Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

TheAttachedMama

Homeschooling and Grade Levels: Gifted/Struggling Learners or Spring Birthdays

Recommended Posts

Do you have a child who is gifted working above grade level?  Or perhaps a child who is a struggling learner that is working below grade level?   If so, would you ever consider changing their official grade level to match their abilities?  Or do you just go by birthdate on everything official and use what you want at home?    I am curious what the longterm consequences of changing a child's official grade to better match their abilities.   (Especially concerning standardized testing and graduation date.)

 

FYI...

I have a daughter who is 9.  She turns 10 in mid April.   Officially she is in 4th grade going by age, but 1)  she is a young 4th grader, 2) she works mostly at a 3rd grade level because of some learning challenges.   I know I am free to buy and use whatever level of curriculum best suits her.   However, I am always stumped what to do for testing.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mine are little's so we haven't gotten to where this might be a problem, but we will have this. Do you have to do testing? Maybe go by where she is learning - so 3rd grade unless it's a major problem to make it not as frustrating? 

 

My oldest is possibly gifted (4), but he is also a summer birthday (Aug). So while I work at his level and will go with him entering K this coming year for homeschooling purposes, for every other possibility (we won't do testing so that won't matter) he would be preschool level. So he actually might do preschool this year for his anxiety - since for public school I wouldn't consider putting him in K this coming year. So for camps or other age divisions I plan on keeping him on the preschool start mentality meaning he'll technically be learning a grade ahead of what he is in, because maturity wise I consider him on the lower level. 

 

Younger son (2) has an early summer birthday (May) and I probably would've keep on him similar grade-age level by birthday, but he also has a speech delay.I'm not sure how that is going to affect things going forward and how to work with it so he might be in a younger level because of speech or he might do what my older kiddo is (grade above, but age grade for camps) I'll have to see how this plays out and how he progresses. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On paper, ds is at grade level.  As was his brother.  During elementary, ds1 struggled with grade level skills.  Our solution was to test on level to see where exactly he was, but to buy curriculum that didn't use grade levels: series with letter or color designators were a favorite here along with ones that had large age spans like MBTP and Learning Adventures where we could pick the level of work within.  He needed to be met where he was at, and when we did so he blossomed and grew.

 

Little brother is the opposite and we use the same techniques - test on grade level, but using materials that have no grade designation.  He works in "D" or "Yellow" or whatever else gets the job done.

 

Testing was mostly done so we had a reference point.  I don't see any need to artificially inflate or deflate the score.  Here, we turn in the testing.  They are looking for growth from year to year, and that's all it provides.  If he stays in the same percentile, it's growth.  If he slips, we have a better idea of what he needs help with.

 

There were times I seriously thought about holding ds1 back and I'm glad we didn't make that decision and change his grade level at an early age.  While middle school was terrible, the amount of growth he had between the beginning of 8th and 12th was enough to keep him where he should be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have not gotten her diagnosed with SLDs to make them official, then I would indicate her grade by where she places socially. If she goes to church or camp or whatever and fits in with 4th graders (for maturity, for social), then I would leave her a 4th grader.

 

There's research showing grade adjustments for SLDs alone are not effective and can even be counter-productive, discouraging. I have a gifted ds with signficant SLDs and disabilities. He's on the older end of his grade because of his fall b-day, but even with that we'll probably end up grade adjusting him back one at some point. With his autism, he really is going to need more bake time. The writing is just on the wall.

 

I WANTED to give my dd more bake time, because with her ADHD and spring (April!) b-day I could see she could use more time. Thing is, there comes a point with a typically-developing child where you just can't hold them back. They're going to mature and want to leave and fly, no matter what.

 

The main thing with the SLDs is to make sure you're getting the correct words and the optimal interventions. Aggressive intervention is better than grade adjustment.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have kids ahead and behind, and occasionally both in one child.

 

My oldest was reading early and chomping at the bit. His fall birthday could have gone either way. We let him start early. By junior high it was very obvious he would be helped by more time to mature before high school. We spread 6th and 7th out to last three years. No regrets. I'd do it again. Frankly he could have used even one more year before graduating, but emotionally he was 18 and done with the school scene. There were special needs at play that weren't as obvious when he was younger.

 

#2 has an early summer birthday. She was a late bloomer that we kept in her by age grade regardless of what her books said. She caught up and eventually graduated early. Also special needs involved. I'd say by 5th grade she was pretty much on grade level across the board.

 

#3 has nearly the same fall birthday as #1. He started early (4.75yo) and it seems like the perfect place for him. He blooms wherever he's planted.

 

#4 has a late summer birthday and she was very precocious as a little. She started K officially the same month she turned 5. When junior high hit we let her skip a grade formally, so she could apply to extracurriculars with a grade requirement. She was already working more than a full grade ahead in every subject. She blossomed and seemed to feel more comfortable in her own skin. She'll start high school this fall and I expect she'll do great. The only thing graduating two has taught me is kids are bloody unpredictable. :) There's nothing to report to the state, but if there was I would probably wait until it was obvious she was going to graduate on track with the grade skip and just quietly write the new grade on her paperwork.

