advice about skipping grades
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Thread: advice about skipping grades

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    anakin322 is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default advice about skipping grades

    Hello all, my wife and I are homeschooling our two children. Our son is in first grade and our daughter in preschool. We enrolled our son a year early for preschool with the original intention to do 2 years of preschool prior to starting kindergarten. However, he did very well in preschool and we could not find a 2nd year preschool program that we felt would challenge him enough. In fact, we enrolled him into an "Advanced Kindergarten" curriculum through a Christian homeschool program that we found. He started this course right after turning 4 and did extremely well, especially in math and reading. He has now started first grade (we are doing a year round schedule of 3-4 weeks on 1-2 weeks off). He has already completed most of his first grade math and writing curriculum so we requested the 2nd grade curriculum from his school. When they sent it they recommended that, since he is advancing so quickly, when he has completed his first grade curriculum we advance him directly to 3rd grade, skipping 2nd grade. This leads to our question of experienced homeschooling parents: is this a good idea? Although he will still be getting his core 2nd grade classes (math, English, writing) he will be skipping science, history, spelling, and bible. In many ways we are not immediately concerned, we are more concerned about when he gets older. If we skip this grade now he will be on track to graduate high school right after he turns 15. I have read success stories about this, but have also read plenty of scary stories about these teenagers not being able to adapt to the college environment. Any input would be appreciated...Thanks in advance

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    jpenn is offline Senior Member
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    Every child is so different and your child is no exception, and my first concern would be his maturity level. Boys tend to mature later than girls. Fifteen is still pretty young, especially if he will be entering college. Personally, I would NOT want my fifteen year old around 18-19 year old college kids. It's great that he is advanced, but that doesn't mean that he has to get out that early. Since you are homeschooling, you can supplement his core learning with lots of wonderful extras that most kids would never have time to experience. He can concentrate on things he's interested in learning more about. Once he knows what he is interested in for a future career, he can spend time preparing for that and possibly finding an apprenticeship. All this gives him time to mature and experience life before being thrown into a mix of college age kids with more on their mind than your son might be ready for.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Joyfully,
    Jackie

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    MamaToHerRoo is offline Senior Member
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    I would second a lot of what Jackie said. I would add my own experience. We pulled my daughter from public school in middle of 1st grade, and completed through 2nd grade by summer. She remained about a year ahead for 3-4 years. Then she kind of burned out. She is easily smart enough, but I found it more important to let her follow some of her own interests such as piano, organ, and horses than for her to stay a year or 2 ahead in everything. I definetly do not want my 15 year old daughter going to college, or being thrown in with 18-24 year olds at college. I say that acceleration is fine as long as it doesn't push a child too hard (and every child is different) but also consider enrichment because the homeschool experience can be very fulfilling if the child gets to learn not only the academic subjects but other things that really mean something to the child's interests.
    Linda
    Homeschooling one for 8 years and counting!

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    HerefordHGS is offline Junior Member
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    I started by looking through the actual curriculum for each subject for second grade, where he would be for public school. In those I felt he had already learned 90%, I bumped him up to third. He's advanced in certain areas, but needs help in some. I love that he can learn at his own pace the actual level he's at for each subject.

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    HerefordHGS, That sounds great! Being able to access the grade above and the grade below the one the child is registered for means that they can move at their own pace and truely customize their education experience. Best of luck!
    Linda
    Homeschooling one for 8 years and counting!

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    I wouldn't worry about skipping spelling-kids learn plenty of spelling words just from reading and writing, so there's no need to worry about there being a gap there. Science and social studies tend to spiral in the younger ages- every year builds a little bit on the year before, so what's taught in 2nd grade will be reviewed in 3rd grade before they begin the 3rd grade material. I don't know what kinds of bible studies are provided in the elementary grades, and it's up to you whether or not you want to supplement the "missing year"- perhaps over the summer.

    Since you included bible studies in the list of subjects, I assume you're looking at a private religious school and not a public school. That may limit his options, in terms of "honors classes" and other ways to stimulate him academically without pushing him ahead to actually be with older children.

    I'd be concerned about socialization if he's in classes with children 2 years his senior. It's not really a big deal for a 6 year old spending time with 8 year olds- especially since these children ARE his intellectual equals. But once his classmates start puberty, he may start to fall behind socially.

    If it were my child, I think I'd consider homeschooling him for more than the originally planned 2 years. Let him socialize with kids that he "clicks with" whether those kids are his age or older than him, and keep his academic progress separate from his social progress. I'm sure you can meet local children his age at church, in the neighborhood, etc. If you get involved in local homeschool groups, you'll meet even more.

    Once he's high school level, you can evaluate the options at that time. He may be able to do a lot of AP courses (college level work) in a high school setting. He may choose to go to a community college, where there really isn't the "college social scene" like you get in residential colleges. He can move onto a 4 year school when he's 17 or 18 and mature enough to handle it. I have family friends who sent their sons to a special school for the gifted, so they socialized with other kids their own age who were also 2-3 academic years ahead. But, they were a secular family living in NYC, and I don't know if anything like that is available to you.

    But really, don't overthink things. You don't know if he will continue to work at such an advanced level as he gets older. By high school, his peers may catch up to him.
    Ruth, single mom to Jack, 13, Hannah, 19, and Leah, 20.

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