8th Grader - When to start high school?

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8th Grader - When to start high school?

Unread post by niki »

4Truth wrote:If you've never followed a traditional school year, and you don't follow a traditional graded textbook curriculum, and your child has a birthday late in the year (fall or early winter), and you don't test regularly, how do you know exactly when it's time to declare 8th grade completed and start high school work? Do you go by standardized testing? Or when you complete a certain level of math or language arts? Or does it matter "exactly" when you make the switch and call it something else?

If I go by where she'd be in public school, she'd be expected to start 9th grade at almost 15 years old. I think the simplest thing to do would be to just go by that regardless of anything else... but we'll be partway through a year in MFW history and science at that point..... Both my other girls have fall birthdays, too.

Am I worrying too much?
Maybe this is a ridiculous answer, but it was advise given to me from a fellow homeschooling friend who has a 17y.o. graduating this spring and moving on... in hind sight she would have not have called him a high schooler until he was old enough to be graduating at the age of 18. That's just her experience and he's a great and mature kid, but she's doing things a bit differently with her other two.

I have a looong way to go, but in the back of my mind my dd who is a Nov. baby, will not be "graduated" until she's 18. My friend says I wont be sorry. I have 2 other kids who are in the same boat, but they're not in school yet so I'm not even giving it a thought (well sometimes).

Can't wait to hear what others have to say.

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Unread post by LSH in MS »

I would try to keep it close to the grade they would be in public school, but also consider their abilities.

I would also complete a MFW year before I switched.

Although, now that you mention it, what's wrong with taking a little extra time before or in High School?

I remember hearing a discussion with Susan Wise Bauer saying that most 18 year olds are not ready for college. That she often recommends delaying college for a year. I haven't thought about this much but I am open to considering it. Any thoughts?

wife to Clifford, mother to ds (17), ds (16), ds (15, ds (13), ds (8), and ds (3)
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Unread post by kellybell »

Clump, clump (the sound of me stepping on a soapbox).

Perhaps you are worrying too much but where is the line between planning ahead and worrying too much? I don't know.

The main purpose for grade assignments (you know, "This is Suzy, my second grader") is that it makes Sunday School class assignments and co-op groups a little smoother. For this, simply assign grade levels based on the child's age. Don't worry if this number is higher or lower than the big number on the math book, etc. Who cares? My kids are in grades K, 2, 5, and 7 based on their birthdays. That works for us.

But, your question is "when does high school start" and that's a little more than a birthday calculation.

My pat answer (and my best answer) for such things is: PRAY. You've got time to look around and talk to God about your concerns. That's always appropriate and good advice.

Here's something I plan on doing (my oldest turns 13 in three months -- yikes). I plan on going to convention and looking at high school materials, MFW and otherwise. Not with intent to buy them all, but to see what high school looks like. I expect that this year, it will all look "above" my oldest dd.

You should do the same: take a good look and ask, "Is she ready for this in the fall?" The first few years you do this, the answer will probably be "no way!" Do this each year and one year you'll say, "Hey, this looks about right!" That is the year that your dd enters high school! It could happen when she is 14 or when she is 17 (or younger or older...) and whenever it happens, that's just fine. Respect where she is. And, let her see that homeschool programs are "all over the map" in difficulty. She'll learn that "9th grade" doesn't mean much at all. There's no standard among curriculum developers!

I also don't put a lot of weight on standardized tests (we do them because our state requires it for homeschoolers). They are a snapshot, showing how a child does on one certain day with problems worded one certain way, etc. They are not very "real world" and we homeschoolers don't often "teach to the test." The tests we take basically have shown stuff I already know (that this kid excels in math, that that kid needs some spelling help). Once, my son's test showed he didn't know letter sounds. But, he was reading and could sound out words, so there was something going on that day that made him test poorly (he was hungry, tired, the instructions didn't make sense to him, or his ears were clogged with a cold, who knows). Usually tests don't tell me something I don't know already.

So, call her a 5th grader now if that's what her peers are called. Let her work wherever she is.

The minor annoyance of not having an assigned grade level to a child is nothing compared to the blessing that you've given all your children by not shoehorning them into a grade that doesn't quite fit right!

As for your other kids, do the same thing, start high school when the material is challenging but not frustrating, whenver that is.