 

#5 has a late winter birthday. She started K at 5.5 years old. She's a 4th grader currently. Her grade has always seemed a perfect match for her in every arena.

 

#6's later summer birthday *is the grade deadline* for the state we live in now. The year he turned 5 he didn't seem remotely ready and socially he was very behind same age peers. He turned 6 a couple weeks after he started K. It really did seem like he was just going to be a late bloomer. Once he decided to get going he put the pedal to the metal! He's currently a first grader who reads chapter books independently, multiplies and divides, struggles to spell anything, dances competitively, and is still significantly behind socially. At this point I have zero plans for changing his grade. If it becomes a problem we'll deal with it when it happens. If I had to test him I'd just let him blow the 1st grade test out of the water. His hands (ie.. writing endurance) are NOT where his academic level is.

 

 

All that said, none of them took standardized testing until high school. If I had to I would have tested in the grades (by age) the state laws required, but given them the test for the grade level they were functioning at.

Edited by SilverMoon
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only date that is important is which year to call 11th grade for a student who has a shot at National Merit Scholar, because the PSAT has to be taken in 11th grade.

Until then, grade level is irrelevant.

I kept DD the grade she would have been in ps by age, until she completed her first college course in 8th grade, at which point we decided to retroactively call that her 9th grade.

Edited by regentrude
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A spring birthday has no impact on a homeschooled child. In fact, I have two daughters with May birthdays. It would not have occurred to me to hold them back, not even when I sent my firstborn to school for kindergarten and first grade. I had not heard that people did that with their spring-birthday children until I became a member on this forum. o_0  I have a summer birthday; I'm so thankful that it wasn't a Thing back in the day to hold children back who had summer birthdays. Mr. Ellie's birthday is in September; he grew up in a state where the cut-off was December 2. He's thankful that he wasn't held back. And now that we're all adults, living in the real world, the time of year when we were born has no relevance at all.

 

I believe strongly that homeschoolers should just go by the cut-off dates in their states and hang that grade-level label on their children and otherwise ignore it. I will not be able to make y'all understand why I feel this way, but it has to do with 16 years of administering a Private School Satellite Program (PSP, one of the options to homeschool in California) and having this discussion multiple times online over the last almost 20 years, and seeing how messed up things can be if the parents mucked with the Official Grade Level.

 

I feel the same way about children who are academically advanced, because I believe in graduating children when they have earned it, not when they have completed 12 years of "school." If an academically advanced child earns graduation, I'm going to graduate her, regardless of her age. Graduation has nothing to do with maturity; it has to do with achieving academic goals. It does not mean the child has to move out and go to college or get a job; it just means she has graduated.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I have had to deal with both sides of this.

 

#1 - She has always worked ahead of grade level. I tested at her ability level because when I tested at grade level by age she scored 99% across the board. Testing at ability allowed me to tease out (relative) weakness, at least a little bit. She has a Sep. b-day, so it was an easy call to grade skip her in 6th grade - she was already so close to the cut off. We played with the idea of grade skipping her again this year, which would make next year 11th grade instead of 10th. We/she decided that even though she could handle it academically, she was not ready to leave home/friends a year earlier at 16 (almost 17).

 

#2 - He works ahead of grade level and I test at his ability level. Same reasons as above. He has an October b-day, but we have no plans to grade skip. His maturity level is very different than his sister's. :)

 

#3 - He works behind grade level. He has an Aug. b-day, so once again, with a b-day so close to our state's Sep. 1 cutoff, it was an easy decision to hold him back a year. I test him based on the grade he is in. Even after holding him back his test results are not always pretty, but they give me an indication of where he stands in relation to his peers.

 

In your case, OP, I would probably test at the 3rd grade level. If she really knocks it out of the park, then I think you could assume that 4th grade is a fine placement. If her scores reflect some struggles even at that level, then I would consider putting a future grade adjustment on the table.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a child who is working a grade level ahead.  I consider him whatever he would be placed in public school.  I would do the same for my other children. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this really needs to be determined by the individual child/circumstances.  I absolutely do not believe in blanket across the board rules for this.  Some kids will do much better with one scenario and others are going to be much better with the other.  Unfortunately it is hard to know ahead of time which one will work for an individual child long term.  As others have mentioned, though, homeschooling usually gives a parent a lot more flexibility in this and an official designation is frequently not needed, or at least not until High School.

 

For instance, with DD her birthday was very close to the cutoff for our area and she struggled terribly.  We didn't know she was dyslexic/dyscalculic.  She was also a very young child emotionally.  We had her be the grade behind her birthday designated grade and have never regretted that.  She has done well with that designation.  She needed that extra time and it has been obvious in watching her grow and mature that it would have been a colossal mistake to keep her at grade level by cut-off designation.  

