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Planning for accelerated children and getting into college


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I like to plan ahead, so that I know everything is going to work out in the end :D

 

We accelerate our children, and plan to be in high school by the age of 12. We plan for high school to take 2 years, and then on to college. We will be doing college totally online for their bachelors degrees (because of their ages) and then they can go wherever they want for law school/med school/vet school/masters degrees etc.

 

My question is because we will be going to college so young, should we get an accredited high school diploma from American School or is it not a problem to use a homeschool transcript to get into college, even at the age of 12?

 

Can you get financial aid, at the age of 12, for college without an accredited high school diploma?

 

So far our choices for college:

UMASS Lowell http://continuinged.uml.edu/

American Public University http://www.apu.apus.edu/index.htm

 

First, I have to say that, despite the experiences I'll share below, I don't necessarily believe it's a good idea to insist or "plan" on having any kid radically accelerate. I've been in touch with a fair number of parents and kids who go the early college route, and the ones most likely to burn out or break down are those whose parents chose the acceleration, instead of following the kid's lead. The kids who succeed with early college are the ones who simply cannot be stopped or slowed down. I always laugh when anyone suggests we "pushed" our daughter, since the truth was it was all we could do to hang onto her coattails as she zoomed forward. I've heard an awful lot of heartbreaking stories, though, of kids who crash a year or two into early college to think it's a good idea to think it's the right plan for many young people.

 

With that said:

 

I have no experience with or knowledge of either of the institutions you linked and can't speak to how they will handle admissions or financial aid for a very young student. What I can tell you is that my daughter went to a residential early college program when she was 12, and she was eligible for all of the same scholarships and aid that were offered to traditionally-aged students. Sometimes, we had to explain things very slowly and carefully to folks from Sallie Mae, but it worked out in the end.

 

I believe that this specific program, however, has sought waivers and special permissions to make this kind of thing possible. So, I don't know what would be available at a school that did not have those exceptions in place.

 

The program that my daughter attended did not require or expect students to have finished high school before starting college. So, they just took our home-made transcripts to document that what she had completed met their requirements (having finished algebra and a few other things I don't remember off the top of my head).

 

The research I've done for our local colleges and universities suggests they will not admit a student under the age of 16 in most cases. I've never gotten a straight answer about whether the rule would be different if the student has an accredited diploma, but I have been told a parent diploma won't change anything.

 

I would strongly suggest, if you do decide to continue with this plan, that you contact the colleges in which you are interested and ask them your questions directly.

Edited by Jenny in Florida
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You need to contact the colleges and ask them directly.

 

May I ask what your rationale is for having them do early college online from home? What if they want to major in a subject that can not be done online, but requires presence on a university campus? Can you predict that, at age 14, your children will have been able to complete all higher math? Even gifted 14 year olds may not have the level of abstraction to deal with calculus... how would you deal with this if one of your kids were interested in a STEM major?

I would be very cautious making such plans for children as young as yours, because children develop, change their interests, may not want to do what you have planned out for them - so I would make sure you have a plan B.

 

I have a highly accelerated DD and have chosen the opposite way: she formally skipped only one year, we work at college level while homeschooling high school and use dual enrollment at a local university as a non-degree seeking student starting in 10th grade. (Had we not homeschooled, we would have enrolled her in a residential early college program at age 16.)

Edited by regentrude
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:lurk5:

 

I have a DD who seems intent on radically accelerating whether I want her to or not, so I'm trying to both not panic and see the next step-which is hard when your 7 yr old seems to have confused her age and grade level!

 

One thing I'm wondering-is it possible that doing early college, but planning on spending more total TIME in college, maybe even doing two BA degrees, but at different schools in different majors, might not be a better fit than trying to cobble together something for high school+ at home? Right now, it seems like DD has so many interests that she could easily spend about 10 years as a upper division college student, just exploring and enjoying, and I know that even the regional state school I sometimes teach at has FAR more resources than I have at home.

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We will be doing college totally online for their bachelors degrees (because of their ages) and then they can go wherever they want for law school/med school/vet school/masters degrees etc.

 

(gently) I would rethink this plan if your child thinks that they would like to go on to med or vet school. Following your plan, imo, the odds of your child being accepted to medical or vet school after completing an online bachelor program while still a teen would be slim to none.

 

If you think that medical school may be in your child's future, I would definitely check with some medical admissions folk before implementing your plan.

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One thing I'm wondering-is it possible that doing early college, but planning on spending more total TIME in college, maybe even doing two BA degrees, but at different schools in different majors, might not be a better fit than trying to cobble together something for high school+ at home? Right now, it seems like DD has so many interests that she could easily spend about 10 years as a upper division college student, just exploring and enjoying, and I know that even the regional state school I sometimes teach at has FAR more resources than I have at home.

 

Certainly possible, but don't forget that it will be extremely expensive.

If your DD is this accelerated, you might want to look into doing college work during the normal high school years and using dual enrollment, AP and CLEP to substantiate performance. This way, she could enter college with the basic required courses already taken care of and could spend her time on a double major, doing advanced work and enjoying electives for which she might not normally have the time.

With the cost of attending college away from home (not just tuition, but also room and board), spending more time away at college is a very expensive endeavor that might be prohibitive for many families.

