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My 6 year old kindergartener is currently in 2nd grade reading and is getting "bored" according to his teacher. There isn't enough time left in the school year to move him up to 3rd grade reading and I'd really like him to have a balanced education, since kindergarten really focuses on literacy first, his teacher is suggesting he may be able to skip first grade. But I'm a little torn on that for the simple fact that 1st grade is full time and kindergarten is half day. I'd like to give him a chance to get used to it before giving him harder work to do. I bought him workbooks for home and we talk about social studies, math, biology and other subjects they don't touch on in kindergarten but I can't believe how fast he picks up on everything. During testing, he was off the charts for everything. I have to decide soon whether or not to try to test him out of 1st grade. Any advice?
 

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How old of a six year old is he? I would probably be more hesistant to move him ahead if he is going to be a lot younger than the other second graders than I would if he was one of the older kindergarteners to start with (if that makes sense!). Have you spoken with the second grade teachers to see what they think of the idea?<br><br>
My older dd was reading about where your son is near the end of kindergarten, but she was already the youngest kid in the class & there seem to be a number of other kids who are at around the same spot she is academically, so she doesn't stand out as way above <i>everyone</i> else. She is definately in the upper quartile of the class academically, but the Talented & Gifted program as well as the ability to "float" to upper grades for specific subjects should work okay for us. Do they have a gifted program there? Have you spoken with the gifted teacher for his/her input?
 

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I was skipped a grade when we transferred from a DoD school to regular public school. Academically it was fine but once it got to junior and high school it was very hard socially. Everyone in my classes was a year or more older than I was. I developed later than the other girls in my classes, which was a source of amusement for some of the other girls and embarassment for me. I wasn't able to go to most high school social functions or on dates until I turned 16, which was in the middle of my junior year. I also didn't get to start driving until the summer before my senior year, most of my classmates had been driving for almost 2 years by then. Looking back on it, things look pretty insignificant now but when I was living the situation it was very, very hard. Don't get me wrong, I did have friends but they were mostly in the lower grades and I did not get to see them very much.
 

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I used to teach 1st grade and personally, I think that is a terrible grade to skip! It is a transition from the playtime/singing/coloring/halfday of kindergarten to the serious world of elementary school. Is your 6 year old ready to sit down and work by him/her self while the teacher works with other students? First grade teaches them how to act in school, how to ask questions, how to work indepentantly, how to help yourself when the teacher can't attend to you. . .It is a hard year for some kids but I can't imagine skipping it. I had first graders with high reading levels (6-8th grade levels) who went to a 2nd/3rd/4th grade room for reading. There is curriculum to learn in 1st grade: science, social studies, etc.
 

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My sister skipped the first grade when we moved to a very rural school. She already knew how to read, but the other first graders were barely starting to read. Because the school was small, they didn't have accomodations to help her, so my mom ended up moving her up to 2nd grade. Her birthday is january first, so she was younger, but she is very tall, always has been, so she was still one of the biggest kids in the class. Academically, she didn't have a problem throughout school- but for her (and family and friends), the problem was remembering even though she looked older, she wasn't.<br><br>
I think if it's possible to stay at grade level for most stuff and 'move up' for selected subjects, that would be the best solution. If that's not a possibility- think about if he's emotionally ready, as well as academically ready. Moving ahead and not being successful or really struggling can be a really tough blow for some kids.
 

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I agree with PPs that there seem to be many things to learn in first grade other than the academic content. Just yesterday, my son's kindergarten teacher was warning us that the first few weeks of first grade are terrible for many students, as they have to transition from the more relaxed setting of kindergarten to a classroom where they sit in desks, don't have toys in the classroom, don't have free time in class, go all day, start doing more homework, etc. It sounds like your school is willing to accommodate your child's advanced skills by joining higher grades in reading, etc. If so, maybe your child should do first grade then decide whether to skip a later grade. Good luck!
 

