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My daughter is currently in 9th grade and taking a college biology class. She is going to work on her AS while in high school for computer science but her goal is an engineering degree. Her credits will cover the general Ed requirements for the university. In order to complete this she needs Physics in 11th and she will do Physics for engineering I/Physics for Engineering 2 in 12th. That leaves 10th grade. She will be in a CC computer science class during 10th but I think that’s more of an elective? She doesn’t really want to do chem... I can’t think of what else to have her do? 

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"her goal is an engineering degree."

 

what kind of engineering degree? Anything except CompSci will require chem and it's helpful to have seen it before your freshman college chem class. Even with a CompSci degree, if you end up at a place that is more 'computer engineering' or decide to look at computer architecture then you'll take basic EE classes....and you're back to needing chem.

I suggest the chem <shrug>.   If it helps, I highly recommend https://clovervalleychemistry.com/

Also - why 2 years for physics? Engineering physics will require calculus, and I'm unconvinced you win that much by going through no-calc physics one year and then doing it again with calculus the next.

 

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I agree with AEC.  Is her goal a computer engineering degree?  Computer engineering depts are often combined in an electrical and computer engineering dept and require chem. Engineering degrees in general will require chemsitry. 

Has she taken high school chem already?  If so, then I'd have her take chem at the CC.  If not, I also highly recommed Clover Valley.

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Freshman chemistry is typically perceived as a very difficult course by the students. Even if she hates chemistry (which I completely sympathize with), a prior exposure would be very beneficial for her.

As for physics: I would not have a student take two introductory physics courses in high school, unless the 12th grade course is a dual enrollment calculus based engineering physics at a four year university. I would certainly not have two years of physics back to back, since both cover essentially the same material, and that is boring.
 

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She will take a high school physics and then two physics courses at the college her senior year. The college course requires physics in high school prior to taking their courses. I’m assuming they are pretty difficult physics courses because she has to switch to college math classes to get to the math she needs to take those classes. She’s in Algebra 2 this year so she’s a little ahead of typical freshman but she has to complete Cal 2 prior to taking the college physics 1 class. She needs the two college physics classes to get an AS which will be in computer science. She likes computers and she likes engineering. She’s been leaning towards electrical engineering but since she loves computers and our local community college offers this program I thought I would let her take the courses. They are free for a high schooler. I thought she might have to take chem since it does seem like the only logical class for her to take. She just wasn’t really interested and she has a super heavy load on in 10th grade. We may have to change some things around to get chemistry in. 

Edited by Momto4inSoCal
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I just looked at the college she wants to go to (Cal Poly) and they require chem so I guess that answers that question. I was hoping since she’s taking so many math and physics course maybe she could do another life science next year or something a little easier because she will already be in 3 college classes, honors English and Honors US history. I guess there’s no way around it. 

Edited by Momto4inSoCal
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I would recommend taking things in a different order.  I would take alg-based physics in 10th and chemistry in 11th and then the cal-based physics in 12th.  That way she doesn't have to have 2 straight yrs of introductory physics and physics does help with chemistry.

What are the "so many math courses"?  Alg 2 in 9th is not that accelerated.  That makes precal next yr and cal 1 and 2 in 11th with an opportunity for additional math options in 12th.  That is not that atypical of students who will be applying to competitive programs.  Does Cal Poly admit by major?  If so, that makes it even more competitive.  (Just trying to interject some perspective into the process bc sometimes it is hard to keep our kids' trajectory compared to others in perspective.)

For a student attempting to earn their AS and competitive colle admission, her load doesn't seem out of proportion to me.  (FWIW, it isn't a path I would opt to take with my kids, but I don't live in CA and I have way more flexibility.)

 

Edited by 8filltheheart
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Cal Poly isn’t that competitive. Half of our high school goes there with only Calculus AB. 
 

I would focus on GPA and make sure grades are high. They will care more about high GPA that anything atypical on the transcript.

They have a formula of some sorts on how they admit kids so it’s important to check all of those boxes. They don’t have holistic admissions last I checked. 

Edited by Roadrunner
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28 minutes ago, Roadrunner said:

Cal Poly isn’t that competitive. Half of our high school goes there with only Calculus AB. 
 

I would focus on GPA and make sure grades are high. They will care more about high GPA that anything atypical on the transcript.

They have a formula of some sorts on how they admit kids so it’s important to check all of those boxes. They don’t have holistic admissions last I checked. 

