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grade advancement when entering PS


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Looking ahead to next year I am considering putting my daughter in public school. The school is k-8, on the small side and from my experience a good one. My 4th grade son is attending now and has transitioned extremely well from homeschooling 1-3 grades and is loving every minute! The school was super helpful with everything and overall there is a really good group of kids and parents in the community at the moment. 

 

My daughter is currently home schooling and taking an online charter school math and LA class at a 6th grade level. I am covering her other subjects which could be comparable to 6th grade as well. The problem is the schools cutoff for kindergarten is 5 before Sept. 30 and she has an Oct. 27th birthday so technically if she went to PS she would be a 5th grader. She went to this same PS for K and 1st grade and was the oldest in her class. She was often bored with the work and could have easily gone ahead a grade then I believe BUT the class above her is huge and requires 3 classrooms just to accommodate all the extra kids in that class. they really didn't want to be moving anymore kids in that class then necessary which i understand. My problem is that if my daughter returns to this PS next year according to her age she would be put in 6th grade but if this year she is covering 6th grade courses she should probably move to 7th grade, right?  She has friends in the now 6th grade class through sports and knows a lot of those kids. She does know some of the kids in her age-appropriate class but doesn't really have any friends there like she would in the other class. She is a very social kid and can get along with any age, for example the kids she calls her friends range from age 3 to age 13 currently :)

 

My question is does anyone have any experience moving from home school to PS and having their kids advance a grade? is it a good idea? Should I push for it with the school when the time comes or settle her into her age-appropriate class first and see how it goes? This wouldn't be until next fall so I have plenty of time to get ready for whatever happens, just thinking ahead and wondering what I should do.

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I have friends who have done it by enrolling their child in an accredited K-12 program for a year before turning those grades over to the school and having their child 'ahead' of where she would have been if she had stayed to the public school cut off requirements.

 

I wouldn't do anything without getting all my ducks in a row.  Speak the school's language - provide documentation of the specific skills and benchmarks met, any testing you've done, and print outs of the state's or school's benchmarks for 6th and 7th grade.  Then ask for a meeting to explore the possibility of enrollment and grade level requirements.

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I would not do a whole grade acceleration just because a child is working a year ahead in a homeschooling environment.  Here are three key areas to think about:

 

1.  The first thing you need to think about when doing a grade skip is the endpoint: Do you want your student to graduate early?  Closely followed by this:  Do you want your student to enter high school, where everything counts and study skills and executive function are king, a year early?  A year makes a huge difference.

 

2.  Then there is the social piece, which, IMO, is more important than the academic piece.  Where will she fit best?  Will the kids in the higher grade accept her with the grade skip, or will they feel threatened? (This happened to my son--he skipped a grade and the kids in the receiving grade, who had been his friends the previous year, rejected him socially.)

 

3.  And finally, the study skills piece.  Is she good at organizing her belongings?  Can she take notes easily?  Is she self motivated?  Can she manage her time effectively?  Homeschooling allows students who have weak study skills to zoom ahead, making it appear as though they need a grade skip when, in fact, it would be a bad idea.  Frankly, *most* of what goes on in school and how well a student does (both in terms of grades as well as emotionally) has nothing to do with academics--it has to do with study skills, executive function, and appropriate social placement.

 

Edited by EKS
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My kids were in an online public charter and our school district auto-skip them based on their transcripts from the online charter. We were surprised that they pulled the records from the public charter but they did. We rejected the grade skip since oldest would have skipped 5th grade and entered 6th grade in a rough middle school as a 9 year 8 months old kid. My oldest met the old December 2nd cut off for kindergarten so he was already youngest in his grade.

 

What math is the school using for 7th grade? My district stuck with common core Algebra 1 in 7th grade for accelerated track and Math 7th grade for the normal track. Those on normal track will do common core algebra 1 in 8th grade. They don’t have a prealgebra class.

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I haven't taken any steps with the school yet on this matter, i'm just starting to think it through myself at this point and wondering what will be the best direction for her. I have a strong feeling the school will opt to keep her with her age group but would also be accommodating to keeping her challenge if she found the material covered too repetitive to what she already did this year in her online charter school classes. We'll see, I'll probably start the conversation with the school sometime in the early spring and at that point she will be close to completing her online classes.