 

DS is gifted but also had significant learning issues.  We are keeping him at his birthday determined grade level for anything that actually matters which frankly where I live is pretty much zilch until he gets into High School standardized testing.  Why the difference?  Because for DS his strengths balance out his weaknesses.  He functions behind grade level in some skills areas and ahead in content.  Skipping or holding back would not help anything for him.  

 

But I am not required to give them standardized tests.  If I had to do so I would test DD at the grade level she is currently working, not her birthday designated grade level.  DS would be at birthday designated grade level with accomodations if possible (he needs extra time because of learning challenges that affect skills, not knowledge, such as speed of reading and writing).

 

Not sure I helped at all.  In your case I would give her the test at 3rd grade level and see how she does.  I wouldn't be calling her a particular grade level, though.  I would take a wait and see attitude and make that determination in High School if possible.  A LOT can change in the intervening years.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a spring birthday girl who is advanced. We did start out calling her a full year ahead, because her little friends were all older and it was super important to her to be called a school kid. I was fine with that, basically she started K at 4 instead of 5, and would have graduated at 17 if there were no changes. I also started K at 4 and graduated at 17, so this isn’t even strange to me. DH started at 5 but then skipped a grade, so also graduated at 17.

 

When we moved to California and decided to enroll in charter school, I enrolled her at the typical grade level for her age, so she’s doing a second year of second grade. Currently, she’s working 3+ grade levels ahead of that.

 

We will re-evaluate along the way. I doubt I would change her grade level if the only reason is a mismatch between her age and her educational level, though. I’ll change if it means appropriate access to opportunities for her, such as dual enrollment at an earlier age.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. My DD9 has a June birthday. She has ADHD, SPD, and GAD. Her maturity level is not generally that of a typical 4th grader. I've considered switching us to calendar year grade, so she wouldn't be 5th grade until this time next year. But I'm not sure how that works when you get to the end. Colleges run school-year, so when would you apply and graduate? I'm assuming that if you run calendar year you then just decide sometime in early high school whether to go forward or back half a year?

 

Although technically I can't do this anyway. We go through a charter so we have to declare grade on a typical school-year schedule. I know I can continue just meeting her where she's at. Mentally I just have to make myself stop stressing over how far we are through 4th grade material and when we will complete it. I've always been fine taking math a day at a time and moving on to the next book when we finish the last. Every other subject I have a harder time with this for some reason. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DS13 went by birthdate. He went to public school kindergarten in California when the cutoff was December 2nd so he just meet the cutoff by a day. He was offered a grade skip in 4th grade by the public charter school when we asked about grade skipping DS12. My husband and I decided not to because that would put him in the public middle school 6th grade as a 9 year 8 months old if he has gotten into the open enrollment (lottery) middle school in our district. DS12 missed the December 2nd cutoff by a few days so we did have him grade skipped. He would have entered B&M public middle school 6th grade as a 10 year 8 months old similar to DS13 so that doesn’t feel off. My school district doesn’t have redshirted kids for my kids cohorts so the oldest in cohorts would only be less than 12 months older.

 

So far the only impact on grade levels has been

- talent search if your child is interested in participating in those, also the summer camps related to talent search programs. (DS12 meet the cutoffs for two grade levels above so skipping one grade does him no harm)

- AMC8, AMC10 and AMC12 participation (AMC8 is a fun thing so doesn’t matter. While DS13 would like to try to qualify for MOP, it isn’t a do or die passion for him so not worth redshirting him just to have one more year to try)

- SAT (I just have to mail in a request for CollegeBoard to keep their scores as 8th grade and under scores are purged)

- summer camps (some go by grade levels which was one major reason DS12 wanted to be grade skip. There is a lab summer class he wants to take but the cheapest local location insist on going by grade level)

- dual enrollment (while there might be ways round it, the most friendly local community college takes homeschoolers from 9th grade onwards subject to seat availability)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you have a child who is gifted working above grade level?  Or perhaps a child who is a struggling learner that is working below grade level?   If so, would you ever consider changing their official grade level to match their abilities?  Or do you just go by birthdate on everything official and use what you want at home?    I am curious what the longterm consequences of changing a child's official grade to better match their abilities.   (Especially concerning standardized testing and graduation date.)

 

FYI...

I have a daughter who is 9.  She turns 10 in mid April.   Officially she is in 4th grade going by age, but 1)  she is a young 4th grader, 2) she works mostly at a 3rd grade level because of some learning challenges.   I know I am free to buy and use whatever level of curriculum best suits her.   However, I am always stumped what to do for testing.   

