When a school board or district offers no gifted programs, what do they offer the gifted child?
Many schools are luke-warm to the idea and often insist upon a psycho-educational evaluation by a psychologist, to allow this to happen.
Schools tend to insist upon inclusion. They often lower expectations to ensure that students meet a certain level of expectations. They believe that the gifted student can succeed in the inclusive classroom without any help. They can't.
Therefore, grade acceleration is a cost effective and excellent way to make sure that gifted children do succeed.
When grade acceleration is mentioned to some people, the reaction is often a negative one. Teachers and principals also tend to be some what nervous about the idea. Why?
Obviously, school boards and districts want schools to be successful. Emphasis and money however, tends to be placed on those children that are not doing well.
Teachers are trained to look for and help those with learning difficulties.
Therefore, little is done to help the gifted child. How can society possibly benefit from ignoring children with such potential?
Grade acceleration is a economical and constructive way of helping the gifted child. Especially if letting these children sit idly bored in class is the alternative.
Teachers fear it because they don't know enough about it. How much time is spent on gifted education at teacher's colleges and universities?
Some educators see it as being pushy. They wonder what these gifted children will miss both academically and socially.
This is often what is cited when parents ask about early entrance
Gifted children thrive and excel when they advance a grade. It seems we look for the bad in things and overlook the benefits.
Obviously, not every single child will do well with it, but the vast majority will.
When a school board or district does not offer gifted classes because of budget issues, what other alternative is available to the gifted child?
Boredom, frustration and a dislike of school is all that becomes of keeping a child in an age related grade as opposed to advancing him to where he needs to be.
There are those who disagree with the whole notion of grade acceleration. Their rejection tends to be based on the social aspect.
This seems to be the issue most often raised when someone is snubbing the idea of grade advancement.
The research simply does not support the idea that advancing a grade will cause social problems.
Much more needs to be done to help parents and educators fully understand what grade acceleration is and how it can make a real difference in the life of the gifted child.
As always, every child is different and their needs must be looked at and considered when deciding on what is best for them.
In my view, it has been a very positive and rewarding experience for my daughter.
In grade one she was very bored. She would sometimes come home from school and be crying because it was such a boring day for her.
She was good at hiding her feelings of boredom while at school. She didn't complain to the teacher or misbehave.
I knew that I needed to do something. After having her tested and upon advice from the psychologist, she skipped grade two.
All the research I have read shows that children who skip a grade do very well socially.
They fit in because these older children are on their level. They tend to want to play with older children anyways.
The one thing gifted children remark on when asked about grade acceleration was that they wished they could have skipped more then one grade.
Read and ask questions. Be informed and make the decision that is best for your child.
It isn't good enough to sit and hope that something will get done. Parents have to take charge of their child's education.
Every child is different and reacts differently to situations. Parents are the best judge when it comes to the needs of their gifted children.