Should my gifted child skip a grade?

The majority of studies have shown that children who have been educationally accelerated do not suffer academically. Their grades are higher than those of their peers who chose not to accelerate, and they compare favourably with those of older students in their classes. Accelerated students also report heightened interest in and enthusiasm for school.

But won't there be gaps in the child's knowledge?

If children skip one or more grades, they may occasionally encounter unfamiliar material from the skipped grade. Therefore, arrangements should be made to allow the children to cover any such material without penalty as it is encountered. Because there is repetition in normal curricula, gaps occur less often than one might think and are seldom a significant problem for the gifted and talented student, who learns quickly and well.

Is educational acceleration harmful to the child emotionally or socially?
This aspect of educational acceleration seems to worry parents and educators most. In general, children who are well-adjusted and socially at ease before accelerating report having two groups of friends, they belong to a circle of older students, but they also retain friend ships with children who are the same age.

Children who are socially withdrawn or who have difficulty making friends may experience similar problems when placed with older children. On the other hand, there are cases in which a gifted child is more comfortable with older children than with age-mates. This may be true more often for girls than boys. The receiving classroom teacher in an accelerated setting can help the younger student find a niche among the older students.

(Megan Powell, Health24)

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