Should highly gifted children skip grades?
Academically, I see the value. I wonder about the social aspect of skipping a grade.
I think this depends on the child's maturity. Intelligence and emotional maturity are two different things. There are ways to provide intellectual stimulation to bright kids, through pull-out programs or mentoring or independent projects, without taking them out of their same-age peer group.
That said, I think that as a child matures, taking his or her own desire to skip or not to skip into account is appropriate. The child should have some help with that decision with a counselor who has some training in working with bright kids. The student would have to decide is more painful, boredom or social difficulties? I suspect each child would have a different answer depending on the child's personality.
I think it is much easier for young children. My daughter did it and enjoyed her new class and friends. I did it when I was much older and regretted losing my social group. It was definitely of value academically.
Not skip. They should study during the summer or one semester and take the test to pass the next grade. That way it is fair for everyone to have a chance to pass a grade.
I also think it depends on maturity. My 3rd grader is now going to 4-5 grade mixed ages classroom and not only she is shining academically but she is also mature enough to have meaningful relationships with her friends who are older. If she were in her grade she would be bored with kids her age.
Definitely, a highly gifted child should be allowed to skip grades. It is tantamount to child abuse to have a gifted children not skip a grade. If a highly gifted child is forced to remain in a normative grade, he/she will become bored. Also, a highly gifted child will be bored with same aged peers. It is better for the child's intellectual development to permit him/her to skip a grade or two or three.
Better yet, if there is a school for highly gifted students or a gifted program within the regular school, enroll him/her into this gifted program. Highly gifted children need to use all of his/her intellectual potential. So many parents and our antiquated, backward educational system are loathe to let highly gifted students use their intellectual potential in favor of "being normal" which is a severe disservice to the student. Place the student in an environment when he/she will INTELLECTUALLY SHINE!
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