January 22, 2018

High School Math

Math – you either love it or you don’t. But we all gotta’ do it.  In high school you will want to take a math course every year.  Sometimes that’s a good thing because it’s simply a logical progression of courses in math subjects.  But it can also be the elephant in the room – everyone knows it’s there but we don’t really know what to do with it, especially if we have a struggling learner (or teacher).

high school math

You can award high school math credit if a younger student takes a high school level class.


If your student is ready, it is okay to start your high school level math before you are officially in high school.  That means that, yes, you can take Algebra 1 in the eighth grade and it will count towards your high school level math requirements.  If you follow this path, I still recommend that your student takes math every year in high school.  It is really difficult to skip a year of math and then get back in the groove.  And colleges love to see five math credits!

Or, on the flip side of that, if your student struggles with math, it is okay to take more than one year to complete a credit.  For example, you may still want to start Algebra 1 in the eighth grade, but take two years to get the textbook done – spending more time building the foundations that will be needed as you move forward.  In math, especially, you need to be sure that students understand and master the basics before moving to the more complex steps.  You still count this as one credit in Algebra 1 and you would put it on your transcript once the textbook is done.

While this is only a partial list, here are some courses that colleges consider to be college preparatory math classes:  Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Probability and Statistics, Trigonometry, Advanced Algebra with Financial Applications, Advanced Topics in Math or any college level math courses taken as a dual enrolled student.

But, what if we’re just not there with our math skills?  It is okay to take math courses in high school that are not necessarily college preparatory.  Again – it’s all about building the foundation and that means you must work on what the student needs most.  Feel free to spend more time in Pre-Algebra if that is necessary.  Or it may serve a student best if you take them through a Consumer Math or a Business Math course.  If a student wants to attend college but does not have the appropriate math skills, most colleges have remedial math classes available to help a student work their way up to college level math.

Once you find a math curriculum that works for you, stick with it.  Every curriculum will build their foundations a little differently – so jumping from one curriculum to another may mean that you miss out on some of the building blocks.

And, one last note – the SAT tests through Algebra 2 and includes some probability and statistics.  The ACT ventures into Trigonometry.  You will want to start taking these tests early – just know that the math score will increase as your student masters more skills.

~to your success


(Image courtesy of artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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