Jump to content

Menu

Just some observations and comments about grade vs. age


Recommended Posts

We only started homeschooling last year. DD is 6 YO/1st grade this year and is about on grade level in her academics, which to me means *a lot* since she has a late-diagnosed severe hearing loss that was not aided until she was 4 1/2 YO. She is progressing very quickly.

 

I have meet quite a few HS families over the last year that are calling their 5 YO's "first graders" or 4 YO's "K-ers" because they are early readers "and they can handle the work". It's like they are rushing to push them ahead simply because they are reading at 4.

 

The odd thing is, here in this area, the PS trend is to hold even a child out longer and not start K until the student is 6 YO, even students that I would consider "average" with no LD's or other issues. One of the school districts with the highest national average of "red-shirt-kindergarteners" is right next door. Also, kids who are not reading when they start K are generally behind many of their peers in this upper-middle-class area. My friend's daughter, who is the same age as mine (6 YO), started K this year because the school district told them she was not ready for K last year because she was not already reading. They also expected K-ers to know simple addition, before starting school. The last year DS was in private school (2nd grade), over half the boys in his grade were a year behind their "age" and one more was held out of school last year because his parents decided they wanted to "keep him home one more year" (they didn't school him that year at all, they just held him out for a year off between 2nd and 3rd grade, so now he is a class behind where he started; there was no academic reason for this).

 

I am all for letting kids do the work that fits their abilities and not holding them to some arbitrary grade level work load because that is what they are "supposed" to be doing, but what I am seeing is a huge discrepancy in what is considered "1st grade" level work between the public school and homeschoolers. (i.e. reading before K is expected in PS and reading before K gets a HS-er labeld as a 1st grader.)

 

I guess what I am saying is it seems to me that the homeshoolers that are calling their kids advanced grade-wise are really not as advanced as they seem to think based on a comparison to PS expectations in this area (I am just really talking about K & 1st, not the older grades).

 

I will also say that, especially in the area of Language Arts, most of the 1st grade homeschool curriculum seems to be below what our state seems to think should be 1st grade level work (as well as below what I think my DD is capable of; she is already almost 1/3 of the way through A Beka's Lanuage 1 book and working on Saxon Phonics 2 this year). I am gearing up to start Shirley and to be honest one of the reasons I picked it is beacuse it was one of the only ones I found that identified parts of speech by their "real" names which is part of our state standards.

 

I am not bound to following our state standards to a T, but I do think it is a good gauge of what is generally expected of students working at this grade level. Then I decide how those things work for my students and family. I guess I am just finding it odd that so many homeschoolers here seem to want to put their kids ahead grade-wise as such an early age. I guess since I have already raised a teenager, I think about things like my 13 YO girl moving into the high school youth group with 19 YO boys or sending a child away to college at a young 17.

 

I also realize that there is a school of thought in the HS community to not push students to hard as such a young age, that the early years should be spent learning to love learning (to paraphrase and condense a bit). IMHO, much of the HS curriculum I have seen for the early years is very "gentle" in instruction compared to PS standards. I wonder if this is part of the issue with the HS-ers I have met who consider their students advanced. Instead of schooling "gently" those first years, they find their children can handle the curricula written for the early years and so they speed through or skip to higher grades, so that must mean they are advanced, right? I may not be on the right track with that but it is just a thought? The flip side is curricula that is written for the classroom typically has a lot of drill and review that a child who catches on quickly with individual instruction may not need, or a parent may not realize a child needs because they seemed to master a concept so they parent skips the review on that later in the unit, when the child might do better with more reinforcement.

 

Every family is within their rights to determine their children's grade level however they wish. I am more commenting on the disparity between the PS and HS community in the same area. These are jsut some thoughts that have been floating around in my head based on observations. I am not judging and I am completely supportive of families making the choices that are right for their own. I am just curious as to how people come to the choice they do and why such a difference, YKWIM? I just find it hard to believe that almost half of the students in this area that are going to a traditional school are "behind" enough they need to be held back and start a year later than their birthday would indicate, yet close to the same percentage of HS students are "advanced" enough to be placed a grade ahead of what their birthday would indicate. Granted this is all based on ancedotal experience. BTW, the only difference I can tell between the groups is where they school, they are very similar in every other way (race, socio-economics, religous beliefs, etc.) I know this was a long and rambling post, I was trying to get my long and rambling thoughts on the subject to make more sense.:lol:

 

Any thoughts or comments? Do the "standards" for starting K or 1st grade seem to line up in your area between school choice? What are the pro's and con's of calling a child in an advanced grade, in your opinion?

Edited by fhjmom
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I started 1st grade at age 5 forty years ago. I could do the work. I started college at 17. Sure, there were some maturity issues but I could do the work and enjoyed it over all.

 

My ds started first grade homeschool at age 6. Dd started first grade homeschool at age 5. They were doing the exact same books. I started them when I did because they were able and ready to do the work. I don't care if they graduate high school "on time" or "early". If they aren't mature enough for college then I'll have them do a bonus year of some kind.

 

As to what is considered 1st grade work - I've noticed that the public schools push skills earlier than most homeschoolers do. This creates great diversity (as to ability) in the classrooms because most skills are developmentally based esp. in the younger grades. Most classical homeschool programs have more advanced concepts than those in the public school (we studied the ancient Sumarians etc. instead of communities). It doesn't bother me that this is so because it is better to wait for kids to be developmentally ready for skills than to push it on a schedule. And I think it is better to lay down a foundation of concepts and vocabulary because even though kids don't remember all of it, it layers over the years.

 

Because of the issue of developmental readiness for certain skills, my dd was a 1st grader but then a 1st/2nd grader, a 2nd/3rd grader and has now caught up to be just a 4th grader.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's late and I can barely keep my eyes open, but here are my thoughts, fwiw. ;)

 

Many children start out as advanced. Is it because they are advanced or because standards are too low? IDK Many of those children level off at 3rd-4th grade, though. Some do not level off and keep going at an accelerated rate.

 

Material and grade levels are made up by "professionals". Who decides what a 2nd grader should know? It's a tad arbitrary and irrelevant, imo. If my dc can't do that work, we do something else. If it's too easy, we go on. No big deal either way. And you're correct, the curricula is written for a teacher with 20 students in the room. Directed to the middle of the road learners, too. Not the very bright, not the slower ones.

 

I always want to challenge my dc without frustrating them. Fine line there, but much easier to do at home than in a class with 20 other students.