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I've learned not to plan too far ahead with dd because every time I plan something she ends up forcing me to alter one plans but I like the idea of college level work at home and CLEP credits to reduce the overall cost. This is the plan that sounds the best for us as of today.

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I like to plan ahead, so that I know everything is going to work out in the end :D

 

We accelerate our children, and plan to be in high school by the age of 12. We plan for high school to take 2 years, and then on to college. We will be doing college totally online for their bachelors degrees (because of their ages) and then they can go wherever they want for law school/med school/vet school/masters degrees etc.

 

My question is because we will be going to college so young, should we get an accredited high school diploma from American School or is it not a problem to use a homeschool transcript to get into college, even at the age of 12?

 

Can you get financial aid, at the age of 12, for college without an accredited high school diploma?

 

So far our choices for college:

UMASS Lowell http://continuinged.uml.edu/

American Public University http://www.apu.apus.edu/index.htm

 

I highly recommend researching medical and vet schools b/c I doubt you will find any that will find a student w/an online degree as even slightly attractive. Admissions are extremely competitive.

 

Also, I wonder how you have decided upon this path. Based on your siggie (8 yr old in TT 5), your children aren't radically accelerated at this pt.:confused:

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I hadn't heard of American Public University, so I just googled it and it seems to be a for-profit online university? I don't think that I would accelerate with the end goal of a for-profit online college.

 

:iagree: Have you done much reading about the for-profit onlines? Most of them seem to exist as enrollment mills to generate a lot of federal student loan/aid dollars. "Getting in" is usually not an issue - sifting through the high-pressure recruitment tactics to figure out the actual value of the diploma is.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/education/harkin-report-condemns-for-profit-colleges.html

http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/pubsres/academe/2011/MJ/Feat/yeom.htm

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_19/b4177064219731.htm#p1

 

(gently) I would rethink this plan if your child thinks that they would like to go on to med or vet school. Following your plan, imo, the odds of your child being accepted to medical or vet school after completing an online bachelor program while still a teen would be slim to none.

 

If you think that medical school may be in your child's future, I would definitely check with some medical admissions folk before implementing your plan.

 

:iagree:Absolutely.

 

I am curious about why this is your plan. Are your kids showing signs that their needs for advanced academics can't be taken care of outside a college setting? (All of them, even the little ones?)

 

Apart from really, really unusual kids like Jenny in Florida's daughter, I think that it's in the interest of most accelerated/gifted kids to take a rigorous and extensive high school program followed by a rigorous and extensive undergraduate program, rather than racing for degrees by completing the minimum amount of work possible as quickly as possible. All degrees are not created equal.

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I highly recommend researching medical and vet schools b/c I doubt you will find any that will find a student w/an online degree as even slightly attractive. Admissions are extremely competitive.

 

Also, I wonder how you have decided upon this path. Based on your siggie (8 yr old in TT 5), your children aren't radically accelerated at this pt.:confused:

 

Apart from really, really unusual kids like Jenny in Florida's daughter, I think that it's in the interest of most accelerated/gifted kids to take a rigorous and extensive high school program followed by a rigorous and extensive undergraduate program, rather than racing for degrees by completing the minimum amount of work possible as quickly as possible. All degrees are not created equal.

 

:iagree:We delve deep and wide rather than just racing forward, even with my two most accelerated kids.

Edited by melmichigan
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:iagree:We delve deep and wide rather than just racing forward, even with my two most accelerated kids.

 

:iagree:

Not sure why will you " plan" for accelerattion, I think most of the parents here accelerate the kids because it just happened. Even that, I will not consider to send my kid to college at age of 12. I will want my kids have a life outside of academic.

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UMASS Lowell is an excellent school and is non profit

 

My children are the ones who wish to move forward, and I certainly don't have any problem against it. I will NEVER hold my kids back from being the best that they can be and wish to be. We haven't skipped any grades, I just don't believe in busy work and when my kids are ready to move forward we do. If my oldest was in public school she would be stuck (per when her birthday fell) in 3rd grade this year. I didn't ask anyone how to raise my kids. I homeschool so that they can learn how I wish them to learn!!! Most of you sound like public school, don't accelerate, you need to stay with kids your own age, you need to socialize. I am also questioning why most of you are on the accelerated board if you are so very against it. Is it just to cause trouble?

 

I simply asked two questions, if my children could get financial aid at 12 and if we should get an accredited high school diploma. If you can't answer these questions then STOP posting and myob! Get off the accelerated board if you are against it!!

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Most of you sound like public school, don't accelerate, you need to stay with kids your own age, you need to socialize. I am also questioning why most of you are on the accelerated board if you are so very against it. Is it just to cause trouble?

 

I simply asked two questions, if my children could get financial aid at 12 and if we should get an accredited high school diploma. If you can't answer these questions then STOP posting and myob! Get off the accelerated board if you are against it!!

 

wow. just. wow.

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Okay, then.

 

 

ETA: No one here is against accelerated learning. We have a wide range of children from very bright to profoundly gifted. And a lot of years of experience. No one has said that you should hold your kids back. Seems maybe you have a bit of an issue with others who have insinuated as much before elsewhere. You are the only one that mentioned socialization. Again, sounds like you have an issue. Socialization is important. How your family chooses to accomplish that is up to you and your dh. I do hope you are providing some form of socialization.

 

To answer your questions, you need to contact the college of choice and ask what they require for financial aid. Some colleges will accept a home diploma. Some colleges want a GED. Others will accept a portfolio.

