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Need Advice Please!!! High School Science (and Math) Requirements


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DS14, finishing up 8th grade, has completed about half of Apologia's General Science, and has also completed the Exploring Chemistry and Physics text.

Is Physical Science necessary before the Biology, Chemistry, Physics track...????

He has also completed Singapore 6A/6B, the Key to's Decimals, Percent, Fractions, US and Metric Measurement Series. He has done part of the AoPS Pre-Algebra Book. We have the Foerster's Algebra text, and looking at the first few chapters... he should go through them quickly and then level out at a normal pace.

 

We have had multiple personal family, major illness situations in the last couple of years, and as a result we are slightly off our original intended course.

 

He is headed into an Engineering Science field, aviation, so I'm wondering which of the two options will be best for him.

 

We are in the state of Virginia, thus our requirements are to submit a letter of homeschool intent with subjects to be studied and testing at the end of the year. Then submit testing result to prove academic achievement. Each year he scores in the 90's across the board... so demonstrating achievement isn't a concern. I'm just wondering if we were to chose to do a transition year, how would I express/explain that in our letter of intent, etc. I'm not worried about what other people think, I couldn't care less... and DS doesn't either. He sees the advantage in gaining some ground before "technically" beginning high school, and being able to complete advanced physics and calculus before college. He wants to continue his education after his bachelor's and go for a graduates/masters degree. He wants to get his private pilot's license. He also flies IMAC (International Miniature Aerobatic Club) competitively, and this would enable him to compete a little more, and explore more studies in his interest before high school graduation.

 

When I read the above written paragraph "on paper"... it all sounds good and like a very viable option. Then the mama in me comes out, and I'm afraid it will raise question for him, and mess things up! HELP!!!

 

 

Option 1:

 

9th grade:

Physical Science / Algebra 1

 

10th grade:

Biology / Geometry

 

11th grade:

Chemistry / Algebra 2

 

12th grade:

Physics / Pre-Calc

 

Option 2:

 

9th grade:

Immediately begin Physical Science and complete by the end of December.

(Rainbow Science Textbook at accelerated speed, as another option???)

Begin Biology in January, complete by end of summer '15.

 

Complete Algebra 1 by end of December, Geometry by end of summer '15.

 

10th grade:

Chemistry / Algebra 2

 

11th grade:

Physics / Pre-Calc

 

12th grade:

Advanced Physics / Calculus

 

Option 3:

 

Transition Year 8th/9th:

Physical Science or Rainbow Textbook in a year / Algebra 1 

 

9th grade:

Biology / Geometry

 

10th grade:

Chemistry / Algebra 2

 

11th grade:

Physics / Pre-Calc

 

12th grade:

Adv. Physics / Calculus

 

 

I am all ears for any further advice, suggestions, constructive criticism... etc....

 

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I would not follow Option I because many colleges expect an engineering major to have studied calculus in high school.  I also would jump right in with a high school science class and not worry about completing a physical science program. 

 

I agree.  Even back in the day, I didn't know ANY cadets who had not had calculus in high school.

 

I don't know that going over the summer is the best plan either.  My dc would have hated that.  We doubled up on math instead. 

 

Ds "did" algebra I at a Waldorf school and didn't even get to the quadratic equation, so when we started homeschooling in 9th and he did algebra I (again) and geometry. 

 

None of my dc did Physical Science.  They started high school with biology.

 

If he does another year between 8 and 9, it will not go on his transcript, so colleges won't know or care.

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I agree. Even back in the day, I didn't know ANY cadets who had not had calculus in high school.

 

I don't know that going over the summer is the best plan either. My dc would have hated that. We doubled up on math instead.

 

Ds "did" algebra I at a Waldorf school and didn't even get to the quadratic equation, so when we started homeschooling in 9th and he did algebra I (again) and geometry.

 

None of my dc did Physical Science. They started high school with biology.

