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Hello! My child is advanced!


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I have had several encounters that leave me scratching my head, and would love for you all to weigh in with your opinions on the matter.

 

I have been extremely lucky to meet several homeschoolers with similar aged kids in my area. However more than a few have, within the first 2 minutes of meeting me, informed me about how advanced their child is. It just seems strange to me. A recent conversation went like this.

 

Me - "Hi there, how old is your son? He looks about the same age as my daughter."

 

Them - "Oh he is six, how old is your daughter?"

 

Me - "She is six too! It is so nice to meet a neighbor her age. Did he have a fun year in kindergarten this year?" (Maybe the kindergarten part was out of line, but it was the end of the school year and I was trying to keep the conversation going.)

 

Them - "Oh we homeschool and even though he should be in kindergarten he is reading on a 6th grade level and doing 4th grade math."

 

Me - ":001_huh: Wow that is wonderful! We homeschool too, we are working on flushing the potty when you are done and chewing with your mouth closed. (no I didn't say that last part but I was kinda thinking it)"

 

This has happened several times now with different individuals. It always makes me feel uncomfortable. Don't get me wrong, I am really proud of my kids, they can do some awesome stuff. They all have areas where they work ahead of grade level, and they all have areas where they struggle (for example my 3 year old can recite all the presidents, but can't remember her colors :lol:). But I don't typically advertise their triumphs within the first few minutes of meeting someone.

 

So is this sort of thing status quo and I just need to get over my hang up, or would you be scratching your head too?

 

Meredith

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You're applying a public school concept of a certain age child doing a certain grade's work. People are reacting to that. And then you are reacting to that by thinking that they are bragging when it probably wouldn't have come up if you hadn't brought up kindergarten work. So. . . change your script.

 

"Did he have a fun year?" or "What kinds of things is he into?"

 

Now. . . since you said that you didn't even know that they homeschooled until that point, I would counsel them to change their script too. I would just say, "Yes" to the kindergarten comment and not explain further. But that's because people often just don't understand how homeschool differs so much from public school in the sense of being more individualized.

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Probably the mom misunderstood the standardized test scores. I know I did at first! 4th grade math means the child did as well as a fourth grader taking the test would do, not that the kid is doing 4th grade math. I might be tempted to ask if the kid enjoys division....but I'm recovering from surgery and feeling snarky! I agree with the other poster: sure sign of a newbie homeschooler. I know I was convinced I had a blooming genius when my first was in kindy:lol::lol:

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I went through a phase of saying too much while my kids' education plans were in a state of confusion. Being a stickler for honesty, I would get clumsy when I didn't have a simple answer to a seemingly simple question. I got over it once I resolved the underlying issues.

 

So last fall, when someone asked me where my kids would be going to KG "next year," I ended up telling far more than they wanted to know, because I was fighting (with several schools) to get my 4yo placed in KG. I was quite frustrated and chose some inappropriate times to vent.

 

By contrast, last week when a Sunday School teacher acted surprised that my kids are going into 1st grade, I just said "they are petite." Turns out she'd redshirted her kids, so I was very glad I'd kept quiet.

 

I think that when someone says too much, they are usually feeling defensive or in desperate need of a sympathetic ear. Parents of accelerated kids might feel defensive because there is so much social pressure to give kids "the gift of time."

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I actually find it a bit more online than IRL, with the exception being at homeschool conventions where it seems it is more of a bragfest at times with moms I try to talk to. In our community, though I am not really involved highly with many of the homeschoolers, everyone is more laid back and I don't think I have had a single comment about grade level, giftedness, etc. unless it really is pertinent to the conversation. No, in our community it is often the public schoolers bragging! Haha!

 

With older adopted children, we are years behind with some, and our kids who came home as infants are ahead in a couple of areas. 3 of my children will not graduate until they are 20/21 because of holding them back to catch up and learn English (My 12 year old daughter didn't know she lived on planet earth, and asked why we couldn't just drive from Kazakhstan to America...yea...we had a LOT of catching up to do! HAHA!). I learned early on to let go of all of that.

 

We have a 9 year old working at 6th grade level in math, an 8th grader reading at an upper high school level...and yet he has untested dysgraphia or something and struggles with writing. None of it is any big deal, it is not about bragging rights for us. Academics are important, but not nearly as important as character, and that is where I want most to succeed. Academics will eventually catch up as all are bright and have their gifts.

 

But I'll admit, it does sometimes cause me to keep quiet in certain conversations...and I hate that about myself.

 

Cindy

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I have had several encounters that leave me scratching my head' date=' and would love for you all to weigh in with your opinions on the matter.

 

I have been extremely lucky to meet several homeschoolers with similar aged kids in my area. However more than a few have, within the first 2 minutes of meeting me, informed me about how advanced their child is. It just seems strange to me. A recent conversation went like this.

