Skipping a grade in school

Filed under: Big Kids, Day Care & Education

In my state, a child must be five years old on September 1st in order to enroll in kindergarten. Ellie missed that date by three weeks, meaning she couldn't officially start kindergarten until she was almost six years old. Instead, she attended a private Montessori school, where she was quickly moved from the pre-school class into a kindergarten class. She didn't get 'credit' for kindergarten that year, but did the work nonetheless. Because it was a Montessori school, she was allowed to progress at her own pace, which turned out to be pretty quick. By the end of her 'preschool' year, she was beginning first grade work.

The following year, she was an official kindergartner doing first grade work in Montessori. By the time school was out last spring, she was doing second and third grade work. This year, she is a first grader in public school. The teacher's lesson plan involves work she has long since mastered and Ellie is quickly becoming bored.

We moved her to public school for a number of reasons, and I still feel good about that decision. Her teacher is warm and kind and Ellie is learning to conform to the more structured environment of a public school. However, I feel she will be languishing academically and am worried that she will lose the momentum she built up in school the past two years. Ellie is a hard worker and likes to stay busy and challenged. She's happy at school, but neither busy nor challenged.

Based on her age and her academic experience, my husband and I both feel that skipping first grade is in her best interest. I've located and researched my state's first grade curriculum and determined that there isn't anything new she will learn this year in first grade. In fact, even some of the second grade curriculum is old news to her. But my research has also indicated that administrators are mighty hesitant to allow children to skip grades. I imagine there are lots of parents who feel their children are geniuses and belong in a higher level. Ellie isn't a genius, she is just an 'old' first grader with two years of school under her belt already.

Have any of you gone through the process of skipping a grade with your child? Is there any good reason not to do it?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.