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#1 of 18 Old 08-30-2010, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here is the thing about my daughter. She is not a super genius, she simply has an outstanding work ethic. She actually used to be hearing impaired and has worked to overcome the reading problems and auditory processing issues that come along with it. Now here she is 14 yrs old. She is very mature for her age. She LOVES academics. She wants to attend Carleton College (she is a legacy there), U of Chicago (also a legacy), or Stanford (not a legacy, but does have relatives who went there. I think she is technically a legacy of Rice too as my mother went there, but it is not on her list of places to go.

Because of the credits my daughter already has, and the advanced math and science classes she has already taken, her entire 9th grade schedule, except for AP Human Geography, is 10th grade or above classes. The dean of students at the magnet school asked to speak to me today and brought this up. She offered to let my daughter go on to 10th grade for this year. Of course, she still needs to take that one 9th grade class, and her schedule will pretty much be the same.

I went back and told my daughter of the offer and asked her what she thinks. She asked me what I think. I am unsure what to think. She is afraid if she has one less year in high school, that will give her less time to do things that she would put on her college applications to try to get in to college. If she graduates in 3 years instead of 4, she will have only taken 9 AP courses as opposed to 11. She will also only have 3 years of foreign language as opposed to 4 (but she could potentially take an extra year over the summer one year as they offer it in summer school at an accelerated pace).

I do not know how to advise her. I am wondering what you all think. So far, school has not been much of a challenge for her, except when she homeschooled (could go at her own pace, and we used challenging curriculum) or in a private school that allowed her to work ahead. Her list of colleges have pretty competitive admissions so I am unsure if being in school an extra year will be to her advantage or not. I know that my parents were offered for me to accelerate when I was in school as a child and they refused. I was upset and to this day, I feel like they were selfish and wrong. But in this case, my daughter is not so interested in being ahead a grade.

SO, I would love some good advice. Thank you!
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#2 of 18 Old 08-30-2010, 08:18 PM
 
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You know, I'm a fan of acceleration in the right circumstances. My eldest skipped a grade early in elementary and is a 9th grader now at 13. We have no regrets. However, I'm not sure I would skip any grades in high school due to the college application and scholarship process. At least do a LOT of research and talk to some quality guidance counsellors before making that step.

Look into additional options. All the districts in our county offer "middle college." This is a program that allows high performing 11th and 12th graders to take community college classes for both highschool and college credit at the same time. We know several kids who've done this and loved it often starting at the university as sophmores and juniors and able to dive straight into their majors since their GED's are out of the way (and nice for parents to only have to pay for 2 or 3 years of college right?) We know one kid that did this so he could double major without adding additional years of college. These programs also offer teen connection, guidance, proms, ASB, ect.

If that is not an option, most schools do offer upper level classes for kids who do some of their high school course work in middle school. It can be a chance to take extra electives, try some other interests out, take on a heavier load outside school working to help pay for college, joining interest based groups, ect.

This doesn't neccessarily need to be something she decides now. She can continue on her path with the classes she needs. If a year or two down the road she decides to graduate early, she can do that.

Personally, we're not encouraging any high school acceleration for our DD. The idea that shewill be gone in 3 years instead of 4 is heart breaking in itself. Besides, there is a LOT she wants to do like participate in her beloved youth theatre (which she can't do in college.) She was just accepted onto a student board of a nationally recognized theatre which will connect her with tremendous influences and allow her to publish in a well-circulated arts paper (she loves writing too.) That is another thing she can't do outside of high school. She does a lot of professional theatre and missing high school classes here and there for that isn't as big a deal as missing college classes. Financially, a scholarship would make the difference between going to a state school and going to her dream school. More time to build her resume will help in that reguard. There are lots of ways to go that keep her home a little longer!

Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
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#3 of 18 Old 08-30-2010, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post
You know, I'm a fan of acceleration in the right circumstances. My eldest skipped a grade early in elementary and is a 9th grader now at 13. We have no regrets. However, I'm not sure I would skip any grades in high school due to the college application and scholarship process. At least do a LOT of research and talk to some quality guidance counsellors before making that step.

Look into additional options. All the districts in our county offer "middle college." This is a program that allows high performing 11th and 12th graders to take community college classes for both highschool and college credit at the same time. We know several kids who've done this and loved it often starting at the university as sophmores and juniors and able to dive straight into their majors since their GED's are out of the way (and nice for parents to only have to pay for 2 or 3 years of college right?) We know one kid that did this so he could double major without adding additional years of college. These programs also offer teen connection, guidance, proms, ASB, ect.