 

If he does another year between 8 and 9, it will not go on his transcript, so colleges won't know or care.

DS would probably hate me by the end of next summer if we tried to push through this summer and next. Personally the thought makes me cringe.... So I know in my heart and gut it's not a viable choice.

 

It is encouraging to know Physical Science is not require/crucial... and that we can move forward in the sciences. Whew!

 

When you did Algebra 1 and Geometry together, how did you accomplish this, other than obviously just doing them in the same year. Based on ds's math background thus far, I feel he could handle it... But could use some guidance.... Did you have him work at a quicker pace in the algebra text and then start Geometry? Did you do both simultaneously throughout the year, 2hrs per day, or lesson of each per day? Alternate weeks? Any further suggestions how to make this work?

Which Algebra 1 and Geometry texts did you use?

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Physical science is not necessary. A student can study actual physics and chemistry without prior physical science. The math background will determine the science sequence.

 

On the topic of calculus: whether your student gets to calculus or not should depend on how long it takes for an absolute rock solid mastery of algebra. There is nothing gained in rushing through math just so that the student can get to calculus, but have a less-than-through understanding of prealgebra and algebra.

I have said it before and will say it yet another time: the college students who struggle with math in their intro science classes do so not because they lack calculus, but because they lack solid algebra and prealgebra skills. An exposure to calc in high school is desirable, but by no means vital. Solid algebra skills OTOH are absolutely vital.

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Physical science is not necessary. A student can study actual physics and chemistry without prior physical science. The math background will determine the science sequence.

 

On the topic of calculus: whether your student gets to calculus or not should depend on how long it takes for an absolute rock solid mastery of algebra. There is nothing gained in rushing through math just so that the student can get to calculus, but have a less-than-through understanding of prealgebra and algebra.

I have said it before and will say it yet another time: the college students who struggle with math in their intro science classes do so not because they lack calculus, but because they lack solid algebra and prealgebra skills. An exposure to calc in high school is desirable, but by no means vital. Solid algebra skills OTOH are absolutely vital.

 

This is exactly why we took the extra time this year to go through a thorough Pre-Algebra year... Finishing up Singapore 6A/6B and solidifying any trouble spots on the final reviews, etc. Going through the Key to series, Khan Academy sections, and some AoPS pre-algebra to be certain he is solid and ready for Algebra 1. We are getting ready to begin Algebra 1 this summer, and he is just completing 8th grade.

The more I think about it, the more I feel it may very well be a good idea for us to do an 8th/9th transition year. He can become proficient in Algebra as you said. Fill in any gaps in science and explore some other topics he's interested in. And sine he is a "STEM" kid... also give more focus and effort in writing... :lol:

 

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FWIW, it's NOT common to double up on Alg 1 and Geometry as some Alg is needed to do Geom.

 

It is VERY common to double up on Alg 2 and Geometry as neither depend upon each other.  Kids do each together as two separate subjects.

 

I'd want any STEM student to have seen Calc in high school even if they don't do AP or DE for credit.  It really helps freshman year if they've been exposed to it.  Actually, I'd only suggest jumping over Calc 1 in college IF the dept at the college selected recommended it (many have placement tests).  Otherwise, kids who have done the best have repeated Calc 1.

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Does he really not care if he is held back a yr? I can see a 14 yr old maybe not having a strong opinion either way but feeling differently at 18.

 

What sort of college does he want to attend? A typical state public or a highly selective U? Not having cal will most likely not be a factor for admission to an avg public, but would more likely be an issue for competitive school. But, either way, I'm in 100% agreement with Regentrude. Being rock solid in alg is far more important than getting through cal in high school. All of my ds's friends that dropped out of engineering as a major did so for one reason only......their math skills were shaky. They can learn cal at the university level, but if everything below it is not solid, things start to collapse in on themselves.

 

How strong of a student is he and how motivated is he to cover everything he needs to be well prepared for his career? (Nothing replaces internal drive.)

