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. A student may technically be in sixth grade, but their 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.
Or course, one could always choose not to allow the student to skip at all. Instead of advancing to college early, they would be permitted to use their time to pursue creative endeavors or seek employment for a time.
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.) What are my options should they struggle in ninth or tenth grade?
Do I then take them back a grade? Do I keep them at the higher level, but give them easier classes? If I take them back, it will look bad on their transcripts and could damage their future. If I keep them at the same grade but make the work easier, it will reflect poorly as well.
Keeping them at the intended grade level, gives me the freedom to advance their work without the worry of maintaining that status. They can continue to be challenged, but still have room to breathe.
Should they exceed all our expectations and push through their years of learning at an accelerated rate (which we have known several of our friends’ kids to do), we can then choose to either graduate them early or allow them to use their time pursuing other options.
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. Through Biblical wisdom and the leading of the Holy Spirit, may we each make the best decisions for our family.
🔔Time to Chime In: What advice would you give on choosing to skip an advanced student?