Skipping a grade is something that is talked about frequently with bright, young students, but as students progress through their schooling, it gets talked about less and less. While it is easier to skip a grade in the younger grades, it is possible to skip any grade if that is what your child needs. There are so many things to think about and options to consider when skipping a grade. In this article, we hope to clear up some of the common concerns and questions about skipping a grade in middle school.
What Does Skipping a Grade Mean?
Skipping a grade can mean various things, but the general outcome of skipping a grade is a child being in a grade above where their age group would normally be. This can come in many forms and can happen all at once or slowly over time. There is no one way to skip a grade, but there are a few common ways that students skip a grade.
One of the most common ways that a student skips a grade is simply by starting the school year off in the grade above where their age group is. This could mean finishing kindergarten in the spring and starting second grade in the fall. This style of skipping a grade is often best in the younger grades when grade level curriculums are less set. In these cases, it is often possible for the parents or a tutor to help the student make up any information they miss during the summer.
Another option for skipping a grade that tends to work better in the higher grades is called a telescoping curriculum. A telescoping curriculum is when a student completes the work for a particular grade level at a different rate. For example, a student may complete all the required work for sixth grade in the fall semester, and then all the work for seventh grade in the spring semester. This puts them starting eighth grade with the cohort of students above their age-group.
A telescoping curriculum is a great option for a family with a crazy schedule. This tends to be hard to pull off in large public schools, many of which lack the resources and funding to dedicate this much time to one student. For example, if a family is going on sabbatical or is going to be living in a different place for an odd length of time, such as a few months, it might be a great time to work with the student’s teachers and get the curriculum to complete as you travel. This gives the student more flexibility in completing the work at a pace that works for them.
A telescoping curriculum is also a great option for older students since it gives them more freedom, but it requires a certain amount of independence that isn’t there with younger kids. Students must be able to keep themselves motivated and working since there tends to be less direct adult oversight with a telescoping curriculum than there is in a conventional school setting.
Is It Possible to Skip a Grade in Middle School?
It is possible to skip a grade in middle school, but it is considerably less common and much more complicated than skipping a lower grade. There are several factors that play into the choice of if skipping a grade in middle school is the right choice for your student, with lots of pros and cons to weigh out.
The other thing to consider if you find yourself asking yourself, ‘should I skip a grade in middle school?’ is that there are other options for accelerating your learning without committing to skipping a grade. While skipping a grade may seem like the most obvious choice to enhance your education, middle schools and high schools often make it much easier than elementary schools to have a more personalized experience.
One of the simplest ways to create a more engaging educational schedule is to talk to your school about what is possible. Maybe there’s a class that you would like to test into an upper level or an exciting elective that you could fit into your schedule. The ability to create a custom schedule allows for much more flexibility throughout middle school and high school than you likely had in elementary school.
For example, you could stick with your grade level for math and science but take English with the grade above you. You could pick up an extra language over the summer and test into a higher-level language class in the fall. Most schools offer a good amount of elective choices that can help you create a more customized feeling schedule.
Another way to accelerate your grade is to take online courses to supplement your in-person schooling. There are tons of online schools for kids at a variety of price points that can allow you to take, for example, next year’s science class so you can take a different course in school instead. Many states even have a statewide online school option that is subsidized by the state, making this a great option if you want to push yourself.
What are the Requirements to Skip a Grade in Middle School?
The requirements to skip any grade vary based on age, state restrictions, and school. Before you even worry about how to skip a grade in middle school, make sure you check the requirements and regulations for your specific state. Some states don’t have many rules around skipping grades, but other states have very specific rules.
These rules can also vary depending on the type of school that your student attends. The rules for a homeschool student looking to skip a grade are different than that of a public school or private school student looking to skip a grade.
One option that can be helpful when trying to skip a grade in middle school or any higher grade is to think about combining or switching the type of schooling. This can help you work within the confines of your state’s rules while also making schooling an enjoyable experience for your student.
We talked about telescoping curriculums earlier in the article, but it is worth mentioning again. While it may be easy to leave kindergarten one spring and start second grade the next fall, there is a lot more work to cleanly skip a full grade in one go in middle school. For this reason, utilizing everything that a telescoping curriculum has to offer may be the best and most manageable way to skip a grade in middle school.
This means finding ways to accelerate the courses that you are taking. For example, maybe you opt to take math independently and do one course in the fall and one course in the spring. This sort of independently paced curriculum allows you to get through multiple years of a subject in just one school year.
