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When should a child skip first grade?


sandcastle808 August 4, 2008

My daughter is already reading her 3rd grade brother's chapter books, and does math from a 2nd grade workbook I got her. She is very mature for her age, and I wonder if she needs first grade. I approached the principal, who says he doesn't beleive in skipping grades. should I persue this, and if so - how?

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1seremen August 4, 2008

This will be a difficult thing to do, but you can do it based on the interest of your daughter and family. How old is your daughter. What grade is she going to be in the fall. Do you have an extra time to help her with school work. Is she too big or small for her age. What do you think of or feel about skipping a grade. Do you have any experience or know people or family members who skipped grade(s). Is your daughter tested to skip a grade.You may explore the above questions and get back to me.

I struggled for two years before I allowed my daughter to skipped a grade. It was very difficult decision as many people strongly opposed it including my mother-law ( 35 years of teaching experience). Today, it is one of the best decisions of my life.

Good luck!


healthy11 August 5, 2008

Without having ever met your daughter, your description sounds like she could be ready for 2nd grade...I would be hesitant if you said that she was just smart, but because you also describe her as mature for her age, it sound to me like she could handle the challenge.

Although the principal says he doesn't believe in skipping grades, does that mean he won't ever allow it? You need to find out what your school district guidelines are for situations like your daughter's...Perhaps there is some kind of "exit test" that children take after 1st grade (at the very least, there should be some curriculum standards for what a child is expected to have learned) and if your daughter already knows those things, I would think you've got a strong case.

My parents argued with my school for 3 years to allow me to skip a grade, and they finally did it in the middle of 3rd grade, where after winter vacation I joined 4th grade. I survived, but by then many friendships had already formed, and I had a more difficult time socially. The academics were fine. If you are going to do it, I definitely think sooner is better than later....

You might be interested in joing the Gifted Group at


bigmidget August 14, 2008

We did just that this year with my son (although I wouldn't consider him mature for his age like your daughter). All through 1st grade he was doing both 1st and 2nd grade homework and we started talking about skipping him after the winter break. We discussed first with the teacher and principal and came up with a trial run in 2nd grade. He attended 1st grade in the morning and 2nd grade in the afternoon to help transition him into the class. After a week they moved him full-time into the 2nd grade class as he proved to the teacher that he could handle the materials and that he could adjust. I would highly recommend this type of transition. He finished out the year in 2nd grade (he switch over about 2-3 months before the end of school). It happened that this was right before the review for the STAR testing and we just got his scores from that test. He was still rated as a highly advanced 2nd grader (in 90th percentile). Don't think it would work for him to skip another level though due to his maturity level. So this year he will be in 3rd grade and we will see how it goes. My suggestion is talk to the teachers and the principal to tell them your concerns and why you want to skip (is she bored, complaining, etc.) Maybe a similar trial period work work for you or at least get them on board to see how it works.


prosediva August 17, 2008

This can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, you want your child to be challenged, but on the other - and this is where maturity is critical - you don't want her feeling "different" or being a social outcast because she is gifted. Believe me - as the parent of a 14 year old high school senior (yes, you read that correctly), I can tell you that being "ahead" can be much more stressful for a child than being bored in class. Social acceptance is very difficult for children who have skipped grades. You must weigh the benefits and risks carefully. If she isn't disrupting the classroom from boredom, I encourage you to keep her where she is.


Acora24 August 18, 2008

Alright, in all honesty. I'd say ask her what she wants.
I was never given a choice, Although, my parents thought I was smart. I completely lost everything I understood.
Sometimes they are ready, but ask her. If she wants the challenge. Go for it.
But if she seems hesitant.. Don't push


cozycoes August 18, 2008

I would see how she does in her first grade class before I make the decision of her skipping the first grade. If the first grade is not a challenge for her, that is when I would make the decision to promote her to the next grade. Try to also keep in mind the best interest for the child. We as parents sometimes have a tendency to want for the child what is best for us and not what is best for them.


nickey1 August 19, 2008

Consider how your daughter plays with others and how you as a parent will handle privleges in the future. Most parents either allow certain privleges by grade or by age. If your daughter is 14 and in the 10th or 11 th grade, others her age may be dating, will you allow this? Also look at her classmates, they can cause even more conflict because they are older than your daughter, maturity aside.
Myself, I started school a year early (my birthday was after Sept 1), and I had a hard time understanding that I could not take drivers ed, or date or anything like that with my class due to the fact that I was a year younger than them.
Remember education is not just in a classroom and books, so therefore those things must also be considered as well. Place your daughter in outside activites that will stimulate her mind and keep her attention. Gifted and talented programs also work well. Charter schools that cater to your daughter's needs are another option as well as montessori curriculums.


ydnewtt August 19, 2008

No, i feel as though no child should skip a grade. i feel that it is always better to know more than less. so as long as your daughter is learning and is above in her class then she will be recognized for her skills. my daughtr was the same way and now going to the second grade. her first grade year she has learned her weak and strong points. she was on principlce honor roll for 3 marking periods. her first marking period she recieved just honor roll. this was i have always known she was smart since pre-k. reading and writing since 21/2. so don't push her through, it may become difficult. build her self esteem with all the praise from being successful, and when those challenges arise you can better assist her with understanding exactly where she needs help. kids feel great when the teacher says in front of the class "you are very smart for your age". enjoy her growth and just except and appreciate your child is gifted and can learn.