 

If he is a strong student who is willing to double up in math, this is the route I would take:

 

9th: alg 1 and chemistry

10th: alg 2, geo, and a low level get 'er done bio

11th: pre-cal and physics

12th: cal and physics

 

If the chemistry and physics are lab courses, your biology in most cases is not going to be required to be a lab class. Here is a link to VT's admission requirements: http://www.admiss.vt.edu/apply/what-we-look-for/ By opting out of a bio lab which is really not vital to his future objectives, doubling up in math that yr wouldn't be as difficult bc labs and lab write-ups are time consuming.

 

My ds is doing Thinkwell's bio this yr. It is supposedly an equivalent of a college level bio, but it is most definitely the easiest science course he has ever taken and is very low time commitment.

 

Eta: just thought I'd mention that SAT 2s in math and another subject or dual enrolled credit is part of VT's admission requirements for homeschoolers. The math 2 should be taken after pre-cal.

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Our high school goal math wise is for him to complete calculus... And depending on test scores he is considering the AF Academy, Naval Academy, possibly Merchant Marines Academy.... Embry Riddle, GA tech, Liberty University, University of North Dakota...

 

I found the answer to my question about schools in your other thread.

 

Here are the admission stats for GA Tech this yr:

These high schoolers, as in previous years, are at the top of their classes. Georgia Tech's average admitted student has a 4.0 GPA and an SAT score of 1485/2193 and will have taken nine college-level courses prior to high school graduation.

I don't know anything about the other schools on your list.
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:lol:

Does he really not care if he is held back a yr? I can see a 14 yr old maybe not having a strong opinion either way but feeling differently at 18.

What sort of college does he want to attend? A typical state public or a highly selective U? Not having cal will most likely not be a factor for admission to an avg public, but would more likely be an issue for competitive school. But, either way, I'm in 100% agreement with Regentrude. Being rock solid in alg is far more important than getting through cal in high school. All of my ds's friends that dropped out of engineering as a major did so for one reason only......their math skills were shaky. They can learn cal at the university level, but if everything below it is not solid, things start to collapse in on themselves.

How strong of a student is he and how motivated is he to cover everything he needs to be well prepared for his career? (Nothing replaces internal drive.)

If he is a strong student who is willing to double up in math, this is the route I would take:

9th: alg 1 and chemistry
10th: alg 2, geo, and a low level get 'er done bio
11th: pre-cal and physics
12th: cal and physics

If the chemistry and physics are lab courses, your biology in most cases is not going to be required to be a lab class. Here is a link to VT's admission requirements: http://www.admiss.vt.edu/apply/what-we-look-for/ By opting out of a bio lab which is really not vital to his future objectives, doubling up in math that yr wouldn't be as difficult bc labs and lab write-ups are time consuming.

My ds is doing Thinkwell's bio this yr. It is supposedly an equivalent of a college level bio, but it is most definitely the easiest science course he has ever taken and is very low time commitment.

Eta: just thought I'd mention that SAT 2s in math and another subject or dual enrolled credit is part of VT's admission requirements for homeschoolers. The math 2 should be taken after pre-cal.

 

We are forging ahead with plans for starting high school in the fall. As you said, he may not have a strong opinion at 14, but by 18 I certainly don't want there to be unnecessary, irreversible regrets that could have been avoided.

 

The schools of interest vary as you found... If his grades and test scores reflect the ability to be competitive in top schools, he will obviously apply... only time will tell. We are looking at state schools as well as the Academies and more competitive schools such as Embry-Riddle. I am showing/discussing with him what it will take to get there. He is the type of kid where when he needs to learn a new task, if in the beginning it is easy, and then you place him to where it may be slightly challenging, he will baulk for a brief moment and then immediately want to know what the end goals are and rises to the challenge full speed ahead and give it all he's got! He's very driven... like an internal automatic motor... He's already talking about purchasing land one day, building his own hangar/runway for his planes, and having a small house on the property...

