High school question... and a vent...

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Posted 1/29/2013 by pheestand in NSBR Board
 

pheestand
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Posted: 1/29/2013 3:09:03 PM
I have twin freshman this year. They were both placed in Advanced Algebra, based on a placement test they took in 8th grade.

Neither one is a 4.0 student. They each put in a lot, and I mean a lot of blood, sweat and tears into their schoolwork. I've hired and taken them to tutors as needed, for additional help when we've needed it. I certainly don't have the ability to help them with everything all the time, and sometimes these kids just learn better from a person not their parents! At any rate, I feel it's my duty as their parent to help them succeed and provide those resouces to them as needed. And if I can't then I seek someone that can. I will not, and have not done their work FOR them, at any time. Whatever they have accomplished thus far has been their work.

Now, let us meet their friend from Kindergarten, E. E is the 4.0 student. Very bright gal, doesn't need to put any effort into studying as it all comes natural to her. Nice family; have vacationed together with them a few summers ago. E was placed in Advanced Algebra as well, and was also told she could test out of geophysical science and into biology if she wanted to. E and her family chose not to take either the advanced algebra, or the biology (took geophysical science instead) because she wanted to do cheer instead and was worried the more advanced classes would be too difficult for her to maintain her 4.0 AND participate in cheer. (Did I mention my daughter is an 11 year competitive dancer who spends 4 nights a week at the dance studio, and an hour of gymnastics?)

End of semester was last week. Of course, E got her 4.0, whereas my children were 3.8 and 3.3 GPAs. A fantastic grade, if you ask me.

Now my question- at the end of it all, is the fact that you took the harder class and didn't ace it valued more than the those who took the lesser classes and did ace them when it comes to colleges and that entire next step?

My reason for asking is because all three students will be qualified to take advanced geometry next year, and I'm already hearing E's parents saying that there's just no way E will be taking it; they'll take the regular geometry class in order to keep that precious 4.0.

Somehow it just doesn't seem fair... (and yes, I know life's not fair but that doesn't mean I can't vent about it, right?)

SmartyPants71
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Posted: 1/29/2013 3:14:26 PM
When I was in high school many, many, many, moons ago, honors classes were given more credit than a regular class. I can't remember the conversion off the top of my head, but it may of been than an A in honors = B in regular class.

cmpeter
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Posted: 1/29/2013 3:26:47 PM
It depends on the college. Some will give more weight to the harder classes and some won't. We just had a info night at our high school regarding college admissions and that's what our counselor told us. They do like to see that the rigor of your classes gets harder but also at the same time that your GPA and class rank don't suffer.


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Posted: 1/29/2013 3:30:20 PM

may of been than an A in honors = B in regular class.


Somehow that doesn't sound right. Maybe the other way around? A in a regular class = B in honors?

I think it depends on the college. If they're looking to be admitted to a school with higher standards, then yes, those more difficult classes AND activities will look good as long as their grades stay steady. Other colleges weigh it all evenly.




irishscrappermom8
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Posted: 1/29/2013 3:39:39 PM
Yes. It mattered when I went to HS almost 30 years ago and it still matters. Our HS principal encourages all the kids and the parents to go for the harder class. It's easier to drop to the less rigorous one, but impossible to step up. It makes a difference in our district to your GPA because honors and AP classes are weighted more. It makes a difference when you interview at colleges as well.

DD interviewed at a state school and a private one in the town we live in and both counselors were excited about the types of classes DD chose to take.




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Posted: 1/29/2013 3:40:16 PM
Honors classes are weighted and a B in an honors class would be like an A in a regular class. I guess at some point a student has to decide whether or not they want to excel in their classwork or on the athletic field. It's hard to do both I think but not impossible.
I don't think E acing regular classes will help her out in the long run..if she aces the Honors classes then that will look better to a college recruiter.




Oliquig
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Posted: 1/29/2013 3:42:40 PM
At my niece's school honors classes are weighted more. Meaning that if you are in an honors class and you get an A+ it is worth 4.25 as opposed to the 4.0 it would be in a regular class.