 

No matter what my dc are working on, we define their grade by the ps grade/age. In our K, we may be doing more advanced math, but child is still in K.:001_smile: Personally, I don't ever want to hold a child back if he gets to a place where he levels off. There's nothing wrong with repeating information, but I don't see a benefit in repeating a grade. (I hope this is making sense!)

 

Socially, for *us*, I don't want my dc to say, "I should be in 2nd grade, but I'm in 3rd". Or, "I'm in 3rd grade, but I'm doing 4th grade work." DC, just say, "I'm in ____ grade." No other info is needed nor required. :D

 

I just don't feel very coherent right now, so I hope some of this made a little sense.:001_smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just think people should teach their dc whatever they are capable of learning, while using the grade-level label that the dc would be in if they were in school, and call it a day. We're homeschooling. There's no point in saying that our dc are "advanced" or "behind." It's all relative. Just teach the dc. Call 'em first grade if that's what they'd be, or kindergarten. Keep it simple.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a wide variation in localities, too. I live in a state with a December 1 cutoff. We have a higher percentage of low income students up here, so kids tend to start on time. (Eligibility for Head Start or Early Fours ends if you are 5 by Dec. 1, so kids start K.) We only have one level of K here, and very few kids are 6 in K.

 

Our state standards for K only require that kids be associating sounds with letters, be starting to blend, and be recognizing about 18 words. They should learn to print capitals and lowercase, and realize words are written left to right, top to bottom, with spaces between them. For math it's expected they can count to 100, but only actually count objects up to 30. They should also understand, for example, that 3 and 2 is the same as 5 and be able to write an equation for it. There's a lot of other jargon in it, but most of the other things the average homeschooler had covered in daily life well before K.

 

My son went to K at our local school and had a wonderful teacher who was also the remedial reading tutor. However, very few of the kids really met those standards. I would say about one-third of them could do those things at the end of the year.

 

Therefore, if you hear a homeschooler say that they're doing 1st grade work because they're reading, that may very well be true where they live.

 

Julie D.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We never really said grades when my kids were that age. We did whatever level work they needed to learn, do well and remember. That meant each child did varying levels. If we DID have to tell someone a grade, we'd say what age-grade they'd be in if they WERE in school.

 

Once they were in 8th grade, I started keeping records, so we had to finalize where they were at that point. (BTW, I'm glad I DID keep records. DS19's University in Mexico asked for transcripts from that grade!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You make a good point that could save some embarrassment for some homeschoolers! I know some moms that teach their young kids to answer "what grade are you in?" with things along the lines of "well, I read at a 5th grade level and I do 8th grade science" etc. etc. It makes me crazy because that question usually means "how old are you?" Just say the "normal" grade and move on! Besides, are you really going to enroll your 6 year old in the 6th grade Sunday school class because of his math skills?

 

What is considered "grade level" really does vary. When I was a classroom teacher one of my students moved to a neighboring town at the end of September. After a few days her new teacher phoned me wondering why I had not moved this girl into the next grade because she was soooo far ahead of all the other kids in her grade. At our school she was right on par with her age-mates/classmates and at her new school she was far ahead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm. I can appreciate your arguments.

I have a six year old (7 in December) who's literally in 2nd grade. I started her early because she wanted to start, and she's handled the workload I've given her. We use CLE, so it's pretty easy to determine grade level by diagnostic tests. If she's doing all 2nd grade work, then I say 2nd grade. She's earned it. She loves to accelerate, and if she's earned it then I'm not going to hold her back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting discussion. My ds is 7 on Sept. 2 when the cut-off date is Sept. 1. One day difference. He would have started first grade in public school this year. He's in second grade at home. It's not only because he can read, but form all his letters, write, narrate, and discuss. His math skills are improving, but we're reviewing 1st grade stuff by working through Math Mammoth 1A-1B. When people ask me what grade he's in, I say second. So does he. BTW, we just started last week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have found public school standards, particularly in early grades, to be very poor comparisons. I think PS rushes writing but the actual knowledge being imparted is much inferior to most homeschool programs. Outside of writing, I haven't seen a lag in the homeschooled children I have observed for 16 years. On the other hand, I have seen most homeschooled high schoolers to be well advanced over ps students.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you live in an unusualy accelerated place. It sounds, though, like a place I once lived where the everyone was upper-middle class affluant and there was the second highest population of PhDs in the country. Education was obviously emphasized. Kids were reading before and in kindergarten.

 

We moved to OH and from my expereince with kids in our church, some kids are reading CVC words by the end of K, but most of the 1st grade AWANA kids are not reading at the beginning of the year. I have never looked at the state standards, so I have no idea what is normal- though our piano teacher's husband is a K teacher in a neighboring district, and I asked him what K readiness was, and he said ABC's (not letter recognition), colors, count to 10, and 3 shapes. My 3.5 yo is ready for K by that description. Good grief. So as you can tell, it really can vary from state to state.

 

It is my experience that homeschool kids are much further advanced than their ps peers. In fact it has been said at church that the only AWANA kids that can read are the homeschooled ones.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess what I am saying is it seems to me that the homeshoolers that are calling their kids advanced grade-wise are really not as advanced as they seem to think based on a comparison to PS expectations in this area (I am just really talking about K & 1st, not the older grades).

 

I think part of the reason for this phenomenon is that grade level expectations have increased since we were kids (or at least since the older moms were kids). I started 1st grade not knowing how to read or add and I was at the top of my class by the end of the year. My mom confirmed this when I asked her about it while discussing dd's progress. Now, however, what I learned in 1st grade has largely been pushed back into K. This could be geography because I grew up in PA and now live in TX, but I think it's more likely that this trend started when K became a PS grade as opposed to a fun activity to give moms of 5yos a break. And since many kids, including many bright kids, aren't ready for a full day of academics as well as the regimentation and sensory overload of PS, parents started to red-shirt.

