Acceleration is a topic that is frequently discussed in relation to gifted children. Public opinion on such a decision is contentious. Concerns abound that a child may not be socially and emotionally ready for extension, to skip a grade, or that eventually all kids ‘even out’ and so acceleration is not necessary.. With gifted children this is often not the case. Research suggests that if acceleration is carefully considered and planned and a gifted child is academically capable of performing above grade level that such a decision is an effective response to meeting the academic, and even social and emotional needs, of some gifted children: “Meta-analytic reviews have consistently concluded that educational acceleration helps students academically without shortchanging them socially and emotionally.” James A. Kulik, The University of Michigan.

There are different ways to accelerate a child, and you may wish to do some reading on subject acceleration, compacting the curriculum and extension (as opposed to enrichment), as well as a full grade skip. There is decades of research relating to the positive benefits of accelerating some gifted kids. For more information on why acceleration may be an option for your child read the articles below. Whilst accelerating a child is rarely an easy decision. Being proactive and looking at the research will help you feel more confident in your decision, whatever that may be.

A Nation Deceived is a great place to start your research on acceleration.

What is acceleration? A handy Q&A on all things related to grade skips: click here

An excellent article on acceleration and statistics following grade skips can be found here:

This great article by Miraca Gross examines how acceleration can be a gift for some gifted students, both academically, and socially and emotionally.

Karen Rogers examines 12 forms of acceleration, and she also provides an extensive report on the relationship between grouping practices and the education of gifted and talented children.


“No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings”    -  William Blake