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SmartyPants71
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Posted: 1/29/2013 3:46:35 PM

Somehow that doesn't sound right. Maybe the other way around? A in a regular class = B in honors?



Duh! That's what I meant! Clearly I wasn't in the honors class

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Posted: 1/29/2013 3:48:56 PM
I have twins starting college in the fall. One college uses weighted (so strength of course matters) and the other college uses unweighted (straight grades).

So it depends. When I was in HS, some classes were weighted or had honors and others didn't.

I think it is better for the child to take something more rigorous and get a slightly lower grade than to take it easy, becuase they will get gobsmacked when they get to college!

shescrafty2
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Posted: 1/29/2013 3:50:17 PM
I think this is just a matter of each family doing what works for them. For you, it is important to have your kids in the honors classes even if it means a lot of extra work and effort for
Them. E's parents want a high GPA and still downtime for her to do activities she enjoys.

I don't think either are wrong, just different approaches. If my son were really struggling to maintain himself in an honors class I might think about not having him do
honors classes because I think sometimes if a student is always struggling they don't really master the material but learn enough with support to succeed on exams. In the long run that is not going to be helpful, but at least they will have exposure to the harder subject matter.

Maybe you could check into some of the requirements for the colleges they are looking at and decide what is best for your own kids and situation


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Posted: 1/29/2013 3:54:12 PM

Somehow it just doesn't seem fair...


Not sure what seems unfair? If you take easier classes, it will be easier to get good grades without working as hard. If you take harder classes, you will have to work more for a better grade. They're learning more than she is, and that's where they win out. She and her family are prioritizing other things, and that's what works best for them. You chose to have your kids in harder classes, so I'm not sure what seems unfair about that?



ktNryansmom
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Posted: 1/29/2013 4:18:04 PM
For me it is all about making sure my kids are in classes with like-minded kids.

As a high school teacher there are just too many knuckleheads these days in regular classes (and by that I mean troublemakers causing distractions) that kids are really left on their own a lot to do work.

If your kids are in honors or ap classes doesn't the school calculate the GPA accordingly?

Honestly, comparing kids is one of the worst things you can do...and in 10 years, will it matter??? If your kids are stressed and not having ANY fun, then I'd reevaluate. There should be time in high school for some fun and not so much pressure--that will happen in college and in life as adults.


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Tuva42
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Posted: 1/29/2013 4:20:57 PM
Your twins will probably reap the benefit of taking harder classes more than E will from having the higher GPA. Very few scholarships are based on GPA alone. Colleges absolutely look at the course load. Scholarship committees look at who has taken advanced courses and AP courses. Plus, they will score higher on the all important ACT and SATs because they've covered more material than she has. A 4.0 really isn't everything anymore. In our area, things like Governor's Scholar programs really depend a lot on what courses you've taken. They do not look at whether you were a cheerleader or not.


Laurie

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Posted: 1/29/2013 4:27:02 PM
First off, your high school may base their rank upon weighted averages, meaning, the honors classes are worth more than the general classes.

Secondly, the colleges go by your high school's Profile. Every high school has one and it's a public document available upon request. It explains what courses are offered, what grade students can take them and what degree of difficulty each is. The colleges know by looking whether your child took a heavier course load and got a 3.4 gpa than the kid who took an easy ride and got a 4.0. They do this all the time and look at thousands upon thousands of transcripts.

That said, sometimes you just take a class for the educational value and the challenge.


OK. Newbie. This is how it works. If your post consists of 80% sanity, 10% stupidity and 10% all kinds of crazy, we immediately focus on the 20% b/c it discredits the 80%.




pheestand
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Posted: 1/29/2013 4:30:34 PM
Thanks, all- I was hoping that it's just not a numbers game, and that the difficulty of the class will have an impact.

The "not fair" is from E's family getting to applaud and brag that she's a 4.0 student all of the time in my kid's faces. In my (biased) eye, the "my kid is just as good as your kid without a 4.0" is what my mouth wants to say, but my heart knows that's not the right answer, or behavior. I try not to compare, because they are all individuals and as amazing as E's ability to learn and excel with little effort is, I still know that my kids are learning and excelling in their own way. I am no less proud of their accomplishments, regardless.

