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What would a STEM-heavy high school curric look like?


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I've realized the Classical structure we've been following is very humanities-heavy, and it looks like my current 8th grader is leaning toward STEM careers.  What would a STEM-heavy high school plan look like?  If you have a senior or grad going into one of those fields, what was helpful along the way?  How did you manage that without cutting out too much of the humanities?  I'm thinking combine history & literature to free up one course "slot" but I still have to get 4 English credits & 4 social studies credits out of that.  

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The way to create a STEM-heavy (or arts-heavy or English-heavy or language-heavy) high school career is to focus all available elective slots to that end.

 

Every (strong--ie competitive for scholarships and/or admission to selective programs) student should have

 

4 English credits

4 history/social science credits

4 math credits

4 science credits (some w labs)

3 foreign language credits

 

That adds up to 19 credits. A strong student should take 6 academic credits per year (minimum), which adds up to 24 credits over the four years.

 

Someone interested in a STEM field would pull those 5 other credits from additional science classes, additional math classes, computer science classes, and so on. Doubling up on interests is very common. Think of all the WTM kids who study multiple languages. It makes sense for a STEM kid to study multiple sciences or multiple streams of math or various topics in computer science :)

 

Of course, this is all my opinion :) I have yet to homeschool a high school student as my older two attended traditional schools. However, they doubled up on their interests (STEM for one, English for the other) to fill "elective" slots.

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That adds up to 15 credits. A strong student should take 6 academic credits per year (minimum), which adds up to 24 credits over the four years.

 

 

That makes sense.  I'm writing out a plan, and keep coming up with 7-8 classes per year, even without a double science.  Looking at why, it's still language-heavy.  It never occurred to me she might eventually quit Latin!  This kid is also fascinated by languages, and was wanting to add a third foreign language next year, and I think she's going to have to give something up to do it.  My goal for her is 7 classes a year, and I may be able to make that happen by combining some social sciences as half-years.  

 

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I've given up writing a plan for the four years :lol:

 

This child keeps changing her focus, dragging me behind. Had you asked me even a year ago, I would have bet she'd still be on the Math All The Time train. I had a super comfy window seat on that train! Instead, she's taking a second Arabic credit this summer, wanting to study psychology and comparative government/politics and take two Arabic classes at the university next year (in addition to English and calculus, biology and environmental science :eek:)

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My dd is planning on majoring in computer science/computer engineering.  He has not doubled up on any science or math classes but he started high school level math and science in middle school.  By the time he graduates he will have taken all the AP sciences (9th AP Chem, 10th AP Physics B, 11th AP Physics C, and 12th AP Bio).  He is taking AP Calculus AB this year and will take BC next year.  He also took AP Computer Science in 9th grade and AP Latin in 10th gade.  Next year he will have 3 AP classes (AP Biology, AP Calculus BC, and AP English Lit). 

 

I personally think it is hard to double up depending on extracurriculars.  My ds swims competitively year round and does debate as well.  The only year we were able to fit 7 classes in was freshman year and I think it almost killed him...lol!  Last year and this year we have done 6 classes, which is much better.  If ds would give up debate we could fit in another computer programming class, but that isn't going to happen...lol!  However, if your dd has more time, doubling up would be doable. 

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I would consider my son to have a STEM-heavy curriculum and we fulfilled that with his electives. So while he will take AP Physics C his senior year (or college level Physics at the the CC), he will also take Calculus II next year at the local CC. But his electives include: Intro to Python, Intro to Java, Intermediate Java, Intro to Structural Engineering, Architectural Drafting, and Intro to Mechanical Eng.

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My kids have done different things. Doubling up on science has been one. DE in science and math is another. (At the university level, I count 1semester as 1credit, so 1 semester of cal based physics is 1 credit).

 

Also, look at the admission requirements of various universities your student is interested in. If the requirement is only 3 histories or 2 foreign languages, you can shift down from the 4x4+3 19 credits to 17 or 18 which opens up some wiggle room for more stem oriented subjects. My student who wants to major in Russian is not going to take 4 sciences in 9-12, only 3, so she can fit in a linguistics course. It was the only way to fit it in. (She took an ecology course in 8th that will carry up, though.)

