How do you know if it's okay to hold your child back a grade?

Misty - posted on 08/02/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My 11 year old step-daughter is scheduled to begin the 6th grade (middle school) in a few weeks. She has been in an IEP for her whole school career. Personally, I don't feel like she is mature enough, nor is she academically ready to advance into the 6h grade. However, her teachers at her previous elementary school warn of permanent "social" damage if we hold her back and maker her repeat the 5th grade. Has anybody been in this situation, and if so, what would you advise?

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Stephanie - posted on 03/28/2011

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Im having the same problem with my 5th grader right now! he is smart, but is not ready for the 6th grade. His teacher told us just today, that he feels that we should retain him. We have a small talk with him bout it, and he is just devistated about it and does not want to be held back! He is in tutor and struggles with Reading, writing, spelling. So he is basically at beginner 5th grade, and should be getting ready for 6th grade. We have thought of the social damage part too and have mixed feeling! We are at a loss of what to do. its such a hard choice, we want the best for our kids. i need help too!

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Angie - posted on 08/03/2010

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How do her parents feel about this? If they are concerned, they need to speak with the school and find out exactly how far behind she is and what the social issues would be if she was held back.

Lisa - posted on 08/03/2010

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I think it gets harder the older the child is. I'm in Australia, so don't know what IEP means? My son started Prep at age 4, he turned 5 a month after starting. He'd gone to 4 year old preschool and I was worried about sending him to school. All the advice I got was to send him. Once he was there the Prep teachers told me he wasn't ready and recommended another year of preschool, but it was too late for me to get him in again. So when he was in grade 1 I talked to his teacher about him repeating and she sorted it out for me then. I couldn't be happier with my decision. I know someone else who decided not to let their children repeat early on and now one is struggling with high school. The other may not be ready next year either.

What do your SDD's current teachers think? You should really get more opinions, but I would say have her repeat now. Even if it means moving schools, she could start the 5th grade with students that don't know she's done it already. I just think the "social" damage is outweighed by giving her the best chance to do her best academically without struggling. Just think of the damage that could cause! Honestly there is no way my son would have coped with high school last year, that extra year meant a lot IMO!

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