 

The consensus seems to be, stay away from American Public University. They are a diploma mill and what you receive from them isn't worth the paper it is printed on.

 

If your children plan on going to a professional school, contact their school of choice and see what the entrance requirements are. Keep in mind that at 8, 6 and 3 your children could very well change their minds many times over with their life goals.

Edited by Parrothead
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UMASS Lowell is an excellent school and is non profit

 

My children are the ones who wish to move forward, and I certainly don't have any problem against it. I will NEVER hold my kids back from being the best that they can be and wish to be. We haven't skipped any grades, I just don't believe in busy work and when my kids are ready to move forward we do. If my oldest was in public school she would be stuck (per when her birthday fell) in 3rd grade this year. I didn't ask anyone how to raise my kids. I homeschool so that they can learn how I wish them to learn!!! Most of you sound like public school, don't accelerate, you need to stay with kids your own age, you need to socialize. I am also questioning why most of you are on the accelerated board if you are so very against it. Is it just to cause trouble?

 

I simply asked two questions, if my children could get financial aid at 12 and if we should get an accredited high school diploma. If you can't answer these questions then STOP posting and myob! Get off the accelerated board if you are against it!!

 

:001_huh: Very rude.

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UMASS Lowell is an excellent school and is non profit

 

My children are the ones who wish to move forward, and I certainly don't have any problem against it. I will NEVER hold my kids back from being the best that they can be and wish to be. We haven't skipped any grades, I just don't believe in busy work and when my kids are ready to move forward we do. If my oldest was in public school she would be stuck (per when her birthday fell) in 3rd grade this year. I didn't ask anyone how to raise my kids. I homeschool so that they can learn how I wish them to learn!!! Most of you sound like public school, don't accelerate, you need to stay with kids your own age, you need to socialize. I am also questioning why most of you are on the accelerated board if you are so very against it. Is it just to cause trouble?

 

I simply asked two questions, if my children could get financial aid at 12 and if we should get an accredited high school diploma. If you can't answer these questions then STOP posting and myob! Get off the accelerated board if you are against it!!

 

 

First, if you look at UMASS, they only offer a limited number of degrees completely online. Most of the undergrad degrees listed are under "on campus or mixture." I don't think that a student planning on medical school would be accepted via the "online" options b/c of their areas of concentration. (IT, liberal arts, psychology (though I really wonder about that last one b/c it means no clinical observations:confused:). There is an obvious reason for the need for on-campus education for science majors........labs.

 

Everyone who replied to your post has accelerated children. And many of us have been teaching our children at a much HIGHER accelerated level at much younger ages long before your 8 yo drew his/her first breath. ;)

 

No one is suggesting to not teach your child at their level of ability. Goodness!! :lol: Good luck with that.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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You are free to reject any advice you receive, but I'd suggest that you think twice before doing so. Regentrude and I, for example, are both university professors. It is just possible that we know something about higher education that you don't know. Other people who were kind enough to give you advice have their own valuable expertise.

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I was wondering the same thing.

 

:iagree:

 

Don't get me wrong, I've been sucked into the "at this rate, she'll be done with high school by the time she's 10!" thought too, imagining her curing cancer by the time she's 20. But, realistically, much of elementary school is relatively elastic in terms of what kids are capable of. If they happen to be early readers and natural spellers, it's pretty easy to skip most of the basic 1st and 2nd grade language arts work, with a few weeks spent on basic grammar and writing techniques. And I think you can certainly push them through math up until more advanced fraction work (which requires a fairly sophisticated concept of numbers) without really worrying about hitting a developmental wall. I think in only a handful of children is this pace sustainable, however.

 

My kindergartner is doing 2nd grade level work in some subjects, according to some texts... but realistically she probably won't actually continue at this pace. Especially for high school, where the work becomes a lot more analytical and requires a certain maturity and developmental readiness that most kids just don't have until they're high school age. Some kids certainly do: I have a friend who entered high school at age 12, and another friend who went from 8th grade straight to (an elite, top tier, liberal arts) college. They are both happy, functional adults, though the one who started high school at 12 says she would never, ever skip her kids.

 

I think it's normal and fine to dream big for our kids, but I also think it's unreasonable to get so angry when other people offer a reality check.

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UMASS Lowell is an excellent school and is non profit

 

My children are the ones who wish to move forward, and I certainly don't have any problem against it. I will NEVER hold my kids back from being the best that they can be and wish to be. We haven't skipped any grades, I just don't believe in busy work and when my kids are ready to move forward we do. If my oldest was in public school she would be stuck (per when her birthday fell) in 3rd grade this year. I didn't ask anyone how to raise my kids. I homeschool so that they can learn how I wish them to learn!!! Most of you sound like public school, don't accelerate, you need to stay with kids your own age, you need to socialize. I am also questioning why most of you are on the accelerated board if you are so very against it. Is it just to cause trouble?

 

I simply asked two questions, if my children could get financial aid at 12 and if we should get an accredited high school diploma. If you can't answer these questions then STOP posting and myob! Get off the accelerated board if you are against it!!

 

No words...

 

Most people suggest u looking into a deeper curriculum rather than TT for a reason, TT is considered a year behind and not a challenge program. TT 5 for 8 yr old really is just slightly ahead if not average

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Most of you sound like public school, don't accelerate, you need to stay with kids your own age, you need to socialize. I am also questioning why most of you are on the accelerated board if you are so very against it. Is it just to cause trouble?

