would you hold your 3rd grade girl back?

Sue - posted on 06/06/2009 ( 32 moms have responded )

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My daughter is in the third grade; she is one of the younger ones and is on the more petite side. She is an attractive and socially skilled child, but writing and math is a challenge for her. No one bullies her. She seems to be losing skills even with all the tutoring. We do not know why this happening. I am considering holding her back.

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Sue - posted on 02/23/2012

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I don't know if this will help but I thought if I post the outcome it may help a parent in this situation. I let her go on to 4th grade. The gap became more. She was loosing skills like multiplication, tying shoes, reading comprehension...we had tutors. Lots of tutors. We tutored in the summer to help keep skills. They continued to disappear. Her school retested her for learning disabilities. It appeared she had a drop in skills in testing too but no one could explain why. She still was social, well spoken and tried so hard. She would cry almost every day at home because she did not understand why if she tried so much she could not get her work correct. Out of frustration, a special ed teacher said, "Have you tested her for seizures? We have checked everything else" It seemed so far fetched. No one in our family had this issue though my daughter was a blue baby for 7 minutes before they restored her breathing.

The first EEG was unusual but not conclusive. Her EEG appeared like "slow waves of youth" but she was far too old to have this EEG.


We decided to change schools.
We decided to put her in a small school with only 10 children in the class. To have this class size, she would be back a grade but with her skills disappearing it seemed the right thing to do.

She thrived in the new setting. She is still the smallest child in the class. The children are kind and the staff is wonderful.

We had one more EEG to be sure that the unusual EEG was nothing. She was in Status Epilepticus. Her seizures would come every third minute and last for over a minute. She was talking and interacting with us. The only observable feature was that she appeared to have no emotion on her face, called a flat effect, and her one eye was drooping. The one effect of the seizures is she had no memory of that day. We learned she has no memory while the seizures are occurring and for some time afterwards. Thing is why she was loosing skills. She becomes very exhausted after the seizures. In her fatigue, she could not learn new skills nor remember old skills.

She is doing well on Depakote despite the side effects (weight gain, hair loss, pretty bad belly aches). Her absence (petit mal) seizures are much better.

Both opinions were right. She misses the social part of her big school. She does not think she is not intelligent. She does wish she did not have seizures. She loves her new school and friends and is now and honor roll student. She has now caught up to the skills she had lost. Giving her an extra year helped alot. It took the stress off and frustration (both which could increase her seizures). It is a wonderful school with supportive teachers.

I hope this helps another parent. It is a tough choice. By changing schools and situations, that alone helped so much. Smaller classes made such a difference even before her seizures were controlled.

Another update, it is 2013 and she is doing great. Since she has more free time, she has been able to enter athletics. She is quite athletic and artistic. She would not have had that free time if she needed to keep up the tutoring schedule. Her world would have been all tutoring and classes. We still have her at the small private school. She is still an A/B student. The new environment has allowed her to come off all medicine and she is seizure free for over a year now. They believe she has "ougrown" them. She gets more sleep in this setting as well. We had to make big changes for her but she is doing so well.

Tonya - posted on 07/30/2009

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This is a tough one . It depends on the reasons as to why you would .
I was held back in 2nd gade when ready to go to 3rd. My 2nd grade teacher thought
that I was not keeping up w/ the others enough & that it would help if I had stayed back, so that is what they did. Here I had no warning about it & my parents did not ask me how I felt about it or why they thought this would be better for me, All I knew was
that when it was time to go back I would be in 2nd while my friends were in 3rd.
I can remember all the children looking @ me when I entered the new class & I hated that. Perhaps if things were explaned to me I would have not felt so bad about what
happened, in the end it all turned out well. Go what your gut fealings not what others
tell you , you know your child the best ! Best of Luck

Elizabeth - posted on 07/13/2009

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I would hold her back. I am a third grade teacher. The expectations on the children are very tough. If she is doing poorly in both areas, and they are areas of great importance, I wouldn't hesitate to hold her back. Her self-confidence and esteem will weaken when she finds that she's not able to do the work her peers are doing. Giving her the advantage of another year in third grade will allow her to become stronger and more confident. Once a child begins to struggle at a grade level it is very hard to catch them up (not impossible by any means, but it can put a tremendous strain on the child and the family...why do that when it can be avoided). Explain to her that the extra time will be worth it in the long run.

Angi - posted on 08/03/2009

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I am a teacher and I believe that the detriment to her self-esteem far outweighs the benefit of holding her back. At this age, the other kiddos are establishing their place in their own little social network. I would find her a tutor or work more with her, but not hold her back. At our school, the rule of thumb is not to hold students back past the second grade unless absolutely necessary. It sounds like your daughter just needs a little booster to help her out. I wouldn't put that much stock in one set of testing. Look at her overall abilities and the rate of progress that she has made over her school experience.

[deleted account]

I am a 4th grade teacher, and Strongly believe that retention should be reserved for students who have had horrible attendance issues or are very behind socially. Tests are given in one or 2 days. She could have done poorly due to any number of reasons--tired, fighting with best friend, anything. It is a major social blow to a child to be held back, and if she is doing well socially, it could ruin her self-esteem.