 

Me - "Hi there, how old is your son? He looks about the same age as my daughter."

 

Them - "Oh he is six, how old is your daughter?"

 

Me - "She is six too! It is so nice to meet a neighbor her age. Did he have a fun year in kindergarten this year?" (Maybe the kindergarten part was out of line, but it was the end of the school year and I was trying to keep the conversation going.)

 

Them - "Oh we homeschool and even though he should be in kindergarten he is reading on a 6th grade level and doing 4th grade math."

 

Me - ":001_huh: Wow that is wonderful! We homeschool too[i'], we are working on flushing the potty when you are done and chewing with your mouth closed. (no I didn't say that last part but I was kinda thinking it)"[/i]

 

This has happened several times now with different individuals. It always makes me feel uncomfortable. Don't get me wrong, I am really proud of my kids, they can do some awesome stuff. They all have areas where they work ahead of grade level, and they all have areas where they struggle (for example my 3 year old can recite all the presidents, but can't remember her colors :lol:). But I don't typically advertise their triumphs within the first few minutes of meeting someone.

 

So is this sort of thing status quo and I just need to get over my hang up, or would you be scratching your head too?

 

Meredith

 

You never know--that 6yo working on 4th grade math could still be working on flushing the potty, too. ;) The fun of homeschooling. That part's just less fun to announce to people.

 

That was a bit of a weird intro, though. I agree, probably a new homeschooler. The insta-defensiveness/need to prove you're doing well wears off over time.

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I have one who is average and one who is advanced. I don't advertise it, but if someone asks me what grade the kids are in, I tell them (they're 13 months apart and in the same grade). I'll usually get a look like this :001_huh: as they do the math, and that prompts me to explain that DD is advanced. I try to phrase it in a nicer way. I try to say something like where they're so close in age and girls mature faster than boys, she was ready and it makes things easier for me to teach one grade level instead of two...blah, blah, blah.

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Not normal around here. If asked, I used to say that if they were in school they would be in X grade and leave it at that. Calvin is now a year ahead in school but I don't mention it if asked, at which point I talk about living overseas and his grade levels having become a bit confused so it ended up being the best fit.

 

Laura

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Not normal around here. If asked, I used to say that if they were in school they would be in X grade and leave it at that.

 

 

This is what I do. My kids are both all over the place - above "official" grade level here, below there, right on level somewhere. <shrug> I assume most kids are like this. Obviously there are kids who are highly gifted in just about everything, some not so much, etc.

 

I know people can feel clumsy when they try to explain things. I am a very clumsy communicator sometimes. So I try to shrug it off.

 

What really bothers me is when the kids themselves say it. I have met kids who say "I'm in third grade, but do fifth grade math." I am not even sure why young kids are told what grade level they're working in. My kids never knew and they never saw their test scores.

 

Outside of close friends who share homeschooling woes, I've never heard anyone say "my kid is in 8th but doing 6th grade math." ;)

Edited by marbel
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Maybe the mothers are newer to homeschooling and simply trying to find someone who is dealing with similar issues. Granted it was a bit early in your conversation to bring up those details but being a bit excited and probably a bit overzealous, they just needed to throw that information in somewhere because they feel the need to qualify what they are doing.

 

When they get a little more jaded, they will realize there are very few who want to know that information and will have more simple answers made up for those kinds of questions. They will wait until further on in your "relationship" for clues as to whether or not you are in a similar situation before they share.

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Them - "Oh we homeschool and even though he should be in kindergarten he is reading on a 6th grade level and doing 4th grade math."

Meredith

 

I think that kind of remark is totally out of line. It reminds me of a blooger talking about places where 100% of the kids are gifted.

 

http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/01/22/17-gifted-children/

 

I have kids at different levels' date=' one is quite smart, but it's not something I would mention off the bat.

 

I do have several friends with truly gifted children. One is 'twice exceptional' (gifted academically across the board, but needing help in other areas). The other is also gifted, but with serious behavior problems. So, if someone talks about giftedness, I generally say something about how I know it can be difficult sometimes. I often hear about how it [i']is[/i] hard. If someone goes on about how everything is perfect, I just sort of tune out. Or I recommend that they might want to apply for CTY or other gifted program. That usually shuts down the people who are just bragging.

Edited by Alessandra
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Guilty....

 

When my big kids were little, the issue was simply the whole grade level thing. That threw all of us. We homeschool so don't have grade levels. Then add having a kid who really was doing long division at 6. So I would have been inept at answering the question, seeming like I was bragging (possibly) also.

