It’s course selection time! How do you choose the best class for your child? This article will specifically discuss choosing a MATH class.
Things to consider: What are you looking for? This may seem like a dumb question.
“What am I looking for? Why, the best Math class for my son/daughter! A class that he/she will get an A in!”
Myself, I’m looking for several things. I’m looking for a class that will challenge my child, not overwhelm or bore them. I’m looking for a class that will foster their love of learning and give them confidence in their Math skills. I’m looking for a class that will help them on the path that they want to be on, whether it is to be a future Engineer or a future Business leader or a future whatever. A Math class can make your child love school or dread school.
What do I look for?
1. Good teachers. What is a good teacher? A good Math teacher is one who LIKES Math, LIKES his/her students, and WANTS the kids to explore and think. Often because I know a teacher is good, I will insist that a child be placed in a honors Math class, even though the child may not have received an A or B last year, JUST BECAUSE THE TEACHER IS BETTER. Often a school will place their best teachers as the honors teachers because they know that parents of the honors students care more and will insist on good teachers.
2. Does this get my child on the correct path for whatever they want to do? If your child doesn’t want to do anything that requires higher level Math, then they can take the lowest Math classes in high school (ie Algebra 1/Integrated Math 1, Geometry/Integrated Math 2, Algebra 2/Integrated Math 3, Precalculus). But if your child wants to go into business, engineering, Science, then they need at the very least Calculus. Then they need to START high school at Geometry/Integrated Math 2. So you need to plot their middle school/junior high so that they FINISH Algebra 1/Integrated Math 1 BEFORE high school. If they want to study a hard Science in college, you’ll need to make sure they skip TWO grades in Math before they enter high school. Grades are important in high school and they learn a lot in Math so I don’t recommend skipping once they are in high school.
3. Will this excite and keep my child interested in school? This is the most important question. Perhaps your child will love Statistics and understanding data. Then make sure that they have the Math to do that!
4. How good is your child’s Math? I am not asking what their grade is. Kids can do poorly in a subject because they don’t like the teacher, or don’t like their classmates or don’t like doing homework or freeze during tests. Are they logical thinkers? Do they THINK in a Mathematical way?
Remember Math isn’t calculations. Math is a logical thinking method. We have computers to do calculations. You need Math for almost everything in life.
Feel free to ask me questions about any of this!