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grade skipping and testing


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My son is 10 (11 at the end of August) and finishing "5th" grade.  He went to Kindergarten at 4.5 at a private school but has been home schooled since then.  He works at a higher grade levels and the standardized tests are always 99% and above so this year I gave him the 6th grade test-ITBS.  He had a composite of 97 but finally it didn't show 99 on everything.  My oldest is 12.5 and was finishing 6th grade this year also.  I have hesitated in the past to talk grade levels much because she struggles with him passing her by in everything despite him being 2 years old.  Anyways I just have them work at their levels but should I say he is going into 7th grade and have him take the 7th grade test next year?  I guess I am asking if there is a disadvantage of moving him up?  Or maybe no more standardized tests until he finishes algebra then let him take the SAT and go from there?  

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I'd have him take the EXPLORE (or whatever replaces it) next year if you need a test, since it will tell you more, or wait for 7th and do the ACT or SAT. I don't see any benefit in grade level testing for a kid who is going to hit ceilings.

 

I have chosen not to officially skip DD again-she is accelerated by one grade because that was how PS tried to accommodate her. She's going into 7th on paper, but could as easily be going into 10th or 11th based on what she's doing. Since right now she doesn't want to graduate early, I'd rather not force the issue.

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Thanks dmmetler!  I don't have to test in our state but we have every other year.  So you are recommending not to skip him?  He would like to start college as soon as possible and is already looking at requirements.  

Edited by Mykids2000
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The decision to grade skip would be unrelated to an annual standardized test.  A grade skip is unnecessary for a homeschooled student if the family can offer instruction at the correct challenge level.  Ultimately, a grade skip for a homeschooled student would only mean graduating a year early and IMO it is too soon to make such a decision.  If the student is to attend public school in elementary, that would present a different question.

 

Advanced students can demonstrate greater achievement during high school which makes such students more competitive for selective college admissions and for scholarships.  Reducing that opportunity to demonstrate greater achievement would be a disadvantage of grade-skipping.

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Unless you are comfortable with graduating him early, and he wants to graduate early, I wouldn't. Not as long as you're homeschooling. It's different if you are in a school setting, where being in 7th vs 6th makes a difference as far as what is offered. Just keep records for high school content as though you were planning to count it for high school. You can always adjust later if you have those records and he decides that he's ready to graduate early. And, even in school settings, acceleration into a grade level with a sibling often isn't recommended (it's one of the things specifically looked for on the Iowa Acceleration scale).

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Thank you both!  That confirms what I had been thinking!  No advantage while homeschooling and possibly several disadvantages!  I wasn't just considering it based on test scores but I didn't put that in the OP.  Thanks!

Edited by Mykids2000
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If your son is interested in AMC8/10/12 (math), grade skipping now would be to his disadvantage though because it means he would age out grade level wise earlier.

 

I believe the middle school science contests works the same way going by grade level cutoffs as well as age.

 

If he is interested in going to college early, you can always decide later. Just keep good records. For example my state allows high school credits for world language and for math from 7th grade to be counted for applying to state universities. So I will be keeping records for my DS11 who is going into 7th in fall.

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Thanks dmmetler!  I don't have to test in our state but we have every other year.  So you are recommending not to skip him?  He would like to start college as soon as possible and is already looking at requirements.  

Why?   (And what I'm hearing is "he wants to leave for college as soon as possible"--he can always enroll for college classes in high school while homeschooling.)

 

Do *you* want him to start (leave for) college as soon as possible?    I'm not sure an 11 year old understands what it's like to be 2-4 years younger than everyone else around him and away from home.  

Edited by tiuzzol2
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If you are not required to test, I would simply not test since I see no benefit in it.

 

The concept of a "grade skip" makes no sense to me in a  homeschool setting. You educate the kid at the level that is appropriate for him.

 

Edited by regentrude
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If you are not required to test, I would simply not test since I see no benefit in it.

 

The concept of a "grade skip" makes no sense to me in a homeschool setting. You educate the kid at the level that is appropriate for him.

I officially skipped my DS one year mainly because he has a Nov birthday, and being ahead, and almost a year older in activities wasn't going to work. He tested into and was accepted to a gifted charter a year early so I felt like I had a justification. I don't mind him graduating at 17, my twins will also graduate at 17 due to their summer birthday.

 

For us it is useful for activities. I don't know that we would declare a skip if the late birthday wasn't a factor. I don't think we would, but it's hard to say.

Edited by Runningmom80
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The concept of a "grade skip" makes no sense to me in a homeschool setting. You educate the kid at the level that is appropriate for him.

My DS10 requested a grade skip as he was three days after state cutoff. Library events and local math contests ask for grade level and he wanted to be youngest instead of oldest. For example he wanted to compete in Math Kangaroo as a young 4th grader instead of old 3rd grader. He also wanted to be officially a grade level behind his brother who is 369 days older instead of two grades behind.

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the DE provider still refused to offer credit for College Alg/Trig, because the kid wasnt in 11th grade officially.

 

Not sure you'd want college credit for college alg/trig, since if you get college credit for that it would count toward your number of hours, and would be more likely to put you in "excessive hours" hell down the road, wouldn't it? Unless that was the highest math you were going to take in college.

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Excessive hours arent a concern....one can DE as many as they want. The goal for many is not to test out of college, but make high school not a waste of time, and move on to college when ready.

 

That's not what I meant. I meant stuff like this:

 

http://registrar.unt.edu/registration/excessive-hours

 

Though that seems to be only applicable to TX - not sure if other states have a similar thing, but paying out-of-state tuition instead of in-state tuition makes a big difference.

 

Also this:

 

http://www.finaid.txstate.edu/graduate/maintain.html#MHL

 

Not sure who makes up these rules, but the combination of not being eligible for financial aid (I don't qualify for fin aid even though I received it for only one semester, because they care about how many attempted hours you have, not how many hours you've received financial aid for) and having to pay out-of-state tuition rates as an in-state student is absolutely killer.

 

Obviously, taking college algebra isn't going to throw someone in excessive hours hell all by itself, but I wouldn't let my kids take college algebra for college credit unless it was the last math class they were planning on taking, because you don't know what will happen down the road. But, hopefully Texas is unique in its excessive hours weirdness.

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Heigh Ho she missed the cutoff by a month and a few days plus she is very tiny for her age.  She went to private school for Kinder and 1st.  It is the right grade for her.  She just finished 6th and is going into 7th.

Edited by Mykids2000
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Excessive hours dont apply to high school students. It says so in your link too.

 

Oops, totally overlooked that. I don't see it in the one dealing with financial aid though, but maybe I'm blind, and it's just from a random college.

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