Should Your Gifted Child Skip a Grade?

Have you noticed that your child is extraordinarily gifted in one or more subjects? As children grow up, keeping them engaged and excited about learning can become difficult. Lake Forrest Prep, a private school in Orlando, realizes that gifted students need to be challenged in order to stay motivated. Many parents consider allowing their child to skip a grade. There are many considerations to take when determining if skipping a grade is the best decision for your child.

The Benefits

Clearly, skipping a grade will likely challenge your child academically and may result in them being more engaged and less bored. Additionally, skipping a grade allows a child to move ahead a year, potentially allowing them to finish high school, college, etc. earlier. Oftentimes, high-achieving students float through school. By the time they reach high school or college, they aren’t accustomed to pushing themselves and may have issues adjusting to a larger course load. By allowing your child to skip a grade, you may be enabling them to continue to be driven and develop new ways to motivate themselves.

The Drawbacks

Similarly to the benefits, the drawbacks vary by individual case. Some students may be ready to skip a grade academically, but not emotionally or physically. Compared to the class ahead of them, they may be further behind in development and this could lead to emotional issues stemming from being picked on. It is important to consider whether or not you believe your child will be able to fit in and form social relationships with a grade of students older than him or her. Other adversaries argue that there is no reason to shorten an already-fleeting childhood.

Alternative Options

The debate about skipping a grade continues to rage on with relevant points on both sides of the argument. If your child needs more of a challenge, but you aren’t sure about skipping a grade, there are alternative options such as acceleration programs.

Accelerated programs are used to match curriculum to each student’s individual needs. If your child is an extraordinary mathematician, an accelerated program would challenge them and help them further develop skills, like study habits, self-motivation, and perseverance, that will be invaluable later in their education and in life. Additionally, course selections are a way to challenge students. In high school, gifted students can consider taking AP or dual-credit courses. Classes throughout grade levels in foreign language, music, and physical education can engage students in unique ways.

Lake Forrest Prep is a private school in Orlando which values curriculum that is enriching, relevant, and accelerated, but is still capable of being modified to each student’s needs. To learn more about options for your gifted student, contact us through our website!

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