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What to do if you don't need/want 4 Science Credits?


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For those with non-science major kids, what do you do for a 4th science credit?

My oldest graduated this year and had 4 science credits, due to a physical science course we made it through but didn't love enough to ever use again for the other kids! So we did things differently for my second DD who will be a junior this fall; so far she has a Physics and a Chemistry credit. The plan was always to take Biology this year and then figure out something for her senior year, but now our Biology options have fallen through (tutorial teacher changing careers etc), so I'm debating putting Biology off until her senior year and just letting her take a social science (sociology) that she's been asking for this year. Is there any potential disadvantage to this?

None of her top university/college school choices so far require anything beyond 3 sciences/2 with lab. My thinking is that a social science and possibly a computer science elective credit will engage her brain enough in the "science" area this year. She isn't planning to STEM major or science major; she wants to go into music but hasn't decided which avenue yet. I should note - she did exceptionally well in Chemistry and Physics at WHA, but she doesn't love science enough to "teach it to herself" from a textbook or dvd course. I'm a writing major (aka NON-science major lol) so I can help and guide and facilitate labs etc but I'm not going to be able to provide a class experience like she's enjoyed for her other science courses.

Just wondering if it's too "outside the box" to be considering skipping a year of lab science her junior year? Also, any thoughts on where I'd list the sociology credit? Is that a social science under the science section of her transcript or under social studies or elective? It will be a full credit of work - sociology was my minor and we are excited to do this credit together!

 

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My dd will just do 3. I see no point in making her do more. I like to push my kids a little, stretch them and certainly fulfill the requirements for their major. 

But for example my dd is already being stretched in some other subjects that she finds difficult. 

I don’t see the point in forcing 4 years of science for my further English major. ? 

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One of mine skipped science junior year, then took it again senior year.  Another took three years of regular science, and then senior year took a semester course in a particular biology topic that was of special interest.  Both attended state schools, and it was not an issue at all.  YMMV, of course.

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4 minutes ago, Calming Tea said:

Just to add though I think she should take it junior year because that’s the year the colleges scrutinize the most. Definitely not skip it junior year ?

So the way our cover-school sends transcripts they don't have the year on it, but the courses taken in each subject. I've not seen one that shows the year next to it, and it wasn't requested like that for my DD who is attending college this fall. I'm thinking that must vary by school and state etc?

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10 minutes ago, kand said:

Even so, applications will go out early to mid Senior year, so if she doesn’t take science junior year, she won’t have a third completed science to list. She will be able to put one “in progress” with no grade. Now, it’s true they wouldn’t know which years she took the two already completed, so maybe that would be okay. 

That's true - I hadn't thought of it being an issue that she wouldn't have a grade for her "in progress" science her senior year. I think mostly around here they look at ACT scores and she has a very solid score already, so as a music major I'm not sure how much they'd worry about her current year science grade. Her other science courses were A's.

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1 hour ago, KellyMama said:

Just wondering if it's too "outside the box" to be considering skipping a year of lab science her junior year? Also, any thoughts on where I'd list the sociology credit? Is that a social science under the science section of her transcript or under social studies or elective? It will be a full credit of work - sociology was my minor and we are excited to do this credit together!

Well, my dd#1 who is a rising senior, didn't take a science credit Junior year & will be only taking one semester science as DE this fall. She'll end up with three credits of science (and, gasp, NO BIOLOGY - so we must be really out there!). She took Psychology as a DE course this past spring (junior year) and we put it under the Social Studies category on her transcript. For the colleges she's looking at, she only needs 2-3 science credits (and none of them specify biology), so I don't see an issue (for her).

None of the colleges she's looking at are high tier, ultra-competitive types, and I don't see her getting rejected for having one in-progress science. Since it'll be DE, any colleges that need a mid-year report will see that credit completed by then. (I think only one says they want a mid-year update.) Your mileage may vary!

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1 hour ago, Margaret in CO said:

Social science and computer science are not generally considered science. Sociology is under social studies/history. Comp sci is an elective. What about an out-of-the-box science such as Master Gardener? Astronomy? Geology? Robotics? Ag Science? Oceanography? Electronics? Aviation or Science of Flight? (learn to fly) I think biology is important, more so than chem or physics, as the student will be making health decisions for the rest of her life. My music major was in Honors, so had to take bio and chem at college. 

 

My dd is taking Oceanography as an extra science just in case she needs it.  She doesn't like science but has no idea where she's applying to college yet so we thought she should take one more science to make sure she's not missing anything.  I was really torn about it because she has no interest in the subject and I'd rather her spend her time on a class she enjoys and would get more use out of, but she felt better getting another science checked off.  

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My oldest non STEM dd took Physical Science (8th grade), Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Equine Science, Marine Biology. 

