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    Joined: May 2011
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    I am new to this area of Profound giftedness. We have been reading and discussing a lot since DS' WSCI result came out.

    The more I read, the more unsure I am about what to do next.
    A lot of kids at his intellectual level have been accelerated at least one grade level, should I talk to school at the beginning of new school year about this? I am not even sure if I can convince myself... DS7 is not mature at all... His best friends are same age boys who are also super smart. He gets along with older boys, but maturity level is obviously not the same. I am afraid it won't be suitable socially even if school agrees to let him skip. ( yes, despite numerous studies reassuring grade skipping is a good thing academically and socially for kids, I am still not convinced)

    Here is also the reality: our district has not allowed one single grade skip in maybe 10 years. Last year, the district tested a seven year old boy who is learning maybe 7th grade math with his dad. The result was no grade skipping,but a few more hours of enrichment classes.

    But If I don't do anything, I feel like failing my child.






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    What state are you in?

    ETA: I see it's Illinois. This law says that school districts have to make a plan whereby children will be "grouped and instructed in order to maximize the educational benefits the children derive from participation in the program, including curriculum modifications and options that accelerate and add depth and complexity to the curriculum content". There's also apparently an appeals process, etc.

    http://law.onecle.com/illinois/105ilcs5/14A-30.html

    Now, acceleration could mean subject acceleration-- but it seems like they have to do something reasonable. Perhaps subject acceleration would fit well for your son anyway at this stage, especially with your worries about maturity.

    I know it's probably going to make you uncomfortable, but I'd start the discussions, yes.


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    I guess I fit that description. My district had sporadic enrichment programs some years while I was growing up. There was some talk of me skipping from 2nd to 3rd grade, but I was in a multi-age class anyway, and I couldn't catch a ball. My perception as a child was that the ball was the deciding factor, but who knows? In 4th grade, I was all out of multi-age classrooms and got stuck in elementary when all my friends moved on to the middle school.

    Later, when we actually had a gifted program and I was in 6th grade, they decided that the 6th grade gifted class would not be stimulating enough for me, so they put me in the 8th grade gifted class, but left me in all my 6th grade classes the rest of the week!

    Even as a child, I knew this was too little, too late. My schoolwork had never been challenging, my work habits were abysmal, and I struggled unsuccessfully to fit in for years. My situation was made slightly worse by living in rural Appalachia. When I got a scholarship to the selective liberal arts college of my dreams, a relative said she was glad I was up there learning a trade, so I could make something of myself.

    In college, I really enjoyed getting average grades and having a social life. I was doing the social and emotional work most kids get to do in high school, and it definitely impacted my GPA. In graduate school, my grades were much better.

    Work has been difficult, since I often find that I am much better educated than my bosses. I do get bored with jobs easily, and have rarely held the same job for more than a couple of years. Several years ago, I left a job with high pay and prestige to become a teacher. There are plenty of intellectual challenges in this field, but I do tend to let the boring tasks--like grading--pile up. After several years, I finally got to teach the subject I love in a functional school, and they are starting to give me leadership positions like department chair.

    That's been my experience.

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    I developed this little exercise--call it Fantasy Middle School, if you like--to spark a discussion between my sister and my niece. My sister says it was a good discussion that taught her some things she didn't know about her child. Maybe it will help you!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I want you to imagine a middle school, called Flexible Middle School. Like most middle schools, Flexible has some required classes, and some electives.

    Requirements:
    literature (reading)
    composition (writing)
    math
    social studies
    lab sciences

    Unlike most middle schools, you do have some choices about how you structure your class schedule. I will present you a list of options, and you will tell me which required classes you would prefer to take under these options, and why. You can also choose to do no classes under each option.

    At Flexible Middle School, you are more likely to get your choices if you have a well-explained reason, so it makes sense to explain the reasons for the choices that are most important to you.

    1. Flexible Middle School allows you to choose two Short Classes. In other words, students spend the bigger part of their class time working independently, but the time spent in these classes is shorter. Are there any classes you would prefer to take as Short Classes?�

    2. In Accelerated Classes at Flexible Middle School, students are allowed to take classes aimed at higher grade levels (e.g. 6th graders may take classes with 7th or 8th grade level work). Students in these classes may be older, the same age, or even younger than you, but they are all capable of the work that is given. Some of them will end up finishing Flexible Middle School a year earlier. Others will just take more elective classes and finish at the regular time. Are there any required classes you would prefer to take as Accelerated Classes?

    3. In Tutorials, students are given tough problems or projects to work on independently. Students spend most days in the library or the computer lab, finishing their assignments on their own, and meet once a week with a teacher to get help, suggestions, feedback, and new assignments. Are there any required classes you would prefer to take as Tutorials?

    4. In Enriched Core, students spend about half the class proving they can meet the required benchmarks for the class. They spend the other half of the class learning about interesting, related topics that the teacher normally never gets to cover. The teacher also takes requests from the students about topics they'd like to be introduced and discussed in class. Are there any required subjects you would like to take as Enriched Core?

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    Hi Grace, I have 11 yo twins who just finished elementary school with no skips. Both kids would be excellent candidates for grade skips in many ways. Both received very high scores on the Explore test when they were in 4th grade, along with other indicators they are both hg+.

    Reasons we have not pushed for skips:

    1. Dd and ds are not unhappy. This by itself would not be sufficient. In addition, they have been learning, perhaps not as much as if they had been skipped, but enough to face some challenge and develop study skills.

    2. They were in a good environment at their elementary school for developing social skills. Our kids have not been advanced beyond their years in the area of maturity, perhaps even a bit behind other kids their age. They have come a long way and I am now comfortable with them entering middle school in the fall.

