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Very young student...what to do?


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My 11yod caught up to her 2 older siblings in 2nd grade. She is self-driven, high achiever, etc. She has kept up wonderfully with all the schoolwork and in fact passes her 12yo brother often. This year she will finish LL8, PreAlgebra, 8th grade history, writing and grammar. I had every intention of moving her into 9th grade until yesterday after our hs meeting.

 

A woman shares each April what she did for high school, college requirements, etc. with our group. Our CC allows juniors and seniors to take one free class each semester and it was my plan to use that for lab sciences and/or foreign language. The only thing is that the student must be 15yo, no exceptions. At the rate my 11yod is going, she would be a junior at the age of 14, graduate at 15.

 

I don't know what to do. We had planned for her to participate in the 8th grade graduation in May along with her brother and sister, yet now I'm wondering if I really want her to move up. What are my options?? She wants to stay in 8th grade so she can compete in the County Spelling Bee again (I told her that was not a good reason to repeat a grade, lol).

 

Any input would be greatly appreciated. I'm at a standstill as far as ordering curriculum until I decide what to do, although I've already ordered books for her for MFW AHL. I'm also leaning toward doing with my 12yos whatever I do with my 11yo as they are really on the same level. I'd like to keep all 3 in the same history (MFW) and know they can all handle it; my big concern is science.

 

Thanks, ladies. I hope this all made sense. :)

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Is there a specific reason you want her to graduate early? If it were my child, I would call her an 8th grader, give her age appropriate work, and simply continue to do that over the next 5 yrs. THere are so many courses that she can take that you won't run out.

 

My rising 9th grader will be taking pre-cal in the fall. Instead of only progressing forward, he is also going wide. I just ordered him discrete math from TC. He wants to take number theory from AoPS. For science, he will have several AP courses.

 

HTH

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I'm mostly thinking aloud here as I don't have much in the way of concrete input...

 

I'm mulling over similar issues as my youngest started high school work at age 13 great and on track to finish next year when he turns 16. But he is still very much a young teen and not ready to move off to a 4 year college. And this year he has been at that brain-dead stage of puberty so hasn't been quite been up to the higher standards I'm expecting of him. His charter school teacher and I both have had to remind ourselves that he's only been 14 all this year -- still quite young.

 

This is my long winded introduction to my saying that it is hard find the middle ground that lets our kids be kids while still feeding their intellects. We naturally think in terms of grade level, and yet, especially with packaged curricula, those levels aren't always the right measurement for describing our kids. Your dd may have easily handled 8th grade work, but that doesn't necessarily mean she has to start doing 9th grade work next year. They bring so much to their work as they mature, an element that can't really be measured, but the work of a 13 yo is quite different from that of a 16yo and from that of a 20 year old.

 

You should read the three part series of blog posts on gap years by Susan Wise Bauer. It has made me think about what being read for college really means. My ds may graduate next year, but I'm planning on him taking more cc classes and doing a gap year before sending him off to college.

 

There are of course those kids who do go off to college at a very young age -- beats me how you know when you have one of those!!

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I have a dd that could probably handle college next yr, even from a maturity level, but I still don't think it's time yet. It's so early to plan one's future.

 

I would suggest going wide. There are sooo many additional and interesting history, science, and lit/language arts courses that she could take. For scince there are the regulars, then there are physiology/anatomy, marine bio, zoology, astronomy, forensic science. For lit you could go through the regular sequence then go into true Rhetoric. History could lead you to European history, history of almost anything, anthropology, cultural anthropology etc.

 

You could pursue regular high school courses then add in AP level.

 

Many choices.

