Daughter Skipping 3Rd Grade

Updated on May 31, 2011
J.K. asks from Condon, MT
11 answers

We moved from a suburban area of PA to a very rural area of MT last year. My daughter is just finishing 2nd grade and her teacher is recommending that she skip 3rd and go right to 4th next year. She already did 3rd grade math this year because she was ahead of the kids here. Her reading is also more advanced than the kids here. She has a Nov birthday so she really is closer to age with the other 3rd grader this year. I think she will do fine, but I'm just wondering what other parents have experienced with kids skipping a grade. Any advice?

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your advice. We are going to meet with her teacher and the supervising teacher tomorrow. The school is really too small to have any "gifted" programs. There was only one 3rd grader this year and 2nd and 3rd grades were together so she already gets along well with her future classmate. I think we will probably go ahead and advance her. The teachers will be shuffled this year so she may end up with the same teacher as last year, but it seemed to work out fine. I was just more worried for when she gets to high school where she won't have as much individual attention.

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answers from Denver on

It sounds like it would be a good opportunity for her. My son is 7 and has just finished 3rd grade and is doing fine with being in with the older kids. He loves where he is. I understand skipping would be a bit difficult, but it sounds like academically it'd be great, and she just barely missed the cutoff to be in that class anyway, so I say go for it! You don't want her to be bored in school and learn to hate it because of that. GL!

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answers from New York on

Sounds like academically it would be okay, but how about maturity. That
is always an issue because if she is not mature enough she could have
problems that would carry thru her entire school career.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

The only factor you didn't mention, which could make a difference, is her social maturity. How do you think she would get along with the kids that are a bit older? Some kids are fine (I, too, am a Nov birthday and started school when I was four). If you think she can handle it socially, then do it. If you worry that she might be a little more immature than the other children, keep her in third grade.

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answers from Minneapolis on

If you think it might happen, now would be the time, since she won't know anyone at the new school. You can just explain to her that this school is different and this is the grade she will now be in.

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answers from Denver on

I agree with the other posters about evaluating your daughters social maturity. I was a late November baby and when I started school, the cut off date for Kindergarten was 12/31 so I was sent to school. I was academically and socially more than ready. My problems started developing during 3rd Grade and continued through high school. I was small for my age, though mature, and I had learning differences that weren't even identified in those days. I graduated from High School at 17 1/2 and left home for college a few months later. I was too young.

I have several friends whose children have skipped a grade in school, and now they are all graduating at 16 and 17 years old, and in my opinion much too young to be heading off to college and the influences of the older students. One friend mentioned that she wished that she had never let her son skip a grade. He is and always has been mauture for his age, but as she said, she is losing him a year sooner. Another friends daughter was the youngest in her class to begin with, and then skipped a grade. She will be 16 and 9 months when she graduates. As a sophomore in HS and 14, she is already dating, (even went to PROM) and has a boyfriend. On the opposite end of the spectrum, my daughter who is her friend repeated a grade and will be entering HS at having just turned 15. The friend is more mature in some areas, but when they are together, they are still little girls. This girl will barely even have her drivers license when she graduates. I can't imagine sending my child off to college with such little driving experience.

Ask the school if they can provide a more challenging curriculum, and no, that doesn't mean more work or homework. If this is something they can do, and even allow her to attend some classes with the next grade, I would seriously consider going that route.

Have you considered homeschooling? The K-12 Curriculum is way advanced over normal public schools. They test the child and adjust the curriculum accordingly. Your child could be enrolled in 3rd Grade, but taking 5th Grade reading and math, and working on 2nd Science. The K-12 curriculum is an online program through virtual schools. Much of the work in the lower grades is done in workbooks and on paper, but many of the classes or portions of the classes are done online.

Think about and look into the future. Do you want your child heading off to college at 17 with the influences, both good and bad, that will abound in college? Do you want her being the one in her group of friends staying home on a Friday night because you have set the boundry of no dating until 16, and her friends are all out on dates? Would she possibly be the Valedictorian or Salutitorian if she remains with her class but miss out on that opportunity by being the youngest in her class? Will you be financially prepared to send her off to college a year early?

I also agree with Margie. You need to be aware of the curriculum content, not just for 3rd Grade, but even down the road a few years. Much of the reading is "required", how will you handle that? As mature as my daughter was in 5th Grade, she wasn't mature enough to read "The Diary of Anne Frank" at that age which was required reading in 6th Grade. She also read "The Prince and The Pauper" in 6th Grade, which is a very difficult book for most adults.

There are many things for you to cinsider, and I wish you the best of luck. Personally, I would keep my daughter in her current grade and ask for a more challenging curriculum. Many times teachers want to skip the child a grade because it requires less work for them. (More planning, lesson plans, grading a different set of papers etc.) Many times I have seen parents push to get their child moved up a grade, and it isn't always in the best interest of the child, but an ego trip for the parents.

