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Old 12-02-2011, 06:21 PM
 
Location: WI
2,820 posts, read 3,062,694 times
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Earlier this week, my 8th grader brought home a scheduling form for next year, her freshman year of high school. One thing that stood out to me is that freshmen are given the option to take AP Human Geography, as opposed to Civics and Geography, which has been the only option in the past for the required 9th grade social studies credit.


My daughter is considering taking the course as she's very studious, reads often, and is good at taking notes, as well as having an interest in social studies. However, I am not so sure it's necessarily a good idea for a freshman to be taking AP classes. My older daughter has taken several AP courses (AP Psych and APES, is currently enrolled in AP Chemistry and AP Government and Politics, and will be in AP Stats and AP English Lit next semester- our HS is block scheduled) but of course, the content and difficulty these courses offer varies greatly. For example, she says AP Chem is hands down, the hardest class she's ever been in, which is evidenced by her constant studying. On the other hand, she says AP Psych wasn't extremely difficult- obviously it's more work than say, shop class for example, but it didn't provide her with the level of difficulty AP Chem has given her. Granted, her opinion is probably different than some others, but in talking with other parents and students, many people agree. Plus, she was never in an AP class until the second semester of her sophomore year so she had plenty of maturing time between the switch from middle to high school and being in an AP class.

So, my question is this: does anyone have experience with the AP Human Geo class, and what are your thoughts on freshmen taking AP courses?

 
Old 12-02-2011, 06:45 PM
 
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I'd let her take it if she's interested. She'll be with other freshmen.
 
Old 12-02-2011, 06:54 PM
 
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One of my caseload kids (9th grade) has been a straight-A student for years. She enrolled in AP European History and has a solid "C" in the class, although she has "A"s in everything else. She's found it to be an extremely difficult class, with academic standards way above and beyond what she was expecting.

Of course, there are others in the class that are doing fine but, personally, I think 9th grade is just a bit too early for AP classes.
 
Old 12-02-2011, 07:16 PM
 
Location: GOVERNMENT of TRAITORS & NAZIS
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If she has the desire, she can be successful. AP is not a grade level, it is an ability level.
 
Old 12-02-2011, 07:30 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
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The Human Geography class is one of the easier, if not the easiest, of the AP courses. If she's a good reader and is able to make connections she should be fine.
 
Old 12-02-2011, 07:30 PM
 
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I understand that that particular AP class is considered "AP lite" and would be a good introduction for freshman. I don't think many colleges take the credit for it so there wouldn't be a lot of stress to take the test. If a good teacher is teaching it and it interests your daughter, I'd say go for it.

Found this discussion: Is AP Human Geography really as easy as people say? - College Confidential
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,702,140 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strawflower View Post
Earlier this week, my 8th grader brought home a scheduling form for next year, her freshman year of high school. One thing that stood out to me is that freshmen are given the option to take AP Human Geography, as opposed to Civics and Geography, which has been the only option in the past for the required 9th grade social studies credit.


My daughter is considering taking the course as she's very studious, reads often, and is good at taking notes, as well as having an interest in social studies. However, I am not so sure it's necessarily a good idea for a freshman to be taking AP classes. My older daughter has taken several AP courses (AP Psych and APES, is currently enrolled in AP Chemistry and AP Government and Politics, and will be in AP Stats and AP English Lit next semester- our HS is block scheduled) but of course, the content and difficulty these courses offer varies greatly. For example, she says AP Chem is hands down, the hardest class she's ever been in, which is evidenced by her constant studying. On the other hand, she says AP Psych wasn't extremely difficult- obviously it's more work than say, shop class for example, but it didn't provide her with the level of difficulty AP Chem has given her. Granted, her opinion is probably different than some others, but in talking with other parents and students, many people agree. Plus, she was never in an AP class until the second semester of her sophomore year so she had plenty of maturing time between the switch from middle to high school and being in an AP class.

So, my question is this: does anyone have experience with the AP Human Geo class, and what are your thoughts on freshmen taking AP courses?
I would nix a 9th grader taking an AP class. 9th grade is a big adjustment year and AP classes take a lot of discipline. Let her get used to high school first.
 
Old 12-02-2011, 07:55 PM
 
Location: WI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
I would nix a 9th grader taking an AP class. 9th grade is a big adjustment year and AP classes take a lot of discipline. Let her get used to high school first.
First off, thank you everyone for your replies.

Ivory, this is what I'm mainly thinking about. Middle school to high school is a big change and I'm a little concerned she'll have a hard time adjusting with an AP class thrown in the mix. However, she LOVES to read, is good at thinking deeply/making connections and is very dilligent about homework, so we'll see.
 
Old 12-02-2011, 08:00 PM
 
Location: WI
2,820 posts, read 3,062,694 times
Reputation: 4815
Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
I understand that that particular AP class is considered "AP lite" and would be a good introduction for freshman. I don't think many colleges take the credit for it so there wouldn't be a lot of stress to take the test. If a good teacher is teaching it and it interests your daughter, I'd say go for it.

Found this discussion: Is AP Human Geography really as easy as people say? - College Confidential
Thanks for the link. At this point, we haven't even discussed the test, but she likes to challenge herself and social studies and the world is a point of interest to her so that's why she's considering it.

This class has never been offered before so I have no idea who the teacher would be.
 
Old 12-03-2011, 04:29 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,702,140 times
Reputation: 14495
Quote:
Originally Posted by strawflower View Post
First off, thank you everyone for your replies.

Ivory, this is what I'm mainly thinking about. Middle school to high school is a big change and I'm a little concerned she'll have a hard time adjusting with an AP class thrown in the mix. However, she LOVES to read, is good at thinking deeply/making connections and is very dilligent about homework, so we'll see.
I have a daughter who is quite advanced. Last year (officially 8th grade) she had a split schedule between the middle and high school. She tells me that that helped her to adjust to high school. To hear her talk, she needed some time to just be a high school student instead of an advanced high school student.

High school is normally a major adjustment. It's even more of an adjustment for kids who really don't fit in. I talked dd out of taking chemistry this year because she just doesn't need another class where she's the youngest student in the room and she's expressed that she wishes she were just a regular student.

Ask yourself what difference this will make. Is it enough to, possibly, interfere with her ability to adjust to high school? Fortunately, this is a 9th grade class (I have never heard of AP in 9th grade before) and not a higher level class she'd stick out in but I really see no need to push it. There is something to be said for letting our kids be kids and letting them take things one step at a time.

Dd thanked me just a couple of weeks ago for talking her out of taking AP history and chemistry this year (she's in regular 11th grade history and has no science class). This is her first year as a full time high school student and she's finding that she likes having the time to be involved. It helps her to not feel so different from the other kids. So my gifted child is a, a, a, CHEEERLEADER this year....ugh, what's a mother to do?

I told dd that in 10 years, exactly zero people will care whether she took chemistry as a 9th grader or a 10th grader or whether she graduated at 16 or 17. Will anyone care that your dd took an AP class in 9th grade? Will it make a hill of beans difference in the long run? Unless there's some decided advantage, my vote is let her adjust to high school and figure out how to fit in before you put her in a situation where she'll stand out.
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