If that is not an option, most schools do offer upper level classes for kids who do some of their high school course work in middle school. It can be a chance to take extra electives, try some other interests out, take on a heavier load outside school working to help pay for college, joining interest based groups, ect.

This doesn't neccessarily need to be something she decides now. She can continue on her path with the classes she needs. If a year or two down the road she decides to graduate early, she can do that.

Personally, we're not encouraging any high school acceleration for our DD. The idea that shewill be gone in 3 years instead of 4 is heart breaking in itself. Besides, there is a LOT she wants to do like participate in her beloved youth theatre (which she can't do in college.) She was just accepted onto a student board of a nationally recognized theatre which will connect her with tremendous influences and allow her to publish in a well-circulated arts paper (she loves writing too.) That is another thing she can't do outside of high school. She does a lot of professional theatre and missing high school classes here and there for that isn't as big a deal as missing college classes. Financially, a scholarship would make the difference between going to a state school and going to her dream school. More time to build her resume will help in that reguard. There are lots of ways to go that keep her home a little longer!
It would not be skipping a grade at all. She already took a bunch of 9th grade courses last year and has enough credits to be classified as a 10th grader. Her schedule at school would even be kept the same. The only thing that would be different is they would put her in 10th grade English instead of 9th grade, but she actually took 9th grade English last year. She was repeating that this year basically so that she could be a 9th grader. She took the 9th grade English through a very small private school (after we left the public school, which I have mentioned on past posts) but so that she would not be classified a 10th grader this year, we asked them to re-label the class as a gifted 8th grade English class. The magnet school would go ahead and give her credit for that as the 9th grade class and move her in to 10th grade English. That is the only class difference on her schedule. All other classes will remain the same. So she won't be skipping anything. The private school has a different set of books read in English than the magnet school. The magnet school has a different set from the local school district who has a different set from a different district and so on. So it was not a huge deal to have her do the preAP English from the magnet school. But in the end, she still has to have the credits required to graduate. She won't be skipping anything. She still has to have 4 years of science, 4 years of math, 4 years of social studies, etc etc etc. She still has to have 26 credits to graduate. As it stands, if she does not accelerate, and never takes more than the 7 minimum credit requirement and takes no summer classes ever, she will have 34 credits when she graduates. If she accelerates and takes no summer classes ever and never takes more than 7 credits a year (she is taking 8 this year so she is taking more than 7 already) she will have 28 when she graduates.
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#4 of 18 Old 08-30-2010, 09:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In fact, in looking over her 4 yr plan, the reason it was brought up is that by her 12th grade year, they will have no math for her(she will be taking AP math in 11th grade), she can take additional AP science class, she will likely take more PE even though she will already have that requirement filled, because she has to be enrolled in a minimum 7 credits, and they will have her take some online classes or something. Basically, she will fill up on whatever electives they can come up with. Outside of required courses right now, all they have is engineering 1 (she is taking that this year), art 1, music 1, and 2 extra AP science courses. So she will do music 1 next year, and then art 1 in 11th grade, and then in 12th, they hope to have more electives by then, but cannot guarantee anything, but she will most likely have to take some PE to take the space on her schedule. That is how her 4 yr plan is working out.

If she goes up and is classified as a sophomore this year, the only thing that will change is they will double up the social studies for one year as she does not have 9th grade social studies. That will be the only change. Oh, and because she will double that up, she won't get stuck with extra PE credits, or extra art 1 credits, or such.
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#5 of 18 Old 08-30-2010, 10:46 PM
 
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I would accelerate her for sure. I was never challenged in school and it had a very negative effect on me. It seems so pointless to expect her to basically spend a year just biding her time when she could just finish in 3 instead of 4. It would also give her the opportunity to take a year off before she goes to college and maybe travel Europe or do some type of exchange program which would look good on a college application.

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#6 of 18 Old 08-30-2010, 10:58 PM
 
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She may not be "skipping" but she is shortening her high school experiences in and out of school. If she feels she can be competitive with other students applying at her dream colleges, then so be it. I'm just laying out the options I know to exist in our area and sharing why we are not keen on shortening our own DD's high school experience despite ability.

I would look at different school options and what they have to offer first. Like I said, the ability to have the public school system pay for 2 years of all community college classes is a big benefit here. Staying home that 4th year but able to finish at the university in 2 years... pretty awesome in my book.