I agree too- in 10 years, it's not going to matter. With all the competition to get into a good college, I just want to be sure we're not cutting off our nose to spite our face!

We just started drivers training tonight- I guess I'm just on the "stressed out" boat when it comes to raising teenagers! We only have one shot "to do this right" (the twins are our only kids) and I want to make sure we're at least in the right ball field!

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Posted: 1/29/2013 4:33:44 PM
Obviously they have insecurities if they need to brag like that. And if she truly was able to learn at all levels without effort, she would be taking the higher level classes. You know this. So let it roll off, see them for what they are and instead see the positive in your kids for taking a tougher, appropriate road for them. We can't look at other kids' choices, only our own. What this girl does is irrelevant and it shouldn't bother you.

I try not to talk about my children and their grades to people, good or bad. There is no reason for it. If my children choose to, I honestly have no idea. It doesn't come up. I encourage them to take the course right for them, do their personal best and pretty much ignore what other people are doing. It just doesn't matter.


OK. Newbie. This is how it works. If your post consists of 80% sanity, 10% stupidity and 10% all kinds of crazy, we immediately focus on the 20% b/c it discredits the 80%.




elphalba
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Posted: 1/29/2013 4:33:57 PM
My oldest is a kid like E... brilliant but no effort and little motivation for challenge. I make him push the envelope a bit but he's 13.5 and lets me, I know that he may push back as he gets older but for now, we're content.

As for honors vs regular classes, honors "weighs more" in not only GPA/Valedictorian status but also with colleges.


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tamhugh
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Posted: 1/29/2013 4:42:32 PM
Colleges look at a lot of different things. Not all schools weight their honors and AP courses and those that do all weight them differently. Not all schools have the same grade scale to convert a number to a letter grade. Colleges look at them on a sliding scale. Just encourage your kids to do what they can to look good on their college applications, learn as much as possible, and to have fun. I sometimes think we are, as parents, so focused on their futures that we forget to let them enjoy just being high schoolers.

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Posted: 1/29/2013 4:44:03 PM
As others have stated it depends on the classes and the school. It would be in your best interest to find out the answer to this question. It may not change the way your kids schedule their classes but at least you will be informed.

At our HS AP is weighted, honors classes are not. I have my freshman taking pre AP and they are the same as regular classes as far as gpa go. However, the classes advance at a faster pace and they generally get further in the curriculum (especially depth) over the general classes. It is a choice we have made.

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Posted: 1/29/2013 4:53:34 PM
I felt like i was in junior high when i read your post. Stop worrying what E is doing and concentrate on your on kids. When E's parents bring it up in conversation, change it. Take her out of the picture and your choice will become clear.



nighthawk
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Posted: 1/29/2013 5:08:56 PM
A 4.0 will help you in some things but 3.6 and 3.8 are totally respectable. I hated that my highschool didn't have weighted grades because I took every advanced and honors class I could and got a 3.85. well one of the girls who was valedictorian had a 4.0 but never took an honors class in her life.

Really in the grand scheme of things did it matter, no but it's kind of a rub.

Take the hard classes and colleges will look at that and it will be more important than the total number. Especially because a 3.8 is like one B a semester to maintain that so really you are darn close to a 4.

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Posted: 1/29/2013 5:22:02 PM

I think this is just a matter of each family doing what works for them. For you, it is important to have your kids in the honors classes even if it means a lot of extra work and effort for
Them. E's parents want a high GPA and still downtime for her to do activities she enjoys.

I don't think either are wrong, just different approaches.

Yes!

For me it is all about making sure my kids are in classes with like-minded kids.


And yes!

The way I see it, there really are advantages and disadvantages to each route. Most high schools weight grades to reflect harder course work; most colleges only take unweighted grades. Not all schools offer offer concurrent enrollment or AP classes--there just isn't parity in course offerings--making it hard to compare kids. My kid's school has over thirty AP courses; one of the preeminent Catholic schools here only has 14; one of the public schools only has six AP offerings with no option to even take Calculus. Just about every college takes into account standardized test scores, and we have found that the test scores carry more weight than GPAs.