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I've realized the Classical structure we've been following is very humanities-heavy, and it looks like my current 8th grader is leaning toward STEM careers.  What would a STEM-heavy high school plan look like?  If you have a senior or grad going into one of those fields, what was helpful along the way?  How did you manage that without cutting out too much of the humanities?  I'm thinking combine history & literature to free up one course "slot" but I still have to get 4 English credits & 4 social studies credits out of that.  

 

My college junior is a geology major/math minor.  He will graduate college without ever taking a college-level literature class, so I personally am very thankful we spent as much time on quality literature as we did in high school. He learned to write well, too, in our homeschool humanities courses, a skill that serves him very well in his writing intensive science classes. I did integrate history and literature, but it didn't cut into what was covered, and he still earned those credits.  (Not sure what you mean by "freeing up a course slot".)

 

Aside from the traditional highschool courses he had electives in robotics and computer programming, and a couple of semester-long science internships. He took math and science courses at the community college starting his junior year, as well as foreign language.  Those community college courses were a way of "doubling up" because a semester-long cc course is generally considered equivalent to a year long high school course.  

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My 19yo had a fairly STEM-heavy load. She was going to major in neuroscience for her BS and then occupational therapy for her MS, but ended up switching to speech language pathology her first semester. She was going to take Intro to Neuroscience her first semester, but her adviser told her they don't let freshmen sign up for that course. I talked her into signing up for Intro to Speech Pathology and she loved it.  Now she is double majoring in speech pathology and child learning and development.

 

Freshman year:

English I - Intro to Literary Analysis from IEW

US history - Oak Meadows US history followed by US History SAT-II

Holt Biology - also Oak Meadows

Jacobs Geometry

Philosophy of Mind - Great Courses

P.E.

Health - Oak Meadows

 

Sophomore year:

English II - Oak Meadows

World History - Oak Meadows

Giancoli's Physics followed by AP Physics B test (really should have had her take Physics SAT-II also)

Kinetic Books Algebra II

Piano - Texas schools like to see a fine arts credit

Spanish I

 

Junior year:

English 1301 and 1302 at the community college

World Geography - Oak Meadows

Tro's Introductory Chemistry followed by Chemistry SAT-II - this text is used for Honors Chemistry in high school or Chemistry for nonscience majors in college

Lial's Precalculus

Spanish 1501 and 1502 at the community college

Psychology at the community college

 

Senior year:

Literature of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Government I and II at the community college

Chemistry 1311 and 1312 for science majors at the community college

Calculus with Thinkwell - don't recommend it, wasn't very good

Introduction to Computer Science at the community college

Personal Finance - Dave Ramsey

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My oldest had a very "math and science heavy" schedule.  He started taking high school level foreign language in 7th grade and took his last year (year 3) in 9th grade.  Getting the foreign language requirement out of the way freed up more of his schedule to devote more time to his areas of interest during the high school years.

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Every (strong--ie competitive for scholarships and/or admission to selective programs) student should have

 

4 English credits

4 history/social science credits

4 math credits

4 science credits (some w labs)

3 foreign language credits

 

That adds up to 15 credits.

 

Sorry, but the above adds up to 19.

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My DD majors in physics and English. An education that is strong in STEM does not need to take away from the humanities.

 

The most important thing, IMO, is a strong math program. The math level decides what level of science the student can take, and as  a college instructor, I can not stress enough the importance of math foundation - it's not what science the student takes in high school, but the  math that determines college success in STEM disciplines.

We used AoPS. DD completed algebra before high school, doubled up to do both intermediate algebra and precalculus in 10th grade, started calculus over the summer, and was ready for calculus based physics in 11th grade.

 

For a strong science education, we used college texts at home for bio, algebra based physics and chemistry. In 11th and 12th grade, she took 3 semesters of calculus based physics at the local university.

 

But she still got a strong literature, history and foreign language education.

As PP pointed out, you can use electives, and taking college courses can make it possible to fit more credits.