 

 

I'm in NY (Dec 1st cut-off), and we have required testing (or a portfolio option for *some* grades), and they haven't complained about me sending in testing results for the wrong grade level for my youngest the past couple of years. That said, I've been doing a grade level up - I don't know how they'd react if one were to do a grade level down. I do know a couple of people who redshirt their fall birthday homeschooled kids here (heck, the school district tried to redshirt my Nov birthday kid when I sent in my first letter of intent for him without listing a grade level, even though his birthday is before the cut-off, so in their files they'd listed him as a Ker and I sent in standardized test results for 2nd grade... tbh, I'm not sure anyone really reads the paperwork we send in... they never fixed his grade level even after I did list it on the IHIP). I'm pretty sure one person I know wrote grade 1/2 one year and gave a 1st grade test, so, some districts will let you straddle the line like that. Probably all depends on how nitpicky your district is.

 

I figure I'll decide later whether to skip 8th grade, or whether to have my oldest do 8th grade twice, or w/e. The tests are pretty easy in my experience (a friend of mine was worried about her kid (5th grade I think) because she'd been ill a long time and had forgotten most of the math she'd learned the *previous* year, but even her kid easily exceeded the 33rd percentile that year). I don't have statistics, but I doubt many people who have their kid repeat 4th grade will later have the kid skip a grade, so yes, it'd push back graduation by a year, so an April birthday kid would graduate at 19. Of course, if she's strong enough to do a bunch of DE in high school, that's not a big deal, and if she isn't, then maybe she needed the extra year. I wouldn't be inclined to do it though... maybe if she did really poorly on the test, or was more than a grade level behind, but not preemptively. Of course, YMMV, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My kids are three days from the cut off.

 

When I registered them, they'd just adjusted the cut off that year and it didn't seem like a big deal. Well, they're about to start high school and honestly, I sort of wish I had started them later, officially speaking. I know the homeschool line is that we don't care, we teach them where they are - and of course I DO. And I generally dislike what redshirting is doing to early elementary school - I think when teachers have a classroom where the average age is higher, they adjust their expectations to meet that and kids who are perfectly fine for their grade are suddenly behind because the average age in their grade is several months or even a full half a year older than it was a few years ago. From a strictly outside perspective, I think that's the pits. And my kids aren't really behind - both my boys will finish Algebra I before starting high school and both can write a decent paragraph. I feel like they're in fine shape.

 

On the other hand, the wiggle room would have been good for them. They're average students. I think it would be better for their self-confidence (which isn't so great, sadly) if they thought of themselves as the grade below. I haven't tried to emphasize grade level at all, but some kids just do.

 

Still, no way am I reclassifying them. If they don't graduate "on time" though, I'm beyond okay with that. We'll make a transcript that makes it all look kosher down the line if we need to.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 13 yr old 8th grader who is on her third semester of college classes. If she decides she wants to graduate early, we’ll change her grade retroactively. If I could, I’d go back and homeschool from the start, which would remove her on-paper grade skip, but since that was done in PS, I don’t feel I can erase it now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DD has a spring birthday, and all of her friends have always been younger. We decided to "officially" change her grade (from 8th to 7th) this semester because I was going to enroll her in PS next year, and after looking at their expectations, there was no way she was going to be successful in high school based on where she was academically and socially. Best decision ever. Now we don't feel the constant pressure to try to "catch up" and there is time to study subjects we didn't have time for because the basics took too long every day, and DD has extra time to mature. It's like this extra year of middle school is a gift. 

 

I know everyone says "just teach them where they're at", but honestly, renaming her grade took a lot of psychological pressure off of me, and therefore DD (because of my high expectations), and we are both happier for it. If she does accelerate during the high school years, she can always "skip" a grade and graduate earlier. I have no problem with either way.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's easier to graduate them early than to hold back. Mine is accelerated almost across the board, but for emotional maturity reasons I have him back. His birthday is was 5 days before the cutoff. This is when CA was moving the cutoff to 9/1, so the following year he would be a month after the cutoff. I'm comfortable with that. I know that boys also mature slower socially as well. Even with girls, you can't tell how they will navigate the tween/teen years. At least for me, I was less interested in socially "mature" things than my peers growing up. I want to give him the gift of time early on and the freedom to decide later if he want to graduate early. I'm not overly concerned about credits since that won't be a problem at that point. FWIW, he plays basketball, and a year makes a huge difference since when things are driven by grade level. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am up in the air on my AL ... he's working well above "grade level" ... DH thinks we should just graduate him early... I am nervous about that as he is immature.

 

My oldest graduated young and went off to college at 17 and it was okay but he was always mature.

 

We've decided to plan 8th grade in such a way as to easily call it 9th down the road if we do decide on early grad but that I'm not committed to it.

 

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quite frankly, testing before 5th grade (with delayed learners) is a bit pointless, as it is not until 5th grade that students who have shot ahead in some areas or lagged in other areas all tend to level out and to finally have reached their real and typical working level.

 

So unless you are required by your state to do testing, or to declare grade level, I would wait until 5th grade to do any standardized testing with her. I waited until 4th gr. with DS#1 who was a bit advanced for his grade, and waited until 5th with DS#2 who had LDs. It was not a problem for either one to have waited 1-2 years to test. :)

 

If you are required to test, then go with the test that matches the majority of her academic work level -- so if mostly doing grade 3 work, do the grade 3 test. If you had to officially/legally declare a grade level to meet state regs, and she is declared as 4th grade, then do the grade 4 test.

