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Old 03-22-2013, 02:37 PM   #16
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I wouldn't be in a rush to move her up. It may seem like it would be okay now, but none of us has a crystal ball to see how things will be in 10 years.

First off, reading in kindergarten isn't that big a deal. All 4 of mine were. Neither is playing a stringed instrument--my DD9 started on the violin, then switched to cello. She currently plays in an orchestra at the local college, in addition to the strings at school and private lessons.

We have, and continue to debate this, especially with DD9. She's an amazing kid--reading at 2, for example. One of the important things I try to remember is, childhood is a one-shot deal. A label, even a good one, can define a child. Now that the kids are all older, the entire class knows DD is super smart, but she's very adept socially--no issues at all.

I have a son who turns 16 next week--they tested his reading in kindergarten, he got 95% at a 6th grade level at that time (until they gave up testing him). The school wanted to skip him then, but we refused. Fast forward to now, he's struggling in school--not because the work is too difficult, but because he's disorganized and lazy. He also has many social issues.

Instead of focusing on what grade she's in, I recommend you work hard to do outside enrichment. I would encourage her do explore music and sports as well as academics. Some of the things my kids have done through the years include: karate, chess, German, strings, soccer, art, gymnastics, dance, bagpipes, piano, baseball, cooking.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:41 PM   #17
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My oldest is extremely smart and is one year ahead in school. She is by far the youngest with an early September birthday. Academically, she does not even have to try and makes straight A's. Socially, she is doing fine now, but things were not always so great. The trend is to hold kids back to make them the oldest. That meant that a lot of girls were more than two years older than her, but in her same class. When they started forming clique's, she got left out. This went on for years until she started middle school. Things are better now, but she still has lost confidence because of her age. If I could go back, I would have kept her with her age group.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:44 PM   #18
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I am a huge fan of red shirting BUT it is not the right choice for every kid. In her situation, it MIGHT be in her best interest to move her to second, BUT she is still going to need some supplementary activities if she is truly gifted in order to reach her potential. It sounds like a very small school. I would be sure that they can meet the needs of your DD is she is truly AG. Just be aware that reading above grade level alone is not the only indicator of AG children. The biggest thing right now is finding a way to help her love school.
Our DS6 reads several grades ahead of kindergarten, does math at an even higher level and has already been seen by the AG teacher. He has an October Bday and turned 6 almost two months after the deadline so he is in his correct age group. He HOWEVER LOVES school. Not really challenged there, and the AG programs are not really active in kindergarten, but we do things at home. Grade advancing is really not a choice we would make but that does not make it wrong. Good luck.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:49 PM   #19
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The reason most schools don't even bother testing for GT programs until 3rd/4th grade is because there is such a huge gap academically between kids in the lower grades! All of mine did test into the GT program (IQ tests), some were reading simple books in kindergarten, a couple were reading chapter books going in to kindergarten (dd12 had finished Junie B before entering kindergarten).

Is it just reading? My nephew gets pulled into a math class a few grades ahead, because he could easily do long division in the first grade.

All of my kids do well in school, but my HS kids do have to work hard in honors/AP classes, even going for extra help sometimes. Early elementary was a piece of cake for all of them, and if you have good teachers, they shouldn't be bored.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:57 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by adventure_woman View Post
This is OT, but this is where I go to get advice, so here it goes!

My DD is 6 and in kindergarten. Her b-day is 9/30, so she could have gone to 1st grade, but I have always been one that didn't want her to be the youngest kid in the class. When she started kindergarten, she was already reading at a 4th grade level. She was also ready socially, etc - it was just her b-day and thinking about when she was a teen that made me hold her back. She also wasn't as advanced then as she is now. She goes to a small private Christian school and there are a total of 11 kids in her class (there are 2 kindergartens). She goes 3 full-days. I have been told by her teacher and the advanced children liasion at the school that she is gifted (I have no clue - she is my 1st so to me she is 'normal').

She doesn't like school now - hasn't for the past 2 months or so. I have asked several people and they all say at this age children should love school and not hate it. I have pretty much determined it is because she is bored (not problems w/ friends/etc). I have been talking to her teacher and she is also trying to work with her. So, now we are thinking (and praying) about the possibility of her skipping 1st grade and going to 2nd for next year.

Has anyone had experience with this? I am already starting to beef up her math skills so she isn't behind if we do this. (which she is catching onto really quickly too). She also currently plays during recess with the current 1st graders, so socially I don't think it would a big adjustment. And, not that it has anything to do with anything, but she will be starting violin next week (so we will see how she takes to that).

