Declared grade for homeschooling? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 06-11-2013, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The backstory:

 

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.

 

The issue:

 

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?

 

Miranda 


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#2 of 6 Old 06-12-2013, 02:33 PM
 
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I vote bounce her up a year (or two).

 

I'm currently regretting not bouncing up my youngest when she was in 8th grade. She was taking mostly high school courses, but officially listed as an 8th grader. We became unhappy with her old school and switched her to our big public highschool, and the old school refused to put the previous highschool classes taken as an 8th grader on her transcript.

 

The stupid stupid part is now my DD is retaking a highschool biology course, which she already took, because it is required for graduation at our public school. This is how she is spending her summer and it is such a busy work, stupid waste of time. The other classes don't seem to matter because the big public school has so many choices and so many college level classes that my DD has plenty to choose from and doesn't mind staying until she is 18. BUT I really wish that they had given her credit for the stupid basic biology. I should have had her made a  9th grader that year.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#3 of 6 Old 06-16-2013, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, she got a practically perfect mark on the Math 8 final (132/133) and did almost as well on the Spanish 8 final. This is the first time she's done a school course and school-like testing. Our homeschool liaison teacher, who is also her in-class Spanish 8 teacher, emailed me with her grades and out of the blue told me that he feels very strange evaluating her with reference to the 4th grade learning expectations, and in his opinion dd should be moved ahead grade-wise to wherever she feels comfortable. He's the main decision-maker on this issue: although her education is 90% home-based, she is considered a student of the district and they create an semi-annual evaluation and a school record for her based on his portfolio review. So although I could request consideration for a change in her grade declaration, he is the one who would have to approve it. I'm glad it came from him, before I had a chance to maybe come across as a pushy parent! He was already checking with his supervisor to see how this might be done, as it's a fairly new small program and they've never done a grade-skip before. It sounds like we may be able to easily move her ahead. Tenth grade is where the real flexibility opens up in terms of course selection, scheduling and funding. A double-grade-skip would mean only waiting three more years for that format, rather than five. 

 

That must be really frustrating for your dd to have to re-do the Biology. :(

 

Miranda


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#4 of 6 Old 06-18-2013, 02:38 PM
 
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Sounds like a heaven-sent chance to bump her up two years and force the principal's hand as soon as the time comes! I am trying to think of downsides, but can't - sure, you may lose flexibility downwards at the point of entry into brick and mortar school, but she is working ahead by four years now, so why would it ever be an issue to have her accelerated less than two years anyway?

 

Really, it must be serendipity...follow the signs! winky.gif


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#5 of 6 Old 06-19-2013, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Follow the signs, I agree!

 

Yesterday the school agreed that they were happy to let her into the Math 9 course in their classroom in the fall. The current principal is leaving, so it'll be a done deal before the new one arrives. She's on the class roster, and they've ordered a textbook for her.

 

The DL (homeschool liaison) teacher promised to ensure that his supervisor signs off on a double-grade-skip before she leaves her job at the end of the month to become District Superintendant. The departing supervisor is a huge supporter of DL program flexibility and a big fan of my kids, so there will be no problem there. So by the time his new supervisor is appointed, that will be a done deal too. 

 

We've got a really good couple of people in our corner at this point, and a serendipitous little window of opportunity to get things aligned to our satisfaction. 

 

Miranda


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#6 of 6 Old 06-20-2013, 12:56 AM
 
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Glad its all working out.smile.gif


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