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Contemporary Parenting Questions


Last updated on 09/21/08

Is my child ready to skip a grade in school?

Parents of Intellectually gifted children often find that the school system fails to fulfill their child’s needs. Intellectually gifted and academically talented students are able to learn material rapidly and understand concepts deeply, and keeping them challenged and learning to their capacity can require changes in their regular school programs. Sometimes, gifted youngsters may be so advanced in knowledge and so clearly operating at an intellectual level beyond that of their same-age peers that educational acceleration is a realistic and desirable alternative to normal grade-level work. These arrangements are all appropriate for children who are intellectually and academically capable of learning at a faster pace and in greater depth than their same-age peers, and who are motivated to do so. Insisting that gifted and talented students remain with their age-mates at all costs may exact too high a cost from them. It may result in boredom and daydreaming, poor study habits, behavior problems, or school avoidance. However, the decision to allow a child to accelerate educationally is one that must be made for each child, taking into account his or her intellectual and emotional needs and the services the school can provide.

In the Jewish Community

Grade skipping is more common in the Jewish community than in any other, perhaps due to the absence of the public school system. Additionally, many schools lack the resources to establish a gifted and talented program. Children who are perceived to be more advanced than their peers can skip grades, often without any formal intelligence testing. Although this flexibility sounds like a dream-come-true to many parents, it can also be fatal. Parents and teachers are often quick to send a child to a higher grade without recognizing the academic and social ramifications. Although research has shown that skipping a grade does not socially impair children, they still must be socially mature enough for the next grade. Additionally, Jewish children learn a demanding double curriculum that is hard to catch up to. Upon determining an acceleration for your child, speak your child’s teachers and principals. Learn about your child from a different perspective and make the choice carefully.

Use the following links to learn more about academic acceleration. Read about the pros and cons of skipping a grade and determine if this is right for your child.

Frequently Asked Links

What is acceleration?

Question and Answer about acceleration

Why should some children be accelerated?

Should gifted children skip grades?

What are some of the pros and cons of grade skipping?

Will academic acceleration impair my child’s emotional development?

Why do some children benefit from skipping a grade?

What happens to students who are accelerated?

What are some of the misconceptions about grade skipping?

Where do I start when considering a grade skip?

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Jewish Schools

Complete listing and information about the orthodox Jewish Schools in the United States

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