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Old 03-22-2013, 06:38 PM   #31
Christen99
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my youngest has always been very advanced (taught himself to read at 3, was doing multiplication and division at 4, etc.). When we approached the elementary school principal prior to enrolling him in kindergarten, she advised me to homeschool him (bless this woman!!!!). My oldest had been at that school for a few years, and I was very active in PTA and the classrooms so she knew my youngest fairly well.

Schools are designed to work with kids who fit in a nice neat box, and occasionally you get a teacher who can work with a box with some fuzzy lines. Rarely do you get a teacher who can work really well with a kid who is gifted, for the entire day, for the entire year. Even when you do get a teacher who can handle a gifted kid, what happens the following year, and the year after? Most teachers equate gifted with more work, which is the absolute best way to squelch the love of learning. If you can find a teacher who can challenge her with more challenging work, and less of it, the freedom to explore her interests, and the permission to follow her passions, it will be far more effective.

A grade skip would not have worked for my child, because by the time he was actually in school he was several grade levels ahead, and would have been really bored no matter what he was given. Currently, we are homeschooling and he is working at a pace that is perfect for him. We can challenge him when necessary, and we can hang out with where he's at when necessary. There's no rush, we can take as long as he needs, or move as fast as he needs. Custom learning is a perfect fit for gifted learners, which are also considered special needs as well.

If you are set on keeping her in school, find lots of outside enrichment to challenge her. Foreign languages, music, computer programming reading, reading, reading, museums, trips to the zoo, art classes, etc. are good for giving her an outlet for boredom that the school is creating.

Some really great resources for gifted learners are Hoagies Gifted, Davidson Institute (Profoundly gifted, or PG), Gifted Homeshooler Forum (great resources even if you don't homeschool), and Gifted Development Center.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:49 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christen99

Schools are designed to work with kids who fit in a nice neat box, and occasionally you get a teacher who can work with a box with some fuzzy lines. Rarely do you get a teacher who can work really well with a kid who is gifted, for the entire day, for the entire year. Even when you do get a teacher who can handle a gifted kid, what happens the following year, and the year after? Most teachers equate gifted with more work, which is the absolute best way to squelch the love of learning. If you can find a teacher who can challenge her with more challenging work, and less of it, the freedom to explore her interests, and the permission to follow her passions, it will be far more effective.

A grade skip would not have worked for my child, because by the time he was actually in school he was several grade levels ahead, and would have been really bored no matter what he was given.
.
Yes, some schools are woefully incapable of providing challenging curriculums for "gifted students". In 7th grade I attended a joint middle/high school and their solution was to place me in senior classes when I was 13. I have to be honest, that part wasn't awesome for my self esteem. I was excluded and made fun of at times, but when I look back on my past, that was a fleeting moment that I don't give any thought at all. I'm of the mindset that growing up, things can be tough but when you come out of it, you're much better for having taken the path less travelled.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:24 PM   #33
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We did it

and haven't regretted it at all. DD has a Feb birthday and cutoff here is 12/1.
Taking her preschool teacher's advice we asked the school to have her tested about 5 months before K. She was 5 years advanced in reading, 3 in math, and 1 for social/maturity. They couldn't measure her IQ 'cause she hit the ceiling on the two tests they used. (Got this from DH, not me.) Armed with this info we were told she could not skip and start in first as it just was not done. Have they done any formal tests for you? I know public schools have to if you ask, not sure about private. You can pay to have them done but it is $$.

K was miserable. She felt so different from everyone else. She was dumbing herself down to fit in and it was heartbreaking. In May we met with the teacher that she would have for first grade. She was amazing, and had all these cool plans for DD. But after awhile we realized that she would essentially be doing the whole year by herself, making her feel even worse. We brought up our concerns, and she was placed in 1st the next week.

It took quite a long time for us to get her to understand that now the other kids abilities were similar to hers and she could stop acting dumb. I think academically she probably would have been fine by 3rd grade (where everyone can read fluently) but she would have been a mess by then. Now she is in 9th grade. She is in 11th grade math, and honors levels for all other classes. She has a 94 unweighted GPA. She won't graduate #1 in her class, as there are definitely kids more motivated, but she will be way up there. (If she keeps going like she is.)

