Expected grades after grade skips

Posted by: Archie

Expected grades after grade skips - 11/25/19 02:44 AM

DS13 has grade skipped twice and he's still getting straight As. Does this sound ideal or would a challenging environment mean he should be getting​ Bs? Can school work be challenging enough and the kid still get great grades?
Posted by: Old Dad

Re: Expected grades after grade skips - 11/25/19 04:39 AM

Academic work / study in K-12 should be difficult enough to stretch and at times struggle without causing unhealthy stress. That doesn't mean one can't get straight As but one should have to stretch to do so.

The danger in not having stretch and at times struggle in K-12 education of course is that highly likely they will in college / university and a Freshman year when they're not among a lot of friends, family, etc. in a different environment than they're used to is not when you want them to get their first dose of academic struggle and figure out how to deal with it, that's when you want them thinking to themselves, "Okay, I've been though this before, I know how to deal with this, I can do this."
Posted by: indigo

Re: Expected grades after grade skips - 11/25/19 05:28 AM

You've received great advice above.
smile
I'll just add this link to an old post on a great article: what kids don't learn if they do not have appropriate academic challenge... a challenge which requires them to put forth effort.
Posted by: aeh

Re: Expected grades after grade skips - 11/25/19 05:48 AM

ditto. It's not the grades per se. If he's getting As while having to practice some study skills and problem solving strategies, that's a very different situation from As while coasting. Or while chronically stressed, for that matter. The goal is balance and holistic development.

Personally, once in graded situations, our children have been placed with an eye to a B here and there, mainly to shift the focus away from grades, and towards growth and resilience to failure.
Posted by: Old Dad

Re: Expected grades after grade skips - 11/25/19 12:41 PM

I should add for context....

My wife has taught public school for 37 years, more than half of that as a GT specialist in 7-12th grade. She sees a lot of her students well past their HS years as they've come to weigh her opinion and guidance very highly. She tells me that when students who have never had anything lower than an A finally get a grade lower, the reaction is usually (certainly not always) one of two reactions, either they're devastated, beside themselves (which you want to be around for as a parent) or they sob in relief because they no longer feel the pressure of needing to be perfect, whether that's a self expectation or one imposed on them by others. Perfectionism is a wicked mistress as we've often discussed on this forum.
In either case, as a parent, that's something you want to be around for to coach them through the first time.

I can tell you as well I have witnessed usually numerous GT students each year who after their Freshman year in college drop out because they feel like they were hit like an axe between the eyes with rigor and didn't know how to handle it. Better to stretch and struggle now and TALK about it. Help your child understand that academic struggle is when we learn the most and it's a part of the learning process, not to fear it but to embrace it understanding this is when big gains are made and to face it with tenacity and courage.

On the other side of the coin, I mentioned unhealthy stress rather than struggle or stretch. Be aware of signs of unhealthy stress. Pushing a child too far can be deadly. There is a reason that the height of suicide in China is right after college testing. Over emphasis on grades and test scores is a good example of unhealthy stress that can lead to dire consequences.

I've also been blessed to know quite a few students from other countries. One of their biggest compliments about education in the U.S. is that we allow students to make mistakes, even fail a class, learn from it, and give it another go. My eldest son said that about half of the people in his class that majored in Physics retook at least one class at his University. This is another important thing for young people to understand. A bad grade, even a whole bad year can be overcome.

Posted by: puffin

Re: Expected grades after grade skips - 11/25/19 09:08 PM

It depends how easy an A is to get as well. The US seems to have far more tests where a 100% is actually achievable than NZ. I assume therefore that more A grades are given out. If she is getting an A along with 20% of the class it is more of a concern than if she and a couple of other kids who work hard and are gifted get an A
Posted by: Archie

Re: Expected grades after grade skips - 11/26/19 12:05 AM

Thanks, everyone.

My son is in a gifted class as well, and the scores will often be accompanied by the class average. When DS gets 100% the class average is 85%. When he first started I warned him that he will likely not be the best in the class anymore (after being at an ordinary public school hitherto), and he didn't put much effort in and was getting A-s, now he puts in a little effort and gets As and A+s. He is happy and enjoys school, which I think is because he's realised with minimal effort he gets great scores. But then I wonder if that's a good thing and maybe things will always be that easy if he's that smart.
Posted by: aeh

Re: Expected grades after grade skips - 11/26/19 10:52 AM

Will academic-type tasks always be that easy? Probably not, but maybe. (My PG sib has, as far as I can tell, never been remotely challenged intellectually, even after multiple rounds of radical acceleration, and a career in a high-achieving STEM field.)

