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Well, if ds can get into college and still take fourth or fifth grade math then I truly have nothing to worry about but I don't think thats the case.

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Guest Cheryl in SoCal
Well, if ds can get into college and still take fourth or fifth grade math then I truly have nothing to worry about but I don't think thats the case.

 

I thought you meant getting them to one grade level in all subjects, not catching up a child in some grade subjects he's very behind in. Sorry.

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Hope my post helps.

 

First, my daughter, 17.5, is very gifted (genius), yet she had a mediocre GPA in public school, although she had great SAT scores in English (700s) but average in Math (500). We were forced to pull her out of pub school Dec 2009 due to illness (eating disorder) and once home-schooled and re-fed, she asked if she could continue at home "for a while". That "a while" became "permanently" and now, six months later and after much experimenting (4 months--December through March--were a complete wash of trying different methods while re-feeding her) she settled into a good, solid routine in April that SHE chose on her own.

 

This is what has worked for her::

 

1) CLEP exams using a variety of review media. Within 2 months she has "CLEPPED" 2 college courses: Intro to Soc and Engl Comp.

 

2) Enrolled in online community college courses, and she is currently taking Spanish 1, Philosophy Ethics. She just completed Environmental Science, which would have been an extremely easy A if it were not for the bad professor (I think he has a drinking problem). I have looked over some of the work she is doing/has done and it is harder than the honors high-school work she was doing at public school, but it is not grueling, certainly not upper-division thesis work!!! although she studies more than she has to and she does a heap of writing for Philosophy.

 

3) As you may have noticed I haven't mentioned anything about Math, and we are working on that. D was 9/10ths complete with Algebra 2 at public school but now home she has decided she wanted to CLEP 2 easi-ish Math courses and get that out of the way by Christmas, so she has happily tossed Algebra 2 aside and has gone into College Mathematics self-study instead. [she will have to return to Alg 2/Pre-Calc and she knows it, but right now, she just can't].

 

Now, all the above sounds impressive that my daughter will have her first-year Freshman requirements out of the way Christmas 2010, the middle of her HS senior year, but if you read between the lines you can see that it is NOT a thoroughly rigorous education for someone with her innate abilities. No AP courses, nothing beyond Algebra 2, and I am utilizing her college Environmental Science as her 3rd year HS Science class--no chemistry or physics...Yet she's happy with what she is doing and she is building up her confidence and achieving more than anticipated, considering her psychological issues (this past winter was a really rough period!).

 

As a comparison, my D's best friend, a pretty smart girl herself, took a bunch of AP classes in the last two years of high school (in the first 2 years she was in an IB program) and she barely scraped by in her AP classes. Mostly Cs. She got NO AP college credit because she didn't pass the exams. So now here she is, graduated high school with a mediocre GPA, no college credit, average (520/530) SAT scores, burned out from all that hard work in high school, and placed on a "conditional" acceptance to a mainstream state U.

 

In reply to this:

 

He is happy just to scrape by with a "C". On the plus side, he doesn't totally hate learning and has asked to switch to year round schooling without any breaks because he is happy with the routine he has created.

 

I would like to give an example of my nephew who had great 34 ACT scores in high school and took ONLY honors classes. He is an extremely bright young man who won a full scholarship to a private, 2nd tier university. Well, he bombed out. He just did not want to go to college, he didn't want to be an academic, but his parents insisted. So the next year, at his parents' insistence, he went to his state school on full scholarship and at the end of that year, he bombed out. He THEN went into the school that he had wanted to attend all along: jet mechanic school! Trade school! And he thrived there, he made it to class every morning by 7 am, he won another scholarship (this time $2000 worth of tools)....and after 9 grueling months he completed the course this past May and was recruited immediately, at age 21. Here it is July, 2 months later, and my nephew is making $60,000 (with overtime) and doing what he absolutely loves. Will he go back to school and complete his 4 year degree? Probably, online, at some time in the future and paid for by his employer. But right now he is doing what interests him, challenges him, and keeps him motivated.

 

I know I've kind of rambled, but I hope I have helped. BTW, totally off-topic, but there is a HUGE shortage of jet mechanics. So if you know anyone who is mechanically/technically inclined and can past a drug test, it might be a good option!

