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Planning for SAT Success

A family bought "Gifted Education at Home" and had an additional question about providing a challenge for her mathematically gifted young child.
Hi Lee,
One more question for you.  My husband is a man with a plan and he wants to plan based on the end which would be taking the SAT and excelling.   We are reevaluating the Abeka math program.  It is OK for the next couple of years but we are planning to really accelerate.  I am Not confident in it when we hit anything other than basic math. Would you recommend getting practice SATs' and order math texts based on what is needed for the tests?  Jay wants to develop a complete scope and sequence to keep us on the right speed. And / or  do you recommend a math program that will take over after the basics are done with Abeka? Can you tell my husband is an engineer??
~Ashley

Hi Ashley!

When you are comparing math programs, in the upper grades a lot depends on getting video support.  I have a blog post that lists all the homeschool video programs for upper math, so you may want to compare those.

Once your child gets older, the big deal is making sure that the video is a good fit with the student - more important than if the video is a good fit for the teacher.  Because at some point, you want the math to be self-teaching.   It may be best, even at a young age, to allow your child to choose between a few programs from this list that you think might be a good fit.

I would NOT recommend getting the practice SATs for scope and sequence.  Any quality math program will teach you what you need to know.  Prep for the SAT will have more to do with 1) getting far enough into math in general and 2) practicing using SAT practice tests. The SAT does have trick questions and a penalty for guessing, so a high school has more to do with understanding the test inside and out, and less to do with knowledge :-)

Remember that as you accelerate, you always want to FOLLOW your child, not LEAD.  Leading your child into subjects before they are ready can make them feel stupid, or like a failure.  Following them into each subject can allow them to soak up learning without all the negatives.  Gifted children (like others) learn faster and slower, not at a steady pace, so it's hard to make sure they are challenged but not overwhelmed.  With math, as I mentioned in the video, I would give my children the end of chapter test, but then work each chapter at the regular rate.  (OK, not always, but in general we did each chapter at the regular rate - when he got bored, we moved ahead again.)

I don't mind answering short email questions once in a while.  I do have an idea, though.  In about a month, my husband will be able to provide Gold Care Club membership to people who have not yet bought my E-books.  When he does that, you may want to join my Gold Care Club site.  It provides lots of free training courses for parents, priority email support, and a free 20 minute telephone consultation each week.  That may be the perfect fit for you, so that we can talk through every issue as it comes up, and you can feel confident that you've talked it over with someone who really understands.

I hope that helps!  I'm here if you need me!

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Comments 1

Guest - J W on Friday, 20 February 2009 14:12

I don't know if this will help or not, but I have a younger student using ABeka math. She's right smack dab at grade level, but that's with intensive tutoring by my husband. One thing I've noticed is ABeka has a ton of review. There's several weeks of review at the beginning of each ABeka workbook, and tons of review throughout, and even more at the end. You can definitely opt to skip all that review if your student is gifted! My husband does math year-round with my daughter, so we skip it too, even though she's not a phenomenal genius at math.

My husband has stopped taking pages out of the workbook because he doesn't assign even half the problems, and my daughter doesn't write in the workbook anymore. That way, we can eBay the workbook when she's done. My husband assigns a bare minimum of problems in favor of sitting down with my daughter and making sure she understands each concept thoroughly. This strategy would work well for a gifted student, too: assign a minimum of problems, move on when it becomes obvious that it's time, and don't bog down your student with "busy work." Then sell the "gently used" book when you're done in order to help finance the purchase of the next book! For a gifted student, that day might come in 3 or 4 months!

The advantage of this strategy is that you don't have to come up with the scope-and-sequence yourself. I'd imagine this strategy would work for any curriculum.

As the authors of La Francais Facile (French language homeschool curriculum) put it so nicely: This curriculum is made for you, not you for the curriculum. The authors went on to say that if you don't feel like doing a recommended activity, don't do it, and if you feel like adding to the curriculum, go for it! I think that applies to all curriculae.

I don't know if this will help or not, but I have a younger student using ABeka math. She's right smack dab at grade level, but that's with intensive tutoring by my husband. One thing I've noticed is ABeka has a ton of review. There's several weeks of review at the beginning of each ABeka workbook, and tons of review throughout, and even more at the end. You can definitely opt to skip all that review if your student is gifted! My husband does math year-round with my daughter, so we skip it too, even though she's not a phenomenal genius at math. My husband has stopped taking pages out of the workbook because he doesn't assign even half the problems, and my daughter doesn't write in the workbook anymore. That way, we can eBay the workbook when she's done. My husband assigns a bare minimum of problems in favor of sitting down with my daughter and making sure she understands each concept thoroughly. This strategy would work well for a gifted student, too: assign a minimum of problems, move on when it becomes obvious that it's time, and don't bog down your student with "busy work." Then sell the "gently used" book when you're done in order to help finance the purchase of the next book! For a gifted student, that day might come in 3 or 4 months! The advantage of this strategy is that you don't have to come up with the scope-and-sequence yourself. I'd imagine this strategy would work for any curriculum. As the authors of La Francais Facile (French language homeschool curriculum) put it so nicely: This curriculum is made for you, not you for the curriculum. The authors went on to say that if you don't feel like doing a recommended activity, don't do it, and if you feel like adding to the curriculum, go for it! I think that applies to all curriculae.
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Thursday, 19 September 2019

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