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Should your child skip a grade? Pros and cons

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 03-09-2012

Do you have a young brainiac in your family? If your child can dismantle complex calculus problems in a single bound or dissect dense Shakespearean tragedies without breaking a sweat, you may have considered the possibility of skipping a grade in school. While this can be a great way to put your little genius on the academic fast track, is it really the right move at this time? Here are some of the pros and cons of skipping a grade.

If your child is well ahead of the curve in terms of mental ability, chances are that he or she has already mastered many of the subjects in his or her grade. In this case, jumping ahead a grade may provide just the right level of challenging and stimulating material he or she needs. This could also put them on track to graduate from college in less time, which can save you a pretty penny in tuition costs. However, students who excels in one or two areas may be bettered served by taking advanced classes instead of skipping a whole year, which could push them too far ahead.

However, skipping a grade isn't just a question of academic ability – it also involves a strong social element. Is your child ready to be the youngest person in the grade by a year or two? The middle and high school years come with a lot of physical, emotional and personal changes, and being among peers can make these transformations easier to manage. Nonetheless, some kids are more mature for their age than others, and this leap forward could be right up their alley.

Whatever you decide, make sure your student is on board with the decision too. Talk out all the possible angles so that your child isn't getting in over his or her head.

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