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redquilthorse

Help me decide what to do with AP Physics and Calc next year

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I've been scouring the forum but I'm still undecided. My son is doing Precalc with Derek Owens this year (10th grade). He wants to major in Computer Science (he already does a ton of programming in his free time). Here are the options I'm considering for next year. Help me choose! 🙂 

 

Option 1:

AP Physics C Mechanics / E&M (PAH)

AP Calc AB with Derek Owens

Option 2: 

AP Physics C Mechanics only

AP Calc AB with Derek Owens

Option 3:

Honors Physics with DO

AP Calc AB with Derek Owens

If we do Option 3, should we then do AP Physics C his senior year? He has already done Bio and Chem (not AP or even honors, at our local PSP). He has also done java programming. 

If we do Option 1 or 2, these will be his only AP classes next year. He might do a local Honors US History with AP exam, but we may decide to do US History at home instead because he isn't that into history. He likes to have free time to code - he creates games using Unity. 

It's hard to know how he would handle the Physics C class without Calculus. So far Precalculus is going well (not done yet). We probably wouldn't do Calculus BC because we like Derek Owens and would prefer to stick with him. Plus, the PAH class is SO much more expensive! 

Also, what science would we do for 12th grade??

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Well, I've had kids do most of those classes. Oldest did PAH AP Calc and AP Physics. Second son did Derek Owens Honors Physics in 9th, then did DO Calculus in 11th with Calc 2 and AP Physics as a senior.

Some thoughts - I really like the Derek Owens courses. However if you want to do AP Calc and Physics, I wouldn't stress too much about doing them concurrently as long as you son is a decent math student. I can't say that my kids have done this as they always had calculus first, but the calculus used in the physics course is fairly basic. 

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This is so much a customized to your own kid strengths and interests that it’s hard to give opinions about what would be the most viable option for someone else.

My oldest who just don’t want to be bored did AP Calculus BC (AoPS Calculus) the year before AP Physics C Mechanics / E&M (PAH, Lanctot) because that’s the way he prefers to spread the load. He has done AP Chemistry and AP Computer Science A. He does physics for science this year as he prefers physics to chemistry and has no love for biology.

My youngest is doing AP Physics C Mechanics / E&M (PAH, Lanctot) before doing a formal calculus class because oldest taught him whatever he needs. He has no preference for science next year so we haven’t decided.

Both my kids have an easier time with AP Physics C E&M then with the Mechanics, despite the difference in calculus prep.

ETA:

Look at page 2 and page 3. That gives a quick summary of the math needed. https://secure-media.collegeboard.org/digitalServices/pdf/ap/physics-c-tables-and-equations-list.pdf

Edited by Arcadia

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We're doing option 3 right now.
H Physics with DO / AP Calc AB with DO - 11th grade.
It's going great! He's thriving in both and loving them. LOVES physics - so will be taking AP Physics next year. We're thinking through PhysicsPrep (Kernion who also teaches at PAH). Will take it concurrently with AP Calc BC in 12th grade.

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The student I knew who did calc based physics the same year as calculus ended up dropping the class. The online provider told my friend that was common. It’s a rare student who can handle doing them concurrently. Since you have time, I’d hold off and do the calc based physics senior year. 

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My daughter is considering something similar to option 3 at her high school:

Junior year:

AP Calc AB

AP Physics 1A & 1B and AP Physics C Mech 1

Senior year:

AP Calc BC

AP Physics C Mech 2 and AP Physics E&M (1 & 2)

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