 

If having to test (regardless of what grade level test you go with), I strongly recommend getting the matching test prep book and for the next 8-12 weeks before the test, spend 15 minutes a day with DD doing a little "bite" of the test book to prepare her for how to fill in the bubbles, and to get familiar with test-taking strategies and tips, as well as the types of material (math topics, how to read graphs and charts, etc.) that she will encounter on the test. And *repeatedly*, very calmly and off-handedly, let her know that the testing is NOT about her, but is for YOU to know if YOU have forgotten any areas or if there are any things YOU need to cover in the homeschooling. Make sure to keep it light and that the testing is "no big deal" -- make if more of a fun break, with NO other school on those days, and going out for a treat after each morning of testing. :)

 

 

As far as promoting/holding back... again, unless you were required to declare a grade level when you started homeschooling, it's NOT something you have to decide right now. Just work with the student before you at the level she is at in each individual subject.

 

There is NO way to guess how your DD will mature emotionally and academically between now, at age 9-turning-10 and in 4th grade but doing some 3rd grade work, and in 4.5 YEARS at age 14 and about to start 9th grade. For example, at age 9, our DS#2 with mild LDs was working 1-2 grades DOWN from his stated age/grade level in multiple subject areas. He slowly started to close the gap in different subject areas at different ages -- grade 5 for math (eventually catching up and doing Algebra 1 in 9th-10th grades), and grades 8-9 for starting to "click" a bit with writing... Also check out this concurrent thread "When to hold a student back" that includes several posts later down in the thread that share experiences of how students widely vary with spurts and lags all the way through middle school.

 

Just my 2 cents worth. Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dyslexics that receive explicit and multisensory reading instruction typically make a significant reading level jump late 4th to 5th grades. Holding back a gifted child with SLDs doesn’t make sense. They require accommodations such as extra time, scribing, typing, reduced work sets, and more hands-on type instruction.

 

My eldest son always took standardized testing with his actual grade placement. Spelling and grammar tested low while content areas were high. Reading comp was high too. With standardized testing, it pointless to administer without necessary accommodation such as extra time, quiet room, and/or reader.

 

My birth month is May, and I never considered myself young for my grade.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Last year we did a comprehensive set of tests (like more than 5 in speech/language alone!) including WISC V and a standard achievement.  He scored VERY high and low.  They wanted to place him in a first grade classroom because of his reading skills which they said were a specific learning disability: basic reading skills (dyslexic). We did not enroll him.  He was born a month early with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia.  He had significant delays.  Plus he is a boy.  I am so glad that we homeschool because I don't know how we would place him in a classroom.  There is a school in the county north of us called PEGS that Robby where he would probably fit best with other profoundly gifted students.  It is VERY small and is for most of St. Louis metro.  Anyways, here we are homeschooling.  I don't know if this is his second or third grade year.  We did a very relaxed K year (except he was experimenting with many different circuits (way beyond open/close) and trying to find what substances were the best conductors and insulators in our home). He could not begin to sound out cvc words or read Cat in the Hat last fall.  He did not talk until he was 3, but he completely took apart his rocking chair and then reassembled it with a ratchet when he was 2.  We are submitting his 4th science fair project next month and I put down 3rd grade (I have thought about calling and talking to the director about what grade to use) on that because we submitted one in his K year, but when I think about him being behind in other areas I always say in my head that he is doing well for a second grader as that is what he would be in the public school.  We are on the verge of finishing elementary maths and entering Pre-A.  That would not work in our local public school as a second grader. Arms in the air.  For his science fair project he watches college lectures on youtube about generators. I don't have the mental energy to think about how these work somedays. He has plans to make a tiny series of generators to fit into our downspouts to generate electricity when it rains.

 

We read Understood Betsy to Robby last year and he totally related to her working at different grade levels in different subjects.  I think that is actually normal.  I mostly think his grade will mostly be pretty fluid until we begin recording for his HS transcript.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In our case, our plan was always to send the kids to high school. I only ever intended to homeschool for middle school, due to very specific circumstances.

 

If I had a kid who was working VERY far behind, then it might be worth it to do that because I'd need them to be placed right when it comes time for high school.

 

But I don't know that there's an advantage for you in your situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I could, I’d go back and homeschool from the start, which would remove her on-paper grade skip, but since that was done in PS, I don’t feel I can erase it now.

I know two kids that are my boys age that repeated a grade in public school for various reasons. I could undo DS12’s public school grade skip if he wants to go back to 6th grade since all his sat and act scores were in the 8th grade and below category.

 

I don’t know how that affects dual enrollment though for your daughter if you roll back a grade but she is already enrolled in community college as an 8th grader so I assume there won’t be any effect if you roll her back to 7th grade.

