What Your Child Should be Learning in 11th Grade
It’s almost time for your teenager to head off to college. In their final years of high school, there’s still much learning to be done. By this point, most students have completed many of their required courses for graduation and may start to choose more electives. Students are beginning to develop a love for learning in areas that interest them.
The focus during the junior year is more on independence and college planning. The curriculum can vary drastically depending on the state you live in, the courses your child selects, and their performance in school.
Parents want to help their children succeed in the college years that are looming close on the horizon. Some of these important skills are going to be necessary, so you should ensure that your child has them by the time they finish their junior year.
The primary goal for math classes during the junior year is to teach students to analyze the data in front of them. The specific courses that an eleventh-grader needs to take will vary from school to school. Some may still be taking algebra classes, while others will have moved on to geometry, pre-calculus, or statistics. Concepts and equations become more advanced in all of these courses.
As students move through the eleventh grade, there should be a heavy emphasis on writing skills. Their research papers should be well structured, have clear ideas, and use conventional writing standards to provide evidence. Good grammar should make papers easier to understand and incorporate more advanced concepts like hyphenation. Other key writing skills include:
- Conducting thorough research on a given topic
- Giving and receiving feedback on writing samples
- Writing clear narrative experiences (both fiction and non-fiction)
- Developing claims and counterclaims based on the audience
Most eleventh-grade language arts curriculums incorporate prominent American literature from all genres. Students will demonstrate the ability to draw conclusions, compare texts, and identify key literary features that make each text unique.
Students often have a lot of flexibility when it comes to selecting their science classes. High schools typically require at least three years of science, but they don’t always specify which courses. Common classes include both biology and chemistry, but then juniors may choose from physical science, physics, anatomy, or any other unique course offered.
Advanced students may choose to use their junior year to further their knowledge in a specific area. For example, they may take an AP biology or chemistry course for more in-depth understanding to prepare them for college. As a bonus, they may even gain college credit if they pass these exams.
Much like science classes, eleventh-grade students may have some flexibility in their social studies courses. Students are likely required to take specific classes before they graduate, including American history and a simple course on economics and government. The eleventh-grade year is typically reserved for a US history course, though not always.
In this type of class, juniors will be expected to learn about the age of exploration all the way up until modern times. It’s a very fast-paced curriculum that’s intended to give students a thorough understanding of all important eras in American history. Other key topics include the development of the Constitution, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, the Great Depression, civil rights, and the Cold War.
Your child’s eleventh-grade year is usually focused on preparing for college. Students should be encouraged to take the SAT or ACT, begin drafting college essays, and research potential universities. While they do still have important skills to learn, teachers are often focused on helping students to realize their futures. You can ensure your child stays on track by monitoring their progress on some of these academic standards.