 

He is willing to double up in math, and I see where it would be better to put geometry with algebra 2. He has some algebra 1 knowledge and skills... he can solve for x, etc. I wouldn't add in geometry until he was at least 2/3 - 3/4 through with alg 1, and only if it's strong and solid. I also see your reasoning for completing the double math while taking biology. However, I do have another question... I have read and been under the assumption that some algebra, at least algebra 1 should be completed before chemistry... and that alg. 2 is typically taken with chemistry... So I'm confused on that part, but think it's a great suggestion.

 

Thank you for the reminder about SAT 2s as well... I have read that it is required for several schools and it is on the list. I am currently also trying to compose a timeline not only of classes. but also when to take PSAT/SAT/SAT 2s... and even ACTs as I have read SATs are losing ground with the revisions and common core...

 

TOO much to think about, overwhelming and exciting at the same time! :lol:

 

You mentioned Thinkwell for Biology, and an easier load in comparison to other sciences taken. Can you share what other Sciences you have used and what field your ds is interested in?
 

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:lol:

 

We are forging ahead with plans for starting high school in the fall. As you said, he may not have a strong opinion at 14, but by 18 I certainly don't want there to be unnecessary, irreversible regrets that could have been avoided.

 

The schools of interest vary as you found... If his grades and test scores reflect the ability to be competitive in top schools, he will obviously apply... only time will tell. We are looking at state schools as well as the Academies and more competitive schools such as Embry-Riddle. I am showing/discussing with him what it will take to get there. He is the type of kid where when he needs to learn a new task, if in the beginning it is easy, and then you place him to where it may be slightly challenging, he will baulk for a brief moment and then immediately want to know what the end goals are and rises to the challenge full speed ahead and give it all he's got! He's very driven... like an internal automatic motor... He's already talking about purchasing land one day, building his own hangar/runway for his planes, and having a small house on the property...

 

He is willing to double up in math, and I see where it would be better to put geometry with algebra 2. He has some algebra 1 knowledge and skills... he can solve for x, etc. I wouldn't add in geometry until he was at least 2/3 - 3/4 through with alg 1, and only if it's strong and solid. I also see your reasoning for completing the double math while taking biology. However, I do have another question... I have read and been under the assumption that some algebra, at least algebra 1 should be completed before chemistry... and that alg. 2 is typically taken with chemistry... So I'm confused on that part, but think it's a great suggestion.

 

Thank you for the reminder about SAT 2s as well... I have read that it is required for several schools and it is on the list. I am currently also trying to compose a timeline not only of classes. but also when to take PSAT/SAT/SAT 2s... and even ACTs as I have read SATs are losing ground with the revisions and common core...

 

TOO much to think about, overwhelming and exciting at the same time! :lol:

 

You mentioned Thinkwell for Biology, and an easier load in comparison to other sciences taken. Can you share what other Sciences you have used and what field your ds is interested in?

 

:). I deleted my comment on the school selections before I thought anyone had read it. ;)

 

All that is necessary for your typical high school chemistry course are very basic alg skills. Spectrum has a Bridge Math program that you can look through the samples an scope and sequence and see what you think. http://www.beginningspublishing.com/version2/bridges.htm I would think a child that has completed AoPS pre-alg and SM would not find most of the concepts in a basic chemistry class difficult, especially if you think he will move through the first few chpts of Foerster quickly. (Fwiw, my kids have never needed alg 2 for high school chem and my older kids took chem with geo. Even the one that is now a chemE.)

 

My ds who is taking Thinkwell is not a typical kid. ;). His science sequence is very non-traditional. He will be majoring I physics and electrical engineering in the fall and spent the majority of high school taking physics classes. He wanted nothing to do with biology and put it off until his sr yr and is taking it simultaneously with multiple physics classes.