 

Her cheer group is by age or grade level? I’m assuming grade level doesn’t affect her cheer team participation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel pretty fluid with what I call the grade level of my kids. On paper they are their respective age-appropriate grade levels, but work above or well-above grade level. For the most part we put them in things that are designed for their official grade. When it comes to camps or classes I wouldn’t feel bad about putting them down as a different grade if it suited our needs and if I felt it wouldn’t disrupt the class/camp. But for day to day purposes, I don’t like using the grade they are actually working at bevause that draws unnecessary scrutiny or attention.

 

Edited to add:

I realize you asked with regard to testing. For testing, it seems it would make sense to test her at the grade level at which she is working, as that might give more useful information about her areas of strength and weakness.

Edited by JHLWTM
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd test at whatever level gives you the best / most information to help you evaluate where her strengths are & areas of improvement could be.

 

I have mostly average kids who are late bloomers with wild variations in what they are good at vs. where they need to spend more time to improve. We test starting in 4th grade and do it every two years until 8th then switch to the ACT. 

I have one kid who is younger than grade level due to an early winter birthday & me starting her in K at 4. Despite being a late reader and being allergic to the pencil, she's absolutely bloomed and blossomed.

I have a couple kids with summer birthdays who may or may not get an extra year (one is already red-shirted, another might get an extra year of high school). I also redshirted a fall birthday boy who needed more time before starting formal academics.

I have one kid who I've always paired with an older siblings, so she's working ahead of grade level. She's my "promote in January" kid. She started K in January when she turned 5 and her grade level bumped each following January with the next level up of work. However, she's getting to the middle school years, so this year we're giving her the extra half-year. She tested at her old 4th & 6th grade level and we'll test her again in her new 8th grade level - making it 3 years since her 6th grade test.

Like everything else, we take it one kid & one year at a time.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DD12 is working at a 3rd grade level in many subjects, but her IHIP shows her age-appropriate grade level.

 

I would have placed her grade level at her working level on paperwork, but for the fact that the school department and IEP team agreed that she could be tested at the grade level I requested, not the level on her paperwork.

 

My DS10, on the other hand, is working above grade level, has a birthday 2 weeks post-cutoff, and I have him at the age-appropriate grade level. It gives me flexibility in the future.

 

Truth is, if I were to enroll him, I'd enroll him at the grade level he would have been, had his birthday been two weeks earlier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are in this situation. My DD is a 2nd grader working at a 3rd and 4th grade level depending upon subject. One of my sons is a 1st grader reading and doing math at a 4th and above level but is on level or slightly above in writing. As far as testing, which we start in 3rd here, I am fine keeping them at grade level as it just means they test high and the tests don't concern me too much.

 

If I had a child who was younger and working a grade down, I may change the grade as long as the child didn't mind. My three identify with their grade partly because they attend an umbrella school. If this wasn't a factor then I might do it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My oldest struggles. We pulled her out of ps at the end of 1st grade, and should have done it sooner. She was behind in everything. Possibly some undiagnosed LD's at play, but her confidence has taken such a hit that we're not willing to put her through testing at this point. This is her 6th grade year. She turned 12 in November. We had to go through several math programs to find something that worked for her, which certainly didn't help with catching up, on top of some major health issues I've had (which are finally being resolved, thankfully). Actually, we had to do this with almost everything, not just math. CLE is what finally did it, so we've been burning through it, skipping quizzes, doing 2 lessons most days, and working through the summer with very short breaks. She'll finish 400's in a couple of months. She's a little behind in most other subjects as well, but not as much as math. My husband and I have discussed this at length, and we've decided to do a 2nd 6th grade year next school year, with the intention of having her ready for actual 7th grade work when she begins 7th grade. We'd rather her have an extra year of middle school than to have to do 5 years of high school and have to put that on a transcript somehow. She'll keep moving up with her scouting and faith formation classes. There's no point in holding her back in social areas in my opinion, and I think it would just cause her anxiety and embarrassment to do so. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I “held back†my July birthday child just before she would have started high school. My husband had suddenly passed away the month before she would have started. We had too much going on to worry about yet another thing. She struggles with math and writing, so an extra year will help her. I figure if she is ready for college before graduation, we can always do dual enrollment with the local community college. We moved to my home state soon after, so we didn’t have to report a grade change anywhere.

 

I have 2 fall birthdays, and while I started them on curriculum a bit younger, I’ve always kept their official grade level aligned with their birthday. I’m not in any hurry to graduate them. 😂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I “held back†my July birthday child just before she would have started high school. My husband had suddenly passed away the month before she would have started. We had too much going on to worry about yet another thing.

 

:grouphug: (((Holly and DC))) So sorry. While such a loss can never be filled or forgotten, I hope your family is healing and beginning to be able to find joy here and there again.

