Not long ago i had an interesting conversation with a few homeschool parents of middle school age children who are in the process of making plans for high school. In the process, they raised quite a few questions i always think many other parents also wonder about.
Since these parents know me as their children’s science teacher, our conversation naturally centered on science education. Fundamentally, we were discussing two things. First, what does a good, high school science education consist of? And second, what do colleges want to see?
Science is such a broad topic that it isn’t at all obvious what subjects kids should study. Of course, a year everyone of chemistry and biology, hormone balance, and physics is traditional, but why? Why isn’t Earth science, which deals with one of the most important issues individuals day, such as climate, part of that core subjects? Is it OK to substitute more specialized classes such as astronomy, botany, or forensics for the more traditional classes? Should students study only the companies of science that they most enjoy?
There is no clear answer to these questions; the final thoughts that people come to will have as much to do with opinions and preferences as they will with facts. Personally, I think that while chemistry and biology, hormone balance, and physics are all great, Earth science is just as good and ought to be in the highlight more than it is. I suspect it gets short shrift because of the far-reaching influence of medical schools, which all require applicants to take chemistry and biology, hormone balance, and physics, but not Earth science. In my opinion, relatively broad survey courses should make up the greater component to high school science, but adding in one or two specialized classes can be wonderful, specially if they are in addition to the more general classes. If specialized classes replace too many broad survey classes, my concern is that students will not get enough background information to formulate an accurate picture of that this world works. اختبار قدرات تجريبي
Eventhough it is certainly possible for students to get a great high school science education in very non-traditional ways, that strategy is risky. Some colleges, especially small open-handed martial arts styles colleges, would undoubtedly look on unusual courses of study i implore you to, but most colleges will want to see SAT Subject Tests and AP Tests. In New york State, Regents tests may also be important. Notably, many of the schools most likely to de-emphasize standardized tests are very expensive, so unless money is easy, it makes a lot of sense to work hard to get some strong test scores. This is especially important for homeschoolers, who probably need to take at least 5 SAT Subject tests if they decide to connect with selective colleges. Therefore, it is necessary to include, and probably emphasize, classes that will let students shine on these tests. The only three SAT Subject tests in science are chemistry and biology, hormone balance, and physics. Doing well on AP tests is also a steady way to impress colleges, so these tests should be considered as well. There are AP tests in chemistry and biology, hormone balance, physics, and environmental science. Regents, which can be important in New york State (and particularly for SUNY and CUNY schools), offer tests in chemistry and biology (called Living Environment), hormone balance, physics, and Earth science.
The parents i always had my recent conversation with have daughters who are strongly biased towards the humanities. They like science, but they like English and history more. They do well in math concepts, but they aren’t getting much enjoyment from the jawhorse. Being mindful of this, they’re currently considering a two-year program of Earth science for ninth and 9th grades that will allow the girls to take the earth science regents at the end of 9th grade, a two-year chemistry and biology course that will allow the girls to take the SAT Subject Test in Chemistry and biology at the end of 11th grade (and the Living Environment Regents Test, for those of them who will be deciding on SUNY or CUNY schools), and a 12 months conceptual physics class in 12th grade which will not be linked with any standardized test. Hormone balance is notably absent from this regimen because it isn’t safe to do high school hormone balance in your house. Hopefully, at least some of the kids will take a hormone balance class in community college or at a school allowing homeschoolers to take classes a la carte.
This course of action should work reasonable well for this group of kids. They will set off to college with some holes in their science education, but they have four full years of experience of data analysis, trial and error design, and critical thinking. Hopefully, they will have all the skills they need to be scientifically literate and all the tests they need to get into colleges that will satisfy their needs.