But will he ever be challenged in life? Yes. Absolutely. It may be worth considering changes to approach academic challenge, but even if that doesn't align with his holistic needs, or the needs or values of your family, there are other ways to build healthy challenges into his life.
Posted by: madeinuk

Re: Expected grades after grade skips - 11/26/19 03:54 PM

Originally Posted By: Old Dad


The danger in not having stretch and at times struggle in K-12 education of course is that highly likely they will in college / university and a Freshman year when they're not among a lot of friends, family, etc. in a different environment than they're used to is not when you want them to get their first dose of academic struggle and figure out how to deal with it, that's when you want them thinking to themselves, "Okay, I've been though this before, I know how to deal with this, I can do this."

^^^^^This
Posted by: aquinas

Re: Expected grades after grade skips - 11/29/19 12:28 PM

My DS has telescoped 2 years into 1, and is now in a mixed-age class doing course work 1 to 3 years ahead of his accelerated grade. So global acceleration is 2 to 4 years, depending on the subject. Where his assessments have numbered grades, he's getting 95%+ with minimal effort (e.g. 10 mins of study before tests, if any).

Much of the work is project based, and allows him to stretch far beyond grade level as his interest and time allow. I'm grateful he has access to that mix.

IMO, the goal is for him to have to struggle periodically with challenges he finds intrinsically rewarding. Curiosity, self-efficacy, and continuous self-improvement are all important goals.

For example, he started learning his second language last year and is now, according to his teacher, around the top of his class among children with 4 years of experience. Last year required real effort, and he had moments of frustration and feeling like he was "behind", and that required gentle conversations about setting small goals and putting in reasonable, sustained effort.

I was pleased to see him build inner resolve and focus on valuing his own progress, irrespective of how others are doing. To me, that's an important life lesson, as is the executive skill of planning and executing on the plan, which so many gifties never have to learn early.
Posted by: pinewood1

Re: Expected grades after grade skips - 11/30/19 09:22 AM

Originally Posted By: aquinas
IMO, the goal is for him to have to struggle periodically with challenges he finds intrinsically rewarding. Curiosity, self-efficacy, and continuous self-improvement are all important goals.

For example, he started learning his second language last year and is now, according to his teacher, around the top of his class among children with 4 years of experience. Last year required real effort, and he had moments of frustration and feeling like he was "behind", and that required gentle conversations about setting small goals and putting in reasonable, sustained effort.

I was pleased to see him build inner resolve and focus on valuing his own progress, irrespective of how others are doing. To me, that's an important life lesson, as is the executive skill of planning and executing on the plan, which so many gifties never have to learn early.


I think this is great!

I've been thinking about what I'd like to see PG kids get out of school... and yeah, because of how school is set up, there's no amount of grade skipping that will make school finally be a challenge at the right level, happily ever after. Matilda may have lost her psychic powers because she was finally in the right class, but if such a thing existed in real life, she would likely have gotten them back after the book ended. PG people catch up to accommodate the intellectual demands that are placed on them.

I had a friend who skipped a grade and went to a prestigious math/science magnet high school, and when I met him (his senior year of college), he was still having nightmares almost every night about being attacked by a gigantic horde of monsters that were extremely easy to defeat - the part that made it a nightmare was that there were just so many of them, and defeating one didn't make a difference. He'd never been "challenged" in classwork, difficulty-wise; in fact, I'm not sure that would have really had a meaning for him.

I wish I could have learned the lesson aquinas's son learned from the foreign language experience earlier than the second half of college (when I changed majors and had to skip prerequisites/take classes out of order, which made some classes actually fun in the beginning). I'd been afraid of "hitting the wall" and not having the proper foundation and being shown up by all the other students who did, who were probably "so much smarter" than me. I wish I'd known that taking a class I was not technically ready for would be appropriate for me, and that not being "ready" for it was what would make it fun. (My university had a registration system that didn't check whether you had the prerequisites, which was how I got away with this.)

(I did hit the wall my senior year of college, but it wasn't because the work was "too hard"; it was because my mental health collapsed and I wasn't able to make myself do the work. This was the limiting factor in my educational attainment.)

I also wish I'd gotten to understand what it's like to work on novel problems/projects earlier; this doesn't really have the same problem for a PG individual that regular classwork does, because there is basically no ceiling on it.
Posted by: Wren

Re: Expected grades after grade skips - 12/01/19 01:43 PM

I am a little confused. I was skipped twice, so at 13, he should be 10th grade? I was. Hence, my assumption. Isn't he allowed to chose his courses pretty much? I also, could get A's with little work, even after 2 skips. But I think extracurriculars and time management are good things to work on. You have to do some work, research on papers. And can he take some online advanced courses to fill in challenge?
Posted by: Cranberry

Re: Expected grades after grade skips - 01/01/20 04:43 PM

This reminds me of "The Calculus Trap" - https://artofproblemsolving.com/news/articles/avoid-the-calculus-trap

"If ever you are by far the best, or the most interested, student in a classroom, then you should find another classroom". This can be a challenge in most school systems.