    3. The teacher-student ratio will drop significantly when they start middle school, so we had an incentive to keep them in an environment where we knew they would get more individual attention.

    4. While there were no gifted programs or pull-outs at their elementary, the school has a focus on in-class differentiation, which really did work pretty well for the most part.

    5. We have supplemented with music lessons and on-line courses through NUMATS.

    6. From my own observations back when I was a college student at a small, elite college, there are pitfalls associated with going off to college at a very young age - it works for some but is not a perfect solution for every kid. I'd rather my kids start college at 17-18 yo with a head start on the college curriculum.

    7. We happen to be zoned for a middle school that has *some* mechanisms for accommodation. For example, this coming year in 6th grade, our kids have been placed in Honors Algebra I for math, in a section with only 6th and 7th graders (no 8th graders).

    Our kids are thriving, and I think they would have also done fine with a skip or two. Whether or not to skip can be a hard call. For our kids, I have no regrets about not skipping, at least for now.

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    D16 is PG, and has not skipped. She goes to a private independent school. There were some social reasons we did not seek to skip her, and also some executive function issues (diagnosed last year as a non-verbal learning disability). We have done a lot of supplementing in the summers (language camps, gifted day camps, etc); she is at Davidson THINK right now, and I think the torrid pace is her favorite part of it.

    If I have regrets, they are not about skipping, but more about whether we should have moved her to one of the other private schools in town a few years ago (more AP classes offered, a faster pace for the top kids). But she is relatively content, and seems to be handling the social and organization issues much better this year in preparation for college.

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    Originally Posted by amylou
    Hi Grace, I have 11 yo twins who just finished elementary school with no skips. Both kids would be excellent candidates for grade skips in many ways. Both received very high scores on the Explore test when they were in 4th grade, along with other indicators they are both hg+.

    Reasons we have not pushed for skips:

    1. Dd and ds are not unhappy. This by itself would not be sufficient. In addition, they have been learning, perhaps not as much as if they had been skipped, but enough to face some challenge and develop study skills.

    2. They were in a good environment at their elementary school for developing social skills. Our kids have not been advanced beyond their years in the area of maturity, perhaps even a bit behind other kids their age. They have come a long way and I am now comfortable with them entering middle school in the fall.

    3. The teacher-student ratio will drop significantly when they start middle school, so we had an incentive to keep them in an environment where we knew they would get more individual attention.

    4. While there were no gifted programs or pull-outs at their elementary, the school has a focus on in-class differentiation, which really did work pretty well for the most part.

    5. We have supplemented with music lessons and on-line courses through NUMATS.

    6. From my own observations back when I was a college student at a small, elite college, there are pitfalls associated with going off to college at a very young age - it works for some but is not a perfect solution for every kid. I'd rather my kids start college at 17-18 yo with a head start on the college curriculum.

    7. We happen to be zoned for a middle school that has *some* mechanisms for accommodation. For example, this coming year in 6th grade, our kids have been placed in Honors Algebra I for math, in a section with only 6th and 7th graders (no 8th graders).

    Our kids are thriving, and I think they would have also done fine with a skip or two. Whether or not to skip can be a hard call. For our kids, I have no regrets about not skipping, at least for now.

    I totally agree. I prefer advanced curriculum in their grades. I felt that education is the marathon event and sprinting all the way may not be a good idea. But all depends on the kids and their environment, I suppose. If the kids are happy in their environment and we can still give them challenges/stimulation with advance curriculum, why shouldn't we keep them where they are happy. But if the kids are frustrated/bored (especially leading to behavioral probelems, emotional distress) definitely need a change.

    I guess different strokes for different folks. (But I do reserve to change my sentiment if I see my DDs get frrustrated with the class/school.) eek

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    DS10 couldn't be mainstreamed in a regular public school program because he was so out there intellectually but (IMO) not socially & emotionally mature enough to be skipped during the early grades.

    We've always enrolled DS10 in gifted schools that accelerate but keep the kids with age peers so we've never done a full grade skip. From K-3 he was in a program that accelerated him 3 yrs in math & reading, 1 yr for the rest & he was with his age peers. In his new school he does have a grade skip for math + acceleration (to equal a 3 yr acceleration) and he really enjoyed being with the older kids last year. At this point i would consider a grade skip for him but not when he was younger.

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    In reading posts from people whose kids have skipped grades, a common thread is that they develop ADD or problems with executive functioning, etc. Obviously, many kids who skip do very well and it's a great option.
    However, there are probably also quite a few kids who emotionally are not able to handle the skip. They may handle it as you skip them into second grade but then when they are young 7th graders (etc.), they can't handle the huge homework load, the need to take notes quickly, the importance of filling out boring worksheets correctly.
    I've asked this before- I wonder how many grade skippers end up in the top 10% of their high school class by GPA? (Not to say that GPA is the final metric to measure someone but I would guess that some grade skippers lose out ultimately by skipping).

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    Originally Posted by CFK
    It really is almost meaningless to try to plan a child's academic progression based on what worked for another child with an arbitrary label of PG. All you can do is focus on your individual child and make the environment that he is in work to his advantage the best that you can.

    I agree. It is all very dependent on the particular kid's unique situation. For my DS7, he needed a skip in our local school system, because it would have been too difficult to differentiate for him if he stayed with agemates. It turned out to be too difficult even with a skip, and we finally moved him to a school for HG kids. This is working much better (skip plus advanced class). We likely would have had to do another skip in our local school system if we had stayed, and we didn't want to.

    I think the main issues for our kid in a non-GT school were the too-slow pace of learning and lack of intellectual peers. Even with a grade skip, these issues remained. He's only had half a year of the HG school, but that worked great so far. If the local school had even one other kid who was working at a similar pace, I think things would have been more workable.

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