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My kids are all over the place. I couldn't use a single grade boxed curriculum for them. My eldest is *at least* 2 yrs behind in math than his age grade, my middle son is 4 years ahead in math than his age grade and my little one has been reading for over two years now but yet can't write! All of them are really asynchronous like that. The super genius' and accelerated learners around here don't bother me at all but I am always baffled as to how other peoples kids seem to be on one solid grade level for everything? I don't have a clue how to level my kids out by college and highschool.

 

First, I agree with Cheryl. I see that your eldest is 2 yrs. behind in math but I (and Cheryl too probably) assumed you have a high school student. If your eldest is doing 5th grade math, is he/she a 7th grader? You still have a couple of years to go before hitting high school. My son is a 9th grader and isn't ready for a traditional 9th grade English program. I had to look for alternatives that would still get him high school credit. There are ways to cover high school credit that has your child working at his/her ability level.

 

Second, just because you see someone working on a supposedly 'solid' grade level doesn't mean that student is truly on grade level for every subject. Some subjects might be easy while others are challenging. That will be true for every student regardless of where they get their education, home or brick-and-mortar schools. Think about the different levels of classes offered in high school. There are lower level classes for struggling students, general average classes, and AP and Honors courses. This is what Cheryl was talking about.

 

Last, if you're concerned at the level your child is currently doing in math, have you asked for help on either the K-8 curriculum board or on this one? The ladies on these forums are extremely knowledgeable and helpful. I don't know how I would have homeschooled the past 9 years without a think tank like this one as support. :)

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I thought you meant getting them to one grade level in all subjects, not catching up a child in some grade subjects he's very behind in. Sorry.

 

No, you were right, I do mean getting them to one grade level in all subjects and I'm particularly concerned about the one subject with the biggest disparity. Thanks for the advice! :)

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Guest Cheryl in SoCal
First, I agree with Cheryl. I see that your eldest is 2 yrs. behind in math but I (and Cheryl too probably) assumed you have a high school student. If your eldest is doing 5th grade math, is he/she a 7th grader? You still have a couple of years to go before hitting high school. My son is a 9th grader and isn't ready for a traditional 9th grade English program. I had to look for alternatives that would still get him high school credit. There are ways to cover high school credit that has your child working at his/her ability level.

 

Second, just because you see someone working on a supposedly 'solid' grade level doesn't mean that student is truly on grade level for every subject. Some subjects might be easy while others are challenging. That will be true for every student regardless of where they get their education, home or brick-and-mortar schools. Think about the different levels of classes offered in high school. There are lower level classes for struggling students, general average classes, and AP and Honors courses. This is what Cheryl was talking about.

 

Last, if you're concerned at the level your child is currently doing in math, have you asked for help on either the K-8 curriculum board or on this one? The ladies on these forums are extremely knowledgeable and helpful. I don't know how I would have homeschooled the past 9 years without a think tank like this one as support. :)

Thanks Beth, you did a much better job of explaining than I did!

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First, I agree with Cheryl. I see that your eldest is 2 yrs. behind in math but I (and Cheryl too probably) assumed you have a high school student. If your eldest is doing 5th grade math, is he/she a 7th grader? You still have a couple of years to go before hitting high school.

 

Yes, he is a 7th grader. He was in PS for the first 3 years of his school career and they took any confidence and passion he had for math and obliterated it. His issue is entirely psychological, he second guesses himself constantly. We have spent the last few years trying to find the right math curriculum for him (which we seem to have now) in order to build up his confidence again. It has been slow going and still is. I would love for him to be able to catch up to where he "should be" but at the moment its not a priority. I am focusing heavily on keeping him moving at a steady pace and not falling behind any more. If I push him, he will fall back again. Its a very sensitive area for him.

 

My son is a 9th grader and isn't ready for a traditional 9th grade English program. I had to look for alternatives that would still get him high school credit. There are ways to cover high school credit that has your child working at his/her ability level.

 

I so hope that we can do this for our son too.

 

Second, just because you see someone working on a supposedly 'solid' grade level doesn't mean that student is truly on grade level for every subject. Some subjects might be easy while others are challenging. That will be true for every student regardless of where they get their education, home or brick-and-mortar schools. Think about the different levels of classes offered in high school. There are lower level classes for struggling students, general average classes, and AP and Honors courses. This is what Cheryl was talking about.