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Our dd's looked like this:

 

Geometry through Calculus 1

Astronomy

AP Biology

 

Chemistry (did not teach from an AP approved text, but on a whim she decided to sign up for the test, studied from my old college text, and got a 5) so I guess we'd say Honors Chemistry with AP exam.

 

Veterinary Science - used a Vet tech book and had tutoring from a local vet tech plus seeing practice with our veterinary and volunteer work in his business

Physics

Anatomy and Physiology

 

Formal Logic

Four years of English with Literature and Writing, emphasis on papers and technical writing

Four years History

Two years Spanish

 

Home Economics including health, budgeting, first aid including CPR certification, etc.

Art Appreciation

Music Theory

 

Additionally, she completed a major science project each year and entered several science fairs. Samples projects included creating her own working light bulb using a tungsten filament and argon gas, and a working "lung".

 

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The key to a strong STEM high school program is not taking more STEM courses, but taking more rigorous STEM courses.  Math through at least Calculus BC.  College texts for the sciences . This all depends on the student''s middle school math and reading level.  If they struggle with pre-algebra and reading comprehension, they will not be able to handle the science textbooks.

 

They should still have 4 years of English, 4 years of social studies, and 4 years of foreign language

 

 

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Yes, Great White North definitely hit on it....it's the quality and rigor of the course.

 

We begin using college textbooks in 9th grade for everything. Outside of a "checkbox" art appreciation course for the last two boys who need a fine arts credit but are not inclined in art or music at all, I haven't purchased a "high school" curriculum in years.

 

DD is nearly 24, so it's been 10 years since she was a freshman. We used a lot of our own college math and science texts. But, it was hard to get instructor's manuals, and particularly in math without a solutions manual, once we faced three boys all ending up in high school at some point at the same time, decided to upgrade to newer texts so we could get those manuals.

 

The only high school math texts I have in the house are Lial's beginning algebra and Harold Jacob's Geometry. I love Harold. We are old friends, LOL. But, since youngest is in algebra 2, Harold is sadly being passed onto another family. Sniff, sniff....I feel very sentimental about this. Everything else from college writing texts, English Lit, history, you name it, have been college texts all the way for the boys.

 

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My oldest is a computer science major, though she initially went off to college in chemical engineering. My younger dd will be a high school senior next year. Both are STEM oriented. I didn't cut anything for my STEM kids. There's plenty of room for a well rounded high school education without cutting anything. I don't do literature as a separate course anyway, so they do 4 years of English and 4 years of social science/history.

 

My girls dual enroll full-time in 11th and 12th grade, and I required a semester of literature and a semester of writing each year. They both have credits for world history, US history, world geography, government, economics. Oldest had 2 years of foreign language, while younger dd will actually have an excess of foreign language credits (she's taken Spanish, Italian and Arabic.)

 

With that said, their math and science courses are extensive. Personally, I think math is primary in a STEM education. We did science and math at home in 9th and 10th, then they both did two semesters of college chemistry in 11th, and physics in 12th. (My younger dd will do that next year.) Older dd took a lot of science elective courses, including things like environmental biology and computer science.

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strong Math program including Trig and Calculus 

at least one science class beyond HS intro - such as AP level

at least one computer programming class (this is the equivalent of basic "writing" for Engineers and Scientists - all are expected to know this)

 

bonus if available:

Engineering Principles class (applied math and science, projects, etc)

 

 

of course standard HS 4 years English,  History,  etc included 

 

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Thanks everyone.  She's going to be through Saxon Alg2 by fall, then I want her to do another Algebra to really cement things before going on to Advanced Math, but should still be able to finish Saxon Calculus in 11th (if Saxon keeps working for her).  Re-reading my WTM, the great books plan should work to fill both English (lit/comp) and History credits, so that's what I meant above when I said combine them. The geology text I have for her for next year is an intro-level college text but I just got lucky to find it at a thrift shop - I'll probably be around with a lot more questions planning future years.

 

 

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Thanks everyone.  She's going to be through Saxon Alg2 by fall, then I want her to do another Algebra to really cement things before going on to Advanced Math, but should still be able to finish Saxon Calculus in 11th (if Saxon keeps working for her). 

