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    #4366 11/13/07 10:22 AM
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    Mom2LA Offline OP
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    Currently we aren't faced with this decision but its something that I think is coming. DD is in 2nd grade but is anywhere from 2-4 grades accelerated in her subjects. Her school does a great job with working to keep high kids like dd challenged. She recently got into the GT program too, which Ive heard is phenomenal at her school. She is the youngest in her grade. She started school in CA and so was 4yrs old. We moved to NV mid K. Had she started school here she wouldn't have made the cutoff.

    So my question is this; With regards to grade skipping...do you feel it has hurt them at all socially? Is it hard on them to be the youngest in their class? As it is, dd will start her senior year in HS at 16, graduating at 17. My dilemma with this is how it will affect her at the HS age if she does skip. I'd hate to have to say "No, you cant go out with your friends, no you can't go to the prom etc" because of her age. And will her age make it hard for other HS kids to associate with her? kwim? I just dont want to isolate her and take away some of those things that are a part of HS. How do you deal with that issue?

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    Hi Tammy,

    I think that it's always a trade off, and it has helped me to ask "What are my values? What message do I want to send my son?" When the rubber meets the road, your choices send messages that no amount of words can drown out. If being "just like everyone else" is the main thing, how accepted is she going to feel? She just isn't "just like everyone else."

    Perhaps it's better to be flexible with your own age based rules. If as a senior in HS she is as responsible as an 18 year old, perhaps she actually deserves the same privaliges as an 18 year old? Maybe you will actually like and trust the friends she chooses? I was early enteranced, and started college at 17. I also dated boys who were about 3 grades above me. I did go to the senior prom as a young 14 year-old, with a kind and bright and shy fellow in his senior year of High School, who I knew as a friend through the Drama Club. My parents seemed to be quite comfortable with the arrangement. Generally I felt that it must be true that "girls mature earlier" because I sure felt more mature than many, but not all, of the available boys. I ended up waiting to get married until I was 30, and DH is 7 years older than I am!

    Some Moms have felt that their young daughter was a "lamb amoung the wolves" when interacting with High School boys. I think it depends on the child and her personality, and how much gentle teaching a parent is willing to do. In essence, I think learning to handle sharing toys with an intense Preschool Peer is good preperation for learning to handle a "Queen Bee" in Middle School, which in turn is good preperation for handling a "Wolf" in High School and a future boss or husband. I really do believe that this can be taught, by asking good questions and listening after reading books together or watching TV shows.

    Now there are some kids who are really not going to pick up on this naturally, no matter how gifted they are. Personality matters, and you have to work with what you've got. But you certainly can "decelerate" your daughter at anytime if the benifits outweigh the disadvantages. Some kids go to college early then return for High School. Once you leave behind the wish for "normal" many things are possible. The possibilities are not as many as we deserve, but still more than we can imagine.

    Well, that's a lot to think about...What interesting challenges our children hand us!

    Enjoy,
    Trinity


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    Yes that is a lot to think about!

    I think one of the hardest parts of having a gifted child is keeping them balanced. Their intelligence is so far ahead of their peers (in most cases) and the older they get the more aware of that they become. At the same time, they are still children, especially emotionally. I dont want to rush adulthood but I think you're right. It does depend on the maturity of the child and what you think your child can handle, both emotionally and academically.

    Lots to think about. wink

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    Originally Posted by dottie
    Anyway....it's wise to consider what the future may bring, both good AND bad. But primarily we need to make a working plan for the short term, and be ready to change it as needed

    Good advice, Dottie. laugh One step at a time, right? wink

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    Interesting discussion Tammy,

    I think my DS was quite as aware as one could be of his difference even as early as daycare/preschool. In a way, now that he has words, and experience, and more kids to be actual friends with, he seems less aware, or at least more comfortable. I don't think it's an either/or choice: childhood or adulthood. I think it's an "alternate developmental path."

    In a way, I think that some are, or at least seem, less mature emotionally, but I tell myself that's because they have adult-sized challenges to cope with.