This is a great place to incorporate classes at a local community college or an online school into your course schedule. This will give you more freedom when you take what class. This isn’t always possible for every student, though, so make sure you see what options are available to you and make the most informed decision for you and your family.
What is the Best Grade to Skip in Middle School?
The best grade to skip in middle school depends on your middle school, but, in general, skipping your last year of middle school is a good bet. For most people, this is eighth grade. Skipping eighth grade means that you are skipping directly into high school, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the student in question.
The challenge with skipping your first year of middle school, which is either sixth grade or seventh grade, depending on how your school is structured, is that you miss any help that is given in transitioning out of elementary school. In most elementary schools, students are assigned to a teacher who they will have for almost all, if not all, subjects. This leaves little movement from classroom to classroom or teacher to teacher in an elementary student’s day.
Typically, the start of middle school is when you begin to have different teachers and different classrooms for different subjects throughout the day. As you transition from elementary school to middle school, your middle school may have a transition course or some transition focused meetings that are meant to help you get your bearings and understand how the school is structured now.
Being able to manage a schedule that may be different from other students and make sure you get to each class on time is a skill that can take some students some time to get used to. Since most middle schools, high schools, and colleges are structured in a similar way, allowing your middle school to help you out as much as possible is a great way to help ensure success farther down the road.
Another option for skipping eighth grade and another reason why it is, in most cases, the most manageable middle school grade to skip is to opt to go to a private high school with an entrance exam. Generally, private high schools that require students to take a specific exam will accept students who score a certain score or above on their entrance exam. This means that you could finish seventh grade and take the entrance exam.
This option really only works if there is a school that functions like this, and that is realistic for you to both get into and afford. This is a great option if it is manageable and realistic for your family, but this option won’t work for all families. It is worth looking into what requirements there are to start at any high school options you may be considering.
Can You Skip 7th grade?
You can totally skip seventh grade if that is what you, your parents, your teachers, and your school determine to be the best course of action for you. While skipping a grade in middle school can be a huge challenge, it can also help keep motivated students more motivated.
For some schools, seventh grade is the first year of middle school or junior high, meaning that seventh grade is a huge transition year. This is why we recommend skipping a different grade in middle school or junior high. That being said, it is feasible for you to skip seventh grade.
Can You Skip 8th grade?
Eighth grade is also possible to skip. Similar to skipping seventh grade, skipping eighth grade will be a challenge, but if you and your support system have determined that it is the best course of action for you, it is totally possible.
Like we said earlier in this article, if you are going to skip a grade in middle school, we recommend considering skipping a later grade in middle school, like eighth grade. This will minimize the amount of transitional information that you will miss out on. There really isn’t any grade in middle school that the curriculum is vastly more challenging to skip than any other grade. It really comes down to which grade makes the most sense for you.
Pros and Cons of Skipping a Grade in Middle School
There’s a variety of reasons why someone might want to skip a grade in middle school, but there are also some major drawbacks to consider. Make sure that if you are interested in skipping a grade in middle school, you fully consider all the pros and cons of your choice. Make sure you understand what is best for you and your family, and take into account any rules and regulations that your state may have. Some states have tests to accelerate through grades at a faster-than-normal rate, so make sure you know all the requirements before you commit to skipping a grade.
One of the pros of skipping a grade in middle school is that the curriculum is less set than it is in high school. Many people see middle school and the last time when it is realistic to skip a full grade since high school curriculums are often more set and lead towards national standardized testing. Skipping a grade in middle school can help get a highly motivated student moving through their education at a speed that will keep them highly motivated.
The biggest con of skipping a grade in middle school is just how challenging it is. While skipping kindergarten or first grade isn’t a big deal, there is a lot of material that is covered each year in later elementary school, middle school, and high school. Middle school also falls right around the age when students are hitting puberty, which is an age when being with their own age-cohort might be a good idea.
It is important to consider the mental maturity level of a student when deciding what grade is the best fit for them. Some students may be academically able to and ready to skip a grade in middle school, but they just aren’t at a maturity level that would allow them to really succeed in a high school or upper-middle school setting. Have other options, such as extensive extracurriculars, to help keep your student engaged and learning if skipping a grade isn’t right for them is a great thing to consider.
Wrapping Things Up: How to Skip a Grade in Middle School
Overall, it is possible to skip a grade in middle school, but the logistics of skipping a grade in middle school are much more challenging to manage than skipping a grade in early elementary school. Skipping a grade in middle school is a choice that the student, parents, teachers, and school administration must all make together. We hope that this article has given you some good things to think about if this is a choice that you or your student are considering pursuing.