One of the many benefits of home schooling, is escaping the “grade” restrictions of learning. We no longer feel the need to keep our children strapped into a boxed learning set. She may technically be in sixth grade, but her curriculum might be all over the place!
On the flip-side, what if your child is advanced in every area? What if your fifth grade student is doing all areas of study at a seventh grade level? What should we do then? This is where the great debate lies… to skip or not to skip.
A friend of mine has a daughter who fits this category. She is very intelligent and learns things quickly. While she might be in fifth grade, she is doing work well beyond her grade. Her parents have decided that perhaps skipping a grade or two might be beneficial.
Other students in our PSP have also experienced this dilemma, but have chosen to go a different route. Their children remained in the “appropriate” grade, but then graduated a year early.
While each family must make the best decision for themselves, I personally am more inclined towards the second method of approach. Both will yield the same end result, but the second gives me more freedom and flexibility.
Perhaps my children are doing exceptionally well right now. The work given them might be above their “grade level”, but they are handling it just fine. However, what happens if my child hits a plateau? Just because they are advancing well now, doesn’t mean that will continue to remain true.
If I advance my daughter a grade now, she might do fine for a year or so. On the other hand, what are my options should she struggle in ninth or tenth grade? Do I then take her back a grade? Do I keep her at the higher level, but give her easier classes?
If I take her back, it will look bad on her transcripts and could damage her future. If I keep her at the same grade but make her work easier, it will reflect poorly as well.
Keeping her at her intended grade level, gives me the freedom to advance her in work without the worry of maintaining that status. She can continue to be challenged, but still have room to breathe.
Should my daughter exceed all our expectations and push through her years of learning at an awesome rate (which we have known several of our friends’ kids to do), our best option will be to simply graduate her early.
Instead of graduating high school at seventeen, sixteen will be the big year. She will be free to start her journey to higher learning or whichever path the Lord has called her to.
I do not believe there is a “right” or “wrong” answer to the question of skipping. Each family must prayerfully make this decision for themselves. This is simply the direction our family has chosen to take.
I am excited to see how my friends’ daughter does. It will be a great learning experience for all of us. I look forward to watching her progress and hearing her opinions on the matter.
For all you veteran mommies out there… What advice would you give on choosing to skip an advanced student?