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What to call grade level


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Guest Marimara

There was another thread about this but I didn't want to hijack it. Basically our situations are the same. My dd is 4, turns 5 in September- 3 weeks after the cutoff date for K. So she'd go to Pre-k this year and start K in 2012 . She is working on grade 1 materials right now and and I'm sure half way into this coming school year she'll be moving up to 2nd grade levels.

 

She's reading on a third grade level with 4th gr level comprehension. She can read the Magic Tree House books (but as a sidenote has trouble with losing her place all the time and needs to use a ruler or something to keep place).

 

I don't have to begin reporting till she turns 6 during the school year which would be next year, 2012.

 

What grade will she be in when I start reporting? because technically she is Pre-k this year? :confused: What does this mean for the future? What if she is ready to graduate early? I have no intentions of holding her back, we will let her work at her level, in fact that's one of the main reasons we are homeschooling.

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Call it the age appropriate grade level when you must declare one - and don't worry about age/grade designations of whatever materials you use to give her the education that's right for her.

It will be much easier to, at some later point, skip a grade than to go back. plus, your kid will be in outside activities with same age peers - something that can be important when playing sports, or entering competitions.

 

As for whether your child will graduate early: this is many years too early to ponder. It may just mean that your kid will learn a lot more stuff during the 13 years in school.

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My older kids both have birthdays in October. I didn't file the official homeschool paperwork until we were required. My youngest's birthday is in May. I waited until required for him too.

 

If at all possible teach your child at whatever level she is ready for and call the official level the one she would be in if you had to place her by age/grade. If you decide you need to change the level later then do it when it becomes an issue.

 

(In CA I can choose 'ungraded elementary' and 'ungraded secondary' as my kids' grade level. If that is possible where you are maybe that is a possibility. My oldest (dd12) has been 'ungraded secondary' for a year already and will continue to be until we decide she is ready for college. My middle child (ds10) was 'ungraded elementary' last year but will be 'ungraded secondary' this year and then until he is ready for college too. My youngest (ds7) is going to be 'ungraded elementary' for a while.)

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If at all possible teach your child at whatever level she is ready for and call the official level the one she would be in if you had to place her by age/grade. If you decide you need to change the level later then do it when it becomes an issue.

'

 

This is what we do too. You can always reassess later, and it gives you some wiggle room in case if your child decides to dive into an extracurricular, you decide to "go wide", etc. It's much easier to "grade skip" later than to remove a grade skip when your 16 year old isn't emotionally ready for college, etc. Locally for us, high school age kids attend community colleges and even the university with some regularity, so that's another option when you get to that point. GT kids locally often graduate w/up to 2 years of college credit under their belts.

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Since in many states, the cutoff is in December... and because she's working above grade level, and she's very close to the cutoff age, I'd probably call her kindergarten instead of pre-K. But... you'd need to be consistant with it... are you okay with her joining brownies or a sunday school class as the youngeset kid? how do you feel about needing to register or do standardized testing a year earlier than you'd otherwise need to? if you end up switching to public schools - are you okay with her being the youngest in the class? how do you feel about the idea that she would go off to college at 17 instead of 18?

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My middle dd's birthday is 4 weeks after the cutoff. She was actually behind at first. She was late for every developmental milestone from sitting, crawling, walking, talking, on up. Speech therapy and then occupational therapy (especially occupational therapy) made a world of difference for her. She started K at 5.5yo (would actually have been her preK year and finished it in just a few months and then moved on. I called her the grade that she would have been according to her age, but by the time she was 12yo, it was obvious that I needed to call her the higher grade. She was advanced even for that grade. Her birthday is actually just two days before mine and I went into the higher grade. Her birthday is two weeks before my dh's and he went into the higher grade and skipped 10th grade as well.

 

According to school cutoff, my dd should be entering 10th grade in the fall, but she will actually be entering 11th grade.

 

I think bumping her up one grade has been the right thing to do for her.

 

I wouldn't have done that for my youngest. My youngest actually mostly hangs out with kids who are one year older than she is, but she isn't up there academically the way my middle dd is.

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Since in many states, the cutoff is in December... and because she's working above grade level, and she's very close to the cutoff age, I'd probably call her kindergarten instead of pre-K. But... you'd need to be consistant with it... are you okay with her joining brownies or a sunday school class as the youngeset kid? how do you feel about needing to register or do standardized testing a year earlier than you'd otherwise need to? if you end up switching to public schools - are you okay with her being the youngest in the class? how do you feel about the idea that she would go off to college at 17 instead of 18?

 

I listed DD10 as a 4th grader this year - which is the same grade as the other kids her age. I Definitely Did Not want her doing standardized testing three years early (which is where she would have been if we listed by academic level). And I don't want her working with high schoolers in Sunday School or other places, even though that's where she will be working at in the fall. She is a kid who "could" graduate early, but I prefer for her to keep working along at her level until she is 17-18 and mentally mature enough to handle going away to college.

