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Skipping a grade

Posted by on Feb. 23, 2015 at 12:33 AM
  • 28 Replies
Do any of you have experience with this? Have you had your child skip a grade? Chosen not to, after consideration?
Our youngest is in 6th grade. It was considered in previous years and we chose not to. Now it's lookig like we should have, and may need to consider it. He'd be skipping 7th grade next year, giving him one year to adjust and make friends before transitioning to High School.
We're lookig at all pros and cons, talking it out with him and school personnel. Just looking for others who've been down this road.
by on Feb. 23, 2015 at 12:33 AM
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Replies (1-10):
PinkButterfly66
by Member on Feb. 23, 2015 at 12:45 AM

Essentially, yes.  She went to an IB middle school where she did skip 6 grade (she was doing 7th grade work in the 6th grade) but she was with peers the same age as she was.  Since she started high school she has been in classes with kids a grade or more  ahead.  

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Feb. 23, 2015 at 7:58 AM
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I don't but I know people that did.  One family had their dd skip 1st grade.  She isn't grown yet but has done well.  

I know another family like you that begged for years for them to let their son skip.  Finally, he skipped 7th grade.  He got a perfect SAT score and went off to college at barely 17.  He did very well and was very mature for a boy.  He spent his first few school years in England and their schools are so much better than ours.  That was part of him being so far ahead of the kids in the US but he was very very smart as well.  

Cafe Steph
by on Feb. 23, 2015 at 10:19 AM

No, but when I was in 5th, I was offered a chance to skip to 7th grade. My mom said she thought that I wasn't emotionally equipped to deal with the older kids, so she declined.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Feb. 23, 2015 at 10:29 AM
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I Tried but the school my dd was going to said no because she was so much smaller than her classmates they said all the crap about peer pressure. She was in a small school and every kid knew every kid and all had recess at the same time. She was in 1st grade and needed to go to 2nd because she was bored and was making herself sick so she went 1 or 2 days a week and did all her school work in half the day. There needs to be a way to get the schools to do what a kid needs hold back or move up so they aren't behind their or so bored they don't want to go to school.
sabrtooth1
by on Feb. 23, 2015 at 2:19 PM
1 mom liked this

I think the best thing you can do, is enrich your child yourself.  School is about so much more than just the education.  The social and emotional growth is as, if not more, important, and should not be rushed.  Boys are usually slower to mature socially anyway, and skipping just makes things worse. 

Also, most gifted kids are NOT gifted across the spectrum.  They may read at an advanced level, but are not computing, & doing science, & making cognitive leaps all at an advanced level. 

If your child is finishing ALL his homework in a short amount of time, and demonstrating complete concept mastery, you can find additional information on line.  Discuss the next concept before it's introduced in class, have him do more complex problems, have him write an argumentative -or supportive-5-paragraph essay about a historical event.  Go to the library, the zoo, or a museum, and have him investigate something he sees there, in more depth.  Read a book together with him, and have him discuss the concepts he finds there.  Have him write and produce a play.  Have him learn a new musical instrument.

You can also check and see if the local high school has advanced classes for middle schoolers.  I did that in 7th and 8th grade, many years ago, taking english and math during zero and first period at the HS, and then rejoining my regular classes at the middle school.  Many community colleges also offer dual-enrollment for junior and sr high schoolers who are academically advanced, but if the HS is good enough, they probably have enough Honors and AP choices to keep him challanged.

