Grade levels when homeschooling

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Grade levels when homeschooling

Post by tiffanieh » Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:07 am

I know we are only a few months into this school year, but I'm starting to think about what "grade" my youngest son should be in next year.

Originally I wasn't planning on having him start Kindergarden this year had he gone to traditional school. He just turned 5 in August. However, since I decided on homeschooling my oldest, I just decided to go ahead and start kindergarden work with Ashton anyways.

There are days that I'm thinking GREAT, he really gets this stuff, then there are other days where I am banging my head on the table and thinking he is never going to get this stuff. I am going at a VERY slow pace with him, and he is no where near where my son was at this same time last year when he was in kindergarden.

My question is, should I just repeat kindergarden next year, or do I not worry about that type of thing and just move him along so that come later in life he could be graduating earlier instead of having to wait an additional year b/c I made him repeat a grade.

I also think in the back of my mind that if he was ever to re-enter school I would not want him in 1st grade next year, he is no where near ready.

Again, I know this is premature, but I have kinda been planting the seed in his mind that we are doing Kindergarden for 2 years. Is this a good choice or bad?

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Re: Grade levels when homeschooling

Post by Mom2Monkeys » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:07 am

I had this same issue with my dd. She is 7 and working on a 3rd-4th grade level. I was going to let her "skip" a grade and be a 3rd grader this year. But, then I realized SHE"LL BE 16 WHEN SHE GRADUATES!!. So, what's the rush. Let your kids work on whatever level they need...whether that's preschool or 2nd grade when their 5, but still call them their grade they are by age. I don't see many 18 year olds that are ready for college even though they are graduating highschool...much less a 16 or 17 year old, even if they are advanced. My dd will finish her high school credits at 16 or so, when she's an "11th" grader. For 12th grade, she can dual enroll for highschool and college credit and get some of those college credits done and over with before she goes off to college officially. That's just my 2 cents. I think its better for the child in the long run...look ahead and see where you want to be and what you think a child can handle at a given age...if you skip ahead, that kid will have to tackle it that much earlier.
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Re: Grade levels when homeschooling

Post by lmercon » Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:52 am

I was in your boat several years ago. My ds has a July birthday. He was academically ready for K when he was five, but we decided to hold him back another year. During that year, we made the decision to hs him the following year. I did K last year when he was six. I was a ps teacher for eight years before leaving to be home with my dc. Most of the academic problems were with children who had spring and summer birthdays and were put into school too early. For my ds, I was not concerned about that as much as I was about the maturity issue. If he went to school, I wanted him to be on the older, bigger side of things rather than on the younger, smaller side. I think that is especially important for boys as they get into the upper elementary and junior high years. Every person I have ever talked to who held his/her child back has not regretted the decision. My parents held back my brother who has a Sept. birthday for the same reasons. It turned out to be the better choice throughout his school career. I don't want my ds going off to college at 17! In my opinion, if you are on the fence as far as age, it is always better to wait another year. I would just take this year slowly and make it super fun! Next year, worry more about pushing phonics and handwriting.
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Re: Grade levels when homeschooling

Post by mamas4bugs » Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:57 am

I agree with the pp that if you are on the fence, wait. It won't hurt anything to do K over two years. Many private schools where we lived in Texas do what they refer to as K4 (4-5 year olds) and K5 (5-6 year olds).

Personally, and I realize everyone may think I'm nuts (and this only works if you live in a state or country with little or no reporting requirements), I don't know that I really believe in grade levels for us until high school. None of my kids are in the same grade level for all of their subjects anyway. My 10 year old is doing level 4 math, but reading high school books. The 6 year old is doing higher math, but struggling to read. I think I've decided that unless I become required to report it, we're just going to move through school--making progress, of course--until they are about 14. Then we'll do four years of high school.

All that to say, I think it's a fine choice to tell your child that you're doing K over two years. You can go slow and have lots of fun. I'm a big fan of letting them be little. :)

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Re: Grade levels when homeschooling

Post by Carrie » Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:32 pm

I agree that it's a great idea to wait, if you are having trouble deciding that is! During my public school teaching days I never had one parent say they wished they hadn't waited to start their little one, but there were plenty who said they wished they had! :D Extra time is almost always on your side, and in homeschooling you can still do a beefier level of curriculum beyond the grade your little honey is registered in!

We did K over 2 years with LHFHG here at our house with my just turned 5 year old (starting last year). We're finishing him this year in LHFHG at full-speed at age 6, because he's more ready now. :wink:


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Re: Grade levels when homeschooling

Post by SandKsmama » Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:04 am

Let your kids work on whatever level they need...whether that's preschool or 2nd grade when their 5, but still call them their grade they are by age
This is what we do in our house - grade levels are so arbitrary 7 year old is doing what is termed "3rd grade" work in most everything, but is probably late "1st grade"/early "2nd grade" in reading. My 12 year old is 6th grade level in some things, 7th grade in some, and even 8th grade in some. I don't worry about it too much. In church classes, etc, we put them in whatever class they would be in by their age.
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Re: Grade levels when homeschooling

Post by Mandy in TN » Thu Oct 23, 2008 12:30 pm

tiffanieh wrote:I wasn't planning on having him start Kindergarden this year had he gone to traditional school.
I assume that you are asking what grade should be written at the top of the transcript that you are submitting to some sort of reporting agency. In that case you have already answered your own question. Submit nothing this year and next year submit kindergarten paper work. If something happened and you had to enroll him in a traditional classroom, in what grade would you want him enrolled? This is the grade that should be on the top of the transcript each year. From your own words you wouldn't have put him in school this year, so next year create his kindergarten transcript.

Last year I did a kindergarten transcript, because I wanted to keep the option of first grade in a traditional classroom open for this year. This year when we decided to stay at home again I enrolled ds as a kindergartener again. Right now if anything should happen I would rather he end up as an advanced older student than an average younger student. However, each year I will ask that question- if something happened, in what grade would I want the little man placed?

As far as the materials used, just meet him where he is.


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Re: Grade levels when homeschooling

Post by water2wine » Thu Oct 23, 2008 1:27 pm

Hey there. I have one that is 4 and doing K. She gets it and wants it, sometimes we slow down and sometimes we speed up. Here is what I decided to do with her in case it helps you in some way. :D I have decided that we will go ahead and move her at that pace whatever it is and if we end up a year ahead on the actual material we will still keep her technically in high school until the age she normally would have graduated. If we end up with an extra year I see that as a blessing to deepen her relationship with the Lord through study and explore what he may be calling her to do. I would honestly like an extra year for this for all my kids. So I let them move fast if they want on LA and Math, and other things like Science etc in the future with the thought in mind that a year to help them find the Lord's call for their life would be a gift.

Just thought I would share that thought with you. I am not pushing them to get ahead but if it there own heart's desire as it is with several of my children then in my mind it will be to add this extra thing rather than graduate early.

HTH. I know you will find the best solution for your children. Mine came through prayer and I know how faithful God is to answer questions about His plan for the children He entrusts us with for His glory.
All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13
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