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Motherdear
Registered User Posts: **1,289** Senior Member

My rising seventh grade boy just made the last of the cuts to qualify for Algebra 1. This will put him on a junior year calculus class If he doesn't take this, he will be in Math Honors 7 and will take Algebra 1 next year which would result in Calc in sr yr... He's a smart boy, quick to learn, but neither his dad or I would call him a genius.

Pros:

He is very pleased with himself (ridiculously so) and promises he can handle the work and responsibility.

Our school system does have several levels of upper level classes for juniors (and even younger) who take Calculus. He won't have to go to a community college with older students or off-campus.

Cons:

I'm a bit concerned about a 7th grader taking a hs class that will be on his transcripts for colleges to see come admissions time. It can be reported as a letter grade or as pass/fail, but it will definitely be reported either way.

What would be the admissions ramifications if he did the higher level track but during his junior year took no math due to a selective program and resumed math in sr. yr? His sister was a US Congressional Page which he thinks would like to apply for as well. Because there are so few Pages, the highest level of math offered at the Page School is trig/precal that preps the jrs. for BC calc as srs.

Any personal anecdotes or experiences are welcome.

Pros:

He is very pleased with himself (ridiculously so) and promises he can handle the work and responsibility.

Our school system does have several levels of upper level classes for juniors (and even younger) who take Calculus. He won't have to go to a community college with older students or off-campus.

Cons:

I'm a bit concerned about a 7th grader taking a hs class that will be on his transcripts for colleges to see come admissions time. It can be reported as a letter grade or as pass/fail, but it will definitely be reported either way.

What would be the admissions ramifications if he did the higher level track but during his junior year took no math due to a selective program and resumed math in sr. yr? His sister was a US Congressional Page which he thinks would like to apply for as well. Because there are so few Pages, the highest level of math offered at the Page School is trig/precal that preps the jrs. for BC calc as srs.

Any personal anecdotes or experiences are welcome.

Post edited by Motherdear on

## Replies to: 7th grader in Algebra 1

2,680Senior MemberI'm a rising senior who has calc AB under his belt and will do calc BC next year. In order for me to "get ahead" I had to do a 3 week course in algebra I at the JHU CTY program which cost lots of cash. I felt if you can learn the stuff there is no reason not to take it.

Now, my friend was a congressional page over the summer, so you could do that instead of this "page school" which I'm not too familiar with.

27,858Senior Member4,162Senior Member1,526Senior MemberI would have him take algebra now if he's academically ready for it, and deal with junior year math when it comes time. He could no longer be interested in the Congressional Page program, and, like mathmom said, there are always distance math programs.

1,289Senior Member----

It is considered more difficult to get an academic year Page appointment than a summer appointment, although neither is easy. The AY kids have to balance their academics AND their responsibilities to the House or Senate. They are required to live in the dorms (even if their hometown is DC) and go to school at 6:45 am.

Summer Pages can live with a "qualifying adult" or family member if there is one in commuting distance. Most of course opt to live in the dorm to get the full Page experience. In either case, it's considered easier because there is no balance to maintain.

21,586Senior MemberLots of students take BC-Calc in junior year and go on to take Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra in their senior year either through distance learning or at the community college.

1,526Senior Member2,645Senior Member24,853Senior MemberHowever, according to S's 7th grade math teacher, there also are many equally bright students who aren't ready for algebra at that age. The teacher, who was very experienced, said that he saw gifted students who had to drop algebra in 7th grade who excelled in it when they took it as h.s. freshmen. The teacher believed that what caused their earlier difficulty was probably connected with some aspect of brain development. They just needed more time for their brains to develop.

Meanwhile, one doesn't need to take algebra in 7th grade to be on track for top colleges or for careers in the sciences.

1,289Senior Member5th grade standardized test scores also are the initial cut to determine Honors placement for middle school (ours are 7-8 only). I found it ironic that I had a 5th grader and a junior both taking tests at the same time whose scores would affect school placement 15 months from the test.

17,472Senior MemberThere will be something for him to do by that age if he wants to keep his math moving forward and he gets into the page program.

You asked for anecdotes, so I'll relate mine. My son took algebra I and algebra II in an accelerated, university-based program in sixth grade. (We are homeschoolers; we declare grades by the usual age rules.) This coming school year is his "ninth grade" year, and he will be taking a course that is like the "C" part of AP calculus BC, followed by an introduction to linear algebra. Next year ("tenth grade") is slated for multivariable calculus and linear algebra in that same program.

I had a big interest in politics when I was a kid, but knew nothing about how to get into the page program. Congratulations to you for having had one child in that already. I would let your second son follow his path, staying motivated at what he likes to do, and cross that bridge of articulating the two programs when he comes to it. I spent most of last year worrying about what to do for my son's "ninth grade" (agreeing with Marite, nothing before ninth grade, and possibly not ninth grade itself, really counts for college applications). We toured local independent high schools, inquired about out-of-district enrollment at certain public high schools, look at elite boarding schools, visited a local community college, and generally racked our brains about what to do with our son. Just when we thought we'd have to settle for second-best (left unnamed here), we heard about EPGY Online High School. That's not for everyone, I'm sure, but it looks like a good fit for us. Within a day or two we should know the financial aid outcome there (it has already been decided, but we haven't seen the news) and then we'll know if that is a go for the coming school year.

Oh, and on the subject of financial aid, apply early, apply often, and apply EVERYWHERE. Each program has its own rules. CTY has good financial aid for some families (mostly at the low end of the income range nationally) and EPGY has GREAT financial aid over a wide income range. Apply for this, apply for that, and see what happens.

Best wishes. Algebra in seventh grade is the routine international standard, so it's good to keep up with that.

806MemberMath can be a very conceptual subject and if students are not ready for it, maturity wise, they will be able to do the formulas but not really understand what it means or apply it.

Advanced math is great if the kid has matured enough to truly understand. It is not intelligence but maturity and brain development that should be making the call.

1,289Senior Member21,586Senior MemberMy S began learning calculus in 7th grade. Another classmate was doing 9th grade math and another precalculus. No one pushed them.

636MemberOur school and district allow acceleration such as your son's, and we have lots of parents who really push this for their kids. We have qualifying tests, but this by itself doesn't correlate well with future performance in AP Calc. Some of our kids self-study over the summer and skip a course. Choice is allowed, even if the test results do not support it or a teacher advises against it. However, the flip side is that once in a class the kid is stuck. I have a couple of double accelerated kids each year who have tutors! And they keep going right into AP Calc with their tutor! About 40% of our AP Calc classes are comprised of juniors and sophomores (we offer only AB and then an "advanced calc", CC course, in the HS the next year for uni credit). In too many of these accelerated cases, grades are in the B/C/D range and some parents have no clue that their child who was a top student in math in middle school had hit a wall somewhere or was drowning in a sea of over-acceleration in many areas.

I assume that all will go well for your son. He should take a math class every year. There are ways to do this, several have been mentioned. As a senior, my D took the advanced calc class for 2 quarters of uni credit in addition to the 2 quarters credit she earned for her AP exam grade. She also took AP Stats that year. Since she was interested in the sciences, the colleges communicated that they'd like to see math each year of high school. However, I believe that every student should take four years of HS math to better prepare them for college expectations (and hopefully keep them out of remedial math as a college frosh).