Ever Double-promoted Your Child?

Updated on May 03, 2010
G.W. asks from Portage, WI
13 answers

I have a son who could be double-promoted next year (3rd grade now, going into 5th next year instead of 4th). Have you ever done this? In retrospect was it a good idea or did you regret it? How did it help your child? My son is very inquisitive, very intelligent. He's also very social. The teacher thinks it would be fine, but the decision is up to us. Often our son complains that school is boring for him because he understands everything so quickly. I don't want to pressure him, but I do want to push him to do as much as he can with the gifts he's been given. I believe in setting goals and stretching ourselves to achieve those goals. Maybe this will expand his horizons. Then again, maybe it will prove to be a huge struggle. I don't know, if he doesn't do well skipping ahead a grade, would we then hold him back or would we continue to send him on and continue to struggle (I don't see that happening but I like to kinda have all the "what ifs" figured out in my mind ahead of time). Any thoughts, mamas?

Oh, one more thing, I'm really hoping to get some opinions from moms & kids who've gone through this and their perspective on it. If you just have a general opinion but no experience with it, please don't comment. Thanks so much!

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answers from Dallas on

Skipping one grade isn't too rough if the child is able, but skipping more than one can be challenging.

At his age, he may be on more of a level with his peers, but when he is 14 and they are 16, and so on, the physical changes as well as social aspect such as sports, dating, school dances, and just the general everyday bullying of older, more built kids could be rather difficult.

Once he reaches middle and high school, he can take honors and AP classes and even take some college classes for credits. Then, he can graduate early, while still being on a similar wavelength with his peers.

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answers from Dallas on

HI G.! Congrats on having such an intelligent child! I am going to be honest with you. I am concerned that 2 years might be too difficult socially for him. It sounds like he could handle it socially but am concerned that some of his new peers may not be able to. Have you considered skipping one grade and testing in to the gifted and talented program? I think 1 year is much less straining socially and the gifted and talented program should provide the extra challenge he needs.
As he gets into the middle school and beyond it will be a lot easier for him to take classes at different grade levels with appropriate challenge and still be with his peers.
Good luck with your little guy. I am sure what ever choice you make will be the right one for him.

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answers from Washington DC on

Academically he'll probably be fine. The real impact will come socially - being the youngest, not getting his drivers license til 11th grade instead of 10th, graduating school when he's 16 instead of 18, stuff like that.

I had a classmate that was in our class, but would take advanced math. so he was considered a 7th grader, but would go the high school in the morning for 9th grade math, then come to middle school for other classes. When we were seniors, he and another student took college level math


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answers from Los Angeles on

I think you need to find ways to keep him challenged while he remains with his peers. For one thing, you don't want to rush him through his childhood, right? For another, do you really want him going to college when he's 16? As others have pointed out here, he'll miss out on doing key social things in high school. I think it's better to find ways to challenge him. Is there a school geared to the highly gifted in your area? Are there after-school activities that would stimulate his mind? I think these are better options, personally!

Congrats on having a smartie!



answers from Huntsville on

One of my cousins skipped 1st grade. Of course I was too young to know the details of how that went, but he must have done fine because he never had to repeat anything!

Now he is 18 years old & just finished his 1st year of college. He was valedictorian of his high school graduating class, and was able to take college courses while still in high school. So I think he technically has 2 years (maybe more) of his college done already! And he's just 18!

He plans to become some sort of doctor :)



answers from Sacramento on

Hi G.,

I'd be less concerned about a skip causing a struggle than about what happens when he outgrows the skip. Grade-skipping is really just a band-aid. If the issue was simply that he knew MORE than other kids in his grade (maybe because I spent a lot of time studying with an older sibling or something) then I'd be all for it. However, given that he seems to learn things quickly, it's only a matter of months or a year before he catches up to his new (older) peers and starts getting bored in there as well.

Does your school have a gifted or accelerated program. What about afterschool enrichment or something. I know it's not the same as 4th and 5th grade, but my son started Pre-K this last fall at 3 for essentially the same reasons, but now, in May, he's surpassed all of the kids a year older than him academically, he reads at an end of 1st grade level, is doing 1st and 2nd grade math and is back to being bored and distracted during group time. At this point in the school year, pre-K is no different for him than pre-school would have been.

