All you former mathematically gifted children
Lots of smart people read my blog; give me some advice here.
Molly is in 3rd grade this year. She just turned nine. (This makes her one of the older third graders; the joys of a September birthday.) She's at a public Montessori. In a Montessori school, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade kids are grouped together in E1. The 4th and 5th grade kids are grouped together in E2. This school is a K-8, but has a fairly mainstream, non-Montessori approach once they hit the middle school years. They offer 8th grade algebra.
We had conferences today. Molly's teacher said that she expects Molly to finish E2 (4th and 5th grade) math and pre-algebra by the end of the year. She recommended that we approach the vice principal now about having her take 8th grade algebra next year (or at least, 7th grade pre-algebra).
There are two major things that concern me.
1. What is it going to be like to be a 4th grader in a class full of 8th (or even 7th) graders?
2. If she takes algebra in 4th grade, what will we do with her in 5th grade (or 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, for that matter)?
So. If you (or your kid) took advanced math early, how did your school handle it? Was their approach helpful or harmful to you (/your kid)?
FTR, "sit through lessons on things you've mastered because that's what everyone else your age is doing" is Not On, so don't worry about telling me what a bad idea it would be to do that. I don't consider that an acceptable option, and thank goodness, I think the school also objects to that approach in principle, though they have limited resources and frankly have never known quite what to do with Molly. Her current teacher has been GREAT and very willing to let her cruise on ahead, but Molly is approaching the end of the line, in terms of what the elementary school teachers are equipped to teach, and she has a fair amount of elementary school left.
Novel and innovative ideas ("Have her learn statistics! No one EVER studies statistics!") are welcome.