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    DS will be attending a "gifted" program over the summer. He went to the same program last year. He had a very good experience because his teachers actually differentiated to his level (crazy, I know). Anyway, this summer, he would need to attend a higher level math class. But he needs a recommendation from his current math teacher to do that. DS7 attends 5th grade math at public school and homeschools all other subjects. Here is the problem: despite being a straight A 5th grade math student, I have very little confidence that his teacher would write him a good recommendation. (Her comments to me always are along the line, "He's doing a great job. Top of the class. But he still can't sharpen his pencil. And really, I don't believe in acceleration so I don't think he should continue next year.") Anyway, do you think this program would accept my recommendation since I homeschool him? Anyone BTDT in a similar experience?

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    Can you find out from the program director what they need, exactly?

    I'd try that first-- explain that he's homeschooled. Leave out where he does math, as from a majority standpoint, he IS homeschooled.



    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    Are you going to end up home schooling maths next year anyway?

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    If the program director knows him from last year, she ought to understand what he needs already.

    And I wouldn't be averse to sending along a recommendation such as the comment you mentioned there -- a gifted program's people probably understand the sour grapes behind that "can't sharpen his pencil" and "don't believe in acceleration" -- and she does say he's top of the class. smile

    Have you suggested to his teacher that she let him do his work with a pen, instead? (Thinking of people who do crossword puzzles in pen....)

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    Thanks everyone. Yes, we will be homeschooling all academic subjects next year. (Though my son may still pop into school to do specials and lunch.)

    "Have you suggested to his teacher that she let him do his work with a pen, instead? (Thinking of people who do crossword puzzles in pen....)"

    I try to stay away from any suggestions now. If I suggest that my son write in pen, there will be something else to complain about. (DS also doesn't manipulate his ruler "smoothly", can't work with his compass very easily and takes "a while" with his protractor.) These complaints are better than last year. Last year's teacher accused us of bribing DS to "learn math". Why else would a 6 year old be able to do what he was able to do last year?

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    Just what, exactly, does she think a 6-yr-old would be willing to accept, as a bribe, to learn math if they didn't want to already? (And could you please share it with me so I can get my DD to stop being silly and learn her math?)

    --Yes, we put an M&M on his nose, and if he answers the question correctly, he can toss it into his mouth.--

    I think I would be inclined to include all of those comments as a recommendation from his teacher -- he's top of his class, but he can't sharpen his pencil, he can't manipulate his ruler smoothly, can't work easily with his compass, and takes a while with his protractor. Oh, and he only solves equations for candy. laugh

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    From our point of view, you are more of an expert on your gifted student, then your public school even. Depending on your state, your public school teachers have not been required to be educated themselves on the topic of giftedness. If you looked at older estimates of the average IQ of an elementary school teacher the statistics might put their IQ on average around the average of 100 points. For some reason that we cannot figure, even though decades of parents before us have tried to advocate for the gifted students, the public school systems really do make the parents advocate on each point, nothing is just easily facilitated. In the past we have written our own recommendation and then it did come back that we needed other 'third party, non-family' verification (how could someone outside the family household really verify?) so we got three confirmations from neighbors who were all different and certainly were able to be honest (each sent their letter straight to the necessary office) and we did not request a copy of what they wrote. I don't think it will be like this forever because the scientists are studying the brain so aggressively now.

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    Originally Posted by Nautigal
    Just what, exactly, does she think a 6-yr-old would be willing to accept, as a bribe, to learn math if they didn't want to already? (And could you please share it with me so I can get my DD to stop being silly and learn her math?)

    --Yes, we put an M&M on his nose, and if he answers the question correctly, he can toss it into his mouth.--

    I think I would be inclined to include all of those comments as a recommendation from his teacher -- he's top of his class, but he can't sharpen his pencil, he can't manipulate his ruler smoothly, can't work easily with his compass, and takes a while with his protractor. Oh, and he only solves equations for candy. laugh

    The teacher thought that we were buying him toys for doing beyond grade level math work. Even though he used to send her "math love notes" about once a week, she still couldn't believe that a child could do what he could do and more importantly, that a child his age would WANT to learn the advanced level math.

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    I have to admit I did bribe my ds now 11 to do math. When he was younger maybe 4 he want a few particular video games. I would print out worksheets of 100 problems and tell him he could have a coin for each problem he did. I had a huge bowl of mostly pennies, nickles and a few dimes. He would blindly grab a big handful of coins and count out as many as he did math problems a limit of 200 per day.

    I also read to him. Would that lessen our chances of getting into this summer class too.

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    Update: the program accelerated him. The transaction was so easy and breezy - it was delightful. I filled out the recommendation, they read it and talked to last year's teachers and voila, it was done! Imagine what life would be like if all schools were like this! Thanks for the input!

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