 

Like someone said - you can always accelerate her later on if you find a benefit to it.

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Guest Marimara

Thanks for all the input! It looks like this isn't that big of a deal right now. Next year, when I get the paperwork and see what I have to fill out I'll have more info. Maybe I'll have a similar "ungraded elementary" or something like that. My dd is very bright and loves to hang with older kids, often the only ones that understand her. But she so often gets her feelings hurt, she is so delicate and sensitive that I wouldn't want to push her beyond her means. Emotionally she's still much of a baby, she was a VERY clingy sensitive baby and still very much a mama's girl. I don't know what I'll do, but this has def. give me more info than I had before! Thanks so much. Still very new at this whole thing :)

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Even if you decide to bump her, it really doesn't matter. My DD was grade skipped in ps K, so she's officially going into 2nd grade, but I have put her in most things with the kids her age to start, and for non-academic activities, that's fine. For academic ones, we take it as we go. She will be in the 2nd-4th grade science class next year, at her science teacher's suggestion, for example, even though she'll be the youngest in the class.

 

Her cover school has suggested skipping her again (my state's way of handling high school credits and state scholarship money for dual enrollment make it an advantage to have your child listed as a high school student when they start high school level work, even if that's really, really early, but somehow, I have a hard time seeing that as a concern for a 6 yr old!) and if we do, I'll still list her by age for anything social/non-academic.

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Since in many states, the cutoff is in December... and because she's working above grade level, and she's very close to the cutoff age, I'd probably call her kindergarten instead of pre-K. But... you'd need to be consistant with it... are you okay with her joining brownies or a sunday school class as the youngeset kid? how do you feel about needing to register or do standardized testing a year earlier than you'd otherwise need to? if you end up switching to public schools - are you okay with her being the youngest in the class? how do you feel about the idea that she would go off to college at 17 instead of 18?

 

:iagree:

 

We did this with DS for this year when we need to have an offical grade for him - last year he was doing first grade/second grade, so I called him first grade; this year, when he'll turn seven and I need to officially keep records, we've decided he's second grade for 2011-12. He was a Tiger Cub Scout last year (1st grade) and has participated in a wide range of programs and activities for first-to-third graders in the area, plays sports and has lessons based on his being first grade, with no problems being the youngest. That said, if I felt he had maturity issues, I would have designated him first grade this year, but he's totally "with peers" when he's in things set-up for second graders and older....and he missed the cut-off for K by only a week or so, so it isn't a big age difference.

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I'm running into issues now with my almost-11 yo. She'll turn 11 in August, and, because we followed the school cutoff, will be going into 6th grade, and, if we follow the track, will graduate at 17. Unfortunately, it seems that around here, most people who have kids with August birthdays hold them back a year at the beginning, so she's going to be very much the youngest in a lot of activities and it's bothering her right now. We haven't had an issue up until now. Academically, she's ahead of 6th grade for most things, so she's not a great fit for most of the things for the 5th graders either (one of the reasons we chose to homeschool in the beginning). This is being brought home to me as we try to sign up for various middle school level activities, most of which are designated 12 and up rather than rising 6th grade.

 

I'm not sure what to do. I'm actually considering having this be a bonus year and just doing interesting things for the extra year before high school, but I don't want her to feel awkward, or that she's failed in some way. We will be easing into some things with older kids this summer (trying out Cadette Girl Scouts, church youth group, teen activities at one library for summer programs, etc), so maybe things will be clearer in the fall.

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Since in many states, the cutoff is in December... and because she's working above grade level, and she's very close to the cutoff age, I'd probably call her kindergarten instead of pre-K. But... you'd need to be consistant with it... are you okay with her joining brownies or a sunday school class as the youngeset kid? how do you feel about needing to register or do standardized testing a year earlier than you'd otherwise need to? if you end up switching to public schools - are you okay with her being the youngest in the class? how do you feel about the idea that she would go off to college at 17 instead of 18?

 

This. I am a big proponent of giving them the grade level they would be in by their age, no matter what grade level they are working in. But a girl born in September? I really think you can't go wrong either way.

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I just call mine the grade they would be in if they did go to PS. I have a seven year old right now who was born in the first week of October and missed the end of September cut-off for K in our state. As far as the state is concerned she will be in second grade this fall. In reality.......well she does third grade math and fifth grade reading, ect. without the least bit of challenge and could do better if she was willing to actually have to use a brain cell or two.

By the time she is the age for third grade and encounters her first round of mandatory testing to be reported to the state, it ought to be interesting. Oh, and most of her friends are around nine, and they seem to be mostly public school kids who are not in the popular crowd. I guess she must be socially mature enough for these other girls and I do know she has no clue that other kids that are 'different' in any way are unpopular friend choices. I like that.