 

For STEM-heavy, maybe she would benefit from adding in some problem solving and possibly discrete math, in one form or another, especially since she has time.  (Eta, consider Rusczyk's perspective on problem solving (pdf).  Funny that this is the third time today I feel the need to cite to Rusczyk... there's also a video of that 2009 talk and also a video of the newest, 2014 one.)

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Why so much dang history.  Four?  Ugh.

 

(just talking to myself mostly)

 

I think my oldest would agree with you.  We're tending toward lit-heavy history at this point.

 

This can be history or social science, right?  CA high schools/unis require 1 Am Hist, 1 World Hist, 1/2 Civics and 1/2 Econ.  So your 4th could be something like psychology, anthropology, sociology, etc.  Right?

 

I mean, I know it could be anything.  I'm talking about a solid 4x4 college prep high school curriculum.

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Math is essential.  Make it through pre-calc by graduation.  Starting calc is nice, but not totally necessary.  If the student does do calc, it's not essential that they test out in college.  They can repeat.  It can make college calc into an easier class rather than a bear they have to get through.  Most kids will only be able to place out of calc I and II.  If they do, they'll be coming in at calc 3.  That has advantages and disadvantages.  Depends on the student, whether they're willing to jump feet first into that.

 

Whenever you do a science course, do it with the math rigor that the student is capable of at that point.  There are varying levels of science courses.  Don't delay a science course because the math isn't there yet, but consider redoing the earlier sciences at a higher level later, if there's time.  Applying the math in science is your goal.  The student may well forget all the particulars they learned in high school science and need to learn it again, but the practice of applying math to problems will stick with them.

 

Learn how to write.  This may just take the form of doing a lot of reading, if the student isn't really ready to apply pen to paper and get decent writing out. But still make the effort.

 

And if all else fails and you end up with a humanities heavy curriculum in high school, that's not the death knell for being able to do a stem major in college.  Kids can do catch up work.  It would be sad to skip humanities/arts that the student wants to do just for the sake of throwing in one more science course.  They won't have as much time in college for it if they do go with a stem major.

 

What you really want to strive for is a well rounded education.  But you may be able to accelerate a lot of the humanities more easily than you can accelerate math/science.  So you might want to look at spending more quality and less quantity on the humanities.

 

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Yeah, my oldest didn't mind history so much, but my younger dd HATES it. We moved here from CA 5 years ago, so we followed UC requirements when we made our four year plan and that's worked for us. Our state flagship university also wants to see a year of world geography, so here are the grad requirements I settled on: 1 year US History, 1 year world history, 1 year world geography (cultural, not just physical), 1/2 government, 1/2 econ.

 

My girls also took classes through dual enrollment that I counted as social science electives, like psychology and cultural anthropology.

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Why so much dang history. Four? Ugh.

 

(just talking to myself mostly)

Social sciences totally count! Psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, cultural geography, government/politics, archaeology...

 

Depending on your state homeschool requirements and/or requirements for target colleges, your student may be able to get by with one year of world history and one year of US history. Add in two social sciences of interest :)

 

Former Math Girl is studying ancient world history and human geography this year. Next year she wants psychology and comparative government and politics.

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My STEM son did the following and will graduate early.  We are lucky to live in an area where acceleration and doubling up is totally fine, and we have a ton of college courses at the high school.  He wants to do theoretical physics and has been very accelerated in many areas.  Some homeschool and some at public school.  For math AOPs until precalc because we heard such great things about the teachers at the public school

 

Math Algebra 1,2 Geometry, precalc, calc BC, Diff EQ, Calc 3, Linear Algebra (we have to do the last one at a college)

 

Science AP Chem, AP Bio, AP Physics E&M and AP Physics Mechanics, 

 

Soc St AP Human Geo, US hist, World Hist, AP Microecon, AP Gov't possible AP psych self study

 

English Honors 9th, World lit, Am Lit, Technical Writing

 

Electives Engineering 1 Engineering 2, Python programming, Java Programming C++ Programming, Objective C Programming, AP Computer Science, Stastical Programming, German 1 German2, Art History, Theater, Phy Ed, Health, 

 

I always heard the "have a well rounded education" and to some extent that is true.  However it is interesting that when the college profs recruit him, all they care about is how much math and science he is taking.

