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    Joined: Sep 2013
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    Hello,
    DS, 6, is grade skipped by one grade. Our public school splits grades/schools. There is a K/1, then another campus is a 2/3, then another....One problem with this is that it is hard for his first grade teacher to easily access curriculum at his level, which is about 4th grade at this time.

    We have a transition meeting coming up and I want to be prepared, but also if the next principal is not receptive to his needs, I think I'll leave our district and go to a K-6 school. Which feels like we would be erasing all of our advocacy thus fair and starting back at the ground floor. However, since his current school isn't accommodating anyway, not sure we have a ton to lose. Example, he is only provided with first grade materials in class but sent home with third and fourth grade reading and math materials. The teacher is wonderful and tries her best with what she has. She requests testing materials from the 4/5th grade school to make sure she knows where he is at. This is good for communicating with the next school but hasn't seemed to change anything for his daily experience.
    Another recent issue is that he says that it is embarrassing to be a year younger than everyone. He is extremely tall and would be a head taller than Kinders if he were not grade skipped and he is emotionally intelligent and very social, he truly belongs with kids one year ahead socially.

    My husband and I made a chart with pros and cons of public school vs. homeschooling and we concluded that he needs to remain grade skipped and we want to try another year at a public school. If I knew that being at a K-6 school would allow for more opportunity to do math or be in a reading group at his level, I would move schools in a heartbeat. However, I know that the grass may not be greener. The amount of time I have to put into advocacy is already so great with such little results that I have no hope.

    My question is, does age matter to children in 2nd grade+? As a teacher, I remember first graders being especially aware and interested in how old each other was and comparing skills. I am wondering if this declines in 2nd.

    If there is anything I am missing or if you have ideas for the transition meeting, thank you for your input. We have been friendly yet persistent and all that we have achieved is a grade skip. I am beginning to think that I am too friendly and behaving as if I am happy with his schooling. Maybe I need to be more diplomatic and serious?

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    Ds10 who isn't skipped but only made the cut off by one day has always been very aware. He knows he would not fit a year behind but he hates the occasional comments.

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    Originally Posted by GGG
    Our public school splits grades/schools. There is a K/1, then another campus is a 2/3, then another....One problem with this is that it is hard for his first grade teacher to easily access curriculum at his level, which is about 4th grade at this time... he is only provided with first grade materials in class but sent home with third and fourth grade reading and math materials. The teacher is wonderful and tries her best with what she has. She requests testing materials from the 4/5th grade school to make sure she knows where he is at. This is good for communicating with the next school but hasn't seemed to change anything for his daily experience.
    Check your State laws. Check your local school district policies. What do they say about gifted education? Is there a gifted coordinator in your school district? Look for anything in the current laws/policies that would back you up in requesting that the district organize/provide/coordinate your child's educational materials between schools. Print any pertinent references, as laws/policies may change over time. There may be increased continuity if your child's curriculum and lesson materials are organized/provided/coordinated higher up at the district level rather than by a grade-level teacher at the school level. The ideal would be curriculum placement, pacing and instruction with academic/intellectual peers.

    Roundup of general advocacy information links and meeting prep here.

    Originally Posted by GGG
    Another recent issue is that he says that it is embarrassing to be a year younger than everyone.
    You may wish to help him develop a perception that a mix of ages is common, typical, and normal. Look for real-life examples of people of different ages. For example, are you and your spouse different ages? Does he play with cousins, friends, or neighborhood children of different ages? Is he in any groups or extracurriculars with kids of a variety of different ages (martial arts, scouts, swim lessons, sports teams, rec department classes, etc)?

    Originally Posted by GGG
    My question is, does age matter to children in 2nd grade+? As a teacher, I remember first graders being especially aware and interested in how old each other was and comparing skills. I am wondering if this declines in 2nd.
    In my observation and experience, left to their own devices, children "forget" another kid's age as soon as they know another fun fact about that child, or learn of something which they have in common.

    That said, teachers can have a large influence, either negative or positive.
    - A negative influence is bringing up the child's age from time to time. For heterogeneous grouping purposes teachers may have children line up, then count off. Teachers may (purposefully or without thinking) have children line up by their age or by their birthday, requiring the youngest/oldest child to be pointed out. This may go on through high school.
    - A positive influence may be mentioning the child's age ONCE, immediately upon introducing the child, then dismissing it from further conversation; Acknowledge an age difference, then let it go. Teachers can state a positive expectation that students in the class will accept each other and not focus on differences... will "forget" each other's ages once they get to know each other and find some things in common.
    Positive example:
    ...later she told me what she said to all the students soon after class started. She said she had overheard some of the 5th graders making comments as they entered the room about "what are 4th graders doing here?" (I had warned the boys that this might happen and told them the novelty of their presence would wear off after a week or two and to just shrug off those comments matter-of-factly in the meantime.) The teacher said she told the whole class, "They are exactly the same as you mathematically. This is where they need to be, just as this is where you need to be. End of story." And it was.
    Originally Posted by GGG
    I am beginning to think that I am too friendly and behaving as if I am happy with his schooling. Maybe I need to be more diplomatic and serious?
    Gather your facts. Remain pleasant. Repeat yourself as needed. Focus on your child's needs:
    - Need for challenging curriculum and instruction in his zone of proximal development (ZPD).
    - Need for academic/intellectual peers.

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    Originally Posted by indigo
    Originally Posted by GGG
    [quote=GGG]Another recent issue is that he says that it is embarrassing to be a year younger than everyone.
    You may wish to help him develop a perception that a mix of ages is common, typical, and normal. Look for real-life examples of people of different ages.

    ITA with indigo's advice, and would also point out that within any given class, even without grade-advanced students, there's typical a wide range of ages, some kids on the older end of the spectrum and some on the younger end. Depending upon where your ds' birthday falls, he's most likely not a full year younger than the youngest student in class based solely on calendar dates. It's also possible that there might be children who've transferred in from other schools who started at younger ages.

    The other thing I'd do is ask why it bothers him - is it something he's worried about or is it because other kids have said something about it to him?

    polarbear

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    I am curious how the transition meeting went for you, if you had it, and wanted to offer up an additional point regarding what the K-6 school may or may not offer. In our school, they do not have subjects aligned easily for going to another grade, due to scheduled "specials" hour (different for each grade) and three lunch periods. In particular, when pullout begins in 4th grade, math is not at the same time as 5th, and the GT teacher works with the group from the two grades separately. So if you're in 4th you'd get the 4th grade extension. You'd definitely want to find out how the K-6 school approaches acceleration.


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