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Advocating for Grade Acceleration - Input Please! - Page 2

post #21 of 77

 She may be fine, but there will be kids that are HG, EG, and PG that didn't grade skip. She might skip and just be an average student or she may excel. It's so hard to predict. I hope this chart helps with understanding the different levels. : )

 

Level of Giftedness Full Scale IQ score WISC-IV, WPPSI-III
source: Assessment of Children
Extended IQ score WISC-IV
source: Technical Report #7 WISC–IV Extended Norms and publisher's 2008 NAGC presentation
Full Scale IQ score SB-5
source: Ruf Estimates of Levels of Giftedness
Full Scale IQ score WISC-III, WPPSI-R, SB-4, SB L-M
gifted or moderately gifted (G or MG) 130-138 130-145 120-129 130 - 145 (132-148 SB-4)
highly gifted (HG) 138-145 145-160 125-135 145 - 160 (148-164 SB-4)
exceptionally gifted (EG) 145-152 160+ 130-140 160 - 180 (SB L-M only)
profoundly gifted (PG) 152-160 175+ 135-141+ 180 and above (SB L-M only)

 

post #22 of 77


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

I'm not saying acceleration is for all by any means but lets not say that administrators have any sort of routine personal experience with grade acceleration. In our district, none had experienced it first hand (and they did contact the entire district staff to find experienced voices.)


Our district was open to acceleration, so they had experience with it. There were also students who had gone to private schools and either started early or skipped a grade (private schools are more flexible than public), so by middle school there were several students who were in the place a year ahead. The 6th grade teachers were the most opposed to acceleration. They felt that combined with the tendency to red shirt and retention, they were presented with too large of an age span at a point where kids are going through a lot -- the transition to middle combined with puberty. (our district tried to avoid red shirting and retention, but because we lived in an Air Force Base, we had a constant in-flex of kids who were ended up in their grade because of another districts policies. Instead of a 6th grade class being 11 and 12 year olds, they consisted of 10 - 13 year olds. We had one 14 year old 6th grader (transfer from another district) and one 9 year old 6th grader (transfer from private school).

 

And because all afterschool activities were grade 6-8, their friend base included many 13, 14 and even 15 year olds.

 

I've personally known kids who were accelerated and who it went badly for. It's very, very sad to watch a child you like and care about go through this.

 

I don't know why it goes fine for some kids and not fine for others, but I would think that rather than ignoring the fact that *sometimes* it goes badly, a parent with who has either already accelerated their child or is considering it, would want to figure that out. Waiting until your child is extremely unhappy and acting out in VERY inappropriate ways in an attempt to fit in with older kids seems too late to me.

 

Whatever -- I don't have a reason to debate this.


Edited by Linda on the move - 4/1/11 at 11:08am
post #23 of 77

Honestly, I think these are the reasons why every parent/teacher/administrator has to approach the prospect of accelerating a child based on that particular situation.  Our experience was that we ran into a roadblock because the district had a blanket policy of NEVER accelerating anyone, ever.  They were very unwilling to look at individual circumstances.  For the daughter that skipped 1st grade, it seemed a very clear choice.  My youngest is nearing the same level of academic proficiency as my middle child, and the abstract thinking, connections and overall behavior make me think she is near the same level intellectually as the child that skipped, yet, I would not consider a grade skip for her at this time.  She is simply a different child, with different needs.  Her needs will most likely be met in Kindergarten, where it was an abysmal failure for my middle child.  I do not consider that this grade skip is the answer to her educational needs.  I do think it has been a good tool for us to get those needs met.  Socially, she has thrived, so far.  I truly believe that she would have been miserable if she had been made to stay in 1st grade. 

 

The problem comes with how do we treat fringe kids.  My first child is on the other end of the spectrum (there may be some 2E issues, but her giftedness is only recognized my me so far.winky.gif).  She has many special education opportunities.  On a daily basis they are working with her, to get her educational needs met.  There is structure, expertise and compassion in the educators working with her.  I don't think there is that same understanding with [i]what[/i] to do with a gifted kid.  There is not the realization that giftedness can have as many different faces as kids.  They seem to get this with learning disabilities, but not so much the other way.  I know that the gifted education in my area is particularly bad, but I wish there was at least a flexibility within the structure of these schools that would allow for better educational plans for our gifted kids.

post #24 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marzine View Post

 

One other question - our district doesn't have a 'gifted' school but there are a couple of elementary schools that have International Baccalaureate Primary Years program. Admission isn't competitive, the only way to get in is to live in the neighborhood or to request a transfer, so no guarantee. Curious if anyone has experience with the IB program.


