I am currently an 8th grader who accelerated a grade by skipping half of my 7th grade and 8th grade years. How? That’s a complicated question, so let me start from the beginning.
My 6th grade year started and I was told it was going to be so much more difficult then elementary school. The middle school I was going to was the best academically in our district so I felt very confident entering the year that I would be challenged. Only a couple weeks in and I found out I was very wrong. The classes to me were all easy. I never studied, I never had homework, and I had straight A’s. My parents and I discussed the situation and together we decided we had to take action.
Soon enough we sat in a meeting room with my guidance counselor, my teachers, and the gifted services director talking about me. I sat there as they fought and fought just me wanting to be accelerated in language arts. The battle continued until finally they agreed to a “trial run”. Instead of taking AC Reading, a trimester course, I took a trimester of 7th grade language arts.
Walking into the classroom I was already more comfortable then in any of my other classes. I excelled in the class even though they weren’t even grading any of my work. Classmates complimented me and the teacher seemed to be impressed. Even with this little bit of the day I enjoyed, the environment at the school was not at all what I needed so we decided to move to another school over winter break.
The New School
Luckily for me, most of my friends from elementary went to this new school so it was a pretty good start already. My classes still weren’t enough for me but my 7th grade language arts class was amazing. Soon enough the trimester was near its end and so again we sat down and discussed what we were going to do next. My teachers at the new school were very supportive of me, including the COGed teacher. At the end of the meeting we had decided to move me into a 7th grade language arts class for the remainder of the year.
The Next Year
Going into my 7th grade year I had an extremely modified schedule. I was taking 8th grade math, language arts, and social studies as well as 7th grade social studies and science. In my language arts class there were 3 other people who had also accelerated themselves in language arts. I figured this year was going to be much harder since I was going to be taking so many 8th grade classes, but again, I was mistaken.
After about 2 months I was bored out of my mind in my 7th grade classes and I still had straight A’s. My 8th grade classes weren’t as difficult as I thought but they were more intriguing and exciting compared to my 7th grade ones. Again we went to the gifted services director, this time with a new goal.
The (kind of) Fight for Grade Acceleration
I began to talk to all of my teachers about it and they all thought that I would succeed in 8th grade. After a lot of thinking I decided to tell my parents that I wanted to accelerate into 8th grade. I told them how unhappy I was and how my 7th grade classes were boring and too easy. Quickly they saw that I needed more and together we had another meeting with the gifted services director and my guidance counselor.
They had already talked to my teachers so I went in to the meeting ready for a fight and finding nothing. Surprised but definitely agreeing with it they told me that I would be transitioned into 8th grade after winter break.
I am now taking an online algebra 1 course and I am fully accelerated into 8th grade. My schedule is very unique, but it works. Now I am happier, my classes are intriguing, my peers are more mature, and overall everything is better. I was able to finish my 7th grade basketball team as a 7th grader but I will have to try out for the 8th grade softball team. I’ll get into the sports aspect of everything in another post.
Being an 8th grader makes me feel more complete as a person. I fit in better with my peers, my classes are better, and overall it makes me happier. If you’re a kid going through a similar situation like this, talk to someone about it. As a parent just be aware of your kid’s academic, social, and especially emotional status. Accelerating isn’t just about having good grades. You have to be able to act like an older student and most importantly, you have to be happy. Trust me, my emotions and my social life were pretty big factors too.
Don’t be afraid to ask to do something, the worst someone can say to you is no!