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    #200203 - 09/07/14 03:59 AM Radical acceleration down the road - any regrets?
    Tigerle Offline

    Registered: 07/29/14
    Posts: 601
    Loc: Europe
    And I am asking for regrets of both kinds - whether you did or didn't accelerate, and how that played out beyond elementary.

    We are mulling over a second acceleration for DS7, a rising third grader who was recently tested with an FSIQ of 154.

    He was entered early, but as his birthday is only a few weeks after the cutoff and there happen to be no redshirted kids in his current classroom (this may change depending on which Middle/high school program we choose) a second acceleration would not appear to be that radical, except for the fact that he is very asynchronous and does NOT come across as socio-emotionally mature, additionally he's anxious and highly sensitive. Though he does like to play with older kids, there are a couple good fits among our acquaintance.

    So far, he was tolerably engaged in his elementary classroom skewing highly for SES and achievement, which of course may change in third grade (new teacher, different demands). As I am sure the idea of a skip would make him highly anxious right now, the only option would be skipping after third into fifth, which would be the first grade of middle school, and also the grade gifted programming starts. The gifted program is a track within a public college prep school, so an already accelerated program that telescopes the curriculum by year and adds enrichment in the time saved. Parents appear to be very happy.

    It is a bit of a dilemma - down the road, I cannot imagine him to be engaged by the regular college prep curriculum and I imagine being accelerated twice might help academically. But as for the social aspect, in a regular program he will meet redshirted and retained kids galore. And while I felt myself, having skipped only once, that the one year difference was never an issue after fifth grade, the gap to the kids two or more years older which I met in extracurriculars, and occasionally in the classroom, felt HUGE.

    However, while in the gifted program being accelerated once is par for the course, being accelerated twice not that unusual either, and help with the typical issues (writing) will be offered, he might not actually need to be skipped to be engaged. Or might he, being HG+? If we do not jump at the chance now, will we regret it? Or should it be all about whether he can tolerate another year of elementary? We might not have a choice either way...

    I should add, that after fifth, grade, any type of acceleration in either program beyond the regular curriculum, which is very strictly sequential through senior year, with barely any choices in subjects and none in levels, is almost unheard of. No more transitions, the same kids in one classroom till junior year. Grade corrections up or down could happen in tenth grade at the earliest, by spending a year abroad.

    Basically I am asking you to be my crystal ball, based on your own experiences...

    #200204 - 09/07/14 04:11 AM Re: Radical acceleration down the road - any regrets? [Re: Tigerle]
    Wren Offline

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1528
    I think that gender plays a role. As a female, with a June bday, I was behind in puberty but I did not feel awkward. And liking a boy older than you are is not a big deal.
    In high school, there is the possibility of drinking to fit in. All kinds of scenarios that may or may not happen.
    Socially awkward guys, in high school, that are really smart, tend to become very successful but often choose the wrong women, compensating. Seen that a lot on Wall St. I know that people may think this point is ridiculous, but playing devil's advocate. This scenario is as real as any other. Hence why a school that allows for acceleration in subjects while allowing for social development is optimal. Why a school like Hunter allows kids to do a college degree at Columbia or NYU while they continue in other subjects staying in high school. That kid a couple of years ago who graduated from Physics at Columbia before he got his high school diploma from Hunter. He was already in graduate studies in math at NYU when he went to his high school prom.

    #200205 - 09/07/14 04:41 AM Re: Radical acceleration down the road - any regrets? [Re: Tigerle]
    aeh Offline

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3612
    I think it is very difficult to predict, as it depends so much on the specific child. But I think you knew that...

    My own experience was largely positive. I also just missed the cutoff, and was entered early, skipped once at third grade, again at ninth, and left high school a year before graduation to enroll in the university. So four nominal skips (although the early entry to K was negligible). In the grades that encompass third through sixth, I was in various forms of gifted programming. In junior and senior high, I was not, but had a custom schedule, with additional acceleration in core academic subjects.

    Factors that I think helped to moderate the peer social impacts include having HG+ siblings close in age, a community with a high performing peer group outside of school, and extracurricular interests that were not as affected by age/size (I was not an athlete). I am also rather small of stature, which may have steered me away from sports, irrespective of grade skips.

    Regrets? Maybe a few awkward pre/early adolescent romantic encounters, which, at the time, I thought were awkward because of my age difference, but in retrospect, were just awkward because of my age, period.

    Among my children, I have an early adolescent who skipped K and 4th, who appeared to be largely happy with the course of things while still in a b&m school. The one comment I have heard is a dislike for being treated (in a warm, cuddly, class pet kind of way) like a baby by classmates--although they consistently respected the academic aspects. This particular child is highly social. The others have been predominantly or solely homeschooled, so it hasn't come up as much.

