Sometimes, parents or schools may suggest that a child be grade advanced. But is this practice a good idea?
A recent report by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Handicapped and Gifted Children outlines issues that parents should consider before their child is advanced. In general, the report says, kids who are moved ahead in school do not suffer academically. In fact, they may become more enthusiastic about school.
It is a child’s emotional or social adjustment that often worries parents and educators more. “Generally speaking,” the report says, “children who are well-adjusted and socially at ease” develop two sets of friends. They have one set of older friends from their classes and friends their same age.
Acceleration is probably not a good idea for students who are immature or who are “pushed” into the process.
Another option to consider for some gifted students is advancing students in one or two subjects. However, it is important that parents make sure this option will continue to be available. Otherwise, a student could end up repeating material in a later year.
Where can parents turn for help? Talk to your school principal or guidance counselor.
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