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my math suggestion but this would probably not meet the test standards in your state:

 

Saxon Algebra 1

 

Saxon Algebra 2

 

Pre-Calc

 

Calculus

 

or what I did way back when before they started acceleration:

 

Algebra 1  9th

Geometry 10th

Algebra2 and Trig  11th

Precalc topics first semester senior year

Calculus (not complete so he would take it at college) 2nd semester senior year

 

You could complete this if you went through the summer.

 

 

 

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skip the physical science - do a Conceptual Physics class in 9th or 10th then a solid Algebra based physics later on (could be AP).

 

Just a comment on the bolded:I would not plan for the new algebra based physics AP since they are  changing to stretch the course over two years and make it two different exams for mechanics and e&m. A student not going into STEm won't want to spend two years on algebra based physics. A student who does plan on going into STEM won't get credit for the AP exam since he will be required to take calculus based physics. I have  a hard time coming up with any demographic who would want to take this new two year sequence.

 

Algebra based physics - yes absolutely. But make it a one year course instead of tying up two high school years.

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Algebra based physics - yes absolutely. But make it a one year course instead of tying up two high school years.

I am beginning to think of what they are doing with the algebra based Physics as what they do with Micro/Macro Economics (and to some extent with AP Gov/Comparative Gov).  I suspect these are catered to the block scheduling in schools.  It will be odd indeed if students wind up spending 2 school years covering it (maybe less odd if two semsesters????).

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I am beginning to think of what they are doing with the algebra based Physics as what they do with Micro/Macro Economics (and to some extent with AP Gov/Comparative Gov).  I suspect these are catered to the block scheduling in schools.  It will be odd indeed if students wind up spending 2 school years covering it (maybe less odd if two semsesters????).

 

But block scheduling physics would not work very well since the AP exams are only given in May. Either the student takes both during a spring semester but then has a semester of no physics between - bad. Or the school has to carve out additional study and review time in April for the class that ran in the fall - bad.

I just don't think schools will offer both. One option that is suggested is offering Physics 1 and then going to calculus based phys. There are issues with that as well. I can't make sense of the restructuring.

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I just don't think schools will offer both. One option that is suggested is offering Physics 1 and then going to calculus based phys. There are issues with that as well. I can't make sense of the restructuring.

 

:iagree:

I can't make sense of the restructuring, either.  My local high school does not offer calculus-based physics courses and will only offer the AP Physics I class.  Imo, the old AP Physics B class was a much better option for kids headed into a STEM field.  Now these kids, at least at my high school, will no have exposure to the E&M material before heading off to college.

 

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I think the demographic for students taking AP Physics B in two parts (I'm not sure what they are calling this now) are students who want to have another science, but who are not ready for a calc based physics course.  The desire for an AP course could be based on the school no longer offering or limiting the offerings in honors courses (as was the case in our old district) or schools that give extra weighting to AP courses or students who feel that they want/need to have more AP courses on their transcript to stay competitive, even if they have no desire to do a STEM degree.

 

I'm not totally sure why the desire to split this course into two years worth of instruction.  I guess cynical me would say that students could then have two AP courses that are algebra based instead of one. With the positive impact this might have on their gpa.  Or it could simply be that students weren't doing so well on the B exam vs the C exam.  Is there a self sorting where strong students were already taking the C course? 

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I'm not totally sure why the desire to split this course into two years worth of instruction.  I guess cynical me would say that students could then have two AP courses that are algebra based instead of one. With the positive impact this might have on their gpa. 

 

And the "non-profit" College Board can now charge for 2 AP exams instead of one.

 

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Our public schools do not even give credit for physical science in high school unless you have special needs or are otherwise an at-risk student. But then again, their high school science seemed a little watered down to me. But, I still think it is ok to jump right in with biology and above.

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And the "non-profit" College Board can now charge for 2 AP exams instead of one.

