Monday, December 19, 2005

Skip and back 

Reformk12 is back in action after a few months away, and posts today on Kimberly Swygert's question whether to advance kids from kindergarten to second grade. Reformk12 says it's highly unusual to see public schools suggest skipping first grade. I agree. We had the same issue with Littlest Scholar, and we made the decision to skip only after we found a private school that suggested it; we were sure she would be bored by first grade at a public school. I wrote a little about it here.

But it was not a good choice for LS. While she certainly could handle advanced work and was physically taller and more mature than other kids her age, she was not emotionally ready to deal with kids who were often two years older. We made the decision a couple of years ago to pull her back a grade by shifting her to a small school that teaches blended classes. She may wear the sixth grade 'label' but she does seventh and eighth grade work in math and science, and reads well beyond that level (though as I said on radio Saturday she had an absolute riot reading Mommy Knows Worst.) The social skills question, which was the main reason we made the move, was deftly handled by presenting a range of ages to her and letting her choose who she befriended. It turns out to be almost entirely boys of her age; LS is a classic tomboy*. She does composition with that group. Given the curriculum is challenging at the school, we've been very satisfied.

If you have a blended classroom opportunity with a moderately-gifted child, I recommend looking into it. What Mrs. and I learned is that it isn't a contest to see who graduates from high school first, but who graduates best.


*though, for the moment, I still get a goodnight kiss.