Here's one: Both my son & my nephew were offered the opportunity to "skip" a grade because academically they were so far beyond everyone else.
We opted not to with my son because w/ his Asperger's his socialization skills put him at a disadvantage anyway, we wanted him to stay w/ the classmates he was comfortable w/. But this does mean hea gets quite bored at times.
My brother did not move his son up because his child is very small for his age and everyone was concerned he would be picked on and be miserable from that standpoint.
What are the pros & cons of skipping grades w/ kids that are gifted?
Michelle Taylor Why me? What did I do to deserve this? (go on, ask)
When our daughter asked about skipping a grade last year(she'd just tested as gifted and was ready for more challenge) we ordered in the Iowa Acceleration Scale and used it to help determine if she was a good candidate for acceleration. The scale manual covers some of the issues regarding acceleration and helped us figure out all the pros and cons, and what we should address. Our daughter seemed to be a good candidate so went ahead with the grade skip and so far, so good.
We have actually talked about this as a family. My husband was moved up in school in the early grades because he was ahead. He wishes that he would not have been moved up. His birthday is in the fall (my son's b-day is too) and he turned 18 in college. He said it wasn't as much the classes and all, but the extra-curricular like driving and sports that bothers him. He was middle school age and playing high school JV football. So we are starting our son next yr at 4 1/2 in pre- K instead of pushing for them to take him this yr even though he missed the cut off by a few days. For some kids it is good, but we are going to wait for our son.
My daughter skipped the 3rd grade and it was definitely the best thing for her. She's very mature for her age so that wasn't a concern. Even after skipping a grade and now in Middle School, she's in accelerated classes and gets straight A's.
For my daughter it was the best solution. That doesn't mean it's the best for all kids and it should be evaluated on per child basis. <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Cheryl Lewis Early Childhood Coffee & Tea Soapmaking
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I agree that socialization and maturity should be a big part of this decision. I went to college early, too and it was right for me, but I advised my daughter against it.
She led a more sheltered life than I did and she was almost a year younger than her classmates already (being born in August), and her maturity level was not there at 16. I think college would have overwhelmed her emotionally, even though she could have done the academic work.
I always wanted to skip grades -- would have skipped many if they'd let me (it wasn't done).
I think I'll share about the school system for elementary and high school here in The Netherlands where I've been living the past 6 years.
Kids begin a 3 years 10 months at 2 days a week. Two months later on their 4th birthday they begin full time with a 2 hour break for lunch.
Rather than grades, kids progress by age. Montesorri type teaching is the status quo so work in the classroom is individualized. There is plenty of parent help as many moms still stay at home or work part time.
Then at age 11 everyone is tested academically and socially and divided into one of 5 tracks for high school beginning at age 12. The range at high school is to prepare for university, community college for technical training, or general school for the many trades still used in this country. The kids preparing for a trade apprentice at 14 and work and study part time.
In our village there are 2 main high schools and the surrounding larger towns have many more so kids travel by bike to the train station to their high school if needed.
Schools here are year-round; 8 weeks in and 2 weeks off with a longer 6 week summer vacation - which is staggered throughout the country so vacation destinations are not swamped all at once.
I was often put in blended classes (my grade and an upper grade blended together). The reasoning was that the strong students would be challenged.
The problem was that this left gaps in my knowledge base (just because someone is gifted doesn't mean they automatically know something, they still have to be taught the material). It also caused problems in areas where I wasn't gifted.
It's easy to loose sight that giftedness doesn't mean that a student excells in all areas of academics. Skipping can cause a different type of frustration.