This isn't a sub-forum to encourage people to accelerate their kids... it's for discussing all the things that come along with kids who are working ahead of grade level... and not all of those things are encouraging.

 

If you read back through old threads what you'll find as much as anything, is that there are very real and important downsides to acceleration. Especially early entrance into institutions - early kindergarten, early high school, early college - are not necessarily all they're cracked up to be. In general, something that radical is considered as a "least worst option". When all other possibilities are exhausted, then you consider early college. That doesn't mean anyone is against it, only that if you aren't backed into that corner with no exit, there might be very good reasons to hold off.

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One thing I'm wondering-is it possible that doing early college, but planning on spending more total TIME in college, maybe even doing two BA degrees, but at different schools in different majors, might not be a better fit than trying to cobble together something for high school+ at home? Right now, it seems like DD has so many interests that she could easily spend about 10 years as a upper division college student, just exploring and enjoying, and I know that even the regional state school I sometimes teach at has FAR more resources than I have at home.

 

My suggestion would to be wait until she's exhausted what she can do at home in a particular subject and then try part time dual enrollment and see how it goes.

 

There are many different paths to coping with acceleration: working with mentors, going part time dual enrollment followed up by full time enrollment, entering young and going straight through followed up by gap years before grad school, etc. It needs to be an individual decision based on the needs and resources of that student.

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Can you get financial aid, at the age of 12, for college without an accredited high school diploma?

 

 

Federal financial aid doesn't have a minimum age and it doesn't require an accredited diploma.

 

If you are looking beyond financial aid to merit scholarships, the picture is quite different. For merit scholarships and for admissions there are no extra points for "getting there first" and if anything being younger will be seen as a deficit. Younger students have more to prove. Scholarships and admissions won't want to see that your kid is amazing for a 12 year old but amazing for an entering college freshman. That means competing against kids who have top test scores, tons of AP or dual enrollment courses, and well developed community service profiles they've been able to build over many more years.

 

There certainly are younger students who earn scholarships, but they are the exceptionally prodigious students who still stack up against traditional aged students. The same thing will apply when it comes to graduate or professional school. So, if it is important to you that your kids are in the running for scholarships it may make more sense to look closer to traditional age. Perhaps you might consider options such as online courses or dual enrollment to stretch out their time to graduation.

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I think it is important that accelerated kids are not just working through mediocre programs at a higher level and calling it the higher level. I think we owe it to our kids to make sure they are getting the most rigorous education possible at that higher level. So, if I'm going to call my 10yo a high school student officially (and a major reason we decided to put our 10yo in school this year was because he was going to be moving into high school level work and we wanted to see if the organizational and social aspects of school would slow him down a bit), I think it is important that he is getting the same education and challenges as gifted high school students who are four years older would be getting--meaning that I would want him to be moving into AP level courses in a year or two. If he is not up to that challenge, then I'm not going to call it high school.

 

I don't know if that makes any sense, but that's my philosophy. And I think a lot of people on this board are saying the same thing in different ways.

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Do you have any idea how competitive it is to get into medical school and vet school, even for students with practically perfect grades and test scores from well regarded undergraduate schools? I strongly agree with the suggestion of speaking with some admissions officers in graduate programs as you plan for the future.

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I think it is important that accelerated kids are not just working through mediocre programs at a higher level and calling it the higher level. I think we owe it to our kids to make sure they are getting the most rigorous education possible at that higher level. So, if I'm going to call my 10yo a high school student officially (and a major reason we decided to put our 10yo in school this year was because he was going to be moving into high school level work and we wanted to see if the organizational and social aspects of school would slow him down a bit), I think it is important that he is getting the same education and challenges as gifted high school students who are four years older would be getting--meaning that I would want him to be moving into AP level courses in a year or two. If he is not up to that challenge, then I'm not going to call it high school.

 

I don't know if that makes any sense, but that's my philosophy. And I think a lot of people on this board are saying the same thing in different ways.

:iagree:Yes, exactly.

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Apparently, I missed some things while I was away from the computer.

 

I just wanted to pop back and explain that I am in no way "against" acceleration, even of the radical sort. In fact, I'm often one of those frustrated when other people dismiss the concept.

 

All I was encouraging in my post was that you not set your heart on pushing your children into acceleration that may not be appropriate for every kid.

 

I'll admit that I knew by the time my daughter was eight that her path would not be average. I remember confessing to a friend of mine that I was a little freaked out by how fast she was moving and how at the rate she was going, she'd be done with high school by age 12.

 

My friend laughed gently and suggested that I didn't need to worry too much, since there was a lot of school -- and a lot of tough math -- between my eight year old and high school. It hurt my feelings that she didn't take my concerns seriously and that she didn't trust my judgement.

 

And, you know what? I was right.

 

But, in the meantime, I've talked to a lot of other parents who think their kids are on the same path, and the vast majority of them are not.

 

And please understand I am not in any way suggesting that your kids aren't "smart enough" or anything of the sort. Honestly, my son is exactly as bright as his sister, from every measure we can take, and radical acceleration would be a disaster for him. So, he's taking a more moderate path, starting high school only one year early and finishing in three years. This gives him oodles of time to take dance classes and volunteer for multiple local organizations and read and hang out with friends and do theatre and build contraptions in the backyard, while still giving him a nice head start, academically.