Clump clump (off soapbox now)
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
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Unread post by tkbbrl6 »

Maybe not an answer - but here's our story. Our oldest went through ps - when he turned 5 we lived in a state that only allowed entry into K-5 if the dc was 5 by July 1 - he has a mid Aug b-day so when he turned 5 even though I knew academically, except for fine motor skills, he would be ready for K he didn't go. We moved the following June to a state with a cut-off date of Sept. 15 for K-5. When I took ds for his K-5 registration they asked why not first - my reply was he didn't do K-5. On his first day of K-5 I went to pick him up after his 1/2 day and was told, "the principal needs to see you." I almost fell over - what could he have done at not yet 6 and in 1/2 a day in K? So I nervously went to the principals office and waited - well, ds hadn't done anything other than they were pretty certain he already knew all the K skills so could they allow him to take the first grade test since he met the b-day cutoff for first. I reluctantly said yes thinking surely he won't pass - boy was I wrong - not only did he pass but he scored higher than anyone in the district. That should have been my clue - anyway - to make a long story short - he started college this year after having graduated as one of the youngest in his class since most of his friends were all 18-19 years old - he turned 18 the day before he moved into the dorm. He's doing okay - but to be honest maturity wise - even though he's a good kid - it would have been better to have waited.

Then there's dd - she did Abeka the first few years we hsed bec that's what she did in the CS for K-3/K-4 and our intention was to put her back in CS after K-5 - but we were new to hsing, I tried to have a regular classroom with her and didn't count on her going through two levels of classwork in a year. We were flying along when one day it hit dh and I that she would be "graduating" and ready to go to college just after her 16th b-day. Dh's response - "my little girl is not going into a college classroom - not even a private church college classroom - with 18-20 year old guys!" So we back tracked - re-evaluated and said, okay, yes she's mature enough, yes she's smart enough, but there are just some things that come with age and some topics that we don't want her learning just yet. At 10 she would be a young 5th grader in our ps system - so even though she is doing the equivelent of 6th-7th grade work we call her a fifth grader. We do standardized testing at 5th grade (not the grade level she's working on) and yes she aces it - but that's okay bec it's merely a formality. We will con't to move her along and have her do higher level work - but we won't call it high school until she's at least 14. She will probably take some college classes when she's 16/17 but they will be while she's home and with momma or daddy waiting on her. She's okay with that - she thought she was in a hurry to grow up - until she went to visit big brother's large univ campus and went - I don't want this until I'm much, much older.

We are taking the same route with our younger ones. We've actually held middle ds back 1 year bec of his LD/ADHD - he's less mature - we can always move him ahead if we feel he's ready later. While he excels in math and in work we do orally or with auditory comprehension - the maturity factor isn't there.

As a former college administrator I can tell you that the majority of kids I saw come in my office that were 17-19 thought they had it all together and most were great kids but they so needed that extra time to mature under parents eyes. They took chances, did things, explored things, that a 20 year old student was not as likely to do.
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Unread post by LizCT »

I find this thread very interesting. I thought I was the only one who agonized over these things. My older dd turned 7 in the fall (October). She is in the 2nd grade Sunday School class, and where grade levels are stated, she says 2nd grade - she is in her 3rd year of official schooling, and we called it Kindergarten the first year, and it has progressed from there.

However, in looking ahead, I have wondered if I should bite the bullet, since she is on the young end of things, and "hold her back" in Sunday school etc. instead of waiting until she is in the high school group, and all of the other kids are "graduating" and she is maybe not, at age 17, going to move on as they are. I don't know what the future holds. If I were placing her in a school classroom (which we don't have any plans to do), I would be putting her in a 1st grade class, not 2nd grade (at least in terms of academics).

I can see numerous benefits to having her stay with the younger set - one of which is that she could be in more activities with her younger sister, who is starting K.

Is this needless worry? My dh does not understand my concerns about this at all. It makes his head hurt. In truth, it makes my head hurt too.

How much of a concern should this really be? I'd be interested in feedback from those who have "been there & done that".

Liz in CT
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Unread post by MJP »

We call them whatever grade we would have sent them to public school had we been so inclined. We test at that grade level because that is fair. That is the test level they would have taken had we sent them to school. We let them work ahead to the level that they are able. We would not hold them back due to a grade designation. It is just easier for the children to have a grade level to tell people when they ask, for Sunday School, for Y sports, etc.
Wife of 1 for 18 yrs. Mom of 7--ages 1-15--1st, 2nd, 5th, 8th and 9th grades & (one on the way)
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Unread post by 4Truth »

So I'm not alone on this after all! Thank you all so much for sharing your thoughts. I think the point about maturity and being "ready" to move into adulthood is an excellent one. I agree that there are an awful lot of 18yo's running around out there who have NO CLUE. Thank you for bringing that up.

