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    #47935 - 05/20/09 12:28 PM Grade skip wobbles!
    Tiz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/15/09
    Posts: 215
    We had our meeting with the Head yesterday and DH and I were told that the decision was up to us.

    We have been considering three options:

    (a) Leave DS with his age group (going into Year 3) and give him differentiated lessons. This is what they have done this year, with varying success. He has had a lot of individual tuition (Math, English and an additional language), but he has also had timetable instability and teachers cancelling because they have other commitments. We have been very grateful for all the extra effort that the teachers have put in and we understand that they have other commitments, but when DS doesnít get his special lessons he finds school untenably boring.

    (b) In September let DS join the year above (Year 4), but acknowledging that he will still need all the differentiated lessons.

    (c) In September let DS join two years above (i.e. Year 5 instead of Year 3). DS has done trial classes in English and Math with the children from this year group and it went smoothly for him Ė although he has only done one of each. He came home beaming and really loved the lessons and told us that he enjoyed using his brain. My only concern is that DS is already fairly young for his year (only just 7) and that in September some of his classmates are going to be turning 10! They will let DS do games (sport) with his year group if the timetable allows for it, and I am worried about this aspect of the skip as DS enjoys his sport.

    The Head is fantastic and said that nothing is ďset in stoneĒ, if it is not working we can change what we are doing (yes I know that we should clone her!). She is very helpful, but ultimately the decision is up to us. Following lots of discussion DH and I have decided on the rather drastic option (c). I am desperately worried about social issues and fitting in, but DS has no good friends and just mingles with the crowd at recess anyway. DS dislikes school and leaving me in the morning, and to him the only bit of school that he enjoys is the academics, so when that isnít working he finds it very hard. We think that he will cope well in this age group from a work point of view, but there are obviously going to be a few glitches. I donít think that he is at an age when he feels the need to be top of everything, but saying that I am not sure how he will react if he isnít or if he starts struggling. The school are very supportive and I know that things can be changed but I worry anyway!

    I am interested to hear all your opinions and experiences. This has been on the cards for us for a long time and I feel is inevitable, but I donít want to make any wrong decisions and mess up his life because of it (not that Iím putting myself under any pressure!)...

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    #47936 - 05/20/09 12:39 PM Re: Grade skip wobbles! [Re: Tiz]
    Ania Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/07/06
    Posts: 802
    Loc: Home :)
    TIZ - I do not know your entire story, but please remember that gifted kids will always be at the top of the class, no matter how drastically you accelerate them (generalization). My 8th grader is taking college calc right now and guess what - top of the class...at least the class is moving at a "good" speed, for him anyway, since it is a fast paced summer class.

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    #47940 - 05/20/09 01:04 PM Re: Grade skip wobbles! [Re: Ania]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: Ania
    TIZ - I do not know your entire story, but please remember that gifted kids will always be at the top of the class, no matter how drastically you accelerate them (generalization).


    LOL - this wasn't true for us, at least for the first 2 years. But I still applaud you for trying the 2 year jump. As you say, the only thing he gets out of school is academics, it really helps to put him where he is happy. I think that a happy kid is easier to get along with, for parents, for teachers and for classmates.

    How long did those trial classes last? a single class? the whole year? I would do it anyway, but if the trials were over a month or two, then I wouldn't even worry a bit.

    We'll be here for the bumps!
    grinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #47941 - 05/20/09 01:27 PM Re: Grade skip wobbles! [Re: Grinity]
    marieg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/09
    Posts: 112
    I would want a trial longer than one class. At least 4 weeks. The novelty of having a 7 yr old amongst 10 year olds wears off after a while and you get to see better the real interaction.

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    #47974 - 05/21/09 03:00 AM Re: Grade skip wobbles! [Re: marieg]
    Tiz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/15/09
    Posts: 215
    Thanks for your thoughts! The trial classes were only one-offs, although DS has been allowed to do clubs (involving Math & thinking puzzles etc) with the older children and has been observed in these too. He has been working at this level (and above in Math), but only in his individual tuition.