I wanted the 4 sciences to keep her college options open.  Personally, I think the "big 4: physical, biology, chemistry, physics" are necessary for a well rounded education.  However, I don't think a non science type needs to take rigorous course.  We used Science Shepherd Biology (which is pretty rigorous), BJU for Chemistry (again, not an easy class), Conceptual Physics (more relaxed), Equine Science by Parker because she was taking riding lessons and her instructor/coach preferred that text (dd went on to be an assistant teacher and a barn worker), Marine Biology was a much lighter interest lead book that really struck dd's fancy. In college she took Physical Geology (4 credits) and Meteorology (4 credits).

Youngest dd followed a much more rigorous plan but she is planning to study engineering or robotic design and she LOVES math. 

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I would take it junior year if at all possible. Senior year can be busier than you imagine. We were doing all kinds of follow-up visits and interviews for honors programs, scholarships, meeting with department heads, and just refreshing our memories. So, not ideal timing for a class that is more difficult and not that interesting to the student. 

It could work out for sure, it just wouldn't be my preference. If she does college visits in junior year that involve meeting with departments and such, she should have an answer at the ready if they ask about it. They aren't trying to play "gotcha!" and they are generally very friendly and supportive to visiting students, but I know my kids would feel awkward if it came up and they weren't prepared.

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On 7/17/2018 at 8:14 PM, Kassia said:

 

My dd is taking Oceanography as an extra science just in case she needs it.  She doesn't like science but has no idea where she's applying to college yet so we thought she should take one more science to make sure she's not missing anything.  I was really torn about it because she has no interest in the subject and I'd rather her spend her time on a class she enjoys and would get more use out of, but she felt better getting another science checked off.  

We discussed that too - the real issue is the lack of class options in our area and the cost of an online class for a subject she's not interested in seems excessive. It looks like we may have the option to take Biology 101 as a DE class next summer, or possibly even spring at the college she's most interested in attending.

23 hours ago, katilac said:

I would take it junior year if at all possible. Senior year can be busier than you imagine. We were doing all kinds of follow-up visits and interviews for honors programs, scholarships, meeting with department heads, and just refreshing our memories. So, not ideal timing for a class that is more difficult and not that interesting to the student. 

It could work out for sure, it just wouldn't be my preference. If she does college visits in junior year that involve meeting with departments and such, she should have an answer at the ready if they ask about it. They aren't trying to play "gotcha!" and they are generally very friendly and supportive to visiting students, but I know my kids would feel awkward if it came up and they weren't prepared.

She's not terribly concerned because none of the colleges she's looking at require 4 sciences. I think she's ok with just telling them she's taking it later if the topic comes up in an interview. My oldest completed her 4 sciences (Physical, Chem, Bio, and Physics) before senior year and did enjoy having a break because she certainly was busy with other things getting ready for college. That was my only concern, but unless we can find a good option before August, I think this may just be a non-science year.

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31 minutes ago, ByeByeMartha said:

Another poster mentioned Science Shepherd Biology and I wanted to chime in--

We used SS and my DD loved it! It was quite text-booky in my opinion and I was afraid it would be a little dry for her. But she loved how it was organized so well and it had a lot of review questions. I think it is a fabulous college prep course...DD took the biology CLEP afterwards and received an almost perfect score. I understand that there is a video option now. I highly recommend it.

Our DD completed Physical Sci/Bio/Chem/Physics before senior year and had an interest in Nutrition so she studied Nutritional Science and used a very biology-based college textbook. Worked out great for her! ?

p.s. I would 2nd the recommendation of biology in jr year rather than senior bc that last year just gets too busy.

Sorry, this is a bit of a hijack of OP, but I'm wondering if you can tell me whether Science Shepherd Bio could be used by a secular family? I ask because we have used and loved other Christian curriculum (CLE's 8th grade American History, for instance), so I don't want to discount it without consideration. 

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On 7/17/2018 at 7:12 AM, KellyMama said:

For those with non-science major kids, what do you do for a 4th science credit?


Non STEM-students (at the time of high school), and we did not do 4 Science credits. Neither DS was heading to a top tier/competitive/selective college, so no problems with admission, as the colleges they were interested in did not require 4 credits of Science. We spread 3 credits out over the years of high school, and used the extra time freed up towards subjects of high interest to DSs here.

Perhaps you could spread out Biology over 11th and 12th grades, which would allow you the ability to add 1.0 credit each of Sociology and Computer Science -- perhaps just a 0.5 credit each year of 11 and 12th grades, if the schedule seems like it will be overly full.

On 7/17/2018 at 7:12 AM, KellyMama said:

Also, any thoughts on where I'd list the sociology credit? Is that a social science under the science section of her transcript or under social studies or elective?


Sociology is typically listed as a Social Science/Social Studies. If you already have all the Social Science credits you need, it will be considered an "Academic Elective"* by colleges, but I personally would still list it under Social Science (unless needing to fill out the Electives list on the transcript).

* = an Academic Elective is a credit that is above the required amount of credits in one of the "academic" subjects of English, Math, Science, Social Studies, or Foreign Language

 

On 7/17/2018 at 7:12 AM, KellyMama said:

 

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