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Maggie2354

Do we need to do a World Geography year in high school?

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Hi!  I am loosely starting to plan out high school for my daughter, who will be a 9th grader this coming fall.  I noticed that about 1/2 of the curriculum companies that I looked at had a year (usually 9th grade) dedicated to World Geography.  From what I have read in the Well Trained Mind, geography seems to be covered mainly through history studies.  Is that right?  Do we really need to do a World Geography year?

 

Just looking for pros and cons of doing this  Here are my 2 options:

 

9th-World Geography

10th-Ancient/Middle Age History

11th-World History (Renaissance to early American)

12th-American History (covers up to Modern times)

*This plan would technically cover the whole 4 year history cycle-it would cover modern times through an American perspective.  It would, however, throw off my plan of doing American Literature in 11th grade and then British Literature in 12th.  I guess that I could swap them.  Has anyone ever done that?

 

OR

 

9th-Ancient/Middle Age History

10th-World History (Renaissance to early American)

11th-American History

12th-Moderrn History

 

I think that a World Geography study in itself would be super useful, just don't know if it's worth a whole year of work. 

 

On a side note my daughter is very interested in taking a year off from history.  She has been doing it since Kindergarten.  ;-)

 

Thanks in advance for any advice that you can give. 

 

 

Edited by Maggie2354

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I don't think I've ever seen geography listed as a graduation requirement, but government and/or economics often is. So I'd go with that over geography as a non-history social science. 

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It may depend on the state, but my state expects a year of either world history or geography on the transcript (also a year of US history and 1 semester each of econ and government). Maybe some states are more specific and prescriptive? But if mine requires it, others probably do as well and so textbook companies market toward that. 

 

I think I'm going to do a blend of the two over both 9th and 10th grade--World History and Geography I and then II the following year. Something like that. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by sbgrace
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You might take a look at Human Geography if she’s wanting a break from history. We did that for ninth grade and really enjoyed.

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...Do we really need to do a World Geography year?

... I think that a World Geography study in itself would be super useful, just don't know if it's worth a whole year of work.

 

 

Unless you live in a state that has required credits for *homeschool* high school graduation, no *requirements* as far as History or Geography goes. :)

 

The only thing you'll need to worry about accomplishing for History or Geography (which are just 2 of a number of subjects that part of the much broader area of Social Studies credits) is what will be needed as admission for college. That is usually 2-4 credits of Social Studies, with 1 credit being American History. Some colleges want 0.5 credit each of Gov't and Econ. Some want 1 credit of World History. But most colleges are quite flexible.

 

 

... From what I have read in the Well Trained Mind...

...Here are my 2 options:

 

9th-World Geography

10th-Ancient/Middle Age History

11th-World History (Renaissance to early American)

12th-American History (covers up to Modern times)

*This plan would technically cover the whole 4 year history cycle-it would cover modern times through an American perspective.  It would, however, throw off my plan of doing American Literature in 11th grade and then British Literature in 12th.  I guess that I could swap them.  Has anyone ever done that?

 

OR

 

9th-Ancient/Middle Age History

10th-World History (Renaissance to early American)

11th-American History

12th-Moderrn History

 

 

While the WTM 4-year cycle can be a very nice way of organizing things, there is no reason to feel you MUST do a 4-year chronological History study in high school.

 

And unless your student is a big History buff, I personally lean towards doing the usually-required American History credit plus letting students study the History period of most interest to them in high school — OR, to do Amer. History, plus focus on 20th century/modern World History in order to have a grasp on current events — for voting, for civic involvement, for understanding what's going on in the world today and how we got to this state. (I also think that Cultural Geography and World Religions is another hugely helpful study for understanding other cultures, as we live in such a "small world" any more.)

 

JMO! :)

 

 

...On a side note my daughter is very interested in taking a year off from history.  She has been doing it since Kindergarten.  ;-) ...

 

By all means -- take a year off, and let her pick what she wants to do. :) When DSs were in 7th & 8th grade we took a year off of History and did a year of World Cultures/Geography & Comparative Religions/Worldviews — it was a blast, a wonderful break from History, and a super foundation for later high school History studies. I could easily see spending a year in high school on Cultural and Physical Geography, if that's what DD is interested in.

 

Or, maybe pursue a year of some other Social Studies topic of high interest to DD: Archeology, Philosophy, Anthropology, Sociology, Women's Studies, Linguistics, Political Science... Colleges are very flexible about the required Social Studies credits for admissions. :)

 

What is your DD interested in? I'd start with that, and see how together the two of you can build a Social Studies credit around her interests. :) Enjoy your homeschool high school journey! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.