 

In my area, it's fairly uncommon for a kid with a summer birthday to start K at 5. For a kid with an August birthday, it's basically unheard of, unless their parents can't afford preschool. Our school district very much encourages red-shirting and I know a mom of a bright girl with a July birthday who was told by the K teacher to pull her out and wait a year after 2 weeks of school. She said she was a "good Ker" but if you wait a year she'll be a "great Ker". This girl was already reading Bob books at the time! And the sad thing is, the teacher was right. K was too much for a new 5yo and df's dd did do much, much better when she was a new 6yo. Red-shirting creates ever more pressure to red-shirt because schools' expectations for behavior and readiness keep creeping up when most Kers are 6. So more parents hold kids with summer birthdays back, and then parents of April and May kids start to wonder if they should too, and it snowballs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just think people should teach their dc whatever they are capable of learning, while using the grade-level label that the dc would be in if they were in school, and call it a day. We're homeschooling. There's no point in saying that our dc are "advanced" or "behind." It's all relative. Just teach the dc. Call 'em first grade if that's what they'd be, or kindergarten. Keep it simple.

 

:iagree:

 

My ds10 (today!) made the cutoff for our state, so the year he turned 5 I called him a Ker, which means he's a 5th grader today. My 4 year old (who will be 5 in 2 months) misses the cutoff, so even though he's turning 5 this year he won't officially be a Ker until next year, and the year he turns 10 he'll be a 4th grader. But that doesn't mean I'm holding off on teaching ds4. He's doing the exact same thing his other brothers did the year they turned 5 because he's ready. Does this mean he's more advanced than his brothers? Not hardly. I'm meeting him where he is, just like I've done with all his brothers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The private school my DD attended for K uses Saxon K for math and SSRW K, and Saxon 1 for first, SSRW, and Shurley Grammar 1 in 1st.

 

Public schools here use Everyday Math at grade level and Reading Street at grade level. And no, most kinders do not enter reading. In fact, most kinders here do not recognize all of their alphabet yet when they enter-even if they ARE entering at 6.

 

From what I've seen, homeschoolers are listing reasonable curriculum for your child's grade level in this area.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Most kids here do pre-k. Some of the public schools are going to all day pre-K and pre-k seems to be covering what I learned in Kindergarten. Thus, the kiddos that I know DO enter Kindergarten reading...at least some....and not sure how strong the phonics vs. sight word instruction is.

 

Now, the kiddos that *I* know would not represent a cross-section of the population. :) Some of them are private schooled and the ones that go to public have very involved parents that work with them at home. They would be solid middle-class and there are definitely parts of this city where the achievement would be lower.

 

I loosely keep up with the various things that private, especially, school kids do in each grade. So, I'm pretty confident in knowing what is generally typical for a grade.

 

As for what grade they are, I have always stuck by age cut-offs. BUT, younger dd misses the cutoff by 2 weeks. Her church friends had summer-August birthdays and made the cutoff. We went ahead and promoted her. She IS doing kindergarten level work, but we will see how it all pans out. At the end of the year, we will decide if kindergarten takes 2 years or 1. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My issue is more related to the cut-off date for school. Where I grew up, the cut-off wasn't until Dec. 1st. Here it is Sept. 1st. If we lived there, my two fall birthday girls would be a grade ahead of what they would be here. Because my third child is very bright, but happens to have been born in October, I choose to call this year first grade. I think she may follow both of her parents in graduating high school a year early and going to college at 17 (16 due to her fall birthday--which is what my dad did). Obviously, we don't know if that will happen yet, but it might.

 

I think I'm really just protesting the Sept. cut-off, although dd is doing work that is at or above first grade in public school. I can't bring myself to call her a kindergartner. :p

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My daughters are ages 8 and 6 (turning 9 and 7 in late October/early November). Our district's cutoff is September 30 for beginning school. So, even though they were ready when they were 4 (getting ready to turn 5), the arbitrary date imposed by the school system said they weren't ready. They were. So my girls began K when they were 4 but they turned 5 shortly after. That puts them now in 4th and 2nd grade even though if they were in school, they would be in 3rd and 1st. They are fully capable of this level of work and I have no problem accelerating them in this manor.

 

Our ps district is among the worst in the state and graduates students that are barely literate so I don't really care what their standards are. My sister taught remedial English at a local community college filled with ps students that couldn't write if their lives depended on it. Yet, it says in our state's standards that those kids will be writing paragraphs in 2nd grade. What they say in the standards and what comes out in reality are not necessarily the same.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Alte Veste Academy

Yep, as others have said, in most places the first grade curriculum has been pushed down to K and the K curriculum has been pushed down to Pre-K. It is developmentally inappropriate to think that most kids are ready for this (especially in light of the fact that subject matter instruction has replaced play and time for kids to learn social skills...the curriculum for K in the good old days). So, to compensate, people are red-shirting. Isn't that ironic? I mean, really, what is being accomplished if the requirements are being pushed down so the kids whose parents have the money to do so are putting off school for another year? It's negating the effect of introducing academics earlier for the kids who start late. They break even in the end. The kids who suffer, as always, are the poor. If they are made to go ahead due to finances, when their richer peers are allowed to gain another year of maturity, the net effect is that the benefits of HeadStart would be decreased for the kids whose parents can't afford to hold them back another year. Lovely cycle the public school system has going. :confused:

 

The most interesting and depressing thing to me is that somewhere between doing first grade work in K and 12th grade, the learning requirements get weaker and weaker. So, really, what in the world is the point of shoving inappropriate academic work down the throats of 4 and 5 year olds?

 

My kids are in the grade that correlates to their age. The work they do matches their ability level, not their age.

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The most interesting and depressing thing to me is that somewhere between doing first grade work in K and 12th grade, the learning requirements get weaker and weaker. So, really, what in the world is the point of shoving inappropriate academic work down the throats of 4 and 5 year olds?

 

This gets me too. Public schools are forcing younger children to be more and more academic, but by 11th/12th grade the same kids are barely doing enough to constitute an education. Kids are passed through middle/high school even without meeting the very basic requirements for those grades.

 

:confused:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am one of those parents who has a child who is between grades only because I have no clue what grade to say he's in. With our Dec 1 cut off, and DS's October birthday, we opted to put him in Young 5s and delay his start into K. Then he went to PS for K and within 2 weeks it was very apparent he was WAY beyond his peers. So we pulled him and HSed him with 1st grade work. This year he's doing 2nd grade work. But I don't want to say he's in 2nd grade because I don't want him graduating at 17 and at our church there are NO boys in 2nd grade at all. Down the road for youth group and other type programs, being the only boy in his grade would be terrible (BTDT, not fun). But there are 8 boys in 1st grade so we're letting him kinda float between the 2 grades until we are forced to decide.

