Okay, its the time of the year where schools send reminders about picking up high school courses. If you have a child or dependent who is in high school, you will feel the pain or pressure of picking the courses. Ideally, the student is supposed to pick the course, but most parents tend to get confused about which ones are best for your child. Here are some tips from my perspective.
The main objective of choosing courses in high school is to let the student decide their future. However, the schools have their own way of limiting the students so you have to follow their guidelines. If your child is planning for a college or university, the objective of the high school courses is to meet the college requirements. Th current courses which the student takes will highly determine which college or course they are going to take in college or future. Of course, there is always a chance of dropping the class if they don’t like it. But, it is not advisable as it will not give you the credit or departmental honors in the respective division. So, planning way ahead is mandatory.
Most high schools have minimum number of credits required to graduate from high school. Those vary from 20 to 25 or higher. Any additional credits, it is the students choice. But, in general high schools require 4 years of Math, 4 years of English, 3 years of Social Studies, 2 or 3 years of Science, 4 years of PE, and so on. In addition, Consumer Education or Volunteering may be must. They may also provide two or three Electives. In general, these requirements match the respective state university or community colleges.
Choosing the Courses
It is really amusing how the schools set conditions about choosing the courses. I think they customize the conditions based on their 5 year plans. Also, the schools are highly selective about which students take which courses. Before approving any course, they make sure the students meet certain requirements or test scores.
There are hundreds of courses a school offers under different departments. But, the student is left with only minimum choices after selecting the mandatory courses. The student must select the electives in a manner that his college requirements are met. Dual Credit courses offered at local community colleges might be a good idea to carry the credit to both high school and the college
Choosing orchestra in high school is highly selective. Even though orchestra is considered to be an easy grade, there might be many hours required for each concert. If you take orchestra, it will show your commitment to follow directions and work in teams. Also, it is better to take for four years which show your perseverance over a period of time. The same applies for choir or band.
Choosing a world language is also a big question for many students. Most colleges require a world language as their prerequisites. So, the student is forced, in a sense, to participate in a world language hoping to be useful in future profession. Again, it is suggested that they take the world language for four years in high school.
Students must be watchful about the courses the schools set as mandatory to be selected for a class rank. If you need to be considered for a class rank, you have to take the courses set by the school. Else, you will not have a school rank on your final transcripts! Not fair, huh. 🙂
Clubs and Sports
After the courses are selected you will be given option to take participation in Academic clubs, Debate teams, Student Leadership, and so on. Similarly, it is suggested that you be a member of some school’s sports team of your choice. This will showcase you as an ‘overall candidate’ when you apply for college.
Finally, it is essential the student put in lot of work hours after school to study all the subjects they signed up for. Good work ethics and practice is suggested for success in secondary school that lays foundation for college and future!