    #200212 - 09/07/14 06:46 AM Re: Radical acceleration down the road - any regrets? [Re: Tigerle]
    madeinuk Offline

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1446
    Loc: NJ
    I have a daughter so I cannot help directly but will still post some of our decision making process for others down the road searching for this topic :-)

    We certainly considered pushing for a skip for our DD8 from the end 2nd to start of 5th given her IQ and achievement scores. We chose not to for the following reasons:-

    + The 'to be' 5th grade cohort was composed of physical giants almost across the board (it was as though a meteor shower directly over our town/village had emitted rays that effected every pregnant woman in the area LOL). So the size difference would have encouraged them to treat our DD as a pet/mascot and we want her to be mentally AND physically confident.

    + We didn't want to bite off more than our DD could chew in terms of social integration - we knew that academically it would be a cakewalk for her. We thought that we would test the water first with a bog standard skip.

    + We know that we can always (and will if necessary) push for another one if needed in the future - in our SD middle school begins in 6th grade and a skip across buildings is not recommended in the IOWA Acceleration Scale book.

    Since skipping just that one grade my DD is *SO MUCH happier* in and out of school. She has made a few good friends with common interests so we are reluctant to disrupt the status quo for the time being. We after school with AoPS too so that she is still in her ZPD to some extent as well.
    Become what you are

    #200215 - 09/07/14 07:50 AM Re: Radical acceleration down the road - any regrets? [Re: Tigerle]
    Shelli Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 09/06/14
    Posts: 3
    Loc: Texas
    I am writing from a slightly different point of view, as an adult who wishes she had been (further) accelerated.

    I am HG & w/ a late August birthday was lucky enough to enter school early w/o having to skip (though we did still do some subject acceleration). I was given the option of skipping again in 4th grade, which would have made me 10 going into middle school & I would have graduated at 16. Understandably, this made my mom nervous... but as an adult, I really wish she had taken the offer!

    I didn't really relate to my age peers, & the one year I was homeschooled was AMAZING academically. It was the only time before adulthood I felt adequately challenged academically. Unfortunately this was not a long-term option for a single mom below poverty level. I feel I could have learned so much more & felt more enriched in that environment, or a further accelerated school environment. College was a very welcome change!

    #200222 - 09/07/14 09:41 AM Re: Radical acceleration down the road - any regrets? [Re: Tigerle]
    DeeDee Offline

    Registered: 04/16/10
    Posts: 2498
    We have one who, by test scores, would be a candidate for multiple grade-accelerations. We've chosen instead to subject-accelerate (one acceleration is several years' skip) where he needs it most, keeping him with age peers in some parts of his day.

    There is no one size fits all, and no solution that fits forever. What MON said: Do what will fit in the short and medium term, but be ready to shift gears...

    #200224 - 09/07/14 09:46 AM Re: Radical acceleration down the road - any regrets? [Re: Tigerle]
    HowlerKarma Offline

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Four case studies for you--

    Myself-- should have been accelerated, possibly 2y or more, and wasn't. I spent my high school years skipping class and being-- well, the kind of teen that I don't want my DD even around. I was bored and depressed, and my self-worth was virtually zero. I graduated in the top quartile of my class even so-- and when I say "skipped class" I mean that in my sophomore year, the authorities were interested in my absenteeism rate, which topped 40%.

    My Best Friend (HG)-- left high school at sophomore year, enrolling in community college and attaining her first degree and her CPA before she was 19 years old. She was the youngest state tax auditor that her state of residence has ever hired. She was effectively accelerated 3y at the END of her high school career, and this has worked out well for her. I seriously doubt that she has any regrets. She and I both married very young, however-- and to partners VERY much older than ourselves-- gaps of 11 and 7 years, respectively.

    My BIL-- similar story to mine. He's EG.

    My DD: Effectively a 4y skip, given her late birthday-- we delayed entry until she was 6 while we homeschooled in a variety of ways. At that time, she entered as a 3rd grader at the end of the year-- but worked through the entire 3rd grade curriculum in a compacted 8 week period. The following year, she compacted 4th and 5th, but the school started to freak out, and asked us to agree to "no more skips" which was fine for about 18 months, and not-so-great for another 12, and hideous for another 6 until we told them that she was probably not going to graduate if they didn't do something about the poor fit. She graduated #1 in her (VERY competitive) class at 14yo, and was accepted everywhere she applied, and has a full ride scholarship at a state research flagship in the smaller honors college program there. We'll see how she does, but the college environment seems to suit her well.

