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Do you ever wonder how much of your kid being ahead is homeschooling?


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and how much is your kid?

 

My 5th grader finished pre-algebra 4 months ago.  We've been filling in gaps, doing competition math, reviewing, etc...since then.  I have to make a decision about the track to put him on because he is going back to school eventually.  He scored 96%ile on the 8th grade Stanford this year.  So based on those 2 items, he should be more than ready for algebra.  But I worry in a real classroom he couldn't handle the pace and volume of work.  I ask no more than 1hr10min of math from him on any day.  I help when he's confused, I hurry ahead when he finds it easy...

 

Maybe individual tutoring is different.  Has anyone ever placed their kid in a live math class, only to find out they weren't quite ready for what you thought they were ready for?

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  But I worry in a real classroom he couldn't handle the pace and volume of work.  I ask no more than 1hr10min of math from him on any day.  I help when he's confused, I hurry ahead when he finds it easy...

 

Don't kid yourself about "pace and volume" of work in ps. Basically he needs to develop a high tolerance for busy work.

You demand 1 hr 10 min of actual time on task. I highly doubt public school students get even close to that. 45 minutes to 1 hour of math daily is sufficient for my DS to work through AoPS.

 

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Do you ever wonder how much of your kid being ahead is homeschooling?

 

That is the point... right? I agree with Regentrude. We homeschool because our public schools can't handle DS7's needs. Some of that is academic... some of it is other issues.

 

Homeschooling isn't hothousing. It is just allowing his natural talents to express themselves. Academically he would be much further behind in our urban title 1 school with a 34 kid class size in K and 1st. He would be behind in my MiL's affluent district with 16 kids in K and 1st. Homeschooling can develop potential but that potential has to be there to begin with. Ideally the PS's would develop every child's potential to the fullest but that has not been our experience. So, yes your kid is ahead due to homeschooling but that is not a "problem" or something to feel guilty about.

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In my DD's case, she was ahead about the same % when she was still in PS. She still made major gains her one year in PS based on testing, despite very little done to allow her to learn at her own speed/level. We just skip the middleman now-instead of her having to do her real learning around a 6+ hour, 180 day/yr time sink, she's able to do it at her own speed.

 

I do think she's able to be more involved in specific projects than she would if she weren't homeschooled. She's in an online chat on preservation of endangered amphibian species right now with several PhDs in the field-doubt seriously that a PS would let her take time out of her school day to talk about newts, frogs, and salamanders.

 

 

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I always planned to send our oldest dd to private school but dd was determined to homeschool. Early on the conversation was about providing a good environment not necessarily meeting her academic needs because we didn't know that she would turn out to be PG in some areas. When she was a toddler I took her to work with me everyday in our family business. I started doing informal "lessons" with her when she was 2 or 3 because she expressed interest and I found that if I did something with her 2 or 3 times a day for 15 or 20 minutes she would play by herself for long stretches which allowed me to work. When she was well past K work before she turned 4 I realized homeschool was probably a better option than private school.

 

For the first few years of teaching her at home (probably age 2-5), if you asked me why she read early and easily, had exceptional verbal skills, etc I would have attributed most of that to providing a learning environment, homeschooling which allowed us to keep moving to the next thing when she mastered something, spending a lot of time with adults and resources. I knew she was "smart" but kind of assumed all kids could learn to read at 3 if they were taught properly.

 

Over the last few years through reading this board, interacting more with other local homeschool kids, testing for the talent searches and doing more research I've realized that dd's academic talent doesn't have much if anything to do with my teaching  :lol:  or the resources we've provided. She isn't ahead because we homeschool but if she were in ps or private school she would be working WAY behind her ability. 

 

That is a rather long, wordy way of saying...yes, early on I wondered if dd was just ahead because we homeschool and figured she was bright but most kids would thrive if given the same opportunities she has had. More recently I've discovered that my perspective is a bit skewed because my parents and siblings, most of my aunts and uncles, dh and several of our friends are probably either gifted or PG.  

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Has anyone ever placed their kid in a live math class, only to find out they weren't quite ready for what you thought they were ready for?

 

On the contrary, we placed him in an advanced live class that was supposed to be highly challenging and have discovered that it is still too easy for him. 

 

I think some of the being ahead is due to homeschooling because of the flexibility that homeschooling offers more than anything else. He would not have been able to work on three or four math courses at one time if he was in public or private school for example. But the very reason he is doing so much math at once is because he was already very ahead before we started and the prerequisites come so naturally, he doesn't need months to cover them etc. It's just the way he thinks and the way he is. Homeschooling helps keep some of the worrying anxiety at bay too...he starts exhibiting that whenever the challenge is insufficient and the pattern has been repeated too many times for it to be coincidence. Homeschooling is helping him continue to love learning and basically just be himself.

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I have to make a decision about the track to put him on because he is going back to school eventually.

  ....

  But I worry in a real classroom he couldn't handle the pace and volume of work.  I ask no more than 1hr10min of math from him on any day.  I help when he's confused, I hurry ahead when he finds it easy...

