Are you wondering whether it’s possible to skip a grade or how many times you can skip a grade? While there’s no one answer to the second question, the truth remains that many schools would allow talented students to skip a grade or more when necessary. However, the child may need to write an acceleration test to skip a grade. Before considering skipping a grade, there are many questions you should ask. Here, let’s review some of the information you should have about skipping a grade.
What is the Best Grade to Skip?
Many children who skip grades do so in elementary school. This is partly because the option begins to deplete as they go higher.
However, it’s important to note that elementary age isn’t the only time your child might benefit from grade acceleration. A child can skip grades at different points between elementary age and college. However, you must note the different ways your child’s grade can be accelerated and stick to the one that best suits your child. According to the Acceleration Institute, here are some of the ways that a child can skip a whole grade.
- Whole-grade acceleration: This involves skipping a whole grade at any point in a child’s school. It’s usually possible in elementary, middle, and high school.
- Early kindergarten admission: Another popular option is enrolling your child for kindergarten at an early age. States and districts usually set a minimum age for entering each grade. Enrolling your gifted age into kindergarten before this age is an excellent way to accelerate their grade and help them graduate quicker.
- Early admission into first grade: Like the previous point, you can accelerate your child’s schooling by enrolling them into first grade at an early age. Some parents opt to entirely skip kindergarten and move straight into first grade.
- Early entrance into middle school or high school: This usually involves starting the next level of their school year(s) earlier than generally expected.
- Telescoping curriculum: Another option is rushing a curriculum so that you can finish in a period that’s shorter than expected. For instance, your school can readjust a three years middle school curriculum so that you can finish in just two years.
Is it Possible to Skip Two Grades?
Yes, you can skip more than one grade in school. In fact, some studies show that grade skipping is an effective way to help talented students remain intellectually challenged and engaged throughout school. Gifted students can skip a grade or two at any level of their school. However, it’s essential to be aware of the pros and cons of grade skipping before choosing it as an option.
Usually, we recommend asking a teacher or a school administrator about the direct effect of skipping more than one grade before opting for it. The teacher or school administrator should be familiar with the process and, as such, should be able to help you choose what’s right.
However, skipping more than one grade isn’t always the best idea, although it’s not bad either. Students often enter new classes significantly younger than their peers if they skip two or more grades. This can leave them prone to being bullied or teased by older students. Also, it’s crucial to ensure that the student is familiar with the curriculum of the grade they are skipping, as teachers would usually assume you have all the knowledge from previous grades.
Can You Skip a Grade if You Failed?
Yes, you can skip a grade if you fail. Although it’s often rare. Remember that there are so many reasons why a school may recommend grade retention for your child. For instance, if your child has failed to build the academic skills needed for the next grade, the school may advise grade retention. The whole idea is that they’ll use the extra year to catch up and get ready for the next grade.
However, there’ll be times when other factors apart from your child’s academic performance would be considered when suggesting grade retention. Some of the other reasons your child’s school can site include:
- Your child is still socially immature or too young for their grade.
- Your child has missed so many school days because of an illness or any other reason.
- Your child falls short of the performance level needed for progressing to the next grade.
We’ve also seen the concept of third-grade retention playing out in some states. This law stops children from moving to the next level if they can’t read at a certain level.
Usually, you can help your kid get up to speed with their peers by introducing extra classes and other strategies. Once they start to do well again, the school would allow them to skip ahead.
How to Skip a Grade: 5 Steps
You think grade skipping might be great for your child, but you have questions. What’s the process like? What are the right steps? Unfortunately, there’s no one direct answer to these questions as the process can vary from individual to individual. Schools and districts often have their guidelines on how to skip a grade, and what’s acceptable in one school may not be acceptable in another school. However, here, let’s talk about some of the steps you’re generally expected to take if you intend to skip a grade.
Study the Curriculum for the Next Grade Level
The best place to start your quest to skip a grade is from knowing what lies ahead. If you’re a parent, ask your child’s teacher if you could flip through the educational materials for the next grade. Look through several academic materials with your child, asking them questions to see whether they are close to understanding concepts they’ll encounter in the next grade. This should be an excellent basis to test your child’s readiness for the next grade. You never can tell, it could make you change your mind about skipping a grade for your child, or you may become even more convinced that it’s the right step for them.
Consider the Social Impact
Skipping grades is not just about academics. Your child would find themselves having so many other interactions with other students and teachers. School is one of the most significant places where kids learn to socialize and pick up life lessons. Therefore, it’s not surprising that most schools would rather keep students with their peers than throw them into advanced settings.
Choosing grade acceleration means that you’ll likely place your child among students that are older and more mature than them. This can be a problem for them if they are less developed and mature. Therefore, it’s important to weigh your child’s maturity level and be sure that they are ready for the next grade before skipping a grade.
Encourage the Child to Ease their Grade and GPA
Most schools will not agree to students skipping a grade if they receive poor grades. Therefore, one of the first steps to skipping a grade is encouraging your child to up their grade. This would help show that the child is skilled at their current level and ready to move to the next grade. Encourage them to not slack off on their current grade works, even if it seems too easy and boring for them. Slacking off can destroy their chances of moving to a new grade.
Wait Until the First Semester (or Quarter)
We strongly advise against applying to skip a grade in the first week of school. Instead, we recommend waiting until halfway through the year or more. You or your child may change your minds after seeing some of the challenges that come with the current grade. If, after the first semester, your child still finds the grade easy, they are ready to consider skipping.
Consider Other Methods of Independent Study
If a school isn’t willing to allow your child to skip a grade, there’s probably a good reason why. However, they often recommend other means to help your child excel. Most schools will work with gifted students by providing after-school activities and other courses to help keep them busy and make school less boring. Some high schools even go as far as offering credit for internships at non-profit organizations and local businesses. Perhaps, all those can be the challenge your child needs to remain focused in their present grade.
Wrapping Things Up: How Many Grades Can You Skip at Once
There you have it, a detailed guide on how many grades you can skip. Most schools may oppose grade skipping or limit it to just a grade or two, irrespective of your social or academic situation. Bear in mind that there’s no general research that supports this notion, and the decisions may vary across different schools and districts. Therefore, we still recommend finding out from your district’s educational office about what’s applicable. If you’ve decided that grade skipping is suitable for you or your kid, you can follow the steps explained in this article to skip a grade.