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Old 03-04-2013, 07:38 AM   #1
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Can anybody tell me about grade skipping?

I have a daughter who is very advanced in a lot of areas, she is 5 and just started K. But socially she is right where she should be... and physically she is one of the smallest kids in the class.

I have no doubt that if she were assessed she would be 'gifted'. I could go into details but no point in that here.

The problem is that since she started school a few weeks ago every day she comes home and tells me she doesn't know what she did in school. Or that it was boring. And when I see what she produces, I can see that she is dumbing herself down. The teacher didn't even know she could read and write for the first 3 weeks because she never spoke up and when asked just said she doesn't know. The teacher is really really nice and honestly she is really quite good at trying to set her appropriate work and is willing to work with us. They have this online computer literacy program that they use and the teacher set her some tasks to complete on there last week. She did them in one night and now has told me she doesn't want to do any more as it is too easy and she didn't like it. (Really I don't have such a problem with that as I would far rather she were reading a book than doing a silly rhyming game on the computer which she isn't really learning anything out of).

Should I push to get her assessed, is there really any advantage in this? I am sitting awake at after midnight because i can't sleep, I am sick with worry about what to do with her. I honestly know she would cope quite fine with grade 1 work. In fact that may even be too easy, but I feel like she would only be 6 months younger than the youngest in that class, so she wouldn't be hugely different in age. But I don't know if acceleration is the best idea either. Socially? Or should I just be trying to get the teacher to give her work that is more suited to her. I feel like for her at school there is a lot of downtime, academically speaking. She is there from 9-3, and honestly I feel bad but I do not have the time to be doing extra activities with her every afternoon. I feel like she should be doing the academic stuff in school. Also she has made friends in that class, and I don't want to pull her out, but I have heard if you skip a grade it is best to do it earlier rather than later? Has anybody who has been in this situation got any insight, what did you decide to do, and especially if you have an older child, teenager who was like this and you chose one or another path, do you feel you made the right choice or with hindsight would you have done things differently.

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Old 03-04-2013, 08:02 AM   #2
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Just because you have her assessed doesn't mean she'll skip a grade. She could go to a pull out enrichment class that offers harder work. We had a few kids go to a 1st grade class just for reading and stay with kindy the rest of the day. There's lots of options.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:02 AM   #3
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Oops. DP.

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Old 03-04-2013, 08:13 AM   #4
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Re: Can anybody tell me about grade skipping?

I think the trend now is to provide enrichment, rather than grade skipping.

I was also an intellectually gifted, but socially normal and physically small child, the smallest in my class. Skipping a grade would have been disastrous for me socially, I think. Instead, my school(s) provided multiple enrichment opportunities--more advanced readers and math problems, etc. In late elementary, a small group of us had a separate math enrichment class that met a few times a week. In middle school, I took high school school math classes with another student in my grade (it was a K-12 school, so same campus). It really helped to do enrichment activities with peers my own age; it felt much less "weird" and isolating.


This is what's happening in dd's school right now as well. She is in 1st, and there is a child who is extremely advanced in math. He does some separate math work and sometimes joins one of the older classes for math. But socially, I do not think he would be ready to be a higher grade (nor are his reading and writing skills as advanced).

In high school I had a friend who skipped a grade, and was on the young side for the appropriate grade to boot, and her immaturity really showed. I think college, in particular, was a very difficult transition for her.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:43 AM   #5
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Re: Can anybody tell me about grade skipping?

I'd urge you to get it sorted out now, and I will share what happened to my brother. He was coming home in Kindergarten, First and Second grade complaining of boredom and wasn't engaged at all - it was far too easy. In Second grade here GATE testing begins and he began that program, was enjoying being challenged a little bit, and went into Third grade more interested in school. Third grade proved to be even worse, coupled with a terrible teacher who decided that when he was done with his work in Math he could walk around and tutor the rest of his classmates (wtf??). The school told my parents they were interested in skipping him and my parents thought this would be a great idea because he was so, so bored, although he had great friends.

He skipped Fourth grade and went into Fifth grade summer after Third grade. Now, everyone else in his grade is 11 and he is 9 because he also was on the younger side of birthdays. He has no friends and is like 75 pounds just when some of the other boys are starting to hit puberty and being interested in girls. But, school was indeed more interesting. Next year he goes into middle school at a different school where he is 10 years old in a school with 12-14 year olds, and he's still tiny. He has only one or two friends and is that weirdo smart kid who looks like a baby. This continues until he somewhat catches up socially at the end of 8th grade and is ready to go into high school. At this point he has been bullied for four years and hated and dreaded going to school each day. He totally checked out. Although he did well in school still because it was easy and required little effort, he was miserable. At the end of HS he was so, so disillusioned with school.