    Personally the best way I have to think about my son, and my dear others, is that we are many, many ages all at once. I try to think the best I can about the breating kid I have in front of me, at every instance, informed by past experience AND imagination for the future.

    smiles,
    Trinity


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    Maybe this is where the difficulty lies for me, Trinity. dd is very comfortable in her skin. She knows that she is different than other kids intellectually. There are times when she'll tell me that she just doesn't understand the way some kids think and act. We always tell her that every child learns in different ways and at different paces and to be patient with those who don't/can't understand things the same way that she can. She's very confident, is a leader in her class, and knows the entire teaching staff at school. They love her but then again she has always related well to adults. She does have days where she reverts a bit, and the immaturity shows. (I know they all do that! haha) There are many areas where she acts just like a 7 year old would and should. I think she could handle skipping grades and we would always take our experiences with her and make an informed decision if the situation of skipping every arose.

    I think whats hard is I feel the burden of making the right choice or not! But you are right, sometimes following their lead is all you can do. Thanks for talking this out with me. It might be a bit premature but I tend to be a planner and like to be very thorough in my decisions. (to the point of over-thinking sometimes!)

    This was a thought that came up after reading about so many of you having children that did skip grades. Ive always been opposed to it simply for the fact that I didnt want her to have to grow up too fast but the truth of the matter is exactly what you said:
    Originally Posted by trinity
    I try to think the best I can about the breating kid I have in front of me, at every instance, informed by past experience AND imagination for the future.

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    Originally Posted by gratified3
    My biggest issues with whole grade acceleration is that it doesn't seem to address the problem. Unless I'm willing to send my kid to college at 10 or 11, I can't imagine any skip will actually help us much. They subject accelerated multiple grades this year and there's no way that provides sufficient challenge. I'm not sending my 6 yo to middle school, but unless I do that, just a "token" skip or two wouldn't seem to help us much (but would cause family issues.)

    I've decided that the best solution is a self-contained program that will let the kids work at their own level while technically remaining at their grade level. I'm hoping to find such a program for my kids next year, although I think there are only a few nationally that would work and now I'm actually considering moving to one of those locations. Then at times, I think I'm crazy to be thinking school issues are this important.

    J

    Jill,
    I tend to agree with you that a gradeskip is sort of a least worst option, and for my family configuration much easier to swallow than your situation! I would love a self contain classroom, or school, particularly if it allowed the children to mix with a heterogenious grouping for art and gym, but have grouping for academics - particularly if the groupings were really individualized so that where a child was with handwriting didn't effect where they were with reading.

    For us, moving wasn't an option, but I am very excited for you. Also, there is a difference between trying to prevent problems and trying to recover from problems. In our situation there was a core of fear and sadness that a school switch and a grade skip really seemed to help. Of course, personality and level of gifteness make a big difference. I'm thinking that my son is more similar to your DS2 in level of giftedness, so that a single skip into the richer ground of Middle School, with group acceleration in Math, plus every extracurricular activity one can find seems to be a better fit than where he was. Personality wise, a boy with that "I'll show you" gleam in his eye, like my DS11, just wasn't going to tolerate not learning anything in school.

    So, it varies, but yes, there could be much, much better than gradeskips for our little ones. One room school house comes to mind.

    Smiles,
    Trinity



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    Hey Everyone!

    There is so much traffic here recently-it�s great! The more opinions, the better, right?

    Both of my kids will graduate HS at 17. I can�t imagine if they were a grade lower. It would certainly not be academically advantageous.

    As far as sports go, my husband and I were recently discussing how DS would not be the least bit challenged in basketball if he were in his �legal� (thanks Dottie) grade. We watch the younger (lower grade) kids play before the 6th grade games and can�t even imagine him on their team. In fact, he was very happy on a community league (after the school BB season) last year were they grouped the 5th and 6th graders together. He was one of a few 5th graders, and of course, the youngest. He did just fine and his abilities probably improved by �playing up�!

    That said, we did turn down an offer to skip 6th grade (this year). We felt it came too late. We are really hedging our bets. If he is accepted to a level 4 school in the next year or so, it may not be a problem. However, if he has to attend a typical HS, we may be hurting!



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    I totally agree, Dottie! I am thrilled that there is a place that I can go to discuss issues regarding my dd and have the people there actually truly understand what Im going through! Its wonderful. laugh

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    Tammy-

    The research has been done, and the large majority of kids who were skipped speak positively about it. There are far more horror stories out there about kids who were not accelerated or given sufficient academic challenge.

    As for dating...I dated guys who were 20 and 21 when I was 16. The boys my own age were far less interesting to me. The older guys were also not as invested in putting notches in their belts, if you know what I mean.

    It can be overwhelming to have such a different kind of kid. But I'd advise you not to look too far into the future. Just try to focus on doing the right thing NOW and worry about the prom later! smile


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