Advice on skipping ahead in math?

<p>Anyone had experience skipping ahead in math? How was it handled at your school?</p>

<p>My son is a freshman, strong at math and very interested in it. At his HS the sequence is Algebra II, Geometry, Pre-Calc, Calc. He's in the highest level for Algebra II and finding it very easy; his teacher commented that he probably could have handled Pre-calc this year. This is not an easy public H.S.; it is your typical BWRK-factory in suburban Boston. He is pursuing the possibility of skipping Geometry by either summer tutorial or on-line work and entering pre-calc in the Fall as a sophomore. Any thoughts about the importance of getting Geometry in full-course style? Is Geometry a big part of the PSAT/SAT math? Anyone else's kids skip math years? Thanks for your thoughts.</p>

<p>MGM - Does skipping ahead put your son out of sequence w/ his class? In other words, if he skips Geometry and takes Pre Calc next year will he be taking it w/ only juniors/seniors? and will this prevent him from being in say honors english for sophs? Also, what math would he take as a senior? Does your hs offer AP Stats?</p>

<p>At some schools (not ours), the best math students take Calculus as junors, so it is pretty common for strong math students to do this, and he should be fine. The only thing is, will he be able to take math beyond the highest offering of your school somewhere else (at a local college?) as a senior, if he takes calc. as a junior? It won't be a good idea not to take math as a senior.</p>

<p>My S skipped a math. Yes he was with upper classmen for all his math classes. He finished Cal BC as a Junior. As a senior he had three options (1) Take statistics (2) go to a college or (3) forget about math as a senior.</p>

<p>He took option 2. He had scheduling conflict so he is taking statistics as a self study.</p>

<p>I say go for it if math is his strength. Taking a summer geometry course at the cc or with a private tutor should be fine. I agree with motheroftwo that you want to look down the line to make sure that he has an option as a senior, so talk to his HS counselor before doing anythng irrevocable.</p>

<p>klc - yes, he'd be with jr's and sr's for pre-calc (not a problem) and Sr. year the options would be exactly as SIMBA experienced: AP stats, elsewhere, or none. The guidance counselor at the school is checking to make sure he would still be able to take the Accelerated (higher than Honors at our school) English, Science and SS if he took the pre-calc. </p>

<p>My lingering concern is with the importance of Geometry - is it a significant part of the PSAT or SAT?</p>

<p>The way you define "skipped" is sort of weird but anyways...I go to a super-competitive IB school in Sacramento. The track that we have is:
Alg1, Geo, Alg2, IB1, Precal, Cal, IB2, IB3/4.</p>

<p>If you are in IB you select one IB class to take. 3/4 is murder ,and out of the thousands of IB students worldwide, I think only about 400 test in it. It's also 2 years long. ANYWAYS...
I went to a crappy middle school and took Alg 1 over the summer b4 freshman year, just so I would be on the lower end of IB kids (most were in alg2 as froshes). Frosh year I had Geo, Soph year alg 2. Then it got interesting .I decided to take IB 1 because it is an easy-squeezy-lemon-peezy class, and it is really easy to get a perfect score (the test is today, and im not studying). But, since I wanted to be competitive mathematically, I took trig at a community college last semester. I then challenged the prerequisite of precalculus, and am now taking calculus. So basically in one year, I've done 4 math classes.<br>
It works, as long as your son is motivated and smart. Make sure he's in math all 4 years though, even if it means trucking him to a community college.</p>

<p>MGM mom- I can't answer the signifcance on the test, but i would think if he chooses an cc college or self-study option with a tutor and really learns the material, it shouldn't matter. I don't think he should skip learning geometry, at all. But there are other ways to get the course without sitting in his HS class for a year. I think a summer program at a high school or community college would be the most thorough option.</p>

<p>Son that just graduated last year (from private Catholic high school) took Calc as a junior, along with three of his classmates. He was extremely lucky in that his math teacher taught an advanced senior math class for just the four of them--pretty unusual for that school. Happy for that. </p>

<p>He only had a smattering of geometry. His school offers a sequence (honors math) that starts freshman year and covers algebra/geometry/algebra II in two years and he started the second year as a freshman, hitting the tail end of geometry. He was stumped for about a week, having had no previous geometry, but caught on and did fine. He did very well on all of the standardized math tests, PSAT/SAT/SATII. </p>

<p>His younger sister is doing the same thing. She was told that pre calc was the hardest math class and was a little intimidated to try it as a sophomore, but is finding it very manageable and will take Calc BC as a junior next year as well.</p>

<p>At our public high school because of the block schedule, some of the kids there are finishing up Calc as sophomores.</p>

<p>My son qualified through the Johns Hopkins CTY program when he was younger and took Geometry in their self-directed math summer program. He tested and placed out of Geometry when he returned to school that fall and was pretty much super-accellerated for the rest of his HS career. But before he undertook this path, we did talk to folks at his school to be sure they would accept his summer work and help him design a math curriculum throughout his 4 years of HS. They were agreeable, and it was the best thing for him. For him, it didn't matter that he was a 9th grader in a class of seniors, for instance, but that would be a serious consideration for some students. I'd recommend talking it over with the school first, and investigating good summer programs with an eye towards testing out of the next class in the fall.</p>