Socially yes, there are kids more advanced than she is, but that would have been the case if she was still in 8th grade too. She has a close group of nerdy, smart, socially challenged kids. None of them are "cool" or care about normal teen stuff.

Driving might be an issue, but we'll deal with it. We weren't going to sacrifice her self esteem for that. And drinking in college? I went for 4 years and never stepped foot in a bar. Pretty sure I had a drink on day one and no one asked me how old I was.

The biggest problem we've had are expectations. She's "the smart kid". If she messes up (and she has) everyone notices. She's had some very rude comments made to her (mainly by teachers) if her work isn't flawless. That's a lot of pressure. She's had a few meltdowns where she said she wished she was "normal". I think that feeling would have been worse if she was not advanced. I imagine a lot of girls have felt that way at different times for different reasons.

In midde school on her birthday some friends decorated her locker. They made signs all over it that said, "13". Then one friend walked by that she's known since she was a toddler. She looked at the decorations and said, "Uh.. she's only turning 12."

Check out the Iowa Acceleration Scale and "A Nation Deceived" for more information. But honestly, in your situation, you are putting her where she is supposed to be, not really skipping a grade. Can she move up mid-year? As others have pointed out, in many states the cutoff is in December. She will definitely not be the youngest in college.

Good luck!

Oh yes.. I had a good friend who had a DD that was reading chapter books at 4 like mine was. DD compiled a nice list of books that are challenging enough for strong readers, but the content is age appropriate. We can e-mail it if you are interested. This was a huge challenge for us too. Her favorites at that age were "The Wizard of Oz" series and the "Little House" books.

Last edited by zoemurr; 03-22-2013 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:40 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by adventure_woman View Post
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.
You have received some good advice overall, but there are few things I wanted to point out. I would hesitate to make a grade skip recommendation based on the very narrow school experience she has had.

The school she is at has 2 kindergarten students? What are the other 9 kids? She only goes to school three days? These are rather irregular school situations that could be skewing your daughter's experience. And frankly, with only 11 kids, she should be receiving lessons curtailed to her needs and abilities.

I would check out other schools and see if a better placement for next year that fits your daughter dd better could be found. Please keep in mind that I am a private Christian school teacher (high school) and all 4 of my own children attended private school K, so I am not against private school education.
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:45 PM   #35
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I think she meant

Quote:
Originally Posted by PA Princess View Post
You have received some good advice overall, but there are few things I wanted to point out. I would hesitate to make a grade skip recommendation based on the very narrow school experience she has had.

The school she is at has 2 kindergarten students? What are the other 9 kids? She only goes to school three days? These are rather irregular school situations that could be skewing your daughter's experience. And frankly, with only 11 kids, she should be receiving lessons curtailed to her needs and abilities.

I would check out other schools and see if a better placement for next year that fits your daughter dd better could be found. Please keep in mind that I am a private Christian school teacher (high school) and all 4 of my own children attended private school K, so I am not against private school education.
Two classes of K w/11 kids each. I agree that she might just need another program w/a more traditional schedule. K kids here go all day every day. (Although when mine went they didn't.)
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:54 PM   #36
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I was in the same situation 17 years ago with my oldest, she was already in a private school and ready academically so she could have started first grade at 5 turning 6 and then moved to public in 2nd grade. We choose not to do this and are all very happy with our decision. IMHO you can always challenge a child who wants/needs to be challenged academically but you can never get that time back once you move them up or skip that grade!

By the time she hit late middle school/high school she was able to choose her courses based on her placement and interest and also remain in her "true grade" which socially was the place for her. She has always been one of the oldest in her grade but it has never bothered her, no matter what someone has to be the oldest and someone the youngest!

Good Luck with your decision !
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:05 PM   #37
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OP here - thank you all for your thoughts. It helps to see everything from some many different perspectives.