 

I met with a mom of one of his former classmates because she pulled her DS this year and is HSing him for 1st grade. I gave her all of my DS's books that he used last year and she felt that they may be more than her DS could handle. My DS is an independent reader--her DS is a beginner reader. My DS is halfway through SM 2a, her DS is barely able to do SM 1a. Another one of DS's friends from church who was also in DS's class is on the same level as this now HSing boy.

 

So this tells me for a fact that my DS is beyond the school standards. That if I'd left him in school last year he would have been bored out of his mind and been held back academically. I use his friends as my gauge of where DS should be at and always make sure to be at least one step ahead of them so that if/when we do put him back into school, he won't be behind. I'm also going to have him take the SATs for 2nd grade this spring so we can see just where he's at.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This gets me too. Public schools are forcing younger children to be more and more academic, but by 11th/12th grade the same kids are barely doing enough to constitute an education. Kids are passed through middle/high school even without meeting the very basic requirements for those grades.

 

:confused:

 

This drives me crazy. Our society pushes the little ones so hard that they lose their childhoods and then we let the high schoolers slack academically.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This drives me crazy. Our society pushes the little ones so hard that they lose their childhoods and then we let the high schoolers slack academically.

 

:iagree: I suspect, just suspect mind you, that research said something about kids not at point X by age Y were falling further and further behind every year. But perhaps the cure is not to push earlier to get those kids to point X, but to enrich the home environment, address learning disabilities, have a plan for "late bloomers" (like me!), rather than starting skills too early. Fine if you can handle it, but so demoralizing if you can't. Perhaps it wasn't "not being at point X" that caused the failure, but just the same thing that kept child from being at point X, keeps the child from keeping up.

 

Wow, that is scrabbled, but I have to run mop the floor while the boys are outside, or else someone will run on it wet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having had children in both public school and now at home, I believe that the main reason to push at such a young age in ps and to have outrageous expectations is in part b/c of state testing.

I have 3 children who are a year apart in age. They all went to public school K at the same school. In the 3 years between my oldest dd and my son attending k, they upped the standards ridiculously. I asked why it had changed so much and the answer was to help better prepare them for the state test in 3rd grade!!!

Yes, our kindergarteners need to start preparing for the test 3 years in advance according to the state. It is insane. It is also why so many boys are red shirted or held back and so many have ld's thrust upon them when they may simply be immature or developmentally appropriate for a boy at that age. It is increasingly common for boys to be 7 in kindergarten here or 6 turning 7 during the year. They wanted me to hold back my son who has a Dec. b-day and was already 6 at the end of kindergarten because of maturity. I brought him home. He is now 7 turning 8 and in the 2nd grade.

I am not comparing what the public schools are doing to what we are doing. It does all even out around 3rd or 4th grade. They will learn the name of the parts of speech eventually. Does it matter if you teach them that it is an asking or telling sentence instead of a declarative or interrogative sentence in first grade? No. In 3rd or 4th grade, you will introduce them to the proper names. Will a 1st grader understand that interrogative means asking b/c interrogate means to question? Not likely.

Having said all of that, I don't believe that labelling a child based on reading ability or advanced math ability helps home schoolers either. It gives children a sense of entitlement and a sort of bragging demeanor that is imposed by the parent not the child. The parent wants to brag that their child is at home and advanced when they teach a 5 yr old to say I read on an 4th grade level and do science at 6th grade. No one talks like this. My child was tested in ps K and read on a 3rd grade level. She did not spend the rest of the year saying I am in kindergarten but read on a 3rd grade level. It sounds ludicrous and obnoxious and well pompous coming from a small child. My children quote the grade they are in age wise not skill wise.

I thnk both public school and homeschoolers are wrong for either expecting ridiculous expectations or pushing a child ahead a grade when it could be a fleeting advancement.

Edited by OpenMinded
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This gets me too. Public schools are forcing younger children to be more and more academic, but by 11th/12th grade the same kids are barely doing enough to constitute an education. Kids are passed through middle/high school even without meeting the very basic requirements for those grades.

 

:confused:

 

I agree with this and similar comments. It seems to me that there's a lost year in there somewhere. (And I can probably construct an argument that such a lost year has a significant cost in the long run.) I have to wonder whether an "average" kid is better off in a red-shirted environment, with a K-is-the-new-first-grade curriculum, graduating at 19. Does he really have greater knowledge or thinking ability at graduation than he would have if he had started K "on time" with a more age-appropriate K curriculum, graduating at 18?

 

OP, as you noted, your neighborhood school is the extreme as far as red-shirting. Are they using district standards or state standards for K-1st? Where we live, the standards starting out seem fairly age-appropriate (start K familiar with letters and being able to write one's name, though they take all comers, no matter the background) and there is minimal red-shirting (probably less than 10%, last time I looked). I have some late bloomers who barely met even these standards, and as we get into the meat of elementary school (my kids are at a charter school), they are whizzing past the state standards, which here seem rather low to me for the latter half of elementary school. I wonder what the standards at the OP's neighborhood school are like around 4-5-6 grade. Or middle school.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just think people should teach their dc whatever they are capable of learning, while using the grade-level label that the dc would be in if they were in school, and call it a day. We're homeschooling. There's no point in saying that our dc are "advanced" or "behind." It's all relative. Just teach the dc. Call 'em first grade if that's what they'd be, or kindergarten. Keep it simple.

 

So my DD8 should be starting 3rd this year. All her math, LA, etc. is 2nd because that's what she can handle at this point. Even her reading is lacking at this point and she struggles greatly. I'm calling her 2nd again this year. Should I be calling her 3rd because she is 8 and started K at 5?:confused:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps it wasn't "not being at point X" that caused the failure, but just the same thing that kept child from being at point X, keeps the child from keeping up.

 

Yes. This. And in a population of children developing at different rates, pushing academic skills specifically at the expense of other more basic developmental skills--play, imagination, creative thinking, social skills--is creating a vicious cycle.

 

Children who feel like failures because they can't read in kindergarten aren't likely to enjoy or be motivated by academics.

 

Cat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So my DD8 should be starting 3rd this year. All her math, LA, etc. is 2nd because that's what she can handle at this point. Even her reading is lacking at this point and she struggles greatly. I'm calling her 2nd again this year. Should I be calling her 3rd because she is 8 and started K at 5?:confused:

 

My two cents on this is that if she's really struggling with material that would be widely viewed as being age-appropriate, I'd probably want to rule out LDs. Third grade is a common time for LDs to show up as the level of work involved increases to a point where earlier compensation strategies begin to fail.