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I started my 6th grade year and ended it in 7th (so what year did I skip? I'm not sure). Anyways, its not for every bright child, but it was actually a good social thing for me. I was so bored that I was getting into trouble.... smarting back to the teacher, hanging out with kids experimenting with drugs, etc. The social part about making new friends was a bit difficult (especially since you are labeled as the genius of the class), but after about a year transition, all was well. It was a bit tough not being allowed to date and drive when the friends were, but I was emotionally much older, so I still preferred hanging out with the kids in my new grade to those in my age group.<br><br>
As far as what grade to skip? I know grade skipping was always a consideration in elementary school, but there were similar concerns as you are voicing as well as the usual social concerns. My mother went and talked to an administrator about the various choices for teachers each spring and carefully chose a teacher for the next year who would be sure to allow me to work ahead and keep me challenged. We supplimented a lot in our home (I was always extremely well read for my age.... lots of classics). Also, there was another really bright girl in my grade (who also skipped 6th grade, although by then I had moved to another school). Mom always requested that we were in the same grade so there could be some positive synergy there. There are gifted programs usually starting around grades 2 and 3 (but be carefull... their uesefullness is highly correlated with who is running it and how it fits with your child's learning preferences. Otherwise its just another boring hoop to jump through.).<br><br>
If you go that route, though, you may find that your child is more and more ahead until skipping grades becomes a neccesity. 6th grade, is a decent grade to skip... its traditionally viewed as a "review" year. In part, this is because of the emphasis that year on the social transition from elementary to secondary education, so if your kid is socially behind, it wouldn't be a good idea. Otherwise, its great academically because its before honors and AP classes (something that becomes quite important with a bright student in high school). Mom homeschooled my sister during 6th grade because she felt sister wasn't emotionally or socially ahead enough to handle the skip but still didn't like how academically bored she was...they used the year for my sister to travel with my grandparents, writting a detailed journal and log as she went. We joked in our house that we "just don't do 6th grade".<br><br>
Also, another concern becomes what if this happens again? I can't let my child skip 2 grades! I ended up accelerating though high school, but rather than graduating early, took advantage of the AP program and taking classes half day at the local community college for my senior year. I ended up spending only spent 3 years on scholarship at a neighboring state university where it was a lot easier socially to have a peer group rather than an age group. My sister (still in the grade with her peers) graduated 1 year early and went onto a traditional liberal arts school.<br><br>
If you want to chat about specific concerns, please feel free to PM me. I don't mind at all.<br><br>
Nicole
 

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Redshirting (sending a child to school the year after they could have gotten in, summer birthdays especially)is very common in my area for boys. So if my son skipped up a grade he would be facing kids not just one year, but two to two and half years older than he. Not a good idea for my very average height /weight child.<br><br>
I would enrich your son at home more. If he's bored to the point of misbehaving, I might homeschool for bit until things level out for him.
 

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I would say know. They should be sending him to another classroom during reading/language arts time though. That's really common anyway, many schools have children switch classes for math and reading if they are at a different level than the one their homeroom teacher teaches.
 

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I had the opportunity to skip grades twice and my mother would not do it. I didn't find this out until I was older.<br><br>
I think she made a horrible decision not letting me skip, because I was always bored in class, never intellectually challenged, and was always the smartest in the class, which made me stand out, and I was picked on by the other kids.<br><br>
Yes, you should have your DC skip. If he turns out to be truly gifted (performing at least three grade levels ahead of his age) you should consider homeschooling.
 

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Maybe you can push for and IEP (individualized education plan)? I don't think they are just for developmentally disabled children. If youget an IEP for a DD child, the school HAS to accomodate him. I don't see why it should be any different for a gifted or advanced student...if the standard program isn't working for the student.<br><br>
I think in first grade they start testing for the "gifted" classes, so you might also check into that. I'm having my daughter tested next year, because she was REALLY bored in kindergarten this year. I worked with her a lot before she started school and she already had the basics down. Not that she hasn't learned a lot in school too, but I think it's just REALLY repetetive to make sure the slower students grasp it all (instead of putting them in remedial or speical ed classes). Thanks, NCLB (No child left behind).
 