Edited by Rainefox
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My daughter attends school and does our own version of weekend and currently summer schooling. She turned 7 in Dec 2010 while in first grade, so she was one of the older kids. Our cut-off is Sept 1, but there are a couple of kids with summer birthdays and even though all the kids are advanced you could still see the difference between the older and younger ones. Even though some of the youngers ones met the cut-off they simply were not emotionally ready for school.

I think it's better to keep your child in the grade they are supposed to be. Afterall, you are homeschooling so you can do the level of material you want. It's not a race.

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I choose my children's 'grade' for testing (we have to do a test annually here) based on their scout activities. When they were ready emotionally, physically and academically to hang with other kindergartners (girls) - or first graders (boys). I let them and 'pegged' their grades to match.

 

But that grade has nothing to do with what they work on academically. I have a kid doing algebra that still writes his r's t's and x's all the same way. Obviously the writing grade doesn't match the math one!

 

I don't worry much about highschool...not like we will run out of things to learn :).

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This is going to be a personal preference, especially with a child so close to the cut off. DS4 will be home schooled this fall. His preschool teacher said he is academically on a 2nd grade level without question and he learns everything with no or very little repetition. That said, he misses the 9/1 cut off by 5 months. I am registering him in K with our homeschool group so that he can participate in the activities that are not open to preschoolers. He currently attends "school" with kids who are older and does well. He fits in with the kids who would be entering K emotionally as well and is drawn towards the older kids in that group. Unless he gets into some great charter school or something changes, I will keep him home at least until full time gifted (starts in 3rd grade). As far as testing, I will have them test 1 year ahead of "age-appropriate" grade level as anything below that would really be pointless since he would be working several years ahead.

Good luck. I wouldn't stress over it.

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Well, I've decided to "skip" one grade with DS. It's not really a skip, he's just entering K a year early. He misses the cut off by only 6 weeks, so it's not that much early I guess. So next year when I have to "notify" the state, I'll say he is in first. He was accepted to early k at a gifted school, and would be that grade if he was there, so it feels like the right thing to do at home too. :)

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Call it the age appropriate grade level when you must declare one - and don't worry about age/grade designations of whatever materials you use to give her the education that's right for her.

It will be much easier to, at some later point, skip a grade than to go back. plus, your kid will be in outside activities with same age peers - something that can be important when playing sports, or entering competitions.

 

As for whether your child will graduate early: this is many years too early to ponder. It may just mean that your kid will learn a lot more stuff during the 13 years in school.

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

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  • 1 month later...

I would seriously look at your child's maturity level and where she is socially - then decide. If she/he enjoys being with older kids, then you should classify as K this year.

 

My twins missed the cut-off by 6 weeks. We chose to label them as K as 4yr olds, a year earlier than they were eligible. We decided that if we ever wanted to put them in school, we would want to make sure they were challenged. But in reality, it didn't work out that way. We placed them in school for one year and decided to put them "down" a level in third grade so they could be with their neighborhood friends who were all in 3rd. We also were thinking about middle school sports for my son (if they stayed in PS) - being one of the oldest vs. youngest and small for his age. It was a bad mistake (not just the PS decision but the grade level too). They just didn't fit into the lower grade well. The teachers didn't know what to do with them (they were on a 5-7th grade level) and their peers were not at the same maturity level. They would have been better off in 4th but once we made the decision, the school wouldn't change it. We went back to HSing last year and placed them back into their advanced grade in case they ever go back to PS again, we won't have problems putting them in the grade we want.

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I call both my kids the grade level they would be if they were in school, even though both are accelerated and neither is doing grade level work. If we decide that one or both of them NEEDS to graduate early, we'll "skip" a grade later. We have the option of doing CC classes in high school too which helps. One of my kids has an Oct birthday too. My son went to PS for 2 years and his grade level was a poor fit. But the grade level ahead would have really not been the right fit academically either. I'm not in a huge hurry to send my kid off to college, so we'll bide our time and keep learning. And cross that bridge when we get there.

Edited by kck
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If at all possible teach your child at whatever level she is ready for and call the official level the one she would be in if you had to place her by age/grade. If you decide you need to change the level later then do it when it becomes an issue.

 

 

 

:iagree:

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I have said it before, and I'll repeat it here...

 

No matter how advanced your child, you absolutely cannot run out of math, science, literature, or history to study. It makes no sense in the Homeschool setting to designate a young child as a grade out of sync with their age; in home school, we assign work according to the child's mastery and ability no matter what grade they are in. In high school, hopefully we take social, physical, and emotional as well as academic maturity into account when planning graduation -- you could even say assigning a grade is irrelevant until the last few planning years prior to college.

 

Assigning an advanced grade level does nothing for the child, as they are not sitting in a classroom full of peers, the only reason grade levels are meaningful. If you are recording a level for 'reporting' purposes to a state, or need to test for your state, you only add additional pressure to yourself and your child.

 

If your kiddo isn't planning to sit in a classroom, I have to wonder why bother with grades... Just teach what they are ready to learn.

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