My first grade dd is in (and has been since K)  an elementary school that has an IB PYP program, and I think it's great!  This school also happens to be a gifted public school, and the students have to test into the school, so the dynamics of this school are perhaps different from the IB schools you are looking at. 

 

However, the IB elementary schools are NOTHING at all like the IB high schools.  An oversimplistic way to put it, but at IB high schools, you have high school students who have to work their butt off to learn courses that are freshman  college level, so it's all about academics.  IB for the little kids is a totally different premise, and it's kind of fluffy and fuzzy feeling.  The children learn about these personal character traits that they try do develop.  Some of them include: principled, inquiry-based thinking, risk-taking, balanced living, open mindedness, etc.  So, instead of telling the children not to fight, the children are told exactly which character trait the teacher wants to see them exhibit.  And instead of dressing up for some random thing for Halloween, the school had an IB parade, where you have to dress up as a character from a children's book that exhibits one of the IB character traits.  (Somehow, the children were able to do this and at the same time dress up as Spiderman.  :D) Also, in addition to the 3 Rs, the children learn IB units.  The entire school cycles through the same theme.  For example, for a couple weeks, all the children concentrate on the question Where am I, but it is stratified by grade level.  The Ks learn the very beginning about maps, the second graders start to learn a little bit about other countries and culture, and the fifth graders learn how the geographical features of the terrain of a country affects how the people in the society act.  On top of the lessons around the IB theme, they have projects every few weeks, some at school, and some to be done at home with a lot of parent help, that reinforce the theme. For example, during the IB unit about nutrition, my dd had to make up and sing a jingle about a healthy food, so she made up a song about an apple.  So the IB PYP is not about acceleration of learning the content material.

 

So I think the IB program is pretty neat because it gives children a big picture about learning and ties together the skills that they are supposed to be learning as a regular part of school.  I actually don't think that IB for little kids should be just for gifted children.  If I were education tsar and I had unlimited resources to work with, I think all children should have access to education like this. (So I think that it's great that the schools in your district do not require testing to get into their IB schools.) However, where we live, you have to be tested as gifted to have this kind of education, so test into this school my dd did.

 

I'm doing a very poor job of explaining the IB PYP idea.  This link

might help? Even better, I highly recommend that you call up the principal and ask for a tour of their school so that he/she can explain the IB PYP program to you. 

post #25 of 77

The grade-skip we did for my dd was the best thing for her.  (She skipped 1st and is in 9th now, so we've had  awhile to see the results.)   And don't worry about "socialization."  It's easier to make friends with kids who are your mental age rather than merely your chronological age.
 

 


Edited by A&A - 4/1/11 at 4:19pm
post #26 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post

The grade-skip we did for my dd was the best thing for her.  (She skipped 1st and is in 9th now, so we've had  awhile to see the results.)   And don't worry about "socialization."  It's easier to make friends with kids who are your mental age rather than merely your chronological age.
 

 


Its not simply a matter of being able to make friends, but instead being put into situations that require emotional precociousness. Or facing premature sexual pressure or expectations. These things are important considerations I think (I know!). I have to ask...have any of you experienced grade acceleration personally? Meaning you, yourself and you and not your children, nieces or neighbor's kids? Because I don't think all the ramifications are going to be apparent as they happen, or at least not fully interpretable by the accelerated child (who is probably going to believe that they are ready for everything before they really are) at the time.
post #27 of 77

 

 

Quote:
I have to ask...have any of you experienced grade acceleration personally? Meaning you, yourself and you and not your children, nieces or neighbor's kids?

I don't see this as valid statement to make.

 

 

I didn't have the option.

My mother was skipped and my DD was.

 

I have a DS, does that mean since I am not a male that as a parent I can't make the right, correct, etc choice because of I am not the exact same? Because the same things can not happen my DS as has happened to me?

 

I hardly think so.

 

 

 

 

post #28 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post

I have to ask...have any of you experienced grade acceleration personally? Meaning you, yourself and you and not your children, nieces or neighbor's kids? Because I don't think all the ramifications are going to be apparent as they happen, or at least not fully interpretable by the accelerated child (who is probably going to believe that they are ready for everything before they really are) at the time.