 

 

I am personally sick of the college board. I feel like they have massively added to our test-culture and test-heavy schools now. Colleges are starting to turn away AP credits. But honors are not offered in high school, just AP and preAP. So all these AP and preAP courses are simply test prep. I know some private places will do more, but that seems to be the exception instead of the rule.

 

My daughter has taken the PSAT 3 times (public school starts it in 9th grade), SAT 3 times, 2 SAT 2's, and about 12 AP exams. Add a test prep class and several test prep books, which college board puts out some of these...I feel a bit taken. And the AP classes, which college board owns that name so they can charge to certify these, which seem to be mostly test prep and not much else. They have ruined the quality of these classes.

 

I doubt we will ever do AP again. We will see. It will depend on if we do calculus at home or not.

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I am personally sick of the college board. I feel like they have massively added to our test-culture and test-heavy schools now. Colleges are starting to turn away AP credits. But honors are not offered in high school, just AP and preAP. So all these AP and preAP courses are simply test prep. I know some private places will do more, but that seems to be the exception instead of the rule.

 

My daughter has taken the PSAT 3 times (public school starts it in 9th grade), SAT 3 times, 2 SAT 2's, and about 12 AP exams. Add a test prep class and several test prep books, which college board puts out some of these...I feel a bit taken. And the AP classes, which college board owns that name so they can charge to certify these, which seem to be mostly test prep and not much else. They have ruined the quality of these classes.

 

I doubt we will ever do AP again. We will see. It will depend on if we do calculus at home or not.

I have mixed emotions about AP. I think in some cases they emphasize trivial aspects of a topic. In some courses I just don't like the emphasis of the course (world history).

 

But CB does not charge anyone to do a course audit. And they don't require students to attend an official AP course to take the exam. My kids took the same exam as public school, private school and online course students. I wrote the syllabus and did the teaching.

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This.  Isn't that what they did with Physics C?  Two, two hours tests at $85 each instead of one four hour test?

 

When my son took Physics C (2005), it was divided into two separate two hour tests given back to back, but College Board only charged a single price $82 for taking either half or both.

 

Dd took the C exams in 2009, and they were still separate two hour tests given on the same morning. However, by that year CB charged separately for each half. Twice as expensive for the same two tests. I still remember it!

 

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skip the physical science - do a Conceptual Physics class in 9th or 10th then a solid Algebra based physics later on (could be AP).

 

Do you have any suggestions for which texts / curriculum / programs are solid based Algebra Physics?

 

Is Apologia Physics with the supplement Algebra based??

 

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I am personally sick of the college board. I feel like they have massively added to our test-culture and test-heavy schools now. Colleges are starting to turn away AP credits. But honors are not offered in high school, just AP and preAP. So all these AP and preAP courses are simply test prep. I know some private places will do more, but that seems to be the exception instead of the rule.

 

My daughter has taken the PSAT 3 times (public school starts it in 9th grade), SAT 3 times, 2 SAT 2's, and about 12 AP exams. Add a test prep class and several test prep books, which college board puts out some of these...I feel a bit taken. And the AP classes, which college board owns that name so they can charge to certify these, which seem to be mostly test prep and not much else. They have ruined the quality of these classes.

 

I doubt we will ever do AP again. We will see. It will depend on if we do calculus at home or not.

 

I have noticed on several college/university websites that they are turning away AP credits, and also CLEP and AP exams....

 

Makes me wonder what it will really be like in 4 years...

 

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:). I deleted my comment on the school selections before I thought anyone had read it. ;)

 

All that is necessary for your typical high school chemistry course are very basic alg skills. Spectrum has a Bridge Math program that you can look through the samples an scope and sequence and see what you think. http://www.beginningspublishing.com/version2/bridges.htm I would think a child that has completed AoPS pre-alg and SM would not find most of the concepts in a basic chemistry class difficult, especially if you think he will move through the first few chpts of Foerster quickly. (Fwiw, my kids have never needed alg 2 for high school chem and my older kids took chem with geo. Even the one that is now a chemE.)

