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lakshmi
04-14-2011, 01:24 AM
We've, and when I say we've I mean I, decided to homeschool year round. Mainly because we sort of slack and the curriculum we use doesn't (MBtP). BUT, we're running into timing issues with the grade levels.

Does the first grader become a second grader when the curriculum changes or when I (and when I say I, I mean we,) arbitrarily decide to chnge it?

My first inclination was to change at solstice, June 21. Why, I don't know, just seemed like a good day. Early enough in the summer to mirror the PS kids who start saying, I'm going into (insert grade level here) the day after classes end.

What do you do?

BTW, I use grade levels because then my kids have something to talk about with stupid grown ups who say, do you go to school yet, (my kids are short) or, what grade are you in?

They have figured out that homeschooling isn't the norm. So anything that helps them ease into polite conversation helps them.

Busygoddess
04-14-2011, 01:43 AM
I also homeschool my kids year-round. The way I do it is to plan 40 weeks worth of work for the school year. Once they are done with that work, we take a short break and they move on to the next 'grade'. I let them move at their own pace, so 'grade level' has nothing to do with the level of their work, but is just a way to make life easier when someone asks what grade they are in.

That said, some choose to set specific start and ends dates for their school year - like start Sept 1 and end july 31. Some just keep moving onto the next level of curriculum and change what 'grade' the child is in when the new ps year starts. Some change 'grades' when they finish the level of curriculum. Some change 'grade levels' after doing the state required testing, portfolio review, or assessment. It's a personal choice and you just have to figure out what will work best for you.

Teri
04-14-2011, 09:30 AM
When someone asks what grade a child is in, they are trying to figure out how old they are within a context that they can relate to....or that has been my experience. In the summer, we typically hear, "What grade will you be in?" and the rest of the year, it is "What grade are you in?" So, I answer according to their ages and what grade they would be in if they were in PS. Which has nothing to do with what grade they are actually working in....at all.

lakshmi
04-14-2011, 09:37 AM
Yeah to both of you, I just wondered if you do it at the end of the school year or at the beginning of the next. Just cuz, my kids get high off of grade levels.... so, if i bump kinder to first and first to second they get all smiley and feeling smart. BUT, if their work hasn't really changed... I guess it doesn't matter... They'll figure out soon enough that it has been completely arbitrary anyway.

We take breaks so often that I wouldn't even want to schedule a break.

People think my kids are a year younger than they are anyway because they are so short. LOL... so maybe I'll just tell them to say they are in 6th grade just to see the reactions of the goofballs asking...ha.

Busygoddess
04-14-2011, 10:22 AM
I forgot to mention... so far, the kids' 'grade levels' have always matched up with what grade they would be in if they were in ps & that is how we determine in the beginning (Jay started Kinder the year that he was 5 when ps started). Jay finished 1st before I was expecting him to. So, I planned extra work for 2nd, to try to make the year last a bit longer.
I think it is probably easier for those who use a packaged curriculum, because you would change grades when you finish one grade level & start the next. We don't use a packaged curriculum, though, so it can be more difficult to decide when to move them up a grade.

dbmamaz
04-14-2011, 10:51 AM
I change 'grade level' (not work level) when we return to school in september after a 2-week break. Since thats when the public school kids are officailly in a new grade. In the summer, kids are usually referred to as 'rising 3rd graders', which is also fine.

TamaraNC
04-14-2011, 11:07 AM
We're using the usual PS grades by age, just for easiness. For us, the grade level designation really only means something for 1) answering casual questions that really mean, "How old are you?" and 2) for sports and other extracurriculars to group them with other kids about their same size. For curricula that is labelled with a grade level, we just pick up the next level when we've finished the previous one, with no delay, which means they're often staggered throughout the year.

I'm also hoping our summers will "feel" different from the regular school year (unit studies and learning games, instead of our usual curriculum), so it won't feel like they've gone from one grade to another over a weekend.

StartingOver
04-14-2011, 01:08 PM
We school year round and just move to the next thing when we are done. So as of right now my son is in K, 1st, and 3rd in various subjects LOL. But he is a K'er. I found it easier years ago to just call the kids what they would be if they were in PS. 5- K, 6-1st, 7-2nd, etc. We change that grade in June of each year.

