Parents with home-schooled children struggling in math sometimes ask what minimum level of math is necessary for high school graduation and college admission.

One parent asked me if Algebra I and Geometry was sufficient. She wanted to know whether Consumer Math would be OK to take instead of Algebra II for the last year of high school. Her daughter was interested in starting an online business and felt she needed a consumer math class. Mom wondered how this would look to a college, especially when it seems like everyone else includes Algebra 2.

If your child wants to go to college, then Algebra 2 is very important. It’s extremely helpful to take Algebra 2 before taking The SAT, to increase their score on that college admission test. Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Geometry are important to most colleges, although there are some colleges without a math requirement.

There will always be time to fit in other math classes, like consumer math, either before or after Algebra 2. This may help your child feel more comfortable before moving on to the next level of math.

For a child interested in starting an online business, you may want to point toward a business degree, just to increase interest in college. Try to encourage her interests in a home business so that you can encourage her to develop the talents she will need to run the business herself. Even home businesses have a LOT of math (believe me, I know!) and it will help her to have a good understanding of math and communication skills that a business degree requires.