Edited by Lori D.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For our kids, we have made the decision based on big picture functioning vs. single weaknesses.  Our severely dyslexic child, I never considered holding him back.  He was extremely ahead in math.  He showed no delays in general.  He didn't read on grade level for a very long time, but holding him back was not going to solve that problem.

 

Our summer bday dd, however, I made the decision to hold her back before she even started K.  She is now in 6th and it has absolutely been the right decision all around.  When she was 4, she still didn't know her colors.  In general, she was across the board delayed in how she matured.  She ended up also being dyslexic like her 2 older brothers.  She has managed to function on grade level at the "held back" grade, but even then, she still struggles a lot.  She in no way could manage to perform at the older grade level.  6th grade was a cross roads yr for her older brother.  He suddenly spurted ahead and started excelling across all subjects.  Where he was behind in reading, he surged ahead.  She is not showing any of those signs.  We are plodding along making baby step progress every day, but it is very avg performance across the board.  I am glad she isn't a severely behind 7th grader bc that is where we would be if she hadn't been held back.  I would rather her be solidly avg and plodding than a grade level ahead sinking/struggling.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My spring birthday kids played sports and when that went by grade and the local custom was redshirting it was really frustrating. My second ds had trouble maturity wise in church classes or other activities and it was frustrating because I felt like he was normal. He just had no peers. The other kids his age were in the lower grade so what was within normal behavior looked like problem behavior.

 

I considered keeping him back many times and never did. He is graduating this year and more than ready. If we were both staring down another year of homeschooling after turning 18 that would not be good. He's ready to move away to college.

 

So, keeping him in his official grade worked out in the end but was hard in the middle. Maybe his ideal situation would have been to have been held back and then graduated early.

 

This is one decision I went round and round on and still don't know what I should have done. I am pleased with his development and who he is now. He happens to be scrappy and ready to outwork his peers to achieve his goals. He seems to have that magical "grit" that is talked about in raising successful kids. Maybe having things stacked against him at times contributed to that?

 

I do know that when your little guy is six months-18 months younger (yes, redshirting is that extreme here) than the other boys in his class there really can be issues. So it is a real concern but I never really wanted to go along with it.

 

Absolutely would have had to hold him back in public school. We managed it in the homeschool setting.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've gone by age based grade and will adjust in high school if I need to. Two kids work ahead and one kid works ahead in math but behind in language arts. The ahead kids can keep learning until their age based grade 12 is over. Their transcript should look nicer. The behind kid is old for his grade (November birthday in a state with September 1 cutoff) and tall for his age. I don't think holding him back would make much difference, but if I feel like an extra year of high school would help later on, we'll do that. He may need to live at home while starting college. He's high functioning autistic, so that will factor in heavily. I don't expect his academics to be a barrier to college. He has dysgraphia, but typing helps a lot there. I think when (if?) he outgrows his propensity to embellish history narratives, he'll do fine in writing. College professors may not appreciate the Santa María having a disco party. :lol:

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My daughter is PG and has a spring birthday. We did an official grade skip after it was advised by the neuropsych who did her testing. It has been the very best thing we could have done for her. She is young, but no one can tell based on how she behaves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, I don't really think of someone with an April birthday as being young for grade, but that's just me. My daughter is nine and in the fourth grade as well. She won't turn 10 until the end of August, so almost a month into the fifth grade. This is her grade by the state cut off. Is she at grade level? In some things she is. She's dyslexic, and we didn't discover that until mid-third grade so we are in process of remediating that. It's going to take a while, but she's only in the fourth grade so I feel like I've got time. She's also ahead in some things and it would be a shame to hold her back. In any case, I'm homeschooling and even though I have to list her grade on my letter of intent every year and do standardized testing every few years, her grade is otherwise irrelevant until we get to high school.

 

My older daughter is dysgraphic and so her spelling, grammar and writing (and I don't mean handwriting, though it was problematic too) are just now starting to take off. She's ahead in all other areas. She has a late June birthday so she's young for grade too. Next year she'll be just turning 13 at the beginning of her 8th grade year and she'll be earning her first two high school credits. You can't know what kind of growth is coming. I wouldn't think too hard about a grade level and just continue to meet your child where they are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What happens with testing in your state? Here we take a test of our choice and then keep it on file, no one sees it but myself and my husband. We just test when we are supposed to test at whatever level they would be by state cut off and when I get the results, they always show exactly what I expect. I pop them in a file folder and roll my eyes at the wasted time and expense. Except lately... I've started thinking of them as SAT/ACT test prep and that makes me feel a little better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our middle boys both have January birthdays, so it has been best for us to start kindergarten at age 5.5 and keep them in their age-appropriate grades, despite the fact that neither is working at grade level in any subject area (Ds10 is advanced, Ds8 is delayed in everything except math). Most of their activities group kids by age and our state doesn't require standardized testing, which means their grade levels really only matter for reporting and for enrichment classes. 

