XP: Anyone have experience with/insight into grade skipping? — The Bump
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XP: Anyone have experience with/insight into grade skipping?

DD#1 has always been academically precocious, and we've been in regular contact with her teachers (kindy) about her work, progress, how to make it challenging, etc. They've done an amazing job of adapting the curriculum for her, but they've finally asked us to meet with them and the school principal to discuss DD's future. I know (from informal conversations with her teachers) that grade-skipping is going to be introduced as a possibility, and frankly, it really freaks me out. Does anyone have any insight into the implications of skipping a grade so early in a kid's academic career? Socially, emotionally, etc.? I realize it might be the best option for her now, but I can't shake the thought of her starting high school at 12 and college at 17... shudder. I also don't want to automatically shut myself off to "hearing" what they have to say, simply because the prospect freaks me out, kwim?

(Our town's gifted program was eliminated several years ago, so there are limited resources available to these kids, hence the extreme measures.)
When sisters stand shoulder to shoulder, who stands a chance against us? ~Pam Brown
Big Girl 2.7.06 ~ Baby Girl 9.2.07
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Re: XP: Anyone have experience with/insight into grade skipping?

  • WahooWahoo member

    As someone who just made the cutoff for her grade and was gifted/talented, I really think I would have been better off staying back.  While I was fine academically, socially it was difficult for me.  I was the last person to develop (I would have been last anyway, but not by 18 months!).  I also think that I would have done a better job academically if I had stayed back - instead of being at the bottom of the top, I would have been closer to one of the top kids.  That alone would have given me more confidence.  I played sports, and I "connected" much better with the younger girls on the team - although there wasn't a lot of mixing between grades so they weren't my friends off the field (also, their older siblings were in my grade or the grade one above, so it would have been wierd to be the friend of the younger sister of my classmate - kwim?).

    Also, if there are children in the grade who were "red-shirted" (kept back a year before K started), they will be almost 2 years older than your dd.

    I hate to be a downer.  That was just my experience.  We had gifted and talented, and I always took honors courses.

    Obviously, the answer also depends on your dd's social skills.  Is she outgoing?  Is she tall / big for her age?  I was shy and petite which made things worse for me, but I could see my (gregarious) daughter being able to adapt better than I could to a change in grades.

    I would ask about alternatives.  Schools often look to the least restricted measure.  Maybe she can go to an higher grade class for math (or English or science)?  Especially when she hits middle school, that might be easier for her to do than skipping a whole GRADE. 

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
  • JMayJMay member

    We do have a gifted program here, but my DH keeps saying we should let DD skip a grade.  I'm ok with that in theory, as DD is not only academically advanced but emotionally beyond her peers.  However, I feel that the leap from Kindergarten to 2nd grade is larger than the leap from 1st to 3rd, simply because the structure of the day is so different.  That's just my 2 cents - GL with your decision!

    Doriimage
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  • Just because a child is academically advanced, doesn't mean they are emotionally, physically, or socially advanced enough to handle skipping an entire grade. 

    The change from K to 1st grd is quite a big one, as is, without skipping 1st grd all together and going straight into 2nd grd.

    I was also skipped ahead and think I would have been better off staying w/ my own age group.  At least until Jr High, where you can then test into some advanced classes that are just a standard part of the school.

    Are there any other local public or private schools that have a slightly more advanced curriculum for the same grade level or do mixed grade classes (ex: 1st and 2nd graders in the same class)?

    At the very least, I wouldn't skip 1st grd, but look at where she is at this time next yr and maybe consider skipping 2nd grd.

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  • I was a kid like your DD, and I did move mid-year from K into 1st.  My mom said it was a really, really hard decision.  Here were some factors she, the teachers, and the principal considered:

    --I had an early birthday and was one of the older kids in K anyway.  I would only be a bit younger than some of the kids in 1st.

    --I was tall for my age and fairly socially confident.

    --The particular group of kids in K had very few other kids who were way above grade level.  Even in the highest reading/math groups in that grade, I would have stuck out.  The 1st grade had a bunch of kids who were accelerated, and they anticipated that I would be in the middle of that top group.

    From my point of view it was really no big deal in the primary grades.  In fact, I was a lot happier socially with the kids in the new grade.  In adolescence I was not an early bloomer, and being younger than most of my classmates made this more apparent.  I felt like an awkward goofball during these years, but I'm not sure it would have been any different if I had been older!  It was hard when other kids were getting their drivers' licenses, because I was the last of my friends to turn 16 -- not the end of the world, though. Again in college, when my friends started turning 21 and I still had a whole year to go, it was a bit of a drag, but not the end of the world.

    It turned out that, as anticipated, I was kind of in the middle of the pack of the top group of kids in my grade.  I was always around other kids who did a little better academically than I did.  Now as an adult (especially as a high school teacher) I wonder if this pushed me to do better, or demoralized me and hurt my self-esteem?  There's really no way to tell.

    I will tell you that as kid, I was always happy to have been moved up a grade.  I really had good friends in the higher grade, and I never regretted it.  I never wished I could move back down.

    HTH! 

     

    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • There are tons of factors....when is DD's bday?  How mature is she?  How is she socially and what type of friendships does she have?
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  • imagejerol:
    There are tons of factors....when is DD's bday?  How mature is she?  How is she socially and what type of friendships does she have?
    image

    Just typed this out, so here you go!

