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Hoagies' Blog Hop March 2015: Acceleration

Acceleration: it's not just about speeding up!

According to A Nation Deceived, there are at least 13 kinds of academic Acceleration, from early entrance (to kindergarten, middle school, high school or college), subject or full grade acceleration, compacting, mentors, and lots more. The last 100+ years of research tells the same story: acceleration of gifted students is a good thing. The worst result research reports is that some forms of acceleration aren't bad.  The best result includes positive growth for the academic and social/emotional well-being of the gifted child.

What does acceleration mean to you? Good or bad? Were you accelerated as a child? How does it affect your adulthood? Welcome to the world of acceleration!

Don't miss our previous Blog Hops, Gifted Advocacy and Testing.  If you'd like to join our next Blog Hop, visit Gifted Blog Hops.  Special thanks to Pamela S. Ryan for our Blog Hop graphics!

For more on acceleration, visit Hoagies' Academic Acceleration and read Acceleration Recommended by David Elkind and From "the saddest sound" to the D Major chord: The gift of accelerated progression Recommended by Miraca Gross, plus lots more research, success stories, teachers' guidebooks and more.

Should We Accelerate Our Gifted Child? by Planet Smarty Pants
Acceleration is the topic that we thought long and hard about, especially last year when Smarty was not happy in school. We met with our school principal several times, and she asked if we would be interested in “skipping” Smarty one year. My husband and I discussed it at length and also asked our 7 year old what she thinks...
Academic Acceleration by Catie, My Little Poppies
“You wouldn’t want to do that to him.”

Do you know what I wouldn’t want to do to him, folks? I wouldn’t want to place him in a classroom Monday-Friday for an entire year where the teacher would be going over material that he had mastered in preschool. Yes, he already had a difficult time sitting still and focusing, but how on Earth would putting him in that classroom situation help with those issues?
To Each His Own by Braver than you believe
The downside was that, by the time she was in first grade, she really needed to be in third or fourth. She needed acceleration, but the environment was the question. A kid barely 6 years old in a class of 9-year-olds all day long, especially when they weren't even working at her level in some subjects yet? In the end...
The Physics of Learning by Diane Hale, in Schooling the Gifted
During a recent parent presentation, I mentioned the term “acceleration” with regard to the curriculum in our gifted program, and then added, (probably flippantly) that we all know that to accelerate means to go faster… You would think after years of working with gifted children and their parents I would have learned my lesson...

During this particular presentation, an eighth grader raised his hand and said, “well… in physics, to accelerate doesn’t really mean to go faster. In physics acceleration is the term used to describe change in velocity. So, technically, acceleration could mean to slow down or to change direction.”

Slay the Stay-Put Beast: Thoughts on Acceleration by Wenda Sheard, J.D. Ph.D. Thoughts on Life and Learning
Suffice it to say I’ve witnessed accelerations not only as a parent, but also as a teacher, advocate, and friend. All of the accelerations I’ve witnessed have supported, not stunted, the individual’s social and emotional growth. The accelerated children I’ve followed into adulthood all are scoring high on the life happiness rubric. Many are scoring high on the financial security rubric as well.

In this article, I offer tips for slaying the stay-put beast. He's an ugly, awful monster...
On Acceleration by Homeschooling Hatters
When we first began this whole homeschooling gig, Mad Natter was three. He had asked me earlier that week to teach him how to read, and we kind of took off from there. Naturally, being me, the first thing I did was research all the various and sundry programs across subjects for the things I'd want to use going forward, and all the interesting things there were to do in a homeschool setting. The notion of not teaching him because he was too young didn't even occur to me...
All Children Can Learn and “All Children Should Be Learning,” Joan Smutny by Linda Wallin, Living with Geniuses
Acceleration is not about pushing kids, it is about allowing them to learn... Caring teachers can provide appropriate instruction in two ways: allowing them to keep moving ahead or allowing them to learn in more depth about a topic. Ignoring their needs is a waste of valuable time....
Acceleration: A (Not So) Simple Fix? by Gift-Ed Connections
One of the most difficult conversations that I have had with educators and parents over the years has been around the topic of acceleration. You would be amazed by the number of "I knew someone who skipped a grade and it was the worst thing..." stories that I hear when the subject comes up. It seems as though everyone knows someone who skipped a grade and then failed miserably in life. Interestingly enough, the research does not bear this out...
Speed Bumps To Gifted Acceleration by Elgarmummy
Imagine you are travelling on a straight road, but the speed limit is low. You wish to go faster, but there are several speed cameras that do not allow you to go above that speed. You may slow down, but you cannot go any faster.

If that makes you frustrated out of your mind, imagine being in that situation for weeks, months and years in school. If your child has already learnt how to read paragraphs, yet his teacher is still teaching high frequency words such as ‘a’, ‘the’, ‘one’, ‘we’ and ‘come’, he is going to be bored out of his mind. That is only in kindergarten...
Accelerating to What and to Where? Evaluating the Velocity of Gifted Learners in a System that Must Change by Kathleen Casper, One World Gifted
Using Newton’s law, it seems reasonable that when we talk about acceleration for students, we should not only look at moving a child ahead in school, but we should look at the forces acting on the child and evaluate more than just a child’s ability to move up to the next level of learning.

We should be looking at the child’s velocity too… the speed and the direction where the child is going or should go. And where the child will find equilibrium with not only their academic, but social-emotional needs being met too...
A Pace By Any Other Name... in FunSchooling
Not what I expected.
Time has flown too fast for me. I didn't plan this path all those years ago (eight to be exact) when I began homeschooling my only child. In fact, I had no idea what I was doing or what I was going to do. I knew I had to somehow reverse the damage a traumatizing three weeks in a private kindergarten had done to him...
Acceleration & Early College in Adventures of Hahn Academy
Thanks to what I have learned from other parents of gifted children who have been at this point I can say there are way more resources and options out there than I first thought...
Acceleration: Noah's Story (guest post) in Pocketfuls
In conclusion, I am extremely satisfied with how the acceleration has played out so far. As a bonus, I've opened up two more course slots for my later years, something that is very useful for pursuing special interest courses, or taking university courses in my senior year. Plus, I've gained confidence I've never had before...

Updated December 01, 2020

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