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    Joined: May 2017
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    ann55 Offline OP
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    My DD will be skipping from private K into the second grade (public gifted program) this upcoming school year at a new school where she will not know anyone.

    Every time i come across threads on redshirting, i become very anxious and second guess the decision we have made to skip her. "My kid is smart, but holding him back 1 year was the best decision i made." "There is no such thing as being bored anymore because schools do a great job of recognizing different levels." This is when i start panicking and wonder if I'm going to mess her up socially.

    Did anyone have cold feet before a grade skip?

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    I wouldn't say it was cold feet, but certainly a bit of nervousness. I think it is natural for a parent to worry that a decision they make with/for their child will actually make things worse rather than better.

    Step back and remind yourself of why you pushed for the skip.

    We were MUCH less nervous leading up to our DD's second grade skip (clarification: second of two, not 2nd grade itself. Though she did skip 2nd grade, but that was her first grade skip. But not her attempt to skip 1st grade, that was something different. Now I'm just babbling...), so maybe it gets easier?

    Best of luck,
    --S.F.

    Last edited by SFrog; 04/13/18 02:34 PM.

    For gifted children, doing nothing is the wrong choice.
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    Originally Posted by ann55
    Did anyone have cold feet before a grade skip?
    These are big decisions and some people may be prone to a certain amount of second-guessing. With gifted kids, no placement is likely to be ideal, and changes in learning environments may occur... for some kids, annually... depending upon what options are available and what is the best (or least-worst) fit at a given point in time.

    Originally Posted by ann55
    My DD will be skipping from private K into the second grade (public gifted program) this upcoming school year at a new school where she will not know anyone.
    Hopefully you took advice from this forum to...
    ... work at home as a family to:
    - read threads and have family discussion regarding acceleration PROs and CONs
    - make your own lists of potential PROs and CONs of available options, assign weight to factors
    - get your daughter's input
    - agree on your decision
    ... partner with school to:
    - provide child with a school visit
    - provide child with opportunity to shadow with kids she'll be in classes with
    - assess her placement and "fit"
    - consider the Iowa Acceleration Scale (IAS)
    - enroll her in activities to meet the kids ahead of time

    Originally Posted by ann55
    Every time i come across threads on redshirting, i become very anxious and second guess the decision we have made to skip her. "My kid is smart, but holding him back 1 year was the best decision i made." ... This is when i start panicking and wonder if I'm going to mess her up socially.
    Does your child have an identified issue or potential issue:
    - making new friends,
    - being flexible,
    - adjusting to new schedules, routines, surroundings,
    - exhibiting maturity typical for a child her age?
    While some families/schools address such issues with redshirting, essentially giving a child an extra year to develop to grade-level expectations... often a child may need or benefit from direct teaching in an area of slow growth (not just an extra year), in order to catch up to same-age peers.

    Apart from the learning environment's likelihood to be suitable for your child, I believe you were facing a long commute? Possibly the impacts (or potential impacts) of this on your family dynamic need to be re-considered and/or weighed differently as a factor in your decision?

    There is no shame in any family taking certain options off the table... for example:
    - a long commute does not work logistically for our family
    - a public school does not work ideologically for our family
    - etc
    However it is healthy for a family to internally acknowledge the true reason (or combination of factors) influencing their decision (although of course they do not need to share their reasons with the world at large).

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    Originally Posted by ann55
    "There is no such thing as being bored anymore because schools do a great job of recognizing different levels."
    LOL, not for an HG+ kid in my experience.

    That might be true for an average kid or even a smart kid. Maybe, if they are amazing, an MG kid. HG+, not so much (IMHO).

    Case in point - first week of grade 3 at a meet the teacher event. I introduce myself and offer my help since I know my child can be a "challenge". The teacher sighs and asks me to teach her physics so she can understand what the heck DS was talking about that morning. I laughed and asked if it was particle physics or astrophysics related (his obsessions that week).

    ETA - I didn't mean to dismiss all of your concerns or that a skip is 100% the right thing for a child I've never met. There might be reasons not to skip but this is not one. A school providing remotely close to enough differentiation is a far off dream in my experience. Of course YMMV depending on the school and level of giftedness.

    Last edited by chay; 04/13/18 04:04 PM.
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    ann55 Offline OP
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    Our daughter visited the school twice (once last year and once this year), met with administration, and even played with the kids at school. She was pretty indifferent the second time we went, while the year before was more effusive about her desire to attend the school. Admin messed up the second time around and we didn't have a chance for her to sit in the class. We made a pro/con list, we discussed the cons quite extensively but the pros outweighed the cons. When we talked about the school, her skipping a grade, and her possibly not being the smartest kid in the class she just shrugged and was like, "okay, that's fine." smirk

    It's really the redshirting threads that get me. Or when i see friends with smart kids who don't care about gifted programs or grade skipping. These things make me doubt my decision and make me forget about all the planning, discussing and agonizing over the last year.



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    ann55 Offline OP
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    How long before you were comfortable with your decision? Thanks for letting me know i'm not alone in these nervous feelings.

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    ann55 Offline OP
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    Haha - i bet she braces herself for the worst every time you son asks a question. I know i do when my daughter asks me a question. grin

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    I expect you already did extensive reading on the research regarding outcomes for grade acceleration, so I won't cite any of those studies. Presumably, this is a well-thought-out decision, in which you clearly involved your DC and all other relevant stake-holders. So all that being taken as read, I'm going to comment mainly on those items not related to your research, planning, discussion, and thoughtful analysis.

    Redshirting threads: it might be worth considering that people who post in these threads either are self-selected for successful redshirting experiences, or have a vested interest in portraying them as successful (since culturally, we have a conflicted perception of students who are old-for-grade), in order to justify an historical decision that can no longer be reversed. Since the research on retention and redshirting of students who have not missed extensive formal schooling (say due to illness, being a displaced person, war, etc.) is uniformly and consistently neutral to negative on outcomes (with the possible exception of some athletes), it is particularly important that parents who have chosen to hold out students for non-evidence-based reasons maintain a strong positive perception of that decision, since that is the primary protective factor for the child, against negative outcomes.

    IOW, once you've made the decision to redshirt a child for non-evidence-based reasons, it becomes incumbent on you as the child's caregiver to cast the decision in the most optimistic light possible, in order to fend off the negative outcomes that might otherwise accrue due to your decision. Hence, glowing redshirting threads.

    Other smart kids: Firstly, each family makes the decisions that are best for their individual children, in the context of their family values and constraints. You are making the best decision you can, in your own family context. And secondly, to put it in perspective, kids who score in the GT range constitute about 2% of the general population (1 out of every 50). Yours scores much higher in that range (1 out of greater than 1000). So maybe the decisions the other families you know work for them, but it doesn't mean they should work for your child and your family; they may not have the same needs your child has.


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    "How long before you were comfortable with your decision?"

    I'm a bit of a worry-wort, so even with overwhelming evidence that her skips were extremely successful, every once in a while I'd still have an irrational worry crop up.

    By the the middle of her first post-skip school year we knew she was where she was supposed to be. By the end of her third post-acceleration school year, she was being evaluated for another grade skip - so certainly by then we must have been comfortable with the first one...

    Best of luck,
    --S.F.


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    Smart kids usually do do well in grade level situations. But you don't have a smart kid, you have an HG+ kid. Which doesn't mean she wouldn't do fine at grade level just that the experiences of the parents of smart kids may not be relevant.

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