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Skipping Grades: 4 Steps to Your Decision (page 2)

Skipping Grades: 4 Steps to Your Decision

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Updated on Jul 12, 2013

Step 3: Timing

Generally, it’s considered best to switch your child from one grade to the other at the beginning of the school year. But switching in the middle of the school year may be more helpful if you’d like your child’s previous and future teacher to work together to support your child’s transition—a request that’s hard to fulfill when both teachers are on vacation.

Also, make sure you feel good about the teacher whose class your child would be switching into. Some teachers seem overly pessimistic about grade-skipping and think that the new student will not be mature. Teacher support is essential when a child is skipping a grade, especially in helping the child transition from one classroom and group of peers to another. If the teacher doesn’t seem receptive to the idea, you may want to consider pushing it off for another year.

Step 4: Trial Period

If your child’s situation meets all of the above criteria, set a trial period of six weeks to give your child time to adjust to her new class. Make sure that your child realizes that this is a trial period—that she can switch back if the changes don’t seem helpful, and doing so would not make her a failure. During this time, your child may find it helpful to talk to a school counselor to help smooth the transition.

But what if your child doesn’t fit these criteria, or if the trial period bombs? According to Culross, there are many more ways to “accelerate” students, and grade-skipping is only one of them. Talk with the administrators at your child’s school about other methods that might work. Choices include curriculum compacting, mentoring, online independent study classes, or subject-matter acceleration. Whatever your decision, your goal and the goal of the school administration should always be to find the best way to meet your child’s needs.

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