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CuriousMomof3

How do you decide what "grade" your kid is in?

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My own kid is 9, and so I'm pretty sure I don't actually need to know this, I'm just asking out of curiosity. 

I'm a high school teacher, currently at home with my kids, so I know that there is a huge range of abilities for kids in high school, and a similar range in college. 

So, if your kid is working at an accelerated pace, how do you decide when what grade your kid is in, and your kid is doing is "high school" and start counting credits?  And how do you decide when they graduate?  It doesn't seem like you can do it by content, because there are kids who go to school who take algebra or geometry in middle school or in high school.  There are kids who go to school and write like college students in 6th grade, and kids at college who write like 6th graders.  

So, how did you decide?  And once you decide how hard is it to change?  Like if I decide that this year is not high school, and I don't keep detailed records, and then later on I need the credits for some reason, can I just go back and change what I report?  

Edited by CuriousMomof3
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I would recommend stepping back and mentally working through another question first.  Do you want your child to have a childhood that matches his age or do you want him to be on a college campus with much older individuals?  Do you see him pursuing a career at a very young age?  These are the core questions that need to be wrestled with.  My bias shows by the way I phrased the questions.  We want our kids to be kids first and foremost.  As homeschoolers we can generally meet their academic needs by not approaching education as a sequence of courses as prescribed by the traditional public school system.  We branch out and explore lots of subjects and let them pursue subjects that interest them that most students never have the opportunity to do.

We don't want our kids to have adult responsibilities before they are adults, so we refuse to let them graduate from high school early.  That does not mean that they are taking typical high school classes.  We have had kids graduate with 15 foreign language credits or science credits or 9 math credits, etc and take courses in philosophy, theology, cultural analysis of fairy tales, etc.  Homeschooling means they don't have to take a 4-4-4-4-4 sequence path.

As to when we count high school credits, I count when input and output match honors high school equivalencies.  My output requirements don't match a standard high school classroom b/c we typically don't use textbooks and I don't give tests.  But, they do additional research, write papers, and discuss topics at an elevated level.

Others want the early college experience for their kids and it has been a good option for their family.  Quark is a poster whose ds is now at Berkeley as a younger student.  For him it was the best route.  

It is a family decision and one that really should have the pros and cons in all directions considered.

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9 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I would recommend stepping back and mentally working through another question first.  Do you want your child to have a childhood that matches his age or do you want him to be on a college campus with much older individuals?  Do you see him pursuing a career at a very young age?  These are the core questions that need to be wrestled with.  My bias shows by the way I phrased the questions.  We want our kids to be kids first and foremost.  As homeschoolers we can generally meet their academic needs by not approaching education as a sequence of courses as prescribed by the traditional public school system.  We branch out and explore lots of subjects and let them pursue subjects that interest them that most students never have the opportunity to do.

We don't want our kids to have adult responsibilities before they are adults, so we refuse to let them graduate from high school early.  That does not mean that they are taking typical high school classes.  We have had kids graduate with 15 foreign language credits or science credits or 9 math credits, etc and take courses in philosophy, theology, cultural analysis of fairy tales, etc.  Homeschooling means they don't have to take a 4-4-4-4-4 sequence path.

As to when we count high school credits, I count when input and output match honors high school equivalencies.  My output requirements don't match a standard high school classroom b/c we typically don't use textbooks and I don't give tests.  But, they do additional research, write papers, and discuss topics at an elevated level.

Others want the early college experience for their kids and it has been a good option for their family.  Quark is a poster whose ds is now at Berkeley as a younger student.  For him it was the best route.  

It is a family decision and one that really should have the pros and cons in all directions considered.


So, just for context my 9 year old just joined our family through kinship adoption.  So, I'm still figuring out what he needs now, and the idea that I need to decide about college kind of freaks me out.  My gut instinct is that I'd like him to have as much childhood as possible, especially since he kind of started childhood late.  If I have to choose, I'd choose that.  But ideally, I want to put off these decisions for as long as possible, because I feel like things would become more clear as he gets older. 

So, I guess I want to know how the decisions I do make now impact him.  For example, my school district, has classified my son as a rising sixth grader, even though he only went to school for 2 days of fifth grade and is chronologically the age of a rising fourth grader.  I have been thinking that he might be better off classified as a fifth grader, because then he could join the children's choir at church rather than the one for older kids, and I think the group of kids who take fifth grade religious ed are particularly nice and might be good potential friends.  But these are not particularly compelling reasons.  Because I could probably just go to our director of religious education and say "Can he just do things with the younger kids even though he's a sixth grader?" and she'd say yes, because she likes him.   If I decide to start writing fifth grade on forms, and he starts telling people he's in fifth grade, does that commit him or me to anything long term?  If 3 years from now he's sick of homeschooling and wants to apply to our district's gifted high school magnet, will he be out of luck because he's a 7th grader, or can I just rewrite the past, so to speak?

