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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Would You Allow Your Child to Skip a Grade Level?

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As we near the end of another school year, like many other homeschoolers, I have begun the process of researching curriculum choices for next year. What I had not expected was that my research would lead me to ask the following question:

 "Should I allow my child to skip a grade level?"

We have been using The Higher Up and Further In curriculum, a free Charlotte Mason based book list and schedule, since my oldest son started 3rd grade. Many of the books included in the higher elementary and middle school years of this curriculum are considered high school level books.

When my son was in 6th grade he read two science books, Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology (Young Explorer Series) and then continued throughout the summer with Exploring Creation with General Science, 2nd Edition. He wanted to be ready to take a science lab class this year with his friends using the book, Exploring Creation with Physical Science. Next year, he'll be using Exploring Creation with Biology, another high-school level science.

He has been using Teaching Textbooks for math. This year he will finish Teaching Textbooks: Pre-Algebra. During the 2014-2015 school year, he will be using Teaching Textbooks: Algebra 1, considered a high school math.

Last night, as I was reading several articles in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine (TOS) (2014 annual print edition), about three homeschool students who had graduated early, it made me think about my own son's education, including where he currently is academically. I had never considered having him skip a grade, but now I found myself wondering if this was something worth thinking about.

I decided to pose this question on my Facebook fan page. Below are some of the responses I received.

Do I want my son to skip a grade in order for him to graduate early?


Another article I read in the TOS magazine, Preparing Your Teen for Life by Not Allowing Him to Get a "Real" Job, by Pat Wesolowski, gave me some more things to consider.

Pat listed several examples of some wonderful opportunities teens can take advantage of during this period of their lives. These included: seminars, conferences, ministry projects, political campaigns, apprenticeships, internships, etc. She illustrated this through sharing some of her youngest son's experiences. (As a side note, I highly recommend you purchase the 2014 print of the TOS magazine. It includes 288 pages of excellent articles!) 

This led me to think about the possibilities for my son. 

He could spend his senior year participating in some of those things Pat mentioned. He could also use this time to concentrate on those courses that will help him in whatever field God leads him towards. There are so many possibilities for him. 

I don't have to have him graduate at the end of 11th grade just because he will have accumulated the amount of credits needed to graduate.


If for some reason later on we feel that he needs to slow down his education, we can do that. 

That's what I love about homeschooling! A child can learn at their own pace. Just because we skip a grade it doesn't mean we can't slow down later, if needed. Also, just because a child is of a certain age, it doesn't mean he can't do higher levels of school subjects. 

How does my son feel about skipping a grade?

When we talked to his dad about it, my son had a huge grin on his face. It was obvious how excited he was about it, and to tell you the truth, so am I. 

What is your opinion on this subject? Would you allow your child to skip a grade level? Please leave a comment below.

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  1. We'll need to explore the Scope and Sequence of ICC for him. :-)

  2. I would not want my child to skip a grade at this point.. They are in public schools and if this had happened it may mess them up for the future.

    1. I think public school children do have more things to take into consideration when making this kind of a decision.

  3. I homeschool my 2 oldest, while my youngest (kindergarten) is in public school. If my oldest two could skip a grade, I probably would go ahead and do it, provided I truly thought they could handle the workload of the higher grade without getting overwhelmed. With my youngest son, he is incredibly smart, reads at a 2nd grade level, does math above his peers...but he has social issues that we're working on with the school ( and he is making tremendous strides). For him, I wouldn't let him skip a grade because of the social issues.

    1. Do you plan on homeschooling your youngest sometime in the future?

  4. See, I don't even really think of things as being in such a grade level as to be able to "skip a grade" really. That said, my oldest will probably finish high school early, with the goal of attaining an associate's degree right about the time his peers will graduate high school.

    But, I just call them to be in whatever grade they would be if they were in public school. At the same time, I just do whatever academic work they need to do. So, my "5th grader" is in a level 3 English book (albeit advanced, he's still behind) and a level 4 Spelling book, but is whizzing through his math and is only a few months behind his older brother. In history, we are studying the middle ages. What grade level course work is that?

    Would I allow a "skip"? Probably. My middle son is technically the right age to be a 4th grader in the public school, but only by a couple of weeks. He's more accurately a 3rd grade academic level, and not even that in some subjects. His learning is just slower, and that's fine. Since I've slowed down for him, and sped up for my oldest, you might call that adjusting their grade level. I just don't bother equating grade levels with their academic work. ;)

    1. That's what I love about homeschooling! You can allow your child to move at whatever pace works for them, and you're right, some children could be advanced in certain subjects, on target with others, and need more exposure to yet others.

      The Middle Ages 500-1400 was Year 7 in the HUFI curriculum that we followed. :-)

  5. I read "The Calculus Trap" by Richard Rusczyk and it changed how I thought about the situation. We have planned for my son to continue learning at whatever way he wanted. When he finished one book, we started the next. It was projected to have him graduate with his AA through dual enrollment at 16. We have shifted that significantly this year now that my son would like to push for Ivy League. In that instance, the early graduation is a significant hindrance. So we are now hitting much more dense curriculum earlier, rather than grade skipping. It will allow for the high school years to be filled with other things, but still keep him in the same age range.

  6. It is such an individual decision that my only answer is it's absolutely the right decision for some children, and absolutely the wrong decision for others.

    It sounds like your family is on board and excited about the new year!

  7. I think I will let my kid skip a grade, provided that she's capable of adjusting with academic topics and that proven she'll no longer need to go through that specific grade level..


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