You know, I think part of my concern, too, is that Kayla is tall and physically mature and *appears* to be at least 12 already, so when people hear she's only in "5th grade", it looks bad. I know I shouldn't be concerned about what other people think, but I am. I know how mean and/or unthinking people can be... especially when many of them are anti-homeschooling to begin with, and I really want to make a good impression, not just for us, but for homeschooling in general, kwim? Maybe it's just pride on my part.... wanting her to excel in all areas and be "advanced" to look good to the naysayers. {sigh} I know, I really need to pray about that and find peace in knowing we're doing what's right for OUR family.

LOVE the idea of going to convention to "look at high school"!

Funny thing is, I'm a lot more worried about this than anyone else in the household! When I try to talk to hubby about it, he's like, "You worry too much." And when I mentioned to Kayla the other day about getting her ready for high school, her reply was, "Well, why don't we just keep doing grammar and math and history and science and all the other things we do anyway?" DUH! She's a pretty smart cookie, don't ya think? LOL!
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.
Julie in MN
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Unread post by Julie in MN »

Unless you are under some sort of umbrella school or something, you will be the one writing your daughter's transcript. Therefore, you can just begin, and along the way if you decide to take longer, to backtrack, or to change your course, you can just rethink how to present it on the final transcript. Nothing has to be pre-set.

For instance, my daughter did about half a year of Algebra before I realized it just wasn't working for her. So I re-named our course "prealgebra" and we started over in another algebra program.

Don't panic :o)
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
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Unread post by 4Truth »

Ah ha! :o)

We're in Missouri, so no umbrella school or reporting requirements here. I've actually thought of enrolling in a long distance academy, but then I wouldn't be able to do what you described, would I? I like the thought of having accountability (for myself), but I also like the thought of being able to "correct" whenever hubby or I see the need.
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

Preparation/Transition in 7th-8th

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 3:58 pm
I think MFW recommends using the 7th and 8th grade years to better prepare a student for the transition into independent learning in the high school aged years. Some subjects (such as science, math, and language arts) will change in the Jr. High years for more independent learning.

The books and materials in the high school program are different from the 5 year cycle. And although the subjects (history, etc) can be the same, the topics will be different. So there is not a need to rush too quickly.

Additionally, MFW focuses a lot on helping to develop your child’s spiritual life in age appropriate ways at all stages of learning. In other words, I think MFW recommends looking at more than just one factor (academics topic list) when deciding on it.

Julie in MN
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When to start high school question

Unread post by Julie in MN »

kstedl wrote:Has anyone on this board started their child using the high school program at a younger age than is typical? Perhaps at when they would normally be at 7th or 8th grade instead of 9th? If so, how is it working out (or worked out if completed). Also, if you did this using MFW...did you skip any of the 5 year cycle and just start right into the high school plan? If anyone has any thoughts on this even if they haven't tried it (or are planning on trying it) I would love to hear your thoughts too!!!!! Thank you so much!
Hi Kris,
You know, I remember a similar conversation Donna started a while back http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 386#p16081 [above]

The thing I'd be wondering is what is behind the decision. Apparently it's not a case of the student being an extremely fast learner, completing the whole cycle at an early age, and being ready to move ahead (I think the Hazells had one sort of like this). Is it a case of trying to keep students together in the family? Maybe knowing the reasoning behind this dilemma would help folks share thoughts?!

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Re: When to start high school question

Unread post by cbollin »

I don't fall in the homeschool camp that calls 7th and 8th grade years a "waste". There are some speakers out there who do. I don't agree with it.

However, for other reasons, I almost decided to start AHL (year 1 mfw high school) this year with my 8th grader. My reason? Well, we're doing CTG this year in the 5 year cycle, and my kid is kinda advanced in some things so maybe it would make sense for us? and..... afterall, my oldest has this september birthday, so she's in 8th grade but I know that some places have later cut offs. maybe in some places she'd be called 9th grade anyway.... hmmm.. well, I decided not to go that route. Not good reasoning skills for that info alone.

Honestly, the materials in CTG and AHL are so different and designed for different stages of learning that I'm not worried about that at all.
She needs another year to grow up a bit more too. Although we use a program with history driven titles, shool is not just about history programs, is it?