nra710
by Member on Feb. 23, 2015 at 5:06 PM
Thanks, ladies. I wish we had an IB middle school around here. There's a HS one in another district and he'll have to be in a lottery for a shot at it.
I totally get the social aspect concerns. Maturity wise, he's a much more mature thinker than most his age. People have called him an "old soul".
The thing is, he doesn't care about the social aspect of school. He has a couple of good friends he plays sports with outside of school, and a couple he is involved at church with. In school he doesn't want to socialize other than lunch hour. Skipping 7th grade, he'd still have those connections.
He has no trouble making friends in band class or whatever, and he'll hang out with them during school events if I make him put down his latest book.
He's never been labeled "gifted" as we haven't had him tested. He's just super smart and super interested in learning.
He already goes beyond his assignments, researching anything that interests in the sciences and social studies. He teaches himself advanced math concepts for fun using Kahn Academy. He reads every book he can get his hand on ( finished the entire Left Behind series in about 3 weeks).
His teachers have advanced his individual studies as much as possible using online programs and assigning projects and researching. Our district is very small and underfunded. Advanced classes aren't an option until HS. Their concerns at conferences about not being able to challeng him enough next year, is what sparked this conversation. He's basically covering 7th grade materials now. If we stay on this path, me t year he can be covering 8th grade materials, but no one is confident that he'll then be able to move forward to 9th grade materials while still at the Jr. High.
Initially he says he'd rather stay where he's at, but he's intrigued by the idea of moving forward faster in his studies.
We have come up with a lot of pros for the situation. We're looking for people who have actually been in this position that can give some insight, especially if they've actually done it. Success stories vs. regret, I guess.
nra710
by Member on Feb. 23, 2015 at 5:11 PM
These are some of the things we've discussed.

The odd thing is, he is exceptional in all subjects. His older brother was a math and science whiz, but struggled in comprehension and writing during English. But this child masters everything they throw at him, lol.
Our HS is well equipped - AP classes, a pull-out program for even more AP options as well as advanced arts and such. Dual Enrollment is an option (my oldest DS utilized that for math, as well as the other opportunities I mentioned). It's the next two year we worry about, as they aren't as well equipped at this level and everyone is concerned he'll become bored and lose his enthusiasm for learning.

Quoting sabrtooth1:

I think the best thing you can do, is enrich your child yourself.  School is about so much more than just the education.  The social and emotional growth is as, if not more, important, and should not be rushed.  Boys are usually slower to mature socially anyway, and skipping just makes things worse. 

Also, most gifted kids are NOT gifted across the spectrum.  They may read at an advanced level, but are not computing, & doing science, & making cognitive leaps all at an advanced level. 

If your child is finishing ALL his homework in a short amount of time, and demonstrating complete concept mastery, you can find additional information on line.  Discuss the next concept before it's introduced in class, have him do more complex problems, have him write an argumentative -or supportive-5-paragraph essay about a historical event.  Go to the library, the zoo, or a museum, and have him investigate something he sees there, in more depth.  Read a book together with him, and have him discuss the concepts he finds there.  Have him write and produce a play.  Have him learn a new musical instrument.

You can also check and see if the local high school has advanced classes for middle schoolers.  I did that in 7th and 8th grade, many years ago, taking english and math during zero and first period at the HS, and then rejoining my regular classes at the middle school.  Many community colleges also offer dual-enrollment for junior and sr high schoolers who are academically advanced, but if the HS is good enough, they probably have enough Honors and AP choices to keep him challanged.

sabrtooth1
by on Feb. 23, 2015 at 8:06 PM

When I talk about the "social" aspects, I'm not talking about making friends.  I mean "socialization".  From what you've said, your son is already a bit of a social isolate.  That has to change, if he is to get by in society at large.  He needs to learn to function as part of a team,  and to lead one.  Learn to read body language and social ques-especially in the emotional tinderbox of middle school.  Understand and cope with sexual chemistry.  All these things are made more difficult when your child is a year, or more younger than the people he MUST associate with. 

In the grand scheme of things, one year might not make that much of a difference, especially if he is one of the older kids in class right now.  Speaking frankly, I'd say he would be more successfull if he WAS more social, able to move easily from group to group, and able to form friendships that transended the school hours.  You need to remember that kids can be cruel.  Bullying is rampant especially in middle school.  My daughter has been a teacher for 10 years, certified in grades 6 thru 12.  She taught middle school for ONE year, and will NEVER DO IT AGAIN.  She says the the way kids treat each other, and the teachers, is more than she can bear.  It is very much still tooth and claw at that age. 

And be aware, the emotional distance him and his classmates actually grows untill around the time he turns 21. 