I am at a loss of what to do. I never thought I would have a Doogie Howsier!
I have been in similar situations. I graduated high school at 16 and my daughter just turned 11 and is in 6th grade. I can't say there is a really good answer to this question... Socially being younger can be an issue, but so can being bright. Being bored in school can be a recipe for disaster though. I never felt like I had to work, figured I could still get an A without doing my homework and such, spent a lot of time skipping class, which of course led to a lot of time for doing things I shouldn't have been doing. College was shocking to a kid that never had to do anything in high school- I had no time management skills, no clue how to study etc.
Hate to seem sexist, but I think the physical maturity issues can be harder if you are a boy.
Even being advance in grade, my daughter never liked school. Gifted services help if you can get them. (By the way teachers cannot tell if your child is gifted, the school should offer testing or get private testing, plenty of kids never get identified, my daughter wouldn't have because her teachers took some impulsivity due to age and mild ADD and her lack of focus due to boredom as meaning she wasn't as smart as she was, on the other hand lots of bright, cooperative children get tested simply because they are pleasant and easy in the classroom.) By 5th grade the only way for my daughter to not be miserable was homeschooling. Learning that we can cater to her interests and strengths has totally changed her attitude about school work, as well as using materials designed for gifted kids. We've decided she'll go back for 8th, but if it doesn't go well we'll probably try cyberschool. Good luck, "gifted" doesn't always feel like a gift, anytime a child is outside the norm it can be a struggle.

Last edited by pocomom; 03-22-2013 at 04:10 PM.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:10 PM   #21
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I can't seak fo skipping a grade because I went right into kindergarten when I was 5-meaning by 1st grade I was already 6. And by second grade I was already 7.

My birthday is 8/29...so I was always one of the youngest in my class. We had cut off dates around me and I believe it was actually 8/31. I was mature enough both intellecually and socially to be with kids that were a few months, to almost a year older than me.

Being younger was NEVER a problem. I always turned the same age as everyone else a few months later. The only time it ever really bothered me was when I turned 18 and 21.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:15 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by shoney View Post
It's not skipping a grade. It is putting her in the grade that she belongs in.
This is exactly what I thought when I read her age.

The "tradtional" ages for each grade are:
1st - 6
2nd- 7
3rd - 8
4th - 9
5th - 10
6th - 11
7th - 12
8th - 13
9th - 14
10th - 15
11th - 16
12th - 17

The kids who are older than that in each grade are the ones who were usually either; held back, or missed cut off dates.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:20 PM   #23
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Hi! I actually have done this and I will give you my opinion on it. My oldest DD is bright. She did very well in school. In Kindergarten we were in a public school in WA. The school approached me about having her skip a year to make her eligible for TAG program which didn't start until 3rd grade in our district. We did go for it and she did great. She excelled at everything given to her and she made friends. BUT I hated how the talk instantly changed to more mature things. Her birthday is in Feb so she was a good year/ year and a half younger than every one. She went from 1st to 3rd grade. Third grade humor, third grade talk is much different than 1st! She adjusted but I started to worry about later. What happens in Middle School and High School? How did I feel about the "boy talk", dating, driving a car, going off to college at 16?!

We ended up moving to Oregon after her 3rd grade year in WA. At that point we decided to put her back with her age group and she did 3rd grade again. Luckily she is very well adjusted and did not have a problem with it. (It also helped that it was in a private Spanish speaking only school. So the curriculum was very different.) I do not regret our decision for an instant. She went to school there for 1.5 years and then we moved (again for hubby's job) to Maine. She is currently in 5th grade (which in our district is Middle School). She is in advanced Math and Science here (the only two things offered). She is immature in ways I would not have expected. Like she still likes to play with dolls at times and she isn't into fashion or clothes like most girls in 5th grade. She is kind of "nerdy" and I say that lovingly! She would much rather read and talk about Star Wars and Harry Potter then boys and movie stars. Surprisingly she is also one of the youngest kids in her class. (It seems like most people in our current town do not send kids to kindergarten until they are 6!)

My point is it is hard to see what it will be like in a few years. She may excel and do great, but also it is hard being the youngest kid in class. And although my DD was very mature as a kindergartener I am seeing that as a middle schooler she is less so. It is hard to see the full effect 12 years brings. I can't imagine her going off to college in 5 years, which would have been true had we kept her on that advanced track.