It sort of seems like you are suggesting the only or best source of information would be some kind of informal poll of random people who show up on a message board saying they have a specific experience. Personally, I'm far more impressed by a careful reading of the research combined with looking carefully at my actual child in consultation with people who actually know the child.

As I understand it, this is a gifted support forum. Of course that doesn't mean we need to have a single mind on grade skipping or acceleration, but I don't think this is a place for scare tactics. We got a lot of that nonsense as we were making educational decisions and it was not at all helpful.
post #29 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I've personally known kids who were accelerated and who it went badly for. It's very, very sad to watch a child you like and care about go through this

And, I'm sure most of us can think of kids we know who should have been grade skipped and weren't and how it went very, very badly for. Disciplinary problems from acting out, misdiagnosis of ODD because the kid is so bored, and of course there's always just total apathy.

It is scary when things don't go well for kids but that can happen both with and without acceleration.
post #30 of 77

 

 

Quote:
As I understand it, this is a gifted support forum. Of course that doesn't mean we need to have a single mind on grade skipping or acceleration, but I don't think this is a place for scare tactics. We got a lot of that nonsense as we were making educational decisions and it was not at all helpful.

right

 

It should be about support- and if it doesn't work out, change it.

it's not the end of the world-is it?

 

No one should be made to feel guilty but it comes across like that. Wow

 

There is no way to predict the outcome of doing a grade skip, as many have stated, each child and situation is different, so will be the outcome.

 

It should be remembered grade skipping use to be far more common (early education in the country, even up until the 1950 and early 60's) and it only now starting to come back in someplace here in the US.

 

post #31 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post
Its not simply a matter of being able to make friends, but instead being put into situations that require emotional precociousness. Or facing premature sexual pressure or expectations. These things are important considerations I think (I know!). I have to ask...have any of you experienced grade acceleration personally? Meaning you, yourself and you and not your children, nieces or neighbor's kids? Because I don't think all the ramifications are going to be apparent as they happen, or at least not fully interpretable by the accelerated child (who is probably going to believe that they are ready for everything before they really are) at the time.

I did not grade skip. I went to college 2 years early. College was much better for me than high school because people just were more mature in general. I still excelled academically with no effort, but at least I had a broader range of people with whom to spend time. No one I talked to ever discussed her hair or makeup choices, for example. That was the best part of going early.

 

I did have some problems in junior high, however. They were precisely the problems that you mention having because of a grade skip. I was the top student in my class (with a 100 in every single class), chair of my section in band, top scorer on our literary team & math team, etc. Those things didn't fill my time because I didn't need to prepare for them. I didn't practice for band, other than in class. I just showed up for chair tryouts and scored highest. I say that not as a brag but to say that I ended up making some really damaging choices related to social issues because despite the absurd number of activities in which I participated, I still had loads of free time on my hands. Because I was clueless socially, I also became easy to pressure. I think those issues can be present for gifted children whether or not they grade skip. In fact, there's considerable research about "losing" gifted girls in middle school/junior high because of precisely the problems I had. Would I still have had those problems if I'd skipped? It's possible. I think it's less likely, but it could have happened. At least I would have had the benefit of having been making the most of my classroom hours.

 

 

post #32 of 77
Quote:
I have to ask...have any of you experienced grade acceleration personally?

I wasn't skipped, but I entered K at 4 and went to college at 17. (My parents were able to petition to start me early even though I missed the cut-off. I'm not sure how this worked, but things were different then.)

It never bothered me even a little. BTW, physically I was something of a later bloomer, too, even for my age. I also was not especially mature for my age, emotionally. It just didn't matter, though. I think my parents made the right choice. My mother simply says, in the way the previous generation has, "I had to send you to school! You were driving me insane because you wouldn't stop talking at me all day long."

All this said, I have read the research on this (not just A Nation Deceived--I've read the actual journal articles, for my job), and it's pretty clear. I still wouldn't skip my own child, but t's not because I think skipping is uniformly suspect.
post #33 of 77
Thread Starter 

Again, I appreciate the lively discussion and various points of view. Grade acceleration is not common in our district and I have a feeling our principle is going to be hesitant. My mind isn't made up - I see the pros and cons to it. However, I do think we need to keep an eye on the future but our focus has to be now. Just about everyone knows situations where acceleration has been a terrific success and others where it's been an abysmal failure. I'm not making an argument either for or against - just trying to determine what's best for my child by gaining insight from others who've been in similar situations. 