Edited by wapiti
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't attach a grade to DD6 based on academic capabilities. I only attach a grade to her so that she will be in a class of same aged kids at church, and I will tell other people "1st grade" when they ask, because what they really want to know is how old she is, not what grade she's in.

 

I honestly think that grades for homeschooling children are sort of crazy. I mean, for example.....if my DD excels in math, I may have her doing second grade level math. But if she's behind in reading, she may still be reading kindergarten level books. So what grade is she really in? Most homeschoolers that I know operate like this. I do know someone who always seem to say that her children are one grade higher than their age.....yet when she tells me what sort of work they are doing, they all seem to be on the level as their age....know what I mean? I never understand why she says they are a grade ahead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So my DD8 should be starting 3rd this year. All her math, LA, etc. is 2nd because that's what she can handle at this point. Even her reading is lacking at this point and she struggles greatly. I'm calling her 2nd again this year. Should I be calling her 3rd because she is 8 and started K at 5?:confused:

 

The great thing about home schooling is that you don't have to fit in a box. Your children can excel in one thing and need more one on one in another. Every child will have their strengths and weaknesses.

Sometimes there is a struggle in 3rd grade. I am glad that I didn't push my ds7 almost 8 to move forward when he wasn't ready. I did some k/1st last year even though he was in 1st. He needed to reinforce some skills that he hadn't truly mastered. He could have done all 1st, but it would have been a struggle. Our hard work paid off and this year he is in all 2nd grade material. I wouldn't hesitate to have a child in mixed grade material. Some times all it takes is time to let something really click. My son struggled with reading and finally it clicked.

You can adapt other subjects if reading and writing are difficult. You can read aloud history and science and have the child dictate answers and you write them then have the child copy the answers.

I wouldn't be worried and if it felt more comfortable and more accurate to call her 2nd then that is what I would do at this point.

I have a 5th grader that struggles immensely with math. She is doing several subjects the same as her 4th grade sister. However, she reads on an 8th grade level. Her sister tests higher in math. All kids have their strengths and vary rarely is a child equal in all subjects and at the same "grade" level in all subjects.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe your area is totally different, but around here the standards sound like they are high but the results aren't. For example:

 

Grade K Standards in WA

-Use word recognition skills and strategies to read and comprehend text.

-Use vocabulary strategies to comprehend text.

-Build vocabulary through wide reading.

-Apply word recognition skills and strategies to read fluently.

-Demonstrate evidence of reading comprehension.

-Understand and apply knowledge of text components to comprehend text.

-Expand comprehension by analyzing, interpreting, and sythesizing information and ideas in literary and informational text.

-Think critically and analyze author's use of language, style, purpose, and perspective in literary and informational text.

-Read to learn new information.

-Read to perform a task.

-Read for career applications

-Read for literary experience in a variety of genres.

-Asses reading strengths and need for improvement.

-Develop interests and share reading experiences.

 

I babysat a friend of DD on a school holiday midway through their kindergarten year. Because we were still doing school that day, mom told me to just give her daughter some school work too. I pulled out some of our preschool work we didn't use and she wasn't able to do it. She had no clue what sounds C, A, and T made despite going through preschool and half a year of kindergarten. She has no learning disabilities and the reading level I've seen from other neighborhood kids fits this slower progression. So, while the standard sounds like they are reading in grade K, they may not actually be reading the way we, as homeschoolers, define reading.

 

Grade 3 Math Standards in WA (just one part)

Students learn the meaning of multiplication and division and how these operations relate to each other. They begin to learn multiplication and division facts and how to multiply larger numbers. Students use what they are learning about multiplication and division to solve a variety of problems. With a solid understanding of these two key operations, students are prepared to formalize the procedures for multiplication and division in grades four and five.

 

Another friend of DD's was just starting to learn her basic math facts in May of 3rd grade. When we picked her up from school one day, her math homework was to color in every 2nd number on a hundreds table, every 3rd number on another hundreds table, every 4th number on another hundreds table, and so forth. I expected my kids to master their math facts by the end of 3rd grade.

 

I'd want to see these public schoolers work and test scores before thinking they were that far ahead of the national norm.

Edited by joannqn
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest janainaz

My ds10 started first at 6 1/2, my ds 5.5 will start at 6 1/2 also (when they would normally begin 1st in PS). My ds10 finishes books ahead of time, but he's always in his grade level for one full year, no matter what (we do year-round school). If anyone asks, he can easily say, "I'm in X grade".

 

My main goal with my kids in K was to be reading very well by first grade (although we work on many things in K). If my kids were to enter ps (and that is never my intention), but I would want them to enter the same grade level they were in at home. Even if they tested beyond, I don't see the point in rushing. I'd rather my kids excel where they are at, than struggle in the next grade up. In addition, I would rather them not start college at 17.

 

PS's have an agenda in moving kids at a quicker pace, and the agenda is not focused on true learning, but on test scores. Some kids are not ready to read at 4 or even 5. So, if you have a kid who IS ready at 4 to read, that child is considered advanced and the child at 5 and 6 that is struggling is labeled as being behind, or slow. That irks me. I also don't agree with parents labeling their kids as gifted. Those are labels placed by society, and society, for me, is not the best judge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am all for letting kids do the work that fits their abilities and not holding them to some arbitrary grade level work load because that is what they are "supposed" to be doing, but what I am seeing is a huge discrepancy in what is considered "1st grade" level work between the public school and homeschoolers. (i.e. reading before K is expected in PS and reading before K gets a HS-er labeld as a 1st grader.)

 

I guess what I am saying is it seems to me that the homeshoolers that are calling their kids advanced grade-wise are really not as advanced as they seem to think based on a comparison to PS expectations in this area (I am just really talking about K & 1st, not the older grades).

 

Yes. I've wanted to say/ask this so many times, on here and IRL.

 

And I think this is a big part of the reason:

I think part of the reason for this phenomenon is that grade level expectations have increased since we were kids (or at least since the older moms were kids). ... Now, however, what I learned in 1st grade has largely been pushed back into K. This could be geography because I grew up in PA and now live in TX, but I think it's more likely that this trend started when K became a PS grade as opposed to a fun activity to give moms of 5yos a break. And since many kids, including many bright kids, aren't ready for a full day of academics as well as the regimentation and sensory overload of PS, parents started to red-shirt.

 

In my area, it's fairly uncommon for a kid with a summer birthday to start K at 5.

