I’m trying to sort through all the questions our family attempted to answer when we were wondering if skipping a grade was right for L. Here are some we thought of that might be helpful to someone else, too:
1. Is the child emotionally ready?
2. Does the child make friends easily/adapt to new situations well?
3. Are there any other ways the current grade level could meet his/her needs through enrichment?
4. If it doesn’t work out, does the child have the option of returning to the original grade?
5. Are there at least two or three students in the new class who the teacher could count on to reach out to a new student?
6. In our case, going from kindergarten to first grade, is the child ready to go from half-days to full-days at school?
7. In higher grades, will physical size be a limiting factor?
8. Is the child confident in his/her physical abilities, for example in sports and other active endeavors like running/jumping/climbing? Even the playground changed when L. moved from K5 to 1st.
9. Does the child have some polite answers ready for those who will surely ask him why he is skipping a grade?
10. Do the parents have some polite answers ready for those who will surely ask them why their child skipped a grade?
11. How does the child react to academic challenges, supposing that there haven’t been too many challenges yet?
12. How does the child respond to new concepts–does he keep trying when it’s tricky or does he freeze up and become frustrated?
13. Are all the teachers on board for this change?
I’ll keep thinking about and adding to this list, but these were some of the big questions we considered before making the decision to try the grade skip. Again, everyone’s situation and school is different; there is no single “right” answer! Giving our children the gift of education can be complicated, and sometimes life doesn’t allow us to have as many choices as we might like. Not everyone has the freedom to stay at home to homeschool; not everyone has the resources to choose one school over another; not everyone feels the same way about one form of education over another. As parents, we need to remember that other parents are trying to do their best for their kids, too, even if what they’re doing looks totally different from what we’re doing! Let’s support each other, not judge each other; help each other, not criticize each other. Each of these children is a miracle, and they each have the capacity to do so many wonderful things in life! Blessings to all the parents and other caregivers trying to make the right choices for the children in their lives!