Thanks for clarifying.  I just looked at admissions rate which is 30% which isnt classified as highly selective but is considered competitive. 

Do they admit by major? Are their limits on admissions by major? 

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2 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

Thanks for clarifying.  I just looked at admissions rate which is 30% which isnt classified as highly selective but is considered competitive. 

Do they admit by major? Are their limits on admissions by major? 

The caliber of kids is very different from top UCs even though admissions rates seem so low.

Yes, they admit by major. And they are part of a CSU system which is very numbers driven, so a good grade in courses they want seem more important than an untraditional transcript. 
 

Googling MCA score for SLO gives you discussions on how that admissions score is calculated. It’s a bizarre score system.

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1 hour ago, 8filltheheart said:

I would recommend taking things in a different order.  I would take alg-based physics in 10th and chemistry in 11th and then the cal-based physics in 12th.  That way she doesn't have to have 2 straight yrs of introductory physics and physics does help with chemistry.

Yes, this. I normally would recommend physics in 9th (physics first), but that ship has already sailed. Don't make her take two almost identical courses in consecutive years.

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23 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

Good info. I googled GPA and this article came up. Sounds like GPA and test scores are key.

https://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/education/article242092656.html

https://mca.netlify.app
 

This is the calculator on admissions. They assign numbers to everything, including extracurriculars. 🙂

And CA schools have really inflated grades. So in our local school about a third of kids have straight As and it’s not uncommon to have 4.6 GPA because of APs (even with failing AP scores). We also have close to 20 valedictorians every year.  I guess competitiveness is deceptive.

 

only unknown now is the elimination of standardized scores and how they will recalculate things. So my guess is GPA will be THE only driving force. 
 

I guess what I am saying is I wouldn’t lose sleep over cal poly and I would prioritize grade over everything else if they are the goal. 

Edited by Roadrunner
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2 hours ago, 8filltheheart said:

I would recommend taking things in a different order.  I would take alg-based physics in 10th and chemistry in 11th and then the cal-based physics in 12th.  That way she doesn't have to have 2 straight yrs of introductory physics and physics does help with chemistry.

What are the "so many math courses"?  Alg 2 in 9th is not that accelerated.  That makes precal next yr and cal 1 and 2 in 11th with an opportunity for additional math options in 12th.  That is not that atypical of students who will be applying to competitive programs.  Does Cal Poly admit by major?  If so, that makes it even more competitive.  (Just trying to interject some perspective into the process bc sometimes it is hard to keep our kids' trajectory compared to others in perspective.)

For a student attempting to earn their AS and competitive colle admission, her load doesn't seem out of proportion to me.  (FWIW, it isn't a path I would opt to take with my kids, but I don't live in CA and I have way more flexibility.)

 

The problem is she isn't accelerated enough to have her pre-requisites for the college classes she wants to take her senior year fullfilled at this rate. She needs the college cal 2 class to be complete in order to take the physics course not high school cal. 2. Using the college entrance exams the highest math they will allow you to score into is pre-calculus. If she took high school classes and did pre cal next year and high school cal 11th she could only score into the pre-cal college course. She has to start the pre-cal fall semester of 10th grade to hit college cal 2 by the end of 11th. They actually have a pre-engineering AS that can be completed at our community college but she couldn't even attempt it because she would need to have completed college cal 2 by the end of 10th to be elgible for the classes she needed to get the AS. 

2 hours ago, Roadrunner said:

Cal Poly isn’t that competitive. Half of our high school goes there with only Calculus AB. 
 

I would focus on GPA and make sure grades are high. They will care more about high GPA that anything atypical on the transcript.

They have a formula of some sorts on how they admit kids so it’s important to check all of those boxes. They don’t have holistic admissions last I checked. 

I'm not super worried about getting into ca-poly and she is applying for cal poly pomona which is less selective than san luis obisbo. Her reach school is Harvey Mudd but honestly I'm happy with Cal-poly. She does robotics at a center that uses cal poly kids and they do a big competition every year at the campus. When they do the competion they tour the school and she really likes it and I think going there every year has made her feel more connected in a way to that school. The engineeering program is impacted though and more selective than the school in general. The reason we are doing the dual enrollement is for monetary reasons. She can complete the GE classes in high school for free and hopefully complete her BA in 2 years after high school. Cal poly is only 8k a year so she could get her BA potentially for 16k. She doesn't need her AS to complete her GE-Breadth requirements but she already was interested in taking the computer classes just because she likes them and we only need to add the two additonal physics classes to have her graduate with the AS so we figure she might as well do it and hopefully based on these classes she can decide if she is going to persue computers or electrical engineering. 

