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    #215556 05/05/15 08:01 AM
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    HG/PG Dd has been asking to be grade skipped since 1st grade. She's currently in 3rd grade in a self-contained gifted class and still unhappy. The possibility of her skipping into 5th grade next year at a STEM school (5th-12th) has come up and we are exploring it. However I have reservations, the first being she could go to her current school for 4th grade (the 4th grade teacher is awesome), but the academics are still probably sub-par in my opinion). Then she could go to the STEM school for 5th and be very happy there as a true 5th grader since they will TRULY place kids according to test results. So if a 6th grader is capable they will put them in 10th grade math. So once at the STEM school whole grade acceleration isn't really necessary.

    My main concern is regarding sports. She's a very talented swimmer and has enormous potential and I worry that getting bumped up a grade will make it more difficult for her to shine competing with kids a year older than she is. Thus... affecting chances of college scholarships. This could end up no longer being an issue if she decides down the road to quit swimming.

    Oh and other concerns about 5th grade at the stem school is that this will be their first year having 5th graders and there is no playground. There will only be two 5th grade classes.

    Is it selfish to keep dd in her current grade for sports?

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    Originally Posted by mountainmom2011
    My main concern is regarding sports. She's a very talented swimmer and has enormous potential and I worry that getting bumped up a grade will make it more difficult for her to shine competing with kids a year older than she is. Thus... affecting chances of college scholarships. This could end up no longer being an issue if she decides down the road to quit swimming.
    I think $100K is a reasonable estimate for the extra lifetime income of a gifted person working one more year because he or she graduates from college a year earlier. What do you estimate the cost of a lower chance of getting a swimming scholarship to be?

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    What does she want? Unless she has the potential and interest to be an Olympic level swimmer, *I* would focus on academic and social fit first.

    She is the one pushing the grade skip... the swimming thing is just another social factor. I'd let dd decide how important it is.

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    If a kid is a really fast swimmer I don't think spotting peers a year is going to make that much difference.

    The top freshman are still faster than most of the upperclassman as I remember.

    (and it's not like a team sport like hockey or soccer - in swimming you race against the clock so any good recruiters will take that into account too along with the age of the athelete).

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    Does the school have a competitive swim team? If not, she'll be doing club swim team and swimming in her appropriate age group, so grade won't matter.

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    Agree-- swimming is one sport where age is far less a factor.


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    College is a long way off, and only a very small number of HS athletes get scholarships. I wouldn't put your eggs in that basket.

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    I agree with all of the above.

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    I wouldn't be so concerned with athletic scholarships, because few get full scholarships. I don't know how many are allotted for DI swimming, but probably not a lot, and most scholarship kids likely get partial scholarships.

    That being said, an athletic kid who is a year younger may well be at a disadvantage. And perhaps she'll try other sports, and perhaps being a year older, bigger and stronger would be a greater factor in those sports.

    It is tough to tell what the future holds. I suspect that if my middle kid had not repeated 2nd grade (putting her in the correct grade for age when she switched schools - though we did it for maturity reasons), she would not be playing sports now. Small for age, slow to grow, not real athletic - likely would not be playing two varsity sports and travel now had she been a year ahead.

    Middle kid will never play DI, but could play DIII. And here is where the sport could help her get into her college of choice. Perhaps she would like to go to a NESCAC school. NESCAC schools (and similar) need kids who can meet the academic standards of the school, and also play the sport. A kid with high SAT/ACT scores, good GPA with rigorous courses can have the coach give them a "tip" or "slot", or even just put in a good word with admissions. This is where I see more value in the sports (or if you are DI material, or close to it, this will help with the Ivies).

    You will find that there are more swimmers (track/x-country, tennis players) with high SAT/ACT scores than team sport types with high scores, though that is a discussion for another day.

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    Tough choices if your DD winds up staying in swimming. The impact on your DD's competitiveness all seems to depend on whether her swimming program is organized by grade through the school and targeted at college or by age through a club system and targeted at the Olympics. USA swimming has the top 10 list for girls by age listed here:

    http://www.usaswimming.org/_Rainbow/Documents/0be7cc17-d66c-4cca-a72f-01e24f245c94/girls_scy.pdf

    Looking at the 50 yard freestyle, at every age the older girls win and more and more of them can beat the younger girls time. This is true from age 11 through 18.

    You can also see the USA national age group records listed here:
    http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1480&Alias=Rainbow&Lang=en-US

    Again the times consistently drop by age with very few exceptions.

    Missy Franklin famously continued to swim for her High School after winning at the Olympics and has swum for UC Berkeley in college.

    So the Olympic path may be by age, but the school and collegiate path would be by grade.

    Hope the additional info helps. The STEM school that will place by test sounds ideal, but it is a tough decision to wait until then for proper placement .

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