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So she'll be a senior when she's 15? So, she can still attend the c.c. free of charge, yes? I don't see a problem. :-)

 

I also don't see any reason to punish someone who has worked hard by not allowing her to be graduated. Graduation has *everything* to do with completing a course of study, and *nothing* to do with age or maturity. If she does the work, she should be rewarded by being able to graduate. It doesn't mean she has to leave home and get a job.:)

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So she'll be a senior when she's 15? So, she can still attend the c.c. free of charge, yes? I don't see a problem. :-)

 

 

She will turn 12 in November so she would be 11/12yo freshman, 12/13 sophomore, 13/14 junior, 14/15 senior. However, since she doesn't turn 15 until November she could not take a class in the fall; she would only be able to take advantage of the CC program for one semester.

 

I really appreciate the input, ladies. I have some thinking to do and decisions to make!

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We did 7th grade for a few years. :) We progressed in math, but for other subject areas, I didn't think it would be appropriate content for my dd. It wasn't a matter of ability, but of what would be read and discussed. It's not a race. Using different curriculum and expanding in other ways allowed my daughter to enjoy being a kid and gave us lots of time for field trips, allowed her time to draw, and read and write. If we had just gone into high school curriculum across the board, she would have been robbed of that. There's plenty of ways to find challenges without having to go to a higher grade. But it's really for each family to decide what's best for them. There are pros and cons no matter what you decide. :)

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If she wants to stay in 8th grade as well, why not let her be registered as 8th grade but do the work you were going to do anyway? There's nothing wrong with being a middle school child taking accelerated courses.

:iagree:

That is what I am doing with mine. I let dd work at her level and will document what she does accordingly. For me, education is not about age but rather ability. IMO placement based strictly on age is nothing more than an efficient way to organize large groups of kids. It certainly is not about education, at least as I define the term. My dd's chronological age and her courses are completely asynchronous. I don't think the grade designation matters so long as each student is challenged with ability-appropriate work.

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I struggle with this as well, as I have a 12 yo "high schooler." I struggle specifically between giving her the work she is capable of doing and should be doing to be properly challenged and not punishing her for being smart.

 

What I end up with is giving her high school level classes, but fewer of them. In exchange, she gets to devote 25 hours/week to gymnastics and dance without the stresses her teammates have to finish hours and hours of homework after practice. That is her reward: she works very hard but for fewer hours.

 

Right now, she is doing math (pre-calculus); world history ("AP" over 2 years using Spielvogel/Diuker); literature (LLLOTR and British Lit); and science (outsourced), along with some light electives, including her foreign language. Next year, I may double-up on sciences (one at home, one outsourced) or her foreign language but otherwise expect her to have a similar schedule.

 

Her other reward is the potential to finish high school early and take a gap year doing whatever she is passionate about at the time.

 

As she is only 12, I don't know whether it will work for us long-term. As she may want to do gymnastics in college, I also will have to juggle NCAA requirements in a couple of years.

 

I doubt that this is any help, but I agree with you the need to meeting them where they are. By the way, I tell everyone she is in 6th grade. It's not like any 6th grade I've ever seen before, but that's what it looks like at our house.

 

Terri

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My daughter will be 13 in June and start High School in the fall. We plan for her to take couple classes at our local school (WA allows pt enrollment) where she'll take French 2 (I'm sure the older kids will LOVE having the 13 yo in the class..sigh) if she stays on track she will graduate at 16. As a serious dancer there are some significant advantages to her being done with high school since that would free her up to take out of area apprentice positions. However, if she doesn't have the maturity we expect OR struggles somewhere down the road we reserve the right to add that extra year. (local school calls them 'super seniors' lol)

 

My older son will graduate at 17 (by only a few weeks) so we've been down this path before and so far it's turned out to be a good decision for him except that he tried out for the ps bball team and the ONLY reason he didn't make it is that even though he was tall enough at 5'10 he hadn't begun to 'fill in' yet at 13 compared to the other boys trying out who could run right through him.

 

Good luck on whatever you decide, it's never easy!

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I don't think that her curriculum should be determined by grade level. And I certainly wouldn't give her "age-appropriate work!" You give her the level of work that is appropriate for HER and then call her whatever grade level you think is appropriate for her, your beliefs, goals, etc.

