Multi-age and Gradeless - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 02-12-2004, 03:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know I am jumping the gun here because my daughter is only 2 but we are considering homeschooling vs private options.I want to have a game plan because I figure whether or not she will attend pre-school is affected by this primary decision.
I have looked into the private schools in my area so we can see if we like any and how much they run to see if its even feasible financially.One of them seems really great they have a child led program that has all K-6 in one room and working together on lessons and they give no grades only semi-annual letters home.Parents can volunteer their time and the students each help design their own curriculum.My worry here is where would we go after the sixth grade.There is no higher education alternatives like this here.How would my child make the switch to traditional grading system and desk style learning? Or would I be better off homeschoolin at that point? I think she would then miss the social aspect of school.Any experience out there with this type of schooling??

Linda
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#2 of 5 Old 02-12-2004, 05:39 AM
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I went to an elementary school that had multiage classrooms and no grades - instead, each teacher wrote a biannual evaluation of each student and each student did the same for each teacher. I still have my evaluations... we got to work at math at our own pace, and we chose our own topics to study much of the time - I did a semester on the Equal Rights Amendment at age 8 or so (yes, this was the seventies).

When I was in 4th grade my family moved to a different state and I went to a regular public school classoom. I still remember my first grade - we had a test and I got it back with an "E" on it, and I was totally panicked because from all I'd read about grades, they went A, B, C... to F, and E was almost F so I thought that was pretty bad... finally I noticed the other kids' grades and said something, and it turned out that the school gave E(xcellent), S(atisfactory), and N(eeds Improvement). That was the worst of the adjustment, as far as the grades went... I found public school to be pretty boring compared to my private school, but I did very well acadmically.

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#3 of 5 Old 02-12-2004, 08:17 AM
 
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Hi! A lot of folks kind of take it year by year. To know you have a great elementary choice is a great thing! Maybe by the time your child is ready for 7th grade there will be another alternative for her. Or you might choose to homeschool. I even know of families that almost alternate years (ps, hs) depending on what is available school-wise, teacher-wise, etc. It could be dependent on your child's temperament (hard to know at 2 what she'll be like at 12, 13!) whether she could handle the variety, but it has been done. I also know of parents who actually organized the middle school option because their child was getting close to it and they knew she wouldn't be able to deal with ps. So they worked like mad to extend the Pre-K to 6th grade school to an 8th grade school. If you send your child to preschool, it does not necessarily obligate you to anything. Preschool can be a lot of fun!

 
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#4 of 5 Old 02-13-2004, 09:24 PM
 
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My daughter (now 7 and in 2nd grade) goes to a multi-age and we LOVE it! But ours sounds quite different than yours. There are three classrooms (one each K/1, 2/3, 4/5) and each child does have an official "grade" but can work ahead of that in any given subject. One boy was ahead in all the subjects so he "graduated" into second grade after kindergarten. The kids do work in groups with a few kids from each class quite often but it is definitely not all the kids in one group all the time. That seems like it would be hard to make work - but maybe I'm missing the concept. We also are required to volunteer 60+ hours a week per family. It is a great thing.

My opinion is that if you have a great preschool or a great elementary available to you, go for it and worry about middle school and high school options when you get closer to them.
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#5 of 5 Old 02-16-2004, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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appreciate all your imput on this.I AM really lucky to have such a great opportunity for her at the elementary level.I just hope we can afford it when the time comes.I still have some time to decide on preschool and I think you are right to just go with it and see what her temperment becomes.

Linda
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