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    #211613 - 03/01/15 06:00 AM It's official - no further acceleration for now
    Tigerle Offline

    Registered: 07/29/14
    Posts: 602
    Loc: Europe
    No idea whether we are doing the right thing or not, but it feels good to have the decision off the table.
    DS is in third and accelerated once (early entry). His tester (FSIQ of 154) recommended another acceleration, either immediately into fourth or at the end of the year into the gifted program starting in fifth grade in middle school. In our end of semester conference, his third grade teacher felt he was placed just right with SSA in math (going to the fourth grade classroom) - not that he couldn't do all the third grade stuff in LA and science either, but she felt that he needed the exposure in LA in order not to have gaps. Being the youngest in class he is not as advanced in LA as some of the bright/possibly MG girls (very high SES school). He enjoyed science very much due to the research project they had for the first semester. Now that that's over, I need to pressure DH (math and physics teacher in the middle/high school next door) into volunteering a project. Also, holy communion is quite a Time commitment till after Easter, and he is signed up for programming and mind storms workshops on the weekends. So, we can probably keep him busy for the rest of third grade.

    We went to the gifted programs open house (starts in fifth grade) last week and he was adamant afterwards that he did NOT want to skip into fifth grade, telling me it was bad enough to lose his friends next year, he did not want to lose them this year (he is currently encountering some rejection in his class, possibly to do with the first "real" report card being out, which I think is contributing to his anxiety there.) He liked the math session though Pascal's triangle was nothing new for him but was unhappy about the LA session (apparently they did odd little competitions and he scored lowest among all the fourth graders). I would have had to sign him up Monday so that's it. And I am rather relieved we do not have to figure out logistics with getting an 8 year old into middle school at the other side of town and that he has another year to work on his weaknesses in executive function. But he'll have to sit out fourth grade now and we will have to think of how to tweak things.

    I do sense a trend with the discrepancy in math/science and LA, so we will have to think about ways to keep him accelerated in the former. Maybe we can arrange something with DHs middle school but it will be hard, especially as he will not be going there for fifth grade. Maybe DH can offer a continuous science project as our family's contribution (I'd much prefer that one to the boring reading workshop and library service). I'm sure I can keep him busy in after hours and on the weekend with stuff like programming workshops,music and judo. It's the school hours I'm worried about. Any thoughts?

    Edited by Tigerle (03/01/15 06:08 AM)

    #211643 - 03/01/15 03:31 PM Re: It's official - no further acceleration for now [Re: Tigerle]
    ndw Offline

    Registered: 11/29/13
    Posts: 314
    Educating our kids is just never straightforward is it!

    Let's see if I have this right, your son currently goes to fourth grade Maths now but fifth grade is middle school? There is a middle school next door to your son's school but it isn't the school he will ultimately attend.

    What is the school's plan or suggestion for continuing SSA in Maths in the next school year? Making use of the next door middle school resources would make sense if it is achievable.

    It's been much easier for us to accelerate our DD in Maths and science but interestingly her LA skills were always good but we didn't focus on them so the eventual perception was that she was weaker in those areas. This year, because she is accelerated in all subjects, she is really developing her LA skills. It may be that you could actually work on the LA areas with your son in preparation for fifth grade. Does that make any sense.

    He will still need extension in science and Maths or, as we have seen, interest can flag. But do you think he would also respond to some LA activities?

    Out of curiosity, did you get the sense your son actually liked the gifted school? Reading his experiences of the Open Day, I wasn't sure he found it that stimulating. Of course, that isn't always a good way to judge if he would ultimately like it because he feels attachment to his current school and friends and that can cloud his opinion of any change.

    #211750 - 03/03/15 01:32 AM Re: It's official - no further acceleration for now [Re: Tigerle]
    Tigerle Offline

    Registered: 07/29/14
    Posts: 602
    Loc: Europe
    Yes, you've got it right.

    I do not it think the school has a plan at all. I do not even think they have ever done SSA before. they talk a lot about giving kids accelerated work in the classroom "once they are done with their regular work" but you can guess how well that worked. They have skipped a number of kids, but those were full grade skips and thus this particular problem never came up.

    Another problem is that the middle school is a public college prep track school, and legally, they can only accept kids who have a B- average in fourth grade on May 1st. So I am not even sure how that would work - he could have entered fifth grade in the gifted track in the other school as a rising fourth grader just on the strength of his test results, and he's got mostly As as it is, but this may not even be at the discretion of the principal.

    My husband actually takes him to class occasionally when he does interesting physics stuff with his high schoolers in the afternoons, but the reasoning, if anyone ever asked, which probably no one would, would simply be a short term problem with childcare arrangements.

    So I guess we will scramble and tweak as we always have and just hope he will continue enjoying his school for the teacher (whom we all like a lot), his friends, who hopefully will be mean only temporarily, and the many interesting projects they do.
    Not sure what we could do about language arts....he reads a lot, we go to the library and talk about books and he writes long short stories and short novels (he's got a famous five novel going, about the famous five coming to our town on a case and us helping out, not sure in what state of completion that one is). He's just not stimulated by the spelling and grammar stuff that they do and does not come across as clearly needing acceleration the way he does in math - and I have to say what they do is at a fairly high level. Not that he can't do it all easily, but I think he is learning. And he's got problems getting into and finishing the assignments as speedily as it would be expected from a kid that needed acceleration, which I think is both an EF problem and a giftie problem (as in "I'm not interested, what's the point?", and he comes by it honestly, I still struggle with work assignments I not stimulated by as an adult). Not sure whether it is a lack of challenge problem, per se.

    I was a bit disappointed by his lukewarm response to the gifted track info night, to be honest.
    He does want to go next year, when all kids will be transitioning anyway, but clearly prefers his current school. So maybe we are just very lucky with his elementary (I do think we are, mostly) or he is so very anxious about the transition he wants to put it off as far is possible (and I think he is) or we do a good job with stimulating enrichment and extracurriculars so he wasn't that wowed (I do flatter myself we do) or the LA stuff they did with the kids really was as lame as he described. (Finding the titles of fairy tales in a word grid? Really? And turning it into a competition, with points and winners and losers, which he hates?

    Maybe it's a good thing he won't have this particular LA teacher next year, and we can hope there's another teacher for fifth grade the year after).

    Edited by Tigerle (03/03/15 01:43 AM)

    #211754 - 03/03/15 02:05 AM Re: It's official - no further acceleration for now [Re: Tigerle]
    ndw Offline

    Registered: 11/29/13
    Posts: 314
    Our DD crawled into my lap and was very disengaged when we went to an info night for her gifted fifth grade. It had me very worried but she was tired and a bit sick and in a bad headspace generally. She loved it. However, word searches wouldn't have excited her either, more so because of the competition element. Yep hope for a different teacher.

    Sounds like you have a good current school with reasonable challenge and you are doing a good job. You are lucky your DH can provide some enrichment occasionally. If he is stimulated and learning in LA that's great. I wouldn't worry.

    For the science and math....why not have a chat with the school and just ask what they think, if they have any suggestions.


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