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    #249220 - 10/06/21 08:22 AM Re: Acceleration in high school [Re: NotSoGifted]
    sunnyday Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/08/14
    Posts: 86
    Originally Posted By: NotSoGifted
    I get the sense that there aren't many advanced students at your high school. Our public HS, which my kids attended, offers Multivariable Calc and Linear Algebra, so the "regular" kids don't need to look outside the HS. My older two both had kids in their class that had finished all the HS math classes by end of 8th grade, so they went to a local college for math - we are fortunate to have three four-year colleges within a mile of the HS (and another three within three miles).


    Right, you clearly have had a different high school experience than we have here. As I stated, there are roughly 250 students total in the high school. And this is a mostly-rural area, it's not a high population density of engineers' and architects' and professors' families. It's absolutely true that the demand is not there for higher-level math classes. We do have bright kids, but a majority either transfer to the next town over, with a larger school that offers more options, or they move to full-time dual enrollment at the community college starting their junior year.

    So no, I am not blind to the fact that my son is a medium-sized fish in a small pond. It's part of why I visit these forums, to remind myself that YOUR bright children outshine my dim ones. But, dim though he may be outside of the relative environment of an even dimmer school population, he still deserves to be met where he is and receive a free and appropriate public education. That's what I'm working on. And if he does end up having the desire to put in the work to apply to a selective school, I want it to be his own lack of talent that leads to his rejection, not his parents' lack of knowledge about opportunities he could be pursuing.

    Fingers crossed, amiright??

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    #249221 - 10/06/21 09:10 AM Re: Acceleration in high school [Re: Wren]
    sunnyday Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/08/14
    Posts: 86
    Originally Posted By: Wren
    There are so many math acceleration options now, that he can easily advance without leaving the high school and all the benefits for a teen. If he is math way accelerated, I was in math, then I would recommend an school like MIT or Caltech. But he also has to decide what he likes.

    I have stated here before, but you may not have seen it, there was a kid at Hunter who finished a math and physics degree at Columbia and had his graduation a week before his high school graduation at Hunter. And then went on to that math center at NYU for grad or whatever level he was at. But it is good if a student is way advanced in math to still maintain his high school stuff in English, history, economics or whatever. What if he wants to apply his math to economics. It is a good idea to have these other subjects to explore his interests.


    Thing is, he's not WAY more advanced in math than he is in any other subject. But then, I'm not convinced he's WAY advanced in math either. He does school well and passes math classes, but that's not the same thing. He struggled a bit with AOPS Geometry, and he didn't feel very engaged with AMC10 when he gave it a try, though he did okay at MOEMS. Frankly he doesn't think he's interested in pure math or science at all, as much as it would be fun for me if I produced a kid with my physics talents but more grit and persistence, LOL. It's absolutely the case that he is taking high school as an opportunity to find out WHAT his interests even are! smile If nothing else, I'm hoping that by the time he's a senior and gets priority for scheduling, he can FINALLY get access to Woodshop. It's the most in-demand course at our school, and he LOVED it in middle school. Suited his perfectionism to a tee. wink

    But here we are coming back to the actual concern that brought me here in the first place. If he's just about as advanced in ELA as he is in math, should he be considering acceleration there, too? I feel like AP Lit is going to be the answer to his prayers when it comes to having people to really discuss actually meaningful literature with. So maybe he should be given the opportunity to access that ASAP? (Like not this year, I don't think we could handle another switch, but maybe next year?) And so on and so forth...I have tried so hard not to have to second-guess my choices up until now, and just to go with the flow and follow his happiness as a gauge, but my poor brain is really perseverating now that he's got a High School Transcript in the works. D:

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    #249224 - 10/06/21 04:15 PM Re: Acceleration in high school [Re: sunnyday]
    NotSoGifted Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/14/12
    Posts: 451
    Sunnyday, not trying to imply my kids are bright or yours are not - my kids and I are "Not So Gifted"!

    My kids were far from the brightest in their HS classes. They did a variety of activities and classes and did not attend elite schools for undergrad. They did not take classes outside of their HS. We did have some concerns that they were not being challenged, and in the case of one kid, that was probably true.

    However, they turned out just fine. Or are headed in the right direction, as both older ones are back in school. I don't know that there is a right or wrong answer for your son - chances are high that he will turn out just fine no matter which path you choose.

    If he wants to try for the selective school, he should go for it. However, it should be because he wants to do it. I have tried to push my kids toward certain choices at certain times, and it didn't really turn out so well.

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    #249227 - 10/06/21 08:00 PM Re: Acceleration in high school [Re: sunnyday]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2499
    You miss 100% of the shots you donít take. He can always revert to the more standard programming, so why not go for it if heís enthusiastic? A little extra difficulty could be exhilarating.

    The school sounds supportive. Iíd have him do both concurrently to minimize gaps and test out of the higher level class at year end, thinning out the amount of duplicate practice along the way. The worst case scenario is that he remains on track with a head start from extra exposure. He canít lose.
    _________________________
    What is to give light must endure burning.

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    #249228 - 10/06/21 08:26 PM Re: Acceleration in high school [Re: NotSoGifted]
    sunnyday Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/08/14
    Posts: 86
    Originally Posted By: NotSoGifted
    Sunnyday, not trying to imply my kids are bright or yours are not - my kids and I are "Not So Gifted"!

    My kids were far from the brightest in their HS classes. They did a variety of activities and classes and did not attend elite schools for undergrad. They did not take classes outside of their HS. We did have some concerns that they were not being challenged, and in the case of one kid, that was probably true.

    However, they turned out just fine. Or are headed in the right direction, as both older ones are back in school. I don't know that there is a right or wrong answer for your son - chances are high that he will turn out just fine no matter which path you choose.