Similarly, if I decide I better make him a sixth grader, and then it becomes clear he's best off at home until he's 18, can I just shift so that he graduates after 6 years of high school?  

Also, is there an advantage to collecting work or doing whatever I need to do to count things as a "credit" so that he has 9 years of math and science, or could I just say that whatever math he takes when he's 13 or 14 is his freshman math class, even if it's math that most freshmen aren't taking?  

That's one reason I'm asking, but also, I'm just curious about what other people's kids are doing.  I don't know any kids who learn like my new kid, so it's interesting to me to imagine all the choices that are ahead, even if my goal right now is to make as few of them as possible.  

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I say my kids are in whatever grade they would be in the public school system according to their ages, but I intend to begin keeping high school records in 7th just in case. If we decide to graduate a year early I'll be prepared.

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Really, only a few things matter.  

  1. Most high schools/systems do not allow homeschoolers to transfer in at any grade level other than 9th.  Some will, but w/o confirmation to the contrary, consider 8th grade the last grade that doesn't matter about entering ps without extra hoops.  Prior to high school it is usually grade to grade.  
  2. In terms of labeling grades of your homeschool on high school transcript, the only grade that really matters is 11th and that only matters if your child wants to pursue National Merit scholarships.
  3. You don't need to collect their work.  No one is going to want to look at it (well maybe if you are pursuing entrance into the magnet ps.  I have no idea about that b/c we homeschool to graduation.)
  4. Your transcript can start with just 9th grade by age if that is what you want to do.  Most people probably take this approach.  I do include coursework completed prior to 9th grade, but it is coursework I know is equivalent to high school level work.  For example, my 3rd ds took his first alg course at age 10.  His older brother completed the same text in 8th grade.  There was no difference in pace/output.  It was a high school class.  I put it on his transcript.  I have had kids with numerous credits prior to 9th grade.  They still had math, English, science, and history every yr of high school.  The latter part is the part that colleges care about.  They want to see that they have continued core subjects; the core subjects just don't have to be the standard high school ones.  

FWIW, my kids always say they are whatever grade by age, not by what they are completing academically.  

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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If you are homeschooling, you decide when it becomes obvious that your student is ready not only intellectually, but also socially and emotionally, for a full-time four year college situation.  Or when you decide to put them in school.

That said, we have always used my children's grade-by-age when asked what grade they are in (except when my younger son was enrolled one and then two years ahead at a private school).

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17 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Really, only a few things really matter.  

  1. Most high schools/systems do not allow homeschoolers to transfer in at any grade level other than 9th.  Some will, but w/o confirmation of the contrary, consider 8th grade the last grade that doesn't matter about entering ps without extra hoops.  Prior to high school it is usually grade to grade.  
  2. In terms of labeling grades of your homeschool on high school transcript, the only grade that really matters is 11th and that only matters if your child wants to pursue National Merit scholarships.
  3. You don't need to collect their work.  No one is going to want to look at it (well maybe if you are pursuing entrance into the magnet ps.  I have no idea about that b/c we homeschool to graduation.)
  4. Your transcript can start with just 9th grade by age if that is what you want to do.  Most people probably take this approach.  I do include coursework completed prior to 9th grade, but it is coursework I know is equivalent to high school level work.  For example, my 3rd ds took his first alg course at age 10.  His older brother completed the same text in 8th grade.  There was no difference in pace/output.  It was a high school class.  I put it on his transcript.  I have had kids with numerous credits prior to 9th grade.  They still had math, English, science, and history every yr of high school.  The latter part is the part that colleges care about.  They want to see that they have continued core subjects; the core subjects just don't have to be the standard high school ones.  

FWIW, my kids always say they are whatever grade by age, not by what they are completing academically.  


So, I think what this means is that I can tell him whatever I want as far as grade, and worry about it impacting him later, and the first time I need to actually make a decision or keep records is either a) the year before I want him to go to 9th grade in a brick and mortar school, if he decides he wants that, or b) four years before he might conceivably go to college.  And since I do know that we're not at either of those points, I should just do what makes sense for this school year, which is to teach him based on his levels and interest, and tell the church (since they're the only ones who really have a need to know) and any friendly people who ask him when we're out and about that he's in fifth grade. 

He's chronologically a fourth grader, but I don't want to tell him he's a fourth grader for two reasons.  One is that his younger brother is a fourth grader and I don't want to open us up to that kind of comparison, and the other is that he actually went to fourth grade, and I think that would be confusing to him.  On the other hand, he knows he didn't go to fifth grade, so I think I could just tell him "since you didn't go to school last year, we're putting you in fifth grade again*", and that would be easy for him to understand.  Plus, we do a lot with our church, and the rising fifth graders are the sweetest bunch.  Don't tell the fourth graders or the sixth graders I said that, they're nice kids too, but the fifth graders are something special.  