1. a lot of the material that MFW does is really designed to be done when a child enters more of a "rhetoric" stage of learning. So, it couldn't hurt my daughter to grow up one more year and really be in 9th grade.
2. This gave us more time to work on writing and other skills this year.
3. oh boy! as if I knew? We ended up moving to a new state this year and the rules are different here. Even if she were using AHL, she wouldn't be 9th grade age and none of it would be able to be on the transcript for high school credit. you mean the rules are different in different places?!?!?

4. one of the other really big factors that went into it: the youngest daughter of a friend of mine is only 5 months older than my oldest child. But she is "a year ahead" in school due to birth month stuff. My friends did AHL with her in 8th grade. They had done pilot and pre-pilot editions of AHL with 2 of their other children by the way. So they knew the program. They know more about homeschooling than I do. I've learned to really trust them on this stuff.
So, I asked my friend, "ok...a year ago you told me that I could ask you in a year. Well, it's been a year. What do you think? Should I put my oldest in AHL or CTG? How did it go for you?"

The dad of that family (my friend) said "Academically our kid was fine. You know she is super smart and among our brightest. We used AHL too soon and it wasn't touching her heart and helping her to change on the inside the same way it touched her older sisters who piloted the program. We didn't see it take any heart change until a tiny bit after she turned 14, which was the last week of our school year. She wasn't really in the right stage of learning even though the academics weren't that hard for our advanced child. If I could go back in time..... we wouldn't have used AHL in 8th grade."

5. Another friend of mine, whose son piloted the AHL program several years ago, and his daughter has used it last year -- same advice...... they just need to be physically older to be more ready for this to be life changing. He told me "I'm glad my youngest used ECC in 7th and then 1850MOD in 8th, and waited until high school age for AHL"

Well, I want to use MFW high school not just and only for academics. I pray that God will use it for life changing. So, I wait.

6. even if I called my daughter 9th grade this year, I'm not in a rush to graduate her at age 17. I'd rather she still be in "high school" and eligible for dual enrollment in community college (cheaper that way, right?) and still at home.

But that's why I didn't go with AHL with my oldest this year.

your mileage may vary.
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Re: When to start high school question

Unread post by kstedl »

Are you thinking ahead for your 2nd child who is 4th grade now?
in 5th, she;s in EX1850
in 6th, she's in 1850MOD

No, although it would seem that way, wouldn't it? I was actually thinking about my older child who is in 6th grade this year. She actually cycles through the years perfectly, ending right when a typical high school would begin.

There is a different factor in why I was investigating this route. Yes, this daughter is mature for her age - both physically, emotionally, and spiritually (at least in my opinion). She is also very advanced in ballet - working with girls who are years above her; and it is her desire to be a professional ballerina. I don't know if God will bring forth that dream or not, that remains to be seen of course. I know someone whose daughter worked ahead a few years, and then while she was still at home was able to complete online college courses, and then upon turning around 18, was able to get accepted into a ballet program while still continuing some online college courses. This seemed to me a nice path to investigate.

She was quick to point out though to focus more on the spiritual growth of our children than the academic, so that they may better be able to stand against what they will face upon leaving home. Our homeschool group recently had a representative come in from College Plus! and it seemed like a GREAT path to take - doing Clep tests after they take the class in high school - and therefore being able to test out of a lot of beginning college courses; as well as doing the first couple of years on-line so they can still (potentially) stay at home during this time, saving money, maturing some more, staying out of the party style atmosphere of freshmen & sophomores in college.

Well, this is a lot to try to explain here, and my brain is swimming with all the possibilities, and I don't want to plan out my daughter's life or anything - I'm just trying to investigate different options for her with her somewhat unique situation. :) Thanks everyone so far for your thoughts and opinions! They are helping immensely!
Loving RTR w/ 4th & 6th grade DD's
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Re: When to start high school question

Unread post by tiffany »

My 14 year old daughter is doing AHL right now. She is right on grade level. I also have been looking into ways to cut costs and time out of the college years. The book MFW recommends "College Without Compromise" talks about a lot of those types of issues. We plan to do CLEP tests as well.

That being said, I would be careful about placing too far ahead in the program because of maturity and development of worldview. Being a dance enthusiast myself, I totally get the kind of dedication and type of personality required to be successful in that atmosphere. I think those qualities would transfer well to academics, but I'm not so sure you can rush spiritual development of deeper concepts. Also, some of the literature selections would be challenging for adults and would probably be a stretch for her age. Also applying what she has learned from her lit and history and writing more thought provoking papers might prove difficult for a younger person.