 

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1 hour ago, Momto4inSoCal said:

The problem is she isn't accelerated enough to have her pre-requisites for the college classes she wants to take her senior year fullfilled at this rate. She needs the college cal 2 class to be complete in order to take the physics course not high school cal. 2. Using the college entrance exams the highest math they will allow you to score into is pre-calculus. If she took high school classes and did pre cal next year and high school cal 11th she could only score into the pre-cal college course. She has to start the pre-cal fall semester of 10th grade to hit college cal 2 by the end of 11th. They actually have a pre-engineering AS that can be completed at our community college but she couldn't even attempt it because she would need to have completed college cal 2 by the end of 10th to be elgible for the classes she needed to get the AS. 

I am very confused by the bolded.  If she is taking alg 2 in 9th, were you not planning on her taking precal in 10th?  That is the standard sequence.  Precal in 10th and cal 1 and 2 in 11th and therefore meeting the cal requirements for 12th.  That seems very doable.

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It's completely doable as long as she takes only college math classes. From my understanding though each semester of college math equates to a year of high school math. So far our experience is they are not equal amount of work as a year of a high school class but cover a years worth of material. We had planned on her starting the college math classes in 11th grade but instead she's going to start this spring so we'll see how it goes. We have a few weeks to drop if it seems too difficult but of course that would mean changing our plans. Our community colleges changed their placement test so it's hard to really know where she would place. Their placement test just ask the last class taken in high school math and then you are either elgible for college algebra or pre-cal. I feel like an actual placement test even if it's just a suggestion would be helpful. Some people have told me collge algebra is equivalent to Algebra 2 and others have said it's pre-cal. The titles of the college classes don't seem to have direct correlations to the titles of high school classes.

 

ETA: Now that I'm thinking about the math sequence it does seem like the college sequence is pretty similar to the high school one. That makes me feel a little better about it. This is the sequence the community college she is attending has file:///C:/Users/amanz/Downloads/Math%20Sequence%20Chart%20(1).pdf  We are starting with Algebra this spring and she'll do Trig and Pre-Cal next year which is the normal sequence right? 

Edited by Momto4inSoCal
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34 minutes ago, Momto4inSoCal said:

It's completely doable as long as she takes only college math classes. From my understanding though each semester of college math equates to a year of high school math. So far our experience is they are not equal amount of work as a year of a high school class but cover a years worth of material. We had planned on her starting the college math classes in 11th grade but instead she's going to start this spring so we'll see how it goes. We have a few weeks to drop if it seems too difficult but of course that would mean changing our plans. Our community colleges changed their placement test so it's hard to really know where she would place. Their placement test just ask the last class taken in high school math and then you are either elgible for college algebra or pre-cal. I feel like an actual placement test even if it's just a suggestion would be helpful. Some people have told me collge algebra is equivalent to Algebra 2 and others have said it's pre-cal. The titles of the college classes don't seem to have direct correlations to the titles of high school classes.

 

ETA: Now that I'm thinking about the math sequence it does seem like the college sequence is pretty similar to the high school one. That makes me feel a little better about it. This is the sequence the community college she is attending has file:///C:/Users/amanz/Downloads/Math%20Sequence%20Chart%20(1).pdf  We are starting with Algebra this spring and she'll do Trig and Pre-Cal next year which is the normal sequence right? 

Yes, if the student doesn't cover trig in alg 2.  A lot of alg 2 courses include trig.  That may be why that sequence has precal as the highest sequence they can place into??? Not sure.  But she may place directly into the precal class depending on what you are using for alg 2.  (What text is she using?)m And cal 1 and cal 2 in a yr is no different than a student taking AP cal BC.  

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The college algebra at this CC isn't remedial. It's for credit and UC/CS transferable. We did Aops for Pre-Algebra and Algebra and switched to Mr. D for Geometry and this year she's in his class for Algebra 2 but it's too easy for her. That did help push us towards moving her into the college class. I'm hopeful the class is a little more challanging but I don't want it to be over her head either. During non-covid times they have math labs at the library if a student has a hard time but during covid it's all online and I don't think they have any tutoring. I don't know how well the classes are translating to online either. The class she's taking right now has zero lectures. It's so odd. All book reading, some ted talks, discussion questions, test and uploading speeches to youtube. From the looks of their catalog none of the classes will have live lectures. 