Thank you for the helpful replies :)

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Think what the school is like academically. Does it have a good group of high achieving students? Do they offer advanced classes? Does it feed into a high school or that offers lots of AP classes or equivalent with good results? If so, your daughter will very likely do just fine with her age mates. My daughter is in 8th grade at a public middle school. She was placed in all advanced classes this year. She is doing great and feels challenged. I can see how fast and far if she is growing academically. When she gets to high school she can choose from many AP and Honor classes.

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In my experience, at this age, the school will generally go by what grade she's coming from.  They do not expect kids to repeat a grade just because the age cutoff did not apply in the previous situation.  This has been true even in schools that absolutely refused to consider early KG entry.

 

So I would go in with "I have a sixth grader and I'd like her to join your 7th grade next year."  I would not ask their opinion about grade placement since you seem to be pretty sure of what is best for her.

 

Interestingly, most of my kids' teachers don't even realize they are young for their grade.  Which is fine with me.

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Closely followed by this:  Do you want your student to enter high school, where everything counts and study skills and executive function are king, a year early?  A year makes a huge difference.

 

She's not a year early. She's a few weeks early. In my city, she'd be a 6th grader already - not a 5th grader. (And if she came to this school district from a place with a different cut-off date, they'd put her in at her grade, not a year behind. It's the same situation here.)

 

 

Edited by Tanaqui
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She's not a year early. She's a few weeks early. In my city, she'd be a 6th grader already - not a 7th grader. (And if she came to this school district from a place with a different cut-off date, they'd put her in at her grade, not a year behind. It's the same situation here.)

 

What I meant was a year earlier that she would graduate if placed in school according to the local cut off.  

 

FWIW, I'm not making any judgments about this situation with any of the cautions that I listed above--I'm just giving the OP some things to consider.  The whole grade acceleration advocates (like the authors of A Nation Deceived) tend to downplay the problems with it, and, more importantly, with the exception of early kindergarten entrants, they are talking about students who are accelerating from one traditional school classroom to another.  They are not talking about acceleration when moving from a homeschool situation into traditional school.

Edited by EKS
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What I meant was a year earlier that she would graduate if placed in school according to the local cut off.

 

And if she was coming from another district or a private school with a different, later cut-off date, nobody would be talking about it. They'd automatically place her where she is, not where other students with her birthday are. They wouldn't say "Well, all the other kids that age are a year behind her, so she has to repeat that work...."

 

It's not like she was accelerated by three or five years or something. It's a few weeks, and in many places she'd be in that grade anyway.

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Another angle for consideration is the student's math level within the school's middle school math track.  The middle school math track often determines what level the student will finish by the end of high school.  For a bright kid, I'd want to make sure the student took algebra 1 in "8th grade" or earlier, for a bunch of different reasons.  (And when it comes to math placement testing, I *highly* recommend preparing, i.e., review and try to find out what is covered when, is this common core, etc., get appropriate review books if necessary.)

 

Also, some middle schools have honors versions of classes.  And consider what types of kids tend to populate this school (e.g., one of my kids attends a charter middle where a third of the kids qualify for gifted programming just by self-selection; with the exception of math, he really doesn't even need the honors option).

 

I'd think ahead to high school and consider whether the student is likely to get top grades and test scores even if advanced a year.

 

All these considerations aside, I don't see any issue with an Oct b-day advancing, generally speaking.  (My dh was a Nov b-day, advanced one grade level, and was quite successful at his gifted magnet high school.)

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Having been always academically ahead of my class, to the point that probably 90% of every day was review, I would not want that for my kids.

 

When I entered 8th grade in a new school system, the school assigned me by age to 7th grade classes.  I was horrified.  I marched to the office and made them change it right then and there.  :P  (They did say it was a mistake.)

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And if she was coming from another district or a private school with a different, later cut-off date, nobody would be talking about it. They'd automatically place her where she is, not where other students with her birthday are. They wouldn't say "Well, all the other kids that age are a year behind her, so she has to repeat that work...."

 

It's not like she was accelerated by three or five years or something. It's a few weeks, and in many places she'd be in that grade anyway.

 

We aren't having a disagreement here.  I am simply pointing out some pitfalls that many people don't think about when considering acceleration.  

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