I just got a jolt when I read on your website that a rough conversion from PSAT to SAT is to add a zero to the end. So what do I do with a 14 year old who has a PSAT selection index of 201, average percentile of 97, Critical Reading score of 70, Mathematics score of 61, and Writing Skills score of 70?
~ Amazed in Auburn
Cindi, often the percentile score for one standardized test (like the Stanford) will be roughly the same as the percentile score on another test (like the PSAT). So she'll probably do VERY well on the PSAT in junior year. You may want to start doing some research on the National Merit Scholarship now National Merit Scholarship Information
My daughter won't be taking the PSAT for another year. I'm curious how well she'll do. She's a great student and has always done extremely well on her annual Stanford Achievement tests. Last year her lowest percentile rank was 96. Now I realize that the PSAT/SAT is a different type of test with a different pool of participants, but I'm wondering if anyone can tell me if they think that could translate to good results on her PSAT next year.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to find resources to challenge a homeschooled student with an aptitude for math and science. I would like to share some resources that have been a great blessing to our family. Our youngest son began Algebra I in 6th grade, and completed Pre-Calculus in 9th grade, maintaining an A average throughout. He wants to be an engineer, and I wanted him to be well prepared for his future. So what to do next? PAHomeschoolers.com has been a real answer to prayer for us. They offer online certified AP courses in many subjects. Last year, in 10th grade, our son took their AP Calculus AB and AP Chemistry classes, earning 5's on both AP exams. Both of his instructors asked him if he would like to serve as an online Teaching Assistant (TA) -- so this year, he is a TA for AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, and AP Chemistry-- in addition to being a student in their AP Calculus BC and AP Physics C, (both Mechanics and Electricity/Magnetism) classes. He absolutely LOVES being a TA; explaining concepts in the online forum and instructor site has not only helped his teacher and other students, it has helped him solidify concepts in his own understanding. We have been quite pleased with the instructors, as well as with the closed online community of bright students (from all over the country and even the world) with which he interacts. And AP credit is granted by even top engineering schools such as MIT -- so the cost of the class is more than offset by future benefits.
Also a blessing to us has been Dr. James Stobaugh with For Such a Time As This. Our son has been participating in online literature webinars and writing mentorships with Dr. Stobaugh (who has degrees from Harvard, Princeton, Vanderbilt, and Gordon-Conwell Seminary, and currently also serves as both a pastor and grader for SAT essays)for three years now. Until high school, I taught our son everything, and we did not even participate in co-ops or support groups. But I could see that he needed more, and for various reasons, we were not comfortable with the community college route (including the fact that we live out in the country.) Both PA Homeschoolers and Dr. Stobaugh have been just what our son needed, and has fit well in the homeschool lifestyle, as we as parents can still oversee and participate. Our son has assumed full responsibility for his work and schedule with the AP classes, while I help quite a bit with his literature and essay work for Dr. Stobaugh. And all the while, we have been cultivating relationships with these instructors, so valuable when the time comes for teacher recommendations on college applications. And needless to say, our son has been stretched quite a bit! I still work with him personally on his other subjects.
Another great resource for homeschooled students with math/science giftedness is VEX Robotics. This is our son's 4th year on a homeschool VEX robotics team; he has been captain for 3 years -- and we have participated in this as a family, even traveling together to compete with teams from 27 nations at the annual World Championship. This year the (small)team meets in our garage! Each year, the kids learn to design, build, program, and operate a robot that can perform specific functions in competition with other robots; then they learn to work with and cultivate alliance partners at regional tournaments. They also learn to keep an engineering design notebook, and to present their ideas and accomplishments to judges at each competition. Our son has many other involvements and activities (including advanced classical piano performance) -- but his hands-down favorite has been VEX robotics.
I hope these ideas have been helpful to those wondering how to home-educate their gifted children. It can be a wasteland out there for homeschoolers who actually like and are good at advanced math and science! But thankfully, there ARE some places where such young people can happily consort with other kindred spirits, yet still bask in the security of a godly and loving home!
Thank you for blessing US with all the wonderful info and resources!
Assistant to The HomeScholar
Shirley, if you would like to discuss this, I would be happy to help. You can join the Gold Care Club (http://www.thehomescholar.com/gold-care.php) and receive a 20 minute consultation each week (by phone or by email.) Sometimes it can really help just to talk to someone.
I have a twelve year old doing virtual school, 10th grade, at this time as a homeschooler. We started this in 9th grade. She does well in her classes. I see no way, as we are retired, that she can continue without going fulltime Fl. virtual in her last two years in order to qualify for state Bright Student scholarship.I am fearful of her having to take the required state tests. I need to somehow start preparing her for them. Another problem is that I really don't want her to graduate at 15. May sound crazy, but I hesitate pushing her ahead with older young adults in college.
I agree, it's a challenge to raise gifted kids. My son is academically advanced and feels that he needs more challenges. I like your suggestion to take the end of the chapter test, and only teach the parts that need teaching! How refreshing!
When you find out the piece that is missing (Roman Numerals or something) then only teach the PIECE, don't teach the whole chapter. Have you tried giving the end-of-chapter test FIRST to identify which concepts he needs to learn and which ones he already knows? That can help prevent him from getting frustrated, so that he is always learning something.
Good luck! I know it's not easy!
This is why curriculum has been difficult for me to put together because both boys are academically gifted. I discovered very quickly that there were gaps from public school.
One son is working on a higher grade in teaching textbooks. First, I would give him the quiz and he would do very well so we would move on. When he did not get an 80% or higher we would go back and do the lesson. I discovered he would breeze through the assignment because it was only one section that somehow was not taught to him. He would tell me most of this lesson is easy even though he did not get 80% or higher.
For example he would get the fractions correct but miss the Roman numerals because he had not covered that in public school. Since Roman Numerals were on the same quiz he had a lower score.
My older son is doing Algebra but the text has several of the same problems in the lesson. He gets frustrated so I do not make him do all of the problems unless he is getting them wrong.
It is indeed not easy with gifted children. I find it hard knowing what to teach them.
The hard part of HOMEschooling is often the HOME part. I've recently fallen in love with a new product that makes my life better - Roomba.
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