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4boys May 11th, 2009 06:00 PM

Grade Levels
So far in my homeschooling journey (which is coming up on two years now, so not very long!), I have been keeping my kids at their grade level. However, the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of doing school year-round (or almost) and letting them progress at their own pace. It just seems to make a lot of sense. Toby was 5 in February so technically he is kindergarten age this fall but he is reading well and catching onto math concepts (like counting by 5's) more than I thought he would. I could probably put him straight into Gr. 1 stuff if I wanted and skip K altogether (or just do a shortened version of K).

Anyhoo, I'm going to talk to DH about it but I want to know, for those of you who are looser with grade levels, what are the pros and cons to doing it this way? Why does it scare me a little to let them get ahead of themselves? :lol: I mean, I don't think we will ever be putting them in public school. They *might* go to a private high school but that is by no means for sure.

Do family members make comments about it? :rolleyes: I can just imagine what my SIL would say because her son is 3 months older than Bailey but a year ahead of him in school and the compare game has been going on since birth, as much as I try to avoid it.

Thanks for any input!

JustAKrazymom May 11th, 2009 06:11 PM

Re: Grade Levels
We are very loose with grade levels here. Declan skipped K all together.. then only did a small amount of 1st grade stuff before he started 2nd.. if he was in school he'd just be finishing up 1st grade..but here at home 90% of his stuff is 3rd grade. He loves saying he's in 3rd grade..I have found NO con to this honestly. I do think he will slow done some and not fly thru the 3rd grade stuff as fast as he did 2nd.

Neither side of our family is overly supportive of HSing. Eric's mother refuses to acknowledge they are even HS'd or doing well and MY mother likes to compare them to theur cousins in PS in Michigan and tell me all kinds of crazy things about ALL the HSer's SHE knows of ( ya know..every bad thing anyone can think of about HSer's..apparently my mother knows all these terrible HSers @@)..

anyway..I really think letting kids work at their own pace rocks..Ziah's pace is much slower than Declan but if she was in school I would not have put her in K this past Sept like all her peers because of her Oct b-day..she could have but I wouldn't have.,. but at home she got to be in K and did just fine!

Butter May 11th, 2009 06:43 PM

Re: Grade Levels
We're loose here too. Ani's a 3rd grader and Cameron's a 1st or 2nd grader based on age mates (his birthday comes right in the middle of cut off dates so his grade level varies by state). So that's what we report. As far as what they do, however, they go at their own pace. Ani's in Sonlight LA 2 advanced which is 3rd to 5th grade level. Cameron's in LA 2 beginner which is solidly 2nd grade level. Ani's in Math-U-See Delta which is about 4th grade and Cameron's in Alpha which is about first grade. They'll likely move up math levels before they finish their language arts and move up levels. Neither my parents nor Jamie's mom or anyone else in our family care about the grade levels at which the kids are working.

JustAKrazymom May 11th, 2009 06:55 PM

Re: Grade Levels
Yeah...Declan i snow moving thru math faster than LA..we started Gamma today and he literally FLEW thru 2 lessons.. so he only has 28 to go..LOL.. he loves multiplication and I think he will thrive..

4boys May 11th, 2009 09:08 PM

Re: Grade Levels
Well I talked to DH and he was all for it! It just makes sense to go with your child's pace. Along with that, we talked about schooling all summer and that makes sense as well. It would be a little weird to take a huge break from learning. :D So I am really excited about this. Thanks for the responses!

MissyPrincessEha May 11th, 2009 10:21 PM

Re: Grade Levels
Elijah and I did a very simple full month of kindergarten during the year he would have been in k5. He was reading and doing simple math in that month. The rest of that year and summer he played. :) He is starting his 4th grade when he should be at the end of it, but his 4th grade above what his friends in the same grade in ps are doing. It is so hard to say what grade a homeschooled kid is in. He is on the 4th step from kinder here at home...but also past that in some things. Hee hee...

Remy should be finishing up k5 right now, but he is almost halfway through his homeschool 1st grade.

I think if they finish early with what we perceive as 12th grade at home then they can do local college classes and whatever else, or attend college a year or so early fulltime.

Have fun with school this summer. :) We will!

Jenneve May 12th, 2009 06:00 AM

Re: Grade Levels
All my boys are pretty much on target with their age=grade level. I'm all for letting them move at their own pace, it just happens to be on their grade level. :lol: However, Jack is just finishing up MUS Gamma (which is end of 3rd, I guess). Everything else he's ready to start 5th grade stuff. Jared finished up all of his 1st grade stuff a month or so ago & has been working in his 2nd grade LA and is loving it. In public school he could have started K a year earlier than I started him K homeschool, but I knew he wasn't ready so we waited. He seems to be headed toward "catching up" though. Justin is right on for his age. He would have started public school K this past fall & he's finishing up homeschool K now.

If they fall a little "behind" or get a little "ahead" I'm fine with it. It just makes sense to move at their pace.

4boys May 12th, 2009 11:24 AM

Re: Grade Levels
Yup. It just makes sense. :)

~Jenn~ May 12th, 2009 01:52 PM

Re: Grade Levels
We're the same as everybody else.:)

This past year we had a very light year. We kept up on math and ds read a ton, other than that everything else kind of fell by the wayside.