 

And now? I'm needing to change my mindset to the fact that these are "just my kids" now. See, as foster kids who came to me with low IQs, speech no one could understand, behavior that is just plain shocking (at best) and hadn't been anywhere or done anything, it is my job to expose them to new things, help them get up to whatever level they could. I have to report these things to people. And of course, what we have learned about them is just plain amazing! So I often get to bragging and not realizing how off-putting it could be. But something like, "yeah, supposedly she has a low IQ but I taught her to read the summer before Kindy; and now (at the end of Kindy) she tests at a solid 3rd grade reading level" isn't meant to say my kids are so much better than the next. It is more like, "she came from so far behind but with a good environment has come so far!"

 

But like I said, I need to start thinking of them as "just my kids." And I need to just answer the question like anyone else. We actually have started coaching these sorts of things.

 

Stranger: Are you looking forward to school starting?

Kid: yes! (they can add something they are looking forward to if they want)

 

Stranger: What grade are you in?

Kid: 1st grade (6yos go to first grade so regardless of level, that is what grade she is in)

 

Stranger: Can you read yet?

Kid: yes! I love to read.

 

Anyway, mom is working on it also. They are just my kids now....no more "look how far they've come" :)

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I find it to be odd. It was a general pleasantry, not a specific question. Ds is a grade ahead in Math and a grade behind in writing. I would never answer well we are doing this grade for this and this grade for that to that kind of question. I would take it as someone who overshares OR a bragger. Sometimes people overshare on everything.

 

My son does know his reading level on Math. We had such a rough start with reading and writing I've tried to build him up whenever I can and let him know how well he is doing. He is not naturally a bragger though, he is generally so laid back I cannot see that he would ever mention that. For us and our relationship with schooling I needed to do that.

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(My 12 year old daughter didn't know she lived on planet earth, and asked why we couldn't just drive from Kazakhstan to America...yea...we had a LOT of catching up to do! HAHA!).

 

Love it! My then-11 year old believed there were 3 countries in the world: hers, China, and the US. She thought Little House on the Prairie was actually happening currently somewhere in the US, she asked me whether Barney was real, and she had never heard of zero. It's interesting to watch kids blossom!

 

Tara

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...Me - ":001_huh: Wow that is wonderful! We homeschool too' date=' we are working on flushing the potty when you are done and chewing with your mouth closed. (no I didn't say that last part but I was kinda thinking it)"...

:lol:

 

They might not be working on them but they may need to!

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I do have several friends with truly gifted children. One is 'twice exceptional' (gifted academically across the board, but needing help in other areas). The other is also gifted, but with serious behavior problems. So, if someone talks about giftedness, I generally say something about how I know it can be difficult sometimes. I often hear about how it is hard. If someone goes on about how everything is perfect, I just sort of tune out.

 

This is very true and something most people don't understand when you have a gifted child. There are other issues with most of these kids. It isn't always pretty. I don't think I bring up that mine is advanced at first like that with people :) I do know when she was younger and I was struggling with a lot of things in her toddler/preschool/ young elem. years that others with kids her age didn't struggle with, yet mine could read and do division since she was 3 and all kinds of other impressive educational stuff, that I didn't quite know how different she was from other kids, being my only kid at the time, but yet knowing how behind she was in several other areas of behaviour like potty issues, and whatnot.

 

At the age of 9 going on 10, a lot of these things don't stand out to others and you wouldn't know it about her if you didn't know her. We do our work at home and nobody really needs to know what we are working on. Of course it is hard to not notice the book in her hand at all times, even walking around the grocery store :) And of course parents discuss and ask questions about hsing, and in those instances where it is relevant and with someone I am close to, we can discuss things in depth. But with others, I have shorter "canned" answers, which may just be as simple as she does X for that for school, but she was always ahead. It is actually not a brag, but a statement. I always feel like I am apologizing a little to them for her being ahead, and am self concious about it.

 

Anyway, interesting thread.

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Personally, I think it's obnoxious. Many homeschoolers and traditionally schooled kids are ahead in some (or many) areas. My 5th grader is done with algebra, but still struggles with tying shoes. I would never would introduce him as x grade, but horrible at tying shoes any more than I would talk about his reading or algebra ability when meeting someone. I think that part of my kids comes out on its own in good time and if people ask direct questions, I answer those.

 

I try to show some grace for new homeschoolers that are hyper focused on this one piece of their child. I do get that. We pulled our oldest from ps after 2 years. He hit the ceiling oh an iq screener and was not finding a fit at all. Especially homeschooling, I find that dealing with their gt stuff does not need to be a huge focus.

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But like I said, I need to start thinking of them as "just my kids." And I need to just answer the question like anyone else. We actually have started coaching these sorts of things.

 

Stranger: Are you looking forward to school starting?

Kid: yes! (they can add something they are looking forward to if they want)

 

Stranger: What grade are you in?