Anyways, my point of this is that although the academics may match up to her levels by skipping a grade, socially this may completely change her life. I suspect it may have been worse for my brother if he were a girl, because girls are so brutal in middle/HS socially, but he also skipped the grade right before the madness starts so that may have played a part. You will want to make a decision ASAP before the crazy dynamics begin in a few years.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:59 AM   #6
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Re: Can anybody tell me about grade skipping?

Hmm, that's a tough situation. I can look at kindergarten from a different angle, as my DH is a kindy teacher. We also had DD starting kindy this year, which was a tough decision to make since she is an August baby and is the second youngest in her class. That being said, she's also the most advanced student in her class. At our last conference her teacher made the comment that she'd be doing just fine in first grade at this point, she's reading and writing way above her level, and her math skills are ahead of her grade level as well. As for her social skills, she's very well liked by her classmates and is quiet, attentive, follows directions, and uses proper behavior. All that being said, there's no way we'd skip her ahead to 2nd grade next year. Even though she's doing great in all areas, kindy is so early to differentiate between gifted students and students that just pick things up easier, especially the basic skills and concepts of math, reading, writing, and comprehension. Many students who may be "behind" in kindy often catch up to their more "advanced" peers by 2nd or 3rd grade. The other thing to keep in mind is how the grade skip will affect her later on in her academic career, like if she chooses to go on to college she'll be a year younger and out on her own. It's a tough decision mama, best of luck to you and your DD!!
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:47 AM   #7
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I skipped second grade. I was bored in kindergarten (less in first grade because my teacher tried harder to give me more/different stuff to do). Also, the second grade teachers were older and old-fashioned and instead I was placed with a third grade teacher who was really excellent. I was tiny and young (though there was another kid my age who had started kindergarten early). But I would have been tiny regardless! I was certainly teased, but I was not bullied, and in sixth and seventh grade I made friends I still have today. So I understand why it is a less popular thing to do nowadays but it worked for my specific circumstances.
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:13 PM   #8
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Re: Can anybody tell me about grade skipping?

Sounds like I'm just echoing the other parents, but we are glad we didn't grade skip with my daughter. She is a July birthday and already "complains" about being one of the youngest in her class. She only did preschool 2 days a week at 4yrs., so we looked to kindergarten for social enrichment rather than academic. She is in second grade now and we recently had her tested and admitted to the gifted program. We did have to initiate this, as I imagine most schools have bigger “problems” to devote their time and money, however they had no problems starting the process once we asked. She was not complaining at all about boredom, but her homework came so easy to her and she always came home with very detailed drawings on the back of her completed tests and worksheets from school. It was clear that she seemed to have a lot of free time at school, so we're glad she got into the program. At our school, she is pulled 1 day of the 6 day rotation to do projects and activities with the other gifted kids in her school K-3. She returns to her regular classroom for specials and lunch that day. She loves her GATE days and seems to be having no problems adjusting to missing a day with regular classroom instruction.

Another reason we're glad she did not skip is that they just grow up too quickly these days. She seems to do great socially, but she is still "immature" in her interests compared to her peers, but I wouldn't have it any other way. She is already trying to hide that she likes Disney Princesses, because many in her class have moved "beyond" that, and I'm sure this trend will continue throughout her schooling. It's already an effort to try to help her navigate peers and their interests while staying true to herself and I couldn't imagine trying to "keep up" with kids that were another year older. We'll gladly hang on to her childhood as long as we can, and I know that advancing her would have made that more of a challenge. For us, her academic needs can be met in other ways.
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:14 PM   #9
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Re: Can anybody tell me about grade skipping?

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Old 03-04-2013, 12:26 PM   #10
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Re: Can anybody tell me about grade skipping?

Another reason we're glad she did not skip is that they just grow up too quickly these days. She seems to do great socially, but she is still "immature" in her interests compared to her peers, but I wouldn't have it any other way. She is already trying to hide that she likes Disney Princesses, because many in her class have moved "beyond" that, and I'm sure this trend will continue throughout her schooling. It's already an effort to try to help her navigate peers and their interests while staying true to herself and I couldn't imagine trying to "keep up" with kids that were another year older. We'll gladly hang on to her childhood as long as we can, and I know that advancing her would have made that more of a challenge. For us, her academic needs can be met in other ways.

Totally agree with that- my daughter also has those interests that seem age appropriate to me, but seem immature compared to some of the other interests of her classmates. She loves to watch Sprout and Nick/Disney Jr. still while other friends have moved on to the "regular" versions of those channels which tend to focus on more mature issues that frankly I think she's just too young for, IMO!
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