 

My older was ahead in B&M and is still ahead.  My younger has never been to a B&M but I assume it would be similar for him.  So schooling at home in our case since we use an online public school has no effect on their pace.

 

Why do you have to make a decision about the track to put him on? Are there different tracks for your child's middle school? I know my kid's neighborhood public middle school has an option for Algebra in 7th grade but not for 6th grade if that is what you mean by track.

 

Pace would be okay, it is quite slow.  Volume of busy work may be more or in some case very little work; that depends on the teacher. However help is almost never immediate so if he is confused, chances are he would be bringing the confusion home.  Unfortunately you go at the teacher's pace so no hurrying ahead when done.   Depending on the teacher, you can always doodle or do your homework while the teacher teach the "easy" stuff.

 

If you are worried about how your child may cope in a live math class, check out your community colleges for classes like Algebra review summer class for middle school kids.  Here the community colleges have summer classes that are for middle school and high school kids as one of their revenue stream. 

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I do often see kids who are not gifted but merely garden-variety bright getting slightly ahead in a HS setting. I will hear parents brag about how their children are "gifted" because they are 1 or 2 grades accelerated (and these children are not showing any indication of "out-of-the-box" thinking or other signs of giftedness). I roll my eyes inwardly but don't say anything other than a general comment about how great it is that HSing allows us to tailor education to the individual student. Basically these are the kids who would've been on the honors track if schools here still did tracking before 11th grade.

 

HSing allows kids to work at the proper challenge level in a way that is very difficult in a mixed-ability classroom. So it's good for the truly gifted, the garden-variety bright, and struggling students. Pretty much anyone who is outside the mid-range, whether by a little or a lot.

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I do often see kids who are not gifted but merely garden-variety bright getting slightly ahead in a HS setting. I will hear parents brag about how their children are "gifted" because they are 1 or 2 grades accelerated (and these children are not showing any indication of "out-of-the-box" thinking or other signs of giftedness). I roll my eyes inwardly but don't say anything other than a general comment about how great it is that HSing allows us to tailor education to the individual student. Basically these are the kids who would've been on the honors track if schools here still did tracking before 11th grade.

 

 

I find this whole distinction between gifted and "merely bright" to be tiresome. I think it unfairly contributes to the insecurities of some parents and the egotism of others. I like the accelerated board title because it nicely avoids that issue.

 

For instance, we were discussing DS7 and his math work and his acceleration needs the other night. DW states that she doesn't see DS having any uncommon needs because he seems similar to her in his level of math understanding at that age. Now, DW is less mathy than me. She is less mathy than any of her siblings including her brother the music professor. She is less mathy than various close friends including the law school dean, etc, etc. So, I then point out that she was on her state's ARML team... she waffles and says yes but she was never "really" good at math. I understand :) I grew up in NC in the '80's. Lenny Ng was at every math meet I attended. It is easy to have an unrealistic comparison group.

 

I would respect parents who self identify their kids as gifted. Are they profoundly gifted... probably not. But 2 grade levels above normal is still impressive. I've seen more parents who are in denial about their gifted kids than I've seen parents who are pushing their kids too hard.

 

 

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I'm not trying to insult people by somehow saying your kids aren't as bright as you think they are.

 

Yes, by homeschooling we have been able to work at the correct pace for ds...this has put him ahead of where he would be in ps and where he *should* be.  But DS tested just run of the mill gifted in kindergarten, and while I don't put much stock in the accuracy of IQ tests from one day to the next, he is not pg.  On the other hand, his Explore scores imply otherwise...I attribute that partly to homeschooling and partly to the imprecision of IQ testing.

 

I am concerned, as Arcadia said, with his ability to cope at an accelerated math level when he goes back into school.  Two issues: 1)  non-personalized pacing...he is a perfectionist and gets frustrated when it's not easy, and 2) as homeschoolers we have the opportunity to go full steam ahead and say, "well if they hit a wall in 3 years, we will deal with that when it happens." But once you are on a math track at school, it's hard to stop!  I really should put him in a class, if I can find an appropriate one, but I don't know if the money is available right now.  So I guess I'm just wondering if anyone has seen this be a problem.  He's totally ready to start Algebra (in some ways we've already begun).  But I could contemplate a year of number theory or something.

 

Brownie

 

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I find this whole distinction between gifted and "merely bright" to be tiresome. I think it unfairly contributes to the insecurities of some parents and the egotism of others. I like the accelerated board title because it nicely avoids that issue.

 

There is a qualitiative difference between being bright and being gifted. Oldest DD is a bright math student, but she is not gifted in that domain. She is a bit accelerated but scores very average when it comes to math contests she's done and her SAT math this year was okay but fell far short of qualifying her for any kind of award. She doesn't intutively figure out math concepts without being taught the way kids who are gifted in math do. And that's okay. She'll have good enough math skills to do pretty much anything she wants as an adult. Just because she's not a genius in math does not mean that she or I should feel badly about that fact.