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2 minutes ago, Momto4inSoCal said:

The college algebra at this CC isn't remedial. It's for credit and UC/CS transferable. We did Aops for Pre-Algebra and Algebra and switched to Mr. D for Geometry and this year she's in his class for Algebra 2 but it's too easy for her. That did help push us towards moving her into the college class. I'm hopeful the class is a little more challanging but I don't want it to be over her head either. During non-covid times they have math labs at the library if a student has a hard time but during covid it's all online and I don't think they have any tutoring. I don't know how well the classes are translating to online either. The class she's taking right now has zero lectures. It's so odd. All book reading, some ted talks, discussion questions, test and uploading speeches to youtube. From the looks of their catalog none of the classes will have live lectures. 

WOuld it possible to switch to a different math class?  I have had 2 kids take Derek Owen's precal class and it is a solid course.  Other posters have recommended his alg 2 course.  His classes have great lectures and the assignments are good.  Not on par with AoPS, but definitely fine for an engineering major.  If you self-grade, the cost is $29/mo.

 

1 hour ago, Roadrunner said:

That’s a plan that would work. Although I wouldn’t use a CC for remedial math. I think Calculus is fine at CC, but for a kid who wants to go to Harvey Mudd and into Engineering, I would rather do a more challenging sequence at home - Foestrer or AoPS math. 

I think it would depend on the text.  Sullivan, Stewart, and Larson are pretty standard cal texts at state engineering schools.    I have no idea about HM, though. 

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33 minutes ago, 8filltheheart said:

WOuld it possible to switch to a different math class?  I have had 2 kids take Derek Owen's precal class and it is a solid course.  Other posters have recommended his alg 2 course.  His classes have great lectures and the assignments are good.  Not on par with AoPS, but definitely fine for an engineering major.  If you self-grade, the cost is $29/mo.

 

I think it would depend on the text.  Sullivan, Stewart, and Larson are pretty standard cal texts at state engineering schools.    I have no idea about HM, though. 

I agree. Calculus is usually very standard. It’s below calculus that can be very hit and miss. Here locally at least Algebra is very easy and geared at kids who did very poorly at high school as a second chance. 

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1 hour ago, Momto4inSoCal said:

The college algebra at this CC isn't remedial. It's for credit and UC/CS transferable. We did Aops for Pre-Algebra and Algebra and switched to Mr. D for Geometry and this year she's in his class for Algebra 2 but it's too easy for her. That did help push us towards moving her into the college class. I'm hopeful the class is a little more challanging but I don't want it to be over her head either. During non-covid times they have math labs at the library if a student has a hard time but during covid it's all online and I don't think they have any tutoring. I don't know how well the classes are translating to online either. The class she's taking right now has zero lectures. It's so odd. All book reading, some ted talks, discussion questions, test and uploading speeches to youtube. From the looks of their catalog none of the classes will have live lectures. 

So, I don't know about your CC, but generally competitive colleges don't expect kids to have to take algebra in college at all. At UT Austin, say, even the precalc was pretty remedial-feeling. Yes, it was for credit, but it was for the struggling kids. 

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18 hours ago, Not_a_Number said:

So, I don't know about your CC, but generally competitive colleges don't expect kids to have to take algebra in college at all. At UT Austin, say, even the precalc was pretty remedial-feeling. Yes, it was for credit, but it was for the struggling kids. 

That’s probably because a kid from high school should have at the very least gone through Algebra-pre cal if they are aiming for a stem major. I would guess most hit Cal by senior year but I don’t think for a 9th grader taking the college algebra which is supposed to be equivalent to Algebra 2 it would be looked at as remedial. If we continue on the college path in high school she would finish Cal I, II and III and maybe linear algebra if she takes the college classes each semester. For a freshman entering a university I think that would be pretty good. The classes are free and they have free tutoring session (non-covid time) so that’s a benefit for us. It’s not really necessary to take the classes though until pre-cal so we’ll see what we do. She only needs Cal I and Cal II for the AS. I think I’m going to have her talk to the counselor and see what they suggest. We’ve tried getting through to Cal Poly but all of the colleges here have stopped answering calls due to covid so everything is through email and we haven’t had a lot of luck with that. 