 

One of the things that I keep in the back of my mind is our district has a program beginning in 6th grade where students attend high school. They're kept segregated for the first two years but then they start taking some classes with high school students. Honestly, I've not done a lot of research into the program since it's so far into the future. Also, it's more difficult to get into the program than the regular gifted program. Anyway, it just sits in the back of mind that she may qualify and do I want my daughter, who should be in 5th grade, attending a large high school. I'm not oblivious to the challenges that could bring. Or the ulcer I may get. Although, the one mom I've talked to with a son in the program absolutely loves it.

 

Shame on me, I'm not as familiar with the various tests as perhaps I should be. I double-checked and it was the WISC IV she took at 3, and she's taking it again tomorrow. We'll see how it goes.

post #34 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionaryMom View Post



I did not grade skip. I went to college 2 years early. College was much better for me than high school because people just were more mature in general. I still excelled academically with no effort, but at least I had a broader range of people with whom to spend time. No one I talked to ever discussed her hair or makeup choices, for example. That was the best part of going early.

 

I did have some problems in junior high, however. They were precisely the problems that you mention having because of a grade skip. I was the top student in my class (with a 100 in every single class), chair of my section in band, top scorer on our literary team & math team, etc. Those things didn't fill my time because I didn't need to prepare for them. I didn't practice for band, other than in class. I just showed up for chair tryouts and scored highest. I say that not as a brag but to say that I ended up making some really damaging choices related to social issues because despite the absurd number of activities in which I participated, I still had loads of free time on my hands. Because I was clueless socially, I also became easy to pressure. I think those issues can be present for gifted children whether or not they grade skip. In fact, there's considerable research about "losing" gifted girls in middle school/junior high because of precisely the problems I had. Would I still have had those problems if I'd skipped? It's possible. I think it's less likely, but it could have happened. At least I would have had the benefit of having been making the most of my classroom hours.

 

 


This is a very good point. To PPs my point was not to belittle research or to imply you don't know your own child, but to point out that the ramifications of a grade skip are not going to be apparent until much, much later. You can ask your kid how they are doing until the cows come home and they are not going to know really until they are out of school.

I think starting college early is a very good strategy for some kids having these kinds of issues in high school (I have had many students this has worked for).

I do think that its a rather exclusionary attitude to believe only folks who agree with you, or who share your particular lens should be welcomed in this forum. I don't think that having reservations about acceleration is in any way "anti-gifted" or anti-gifted child.

I just know that my experience as a gifted child has shaped my life significantly, and that we (as a culture) are still struggling with the same issues around giftedness as when I was young. The "unit" on gifted students in my credential program, for example, was simply appalling.
post #35 of 77


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post

I have to ask...have any of you experienced grade acceleration personally? Meaning you, yourself and you and not your children, nieces or neighbor's kids?

 

In the thread I linked earlier, a mom posted who had been skipped. She agreed with my main point -- if you are going to skip your child, treat them like they are the age of the kids they go to school with. If you feel you child needs all the responsibilities and pressures of older kids, let them have the same perks. Let them see the same movies and download the same songs. Let them have facebook pages and cell phones when their *peers* get them. That's really my main point. Don't put them with older kids but treat them like babies. It just makes the social thing more difficult.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post


As I understand it, this is a gifted support forum. Of course that doesn't mean we need to have a single mind on grade skipping or acceleration, but I don't think this is a place for scare tactics. We got a lot of that nonsense as we were making educational decisions and it was not at all helpful.


Are you talking about my post? Seriously? Suggesting that parents might want to figure out why this goes OK for some kids and not for others is a scare tactic?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roar View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I've personally known kids who were accelerated and who it went badly for. It's very, very sad to watch a child you like and care about go through this

And, I'm sure most of us can think of kids we know who should have been grade skipped and weren't and how it went very, very badly for. Disciplinary problems from acting out, misdiagnosis of ODD because the kid is so bored, and of course there's always just total apathy.

Oddly, I'm not sure how what you said follows from what I said, and I'm pretty sure you have a higher IQ than me. I'm not gifted. My kids got their brains from their daddy (and their good looks from me loveeyes.gif  )

 

I never said "no child should be accelerated."  I said "for some kids, this blows up in their face 'round middle school."

 

Part of the reason that I'm not a big fan of acceleration is that I don't see it as the answer. My kids were not a nice, neat year ahead of their peers thorough their schooling. The idea that bouncing a kid with a high IQ up a grade will solve the problem seems simplistic at best. My kids learn faster than most other children, retain more, make new information, and ask VERY different questions. Being with kids a year older wouldn't address any of that. The difference between them and "average" has increased with age because they learn at a different rate.