My children can't be packaged into a grade level, but it makes it easier for them to have a pat answer when others ask questions.

Hampchick
04-14-2011, 03:54 PM
This is our first year too and we will do some school during the summer. I hadn't really thought about when we'd go from one grade to the next. With the curricula we just move to the next level when we're ready so work wise DS is not really in just one grade. I suppose I'd follow Cara's idea that come Sept. they will officially be K and 3rd. That's when I plan to get organized with my younger son who doesn't do much yet, and when Ethan and I will start up any new curriculum we add so it makes sense.

farrarwilliams
04-14-2011, 05:37 PM
Ditto what Jana said. I call them what they would be in PS when they would be it. My boys would be the youngest kids in their class if they went to school (their birthday is three days before the cut off). The lovely part of homeschooling is that they don't have to worry about things like that much. We have one co-op group where they're the oldest and one where they're the youngest save for younger siblings.

It baffles me that some homeschoolers get very fussed about this issue.

wife&mommy
04-14-2011, 08:08 PM
I plan to just do ours coinciding to what they would be in if in PS. And we determine that by the date we registered with the state.

Busygoddess
04-14-2011, 09:01 PM
Ditto what Jana said. I call them what they would be in PS when they would be it. My boys would be the youngest kids in their class if they went to school (their birthday is three days before the cut off). The lovely part of homeschooling is that they don't have to worry about things like that much. We have one co-op group where they're the oldest and one where they're the youngest save for younger siblings.

It baffles me that some homeschoolers get very fussed about this issue.

I'm curious what you mean by getting fussed about it.
I've never known anyone to actually get fussed about it. I've known several people who were unsure of they wanted to do it, but figured it out without much trouble. Even in this thread, where everyone has said that the grade level is determined by ps grade levels, we all have different answers to WHEN we change grades. Cara said Sept, Jana said June, I change when they finish the 40 weeks of work I planned, not in any way connected to the ps schedule.

dbmamaz
04-14-2011, 09:08 PM
I've seen occasionally moms get really stressed out about the 'what grade' question, maybe esp in Virginia. They say that their child is taking this grade coursework for math and this grade coursework for english but reading at the grade level and they dont know what grade to put on the Notice of Intent, and then they dont know which grade level test to request for the proof of progress and it seems like they put a lot of anguish in to it. The easiest answer in VA is simply to state whatever grade level they would be at by age, probably take that same test, even if its way too easy - because this test isnt a grade, its just 'yes you did well enough to be allowed to homeschool', and then if you want them to 'graduate' early, just call them graduated, no matter what 'grade' you said they were at the previous year.

Its also an issue for the first year of home schooling. VA allows you to hold your child back from kindergarten if they are age 5 but you dont feel they are ready, and if you take that option, you dont have to submit proof of progress. BUT . . if you then put in a notice of intent for 1st grade the next year, some school districts will give you a hard time for not doing kindergarten.

So yes, I've seen people get very distressed over the issue.

Busygoddess
04-14-2011, 09:25 PM
I've never seen people get that stressed over it. No homeschoolers I know irl really care, and since I'm in a no registration state, it doesn't matter here. I've seen posts on various forums where people were asking how they should determine grade level, since their kid was all over the board on work level (though most of the time, the question is asked by newbies who are unsure how they want to do it). It was always easily figured out, though, because someone would suggest going by the grade they would be in ps & the person basically responded with "Gee why didn't that occur to me sooner?"

So, since I've never known anyone to actually get stressed about it, it never occured to me as a thing people would stress about.

farrarwilliams
04-14-2011, 10:02 PM
I know a few people irl who stress about it but even more I feel like I've seen a shocking number of threads on homeschool forums online about variations on this - people asking if they should hold a child back, promote a child to a higher grade, register them for classes according to what grade, and so forth. I mean, grade level isn't entirely without meaning. And I know that for some people, their kids have to take standardized testing that actually has an impact on their homeschooling (we don't) or they intend to return the kids to school at some point (we don't). And starting a new school year/grade can be kind of fun - some families have special traditions and rituals. BUT... for me, not having to put too much brain space into thinking about arbitrary designations is one of the reasons to do this homeschool thing in the first place.