I'd also question whether your DD's school was the best place for her to begin with. In our area, it's standard to have at least 2 AP math courses available for students, usually 3 (Calculus A/B, Calculus C/D and Statistics) as well as all sorts of other either AP or honors courses in sciences, Creative Writing, Art history, Music theory, ect. Being a single year advanced wouldn't be enough to run a kid out of potentiol and worthy classes. DD has friends who've recently graduates with 20 to 30 AP tests passed along with summer internships, long term volunteer work, field work in their passion, ect. Many of these kids could have graduated early. It's good to get a look at who your DD will be competing with for college admissions before deciding to cut high school short.

However, it sounds like you are sold on her doing this so really, it's about what your DD wants now.

All I'm saying is to do your homework outside what this one campus has to offer.

Married mom of two, DD 17 and DS 13.
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#7 of 18 Old 08-30-2010, 11:11 PM
 
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It seems to me that what she would lack in AP credits/extra curriculars, she would gain in graduating in only 3 years. That has to count for something. My question would be, how would this affect some of the important social aspects of high school, such as prom, sporting events, and the always anticipated "senior year"?

If none of those things are factors, I'd go for it.

Kat, wife to and mommy to (Dec 07).
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#8 of 18 Old 08-31-2010, 12:55 AM
 
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My question would be, how would this affect some of the important social aspects of high school, such as prom, sporting events, and the always anticipated "senior year"?
Besides those things, would she be shortening her childhood by a year and be an adult a year earlier? Would that be a good thing or a bad thing for *her*?

My DD started at a private school this year that was happy to classify her as an 8th or a 9th grader. We chose 8th, because *for her* the extra year with support, guidance, weekend writer retreats, etc will be a good thing. She's really not a kid that needs to leave the nest a year earlier. The last year she'll most likely be taking half her credits at college and half at high school, but she'll have the support and guidance of the high school (which is a warm fuzzy place) while making that transition.

I'd try to not think only about the college application process, but about what is best for her during her high school years.

If she doesn't accelerate, would it give her a chance to work in some enriching classes in? Photography? Chorus? Literature electives? I don't think high school is just about getting into university.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#9 of 18 Old 08-31-2010, 01:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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There is no AP Math CD, there is only AB and BC and you cannot take both, it is one or the other. This school only offers the BC and she will have it in 11th grade. It does not offer AP stat, but said she may be able to get it online. There are no sports at the school, other than for the kids who do sports outside of school (the hockey kids). They do not even have an orchestra, she plays with the city orchestra and is already at the highest level they allow for people under 18. They do not offer theater. The only elective courses being offered are music 1, art 1, and engineering 1. The rest she would have to do online or at the community college (which we do not want her to do, she might as well be at college if she is just going to go to community college). When we looked over the 4 yr schedule, she is getting 4 credits of PE because they just need to fill the space. The state has a minimum enrollment to follow. She will also get all the level 1 electives that I have listed. They do not even offer music theory and the music 1 class only has some theory in it, which she has already taken before coming here. They won't give her credit for her work with the city orchestra. Her foreign language is already online as it is. It is looking like in her senior year, she will have 2 credits in classes, then have to sit in study hall for to fill the rest of her hours and take virtual classes and a bunch of PE. Unless they change what they offer for classes, add more variety, this is all she has to look forward to her senior year. There is a minimum of 7 credits that have to be enrolled in, so, if she has to take 7 in her senior year, but only has 2 left to take, it is in the air about what she will do.

What we would end up doing, if it came to this, she did not accelerate and they did not add classes, then she would have to transfer schools. We had already been considering the transferring. We are just frustrated over the whole school situation. If worse comes to worse(can't work things out), she would either homeschool that last year or transfer to the local public school (horrible option) because they have way more courses to offer. There are only 250 kids at this school so I am unsure if they would even have the capacity to offer more.
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#10 of 18 Old 08-31-2010, 02:37 AM
 
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I don't really know the answer to her concerns, but I think it's really great that you asked her opinion first.

Can you call up someone at the admissions office of the colleges she is thinking of going to and ask their opinions?

