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    #125037 - 03/08/12 08:05 PM Early College and Radical Acceleration
    JonA Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 10/23/09
    Posts: 17
    Hi,
    I was wondering if anyone here has had experience with early college entrance and radical acceleration? Out son is entering full time high school next year and is 3-4 years ahead of his chronological age in his courses. While he will just have turned 12, most of his classes as a freshman will be with juniors and seniors. At his current pace, he'll probably graduate by age 14. While his grades and SAT scores (and even extracurriculars) would easily qualify him to be Ivy bound, I have heard that most top selective schools don't like to admit younger students. Quite frankly that is just fine by us, since we're not sure socially it would be the right fit (probably 16 would be OK, but not 14) to live in a dorm with "adults". There are a number of top 25-50 schools in our area accessible by public transportation (since he's too young to drive) that would probably be academically OK as a day student. The problem is that I sort of feel as though we would be depriving our son of the experience of a really top school by forcing him to be a commuter as a lesser school than he would be able to attend as a regular 18 year old. If we took the commuter student options,we are assuming that he could wait and attend a very selective school as an 18 year old grad student. I'd really appreciate it if anyone else in a similar situation could share their experiences. Thanks!

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    #125040 - 03/08/12 10:55 PM Re: Early College and Radical Acceleration [Re: JonA]
    flower Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/11/10
    Posts: 281
    My daughter took an English Comp. class last semester as a 13 year old. She was testing the waters for doing more college courses. She did fine with the class in terms of grades etc. She felt awkward during some discussions because she did not have the life experience that some of the students had. There was a discussion regarding poverty and some of the people in the class were single moms and had used food stamps etc. She felt her opinions could not stand up to the "life experience" she was hearing about. I think she was a bit turned off by that. Maybe classes that do not have that kind of discussion would have been better. My daughter can pass as a college student as she is tall etc. Before you make a decision maybe you could do a trial run in a class at the school you might use and see how he likes it?

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    #125041 - 03/08/12 11:23 PM Re: Early College and Radical Acceleration [Re: JonA]
    ElizabethN Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/12
    Posts: 1390
    Loc: Seattle area
    I took college courses starting at 16, and my boyfriend was a grad student at 19. Honestly, he was sort of maladjusted, and I think he still is some 30 years later. I don't know how much of that was the academic experience and how much was him, though. I didn't have a problem, and I went to MIT for undergrad and grad school.

    What does your son think about this? Maybe he would be better off writing video games for a couple of years between high school and college, or traveling, or something? I do think that the very selective schools would be just as hesitant to accept an 18-year-old grad student as a 14-year-old freshman.

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    #125046 - 03/09/12 03:54 AM Re: Early College and Radical Acceleration [Re: JonA]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    JonA -
    Welcome, glad that you asked. My son is 2E so we haven't had to face this in our family, but we know many people who have -
    1) If you want to keep the door open to being a Freshman at a super-selective school at 16, the key is to 'homeschool' that last little bit of Highschool, so that he doesn't officially graduate at 14, but can be a 'dual enrolled' high school student. That way he can take local day classes to his heart's content without having to try and enter a super-select school as a transfer student, which is much harder and less financial aid.
    2) There are amazing schools that he could attend and live on campus at a very young age and get a lot out of because they are so structured
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._John's_College_(United_States)
    comes to mind. Particularly if he is more interested in the Humanities Path.
    3) If he is more interested in STEM, then getting involved with local research is a way to go.
    4) Log on to College Confidential and take a look at the schools that you think might be a good social-emotional match and see what good candidates are looking like. That might give you an idea of some activities you child would find rewarding. I'm NOT saying you should try and shape him into what you think the college might like, more that, since it is a good social/emotional fit, you may find great ideas to pick from.
    5) Summer programs are a great way to get with real peers. Advertised age isn't always the same a real age. I was just reading see question #13
    http://www.hcssim.org/faq.html
    If you child hasn't done THINK summer program, a wonderful one.
    6) It's still so early. You child will probably develop at least one major new interest in the next 2 years. Perhaps it will be in an extracurricular area. You will get to see if his 'organizational skills' and 'physical stamina' are up to doing work with kids at plus 4 chronological age. Or maybe he'll still be so underplaced that you won't really get a chance to know, but it's a start.
    7) Look for a mentor at one of the commuting distance schools so he'll have some intellectual companionship along the way.
    8) Join DYS and get on their listserve for early college - there are very kind parents there who can answer specific programs about specific places.