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17 minutes ago, Momto4inSoCal said:

That’s probably because a kid from high school should have at the very least gone through Algebra-pre cal if they are aiming for a stem major. I would guess most hit Cal by senior year but I don’t think for a 9th grader taking the college algebra which is supposed to be equivalent to Algebra 2 it would be looked at as remedial. If we continue on the college path in high school she would finish Cal I, II and III and maybe linear algebra if she takes the college classes each semester. For a freshman entering a university I think that would be pretty good. The classes are free and they have free tutoring session (non-covid time) so that’s a benefit for us. It’s not really necessary to take the classes though until pre-cal so we’ll see what we do. She only needs Cal I and Cal II for the AS. I think I’m going to have her talk to the counselor and see what they suggest. We’ve tried getting through to Cal Poly but all of the colleges here have stopped answering calls due to covid so everything is through email and we haven’t had a lot of luck with that. 

It’s not that it will be “looked at” as remedial, but because those courses are targeted for remedial students, they might not be of the same quality as classes targeted for high performing students. This is why for kids who love math or want to major in STEM, AoPS will give much more solid foundation for future success in either Calculus or any proof based mathematics courses, while a CC course will most likely be teaching procedural math (here is a formula and an example, go replicate). 
Not all math course are creative equal even with the same title. 

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28 minutes ago, Momto4inSoCal said:

That’s probably because a kid from high school should have at the very least gone through Algebra-pre cal if they are aiming for a stem major. I would guess most hit Cal by senior year but I don’t think for a 9th grader taking the college algebra which is supposed to be equivalent to Algebra 2 it would be looked at as remedial. If we continue on the college path in high school she would finish Cal I, II and III and maybe linear algebra if she takes the college classes each semester. For a freshman entering a university I think that would be pretty good. The classes are free and they have free tutoring session (non-covid time) so that’s a benefit for us. It’s not really necessary to take the classes though until pre-cal so we’ll see what we do. She only needs Cal I and Cal II for the AS. I think I’m going to have her talk to the counselor and see what they suggest. We’ve tried getting through to Cal Poly but all of the colleges here have stopped answering calls due to covid so everything is through email and we haven’t had a lot of luck with that. 

I think talking to them is a good idea 🙂. Let us know how it goes!! 

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2 hours ago, Momto4inSoCal said:

That’s probably because a kid from high school should have at the very least gone through Algebra-pre cal if they are aiming for a stem major. I would guess most hit Cal by senior year but I don’t think for a 9th grader taking the college algebra which is supposed to be equivalent to Algebra 2 it would be looked at as remedial. If we continue on the college path in high school she would finish Cal I, II and III and maybe linear algebra if she takes the college classes each semester. For a freshman entering a university I think that would be pretty good. The classes are free and they have free tutoring session (non-covid time) so that’s a benefit for us. It’s not really necessary to take the classes though until pre-cal so we’ll see what we do. She only needs Cal I and Cal II for the AS. I think I’m going to have her talk to the counselor and see what they suggest. We’ve tried getting through to Cal Poly but all of the colleges here have stopped answering calls due to covid so everything is through email and we haven’t had a lot of luck with that. 

You could have her take both precal and cal at home and have her take the APcalBC exam which gives credit for cal 1 and 2.  I can't imagine the CC not giving AP credit when Cal Poly does for 141 an 142.

I personally don't see any benefit in her enrolling in any math course at the CC below cal.  She won't get actual college credit for the courses bc no engineering degree gives math credit for anything below calculus and the grades/transcript for courses taken as younger teen will follow her forever.  She'd be better off taking a class like Derek Owens or AoPS than the CC.  No downsides.

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One thing that always strikes me on this board is how much weight parents put on a 9th grader's plan.  Maybe homeschooled kids are more mature, and have a better sense of self, but as a high school teacher, I can tell you that it is very developmentally appropriate for kids to change their plans repeatedly in high school.  i would be very hesitant to design a kid's high school years around a specific university or specific major.  

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59 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

One thing that always strikes me on this board is how much weight parents put on a 9th grader's plan.  Maybe homeschooled kids are more mature, and have a better sense of self, but as a high school teacher, I can tell you that it is very developmentally appropriate for kids to change their plans repeatedly in high school.  i would be very hesitant to design a kid's high school years around a specific university or specific major.  