Miguels mommy
04-14-2011, 10:03 PM
At first I got really stressed about it. My son is almost 5 ft tall at 8 he's always been about a ft. taller than his peers So with the school labeling him as first grade at barely 5 I was fine with it. Until we did several activities that required "grade" submission because everyone expected way more than he could give. When we moved states I put him back a grade. I was thinking about putting him back two grades, people generally assume that he had to act a year or two older then he was when in reality he's a bit immature for his age. He will move to fourth grade tomorrow if he passes. Usually he'll move up the day his friends get out of school.

lakshmi
04-15-2011, 02:37 AM
Funny, I have just been going by public school stuff. BUT as a former PS kid, I remember the DAY after school got out, I started saying.... I'm going to be a 2nd grader or whatever. Maybe even the second? But with year round homeschooling, no breaks, and not following any set schedule with the curriculum, I was going to have to pick an arbitrary date.

I did snort at ...
I'm also hoping our summers will "feel" different from the regular school year (unit studies and learning games, instead of our usual curriculum), so it won't feel like they've gone from one grade to another over a weekend.

Yeah, I guess it doesn't really make sense to change it over a weekend, but I think that is exactly what I am going to do. Okay girls, today, you are in First and you are in Second....

Perhaps I will even make a cardboard sword and make it all grand like they were being knighted!! Or some fancy dance session with drums and guitars!! OR a party, with cake!!!

I guess I am asking also because even though homeschooling rocks, its the silly stupid simple things that my kids sort of get hung up on.

Playing on the playground, boy that sure looks fun mom.(You mean like that little girl that just got pushed down by that kid? ) Or, I want to ride the school bus. (Seriously at 6:50 in the AM you want to get up and get on that bus and be off to school?) And it has something to do with grade level.

I just gave them grade levels one day and they acted older all of a sudden, so I went with it.

Okay, so I'm back to thinking June! Thanks for all your comments!

ercswf
04-15-2011, 10:01 AM
My boys always have the best answers to people. But I really should be attempting to have them put a filter on what they say. When asked what grade he is in or what school he is in my older son just tells people "school is lame I don't go" or "My grade changes every hour, can you give me the time?"

In reality we intend to change their "grade" to what ever the level of most of the work they are doing is at. We choose to school year round in the end 6 weeks on one off a month off in december and a month off in June works best for us.

Kirsji
04-15-2011, 10:36 AM
"When asked what grade he is in or what school he is in my older son just tells people "school is lame I don't go" or "My grade changes every hour, can you give me the time?""


HA!! Love it!

We don't use a packaged or graded curriculum and we school year-round so I have no idea what "grade" the kids are in. I have to do some quick math to try to remember which grade they'd be in if they were in PS.

"Ummmm, I think he'd be in 6th grade this year ... ?"
That is sometimes met with "You don't know what grade they're in? How will you know when they graduate high school?"

"I guess when they're ready or when I get sick of them, whichever comes first!"

I do understand the stress it might cause for those who live in states where they must report to powers-that-be. I don't know what I'd do if I had to report my children's grade levels. I'm glad I live in AZ!

jess
04-15-2011, 01:41 PM
We officially change grades when public school starts, and we'll start any curriculum we took a break on for summer at around that time. With math, reading, and things like that they just work at whatever level they're at, without specific grade levels attached.

My older two are just in whatever grade they'd be, age-wise, if they were in public school. I'm not sure what I'll do with my youngest. Her birthday is in October, about a month after the cutoff date, so she would be starting public school kindergarten at almost-6. If she's like her brother, that'll be fine, and we'll hold off on formal academics until then. But her sister started learning to read and do arithmetic, on her own initiative, shortly after she turned 4. If the baby follows in her footsteps, waiting until she's nearly 6 to make her officially Kindergarten doesn't seem appropriate. But that could be a problem if we ever did end up putting her back in public school.

Martha
04-15-2011, 03:12 PM
We school year round. I tend to go by their age for when people ask what grade.