    If he wants to try for the selective school, he should go for it. However, it should be because he wants to do it. I have tried to push my kids toward certain choices at certain times, and it didn't really turn out so well.


    Sorry for being touchy. I sure wish my kids weren't the brightest in their schools, that they were more of a medium fish in a medium pond at least. But it's not to be. We don't have a point of reference, we don't have peers or a source of academic humility. All we have is the kids in front of us, and our best intentions. We encourage our kids in activities where they're not naturally strong (sports and music), we remind them constantly that hard work can beat natural talent any time, and we tell them that their lack of peers will be remedied at some point along their educational journey (and that when they are in a good fit social environment, they'll see just how much their academic talent, though useful, isn't THAT unusual.) One can hope.

    And yes, the kids' choices are absolutely their own; these are their lives after all! That's exactly why I am taking pains NOT to sabotage their chances at attending a selective school, just in case they want to disregard my clear preference for them not to go that direction. (Besides, I still remember being a senior and knowing that a small LAC was my best fit, but wanting to get the Ivy League acceptance anyway. I ticked that box, and the "dad's alma mater GA Tech" box, and then went on with my life. Kids will be kids!)


    Edited by sunnyday (10/06/21 08:51 PM)

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    #249229 - 10/06/21 08:50 PM Re: Acceleration in high school [Re: aquinas]
    sunnyday Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/08/14
    Posts: 86
    Originally Posted By: aquinas
    You miss 100% of the shots you donít take. He can always revert to the more standard programming, so why not go for it if heís enthusiastic? A little extra difficulty could be exhilarating.

    The school sounds supportive. Iíd have him do both concurrently to minimize gaps and test out of the higher level class at year end, thinning out the amount of duplicate practice along the way. The worst case scenario is that he remains on track with a head start from extra exposure. He canít lose.


    Our schools are remarkably supportive compared with some horror stories I've heard! Every teacher and principal we've met, once they get to know our kids, would bend over backward for us, frankly. At this point he's dropped the Alg II, so that ship has sailed. But one idea I've tossed around to myself is getting him to do AOPS Intermediate Algebra on his own time or over the summer, and kill the "math should have problem solving" and "cover the gaps" birds with one stone. We'll see; he doesn't like math THAT much. :p

    You are EXACTLY right about the exhilaration of challenge though! I also love the maturity it required for him to reach out to the teacher on the second day and ask some questions, things that weren't answered in the syllabus but maybe covered in the first weeks of class. It's hard for a gifted kid not to already know! Yay for having the opportunity to need to ask!

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    #249230 - 10/07/21 01:12 AM Re: Acceleration in high school [Re: sunnyday]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2499
    Learning: the unsung side effect of school! 😂
    _________________________
    What is to give light must endure burning.

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    #249231 - 10/07/21 01:24 PM Re: Acceleration in high school [Re: sunnyday]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3959
    We've done the concurrent thing a couple of times, with different kids, just to make sure we weren't leaving gopher holes that might break an ankle later. Once with an elementary grade skip over fourth grade math, and most recently with precalc and calc I.

    And sometimes a school/district that is smaller, or isn't known for it's high-achieving programming can actually be better for learners in the tails, because they may turn out to be more flexible, since they're not busy trying to handle large numbers with similar needs. At the small school I attended as a child, my alg I teacher made a similar recommendation to skip to alg II/trig about a month into the school year, which my parents agreed to. A couple of whole grade accelerations among my extended family originated from teachers in such schools. While they may have fewer financial and opportunity resources of certain kinds, they can have equally fine (or better) human resources, with less of the pressure on the system that comes from having to gatekeep those high-demand resources.
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #249232 - 10/07/21 05:53 PM Re: Acceleration in high school [Re: sunnyday]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2499
    I can echo aehís experience, both personally and as a parent. In the absence of excellent gifted magnets, seeking flexible administrators has been a key part of my strategy for DS.

    Slight tangent - adding in case itís relevant to those readingÖ

    Ironically, I think some of our kiddos make advocating for radical acceleration pretty easy in these environments, especially if theyíve had a supportive teacher or insider pave the way for advocacy. This applies doubly if your child is extraverted, obvious, and (*ahem*) exuberant when not fully mentally occupied.
    _________________________
    What is to give light must endure burning.

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    #249234 - 10/08/21 08:02 AM Re: Acceleration in high school [Re: sunnyday]
    sunnyday Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/08/14
    Posts: 86
    Yes to both of you! I've always hated the question, "Do your kids go to a good school?" Because no, on paper this is not a good school. It serves kids of a lot of different abilities and backgrounds, so the test scores don't come out to a nice average or anything. But the personal connection is priceless. The elementary STEM teacher, who was my daughter's second grade classroom teacher, got her early access to all kinds of opportunities, like a STEM field trip, and the fifth grade robotics team. The middle school honors math teacher actively fought for the privilege of having my kids in his classes. The middle school english teacher pushed my son to submit his essay to a contest he subsequently won, and found a leadership position she thought he should apply for. The elementary garden teacher STILL seeks out opportunities for my daughter -- for example, he has arranged for her to enroll in a residential workshop next summer that's usually only open to postsecondary culinary students, and he's even figured out a chaperone for her. I can't imagine being anywhere else.

    I definitely agree that supportive teachers plus students who make it obvious when they are not in a good academic match can make acceleration an easier sell. The flip side also seems to be true. smile Supportive teachers who can be flexible in the classroom, combined with kids who are willing to seek out their own challenge, combined with extracurricular enrichment opportunities, make acceleration seem less necessary! Which is probably why mine have not "needed" to be anywhere but in their age-grade classrooms...until now.

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