 

 

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We have done what others have said above. All I can add is:

 

We have made ds's history classes light to make room for more challenging math classes. So not only does history only take 4 hours a week, it is also less brainful as I choose non-challenging materials. So history is fun not rigorous.

 

He does a lot of math over the summer (camp, classes, personal study). So in 9th grade and 10th grade he has taken six math classes.

 

He does math competitions.

 

We spend time doing scientific investigations.

 

Ruth in NZ

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Social sciences totally count! Psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, cultural geography, government/politics, archaeology...

 

Depending on your state homeschool requirements and/or requirements for target colleges, your student may be able to get by with one year of world history and one year of US history. Add in two social sciences of interest :)

 

Former Math Girl is studying ancient world history and human geography this year. Next year she wants psychology and comparative government and politics.

 

Well this is the wacky thing.  The typical high school requirements verses the typical requirements of target schools verses the homeschool regulation requirements are all different. 

 

The homeschool regs require all sorts of specific social study courses and 4 years of them.  BUT they only require 2 credits in math and 2 credits in science.  Good grief.  Obviously doing more math and science is easy enough, but I'm not thrilled about the social studies requirements.  For example, one must study 1/2 unit of economics.  Economics...yuck.  I guess I can find some goofy book on economics and be done with that right?  I hate NY. 

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The homeschool regs require all sorts of specific social study courses and 4 years of them.  BUT they only require 2 credits in math and 2 credits in science.  Good grief.  Obviously doing more math and science is easy enough, but I'm not thrilled about the social studies requirements.  For example, one must study 1/2 unit of economics.  Economics...yuck.  I guess I can find some goofy book on economics and be done with that right?  I hate NY. 

 

Isn't NY the state that doesn't even recognize a homeschool diploma?  And even the NCAA requires a GED from NY residents because of it? What can they do to you if dc never gets around to the 1/2 unit of econ?

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Isn't NY the state that doesn't even recognize a homeschool diploma?  And even the NCAA requires a GED from NY residents because of it? What can they do to you if dc never gets around to the 1/2 unit of econ?

 

They don't recognize a homeschool diploma.  About the only thing they can do is not approve one's plan or eventually ask, "Where is economics on your plan?"  That's about it.

 

I don't know anything regarding the NCAA. 

 

But yeah at the end of the day really not much they can do about any of it.  And that is what I find annoying.  They tell me I have to do XYZ, but they don't recognize the XYZ we've done?  Bite me. 

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Quantity is not as important as quality, as mentioned above.  But, there is an absolute minimum quantity of 4.  If you look at BASIS, a stem-heavy liberal arts program, they require (see http://basisscottsdale.org/basis-model/graduation-requirements.php):

 

7th-8th grade: Algebra 2, biology, chemistry, AND physics (introductory levels)

9th grade: Precalculus, one honors science

10th grade: Calculus AB (or higher), one honors science, one AP science

11th grade: Calculus BC (or higher), one honors science, one AP science

12th grade (optional): Post-AP math, Post-AP science

 

Additional AP sciences or computer science are normally sprinkled in as electives.

 

Their curriculum is on the tough side, so this is what I would target as an upper limit for a STEM education (there will be exceptions who do more).  At a lower limit, I'd shoot for four math, through precalculus, and 4 science, if it includes at least one AP level and 3 honors-level.

 

 

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Quantity is not as important as quality, as mentioned above.  But, there is an absolute minimum quantity of 4.  If you look at BASIS, a stem-heavy liberal arts program, they require (see http://basisscottsdale.org/basis-model/graduation-requirements.php):

 

7th-8th grade: Algebra 2, biology, chemistry, AND physics (introductory levels)

9th grade: Precalculus, one honors science

10th grade: Calculus AB (or higher), one honors science, one AP science

11th grade: Calculus BC (or higher), one honors science, one AP science

12th grade (optional): Post-AP math, Post-AP science

 

Additional AP sciences or computer science are normally sprinkled in as electives.