If ds was at ps he would just be finishing up 1st grade. About a month ago when I went to order new curriculum I realized that he was well beyond 2nd grade work so we just went ahead with 3rd grade stuff. His math (MUS Gamma, Horizons 3, Singapore 3..all of which are about a year advanced of what is taught in ps) is all 3rd grade and his LA is 3rd/4th grade stuff. I though to myself how simple it was to skip him a grade..no meetings with teachers and principals...we just *poof* skipped him..lol.

lpimentel May 12th, 2009 03:31 PM

Re: Grade Levels
Our PS has him in 2nd going into 3rd. If he started in PS he would be going into 1st or 2nd. math and reading he's in singapore 3 math, and his favorite books are gl 5. Writing, and spelling I would say it's K level. I'm not sure if he'll move up to 3rd grade until he's caught up to 3rd grade in writing.

joandsarah77 May 12th, 2009 09:42 PM

Re: Grade Levels
I think most homeschooling families go at their child's pace. I mean grades are simply because schools have large numbers of kids, what else can they do, really? I imagine trying to keep kids at grade level by either holding them back or by pushing wouldn't work too well.

Motherbird May 13th, 2009 09:47 AM

Re: Grade Levels
Well the one con I found is my oldest son was not comfortable with me skipping him ahead a grade level- at least in name. It's okay if he does 9th grade work, but he still wants to say he is in 7th grade. I think part of the reason is he plans on going to high school and can't start until he is actually in 9th grade/14 yr old. Plus he just found the whole thing confusing. He figures his age mates are all in 7th grade, so he should be too (nevermind he is working way beyond them.)

Anyway, the more I thought about that the more it was fine with me. After all, my daughter is in 4th grade, but doing some 5th grade work and some 3rd grade work. But she is still in 4th grade. :-) It just works better that way for us.

If by chance my son doesn't go to p.s. for h.s. and he finishes early, he can go to the comm. college. It really doesn't matter what grade he graduates in. When he's done, he's done.

~hsingtreehouse~ May 13th, 2009 02:35 PM

Re: Grade Levels
This past year, I "formally" (i.e. for the sake of the umbrella school) called Scotty a kindergartener. Truth is, he switched over to 1st grade stuff in December and is now about 3/4 of the way through most of the material I got for him for 1st grade. We are starting 2nd grade in English in a few days. We go at his pace and this is his pace. I could care less what "grade" he is in...we just do his work as he needs to do it.

Same goes for Bryce too - he is finishing 4th grade, but with math, he is at the beginning of 4th grade because I decided to go back and cement the basics with him first. He is about 1/4 through CLE LA 3 because I felt he needed a bit more time to process nouns and verbs before we jumped to adverbs and adjectives. However, in History, Science, Reading he is working at or above grade level. But I still consider him a rising 5th grader.

~hsingtreehouse~ May 13th, 2009 02:42 PM

Re: Grade Levels

Originally Posted by JustAKrazymom (Post 15769230)
... if she was in school I would not have put her in K this past Sept like all her peers because of her Oct b-day..she could have but I wouldn't have.,. but at home she got to be in K and did just fine!

This was the same with Scotty. His birthday is September 29th and the cutoff in TN is October 1st. So...he made the cutoff, but he is in 10th% for weight and height...not to mention, he made said cutoff by what...1 DAY? There was no way I was sending him to Kindergarten this year with some kids who would likely be an entire YEAR older than him and LARGER than him. Everyone who sees him thinks he is "about 4." It is maddening. But, I digress. LOL What made us homeschool him is that here we had this kid who was starting to read of his own free will, who was quite obviously itching to LEARN and do things, but who was too young to even go to Kindergarten. When people see him reading to me or when they talk to him (he is VERY articulate for his age...likely because he has an older brother who never shuts up), they suggest to me that he is "gifted" or "really intelligent." Maybe...but I think it is more that he has that one on one with me and was not held to back to the age limits of public school. ;) Of course...looking "about 4" and reading a chapter book doesn't hurt the "OMG factor" either. LOL (Once I explain he is actually almost 6, people tend to say...oh...okay. LOL)

janaleigh May 13th, 2009 06:08 PM

Re: Grade Levels
In looking back, the only problems we have had with accelerating are... (my boys are now 9th and 11th grade)

1. My son took Spanish at the Community College his 9th grade year. Some colleges will not accept this even though he completed Spanish 1, 2, and 3 which is equivalent to 6 years of high school spanish. I know the Univeristies are crazy but I still don't regret having him take these courses.

2. Many college like to see 2-4 years of math. My first son took geometry in 9th grade, Algebra 2 in 10th grade and now he is taking Community College courses, College Algebra and Statistics to get his 4 years in. He didn't want to take Trigonometry because he doesn't like math , even though he does fairly well with it.

So, I know for many of you college seems a long way off. I would not hold my kids back but if I could choose something to accelerate, it would be writing. So much of their education in the upper years revolves around writing; organizing papers and analyzing information.

Our favorite curriculum has been Excellence in Writing which can be started on a small scale around 2nd grade....

And for the SIL...I would just politely change the subject after a quick "he's working at his grade level." You can smile on the inside knowing he's well beyond that :)

Take Care,

4boys May 13th, 2009 07:39 PM

Re: Grade Levels
Thanks for that, Jana. It's always nice to get insight from seasoned hs moms!

Butter May 14th, 2009 05:55 AM

Re: Grade Levels
Are you saying a university won't accept college credit from a community college?!?! That is absolutely insane. Or are they saying it doesn't count as high school? As much as they were confused about me being homeschooled and starting college classes early, they were perfectly happy accepting credits I had already gotten from BYU Independent Study. As far as they were concerned college credits are college credits. Because of the number of BYUIS credits I had I was considered a transfer student once I had my GED (because they were so confused about what homeschooling was... I've heard they don't require a GED at all now at that college).

-Tisha- May 16th, 2009 07:25 PM

Re: Grade Levels
We're pretty much on grade level with their ages. If/when they need to move up or down or whatever we'll adjust.

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