AP/Honors advantages: Usually taught by better teachers with better students in the class; more in depth instruction; often includes college credit for concurrent enrollment, AP, and/or IB (in that order); better preparation for standardized tests and college.

Disadvantages: Can lower an unweighted GPA; can be stressful for kids and lead to a withdrawal from other activities.

Each kid is different and each family has different values. I don't fault E's parents or you for the choices that have been made. I have a friend a little like E's parents. Her kids have always had great grades in the easier classes. She talks down the AP route and brags up her kids' GPAs. I don't engage. My son might have a lower unweighted GPA than her kid, but my kid's classes prepared him for the ACT, and he'll be starting college with a boatload of credits under his belt. Both of our kids are well-rounded and participate in activities outside of school. Both are happy and well-adjusted. We have both made the choices that were best for our families.

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Posted: 1/29/2013 5:48:52 PM


At our high school, they weight the AP classes and the Honors level classes the same, a step above college prep. The difference is that with the AP classes, the teachers cannot vary from the prescribed course design *at all* whereas the Honors class is perhaps more interesting and more fun.



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Donna in GA
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Posted: 1/29/2013 6:20:53 PM
When I was in high school, my school did not weight grades. It did not matter to me, I took the harder classes anyway because the end goal was to be very prepared to handle college.

Many schools now weight AP and honors classes. I think that it is important for a student to take classes that challenge them. I teach both honors and regular Chemistry classes. The difference in the two levels of students is significant. A student that is naturally smart would go crazy being in a regular level class. Some of the kids in the regular class have a difficult time with simple math.

Stop worrying so much about the GPA and focus on if your kids are learning to their full potential.

Maryland
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Posted: 1/29/2013 6:23:11 PM
My daughter is 15 and in 10th grade. She is in 5 honors classes (Chemistry, Algebra 2, English, World History and French). She got one B (Honors Algebra 2) and A's in all other classes. Her GPA is 4.31. So they are weighted for Honors! Her class is the first class to get weighted grades for honors courses starting in 9th grade. I think it is very unfair not to weight the honors classes. It has really helped my daughter. She is like yours, she is on competitive dance, track and soccer. So almost every day of the week she has an activity. I think it will look good on her college application. She is in many activities and gets great grades.

My daughter's best friend sounds a bit like your daughters' friend. I understand what you are saying!!


cmpeter
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Posted: 1/29/2013 6:25:04 PM

As for honors vs regular classes, honors "weighs more" in not only GPA/Valedictorian status but also with colleges.


Just remember this isn't true for all schools or colleges. Our school for example does not have a Valedictorian. There was a recent thread on here about Dartmouth announcing they were no longer going to weigh AP classes.


Cindi

ktNryansmom
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Posted: 1/29/2013 6:30:58 PM
I do think you need to have a witty comeback to shut E's parents up...

How about:
You know, E is really smart, so why is she always stuck in the easy classes?


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Posted: 1/29/2013 6:34:40 PM
I wouldn't worry about weighting - colleges often recalculate the GPA according to their own priorities. Students should follow the path that is good for them. I know students who love to study and they take 3 honors science classes or online courses in addition to regular schoolwork. Others are 3-season athletes and do travel teams in the summer. I tell students to take their passions and steer them to a future that can pay the bills. Personally, I would choose challenging academics over athletics because that would likely provide for a higher chance at a more solid, longer-lasting future (about 0.03% of high school athletes will play in a pro sport). However, some students will do athletics for the scholarships that pay for the college degree.

In the end, colleges know what a good fit looks like, and the admission offers will match the transcripts and extra-curriculas. Students who choose more athletics and regular classes will find a college that fits, and those who take honors/AP will likewise find a college with that level of challenge. It all works out!

Scrappersue
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Posted: 1/29/2013 6:47:23 PM
Your kids will have the advantage when they get to college and know what a challenging class is like. The kids that skate by with easy classes will be in for a surprise when they have a college class.