BTW, I am gifted, as are my kids.  I had a number of gifted friends, and knew a number of gifted children.  By and large, those who skipped more than one grade did NOT have an easy time of it.  Some had SEVERE psychological problems.  The main reason is, even if the classwork is more complicated, the intellect of people in the classrooms, is NOT.  INCLUDING THE TEACHERS.  8th grade teachers are not "smarter" than 7th grade teachers.

marchantmom06
by Silver Member on Feb. 23, 2015 at 8:29 PM
1 mom liked this
From how you have described your son, I wouldn't.

2 of my adult children graduated high school by 16, and had most of their 2 year degree done by then.
They were also given full scholarships, one for golf and one for academics. They were socially, mentally, and physically ready to start college. They excelled at all their subjects and fit in well in whatever social situation they were thrown into.

I also graduated early and finished multiple degrees before I was 23.

My 15 year old son is highly intelligent, and does amazing in his classes. He is not ready to graduate next year. Mentally and emotionally. He was tested as gifted and we made the decision to let him finish classes at an age appropriate level.

My two 6 year olds are in k-5 because we lived out of the country and we are more concerned about life experiences with the little kids than book smarts now.
I will say they both read on a 4th grade level, my son independently searches out math work and my daughter loves science. Should they start out in second grade next year? Probably. Will I let them? No.
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nra710
by Member on Feb. 23, 2015 at 11:20 PM
Well, he prefers to read as opposed to fooling around during free time. He'd rsther research something or go explore nature than get into rowdy mischief with "the guys". I don't think that makes him a social isolate.
As I mentioned previously, he does interact in sports and in his church youth group. He does well being part of a team, and participates happily in outings and personal growth activities with his group. I'd say he's on schedule for knowing how to "function".
The only thing you mention that I don't agree with is sexual chemistry. He isn't "there" yet and I'm good with that. Kids grow up too damn fast as it is.
I know all too well how cruel kids can be. My oldest was the victim of "bullies" and it was awful. One of the biggest reasons when the school suggested him slipping a grade we said no way. My youngest however is much more sure of himself and not so much a target for those types of behavior.
We aren't trying to skip him more than one grade. We are only contemplating skipping one grade. I know two people personally who have done it - adults now. One is completely ok with how things turned out. The other only regretted that his friends hit milestones (getting a drivers license, turning 18, 21, etc) a year before him.
And I'm not concerned how much "smarter" an 8th grade teacher may or not be. Lol. I'm rather confident in the abilities of all the teachers in DS's school to teach.
Again, was looking for personal experience and how it effected them. Thanks for all the insight though.

Quoting sabrtooth1:

When I talk about the "social" aspects, I'm not talking about making friends.  I mean "socialization".  From what you've said, your son is already a bit of a social isolate.  That has to change, if he is to get by in society at large.  He needs to learn to function as part of a team,  and to lead one.  Learn to read body language and social ques-especially in the emotional tinderbox of middle school.  Understand and cope with sexual chemistry.  All these things are made more difficult when your child is a year, or more younger than the people he MUST associate with. 

In the grand scheme of things, one year might not make that much of a difference, especially if he is one of the older kids in class right now.  Speaking frankly, I'd say he would be more successfull if he WAS more social, able to move easily from group to group, and able to form friendships that transended the school hours.  You need to remember that kids can be cruel.  Bullying is rampant especially in middle school.  My daughter has been a teacher for 10 years, certified in grades 6 thru 12.  She taught middle school for ONE year, and will NEVER DO IT AGAIN.  She says the the way kids treat each other, and the teachers, is more than she can bear.  It is very much still tooth and claw at that age. 

And be aware, the emotional distance him and his classmates actually grows untill around the time he turns 21. 

BTW, I am gifted, as are my kids.  I had a number of gifted friends, and knew a number of gifted children.  By and large, those who skipped more than one grade did NOT have an easy time of it.  Some had SEVERE psychological problems.  The main reason is, even if the classwork is more complicated, the intellect of people in the classrooms, is NOT.  INCLUDING THE TEACHERS.  8th grade teachers are not "smarter" than 7th grade teachers.

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