Has anyone had a child skip a grade, then go back to the "correct" grade? - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-24-2008, 02:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD was in KG last year. She had some friends, but was very unhappy at school. We skipped her to 2nd grade this year. She is even unhappier. When I look up symptoms of depression in children, she fits into this category. I think it is situational depression, however, not chemical.

I want our next move to be to homeschool her (for several reasons) but DH wants to put her back into first grade. She exceeds her 2nd grade classmates in every area except math and handwriting. In math, she is in the top group. I would guess her penmanship is the worst in the class. Oh, and PE. I don't think she does too well in that, but she doesn't mind it.

I see this whole thing playing out like this. When we had her in KG, we said "let's see if water freezes in the oven." It didn't, so we moved the water to the refrigerator. That still didn't work. So (by moving DD back to 1st grade) we say, "OK, let's try the oven again. Maybe if we change the tray the water is in, that will make it freeze."

Any ideas? Experiences?

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Old 09-24-2008, 03:24 PM
 
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I don't have any experience since my oldest is the same age and homeschooled, but it sounds like you really already know the answer. Putting her back would be a fine answer if she were out of her intellectual depth, but that is not the case. She would be even more bored (obviously), and it could well hurt her socially. She'd be the kid who "wasn't really smart enough to skip." That dynamic could get ugly pretty quickly.

Am I correct in remembering that your dh is afraid of homeschooling? Could we bury him in research?
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Old 09-24-2008, 03:45 PM
 
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Do you know why she is so unhappy? Is it the work? Teachers? Other students/friends?
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Old 09-24-2008, 03:55 PM
 
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Is a different school setting a possibility? Montesori? Academy Setting? Private?
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Old 09-24-2008, 04:46 PM
 
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I have not moved either child back, but we are open to the possiblity if needs be. DD was "early entrance" (started 2nd grade at 6 after homeschooling) and DS has an 8/31 birthday in a district with a 9/1 cutoff. Either could go back a grade and still be the "right" age.

When DD was in 3rd grade there was a child who had skipped two grades (his birthday was actually like 9/6 so he missed the one by only 6 days). This was a 3/4 split. When DD came back for 4th grade the same child was there, but in 3rd grade again. It was no problem for him.

BUT, the reason he was skipped was because he was in "normal" classes. Then he moved to the gifted program and being two years ahead was too much. So, to get back "in line" he repeated a grade. Still a "year" ahead, and still working on things 2-3 "years" ahead but in a class that had kids closer to his age (the first year he turned 7 in September and another child turned 10 the same month).

That said, I don't think a grade change makes sense in your situation. Before I would grade change I would consider, "What do I think this will *do*?" And I can't see how putting her back in the same situation she was already unsuccessful in would help.

Why is she unhappy in school? Has she told you? The last two winters DD was exhibiting signs of depression. The first year (when she had just turned 8) we took her to a psychiatrist but she refused counseling (DD, not the psychiatrist). The second year (after turning 9) she decided she would try counseling and that helped a lot. It also allowed her to reveal some anxiety she had but was holding on to. She decided to take a break since July but we're ready to go back any time.

I wouldn't change anything unless I had hopes of it "working." I think you should directly address the unhappiness and depression before changing anything else.

 

 

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Old 09-24-2008, 09:03 PM
 
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I agree--you have to find out why she's depressed before you will know the solution. I doubt that changing her social set-up again will resolve the depression.
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Old 09-24-2008, 10:31 PM
 
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From your post it is obvious that you think it's a bad idea. What I think you need is to try to dig out of your DH why he seems to think it is a good idea. Even though your oppinion seems well formed and thought out, you may not be addressing what he sees as the issue. Before you and your DH can make a workable plan for your DD you need to get him to actually communicate his thought process so that you can address his actual concerns.

Back to your ice making analogy: Maybe your DH is less concerned with whether or not you ever get ice, than he is concerned that the container that the water is in will get damaged in the freezer. In which case convincing him that water won't freeze in the oven doesn't change his mind. However once you understand his real concern you can just show him that the container is designed to go in the freezer, or move the water to a container that is safe for the freezer.