 

I could write something similar for DS and language arts. He is bright but not gifted in that domain. And that's okay as well.

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 But DS tested just run of the mill gifted in kindergarten, and while I don't put much stock in the accuracy of IQ tests from one day to the next, he is not pg.  On the other hand, his Explore scores imply otherwise...I attribute that partly to homeschooling and partly to the imprecision of IQ testing.

 

Oldest DD does better on math achievement tests like the EXPLORE and an above-level ITBS than her non-verbal IQ, non-verbal CogAT, and math contest scores would indicate. I chalk that up to a solid math curriculum (Right Start, then Singapore). She can learn the math concepts but she is not intuitively "mathy".

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There is a qualitiative difference between being bright and being gifted. Oldest DD is a bright math student, but she is not gifted in that domain. She is a bit accelerated but scores very average when it comes to math contests she's done and her SAT math this year was okay but fell far short of qualifying her for any kind of award. She doesn't intutively figure out math concepts without being taught the way kids who are gifted in math do. And that's okay. She'll have good enough math skills to do pretty much anything she wants as an adult. Just because she's not a genius in math does not mean that she or I should feel badly about that fact.

 

I could write something similar for DS and language arts. He is bright but not gifted in that domain. And that's okay as well.

 

I'd agree with this for my kids.  They are very bright, and they were bored in ps, and they are somewhat accelerated because of the ability to work at their own pace and the one-on-one attention, but they aren't "gifted" in the sense of being radically accelerated or even particularly asynchronous or off-the-charts the way a lot of the poster's kids here are.  But I appreciate having a place where it's no biggie - I can ask questions and get support even though my kids may be "just" accelerated but not gifted.  Reading about some of y'all's kids doesn't make me feel inadequate or that my kids are inadequate - frankly, I sometimes feel lucky!  Mine are a little easier to keep up with than some of yours are!  ;)  :D

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I think yes and no. We don't homeschool, but I do supplement. DS is one of the smartest people I have ever met, and I know some smart people. We have tried to provide a varied and enriching environment. If I never got the books he would still have taught himself to read at the grocery store, but he would not have been exposed to literature, for example.

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Yes, I wonder how normal my son would be if he wasn't homeschooled. I think he is accelerated only because he is homeschooled. It is because of homeschool that we have time to read, study ALL his interests in depth, and work through his problems instead of the "oh, times up, let's move on". People try telling me my son is gifted and giving him all this credit but the reality is his learning environment is pretty ideal. I think most kids could do what he does, he is NOT gifted but accelerated.

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I would not worry about the math being too much work if he is used to spending over an hour a day on math.

 

A few weeks ago, my (not gifted) daughter commented that she preferred school days over snow days, because "we do less math in school than at home."  I wasn't sure exactly how to feel about that.  :P

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I think it's also that what is "Ahead" really depends on context. One of my friends commented that "I don't think many 8 yr olds are reading Charlotte's Web". I suspect, for PS, in the city schools she's right, and in that setting, her 8 yr old would be ahead. In my suburb, probably the top 25% or so at that reading level or higher by the end of 2nd grade.  And on this board, a lot of us WISH our kids would be happy with Charlotte's Web at age 8, because it would make our lives a lot easier.

 

I haven't put my DD in online math classes except for the first eIMACS one, which she liked, but didn't love enough to want to keep doing them. I think that if she tried a class that actually had discussion and interaction, she might like it more-she loves online classes in other disciplines, and I've noticed that writing assignments that would get all sorts of push-back if I were to assign them are done without complaint, fuss or fuming if they're assigned for an online class, because she knows that doing the work is a requirement to be allowed to keep doing the classes.  I expect that if I found the right math class that filled a need for her, she'd probably enjoy that, too. Frankly, the big thing that's kept me from trying AOPS is that I have this nagging fear in the back of my mind that maybe she COULD do it-and I'm not sure I want to know! Besides, I like having a subject we're doing together and that she still seems to need me for, even if it's only someone to talk through her answers with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My kids fall along these parameters, too - I consider them bright, but not gifted. They DO have time to pursue their own interests, and they ARE ahead of ps schedules, but - I think that MOST kids could do that if given the excellent chance that homeschooling does give them. (Maybe not, I don't want to be dogmatic; just random thoughts I've pondered over the years).

 

 

 

I'd agree with this for my kids.  They are very bright, and they were bored in ps, and they are somewhat accelerated because of the ability to work at their own pace and the one-on-one attention, but they aren't "gifted" in the sense of being radically accelerated or even particularly asynchronous or off-the-charts the way a lot of the poster's kids here are.  But I appreciate having a place where it's no biggie - I can ask questions and get support even though my kids may be "just" accelerated but not gifted.  Reading about some of y'all's kids doesn't make me feel inadequate or that my kids are inadequate - frankly, I sometimes feel lucky!  Mine are a little easier to keep up with than some of yours are!  ;)  :D

 

 

Yes, I wonder how normal my son would be if he wasn't homeschooled. I think he is accelerated only because he is homeschooled. It is because of homeschool that we have time to read, study ALL his interests in depth, and work through his problems instead of the "oh, times up, let's move on". People try telling me my son is gifted and giving him all this credit but the reality is his learning environment is pretty ideal. I think most kids could do what he does, he is NOT gifted but accelerated.