*Note: as clarification, he didn't go to school and he wasn't homeschooled.  It's complicated, but I want him to see a difference between what happened last year, which was that school got lost in the shuffle, and this year when I hope there is more structure and he can feel like he had a school year.  

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Well here you can enter the school system at any point and unless I had evidence otherwise they would classify based on date of 5th birthday.  So mine are just what they were at school.  If they go to high school for say the last two years of high school they can take NZCEA level 2 and 3 with university entrance.  

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9 hours ago, Slache said:

I say my kids are in whatever grade they would be in the public school system according to their ages, but I intend to begin keeping high school records in 7th just in case. If we decide to graduate a year early I'll be prepared.

This.
I'm also not opposed to ds taking classes through an online provider as he gets older so that he has a confirmation of grade level independent of mine.  He'll still graduate at 17/18, but he may graduate with several college credits for his last few years. 
It's kind of a head-in-sand approach. 😄  "You're graduating when I say so!"

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We went by age (with a 1 year skip in place that had happened in a traditional school) until DD decided she wanted to start college classes, which she did in 7th. Midway through 8th, she was approved to become degree seeking if she wanted, and decided age 16 was a good time to start college “for real” (which gives her one semester where she can do full time DE paid for by the state at one of the 4 year schools, since that is based both on grade level and age, and by that point, she thinks she will have run out of interesting courses do take at the community college), so retroactively, 8th became 9th, which gave her a 2021 graduation date. Content wise, she was considered college ready by age 12, and she will have completely blown the number of credits needed in each subject just since officially being listed as high school by December, but is still planning to wait to graduate until age 16. 

We are registered with a cover school, which is a TN thing, but for the most part, they only set minimums. I can, and do, set my own standards. In my state, nothing done before 8th grade can count as high school, and only a few classes can be counted then (Biology or Chemistry with lab, math at the Algebra 1 level or higher, Foreign language). So, DD’s transcript is full of college classes, mentored work using college textbooks and resources but done independently, and other oddities, and that’s with a super-big Herpetology extracurricular.

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This is so kid-and-family dependent.  We're about to start 8th grade here.  My older is quite advanced academically, but has expressed a specific disinterest in graduating early.  This kid enjoys sports, scouts, and Science Olympiad and knows that graduating early would mean fewer years to do those activities.  This student will likely take college classes in high school unless we decide to self-design some unusual courses, and we'll probably do some of both.  At co-op, kiddo has taken some advanced classes as a younger student but mostly takes fun enrichment classes.  But, the mom of kid's good friend and Science Olympiad partner has said that her child is planning to graduatie early.  As an 8th grader, her child plans to take a bunch of high school classes to get those credits taken care of for high school.  My child is taking high school Latin 2 (having taken Latin 1 last year), but I'm not counting the credits - I've talked to the teacher and he's agreed to put together 2 years of high school Latin for my kid even though our co-op usually doesn't need Latin beyond the first 2 years.  It will probably be done independent study, online, or as a tutorial.  If our older wants more independence than even dual enrollment would allow as a senior, I think I'd encourage also having a part-time job, doing an internship, etc.  

We have always gone by the grade that we'd be in public school (although in your situation I could see fudging it up to 5th grade).  Church activities are done by grade, and I think it's hard enough to deal with the age range of 6th grade-12th grade as youth - I'd hate to throw in somebody who was chronologically in 4h grade.  

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We went with grade based on age even though that wasn't where she was functioning. It made things easier. If someone asks your child's grade, they basically just want a reference for how old they are without the complications of explaining what level they are studying X, Y, or Z.

I started documenting high school level work, when the work (input and output) were high school level. She started dual enrollment as soon as our state allowed but I never intended to graduate her early. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, she will graduate a bit early (December rather than May). Those extra credits from pre-high school age ended up not really being necessary but they are there on her transcript.

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We went by age because my son is involved in lots of extra curriculars. I also want to gift him the gift of an unhurried childhood. I have no plans for early graduation as we can go deep and wide given the resources readily available these days.

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On 7/28/2019 at 6:03 PM, CuriousMomof3 said:

My own kid is 9, and so I'm pretty sure I don't actually need to know this, I'm just asking out of curiosity. 

 

When my kids were 9, they just wanted to be with their age peers. So both started 5th grade at 9yrs 8months, academic year starts on August 15th for us out of convenience of starting same time as the school district (Parks & Recreation summer activities stop when school districts start back).

DS14 still wants to be with his age peers but would like to finish high school a year early. So he is applying to do dual enrollment this fall. His prerequisites are approved (by email confirmation) for the two courses he want to take. Now we have to resolve the registration issue as he can’t register for any courses yet (even the preapproved ones) by going down this week to see what box isn’t checked.

