My 2nd grader has complained and complained that he is bored in class. We have been told by his teachers he reads and comprehends well past a 5th grade level and we believe it to be even higher. He also is very advanced at math. We love our teacher and think she does the best she can with the resources she has. We want him to have fun and enjoy school, not be bored. What should we do?
That's a tough call. Your child has a great teacher, (most likely) has a connection with other kids in his class, yet he's bored. Boredom in class can definitely be a strong indicator that grade acceleration is a good idea.
I suggest working with your child's teacher and principal to get their opinion on the situation. As a team, you (the parents), the teacher and administrators who work with your child, as well as your son himself should work together as a team to determine the best option.
Below, I've also included an article that contains some helpful questions for you to think about as you work to make your decision.
This same thing happened with my son when he was in the second grade. Fortunately our district offers a school for gifted children. It was the best decision I ever made as he really blossomed in this environment.
I have also dealt with this in first grade. My personal feelings and observation is that boredom destroys motivation , and too much time doing unchallenging tasks trains the person to think that a lack of effort is the norm and then any amount of effort becomes reason for complaint, essentially wasting this period when they can learn more than they ever will be able to again and setting them up for much lower personal expectations. If they have deep ties to the friend group I would just consider doing a lot of after school work and let school be a social structure. However, I have observed that the child who performs at a level consistently above the rest of the class does not gain strong friends and can feel isolated and to retain friends they start to perform at a similar level. Is the goal how to blend in or how to do your best? In an ideal situation these two goals might be attainable simultaneously.
I have not observed a good out come by allowing social needs to take greater weight. After discussions with my child over several weeks and seeing her consistent response to the questions of boredom, how was your day, and was there anything you learned today, would you mind being younger and smaller than your classmates, we decided to make the effort to skip a grade. There is no allowance for doing this directly in our present school system so we took a year off and home schooled at an accelerated pace to re instill a love of learning and an excitement about a challenge and to gain enough academically that upon testing when re-entering the school system it would be obvious that all the current grades material had been mastered. The principal felt it was better to be the top student in the class, I did not . Testing went as planned and the student has been happy with her choice. Every year I ask if she is glad that she made the skip and she is. She is still in the top of the class ranking and still maintains a 4.0 and is now entering high school.
I feel it should be a choice the student is responsible for ultimately, empowering them in pursuit of learning and their future choices, definitely not something that they should be left out of in the decision process or judged that it is not the "best " thing for them. Maturity is a factor and that is a personal growth issue also, if they are not mature enough to discuss the issue then it is not an issue.
The student has not recommended doing this for her little sister who is now in a similar situation. I leave that up to the motivation of the 7 year old to prove herself by covering a lot of material over the summer . This child now assigned to second grade does not want to miss a year in school and be home schooled so it will be up to her to cover much more to show proficiency as she did not want to cover extra material while in school . We have discussed the possibility of not being able to show enough advancement to be granted a skip and she is accepting of that and motivated to put forth great effort. The effort and learning is worth the whole process as her attitude toward math had become mainstream "its hard" and this was not representative of her natural character or previous abilities. Therefore for this child who loves the social exposure of school, she knows the teachers,administrators and her classmates by name and they know her, supplemental math at home will be required as part of my school agreement with her if she does not skip second grade this year. There is not an adequate gifted program. The child entering HS now was in the gifted program and it was enjoyable but it was only one hour a week, not enough to override the drudgery of the remaining 34 hours.
I wish you and your child a rewarding and satisfying outcome.