 

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For my oldest it's both because he's homeschooled, and because he's gifted. He was not allowed to advance when he was in school, because he had poor verbal and reading skills. At home he can move ahead in math and his sciences while we continue to work at his English skills at his own pace. It's given him the freedom to be ahead where he is able to.

 

For my youngest he would've been advanced regardless, he just is allowed to continue being a little kid and be accelerated when he's at home, instead of being shoved into a class with kids that didn't want him there because of his emotional maturity, his inability to sit still, and his age.

 

My dd is advanced only because she is homeschooled. She would be at the top of her class in school, but is a few points too low for them to consider allowing her to move up a grade.

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I can't imagine a kid who wouldn't progress faster with the kind of individualized instruction homeschooling provides; given that the statistics everyone likes to quote say homeschoolers score x number of points higher on standardized tests (although I wonder if those are controlled for race, etc.?), it seems clear that homeschooling is at least partially responsible for some advancement.

 

 

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I also find the distinction between garden variety brightness and giftedness a bit blurry.

 

My scores and natural ability in math when I was in high school and earlier would have indicated giftedness; I wasn't gifted at math.  I was what I think you would call garden variety bright (in qualitative terms), but enough so to look on paper like someone with a gift.  That blurriness leads me to distrust the distinction as an absolute or as a particularly useful thing.

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I would think the answer will depend on what is available locally. In my DD's case, in major subjects, she really isn't all that much farther ahead than she'd have been if I'd accepted her IEP vs pulling her because her IEP called for her to go to a 2/3 split class as a 3rd grader at age 5, with enrichment in math and language arts. If she'd continued on that path, she'd be in 7th grade classes for core next fall, plus enrichment, assuming no further acceleration.

 

Really, she's within a grade level of that next year at home-in math, she's probably a year ahead, since Algebra 1 is typically not offered until 8th grade for the top group here. LA, that's about where I'd peg her writing skills, so that's reasonable. The only areas she's substantially ahead of that is Latin, which her school wouldn't offer in middle school, and science, which has everything to do with her having time to do research, and I'd be hard pressed to put her in a grade level at all.

 

If you compare her to what most kids her AGE are doing in PS, then yes, she's ahead of where she'd be because she's HSed-but if you compare her to what she'd have been doing on that long-ago IEP proposal, it's not that far off. What I DO believe she's ahead on is that I'm pretty sure she's happier emotionally and socially as an accelerated homeschooled kid who spends time socially with kids who share her interests and does physical activities with kids her age, vs being stuck all day, every day, with kids who are 3+ years older than she is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I think homeschooling could be the cause of the acceleration if the parent is providing scaffolding in time management, focus, attention, paper management etc. I have done this for my younger because he could do the math but did not have the study skills.  My thought is that his executive function skills will play catch up with slow, persistent effort on my part to teach him.  However, if I were to put him into school now, he would not be able to handle a standard math class because he could not *manage* the situation. 

 

Ruth in NZ

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I think homeschooling could be the cause of the acceleration if the parent is providing scaffolding in time management, focus, attention, paper management etc. I have done this for my younger because he could do the math but did not have the study skills. My thought is that his executive function skills will play catch up with slow, persistent effort on my part to teach him. However, if I were to put him into school now, he would not be able to handle a standard math class because he could not *manage* the situation.

 

Ruth in NZ

This is how I feel! Baby steps. :lol:

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My DD is younger than most of yours, but I KNOW her "acceleration" is because of hs'ing, along with her long attention span and love of learning, rather than any giftedness. She's bright and picks things up easily, perhaps is moderately gifted verbally because she tells/writes amazing stories and says some pretty profound things (although that might all just be because of her love of books), but in general her creativity is just average. She started counting with meaning before 2 and sounding out words at 2.5, was working at a late-K level in LA and math at 3, and I fostered that because it was so fun and exciting for both of us. (Since then I've slowed her down a bit.) But if I hadn't taught her math concepts early on and read to her for hours a day, nurtured those early skills, there's no way she would have gotten anywhere near where she ended up. If I continue to hs and foster academics, she'll probably accelerate even further...I don't know what that would mean though if/when she's brought into ps...If she were gifted I'm sure she'd continue to accelerate on her own, but without my attention my "just bright" DD might just fall back into being in the top 5% for grade.

 

But I agree with PPs that the differentiation between gifted and accelerated is in general pretty unnecessary when it comes to hs'ing. (PS'ing is a different matter.) A reasonably bright kid who is determined and loves learning will be more successful academically than a gifted child who has all the ability but no drive.

