Dd10 is homeschooled -- pretty much unschooled -- but for the past few years has been registered as a homeschooler through our local school district, meaning she gets some funding for educational resources, gets access to super cool homeschoolers' art classes for free, and has permission to attend the local school for field trips, special events and -- at the discretion of the teacher -- for part-time classes. We've always kept our kids registered as homeschoolers in whatever grade they'd be by age according to the school rules, so she's currently declared as a 4th-grader.
When my older two kids eventually wanted to attend high school the administration was pretty good about putting them wherever they wanted to be in terms of challenge: generally a year ahead, two years in some courses. But then there was a change of principal and when my third child entered it was a little harder to get that grade adjustment; eventually they agreed after a year that she was so far beyond the core academics that she needed acceleration and moved her ahead for those courses, but they still labelled her as registered back the year and thus have prevented her from attaining enough elective credits to graduate early -- 9th grade electives don't count towards the diploma. Oh well. She didn't think it was a hill worth dying on.
So anyway, then there's my youngest, the 10-year-old. She's gradually wanting bits of schooling to be part of her education and foresees herself moving into full-time school at the 9th or 10th grade level, hopefully graduating early, then travelling. She's probably the most advanced of all my kids -- perhaps not quite as gifted as her elder sister but much more inclined to learn systematically and in accordance with (albeit far beyond) the expectations of adults.
Through a happy accident of sorts she was able to take the high school's Intro to Spanish course this past semester, and she rocked it. Her final grade is tied for top of the class, and she fit in beautifully from a social standpoint, gracious and polite, with a sense of humour the older kids seemed to enjoy and enough confidence to take on a fair bit of leadership in group projects. The teacher loved her, and the kids loved her -- not even entirely in a "class pet" kind of way. She wants to see if the school will accept her in 9th grade academic math next fall. She's going to write the 8th grade exam at the end of this week and I'm sure she'll do well, so I think with that performance plus the result of the Spanish experiment she'll have a strong case for it. If she continues to enjoy this "a la carte" approach to school she'll want to add to her academic load gradually over the next couple of years, and then hopefully enter school on a more full-time basis by, say, her "8th grade year" i.e. three years from now. By which point she'll be way beyond the ~8th grade level she's at now, so I think she'll need fairly radical acceleration. Probably to at least 10th grade.
Given the foot-dragging on acceleration that we experienced with kid#3, I'm wondering whether it might be strategic to declare kid#4 as a 6th-grader next fall (through the homeschool support program), rather than as a 5th-grader, in the hope that this will help facilitate more acceleration if and when the time comes to register her for full-time bricks-and-mortar schooling. It wouldn't change a thing about her home-based education, which has always been led by her and way way beyond her declared grade level.
As for possible repercussions of radical acceleration, we are in BC, Canada where there's little standardized testing and most of it is low-stakes, where credits on the high school diploma don't begin to accumulate until the 10th grade level and where there's lots of latitude for repeating courses to raise your grade if needed.
This is a tiny school district. The homeschool support program is new the past three years. I know for a fact that they've never had a request for a child to grade-skip within the homeschool program, but I believe they'd likely allow it, as they are in awe of her academic abilities and her maturity. There's no precedent for this kind of strategic move paying dividends upon school entry: it's just a hunch I have.
What about those of you looking in from the outside? Do you think that declaring her accelerated to 6th grade next year might help ease the administration towards an eventual double-grade skip with further subject acceleration if/when she enters school as an enrolled student? Can you see any potential down-sides to this?