Jump to content

Menu

Change of interest in Junior Year... EEEK


Recommended Posts

My son has always been a humanities kid.  Interested in Philosophy, art, and writing.  Two years ago he sustained a traumatic brain injury.  It's been a rough climb back for him, and he's still not there.  Math has never been a strong subject for him, especially with the head injury, so we've been using TT.  But, lately, he's been getting nothing but A's.  Which is great.  I wasn't worried about TT, because, this kid was probably going to be a graphic designer or a lawyer.  NOW, we've found a new neurologist, who takes his time to explain everything to him.  He has learned so much about the brain, and the nervous system, it's been amazing.  My son is really into it, and has been bit by the science bug. He is very smart, he's always done well with school, but math and science have never been his focus.  He's going into 11th grade year, and is now thinking of pursuing Neuroscience, he wants to study the brain so that he can find ways to help TBI patients. This is a huge change.  Could you guys look at our HS schedule and let me know if we can get him there?

 

9th (school year after injury, no math, and light science, his brain couldn't handle it)

We did the best we could.  He had to learn how to walk without falling, and relearn how to write (physically)

-English 1 (just through novels, we had a simplify)

-Ancient History

-Earth Science (coursera)

-Astronomy (coursera)

-Russian 1

-Intro to Theater

-Graphic Design (at an academic homeschool group)

 

Summer after 9th-- He had to relearn math, from the very beginning through alg 1.  It was quick, because it all came back to him, but I had to work with him starting with place value.

 

10th (still suffering from major headaches, and vision problems)

-English 10 (homeschool group lit and grammar, plus ModPo (coursera), and NaNoWriMo)

-World History (homeschool group)

-AP Art History (homeschool group)

-Russian 2 (homeschool group)

-Algebra 2 (TT)

-Biology with labs at homeschool group

-Photography

 

Summer before 11th Geometry, and Justice, Freedom and Law at St. Johns College Summer Academy (not getting a credit though)

 

11th (the coming school year)--

 

-English 11 (H. American Lit, HS Group)

-Freshman Comp (Community college, fall) He wanted to take the english with our homeschooling group, and at comm college.  Reading and writing are passions, and I'm sure he can handle both.

-Chemistry

-H. American History (HS group with CLEP)

-Pre-Calc (TT)  I'm afraid to move away from TT until his head injury is completely healed

-Philosophy (fall)

-Psychology (spring, with CLEP)

-AP Studio Art (drawing, HS group)

-We are thinking about Intro to Human Biology at the community college in the spring.  Something to get his feet wet in science at the community college level.

 

Foreign Language is still up in the air, Russian 3 is not being offered at our homeschool group, so we are not sure where to go.

 

Is he okay for heading into Neuroscience?  I'm thinking Anatomy and Physiology at the community college for senior year.  Maybe Spanish as well?

 

Thanks, Abby

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Any gaps left over from high school can be filled later. Just because he might not have been on a rigorous math&science path throughout high school does not mean that the door to studying neuroscience (or anything) is closed.

I would make sure to progress with whatever math program is working for him, and not to overtax him because of his injury. He will take a placement test at college; if he places into lower math classes, he will get the opportunity to take them there.

 

nm about chemistry. did not read carefully.

 

I think his course load for 11th is quite heavy; I would not do two science classes for a student who is recovering from TBI. Chemistry is essentila; I would save the human biology for later or cover it informally. Chem is foundational; as a life sceince major, he will be required to take lots of chem, so I would focus on a thorough high school chemistry.

Edited by regentrude
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe it would be possible to do the two sciences if you do one per semester.  I assume the CC course only lasts one semester.  Maybe even taking the chem at the CC would work out.  Take a non major chem if otherwise it would be too difficult.  I assume that would be ok as a high school level course.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Chem will probably be finished before Christmas (he's starting it early on his own), and the Intro to Human bio is in the spring, it's for non-majors, so we'll see. His cognitive skills and memory are 100% back.  Headaches are at a 3, but lowering drastically because of a new treatment plan.  The left over problem is with vision.

 

Math is still a concern for me, at this point, mostly because of vision, but his brain can do it now.

 

Thanks.

Edited by abdesigns
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Chem will probably be finished before Christmas (he's starting it early on his own), and the Intro to Human bio is in the spring, it's for non-majors, so we'll see. His cognitive skills and memory are 100% back.  Headaches are at a 3, but lowering drastically because of a new treatment plan.  The left over problem is with vision.

 

Thanks.

 

So glad he is mostly all recovered from that.  That must have been scary!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would make total sense, and I have been talking to him about this.  He doesn't want to do it.  I'm still discussing it with him though.

 

Would it make sense to take an extra year to complete high school because of the TBI?  Buy him some time to continue to recover and to do additional math/science before hitting college?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would make total sense, and I have been talking to him about this.  He doesn't want to do it.  I'm still discussing it with him though.

Maybe if it were called a gap year instead of an extra year, just for how you present it?  Are there any other homeschoolers he knows that might be doing that?  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't really comment on your classes, because we are just beginning high school. But I think your son sounds amazing, and so do you for the support you have given him.

 

If it makes you feel any better, I wasn't a STEM person. I have a Bachelors in Anthropology and a Master's in Public Heath specializing in infectious diseases (which is more epidemiological than hard science- lots of statistics, behavior and policy in other words.) After ten years working on other things, I jumped into genomics as the lead Director on a new project for a massive cancer center. They figured out I was a fast learner and invested in the project, and could get things done, so they hired me. Me with not a single hard science course in Undergrad besides Botany of all things. My boss taught me a ton in snippets during drives to and from meetings and rushed lunches and other things. I studied microbiology and genomics at night, by myself so that I could talk to the PhDs and MD and hold my own. I did it. I was very successful. Eventhough I had zero background in it.

