Push in to grade acceleration?

Avatar for ribrit
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: 06-01-1999
Mon, 09-20-2010 - 3:24pm

I'm glad you guys chimed in. I responded

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: 04-16-2001
Sun, 09-19-2010 - 2:23pm

I am not sure what she would gain by skipping sophmore year.

Avatar for ribrit
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2001
Sun, 09-19-2010 - 10:00am

Yes,

And I should clarify, she did accelerate years ago already. But, after homeschooling, when I returned her to school, I gave a big campaign to convince her that she would be better off going back a grade to be with her age grade. BUT, all my dumb arguments turned out to not be valid.

I am going to let her make the decision. Probably, when the PSAT scores come out, if her scores are high and then if she gets a good score on the AP exam she will be taking at the end of the year, then I will bring it up with her. If she ends up having more average scores, then I won't. For the record, since she had accelerated years ago, until the year before last, she took her ITBS (standardized testing) with the higher grade and consistently scored 99th percentile each year for her overall score. That is why the regular public school, when I went to reenroll her last year in to 8th grade, even though she already had credit for Algebra 1, wanted her to go ahead and go to the high school because they did not offer geometry. Instead, we struck a deal for her to spend half days at the high school and half at the middle school, but I had to drive her back and forth all day long. They said she was not allowed to take the morning bus to the high school because she was technically a middle school student then. We pulled her out mid year and went to the private school, where she just devoured curricula and wracked up the credits. She loved it and was fascinated, so when I went to enroll her in the school she is at now, which is a public school, just not the regular one. It is a math/science charter school, and they saw all her credits, they wanted to put her in the 10th grade. At that point, I went and offered it to her but she maintained she wanted to remain in the 9th grade. So, she is just retaking freshman English. Which is ok. The other school was a Christian school and had a different set of books and things they worked on from this school, which is a public school, so it is following what the state has.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Sun, 09-19-2010 - 7:53am

Okay,

Avatar for ribrit
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2001
Sat, 09-18-2010 - 10:37pm
Oh, and everyone takes the PSAT at the school basically even if they are not the age for it to be official so she is taking that next month so we will know more then.
Avatar for ribrit
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-24-2001
Sat, 09-18-2010 - 10:35pm

No, she did not homeschool last year. She spent the first half of the year at a public school, then the second half was at a private school, but one that allowed her to go at her own pace. She was homeschooled prior to that. She is 14.

In our city, there are a fair number of Catholic schools, and the one she applied for had where the 9th graders are all in 1 section and the 10th in another and so on. But, they are run like that are a school district with the other Catholic schools. So they said that 9th graders were not allowed to take algebra 2 or chemistry. But they did offer us to have her at a different Catholic school that did allow the more advanced kids to take the more advanced classes. We had no clue about this sectioning issue at the first private school and the 2nd one was too far away. We were already driving about 30 minutes to go to the first one, which was coed so both our kids could go there. But the 2nd one was another 30 minutes and girls only, so I would have had to driven to both still as I have a son in high school. I do think it is stupid how they run things there, but that is how they had it. I also do not really want to get back involved in that school "system" because I feel they are very short sited and ridiculous and inflexible that she would not be allowed to cross in to another section of the school. They just kept telling me that this is how they do it, that is just how it is, and so on.

SO, my daughter has the freshman English through the private school as well as some other courses. She also took the state test out for some credits, like Algebra 1, which she had back while homeschooling.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-1999
Sat, 09-18-2010 - 9:42pm

I would let her decide. If the high school has lots of AP classes I would just let her stay as a freshmen and just take as many extra classes as she would like, extra AP etc. If she tops out of their classes will the public school district pay for community college classes? That would only benefit her.

She is smart to think that moving up a grade will be a disadvantage if her grades go down. Since she is with her age mates, if she wants to stay there I would let her. This is especially true if she in aiming for very competition colleges and universities.

My dds were moved up a grade when in lower elementary. Now they are among the youngest in their class and will graduate at 17 and will be 17 if they go directly to college. We are seriously considering having them do a gap year between high school and college.

Cathie mom to Audrey & Emily 12 yrs, Libby 2 yrs
Cathie, mom to Audrey & Emily 12 yrs, Libby 2 yrs
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Sat, 09-18-2010 - 9:07pm

I'm still confused a bit - I'm assuming your dd is 14/15 and a Freshman, correct? She was mainly homeschooled last year, but took Freshman English through a private school? Now, she is in her local high school and finding Freshman English (and other classes) too easy... am I on track so far?



I think a lot really depends on your high school. At our high school, everyone does take Freshman English, but there are other courses. How many AP or other courses do they offer? Can she take AP World Geography, AP European History, AP Biology (since she's already had Biology) or other courses? I know with my dds, there were more courses than they had time in their schedule. Both took some summer online/summer school courses and neither ever had a free period. In terms of math, many gifted kids take Geometry in 8th, and then move on to Trig, Stats, Calculus, Calc III in high school (it's not common, by any means, but there are options). Both my dds graduated with above the minimum requirements, but then so did most advanced kids.



Getting into CalTech is HARD - I mean, their "middle 50" on the ACT is 33-35. 32 is the 99th%-ile. I'm not in ANY way trying to be discouraging, but I think around the country, your dd will be competing with kids who are doing the exact same thing, plus community service, sports, research, etc....

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2006
Sat, 09-18-2010 - 6:07pm

I think I would let her make the choice.

Deborah

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