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Loretta - posted on 03/26/2013

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It seems like it would help to have a grade 3 1/2 so the children who are a bit behind
could be in a situation where they could get ahead without staying behind or feel like they
were not getting ahead.

Carla - posted on 03/01/2012

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No offense, but I wouldn't do that. When my daughter was in the 3rd grade last year, I learned so much about how something like that could effect them emotionally. My daughter was even talking about killing herself if she didn't pass that major CRCT test (grade level promotion test). She felt she could NOT deal with the embarrassment of her friends knowing she didn't get promoted to the next grade with them. My advice, get a tutor! Some times you can actually find one that isn't that expensive and some schools offer free after school or Saturday tutoring. Also, talk to your daughter to see if she is not doing well because of the stress she is having about the test. If that is the case, you could talk to someone at her school for advice or techniques to help her to relax before the test. Lastly, don't let her know how important it is for her to pass this test. That in itself could cause a great deal of anxiety for her with those test. I know these ways do work because it helped my daughter do well enough to get promoted to the 4th grade. ~Best wishes to you both! :)

Lana - posted on 04/08/2011

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I was in the same boat with my daughter in the 3rd grade. I had many meetings with her teacher to talk about what is best for for her. I finally decided to hold her back and I went as far as requesting the same teacher for her. When the new year started my daughter did so much better, and she made it through the year with flying colors. Now she is in the 4th grade and is on the honor roll. Only you and your daughters teacher know what is best for your child. But in my experience its not a bad thing to hold them back in the 3rd grade its a lot harder when they get to the higher grades.
Good luck and if you have any more questions feel free to email me at gamblerbratt98@yahoo.com

Melissa - posted on 04/07/2011

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i would definately look at your daughters situation. It is just 1 test. How has she done the whole year? Would a little extra help benefit her? How do you think holding her back would impact her, and if you hold her back would it be better to keep her at her school or switch her schools due to social situation and possibly being teased? It's a tough situation for you to consider

Melissa - posted on 04/07/2011

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i would definately look at your daughters situation. It is just 1 test. How has she done the whole year? Would a little extra help benefit her? How do you think holding her back would impact her, and if you hold her back would it be better to keep her at her school or switch her schools due to social situation and possibly being teased? It's a tough situation for you to consider

Tricia - posted on 08/03/2009

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I am a mom now, teacher before. The research I read said that holding a child back increases the liklihood of not completing High School. Tutor is great advice. There are some home school curriculum that are reasonably priced. Your school should be able to provide some resources for you. If they don't, check with the Special Ed teacher(s).

Ginny - posted on 08/02/2009

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My girl was the same way.She was in 1st grade and she did not know how to read and rhyme.I said I wanted to hold her back but the teacher did not want me to so when she went to 2nd grade I was worried about her being behind but she was a A & B student that year.She is still learning some things she should have already learned but she does it at her own pace.She is now in the 4th grade.Its your choice to hold your child back but some kids are slower then others and I would not force your child let them learn at their own pace.

Marquita - posted on 08/01/2009

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I wouldn't hold her back maybe she can get some summer help to get her ready for the new school year and see if they have some program at school that she can get in for more help doing the school my son is in the 3rd grade as well he was having problems with passing his reading test the school offered a 8 week program during the school year it was after school i let him go and that extra really helped out...GOOD LUCK

[deleted account]

Maybe you should just so she can be on track. It might be a little embarrassing but it would be worth it for her in the long run. If you can afford it tutoring is always good that way she can remain on track.

Tocka - posted on 07/29/2009

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My oldest son has been in early intervention since he was 2 and I sent him to school starting 1st grade and was told I should hold him back, I decided to send him and see how he excelled. Now he is 11 going into the 6th grade and has an IEP which is a program that assists child with learning disabilities, if your daughter is struggling but passing ask her school to test her. She will be able to stay in her correct grade and get the proper help she needs at the same time. As a parent that is a choice that you have to decide on, knowing what is best for your child.

Patricia - posted on 07/22/2009

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I would consider holding her back if she is not able to pass end of the year testing. Let her get a fresh start at the top of the class instead of trailing behind. The learning gap can be closed now. It only gets larger as the child progresses in school. Many times this is way children hate school later, because they are frustrated.

KENYETTA - posted on 07/21/2009

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WITH HER STRUGGLING WITH MATH AND WRITING I WOULD DEFINITELY THINK ABOUT KEEPING HER BACK; TALK TO THE TEACHER FIRST AND GET HER INPUT. MY STEP DAUGHTER FAILED THE FINAL TEST BY 9 POINTS BUT SHE COMPREHEND THE SCHOOL WORK WHEN I GAVE HER A LITTLE EXTRA ONE ON ONE ATTENTION. DON'T REGRET THE DECISION YOU MAKE EITHER WAY; WITH HER BEING ONE OF THE YOUNGER ONES...IT WON'T AFFECT HER TOO MUCH. ALSO ASK HER. MAKE HER A PART OF THIS DECISION MAKING PROCESS.