Kid: 1st grade (6yos go to first grade so regardless of level, that is what grade she is in)

 

Stranger: Can you read yet?

Kid: yes! I love to read.

 

Though I might be an "over sharer" on here when we are in a discussion, this is honestly the approach I use with people at church, strangers in the stores, and even some family members with whom I have learned to keep it simple.

 

We homeschool. Yes we like it. I am in 5th grade. I am in 3rd grade. All the info they really need :) I guess some people just haven't figured that out yet!

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many women are extremely focused on their children (a biological advantage to the species, I guess) and like to talk about them. If you want to get a woman talking, asking her questions about her children is often a really good way to do it.

 

If her children are great at soccer, you are going to hear about that. If they are incredible tuba players, you will hear all about that. If they are academically gifted, then yes, women will tell you that. If the child is making the mother crazy with some behavior, you might hear about that too, loll, but let's face it - when you are chatting with other mothers of young children, sometimes its just really hard to keep her off the endless topic of her own children.

 

I don't think it is just a homeschool thing. I think part of it is that the last generation or two were not really intentionally educated on the art of conversation making. So with no real "rules" of how to engage in polite discourse with strangers, they end up with the fall back of "talk about yourself."

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The homeschoolers I've met around here wouldn't respond that way. They would either say "Yes," or "We homeschool" and leave it at that.

 

I get very uncomfortable when people start asking me about what level materials my kids use(d) and where at all possible, I try to answer without mentioning specific grade levels.

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I think that kind of remark is totally out of line. It reminds me of a blooger talking about places where 100% of the kids are gifted.

 

http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/01/22/17-gifted-children/

 

 

This reminds me of an article posted here recently about the meaning of success. One of the experts in the article was scheduled to do a presentation on "Parenting the Average Child" at a school. No one showed up.

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Probably the mom misunderstood the standardized test scores. I know I did at first! 4th grade math means the child did as well as a fourth grader taking the test would do, not that the kid is doing 4th grade math. I might be tempted to ask if the kid enjoys division....but I'm recovering from surgery and feeling snarky! I agree with the other poster: sure sign of a newbie homeschooler. I know I was convinced I had a blooming genius when my first was in kindy:lol::lol:

 

I've seen many people misunderstand test scores in this way...

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Actually(as I duck)...I was just wondering earlier this week why some people on this board give the same information when it has no relevancy to the conversation...

 

I "get it" when the discussion involves curriculum or even maturity but I have seen it in completely unrelated threads when people will say something similar to "My dd (advanced)..." Or "My ds (gifted)..." And I wonder..."Why did they just say that when it adds absolutely no necessary information to the topic at hand?" And, yes, I do understand that sometimes it is relevant...but sometimes it is not.

 

So I totally understand the op's point...and know that I will get some sticks thrown at me because I do...

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You're applying a public school concept of a certain age child doing a certain grade's work. People are reacting to that. And then you are reacting to that by thinking that they are bragging when it probably wouldn't have come up if you hadn't brought up kindergarten work. So. . . change your script.

 

"Did he have a fun year?" or "What kinds of things is he into?"

 

Now. . . since you said that you didn't even know that they homeschooled until that point, I would counsel them to change their script too. I would just say, "Yes" to the kindergarten comment and not explain further. But that's because people often just don't understand how homeschool differs so much from public school in the sense of being more individualized.

 

:iagree:

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I don't think it is just a homeschool thing. I think part of it is that the last generation or two were not really intentionally educated on the art of conversation making. So with no real "rules" of how to engage in polite discourse with strangers, they end up with the fall back of "talk about yourself."

 

:iagree::iagree: Really when it should be asking the other person about them. So much of our communication these days is self-focused and initiated though.

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So I totally understand the op's point...and know that I will get some sticks thrown at me because I do...

 

You won't from me and I don't know why you would from anyone.

 

I'll be honest - I avoided this board for a long time because homeschooling friends told me that everyone's child is advanced and the mom of an average or regular kid would get no help here. Many people I know feel the board is very unfriendly.

 

When I found myself in serious need of high school information I dipped my toes in. I haven't found those warnings to be completely accurate, but I have flinched a few times. I have actually never clicked on the accelerated board because I know I don't belong there. ;)

 

I think on a homeschool board people should be able to talk honestly about their children. That's what it's for, isn't it? I know there can be a fine line between bragging and needing to give certain information in order to get a question answered. It's hard to know how to communicate sometimes.

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Guilty....

 

When my big kids were little, the issue was simply the whole grade level thing. That threw all of us. We homeschool so don't have grade levels. Then add having a kid who really was doing long division at 6. So I would have been inept at answering the question, seeming like I was bragging (possibly) also.