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Old 09-25-2008, 12:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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TEAK's Mom: Yup, DH is anti-HSing (for us). He has no faith in my ability to socialize DD. He even blames me for the problems she is having now. No one I know (personally or professionally) shares his viewpoint, that she (until this point) has social issues.

babygirl24: She just says school is too long, too boring. No matter what we ask, it's the same response. Same thing for the 2nd year now.

mommyto3girls: Nope, sadly, no. It's PS or HS, but HS is so far from what DH wants.

TiredX2 and Bird Girl: The unhappiness and depression seems to be only related to school. It went away for the most part during the summer, but started cropping back up as school neared . . .she talked about how anxious she was. I agree, though, we need to figure out exactly what we want to change. I think if we put her back in 1st, we will be trading one problem (anxiety over being the youngest) for another (not being challenged-- the school doesn't have a very flexible program, and the gifted program is quite limited).

eepster: Thanks for using the analogy-- that helps! I will talk to DH tonight to try to pinpoint his concerns.

Thanks for all the good points, everyone! On the plus side, DD said she had a good day today because "it went by faster than usual."

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Old 09-25-2008, 01:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mizelenius View Post

babygirl24: She just says school is too long, too boring. No matter what we ask, it's the same response. Same thing for the 2nd year now.
How in the world will moving her DOWN a grade help with this?


Maybe one year skipped isn't enough.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...3653-1,00.html

"Actually, research shows that gifted kids given appropriately challenging environments--even when that means being placed in classes of much older students--usually turn out fine. At the University of New South Wales, Gross conducted a longitudinal study of 60 Australians who scored at least 160 on IQ tests beginning in the late '80s. Today most of the 33 students who were not allowed to skip grades have jaded views of education, and at least three are dropouts. "These young people find it very difficult to sustain friendships because, having been to a large extent socially isolated at school, they have had much less practice ... in developing and maintaining social relationships," Gross has written. "A number have had counseling. Two have been treated for severe depression." By contrast, the 17 kids who were able to skip at least three grades have mostly received Ph.D.s, and all have good friends.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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Old 09-25-2008, 02:09 AM
 
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Miz, I don't know what's happening with your daughter. But I'd like to offer the experience that my daughter had in her (gifted) summer program. She knew that it was for gifted kids, but it was frankly not challenging in the slightest way for her. The teacher was very gentle and quiet, and DD tried to shrink herself down to behave the way the teacher did. She then got very anxious over the assignments, because they were so incredibly easy for her, and yet she'd been told that they were for gifted kids, and so she just worked herself up over them tremendously. We were glad that the program was just three weeks long.

There was something about the combo of things that were supposed to be challenging and yet weren't that upped her anxiety level.
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:52 AM
 
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I don't remember if your dd was in 1/2 day or full day K. If she was in 1/2 K, and moving on to a full day of school is a huge transition to begin with, even without a grade skip.

My oldest daughter has been a lot more emotional than she'd been in...well, ever (she used to be very even keel). She is suddenly a lot more tired and worn out by the end of the day and that translates into being emotional at the drop of a hat.

Does your child seem to complete the homework assignments well? Do well on the quizzes? If so, then she needs to stay where she's at.

One thing that you could try that doesn't cost much is give your daughter epsom salt baths. They contain magnesium sulfate, and it is absorbed well through the skin (all you need to do is gently scrub the skin a bit to help). Magnesium is good for warding off depression. It also helps you sleep. So it will be a nice relaxing end to the day.

I think, depending on how gifted she is (and it sounded like she was fairly gifted from other posts you've written), she may not tolerate the routine expected of her at school. There's lots of boring parts and while she may be raring to go, she has to wait until everyone else is.

Maybe you could ask her opinion and try to find out what makes school too long and too boring. Perhaps you could speculate if she doesn't have answers ready like, "maybe they spend more time going over the same material you know, and it bothers you" or "maybe you have to wait too long to get to the next project"; or it could be something simply totally unrelated. Maybe the other kids know she's the youngest in class and they don't like her volunteering answers all the time (I don't know if this is the case), or if she asks too many questions that take up a lot of time and the other kids don't appreciate it (sometimes some kids just can't possibly wait until recess and having something delay it makes them grumbly). Perhaps the teacher is bristly towards her because she was skipped (I would hope not, but there are some teachers that just don't like "know-it-alls" or even believe in identifying gifted kids before 3rd grade).

