Some years back, a gifted child would skip a grade and still perform well academically. Things have changed; today, it is a common trend to find a parent holding a child a class back, popular as red-shirting before joining kindergarten. It’s not a big issue; this happens to give your child an edge over the others. But still, you don’t want your child to get bored and restless without a challenge. When your preschooler is way ahead of others, for example, reading, writing, and understanding some math concepts, you might be wondering if skipping a grade would be fine for your child.
Deciding whether skipping a grade is right takes into account some factors like intellect, the body size of the child, motor skills, peers, emotional and social development. Notice how your child likes to relate with adults or older kids than their age. If they love to connect with older children or adults, it is an excellent sign to skip a grade if you feel they are unchallenged. Before rebounding a class, hold your horses, consult with a professional or an educational therapist for recommendations. An assessment of your child would do good before making such tremendous decisions.
Ultimately, it is only wise to skip a grade if your child is way ahead of their peers academically and can handle the jump emotionally. Gifted children are sensitive and need extra attention. Factors like shyness, competitiveness, perfectionism, and self-control should feature while making decisions. It may have long-term effects on overall child performance and self-esteem.
Alternatives to skipping
Skipping a grade is not the only option for gifted preschoolers, and it can be disruptive to the child’s social stability. A child who skips a stage will miss the usual friends and meet new friends who might take some time to get along. He will miss playmates or teachers, and he may cut off a good stepping stone that could skyrocket her performances. Skipping a grade will have long-term ramifications like having to wait for a few years before obtaining a drivers’ license because of early accomplishment. Having to wait before dating when their friends are already going out will have negative impacts on social development. Your child will be under pressure to do things he or she might not be ready to do.
So, before you give a shot, talk to several stakeholders for guidance. Some principals can accommodate gifted children without a grade leap. A single-subject skip could help your child, like sending the gifted child to the next class during reading time and allowing them back later. Some teachers may accommodate advanced learners in a class by letting them pursue other areas while teaching the rest. Some schools have pull-out programs for gifted learners where specialist teachers come to teach them advanced concepts on special arrangements like weekends when the rest are not in school. So, don’t let your child skip a grade, explore the alternatives, and allow your child to fit into the system.
Before you take a leap
Start convincing the school head or principal how it will benefit your child to skip a grade. Some schools are reluctant about missing a class, while some require evidence of a child’s giftedness before approving skipping a class.