 

Their curriculum is on the tough side, so this is what I would target as an upper limit for a STEM education (there will be exceptions who do more).  At a lower limit, I'd shoot for four math, through precalculus, and 4 science, if it includes at least one AP level and 3 honors-level.

 

Wow, that's challenging. 

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Why so much dang history.  Four?  Ugh.

 

(just talking to myself mostly)

 

I have not seen any college requiring this much history; the requirement is for four years of social sciences. Which leaves a broad field of courses other than history: government, philosophy, economy, sociology, anthropology, psychology...

 

This said, I find it hard pressed to do a comprehensive and in-depth overview over the entire world history in a mere four years...

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Why so much dang history.  Four?  Ugh.

 

(just talking to myself mostly)

 

I figured that my STEM oriented son wouldn't be getting much in the way of literature and history once he was able to choose his own courses.  So I made sure his high school program featured them prominently (both in number and intensity).  He still ended up with a zillion science/engineering credits, but not at the expense of the humanities.

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I find it interesting that many here are taking Calc AB and then Calc BC.  At our school the kids pick one or the other based on how well they do in precalc.  My son went straight to Calc BC and it was not difficult.  We were told Calc BC is essentially Calc ABC in a way and that it is Calc AB with more added on.  If you take both does it seem redundant the first half of the year or so?

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A plea from my software engineering computer consultant husband-

 

Please, please, please demand excellent writing skills and formal logic from your STEM students.  Billions of man hours and billions of dollars are lost every year due to engineers who cannot explain anything clearly, write anything coherently or read written documentation thoroughly.  They alienate their customers, confuse their colleagues and cost their employers small fortunes because they're not systematic and logical in their approaches to things.  They can't explain things well to bosses, customers and colleagues. They don't listen well to bosses, customers or colleagues. A big percentage of them are terrible at personal time management and group project management.  It's a chronic problem in every aspect of the industry. No amount of math or science can make up for it.  Math and sciences must be done in conjunction with other skills that don't necessarily fall into STEM categories.

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Quantity is not as important as quality, as mentioned above. But, there is an absolute minimum quantity of 4. If you look at BASIS, a stem-heavy liberal arts program, they require (see http://basisscottsdale.org/basis-model/graduation-requirements.php):

 

7th-8th grade: Algebra 2, biology, chemistry, AND physics (introductory levels)

9th grade: Precalculus, one honors science

10th grade: Calculus AB (or higher), one honors science, one AP science

11th grade: Calculus BC (or higher), one honors science, one AP science

12th grade (optional): Post-AP math, Post-AP science

 

Additional AP sciences or computer science are normally sprinkled in as electives.

 

Their curriculum is on the tough side, so this is what I would target as an upper limit for a STEM education (there will be exceptions who do more). At a lower limit, I'd shoot for four math, through precalculus, and 4 science, if it includes at least one AP level and 3 honors-level.

Honestly, I think that is overkill for 7th and 8th grades. All of the sciences do not require an honors class prior to the AP level class. BC can be taken in a single yr.

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A plea from my software engineering computer consultant husband-

 

Please, please, please demand excellent writing skills and formal logic from your STEM students.  Billions of man hours and billions of dollars are lost every year due to engineers who cannot explain anything clearly, write anything coherently or read written documentation thoroughly.  They alienate their customers, confuse their colleagues and cost their employers small fortunes because they're not systematic and logical in their approaches to things.  They can't explain things well to bosses, customers and colleagues. They don't listen well to bosses, customers or colleagues. A big percentage of them are terrible at personal time management and group project management.  It's a chronic problem in every aspect of the industry. No amount of math or science can make up for it.  Math and sciences must be done in conjunction with other skills that don't necessarily fall into STEM categories.

 

Yeah it's ridiculous.  I've seen it myself.

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I agree that science majors need to learn to write and communicate.  I would also add that business majors need to educate themselves in whatever field they pursue.  As a chemistry  major/bio minor and practicing physician I am amazed at the administrators who want patient care done a certain way and have absolutely no understanding of how that will impact patient care.  My friends in chemistry fields get tired of business people trying to lead their science as well.  It goes both ways.