 

And now? I'm needing to change my mindset to the fact that these are "just my kids" now. See, as foster kids who came to me with low IQs, speech no one could understand, behavior that is just plain shocking (at best) and hadn't been anywhere or done anything, it is my job to expose them to new things, help them get up to whatever level they could. I have to report these things to people. And of course, what we have learned about them is just plain amazing! So I often get to bragging and not realizing how off-putting it could be. But something like, "yeah, supposedly she has a low IQ but I taught her to read the summer before Kindy; and now (at the end of Kindy) she tests at a solid 3rd grade reading level" isn't meant to say my kids are so much better than the next. It is more like, "she came from so far behind but with a good environment has come so far!"

 

But like I said, I need to start thinking of them as "just my kids." And I need to just answer the question like anyone else. We actually have started coaching these sorts of things.

 

Stranger: Are you looking forward to school starting?

Kid: yes! (they can add something they are looking forward to if they want)

 

Stranger: What grade are you in?

Kid: 1st grade (6yos go to first grade so regardless of level, that is what grade she is in)

 

Stranger: Can you read yet?

Kid: yes! I love to read.

 

Anyway, mom is working on it also. They are just my kids now....no more "look how far they've come" :)

 

Re: the large, bolded, purple part:

I wish I could convince everyone of this. :tongue_smilie: Even in PS, the kids who work above grade level are rarely bumped up. Instead, they're just classified as "gifted" and their curricula is enhanced in the areas of their giftedness, usually with an enrichment program of some kind.

 

I know so many people who get hung up on, "s/he's doing 5th grade math, so even if he's 7, he needs to be classified as a 5th grader." Sheesh! At times there's been confusion in the homeschool circle around here because the planners of an activity would advertise it as "for high schoolers", and invariably this one 10 year old would show up. The mom would say, "Well, he's doing 9th grade work, so I thought it would be okay." And the teenagers would wind up "babysitting" her kid, or, at the very least, being annoyed by him. His mom was one of those who would go ballistic if someone questioned her on something, so in order to keep the peace, everybody pretty much just let it ride.

Edited by ereks mom
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Unfortunately, this is the world of homeschooling.

 

I have a friend who has homeschooled for 11 years and she STILL brags, particularly when I say, "My child has finally accomplished X!" and I am genuinely excited because my child has some delays. She HAS to quip in, "OH, MY child finished that 3 years ago!" :glare::glare::glare:

 

Annoys me to NO END and I find it incredibly rude since she knows my child struggles.

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Unfortunately, this is the world of homeschooling.

 

I have a friend who has homeschooled for 11 years and she STILL brags, particularly when I say, "My child has finally accomplished X!" and I am genuinely excited because my child has some delays. She HAS to quip in, "OH, MY child finished that 3 years ago!" :glare::glare::glare:

 

Annoys me to NO END and I find it incredibly rude since she knows my child struggles.

Wow, that is rude. That is a really, really inappropriate context to share that info.

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I think on a homeschool board people should be able to talk honestly about their children. That's what it's for, isn't it? I know there can be a fine line between bragging and needing to give certain information in order to get a question answered. It's hard to know how to communicate sometimes.

 

And that is a very valid point. If people want to say that here they should feel free to say that even if people like me don't understand why they felt the need to say it...or they just wanted to...or whatever... :):001_smile:

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I always make sure that my children's stated grade coincides with their age, regardless of what academic level they are working at. For example, my 10 yo is entering 5th grade. It doesn't matter if he is working above grade level in certain areas, he is still a 5th grader.;)

 

When most people ask what grade a child is in, it is just another way of asking their age. All of the sports and activities (church, camps, etc.) are typically divided by age. In those situations, it causes a lot of confusion when your child thinks that they are grade levels ahead of other children their age.

 

It is also puzzling to the child's peers. My daughter has a few homeschooled friends who are younger than her who state that they are a grade above her. Try explaining that one to a 7 yo!:001_huh:

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Re: the large, bolded, purple part:

I wish I could convince everyone of this. :tongue_smilie: Even in PS, the kids who work above grade level are rarely bumped up. Instead, they're just classified as "gifted" and their curricula is enhanced in the areas of their giftedness, usually with an enrichment program of some kind.

 

I know so many people who get hung up on, "s/he's doing 5th grade math, so even if he's 7, he needs to be classified as a 5th grader." Sheesh! At times there's been confusion in the homeschool circle around here because the planners of an activity would advertise it as "for high schoolers", and invariably this one 10 year old would show up. The mom would say, "Well, he's doing 9th grade work, so I thought it would be okay." And the teenagers would wind up "babysitting" her kid, or, at the very least, being annoyed by him. His mom was one of those who would go ballistic if someone questioned her on something, so in order to keep the peace, everybody pretty much just let it ride.