I would really recommend getting my hands on the actual materials and looking through them carefully. There may be better ways to finish college early or to get a headstart on college credit. Of course, you know your daughter better than any of us. It would be interesting to hear how you "tweak" the program to suit your unique situation. I wish I had caught the passion for dance at an early age. I'm sure you've heard of Ballet Magnificat, a Christian dance company. There might be others by now. I've been out of the loop for some time.
Wife to Tim ('88)
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Have completed MFWK, MFW 1st grade, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp.-1850,1850-Mod., HS Ancients, HS World
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Re: When to start high school question

Unread post by gressman9 »

My dd is 15 now. She did "9th grade" last year as she only misses the public school Sept. 1st cutoff by 3 weeks. She did AHL without much of a problem. She is also hoping to do Clep testing, possibly College Plus, or take online classes through Patrick Henry College early. You really need to know your child and be willing to adjust your plan if it doesn't work. For us, that meant that Algebra and Biology ended up taking two years instead of one as those are her "tough" subjects. Spiritually, I have definitely seen more growth in her this year than last...but I wouldn't say that she didn't learn anything spiritually last year by doing it a little early. I would not recommend it for 7th grade or for an 8th grader who doesn't already have strong writing skills. The writing assignments are very challenging...and my dd is a writer (sci-fi novel half written). My dd also is very independent and has enjoyed that aspect of the high school program. Just my 2cents.


Wondering about this 5yr cycle... high school when finish?

Unread post by cbollin »

rawbanana wrote:Ok, do you start high school at a certain age or after they finish the end of the 5yr cycle?
My oldest will do ECC at age 10, CTG when she is 11, RTR when she is 12, Ex to 1850 when she is 13, 1850 to Modern World when she is 14. She will be done with this cycle the May before she turns 15...does that sound right to go into highschool (9th grade) at 15? I think I was going into my 10th grade year when I was 15...I just dont want her to be behind!

What do you do?
We start high school in 9th grade. Due to when her birthday is and various "cut off dates" -- my daughter turns 15 early in her 9th grade year. my middle child will turn 15 mid way through 9th grade, and my youngest will be older when she is in 9th grade (she has autism and is already "behind" a full academic year in 1st grade at 2nd grade age.... best thing we did for her so far, but not the point)

The 5 year cycle programs are not written for high school credit. some kids will repeat programs in the cycle. Others may not get all of them in before high school. It's all ok really. They will get a full cycle in high school at the high school level. 3 full chronological cycles is an "ideal" not a mandate.

Some children will repeat programs from the 5 year cycle when they are in jr. high and they repeat those programs using the Advanced assignments in the program. Those advanced assignments were not done by that student when the student was in 2nd/3rd grade, so they get a fresh look on the program 5 years later. My oldest got to repeat ECC and CTG in jr. high . We are still starting with AHL (Ancient History and Lit.) in the summer when she officially starts 9th grade. I had thought of starting her in AHL in 8th grade, but after talking with several of the high school consultants at MFW (including David Hazell), I took their wisdom to not start it too soon. So, as the time gets closer in that for you, remember you can call MFW office as well and see what tweaks fit for your family.

But... if a child starts MFW in 5th grade with ECC......

If a child doesn't finish the 5 year family cycle -- it's ok to start high school in 9th grade. You have to take into consideration high school credits and transcripts and college prep as more of a factor than finishing the cycle at jr. high level material.
One recommended path for when students starts ECC in 5th grade is:
*ECC (5th), CTG (6th) RTR (7th) , EX1850 (8th)
then, if you have a motivated student who is ready to learn more about 20th century and you feel like they should have something before high school (when they'll get lots of it again)....
then in the last 4-6 weeks of EX1850, when you do the independent research for state history, have the 8th grade read something like SOTW vol 4 and finish it in the summer (maybe with Children's Encyclopedia of American history). Those books are from 1850MOD. and if they are really motivated, read other books too.

then when that student is in 9th grade -- start high school programs with that student, and all other family members are in 1850MOD.

Another aspect of it is to make sure you are doing Current Events each of the school years -- so they are getting that as well (that's as modern of history as it gets), so that that summer reading course to fill in 20th century history works out too. I know as parents we don't want to leave out huge chunks of information for our kids, but getting it in controlled ways at those years is important.

MFW recommends a current events magazine and provides a discount on the order of it too and the magazine gives MFW referred proceeds for Bible translation projects.

