Letter to My Son

Congratulations on making it through your freshman year of high school.  I am proud of you for persevering through biology, even though you weren’t particularly interested in the subject.  Perseverance is a good character quality to have.

I realized recently that, although public school students get to begin selecting their own courses in high school, I have still been planning your education for you. You are an intelligent young man, and certainly capable of choosing your own classes.

Here is a link to basic information that you can use as you consider which subjects to study.  Basically, students are expected to take four years of high school English, 3-4 years of math, 2 or more years of lab science, and 3 or more years of social science.  More information on what that means here.

If you continue to be interested in engineering, here is a link to one community college’s engineering page.

It is time for me to order our curriculum for the upcoming schoolyear.  Please sketch out a plan for the remainder of your high school education.  You won’t be locked into it – sometimes people’s interests change, and that’s okay.  It would still be good to have a general idea of what you want to study.

Given where your studies are right now, my recommendation is:

Sophomore Year (10th grade)
This might sound rigourous, but I think you could handle it.  You’ll like physics.  You could postpone the second year of algebra and chemistry until the following year if you were so inclined, in which case you might consider studying health this year.

  • English:  Composition
  • Math:  Algebra 2
  • Math:  Geometry
  • Science:  Chemistry
  • Science:  Physics
  • Social Science:  World History
  • Social Science:  World Geography
  • Occupational Education:  typing, accounting, auto shop, etc. – your choice of one discipline in which to become proficient

Junior Year (11th grade)
What you study this year is dependent both on what you study during your sophomore year, and on how soon you’d like to begin college.

  • English:  Literature
  • Math:  Pre-Calculus
  • Science:  Advanced Chemistry or Physics or both
  • Social Science:  Civics
  • Health:  required at some point during high school
  • Optional: foreign language introduction on our home computer
  • Occupatioal Education

Senior Year (12th grade)
What you study this year is entirely dependent on how much you’ve done the previous years.

Option 1 – continue homeschooling:

  • English:  Literature
  • Math:  Calculus
  • Math:  Statistics
  • Science:  Advanced Chem/Phys, if you don’t study it your junior year
  • Occupational Education:
  • Health – if you don’t study it a previous year

Option 2 – begin taking college courses through the Running Start program.  English 101 is required at every college in the country. Foreign language, economics, other courses to fulfill basic distribution requirements, and classes toward your desired major would all be a good idea.  If you’re taking college classes, three courses per quarter would be appropriate — four would be okay after you’ve demonstrated that you can do all the work for three classes.


Let me know how I can help you in designing your high school schedule.


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