 

Bingo! We've had this conversation on this very board many times over when people have asked what grade to call their dc. It's a fundamental misunderstanding of what a grade level does and does not mean.

 

I have to laugh when I meet homeschoolers who have homeschooled for one year and their dc give me a lecture on why they don't have a grade level. I can tell they haven't left the house much yet. :D In the quest to be as un-public-school as possible, many go overboard at first. Eventually, you realize that you just need a grade level to appease strangers, Sunday School teachers, and museum guides.

 

There is also a false idea among homeschoolers that reading at a certain level means they can complete that level of work. It doesn't speak to their maturity, learning skills, etc. It just means that they can read well. :)

Edited by angela in ohio
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jfwiw, I answered originally based on my "advanced" kids. However, I never felt this board was unfriendly regarding a child who was typical or behind. I had a student who was *significantly* behind for many years. He was just an extra late bloomer and needed a different type of structure than we used also. People here celebrated his progress with me just fine and were helpful in finding what worked for us.

 

I think the only judgment I've seen here (and plenty have said they wouldn't judge even that) are for people who are just not really homeschooling (regardless of style). Obviously you're 10yo kid may get behind if you have five years straight that life gets in the way so much that you don't follow through with homeschooling more than 6 weeks per year. At the same time, that is fixable also.

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Unfortunately, this is the world of homeschooling.

 

I have a friend who has homeschooled for 11 years and she STILL brags, particularly when I say, "My child has finally accomplished X!" and I am genuinely excited because my child has some delays. ...

 

I also have a child who struggles, and I was beyond thrilled when she started reading - and ended up one of the best readers in her class. I didn't feel braggy, just happy and relieved for her. If I mentioned her accomplishment to anyone, I felt compelled to explain why this was such a big achievement (her visual learning issues). Which is of course TMI at the other end of the spectrum. It can be hard to remember that "nobody wants to know" when you're bursting with something about your kid. It can also be hard to think of what else to say instead.

 

But more to your point - I agree that your friend sounds obnoxious. But maybe she too is just bursting with something. I dunno. You'd think she'd learn eventually.

 

In my house (and I know I'm not alone), I have one who struggles with the things the other excels in (and vice versa). Say too much and someone's going to feel bad. This helps me to remember that the same is true of moms.

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It's tough in our case because my DD WAS one of those rare kids grade skipped in PS, so I'm often bumping her BACK from her grade so she's with kids who aren't more emotionally mature than she is. I'm especially finding that true this summer. It's amazing just how mature-and old-3rd grade girls are. And DD isn't to the "Giggling about cute boys and crushing on Justin Bieber" stage yet. If they were talking about math, it might be appropriate for her to be with an older age group, but I can't say that I've heard many kids choose to solve equations during down moments at VBS!

 

While waiting for dance/gymnastics, I've found that I can participate in discussions that relate to the kids without stating an age. I can give suggestions that helped my DD learn to tell time or count coins without explaining WHEN she learned those skills. Same with book recommendations.

 

Where I do have to disclose is when I need curriculum advise for DD's next step-and at that point, I do think disclaimers are in order, if for no other reason than that some of the questions that are relevant to DD, like whether it's a worktext or a textbook where it's expected to copy questions over, and how much white space is available, are much less a concern for kids who are a few years older and using the same materials.

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Honestly, I *was* one of those homeschoolers who adjusted their kids' grade levels the first time around. And it is the main reason I vote against doing that now. Seriously, if you adjust more than one grade level either direction (and even then sometimes), you are *very* likely to need to adjust again when they are preteens/teens to fix it. Kids just don't learn completely evenly/linearly/synchronously/steadily. Instead, they learn in spurts, go deeper here and faster there and then change it up a little more. Also, goals change. I was worried about dumb things like early college when my kid was 3 as well as wondering if my 4yo would ever be able to live independently. In the end? 3yo didn't end up nearly as advanced and 4yo was much more capable than we could have known he'd be. Had I waited til the kids were 12 to choose grade level changes, if necessary, I wouldn't have had to change the one student's at all and the other would have just changed once. That would have made a lot more sense.

 

AND I was also the mom with the KIDS didn't know their grade levels, saying instead, "we homeschool."

 

So I get to start over (graduating one this summer and starting fresh with prek, kindy and 1st this summer too). My kids will be called their age-based grade at least through 6th grade (if there is any change that *needs* to be made, it'll be done between 7th and 9th). And they will know to answer with their age-based grade when asked.

Edited by 2J5M9K
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Usually that's how you know they haven't been homeschooling very long. :tongue_smilie:

 

You would think so...