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Posted: 1/29/2013 6:59:03 PM

Secondly, the colleges go by your high school's Profile. Every high school has one and it's a public document available upon request. It explains what courses are offered, what grade students can take them and what degree of difficulty each is. The colleges know by looking whether your child took a heavier course load and got a 3.4 gpa than the kid who took an easy ride and got a 4.0. They do this all the time and look at thousands upon thousands of transcripts


If the issue is getting in to a competitive college, what Batya said above is the bottom line. There are SO many ways that different school systems grade with weighted and unweighted that the colleges have to somehow equalize. When a college rep came to dd's school he stressed that your transcript is the most important thing, not just because of the grades, but because it shows how much you challenged yourself in the courses you have taken. (and the transcript is always sent with the school Profile).

If the issue is showing off a report card of A's, or bragging about getting a 4.0 then taking the easy courses is obviously the route to go (This will not get you into a very competitive college).


As another post mentioned, many colleges recalcuate the GPA, often omitting electives like PE, Choir, Art and Band, so that only "academic" subjects are included in the GPA, and not using any Honors/AP point boost. I think the Common App is also using only unweighted grades, but lets you designate if it was honors or AP (anyone who has someone applying to college this year can correct this if it is wrong, but I think it was the case last year.)


M

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Posted: 1/29/2013 7:02:02 PM
I have a senior this year (and a sophomore) and when the class rankings were announced, it was based on the grades without factoring in the level if difficulty. At year end to determine valedictorian, they factor the course levels.

My daughter was annoyed that some kids out ranked her but never took the honors classes while she has taken almost all honors. She mostly gets A's but sometimes she has to work to get B's depending on the subject. Yes, we could have insisted on regular level courses but the reason she goes to school is to get an education. If you are not being challenged, what kind of education are you getting?

I did let my sophomore take regular English this year because 10th grade honors English is notoriously hard and he hates English. He has a 98 average so back to honors next year!

Overall, I guess you really need to determine what works for you and your kids. If ranking at the top if the class is a priority, then skip the hard classes! If you want them to be well prepared for college, even if it means struggling while you are available to help them, then sign then up for the advanced courses! And then be just as proud of a B or a C knowing they are learning the value of working hard!


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Posted: 1/29/2013 7:07:09 PM
When I was in high school, an A in honors and AP classes was worth a 5.0 instead of a 4.0. I graduated with a GPA well above 4.0 because of this.

That was a million years ago, so I'm not sure it it's standard now, but that seemed to be standard amongst all of my peers in college. Most of the people I met in college were from diverse areas of the country and their schools had a similar grading system.

my.unquiet.mind
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Posted: 1/29/2013 7:11:11 PM

I hated that my highschool didn't have weighted grades because I took every advanced and honors class I could and got a 3.85. well one of the girls who was valedictorian had a 4.0 but never took an honors class in her life.


This was my experience.

We had no weighted classes of any kind when I was in high school. I finished with a very respectable grade point average and took all of the higher-level courses that were being offered at that time. There were a few students with higher grade point averages than me that took exclusively lower-level classes. Because our courses were not weighted, those students who took the less difficult classes ended up placing ahead of me in class rank.

It made me so, so angry! There was at least one scholarship that I didn't qualify for because they only accepted applications from students in the top 5% of their graduating class, and because there were those few students with higher GPAs due to taking lower-level classes, it bumped me down just enough to miss the cut-off.

Several years after I graduated, the school finally went to a system of weighted classes. I'm certainly glad they did so, but it was a little too late to help me out when applying for scholarships.



IleneTell
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Posted: 1/29/2013 7:14:30 PM
The harder classes will be MUCH better preparation for college and life in general, so you can take comfort in that.



Aggiemom92
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Posted: 1/29/2013 7:30:09 PM
Are you in Texas? Here, the top 10% of any public high school is guaranteed a place at any public university. This means there's no room at those for anyone outside of the top 10%. This includes UT and A&M, hugely popular schools. So many typically normal kids/parents get caught in the GPA race. For us, it IS all about the number. We have kids that take PE in the summer to free up space in their schedule for higher GPA earning classes. It's nuts.