My D has thrived being involved in a local math team that has attracted about 30 of the top math students from this half of the state, led by college grad students.

She's at about a 99.6 average from 7th-early 10th grade at school, but typically scores about 10th on her team in competitions. She's learning a lot more, and is a lot more interested, at the program than she is in school. They study advanced topics, and they move fast. (Want to know why e^(pi*i) = -1? She can explain it to you. Euler's totient function? No problem...)

We've found similar stretch/enrichment programs through various programs in the area. CTY, for example, has fast-paced HS science courses. A full year of honors physics, for example, in a 3 week camp.

It takes some work to find them, but I believe programs like these are better solutions than just moving up to the next grade in school.

From my own experience - accelerated one grade and my parents declined the suggestion to move another - Saturday classes at our local college were favorites of mine.
Posted by: Tigerle

Re: Expected grades after grade skips - 01/15/20 11:45 PM

I am, maybe, a bit more jaded than you all. My baseline for children is to not leave the school system damaged, in ways that will impact them into college and adulthood, and if they are actually happy, I am happy.

He WILL need those A grades in order to get into an appropriate university environment for him. You don’t want him to be constrained in his choices by a B average in his high school record. Nor do you want him to develop impostor syndrome, thinking “I can’t really be gifted, other kids get As all the time and I don’t”, disregarding the fact that his classmates may be 2 years older. Should kids have perfect As all the time? No, it’s not healthy, the occasional B and needing to work for that A is. But it’s hard to find that sweet spot!

The problem is that accelerated kids may have other struggles, socially, physically and functionally, and you don’t want to accelerate them beyond their ability to cope with those, even if intellectually, they’d still be fine.

Speaking as someone who has three kids at various levels of acceleration and “deceleration”, and for whom the choices had to be very individually determined, depending on both the kid and the environment, and who is currently watching accelerated classmates floundering and considering making a post about it.
,
Posted by: indigo

Re: Expected grades after grade skips - 01/16/20 06:47 AM

Those concerned about social detriment of acceleration may be interested in reading research and anecdotes.
This old post is a roundup on pros and cons of full-grade acceleration, also known as a grade-skip or skipping a grade...
many posts discuss social aspects including early high school graduation, early college and/or gap year.
smile

Those focused on the meaningfulness of achieving grades of A rather than B, for admission to college, may be interested to know that since the introduction of Common Core in the USA, public school teachers are evaluated and US public schools are rated/ranked based on closing achievement gaps and excellence gaps (achieving Equal Outcomes among their students); this may necessitate capping the growth of students at the top.
- data collection is used to force equal outcomes
- ushered in by common core
- educational plank of party platforms
- rationing opportunities
- Nature versus nurture
- supplanting gifted students in "Gifted" programs
- coaching to create a self-limiting mindset
- counterpoint statements
- The Gifted: Left Behind?
- one-size-fits-all
- replacing the classics with anthologies.

Grading practices which tend to produce equal outcomes:
- Standards-Based grading
- list of grading practices
- policies which lack transparency
- requiring students to list new vocabulary words in the reading material, when there are none
- collective grading

These are not exhaustive lists, but provide enough information to raise awareness among parents and students, as to what to watch for.

NOTE: The old posts linked here may contain external links. If a linked website is NOT FOUND or has been changed and no longer contains the described content, try finding a copy of the old webpage on the WayBack Machine, internet archive (link: https://archive.org/web/).
Posted by: Eagle Mum

Re: Expected grades after grade skips - 02/25/20 11:18 PM

I'm new to this forum & therefore late to this thread, but wanted to agree with your comments. My girls both started school very early and though they've performed well, it took years for them to think of themselves as smart and capable, whereas my son, who is academically stronger than his sisters, wasn't socially ready for school at three, so he is in his age appropriate grade, but has always had total mastery over any subject taught in class (so much so that in most of his reports, his teachers have graciously included comments that he's taught them a few things). He's had individual subject acceleration, but declined offers to grade skip because we agreed 1 or 2 grades wouldn't have made much difference and any more would have been socially uncomfortable. As things are, he enjoys wide popularity because he's very entertaining with skills in speedcubing, origami and other creative outlets and he excels at many sports (he coached himself in various track, field & swimming events by researching the Internet). He's usually been given a fair bit of latitude to use class room PCs (in primary) or BYODs (in high school) to explore topics on his own, so he's really enjoying the best of all worlds.