I don't know. Sometimes "it's too long and it's boring" really is a cop-out answer. Perhaps she doesn't really think that, but something else is going on.

I'd ask her if anyone is picking on her, or if she feels lonely, if the teacher is nice to her, etc to rule things out before you assume it's the content of the work that is bothering her.

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Old 09-25-2008, 01:26 PM
 
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Can you sit in on the class so when you do ask for more information you can talk to her about her day/the kids she sits next to, if she can see well, etc.

I think "too long and boring" is too vague, and sitting in on the class might allow you to see what it is that is bothering her. Maybe the work isn't enough, and you can bring this up at parent/teacher conference. Do you have a friendly principal to talk to about your concerns?

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Old 09-25-2008, 01:59 PM
 
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yeah i was thinking she needs to move up not down too. esp. since she is still so bored.

can you lay out a plan to homeschool for ur dh so he can see that your child will get lots of interaction with other kids. can you afford to do some classes like dance, music or sports with her so ur dh sees her interaction. that is if you think that socialization IS a valid concern for your dh and not an excuse to say no to hs. can u research homeschool groups and find hs events in the park. i know the ones in the city meet once a week in the park.

i too have a child who has a personality for hs. she is terribly bored in first grade. and i am looking at montessori since at present i dont have the option to homeschool.

good luck with your situation. i would make it a priority to work on ur dh. i am sure he sees his daugh being so depressed.

if he still doesnt see reason i would involve the school psychologist. or another psychologist. and work with the school to find another way of finding a solution.

good luck. this must be sooooo hard.

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Old 09-25-2008, 03:58 PM
 
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Would your husband be open to enrolling her in an online charter? Some of those programs have social get togethers and they do provide you with all of the curriculum and accountability for meeting specific academic targets.

I can't say that the skip with our oldest has been easy and she did ask about going back to elementary a few times (she skipped 5th and went into middle school). She is, however, in the accelerated and GT classes in 6th and getting all As and A+s, so, like your dd, it doesn't seem to be too difficult academically.

I'm taking the approach of giving it more time for now. If you are planning to be a SAHM for some time, though, and want to hs, I'd see if you can come up with a compromise that your dh would consider.
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, thank you, everyone!

I think DH sees that putting DD back into 1st grade makes no sense. However, I don't think skipping her ahead would be wise either.

DD told me the last 2 days that school has been better. She told me that the trick is to not think about home.

I know she IS trying to make friends. She is far braver than I. She told me that she "made a wrong decision today." She tried talking to some girls at recess, and they ignored her. So (probably hoping they just didn't hear) she asked to play with them, and they said no. This has happened multiple times with different children this year (not an issue last year)-- she is told "no" when she asks to join in their activity. Of course, I told her that THEY were the ones who made the wrong decision, and that she was a strong, confident girl . . .they were the ones who lost a treasure. She agreed.

We don't know if it is an age thing, a race thing, a classroom climate thing, personality conflicts or ??

I just want to take matters into my own hands and HS her. She needs to meet people like her. Heck, she told me today that is planning on writing a musical for Halloween and she needs actors. Where am I going to find children willing to do that? She started a chorus club for her peers last year, but somehow I don't think these children will go for something like that . . .and with all the time that school takes up, there is VERY little time (or energy) for other socialization.

Bird Girl: The lack of challenge (in most areas, but not all) could definitely be part of the issue.

Miss Info: I didn't know that about the baths! That sounds wonderful. She was in full day KG last year, so it isn't new . . .but when she went to Camp Invent (also a long day) she loved it. I think it's a lot that is bothering her. I see her really trying to want to go to school, but I can tell it isn't working.

carmel, I'd love to volunteer, observe, etc. but at this point, childcare is a tough issue for me. I am hoping to go within a few weeks at least once.

meemee: I am looking into local groups and will probably let her skip school to go to some events, just to see.