 

I know most kids have strengths and weaknesses. I am talking about extremes though. Or at least I thought I was. If its normal to have 2 - 4 grades disparity between subjects then I have nothing to worry about with mine. :)

 

Last, if you're concerned at the level your child is currently doing in math, have you asked for help on either the K-8 curriculum board or on this one? The ladies on these forums are extremely knowledgeable and helpful. I don't know how I would have homeschooled the past 9 years without a think tank like this one as support. :)

 

Since its a psychological issue and since we have tried what seems like every math program going before finding MUS and him finally being happy. Its not something I have asked the community about of late. We stopped going backwards and started moving forward when we found MUS (almost two years ago). After all the struggling, I'm so afraid to rock that boat. I am very concerned about entrance to college (if college is something he wants to do) but I feel like he is at the best place with math that he has been in years. No more stomach cramps, throwing up, crying - all the horrible things he went through in PS.

 

Also, thank you for the words of advice! :)

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Guest Cheryl in SoCal
No, you were right, I do mean getting them to one grade level in all subjects and I'm particularly concerned about the one subject with the biggest disparity. Thanks for the advice! :)

Honestly, I wouldn't worry about it. I think one of the biggest problems with schools is that they try to fit every child in the same "grade" for every subject. Children are unique individuals and need to be taught at the level that is best for them, not the level the government has decided they should be based on age/grade. Trying to force all children to learn at the same rate is how we end up with students who never learn anything because they are always struggling to "catch up" and students who are never challenged.

 

Two grade levels in math isn't THAT "behind" and boys often take longer to mature than girls. There are many concepts in math (and reading) that children need to reach a certain level of maturation before they can really understand them. I have a friend whose son didn't read until he around 11 or 12. She was afraid he would never read but kept meeting him where he was at and he did learn to read, and then excel. She continued to homeschool him through high school and he's just now finishing his 3rd year at West Point. I started both of my boys over at the beginning in math when they were in 5th and 6th grades because they had learned very little with the curricula we had used (when I found one that worked we started at the beginning of it's series to build the math foundation they lacked). They just finished 8th/9th grades and just finished Algebra 1. They moved at their own pace and "caught up," even though that wasn't our goal (being successful in math at their level was our goal).

 

Will your son "catch up" or end up advanced? I have no idea but moving him at his pace is still what's best for him. I'd much rather have a student who doesn't make it as far in math but REALLY knows math than one who goes quite far but doesn't really know what they are doing. It's much easier to build on a stable foundation than it is to build one that is full of holes or incomplete. If I'd kept pushing my kids (particularly my oldest) he would have ended up one of those students who might be able to get through some upper levels of math by the skin of his teeth but would never really know what he was doing and would forget it as soon as the class was over, making the next math class (in high school or college) even harder. That was already happening in elementary school. Things kept getting more and more difficult with each year because math was trying to build on a foundation that just wasn't there. Part of the problem was the curricula we used but part of it was also me, my inexperience pushing him to "keep up" and move forward before he was ready.

 

Sorry to ramble!

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We stopped going backwards and started moving forward when we found MUS (almost two years ago). After all the struggling, I'm so afraid to rock that boat.

 

Rock on then! Dd12 is using MUS and absolutely loves it. She did Gamma and Delta a couple of years ago and we kept skipping around math as well. When we got her back into MUS, she started with Zeta and is now in Algebra. I let her go at her own pace and I let her test out of the areas she already feels confident in. She's gotten stuck a few times. The last time was a few months ago, thereabouts, when she got stuck on negative numbers. It caused tears on a daily basis. We left off for a week and came back with a fresh start. She just all of a sudden got it! I was floored but it's cool.

 

In other words, if there is any part of Math that he is doing well in, let him breeze through that part. For my dd, it gave her the confidence to tackle the new and challenging. Your son might catch up yet!

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Since its a psychological issue and since we have tried what seems like every math program going before finding MUS and him finally being happy. Its not something I have asked the community about of late. We stopped going backwards and started moving forward when we found MUS (almost two years ago). After all the struggling, I'm so afraid to rock that boat. I am very concerned about entrance to college (if college is something he wants to do) but I feel like he is at the best place with math that he has been in years. No more stomach cramps, throwing up, crying - all the horrible things he went through in PS.

 

Also, thank you for the words of advice! :)

 

My oldest just graduated this spring. He only finished Algebra I and Geometry for high school math, because he took that long to truly learn it. Even then, there were a few lessons in MUS Algebra I and Geometry that he never finished.

 

As we expected, his math SAT scores were dismal (430), but his Reading (720) and Writing (640) were good enough to compensate for that. There were, of course, colleges that were out of the question due to his math level, but he was accepted to the only 4 year school he applied to, and was given some financial aid/scholarship money from it.

