My dd2 found 2nd grade to be a bit boring. I did not advocate heavily for her as this was our first year at public school and I had been very involved in the private school she attended before— that coupled with elder-care issues and I just didn't become as involved as I had in prior years. Public school didn't seem to need me as much and I was a bit burnt out. (The private school ultimately floundered and failed.)
That said, I had heard before her 2nd grade year last year that 2nd grade is sort of a catch up year for many schools. The kids who came out of 1st grade having trouble with reading and math have to catch up before going on to 3rd grade where things get more serious. She was pretty annoyed at the beginning of the year when she was having to read "easy" books like "Frog and Toad" for school when she was reading "Harry Potter" at home. She did end up getting pulled out to do some small group reading work with one of the gifted specialists for the school and she was happier then, but it was really pretty late in the year. I did explain to her that 2nd grade is a catch up year to make sure everybody is ready for 3rd grade and that seemed to help.
She's really excited about getting some more challenging work in 3rd grade. We haven't started school yet here, but I did tell the teacher that dd2 is excited about being more challenged when she called to introduce herself. I will be a bit more proactive in advocating for dd2 this year. The teacher didn't seem unreceptive to that and assured me that things will be more challenging for her this year. Our school has a large percentage of gifted students, though, so I'm sure they're used to kids at her level as she's not profoundly gifted, but just straight "gifted" (I think, w/o having her scores yet).
3rd grade is the year when our schools screen for the gifted programs. They use the Naglieri (NNAT), so I hope following that she will be placed in some appropriate working groups.
I would let your ds know that in the beginning of the year the teachers will be doing evaluations to see where everyone is and at that time it can seem a little bit like he's having to do work that is "too easy", but as they see how well he does with it he should get some more challenging work. (Hopefully that's the way it will work for him.) I would let him know about the assessing and evaluating that happens early in the year, though, because sometimes it can seem like the whole year is going to be spent reading "Frog and Toad", y'know?
I don't have experience with grade skipping, but I think it could be hard socially for a 6 yr old to be in 3rd grade. My dd2 has a fall birthday and is almost 9. She has friends who have little sibs who are 6. I would consider skipping dd2 if the school suggested it since she has that fall b-day, but mostly she has seemed to be in the right group socially, so I wouldn't advocate for it unless our schools suggested it. I think they're unlikely to do that in our case as she's not _that_ much farther ahead and they do have several gifted programs that should be able to meet her needs.
Oh, and I agree that "warm & fuzzy" doesn't have that much bearing on meeting academic needs. A no-nonsense approach can be fine if the teacher is flexible enough to recognize the different needs of the kids. Give her the benefit of the doubt for now.
Edited by beanma - 8/19/12 at 6:56pm