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    #232095 - 07/05/16 07:42 PM Early College Entrance - radically early
    sanne Offline

    Registered: 06/30/16
    Posts: 289
    I'm interested in advice, experience, insight on radically early college entrance.

    #232102 - 07/06/16 09:32 AM Re: Early College Entrance - radically early [Re: sanne]
    aeh Offline

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3638
    You may or may not have seen these threads, linked here:

    Or articles, such as this, in the Davidson Database:

    Found on this page, with a number of articles on the topic:

    #232104 - 07/06/16 11:26 AM Re: Early College Entrance - radically early [Re: sanne]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4228

    You've received great resources in the post above.

    I'll just add that the information which is helpful for "radically early college entrance" may depend upon the needs of the child and/or what you, as the parent, are trying to accomplish.

    For example, some may seek a degree of celebrity. There has been much media coverage of Tanishq Abraham, easily found with a web search, such as this article from 2015 and this article from 2016.

    There are also articles such as 10 youngest colleges grads of all time, featuring other students.

    However the more common stories may be those of an 8, 9, or 10 year old auditing a college course in a subject of intense interest with a parent sitting at the back of the lecture hall or waiting in a nearby hallway.

    Students taking dual courses (which count for both high school and college credit) are quite common.

    Those who've completed high school and are fully matriculated college students at 15 or so are not uncommon.

    I'm linking this thread (currently found in the "Parenting and Advocacy" forum) to a thread on early college in the "College" forum. This is to underscore the importance for parents to realize that once a child attends college, parental rights under FERPA end:
    Parents should understand that their rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a postsecondary school at any age. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."

    As for advice, my advice would be: Never play the age card. In other words, do not ask for special favors, support, attention, or consideration due to age. College is more than pure academic/intellectual pursuit. An amount of maturity which affords the ability to understand the system and work within it (essentially developing internal locus of control, and demonstrating positive self-advocacy) may be hallmarks of a college-ready student. A child may need practice to become adept at deflecting conversations from the topic of age, and/or redirecting the focus of conversations from age back to the topic at hand (in a nonchalant, ho-hum, matter-of-fact manner) if someone else should veer off-topic and probe about age. Others may be curious, and that is to be expected, however the twin goals may be to avoid becoming a spectacle, and to maintain composure.

    Without revealing identifying details, would you care to share a bit more about your circumstances which lead you to inquire about radically early college entrance?

    #232108 - 07/06/16 11:37 AM Re: Early College Entrance - radically early [Re: sanne]
    Val Offline

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3289
    Loc: California
    Radically early college entrance (IMO, age 16 or less) outside of a dual enrollment program is something I would consider extremely carefully, and would give my child veto power. Your son or daughter will be a child among adults, and the differences between them will be huge.

    I know that this opinion isn't popular here, and that many here see radical acceleration as a generally positive option. IMO, this board overall focuses a lot on academic needs and is perhaps too dismissive of social needs. People age 16 or less do not necessarily fit in with 20-year-olds because they're smart. There's much more to college than academic-type-stuff.

    My eldest (16) was accelerated two years and entered a dual-enrollment program at age 14. My youngest (11) is accelerated one year but would still be the youngest in her age-grade class and some kids with her birthday are two years behind her.

    Both of them agree that the academics are the best fit for them, but that the social aspects have been tough. My eldest's classmates often remarked on the double skip, and it was hard for him to fit in in some ways. My youngest feels uncomfortable for the same reasons: "What? Your 12th birthday is a week after you start 8th grade?" The eldest is staying an extra year in his current program, and it's been good for him in many ways.

    Dual enrollment is a wonderful option to create skips without leaving age peers behind: a single-skipped 15 year-old or a 16 year-old is still in high school but takes college classes at the same time, along with all the other dual-enrolled high schoolers.

    It's very easy to say that you can undo a skip, but by that time, social and other frustrations have already occurred. This was certainly the case with my eldest and one of the adults I knew. You're not undoing it just because.

    Yes, I know that radical acceleration works for some people. But IMO, the environment here is too enthusiastic about it.

    So my advice is to proceed with extreme caution. Don't reject it, but don't jump into it because other people say it worked for them. And definitely look into dual enrollment (e.g. Middle College).

    Edited by Val (07/06/16 11:43 AM)

    #232117 - 07/06/16 03:41 PM Re: Early College Entrance - radically early [Re: sanne]
    aeh Offline

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3638
    Read through as many resources as you can find, including, as Val points out, both positive and negative comments/research on acceleration (though most of the research is positive). But ultimately:

    1. Every individual is different. It's great that a particular solution worked for someone's child. That's not your child.
    2. There is no perfect solution for HG+ students; they are all compromises, it's just a question of how you prioritize the compromise.
    3. You and your child will make the best decision at each point in time, based on your knowledge of your child, your family values, and the resources available and appropriate to your family.
    4. No matter what you do, someone will judge you for your decision. Listen politely, of course, but remember that they don't know your child like you do. Don't bother to engage 99% of them; it's not worth it.