Have you looked into supplementing with other activities instead? Have you thought about adding a foreign language? That actually did my DD wonders. She is fluent in Spanish and English now. She also speaks Mandarin and French and can read books in all 4 languages. I found that it was best to broaden her horizons with things that were not always taught in school. I found a science school that met after school and she went to that for a few years from K-3rd grade.

Have you thought about adding an instrument? My DD started piano in K as a way to keep her busy and learning new things. She still takes lessons now as an 11 year old and loves it. She also does swim team and track.

Sports would be my other thing to consider. Lots of teams are based by grade. Also, some sports, like soccer are only based by age and not grade. This bothers my son who is slightly older than average for his grade based on his birthday. Thus he can not play on a team with his 3rd grade friends, he is always placed on the 4th grade team. That is really hard on him.

I am not saying it is great the way it is. School is still WAY too easy for her. She doesn't have oodles of friends. (I doubt that last part would be different in a grade ahead!) I think having a child who is bright is hard in it's own way. I have the opposite problem with my older son who has a significant learning disability. So I know it is hard any way you slice it. What I will say is I feel better about having her where she is. I feel better about having that extra year with her before she leaves for college. She is growing up way too fast as it is, I am thankful I had the option to go back and change what we did. The reality is, no mater how bright is is, she is still 11. And she acts 11. I want her to hold on to what little innocence she has left and I don't want to force her to grown up before she needs to. Of course, this is all my personal opinion and what works for us, might not work for you. I also will say that teachers seem mostly motivated to challenge her which is really nice. Good luck and sorry I wrote a book!

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Old 03-22-2013, 04:46 PM   #24
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My birtday is 9/29 and our cutoff was "before 10/01."
I was part of a small group of kids who were in consideration to be skipped a grade. (I don't think I was a genious but I always ahead of most of the kids in school, but I was socially shy). I am glad my mom didn't let me skip. Sure, I didn't drive until after Senior year started, and I was 17 when I went away to college, but due to my shyness, I think Mom did the right thing.
One of my close friends was skipped (however her birthday is in January) and she did not do well in school (or life in general, even as a child...but there could've been issues that weren't noticed).
DD#2 has a friend who went to Christian school until High school. She has a May birthday but when she enrolled in public school, she was so smart they put her a grade ahead of where she should've been according to her age.
She has hated it! The only one not driving. The youngest one in college. She's also a petite little thing so she really looks even younger than she is anway. (She attends a highly rated college in NJ but now lives home and commutes...she was not ready to leave her family and friends she says..maybe a touch of immaturity as in not ready to leave home?).
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:52 PM   #25
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I haven't read the other responses but wanted to say that I was born on 9/24 and was in a similar situation. I was always the youngest - was 17 as a college freshman and only had 2 months of college being "legal" (graduated in December). That said, I am glad that I did it. I was valedictorian of my high school and graduated college a semester early because of AP credits. I was not really affected by my friends doing this before me. It just meant they drove me to the mall instead of me driving them lol.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:32 PM   #26
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My oldest is gifted. Her birthday is in March. In Kindergarten she was identified and moved up. She would complain of being bored and would be "sick" so she wouldn't have to go. The school tested her and decided to that a skip would be necessary. She tested on a 3-4th grade level.

My husband decided to allow the skip. She is in 3rd grade now and it was probably the best for her. We did it early enough where she was easily able to make new friends and a few have been friends for years now. She was no longer "sick" or bored. She was getting services that she needed. Her gifted teacher is fantastic.

I will say that now in 3rd we don't feel she is being challenged enough and are considering another move.

She is the youngest, will just turn 17 when she graduates.

I think the early move was good for her.

Now my son, currently in Kindergarten, was just identified as gifted. He we will not skip at this moment.

Each child is different. We knew our daughter was socially ready and academically ready. Our son is not there yet socially. Maybe in a few years. For now the extra services are enough.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:33 PM   #27
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DS was born in mid September, and the cut off here is Sept 1st. He went to a private school for kindergarten and first grade, where the cut off didn't matter, so he was 4 when he started kindergarten. When he started public school, in second grade, they wanted to put him in first, because of his birthday. We didn't want him to have to repeat first grade (he had just completed it in private school), so they did a bunch of aptitude tests, and decided that he could go into second grade.

That was 4 years ago, and we regret the decision now. As far as aptitude goes, there's no problem, but his maturity level isn't where it should be. He fails to turn work in on time, or at all, says he asked the teacher for help when he really didn't, etc. He ranges from D's to B's in all his subjects, but the individual grades for assignments are all either 100's, or zeroes, from not turning in his work. I think, for him, 11 is just a little too young for middle school. We've talked to his school counselor, and she feels that holding him back now would be detrimental, both because of the preceived "failure" of repeating a grade, and because he would get bored. DH and I don't know what to do.

