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    #247409 - 07/27/20 10:22 PM Re: How bad is the social aspect of grade skipping? [Re: aeh]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1638
    Loc: Australia
    Originally Posted By: aeh
    Likewise, while DC has long been described as unusually mature, early on (K-3 grade age), DC actually was described as unusually immature in behavior. Curiously, this was where being young for grade was interpreted generously. One teacher in fifth grade (two years young for grade) commented to me that sometimes immature behaviors were observed, but then she would remind herself that this was expected--and thus not problematic--because of DC's actual age. Which speaks to how critical the adult response to acceleration is. The same behavior could easily have been interpreted by a different teacher as "proof" that acceleration was inappropriate and potentially harmful to social development. In this case, I think our child also picked up some not-wholly-deserved benefit of the doubt, as DC has also consistently ticked many of the boxes for ADHD (formally undiagnosed). (It does help that this placement was the result of a school-initiated simultaneous whole-grade skip with additional SSA, with the backing of the school administrator.)


    The perception of a child's maturity is SO vulnerable to the eye of the beholder. And to the impact of the environment. Probably more so the younger the child is.

    I have had discussions with both the most senior child psychiatrist in our state and an excellent psychologist, where they started talking about how socially advanced, mature, etc my child was. How inarguable, how obvious for all to see... What a delight to talk to. That there was a terrible risk of forgetting how young they were, that if you were to talk on the phone you would not realise you were not talking to an adult (if it were not for the age appropriate voice).

    And we have had to point out how interesting it is that they say that because teachers say "Immature, lacks social skills, lacks independence, unable to function etc" and have questioned the ed psych evaluation. Both times these highly qualified professionals have blinked at us before trying to reply to that.

    Miraca Gross's research purports to have shown the positive impact of acceleration AND the negative impact of failure to do so. And also clearly demonstrates that this only works where both school leadership and teachers are supportive. I wonder how much just the genuine support makes a huge difference.

    Maybe there are other ways to move a very gifted child through school than acceleration, but ANY successful model will require genuine belief and support from leadership and teachers and across the entire span of those measures being applied. Successful outcomes, maybe more for some kids than others, require a belief that gifted kids exist, that levels of giftedness exist, a propensity to actually LIKE and enjoy those children and an ability to have flexible approaches in a fundamentally inflexible system.

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    #247410 - 07/28/20 06:19 AM Re: How bad is the social aspect of grade skipping? [Re: MumOfThree]
    Eagle Mum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/24/20
    Posts: 53
    Loc: Australia
    For my DS, it was these factors and mutual respect. Most teachers admitted, one way or another, that they had not taught a student like him before, so they supported rather than tried to lead him. He followed the class routine as much as possible (which was really good for his social development) but they gave him a lot of room to differentiate the material.

    Occasionally, when his regular teachers were away, well meaning substitutes would give him advanced or extension material which he would respectfully complete but then bemoan to me that they might as well have just given him regular class content as all the materials were so basic, so I got the strong impression that his regular teachers really did give him almost full autonomy.

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    #247411 - 07/28/20 10:11 AM Re: How bad is the social aspect of grade skipping? [Re: Eagle Mum]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3661
    Those teachers are rare finds, but at the same time, the potential to be that exemplary teacher is within the grasp of most at least average teachers, if given the administrative backing and professional development supports to do so. Eagle Mum, the likelihood of your DS chancing upon a string of near-ideal teachers all the way through school is rather low...yet it happened. I would imagine that what actually occurred is that his first one or two teachers were unusually child-led and perceptive, allowed him just the right combination of freedom and support, and then created an expectation that each teacher communicated to subsequent teachers.

    One of my sibs stayed in the same grade (at parent request) for multiple years because that teacher was willing to teach to the instructional needs of the student, whatever they were, and allowed a great deal of autonomy to a curious, autodidactic child.

    I agree that whole-grade acceleration is not necessarily the perfect solution for any, let alone for every HG+ learner, which is partly why we have homeschooled each of our children for at least a few years, and addressed age-peer socialization outside of formal schooling. It (along with SSA) is, however, among the most practical solutions to balancing school resource constraints and HG+ learner needs under our current institutional models. Not without costs, obviously. It's just a question of what and where those costs are, and whether the tradeoffs are worth the benefits for this particular child and family, given the other options.
    _________________________
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    #247413 - 07/28/20 03:50 PM Re: How bad is the social aspect of grade skipping? [Re: aeh]
    Eagle Mum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/24/20
    Posts: 53
    Loc: Australia
    Yes, his kindergarten teacher was a wonderful individual. DH remarked several times to me that he could picture her, in a different era, as the ‘wise elder of the village’.