    #232118 - 07/06/16 04:42 PM Re: Early College Entrance - radically early [Re: sanne]
    Cookie Offline

    Registered: 05/28/14
    Posts: 599
    I wouldn't say my son is radically accelerated. He has had one grade skip in elementary. Last year he was in sixth in an excellent program that had many good qualities. I can't speak highly enough of his school.

    But the truth is he was depressed and miserable in spite of all the goodness. We are kind of skipping him again, sort of. He will be officially in seventh grade (2 classes) and then also in eighth grade classes where they are actually taking ninth grade classes. So officially he will be in seventh with a 7/8/9 grade levels. The next year will be eighth only 8/9/10 grade levels.

    One of his problems is pacing. So this stuff might be harder and might make him less depressed but I don't really know if it will. I am just trying anything to keep him engaged and less upset.

    I just don't want to see him drop out or tune out or let the depression get worse.

    #232119 - 07/06/16 04:52 PM Re: Early College Entrance - radically early [Re: sanne]
    Val Offline

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3289
    Loc: California
    Cookie, I agree. It's such a tough problem and there's really no good solution with the education system structured the way it is.

    FWIW, in our family, a combination of grade levels has yielded the best results. This is because not being in age-grade level for every class is "normal" for many kids, which makes a HG+ kid stand out less.

    #232122 - 07/06/16 05:52 PM Re: Early College Entrance - radically early [Re: sanne]
    KJP Offline

    Registered: 02/29/12
    Posts: 756
    Not sure what is considered "radically early" but given a couple of years doesn't raise any eyebrows around here, I'm guessing you're talking about something more.

    How early?

    #232123 - 07/06/16 06:39 PM Re: Early College Entrance - radically early [Re: Val]
    Cookie Offline

    Registered: 05/28/14
    Posts: 599
    Originally Posted By: Val
    Cookie, I agree. It's such a tough problem and there's really no good solution with the education system structured the way it is.

    FWIW, in our family, a combination of grade levels has yielded the best results. This is because not being in age-grade level for every class is "normal" for many kids, which makes a HG+ kid stand out less.

    And what is funny is that my son said that he could have only done the even years of elementary school with one hand tied behind his back. And I personally believe he could have just done 7th grade of middle school. He is a child who can compact or leap through material. But he does need instruction for some things others just point him in the right direction. If I were home schooling him at this point (11 years old) he would be well into high school classes at this point.

    #232124 - 07/07/16 04:15 AM Re: Early College Entrance - radically early [Re: sanne]
    75west Offline

    Registered: 02/11/11
    Posts: 471
    There are various early entrance (college) programs (eep) scattered throughout the US, though many with restrictions. I know a teen at BU Academy who has been able to take courses at BU since they have an agreement with the school. However, a BU academy student has to either have completed the math curriculum at BU Academy or taken the math test to take math courses at BU (somewhat like a dual enrollment); and even then, there are age restrictions. I think 14 yrs old is the earliest that BU Academy students can take math courses at BU.

    What information or details are you looking for? The different approaches or what to do with a child in that situation? Or are you looking for examples? If so, here's a wikipedia list of child prodigies ( which you could easily verify the details on these children and what approach they took.

    Also, though, there are number of people who are not listed on this wikipedia page and who have gone through an eep or something similar. Ronan Farrow (Mia Farrow's and possibly Frank Sinatra's biological son, though formerly Woody Allen's) comes to mind. He went to Bard College at Simon's Rock at 11. And while Mia and Woody certainly had the money for Ronan to attend Simon's Rock or earlier with tutors, they still would have had to decide what to do with Ronan and how to go about it (and without the publicity during the midst of the Woody Allen scandal). At the end of the day, Ronan would still have had to be social/emotional ready for Simon's Rock as well as the academics. He commuted from his CT home (by limo, of course!) so that helped to smooth his transition.

    I think you'll notice a mixture of approaches though. Some people seem to follow a more formal, traditional school approach. Others, however, take a more informal, unconventional approach. I'm not sure one is better than the other. I think a lot of it depends on the child, motivation level, drive, environment, etc.

    You'll find opposites. Marvin Hamlisch went to Juillard at 6.5 yrs old, but Joey Alexander (who was recently featured on 60 Minutes) hasn't had much formal musical training and has been playing with Wynton Marsalis. With math, there's Terrance Tao at UCLA who had a more formal math training and was taking university courses at 9 and participating in math olympiads early on. Erik Demaine, by comparison, was homeschooled and lived/traveled around the country in a camper with his father until 12.

    Not sure if this helpful or not. Or what information you're looking for...

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