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Discussion Starter #1
My 7 year old attends a small charter school where she's very happy for the most part. She loves school, loves her teacher, and all is well. Except she's a year ahead in math and reading. Last year she was in 1st grade for most of the day and went to 2nd grade for math and reading. It worked out great for her. She ended up starting 3rd grade math the last quarter of school. The school had the policy of moving kids up/down in reading and math according to the needs of each child. That's one of the reasons I chose this school.<br><br>
This year they are not doing that because some of the kids who moved down levels were teased, and some that were moved up were not emotionally mature enough to sit through instruction even though they were academically capable of it. My child came home with beginning 2nd grade work. I spoke to her teacher and she offered to give my dd "enrichment" work when she was finished with her 2nd grade work.<br><br>
I then went to the principal this AM with my concerns. She was very nice about listening. I basically said my dd needs to recieve formal 3rd grade math instruction, not just enrichment sheets. I said either she needs to be moved to 3rd grade for math class, or she needs to get 15 minutes of one-on-one math instruction from her 2nd grade teacher. There is another girl in her class who is in the same boat as my dd and her mom is also talking to the principal.<br><br>
The principal said she would think about what to do, but offered that my dd could just move up to 3rd grade full time. I'm not so sure I like that idea for many reasons. Not the least of which my dd is still emotionally a 2nd grader.<br><br>
I'm not so concerned about her being in 2nd grade reading. She still enjoys reading books below her grade level for fun, and she reads at her own level at home. Reading is something she is progressing with naturally without any formal instruction. Math of course is a lot different.<br><br>
The only other choice is put her in the gifted program at the public school. I have heard mixed reviews on it. They have one teacher for each grade (kids placed by age) and that teacher serves the needs of all the kids in her class at their different levels. So you might get one kid who's a year advanced and one who's 4 years advanced in the same class. Those kids are also separate from the rest of the kids at the school and the program moves schools every year within the district.<br><br>
I need some advice.
 

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It definitely sounds like you need a plan B. Not being in your school district, it's hard to advise you on a better school or program, but it does sound like the program you're in won't continue to meet the needs of your DD. Have you considered homeschooling? She could probably do all the work she needs to do in just a few hours a day and you can pick and choose what works for her.
 

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Could she be excused from math at school, and you could just take care of it at home? I'm a homeschooler and I haven't done the whole school-thing, so if it's an absurd idea, I apologize.<br><br>
There are a million curricula out there, some would require very little from you.<br><br>
ZM
 

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Discussion Starter #4
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>zeldamomma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11935527"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Could she be excused from math at school, and you could just take care of it at home? I'm a homeschooler and I haven't done the whole school-thing, so if it's an absurd idea, I apologize.<br><br>
There are a million curricula out there, some would require very little from you.<br><br>
ZM</div>
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We are already homeschooling her in Math-U-See at home to supplement her math at school since it's not enough. We homeschooled her before she started K. The thing is, she really enjoys that school and has a special relationship with some of the teachers. She also needs more structure and activities than I can give her. I'm in college part time myself and use the time when she's in school to study. If she were not having such a great time at school I would not hesitate to homeschool her.<br><br>
I will start shopping around and see what Plan B's there may be in our area. There are a ton of charter schools around. Some are better than others.
 

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If the principal is offering to move her to 3rd full time they must believe she is ready to handle it. Did she have emotional problems when she went to 2nd part time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>eepster</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11936263"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If the principal is offering to move her to 3rd full time they must believe she is ready to handle it. Did she have emotional problems when she went to 2nd part time.</div>
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No, she was very mature and well-behaved. However she is a different kid at home than at school. I don't feel that she acts older than her age. I also don't want her to be 17 when she graduates from high school.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>USAmma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11936276"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">No, she was very mature and well-behaved. However she is a different kid at home than at school. I don't feel that she acts older than her age.</div>
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Most kids are better behaved for people who aren't there parents, that is completely normal.<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I also don't want her to be 17 when she graduates from high school.</td>
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It's better than being 18 when you drop out, trust me I know.
 

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Move her to 3rd grade, and in the mean time explore your other options.<br>
Most likely for the gifted public, you have to have her tested to enroll, and that will take a bit of time. She can't realisitcally sit through 2nd grade math... so pull her up a grade, and get her tested for the gifted program... if she gets in, you should be able to do 2nd if that is what you wish.<br><br><br><br>
The fact that there is such a variation in one grade is actually not that concerning.... the teachers, especially within a gifted program should be used to dealing with such a range.... and the fact that they do and can deal with it, seems to make it a better option than where she currently is at.<br><br>
The gifted program dd is in, is as you describe. Of course this is K for her, so we are just getting a handle on how it works. Other parents have been happy with the program, though, and have explicitly said the teachers can handle the variation.<br><br>
Tammy
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>USAmma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11936276"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">No, she was very mature and well-behaved. However she is a different kid at home than at school. I don't feel that she acts older than her age. I also don't want her to be 17 when she graduates from high school.</div>
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If she doesn't seem ready for college at 17, do an exchange year or semester overseas. She could also take a gap year to work, do a post-grad year at a private school, etc. There are always options later if the skip will help now.
 