 

My daughter graduated early after doing dual enrollment (one college required her to be 16 which didn't work for us but another college was reasonable about allowing a student to go when ready). She graduated a couple years early because we called her 8th grade year 9th grade and then she did 3 years instead of 4.

 

I think it depends though. If your daughter would like to go OFF to college, especially to a very competitive college, it may make more sense to not accelerate. I wouldn't want a 15yr old going away to college (though there are programs to make that happen and happen well). But if she would do community college or a local university or an online university, then I would consider the acceleration. Had my daughter not gotten sick, we would have definitely considered moving things along a year sooner even. And NOW, looking back, I wish, even more, we had had that option. But that is based on MY daughter, what SHE is doing, and HER goals. It may not be best for your child, her circumstances, and her goals.

 

ETA: I had a couple more thoughts...

 

1) I definitely think you should think broad as well as linear. My daughter did more in her high school years than most kids get to. For example, she had 31 credits stemming from necessary courses, interests, etc. But she also had music, a sport, and was quite active in the volunteer work which didn't give her credits. Your daughter can really enjoy some great rabbit trails during these years. Following a passion would also be VERY appropriate!

 

2) I agree that Early Graduation doesn't need to mean early adulthood. There are lots of opportunities for young people. Though my daughter plans to get a bachelor's about the same time she would have gotten a high school diploma, that isn't the best path for every student. It won't be for my son, for example.

 

Hope this helps a little.

Edited by 2J5M9K
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In New Mexico community colleges, there is quite a bit of flexibility in class placement based on SAT, ACT, or scores received on the placement test used by the CC. So, if you continue to bring your dd along at whatever pace you think appropriate at home she might be able to go directly into upper level courses as soon as she's old enough for CC.

 

I'd also agree with the advice to take advantage of the opportunity to explore a wide range of studies tailored to her abilities, maturity level and interests. My son was not accelerated, but his interests did change quite a bit between the ages of 12 and 18.

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Our oldest started hs classes @ 12 so finished the required credits at 15/16. In FL, the dual-enrollment $$ can be used starting after "9th grade" so we called her what her peers were, but she was actually full time at the cc. Will the school allow younger dc to enroll if they place into the college-level classes? That would help keep her motivated plus get at least some of those pre-reqs out of the way.

 

Dd#2 while not finished w/the reg. hs credits, is doing dual-enrollment too. I'll dance in the street w/ds is enrolled!!

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Is there a specific reason you want her to graduate early? If it were my child, I would call her an 8th grader, give her age appropriate work, and simply continue to do that over the next 5 yrs. THere are so many courses that she can take that you won't run out.

 

 

Calvin passed his first high school level exam at 11; he's taking two more this year and will take more at school when he goes. We just looked for interesting courses and if he ends up having done lots, so much the better. The exams document the learning, so the record looks good, but he doesn't have to rush through his schooling.

 

Laura

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Do whatever you can do. Whatever you do, teach her at her level. Don't feel like you HAVE to stretch out her education, but don't feel like you have to rush it, either.

 

What I'd likely do in your shoes is do non-lab sciences before then and at 15, have her enroll full time in CC, taking courses that will transfer to her intended major. Marine Science...Elenco has a great (packaged lab) high school level electrical engineering/science course...physics without a lab component...lots of stuff. In fact, you could have her finish a regular high school-level science track without any labs at all and have CC take the place of AP/transitional work for a year. Or whatever. Lots of options. And if you have to, you can get labs without killing yourself through Apologia.

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I wonder if your dd could be doing online college courses, giving her college credit, no matter which option you take. If you keep her in 8th grade another year, then she can still do this. If you let her graduate, then the local cc requirements won't matter because she can still use online courses from another institution. Just be sure to choose one that other universities will accept for transfer credit. I would teach her at the appropriate level no matter which option you select. No need to change your curriculum if you want to teach them together. Go ahead and do it.

