Homeschool students who wish to take Calculus I have a few decisions to make about the format that will be best suited to their needs. Three options to consider include taking Calculus I as a one-year high school course, a one year AP course, or a one semester dual credit course. There are many considerations in making this decision and there is not one right answer for all students. Here are some pros and cons about each option:
- Calculus I as a high school level course means that the material taught in a one semester college class is spread out over an entire school year. This can be a good option for any student, regardless of their intended degree. Those who are planning to go into a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) careers will be required to take Calculus I, so this class will cover the same material that they will see in the one semester class in college. However, many students in non-STEM majors will be required to take Calculus I for non-majors, which has a slightly different curriculum. Although high school Calculus I courses follow the STEM curriculum, it is introduced at a slower pace. The concepts introduced are the foundations of all Calculus courses, so the course would benefit students who plan to take either Calculus I or Calculus I for non-majors. A student who takes Calculus I as a high school class will not receive college credit and will need to register for Calculus I when they arrive on a college campus. However, taking Calculus I as a high school course can greatly ease the transition into college life. The pace and grading scale in the university setting is very different than the high school setting. It is helpful to have classes that cover familiar concepts as the student adjusts to all of the “new” in college life. It can build their confidence and help their GPA. (But I do caution these students not to blow off that college Calculus I class – they will still need to make sure that they demonstrate mastery on the exams!)
- Calculus I as a dual credit course through a 2-year college or through an online program can be a good option for students who are ready for the pace of a one semester Calculus I course. These students need to be realize that their grade will be based largely on three or four tests and a cumulative final exam. College grading systems can be unforgiving and the grade in a dual credit course sometimes counts toward the student’s college GPA so it is important to make sure the student will be successful in a one-semester Calculus I course. Also, if your student knows where they plan to attend school, you can check to see if the credit will transfer. Some universities accept dual credit coursework, some do not. Usually that information is posted on the university website.
- AP Calculus AB can also be a great option for home educated students. This course covers the same material as Calculus I and combines both the pace of a high school course with the (potential) credit of a college course. At the end of the course, students must register for the AP exam which is administered by the College Board. Universities more consistently allow credit based on the AP test than based on dual credit coursework. You can look online and find the score that each university requires in order to grant credit based on the AP exam.
High School Math Live offers both Calculus I as a regular course and AP Calculus AB. All Calculus classes meet twice a week in a live and online interactive format. The AP students then meet an additional 20 times to focus on the test prep aspect of the material. Both Calculus I and AP Calculus AB are taught by Regina London. Mrs. London, who taught AP Calculus AB in North Carolina schools for 17 years, has a high level of success helping students achieve a high score on the AP exam. High School Math Live would love to be your solution for Calculus I – let us know if you have any questions!
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## AuthorBrenda Barnett, secondary math teacher in public schools for 7 years, homeschooler for 14 years and counting... ## Archives
March 2017
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