My son will be skipping a grade in the middle of school year. I was wondering if anybody has any experiences to share? Particularly, it is advisable to do a complete "switch" or take some time to "transition"?
For what it's worth, my older brother skipped 3rd grade when we lived in NYC in the late 60's / early 70's and were in public schools. My parents always regretted it....academically he was fine...but socially/confidence-wise they think it really set him back. But I think he's fairly anti-social to begin with, so who knows how much had to do with skipping a grade?
The issue of always being the youngest could be a drawback. Think of the future and how that might affect him.
Moving along with peirs is important in a child's well being.
I skipped two grades in my school career and was two years younger than my classmates in high school. It wasn't that bad, especially as no-one made a big deal of it. Only once was it a problem, when a few friends went somewhere you had to be 15 to go and I was only 13. I don't recall being that upset :-)
I think if your son is well socialised it will have about the same effect as moving schools and having to make new friends. It can be as hard or as easy as he wants to make it.
my daughter is a year ahead (started kinder early) so now at age 15 her classmates are beginning to drive and she feels self-conscious. Its the first time in eleven years of public schooling that her age has been an issue. Just anticipate that 15/16 may be a tough year. Since you've already made the decision to switch, I wonder if there are several elementary schools in your town and could he attend a different school? That way he would be the 'new kid' instead of the 'genius' and might receive less teasing.
As both a parent and teacher, I've never seen the wisdom of allowing a child to skip a grade.
Yes, in some areas--perhaps English grammar, math--the child may be ready for more advanced work, but what about all the things he/she misses? You can't just skip history--you have to actually be there for the classes. And literature. I'm more in favor of the gifted programs that are run alongside the regular school classes, so that the child has a chance to explore more advanced classes while still keeping up with the classwork needed to round out his education.
And, of course, that's a side from the social aspect. It's not really a good thing for him to be leaving his friends behind, and being the new kid among some who are 1-3 years older than he. I'd never want my child to be hanging out with kids that much older--being exposed to stuff like alcohol, drugs, teenage sex, etc, even earlier than most are. Just not a good situation, I'm afraid. And sadly, the kid who is either older or younger is never really accepted by the rest of the kids in the class. The kid who was left back is always seen as being the dumb one, the child who is skipped is often considered the 'freak'.
Isn't there any other option for you? Sending him to a more advanced school where he could stay at grade level but be challanged? Getting him involved in the gifted program in the school where he is? Signing him up for outside classes in his area of interest (DD was very interested in animation--we found a professional animation studio that also taught classes to children and adults--she learned a lot and found it extremely interesting) Even hiring tutors to help him explore more advanced subjects on his own at home? Skipping a grade is one possibility, but don't limit your sights, do investigate lots of other options before you make a decision that's going to have at least as many negatives as positives for your son.
I would take time to transition him. I am surprised the school didn't do it already.
I would hold off skipping grades unless your kid is mentally and maybe even physically more mature than his present classmates. Some High schools offer high performing kids to take college courses when still in High School, my sons school did. Also check into gifted programs in your districts Jr and high school. My sons school even paid for some college courses while enrolled in High School, parents had to provide transportation however.
This may be too late, but I wouldn't do it. I skipped first grade. They wanted me to skip 2, but my parents wouldn't allow it. This is back in the late 70s, when they were just starting GT programs. I had no problems socially when I was in 2nd-graduation. I always fit in, I was popular, I was outgoing. So no problems for me. I ended up graduating in the top 10 of my class out of more than 400.
Where the problem was was when I went to college. I was 16 when I started and was completely unprepared to be living on my own, and managing my time. I also never learned how to study. I always GOT it, you know? After a year, I quit because I was so miserable. I did end up finishing my degree, but I needed to grow up a little.
What I would suggest, if the school system can't challenge him, is finding some out of school activities that will challenge him. Moving him ahead is only making him learn earlier. It isn't challenging him. If I had a child like me, I would find mental stimulation outside of school and not move the child up a grade. I just turned 40 and I'm still searching for things to mentally stimulate me. I have a great career, fantastic family, but I still crave knowledge.