Grade skipping didn’t start today, and it doesn’t look like it’s stopping any time soon. In fact, there have been instances where popular figures skipped a grade and still reached the milestone they wanted. There have also been instances where skipping a grade has set people back. Therefore, it’s essential to balance the pros and cons of skipping a grade before deciding whether it’s right for you. In this article, we’ll find out everything you should know about the advantages and disadvantages of skipping grades.
Should Your Child Skip a Grade?
As always, the decision to skip a grade comes with many questions and boxes to tick. One of the most important questions is whether you should skip a grade in the first place. It boils down to individual abilities and why you are considering skipping a grade. To help, here’s a grade acceleration checklist by educators and researchers.
When you want to make the decisions, you can take a test to determine your child’s IQ and see where they are currently.
You want to understand if skipping a grade would set them back. If it would set them back, perhaps you should choose a grade acceleration program that suits your child’s developmental process.
Many parents and educators believe that it is better to skip a grade in elementary grades. One of the main reasons behind this notion is that children are in their formative age and can adapt to new changes and adjustments. On the other hand, advanced grades feature more specialized programs, making it more challenging to adjust to new changes when you skip a grade. As usual, a child would need the physical and mental strength required to survive the next grade.
Social and Personal Traits
Smartness, intelligence, and emotional strength are all requirements for moving to a new grade. If your child is smart or more intelligent than their peers, it may make them lose the motivation to work hard. At this point, skipping a grade may be the answer to making them focus again.
A lot of children know when they are different from other children. When you have decided to skip your child’s grade, you might want to speak with your child’s school to know the steps you will take. While at it, be hopeful that you will sort it and allow due process to take its cause.
What are the Pros of Skipping a Grade?
An excellent way to know whether skipping a grade would be right for your kid is by comparing the pros and cons in relation to the present ability of your kid. Here are some of the common pros of skipping a grade.
Many children are going to be successful at their grades or stand out, hence calling for whether they should skip grades or not.
Some schools create programs for gifted children. Others don’t have enough funds for that. For schools that lack the necessary finance to separate the programs, moving a step ahead can be the needed mental stimulus. Students can be excited by the prospect of taking on new academic challenges.
Reduction of problematic behaviors
Often, gifted students show behaviors like complaining or not wanting to go to school completely because of the boredom of not being challenged. Teachers would notice that some children who finish their work quicker than their Peers would distract others and become disruptive. Challenging gifted students with more work would make them less likely to misbehave in class.
It goes without saying that children would typically feel more academically satisfied when they skip a grade because they’ll have to deal with materials that match their learning ability. Since the new materials interest them, they would hardly lose interest in them.
What are the Cons of Skipping a Grade?
Despite the numerous benefits of skipping a grade, it still has disadvantages. Here, let’s review some of them.
Studies show that grade changes can lead to several social and emotional distress. If left unchecked, these distresses can negatively affect a child’s academic performance. Unfortunately, many gifted children show asymmetrical development these days, which means that their academic and intellectual abilities would sometimes excess their emotional and social maturity.
Pushing a child to skip a grade without considering their emotional and social preparedness for the new challenge can set them back. Most times, such students find it difficult to manage the emotional and social demands of learning with older students. The unhappiness that comes with this would cause children to stop giving their best to their studies.
Inability to keep up with the increased workload
Yes, we know you’re skipping your child’s grades because of how intelligent they are. However, it’s also important to consider how the new work schedule would affect them. As students advance academically, they find their workload increasing. However, the sharp increase that comes with skipping a grade can become overwhelming for some students. But this is not the case for every gifted student. Many students are still so well with the increased workload.
Difficulty to stay top of their class
Apart from dealing with new materials, students may also struggle to keep up with the academic performance they are used to. For instance, a student that’s always in the top 1% in their class may not be able to achieve this feat when moved up to another grade level. This can easily discourage them and cause them to lose interest in studying.
How to Skip a Grade: Three Steps
Like every other decision, the decision to skip a grade doesn’t come easily. Now that you’ve decided that it’s right to skip a grade, it’s also important to follow the correct process. Apart from knowing the requirements to skip a grade, you should also inquire what it’ll take in your kid’s school. Here, let’s highlight the general processes you’ll need to skip a grade.
Writing a request
Once you’ve decided and inquired what it takes, the first process to actually achieve a move is to write a request to your kid’s school. Address the written request to your child’s school principal and own a copy of it. A written request shows more seriousness and would be honored more easily. Don’t force anything. Allow due process. Although this may seem slow, allowing due process would help ensure that your kid is ready for the challenge.
Seek expert guidance
It’s also essential to ensure that your kid is on the right path. Don’t just take their words and actions at home for it. Make every necessary consultation. Remember that the kid’s teacher is always with him or her around their academic environment. Therefore, they’ll know their academic preparedness for the next challenge. Some schools have psychologists. These psychologists would not only advise you on what’s right, but they’ll also help you to make your kid’s incorporation into the next grade easier. They have handled other children and will do it easier and better.
Check to be sure of their emotional preparedness
You should have evidence of how prepared your kids are to take the new step emotionally. You can organize a test to help you assess them. Otherwise, you can check their performance in their homework to know. You should also obverse your kid’s behavioral patterns. Ask their friends, teachers, and other people to see this perspective of the kid’s behavior. There’s so much to do in school beyond academic work, and you must ensure that your kid is ready. Think about how they’ll socialize with their friends in higher class? Let that guide you in making the best decision that will help them in the long run.
Wrapping Things Up: Pros and Cons to Skipping a Grade
Whether it’s your decision for your kid to skip a grade or their school’s decision, it’s always important to be sure it’s the right thing. One of the ways you can check to know what’s right is by reviewing the pros and cons in relation to your kid’s ability. If the pros for your kid outweigh the cons of skipping a grade, then it’s probably the right thing to do. On the other hand, if the con outweighs the pros, you should consider other options apart from skipping a grade.
Fortunately, you can choose other grade acceleration programs if you don’t want to skip a grade. The goal is to help your kid meet up with what suits their intellectual capability without setting them back in any way.