I didn’t keep detailed records. The private high schools we toured were more interested in my kids SAT, ACT scores and my kids would have to take their placement tests or interview with their department heads anyway. The public high school was more interested in their AP scores and working out a 4 year education plan for them. So either way, no one asked for my records other than my kids’ standardized test score reports. 

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Another vote for grade by age, not by level of academic work.  Where I live we have students taking algebra anywhere from 6th grade or earlier to 10th grade.  I find what is considered "grade level" isn't well defined anymore.  

MathCounts is another example.  It's a middle school math contest, and it doesn't matter what math class your student is taking.  It's for 6th - 8th graders by age.  

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22 hours ago, calbear said:

We went by age because my son is involved in lots of extra curriculars. I also want to gift him the gift of an unhurried childhood. I have no plans for early graduation as we can go deep and wide given the resources readily available these days.

Same reasons as above.

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I wonder why the school has him as a rising 6th grader?  What is his birth month?

Unless he is close to a cut-off date, and given that he just recently joined your family, I would probably put him where his age would put him.  However, if in his mind he already finished 5th for some reason, said reason - and his feelings - would be a factor for me also.

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40 minutes ago, SKL said:

I wonder why the school has him as a rising 6th grader?  What is his birth month?

Unless he is close to a cut-off date, and given that he just recently joined your family, I would probably put him where his age would put him.  However, if in his mind he already finished 5th for some reason, said reason - and his feelings - would be a factor for me also.


His birthday is that gray area where he should have started K at 4 turning 5 in some states and 5 turning 6 in others.  He started school in our state, which had switched ages so that he should have been 5 turning 6, but at a private school that was still allowing younger kids into K.  So, he was originally in the cohort of kids who would be in 5th, even though if he was in public school and placed by his age he'd be in 4th.  Then along the way he skipped a grade.  I think one factor in that was that he is very bright, but another factor is that he's got physical disabilities, that made the very hands on curriculum of the early grades hard and the more intellectual curriculum of later grades easier.  

He started school in 5th grade last year, but got very very sick on the third day and never went back.  He was either in the hospital or on "homebound" for the rest of the year, but "homebound" was a mess, and we didn't really do any homeschooling except math (because he loves math) because there was so much family stuff and medical stuff to get through.   I think it would be easy to just tell him that since he didn't go to fifth grade, he's in fifth this year.  I think it would be harder to sell him on the idea that he's a fourth grader again, because he attended fourth grade for a whole year.  In addition, being a fourth grader would put him with his younger brother (my youngest bio child), and I think that some separation is in order.  

 

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Just wanted to add, that I didn't mean for this to be all about my kid.  I'm curious about the choices other people made, because I assume that at some point I'll need to make decisions with higher stakes than whether to put him in the 5th grade or 6th grade Religious Ed class at church.  I think the 5th grade decision is a good compromise now, and meets his needs and his brother's, but I know at some point I'll need to make decisions about what goes on the transcript, or when to graduate, and the info I've read in this thread will be helpful then.  

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Personally I delayed making that decision until I absolutely had to.

For my oldest, with an October birthday, I taught her school work starting the fall when she was four almost five.  But socially she didn’t fit well with that group or the group a year younger or really any group.  She was extremely academically advanced but woefully behind in all the social things, most gross motor skills and just coping with life.  She graduated at 18 and started her freshman year at college at 18 almost 19.  We corrected to the label for entering kindergarten when she would have been five almost six.  And recently, when she was a college sophomore, she got a label of high functioning autism.  That was the explanation for the wide difference between academic output and social issues.  She will be a junior this fall.

For my middle child, also with an October birthday, I taught him school work starting the fall when he was four almost five too.  Socially he fit in just fine with that group, the younger group, older kids...  He was fine anywhere.  He, too, was extremely academically advanced but mostly in science and math.  His English skills lagged and his spelling was awful.  In order to get him the advanced math and science classes he needed, he started at the local community college at 14 years old.  I was still calling him a high school freshman but he was doing math and science at the college and ignoring all efforts to get him to do English or history.  And then, about a year later, he decided that he wanted an associates degree.  So he figured out what he needed to (with the help of the advisor at the college) and started taking the classes he needed.  He graduated with that associates degree the summer he was 17.  I finally gave in and gave him the high school diploma at the same time.  He still did not have the four years of English or four years of history or health class or drivers ed or any art classes.  But he had that associates degree and I decided that it made no sense to withhold the high school degree when he somehow had learned at least most of that material.  He is started his junior year of college just before his 18th birthday.  He will be a senior this fall.

