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Should I allow my daughter to skip 4th grade?


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pkesmom December 29, 2008


My daughter is currently a 3rd grader in a charter school in a 2/3 grade mix. Previous to this year, she was in full day private school from preschool (age 2). She has always excelled in all subjects and her current class is not challenging enough for her. I have spoken with her teacher who is hinting at recommending my daughter skip 4th grade. I am researching the pros and cons, but am hoping to get some advice from this site as well. Thanks!

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Mamagamer December 29, 2008


This is a really tough decision to make. You would have to look at her socially, emotionally, and not just academically. Is she mature enough to handle being in 5th grade at her age, and being exposed to diff. things. What would the benefits be for her to skip a grade, and the cons? Could she go to 4th grade but be in an advanced class that challenges her? Would she miss out on just being a kid, which is important today.

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healthy11 December 29, 2008


I skipped a grade (middle of third to middle of fourth) and the only regret I had was my parents not having done it when I was younger...By 4th grade, many friendships had been formed, and I was considered an "outsider." (Of course, I was so advanced compared to the 3rd graders I'd left, that I didn't really have any close friends there, either.)
Once I got to high school, and people didn't know my background, I was able to "blossom" and nobody made a big deal out of my being younger, except when other kids were taking driver's ed, and I had to explain why I wasn't. Some of my best friends, even to this day, were friends I made in my H.S. Honors classes.

I know not everyone agrees with me, and here's a recent discussion where some other people tried to express their views: community.greatschools.net/q-and-a/231816/How-can-my-daughter-skip-a-grade

If your daughter isn't being challenged now, why bother to have her finish 3rd where she is? Could she move to 4th right away? In any case, you might want to join Greatschools Gifted Parents Group at http://community.greatschools.net/groups/11537

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pkesmom December 29, 2008


Mamagamer: Thanks for your answer. Those are some of the things I am struggling with . One of the reasons "for" it is that her birthday is in Feb and the cut off for Kindergarten was December, so she started K a year later. So by the time she started K (which was full time), she already new numbers, reading, etc. And she's been in private school for all but 1st grade (that was a HUGE mistake). She's now in a charter school.... Anyhow, thanks for your input!

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pkesmom December 29, 2008


healthy11: Thanks so much for your input! I will definitely be visiting the links you provided. I'm agreeing with you last comment on why wait until next year. I'm going to talk with her principal after the first of the year to see if I can't move her up now. Thanks again for the help!

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carvell04 December 30, 2008


It sounds like she is not going to be that much younger than her peers, if you move her up. I think if your child is gifted, then she needs to have the chance to flourish academically. Yes, there are certain things you need to address, such as her maturity level when all her other peers are dating and driving. I would rather my child skip a grade and excel, rather than being bored and not stimulated or challenged. Just my opinion.

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GardenJen December 31, 2008


I think you should look at the future more than the present. Personally, I would not want to parent a teenager who has graduated from high school at 16. This happened to my co-worker and now she has to send her 16 year old to college and she is not mature enough yet for that. I don't that skipping one grade would really challenge her academically if she really is that smart. I think you should find ways to enrich her learning in the classroom. The charter school is probably not as advanced as the private school was, so if you put her in private school again (assuming that's an option) that may change your perspective. My daughter is also a 'gifted' learner, but she still needs to be taught items. Think about what your child will miss. Personally, 4th grade is a huge jump from 3rd grade. They do all of the California Missions History, etc. and there is a lot of depth and enjoyment in the assignments in the 4th grade that she may not want to miss. From my personal experience, I think skipping grades doesn't help gifted learners. Some people learn fast, but they still have to be taught the subjects. When you skip that doesn't happen.

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pkesmom December 31, 2008


GardenJen- thanks for the input. Good food for thought and some of the issues I've been considering.

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curlysue December 31, 2008


My daughter advanced a grade. In her 1st grade year she was promoted to 2nd grade in the second semester. We haven't had any academic problems. She remains on A honor roll. Her birthday fell short only by a couple of months though. Currently in the 7th grade she continues to excell.

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eekmod January 1, 2009


I'm so glad I happened across this! We are also thinking of having our daughter skip the rest of 4th grade. She's been at a small private school until now, and she has literally already done the entire public school 4th grade curriculum! Except for the CA Missions section, that is. She's really bored. We're going to talk to her teacher and principal this week.
I say if she's socially okay, let her do it! Middle school might be weird if she is smaller or more undeveloped than her peers; my daughter is emotionally closer to older kids than her age kids, plus she's tall, so we think it'll be all right.
We also kept my son out of K for an extra year because he is a Nov. baby and we felt too immature-- chronological age doesn't always take precedence in which grade is appropriate for the child.

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cabmom January 2, 2009


Did she recieve full exposure to 3rd grade material given she was in a 2/3? Perhaps she was bored reviewing 2nd grade material. Third grade is considered critical, fourth grade is a strong review of first through third, think of it as making sure students have the basics before entering the upper grades. For that reason some consider it an acceptable grade to skip. New writing concepts (the basics for essay writing) are taught in the 4th grade. Consider her age, is she young for third grade or closer to her fourth grade peers? Maturity can be a huge issue in developing and maintaining friendships. Also consider her size. If she is extremely small for her age it may be uncomfortable for her. Get the opinion of people who are familiar with her, family, friends, doctors etc. If you do decide to skip her spend some time over the summer working on writing paragraphs.



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