I think it is normal for teens to change their minds, but equally, if they want to pursue something academically challenging that meets their current interests, what is the downside? II currently have a 9th grader who thinkds she wants to be a speleologist.  It is motivating her to master physics.  She is working out for the physical requirements.  She is researching what all is involved.  She has joined the local grotto.  If she changes her mind, what is the worst that happened?  She put a lot of effort into learning physics.  🙂

I have had 4 kids attend college and major in exactly what they said they wanted to do, 2 from elementary school and 2 from 8th grade.  So, some kids do actually know.  I'm not convinced about my 9th grader, but if it motivates her, I'm all for it. 

The OP's dd may change her mind, but the math progression she is talking about doesn't seem a big deal.  The rest will pan out as time goes by.  Either the dd will want to keep that path or not.  Either way, the biggest downside is DEing and not making an A.   The college cost factor is a serious reality for a lot of families, so trying to formulate a realistic plan is the best some families can do.

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1 hour ago, BaseballandHockey said:

One thing that always strikes me on this board is how much weight parents put on a 9th grader's plan.  Maybe homeschooled kids are more mature, and have a better sense of self, but as a high school teacher, I can tell you that it is very developmentally appropriate for kids to change their plans repeatedly in high school.  i would be very hesitant to design a kid's high school years around a specific university or specific major.  

I have a 9th and a 10th grader. My 10th grader hasn’t taken any dual enrollment classes so far, she’ll take fashion in the spring. She plays piano, dances competitively, has taken a ton of art classes. Totally different kid and totally different plans. We don’t have a school she’s aiming for. She’ll probably start touring next year to see what will work for her. My 9th grader has wanted to do engineering and go to cal poly since 6th grade. I brushed it off when she was younger but now that she still wants that I’m helping her navigate a plan for that. I don’t have a problem with her changing plans later and I’ve talked to her about maybe just attempting her general Ed’s in high school and trying an intro to engineering and intro to comp science since she likes both of those. All through my kids younger years I’ve planned and all of those years the plans have changed as we see what actually work and often as our goals change. I’m never glued to my plans but I am a big picture person so when we plan to details it helps me to make a big picture plan to understand how what we are doing works towards the big picture. I know the big picture might/probably will change and I’m fine with that. 

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1 hour ago, 8filltheheart said:

I think it is normal for teens to change their minds, but equally, if they want to pursue something academically challenging that meets their current interests, what is the downside? II currently have a 9th grader who thinkds she wants to be a speleologist.  It is motivating her to master physics.  She is working out for the physical requirements.  She is researching what all is involved.  She has joined the local grotto.  If she changes her mind, what is the worst that happened?  She put a lot of effort into learning physics.  🙂

I have had 4 kids attend college and major in exactly what they said they wanted to do, 2 from elementary school and 2 from 8th grade.  So, some kids do actually know.  I'm not convinced about my 9th grader, but if it motivates her, I'm all for it. 

The OP's dd may change her mind, but the math progression she is talking about doesn't seem a big deal.  The rest will pan out as time goes by.  Either the dd will want to keep that path or not.  Either way, the biggest downside is DEing and not making an A.   The college cost factor is a serious reality for a lot of families, so trying to formulate a realistic plan is the best some families can do.

I guess i was responding more to the idea that chemistry is only needed for certain college majors, or looking at the requirements for just one college when designing a high school program. I think that the DE sounds great.  I agree that a plan, even if it might change, can be a great motivator to try new things. But if the plan is preventing them from taking classes that would give them more flexibility (e.g. not taking chem because they think they won't need it) that's more concerning.  I'd be looking at more than 2 school's requirements before making decisions.

I may be reading the thread wrong though. 

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19 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

I guess i was responding more to the idea that chemistry is only needed for certain college majors, or looking at the requirements for just one college when designing a high school program. I think that the DE sounds great.  I agree that a plan, even if it might change, can be a great motivator to try new things. But if the plan is preventing them from taking classes that would give them more flexibility (e.g. not taking chem because they think they won't need it) that's more concerning.  I'd be looking at more than 2 school's requirements before making decisions.

I may be reading the thread wrong though. 

Colleges don't typically require chemistry for admission.  The norm is to require physical sciences and life sciences and labs, but they do not typically specify "chemistry" or "physics."   Students don't have to take a high school equivalent course before they take a college level science.  All sciences are taught at an introductory level.  It isn't easy or ideal, but it isn't the end of their being able to pursue a particular course of study.  Sometimes they have to just deal with decisions they make. 

