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  1. #41
    jenmcadams is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    We don't have our English and Social Studies paired, but I like the idea. For Honors track kids at our school, the typical path for social studies is:

    9th - AP Human Geo
    10th - APUSH
    11th - AP Euro or AP World
    12th - AP Gov/AP Econ

    In 11th, you can choose Euro vs World and while I wanted my DD to take World, she chose Euro more based on the teacher and I think she made the right choice for her (she loves her teacher and he's a leading contender for college recommender for her now). Her teacher is an AP grader and his course is super challenging (grade-wise), but not overwhelming workload wise. I think it's important to do research and find out what the workload is like at your specific high school for specific APs. We have a relatively small high school without a ton of honors options after 10th grade (basically the options are AP or Regular for Jr/Sr year except for math which has Pre-Calc Honors before you hit APs) so a lot of kids take a lot of APs and the teachers seem to limit the workload in some classes to keep the overall load reasonable. That is not the case across our district - my DD is taking 5 APs (AP Euro, AP Lang, AP Chem, AP Calc BC, and AP French) as a Junior and that would never be possible at a nearby school where some of her friends go. The workload in each individual AP class is overwhelming at that school, so 2-3 would be a full load. However, that school is larger and also has a much higher proportion of honors kids and offers other honors options in Junior/Senior year that aren't AP
    Mom to a DD (8/02) and a DS (6/05)

  2. #42
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    KpbS is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by o_mom View Post
    Remember that much of the advice you are receiving is for neurotypical kids. It has been emphasized over and over to us that kids with ADHD can be as much as 25-30% behind in executive function skills. They need more guidance and help with these type of skills until they catch up with their NT peers. I think that involving him in the process is great and helping him understand how to project the path he may end up on if he doesn't do honors is good, but he may not be ready to navigate this completely on his own and you should not feel bad about giving him the support he needs.
    YES to this. Can totally relate.
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  3. #43
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    European History is a great class and I donít see it as pointless in the least. I donít see it as an either/or issue vs timing. Most kids, at least in our indecent school world, take a world history course too. But focusing on different areas lets the kids drill down more. It is the norm here for English and History courses to be paired, same kids in each section, even the mainstream class pairs the courses so the writing assignments can also work with what they are learning in history. I donít think European History is just old royalty either and some things from the past are disturbingly familiar today. My child could teach a course on a wide variety of history topics with his interest and knowledge base of all sorts of history (not kidding!) and I am amazed at what he knows. My history teachers were some of my best teachers too. Does your son want to take it?


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  4. #44
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    I'm a HS social science teacher at a school with a significant AP program and we only offer AP Euro at the 10th grade level- it isn't bound to the honors English class though since we aren't on the block schedule. However, the previous school I taught at was on a block schedule and to do the honors English, it was paired with the AP History offered (we had AP World at that school). From what I've heard, the choice between AP Euro and AP World was based on either teacher discretion/what they wanted to teach and receive training in OR it was a district decision that was implemented across all high schools in our district. Either way, our 10th graders have a great experience in AP Euro at my current school- for virtually all of them, it's their first attempt at an AP course and it's a huge leap in terms of skill building. It does really position them well to take APUSH during their junior year.

    Since your son is more science minded, I would probably steer him away from the AP Euro unless he REALLY wants to take it (which doesn't sound like the case). My 10th graders who are in the class say that it is a lot of reading and work, and while the teachers are amazing, it's still a tough class. If he's doubling up on science, and still needs to fit in math, a foreign language, possibly PE and an art elective, along with English and History he will have a lot on his plate. Add in the immaturity and the ADHD that you mentioned earlier, it's a lot to juggle.

  5. #45
    bisous is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by HannaAddict View Post
    European History is a great class and I donít see it as pointless in the least. I donít see it as an either/or issue vs timing. Most kids, at least in our indecent school world, take a world history course too. But focusing on different areas lets the kids drill down more. It is the norm here for English and History courses to be paired, same kids in each section, even the mainstream class pairs the courses so the writing assignments can also work with what they are learning in history. I donít think European History is just old royalty either and some things from the past are disturbingly familiar today. My child could teach a course on a wide variety of history topics with his interest and knowledge base of all sorts of history (not kidding!) and I am amazed at what he knows. My history teachers were some of my best teachers too. Does your son want to take it?


