We spend a lot of time talking about building solid foundations, but I think too many families still don’t quite understand the huge significance of early choices. Like a row of dominoes, a single action (or omission) early on will cause the whole line to topple.
One such example is the selection of academic classes during middle school. Most families are unaware of the fact that kids need to complete Algebra I, a high school level earth science, and a high school level biology or chemistry class while still in middle school. It is easy to catch up if a student gets behind in English or history classes, but almost impossible if those classes are in the areas of math or science.
Simply by planning ahead in this way, the high school years are opened up for the student to get through AP Calculus BC and at least two AP science classes as well as AP’s in the other core areas as well. Or, they are able to move straight to the college level and take classes there for part of their high school requirements.
This, in turn, allows the student to be more competitive at selective colleges, or to shave a year or more off a degree at a strong college (saving money), or even double or triple major since many of the core requirements are already met. With a strong college degree(s) under their belt, these students have better chances at professional programs, graduate school options, and job opportunities.
I have never been one to supply a grinding checklist to families, however, a little foresight and a bit of work early on can make a huge difference in the type of education our children receive and the quality of life they experience for the years they are on this earth.
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