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momto3hooligans
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Posted: 1/29/2013 7:53:02 PM
I wouldn't worry about E. While she's having a blast at the moment, not having to over stress over her work load....the real world is going to be a rude awakening! Unless, of course, she marries more money in 5 minutes than you can make in a life time! Anything is possible you know!!LOL Seriously, your kids are going to be well prepared and have GREAT study and time management skills!! Trust your gut, forget about E and know that when your gang enters the working world they will be well balanced adults!!


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Posted: 1/29/2013 7:58:51 PM
My dd is an incoming freshman and at the parent night they announced that they got rid of class ranking due to the weighted/nonweighted issue. They now follow the college level Cum Laude system for graduating seniors.

We are encouraging dd to take harder classes, even if her grades aren't the highest rather than taking the easier route.

Emily

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Posted: 1/29/2013 8:21:38 PM
I'm gonna say do what is right for you and your children and don't worry about the other family, sounds like they've got it handled and are happy with their choices.

As far as AP/honors/edgiest classes - they are generally weighed accordingly. Different colleges will require different courses.

At this point 2 of my 4 have graduated high school and I've learned a lot. I prefer my children To take courses in line with their abilities, but not that consume their whole lives - I want then to have time for church, sports, family, etc and do well in the courses needed for college. That means not all of my children will take AP classes for every subject and we are fine with that. We have learned a great deal about balance the last few years, and we are happier and more successful than ever.

So do what works for you but don't judge them for doing what works for them.


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Posted: 1/29/2013 8:41:21 PM
Others have answered questions you posted but I wanted to weigh in that by them taking the advanced classes college work will be far easier for them.

Tell them to keep their chins up, they are coming out much further ahead than E is.


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Scrapbrat1
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Posted: 1/29/2013 9:48:46 PM
Some high schools weight AP or honors classes more heavily than "regular" classes. That is how students sometimes get above a 4.0 GPA. Our school does not do that, but even with schools that do, some colleges re-calculate the GPA so everything gets the same weight (DS's college did this) and they can compare kids from many different school districts more easily. However, they certainly take note of how many honors/AP classes kids take, as well as which ones, and those are factored in accordingly.

Bottom line -- it will be worth it for your kids to put in that extra effort and take the honors or AP courses.


Barbara
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Posted: 1/29/2013 10:19:39 PM

There was a recent thread on here about Dartmouth announcing they were no longer going to weigh AP classes


Not exactly.

Dartmouth is no longer going to grant college credit for AP classes/AP test results from high school. You can bet that the admissions committee is still looking at how many Honors and AP classes the applicants are taking as a way to judge how challenging their course choices were. I would also bet that more than 98% of students accepted to Dartmouth have taken multiple AP classes (assuming they were offered at their school.)


M

KelleyC
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Posted: 1/29/2013 10:29:48 PM
For what it's worth, I used to be a bit like E. I got much better grades than all my friends with very little effort. I coasted through high school and my teaching degree, BUT (and this is a very important BUT) I NEVER learned how to try hard. Now that I'm an adult, I find it exceedingly difficult to stick with anything in which I don't have easy success. It's not a good quality to have. If I had my time again, I would have chosen much harder subjects to study and learnt the value of struggle.

Can't help with the college question, sorry, but I do think there are other important issues at stake here as well. Seems to me you guys are doing the best you can for your twins.

peasful1
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Posted: 1/29/2013 11:56:17 PM
At my son's school the honours and AP classes are weighted differently. They don't downgrade the regular courses, instead upgrading the grade point of the honours and AP courses.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what E does. There are thousands of students out there on all sorts of paths. there really is no 'fair' or 'unfair'. Different universities, and even the departments within a single university, will require different criteria. And every child is singular. For some kids, they'd rather get a B in a harder class than an A in an easier class. Some kids are the exact opposite and would get defeated by working so hard and not getting As. Some need a challenge and excel in that environment. Some get frustrated and crash and burn.