 

One path was appropriate for one of my kids, another for the other.

 

The kind of acceleration you're suggesting requires a specific combination of interest, personlity and internal motivation, in addition to intelligence. And I think all most of us were suggesting is that it's awfully early to to assume that all of your kids will have that exact combination of traits.

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I don't know if that makes any sense, but that's my philosophy. And I think a lot of people on this board are saying the same thing in different ways.

 

Kai, this makes sense. I do say that my son is working at high school level in some subjects because he is working as hard (based on how people generally describe high school work on various lists) and using materials that others have described as of good quality/ rigorous for their high school-aged kids, but I don't feel right calling him a high schooler until he is working at the same level and with the same diligence in all subjects.

 

I'm not sure what happened in this thread exactly as I only started reading it this evening but I am very interested in this subject and in how it plays out for each family. I think it is an important thread for those of us getting pulled along by voracious younger kids in this crazy journey of ours. I know I would have loved to read and learn from a thread like this one when we first realized that we need to accelerate by >3 years 2 years ago. I also know the opinions from the experienced homeschoolers here and on the Hive in general have really helped me keep a more down-to-earth, level head towards acceleration without allowing myself to go on ego trips or consider acceleration as a glamorous choice (not saying that's what OP or anyone else is saying...just basing this on some people in my local community who seem to think that getting their kids to college early, regardless of the quality of the process, is the goal of homeschooling).

 

May I respectfully ask, Jenny:

My friend laughed gently and suggested that I didn't need to worry too much, since there was a lot of school -- and a lot of tough math -- between my eight year old and high school. It hurt my feelings that she didn't take my concerns seriously and that she didn't trust my judgement.

 

And, you know what? I was right.

 

But, in the meantime, I've talked to a lot of other parents who think their kids are on the same path, and the vast majority of them are not.

 

How does one know the bolded? What is a dependable yard stick for this? The current me has some idea because I am quite certain by listening carefully to others and reading various threads and realizing the ages of the other students in the various online classes my son does that my son is working at the average 12-15yo demographic's level in a few areas. But the 2-years-ago me would have really wanted to know more. Especially also because 2 years ago I really felt so much like an imposter while also trying to advocate for him.

 

If you guys don't mind explaining what else shows high school level ability I think it could benefit others who, like the 2-years-ago me with no teen at home/ younger only child or a non STEM major mom dealing with very STEM-oriented kids, are wondering what on earth = high-school level work in the elementary or early middle school years, either in particular subjects or in the general sense. It could help dispel doubts about acceleration. It could help some people who think their kids should be accelerated (when in truth perhaps they should wait a while) make better choices?

 

I hope this is not a thread hijack! And please let me know if what I'm saying sounds like nonsense.

 

OK, to start, I thought I could list some examples of skills that clearly demonstrate high school level ability:

- I think Kai's "AP level in a year or 2" ballpark is a good one...may I add SAT subjects tests in a year+? I'm talking about ability not necessarily actually doing it (not everyone considers a bunch of APs or SAT2s as absolutely necessary correct?)

- Independence -- one example -- ability to research, ability to collaborate and discuss intelligently with a team of high-school aged kids on a research project requiring some high school level math ability (as my son did recently...I'm guessing this qualifies?) and condense materials learned into a written format that will be published in a wiki -- supervised by uni profs/ grad students (using just an example here and I don't mean necessarily perfect writing style but demonstrating the willingness to edit and improve and showing passion for the subject) -- the focus here is on the independence and willingness to work hard and obviously higher level content, and not so much on the written output because I know this is a huge area of asynchrony in gifted students

- attention span and stamina apart from content knowledge -- e.g. being able to work on challenging math problems (high school algebra level and above) for a longer stretch of time (60-90 minutes for e.g., maybe more)

 

There are a bunch of things I know I'm missing...not able to think more than this (it's late too!). And to demonstrate just how convoluted my head and heart are with regards to radical acceleration, I'm going to be reading The Hurried Child by Elkind soon (just ordered it).

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I'm not sure what happened in this thread exactly as I only started reading it this evening but I am very interested in this subject and in how it plays out for each family. I think it is an important thread for those of us getting pulled along by voracious younger kids in this crazy journey of ours.

It violates board rules to discuss why posts were deleted. Suffice it to say that the OP, who is now banned, stated ineloquently that she only wanted the answers to her questions and that only those that wanted to accelerate their children should post on the accelerated forum.

 

 

If you guys don't mind explaining what else shows high school level ability I think it could benefit others who, like the 2-years-ago me with no teen at home/ younger only child or a non STEM major mom dealing with very STEM-oriented kids, are wondering what on earth = high-school level work in the elementary or early middle school years, either in particular subjects or in the general sense. It could help dispel doubts about acceleration. It could help some people who think their kids should be accelerated (when in truth perhaps they should wait a while) make better choices?

This is going to be a very long answer. Sorry!

 

I'm definitely not the parent of children like Jenny's, but I can share our real world family.

 

 

 

In our family, w/ our children, I have 2 teenagers that are extremely exceptional young people. They are both very mature and responsible, on top of independent, self-motivated, hard-working, and functioning multiple grade levels beyond avg. And I am in the "no-way will they graduate early" camp. ;) I dropped ds off at the local unversity last week for his first day of class (he is taking multivariable cal and cal physics). His class sizes are 250 for physics and 90 for cal. As I waited for him to come out of class when I was picking him up, my heart was in my throat watching all of the much older students walking around.

