Hi, my son is 6 yrs and is in year 1, the school have just suggested that he is accelerated to the next year into year 3. I dont know what to do! He isn't very mature for his age and his social skills are poor, i am afraid that if i acccelerate him he may fall behind or suffer socially.
Please i would like to know if anyone has accelerated their child, and where you could give your opinion on acceleation. thanks amy
I don't think I would have been happy with my 6 yo daughter being fully accelerated due to a few temperament/behavioural issues that i think older kids would have been less tolerant of than younger ones.
What our school has done, and it's worked really well, is to put her in with year 3 and 4s for the part of the day that focuses on "literacy and enquiry", and then back with her age peers for the second half of the day.
This has worked very well, both academically and socially, but it's a small school that is able to be quite flexible. Having said that I don't see why bigger schools couldn't work it out.
Talk to the principal, explain your concerns, and ask how they would support him socially. If you're not happy with how they're approaching it, listen to your instincts. If you thiknk there might be some merit in trying it, then ask if it could be done for a trial period and then reviewed (you as part of this process of course as well as the staff).
With my son we did the split day thing where he went to a yr4 class for reading and maths and spent the rest of the day with his yr2 class (except for time in extension topic classes). This did work, but the following year he moved straight into a y4 class and socially being in the one class was far better for him, even though many in the class are nearly 2 years older (he was only 6 1/2 when he went to y4 full time). When accompanying the class on trips there was no obvious social difference - the other kids also seem just as young and silly!
Thanks for your words of advice :) i was wondering 3boysmum how you son was emotionally and socailly with the older children? also my son has real low motivation when it comes to topics he dosnt know or is not interested in! i was thinking that maybe his motivation might improve if accelerated, but i am not sure!!!!
My son is not gifted in maths but is at the top of his year level, One of his teacher thinks that if he is accelerated then he might fall behind in the areas he is not gifted in? what do you think? anyone?
Generally, gifted children who are allowed to develop their talents in their talent area, eg maths, language, reading, music, ICT, do not fall behind in other areas. The plus side of talent development is that it increases children's self-efficacy, self-esteem, and motivation, and these benefits see raised achievement in other areas too. While I understand where his teacher is coming from, ie a deficit model, this way of thinking is not appropriate for gifted children. With gifted children, working with their strengths rather than their weaknesses is the best way to increase motivation and achievement across the board.
A good example of this can be seen with children who attend ODS and GKP - they spend a whole day each week out of their regular classroom, yet it is rare for these kids to fall behind in their achievement at regular school. That one day a week they are out of school, they are mostly learning at an accelerated rate in all sorts of knowledge and skill areas, and will often being working in their talent area for at least some part of the day.
I have 2 gifted kids. My daughter now aged 10 skipped Year 1 and spent 1 term at school before moving straight up to a Year 2 class the following year. This worked really well for her as there were kids in ths class she knew from kindy. Also being tall she fitted in physically and has had no problems even now just ready to head off to Intermediate next year aged just turned 10.
On the other hand my son, almost 7 is completely different. He went from a Year 1 class in the first 2 terms of last year to a Year 2 class halfway through the year. Although it worked well for him with his learning he struggled to fit into the class socially. The boys were all about a year older and physically much bigger, stronger and "tougher". This year he has been in a Year 3/4 composite class where he working at the top end. This has worked really well for him socially. Learning wise we have decided to just let him enjoy the year rather than push him (or ask the school to push him). He has really enjoyed the year.
Not sure yet what the plans are for next year. Must head down to the school to check that out. Ideally there will be a composite Year 3/4 but that always depends on class numbers. But I think this year has given him confidence in the classroom and he would cope much better moving up a class now.
Not sure whether this has helped you!! It's a tricky decision isn't it? Does the school have composite classes at all?
My son is 5 and this is coming up. He has Aspergers so is socially behind but my attitude is that self esteem is the best thing I can help him obtain so if he is placed appropriately academically that is better for him as he is always going to have social issues. We are lucky at our school as it is small and all classes are composite. He will move next year into a Y1/2 class and although the children being moved with him will be mostly Y1, he will be classed as Y2. The NE/Y1 class already mingles with this class so he has been working with the current Y2 in reading anyway so I feel it should work out.
Hay yes the school does have composite classes but unforturatly next year it will not be any 2/3 class only 1/2 and 3/4 so he will not be with anyone from his previous year level. Its a shame!!! This decision is one of the hardest decisions aye. I talk to the school about a trial period for next year, but they said they will not so that, if he more up he will have to stay there for the rest of the year!!! i this has made it hard, because a trial period would be good to establish if the acceleration would be good for him.
My main worry at the moment is how he would fit in socially with the children, who would be a year older, he would be 3 months younger than the youngest child.
In your place, I would ask the school (and myself) some questions, especially: If you decide against the acceleration, what will they do for him instead? In other words, is acceleration the only option the school is offering for meeting your son's needs?