I think the pt most posters were making is that her not wanting to take chemistry is really moot bc she is going to have to with an engineering major.   The entire conversation is nothing but hypotheticals.  But, I think for parents who haven't been through the process before and are not familiar with certain majors, they ask more just to get details filled in to let simmer and gel than creating some sort of fixed plan

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I don't know if this was mentioned already, but Harvey Mudd requires chemistry for admission.  They also require calculus.  If you go on their math department page, it says that all of their courses assume that the student has had calculus, and they don't seem to have what I would consider to be Calculus 1.

 https://www.hmc.edu/admission/apply/first-year-students/eligibilty/

https://www.hmc.edu/mathematics/program/placement-core-classes/

Edited by EKS
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Just a couple of random thoughts...

Another vote for Derek Owens Precalc. Dd did a no-trig Algebra 2 and followed up with the DO algebra 2 in something like 8 weeks. She probably could have gone straight to his PreCalc, but she was on the young side and it was a good summer option so everything didn't fall out of her young teen brain.

I STRONGLY recommend a "business applications" or similar type class that teaches Excel as a first DE course or before getting into DE sciences. She uses Excel a lot in her DE General Chemistry course. The science and math majors have to ask her for help with it because they aren't required to learn it.

I also have noticed that more math and science programs are assuming the student has had at least Calc AB/ Calc 1 before beginning. Some have summer-before-freshman-year Calc 1 courses so students can start with Calc 2. Rose Hulman is another one that requires students have had biology-chemistry-physics in high school. It seems weirdly specific and they do/did offer summer intensives in biology and physics for admitted students who didn't do all three.

Edited by MamaSprout
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7 hours ago, MamaSprout said:

Just a couple of random thoughts...

Another vote for Derek Owens Precalc. Dd did a no-trig Algebra 2 and followed up with the DO algebra 2 in something like 8 weeks. She probably could have gone straight to his PreCalc, but she was on the young side and it was a good summer option so everything didn't fall out of her young teen brain.

I STRONGLY recommend a "business applications" or similar type class that teaches Excel as a first DE course or before getting into DE sciences. She uses Excel a lot in her DE General Chemistry course. The science and math majors have to ask her for help with it because they aren't required to learn it.

I also have noticed that more math and science programs are assuming the student has had at least Calc AB/ Calc 1 before beginning. Some have summer-before-freshman-year Calc 1 courses so students can start with Calc 2. Rose Hulman is another one that requires students have had biology-chemistry-physics in high school. It seems weirdly specific and they do/did offer summer intensives in biology and physics for admitted students who didn't do all three.

I’m butting into this thread. Have you seen any “business applications” type course other than DE? I haven’t seen anything like that offered as DE but excel is one thing on my list of things to be mastered before DS  leaves home. It’s far more useful than say, calculus here 😉 

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16 minutes ago, madteaparty said:

I’m butting into this thread. Have you seen any “business applications” type course other than DE? I haven’t seen anything like that offered as DE but excel is one thing on my list of things to be mastered before DS  leaves home. It’s far more useful than say, calculus here 😉 

I haven’t used this, but it is free:

https://edu.gcfglobal.org/en/subjects/tech/

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On 10/29/2020 at 8:05 AM, regentrude said:

Freshman chemistry is typically perceived as a very difficult course by the students. Even if she hates chemistry (which I completely sympathize with), a prior exposure would be very beneficial for her.

Agreed - having one's first exposure to chemistry be freshman chem at university would be... stressful.  And I wish I could guide you and show you the beauty and wonder of chemistry, @regentrude - I promise it's not as bad as you remember! 🙂

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3 hours ago, Dicentra said:

And I wish I could guide you and show you the beauty and wonder of chemistry, @regentrude - I promise it's not as bad as you remember! 🙂

It was like it at school and uni for me and when I homeschooled my highschoolers. It's not chemistry per se, but the way it is taught. Every book I have come across had lots of memorization, rules with many exceptions and no explanation of the Why until much later.

For example,  take solubility rules. Chapter 4 in the text, students learn it's soluble if it's this ion with that, but wait, it doesn't work if it's this ion with another one. Eleven rules to memorize that fall from space, with NO explanation of the reason - until chapter 15 or so. That is highly unsatisfying, and seema more alchemy than science - science talks about the Why.