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I can appreciate what those posters who personally skipped grades or wished that they had are saying, however I don't know that first grade is the best time to be skipping. I was an advanced student who coasted through school & had awful study habits as a result, so I can understand that viewpoint. It isn't helpful in college when you have never had to develop any study habits b/c things were too easy.<br><br>
It <i>is</i> boring to get straight As in the advanced placement classes by just showing up, but I really would consider waiting a year to skip just due to the adjustment to full-day & all of the other stuff that comes with first grade.<br><br>
Also, it seems early to be determining that a child needs to skip a grade unless he was "redshirted," as PP mentioned and is already older than he ought to be for his grade. I have only had one child in elementary school so far, so I am only working from that limited perspective as a parent, however it does not seem unusual for about 1/4 of the students in each class to be 2-4 grade levels above their actual level for reading or other subjects and about 1/4 of the students in each class to be below grade level. I guess that my point with this is that it may be better for his self image & development to be in the upper part of his class rather than just average in an older grade.<br><br>
My first grader is reading the fourth Harry Potter book right now. They tested her in the middle of the school year as reading at 4th grade level. Of course I think that she is a bright girl, but I have also volunteered in the class & at least 1/4 - 1/3 of the rest of the class is right about at the same spot that she is in reading. I'd want to know how he compares to the rest of the kindergarteners in the school & be pretty convinced that he is well above almost all of the other kindergarteners before I would choose to skip a grade this early.<br><br>
Of course, I did take the route of starting both of my girls (my youngest starts kg in the fall) right when they were eligible & they will always be the youngest in their classes (they both make the cut-off by just a few days). So, I do understand not wanting your child to be bored b/c that was exactly my concern with holding them out as many other parents in our district seem to have done. I'm just no help at all :LOL !
 

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My dd learned to read at 4, and hated kindergarten with a passion, because she found it so patronizing and boring: ("Mom! They're teaching us colors! I've known colors since I was 2!") In the middle of first grade, when she was ready to quit school because she hated it so badly, we moved her up to second grade. She made the transition just fine, and she is a summer baby, so she was "young" for her grade anyway. She's in third now, and I have to admit that she's still bored, but she's less bored than she would be otherwise!!<br><br>
Sometimes moving up really is the right option.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>JenniferH</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Maybe you can push for and IEP (individualized education plan)? I don't think they are just for developmentally disabled children. If youget an IEP for a DD child, the school HAS to accomodate him. I don't see why it should be any different for a gifted or advanced student...if the standard program isn't working for the student.</div>
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Do you know anything about special education? Because only slow (challenged? What's the right word?) children have federal mandates backing up their needs. Gifted children get help on a hit-and-miss basis. If you asked for an IEP for a gifted child, the school officials would just laugh at you.
 

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hey, I just wanted to add for the OP, that I was also very socially mature for my age. I always have had older friends and it was no different when I was a little kid. This is as big a consideraion as any. I would have gotten along much better with older kids-- but some kids might be left out if they are significantly younger than their classmates. That wouldn't have been an issue for me.
 

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I have to agree with the others who say don't advance...especially not at this grade level. But you know your child best, and perhaps like the above poster your child would thrive in this situation.<br><br>
This a topic that has been talked about often in our house. My 4th grader has a reading comprehension that, as of the last test, was at an 11th/12th grade level. Our 1st grader tests several grade levels above as well. Needless to say, they are not challenged enough. Yet, we never felt comfortable moving them forward a grade due to the social aspects others talked about here.<br><br>
I agree with what another poster said about trying to get an iep for a higher achieving student...it's hard.<br><br>
I have spent the better part of this school year advocating for these types of students in my school district...attending/speaking at board meetings, gifted and talented meetings and so on. Even with friends who work in the district at levels that should matter, I get the run around.<br><br>
I supplement at home, in a very relaxed way and it's pretty much child led. I have made the decision to give homeschooling a chance for the coming school year, and I'm hoping it will work out...even if it's just temporary until we can figure out something else for them.
 