 

But I have a homeschool friend who has been at this for 6 or 7 years who, when discussing homeschooling, always finds a way to point out that her up-and-coming X-grader will be doing all Y-grade work in math, grammar, history, or whatever because the child is soooo advanced and earth-shakingly amazing!! :lol: I've had at least 3 conversations where she has brought this up and said a different subject the child is advanced in during each conversation. I don't think she's lying about any of them. I think the child probably is actually going to be doing Y-grade work. It's just, evidently, a very big deal to her since 1) I don't really talk to her that often and still know of this, repeatedly; and 2) she talks about THAT so often!!! :lol:

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:iagree:I am a chatter box too , on "first contact" LOL

I think that when someone says too much, they are usually feeling defensive or in desperate need of a sympathetic ear. Parents of accelerated kids might feel defensive because there is so much social pressure to give kids "the gift of time."

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We ran into something like this with the PS putting DD on a pedestal. Don't get me wrong, she's very bright, and we are very proud of her, but the school touted her as some kind of their own accomplishment.

She was in a 'gifted' group (high standardized test scores, but honestly, she's a pretty happy and average kiddo. I think she just tests well) that met a couple times a week. They walked the kids through a project where they did experiments they could apply statistics to. That said, these experiments were fully guided. From what I understood, the kids just followed orders, you know?

The children then made posters explaining their experiments. DD won 2nd place in a state competition for her poster. It was a thrill for all of us, but I felt so uneasy when they 'presented' her to the schoolboard. I thought it was an opportunity for the board to say "Oh hey! Great job!" to the kiddos, when it turned out, it was more the group leaders and principal saying "Hey, look what WE put out.."

 

Am I making sense? It just sat ill with me.

 

 

My ENTIRE point to this is, I just hate to see kids ranked and placed. I know it's a struggle not to, because of the way our popular system is set up. I'm also now feeling the urge to stay quiet about starting to homeschool, because if I mention it, I'm immediately challenged about it, and am afraid I won't have the right answers, and then I enter the 'Well my kid accomplished this so it's okay...' mindset.

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If someone inside or outside homeschooling asks what grade they are in, I mention a number (or letter in my case still) and leave it at that. I don't care what level your homeschooler is and I know many people don't care that your kid can do work above grade level. I don't advertise anything about mine unless it does come up ("how is his reading going?" "Oh he is doing well, he reads at x level and seems to be doing well."). Really...I think it is neat you have above averge or gifted kids but I don't care about levels-especially when I first meet you-I just want to know about you and your family as people and hopefully form some great friendships.

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Honestly, I *was* one of those homeschoolers who adjusted their kids' grade levels the first time around. And it is the main reason I vote against doing that now. Seriously, if you adjust more than one grade level either direction (and even then sometimes), you are *very* likely to need to adjust again when they are preteens/teens to fix it. Kids just don't learn completely evenly/linearly/synchronously/steadily. Instead, they learn in spurts, go deeper here and faster there and then change it up a little more. Also, goals change. I was worried about dumb things like early college when my kid was 3 as well as wondering if my 4yo would ever be able to live independently. In the end? 3yo didn't end up nearly as advanced and 4yo was much more capable than we could have known he'd be. Had I waited til the kids were 12 to choose grade level changes, if necessary, I wouldn't have had to change the one student's at all and the other would have just changed once. That would have made a lot more sense.

 

AND I was also the mom with the KIDS didn't know their grade levels, saying instead, "we homeschool."

 

So I get to start over (graduating one this summer and starting fresh with prek, kindy and 1st this summer too). My kids will be called their age-based grade at least through 6th grade (if there is any change that *needs* to be made, it'll be done between 7th and 9th). And they will know to answer with their age-based grade when asked.

The bolded is why Astro is in 1st grade. He isn't gifted - he just was an older K-er (almost 6 when the school year started, but just missed the PS cutoff, and I base our grades on their ages/cutoffs) so he did some 1st grade work last year. I debated on what to consider him, but in the end decided (and got some help on here, too! :) ) that right now it would be better just to keep him where his age says, that way he isn't a teenager and suddenly falling behind. I figured it's better to have some leeway 'built in', so to speak. :)

We ran into something like this with the PS putting DD on a pedestal. Don't get me wrong, she's very bright, and we are very proud of her, but the school touted her as some kind of their own accomplishment.

She was in a 'gifted' group (high standardized test scores, but honestly, she's a pretty happy and average kiddo. I think she just tests well) that met a couple times a week. They walked the kids through a project where they did experiments they could apply statistics to. That said, these experiments were fully guided. From what I understood, the kids just followed orders, you know?

The children then made posters explaining their experiments. DD won 2nd place in a state competition for her poster. It was a thrill for all of us, but I felt so uneasy when they 'presented' her to the schoolboard. I thought it was an opportunity for the board to say "Oh hey! Great job!" to the kiddos, when it turned out, it was more the group leaders and principal saying "Hey, look what WE put out.."