    Hope that helps,
    Keep us posted
    Grinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #125053 - 03/09/12 05:21 AM Re: Early College and Radical Acceleration [Re: JonA]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2593
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: JonA
    If we took the commuter student options,we are assuming that he could wait and attend a very selective school as an 18 year old grad student.


    The undergrad and grad school experiences are very different. Grad students usually don't live in dorms, interact mostly with people in their department, and rarely participate in undergrad extracurriculars such as sports, clubs, student newspapers etc.
    I'm not saying your plan is bad, just that going to grad school at an Ivy is not the same as going there as an undergrad.
    _________________________
    "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle." - George Orwell

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    #125064 - 03/09/12 07:21 AM Re: Early College and Radical Acceleration [Re: JonA]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2593
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: JonA
    Hi,
    i was wondering if anyone here has had experience with early college entrance and radical acceleration?


    There is a book "Early Entrance to College" (2007) by Michelle Muratori http://www.amazon.com/Early-Entrance-to-...31305955&sr=1-1 . I have not completed it, but it is good so far and has quotes from lots of early college students and their parents. Her article "Tips for Parents: Making Decisions about Early Entrance to College" is at http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10531.aspx .
    _________________________
    "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle." - George Orwell

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    #125103 - 03/09/12 12:40 PM Re: Early College and Radical Acceleration [Re: JonA]
    JonA Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 10/23/09
    Posts: 17
    Thanks for all of the replies! Part of our concern on "missing out" on the elite college experience has to do with the experience that my wife and I both had. We attended decent public high schools (that offered plenty of AP classes) but neither of us were ever really challenged in HS. Both of us then went on to attend an Ivy league school and discovered an environment where significant numbers of people with similar levels of intellectual curiosity were the norm rather than the exception. It is that social environment that I would like my son to experience, though at age 18 rather than at 14. I guess that I figured being a commuter student at a decent 2nd tier school would keep him academically challenged, and we would treat it sort of like high school (just with more responsibility and freedom). Perhaps grad school isn't the ideal way for an 18 year old with a bachelors degree to have a traditional "Freshman" experience, but we are truly struggling finding alternatives.

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    #125109 - 03/09/12 01:34 PM Re: Early College and Radical Acceleration [Re: JonA]
    Austin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/25/08
    Posts: 1840
    Loc: North Texas
    If his trajectory is STEM, then finding a mentor in a local college who will take him on is something to consider. He can then get his undergrad out of the way and then go to any grad school he wants.


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    #125110 - 03/09/12 01:35 PM Re: Early College and Radical Acceleration [Re: JonA]
    Austin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/25/08
    Posts: 1840
    Loc: North Texas
    If his trajectory is STEM, then finding a mentor in a local college who will take him on is something to consider. He can then get his undergrad out of the way and then go to any grad school he wants. A published paper or two at the age of 16 or 18 goes a lot further than another 4 years of HS.




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    #125115 - 03/09/12 01:59 PM Re: Early College and Radical Acceleration [Re: master of none]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: master of none

    Grinity, I thought the early college list was for people in early college. Is it worthwhile for those a few years away to join too?

    The parents there are very kind. I joined a while back when I was thinking about local community college classes to round things out for DS. I've also picked up some great tips for having a child away at boarding school. The list isn't very active, except in spurts. But I recommend to join and ask away. Another wonderful list is the DYS Alumni list, which you can join at anytime, don't have to wait to be an Alum. That's a great place to ask those 'so how did it turn out?' questions.

    Smiles,
    Grinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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