 

Does it really matter if people call their kids a grade ahead, even if they aren't, though? It doesn't really affect me, most of the time. I have met kids that are a grade "ahead" because they are doing Saxon math one grade ahead (guess they don't know of the schools around here that consider Saxon a grade number ahead "grade level") and can read a grade level ahead (guess they have not met half the kids in public school who are reading a grade level -- or 2 or 3-- ahead).

 

The only time it becomes annoying is in group class or co-op situations. You have 5 year old "first graders" that may be bright, but bring down the level of what can be accomplished in the class. Then if you have a 2nd or 3rd grader who truly is gifted or at least also very bright, and you don't believe in calling them a grade ahead or putting them in an older age group because that isn't really appropriate or fair to the older kids, you are kind of stuck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, as others have said, in most places the first grade curriculum has been pushed down to K and the K curriculum has been pushed down to Pre-K. It is developmentally inappropriate to think that most kids are ready for this (especially in light of the fact that subject matter instruction has replaced play and time for kids to learn social skills...the curriculum for K in the good old days). So, to compensate, people are red-shirting. Isn't that ironic? I mean, really, what is being accomplished if the requirements are being pushed down so the kids whose parents have the money to do so are putting off school for another year? It's negating the effect of introducing academics earlier for the kids who start late. They break even in the end. The kids who suffer, as always, are the poor. If they are made to go ahead due to finances, when their richer peers are allowed to gain another year of maturity, the net effect is that the benefits of HeadStart would be decreased for the kids whose parents can't afford to hold them back another year. Lovely cycle the public school system has going. :confused:

 

The most interesting and depressing thing to me is that somewhere between doing first grade work in K and 12th grade, the learning requirements get weaker and weaker. So, really, what in the world is the point of shoving inappropriate academic work down the throats of 4 and 5 year olds?

 

My kids are in the grade that correlates to their age. The work they do matches their ability level, not their age.

:iagree:

I could have written that almost exactly. My kids have a Sept. birthday and met the cutoff here by 3 days for K last year and were past the "age of compulsory schooling" so we were supposed to register them as homeschoolers. So we called last year K and this year 1st. But we did a very light K with lots of books, stories, projects, experiments, games and only some light phonics and almost no written "seat" work - the only thing written we did was the HWT K book, which we took all year on. They were only five - we worked according to their age, not according to these new high expectations of what K supposedly should be. Now we're doing a little more for 1st - including a formal math program for the first time. But we're still not doing more than I think they're capable of and I'm not that concerned what other first graders are up to. We do what works for us.

 

The redshirting phenomenon clearly benefits the rich kids who can afford it. And the fact that more and more older kids enter K means that teachers begin to see the younger ones as immature, which is absurd. The testing element, which insists that all kids be reading and working at a certain level by the end of 4th grade for NCLB testing is driving all this. Obviously, the schools went too long without proper assessments and other metrics. However, when experts are telling us the importance of play in early learning and that many kids aren't ready to read until they're 7 and that the supposed benefits from all this test-prep wears off by middle school... well, it's just sad that the government schools continue to push it with such vigor. Listen to the real research.

 

It's strange to me that there's such a strong emphasis put on this in homeschooling circles. Isn't one of the benefits of homeschooling that you can step off the conveyor belt and worry about more important things?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Another friend of DD's was just starting to learn her basic math facts in May of 3rd grade.

 

I know someone who teaches 3rd grade about 30 miles from us. She told me that she is amazed at what a neighbor who hs can do, and that she says it is hard enough just getting 25 kids to add and subtract.

 

When I was in school, we memorized our facts in 5th grade. We were expected to learn them, and practice until we could do a timed test perfectly. I recall taking the test 3 or 4 times on each function before passing. So, we didn't have them memorized, but when told to learn them, we needed to have them down pat. I spent 4th grade at a very good school in Canberra. We weren't expected to have the math facts memorized. I think I was chanting the multiplication facts with my dad before that, as I recall chanting the 12x while I walked the very long way to that school (I also recall hollaring a Grace Slick imitation of White Rabbit, too.)

 

I work for the state. Those "standards" are full of Orwellian-speak. "Read instructions to do a task".....how about: Color the cat--and that after page after page of such exercises. Just guessing--I don't know this for a fact.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe your area is totally different, but around here the standards sound like they are high but the results aren't.
No, it is the exact same in Texas.

You can look at our scope and sequence on-line and it sounds wonderful. But our state posts the previous year's state standardized tests on-line and they are downright pathetic.

I gave our son the third grade math and LA TAKS exam at the end of Kindergarten, as well as the 5th grade science test. I would love to say that my son passed all three with flying colors because he is a genius. But - the sad reality is - he passed them with flying colors because they are so awful!

Ex: 5th grade physics question -- What does a bike need to coast down a hill? A basket? Handlebar streamers, pedals, a front tire. In case the 5th grader wasn't able to figure that out, there was even a handy picture with arrows pointed to the different options.

I just gave our son the latest released tests last month. In PS, he would be going into 3rd grade. He got 100% on 3rd grade math and LA and only missed one question on 5th grade science. (5th grade is the first year they test on science.)

 

My honest opinion is -- the PS system makes their standards sound wonderful, but they miss the mark.

You can find studies on-line of the TAKS exam compared to the NAEP. Our "affluent" district's state test scores drop 30 percent or more when compared to the national exams!

 

___

 

On a related note with red-shirting, the term used for holding back a year. I only know one boy that started public school kindergarten on time. Every other boy I know has been held back a year. Their mothers complain endlessly about their boys being "bored" in school. They don't seem to realize that their boys were academically ready for school well before they were mature enough to sit still and do the work. That was exactly what lead us to homeschooling. Our son was reading on his own at age 4. We made an appointment with the school to talk to them about early enrollment. We didn't have a clue then about what all that would have meant, but we were alarmed that our school was telling us that we actually needed to hold our boy back a year! Their exact words: boys are not mature enough to sit still and do the school work until they are at least six years old. :glare: When we questioned them, they said that children that enter K already reading are sat in a corner and they complete worksheets while the teacher works with the other students. Sorry. I don't know any five- or six-year-old boy that is ready to sit and work quietly!

We have homeschooled now for four years and teach each and every subject at his level. I don't worry about grade levels.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dd's friend is in PS 1st grade and his spelling test was at, the, on. His mother was moaning about it and that his math homework was to practice writing his numbers. I would have called this K or lower. She thinks her son is gifted, but refuses to homeschool him. She goes on about dd being gifted, but I just say she is doing grade level work, except for reading. She can read way ahead, but still enjoys book that are average 2/3 grade fair as well. I feel pretty confident taht dd could go straight into a PS 2nd grade class and do well. She would be bored out of her mind in 1st grade.