And then their is my youngest.  His birthday is in May, a long way from questions about which grade he should be in.  He is 15 and will start his sophomore year in high school.  He loves English and writing.  He despises math.  He tolerates it only because I require it.  But I am backing off on that too.  I saw what happened with the middle kid.  I am guessing that he will figure out math is important for something he needs in the future and then will get it done.  He has the foundations.   And so I continue to call him by the grade he would be in in public school and I wait.  I can correct if I need to up until it is college application time.  Then it is the last four years or so of classes to consider.  

All that to say, it depends.  For one kid, I needed to give the extra year.  For another, I needed to skip at least three grades.  And for the last, I am treading water until I can figure it out.  Three kids, three different answers.  

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I would put him in 5th grade given that he didn't really do 5th, has already finished 4th, and is academically advanced but socially too young for 6th.

As folks here always say, just calling him a 5th grader doesn't stop you from using much more advanced materials if that is what he needs.

Personally, my kids were placed in K at 4 by the school they were attending, and I did not fight that.  So they are accelerated 1 year.  My youngest (January birthday) is still academically ahead for her grade (similar to some of her older classmates), and is socially a fit.  My eldest is academically average and has to work very hard in some areas, but she too is socially a fit for her grade.  (She was only 10 days young for the cutoff at the time she entered K.)  I was in an odd situation with my youngest being way ahead of my eldest academically; holding either one back would have felt wrong, though for different reasons.  As for my eldest having to work hard, I think that is mostly a good thing as long as achievement is reasonably possible.  Similarly, being the youngest / smallest in sports has been a good challenge.  But if someone is super serious about sports achievements, that might be a consideration.

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In your situation, I wouldn't say he didn't go to fifth, since he was on homebound and he is officially grade skipped and in sixth. I might say that the best match this year is fifth grade because of social/emotional and no academic pacing constraints, and we'll do that since he will be subject accelerated academically in his strength areas.  If he is in special education due to his medical needs, you really have a good opportunity to bring in the Psych and help you get his needs met the best way.  They can evaluate and decide when its appropriate for him to go to magnet high school, and how he would fit with the cohort. You never know, there may be a cluster of younger students that he will fit right in with socially and emotionally, or there may be a private school that they could recommend.

I have a dc who grade skipped, it worked out fine because he joined a cluster of highly gifted dc and he found a group of friends (not all gifted) that had the viewpoint like swim team or youth orchestra...learn at your level, enjoy your friends no matter what level they are working at....his original grade had been flood with young for grade transplants due to gentrification and that wasn't working out as they had come from an inner city school that was operating far below grade level.  So instead of continuing to send him out for reading and math, the Psych and Principal decided a skip would give a better fit.  It did for social/emotional, but we had to do things at home for academic.  You know about hoagiesgifted website right?

Edited by HeighHo

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I have always gone by whatever grade they would be in if they were in public school.  My 12 year old starts college in a few weeks.  In reality, he is an incoming freshman.  On paper, he is a homeschooled 7th grader.  My 8 year old is in 3rd grade on paper, but is not doing 3rd grade work.

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We are going by age-grade, which is much easier now that we’re back in the US! We previously lived overseas in a situation where depending on the school he could have been in a number of different grades. If he decides he desperately wants to graduate early (& we feel he is mature enough to do so) we’ll cross that bridge then. Otherwise I simply plan on including community college & online coursework in the upper grades once he outpaces me. 

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I’ve started avoiding labeling my child any particular grade level whenever possible. She is 9 years old. Her answer to what grade she is in is, “I’m 9 years old, and homeschooled.”

As she has started taking a couple classes that would earn high school credit if she was a high schooler, I keep records for those classes. I don’t know that we will ever need them, but I’ll have them if needed. I have no plans to graduate her early, but I am open to the possibility if she wants to at some point. 

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College level courses "verify" high school level coursework. So freshman English verifies 4 years of high school English, college math verifies all the previous math courses (so up through Algebra 2, pre-calculus, or calculus depending on the first college level course taken), college biology/chemistry/physics verifies the corresponding high school level class, etc.

Also, in my state, there is a high school proficiency exam (*NOT* the GED) that students can take when they have completed 10th grade level work. Both my 2 oldest students took the CHSPE at 13-almost-14. My almost-17-y.o. will complete her associate's degree & then transfer. My 2nd is applying to boarding school for 9th so assuming he gets accepted he will have a standard high school transcript. My oldest was offered a Grade 13 at boarding school (we weren't in a financial position to send her for 9th) but she isn't interested.

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You have a particularly unique situation, because he is not able to really do output at any level, and that's a situation that isn't necessarily going to get better with age and maturity.  So you really can't use the high school level input-output metric, which is going to be tough no matter when he starts high school.  I think fifth grade makes sense for your family situation for all the reasons you've mentioned.  But it really, really doesn't matter, and it's almost always best to put things off as long as possible.  As you said earlier, it makes sense to call 9th grade whenever you want to (if you want to) put him in a brick and mortar school for high school or four years before you're likely to start college classes.  But even that is pretty wibbly wobbly and you can fudge.  I'd keep some sort of record of books read/ stuff done, if you think you might be getting remotely close, and if you decide to "call it," you can use those records to go back and document a bit more.  But he's nine.  It doesn't matter yet.  

