Question of the Day – What are the Best HS Courses to take?


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Today’s question of the day comes from Cindy, who asks:

“My boys are just now in 6th grade, but I would say that my biggest question is what courses and how much of each should they have in high school in order to best prepare them for college? I am not worried about SAT/ACTs, but more just the best foundation in the liberal arts so that they will not feel like they are “catching up” in college.”

Cindy, great question, and one that many parents are unsure of. I’m glad to hear you’re interested in giving your sons a solid liberal arts education. The liberal arts truly are the foundation upon which all other education is built. Now, to answer your question. In order to best prepare your sons for college, whether they plan on attending an Ivy League school or a small Christian liberal arts college next door, you need to make sure they have the following subjects:

  • 4 units of English, including: Grammar, American Literature, World Literature, and Advanced Composition.
  • 4 units of Math, including: Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and Calculus.
  • 4 units of Natural Science, including: Physical Science, Biology w/lab, Chemistry w/lab, and Physics.
  • 4 units of Social Studies/Social Science, including: American History, World History/Western Civilization, Economics & Government, Philosophy, Psychology, etc.
  • 2 units of Foreign Language, consisting of Spanish, French, Latin, Greek, etc.  (It’s best if the same language is taken throughout.)

Lastly, I would suggest your sons keep a list of all the books they’re reading throughout high school. This can be very impressive when applying to liberal arts or great books colleges.

These sample course listings should give your sons a strong enough foundation that not only will they score highly on their standardized test scores, but they’ll be setting the pace in their college classes so that their public school counterparts will be the ones who need to “catch up.”

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