    I suspect the other major influence was a senior teacher who never actually formally taught DS. Over here, our education system includes Yr 5 & 6 opportunity classes (OC) in one public school per district which enrol students from anywhere through a competitive exam process. Although not involved with teaching early primary students, the senior OC teacher took an interest in DS from the start of kindergarten and would chat to him at lunch breaks (I once saw one of DS’s original origami creations reproduced and displayed by this teacher’s entire class). This teacher ran all the enrichment programs (maths comp, chess team, school band, cross country training) at the school & DS was an asset in all of them. DS was eventually only in the classes taught by the other OC teacher during his upper primary years, but just before he retired, the senior teacher confided to me that with over twenty years of experience teaching gifted children, DS stood out as extraordinarily gifted.

    For me, his Grade 4 teacher stood out. With a reputation as a very prickly personality, most students fervently hoped to avoid having her as a teacher. She and DS developed a strong mutual respect and fondness.

    To his credit, DS is a team player. I’ve watched him give his all to enable his relay team to win, knowing it would be detrimental to his performance in the ensuing race which was his favourite & best solo event. These sorts of sacrifices endear him to both teachers & students.


    Edited by Eagle Mum (07/29/20 03:56 PM)

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    #247429 - 07/31/20 11:27 PM Re: How bad is the social aspect of grade skipping? [Re: bethanyc3]
    Aufilia Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/25/14
    Posts: 336
    Loc: Washington
    My son skipped Kindergarten and has always been the youngest in his grade. He's a bit taller than average for his age so he's never stuck out size-wise, though I suspect there will be a year in middle school when others will shoot up ahead of him and he'll be "short" for awile. His being "young" for his grade has only been a problem when it's a problem in his teacher's head. He had 2 teachers in first who were job-sharing, and one of them was hugely angsty about him all year, and the other thought everything was fine. In 2nd and 3rd, he had male teachers who were positive about him and felt he was placed very well. In 4th and 5th, he had the same teacher who continually mentions how YOUNG he is, even though in 5th he was in the middle grade of a 3-grade split and about a quarter of the class was younger, but she had it firmly in her head that he was YOUNG and was going to hold onto that idea like a bulldog with a stick. (This is one of the reasons I've taken advantage of the pandemic to request to transfer him to an online program in our neighboring district -- otherwise he'll likely have the same teacher for the 3rd year in a row!)

    My daughter was accelerated from 7th grade up to high school, where she was placed into 2 classes filled mostly with 10th graders. She is quite short for her age and she's Autistic, so she is NOT socially adept and not really mature for her age. But in many ways the high school was socially easier for her. The 10th graders were less resentful of someone who was obviously an outlier than her age-peers were. She got along with her honors chem lab group and the other chem students seemed to like her well enough. Several times she came home with random things she'd been gifted by some other high school kid in chem, like a funny t-shirt that is exactly the sort of thing you'd buy her if you knew her. The only social complaint she voiced was that other students in chem always wanted to know her test score after every chapter test and she couldn't figure out how to politely not tell them. I think it's helpful that because she's young, and Autistic, and the only kid moving between schools, the school was careful to place her with teachers who had a good attitude about having a young student. Her Chinese class has also been a spectcular experience with a teacher who was willing to take a chance on her (DD entered Chinese midway through the school year into a class that was already overflowing but the teacher was excited to have a student who was "seeking challenge"). We did ELA outside the public school last year because the high school english teacher had a lousy attitude about having her, and imo teacher attitude is everything.


    Edited by Aufilia (07/31/20 11:31 PM)

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    #247434 - 08/01/20 08:45 PM Re: How bad is the social aspect of grade skipping? [Re: Aufilia]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1638
    Loc: Australia
    Quote:
    The 10th graders were less resentful of someone who was obviously an outlier than her age-peers were.


    Miraca Gross notes in her research that she found children where less likely to be disliked or offend their teachers with their “young”-ness when there was 2+ yrs of acceleration.

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    #247436 - 08/01/20 08:59 PM Re: How bad is the social aspect of grade skipping? [Re: MumOfThree]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3661
    I'd agree with this data anecdotally, too. Socially, my first grade skip was the hardest (technically early entry), although not until around second grade, I think. That was the only one that involved not-nice behavior from peers. The remaining skips all may have had some mild awkwardness, but no one being mean.
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    #247438 - 08/01/20 09:47 PM Re: How bad is the social aspect of grade skipping? [Re: Aufilia]
    Eagle Mum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/24/20
    Posts: 53
    Loc: Australia
    Two years ago, the school’s robotics programming dream team comprised two 11th graders and four 8th graders (even though students of any age could also have joined). There was great mutual respect - each individual made a positive contribution. The senior students led but they acknowledged that the young ones played their part checking codes and brainstorming. They did really well in comps against schools with bigger & older teams.

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    #247449 - 08/11/20 07:40 AM Re: How bad is the social aspect of grade skipping? [Re: bethanyc3]
    Lorens Offline
    New Member

    Registered: 08/06/20
    Posts: 1
    I dont think its bad. In our time people can study at home.

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