***I'm not sure which category to put this in, so mods, please move if needed!***
I need to compile a list of options, with pros and cons, for DD's education, and I need to do it asap. We are heading into parent/teacher conference week next week, and we want to know our options and our preferences before our meeting.
A little background: DD is in 2nd grade, in a 2/3 split. She turned 7 in May, so she's a later birthday/younger 2nd grader. She has always been quite advanced academically. Her kindy teacher told us to request a certain other teacher for 1st, so that we'd get her into a 1/2 split and she could work at a bit higher level. We did, and that teacher (the 1/2 split) helped us get her into the 2/3 split she's in now (but didn't tell the 2/3 teacher about how far ahead she is.) The 2/3 teacher assessed her and has her in the highest math/reading/writing groups, but, for example, it's not even November and she's almost done with all of the 3rd grade spelling words. Everyone said the other kids would "catch up" and DD would "slow down", but if anything, it's going the other direction. I can't forsee keeping her with her age-mates being a good thing for her long-term. (I was a frustrated gifted kid who wasn't challenged, and got really, really bored... so I'm sure my own emotions about what could be in store for her are also playing a part here.
Our first thought was whole-grade acceleration - so treating her like a 3rd grader the rest of this year and skipping her to 4th next year. Or even to 5th next year, if 4th is just incredibly below her academic level by the end of the year. But, she's only 7... she'll have just turned 8 at the end of this school year. If she goes into 4th next year, most of her classmates will be turning 10 long before she turns 9. And if she goes into 5th, most of her classmates will be 11 before she's 9. And sending a just-barely 16 or 17 year old to college is honestly kind of terrifying.
My next thought was to homeschool her. But DH, as a public school teacher, has some "issues" with that idea.
His biggest issue, though, is that DD is an only child, and he's afraid she'd become too isolated and lonely. We wouldn't have a large budget for lots of expensive group classes/activities, so I can see where that could be a factor.
We've looked into private schools, but the ones I'd want to send her to are all a good 45min. drive away (which would mean 1.5 hrs in the car for her each day, and 3hrs for me... ), so that's less than ideal. Not to mention that they are extremely expensive.
Her PS does have a gifted program, but all they really do is take the gifted kids in each class and put them in a "cluster" together. I still can't get a straight answer out of anyone as to what happens after they cluster up. I'm thinking the answer is, not a whole lot.
DH's district has a separate classroom gifted program, which would probably be better, but he says it's really not very good, either, and doesn't think it would be the right choice for DD.
I read another thread about CVA, and I'm not totally sure what that is, but it sounds intriguing if it would allow DD to work at her own pace. However, it has the veneer of "homeschool", which has the problems addressed above.
Are there other options I'm missing? Other pros and cons to these options I'm not seeing? I know WA doesn't have a charter school option, so I can't really think of anything else, but I'd love some perspectives/opinions from some other WA mamas (or any mamas of gifted onlies, for that matter!)