<p>Mine took Geometry and Precalc at the same time, with Precalc being an on-line course through CTY that he completed in two months, thus with placement and credit granted by the high school (we didn't tell the high school that it took him only two months--he ended up being the only kid who scored as "ready for Calculus" the next fall in his class pretest!). If that was doable, then what you're proposaing should be. The problem for mine was that he ended up out of math and had to go on-line for any math for his senior year. He's doing the AP Calc BC test this morning, so it worked out okay, but make sure your kid's school has further math for him or her-- or that you're willing to do what needs to be done to replace the school--at the end of the line.</p>

<p>My S skipped a class and then took a summer program at a local university. The result was he finished AP Calculus BC as a sophomore and had no math at all his junior year, with which he was not pleased. He was able to take calculus based physics, but that only required Calc AB. In retrospect, he felt he was a little too aggressive in moving ahead so fast. He did manage to take AP Stat his senior year, but the loss of continuity and the way his HS schedule fell out as a result caused him some problems. Since he is not a math person, taking the year off right before the college tests was not a great idea. Though he ended up doing very well, he felt the added "angst." His younger brother (now in an Algebra II + some Geometry equivalent in 7th grade) is slowing things down a bit, at least by a year, maybe two.</p>

<p>Our public school system allows a small number of elementary students (5th grade) move up to take middle school 6th grade honors math. When they get to middle school, they take 7th and 8th grade math. Then an even smaller numer of middle school students in 8th grade move on to the high school to take 9th grade honors geometry. They then move up the chain, finishing calculus (and the entire math curriculum) in 11th grade. A few students then move on to a local college for the next level of calculus.</p>

<p>Sorry, but I don't recall the actual class names. The students that move through on the accelerated path seem to do quite well in the college calculus class.</p>

<p>My daughter moved ahead by studying geometry during the summer between her first and second year of high school. When she was applying to the head of her upper school for permission to do this, she was told that geometry was the only math course the math department felt comfortable allowing students to study outside of the school's program. One or two strong math students did it every summer. Studying geometry independently had no impact on her standardized tests.</p>

<p>In general, I say skip kids ahead when they can do so usefully. But simba raised an important point, and that is what does the kid do after he's completed the normal or available sequence at the high school? My son faced that issue and didn't have any good senior year options that wouldn't have competed with his major extracurricular involvement in debate. So he actually took no math his senior year, which didn't seem to hurt his admissions prospects (perhaps b/c of his test scores in math and other subjects).</p>

<p>MGMom - yes, geometry is a very important part of the PSAT and SAT. Your son needs to be solid on geometry. He will also need credit for geometry in order to graduate. That said, he does not necessarily need to take a course to cover all of it, and a smart math kid can do it on their own in about half the time they would spend if they took a class. See if your school has some sort of "credit by exam" option that would allow him to self-study. Or check out distance learning courses. (also an option if he needs a math course to take as a senior) Here are a couple:
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<p>I can recommend the Stanford EPGY program. It served as an excellent enrichment program for D. Another benefit is that the teaching method is more "college" than "high school."</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a>
"The Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY) at Stanford University is a continuing project dedicated to developing and offering multimedia computer-based distance-learning courses. Combining technical and instructional expertise, EPGY provides high-ability students of all ages with an individualized educational experience, optimized in both pace and content. Through EPGY, students have access to courses in a variety of subjects at levels ranging from kindergarten through advanced-undergraduate."</p>

<p>Yes, geometry is a major part of PSAT, SAT and ACT; any student who hasn't covered it will be at a definite disadvantage. However, almost all the geometry on these tests is the type a student could pick up on an informal basis with some kind of tutorial, i.e., basic figure length and area formulas, lots of using algebra principles to solve equations involving geometric relationships, lots of angle calculations. You need to make sure your S is committed to spending the time to practice these types of problems. Of course, by skipping geometry, he will be missing the formal training in logic that geometry proofs provide, a valuable skill that would help in other courses requiring him to present an argument.</p>

<p>Geometry can be learned in a fairly informal way. My S took the SAT in 7th grade and had a perfect score in geometry. When your S takes the SAT, look at his performance on the different sections. You will be better able to formulate a plan of action. I doubt it would involve spending a whole year on geometry.</p>

<p>Lots of kids from our hs take Calc as sophomores or juniors. They then go to the Harvard Extension School for Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra. The MV Calc last year had 53 high schoolers out of an enrolment of 83; most were from the Boston suburbs. Many high schools in the area actually give scholarships to attend, so it is cost-free to families.</p>

<p>My son was skipped ahead two years in Middle School. My school believes that if a kid has a high understanding of math they can function in any type of math class and in my sons case they were right.
For all his skipping ahead and his 780 on the Sat math portion - 1st and only time he took it with no studying, my son is not interested in math and enjoys being creative. So thank goodness he was finished Junior year with our schools math curriculum and is now just taking Statistics for fun to get an easy A.
If the school lets you skip, by all means go for it.</p>