More info on God's World News, and World Magazine can be found on the language arts page or via this link

probably confuses it. :)

Wendy B.
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Re: Wondering about this 5yr cycle... high school when finis

Unread post by Wendy B. »

We do things a little different than Crystal. I live in a private school state so do not have any reporting regulations or outside regulations at all. We do not follow a traditional school schedule and my kids have no concept of grade level. We have no "cut off dates" or anything of that sort. We start 'K" around the kids 5th birthday and work from there. That is why I use the 14th birthday as the cut off date for start of highschool credits.

As a side note, if I had sent any of my kids to PS I would've held them back a year due to their prematurity, immaturity, summer birthday, speech disorder, etc. So my olders graduated a year "early" by that standard. Clear as mud?

I think I remember you stating in another post that she is 5th grade this upcoming school year. Correct? Then she will be need to to highschool when she is 9th grade regardless where you happen to be in the 5 yr cycle.

Sorry if my 14th bday post confused you!

Wendy B.
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09
Homeschooling ds 11 & dd 8 using RtR
completed: MFW 1, ADV, ECC & CtG.
Bret Welshymer

Can AHL be used in 8th grade?

Unread post by Bret Welshymer »

HSmommi2mine wrote:We are considering using AHL in a co-op setting and of course, the wider the age range for something, the more people we can get into the class.

Would it be enough for the average 10th grader and would it be doable by the average 8th grader?

Ultimately their parents will decide, but I would love to hear the opinions of you have have used the program. If anyone has suggestions for how to use AHL in a co-op setting or how to lead the discussion time with a group, I would love to hear your insights. I haven't yet gotten my hands on a copy so I am speculating that the kids will do their work independently through the week and we will have the weekly discussion time at co-op. I am just trying to figure out how that will play out.
AHL would have plenty of content to challenge a 10th grader. It is 3 credits, Bible, English, and history. Before a 10th grader chooses AHL it is important to consider how it fits with their four year plan for meeting high school graduation and college entrance requirements.

We do not recommend AHL for an 8th grader unless they will already be 14 years old. Developmentally 12 and 13 year old students will not normally have the maturity to get the most out of the program. Generally their logic, reasoning, and analytical abilities will limit what they can understand and apply as the Bible, history, and English are integrated together. This has nothing to do with intelligence. The concern is developmental readiness. We recommend 12 and 13 year old students use one of the programs in the multi-age family cycle.

Re: Can AHL be used in 8th grade?

Unread post by cbollin »

I have to agree with MFW age recommendation.

I have an advanced oldest child. She was not average 8th grader. And I am very thankful that we waited until she was beginning 9th grade to start AHL. It was just worth it that much more with not just the academics, but content. It really makes a difference. She was close to 15 at the start of the school year due to her birthday. But if she had been almost 14 starting it, I would have waited a bit. I can't imagine getting the full benefit out of it at age 13.

I have a friend whose youngest used AHL in 8th grade. That child is very academically advanced and her parents consider her mature for her age/grade. The child turned 14 at the end of the 8th grade year. (She is 5 months older than my oldest daughter, but enough in months difference that the other kid is a grade year ahead of mine). I asked the husband... ok... knowing what you know now, what do you think? Should I put my oldest in MFW's AHL in 8th grade like you did? This dad's answer blew me away: he said, if I had known a year ago what I know now, I would not have put my child in AHL until she was turning 14 at the beginning of starting it instead of turning 14 at the end of it. Academically she did ok, but we did not see the same spiritual growth and understanding in our advanced 8th grader that we saw in our average 10th grader.

On the other hand, I'm sure there are other 8th graders who have done ok. I'm glad I took my friend's advice.

Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:15 pm
Location: Illinois

question about curriculum choice

Unread post by jhagberg »

Rachel L wrote:What if I began the 5 year cycle beginning with ECC next year. Then, for 7th and 8th grade with our oldest, we could begin the high school mfw american history cycle together.

She is one of those kids who is beyond her years (always has been) in intellect, maturity, etc.; What do you think about her beginning the history/ Bible/ portions of the MFW High school program in the 7th grade so she is staying on the same chronological course history wise as her siblings but just doing it at at that higher level?

We have always been careful not to push her but I think she's bored (it is intimidating to be her mother!) and by 7th grade, I think she'll definitely be ready for what I'm seeing for the high school US history portion of the mfw curriculum.

I don't recommend doubling up with high school material too young. At age 12 or 13 she might not be ready for the "rhetoric stage" expected of a 16 or 17 year old (MFW American History is written for 11th and 12th graders).

