Should I take Geometry in Summer School?
Many parents email me each year, asking if I would recommend that their student take Geometry in Summer School so that they can enroll in Honors Algebra II as a Freshman.
Here are my thoughts:
My first question for Suzie Student would be "WHY?" What benefit is there for Suzie to take Geometry in 6 weeks and then take Honors Algebra ll as a Freshman? What will taking Honors Algebra ll as a Freshman allow Suzie to do?
Second question, "Has Suzie visited a college website to see what the requirements are for acceptance?" Most of the university websites that I have visited (Stanford, Harvard, Yale, USC, etc) mention that they want applicants who have taken "a challenging course load". Most also mention “four years of mathematics”. Not one website mentions “Calculus”, let alone "two years of Calculus". When I have spoken with Admissions personnel at colleges, I have heard the same thing.
Geometry is a powerful area of study (my personal favorite!). I cannot imagine that Suzie could experience in 6 weeks of summer school the beauty and power of Geometry. For that reason, I do not recommend that ANY student take Geometry in the summer.
Math is not a race to see who can get to Calculus the fastest! Mathematics is a way of thinking that is beautiful, logical and powerful. It develops a part of the brain that performs visual and analytical thinking.
For some reason, students hear about a friend who is taking this ultra-rigorous pathway, then decide that they don't want to be left behind or to appear "not as smart as" the others - - - academic peer pressure, for lack of a better term.
Here are some links to college admissions websites for you to explore.http://admission.usc.edu/firstyear/prospective/adminprocess.html