 

Am I making sense? It just sat ill with me.

 

 

My ENTIRE point to this is, I just hate to see kids ranked and placed. I know it's a struggle not to, because of the way our popular system is set up. I'm also now feeling the urge to stay quiet about starting to homeschool, because if I mention it, I'm immediately challenged about it, and am afraid I won't have the right answers, and then I enter the 'Well my kid accomplished this so it's okay...' mindset.

 

Agreed. I'm not even a fan of standardized tests, though I know their purpose and such. I guess in a perfect world everyone would be making sure their child is learning (whether at PS, private, or HSing) and they could learn at their own rate and not have to be compared to other students to see how they rank. Alas, we are not in a perfect world (or anything even close! :) ) So I get why it is needed, but do tend to find it unfortunate.

While, around here, I haven't heard a lot of 'my child is gifted/working at XX level (above their age level)', I have noticed a little bit of reluctance for kids to be anything less than average in any area. Like the blog post a PP mentioned, even when a kid is struggling, it is blamed on them being gifted. Not that that couldn't be possible, but... does it have to have an excuse? Can't we, as parents, just say 'ok, Astro struggles with reading.' and then do what we can to fix that, rather than trying to blame this on something else? Anyway...

 

Oh, and my kids? MKIA (My Kid Is Average. :D Each one of them.)

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You would think so...

 

But I have a homeschool friend who has been at this for 6 or 7 years who, when discussing homeschooling, always finds a way to point out that her up-and-coming X-grader will be doing all Y-grade work in math, grammar, history, or whatever because the child is soooo advanced and earth-shakingly amazing!! :lol: I've had at least 3 conversations where she has brought this up and said a different subject the child is advanced in during each conversation. I don't think she's lying about any of them. I think the child probably is actually going to be doing Y-grade work. It's just, evidently, a very big deal to her since 1) I don't really talk to her that often and still know of this, repeatedly; and 2) she talks about THAT so often!!! :lol:

 

:lol:I have to bite my tongue when this friend joins in conversations about the homeschooling struggles in math or reading. Evidently they've experienced it all and mastered it too. Drives me nuts. Can't be everything.

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It helped that my kids were adopted internationally and therefore had delayed speech and large motor. I had to get over myself because everyone always wants to know how your tot is talking and walking. I was defensive for them at first, but finally just learned to say "they are delayed" and shut up.

 

Of course, that could be part of the reason I was so proud to see them turn the corner and show their true colors. But except for a few really difficult times, I've been good about shutting up on time. ;)

 

On here, though, I have to say that I love the accelerated board, because it's the only place (other than Grandma's house) where I can "tell it like it is" without risking hurt feelings. And the reason for that is that my smartest kid is lucky to seem "average" on that board.

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When my kids were really young, early elementary school age, we belonged to a homeschool group. There were a few moms who acted like that. They always made it very clear to others just how advanced their children were and would make disparaging comments about the other kids. It made them quite unpleasant to be around. Of course I'm biased because the children of one of those moms called my son a freak. I'll admit my son didn't act like the other boys. He was later diagnosed with Aspergers. But for kids who were supposed to be more mature than their age, and yes the moms discussed that as well as the advanced academics, I thought they showed very poor manners. And frankly, I considered them little brats.

 

I've always stuck with the 'if he/she was in school, he/she would be in Xth grade.' I've always wondered just how these moms could announce some grade for their kids. If a kid is reading on a 6th grade level and doing math on a 4th grade level, what grade are they in? Do you go by reading level? Math level? Grammar level? Of course I understand how kids can work on different grade levels. I believe ALL kids do that to some extent. A child might be in 2nd grade and reading at a 2nd grade level, but may be working in a History program designed for 4th graders because they find the content so interesting. It's like books. They are labeled as age or grade ranges, not one particular age/grade.

 

Basically, my personal experience with such behavior is pure one-up-manship. Is that how it's said?

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Probably the mom misunderstood the standardized test scores. I know I did at first! 4th grade math means the child did as well as a fourth grader taking the test would do, not that the kid is doing 4th grade math. I might be tempted to ask if the kid enjoys division....but I'm recovering from surgery and feeling snarky! I agree with the other poster: sure sign of a newbie homeschooler. I know I was convinced I had a blooming genius when my first was in kindy:lol::lol:

 

I've never understood how such a comparison can even be helpful. They can choose any grade level then, couldn't they? I mean, if a 4th grader can do well on the 1st grade test, so can a 10th grader. Why don't they list 10th grade? How do they choose which grade level to use? Whenever I had to do a standardized test, the scores always left me confused.

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