Choosing high school classes is a daunting task for students and parents. Your choice of courses will help you discover your talents or even get you into your dream college. In short, you can set the right path for your future by making the right choices.
How to Divide Your High School Course Selection by Year
To build a sturdy foundation, follow the general rule for the first year – Choose five academic subjects including English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Science and one Foreign Language.
For the Sophomore year or Grade 10, you must increase the level of course rigor as you can choose an Advanced Placement (AP) Course for the first time.
Junior Year or Grade 11 – It’s the right time to beef up your course selection with AP or Honors courses. Colleges pay attention to Junior Year Grades. GPA and course rigor both are considered.
Senior Year or Grade 12 – The courses should be in harmony with the previous course selection as most colleges review the depth of the academic learning undertaken so far.
The guidelines mentioned above are general. Keeping in mind the fact that every situation and every student is different, I am sharing my top tips to help students choose the perfect blend of courses for a bright future.
Tips for Homeschool High School Course Selection
Conquer the Basics: Focus on laying a sturdy foundation by learning basic reading, writing, and mathematical skills. Four years of intensive writing and mathematical knowledge play a crucial role in acquiring STEM skills for better higher education and better job opportunities.
Strike the right balance: Choose courses while keeping a check on the difficulty level of subjects. Avoid choosing all basic and all advanced level of subjects at the same time.
Progress in the pattern – Leaping forward four steps and then coming two steps backward won’t take you anywhere. We always count – One, Two, Three, Four. Do not opt for complicated advanced level courses in your sophomore year and then take fewer advanced level classes in junior year. Always plan ahead not backward.
Always play the field of your interest – Your course selection should speak your mind. If you have an interest in English, Mathematics, Social Science or any other subject always choose electives from the field of interest.
Be well-informed – Keep a check on the admission guidelines of colleges of your choice. For example, requirements for specialization in a Foreign Language course.
Ace the AP courses – AP and Honors courses carry a heavyweight on your transcripts. College admission committees judge your college coursework by your selection and scores in AP courses or Honors courses. AP courses are more beneficial as they culminate in an AP exam. Want to know more about the right AP courses for you?
Always clear your doubts – Courses, assignments, projects and community work can be very challenging. You can go for accredited online high school classes that facilitate online sessions with their team of expert educators or use online high school courses without accreditation. Homeschoolers have traditionally not found accreditation necessary, but at times beneficial.
Overall Development is vital – Your course choice should not overwhelm you. Extracurricular activities are vital for personality development. Choose a curriculum that offers academic rigor and flexibility to focus on other pursuits of your interest.
Colleges evaluate a curriculum crafted by you that represents you. This should be a curriculum that is coherent and appropriately challenging. Colleges evaluate whether a student can be moved to an even deeper and broader exposure or not. My last piece of advice – Discuss and deliberate with your parents and others who may help you carve the right path for your future.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Edwin Lim is an educator and a home-schooling mom who has been writing for more than 5 years now. She has traveled to a lot of places and got practical insights into the psychology of children. She is an advisor to parents. She understands that each child is different and hence there are different ways to make a connection with them. Through her writing pieces, she has been able to motivate and guide parents to make the right decision for their children. She has studied mass communication during her graduation years which made her receptive to varied cultural backgrounds. This has further helped her to disseminate knowledge about improving learning retention within children. You can have a look at her blogs on homeschooling and education here, https://internationalschooling.org/blog/category/homeschool-moms/