 

My dd will graduate and likely go to college before 18 because of dual enrollment, but as far as going away to college, no, not until she is 18 which will actually put her turning 19 (9/25) soon after her first college year. A girl from our church will start out as a second semester sophomore due to the number of dual & regular credits she has earned. Her sister started out as a sophomore as well.

 

I will do a K program with ds in Jan at 4.5 He is ready now, but I'm waiting until then like I did with dd and then it's just math and reading. He does the history and science with us now. He has learned to write his name and all his numbers/letters/sounds and can color really well fr a 4 yr old. He participates in our HS co-op with kids 4-8. he already knows some basic math facts as well from just overhearing us practice and playing sum swamp. It's crazy how much a HS kid can pick up. We will say he is in Kindy until he is almost 6 though just to keep him at level. We are fortunate that all of the families save for one in our church homeschool.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for the discussion! So many of you said exactly what I was thinking in a much more concise way! :lol:

 

The idea of red-shirting K-ers (barring some significant reason like a true LD or an extremely late birthday coupled with gross immaturity) drives me crazy. As someone said, when red-shirting becomes the norm as it has here, it puts those starting "on-time" at the bottom and skews the whole standard; it's like a viscious cycle. Sadly not all of what drives it here is academically related; I think much of it has to do with sports as well - so the kids will be bigger/faster/stronger. And yes, it is an affluent district with a nationally ranked football program that has such a high number of red-shirts.

 

I do also think that state testing drives a lot of it, too. Texas has an incredibly high emphasis on the TAKS test and school are expected to show improvement of scores each year (even if the passing rate is already high).

do higher level math and science

I do think kids ought to work to the level of their abilities. But instead of calling my HS kids ahead grade-wise because they are working on harder material, I label them the grade they are in age-wise and then expand, enrich, and go deeper in the curriculum they do. They advance work-wise according to ability but will be labeled by their age as far as grade goes. I even intend to do this for Littlest who has a September 4th birthday (the cut off here is September 1st so she only misses it by 4 days). She should be one of the oldest in her class, but because of red-shirting she will likely be somewhere in the middle.

 

I have even thought ahead to high school and I would rather do higher level math & science at home, maybe do special topics in literature, or allow my kids tiem to take more dual enrollment classes. They would have a broader base for college and even if they enter college with more credits, my hope is that they will be able to double major or earn a masters instead fo rushing through college. Or even just take some courses that interest them outside of their degree plan.

 

For me accelerating academically does not neccessarily mean "skipping" grades and that is one of the reasons I love homeschooling! :)

 

We ahve a soccer game and AWANA so I will be back much later!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Alte Veste Academy
Texas has an incredibly high emphasis on the TAKS test and school are expected to show improvement of scores each year (even if the passing rate is already high).

 

Yes. It is disgusting. I was a Social Worker in a local public elementary school ten years ago. I witnessed many appalling things that caused me to decide on homeschooling my future children. Among the worst offenses were the pep rallies for TAKS. Pep rallies. For a test. In elementary school. People have absolutely lost their minds.

 

I highly recommend Tested: One American School Struggles to Make the Grade by Linda Perlstein. I recognized so much from my days in the local schools.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't read all the replies and I am only replying to what is expected in each grade not what age dc are when in such said grade.

 

Most homeschoolers use very different methods than public school to educate their dc. A child who has memorized the K list of Dolch words is said to be "reading". Most dc in preschool can easily memorize these words. Can these dc who are "reading" before k decode words? Probably not. Homeschoolers who choose phonics may have dc who learn to read Dolch K level words in late first to early second grade because that is the phonetic level of difficulty.

The same is true when it come to composition. A 1st grade public school child may be "composing" a paragraph using inventive spelling, while a 1st grade hs'ed child may only be copying sentences and narrating orally. A hs'er may not "compose" original compositions till a later age, but their compositions, as a whole ( we hope:D), have better spelling and grammar than a ps'ed dc. So while the 'standards' may say that 1st graders should journal, is writing grammatically incorrect sentences full of spelling errors really "composing". Homeschoolers have an advantage over ps teachers. Ps teacher can't have dc narrate compositions to them. They have too many students to teach using that method.

HS'ers can use methods that may seem more gentle in the beginning, but hopefully will have a better outcome educationally in the later grades.

 

As to 'red-shirting', it is very interesting that parents think children should wait or be just a little older to start school. It is almost as if this is the only way public schooled parents can say "You are trying to make a child learn things they aren't ready to learn!".;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a 6 year old with a June Birthday. She wasn't emotionally or socially ready for K last year. We started with a games last fall and then started a gentle into to K work this spring. Since we started about April she has flown through K and is starting 1st grade work in handwriting, math, and history. Reading she is almost to an end of K level for our area. We haven't started Science yet.

 

I started calling her 1st. If we were going to send her to PS she would be going to K.

 

PS's in our area doesn't start history until 5th grade. They do some social studies and call it history but, nothing I would call history. Their Science from K-3 is roughly equivalent the Elemental Science's intro to Science (K). They use Everyday math with out every having the students learn their facts...

 

DD may be end of K beginning of 1st but, my guess is she will be about a grade ahead of her peers by the time we reach middle school.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Alte Veste Academy
And the fact that more and more older kids enter K means that teachers begin to see the younger ones as immature, which is absurd. The testing element, which insists that all kids be reading and working at a certain level by the end of 4th grade for NCLB testing is driving all this. Obviously, the schools went too long without proper assessments and other metrics. However, when experts are telling us the importance of play in early learning and that many kids aren't ready to read until they're 7 and that the supposed benefits from all this test-prep wears off by middle school... well, it's just sad that the government schools continue to push it with such vigor. Listen to the real research.

 

Well, now I'll agree with you. I think about this all the time. I read book after book after book to help me understand mathematics instruction, child development, how to foster a love of schoolwork and reading, etc., etc., etc. and almost invariably, the public schools are doing the exact opposite.