Alaska August 20, 2008

I have researched this subject extensively although mine started with early entry into Kindergarten research. Skipping is universally (world wide research) one of the best ways to nurture a child with advanced intellect. We think nothing of doing it with sports but somehow freak out when the mind is involved. If you can afford it I would highly recommend a full psychological evaluation and IQ test using both the Wechslers and the Standford-Binet (which is better at catching certain ranges in young children). See someone who has experience with exceptional IQ ranges and the emotional needs of those children. I also suggest looking at SENG and NAGC websites (for gifted children) even if your child is not technically gifted but merely highly advanced some of those topics may apply. Each child is unique and there is no approach that is always right or always wrong. My sister entered college at 15 and is the most normal of all of us. All the children in my family skipped grades and have friends who did the same and we are in happy adults. My daughter ultimately did not skip but it is still on the table instead we chose to put her in a muti-grade classroom where she does 3rd grade math, 2nd grade reading and 4th grade science even though she just started the 1st grade. That's what worked best within our district. Having the psych eval and testing from day one helped shape the discussion with the school, district and teacher. It meant it wasn't just me advocating for my child anymore. The teacher has been great and has really gone out of her way to learn more about the unique needs of gifted children and help my daughter. It will be a difficult road as you can see from the many answers as society often doesn't get it, is misinformed and relying (in the US anyway) on an ideology formed in the 70's which was designed to take out the "uniqueness" of children and attempt to claim that all children fit in one rather small box. We don't apply this approach to anything else in the world why on earth would we apply it to our small forming children. Good luck to you - the more informed you are on the leading research in the area the more you will be able to lovingly educate some, overcome the headstrong nay sayers and ultimately have at least one or two people with whom you can help your daughter. Red shirting or and preventing her from excelling is overwhelmingly a disaster. Research actually shows that children are happier and have greater long term joy when they are challenged and when the content of their school work is slightly above their needs. Having things easier and being the best with little to no effort is not in our children's best interest even if it serves a parents short term pride goal. I'd rather have my daughter getting C's and working hard than getting A's for nothing. Her attitude comes from us and I want her to know mistakes and failures are okay if not we'd never have electricity or the car or medical cures (she's not gettting C's by the way but I'm doing the best I can to stimulate her). Hang in there.


ydnewtt August 20, 2008

I must say i do and do not agree with alaska, reasons being being. children do mature and grow differntly. however you may feel as though your child is smart and yes pay all that money for someone to give you the stamp of approval. what what really matters is not that your child is skipping a grade because he/she is smart but you as a parent at home also continuely teaching your child. i don't need a doctor or an IQ test that was not made for everyone, to tell me my child is smart. your child may know alot comparing to other kids around you or in the same areas. i do agree that yes do the research and evaluate the differences from children skipped and not skipped ahead. it really is no differnce. it does not make her less smart or smarter. and true some people do push their children for sports and things other than education. but that is not the childs fault that is the parents. in some cases in sports some parents do not let there children do sports they excel in unless they do good in school. i will not be happy with my daughter getting a c. why, because i no she is better than that and can do better than that and me pushing her ahead just for my own reasons would not be fair to her. yes we all want the best for our children and we feel that they can do more. we push them and it's all the same whether it is with smarts or sports. i applaud you for giving her more at home and pushing her more at home. also put her in extra curriculum activities such as reading groups, math groups and other things that help childrens minds stimulate. thats what it is about. my daughter tested 80% higher than the nation on math, reading and writing. which means that thre is 10% that scorred higher than her. which tells me that she still has room to grow each level in her life, grade by grade and the more that is learned it will be add to what she already knows. do not rush your child. if she is smart she will stay smart and become even smarter. you as mom/dad just ontinue to give her more from home along with what she knows and is taught in school. don't rush what you know is already there. compliment, reward, acknowledge and continue to teach your child. just because you are in college early does not make anyone smarter than someone who went late. college does not make you smart. graduation doesn't mean you are smart, it just means you have met the standards to move on and continue to the next level. just think, would she be able to be skipped if she was home schooled like they did before all these rules and guidlines began. so don't let any system tell you what you already know. when i went for a job and the lady interviewing me was using every big word in the dictionary. i know i am smart but felt less than because i didn't know what the heck she was talking about. i asked her with every word i did not understand to explain what she mean. she did. i did get the job and i now have her job and she is now the receptionist for the company with all her college degrees and big words. i have her positon plus moving up. so it is not the fact that you can play the part, but do you really have it. so be patient she will be great and reach her goals with your support from you. you know your child and her limits. when my daughter studied and she said she knows her spelling words front and back, great so i told her since she knows that, then she can learn the meaning and use them in sentences and in different ways. that was in pre-k and k. now when she does her homework, she automatically does it and not just what is asked, she now writes a page in a half story using the words given to her. math she is good in but struggles a bit. but still can do third grade math. she gets stuck with little things. it's not that she has to worry to much right now i know that she can do it and she knows. her teacher tutors her on free play. he ask his class who wants to skip free play and do extra, he calls it get ahead. my daughter choses to skip free play and do it until she get it. then she feels she wants to play. give her the option and not pressure. parents that is involved with kids growth, your child will automatically began to push herself to the limits and want to know more. i wish you the best. good luck

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