Instead, get the deluxe package each year (to maximize enrichment activities), AND the 7th/8th grade supplements for your oldest. Here's what I would do:
6th grade -- ECC with the 7th/8th Literature supplement.
7th grade -- CtG with 7th grade Science and Literature.
8th grade -- RtR with 8th grade Science and Literature.
Rachel L wrote:Would the youngers just continue with the next 2 years of the cycle since the high school cycle is mostly independent, anyway?
Yes, that's right. The youngers continue on through the cycle (with you), and the high schooler works independently. Fridays are lighter for everybody so that you can meet with your high schooler to review what she has done that week.

Mother of 4 boys...
Expecting my first grandchild this summer -- another boy!

Re: question about curriculum choice

Unread post by cbollin »

Rachel L wrote:At age 12 or 13 she might not be ready for the "rhetoric stage" expected of a 16 or 17 year old
That's my thoughts as well. Even "advanced" kids in academic terms, still need to go through the physical development of their ages before hitting the rhetoric stage. I would not use MFW high school or any high school program with a 7th grader. I'm not good at explaining it. But it's like an toddler who might be advanced, but still has to be in a car seat instead of just the car's seat belt. Doesn't matter if they seem so far beyond her little 2.5 years old..... But some things, even advanced kiddos, will do much better to wait.

My oldest is definitely in the "advanced super genius first born homeschooled" kiddo stereotype... I'm thankful we waited for the high school years to be traditional high school rhetoric level. Also, I've looked at real life friends who tried to put their advanced 7th grader into homeschool high school co-op classes, and time after time, kid has to withdraw from class. Or one of my friends had her children pre pilot and pilot MFW's high school. They were sure their youngest of 6 children should start MFW high school AHL in 8th grade. The father of that family told me "she could do the academics, but the spiritual change that her sisters had in the program, didn't happen with her. Knowing what I know now, I wish we had waited." wow.... Then, there's the whole issue of whether or not you'd be able to do a transcript from 7th grade materials.
Rachel L wrote:Thanks! I guess I was thinking that we could "tone down" anything that seemed too advanced...
I think it would be easier to add and beef up, rather than tone down. Or at least that's how it worked for me. The MFW high school year 3 ends up with college credit if one uses the CLEP option, so it would be a lot of tone down and well... I just know for me, it would make it harder to get it done.

My oldest did ECC in 7th (she did it in 2nd grade too) and CTG in 8th (and did it when she was 3rd grade too)... I was glad to have her brain to help me get more done and learn to work more independently in those jr. high years. She helped with the science those years (even though she did her own jr. high), we took more time to talk about literature. We moved to a new state and couldn't have done that without her. She learned to paint a house, help me stage a house, and helped me run the house for 2 months while my husband moved on ahead of us to the new job and new city and ..... sometimes when you home school, you get to learn topics that weren't history, but were real estate and moving and packing and

but also in CTG in 8th We added more history reading from book basket. We did several literature guides. We got in some field trips. She learned to cook a lot. She really got into current events magazines and archery, and other things. She had time for service projects and even getting to be on student leadership at church. I'm just glad we went with expand and broaden for well rounded, instead of more in depth on history.

I don't know if anything in my story is helpful for your situation or not. I tend to ramble. welcome to the board anyway.

Rachel L
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:05 pm

Re: question about curriculum choice

Unread post by Rachel L »

That's very helpful and encouraging, actually! We have had some transitions too- and I think I have tried to protect her from the chaos instead of empowering her with a role to help!

I think I'm able to conceptualize the big picture now... Thanks for the thoughtful answers. The underlying goals of MFW really show through in the curriculum. Instead of just having a reading list that corresponds with a spine, the teaching tips and focus of the curriculum is something I haven't seen anywhere else. Also, like I've read somewhere else, MFW is very doable and although I have high aspirations for next year already, keeping it manageable is something I need to improve on- Thanks for the helpful answers :).

AHL with a 14yr. old 8th Grader

Unread post by cbollin »

Homeschooling6 wrote:I am really praying that MFW HS will fit my dd. She doesn't mind a more unit study or literature approach. I thought maybe we could try it out before she officially starts high school. She will be 14yrs. in 8th grade (sept. B-day). I'm wondering if I start MFW AHL with her when she turns 14 but stretch it out so she is using it for her 8th and 9th grade years. This way we can test it before she actually enters 9th grade. If it's not working we can continue with the BJ route.

Appreciate any insight with this. It's been a while since I've posted or visited. I miss being here :)

Remember to call MFW's office too.

