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Would you grade-skip if coming into US school system from UK?

Would you grade-skip if coming into US school system from UK?

Old Sep 6th 2021, 9:49 am
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Post Would you grade-skip if coming into US school system from UK?

We are moving to the US in early 2022 and our daughter has just started year 2 in the UK state school system. She is 7 in February. Would you consider grade-skipping when we go into the US public elementary school system, i.e. she would enter 2nd grade not 1st grade? Her reading and writing skills are above expectations for year 2 and she is also working at a year 2 level in Maths. She also has additional tutoring in Maths at the moment. I worry she wouldn't be challenged in 1st grade, having looked at some examples of the work online. Has anyone done this or have any views on this?
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Old Sep 6th 2021, 12:11 pm
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Default Re: Would you grade-skip if coming into US school system from UK?

If you find a really good school for her, then the level should be fine.
Saying that, our daughter was placed in the next grade up. This was mainly due to her birth month and the birth cut off dates. In France it is the end of December, here it is August. So,my December baby was the youngest in her grade in France and had already finished elementary when we moved. Nobody really wanted her to be back in elementary so she was placed in the higher 6th grade (middle school) instead.
Educationally, France really is more advanced at this age ( more so than the UK) so in her work she was fine. However, the age difference with the kids she was around meant that she struggled a little socially and that didn't really work itself out until she got to high school a few years later. HIndsight? I probably would do the same thing but it wasn't all roses. Really not sure I would move up a younger child but people do it all the time. And it really does depend on the school and how bright the kids in that school are. Affluent areas have great schools and the kids are challenged.


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Old Sep 6th 2021, 3:22 pm
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Default Re: Would you grade-skip if coming into US school system from UK?

As petitefrancaise said, a lot will depend on the school system she will be entering. My granddaughter was an exceptional bright youngster. She was reading, as your daughter, by the age of 3 and by the third grade she was being given high school books to read by the school librarian and her teacher as her reading and comprehensive skills very off the charts. She excelled in math, as well, and by the end of the 4th grade she was given the opportunity to participate in the STEM program.

Her parents chose to allow her to remain in her own age and grade level simply because at that young age the social and emotional maturity is not always developed enough to allow the child to be comfortable being outside their peer group and many will find themselves in isolation.

Her public school system was more than happy to do that and they did everything they could to keep her interested and challenged in school work and advanced her to a higher English class. This was the only time she was outside of her peer group and it worked out well for her.

Once you have decided where you will be living and which school district you will be using (it is basically for the most of the US a catchment issue), you can then talk to the school administrators and her teachers once she has acclimated to her new school.

Last edited by Rete; Sep 6th 2021 at 3:25 pm.
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Old Sep 6th 2021, 3:34 pm
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Default Re: Would you grade-skip if coming into US school system from UK?

We faced the same issue when we moved to the USA and wanted our daughter to start in the Texas school system 2nd grade but the school insisted on her starting in 1st. (This was in October of the year we moved to the USA) After 2 or 3 months they realized how much further ahead she was academically and in maturity and wanted her to then move up a grade but by then she already had made a close group of friends so we declined the offer and kept her where she was. It all worked out great in her case, she continued to make good grades through school and university and has worked very successfully in hi tech industries this last 18 years since graduating.
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Old Sep 7th 2021, 1:39 am
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Default Re: Would you grade-skip if coming into US school system from UK?

It is much more usual here in NJ to hold back than skip ahead. I had a son who had done year 3, moved from a very academic small school, but put him going into 3rd grade as his age fitted that grade. I didnt realise half the boys had been held back to be bigger and stronger and more prepared so he has just turned 17 as a rising senior and lots of boys in his grade have turned 18 already. Many were driving to school as juniors. Our district is quite rigorous so academically he has done fine, but he does seem immature compared with those in his grade. Moving him up would have left him completely isolated socially. For my other 2 its worse. They are September birthdays and had done reception in England as the oldest, they then slotted into grade 1 as the youngest. Academically the fit is ok, but there are many kids in the grade below them that are older than them, they are 14 and some in their grade have turned 16 already, so it does impact them socially. Our pediatricians son is older and grade below (he is a very smart guy and chose to hold back his summer birthday son...). Things like being interested in girls, driving etc just highlight the age/developmental difference. My twins will only be 17 when they should head to college and it just feels too young. If I had my time again knowing what I know now I would have moved them down where they fit the social and emotional age better. It will depend on the school and how willing they are to differentiate at an early age, and how challenging it is. You can always add in extra work but cant fix them not fitting in and making friends. My experience is with boys and NJ though, so YMMV
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Old Sep 9th 2021, 5:40 pm
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Default Re: Would you grade-skip if coming into US school system from UK?

There is no perfect answer to this question. In some cases, you may find them academically advanced, and in other cases, they may be on par or even behind their peers in the USA. I think a great deal depends on emotional and social development, not just academics. While we were living in Hong Kong our kids were in American curriculum schools and their friend (same age) was in the 'higher year' of the British school, but both still used the same books and online resources as one another.

I think a big question is whill you re-enter the UK academic system at any time in their primary or secondary years, or are you coming to the USA for good.

Here is the wiki that talks about this:

https://britishexpats.com/wiki/Educa...s_in_school%3F

This was an old thread from a decade ago but it highlights some of the pluses and minuses of both approaches

Getting put down a grade at school


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Old Sep 9th 2021, 7:24 pm
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Default Re: Would you grade-skip if coming into US school system from UK?

Depends on which state you are going to and how your school district compares to the national levels. I know from our experience over 20 yrs, that MA is much more advance that most schools in TX but there are exceptions. My friends kids in MA (who were in elementary school at the time) were at the same level or further along that my same age kids in Scotland. If you are in well funded school district, then the educational standard will be higher than the less well funded area. Insist on your child being tested before entering a grade. TX ranks as 28th in the national ratings but some of the high schools here are the top 50 or 100 nationally but they are mostly in the wealthier districts.
In our school district, there tends to be much wider age distribution as if your child is born in certain months you can hold them back a year if you think they will be too immature for school. For example, my grand-daughter is 9 (early July birthday) is in grade 4, the boy around the corner is in the same grade but is exactly a year older (he should be in grade 5). His siblings were also held back by their parents. She also has classmates, that should be grade 3 but have tested above that grade.
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