 

I think of high school as much more fluid than K-8 in terms of grade levels. When I was in high school, we often took classes with kids from various grades and didn't always know who was in which grade. Most years, one or two students graduated a year early, and several stayed for a 5th year. Graduating a year early or late seems much less obvious and unnatural than repeating or skipping a grade in K-8. I think if we ever do adjust grade levels, it will be in high school. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By US standards, I’ve accelerated my DS by one year. By local standards, he could go either way - some schools are arranged Aug-July, others Jan-Dec. He will be 5.5 when we begin his “Primary 1 / First Grade†year. This puts him “on level†with his lowest abilities; he is working with 1st-2nd grade material.

 

There is no “official†grade for him; we are not required to report, track days / hours, or provide any testing here or in our home state in the US. I plan to play things by ear until he is a teen, then arrange as needed to suit his academic development & goals.

Edited by Expat_Mama_Shelli

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use the grade they would be in if they went to school. After all, most if the time grade level is used, people just really want to know their age. I guess we will pick grades to match when they are ready to graduate high school.

 

I have them do school work based on where they are at academically, regardless of whatever "grade" they are.

 

That said, my late Fall birthday DD has always worked a grade level ahead and says she wants to graduate a year early. We still call her her age based grade and I figure we will decide for sure to skip in 11th grade or there about.

 

I also call my early summer DS his age based grade, even though he is many grades ahead in some subjects. He is so set on playing sports in college that we may never be able to adjust his grade to meet his academic level anyway. Being younger in sports is usually a disadvantage. I guess we will see where he's at in a couple of years when he is high school age.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DD has a late-spring birthday (so would be a youngish 3rd grader this year) but is working several grade levels ahead in each subject. When we had a neuropsych evaluation, the doctor suggested we do a grade skip of at least one year for her, so she is currently a 4th grader for all activities, out of home classes, etc.

Edited by hippymamato3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have thought alot about this lately since we attend an umbrella school. I have a DD who is 8 and technically considered 2nd. She has the early fall cut off so older for her grade. She works in 3rd grade curriculum and will be in 4th grade level curriculum within 2 months. I have considered changing as it effects the classes she can take at our school and all of her best friends are in 3rd and 4th. 

One of my sons is a spring birthday so young for a 1st grader yet he is almost through all of his 2nd grade curriculum and will be working in 3rd within a few months. I think he would academcally feel better if I changed his grade but he is a twin and I would say emotionally he is spot on as his age so this keeps me from making that change. 

I go back and forth. As far as standardized testing they both do exceptionally well since they are being tested at grade level but work significantly above. I am not sure as homeschoolers that it matters for us outside of the two issues mentioned above (testing and class access).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mentally change over my kid's grades on their birthdays. 6=K, 7=1,8=2, 9=3, 10=4, 11=5 and so on. One is out "ahead" and another has a processing issue and is "behind" (though his standardized test scores would have you believe otherwise).

 

It has no bearing on what they do in our lives, so it's really just for conversational purposes. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few weeks ago, I had started a similar thread on the Accelerated board.  I would normally never really care what official grade my kids are in, but for one kid, it was getting to the point where she didn't want to do activities with kids in her "grade" anymore, which was sad.  I described the situation in the thread, but my dd had barely missed the state Kindergarten cut-off, so I held her back (following the public school cut-off) and now (5 years later) really out of place when placed in classes with ps kids of the same grade (as in, she's an entire head taller than the other kids and seems like she's several grade levels ahead of them). My kids do a ton of outside classes, so it actually did have some importance for her.

I ended up changing her official grade and then going to her activities/classes and telling them what we were doing.  I was afraid it was going to be super-awkward and the teachers were going to think I had a massive case of Snowflake Syndrome...but in reality, everyone was very, very supportive.  One of the teachers actually talked to her for quite a while about her own grade adjustment when she was in school and then let dd10 come try out a class with the next grade level to see if she felt comfortable (and she did).  Everybody was very nice and supportive about it...

Good luck with your decision!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I keep mine on whatever level their birthday has them in for the state. For me, though, this means I have:

A 6th grader doing 6th grade work. 

A 4th grader doing 6th grade work. 

A 3rd grader doing 4th grade work. 

A 1st grader doing Kindergarten work. 

A preschooler doing Kindergarten work. (He isn’t official on any paperwork yet, though.)

I considered putting my third child behind a year, since he didn’t start reading until the last bit of his first grade year, but then he flew through 2nd and 3rd grade and is now ahead. Likewise, my oldest was two grade levels ahead until she decided to put more emphasis on art, and now she is “on level”. I test them on the level they should be by age, not by what they have actually done. I’ve considered actually claiming their real grade, but figure, my version of 3rd grade isn’t going to be like the public school’s anyway, so why bother? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We started DD early so she could start attending an enrichment program 1 day/week (she was ready for that in K the fall she turned 5 with an October birthday, that district's cut-off was either end of October or December, I don't recall).

We held back her official grade level in 7th to give her an extra year at the enrichment program and more time before starting high school, which put her back to the default age cohort for her grade in our home district.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...