Our current school (considered a "best practice" school for GATE issues by the Min of Ed, for what that's worth) strongly believes in "taking the work to the child rather than taking the child to the work". It helps that it is a big school with enough bright & very bright kids to be able to cluster them in classes together.
But we used to live on the other side of the world, in a school system where acceleration was indeed the only way of meeting kids' learning needs. Our younger daughter was offered the equivalent of your son's skip into yr 3, and we took it. We knew (because our older one had suffered through it) just how little she would be learning without the skip. She was 3 months younger than the next youngest in the class, and because this was a system in which kids can be held back a year, at least one of the kids in the class was nearly 2 years older even though it wasn't a composite class. But she knew a lot of the kids from kindy, and was physically a match for them. It also helped that the teacher whose class she went into was very welcoming & supportive. My daughter enjoyed her time in that class - by middle of the first term she was playing with the kids from the new class rather than her old friends, and was talking about how she'd like to skip another year too ...
So - a couple more questions for you to ponder.
Is your son likely to find PE, art etc a strain with the older kids?
Does he have friends who will still play with him even if he's not in their class?
How does he feel about the skip himself? (Our daughter was wildly enthusiastic).
How often does the school accelerate kids?
How does the teacher he would be going to feel about it?
You mentioned concerns about his maturity, but is that your assessment or the school's? (they see a much wider range of 6-yr-old behaviour than you do, I'm guessing).
We went throgh exactly the same questions and issues when our son, now 12 began primary after 3 years at a Montessori pre-school. He was 'accelerated', and ......
We'd love to tell you how we coped and our contiuing on-going struggle.
There is no ONE CORRECT solution. You have to hear your child and do your homework with respect to schools. Then, you have to be persuasive in what you want for your child because of his differing needs.
Do get in touch with me or Derek on 021 783 058 at any time.
As I mentioned the complete accelerated year has been the best for my son socially and emotionally as he has been able to form better friendships and have children to play with at break times, not arrive back at class as the others are leaving. He still has issues about losing and feeling things very deeply, but I don't think this because he is immature, but it is rather a part of his personality.
It was a little strange to have him turn 7 (his birthday is the end of June, making him one of the youngest in year 3 if he had stayed there) and then receive a party invitation for someone turning 9 in his class (but the real positive is he received an invitation!).
I have to say that the school pointed out that the acceleration was open to discussion and review throughout the year, and find it strange that a school would not be open to moving children through the year if there needs required it.
Talking of older children. My son skipped Year 10 and yr 10 & 11 in Physics and was soo.. happy and motivated that is was unbelievable. He found friends with things in common with him which is not age reliant although at his school there are all sorts of ages doing all sorts of subjects so they don't even think about it. He is now skipping Year 13 as well as off to Uni at just 16! We feel confident that if we provide background support he will cope and his friendships will be in various ages anyway. As an adult I have friends in a 35 year age band!!
I think he should have been accelerated earlier as it would have helped.
It's an individual thing. Not right for all but I think more often than not.
Remember schools will usually talk you out of it as it makes their administration difficult!
I'd say go with your gut feeling on this one. Also remember that sometimes children might seem 'behind' in some subjects but the child could be bored, and therefore doesn't put in the effort to give correct answers. It was thought by the teacher that my daughter was struggling with maths, but this was far from the truth based on the little maths work done at home. I think my daughter was frustrated by the simplicity and repetition of the maths in her class and her brain switched off to it.
I think the fact the school wants your son accelerated might be a good thing. If they're not willing to let him go back into a year 2 class if the year 3 class doesn't work out, then are they going to support him through a possibly tough year? Or are you able to move schools/home school? You know your child best, and I think it would pay for you to think very carefully from all angles - then hopefully you can make a decision you are confident about.
One thing I've noticed with my 6 year old daughter is that when around children her age, it seems almost as though she becomes a caricature of what she believes children her age are like. She doesn't misbehave, but she acts like a total 'monkey' sometimes... then when she's not with her friends, she switches back to 'normal'. So check with your son... does he act 'immature' around friends his age, or in general, at home?
More and more, my daughter has stopped behaving like the 'monkey' and has started to show some frustration with her 'age peers'. So, something to think about. Children are very complex beings! Check in which context they display certain behaviours.
I wish you and your son all the best for next year.
Hey, yes yes your right!!! Myson does only tend to act very silly and immature around children his own age!!! and then is very mature at home and with others older. Their are times of course that he is silly but i just put that down to overexcitabilities, which i read are very common in gifted children.
He does seem carmer with children not his age. Although He does become silly when he is nervours, especially in social situations, I hope this doesn't happen if he is accelerated.
Thanks everyone for your advice :) I am almost at my decision!! I have tell the school this week!!
The school is very keen to accelerate him, i take it that it is a good thing. I heard from someone that some schools only accelerate because they dont know what else to do with them (gifted children).