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    #230020 - 05/01/16 04:07 AM impacts of being 3-years-accelerated in math
    mom2R&R Offline

    Registered: 06/13/15
    Posts: 72
    Our first grader is currently in a third grade math class and has been recommended to take a 4/5 combo as a second grader, followed by a 5/6 combo as a 3rd grader. Then the school system says he will need to bus to the middle school to do their version of pre-algebra in 4th grade and algebra 1 in 5th grade.

    My concerns are that one, a fourth grader will have a difficult time in a class with 7th graders in a middle school. Apparently there are not any other elementary school students that would be doing this with him. I am considering advocating for him taking AOP online pre algebra during 4th grade instead, so that he is still in his elementary school, and doesn't miss the first 40 minutes of his school day by taking the bus from middle school. Anyone with experience bussing to middle school for math?

    The second problem is, he needs to take 4 credit of math in high school to graduate (state requirement). It seems that will be 4 AP/college level courses. I'm concerned we are dictating so much of what his high school experience and course load will be at the age of six! Part of me just wants to take it one year at a time, but the school system sat down with us trying to give us a long-term-view of the impacts of his early acceleration and it has me second-guessing these placements. Any thoughts?

    #230021 - 05/01/16 04:47 AM Re: impacts of being 3-years-accelerated in math [Re: mom2R&R]
    geofizz Offline

    Registered: 12/06/10
    Posts: 658
    Does Algebra not count as a HS class when taken at the middle school? Here, kids taking Algebra early start earning high school credits early.
    Does the middle school cluster kids who took the 5/6 at elementary together? That would decrease the age gap by one if they do. Ours does, so it was also a high achieving/gifted cohort, which has also helped with the age gap.

    Ideally, the schools coordinate so that math is what he misses while he's at the middle school. That happened for one of my kids but not the other. It's a scheduling nightmare.

    The laws in this state make it pretty much impossible to homeschool just one subject, something I looked into for my kids for math. I never approached the school about it, so I don't know if they would have worked with me.

    But you have a few years to consider it. If you choose the homeschool option, you can teach him laterally instead of following what we call the death march through arithmetic.

    Our guiding principle for subject accelerations and compactions has been to meet the needs of the child in front of us. If the compacted class will meet his needs and the non-compacted won't, then do it and address the consequences of what he migh be ready for or might not be ready for later.

    I would look into the homework load of the compacted class. If it's done like some schools - all the problems and all the units of 3 years in two- then consider whether or not he's going to thrive with that much work. If it's compacted by removing repitition, taught by someone who digs gifted kids and gets that because he 's younger and so might write more largely, struggle with emotional control, and with fitting in, then go for it.

    We've never encountered any social problems with my kids being accelerated in their acceleated placement - the older kids have always accepted mine. We've even seen only the most minor problems with grade/age peers, and they would have been problems either way.

    Edited by geofizz (05/01/16 04:57 AM)

    #230024 - 05/01/16 06:04 AM Re: impacts of being 3-years-accelerated in math [Re: mom2R&R]
    Malraux Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 02/21/15
    Posts: 30
    Loc: KY
    With respect to high school credits, does your state allow dual enrollment? That is, instead of worrying about taking enough classes in the high school, get the credits he needs from taking classes at a local college. It gets the college credit directly, rather than through the AP process.

    Additionally, I agree to worry about the future in the future. Worry about things right now.

    Edited by Malraux (05/01/16 06:05 AM)

    #230027 - 05/01/16 06:26 AM Re: impacts of being 3-years-accelerated in math [Re: mom2R&R]
    blackcat Offline

    Registered: 05/23/13
    Posts: 2154
    DS in third grade is sent to the 6th grade for math. When this occurred, I don't think anyone was thinking about the future, they just sent him to where he needed to be. So, next year, he needs pre-algebra. We still don't have a plan, but the school district is setting up a program for highly gifted kids in the school (how convenient!) and they accepted DS there, so I'm hoping there will be other kids at his level. I did talk to another school district and they said that they bus kids up to 3 years (two years in terms of age since a lot of kids are accelerated one year), and it has worked out fine for them to bus elementary to the middle school or middle school to the high school. I think they have a "college in the schools" program for kids who max out high school material.

    Really, the only thing that has been a challenge so far in terms of moving DS that much has been his handwriting issues, but he has dysgraphia (or something close to it). The kids don't take issue with the fact that he is so young, and act like they are in awe of him.

    Not sure how it will work further down the line, though...

    I did tell the school that we need to be flexible. That if he struggles down the line he will repeat whatever course it is, and they agreed.