    For anyone who was curious, DD's advanced all-around... academically, her greatest strengths are reading and writing (been reading Harry Potter on her own for about 6 months, and her writing journals from school come home with pages and pages of succinct logical stories with plots and everything. She can also spend hours at home writing an elaborate story just for fun.) She's really strong at other "subjects" but these areas really seem to stand out. Socially, she holds her own just fine- can be a bit of bossy (though she prefers to say she's being a leader- no lie!) She's on the taller side as well, so physically, she's not behind. I swear, DH and I joke that the doctors must've messed up my due date and she was born already 3 months old... the kid came out with a FULL head of hair weighing almost 10 pounds, and has been ahead of the curve since day one! I know as I've been trying to assess DD's skill-set, hearing about other kids has been really helpful- hope this helps someone else out.

    ETA: Her birthday is right in the middle of the pack... 2/7  (9/1 cut-off). She's mature; she still has meltdowns occassionally at home and stuff, but intellectually, she's definitely logical and mature. Her friendships in class are interesting... her very best friend is in class with her, but they don't spend 100% of their time together there. BFF is a social butterfly and loves to flit around with lots of different kids... DD is content doing her own thing or hanging out with whatever kid suits her activity/interest in a given moment. I will say, she doesn't have a ton of "deep" relationships, but she seems pretty content with the friendships she does have. I'm not sure what's to be expected at this age?

    When sisters stand shoulder to shoulder, who stands a chance against us? ~Pam Brown
    Big Girl 2.7.06 ~ Baby Girl 9.2.07
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  • As a teacher I would suggest you trust your own decision making (you know your daughter best) but proceed with caution. 

    Academically all kids move at a different pace.  At this point your daughter is clearly ahead of the pack but she is very young and it may not always be that way.  For example, at my school, adequate progress in reading is fairly slow in kindergarten ( a lot of kids leave kindergarten as advanced readers) however in first grade they are expected to progress at a much quicker pace and the vast majority of students leave first grade as proficient readers no longer advanced.  As she moves up grade levels she will also have more and more opportunites for a differenciated curriculum.  She may be able to go to reading in a second grade classroom for example next year.  As she moves even farther along she will have a world of opportunities opened to her.  My cousin, for example, graduated high school in 3 years (without skipping a grade level) by taking advanced courses and some courses at our local university.

    Sometimes staying in a chronological grade level is the best thing for a student because of the social issues you mentioned.  It probably wouldn't be a big deal now but down the road when she is 11 and all of her friends are turning 13 there is a world of difference there physically and socially.  Or she is 14 but the boys in her grade level are 16 (see where I'm going?).  All of that depends on her birthday of course.

    There are plenty of opportunities and resources to challenge your daughter academically (and it sounds like she is ready for it) but there are almost no opportunities or resources for your daughter to socialize with kids her own age if she skips a grade. 

    Good Luck...it's a tough decision to make!

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  • IMO, if your kiddo is def. advanced, then you're better to have her in an environment where she's being challenged vs. one that eventually she'll stick out and do negative behaviors out of being bored... 

    There was a gal in my class who skipped from K to 2nd grade...  She did just fine and none of us ever "saw" her as anything other than a member of our class. 

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  • I have not read the other responses, but... 

    I skipped a grade in high school. I hated school and was not challenged. I was also young for my class. Regardless, I graduated from high school in 3 years by taking english in summer school. I hated high school and just wanted to get the f out of there. I would have acted out more if I hadn't graduated early. 

    I went to college 3 months after my 17th birthday. I graduated college the day before I turned 21. I loved it. 

    I was pretty mature for my age, and no one really ever  knew unless I told them. Socially everything was fine, except I had to use a fake ID longer than others. ;) not that you want to think about that as a parent...

    But, had I been challenged in school it may have been a different story.  

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  • MrsSRMrsSR member
    imageoprastr:

    As a teacher I would suggest you trust your own decision making (you know your daughter best) but proceed with caution. 

    Academically all kids move at a different pace.  At this point your daughter is clearly ahead of the pack but she is very young and it may not always be that way.  For example, at my school, adequate progress in reading is fairly slow in kindergarten ( a lot of kids leave kindergarten as advanced readers) however in first grade they are expected to progress at a much quicker pace and the vast majority of students leave first grade as proficient readers no longer advanced.  As she moves up grade levels she will also have more and more opportunites for a differenciated curriculum.  She may be able to go to reading in a second grade classroom for example next year.  As she moves even farther along she will have a world of opportunities opened to her.  My cousin, for example, graduated high school in 3 years (without skipping a grade level) by taking advanced courses and some courses at our local university.

    Sometimes staying in a chronological grade level is the best thing for a student because of the social issues you mentioned.  It probably wouldn't be a big deal now but down the road when she is 11 and all of her friends are turning 13 there is a world of difference there physically and socially.  Or she is 14 but the boys in her grade level are 16 (see where I'm going?).  All of that depends on her birthday of course.

    There are plenty of opportunities and resources to challenge your daughter academically (and it sounds like she is ready for it) but there are almost no opportunities or resources for your daughter to socialize with kids her own age if she skips a grade. 

    Good Luck...it's a tough decision to make!

    Another teacher here and I agree with all of this!  As a third grade teacher many "advanced" students come to me and are very much average students (not saying that in a bad way-just third grade is MUCH harder and a HUGE transition from second). 

    If it were me, I wouldn't skip her.  The teachers should be able to handle giving her more advanced work without moving her into a higher grade. 

  • Why is Harry Potter always seen as a marker for giftedness? I hear that all the time "well my kid is ALREADY reading Harry Potter and they can't even speak yet!" is it because it's 900 pages long? Are they really understanding? Are they thinking on a higher level? Are they able to infer? Or are they just reading the words?
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