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    justinwilliams, Jessica D, Xtydell, lll, A WA parent
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    Joined: Jan 2013
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    My guess is if the school is overseeing it, you don't need to worry too much about tracking his progress--they will make sure he's on target to meet the needs of the class. I would ask him which class he wants to be in next year and whether he wants to dedicate time over the summer to it. I personally don't think it's worth pushing him ahead if he doesn't want to do the work--too many risks of blow back with this age.

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    Sounds like a great opportunity - but beware selling it so hard that your DS gets into it without real commitment on his part. In particular, the one to one over the summer could be a fantastic opportunity, but he'll need to be prepared to work.


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    I'd encourage the one-on-one sessions. You (and the teacher) may be surprised by how few sessions are actually required to fill the gaps. The one-on-one experience will provide the school with a fairly accurate idea of what your son can do when unconstrained by standard classroom curricula, which will help you down the road with future advocacy. Seeing is believing, after all.


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    I could present this to my son in a neutral, unemotional fashion, or I could present it with an "excitement" about the opportunity that he can choose.

    I could leave this completely up to him, or I could tell him that Algebra is his best choice because more than half of Accel 7 is stuff he already knows.

    They have not yet given me details on how many hours/days will be required in the summer.

    How would you present this to your child if you were in my shoes? He's 10 years old, and pretty much all of 4th, 5th, and 6th grade math he has been unhappy about how easy and "boring" it is.

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    If you can I would present both in a good light. Ideally if you can show him the difference between the material he would be doing in the 7/8th and the Algebra I class. I would present somewhere between your two options. Suggesting that you feel he would be happier in Algebra but it would take work and commitment on his part. Given that he has been unhappy in math and wanting more challenging work, I suspect he will be a fairly good judge. Although you might also have to read between the lines. While I feel asking him is important, at the end run you are the parent and hopefully has a better idea as to how motivated he really is.

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    I would go with excitement about the opportunity - this decision to summer school the gaps could change the rest of his school maths experiences!

    I'd be like "ooh I have some exciting and interesting news for you"

    Show results of test

    Option A - do summer maths one on one, and then get to do algebra 1 next year and therefore be bumped up for the rest of school life

    OR

    Option B - go combo class next year as planned and therefore understand that you need to comply with all requirements for this class, even though you know 3/4 of the work already now.

    then end with "I know what I would prefer you to do; now you need to decide for yourself."

    make sure he understands each option, the time involved, the commitment involved and the expected outcomes.

    then with grace allow him to chose and therefore direct this himself.


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    Originally Posted by cee
    How would you present this to your child if you were in my shoes? He's 10 years old, and pretty much all of 4th, 5th, and 6th grade math he has been unhappy about how easy and "boring" it is.

    I would first try to get the details on how the summer sessions will work, just so you can give those to him as facts. If you can't get that info beforehand, that's ok, just tell him you don't know yet, but for my kids, it helps to have that type of info up front - even if it really doesn't factor into their decision. They just like to see it as a plan, rather than "if you choose ____, you'll have to do ___, but I can't tell you exactly how or when or where you'll do _____".

    Then I'd just give him the choices, without added excitement or any kind of warnings about extra work. If he says he's not sure or doesn't know what he wants to do, make a pros/cons list with him (and this is where you can insert anything you want to remind him of such as being bored in his current class etc). Then help him go through the decision making process looking over his list.

    The last thing I'll throw in there - in our family, we make sure we get input from our children in decisions like this and when we can we like to let them make the decision, but we also, depending on the decision, make it clear that parents' decisions are sometimes the last call. That sounds dictatorial doesn't it - but it's not meant to be. It's just that some decisions really do belong with the parent - either because we understand the situation or know more about what's the right thing to do simply based on our life experience - or it might be a decision that's too big or too stressful for our child to make. If you think either of these apply here, just make the decision for him and explain your reasons.

    I'll also add - don't know if it will help you feel more confident with your decision or not but fwiw - although this may be the first time it's been tried at your ds' school, moving higher ability math students into Algebra in 7th grade isn't uncommon in our district, and in some ways there's been a bit of a "push" for it. It's really worked out a-ok, and I think in the situation your ds is in where the school district is offering tutoring to fill in the gaps it's a win-win all around. The only thing I'd want clarified before saying "yes" was to make sure that scheduling works out, and also would want to know that he'll be able to move on to Geometry in 8th without any superficial bumps in the road such as "we don't offer Geometry at his middle school" etc.

    Best wishes,

    polarbear

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    Originally Posted by polarbear
    in our family, we make sure we get input from our children in decisions like this and when we can we like to let them make the decision, but we also, depending on the decision, make it clear that parents' decisions are sometimes the last call.

    Here too. ITA with Polar.

    DeeDee

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    This kind of thing can be tricky, so I asked my DS10 about it. He says it'd be important for him to know what the maximum amount of his summer this 1-1 could take up would be (and this is a kid who does, in fact, spend quite a lot of his time voluntarily doing maths - the spectre is of the commitment, not of the maths). It's not so much that he wouldn't want to do it as that he would want a guarantee that he wouldn't be losing an unacceptable-to-him amount of downtime over it. I don't think you'd necessarily need to ask the school about this; you could decide a generous limit and tell them, provided your DS was on board with it. Then if the limit weren't enough, 7th/8th it would be.

    If it were me, I'd present it as straight as I could: if I thought Alg1 the best thing for him I'd say so, and if I wasn't sure he was ready to commit to the work to get there, I'd say that too. I would be happy to offer sweeteners if it would help him to commit to doing the work, and I'd be happy to negotiate with him what those would be (for us it's gaming time, and asking DS10 how much gaming time entitlement he requires to be willing to do X works much better than you might think!): but I would not decide for him that he was going to do the summer work, because of the impossibility of doing the work for him!

    ETA DS10 also said "I think I'd like to meet this boy some day", and was sad to hear that like almost everyone else on this forum he doesn't live in Scotland. Sigh.

    Last edited by ColinsMum; 05/14/14 12:42 PM.

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    I love hearing everyone's point of view. This is tremendously helpful!
    Sweetie what a great idea, to have a little surprise activity on a little note to open in the car. Collinsmum, your son is so sweet :-)

    I will try to find the textbooks on the teacher's websites, and print screen shots of sample pages for him. He's never been worried about academics before, ever. But he's never had a class that I'd consider rigorous, either.

    How would we define rigorous, in a middle school honors math class? how would it be different from the accelerated 7 class? It's Algebra I versus. doublespeed 7/8 math. Can anyone offer guesses or experiences? The teacher isn't worried about Accelerated 7, but she is about Algebra. Why?






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