Should My Child Skip a Grade?
Tuesday, 06 July 2021

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Should my child skip a grade? It's an honest question. We all want our children to succeed and go as far as they can go. When buying a curriculum, parents often talk about skipping a level in a subject or even skipping a grade. However, the BJU Press Homeschool curriculum makes it easy to keep our children challenged without skipping a grade level.

Your first consideration should be an objective assessment of your child's skills and abilities. How well does your child really do in math? In reading? A standardized test can give you insight. If your child scores somewhere between the 23rd and 76th percentiles, he is average. Nineteen percent of students fall between the 77th and 95th percentiles, making them above average. Only four percent score above the 95th percentile. These are the students who could skip ahead, but I think there is a better approach to meeting their unique needs.

I decided early on that I would not skip a grade with my two boys. We worked through the Scope & Sequence step by step so that we would not have gaps. Our video course teacher Bill Harmon encourages parents to think of schooling as building a wall. Every grade, every subject is another row of bricks. If you skip ahead, you may end up with an impressive tall tower, but it will have weak spots. Your student may not have the strong foundation or maturity required to continue to do well in upper-level classes.

Instead, take the time to build a robust understanding as you work through each level. Our classes have a spiral approach, which means that more information is added as topics are revisited each year. Each level builds and expands on the previous one. Teach your child that the goal in school is not to get A's. The goal is to learn and grow. Ask questions. Dig deeper. Go beyond. Understand the why.

I am pleased to report that BJU Press Homeschool curriculum has had everything I have needed to challenge my advanced students. Lessons are designed to teach critical thinking, not merely memorization of facts. The teacher's editions and video courses are chock full of extended activities that allow the student to create, experiment, and springboard off into more learning. For those four percent who are truly advanced, Mr. Harmon recommends completing two subject levels in one school year rather than skipping one altogether.

And so what if you get done with school a little earlier than other kids each day? Isn't that a blessing? Remember that learning doesn't just happen in schoolbooks. Use the extra time for other worthy pursuits. Learn an instrument. Read books. Cook. Build something. Make art. Get some exercise. Clean the house. Go on a hike. Play games. Fix something. Help the elderly. Go places. See things. Visit friends. Explore interests. Serve others. Try something new.

Let me close with a thought from another beloved BJU Press Homeschool video course teacher, Evanna Walker. No one learns well at the frustration level. Help your child thrive at grade level. Nurture a love for learning. Cultivate critical thinking. Make use of the extended activities, and watch your child bloom!

Meet the Author

Jennifer Lont - HomeWorks by Precept Consultant