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Hidden Stones in Elementary & Middle School


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I am new to this forum, but am enjoying the discussions tremendously. In the absence of any formal advisor, I thought I would ask a question about "hidden stones".


To illustrate what I am looking for, I will give you a couple of examples. I learned through my son's school that you got to ask the teacher to refer your child for OLSAT testing. If you don't take an action, the kid may not be tested, and therefore, may not be placed into Gifted Program.

Another example that recently brought up to my attention is "math referrals" at the end of elementary school. In our district, if your teacher gives you a referral you can take advance math in middle school. However, if you have no referral, you can only take regular math. These types of things are not advertised anywhere, I keep finding them out from parents.


Are there any other things that the parent / child needs to know in order to advance within school system and benefit from various program offered by the public school?


FYI - my boy is entering 3rd grade now. Thank you for informal advice.

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of response as this is mainly a HOMESCHOOLING forum and many of the children have never been in formal school environment and many will never go to one.



Since my kids have been in both I can help you with your questions. We live in California though and not sure if that differs much state to state. But for the gifted testing...it was automatically given in 3rd grade at my kids' schools but if your child skipped 3rd grade or started after 3rd grade at a local PS then you will have to request the gifted test for your child. You can ask the teacher/principal etc.


In terms of middle school math, for my kids they received placement tests at the beginning of the year at your first year at the school and based on their scores of their placement test they will place your child accordingly. I think thereafter it is based on teacher recommendation although you can request that your child take the placement test again each year to see if your child qualifies for a higher level of math.


Other hidden stones...I do not know. I think you can opt out of PE sometimes if you are taking some really intensive outside curricular sport.


If your kid doesn;t do well for like Geometry and needs to take summer school some schools have an option for them to take an online course through BYU if they don't want to go to regular summer school.


It is good to always talk to parents and kids who have gone to the school already like a year advanced or so and you can find out who the good teachers are and pick them.


Get to know your child's advisor and get a good one that will advocate for your child. Again talk to other parents and kids beforehand.


Get a big calendar in your house and as soon as projects are assigned mark out the important due dates and start breaking done the parts to complete the program on the calendar. Give you and your child at three days ahead of schedule so changes can be made if need be. Have your child work on the projects daily even if it is not due right away. It will save your child and the rest of the family from a lot of stress.


If you can have a regular rapport via email with all the teachers. Make it to all the open houses so you can personally meet them and show your support and dedication.


Be prepared to pay for: pe uniforms, school locks, more school supplies during the middle of the year, lots of fundraising stuff, additional sports fees, lunch fees, field trip fees

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going to a good public school meaning that it is a five star school under greatschools.com because it looks like he is advanced based on what he is working on already.


My older girls were bored to tears at their last public school. When they came home though I was shocked to see how little they really did know. I had to reteach a lot of things.


My two girls who were now teens were also bored to school by another school they went to. I think the school they are in now is meeting their needs for the most part. I still think they would have advanced faster if they had chose to homeschool. My ex wasnt supportive of homeschooling and they picked up on that they made it hard for me to teach them. Very resistant. If you have resistant kids because of unsupportive spouse or ex spouse ---it is very hard to teach them much. It was argue argue argue or avoid avoid avoid.

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My boy is in a good public school now (going on three years now). He used to go to Montessory kindergarden. We are in close touch with his old classmates from private environment. They are ahead of him in terms of foreign language and computer skills. But he is young enough to catch up, and we are doing a lot at home. Although it is not a full blown homeschooling, it is quite a bit of work for him and for me too.

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