 

At this pt, ds is in major let-down. He is not sure if the classes are going to be as challenging and as interesting as he hoped. It looks like the cal class is going to be all review material for him for the next several weeks (thank you AoPS!!) The physics class is the biggest disappointment b/c he loves it so much and he had thought that cal-based physics would be a lot of cal physics. It isn't. ;)

 

I guess what I have taken way too long to say is that just being at a college doesn't guarantee intellectual equals or stimulation. Which college matters. All education is not equal. All student populations are not equal. All classes are not equal. Ds is acutely aware of it on a unversity campus. (and this is w/us paying approx 4x more than if he were taking similar courses at a CC.......the level of the course meets its avg student. W/no admission criteria, that avg. student is definitely lower. At top tier schools, the admission criteria will obviously be higher.)

 

FWIW, having raised 3 children to adulthood and 2 younger teenagers......these yrs are not just about intellectual development. They are learning how to function in various social situations, opposite sex relationships, ***who*** are they, what do they believe about the world/religion/politics, etc. These are NOT less important than helping them mature academically. These are the roots which their entire adulthoods will eventually spring from.

 

Obviously there are young people out there that are ready to do that independently. However, having watched my older 3 grow up and the number of really stupid decisions they have made, I have been very glad that we have been directly involved w/their daily lives to offer guidance/suggestions as they work their way through the issues.

 

FWIW, part of me is questioning whether or not EPGY or CTY courses might have been a better fit for ds this yr. He really wanted to get to know professors IRL and is hoping that he might be able to find one to mentor him as he enters more competitions, etc. (last yr he entered a competition w/1000s of entries and received an honorable mention. I didn't understand anything he wrote, so even though students were allowed to teacher feedback, he didn't receive any. He has higher hopes for this yr if he can get a prof to answer questions and give minor assistance.)

 

I have no idea if that answers any questions at all. :tongue_smilie:

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
I removed extended family info.....it is one thing for me to discuss my kids, but not someone else's.
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Certainly possible, but don't forget that it will be extremely expensive.

If your DD is this accelerated, you might want to look into doing college work during the normal high school years and using dual enrollment, AP and CLEP to substantiate performance. This way, she could enter college with the basic required courses already taken care of and could spend her time on a double major, doing advanced work and enjoying electives for which she might not normally have the time.

With the cost of attending college away from home (not just tuition, but also room and board), spending more time away at college is a very expensive endeavor that might be prohibitive for many families.

 

 

I'm looking at that, too. What concerns me is that Dual enrollment classes that are offered around here aren't available until age 16, and seem to be more of what I'd consider a high school level class than a college one, and while I could easily pull together resources to study college level English or History and pass an AP test, part of those classes should be discussion and debate, not just reading and writing. I'm not sure I can match that experience. I know I cannot match a college physics or chemistry lab at home. I don't even feel I can match a good high school one.

 

Cost is a concern-but getting her to adulthood psychologically healthy is also a concern, and I'm really starting to understand that, for DD, meeting her intellectual needs is essential in doing so. And all of the "she'll slow down when she hits harder content" has not yet happened. If anything, she's sped up and become MORE self-motivated as the content has become more difficult, because she's also become more capable of seeing where it's going and wants to get there.

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FWIW, having raised 3 children to adulthood and 2 younger teenagers......these yrs are not just about intellectual development. They are learning how to function in various social situations, opposite sex relationships, ***who*** are they, what do they believe about the world/religion/politics, etc. These are NOT less important than helping them mature academically. These are the roots which their entire adulthoods will eventually spring from.

While my oldest is only a sophomore, 8's thoughts sum up my family's philosophy. Homeschooling gives all of our kids a distinct advantage over the traditionally schooled students as our kids are not limited by the course offerings of a b&m school.

 

My kids will all graduate from our home school when they are 18. Had we not been homeschooling, graduating at 18 would have stifled their academic growth. However, thanks to homeschooling, this is not a concern at all: they will have opportunities that they otherwise would not have had they been traditionally schooled.

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I'm looking at that, too. What concerns me is that Dual enrollment classes that are offered around here aren't available until age 16, and seem to be more of what I'd consider a high school level class than a college one, and while I could easily pull together resources to study college level English or History and pass an AP test, part of those classes should be discussion and debate, not just reading and writing. I'm not sure I can match that experience. I know I cannot match a college physics or chemistry lab at home. I don't even feel I can match a good high school one.

One thing you could look at is the really-top-tier private high schools... Exeter, Andover, Choate, etc. They're not the right fit for everyone of course, but there might be a prep school (possibly boarding, possibly not, depending on where you are) that would fill the need for challenging work and excellent resources, with fewer downsides than early college might have.

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The current me has some idea because I am quite certain by listening carefully to others and reading various threads and realizing the ages of the other students in the various online classes my son does that my son is working at the average 12-15yo demographic's level in a few areas.

 

OK, to start, I thought I could list some examples of skills that clearly demonstrate high school level ability:

- I think Kai's "AP level in a year or 2" ballpark is a good one...may I add SAT subjects tests in a year+? I'm talking about ability not necessarily actually doing it (not everyone considers a bunch of APs or SAT2s as absolutely necessary correct?)