    Okay, so things which I regard as collateral damage-- that is, they are regrettable, but the price which had to be paid:

    a) sports-- she is fairly athletic, but the age difference means that outside of club sports, she is THE youngest, and usually the least capable,

    b) social-- she, too, resents being "the baby" A LOT. She has chosen to modify her behavior so that she can "pass" which has worked well since puberty, but that brings me to--

    c) romantic*-- because she is FUNCTIONALLY 2-3 y older, and very appealing in personality and appearance, she has a lot more interest from others than is wise or healthy, and mostly it makes her incredibly uncomfortable. She's never really known anyone that she wanted to be involved with within 2 y of her own age, and at the moment, this is a serious concern and causes her a lot of stress because of how strict our state laws are, and the R&J clause here, which is 3y. MOST of the college guys who hit on her are outside of that range,given that she's only just 15. Her first serious boyfriend is nearly 4 years older than she is; the two of them are well-matched in other respects, but it's an issue, and I'd be lying if I said it didn't worry both sets of parents. They're supervised as though they were both 15, and there are some VERY strange conversations because of this age difference. Things like making sure that NO electronic communications between the two of them could even remotely constitute "supporting evidence" of an improper relationship between them... and some of this stuff applies even with her FRIENDS.

    d) pragmatic limitations on transportation, legal authority, etc. This is a huge mixed bag, but it will include things like not being able to stay in a hotel room with a group of older students, not being able to drive or vote, not being able to even GO INTO a bar while a college student (okay, maybe that is positive), insurance, driving, etc. etc.

    * also note that because of my own experiences, I know that NOT accelerating DD would in no way prevent any of this. Remember, I met my future spouse at 15, too, and he was in his 20's at the time. So I didn't confuse acceleration as causative in this case. DD isn't drawn to people older than herself because she spends so much time with them, so much as that she finds agemates to not really be PEERS.
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    #200227 - 09/07/14 10:12 AM Re: Radical acceleration down the road - any regrets? [Re: Tigerle]
    Wren Offline

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1528
    HK, maybe you could elaborate on what happens with sports clubs. If a multi-skipped kid, hanging with older kids, hangs with agemates in sports clubs, are they able to socialize with age peers, does that work? Etc. I think it helps us looking at skips. Particularly with boys, who I think have a greater cultural hurdle in social stuff.

    #200228 - 09/07/14 10:13 AM Re: Radical acceleration down the road - any regrets? [Re: Tigerle]
    Wren Offline

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1528
    Maybe I should clarify. You dated someone 7 years older when you were 15, can you imagine the scenario if it was a 22 year old girl dating a 15 year old boy.

    #200230 - 09/07/14 10:43 AM Re: Radical acceleration down the road - any regrets? [Re: Tigerle]
    HowlerKarma Offline

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Exactly-- there's also a bit of "that was then and this is now" going on, too.

    So while my 15yo has a 19yo boyfriend, it's only not squicky because it's THIS particular 19yo.


    If a multi-skipped kid, hanging with older kids, hangs with agemates in sports clubs, are they able to socialize with age peers, does that work?

    Kind of. The thing is, kids talk about school-- and that leads to skipped kids being outsiders, or having to reveal that which they'd hoped to keep under wraps for social reasons.

    So on the one hand, people may be more accepting of a girl who is younger than the median/average age of the group, they are generally LESS accepting of a girl who is an intellectual threat to the supremacy of the oldest members of that group. It's (seemingly) reversed for boys.

    Most school-affiliated sports, and even a few CLUB sports, are organized by grade level. That means that if your child is a 10th grader on paper, they'll be playing with/competing against children who are 15-17yo. If your child happens to be accelerated by 2y, that means that s/he will only be 12-13 at the time.

    On the other hand, going by chronological age (as many club sports do) means that s/he will be grouped with 7th graders, with whom s/he may have little in common. It's also a behavioral expectations anomoly in the life of that child-- that is, if s/he is expected to behave functionally as a 10th grader much of each day, it's easier to normalize "okay, when I'm with other teens, I'm 16" than to switch back and forth between a number of different behavioral templates.

    Not sure if I'm explaining that one well. It's one reason why we've just gritted our teeth and had DD with that older cohort all the way around.

    Our ultimate goals are for her to have a somewhat normative set of experiences to take with her into adulthood, socially speaking, and to at the same time make her academic life tolerable. The solution set there has unfortunately meant growing up faster than her chronological age would dictate, but that's the sacrifice that had to be made so that she can relate socially to a peer group throughout her life.
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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