 

(ETA: Another interesting, unrelated question I've pondered is whether IQ-type tests can prove giftedness in young children...I don't see any reason to have my DD take an IQ test, but she's doing analogies and other CTC logic/thinking skills books well above grade level. Because of that she'd probably score high for IQ, but it's probably only be because she has the attention span for it, thinks the problems are fun and so was exposed at a relatively early age.)

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I think the bulk of it is who the kid is.  Homeschooling just provides a more optimal environment for learning.  

 

Most homeschooled students are performing close to grade-level and that isn't because those homeschooling parents aren't great at homeschooling.

 

I have a highly/profoundly gifted kid who isn't very much ahead.  What does that say about me as a teacher? lol  Yes, my kids keep me humble.

 

"Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and no theories." - John Wilmot

 

 

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Another interesting, unrelated question I've pondered is whether IQ-type tests can prove giftedness in young children...I don't see any reason to have my DD take an IQ test, but she's doing analogies and other CTC logic/thinking skills books well above grade level. Because of that she'd probably score high for IQ, but it's probably only be because she has the attention span for it, thinks the problems are fun and so was exposed at a relatively early age.)

 

I think early IQ tests CAN be accurate, but they aren't always. If you look at the verbal IQ on the WPPSI my oldest took at age 4, you could use it to accurately predict the CogAT verbal scores she got in 2nd, the EXPLORE reading & English scores she got in 3rd, and the SAT verbal score she got in 6th. But she was a very compliant child and plenty of preschoolers are not.

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I think it's *all* homeschooling and having a compliant, easy going kid. He took the OLSAT at age 4 and bombed it, but he is also on track to finish prealgebra (whatever that is) by mid 5th grade, etc.

 I personally believe the vast percentage of this gifted thing is parent involvement and acceleration, whether at home or at school. File that under "unpopular opinions".

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I think it's *all* homeschooling and having a compliant, easy going kid. He took the OLSAT at age 4 and bombed it, but he is also on track to finish prealgebra (whatever that is) by mid 5th grade, etc.

 I personally believe the vast percentage of this gifted thing is parent involvement and acceleration, whether at home or at school. File that under "unpopular opinions".

 

 

There is a fairly strong genetic component to intelligence; they've done studies on identical twins raised apart, etc.  I'm not sure how there could so obviously be a genetic component to the way your muscles develop, or how tall you become, or what diseases you're predisposed to, and somehow evolution could have just not affected the brain at all.

 

I think (although I haven't done any research about it) that acceleration is probably more related to parent involvement and interaction (and the child's personality - some kids just love school, others don't, regardless of amount of Brain) than pure intelligence is.

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I think homeschooling could be the cause of the acceleration if the parent is providing scaffolding in time management, focus, attention, paper management etc. I have done this for my younger because he could do the math but did not have the study skills. My thought is that his executive function skills will play catch up with slow, persistent effort on my part to teach him. However, if I were to put him into school now, he would not be able to handle a standard math class because he could not *manage* the situation.

 

Ruth in NZ

Beautifully said. Even though my dd4 is very young (with a Dec bday so not technically eligible for Kindy until 2015) we have been looking at a part-time possibility within the public school system.

But they have suggested starting a year early and allowing her to move to 3rd grade math with private LA instruction...and I KNOW that even though she will sit at the table with me and work long division problems, or play with geometry concepts for as long as I can handle it? Absolutely no way in hades could she sit at a desk in a classroom with kids twice her age and work.

I also think it would be temporary at best as she would not cooperate with spending weeks learning something.

 

So, definitely a mix between ability/HS opportunity leading to acceleration. At home I have the ability to let her run full speed ahead in any area (especially math, science and LA), but will also be able to pull back and revisit much more challenging and in-depth variations of elementary math when she gains a bit of maturity for extended problem solving. That would not be possible without homeschooling.

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I think it's also that what is "Ahead" really depends on context. One of my friends commented that "I don't think many 8 yr olds are reading Charlotte's Web". I suspect, for PS, in the city schools she's right, and in that setting, her 8 yr old would be ahead. In my suburb, probably the top 25% or so at that reading level or higher by the end of 2nd grade. And on this board, a lot of us WISH our kids would be happy with Charlotte's Web at age 8, because it would make our lives a lot easier.

 

This totally made me laugh, because I absolutely think I have completely skewed expectations of what is 'normal' from the majority of even 'bright' public school students. My dd is an only, and most of my outside contacts for information come from this board.

I honestly try VERY HARD not to mention or talk about anything remotely academic in casual conversations at places such as gymnastics, swim or piano lessons, especially not the 6 hr/week play school my dd went to. But it is virtually impossible to carry on the vaguest of conversations without a slip of some sort, either by me or my daughter when chimes in.

Oh, but I have high hopes! At age 4, virtually none of her peers are reading or doing math the same way...I keep telling myself that in the next couple of years all of those kids will be reading and doing math, and learning a multitude of scientific facts, etc., and the difference will not be nearly as evident. Surely.