This is why I am a physicist. If someone comes up with a way to teach chemistry that starts from the actual explanations I might be persuaded to like it.

Edited by regentrude
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6 minutes ago, regentrude said:

It was like it at school and uni for me and when I homeschooled my highschoolers. It's not chemistry per se, but the way it is taught. Rvery book I used had  lots of memorization, rules with many exceptions and no explanation of the Why until much later.

For example,  take solubility rules. Chapter 4 in the text, students learn it's soluble if it's this ion with that, but wait, it doesn't work if it's this ion with another one. It falls from space, there is NO explanation of the reason - until chapter 15 or so. That is highly unsatisfying, because I want to know Why, not memorize stuff that seems random at that point.

This is why I am a physicist. If someone comes up with a way to teach chemistry that starts from the actual explanations I might be persuaded to like it.

Yeah, I felt the same way in high school. I didn’t take it at college, but I took two years at a gifted high school, and I liked physics much better. (And of course, I’m a mathematician, so I preferred math. Also, programming.)

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12 minutes ago, regentrude said:

It was like it at school and uni for me and when I homeschooled my highschoolers. It's not chemistry per se, but the way it is taught. Rvery book I used had  lots of memorization, rules with many exceptions and no explanation of the Why until much later.

For example,  take solubility rules. Chapter 4 in the text, students learn it's soluble if it's this ion with that, but wait, it doesn't work if it's this ion with another one. It falls from space, there is NO explanation of the reason - until chapter 15 or so. That is highly unsatisfying, because I want to know Why, not memorize stuff that seems random at that point.

This is why I am a physicist. If someone comes up with a way to teach chemistry that starts from the actual explanations I might be persuaded to like it.

 

5 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

Yeah, I felt the same way in high school. I didn’t take it at college, but I took two years at a gifted high school, and I liked physics much better. (And of course, I’m a mathematician, so I preferred math. Also, programming.)

I think @regentrude and I have discussed this before - there is no logical, simple "starting point" in chemistry like there is in physics. 🙂 If you start with what would seem to be the "beginning", the structure of the atom, you actually need to get into quantum mechanics right away to understand all of those anomalous ions (I promise they do have explanations ;)) and QM isn't exactly a good starting point - it tends to scare students off rather quickly. 😉  I always feel there needs to be a bit of "have faith in me as your chem teacher - I promise this will make sense in a few weeks" when teaching high school or introductory chem. 😄  I keep thinking I should develop a method to teach chem the way regentrude is suggesting but every time I try, I run into some of that "we'll circle back around to this later" stuff.  I'm not sure that method is completely possible. 😉

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11 minutes ago, Dicentra said:

 

I think @regentrude and I have discussed this before - there is no logical, simple "starting point" in chemistry like there is in physics. 🙂 If you start with what would seem to be the "beginning", the structure of the atom, you actually need to get into quantum mechanics right away to understand all of those anomalous ions (I promise they do have explanations ;)) and QM isn't exactly a good starting point - it tends to scare students off rather quickly. 😉  I always feel there needs to be a bit of "have faith in me as your chem teacher - I promise this will make sense in a few weeks" when teaching high school or introductory chem. 😄  I keep thinking I should develop a method to teach chem the way regentrude is suggesting but every time I try, I run into some of that "we'll circle back around to this later" stuff.  I'm not sure that method is completely possible. 😉

I’d be interested in a structure with as much understanding as possible upfront, but yes, not quite as scary as QM 😉 

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@Not_a_Number and @regentrude - you both might be interested in the "atoms first" approach:

https://preparatorychemistry.com/Bishop_Atoms_First.htm

as opposed to the "chemistry first" approach:

https://preparatorychemistry.com/Bishop_Chemistry_First.htm

The Chang General Chemistry textbook is more of a "chemistry first" approach.  I think there is still a bit of "trust me - we'll talk about why later" even in the "atoms first" approach but much less so. 🙂

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25 minutes ago, Dicentra said:

@Not_a_Number and @regentrude - you both might be interested in the "atoms first" approach:

https://preparatorychemistry.com/Bishop_Atoms_First.htm

as opposed to the "chemistry first" approach:

https://preparatorychemistry.com/Bishop_Chemistry_First.htm

The Chang General Chemistry textbook is more of a "chemistry first" approach.  I think there is still a bit of "trust me - we'll talk about why later" even in the "atoms first" approach but much less so. 🙂

Thanks!!

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