Skipping a Grade

Parent’s question

Our daughter’s fifth grade teacher is talking about having her skip to sixth grade. This will mean moving her from elementary to middle school. She isn’t too enthused about leaving her friends behind, but she obviously has mastered the fifth grade material already. Are there any studies on accelerating students that might guide us in making this decision?

Sincerely,
To Skip or Not

Our answer

Most research shows that gifted students who are accelerated typically do well academically. In fact, it may improve their motivation and scholarship. Some researchers even advocate skipping extremely gifted children more than one year. A few accelerated students are unhappy, nevertheless, because they are no longer the best students in their classes.

Parents tend to worry about the emotional effects of skipping a grade. They are concerned that their children will be riding bikes while their older classmates are driving cars and dating. Unfortunately, few studies have been conducted on the emotional consequences of skipping a grade. Some researchers think that the skipped students could be more mature than their age-peers and not affected by skipping. Others are in favor of keeping gifted students with their peers and enriching the curriculum.

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