I can only share with you my oldest daughter's experience. She has a Sept. birthday. Started AHL when she was 9th grade, just turning 15 years old. We've used MFW since she was 2nd grade. Clearly, it is a good fit for us. With that said, I am thankful that I did not try to make her do AHL as a 14 y.o even if we had taken it slowly. Why? She needed another year to get older in her brain, and work on some writing skills, grow a bit more in life skills. And she was just more ready for it in 9th grade. Again, this is just me in my family, I do think if she had done AHL a year sooner, it wouldn't have worked as well.

Your mileage might vary.

not sure any of that helped, but that's my story.

PS... I think your sister's PLL/ILL workbooks have been getting some recent chat over here, which in turn made me think of you a lot and realize I had been missing you as well. Nice to see you Linda.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: AHL with a 14yr. old 8th Grader

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Well, I'll chime in too, since you may not get a lot of other traffic on the weekend :)

I'm wondering if you could "try out MFW methods" with one of the younger years for 8th grade? I mean, ECC is a great foundation for high school, and the 2nd edition has a 7-8th grade grid to give those kids something to do every day ;) You could help the student start working with the grid on her own. Another option would be 1850MOD before high school, where the timeline and the outlining and such would be a good prep for high school, and you can take those modern history topics as deep as you want (plus the presidents and the states). The MFW language arts pieces are also good prep for high school, with the writing, the literature guides, the grammar, etc.

I''m agreeing with you that 8th grade is a good opportunity to try things out. But the high school programs are really designed with high school credit in mind, or Carnegie units, or whatever. So spreading out a 9th grade program over two years doesn't really mean two years of high school credit (or even one year of high school credit & one year of middle school credit) the same way it does in elementary. Well, unless you make up for the missing credit hours done in 8th with something else, but that's starting to get complicated!

And I just think if you "try out" MFW with this child at an 8th grade level, you'd not only know if it works, but you'd also have more freedom to finish up other things before high school. I know my son did a little "shop class / manhood devotional" type thing with dad that year, etc. High school starts getting so much more confining in terms of accountability, etc :~

Just some more to think about,
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 3:49 pm

Re: AHL with a 14yr. old 8th Grader

Unread post by Homeschooling6 »

Thanks Crystal, as always your advice is always appreciated. I guess this is something that I'll have to decide when the time is closer.

With regards to my sister, she reminds me of you. You both found something that works early on and have stuck with it. It's something that I have always wanted in my homeschool but it just seems to never happen (well up until now with finding that BJ works well with Josh). Cynce is short for Cynthia. When growing up we shortnened her name ;) and call her Cynce pronounced like 'since'.

I can't believe how time is going by so fast. I remember when our children were little and now you have a high schooler and my oldest will be in high school next year. I still remember using MFW Adv with Josh. My goodness.

Hi, Julie and thanks for responding. With regards to trying out MFW before High School, I have. We actually did ECC the older version three years ago and I've owned all levels of MFW from Pre-K to 1850-Mod. Maybe we can do ECC again with the 2nd ed. All my children could use a geography course since most of them were much younger when I used ECC the first time.

I guess I can always purchase AHL a year early and look it over, drool and see if it will work for her for high school. The program looks so good. I want at least one of my dc to use MFW HS ;) Again, thanks for taking the time to chat and help me figure this out. Thankfully I have a few more years.
MelissaM wrote:Linda, I don't know anything about this, but would there be a problem with giving out full credits in 9th grade for work if she is only completing half of it in her 9th grade year? Does that make sense? I meant - can she get the full English credit (for example) if she did half the English course in 8th grade?

This makes me super nervous, since my dd has an Oct birthday, but started Kindy when she was 4; she's only going to be 13-almost-14 when she starts high school. :~ What to do, what to do...
Melissa, I believe so with regards to the credits earned.

With regards to age this is why I thought my dd who will be 14 in 8th grade (she will have just turned 14 because of her late Sept. birthday) would do okay, espcially if we took our time the first year but again I haven't seen AHL.

What is the typical age for 9th grade? I know my son Josh who is in 8th grade and currently 13yrs. old but will turn 14 in May. Therefore he'll be 14 when he starts 9th grade. My next three children all have Sept/Oct. birthdays and missed the cut-off date here in TX (we go by the public school because it makes it easier for Sunday School, AWANA etc.). I know as homeschoolers we can start when our children are ready an all but to put things on paper I use the public school dates. Four of my children will start high school at age 15 and two at 14.
Linda Mom to
Joshua 5/98, Annette 9/99, Caleb 9/00, Brent 10/01, Ethan 1/03, Lance 8/04
Currently using texbooks.

Our Blog http://training6hearts4him.blogspot.com
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