 

Because we cannot afford that school even with financial aid, he will be attending the local community college (which has an excellent reputation for quality) for now. He will be taking a remedial math class before taking the required College Algebra course, as we expected--but he only needs one remedial course, instead of more, as I feared.

 

College is a real possibility, even for students who are behind in one or more areas. It just takes more creativity and effort.

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Honestly, I wouldn't worry about it. I think one of the biggest problems with schools is that they try to fit every child in the same "grade" for every subject. Children are unique individuals and need to be taught at the level that is best for them, not the level the government has decided they should be based on age/grade. Trying to force all children to learn at the same rate is how we end up with students who never learn anything because they are always struggling to "catch up" and students who are never challenged.

 

Two grade levels in math isn't THAT "behind" and boys often take longer to mature than girls. There are many concepts in math (and reading) that children need to reach a certain level of maturation before they can really understand them. I have a friend whose son didn't read until he around 11 or 12. She was afraid he would never read but kept meeting him where he was at and he did learn to read, and then excel. She continued to homeschool him through high school and he's just now finishing his 3rd year at West Point. I started both of my boys over at the beginning in math when they were in 5th and 6th grades because they had learned very little with the curricula we had used (when I found one that worked we started at the beginning of it's series to build the math foundation they lacked). They just finished 8th/9th grades and just finished Algebra 1. They moved at their own pace and "caught up," even though that wasn't our goal (being successful in math at their level was our goal).

 

Will your son "catch up" or end up advanced? I have no idea but moving him at his pace is still what's best for him. I'd much rather have a student who doesn't make it as far in math but REALLY knows math than one who goes quite far but doesn't really know what they are doing. It's much easier to build on a stable foundation than it is to build one that is full of holes or incomplete. If I'd kept pushing my kids (particularly my oldest) he would have ended up one of those students who might be able to get through some upper levels of math by the skin of his teeth but would never really know what he was doing and would forget it as soon as the class was over, making the next math class (in high school or college) even harder. That was already happening in elementary school. Things kept getting more and more difficult with each year because math was trying to build on a foundation that just wasn't there. Part of the problem was the curricula we used but part of it was also me, my inexperience pushing him to "keep up" and move forward before he was ready.

 

Sorry to ramble!

 

Its always nice to know I'm not alone in this. I think you're so right about kids being ready for it when they are ready for it. I hope his math catches up and he gets over the fear but if he doesn't then I plan on being creative about getting him out there into the real world without a college degree.

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Rock on then! Dd12 is using MUS and absolutely loves it. She did Gamma and Delta a couple of years ago and we kept skipping around math as well. When we got her back into MUS, she started with Zeta and is now in Algebra. I let her go at her own pace and I let her test out of the areas she already feels confident in. She's gotten stuck a few times. The last time was a few months ago, thereabouts, when she got stuck on negative numbers. It caused tears on a daily basis. We left off for a week and came back with a fresh start. She just all of a sudden got it! I was floored but it's cool.

 

In other words, if there is any part of Math that he is doing well in, let him breeze through that part. For my dd, it gave her the confidence to tackle the new and challenging. Your son might catch up yet!

 

Thanks, I like that idea. At the moment, even simple adding and subtracting cause him to second guess himself but I will look out for a part of math that he does better in and see if we can repeat more of that. :)

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My oldest just graduated this spring. He only finished Algebra I and Geometry for high school math, because he took that long to truly learn it. Even then, there were a few lessons in MUS Algebra I and Geometry that he never finished.

 

As we expected, his math SAT scores were dismal (430), but his Reading (720) and Writing (640) were good enough to compensate for that. There were, of course, colleges that were out of the question due to his math level, but he was accepted to the only 4 year school he applied to, and was given some financial aid/scholarship money from it.

 

Because we cannot afford that school even with financial aid, he will be attending the local community college (which has an excellent reputation for quality) for now. He will be taking a remedial math class before taking the required College Algebra course, as we expected--but he only needs one remedial course, instead of more, as I feared.

 

College is a real possibility, even for students who are behind in one or more areas. It just takes more creativity and effort.

 

This is really good to know, thank you! I could only hope for a math score like that on the SAT for him though. He recently took the CAT and on his math computation section, he got %16. :eek:

 

Thanks again, your story with your son does make me feel better about it and with some hard work, I don't see why that couldn't be his situation in the future. There is hope. :)

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