As an FYI - here in MI (and at least where I am), it is not uncommon to wait until your LO turns 6 to enter kindergarten. (which is what she did - she turned 6 in kindergarten). The cutoff is actually changing to being 6 by Sept 1 or Aug 31 in a few years (they are gradually going from 11/30 to 10/31 to 9/30 to 9/1).

But, thank you to the poster who pointed out that if we move her up, that she wouldn't actually be 'skipping' a grade, she would just be moving to a grade she could have been in in the first place!

Still not sure what we will end up doing with her - my goal is for her to love school (or at least want to go to school). She has many activities outside of school (ballet, soccer during fall/spring, church group, swimming and soon to be violin). (She does have just downtime too to play - I don't want it to seem like every minute is structured - it is not. )
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:36 PM   #38
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Wanted to give another First Hand experience, my own, not my child. When I started first grade kindergarten was the norm, however not required. My birthday is December 8, the law at the time, was you had to be 6 before the end of the year. I started first grade/no kindergarten at 5 years old. I was very bright, though handicapped somewhat at the time by a first grade teacher, who believed everyone should go to kindergarten and held it against me that I hadn't and because I was left handed and wouldn't change and so on. However after first grade I soared, and the C.A.T. tests when I was in 5th grade showed 11th grade 9th month reading level. I was like one previous poster somewhat bored with school as it was and know it would have been worse if I had been held back a year. My biggest concern for you is your daughter not liking school now and not being challenged, this could be a huge set back for her academically and have far more implications in her reaching her potential than the possible social implications some have mentioned. Being the youngest in the class never was an issue for me, and others dating/driving earlier etc. I am sure it is different with every child, and maybe I had enough self confidence for it not to bother me. I actually graduated in the first quarter of my senior year and I was still 16. So please make sure that school is challenging for her, you don't want her to lose that thirst for knowledge. I am also a member of Mensa, but it was just a personal goal for me, and only my husband and one friend even knows about it.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:19 PM   #39
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Another avenue to explore is if you area has a talented or gifted program.

I was actually was in trouble a lot as a kindergartener because I was bored and in the middle of 1st grade was tested and moved to a gifted program in second grade. Socially I was always more comfortable with the older kids.


My daughter had similar issues in school until this year. She didn't get along socially in her class because she was talking over the other kids level and they didn't get her. In our school district they start the talented and gifted program in 4th grade since they use the Iowa exams as part of the criteria.

Now that I have her engaged in school and getting along with her classmates - mostly... she became and early bloomer - acne, physically, the whole 9 yards... - comes with being the oldest in the class.
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:00 AM   #40
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I didn't read all the other replies, but I've got a gifted kindy boy who loves going to the older classrooms. However, he is a young kindy (bday in July) and socially probably shouldn't skip a grade until later on. He reads at the third grade level but math is an issue. I think some gifted kids are good in everything but there are a few who are good in only one area. Kindergarten to me, is like an extension, upgraded version of preschool. First grade is where you start to do things like homework, sit at a desk, follow rules, etc. Personally, I don't think any child should skip first grade, it sort of eases them into 'professional' school if that makes sense. If she is totally bored in first grade, see if she could be challenged with an online computer curriculum enrichment program, see if her teacher(s) might let her go to a kindy class, if in same school, and read to the kids, etc. Also, if she is in a gifted program, ask around and see what other parents have done etc.

I would consider social skills too. My gifted kiddo is very condescending to other kids and also medicated ADHD, so even though he is above first grade level in many things, I think I would be making a huge mistake skipping first grade.

Once she makes it through first, then re-evaluate her needs and social skills and then decide if it would be beneficial for her in all aspects, to skip the other grades.

Good luck!
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Old 03-23-2013, 02:21 AM   #41
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I was also going to say that being advanced when you are in a classroom full of kids who could be a full year younger than you really isn't gifted. I would see if she could spend some time each day in the first grade class during the last few months of school and see if it seems like a good fit and make your decision from there.

