Geometry in the summer
Not sure where to post this.
My 8th grader is very focus and self motivated. She researches colleges on the Web and is determined to get an advance diploma. She asked to move to honors mathís which is Algebra 1. She has maintained a B+ which is good since she didnít do Pre-Algebra. Her teacher has been naughty all year because she thinks I am the one pushing the child.
Now the child wants to go to summer school and do geometry. I clearly told her I would rather her enjoy her summer, but she insisted thatís what she wants to do.
I spoke to her teacher and councilor and they said ďsheís moving too fast itís going to catch-up with her.Ē
I donít want to discourage the child. How can I trust her teacher and councilor judgment when they clearly told me the child wouldnít succeed in Algebra?
She made straight A's in honors English and the English teacher didnít recommend her for 9th grade honors English. When I asked her why she said the child doesnít show any zeal.
The child is very quiet, works hard has five Aís and one B on all her reports. But Iím totally confused with the lack of support from the school.
Can some one please offer me honest suggestion? She didnít do pre-algebra, will that hurt her ability to do well in high school maths?
There is no need for pre-algebra when a student can do B+ in algebra. Skip it and move on.
"Too Fast" can be determined in only two ways I am aware of:
1) Burn out. Student becomes tired of the subject. Personally, I think this is much less a problem than sometimes is imagined, and is VERY unlikely for a student doing her own pushing.
2) Time/Organization. Other classes suffer sufficient to threaten graduation. A little suffering is fine. That's what teenagers are supposed to do.
The most important problem with the "too fast" concept is the school's problem, not the student's. If they have nowhere to put her, what will you all do? If you live in Pennsylvania, the law is quite specific about providing INDIVIDUALIZED education plans. (Outplacement in a local university for advanced subjects, for example.) It is not necessarily the case in other states. The fact that there IS a gifted program may be all that is required by law. It is important to ask those who claim responsibility for your child's education, besides yourself, of course, "How do you plan to challenge my child, this year?" I suspect very strongly that another year of something only preparatory to Algebra will NOT be a valid answer to that question. Johns Hopkins does the entire pre-calculus series in a fantasticlaly short time. (http://www.jhu.edu/~gifted/) Don't even for a moment put up with that "too fast" business, as long as the student is doing the pushing. If your student is UNchallenged, she WILL be BORED. She WILL get into trouble if she is bored for too long. You can't put up with a plot to make that happen. Don't stand for it.
There must be a school psychologist (probably NOT the guidance counselor and probably associated with the school district, not the school.) Get the child labled "gifted" and something different should occur. Again, laws in your area may be very different from those in PA.
There are also applicable federal laws. Read up on Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Often "gifted" students should be given accomodation just the same as handicapped students. An "accomodation" of this sort must support the individual needs of the individual child.
You provided no information in your profile, so I'm just guessing that you are in the U.S. If not, there probably is no challenge to the speed your daughter may progress in mathematics.
My views. I welcome others'.