Julie - posted on 07/20/2009

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I held my soon to be 4th grader back in the third grade. It was the best thing i ever did. She was having a difficult time, struggling with her work so the decision was easy. My sister in law also held her son back in the third grade, he is a senior in High School now and a straight A student! Id rather give the child an extra year in school than push then through.

Crystal - posted on 07/19/2009

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Girls usually excel more in reading and lag behind in math. Unless she is really below grade level then I would not hold her back. Go by what you feel is best but see if the teacher says that she is below grade level. The emotional part of holding kids back is very hard. She will catch up. Ask for intervention to help her where she needs to improve on.

Clarissa - posted on 07/19/2009

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I held my son back in third grade. It was a perfect choice for him;like your child he was younger than his classmates.He now does so much better. I'm so glad that I held him back. His grades have very much improved. He is now going in seventh grade;school is still hard for him but he "gets" his classes.

Erin - posted on 07/17/2009

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I teach 3rd. As long as there are no learning disabilities and she is not a grade above her age group DO NOT hold her back. She will catch up when developmentally ready. We all have our own time line. Be patient!

By the way-I have taught for 14 years and learned this hands on.

Angela - posted on 07/13/2009

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Held my son back. Best gift I could ever give him. He is going into fifth grade and doing great all around.

KATHLENA - posted on 07/12/2009

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NO. PLEASE DONT. ITS EMBARRESSING AND HARD ON THE CHILD. I KNOW. IF SHES MISSING BY ONE POINT WORK WITH HER. ASK ABOUT TUTORING AND ANY HELP THE SCHOOL CAN GIVE YOU. IF ITS ONLY MATH THEN SHES GOOD TO GO ON TO THE NEXT GRADE

Adrienne - posted on 07/12/2009

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I have 4 children and I held 2 of them back. It was not something that I needed to think twice about. I would rather hold them back and deal with the tears for a week then watch them struggle and not want to go to school. My girls are straight A students. My oldest (the 1st one I held back) has been in gate now for the last 3 years with straight A's.

[deleted account]

I would not hold her back if she can pass to the next grade...I worried that if you held her back it would make her feel "not smart" and embarass with her friend...may hurt her self esteem and confidence...It's different if a child fails in every class...but this is not the case. More harm than good if you held her back...

Joy - posted on 06/11/2009

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I would hold her back to give her that extra time she need to get herself comfortable. I held my son back in first grade and now he is an A B student. He wasn't reading well and comperhinding it. I ask the teacher that had been a teacher for 23 yrs what she thought and she said the same thing. The next year it just clicked with him and he just loves it. He is were he needs to be in his learning skills. If she is strugling you don't want it to be to hard for her because she will just hate school and have a hard time when she is in the middle school or high school. I say that if she needs the extra year in third grade do it now is the time to hold her back before she starts failing classes and is emberust over that. Good Luck and I hope this helps. God Bless.

Amy - posted on 06/11/2009

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I am a teacher and I have to tell you, most schools are focused on No Child Left Behind. They don't want to hold back any kids because a lot of their funding is based on that. They will only discuss it for children who are not eligible for special ed but don't exceed academically. I would advise not to hold her back, and I say that because the difference in grade 3 and 4 is not that great as far as what they are working on. In the end it is your decision. I didn't send my daughter to kindergarten until she was 6 because she is an early september baby, she would have been the youngest--so I know how you feel. But holding her back at stage I think would be more damaging to her esteem if her whole class gets to move forward and she doesn't. You have a tough choice.

Brandy - posted on 06/08/2009

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If she failed all year I would say yes. However I would first consider tutoring in math first if this is the only area she is having problems in. Start the tutoring now and you could have her on track and ready for her next grade level in the fall. Your local library has summer programs, and the school should still be available to give you information on this. Good luck. B.

Terry - posted on 06/07/2009

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I held my daughter back in the third grade, but I did change her school, to save her the embarrassment. Now she has graduated from HS and is married and doing fine!

[deleted account]

I think if she is younger and smaller AND a little behind on the comprehension in studies, it would be beneficial for her to be held back. Her age and size would not be noticeable socially, and acedemically, she'll get a chance to catch up and solidify her knowledge in the subjects she is challenged by.

You definitely don't want to push her forward as it only becomes more difficult as the grades progress, and for a bright, attractive girl, this could lead to esteem problems that will lead to much bigger problems as she faces puberty.

Don't wait for a teacher to tell you to hold her back, their agenda's are placed elsewhere when it comes to state scores, school funding, etc. It's really up to you to ensure the school is doing everything it can to guide her, which translates into a lot of involement form you. See if a teacher is willing to stay after class for a half hour so you can join her and work on the hoework together. If you nip this in the bud now and give her support, it will do wonders in her confidence by the time she reaches high school, when the last thing on any teenagers mind is their grades!

good luck!

Becki - posted on 06/07/2009

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what does her teacher at school think? maybe she doesn't need to be held back but just needs extra help in class with certain subjects? at the end of the day it is ultimatly your reponsibility to make sure she is getting the best education she can. if you think she needs to be held back a grade to accomplish that then that is what you should do. good luck :)

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