Summer is a great time to explore new interests, travel, and unwind from the school year. However, for students who are motivated to excel academically and have taken Algebra 1 in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade, taking a summer geometry course online might be a smart decision. In Northern Virginia, both Fairfax and Loudoun County Public Schools offer summer geometry online, and for students who are considering taking it, there are some important factors to consider.
One of the biggest advantages of taking summer geometry is that it can help students get ahead in their math coursework. By completing geometry over the summer, students can potentially unlock more advanced math courses in high school, such as multivariable calculus and linear algebra in 11th grade. These courses are often required or strongly recommended for admission to competitive colleges and universities, so getting a head start can be a big advantage. Let's look at a quick comparison:
Student A: Algebra 1 (7th grade), Geometry (8th grade), Trigonometry/Algebra 2 (9th grade), AP Pre-Calculus (10th grade), AP Calculus AB (11th grade), AP Statistics (12th grade)
Student B: Algebra 1 (7th grade), Geometry (summer), Trigonometry/Algebra 2 (8th grade), AP Pre-Calculus (9th grade), AP Calculus BC (10th grade, skipped AB Calculus), Multivariable Calculus and Linear Algebra (11th grade), Discrete or Concrete Math, Advanced Math Techniques (12th grade)
Many parents will think on a short-term basis, not wanting to stress their student out. However, in the long run, it is obvious to a college admissions office which student has taken the more rigorous academic curriculum. They most often want to admit Student B.
In addition to getting ahead, taking summer geometry can also be beneficial for students who are applying to the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST). TJHSST is a highly competitive magnet school in Northern Virginia that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. Admissions to TJHSST are based on a variety of factors, including grades, essays, academic rigor, and experience factors. By taking summer geometry and earning a high grade, students can demonstrate their commitment to academic excellence and their readiness for advanced math coursework.
However, it's important to note that students should only take summer geometry if they feel confident in their ability to succeed (i.e. finish with an "A" grade). Summer Geometry is a challenging course. They're packing a year's worth ogf content in just 4-6 weeks. Students who struggled in Algebra 1 or perhaps were barely holding onto an "A" may find it difficult to keep up. If a student earns a grade lower than an A in summer geometry, it can actually hurt their TJHSST and college applications. Admissions committees wonder why the student took on additional coursework if they weren't able to succeed in it, and a lower grade can bring down the student's overall GPA.
Ultimately, the decision to take summer geometry should be based on each individual student's academic strengths and goals. If a student excelled in Algebra 1 and is motivated to get ahead in their math coursework, taking summer geometry could be a smart move. However, if a student struggled in Algebra 1 or isn't sure if they're ready for the challenge of geometry, it might be better to wait and take the course during the regular school year.
If you're interested in taking summer Geometry, we prepare our students through comprehensive tutoring using the official Fairfax County Public Schools curriculum and textbook. We offer a comprehensive tutoring package (including notes, homework assignments, 8 hours of live instruction, and access to a Q&A forum) for $499 that will dramatically increase your student's chances of earning an "A" in the summer geometry. We offer similar coursework preparation programs for Algebra 1 all the way up to AP Calculus. If you're interested, please reach out to info@EduAvenues.com to sign up. If you'd like to discuss your student individually, please do not hesitate to set up a consultation under the "resources" tab on our website.