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I have not seen any college requiring this much history; the requirement is for four years of social sciences. Which leaves a broad field of courses other than history: government, philosophy, economy, sociology, anthropology, psychology...

 

This said, I find it hard pressed to do a comprehensive and in-depth overview over the entire world history in a mere four years...

 

The wording is: "social studies (four units), which includes one unit of American history, one-half unit in participation in government, and one- half unit of economics..."  So one year US history, one year taken up by a combination of civics and economics, and so that leaves 2 years for other history or social studies.  I'd assume at least one year of world, but that's not enough.  It's odd to me they don't care at all about that though. 

 

These refer only to the homeschool regulations in NY.  This is not the same as what is required in the public schools.

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The other thing I wanted to add is that all of the state requirements do not have to be the same standards as your other classes, or even listed on your transcript.  

 

My state requires a "state topic"  EVERY YEAR, 1-12.  I have reported state children's literature, state history, state voting laws, state driving laws, state flora (ie gardening), state fauna (wildlife in our yard), etc.  None of it has gone on their transcripts.

 

Just because NY requires econ does not mean you have to do AP Econ.

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I think my oldest would agree with you.  We're tending toward lit-heavy history at this point.

 

This can be history or social science, right?  CA high schools/unis require 1 Am Hist, 1 World Hist, 1/2 Civics and 1/2 Econ.  So your 4th could be something like psychology, anthropology, sociology, etc.  Right?

 

I mean, I know it could be anything.  I'm talking about a solid 4x4 college prep high school curriculum.

 

Ok, I admit I am not sure about 4 credits needed for History/social studies for CA Universities.  If I'm missing something someone please enlighten me.  The UC A-G requirements seems to clearly state two years here:

 

A) History/social science
UC-approved high school courses
 
Two years of history/social science, including:
one year of world history, cultures and geography (may be a single yearlong course or two one-semester courses), and
one year of U.S. history or one-half year of U.S. history and one-half year of civics or American government

 

Whether other universities require more than two years is another question.  I'm simply asking about University of California standards which is what we are targeting.

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When I attended a UC admissions talk, it was mentioned that the website info refers to the "minimum" requirements. Just something to consider. The DE to transfer route seems more and more enticing every time I think about it. :tongue_smilie:

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Derek, it looks like you are right - that's a change since I checked last. But it says two years, and civics can be included, and no economics is required.  Woo-hoo!

 

Got to check some other requirement lists too . . . 

 

ETA: yes, looks like the a-g list has been updated as of Feb 2015.

 

Well, a secondary consideration is California DOE's mandatory High School graduation requirements.  Unfortunately, it appears they require three years of a very specific type:

 

Three years of history/social studies, including one year of U.S. history and geography; one year of world history, culture, and geography; one semester of American government and civics, and one semester of economics. --http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/gs/hs/hsgrtable.asp

 

It seems odd that they exceed both UC and CSU in this one area while only requiring two years of math and science.  This seems kind of backwards to me in terms of priorities.  Dual enrollment looks better all the time for some of this stuff.

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Yes, it is. As far as I know, there is a certain type of learner that Basis courts and as Mike says, as an upper limit, it seems to appeal to that population.

I guess it is all in the perspective. I don't see that list as challenging, but I do see it as sucking out a kid's love of learning. (I am so not meant to be the parent of a ps student.) This isn't directed toward you, quark. Just Basis's course sequence.)

 

A student can actually end up with far more advanced credits following what they are interested in vs. Intro high school level followed by honors level followed by AP class for every science. For really strong students the pace and repeat is unnecessarily drawn out. For students that just get to that level simply bc that is their level, they don't need 3 yrs each for the sciences or 2 for cal. For kids that aren't naturally performing at that level, yikes, major overload and unnecessarily so. Most people just don't need an intro level, an honors level, and an AP level all accomplished during high school. So for advanced kids, the pace is repetitive, and for non-advanced kids, would they be better served by waiting until college to take some of those classes?

 

I guess I am a die-hard homeschooler for a reason. I wouldn't put any of my kids through that sequence. My current college freshman's path was so much fun for him. He chose what he took when. And he ended up way beyond the Basis sequence. Zero stress.

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