Push in to grade acceleration?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2001
Push in to grade acceleration?
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Sat, 09-18-2010 - 11:32am

My daughter accelerated a grade when she was younger. But then we homeschooled her so when we went to put her back in to school, I decided I wanted her in her age grade. I made a great argument for it. My daughter was convinced. She still is in fact. But now that she is there, even the school suggested that it was not a good decision. Ok, not one school, but 3 schools said outright that it was a bad decision to have her go back to her age grade. She is maintaining high As in everything. Because she was already so far ahead in math and such, those are high school credits. We actually homeschooled Algebra and then she passed the credit by exam at 100 percent, which we were told had never happened before in this state (Texas, we used the Texas Tech credit by exam). Then she took high school geometry and high school biology as an 8th grader. She actually has 5-7 credits right now, we are not positive which as some of those credits were music and PE so if they do not take the music performance and the PE credits then she will only have 5. But even with only 5, if she takes the minimum allowed credits each year, she will graduate with 33 credits. There are only 26 required for graduation. Because she is so far ahead in math and science and the school has limited offerings in stuff, she will likely spend her senior year at the community college.

She is also maintaining all high As in everything. Now I wonder if maybe I should go back and push her in to just going up a grade level. She says she loves having all straight high As and she is afraid her GPA will drop if she goes higher. But then she comes home from school and tells me how she got yet another 100 on something and how no one else in the class "got it."

I could consider trying to transfer her to a private school next year that has more challenging courses and a bigger variety so it will last her longer. But I would have to beg my inlaws for help paying. They offered to pay 100% last year, providing it was a Catholic school, but then the Catholic school told us that our daughter was too advanced for her age so they would not take her (which I think is insane and thought no real school would ever say such a thing). Plus, if they paid, I would be at their mercy.

Her long term goals include Stanford University, Cal Tech, Washington U in St Louis, Colorado College, or Cornell College. I think Cal Tech is at the top.

What would you do? I would not ultimately force her to accelerate against her will, so the question is more of a should I push her to accelerate or look at other high schools for transferring next year? (too late to transfer this year)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-1999
Sun, 09-19-2010 - 8:56pm

I agree. I'm also a mom who has been through the college process twice and I think it's important to sort out your daughter's goals. If she is mostly set on trying for an elite college, she's probably best off staying in the freshman class, taking the hardest classes available to her, achieving high grades, and putting up with the less than perfect academic challenge. She can augment the school experience by spending time on activities that interest her inside or outside of school: music, art, sports, community service, debate, newspaper, writing....there are any number of possibilities.

Now if her main concern--or your main concern--is that she's not engaged in her education and she wants greater challenge, there are different ways to handle that. One is to supplement what she's doing with online coursework, arrange for independent study if that's available, self-study for an AP class not otherwise offered at the school, or find an internship outside of school. There is also the possibility of accelerating to the next grade. I can understand that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-01-1999
Mon, 09-20-2010 - 3:24pm

I'm glad you guys chimed in. I responded

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