Maybe for E, that 4.0 in an easier class is what helps keep her motivated and helps keep life in balance. And that's ok. Just as what your kids are doing is fine as well.






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Posted: 1/30/2013 2:50:54 AM

For what it's worth, I used to be a bit like E. I got much better grades than all my friends with very little effort. I coasted through high school and my teaching degree, BUT (and this is a very important BUT) I NEVER learned how to try hard. Now that I'm an adult, I find it exceedingly difficult to stick with anything in which I don't have easy success. It's not a good quality to have. If I had my time again, I would have chosen much harder subjects to study and learnt the value of struggle.


Same here... I am so in awe of my 'average' friends who have tremendous life skills that I never learnt... Sticking with things, being able to set out interim goals and be self motivated and disciplined to reach them, to not be discouraged by things that 'sound like a lot of work'... Those are hard things to learn as an adult...

No advice about the college situation, but while I had success earlier than my friends, they have the skills and habits to have success in the long run... I don't see myself ever being able to get a PhD for example, while more than 50% of my friends from my high school class have/are on the cusp of earning theirs... Not that it is the only measurement of success, but they have the abilities and have made the opportunities that are bringing them what they want... That gives them a degree of control and freedom that I don't have in my life... From a biased perspective, I think they're in a great position for the next stages of their lives...

ETA: I used the word 'average' because I couldn't think of a good word, and it's not a comment/judgement about people or scores or anything... I bet they would know the right word to use


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pheestand
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Posted: 1/30/2013 7:30:42 AM
I have read all the responses- thank you all again for all the advice.

I'm not trying to keep up with E or her family; I was more concerned with how the colleges viewed the class/grade markings and just using E as an example of someone with a higher GPA by taking "base" classes. I know my kids are doing well within their education tract, and I'm certainly not ashamed of their current classes or grades. I (biasedly) think my kids are wonderful and I wouldn't have them any other way! I love them, support them and think they have bright futures.

25 +/- years ago when I was in college, things were different. My mom and grandmother were both employed by the college I attended and part of my mother's employee plan at the time was that her children attended for free. Knowing I had a free college education was motivation for me not to work as hard as I could in high school so I didn't really get involved in higher level classes or worry about college acceptance, etc. Now, it's all new to me and I'm merely trying to collect the pertinent information from those who have up to date experiences to share.

As for E's family daunting my kids about her perfect life- 99.9% of the time I respond with "wow, E- that's fantastic that you're doing so well!". We have added distance between us and their family because as the years have gone by, it's become obvious that our values aren't as close as we once thought they were years ago. They are still wonderful people, we just have different visions.



little mama
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Posted: 1/30/2013 7:36:37 AM
At our school, honors classes do not get a bump on gpa, only AP classes do. I don't agree with that, but it's the way it is.


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Deanne525
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Posted: 1/30/2013 8:18:04 AM
This subject seems to be a big topic of debate!!

My daughter is taking honors/AP classes and is doing very well. However, many kids are taking general classes because they want higher grades and therefore, higher class ranking.

I have talked to alot of people on this subject and from what i understand no one is going to fool a college admissions board with having 100's in general classes. They are looking for kids who do well with more challenging course loads. Instead of focusing on class rank in high school, we have shifted our view to beyond high school and what is ultimately important for getting accepted in a good college!

Im trying to teach both of my daughters to worry about themselves only and do as well as they can with their classes.

mollyw
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Posted: 1/30/2013 9:33:17 AM
This is what the common app says (many colleges use the same on-line application)

The section that the guidance counselor fills out:

How many courses does your school offer
Ap. honors. Ib

In comparison with other college preparatory students at your school, the applicant's course selection is
Most demanding
Very demanding
Demanding
Average
Below average

It is important to find out about your state if public is a possibility. I thought Texas u's went to top 8%
And California schools have their own system. Take out freshman and senior grades and a lot of electives and they call it the UC gpa. Our flagship u offers a scholarship for top 3% in rank.
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