We coddle our toddlers, dreaming big dreams for their future: health, academic excellence, outstanding athletics, sharpness, endowed with common sense, and so on and so forth. Reality usually delivers a different picture, one we customarily learn to live with. Fast forward to middle school, and to more specific dreams that both student and parent may share about the future – dreams that require foresight and advocacy.
If a family's academic dream includes admission to a higher-tier, highly selective college for which competition is keen, that means the most important piece of the application – the high school transcript – must include calculus. Yes, calculus.
Don't misunderstand us – there certainly are college majors where mathematics plays a small role, if any. However, to gain admission to a "brand-name," highly selective school, a student must usually demonstrate cutting edge academic success in subjects that push the intellectual envelop. Such is the quality of calculus, a form of mathematics that demonstrates serious analytical ability. Now, let's get back to middle school....
In order to rise to the level of calculus in high school, a student must typically complete Algebra 1 in middle school – often both Algebra 1 and Geometry prior to the first 9th grade bell ringing in the high school hallway. If a student begins Algebra 1 as a high school freshman, then the progression of Geometry, Algebra 2, and Pre-calculus in grades 10, 11, and 12 leaves the student short of that admissions gold standard, calculus.
The great news is that in addition to completing Algebra 1 in middle school, there are a couple of other viable options:
- Florida Virtual School's online math courses
- Small group summer classes
- One-on-one instruction at an accredited school during or between academic years
These solutions can also be of service in the event that your child is already in high school and needs to add an extra math class to get on track to completing calculus.
We can discuss the merits of each along with other solutions given your current situation. Contact us so we can help you plot a course for success. We are scheduling experts for both public and private school systems, and we can help you make decisions to help clear shadows from your future.