 

Just snagging these two points.... I think when you're looking at a younger kid and judging whether work is high school level or not, it's worth it to measure against high-performing high schoolers, and not average high schoolers. If you have a kid who will eventually shine at a high school level, I wouldn't count the years before that point when he can be middle-of-the-pack. Not because it's not "really" high school, but because when you move on from high school level (college applications or whatever), you want the high school records to show a strong student, and not just a young one. And with that in mind, whether a bunch of test scores really is "necessary" in general, for a younger students I would absolutely go for the test scores. The more unlikely it looks, the more objective evidence I'd want to have.

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If you guys don't mind explaining what else shows high school level ability I think it could benefit others who, like the 2-years-ago me with no teen at home/ younger only child or a non STEM major mom dealing with very STEM-oriented kids, are wondering what on earth = high-school level work in the elementary or early middle school years, either in particular subjects or in the general sense. It could help dispel doubts about acceleration. It could help some people who think their kids should be accelerated (when in truth perhaps they should wait a while) make better choices?

 

Of course gifted kids are all different from one another, but with a late elementary school child here are some of the signs we experienced or have heard from other parents who had kids who ended up in early college:

 

1. Not just able to learn high school work - but able to move through rigorous high school level work (harder APs for example) much more quickly than other students. Student is able to make natural leaps from the high school work to more upper level questions in a subject.

 

2. Top 5% (sometimes top 1%) scores on the ACT or SAT (not of 7th graders but of college bound students).

 

3. Evaluations from professors who know what is expected in college. If your 8 year old child's physics mentor tells you that he's beyond most of the lower division courses and is learning faster than the grad students - time to get out of denial!

 

4. Totally exhausting high school and lower division college work in a particular subject area. Regularly working with upper division college level material.

 

5. Self starter - not just able to follow a structured course, but the student is on their own coming up with ideas, research projects, etc.

 

Now those are just the some of the academic milestones that it is something you may be on track to consider early college. Of course it is about more than academics and there are a whole lot of other readiness factors to consider such as: child interest and motivation, ability to participate appropriately in the college classroom, study skills, strength of skills such as writing, organizational skills, ability to handle setbacks and frustrations, ability to interact with adults, etc.

 

And to demonstrate just how convoluted my head and heart are with regards to radical acceleration, I'm going to be reading The Hurried Child by Elkind soon (just ordered it).

 

I would also suggest this book by Miraca Gross. http://www.amazon.com/Exceptionally-Gifted-Children-Miraca-Gross/dp/0415314917 You can probably get it through library loan.

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I think it is important that accelerated kids are not just working through mediocre programs at a higher level and calling it the higher level. I think we owe it to our kids to make sure they are getting the most rigorous education possible at that higher level. .

 

I agree.

 

I'm wondering if anyone else has noticed this trend in the homeschooling community of promoting early graduation after completing less rigorous programs. It seems like we've had a couple of posts along these lines here recently and it is also something that comes up in the advertising of College Plus. Any thoughts about what is getting this started? I'm afraid it promotes confusion for families of kids who would genuinely benefit from real acceleration.

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Just snagging these two points.... I think when you're looking at a younger kid and judging whether work is high school level or not, it's worth it to measure against high-performing high schoolers, and not average high schoolers. If you have a kid who will eventually shine at a high school level, I wouldn't count the years before that point when he can be middle-of-the-pack. Not because it's not "really" high school, but because when you move on from high school level (college applications or whatever), you want the high school records to show a strong student, and not just a young one. And with that in mind, whether a bunch of test scores really is "necessary" in general, for a younger students I would absolutely go for the test scores. The more unlikely it looks, the more objective evidence I'd want to have.

 

Yes, I agree 100%. And the younger the child, the stronger they should be. That is, I would expect a 16 year old university freshman to be on the strong side (or potentially starting trade school early if interests lie there instead of academic), but I would expect a 12 year old university freshman to be extremely strong and probably beyond most of the standard freshman courses anyway in his area of interest.

 

Why try so hard to get a mediocre education faster?

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I agree.

 

I'm wondering if anyone else has noticed this trend in the homeschooling community of promoting early graduation after completing less rigorous programs. It seems like we've had a couple of posts along these lines here recently and it is also something that comes up in the advertising of College Plus. Any thoughts about what is getting this started? I'm afraid it promotes confusion for families of kids who would genuinely benefit from real acceleration.

 

But how many families are actually doing this? The only posts I've seen on this board advocating this have elementary school aged kids.

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But how many families are actually doing this? The only posts I've seen on this board advocating this have elementary school aged kids.

 

Good point about the young kids and I don't know how common it is. It may just be an outgrowth of the general trend toward degrees earned primarily through credit by examination.

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One thing you could look at is the really-top-tier private high schools... Exeter, Andover, Choate, etc. They're not the right fit for everyone of course, but there might be a prep school (possibly boarding, possibly not, depending on where you are) that would fill the need for challenging work and excellent resources, with fewer downsides than early college might have.

 

This is something we are considering down the road for our younger son. He will be graduating one and possibly two years early, and boarding schools like Exeter have post graduate programs that might work well for him. (Though they won't work well for my bank account!)