 

My ds who is taking Thinkwell is not a typical kid. ;). His science sequence is very non-traditional. He will be majoring I physics and electrical engineering in the fall and spent the majority of high school taking physics classes. He wanted nothing to do with biology and put it off until his sr yr and is taking it simultaneously with multiple physics classes.

 

No worries about the school selections.  ;)

 

He has completed Singapore math, but not all of the AoPS Pre Algebra. In fact today, I had him take the pre-test for AoPS Algebra. I haven't graded it yet, but from what I have looked at he did fairly well. He asked me while doing one of the problems, "remember when we did... how do I start with this point..." SO I gave him a gentle reminder, and he immediately remembered and stopped me mid-sentence, "I got it! I got it" 

SO I can see how the Bridge Math would be a good choice to practice and keep those skills fresh! Thanks for the suggestions.

 

I can't believe I am looking at AoPS when Foerster's just arrived the other day... sigh... He looked at Foerster's though and was like, ok mom... no excitement... hmmmmmm..... 

 

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Do you have any suggestions for which texts / curriculum / programs are solid based Algebra Physics?

 

Any "College Physics" text would be algebra based (as opposed to "University Physics" or "Physics for scientists and engineers" which is usually calcululs based.)

I like and use the text by  Knight, Jones&Field. Both my kids have taken my course for their 9th grade physics.

Giancoli is another good option.

But really, there is not all that much difference between different texts.

 

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Any "College Physics" text would be algebra based (as opposed to "University Physics" or "Physics for scientists and engineers" which is usually calcululs based.)

I like and use the text by  Knight, Jones&Field. Both my kids have taken my course for their 9th grade physics.

Giancoli is another good option.

But really, there is not all that much difference between different texts.

 

ok, well that changes gears over here... What I remember of Physics in high school is very vague, 30 years ago... (  :huh: how'd that happen?!? lol ) ... and the teacher was a little, let's say, experimenting with adult beverages... oy vey... It was rough! So, what I have learned... which is little and basic has been on my own etc. BUT, I am willing to learn and do what it takes to help ds!

 

So, I had figured I would research between Apologia, BJU, Thinkwell and a few others...

 

I take those are not Algebra based?

 

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Do you have a Conceptual Physics text you recommend? Any particular author or publisher you prefer?

 

Hewitt is popular and enough people use it that you should be able to buy it cheaply and sell it cheaply as well.

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From what I have read, Apologia is chatty/wordy; BJU is good and goes deeper, yet is teacher led; and Science Shepherd is a good fit between the two.

 

I'm assuming that a College Physics or any other "College" science (bio, chem, phys.) would be the equivalent of an AP course, and prepare students for SAT 2s, AP exams etc?

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So, I had figured I would research between Apologia, BJU, Thinkwell and a few others...

 

I take those are not Algebra based?

 

 

I don't have any knowledge about the first two options that you have listed, but the Thinkwell physics course is calculus based and does not cover e & m.

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Here is what my son's high school's course catalog has listed about next year's AP Physics courses:

 

AP Physics 1 and 2 (formerly AP Physics "B")

Non-calculus-based (algebraic). Two AP exams whereas AP Physics "B" was just one.

 

AP Physics "C"

Calculus-based. Still two AP exams, given back-to-back, covering mechanics and electromagnetism.

 

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Here is what my son's high school's course catalog has listed about next year's AP Physics courses:

 

AP Physics 1 and 2 (formerly AP Physics "B")

Non-calculus-based (algebraic). Two AP exams whereas AP Physics "B" was just one.

 

AP Physics "C"

Calculus-based. Still two AP exams, given back-to-back, covering mechanics and electromagnetism.

 

Wow! That is awesome.  My public school offers 1 out of the 4 classes, and many in my neck of the woods question why we homeschool when the public schools are so wonderful.