 

(Please don't pop my bubble of denial at least for a whole longer, lol!)

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 I personally believe the vast percentage of this gifted thing is parent involvement and acceleration, whether at home or at school. File that under "unpopular opinions".

 

You haven't seen my ds at math.  Yes, I did not hold him back.  And yes, I did provide challenging materials. But there is no way that a generally bright kid could do what he can do even with heaps of parent involvement and acceleration. 

 

Recently, he has been 'holding court' before his martial arts class (an adult class).  There is a white board, and he puts up a problem and counters all the suggestions and arguments about how to solve it.  My dh who attends told me that he has 1 computer scientist, 3 engineers, and a bunch of sheepish university students arguing with a 13 year old.  It is just not parent involvement and acceleration, unpopular opinion or not. :001_smile:

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I think it's *all* homeschooling and having a compliant, easy going kid. He took the OLSAT at age 4 and bombed it, but he is also on track to finish prealgebra (whatever that is) by mid 5th grade, etc.

 I personally believe the vast percentage of this gifted thing is parent involvement and acceleration, whether at home or at school. File that under "unpopular opinions".

 

Ruth has said it better than I could. But I liked your comment all the same because I always appreciate forthright opinions. :laugh: And I also noted you said "vast percentage" and not "all" lol. I'm feeling cheeky and curious and wondering what you think vast percentage is equal to. :laugh:

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I am concerned, as Arcadia said, with his ability to cope at an accelerated math level when he goes back into school.  Two issues: 1)  non-personalized pacing...he is a perfectionist and gets frustrated when it's not easy, and 2) as homeschoolers we have the opportunity to go full steam ahead and say, "well if they hit a wall in 3 years, we will deal with that when it happens." But once you are on a math track at school, it's hard to stop!  I really should put him in a class, if I can find an appropriate one, but I don't know if the money is available right now.  So I guess I'm just wondering if anyone has seen this be a problem.  He's totally ready to start Algebra (in some ways we've already begun).  But I could contemplate a year of number theory or something.

 

 

I hope it works out well whatever happens. Is there a way to simulate what might happen? Like Arcadia suggested? Or putting together a free MOOC class for him in math or another subject to see how he does under pressure? Do you know for sure that the pace is going to be accelerated too? Can you speak to some parents at the school? Depending on the curriculum you are using for algebra/ number theory, chances are he might be more bored than behind. But that extra year of number theory or counting/ probability might be amazing for him in any case. I know that the bunny trails we've taken have always been helpful. Good luck!

 

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This is such an interesting thread to me. I have 3 kids that are so completely different. My son has always struggled in school, is doing weekly language/educational therapy for comprehension/inference issues, and has a great memory and is amazing with facts. There is no giftedness or acceleration with him (it's also our first year homeschooling, and I won't say working with him isn't a struggle.) My middle child has sensory processing disorder and she is thriving with homeschooling. Any acceleration with her (which there will be in specific areas, and not in others- I can already see that) will be purely because of homeschooling. She would not do well in a typical school environment at all, and would probably struggle because of frustration etc. Then there is my youngest. She has been noticeably "different" since birth. Literally since birth. There have been things that she has done so incredibly early, and literally everywhere we go someone comments on her.  

 

I didn't think much of it until several people asked me if she was gifted. I always say she is just trying to keep up with her older siblings. She does school work with my 6 year old, and also has her own (although what I have her doing on her own is a bit too "easy" for her, I mainly have it because I can have my son or daughter do that with her while I am working with the other individually with their schooling etc.)  I think that I will be homeschooling my youngest because of her need for acceleration, whether it be giftedness or not. She does not like being around kids her age AT ALL (she thinks they are too babyish and gets frustrated that they can't discuss things with her) and she has some quirkiness about her that I can't really explain. She does things that one would consider "strange" for her age, but the way she processes things and really understands concepts that even my older children don't really understand..Really, there is too much to really get into in a post, but I don't think that giftedness is because of being homeschooled. I think that will happen whether you are encouraging it or not. 

 

I was "gifted" and always bored in my extremely rigorous private school. I remember distinctly waiting to turn in tests/work to the teacher until other kids in my class finished because I didn't want her to think I was rushing and I felt I must be doing something wrong since it was taking everyone else *so* long to do the "easy" work that we were doing. I never studied or had any issues other than always wondering what was wrong with ME. There is so much more to it, and I am enjoying reading everyone's perspectives. Whether a child is just bright or gifted..well, I think homeschooling gives the child an opportunity to really flourish and gives them opportunities that they wouldn't otherwise have in a typical public school (or even private school) environment. But I don't think giftedness is BECAUSE of homeschooling. 

 

 

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I do not think my child is gifted because I homeschool but I know she would not have been allowed to be as accelerated as she is if I did not homeschool her. I experienced a school attempting to "hold back" my ds when he was young which led me to the decision to begin homeschooling in the first place. 