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I'm curious-- why don't you want her to be 17 when she graduates from high school? I was 17... I know lots of people who were. BeanBean will be 17 at *most*. Heck, even BooBah with her late June birthday will be 17 when she graduates (assuming, of course, one year per year). <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"><br><br>
I'd seriously consider the skip; It's probably going to be your best bet.
 

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I became very annoyed last year with DS's charter school because they did not instruct him at his level in math or reading. My view became that he was having this school experience for 6.5 hours a day, and it was basically a playdate for him. I felt it was wasting all our time, with little benefit in relation to the stress involved.<br><br>
We looked carefully (again) at all of our choices and will start him in a public school this year. It seemed the public schools (here at least) do a better job at instructing children with special needs--better than the private schools and better than the charters.<br><br>
What kind of mixed reviews have you received about the public school there?
 

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i would also vote the skip (of course just based on what you've written). graduating at 17 is not uncommon.<br>
i started college FT at 15, and appreciated having a few "extra" years.
 

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I was 16 when I graduated from highschool. I was 17 when I started university. It was fine.<br><br>
If I hadn't been ready to start university - I would have done some sort of exchange program - or taken a year off to just live. I think it's MUCH better to get an extra year of your life as an adult than as a kid.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Kessed</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11954453"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I was 16 when I graduated from highschool. I was 17 when I started university. It was fine.<br></div>
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Ditto. I had some tough times, but I've thought about it a lot (my own DD is skipping this year) and it had nothing to do with skipping, and everything to do with some serious problems at home-- alcoholism, loss of parent, blah, blah. My friendships and schoolwork never suffered-- just my esteem.<br><br>
A gifted school might be better thank skipping (I'd guess it would depend on the school), but take a look at this link that A&A shared. It helped me tremendously! <a href="http://www.accelerationinstitute.org/Nation_Deceived/" target="_blank">http://www.accelerationinstitute.org/Nation_Deceived/</a><br><br>
PS . . .and I'm not even gifted!
 