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I can't speak to what will be best for your child.... but I can share my own experience with you. I skipped a grade and have always wished my parents hadn't made that decision for me. If I could go back and change one thing about my life, that would be it.<br><br>
Of course my parents did it with the best of intentions - I was reading far above grade level and was often bored in school - but the difficulty it caused me once I hit jr. high and high school was significant. My birthday is at the beginning of Sept, so I was always the youngest in my class to begin with - add the skipped grade, and I was 2+ years younger than my classmates. That didn't matter much in 2nd or 4th grade ... but when I became a very short 8th grader with no breasts, a high school senior who couldn't drive, a college senior who couldn't go to a bar - it mattered a <b>lot</b> to me then. I always swore I'd never put my kids ahead in school no matter how academically advanced they were.<br><br>
My brother also skipped grades - two, in fact - and he is still upset with my parents for it. (Yes, he should be over it by now, but.... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: ) He was always too small to play school sports with his peers, and was the "short kid" whom none of the girls wanted to date. Not being old enough to drive in high school was even tougher for him than for me - something about boys and cars and all that, I guess....<br><br>
Good luck with your decision, I know it's gotta be a tough one. My feeling is, there is so much more to life than school. Intellectual challenges happen all the time, not just from 8-3, Monday through Friday - and smart kids will seek them out on their own if they're not getting them at school. It's no fun being bored in school, but it's even less fun feeling like you don't quite fit in.
 

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Just chiming in to say I was another who skpped an early grade and don't consider it helpful. For me, I was still way ahead of my class academically, bored and undisciplined and restless AND way out of place socially as well.<br><br>
I know that keeping your ds at grade level creates problems, also. I just think skipping is unlikely to be a solution that will meet his needs. FWIW I was in the same boat w/my dd and found it frustrating. I wasn't considering skipping, because I knew she would have trouble with some of the behavior expectations and was simply not interested. Also, she was already the youngest in the class, with a birthday about 2 weeks before the cutoff. However, she was academically several years ahead, and we ended up homeschooling for four years. This year she will try returning to public school.
 

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After reading some of the replys, I thought I should clarify one thing. When I skipped a grade (6th), it was MY decision and I was emotionally mature enough to make that decision. My parents did not make it for me. (I think that might have been part of the reason why they choose to wait until 6th grade rather than elementary school). We used to drive about 50 minutes each way 3 times a week for dance and music lessons. I can distinctly remember sitting in the front seat of the car discussing the pros and cons for probably the 20th time that month of skipping and mom saying to me:<br><br>
"Ultimately, its your choice. You have to live with the results and if you skip a grade, you can't go back. There are teachers who think I'm pushy and you aren't as bright as I think you are and thus will make this transition difficult for you. There are students who are going to tease you more than they already do. In three years, the kids in the grade above you will be driving and you won't be. Dad and I aren't going to change our positition about not dating until 16 just because you skipped a grade. But, I know you are unhappy and bored in the current situation. So, you need to think about it and make a decision in the next two weeks so we can start the 2nd semester in either 6th or 7th grade and stick with it. Dad and I will support and help you either way."<br><br>
After about a week, I chose to go for it. The next few times I complained, Mom gnetly reminded me that I had made a choice and that yes, it was tough, but I had to live with the results. She would then ask me about the good things that had come from me skipping as a way to prompt a balanced view of the current situation. It wasn't long before I was doing so myself. So, when I REALLY wanted to go to homecomming my Junior year and couldn't due to the house rules, I reminded myself that it was MY choice and that overall it had been a positive choice.<br><br>
Maybe thats another reason to see if you can't put it off through elementary school and buy yourself some time until your child can make a more informed choice for himself. After all, thats what AP / GD is all about... following the child's lead without pushing or pulling.
 
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