    #230029 - 05/01/16 08:08 AM Re: impacts of being 3-years-accelerated in math [Re: mom2R&R]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4530
    My two cents: While acceleration may not be the ideal solution, the cost of NOT accelerating may present more negatives, such as:
    - lack of challenge leading to boredom,
    - loss of sense of discovery, exploration, curiosity,
    - development of an unwillingness to struggle and risk making mistakes,
    - dearth of opportunities to learn from one's mistakes/failures,
    - failure to develop perseverance and resilience,
    - lack of respect for other people and their struggles/failures.
    - More at this post.

    Adding a link to a thread called what kids don't learn, which contains an article listing 10 essential skills which are developed through effort, such as experiencing appropriate academic & intellectual challenge... skills which people may not develop without this level of challenge.

    A single-subject acceleration (such as math) affords the child the opportunity to be with academic/intellectual peers for math while also spending some time with chronological age peers for other subjects.

    Here are some links to old forum discussions which may be of interest:
    1. Thread called Polling Davidson forum members on acceleration, which discusses whole-grade acceleration (grade skip) and has many links to other threads with thoughtful responses on children's experiences with having older friends/peers/classmates. A list of these links is also summarized in this post from a thread called Considering a grade skip.
    2. Post linking to "The Right Fit" authored by Tamara Fisher, from archives of her column Unwrapping the Gifted, for Education Week.

    Bottom line: Think in terms of matching the program to the child, rather than matching the child to the program. Take each year at a time, and adjust as needed to facilitate your unique child's academic, intellectual, social, and emotional growth and well-being.

    #230030 - 05/01/16 08:13 AM Re: impacts of being 3-years-accelerated in math [Re: mom2R&R]
    playandlearn Offline

    Registered: 11/14/08
    Posts: 309
    For #1, I do think online learning could be a wonderful alternative. My DD is doing it this year in 5th grade and is loving it. We are also talking about next year's arrangement. She could take online geometry (offered by our district free of charge, but it's a "regular" geometry course), or more in-depth (more proofs) geometry with 8th graders. But we are also wondering about AoPS, because I don't feel that the "in-depth" geometry is really much better than the regular course, and most likely DD will be bored pretty soon anyways.

    For #2, ask your district. If they have had dealt with similar situations before, they would know what to expect. We asked and they gave us a few routes that DD could go in middle and high school, including busing to high school while in middle school, and taking classes at local colleges while in high school. But for us it's a bit different in that DD doesn't really care that much about math. She takes advanced math these days just because it makes school days more fun than sitting in the regular math class (she does very little math at home and finishes most stuff at school). She wants to be a musician. So in high school, if she doesn't change her mind, our priority would be to ensure she has time to practice her instruments...

    #230033 - 05/01/16 09:09 AM Re: impacts of being 3-years-accelerated in math [Re: geofizz]
    mom2R&R Offline

    Registered: 06/13/15
    Posts: 72
    Geofizz- Yes, algebra would go on his high school transcript, but apparently a new rule says that must take 4 years of math in high school as well. I'm still unclear about these details and who knows, it could change in the next 8 years before he's in high school. Our state doesn't allow you to homeschool for one subject either, I looked into that because it seemed like a good option.

    Thank you for your statement, "Our guiding principle for subject accelerations and compactions has been to meet the needs of the child in front of us." I think that's true and what we need to remember.

    #230034 - 05/01/16 09:12 AM Re: impacts of being 3-years-accelerated in math [Re: Malraux]
    mom2R&R Offline

    Registered: 06/13/15
    Posts: 72
    Malraux- We will need to look into dual-enrollement. We do have a magnet program in the county for middle and high school with a science, math and computer focus. It offers many math courses above calculus (which I know nothing about, having never taken them). I'm not certain how that will work yet, but they do offer the courses in the high school.

    #230035 - 05/01/16 09:13 AM Re: impacts of being 3-years-accelerated in math [Re: Portia]
    mom2R&R Offline

    Registered: 06/13/15
    Posts: 72
    Portia- I was just looking at the pre-algebra course through AoPS. It may be an option for us in 4th grade, rather than going to middle school. Did you do both parts over the course of one school year? How did the course work for you?

    #230036 - 05/01/16 09:18 AM Re: impacts of being 3-years-accelerated in math [Re: blackcat]
    mom2R&R Offline

    Registered: 06/13/15
    Posts: 72
    blackcat- Thank you for sharing your son's experience. Our schools system also has a program for the highly gifted starting in 4th grade, which apparently includes about the top 3%. I have been told that he still will not have peers at his level of acceleration though because the school system is very hesitant and resistant toward allowing any acceleration before 4th grade. I completely agree that we need to remember to be flexible, and repeat any material necessary.

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