It’s common for parents to think their kids are particularly special. Sometimes, they are right. If you have noticed a certain brilliance in your child, or a certain boredom with the work he has in class, you may be wondering if it’s time for him to skip a grade. Take into consideration all the pros and cons before making this decision.
Gifted students may have obvious signs that they are ready for the next grade, such as extraordinary reading or progress levels or grades on tests. They may show an exemplary understanding of the materials and may talk about their work in a mature fashion. There may be some less obvious signs as well, such as getting in trouble because of boredom, acting up, disrupting, arguing with the teacher or sneaking other activities into class.
If your child is showing a need to skip a grade, his teacher or school administrators will likely approach you about your child’s giftedness, in a parent-teacher conference or special meeting. If you are seeing disruptions in your child’s work or life, such as boredom, you may want to call a meeting with his teacher and discuss the options.
Not every child develops at the same time and rate as others. Some may be more appropriately suited with children a year or two older than himself. If this is the case, grade skipping is ideal. He can interact with other students who think as he does and can learn at their, and his, level.
Grade skipping is not the perfect option for every gifted student. Some children are accelerated in some areas and not others. Grade skipping will cause frustration in those other areas. If your child is more socially or emotionally suited to his peers, he may not be ready to move up.
Helping Through It
If you and your child’s teachers have decided he is ready to skip a grade, some preparation can help him make the transition smoothly. Unless there is a dire need to do otherwise, skip a grade after he has finished his current grade. Let him meet his new teacher and make sure she is aware and accepting of the situation before the new school year begins.
If grade skipping isn’t ideal for your child, see if your child can visit an older classroom for certain materials. Alternatively, there may be another school or district that may offer a more challenging curriculum for your child.