Silly Question but...

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2004
Silly Question but...
7
Mon, 01-21-2013 - 8:54pm

How do you determine what grade your child is in?

As you may know, DS6 is 2e.  We do a school/homeschool blend this year because his bandwidth of needs is so wide.  At school, he's grade Kindy.  I'm trying to get my ducks in a row for next year when we homeschool full time.  I'm looking at Common Core and STEM stuff right now trying to make sure we hit all the requirements next year.  We struggle to keep DS "at age" motor skills wise.  With low muscle tone, this includes his physical milestones.  Emotionally, he is right about older kindy level.  Decision/life skills, he's older.  Reading he's 2nd grade.  Math he's between 3 and 4th grade.  All over the place.

One of the things we definitely want to leave open as an option is to enter academic competitions - math olympiads, odyssey of the mind, spelling bees, etc.  DS is very competitive and sports just isn't his thing, so this may be an outlet for him here (and a social one too, says a hopeful Mom with fingers crossed).

So what grade do we check on the box?  I think it impacts yearly testing and stuff too. 

Thanks,

Karen

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2004
Mon, 02-04-2013 - 9:07am

All of your suggestions have been very reassuring to hear.  I really appreciate the guidance.

Karen

Avatar for vegiemama
Community Leader
Registered: 01-06-2000
Mon, 02-04-2013 - 7:39am

Hey Miranda!  How are you?  It's nice to see you!  


Sue
Homeschooling mom to DD15 & DS11

CL of Homeschooling, Signature Showcase, Ectopic Loss, and Fertility Charting

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002
Sat, 02-02-2013 - 12:02pm

I have never found myself in a situation where stating anything other than age-grade (i.e. the grade my child would normally be in according to age) was necessary. My youngest is 4th grade age and we always declare her that way. But we also explain, when relevant, that she is advanced and does well with older kids. We might make reference to the grade level of a relevant curriculum, or say that she played in the advanced student orchestra at the music camp she attended last year, or that she is involved in a similar activity with kids aged 12-15 and is thriving. 

Next week she will be doing standardized testing as a 4th grader. I love that it will be a cakewalk for her. No prep. No stress. I know she'll score off the charts. I know the output expectations in the written composition portion won't be more than she's developmentally ready for with her age-appropriate handwriting skills. I know the tests will be shorter and easier than the 7th grade ones. Since I hate the whole idea of standardized testing, I love that these tests will be a mere blip on her radar. 

And yet at the same time, the school is happy to have her do academic electives with 7th through 10th graders, and her coach bumps her up to higher age level groups in gymnastics, and she's playing in a string quartet with 13-year-olds. Her opportunities have never been limited by her declared grade. To us the declared grade means "If she were in a regular school program, she'd be with 4th graders." That's all.

Miranda

Miranda
in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc 

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2011
Wed, 01-23-2013 - 9:03am

My 2E oldest, is a girl, so not sure I can relate as well. She is way more self competitive and internally motivated, so her emotional state is more internal thought stuff. She can be compeitive, but she reacts differently than the 2E boys we are around. Plus when around the 2E boys they all seem to be nice to her, and not want to upset her, so it adds that male/felmale dynamic. It actually seems to calm the boys a bit or change their focus. She does not see it ofcourse, she thinks none of the boys ever like her. Yet, I have seen it.  I gave her lots of space for the areas she enjoys to learn as much as she wanted, and jut tried to keep pace with that, and that was hard! Difficult to know, in the areas she grasp deeply where to go next, without it being easy for her, when it seems hard to others age range group. I try to just base it on my kids needs alone, and change curicula or advance curicula as needed. In High school, she does great in her deep knowledge areas, and can be used as a resource to the same age peers, and she enjoys that as a social outlet. Which is great as she can be VERY intreverted, and I wanted to draw her out more socially before college life. I think with 2E students it is important to "know your kid" even more than ask other 2E or regular age parents what to do, because each is such an incredible individual. Such snowflakes, all so unique, and amazing....you can't judge them well as one big pile of snow!

Best Wishes....just keep trying and learning about what works for your kid and encourage a ton!

Heather    

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2004
Tue, 01-22-2013 - 7:42pm

Thank you to both of your for your responses.  The points raised were exactly the ones I am concerned about and was relieved to hear your experiences.  Thanks again.

Karen

Avatar for turtleemom
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2007
Tue, 01-22-2013 - 9:59am

As a mom of an only who is  2E (PG and Aspergers) kid who has some experience with academic competitions,  Behavior and rule following is just as important as knowing the answer.  There are definite expectations of sit still, be quiet and follow directions the first time, plus the winning and losing gracefully.  In the Geography Bee there is writing and map interpretation- both of which led to mini meltdowns in the youngest of kids-4th graders who were just expecting to verbally answer.   Also, there were specific guideines of both age and grade to enter.   

Within my homeschool community, the grade they would be in public school determines class/co-op-fieldtrip admission.  When DS was younger it bugged me greatly because he was capable of the knowledge. Now that he is older and I see parents with younger gifted kids work around it, I understand how it affects a class.  There is a child who knows the answers but can't have the give and take of a discussion or effectively work in small groups or wants to do it all themself or winds up crying becasue things didn't go their way and then mom steps in and the dynamic is thrown way off.  While their behvior is age appropriate for them, it is not appropriate for the age of the class.  I'm not saying this would be your experience or your child, just an issue I see pop up here and there.

We have found some science locations to not care about age (Fermi Lab and the community college) but only to care about ability.  if he knew his stuff, could sit still and add to the discssion in a give and take manner, he was welcome.  He's been able to take part in some cool lecture opportunities.  I had to seek these out and he is typically the only kid.

I would say that unless you have a socially savvy kid, keep him at grade level for group activites or find ones that are a range of grades or ages (k-2nd or 5-7 kind of thing).  Do the more advanced work one on one.  Keep the class to subjects he loves so that his passion carries him through the redundancy of information, but he gets that group interaction and time to work on social skills. 

 

Avatar for vegiemama
Community Leader
Registered: 01-06-2000
Tue, 01-22-2013 - 2:37am

For me, it depends on the setting as to what "grade" I say my child is in...especially when they were younger.  If there was something they were more accelerated in academically, where emotional/physical maturity didn't matter, I said they were the age of their academics.  For instance, a science activity that would challenge my child because s/he was more advanced in that area, but that wouldn't leave him/her feeling "left out" because the other kids were older.  If the activity was something where emotional/physical maturity matters, then I'd go with the appropriate grade level.  So, if they were likely to be teased by older companions, and/or left out because of size/strength, then go with their "age grade".

Does that make sense?  Basically, it boils down to using your "mom sense" to gauge the type of activity and how you think it fits your child's needs.


Sue
Homeschooling mom to DD15 & DS11

CL of Homeschooling, Signature Showcase, Ectopic Loss, and Fertility Charting