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answers from Honolulu on

There are things to consider:
1) her emotional maturity.
2) her overall maturity
3) her academics. She can be in a 'gifted & talented' program if the school has one, and stay on 3rd grade.
4) There is a big difference, in development, between 2nd grade and 3rd grade and VERY much so, with 4th grade.

Some girls for instance, are developing physically... breasts/periods etc. And 4th Graders will be either 9 or 10 years old. And the topics they talk about are different between friends, AND how they play, is different, too. Per this age's development. HOW old is your daughter?
5) There is a BIG difference, between 2nd grade and 4th grade. In terms of homework and what is expected and in the academics.
My daughter is 8 and in 3rd grade currently. She will be in 4th grade. Her 3rd Grade teacher, talked to the kids about 4th grade... and how it will be very different... both in their physical development and in terms of school work and homework, expectations... and how the Teacher will expect, more from them and lots more independence.

To me, the question is NOT only about, Academics.
It is about a child's overall, development- physically and emotionally and psychologically and in terms of friends/peers.

My friend, had their daughter skip a grade. Great girl and mature. BUT, once she hit the Teen years and grade levels... she was left out. The other girls were LOTS older than she was and she could not relate to their changes emotionally and physically and in terms of boy relations. She had a hard time... once she became a Teen. In middle school and high school.
So that is an important aspect, to consider.
It is not only, about academics and how 'smart academically' a child is.

If she goes from 2nd grade... to 4th grade... there is a big difference. Per socially/emotionally and what the kids are into at this age, versus a 3rd grader/2nd grader.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I started kindergarten early, so I had an October birthday and was pretty much always a year younger than everyone else. I never had a problem with it, other than it was a little annoying to have all of my friends turn 16 before I did. But it wasn't really a big dea for me at all. I think that if she's ready academically, and she would feel comfortable with it socially, then why not? Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

My brother skipped 4th grade and I skipped 8th grade. We both have summer birthdays so that meant that we were really a full year younger. We are both happy we did it. No problems socially with the change and I think we both would have been bored academically without it. Since she is already changing schools, I think this is a great time to do it. As for breasts - some girls start at 8-9 and some not until 15-16 - I would not make an academic decision based upon breasts.

I think skipping is often a better option than 'gifted and talented' programs. My niece is in a G&T program in 4th grade now. They pull her out of her class 1 day a week, bus her to another school, she spends Fridays there. She is responsible for making up work she missed in her regular class. She feels much less a part of her regular class because she misses 1/5 days. She also misses art - her favorite class. If she skipped instead, she would be fully integrated into her class - they would just be a year older.

Both my brother and I were 16 when we graduated high school and 17 our entire freshman year in college. We both were 'successful' academically and socially. We lived on campus at schools where very few students had cars or drove, so driving after dark was not an issue.

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answers from Seattle on

I also skipped a grade, well two grades since I also finished high school early and it was a great experience for me. I agree with the mother who said this would be a perfect time, since she will be at a new school. She won't have the feeling of leaving her friends behind since your in a new state and will meet all new people and teachers. Only thing that sucked like Coffeemama said, was being the youngest when all my friends were getting their drivers license. I will also add that my mother used to question my maturity level and if I could hang with the "older" kids, so just keep that in mind.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

It really depends on your daughter. I was the youngest in my class and it never really bothered me when all my friends started having privileges before I did because I wasn't the jealous type. Is she the kind to compare what she has to what others have?

Is she socially mature enough to skip? How does she handle adversity? Does she like to revert to younger days? For example, if she likes to act like a 6-year-old sometimes, that will really be annoying to the other girls. How does she handle being teased? Is she an easy target or is she confident in who she is? These are the kinds of things that I would look at to see if she will be okay.

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answers from Washington DC on

My daughter is an April birthday and skipped 2nd. The only issue so far that we have had has been that her friends have gotten their licenses before she. She has a permit. To my daughter that is not even something she really cares about. It's been more of a "Why don't you have a license, oh your only what??"

She started her period in 7th grade along with the other girls.
She is emotionally/socially more mature than kids her age.
She is academically ahead and has always been.
She is physically capable, as the other girls.

Some things to watch
Cursive writing-- When do they introduce it and practice, my daughter missed it at both schools when she skipped, she was never taught correctly.
Reading material--content, my daughter was not ready for Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry at the beginning of 4th. Read what she reads first or at least know what it is about.
Dating-- set expectations with your husband now. She will be 16 as a junior and half of her senior year. When do you want her to date?
In 4th-6th grades the Presidential Fitmess Test is measured by age. So she will have more minutes to finish than her peers. This may cause some jealousy with the other kids.

My biggest fear is college, not that my daughter can't handle it but that the boys in college are all 18-22. She will be 17 for her whole first year and she will be considered a sophomore, so the "peers" in her classes will be 2-3 years her senior.

I do not regret skipping my daughter.

1 mom found this helpful
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