 

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As an engineer, married to someone who taught sophmore electrical engineering courses, DO NOT let him skip Calculus I for Engineers in college.  AP calculus is NOT strong enough to replace the college course.  My dh had sophmore students who could not keep up with the math because they went straight to Cal II from high school.  If your son is ready for Calculus his senior year, sign him up for dual enrollment at the community college for Calculus for Engineers.  (Yes, engineers do have their own Calculus sequence.)

 

Chemistry should NOT be attempted until the student has a strong understanding of Algebra I.  I am good friends with the local Co Op science teacher and she has learned that she must pretest her students for Alg I mastery.  Make sure he learns dimensional analysis and puts proper units on every problem.

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As an engineer, married to someone who taught sophmore electrical engineering courses, DO NOT let him skip Calculus I for Engineers in college.  AP calculus is NOT strong enough to replace the college course.  My dh had sophmore students who could not keep up with the math because they went straight to Cal II from high school.  If your son is ready for Calculus his senior year, sign him up for dual enrollment at the community college for Calculus for Engineers.  (Yes, engineers do have their own Calculus sequence.)

 

Chemistry should NOT be attempted until the student has a strong understanding of Algebra I.  I am good friends with the local Co Op science teacher and she has learned that she must pretest her students for Alg I mastery.  Make sure he learns dimensional analysis and puts proper units on every problem.

 

This is generic advice and not applicable to all students.   My ds went straight from AP cal BC into multivariable cal, diffEQ, and linear alg and upper level physics including mechanics 1 and 2 with the highest grade in all of the classes as a high school student (much to the chagrin of the upper classmen in his classes, especially in the mechanics classes.)    It really depends on how solid of a grasp the student has on the material and what was used for cal.   AoPS was awesome for providing ds with the foundation in math that he has.

 

Similarly, an equally strong student who can balance equations, follow through conversions, manipulate formulas in order to carry out calculations, etc should not be overwhelmed with the math in a basic high school chem course.  

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In general, I fully agree with not skipping college Calc I for those heading into math dependent fields.  However, there certainly can be exceptions.  The best advice is generally to listen to what those in the department suggest - and many times that will include either a placement test or a look at a previous final.  As much as I'd like to think it doesn't, Calc courses vary at different colleges, so there can't be a "blanket" suggestion - just general ones.

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In general, I fully agree with not skipping college Calc I for those heading into math dependent fields. However, there certainly can be exceptions. The best advice is generally to listen to what those in the department suggest and many times that will include either a placement test or a look at a previous final. As much as I'd like to think it doesn't, Calc courses vary at different colleges, so there can't be a "blanket" suggestion - just general ones.

This is good advice. Based on what I thought I knew, I thought ds's credits would not be accepted at schools like GA Tech and that they would expect him to go back to an honors seminar type cal class. Even though GA Tech only gives credit for cal 1 for a 5 on the bc exam ( the 2 universities where ds has DE give credit for 1&2) and ds went straight into multivariable, after sending the dean all of the requested info, GA Tech accepted all of his transfer credits and only wanted him to take a single theory class to fill in any gaps they perceived him as having.

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I haven't had time, yet, to read all of the threads, but I do have a few comments.  If you have a college or community college that offers Calc 1 in the spring, then you could only double up enough to complete Precalc by the end of December of his senior year.  You wouldn't need to double up for an entire year. I think some kids have had trouble getting into the engineering program at some schools without Calc 1 (even though some of those same schools I think strongly encourage or require a repeat of Calc 1).  I agree with regentrude completely about not rushing to get Calc 1 and making sure alg skills are solid, but some schools unfortunately seem to penalize for that.

 

This is what my oldest 2 did (we didn't double up, but we had started Algebra 1 about midway through 8th so we finished each course midway through the year.  He just graduated wtih an EE degree.  He did not retake Calc having had the CC course his senior year 2nd semester.  He did great in all math/physics courses in college.  

 

 

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