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We will be living in Arizona by the time that she starts high school.  From what I understand, they are very flexible with the social studies credits.  Someone please correct me if I am wrong. 

 

We haven't really had many discussions about possible careers.  Her interests up until this point are in music, art, and sign language.  I just want her to have a well rounded understanding of the people, places, and events of the world (historical and current) before entering college.  :) 

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We will be living in Arizona by the time that she starts high school.  From what I understand, they are very flexible with the social studies credits.  Someone please correct me if I am wrong.

 

You are correct; Arizona has no state-mandated homeschool high school requirements for credits and high school graduation. (Homeschool Facts: "AZ Homeschool State Laws"; AFHE (AZ Families for Home Education: "AZ Homeschool Laws")

 

Since that is the case (no high school requirements), what you do want to be aware of is that you are accomplishing the kinds of credits/amounts of credits that *colleges* require for admissions.

 

For example, if applying to one of the 3 Arizona state public universities, they each require an ACT or SAT test score that meets minimum level, and they each require the following similar *minimum* level of credits (to have been completed in high school) to be eligible to admission:

 

4 credits = English

4 credits = Math (Alg. 1, Geom., Alg. 2, and a math requiring Alg. 2 as prerequisite)

3 credits = Science with labs (see below)

2 credits = Social Science (1 credit as American History)

2 credits = Foreign Language (same language)

1 credit = Fine Arts, or Career/Technical Education

 

Here are the slight differences in requirements for the 3 state public schools in AZ:

ASU

- wants Sciences, *1 year each of the 3 years*, from choice of: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Sciences, Integrated science

- wants 1 year Amer. History. as part of the Social Sciences

- also requires homeschoolers to complete special Science lab forms

 

UA

- wants *1* of the Science credits from: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Sciences, Integrated science

- wants Social Sciences (besides the Amer. Hist.) from choice of: European/World History, Economics, Government, Geography, Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology)

- no special homeschool requirements (just an ACT/SAT score and official homeschool transcript)

 

NAU

- wants Sciences *1 year each of the 3 years* from choice of: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Sciences, Integrated science

- wants Social Sciences (besides the Amer. Hist.) from choice of: European/World History, Economics, Government, Geography, Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology

- allows exceptions if you were homeschooled

Edited by Lori D.
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My oldest, after doing two rounds of WTM-style history, did two years of American History plus Econ/Government in high school. She's taking Psychology (which is considered a social science where I am, bit not in all states FWIW) this semester DE. I wanted her to do Contemporary World History (at least a semester) as a senior next year, but she said she'd rather do Ancients. Right now, she'd actually rather be done with Social Studies credits and her schedule might not have room for one anyway. So, we checked the requirements of the colleges she's looking at and got lucky: not one requires world history.

 

She is contemplating designing her own History of Country Music elective this summer. But, that would be a Fine Arts elective, I think, the way she's thinking of approaching it. :) that's my way of saying that you never know what your kid will decide later on. Best laid plans and all that!

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In my state, World Geography is a required credit for getting into state universities.  Check the universities she might want to attend and see what they require

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Thanks so much, everyone!  Thank you, Lori D., for typing out all of that info on the requirements of the AZ colleges.  That is super useful info!  :)

 

These posts have gotten me to thinking, will ask some more specific questions soon. 

 

Blessings!

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PS

Also, I totally understand that a 4-year university is NOT where all students will end up going. I just recommend shooting to have roughly the types and amounts of credits that keep as many doors open for the future as possible. :)

 

Another good idea is to keep one eye on what credits the state dept. of education requires for public high school graduation, in case the student ends up needing to go into a brick and mortar school at some point during high school. It's easy to "blend" together those credits required for high school graduation and those required for college admission to come up as your basic list of credits to cover in homeschool high school, to breathe easier that you have all your bases covered. As a homeschooler, there's a ton of flexibility about what programs you use, or *how* you complete those credits. :)

 

For AZ, the requirements for public high school graduation are:

 

4 credits = English (grammar, composition, literature (including Amer. Lit.), and 0.5 credit Speech & Debate)

4 credits = Math (Alg. 1, Geom., Alg. 2, and a 4th math)

3 credits = Science

3 credits = Social Science (1 credit = Amer. Hist.; 1 credit = World Hist/Geog; 0.5 credit each Gov't and Econ)

1 credit = Fine Arts, or Career/Technical Education

7 credits = locally prescribed  credits (may be things like Health, PE, Foreign Language, etc.)

22 credits total minimum

Edited by Lori D.

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We did a light geography as an elective credit. We used some documentaries, a Great Courses series, read a few books, did a quick survey of landforms, some maps and a few writing assignments.

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