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This is something we are considering down the road for our younger son. He will be graduating one and possibly two years early, and boarding schools like Exeter have post graduate programs that might work well for him. (Though they won't work well for my bank account!)

 

 

I'll look into it. There's a good international school here that has extensive study abroad programs that might be a wonderful fit for a gap year or two. Of course, their tuition rates match very competitive universities, and the fees for international study are more expensive than room and board...I wonder how they are for financial aid? (At the time we looked at them, DD wasn't yet school age and they offer NO financial aid for entering Kindergartners-although they were VERY interested in DD. Maybe they'd offer more at, say, age 12?)

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Good point about the young kids and I don't know how common it is. It may just be an outgrowth of the general trend toward degrees earned primarily through credit by examination.

 

 

I think it's also that the Swann's book is pretty easy to come by in homeschooling circles, even before it was made available free on Kindle. I know our local library carries it. Art Robinson's stuff also advocates a very accelerated pace. And if you have a "moves faster than the average bear" preschooler, I could see why it might be attractive if you're coming at it from a "homeschooling" angle and researching that first, instead of a "What works for an advanced/gifted child" leading to homeschooling as the best/most affordable solution angle, which tends to push for more enrichment and more challenging materials first, and acceleration as a secondary choice if enrichment/more challenging isn't enough.

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I agree.

 

I'm wondering if anyone else has noticed this trend in the homeschooling community of promoting early graduation after completing less rigorous programs. It seems like we've had a couple of posts along these lines here recently and it is also something that comes up in the advertising of College Plus. Any thoughts about what is getting this started? I'm afraid it promotes confusion for families of kids who would genuinely benefit from real acceleration.

 

Isn't there a homeschooling book about it? I think a lot of it comes from the high cost of a college degree and the fact that many homeschool families are on one income. If they value the degree only as a means to an end, then it becomes the cheapest/fastest option to get their kids to a job.

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I figure that we'll figure that out when we get there. The rules/laws may change by then. And I don't know what my child will want to do either. My oldest is only 9 and in 4th grade - doing a very rigorous Alg I program (AoPS, he was doing Alg I at the end of 3rd grade but it wasn't a hard enough program - so we switched to a more interesting one that would take him longer). And middle school level for other subjects. (Except for handwriting. We still need to teach him cursive). I am not accelerating him in grade number. I don't think it's appropriate for him at this point. I could easily skip him one grade in number and he would be just fine socially if he was in the public school- but I worry about later on. Our state has an awesome public magnet boarding school for 11th and 12th grade -where a lot of those courses are college credit, like differential equations! (Not wimpy college math types, but college math that most non-majors never take). So our plan is to give him a very accelerated curriculum and then get him into that school if he still wants to go. He will likely take some CLEP tests while in middle school, but taking CLEP tests is far different than going to college.

 

My middle child is actually more gifted than my oldest and is much more focused. She's only 6 though, so there's no way I'm skipping her yet. We use more advanced grades than first grade, but I still call her a first grader. She says she wants to be a doctor however. If that's still a goal later on, then I'd be willing to accelerate her through the grades faster since med school take so many years. (My oldest has always wanted to be an engineer, which there's plenty of time for that!) What I'll do later on is look for dual enrollement so she can get college and high school credit at the same time. Currently, she would have to be 16 to actually take courses there. But that's still 10 years away. So I'll worry about it later. Also, my oldest is advanced socially while my middle child has some social anxiety, so that's part of the reason why the magnet boarding school isn't on my radar for her yet. But that's a long time off, so maybe my feelings about it for her will change.

 

I encourage my children, but I don't want to push them into some dream I have for them. I want them to reach their full potential, but that doesn't mean they need to race through their childhood. Homeschooling works so well for gifted kids. In the public school system, they might have to skip grades - but that still doesn't really address them being gifted. A gifted child doesn't need to race through the content faster all of the time - but they need more involved curriculum. They need more application and analysis. As I found with my oldest, racing through the math worked well for him to a point. Then it stopped working. The average-student curriculum faster was no longer okay for him. A gifted student doesn't need a faster education and simply more content, but they need more higher level thinking skills and more detail.

Edited by kohlby
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Why try so hard to get a mediocre education faster?

 

:iagree:

 

I think a lot of it comes from the high cost of a college degree and the fact that many homeschool families are on one income. If they value the degree only as a means to an end, then it becomes the cheapest/fastest option to get their kids to a job.

 

That's probably the case. If money/jobs are the reason, then I'd say that the families may be a bit short-sighted. A profoundly gifted student capable of radical acceleration, i.e., accelerated to graduate from high school more than a year or two early, may also be capable of so much more than mediocrity in future employment, with or without high pay depending on the chosen field. Waiting until a more appropriate age, coupled with wise choices, will go a long way toward making the student competitive both for scholarships (hello $$$) and for admission to highly selective colleges.

 

There are a lot of ways to skin the college cat, especially if grad school will be involved, but for many students, radical acceleration and early college may rule out too many options, adding limits rather than opening doors. For a student potentially capable of admission to highly selective schools *if they wait until they're closer to the usual age*, early college might remove entire paths that they may never knew existed, paths that may be intellectually and/or financially very rewarding.

 

IMO, for many such students, the question instead ought to be, "What classes are available to us for moving his education forward and improving his application until he graduates around the usual age? What options are there besides graduating early?" My impression from the high school board is that there are more options now than ever.

Edited by wapiti
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