 

My youngest worked ahead in curriculum, also. We pondered letting her enter 9th grade early, but decided there was no rush. She did continue to work at a higher level, though, and all her 8th grade courses were high school level and some of her 7th grade courses were as well. We are fortunate that our cc allows a student to take courses beginning in 10th grade, without any age restriction, so she started taking courses fall of 10th grade. She loved the cc courses and wanted to go there full time in 11th grade, so we let her. Basically, she accelerated herself. By taking so many cc courses she will be graduating from high school at the end of 11th grade. She will still take another year of cc classes, even though she will have her AA next December. Her major requires additional courses than just the AA, so she will continue to take them, then go away to college after what would have been her 12th grade year, at the same time as many of her friends will go away to college. The difference will be that she will have completed more than 2 years of college at that point.

 

Anyway, not letting her move into 9th grade yet doesn't necessarily mean you are holding her back. You can teach her at the appropriate high school level and decide later how to handle it.

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I certainly wouldn't base any decisions on a couple free CC classes! There are plenty of other ways to learn. . . and your child certainly seems driven enough to utilize a range of resources.

 

There are many important considerations. . . but I would just not consider the CC classes as one of them.

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I've taught at local community colleges for over a decade, and I get a lot of dual enrollment kids because the families know me and sometimes the parents even take my classes with their kids when they're on the young side. And my kids are quite advanced compared to their peers. So both my homeschool and college professor friends ask me if I'm going to enroll them early.

 

My answer -- "Only if I'm absolutely convinced that it's the right thing at the time."

 

I don't see community college as being the absolute answer for advanced kids. There's certainly room to enjoy the teenage years and study things that college won't necessarily allow for while they're still being educated at home. There's also time if you homeschool to have them volunteer or intern or work or do very advanced studies without the constraints of a professor. And like SWB, I see big differences maturity-wise between 16 and 19 y.o.'s in my classes. The thinking is almost always deeper, and more mature.

 

Just because it's free or cost-effective doesn't mean that it's right for your child.

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You can call it grade 8 and give her whichever curricula is right for her even if it's higher. She certainly fits the age requirement for that spelling test, and she wouldn't be able to do a full year at cc when she was done grade 12 the other way, either. There's a lot you can do when you have this much time, such as go deeper, do more reading, etc.

 

My eldest is far too immature to go to college, even cc, at the age she could have if she were at all academically motivated, so I had her do grade 8, then a grade 8/9 year, but she didn't rehash exactly what she did the year before. Plus, she wants to do a high school sport, which is more important to her than to finish early.

 

My next one plans to start CC before she's 18, ideally by 16, but it will depend on her. She has developed a decent work ethic lately, and if it carries on through the ages of 13-15) she'll easily be ready to do that at 16, or, if she dawdles, 17. She might have been ready earlier had she started working harder sooner, but since she can't get credit before she's 16, she really doesn't mind. If she wants to do a high school sport, I just won't graduate her but let her do dual enrollment, since they are threatening to raise the legal age for being able to leave school to 18 in this state.

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For my advanced son, on any official paperwork (such as our yearly registration with the state) we list his grade as whatever grade he would be in if attended a PS (based on age only). Then for reality (i.e. anything that really matters such as curriculum and subjects) we pick things based on his ability. Which means as a 12 year old he is taking Chemistry and at 13 he will be taking pre-calc and advanced chem. His ACT score is already high enough to admit him to any college in our state however state law says he has to be 15 to attend. Obviously we have some time to fill. So we keep moving forward each subject paced to his ability. We added advanced chem because we have lots of time yet to cover physics and biology (which we skipped for the time being). We will add Stats and probably some other math before we start Calculus. There is so much to learn out there that you can certainly fill in with other useful information. I honestly have no idea what grade level to call my son nor do I know when I will graduate him. I plan to keep him home until I completely exhaust my resources to keep him engaged and learning at home. If it's 14 fine, if it's 18 that's fine too.