 

I have an entire shelf of books that help settle me down when I worry about not doing a good enough job in the long-term. I read them and I know without a doubt that I am doing the right thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't believe that labelling a child based on reading ability or advanced math ability helps home schoolers either. It gives children a sense of entitlement and a sort of bragging demeanor that is imposed by the parent not the child. The parent wants to brag that their child is at home and advanced when they teach a 5 yr old to say I read on an 4th grade level and do science at 6th grade. No one talks like this. My child was tested in ps K and read on a 3rd grade level. She did not spend the rest of the year saying I am in kindergarten but read on a 3rd grade level. It sounds ludicrous and obnoxious and well pompous coming from a small child.
I think so, too. However, so far I have only met a couple of kids that have actually spoken about grade levels like this. Most of the time it is the parents. Or the kids are just listed at grade levels above what their age indicates, and yet when you hear their reading and see their writing it doesn't appear to be advanced to the degree you would expect, to be advanced a grade.

 

I think the whole thing is part of a public school type of mentality, for those that were raised in this sort of thing (like me). It's hard to break out of that thinking. Just look at all of the kids in ps that are "gifted". If ps was appropriately challenging to the individual student, there would be no need to designate giftedness for most of these kids. Since it is harder to advance grades in ps, we get "gifted". Hs parents do the same thing but can advance grades instead. :)

Edited by Penelope
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"We never really said grades when my kids were that age. We did whatever level work they needed to learn, do well and remember. That meant each child did varying levels. If we DID have to tell someone a grade, we'd say what age-grade they'd be in if they WERE in school."

:iagree:

 

Around here, most people are really asking how old your child is, in different terms. For the areas where my kids are above level, I'd like them not to make a big deal over it, and for the less advanced areas . . . well, let's not embarass anyone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great discussion. I happen to live in the state with the earliest cutoff birthday date in the country. (June 30) I think, in essence, the state is redshirting kids to increase test scores. I worry some HS parents are doing the same thing by saying how 'advanced' their kids are. I always feel that's an ego thing for them. Most HS kids probably work all over, some subjects higher than grade level, some lower. I think when people ask "What grade are you in?" They are just trying to make conversation or gauge the child's age. They certainly don't want to hear about each and every subject. So much can depend on which curriculua you are using. My 4th grade ds is working about 1/2 year behind his grade in CLE though he was right on target with our previous work. Since most kids will end up at roughly the same place at graduation anyway it all the focus on grade level seems a little silly. Just my $.02.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe your area is totally different, but around here the standards sound like they are high but the results aren't. For example:

 

Grade K Standards in WA

-Use word recognition skills and strategies to read and comprehend text.

-Use vocabulary strategies to comprehend text.

-Build vocabulary through wide reading.

-Apply word recognition skills and strategies to read fluently.

-Demonstrate evidence of reading comprehension.

-Understand and apply knowledge of text components to comprehend text.

-Expand comprehension by analyzing, interpreting, and sythesizing information and ideas in literary and informational text.

-Think critically and analyze author's use of language, style, purpose, and perspective in literary and informational text.

-Read to learn new information.

-Read to perform a task.

-Read for career applications

-Read for literary experience in a variety of genres.

-Asses reading strengths and need for improvement.

-Develop interests and share reading experiences.

 

I babysat a friend of DD on a school holiday midway through their kindergarten year. Because we were still doing school that day, mom told me to just give her daughter some school work too. I pulled out some of our preschool work we didn't use and she wasn't able to do it. She had no clue what sounds C, A, and T made despite going through preschool and half a year of kindergarten. She has no learning disabilities and the reading level I've seen from other neighborhood kids fits this slower progression. So, while the standard sounds like they are reading in grade K, they may not actually be reading the way we, as homeschoolers, define reading.

 

Grade 3 Math Standards in WA (just one part)

Students learn the meaning of multiplication and division and how these operations relate to each other. They begin to learn multiplication and division facts and how to multiply larger numbers. Students use what they are learning about multiplication and division to solve a variety of problems. With a solid understanding of these two key operations, students are prepared to formalize the procedures for multiplication and division in grades four and five.

 

Another friend of DD's was just starting to learn her basic math facts in May of 3rd grade. When we picked her up from school one day, her math homework was to color in every 2nd number on a hundreds table, every 3rd number on another hundreds table, every 4th number on another hundreds table, and so forth. I expected my kids to master their math facts by the end of 3rd grade.

 

I'd want to see these public schoolers work and test scores before thinking they were that far ahead of the national norm.

 

 

You are so right. WA standards are a total joke.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am all for letting kids do the work that fits their abilities and not holding them to some arbitrary grade level work load because that is what they are "supposed" to be doing, but what I am seeing is a huge discrepancy in what is considered "1st grade" level work between the public school and homeschoolers. (i.e. reading before K is expected in PS and reading before K gets a HS-er labeld as a 1st grader.)

 

I guess what I am saying is it seems to me that the homeshoolers that are calling their kids advanced grade-wise are really not as advanced as they seem to think based on a comparison to PS expectations in this area (I am just really talking about K & 1st, not the older grades).

 

I will also say that, especially in the area of Language Arts, most of the 1st grade homeschool curriculum seems to be below what our state seems to think should be 1st grade level work (as well as below what I think my DD is capable of; she is already almost 1/3 of the way through A Beka's Lanuage 1 book and working on Saxon Phonics 2 this year). I am gearing up to start Shirley and to be honest one of the reasons I picked it is beacuse it was one of the only ones I found that identified parts of speech by their "real" names which is part of our state standards.

 

Any thoughts or comments? Do the "standards" for starting K or 1st grade seem to line up in your area between school choice? What are the pro's and con's of calling a child in an advanced grade, in your opinion?

 

I think these points are very interesting and I wonder what state you are in...I am in a POOR, rural county in NC and 1st graders aren't even expected to read. My 4yo is reading on a 4th/5th grade level and I shudder to think what would happen to her if she went into a ps K class next August. I asked a friend who is a 1st grade teacher's assistant at our local school, "What do you do if a child comes in already knowing how to read?" and she said, "Oh, we had a little girl who came in last year and she already knew her alphabet so she just showed kids how to get to the library and was teacher's little helper." Knew her alphabet! Didn't even know how to read! So, saying a 4yo who reads (even is just starting to) is VERY advanced for where I live.

 

That being said, I do not tell people we homeschool or that my child is in 'X' grade. I'll have to deal with that next year, when she is 5 and then, I will probably just tell them she is 5 (try not to put a grade level on her). She is doing things at ALL levels so I'm not sure what level/grade I would choose anyway - I guess the lowest? or the average?

 

Interesting how different things are state-to-state and even within states!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...