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My DD’s first day of school photo last year was captioned of “First day of “It’s Complicated” grade”. It’s still complicated :). She is a second semester college sophomore, has only one more class to go to finish all high school diploma requirements from our cover school, was approved to matriculate and was considered high school equivalent by the state almost 2 years ago, is registered with the cover school as a rising 11th grader based on when she wants to go to college “for real”, and by age would be entering 9th. She’ll take the PSAT this year, so  the 11th grade one is the one we are going with officially. 

 

Usually when she’s asked by people who don’t need the full story, she replies “I’m 14 and homeschooled”, since that’s what they really want to know anyway. 

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17 hours ago, Terabith said:

You have a particularly unique situation, because he is not able to really do output at any level, and that's a situation that isn't necessarily going to get better with age and maturity. 

In his defense, he can output, it’s just almost all verbal, or direct select on a touch screen.  I have worked with many kids whose motor skills don’t allow them to speak or activate an iPad, so I appreciate how much those two skills mean.

I actually think that in some ways this is easier with my kid.  Like if I had a 9 year old who read like a high school student and wrote like a 8 year old, some people might say to have him do high school work with accommodations, and some people might argue to do assignments that he could write independently, even if the content was too easy because independence is key.  But my kid reads like a high schooler (hypothetically, I haven’t tested that in any way) and has motor skills like a 6 month old (sort of).  And while I don’t know what to do with him, I can rule out the “educate him like a 6 month old” option which helps narrow it down.

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So you really can't use the high school level input-output metric, which is going to be tough no matter when he starts high school.  I think fifth grade makes sense for your family situation for all the reasons you've mentioned.  But it really, really doesn't matter, and it's almost always best to put things off as long as possible.  As you said earlier, it makes sense to call 9th grade whenever you want to (if you want to) put him in a brick and mortar school for high school or four years before you're likely to start college classes.  But even that is pretty wibbly wobbly and you can fudge.  I'd keep some sort of record of books read/ stuff done, if you think you might be getting remotely close, and if you decide to "call it," you can use those records to go back and document a bit more.  But he's nine.  It doesn't matter yet.  

 

It occurred to me the other day that we might need more than 4 years to do high school.  But yes, at this point all I really need to know is what answer keeps doors open.  It seems like “fifth grade” will work fine.

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I would just like to toss in the thought that there is a difference between being 9 and being intellectually capable of handling high school level classes and being a 9 yr old functioning at a high school age level. They really aren't synonymous. 

It can really help to think through what your goals are across the multiple aspects of child development and what you hope to achieve .

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48 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I would just like to toss in the thought that there is a difference between being 9 and being intellectually capable of handling high school level classes and being a 9 yr old functioning at a high school age level. They really aren't synonymous. 

It can really help to think through what your goals are across the multiple aspects of child development and what you hope to achieve .

 

In addition to being a parent, I'm also a special ed teacher for students with Intellectual disability, although I've been on leave since my son came home in December.

Even before this kid came into my life, I felt strongly that thinking in terms of functioning level is rarely helpful.  My kid is like most kids whose development doesn't follow a typical trajectory, it's helpful to think of what he can and can't do, and to think in terms of what he needs, but thinking of him as "functioning like a high school student" doesn't make much sense, just like I never liked thinking of my students as "functioning like a two year old".  

 

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1 hour ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I would just like to toss in the thought that there is a difference between being 9 and being intellectually capable of handling high school level classes and being a 9 yr old functioning at a high school age level. They really aren't synonymous. 

It can really help to think through what your goals are across the multiple aspects of child development and what you hope to achieve .


I think at this point, as far as this question, my goal is simply to keep doors open.   I've been his mom for 8 months, and I would say that my ability to predict where he'll be or what he'll need 5 years down the line, is about as good as my ability to make predictions for my bio kids when they were 8 months old.  Except for the fact that I could look at them and think that there was a good chance that whatever I had seen work for their cousins and the neighbors kids would work for them too, and with him I do know it won't be that simple. 

It sounds like him telling people he's in fifth grade won't have any impact on when he is allowed to do whatever in the future.  I'd love for people to keep discussing this, because at some point I assume I'll have some decision to make, and hearing how other people have sorted through it might help then.  But since he's clearly not going to high school or college in 2019 or 2020, then fifth grade is all I need.  