 

I wouldn't have any trouble calling your daughter an 8th grader on paper for another year but having her do all the work with the older one. Just keep track of everything she has done so that at whatever point you need a transcript, you can simply pull the last 4 years of work, whatever age years those happen to be for her.

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She would be in sixth grade if she were in public school, next year. It doesn't sound like your now 12 year old would be ninth grade age next year either. I would hesitate to enroll either of them in high school then.

 

Academically, it sounds like she is ready, but there is no reason she can't take high school level classes now, but not be officially declared ninth grade until she is closer to the correct age. If she takes algebra 1 next year, then she can take algebra 2/ trig/ precalc/ whatever math is appropriate to her abilities then. Same with foreign languages.

 

Is it possible to post date classes? Say, she gets to be 13 and you think she really should be a high school junior, can you just go backwards and say two years ago she was a ninth grader?

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Is it possible to post date classes? Say, she gets to be 13 and you think she really should be a high school junior, can you just go backwards and say two years ago she was a ninth grader?

 

 

Not too likely in our state, since we have to send letters of intent, etc, but I would think in states where you don't have to do anything like that you could easily do that. However, I wouldn't hesitate to do that when applying to colleges if I did that early, since they're separate from the public school system.

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I'll jump in here with trepidation and say that I'm not sure I'd get so caught up in the grade level thing. If you hang out on the K-8 board and really look around, you'll find a LOT of people whose 11 yo's are doing those very same things (and called 6th graders, sometimes 7th) or whose kids will be doing those things in the fall (Regena, Heather in VA, 8Fill, etc. etc.). To me, and this is just me, those are run of the mill, advanced selections for bright kids. I wouldn't bug my eyes out and say the kid ought to be called two years ahead of her age grade over them, kwim? I'm just being serious here. LOTS of kids are working at that level and are called either by their age grade or one grade ahead. Pre-algebra in 6th or 7th is pretty normal for an advanced, college-prep track. So if you call her 9th grade next year, she's actually LESS competitive compared to those kids who did alg. 1 in 7th or 8th and are at that point in 9th doing alg. 2, have had tons of science, and preparing for AP classes, kwim?

 

Has she done a foreign language or two or three? I'd figure out what her strengths are and start getting her into things that stretch her. Cc courses aren't necessarily the best way to STRETCH a gifted student, since they are meeting a syllabus, not thinking about what your student could do. Have you looked at CW? Have you looked at the logic sequence from Memoria Press? (Traditional Logic 1 and 2, Material Logic, then Rhetoric with Aristotle) Those logic/rhetoric books are AMAZING and blow out of the water any basic comp classes she'd be doing at a CC. If she has a linguistic/verbal bent, there's so much you can do with her at home. She could do multiple foreign languages. She can do VP Omnibus or a GB study.

 

Well anyways, who am I to say? It's none of my business. I just wanted to pipe in with that thought that jumping two grades might really be excessive, since she's pretty par for the course around here. She's awesome, but not stunning. If she wants to compete in that spelling bee a few more years, I'd let her! Why NOT let her compete in something which is age-appropriate and at which she is very good and could win, go on to national levels, etc. Why NOT??? I guess I'm revealing a small bias against cc courses there, but there you go.

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If she wants to compete in that spelling bee a few more years, I'd let her! Why NOT let her compete in something which is age-appropriate and at which she is very good and could win, go on to national levels, etc. Why NOT???
:iagree: I was wondering that same thing! Why is being in a Spelling Bee NOT a good reason??? She sounds fine with staying in 7th or 8th grade (by age and name only), it sounds like it's you that wants her pushed into 9th grade!

 

I'd be more than proud to have my dd working hard and WANT to work harder to be in the Spelling Bee! To me that'd be a powerfully GREAT reason not to move to 9th grade! What IS the point of her moving to 9th grade next year anyway?! Hopefully it's not for bragging rights, to be honest, cuz that'll mess HER up, by not allowing her to do what she really wants to do!

 

As others have said, she can still do the expanded, higher level work, but be, on the record, at the grade level other kids her age are.

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