Skipping A Grade

As a way to accelerate students’ learning, some schools consider allowing them to skip a grade, but is it the right decision for your child? In this article, we’ll discuss the possible benefits and drawbacks of skipping a grade.

Parental question:

Our daughter’s fifth-grade teacher is considering allowing her to skip to sixth grade. This will require her to transfer from elementary to middle school. She isn’t thrilled about leaving her friends behind, but she has mastered the fifth-grade material. Is there any research on accelerating students that could help us make this decision?


Our response:

The majority of research indicates that gifted students who are accelerated typically perform well academically. It may even boost their motivation and scholarship. Some researchers even advocate devoting more than one year to highly gifted children. Nonetheless, a few accelerated students are dissatisfied because they are no longer the top students in their classes.

Parents are often concerned about the emotional consequences of a grade skip. They are worried that their children will ride bicycles while their older classmates drive cars and date. Unfortunately, few studies have been conducted on the emotional consequences of failing a class. Some researchers believe that the skipped students are more mature than their age peers and are unaffected by the absence. Others argue that gifted students should be kept with their peers and that the curriculum should be expanded.

While academic performance is generally enhanced by grade acceleration, there are emotional and social implications that should be considered before making a decision. Gifted students who skip a grade may experience social and emotional challenges, such as feeling out of place and disconnected from their peers. Additionally, they may feel pressure to excel academically and experience burnout or other mental health issues.

Parents should carefully weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of grade acceleration and consider their child’s individual needs and temperament. They may want to consult with educators and mental health professionals to help them make an informed decision. Ultimately, the goal should be to support the child’s academic and emotional well-being, while also ensuring they have a positive and fulfilling social experience.

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