 

I have three very different kids. Take reading, for example...though the same theme runs through the majority of my experiences with my own kids. My oldest loved books. As a baby/toddler, he would sit and look at books on his own or listen to me read for hours. I taught him to read using 100 EZ lessons when he was 3-4yo because he asked to learn. My middle ds had no interest in books either reading or being read to. He might listen to a story while he played on the floor close by and be able to tell me what happened but he hadn't looked at the pictures and would never grab a book on his own or ask me to read to him. I tried a number of reading programs with him from about 4-5yo on but none "worked." He didn't learn to read until 6.5yo. My youngest had a similar love of reading as her oldest brother. She memorized books when she was extremely young and they were her favorite things to carry around even if they didn't have pictures. I did not do any reading program with her but she brought me a chapter book one day at 3yo and read it to me fluently with different voices for the quotes. Each learned in their own way and in their own time. I provided the same rich environment to all three with lots of books around the house, reading to them often, playing games with letters, and reading my own books in front of them.

 

I think parents can scaffold for their child but the child is not going to be able to take advantage of it unless/until they are mentally capable and interested enough to do it. Certain early skills can be "drilled" especially in a cooperative child but the higher level thinking skills cannot...which may be why people talk about children hitting a wall or other kids "catching up." Early ability to use higher level thinking skills than peers is indicative of giftedness whereas skills such as early reading or lack of early reading may not be indicative of much.

 

On the other side of the issue, I work with developmentally delayed children. I teach parents ways to set up their environment, exercises, play activities, positioning, etc… to help their child learn to walk, for example. I can work with different children with similar muscle tone or diagnoses for the same number of months with the same exercises/activities and have wonderful parents who follow with the same enthusiasm but one child might learn to walk at 18 months while another is over 2yo. Sometimes the most involved parents have the most delayed children and it isn't due to lack of helping them.

 

Genetics, personality, and motivation play a huge role just as they do in the gifted and typical populations. 

 

Kerileanne99, I think differences are not as easily noticed when kids get older. A 3yo reading signs in a store, especially a tiny one, stands out to people whereas a reading 7yo does not. Most 7yo's are reading and, unless they are walking around carrying a novel, no one is going to notice what level material they are reading. When they are older, unless another parent talks to your child in depth (and your child is a talker) or you discuss what level math they are doing (which is easy to avoid in the wrong company), they are not going to get a full understanding of how much knowledge your child has on a particular subject or the way they think about things. 

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You haven't seen my ds at math.  Yes, I did not hold him back.  And yes, I did provide challenging materials. But there is no way that a generally bright kid could do what he can do even with heaps of parent involvement and acceleration. 

 

Recently, he has been 'holding court' before his martial arts class (an adult class).  There is a white board, and he puts up a problem and counters all the suggestions and arguments about how to solve it.  My dh who attends told me that he has 1 computer scientist, 3 engineers, and a bunch of sheepish university students arguing with a 13 year old.  It is just not parent involvement and acceleration, unpopular opinion or not. :001_smile:

 

What I'm starting to notice is that some kids "dream" and some "do". That is, some kids have interests that they may enjoy a bit, but they're content to leave the serious, focused work in the future. They may want to be a  mathematician "someday", but they aren't one now.

 

Others "do". From their POV, the future is now, and it's what they eat, breathe, sleep, and live. Your son isn't going to be a mathematician "someday". He is one. He'll still grow, mature, and develop in his craft throughout his career, because that's what professionals do-but he is already, in pretty much every sense of the word except for the financial one, a professional.

 

 

I firmly believe "do-ers" have to be born, not made-and every parent I know with a "do-er" pretty much is just trying to keep up with their child and is hanging on, by the skin of their teeth, as amazed as everyone else.

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He took the OLSAT at age 4 and bombed it

 

This goes back to the issue of early IQ tests being hit-or-miss in terms of accuracy. My DH bombed an early IQ test as a kid but came out very high on one later on and graduated valedictorian of the prep school he attended, made National Merit Finalist, studied engineering at Stanford, etc.

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I think "many/most" homeschoolers can be ahead if they want to simply because they get to work (close to) one-on-one with their parents/s. Regardless of LOG, parental involvement is the number one success factor in any education, public, private, or home. So having parents that care enough about their kids' education to take it on themselves is bound to produce the best outcome (so long as the parents are competent). So if a parent wants to take the time to push ahead and maximize their kids' education, they can. Public school just doesn't pop out kids who have been really challenged in most cases.

 

But when you add in high LOGs to the mix, it is even a more pronounced acceleration. There is NO way a public school could accommodate the type and amount of acceleration DS needs. Socially it wouldn't work, emotional maturity wise it would bomb. DS is ahead not only because of his LOG but because I can help him by scribing for him when his hands are tired, bounding ahead in his strengths and pushing hard for his weaknesses to catch up (handwriting). That is something a school wouldn't be able to do. So he might be board but advanced in math but probably only two years at most.