I had a November birthday so was 17 the first few months of college. No big deal. Like another poster who said the same thing I graduated from college a semester early so was one month past my 21st birthday. Again, no big deal.

Most people I know who have held their child out felt good about it during the first few years and then kind of wished they hadn't later. If you are already questioning your decision it's probably time to rethink it now rather than later. IMO a private school with small classes should have some flexibility.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:13 AM   #42
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Sorry have not read other replies yet, but my DS hated public K because it was too easy and he was bored. He did fine socially. My DD is 6 and in K with 10/09 bday, head taller than the other kids, academically advanced, and plays better with 7 and 8 yr olds than with those her age. I am keeping both kids in their age-based grades for now. My reasons are: 1. I home school them so their "real" grade rarely matches the grade level of the work they are doing; their "grade" is fairly irrelevant. 2. For baseball, dance, etc. they are divided by age, not grade. 3. Skipping one grade probably wouldn't make much of a dent academically anyway. If a kid needs more challenging work, the work usually needs to be much more challenging, not just one grade up.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:52 AM   #43
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My own experience

My parents allowed me to skip from 1st to 3rd in the middle of the school year. I think I only went to kindergarten for half a year. I had one of those old school grandmas who made me do reading, writing and arithmetic at home. Pretty proficient by the time I was 3 or 4.

I didn't have any social issues but I also went to all girls schools. Not Christian but just all female. The schools that I went to were very academically challenging. I can remember not getting some things that the older girls discussed but didn't feel too left out. I am very pleased with their decision.

I was always younger than my entire class but I enjoyed it. I knew and dated the same boy all through high school so it worked out for me. I learned how to not get overlooked because of my age or gender and that has certainly helped in my chosen career.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:23 AM   #44
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My DS is in the gifted program. He is in 10th grade this year. He was placed there (was tested before placed in the program) between his 3rd and 4th grade year. The thing to know is that when they are tested, only a small part is actual reading/math skills. There is alot of other types of testing involved. I remember my son telling me about how he had to do alot of 'solving' type situations. It is really alot more in depth than reading/math above their level.

He was bored in school also. Especially in the first couple years. However, teachers were great about giving him extra work to fill his time while she helped the other kids who needed it. I don't think I would have moved my DS up a grade only because later on when the work gets harder there is a little gap that gets filled. (It is kinda a catchup point where it gets harder and the 'smarter' kids feel more challenged).
School work has always been easy for DS but the 'gifted' program here is not about doing advanced math/reading. I was surprised to find out that they do more essay type work. Research and report type work. And alot more science stuff too. Pretty much everything BUT math/reading. lol Which I guess makes sense. The basics come very easy and isn't challenging. So doing any type of math/reading would just bore him even more!
He loves the program but it is just a sublet of his regular school day. He goes to those classes about 2 times a week. He gets taken out of his 'seminar' class (which is like study hall here) to go.

I would think long and hard about skipping a grade. But then again I guess since she wouldn't be actually skipping but just moved to where she could have been to begin with then it may not be that big of a deal. Just be advised that the work WILL get harder.

Funny side story:
I remember when my DS was in 6th grade and they had a substitute teacher for math. My son came home to tell me that he had to basically 'teach' the class that day cause the sub didn't know how to do the math problems. He came home one proud little boy that day. I will never forget the look on his face as he was telling me about it. Later on I asked the regular math teacher and she told me that it was an emergency fill in and they just had to send anyone they could find for a few hours. lol Ahh well, the other students thought it was great that their school buddy got to help them out for the class.
Every kid is different and luckily he just has that personality that makes him likable to everyone or else things like this could cause him to be an outcast with kids that age.
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Old 03-23-2013, 08:49 AM   #45
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Have you visited your local public schools? Sometimes, small private schools are not adept at dealing with a range of kids' learning styles and also may have less enrichment.

Similarly, at least in my community, the small religious private schools are not as academically oriented as the top-tier (religious or not) private schools.

As others have said, the consequences of skipping a grade aren't about the here and now, but will appear later. Changing schools might be the easier and more correct answer.
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