 

I seriously doubt that your hypothetical child misdiagnosed with ODD would have been a happy camper if acceleration was seen as The Answer. Possibly it could have been part of a whole package to address the child's needs, but I just don't buy that it would solve the whole problem. A kid with a high IQ isn't in the same place as kids a year older -- they are on a different track and moving at a different speed.

 

Personally, I think if a child is basically happy where they are, they shouldn't be moved. A kid who is unhappy, bored, apathetic, etc. is obviously a kid who needs to have something tweaked -- some different instruction, a whole different school with a different approach to learning, a grade skip -- something.  There are a lot options, and for me, grade skip would be the very bottom of the list because it can't easily be undone, and it does cut a year out of child. It's just too much of a package deal to not try everything else possible first.
 

The school offered acceleration for one of my kids this year, and DH and I said no. She takes classes mostly with kids who are older than her and does some independent study, but is classified in her age appropriate grade and won't graduate until she's 18. She's happy with that. We all feel that it would chop a year of her childhood (or teenagerhood), and there's just no reason to do that, esp, since the school is willing to meet her intellectual needs while allowing her to be her age.

 

My other DD does math two grades up.

 

 

post #36 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

We haven't found this the case at all. Very few teachers and administrators actually have experience with grade acceleration because it's not done often. We found that while our DD's school wanted to accelerate her they also had all sorts of notions based on no actual personal experience. 



This. I think that teachers and administrators are so bogged down in the mindset of age cohorts that they have a hard time even conceiving of a positive grade skip experience. I just doesn't work within their mental system. Whether it works in reality is not something they want to try out.

 

What to watch out for in my personal experience (this is 30 years ago, and in a different country, but IME there are things about teachers that are universal, and I am married to one!) is whether the receiving teacher thinks it is a good idea. In my case, the first grade teacher thought I should go into second and the principal thought it was the right thing to do, and it was agreed that there should be a trial period in second, at the end of which it was declared that I was obviously happily chugging along, and should be in second from now. Problem was, the second grade teacher hated the notion of the skip, and hated me. I was not happily chugging along for very much longer, I assure you. So make sure the teacher of the class she'd be going in to has your back.

 

On the other hand, after entering middle school, the problems relating to the grade skip simply disappeared. The teachers and the kids didn't care that I was a year younger. There was other stuff I stood out with that made me different and socially awkward, but I could have been retained for three years and it would not have made these things better.  

 

And just in case someone mentions this (it tends to come up in these threads): even grade skipped girls can be among the first in their class to get breasts and their period. I assure you that early puberty is vastly overrated.

post #37 of 77

Quoting is a mess for me today for some reason so I'm not going to try...

 

Linda I was not responding to your post. But, to be clear I'm not saying that everyone needs to share the same view on grade skipping. Rather, I would prefer on a support board not to have a bunch of "I met a kid once..." kind of horror stories. I don't think it is helpful to people who are trying to make decisions. Also, the "you'll see later how bad it goes" tone is not in my opinion supportive. Imagine someone posting on the gentle discipline board "you'll see later when your kid is outa control that you should have spanked" or told nursing moms "sure it seems like a good idea right now but when your kids are in middle school it will all fall apart" - not super helpful.

 

Also, I think we can ALL think of examples of gifted kids who don't have their needs met and it goes wrong. I've seen statistics on alternative schools and juvenile detention that find a disproportionately high representation of gifted kids. There are downsides to leaving kids where they are not happy and challenged. This may be particularly acute for HG/PG kids and I'd suggest Miraca Gross's book on Highly Gifted Children as a good source of case studies on that topic. What it suggests to me is that kids are really more fragile than we think and bad educational placement (too fast, too slow, just bad) can really have a significant damaging effect on kids. When you've got a kid who doesn't neatly fit into the box, it makes sense to take a wide view and approach all of your options with an open mind.

 

Re: the idea that if you grade skip kids need to be treated as exactly like everyone that age in school. I think it is FAR more nuanced and complicated than that. For one, not all kids the same age are treated the same way. There are differences in family values and approach and your right to those differences doesn't magically erase if your child is grade skipped.

 

As far as "chopping" years out of childhood to grade skip, I simply don't agree. Our child will have 18 years of childhood and being a college graduate doesn't change that. And, sadly, there are kids in K-12 school who haven't been children for a while. What makes for a childhood is about factors far more complicated than where you attend school. There are many ways to have a happy childhood and what works for one kid may not work for another.