I would think long and hard before making any decisions. I (obviously) don't have the answer. I think it varies for each child.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:34 PM   #28
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Has the school done any testing? Is she ahead in all areas or just reading that they could address without a skip? Since she should technically be in 1st this year, that may make a difference as others have said. If you do look into a skip, I can tell you that ours has been successful so far.

DS (late June bday) started K as a young 5 and skipped 1st after testing and school recommendation. We struggled with the decision but went with it. The biggest drawback so far has been his handwriting that he missed in 1st.

He is now in math 2 levels above his age and making As in all classes. He has a small group of equally obsessed video gamer friends and loves middle school. His teachers are better able to assign enrichment projects and he loves learning. He has gotten some grief over the years about his skip but a great deal.

Most don't know he has unless his friends or he mentions it. He's pretty self-confident and outgoing so it hasn't affected him too badly. He is definitely quirky. He takes taekwondo & music lessons but did run into trouble when he wanted to play baseball with his grade peers - he couldn't and ended up dropping team sports partly for that reason. He will be able to take grade level sports next year through school if he wants to.

He is a little more immature, mainly in his organization skills. Later on, he already plans for a year of local college or work since he doesn't want to go away for school at 17 (and we don't want him too either). He can take AP in HS so that should keep him busy. It has been harder on his sis who is now just 1 year ahead of him, instead of 2.

Good luck, it's very tricky to figure out what's best for our kids!
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:13 PM   #29
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Personal experience and my Mom as a teacher's advice:
My birthday is late Sept, and I moved into first grade from K in the middle of the school year. I wasn't quite socially up to it at first, but did fine after a few months. I never really had a problem with being younger since within a few weeks of the new school year I was caught up with dating age, driving, legal to be in a bar etc. If you work with her and she is socially ready, don't worry about that.
As for the gifted part, it is hard to tell at a young age unless a child is at the real extremes. As it turns out, I tested into gifted programs in 3rd grade and again in middle school. BTW 'gifted' in a lot of places just means quick to understand and figure things out. Not at all the same thing as working hard and really learning. I think the best thing you can do is talk to your daughter and her teachers as you go along and figure out what is really the best place for her right now and support her getting what she needs to do well.
For the near future, does she say she is bored at school, do her teachers say she doesn't pay attention or do what the class is doing if they are working on writing or something? What happens when she is done earlier than everyone else? In my husbands case, he acted out when he was bored and the teacher wanted him medicated, but girls don't do that as much. Right now she is only in school 3 days, so you could have her do workbooks on the off days and get used to something like full-time school.
And my opinion, only you can determine what is right for your child right now, but remember that she is young enough that the choice to skip can be reversed without much damage.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:35 PM   #30
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My oldest (now in 9th grade) "skipped" a grade.

Her teachers actually brought us in and suggested it in a meeting with the principal. This is not common (some had been there for over 20 years and there had not been another child to "skip" in that time). I'm not saying that to brag, but just to emphasize that it wasn't like they were pushing for every smart kid to be moved up.

During the first half of first grade she was going to second grade for two hours a day for reading. (It was not noticeable to the other kids because they all switch classes for reading and math starting in 1st grade.) We met with the teachers and decided to allow her to move up, so after the Winter break she just moved full time into the 2nd grade class. It was a very easy transition.

We have not had any social/maturity issues, but in our family girls develop fast. DD actually looks older than her peers and started puberty much earlier than most of the girls in her class. If she were a tiny thing I could see where that could lead to some social awkwardness. (Also, someone earlier mentioned a girl having peer issues because she wasn't allowed to date/etc based on her age... I would think you would adjust your expectations by grade level. For example, if you think at 15 she's mature enough to be a junior, than I would think she should be mature enough to date. I guess I don't understand the logic. )

We also live in a state where the cutoff age is December. So there is already a wide age range in each grade. In the fall in kindergarten there are always several kids who are still 4 and several who are 6. DD's birthday is in January, so she is the youngest kid in her grade, but she's only two months younger than one of her friends (late Nov birthday). On the other hand there are kids in her grade who were left back and she is 3 years younger than they are.

The only issue I can foresee in our situation is that DD won't be able to drive until she is a senior. And honestly we live in a very rural/hilly/10+ feet of snow a winter area, so to me that's a bit of a relief. I lived in a state where I could start driving at 15 and I was horribly reckless. Putting off driving for a year is fine with me.
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