Not sure if this helps,




answers from Dallas on

Take the academics out of it and think about the social ramifications. Being the youngest in a group, possibly more easily influenced by peers (which are not all going to be positive), and whatever other things that are a big deal socially will keep him 'out' possibly. One mom I spoke with had a good point, she said, "do you want him driving the car or a passenger in the car?" I do think when he gets to high school and can take advanced classes and graduate early, that seems better than taking a risk that could be socially detrimental. Congrats on a smart lil' guy..........



answers from Kansas City on

My cousin's daughter skipped a grade in elementary and she has done fine. She has never had to repeat a grade and she is now in 10th going into 11th. I would talk to your son and see how he feels about it. Make sure it is something he wants to do.



answers from Jacksonville on

We didn't and we are paying the price. My daughter skipped 2nd and was still bored in fourth. By 7th we thought of skipping heragain but decided against it as we were moving to another school district. That was our mistake.
She still finds school boring and calculus too easy as a sophomore. Really the age of a freshman. In retrospect I would have her skip any other younger grade again.
Since she is now in HS I am encouraging her to take as many dual enrollment and AP classes possible but to stay in HS for the 4 years. Cheaper on my pocketbook.

In 7th grade some highly gifted students can sign up for the SAT. Do this. It will open some very good summer school doors for him. Like Great Books Camps and other programs open for the gifted. These are held at some of the best colleges in America and he will attend with other intellectuals. His standardized testing will have to be in the 97%-99% range across the board.

My daughter has had no issues with socialization. She is in Driver's Ed right now with freshman and other sophomores who are older. She started her period early so that was a blessing and she generally hangs better with the more mature kids. Her best friend this year is a senior.

Make sure he does not brag. Have him offer his help to those who are struggling. Be very careful about saying things like You're so smart, intelligent, brainy, etc. Encourage helpfullmess and compassion.

Work on his handwriting. The older kids will have already mastered cursive and typing. Have him practice those this summer.

I would think really hard before skipping fourth. He will do Texas history in depth that year. Maybe you can get some supplements for him. I know my kids loved the state history units. We have four and did VA, NC and CA. (lots of moves, military)


answers from Dallas on

It is great that he is academically intelligent. However, why make him grow up so fast? Why push? You want him to stay active, stay interested...if you push to a point where they don't get something then you start backpeddling. Find some other interests that engage him.

Although he'd probably be fine academically...I would strongly consider the social aspect. He goes to high school at 14 with 16 yr olds?

Around here they do have the gifted and talented program through elementary school and up. At middle school, honors courses are provided.

My daughter is now in high school, (9th grade) never skipped a grade and would not consider it because of her friendships, and outside interests, etc. She is in all honors/AP classes along with co-captain of the cheer squad and in the highest level orchestra of 5 orchestras at the school. We had the option of the IB program but she said..... "you know, I could do well with IB which gives me college credit now, but, I WANT A LIFE and a huge part of my life is my cheer, orchestra and friends...it is not all about academics."

You know what is right for your child and that decision is yours (and his).



answers from Boise on

I haven't done this myself, but what does he want to do? Is he even okay with this? I do remember being bored in school, and not being challenged enough. Because of that I never really learned how to study or even take notes. Then, when I needed to, I didn't have a foundation. I kind of wish now that I had had an opportunity to skip a grade. It may have keep me a bit more interested when I needed to be.



answers from Dallas on

My dad was promoted in the 1950's. I know that doesn't mean alot as every generation is different, but the reasons he HATED it are still valid in this generation. He was/is a gifted scholar, musician and athlete and had no problems in academics, his peers accepted him because of his athletic ability. He was a 14 year-old senior in high-school. The problem... his friends hit milestones that he was too young to participate in, for example dating, driving, voting, and, yes, drinking. He was just too young. When the opportunity arose for me to do the same, he would only allow me to advance one grade level with my best friend. Then we moved, and moved, and moved, I went to 9 schools frome state to state and the age difference was a problem for me too. In addition, I was very bored in school, so I skipped, and skipped and skipped. For these very reasons I homeschooled my children. Sandy H. had a suggestion for college credits in high school. Collin College offers dual credit college/high school classes. I am sure other community colleges do the same. Good luck I know it is a difficult decision.



answers from Dallas on

Ouch! My concern would be the social/emotional aspect. Even if he is ok now, in a few years when the other boys start maturing, and growing and filling out, he won't fit in. Emotionally that is HUGE for a kid. Is there a possibility of putting him in a private school in Dallas, or a magnet school to meet his academic needs? Most private schools have financial aid available if finances are a consideration.

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