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    #205551 11/12/14 09:16 AM
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    Jodi C Offline OP
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    My son has been recently identified as gifted. Testing was requested by us due to behavior problems last year in grade 3, which we suspected was a result of restlessness/boredom. In grade 4, he is in a much more supportive environment for his learning style/needs. We do not have a program in my state. The school psychologist (with agreement by his teachers) tells us that he is a good candidate for grade acceleration (4th to 6th). Everyone I speak to about it immediately thinks it is a bad idea due to maturity. I do not quite know how to gauge this issue. How do you determine maturity at age 9? In some ways he is like every other kid his age, but in many, many ways he is way above..a big one being humor. He is very well liked by his peers, but has few close friends. He is awesome with younger kids (as a teacher to) and adults find him hysterical (most kids his age don't get his jokes). Any thoughts??

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    My daughter thrived after skipping 6th grade. See the Iowa Acceleration Scale, and other info here:
    http://www.accelerationinstitute.org/

    Most kids who are good candidates do very well with acceleration.

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    Do you mean next year he would skip 5th and go into 6th? Or he would accelerate right now into 6th?

    Does he get along well with the age kids he would be with? Do they like and accept him?

    I do think that the child's social needs are very important to consider. DD was grade accelerated from K to 1 (so she just turned 9 and is in 4th grade). She has a lot of friends and gets along very well but another kid in her grade who was accelerated (he is still 8) is having a lot of problems socially and says no one likes him. So it depends a lot on the kid. I can't imagine grade accelerating my younger child (currently in second grade) because he is just too socially immature and awkward.

    Ask your DS and see what his viewpoint is. He might be very much for it, or very much against it. That doesn't mean you base your decision just on what he says, but it will give you an idea of whether it would potentially work out well or not.

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    With the consensus already in place, I think that a one-year acceleration to 5th grade would not be particularly risky. However, I would be uncomfortable with a two-year acceleration to 6th grade unless your 6th grade is still consider elementary school with all that scaffolding/hand-holding still in place and/or your DS9 has highly advanced executive function and a decent physical size. As high ability as my DS11 may be, he could not have handled the executive functioning demands or the huge 4-inch binder as a nine year old.

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    It would help to clarify the skip. Is the plan to skip him immediately (+2), or to finish this year in 4th and promote to 6th for next year (+1)?

    My DD9 did a +1 skip by unenrolling from public school in 2nd grade, immediately beginning homeschooling as a 3rd grader, and re-entering public school as a 4th grader the following year. It has been a big success.

    The best way to identify how your child measures in maturity versus age norms is to observe them interacting with age peers, and with older children. Getting your child's feedback is also a big help.

    Some areas we found worth considering for measuring maturity:

    - Thoughts - Does your child get frustrated that they often have to explain themselves to age peers?

    - Behavior - Does your child exhibit superior impulse control, and become outraged at the impulse control of normal age peers?

    - Physical - How does your child stack up in size/mass compared to age peers? Can your child contribute in a team sport with older children, or would your child be the last pick?

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    Jodi C Offline OP
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    SORRY! Transition him this spring so he would finish grade 4 and enter grade 6 in the fall.

    Dude #205647 11/12/14 03:07 PM
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    Originally Posted by Dude
    It would help to clarify the skip. Is the plan to skip him immediately (+2), or to finish this year in 4th and promote to 6th for next year (+1)?

    My DD9 did a +1 skip by unenrolling from public school in 2nd grade, immediately beginning homeschooling as a 3rd grader, and re-entering public school as a 4th grader the following year. It has been a big success.

    The best way to identify how your child measures in maturity versus age norms is to observe them interacting with age peers, and with older children. Getting your child's feedback is also a big help.

    Some areas we found worth considering for measuring maturity:

    - Thoughts - Does your child get frustrated that they often have to explain themselves to age peers?

    - Behavior - Does your child exhibit superior impulse control, and become outraged at the impulse control of normal age peers?

    - Physical - How does your child stack up in size/mass compared to age peers? Can your child contribute in a team sport with older children, or would your child be the last pick?
    All good thoughts from Dude...but sometimes maturity can be measured the opposite way:

    We early-entered, and later grade-skipped (+1, so net +2), one who has:
    1. always gotten along exceptionally well with people of all ages, older and younger.
    2. is active and impulsive, even compared to age peers.
    3. and was, at the time, well below the average height among age peers, let alone +1 or +2 year classmates.

    Our decision-making process with regard to these areas was:
    1. this is a strength, when moving into a new group with classmates +1 to (ultimately) +4 years older.
    2&3. grade-skipping is not going to make the activity and impulsivity level go up, nor will the difference in size be that much worse when one is already tiny. Actually, we made the argument to the school, on the early-entry, that behavior would probably be worse if not early-entered, because boredom would become even more of a factor.

    Both skips were eminently successful, from what we can tell. It helps that team sports were not a particular interest. We have another one who is a year young for grade, but plays competitive sports with age-mates.

    I would absolutely agree that getting the child's feedback is vital. Even if (as in our house) the final decision will still be made by parents, you need to know what expectations and apprehensions the child has about a potential skip, and give due consideration to their concerns.


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    My son skipped 3rd and went to 4th last year. To be honest if I really pushed it he could have skipped 5th and been appropriately placed in 6th. He is happy in fifth so I am glad to let him be happy if a bit under challenged in some areas. What to do next year is the big question.

    Not knowing your situation, could he skip right now to fifth? Instead of skipping 5th right into 6th?

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    Do not forget to consider what things might be worse if you don't skip. People tend to assume that not doing anything cannot make things worse, but it can.

    As far as the number of friends whether you skip or not, I think you need to ask yourself, is my kid the type who will have a lot of friends or is he never going to have lots of friends and much prefers to have a few close friends instead. It may be that being in one grade is a better fit socially than another, but it also might not make a huge difference if it is the personality of your particular child.

    I also second the Iowa Accelleration Scale.


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    Our ds13 skipped 6th grade and he's made some great friends in his new grade. At the end of 7th, academically he was at or near the top of his class in every class. This year he's struggling with accuracy in math but not concepts.

    More importantly, he's learned that he needs to study sometimes, that he can face challenges and that he can adapt to new environments and new people.

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