 

All this to say- he will get it covered in college and go where he wants regardless of what you cover in high school. I would worry more about growing enjoyment in him now and letting him recover than pushing it now. He has LOTS of time. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe if it were called a gap year instead of an extra year, just for how you present it?  Are there any other homeschoolers he knows that might be doing that?  

 

If you call it a gap year he may NOT take any college courses that year because he would no longer have freshman status when he applies to college! Since the plan is for him to take classes at CC for part of his high school education, that rules out the possibility of calling it a gap year.

Edited by regentrude
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Chem will probably be finished before Christmas (he's starting it early on his own), and the Intro to Human bio is in the spring, it's for non-majors, so we'll see. His cognitive skills and memory are 100% back.  Headaches are at a 3, but lowering drastically because of a new treatment plan.  The left over problem is with vision.

 

Math is still a concern for me, at this point, mostly because of vision, but his brain can do it now.

 

If he has vision issues that affect his math, wouldn't those same issues affect his chemistry which is heavily math based, full of formulas and problem solving?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My first thought was also to take an extra year. I know a year can seem like a long time to a seventeen year old, but if it allows his healing to be complete and time to achieve a solid foundation for studying neuroscience if that is his dream it would be well worthwhile.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm wondering about the geometry.  You wrote he won't get a credit from the summer program.  Does he understand it all now?   Be sure to list it on his transcript somehow, either with 10th, when he had the review, or as a pre-high school course, if he took it then.  Some colleges are picky about seeing it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was a PhD candidate in neuroscience before it really became a separate field: I started college right before the "Decade of the Brain." It really developed organically from the obvious sciences like biology and chemistry but also from psychology, linguistics, philosophy, cognitive science, etc. I had a very balanced STEM/humanities foundation in high school, and I continued that into college before really getting into neuroscience in grad school. For example, in my college graduating class, I was 1 of only 2 who graduated with both Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi honor memberships. In grad school, I was officially in the grad program for cognitive psychology but a few of us were in the cross-departmental program of neuroscience too resulting in a dual-degree program.

 

That's my long-winded way of saying that I personally think the strong humanities background will be a benefit to him, both in terms of college apps and future performance.

 

He sounds like he has had an amazing recovery, and I hope it all works out well!

Edited by deerforest
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

He will get credit for the geometry, not for the Justice, Freedom and Law classes.  Sorry for the confusion.

 

I'm wondering about the geometry.  You wrote he won't get a credit from the summer program.  Does he understand it all now?   Be sure to list it on his transcript somehow, either with 10th, when he had the review, or as a pre-high school course, if he took it then.  Some colleges are picky about seeing it.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would make the basic sciences a priority--biology, chemistry, and physics.  And then you're going to want to continue to move forward with his math.  Could you take an extra year for high school?  If so, I'd do a second year of precalculus with a more rigorous program and then do calculus in the extra year.  

 

I would only add courses like Human Biology or A&P if he has time and energy left over after doing everything else.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

First of all, what a great blessing that he is healing! Wow...he's been through a lot and it's heartwarming to see his focus moving towards helping others. You must be very proud of him! :hurray:

 

I think that balance in all areas of life is really important to work towards in the high school years. It looks like he's got a heavy schedule even without considering TBI healing. Maybe he could do some other things outside of academics that would be just as helpful to him? Though I would recommend an additional year of high school, I understand that a young person might not want to wait to start college and from your description, he does sound like he is mature enough to work for what he wants.

 

He doesn't have to begin college with calc level math behind him. He can use high school to strengthen his math skills and begin calc in college. Taking calculus before building a really strong base is a recipe for failure - brain injury or not!  He'll have enough time in college to get the math that he needs. And if TT is working, I'd stay with it.

 

Chemistry will strengthen his math skills. I think I'd stay on chemistry for the entire year or take a non-calculus based physics course in the Spring rather than going with biology.  Firstly because both would provide applied math practice and secondly because in college, from my experience, chemistry and physics are more difficult than biology, at least in the entry level courses. YMMV.  A little background in each subject would help.

 

Saving Anatomy and Physiology for his senior year sounds like a good plan.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lots of people go into fields they've chosen way, WAY after their junior year of high school!

 

With the TBI, I definitely think slow and steady is better than a push to "catch up" with some idealized plan. I think colleges and college departments will be impressed by his dedication and interested in him because of his story, and that taking his time and developing a solid base is the most important.

 

That, and developing/keeping mentors/connections in the field -- his doctor, maybe a professor locally -- who can point him in the right direction at the right time, vouch for him, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't see any problems with where he is now and where he has decided to go. I thought when you said he was a humanities kid, maybe you'd skipped science, but you haven't.

 

He will have Biology, Chemistry and probably an advanced look at one of those topics. I would encourage you not to do A&P at the CC but do it at home instead. The reason for this is that the A&P might or might not transfer, but if it did it might replace a stronger course he would have had at the University later. Do the intro level of Biology and do a homeschooled A&P.

 

In math, he is doing Pre-Calc as a Junior. If his TBI allows, he can do a placement test and take a math class at the CC his senior year. He could take a Pre-calc class at the CC (after TT) to solidify his math skills and have a good intro to college level math and make sure his vision and thinking are clear enough to make it. Then if he wanted, continue to Calc second semester. However, for a Life-Science major, not having calc before college is not a big deal. He could take statistics instead and save Calc another year to give him more time to heal.

 

I see no need for him to take an extra year unless his brain hasn't healed enough to do the necessary math by the end of his senior year. Right now, he is on course and doing beautifully. Life sciences have as much need for the ability to read, understand, write and communicate as they do for math. There is nothing wrong with his early humanities focus; he should continue his course forward making math and science the priorities from this point.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...