such as Art of Problem Solving. There is no price for reaching calculus first; it is more beneficial to go deep and broad instead of fast. Btw, why are the courses listed the only options??? There is so much more math. For a student this advanced, I'd seriously consider spending some time on discrete math, for which there is usually no time in the discrete sequence. The other option is to do Geometry next year in 7th and then Algebra 2 in 8th and then allow him to take college classes starting in 9th grade with Algebra 1 and progressing through the sequence for duel high school/college credit. First of all: most colleges won't teach algebra 1. If they do, those are classes for the weakest students who need severe remediation - NOT a class appropriate for a strong 9th grader! Second, as these are still high school level classes, no college credit is earned. If he goes into a STEM discipline, his university will very likely not count any math below calculus for credit towards his major. Our STEM uni offers college algebra and trig, and both are considered remedial courses which ear no credit for almost all our majors (only the humanities students will receive credit). Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Tammi K Posted June 1, 2013 Author Share Posted June 1, 2013 Trigonometry is part of precalculus; you won't need two years for trig and precalc. Actually, DH and I were talking about the list and we were discussing that same thing. When we took it eons ago it was called trig+analysis, now it's called pre-calc and requires an expensive graphing calculator instead of brain-work. I suspect that in the public schools here a year is a 1 semester trig class with pre-calc taught in the other semester. Btw, why are the courses listed the only options??? There is so much more math. For a student this advanced, I'd seriously consider spending some time on discrete math, for which there is usually no time in the discrete sequence. Unfortunately, in order to qualify for the scholarship, the requirements are very specific. There is a list of 8 math options: Alg1, Alg2, Geo, Trig, Pre-Calc, Calc, Calc2, and Statistics. Four options MUST be chosen from those options to fulfill the Science&Tech track requirements. Of course, we are free to do more, beyond those requirements as electives but the four 'MATH' slots MUST be filled with one of those classes. That's my frustration. Ben is very good with math, but he doesn't 'like' math. I hate the thought of him burning out because he has to keep hopping on to the next title. This performance scholarship is great, almost $5,000 year based on high school GPA (of specific required classes) and SAT scores. If you qualify you get it so it's way to good to pass up, but there are lots of specific rules that must be followed to 'fill in the blanks' for the right selection of classes. First of all: most colleges won't teach algebra 1. If they do, those are classes for the weakest students who need severe remediation - NOT a class appropriate for a strong 9th grader! Second, as these are still high school level classes, no college credit is earned. Thank you! That is what I needed to hear. When I spoke with our contact teacher last year the options given were: start the sequence with Algebra 1 in 8th grade (high school credit can be given in year 8) and proceed through the choices on the list OR keep going as we are until 9th grade and request permission to take college classes in lieu of high school classes for duel credit. BUT, everything has to be from the list!!!! So, I just assumed we would be doing the same progression but at a college level. I should have remembered that college math starts at Calc (I have a minor in math) but that was a whole other life ago and I forgot...getting old....mind is slipping..... Thank you for your reply. I appreciate your insight. I want him to earn this scholarship but I want him to LEARN at a level appropriate for him. I think I was getting freaked out by the thought of trying to teach those higher level classes (it's been too many years out of the loop, I would have to re-learn myself) and was thinking about the benefit of sending him off to a college class to have someone else do it. You've showed me the downside of that plan. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Tammi K Posted June 1, 2013 Author Share Posted June 1, 2013 I'll give this a bump. I don't have the experience to offer actual advice. If he completes the subjects listed in the standard sequence, can you simply say that he completed them and give the grade? Does the charter have a say over the materials you use? It seems that there should be a path for you to list the necessary courses and teach (or outsource) what he needs to learn. Thanks for the suggestions...and the bump! You mentioned several very good things to think about. This is actually what my husband just suggested. The charter school lets us choose our material but we need to submit quarterly samples. His suggestion was just to do a quick review every term and submit the worksheets as samples. Goodness, why didn't I think of that? I suspect that is what comes of posting questions when I should be in bed. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

regentrude Posted June 1, 2013 Share Posted June 1, 2013 Unfortunately, in order to qualify for the scholarship, the requirements are very specific. There is a list of 8 math options: Alg1, Alg2, Geo, Trig, Pre-Calc, Calc, Calc2, and Statistics. Four options MUST be chosen from those options to fulfill the Science&Tech track requirements. Don't see a problem. This is what I would do: 7th: repeat algebra 1 with a different program, as algebra 1 is THE most important foundational course, and some more depth will be beneficial later on. Then Algebra 2, geometry, precalc and calc can satisfy your four course requirements. And you have one extra year to add stats in somewhere or some discrete math. Of course, we are free to do more, beyond those requirements as electives but the four 'MATH' slots MUST be filled with one of those classes. That's my frustration. Ben is very good with math, but he doesn't 'like' math. I hate the thought of him burning out because he has to keep hopping on to the next title. If he wants to go into STEM, he had better like math. There will be plenty more in college. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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