Also, I'll be honest and say that at least half my motive in all the things I post is just to get people talking about their kids.  I'm a public school teacher, who has always sent my other kids to school.  I've never really thought about homeschooling beyond "That's so cool, but it's not for me."  So, now I'm having to shift my mind from homeschooling being a second choice and something to feel sad about, to realizing it can be a new exciting thing.  The more I hear stories about people's kids, and get a picture of their day, the easier it is to make that shift.  

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On 8/17/2019 at 7:49 PM, CuriousMomof3 said:

Also, I'll be honest and say that at least half my motive in all the things I post is just to get people talking about their kids.  I'm a public school teacher, who has always sent my other kids to school.  I've never really thought about homeschooling beyond "That's so cool, but it's not for me."  So, now I'm having to shift my mind from homeschooling being a second choice and something to feel sad about, to realizing it can be a new exciting thing.  The more I hear stories about people's kids, and get a picture of their day, the easier it is to make that shift.  

You'd probably benefit from just reading old threads.  There are some really great conversations that have taken place on these forums over the yrs.  None of us need encouragement to talk about our kids.  That is the only reason we are here.  We are a gabby bunch.  

In terms of the italicized, I would suggest reading some of these threads:

some of these

https://forums.welltrainedmind.com/search/?&q="interest led learning"&page=1&search_and_or=or&sortby=relevancy

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10 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

You'd probably benefit from just reading old threads.  There are some really great conversations that have taken place on these forums over the yrs.  None of us need encouragement to talk about our kids.  That is the only reason we are here.  We are a gabby bunch.  

In terms of the italicized, I would suggest reading some of these threads:

some of these

https://forums.welltrainedmind.com/search/?&q="interest led learning"&page=1&search_and_or=or&sortby=relevancy


Thanks, I'll check these out!

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Mine are by age grade.  My second dd has a fall birthday, and I originally thought of the year she was 4 turning 5 as her K year—turns out she is dyslexic, and did not need the extra pressure of needing to do state testing sooner while coping with that.  So I corrected her grade back, but it was really just my own thinking that needed correcting.  

My older son has a summer birthday, and while he met the deadline, he would be a grade lower if he attended public school.  He was a very socially and emotionally young barely-five-year-old, and I would not have sent him regardless of his academic level.  However, he desperately wanted cello lessons, and the only way we could afford them was with the charter school funds, so we decided to give it a try, and he did great learning with me at home.  I’ll call him either grade when signing him up for sports, whatever is convenient.  His attention span seems to fit the younger grade’s coaching instruction better, but he’s pretty rough-and-tumble, so rougher sports =with the bigger ones so he’s less likely to hurt someone and more complicated rules to learn =with the younger ones.

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On 7/29/2019 at 7:45 PM, calbear said:

We went by age because my son is involved in lots of extra curriculars. I also want to gift him the gift of an unhurried childhood. I have no plans for early graduation as we can go deep and wide given the resources readily available these days.

We do this, for the same reasons.  In our case, grade is just a social short-hand code for age, and only matters for extra-curriculars.  My province is very low-reg.  I don't report grade levels (or anything else really, other than an annual letter of intent) to any educational or government authority.  I would be happy to forego grade labeling altogether, but it makes the kids social lives a little easier to have a "grade" just like everyone else.  It has absolutely no bearing on our academic work.

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My kid is only seven but he was a very early reader so we ended up doing first grade work a year earlier. So now he's doing 3rd grade level work (going to 4th grade level in math) but for all purposes I still consider him in second grade. If he decides way in the future to graduate early, he'll be able to do that. If he wants to do school until he's 18, it will be fine too, he'll just have more credits. I'll just count the last 4 years as High School and call it a day I'm assuming. If he decides he wants to go to a local school now that would be a little trickier. We would have to decide to either request to formally skip grades or let him work on his age level. I hope that if he's ever to go to school he'll be old enough to make that informed decision for himself. Ideally I would like for him to move on to college or whatever else he wants to do only when he's of age, but ultimately that will be his choice.

Right now he's only doing surfing/swimming as extra-curriculars, and we do that by age (he's in second grade as far as they're concerned.) Now if he were to be enrolled in a science co-op (something I'd like to do in the near future) we'll just have to enroll him in the grade level he's working at. I don't expect having him in a higher grade co-op automatically makes him formally skip a grade or anything. He'll be doing the required by state 3rd grade testing when he's 8.

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On 8/17/2019 at 5:22 PM, CuriousMomof3 said:

It occurred to me the other day that we might need more than 4 years to do high school.  But yes, at this point all I really need to know is what answer keeps doors open.  It seems like “fifth grade” will work fine.