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IME this forum is very pro grade skipping. I am against grade-skipping in most cases and it sounds like you are too. I don't want to get into another debate on grade skipping, I just wanted to let you know you are not the only parent of a gifted child who would prefer to avoid skipping if possible.<br><br>
Regarding your situation, since you know there is another child in the class in the same situation, could they be in a math group together and work on 3rd grade math? I would talk with the teacher again and emphasize how enrichment work after the regular 2nd grade work is not going to meet your dd's needs because she has already covered all the 2nd grade work the previous year. Regarding the gifted program at the public school, I would not be concerned that kids at different levels of advancement would be in the same gifted class. The kids being completely separate from the rest of the kids in the school and the program moving to a different school each year sounds odd to me though.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I just wanted to post an update.<br><br>
Long story short:<br><br>
We (my dd and I together) decided to move her to another school. She starts next week!<br><br>
Long version:<br>
Dd's 2nd grade teacher was going to great lengths to provide enrichment work for my dd. She painstakingly planned some activities and worksheets and such that were fun and challenging. The problem is that my dd and the other advanced child in the class were still being forced to sit through 2nd grade math and reading. Although they were permitted to read, draw pictures, or work on their own enrichment things, the teacher was busy with the rest of the class during those times and could not interact with them. Then when the rest of the class was doing their worksheets and group work, the teacher was working with my dd and the other girl to give them their lessons. Particularly math. They were not officially doing 3rd grade math, but rather were kinda doing it unofficially. Which would make it a problem to show any kind of progress to another level the next year.<br><br>
The teacher called me and dh at home a couple of times in the evenings. She was very caring and nurturing. Dh and the teacher are both from the same country and my dd looked up to her as a kind of auntie. I could tell she really cared about dd. She felt that my dd was operating at 4th grade reading level and really deserved that kind of instruction. Dd began to not be so happy about school, complaining about "baby work" and there were some other issues going on like the bossy lunch lady not giving kids enough time to eat. Dd has Celiac Disease and has tummy aches sometimes, but this week she had one and I suspect she just didn't want to go to school and maybe it was nerves. It was not like her usual episodes.<br><br>
I took the opportunity to visit the neighborhood school. I had ruled them out for dd in K but she was older, the school had new administration, maybe things were better. Nope. They said basically that dd would be put in 2nd grade and expected to stay there, and be given some challenge work on top of 2nd grade work. They suggested she test into the gifted program. I called the number for that program and was told that testing was later in Sept and it was $50 to test her because she's not currently enrolled in a public school (I guess public charter schools don't count!). It doesn't matter that we live and pay taxes to this school district! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: It was hinted that kids enrolled in public schools got priority. They suggested I enroll her in regular 2nd grade, then she would be tested for free and possibly move to the gifted program, which is at a different school. So she would be expected to change schools 3 times in as many months!<br><br>
I researched some other charter schools, and found one that looked promising. I met with the principal and he said they tested kids upon entering the school and placed them in the appropriate levels of classes for core subjects. They routinely got gifted and high performing kids and manged to keep them with peer groups by age, while moving them by ability as needed. He said one child last year was so advanced that they worked out a deal with the local private high school to take him for a couple of classes. Dd and I went there and toured it and she smiled all the way through the tour. I got a good vibe from the place, the kids looked calm and content, and we actually popped our heads into working classrooms to observe.<br><br>
Meanwhile, at the old school, the principal was fired suddenly! A temporary one was put in place and I asked her if she would consider putting dd up in math and reading like they did last year and she said no. She said she would consider testing her for giftedness and get special funding for her from the state to enrich her education. But she would still have to sit through 2nd grade math and reading. Really, that was all I was asking. It's really simple. I told her no thank you, we were about ready to sign the papers to another school.<br><br>
Yesterday was dd's second to last day of school there. I went to the office after school and asked for a withdrawal slip to be made up for today (dd's last day). It was a sad moment because I truly loved the school the first two years, and the teachers are wonderful and caring, and it's like a little family. But I have to do what's right for dd. I talked some with her old K teacher and her current 2nd grade teacher outside. They went into the office and came running back out as I was putting my kids in the car. The K teacher said that they had just talked to the principal (probably reminded them of her perfect test scores! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">) had the principal had finally agreed to what I was asking. Now she agrees?! After all we went through?! We got home and I talked to dd and said what if they agree to put you in the right math/reading classes? Would you want to go to your old school again, or to the new school still? She said she really wanted to try the new school because it looked like a lot more fun and the classrooms were bigger and it had a nice computer lab and library. All things her old school lacked. Also there were a couple of friendly kids who were nice to her in the office when we were waiting for our tour that made her feel welcome there.<br><br>
So, today was her last day at the old school. They had a small party for her in her class, and she hugged everyone, got some phone numbers of friends, and looked like she was about to cry. I asked her once again, are you sure you want to go to the new school? I will respect your feelings. She said she was sure and then the sadness was gone off her face and she looked peaceful with her decision.<br><br>
Her two teachers than came to me privately and said that they thought it was a really good decision to move her, and she would probably get a lot more out of the other school, but they would miss her a lot. They supported my decision and wanted the best for dd. They couldn't say much more, but indicated that the school was not in a good place right now with all the poltics and staff things going on. I will keep in touch with those teachers and dd will email them and visit them periodically. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I'm angry that we were put in this position in the first place by a [email protected]#$ change of policy, but I'm really glad that we had the opportunity to find the new school that will probably work better for dd in the long run. I'm thankful that she had such a nurturing place to start her school career off in and such wonderful teachers at the old school. I'm glad we have so many options as far as charter schools and liberal homeschool laws in our area. I just hope and pray this was the right decision!<br><br>
Thanks for reading and thanks for all the advice!<br><br><br>
-------<br>
P.S. I know we all have different views about skipping grade levels. I can't say I'm for or against in general. Every child is different in how they might be in that situation. As far as my little girl, she enjoys being 7 and she enjoys having 7 year old friends. She enjoys the kinds of homeroom activities that 7 year olds do in 2nd grade. I don't feel that she is emotionally mature enough to be happy with children older than herself all day long. Skipping a grade or two is not the answer for her. At least not right now.
 

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If my DD had been able to stay with people her age and get appropriate work for her level, I would not have skipped her. I don't think most people skip so that their children will be with OLDER children, it's just that it is the best option for some (it was that, leave her depressed in her grade, or HS for us).<br><br>
I think the fact that even your DD was so excited to change schools is a huge, wonderful sign. I am so happy that you found a great solution! It is a shame that the principal only agreed to the change at the last minute, but then, it seems like it all worked out for the best anyway.
 

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wow USAmma i went thru a whole bunch of reactions reading your post.<br><br>
it takes me back to ur excited post of when your dd first got into the old school and how well things were going and i remember being so happy for you and slightly envious too.<br><br>
my jaw just dropped at all the hard work you had to go thru. it just blew my mind. but i am so glad you found a school that your daugh is happy about. i would be looking forward to updates.<br><br>
i can relate to ur feelings about leaving the old school. i kinda did the change in K. hated it coz we all liked the staff so much. but they had so many ESLers and way behind children that they did the best they could for the opposite children but it wasnt enough. we so loved them.
 

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I'm so happy to hear you found a school that sounds like it will be ideal for your dd!<br><br>
And kudos to you for putting so much effort into finding the right situation and listening to your dd and respecting her thoughts through the whole process! I can tell your dd will be really successful and happy throughout her education with you supporting her and advocating for her. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 
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