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Old 05-19-2009, 01:13 PM
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What can parents or children do to skip a grade if they think the child's academic standard is above the designated grade level?
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:19 PM
Location: Boise, ID
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Its not just about the academic level. For younger kids especially, its also about the social level of development. Are they mature enough to fit in with the next grade?
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:27 PM
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I'd look for ways to accelerate/enrich the curriculum without changing the peer group just yet. My child has an IEP for gifted so we are already working on that. I'd rather not have him in with one grade up, even though he has a November birthday and is probably only a couple of months younger than some of the kids.

Other parents might homeschool or private school.

I have a relative who was trying to get her daughter into Kindergarten a year ahead (daughter has a fall birthday) because she was ready for it based on the academic curriculum her daycare used. All I could think of was how parents like to redshirt kindergarten boys and that, when she got to high school, the age difference between her and the boys could be more than her parents really wanted.
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:49 PM
Location: Whoville....
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Originally Posted by donalduckmoore View Post
What can parents or children do to skip a grade if they think the child's academic standard is above the designated grade level?
I wouldn't double promote on academics alone unless you're talking a child so far ahead they are not fitting in. You need to make sure they're going to fit in with their new peers.

My daughter was double promoted 3rd to 5th grade for social reasons. She fit better with the kids older than her. Academically, she was a couple of years ahead so the decision was academically supported.
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:57 PM
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I would be very careful about skipping a grade. Many parents of young kids are so gung ho about making sure that they get every academic challenge in the world but forget that they are still children and need to be in social environments where they can thrive.

Those parents don't always realize that while youth activities are usually done by age, school activities (in MS and HS) are usually done by grade or are entire school based. If you child is interested in things like sports, music, art or theater he will always be competing against children that are much older. It's a big deal to be 13 and competing against HS seniors when other 13 year olds get the chance to be the king of the hill in middle school. Especially if it is sports or music related, where physical development plays a large part in how well a child masters a particular skill.

Before you dismiss me as someone who simply does not understand, I have 3 children, all are/were in gifted classes in elementary school. My son is a very good athlete and I am very glad that he was 14 when he started HS and not 13. I am sure he could have handled himself academically, but I can't imagine the difficulty he would have had as a HS athlete at 13. Even at 14 he is clearly young, and less developed than the seniors. But at least as he grows and develops he will have a chance to catch up to the other kids (plus he got to be STAR last year on the MS teams). However, a child always put in a deficit position will never get that chance.

The other thing to consider is dating. A 13 year old in MS interacts socially with other MS kids. A 13 year old in HS interacts with other HS kids. A 13 year old boy will not be able to get a single HS girls to talk to him. A 13 year old girl may have boys who are nearly 19 all over her.
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:37 PM
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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I agree very much with the last 3 posts. My youngest just graduated from college, (Yay!), and as I look back, it's very much like Momma_Bear, especially, said. Parents of young kids are constantly thinking they're not being challenged enough. I've seen plenty of kids burn out by late MS/early HS. My younger DD had a friend who was grade skipped who had a lot of problems in high school especially. She was only 13 when she started HS, got in with a "wild" crowd (maybe to 'prove' she was old enough to be in HS?), started drinking, having sex, etc all too young.

By middle school, there's lots of mixing of classes anyway, at least at my kids' school, and by HS there's even more. If by HS, your child wants to graduate early, there's always summer school. I know someone who did that, too.
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:48 PM
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Physical size is important too. I had a son that was quite small for his age. Smart as a whip and the school wanted him to take a 7-8 grade combination class. That would have meant that he would have gone into the 9th even smaller than the other boys. We kept him with his regular 7th class, And saw that he had plenty of outside activities. He needed that year of growth before he went to college.
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:08 PM
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I would just like to add that for some gifted children, particularly those at the highest ranges of giftedness, academic acceleration can absolutely be the best choice socially as well as academically. For a child who is in a more "normal" range of gifted, though, I think it might be better to work with the teacher for subject-area acceleration (e.g., in math or English or both those core subjects) than full-grade acceleration.
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Old 05-20-2009, 05:43 AM
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When is the child's birthday, and what grade is he in currently?

I ask, because mine is in January. In Connecticut, the cutoff for kindergarten is that you must be 5 years old by December 31 (or at least that's what it was when I was in school... I don't know if that's waht it is currently). I was put into kindergarten when I was 5 1/2 as the oldest child in my class. I ended up skipping the second grade, and it was absolutely fine... I went from the oldest in the class to the youngest, but only by a few weeks. For me, it worked out very well. Yes, I was 13 entering high school, but so were half of my classmates.

If the cutoff were in September, though, then I would have been the youngest by a long shot, and maybe skipping a grade would not have gone as well.
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:39 AM
Location: Right where I want to be.
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Originally Posted by donalduckmoore View Post
What can parents or children do to skip a grade if they think the child's academic standard is above the designated grade level?
It's not usually strictly up to the parents. There are requirements to be met by your school district. Here, a child has to test 2 grade levels above their current grade to be eligible to skip a grade. I'd also suggest an IQ test given by a psychologist. It is very insightful about where their strengths and weaknesses are and how they might react to advanced placement.

As for the social arguments, I don't count those as heavily because I know as a former home schooler the idea of forced socialization with an age peer group is not only ridiculous but is a manufactured side effect of government schooling. Do you socialize with people only your own age? No, you socialize with people you like, people who you have things in common with regardless of age. Children can do the same thing. Also, school does not have to be your only social group. Do your kids know other kids from the neighborhood, extracirrucular activities, church groups? But you know how your child is socially...can they handle being around kids who are older than they are? Will they feel left out or meet the challenge to fit in?

On a more personal side, DH skipped 1.5 grades and that worked out very well for him. His parents didn't want him to pass his older brother or he would have gone up 2 entire grades. Still, by the time he was a senior in high school there was only one class for him to take so he got permission to work and take just one class. He made it work. His parents didn't push him into it and his main social group was not at school.

One of our kids is enrolling in an early college program and will be taking college courses at age 15, with real college professors and real college students. It will be a challenge but they're not one to shy away from a challenge. If we thought they couldn't handle it on any level, academically, socially, emotionally, we'd recommend the regular high school instead.

You really do have to look at the entire picture.

Your options are to try a private school where they might be more willing to place kids by ability rather than age or home school or a private/home school combination. We have several private schools here that offer classes to home schoolers on whatever level you enroll them (meeting some prerequisites as needed). If we had continued to home school we would have transitioned to taking some private school classes as well.
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