 

My sister homeschooled all the way through (Well, she plans to. The oldest is in college. The second is in his last year looking at colleges and her youngest is on his own path.)  In all three cases she planned for five years of high school. (though both of the oldest two were in community college classes by that point. It is looking unlikely for the youngest. But he's got time)

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On 8/26/2019 at 10:51 PM, Michelle Conde said:

Mine are by age grade.  My second dd has a fall birthday, and I originally thought of the year she was 4 turning 5 as her K year—turns out she is dyslexic, and did not need the extra pressure of needing to do state testing sooner while coping with that.  So I corrected her grade back, but it was really just my own thinking that needed correcting.  

My older son has a summer birthday, and while he met the deadline, he would be a grade lower if he attended public school.  He was a very socially and emotionally young barely-five-year-old, and I would not have sent him regardless of his academic level.  However, he desperately wanted cello lessons, and the only way we could afford them was with the charter school funds, so we decided to give it a try, and he did great learning with me at home.  I’ll call him either grade when signing him up for sports, whatever is convenient.  His attention span seems to fit the younger grade’s coaching instruction better, but he’s pretty rough-and-tumble, so rougher sports =with the bigger ones so he’s less likely to hurt someone and more complicated rules to learn =with the younger ones.

 

Interesting. My daughter's sport (Soccer) doesn't allow us to decide where to put her. They ask for birthday and placed her by age.

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12 hours ago, vonfirmath said:

 

Interesting. My daughter's sport (Soccer) doesn't allow us to decide where to put her. They ask for birthday and placed her by age.

 

Around here they generally place kids by grade level, but are pretty flexible if parents feel they would do better in a different level.

 

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On 9/5/2019 at 9:42 AM, NataliaMusk said:

 

Right now he's only doing surfing/swimming as extra-curriculars, and we do that by age (he's in second grade as far as they're concerned.) Now if he were to be enrolled in a science co-op (something I'd like to do in the near future) we'll just have to enroll him in the grade level he's working at. I don't expect having him in a higher grade co-op automatically makes him formally skip a grade or anything. He'll be doing the required by state 3rd grade testing when he's 8.

We found the opposite-that the local homeschool co-ops and tutorials were not willing to accept DD's acceleration, even the official one that had happened when she was still in public school, let alone her working level. They were far more age stratified. One reason why she ended up starting college classes at age 11/12 is that she couldn't take high school ones that might actually have been interesting, but the college was more than willing to let her try a class and see how it went (and after that, to take up to a full time load if she wanted). 

 

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12 hours ago, dmmetler said:

We found the opposite-that the local homeschool co-ops and tutorials were not willing to accept DD's acceleration, even the official one that had happened when she was still in public school, let alone her working level. They were far more age stratified. One reason why she ended up starting college classes at age 11/12 is that she couldn't take high school ones that might actually have been interesting, but the college was more than willing to let her try a class and see how it went (and after that, to take up to a full time load if she wanted). 

 

This is unfortunate.

I know that many homeschool classes in this area are strict about minimum age limits because lots of families with young kids who absolutely do not have the maturity or preparation for classes aimed at teens try to sign them up for those classes anyway. Also a major purpose of such classes is often to provide a peer group for homeschooled teens. It is easier to use across the board rules than try to deal with every case individually.

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10 hours ago, maize said:

I know that many homeschool classes in this area are strict about minimum age limit because lots of families with young kids who absolutely do not have the maturity or preparation for classes aimed at teens try to sign them up for those classes anyway. Also a major purpose if such classes is often to provide a per group for homeschooled teens. It is easier to use across the board rules than try to deal with every case individually.

 

I've seen a situation similar to this.  I had a class of only 6 kids in my homeschool algebra class.  I had 3 teenagers who maybe weren't that excited to be taking math.  In the same class I had 3 eager-beaver advanced elementary students who loved math and came prepared, raised their hand all the time, and were just the most adorable advanced math students.  Trouble is, together with my "to cool for school" teenagers, it was not a great mix.  These little eager beavers, I think, made them even less likely to raise a hand for a question or to participate.  In fact, they never asked a question because who wants to be outdone by a little one?  (One gal waited until after class to ask me questions in private.)

I'm sure a more experienced could have handled this better than I did, but it just didn't work for me, and it helped me understand why it's nice to have some age segregation.   

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We kept records for possible high school classes starting in 7th grade just in case we wanted to graduate our child early.  So far he insists he doesn't want to graduate early which is fine with us.  He started his first college class the day he turned 14.  I just keep track of everything and follow his lead.  We have never grade skipped him but he is younger for his grade already.  If he wants to graduate early and has a clear plan he can. 

He also play sports at the local high school which is other reason not to accelerate him officially even though he is way above "grade level" academically. 

When he was younger I would advocate to get him in appropriate level classes in coops and I had no trouble doing so.  I always told the teacher that if after the first day of classes they did not feel he was a good fit I would pull him out no questions asked.  They, after the first classes and getting to know him, loved having him in class.  I also created a math club and a robotics team so he could pursue his interests.  So far it is working.  You sometimes have to find your "people".  

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