Friday, October 12, 2012

Fear of Moving Forward – Grade Skipping and What Comes Next

Fear of Moving Forward

"He's only seven and doing fourth grade work? So what are you going to do when he's done with middle school by age 10 or something?"

The question is half serious and half in jest; a pat on the back for our "achievement". But it's an honest question that I sometimes think about, yet just as often ignore.

My child is a bit ahead, yes. He started reading and doing arithmetic earlier than most and has stayed ahead of the curve ever since. On top of staying ahead of the curve, he is moving somewhat faster than the curve too. It doesn't take him a whole year to master a grade level's worth of work at this point, and I'm totally ok with that. I roll with the punches and tailor my kid's curriculum to his needs.

To me, that's what homeschooling is about.

But the question does come up sometimes. Sometimes from others and sometimes from myself.  What will happen as he creeps further and further away from the "normal" scale? What will happen if he keeps at this pace and ends up finishing junior or senior high years before he's "supposed to"?

I suppose what is really being asked is whether or not I should be slowing him down or holding him back, for the purpose of keeping him "normal".

But really? I have no desire to hold my kid back. I don't care if he's not "average". It's about what my kid needs and it doesn't matter if other kids his age are at whatever level.

To be honest, I already have a hard enough time keeping him challenged and engaged at the pace we are going now. He always wants what's next. Once he understands something, he wants to move on and not to practice it in a dozen different ways day after day.

So we keep moving. And he's going fast. And if going fast means "finishing" pretty early, then so be it. Because when it comes down to it and I have the choice between putting a cap on my kid's educational achievement and keeping him "normal", or giving him the tools he needs to move forward at the pace he desires, I am going to go with what is going to keep him interested, engaged, and motivated.

Might that cause a "problem" later? I guess it could. But it's really a "problem" I'll be happy to have, especially considering the alternative (read: bored, tuned out, disinterested, disengaged).

If he "reaches the end" early, I am sure we will be fine. We can just keep moving forward. He can take online or community college courses or, just delve into whatever interests him. After all, as Mr. Stevenson said,

The world is so full of a number of things,
I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings.

"And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory."
Exodus 33:18
Hunter is 7 years, 6 months old and in "2nd grade"

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comments!