 

So yes, I think most kids could be ahead if their moms wanted to push a year or maybe two because you can cover more and do more when you aren't waiting for an entire class to catch on and be on task. But when a high LOG comes into place a homeschool is really almost the only place that fully allows that mind to evolve at the pace it is capable of.

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 My son has always struggled in school, is doing weekly language/educational therapy for comprehension/inference issues, and has a great memory and is amazing with facts. There is no giftedness or acceleration with him (it's also our first year homeschooling, and I won't say working with him isn't a struggle.)

 

There's a famous quote about "twice exceptional" (gifted + learning disabled) kids about them having their head in the oven and their feet in the freezer but it averaging out to room temperature. So I wouldn't write off a child as not gifted simply because he has an area of struggle.

 

I've got one confirmed and two suspected 2E kids. One has her giftedness masking the LD's so that she scores in the low-normal range in the weak area. The other has her LD's masking the giftedness to the extent where she cannot be tested for IQ because she's not verbal nor cooperative enough yet.

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Crimson Wife- You are right about that. I guess I should have stated there is no giftedness in the typical sense, and acceleration of work, etc. I have heard of 2E (I'm still in the process of reading about all of this, trying to learn what I can.) He is definitely a sensitive kid that has his quirks as well. We are in the process of getting him a full social/emotional/educational evaluations. There is a lot going on and we all want to figure it out so we can know exactly how we can help and different ways we can encourage him to flourish on his level for exactly what he needs.

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Well, my oldest was in school at first, and he was ahead in math and reading without having been taught by me or the school. So homeschooling didn't do that. Homeschooling did allow him to work through all the material to get to AoPS Prealgebra in 4th grade without having holes in elementary math skills, but I don't think that just any homeschooled child would be capable of doing that. The average homeschooled child I know locally is working steadily through Saxon 5/4 at that age, and I mean "working", not flying through it like kids on this board do.

 

My middle son has only been homeschooled, and while he's ahead in math, he's behind in reading and writing. So doesn't that kind of kill the "homeschooling will cause acceleration" statistics? :tongue_smilie: I've worked with him since he had just turned 4, and he still isn't reading ahead of grade level. In fact, I think he's slightly below grade level, despite being "old for his grade" (turned 7 in November). I have no clue if he's gifted, 2e, or something else.

 

My youngest son has only been homeschooled... Well, technically, he hasn't started homeschooling. ;) He's accelerated in reading and writing, but only slightly accelerated in math. I'd say he's probably fairly average in math at the moment. His reading and writing though? They have nothing to do with me. I hardly ever teach him anything. He picks stuff up on his own. He is whipping through Magic Tree House books these days, reading aloud quietly (doesn't read in his head yet) very quickly with proper elocution. It's pretty neat. He'll be 5 next week. Again though, it has nothing to do with me. He's a smart critter. He just figured things out. His math is simply starting math a year early, but his reading ability is natural ability. Most 4 year olds just aren't ready to zip through Magic Tree House books, no matter how much reading instruction they've had. There are developmental hurdles to overcome. This is a normal thing on THIS board, being a board of mostly gifted kids, but it's not normal in the general population, even amongst homeschooled kids. When I talk to IRL homeschoolers, most of their 5 year olds are not reading that well yet, despite the parents reading to them a lot, using a phonics program, etc, etc. I know a lot of average homeschoolers, and their kids may test better than the average public schoolers, but they aren't light years ahead or anything like that. Mostly they plug along at grade level in everything. They may read more often than the average public schooled student (because they have more time to do so, plus the family culture of reading and learning), but they aren't doing Algebra in 5th grade or anything like that. They are average students getting to work a tiny bit ahead because it's one-on-one, but not drastically ahead like the gifted students on this board do.

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I personally believe the vast percentage of this gifted thing is parent involvement and acceleration, whether at home or at school. File that under "unpopular opinions".

If only that were the case. My life would sure be much easier, since I wouldn't be homeschooling at all.

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If only that were the case. My life would sure be much easier, since I wouldn't be homeschooling at all.

 

I noticed with the adults in my extended family that they all wound up in a very similar place despite some of them having had excellent schooling (elite prep schools) and others having mediocre schooling. So I do think that a gifted kid can often make up for the deficiencies of his/her K-12 education. But just because a hardy flower can still bloom in the cracks of concrete does not mean that it wouldn't be better off in a garden nourished by rich soil.

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So I do think that a gifted kid can often make up for the deficiencies of his/her K-12 education. But just because a hardy flower can still bloom in the cracks of concrete does not mean that it wouldn't be better off in a garden nourished by rich soil.

 

There are studies to this effect, I believe.

 

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I started to read through the thread, but there are just too many replies.

 

My answer is a definitive no. I have a fairly large sample of kids that have advanced enough through K12 or graduated to state without hesitation that my kids are not advanced due to homeschooling but innate ability that homeschooling has allowed them to utilize. My kids that are advanced are advanced. My kids that aren't, aren't. Pretty much sums it up. I don't teach any of them differently. So pretty much cause and effect is eliminated. :)

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