 

 

 

 

 

post #38 of 77

I was not accelerated as a kid, but I did start kindergarten a month before turning 5.  I missed the cutoff by a month, and my mom was able to advocate that I was ready to start, and the district listened.  This is VERY similar to the situation my middle dd is in currently (she missed the cutoff by 2.5 months, though).  But, the district wouldn't hear of her starting early.  My mom was skipped 2 grades in elementary (not at the same time).  She has a very positive memory of school and the results of the skips.  We were both very socially active, with no problems in our teen years. 

 

I would also like to note the difference between a high IQ and a high academic achievement.  My middle daughter has both a high IQ and high academic achievement.  Skipping 1st allowed us to get her to a place, where the curriculum is able to be differentiated easier.  She is also socially mature and pretty globally advanced.  If she had a different set of circumstances, I might have felt differently.  My youngest does have a different set of circumstances, and I don't think a grade skip would be an ideal solution, for all that I believe her IQ to be similar to my middle daughter. 

 

The point, is that there is more than one answer to how to educate our gifted kids.  And we as parents and educators need to be aware of that!

post #39 of 77

Honestly, I don't have issues with your having a different opinion. Even I don't feel that acceleration is for everyone. We rejected the option for DS who is already the youngest in his grade naturally and in a heavily red-shirted district. I'm grateful as I look at him at 10 and in 5th grade and middle school now would have been a mess. However, I knew that in my gut when he was in kindergarten as strongly as I knew that DD would be successful with a grade skip.

 

What frustrates me is blanket statements that single grade accelerated kids fall apart in middle school. Frankly, the only other people I hear this from are people who have no real experience. You say that you've watched it happen many times. Perhaps that is part of the problem. It's too prevalent and being haddled irresponsibly in your area. If they truely have lots of kids who have skipped and lots of kids coming in from private schools already accelerated, then clearly, they are not being as selective as they should be. This means they are skipping kids who  are only a year or two advanced or aren't particularly mature. That doesn't happen in our district and frankly, most districts are incredibly selective about it.  It's just not what we've seen at all and so I will always feel the need to put in our perspective too. It's not a response to you personally. I have no need to win you over. I just feel it's important to give the other side when such comments are made.

 

I think it's very important to acknoledge that middle school is just a rough period for kids whether they are old or young, gifted or not. I've watched kids who were old for grade fall apart. I've watched kids who were just right for age fall apart, I've seen kids who just make the cut-off fall apart. From that experience, my best advice to all would be "don't go to middle school" lol.  It's just a sucky period and some kids get through it better than others based greatly on their own personality and confidence built from past positive experiences. Besdies, Parents who accelerate always tend to have back-up plans. I know we always have. My two best friends who also have accelerated kids certainly do.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


 


Our district was open to acceleration, so they had experience with it. There were also students who had gone to private schools and either started early or skipped a grade (private schools are more flexible than public), so by middle school there were several students who were in the place a year ahead. The 6th grade teachers were the most opposed to acceleration. They felt that combined with the tendency to red shirt and retention, they were presented with too large of an age span at a point where kids are going through a lot -- the transition to middle combined with puberty. (our district tried to avoid red shirting and retention, but because we lived in an Air Force Base, we had a constant in-flex of kids who were ended up in their grade because of another districts policies. Instead of a 6th grade class being 11 and 12 year olds, they consisted of 10 - 13 year olds. We had one 14 year old 6th grader (transfer from another district) and one 9 year old 6th grader (transfer from private school).

 

And because all afterschool activities were grade 6-8, their friend base included many 13, 14 and even 15 year olds.

 

I've personally known kids who were accelerated and who it went badly for. It's very, very sad to watch a child you like and care about go through this.

 

I don't know why it goes fine for some kids and not fine for others, but I would think that rather than ignoring the fact that *sometimes* it goes badly, a parent with who has either already accelerated their child or is considering it, would want to figure that out. Waiting until your child is extremely unhappy and acting out in VERY inappropriate ways in an attempt to fit in with older kids seems too late to me.

 

Whatever -- I don't have a reason to debate this.



 

post #40 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marzine View Post. I'm not making an argument either for or against - just trying to determine what's best for my child by gaining insight from others who've been in similar situations. 

 



I think this is a great attitude.  Keep it in mind as an option. 

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