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    He doesnít. He wants Honors English. I have a Masters degree in Medieval History so of course I love it and think it has value! Also, for anyone still reading this thread please be aware my concerns with the narrowness is the curriculum are widely shared in the field.

  6. #46
    bisous is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinay View Post
    I'm a HS social science teacher at a school with a significant AP program and we only offer AP Euro at the 10th grade level- it isn't bound to the honors English class though since we aren't on the block schedule. However, the previous school I taught at was on a block schedule and to do the honors English, it was paired with the AP History offered (we had AP World at that school). From what I've heard, the choice between AP Euro and AP World was based on either teacher discretion/what they wanted to teach and receive training in OR it was a district decision that was implemented across all high schools in our district. Either way, our 10th graders have a great experience in AP Euro at my current school- for virtually all of them, it's their first attempt at an AP course and it's a huge leap in terms of skill building. It does really position them well to take APUSH during their junior year.

    Since your son is more science minded, I would probably steer him away from the AP Euro unless he REALLY wants to take it (which doesn't sound like the case). My 10th graders who are in the class say that it is a lot of reading and work, and while the teachers are amazing, it's still a tough class. If he's doubling up on science, and still needs to fit in math, a foreign language, possibly PE and an art elective, along with English and History he will have a lot on his plate. Add in the immaturity and the ADHD that you mentioned earlier, it's a lot to juggle.
    This is a really helpful post! Thanks so much for the advice!

  7. #47
    bisous is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    So he went to the first day of the class and really wants to take it. How can I tell him no? Yet Iíve heard that both it and the honors English class are a ton of work. Heís good at school and loves to learn. So far I feel like I should honor his wishes. I hope this year isnít a disaster!

  8. #48
    SnuggleBuggles is online now Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Let him decide. I'm sure he'll be fine. It's a good time to figure it out vs when you've shelled out lots of money for college. Built in peer network to work together, especially if he gets to spend time at school with everyone (activities...). Informal study groups always get formed for the kids who stay after to do sports, theater...- it's awesome!

  9. #49
    ha98ed14 is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by essnce629 View Post
    Also, FWIW DS1's school and most of the private schools and some charters in Los Angeles are phasing out all AP courses. Next year is the last year that DS1's school will off AP courses and I'm very happy about the decision. My only advice is for my DS1 is to take advanced classes in subjects he loves because that's where he's most likely to do well when he's genuinely interested in the subject.

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    I am in SoCal, too. What is the rationale behind phasing out AP classes? We have a few years till high school, but my DD is taking AP English as a 7th-8th grader (They teach it over 2 years and kids take the exam at the end of 8th grade.) This was introduced within the last 3 years, which is the opposite of phasing it out.
    Mommy to my One & Only 05.07

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by ha98ed14 View Post
    I am in SoCal, too. What is the rationale behind phasing out AP classes? We have a few years till high school, but my DD is taking AP English as a 7th-8th grader (They teach it over 2 years and kids take the exam at the end of 8th grade.) This was introduced within the last 3 years, which is the opposite of phasing it out.
    This article explains some of the criticisms surrounding AP courses:

    https://www.insidehighered.com/news/...out-ap-program

    Basically, AP courses are the ultimate teach to the test curriculum and the week by week syllabus for each AP course is determined by an outside entity (College Board). The AP teachers have no room to deviate from the set curriculum, which means they can't delve as deeply into the subject because they're pressed for time to get all the course material covered by the May deadlines. For many private schools, AP courses are completely opposite to their philosophies for learning, which usually include collaborative, experiential, and interdisciplinary learning. DS1's independent private school will be replacing their AP courses with advanced classes that mirror their philosophy.

    When you apply to colleges each student's application has a 2 page attachment on it that lists every single class that was offered to that student, in each year, at their particular high school. The colleges want to see that students challenged themselves in the most rigorous classes offered at THEIR school. So if your high school offers AP courses, then yes, they'll expect you to take them and do well. And if your high school only offers honors and their own advanced curriculum then they will expect you to take those. All colleges will receive both an unweighted and weighted GPA and some schools even recalculate everyone's GPA based on their own calculation so taking the most advanced classes just for the GPA boost isn't the greatest idea.

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