Timmy's Mommy WARNINGyslexic typing with help of preschooler, beware of typos
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#11 of 18 Old 08-31-2010, 04:47 AM
 
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Considering how small her school is & how limited the class options, I think it would be a good idea for her to move to 10th grade now. The only caveat would be any resistance on her part, whether due to social or academic concerns. Good luck!
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#12 of 18 Old 08-31-2010, 11:00 AM
 
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Considering how small her school is & how limited the class options, I think it would be a good idea for her to move to 10th grade now.
agreed.

There doesn't seem to be anything to gain from staying put.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#13 of 18 Old 09-01-2010, 04:29 AM
 
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I would have her call up/email the colleges she wants to attend and ask their opinion. Would they look down on someone who completed high school in 3 years? They may not answer but you won't know until you ask. I doubt more selective colleges would look down on it but I'd want the reassurance if I was in her shoes.

A couple other options:
- Skip but take a gap year after finishing high school. During that year volunteer, work, travel, or take some college classes so you can add more things to the college applications.
- Don't skip but during Junior and Senior year of high school take a lighter load at the high school and possibly add in a college level course or a significant research project or volunteer work or something that's challenging and interesting.
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#14 of 18 Old 09-02-2010, 12:44 AM
 
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I've always thought that high school kids should be able to finish their coursework in however much time they need. If she can do it in three years, fine. If it takes someone else five, that's fine too. If her school is suggesting she move to 10th grade now, I don't see how that could be a bad idea.
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#15 of 18 Old 09-02-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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Especially since you've got such specific colleges in mind, I would definitely call them and talk to the admissions offices. They should be willing to talk to you. I'm not normally one to rush the college admission process, but your DD is already thinking about it so you guys might as well have more info.

In terms of the acceleration question, I would be likely to go for it because I wouldn't want my child to get bored. There are many many good things to do in a year off between high school and college.

Just one more thing about college, since you brought it up. You listed three very competitive colleges that are quite different from each other. Mostly what they have in common is that your daughter has legacy status. Fine, that can be helpful, but try to get her to expand her horizons about what she actually wants. Carleton is a small college in a really small town. University of Chicago is actually also pretty small, but with the resources of a university and in a big city. Stanford is bigger and in a medium city within a huge urban area, on the west coast to boot. She would have radically different experiences at those three places so she might want to think about what she's looking for. Again, normally at 14 I would say, just give it time, but since she's getting to the college question on her own, I would nudge her in the direction of expanding the possibilities.
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#16 of 18 Old 09-03-2010, 09:11 AM
 
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I would consider accelerating her and then planning on having her take a "gap" year. They are becoming increasingly popular, so she would not be unique. She could do something in a foreign country when she would have been a "senior" and gain incredible language experience. Honestly, I think if she is that diligent, she could pick up the work in college easily but having a world view to round it out (and perhaps some $$ to help out) might be helpful. She's your baby though, and you will know what is best for her.
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#17 of 18 Old 09-03-2010, 08:13 PM
 
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Do you have a junior college near you where she could take some classes as a senior? She get some cheap credits and challenging work.

Can she take a gap year and either travel or volunteer or work or do some combination that would give her a year to catch up emotionally/enrich her applications?

Also, I would be really concerned about her college interests. Those are very different schools with very different cultures and strengths. Legagy alone is a pretty poor reason to choose such a diverse group of schools. She could probably really benefit by thinking about why they really attract her and then comparing similiar schools. Weird choices won't strengthen her application. The colleges see them.
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#18 of 18 Old 09-04-2010, 12:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you have a junior college near you where she could take some classes as a senior? She get some cheap credits and challenging work.

Can she take a gap year and either travel or volunteer or work or do some combination that would give her a year to catch up emotionally/enrich her applications?

Also, I would be really concerned about her college interests. Those are very different schools with very different cultures and strengths. Legagy alone is a pretty poor reason to choose such a diverse group of schools. She could probably really benefit by thinking about why they really attract her and then comparing similiar schools. Weird choices won't strengthen her application. The colleges see them.
She has specific reasons behind those schools. Carleton is a small school in a gorgeous town. She loved visiting there and loved some specific academic programs. As far as Stanford goes, she is in EPGY through Stanford which is what got her enjoyment for that school going. I know my husband spoke to her about things he did at U of Chicago which got her interested in there. I know the schools seem very different, but they do all have something appealing and I told her to pick schools that are different, a variety, to keep on her long list for the future. That was the short version of her long list. Basically, those are her top schools. I think Carleton is her top school though. It will largely come down to scholarships, financial aid, and what she ends up deciding on majoring in for sure.
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