    When I asked DS how it was with the older children he said that he didn't really notice (I don't think that there was much novelty value there for him), only that the lessons were so much more interesting and that he wished he could go to them all the time.

    The school are very supportive and will do everything that they can to make the transition smooth for him. We are obviously worried about the social/emotional aspects, but DS seems to prefer older company anyway (he will gravitate to older children or adults if given the chance). It is a huge jump to me (with some of the kids being almost 3 years older) but the school is very caring and the behaviour of the children seems very good so I am hoping that DS isn't given a hard time. One of the older boys came up to me in the cloakroom the other morning and said "did you know that you have a very clever son?" and then went off to his lessons, but it was all in a very nice way and made me think that hopefully he will be accepted and looked after by the older children smile

    We haven't told DS about the skip yet, the Head has asked us to wait a couple of weeks so that she can sort out who his "Home Room" teacher will be next year etc. - she wants to place him carefully so that he doesn't feel abandoned! We have floated the idea of a single grade skip with him before and he was receptive to that, but very nervous. Any ideas on how you all went about it would be great, i.e. do we tell him he can change back if he is not happy or do we not give him an opt out in case he hits a rough patch?

    What would I do without this forum...

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    #47976 - 05/21/09 03:38 AM Re: Grade skip wobbles! [Re: Tiz]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: Tiz
    One of the older boys came up to me in the cloakroom the other morning and said "did you know that you have a very clever son?" and then went off to his lessons, but it was all in a very nice way and made me think that hopefully he will be accepted and looked after by the older children smile


    This seems like about the best you could want for kids who are just getting to know him. As time goes by, I expect they will start to 'forget' his age and just enjoy him as a person, but even if they stick with the 'adopt his a Mascot' style, that's still better than being with age-mates who don't get your jokes. Some PG kids are wonderful and enjoy agemates very much, and free play after school with agemates can be deeply satisfying, but during there is something particular about 'in-school social interactions' where educational readiness level seems especially important, more than age or emotional maturity.

    Worry away - and go for it!

    Interesting question about 'do you give him an out.'

    I would be tempted to say: 'This is where the school thinks you need to be. How does that sound to you?'

    and 'Can you guess why this the school thinks this?'

    And follow up with - 'some kids don't like to let their parents know if things are hard at school, but you would tell me, right?'
    (I reinforce this when we are reading books like Harry Potter by having 'semi-humorous mini-tantrums' whenever the kids try to handle big stuff without asking for any adult help. I take every opportunity to point out that this is a literary device, rather than a guide to living.)

    I think that if he's been generally successful at school in the past, it's better not to have the 'opt out.' Afterall - no school placement is perfect. It will be interesting to see if he seems worried about if he can do it.

    Love and More Love,
    Grinity

    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #47990 - 05/21/09 06:52 AM Re: Grade skip wobbles! [Re: Grinity]
    Tiz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/15/09
    Posts: 215
    Thanks Grinity - you have plenty of sensible advice smile

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    #47997 - 05/21/09 08:12 AM Re: Grade skip wobbles! [Re: Tiz]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    id be fasinated to kown how you son responds to the above questions. smiles grin
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #48029 - 05/21/09 12:40 PM Re: Grade skip wobbles! [Re: Grinity]
    Tiz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 01/15/09
    Posts: 215
    We have been asked not to tell him for the next couple of weeks while they iron out all the details amongst the staff! I think that he must suspect something and we did casually mention a one year skip which he wasn't against, not sure if a 2 year skip will seem very scary to him (well it is to me!).

    We will definitely be able to tell if it isn't working as DS changes a lot when he is unhappy at school - in the past when he has been bored at school he has been intolerable at home. I think that the higher "base level" of work is really going to suit him. smile

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    #48040 - 05/21/09 02:22 PM Re: Grade skip wobbles! [Re: Tiz]
    ColinsMum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/08
    Posts: 1898
    Loc: Scotland
    I think in your place I'd be going for (c) too. Special lessons is all very well, but only if it reliably works. Good luck!
    _________________________
    Email: my username, followed by 2, at google's mail

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