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Q: My daughter is in seventh grade and we both feel that she could be put in honors math. She is very bright and either completely understands math or doesn't at all. (She understands it 95 percent of the time.) However, she is a little slow -- she takes more time than most other students to do her work. What do you suggest?
A: Ask for a conference with both your daughter's current math teacher and the teacher of the honors math section. Explain that your daughter feels that she can handle the honors math curriculum and discuss with them the possibility of that happening.
Keep in mind that most of the students who are placed in honors classes are those who easily understand the concepts being taught and can keep up with the pace. If your daughter sometimes does not understand the math in her current class and works more slowly than most other students in her class, then the teachers might feel that the honors class may be too difficult for her.
Talk with the teachers about the possibility of letting your daughter try the more difficult honors class for a short time to see if she can handle it. If they feel that the change would not be in her best interest, accept that and help your daughter see the strengths that she has in other areas.
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Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.