Christa: How is your DD doing socially? Has anything helped in particular? Oddly, DD never says she wants to go back to 1st grade. But she doesn't like 2nd either. Today she told me she can't wait for college. I'm not sure why-- I doubt it is an academic thing, so I should investigate what makes college appealing. I didn't know about the online charters. Are they expensive?

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Old 09-26-2008, 12:37 PM
 
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The online charters are free. In fact, they often give you a computer to use and pay for your internet access as well. The most popular one where I live is called COVA (Colorado Virtual Academy). You can probably google it and get an idea of what they look like. Eilonwy's oldest is doing an online charter where they live.

In terms of social stuff, dd had one big plus going in this year -- maybe two, actually! One is that she had attended a charter school in 3rd grade and was subject accelerated to 4th grade that year for language arts. The charter was having a lot of problems, so we left and others seem to be as well. One of the girls who was in her lit class that year (she was a 4th grader when dd was in 3rd) left the charter this year, too, to attend the same middle school dd is going to. While they weren't friends at the charter, they were familiar faces and thus kind of teamed up to be buddies at the start of the year. This other girl is in dd's math and reading classes this year and seems to be a lot more outgoing than my little introvert, so she's built up a big circle of friends that dd has become a part of. I do think that dd would prefer one or two close friends to this big group, but at least she has someone to eat lunch with, etc.

The other thing is that, while the Iowa Acceleration Scale says that staying in the same school is better than skipping when dd did at the start of middle school to enter a different building, I do think that changing schools was a good thing. Dd started the year as a new 6th grader just like all of the other kids. Most of the kids didn't immediately know that she was a 4th grader last year and not a 5th grader like them. There wasn't the stigma of being younger b/c the other kids didn't know. I believe that a lot of them do know now due to some class projects where age came up and dd was the only 10 y/o. Some of the kids asked when she was turning 11 and given that she just turned 10 the first week of school, it was apparently kind of obvious. By that time, though, they had already accepted her.
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:57 PM
 
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Does she have one or more good friends at school that she sees outside of school?

DS is 5.5 and it seems the "social" aspects of things are becoming more and more important to him. Since you have a DD, the relationship issues may be most of her sources of stress.

What does her teacher think?
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:14 AM
 
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I think the online school sounds great. I was hs one year using videos (yes, it was a long time ago, lol) and they went in a recorded the teachers teaching the lessons and I just watched those (or fast forwarded if mom wasn't looking). I was in middle school then so a little different, but it was better on mom b/c she wasn't having to face the issue of actually teaching me, she was just moderating I suppose.

There are lots of great ways to socialize outside of a school setting though and maybe she needs more of that now? Definitely if you move to hs. I work at the Y and we have a hs PE day, so several hs families get together once a week to exercise and swim the kids are kind of broken up in age groups to get to know each other etc. The families are close to one another and the parents enjoy the company as well. My kids also play sports at the Y as well and get to meet kids that way and just playing places helps as well. Good luck!

Is there anyway to get her into a smaller class? My brother never did well in his larger public school b/c he kind of got lost in the shuffle, but was runner up for homecoming king at his smaller, private school! Are there other public schools close you could try?

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Old 09-28-2008, 01:13 PM
 
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Our son was doing 6th grade and above reading at age 6 and completed college algebra by age 11. At age ten he scored at the top 2% in the nation on the SAT and joined the John's hopkin's program. We homeschooled, didn't think he had the health or emotional readiness for college or highschool, so he unschooled through some years where he was not emotionally or physically healthy (trouble keeping food down, and daily migraines keeping him from studying). He went through chelation at age 16 and is in perfect health now. He took the SAT cold after not studying math or writing an essay for 8 years and got average scores. He is now in Jr. College in his correct grade for age and is making a 4.0 and is very bored and wishing for more of a challenge. His plan is to study for the sat and get a high enough score to get into a more challenging school for math and computer science.

My son had a very difficult time talking to children his age especially around ages 6-10. My son was bored with every conversation, felt like he had to use 1% of his brain to talk to most kids, and those kids knew my son was smart and many didn't like him, want to play with him, or associate with him because of this. He was bullied in school and at church. In my opinion the child like this would get treated better among his intellectual peers, in the class with the students that were doing work at the same grade level as him.
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