What Grade Level Is Right For My Child?
Given the current state of the U.S. education system, many parents are making the switch to homeschool now rather than put up with the ever-changing requirements (or lack thereof) at their local schools.
In the process, many wise parents have been asking us a very important question: “At what grade level is my child really performing?”
It’s a bit of a tricky question, but we know how to figure it out very accurately and quickly (more on that later).
The things you always need to keep in mind when figuring out the true grade of your child can fit into some basic criteria: 1) Your child’s unique giftings, 2) how advanced the curriculum is which you choose to utilize, and 3) the order in which your curriculum will engage each subject.
1: Your Child Has Unique Giftings… And Natural “Weak” Spots
First things first: Each child is different - that’s a given. If you have several children in your household (or know someone who does), it’s easy to see how your children have totally different personalities and strengths.
Most public schools don’t really take this into account. Each child is basically fit into a system that’s designed to get them from point “A” to point “B.” Don’t move too fast or too slow - there’s a generalized pace for everyone to learn the material so you can pass a test at the end of the year. Don’t worry - the test is usually graded on a scale so most kids will pass, no matter how well they have mastered the subject matter.
As a result, your child may be in a certain “grade” level at school… but is she really? Has she had the opportunity to advance in her favorite subjects? Has she actually been able to maintain her “grade” level in subjects that she finds difficult to grasp?
It’s important to take each child into account, individually, to really understand where they’re at subject by subject and what needs to happen so they can thrive in their studies and enjoy learning again.
2: How Advanced Is Your Curriculum?
Just like children, every curriculum is at a different level. Essentially, you’ll see some variance in the difficulty of the material itself, which is very important to take into consideration when figuring out what grade to place your child in as you start a new curriculum.
For instance, the Christian homeschool curriculum we offer is fairly advanced compared to other curriculum options. Many parents actually find this very refreshing! If their child is supposed to be in 9th grade, they’d prefer him to be at the top-tier of the charts instead of near the bottom. Our curriculum meets your child where they are, and works alongside them to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals so that they have the ability to grasp more difficult concepts.
Most parents assume that their child is doing well if the student is enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) classes. Often AP classes are presenting difficult material but are moving so quickly through it that the student doesn’t truly soak in the information. We need to put students in an environment where they’re able to learn at a pace suitable for their individual needs.
If you know how advanced your curriculum is, what subjects your child excels in and which they struggle with, you can more accurately choose the right materials for your child, instead of relying solely on their current “grade” level and public school.
3: The Order In Which Your Curriculum Engages With Each Subject
An issue we see a lot is when students are in a specific grade level but they test at a level significantly lower than the grade they’re currently enrolled in. For example, a student might be taking an Algebra course, but when tested, the student is performing at a 7th grade math level.
The reason for this is simple. Teachers are constantly modifying courses to make up for the lack of prior teaching.
Throughout the pandemic, many teachers have dealt with disruptions to their lesson plans. Teachers “make-up” for those disruptions by altering the course work to meet the students at the level in which they are performing. Even though the altered material is much less difficult than Algebra, schools will still claim the course as “Algebra” to satisfy the governmental requirement of having that course completed.
These schools are missing the point.
The goal isn’t to just “complete” courses… it’s to get knowledge into your brain!
Imagine a car being built on an assembly line. The worker who is supposed to put the hinges on for the doors forgets to do his job. When the car goes down the line to the next worker who is supposed to put the doors on, they are unable to because the hinges aren’t in place to attach the door! So the worker with the door may just try to push it in place, but it won’t stay. The car moves on down the line, unfinished.
The government might be claiming that they’re providing the “hinges” for your child’s education, but later down the line it becomes evident that the foundational components are missing. If children don’t have the foundational information mastered, they’re not going to have success.
So how do we move our children out of this ever-deepening cycle of non-success?
By taking our diagnostic test you will discover what concepts have been mastered by your child at certain grade levels, subject by subject.
Envision your child’s education as a brick wall. If they are excelling in some subjects, but not others they will be missing “bricks” and the wall will be compromised. Our diagnostic test identifies which specific educational “bricks” are missing. Knowing this information helps our team create an educational plan specifically for your child’s unique learning needs.
You will be able to take what you’ve learned from the test and get the correct level of homeschool curriculum. This will help your child move forward with confidence and excitement in their education again! Setting your student up for success will produce more success!
After you complete the diagnostic test and find exactly the right level for your child, be sure to consider the BCE Homeschool Academy. There we will work with you to find the appropriate curriculum for your child and accelerated homeschool courses that can fill the gaps and stimulate them. These materials provide a structure that allows your child time to fully master the materials. You will love being more involved in your child’s learning process and encouraged as you watch your child feel more accomplished. You’ll see firsthand the difference it makes for them to feel equipped to meet their goals!
Help your child enjoy learning again by enrolling with BCE Homeschool Academy!
Your success is our goal!