Retention in school

Julie - posted on 03/09/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Does anyone have any experience on grade retention? My son is in first grade and they are talking about possible retention. I do not like the idea of having him repeat first grade, his grades are passing, but barely. His teacher works extra with him along with two others at school, as well as us at home. Does anyone have any advice? His is a very shy little boy, but tries very hard. He is finally starting to come out of his shell, but I fear with retention that will become worse. I also do not want him to have a bad experience next year if he goes on to grade 2. I am not sure what to do....

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Denise - posted on 03/20/2013

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I kept my daughter back in the 3rd grade. They told me the 4th grade was a transitinail grade and she would struggle. something about not being mature enough for the 4th grade. She had no learning disabilites or problems. she was just a little intraverted and before i knew it she was repeating the third grade. My mistake. I felt guilt for years about it. She was insecure and being kept back made her more so. She needed incouragement not a sense of failure. I cant tell you what to do because every child is different but i was not happy with the end results. My sister who is a special ed teacher told me it would be a mistake to keep her back in the later grades so if i was going to do i needed to do now while she was young. the younger the better. But she was told her own son should not go to first grade so my sister pulled him out of the private school he was in and put him in public in the first grade and he soared. Remarkable he himself is a 2nd grade teacher.

Rita - posted on 01/24/2013

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Jessica, I am new at Circle of Moms. I just wanted to thank you. You have no, no idea how much you comments helped me. I am now pondering the possibility that my seven year old son may have to repeat first grade. Let me give you a breakdown...my son, thank God is a perfectly healthy, mentally and physically boy who was born extremely premature. He loves school and is extremely happy. We pulled him out of a private school last November and he's now in a terrific but so, so much more advanced school. His teacher tells me he is perfectly behaved, has lots of friends and tries in school. However he is not (academically) where should be. I, as his mother do see immaturity in him. After all, has was born three months early.

We are oh so proud and blessed that he's perfect, however I wonder if maybe we should give him some time now that he's still young and hold him back rather than have him struggle next year. Thank you so much for your most candid comments, you've made a difference

Marina - posted on 03/11/2009

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We struggled with this for my third grader in his earlier years We recieved resourse through his school but had a couple teachers unwilling to help. We finally put him in a private montessori school and he blossumed. He might just learn at a different pace. We're not all cut from the same mold. Maybe he's like my guy...lovingly special>

Jessica - posted on 03/11/2009

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If your son is struggling I'd say set him do the summer school thing and then sit with the school officials to see what they think would be best for him. My daughter repeated 1st this year because she was on a level 8 in reading when she should of beeen on a 18! She went to summer school and raised her level to a 12 but the school felt if she continued to 2nd then she'd struggle but if she repeated the year she'd have a head start and be about the normal age because she was an early bird, her birthday is in July and the teachers say that has a lot to do with how they learn.  So if your unsure give summer school a chance and then go from there. Now is the time if you decide to keep him back because he's young enough to adapt as they get older it's harder because they make close friends. Good luck and God bless your lil' man in whatever decision you make. I hope this helped a little :)

Amy - posted on 03/11/2009

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The way the schools are set up now no student is to be left behind. The teachers are to help the student out and make sure they know what they need to. I have found that some teachers dont want to take the time to help the one falling behind or are just a little slower to learn things. My sons kindergarten teacher wanted to hold him back last year and I told her no that he wasnt doing any different from the other kids. Now this year he has done really good and is just a little slow with his reading. He can read enough to get him by but not up to there standerds. I think if you feel it would help him to stay back then do it, but if you and your son feel good about him going to second then go for it. Talk to him about it and see what his thoughts are on it.

Debbie - posted on 03/11/2009

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My daughter was the youngest in her kindergarten class (which I found surprising). Her birthday is June 30th and her teacher told me that a lot of parents decide to hold off putting their child in kindergarten if they are close to the cut off time (which I think is in August for Ohio). She was having difficulty in kindergarten keeping up with everyone and they even thought she could have ADHD. They told me that they would like to hold her back to repeat kindergarten but that it was up to me. My daughter is very shy and has a hard time making friends. I didn't personally like the idea to be honest. So I asked them not to. I tried to really help her with her reading, handwriting, and such like that whenever I had a chance with getting her to read more, letting her work on handwriting practice sheets, and doing little flashcards with addition problems and such like that. She did much better in first grade and is now in second grade.



I'm not sure how your son is doing, but for me, I didn't want to hold her back a year since I knew that she could make it in first grade and I thought it would hurt her self-esteem personally. But that's just what we thought was right for her and I knew that I would have to have time to help her out more to make sure it was the right choice.

Tena - posted on 03/11/2009

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Get the school to get him extra help the school boards have many many people that come in to work with him.  I have a son who was just diagnoised with ADHD.  We had a unbelieable bad start to the grade one year.  I had about  7 different people in the board come in and do assestments with him and some worked with him.  I also went through our local child and family services and got help there.  you just have to push for help.  Ask the principal what help is in the board.  I don't think failing him is a good idea.  He just needs help and they have to give it.  Plus if he is in a big class that does not help.  He may have a different way of learning than others.  If there is something I am learning through all this the school/teacher only thinks they are right all the time.  My son was pulled out of recess with his classmates.  The staff had never seen a child like this before.  Give me a break, then his is tagged in the school by staff and students. Now we are trying to undo all the damage. We also are fighting to keep an EA with him.  Also we are working on a IEP  which is an individual education plan.  This identifies his needs and how they deal with them.  Also my husband and I just found out and not from the teachers that they can not suspend or maybe even fail if he has an IEP.  Don't always trust what the staff says. Look into  it yourself.  The Child and family services staff have been great at letting us know all the stuff the school does not.  I hope this helps any questions just ask.  Tena

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I know its late in the school year, but have you thought of asking the school to do a formal evaluation for special services? It is with in your rights through no child left behind to formally request this service. If your child is requiring extra help to keep up in class, he may be entitled to receive services provided at the school. There may be reasons he is having a hard time and the testing will help identifying them. My son was struggling in first grade and it only got worse in second grade. He is very intelligent so it never occurred to me to ask for an evaluation since I thought it would only cover kids with disabilities. The teacher encouraged me to ask for it anyway and it has been a really good thing for my son. They did evaluations on his academic skills, cognitive skills, social skills and emotional skills. He qualified under the emotional part, so he gets services which means an extra aid in his classroom to help him, gifted programs, and counseling. I can also request any strategies I think he would benefit from as long as they are reasonable like alternative presentation of materials or less homework. My son has had a dramatic turnaround in the last month so it has been well worth the effort. Before the hold him back, ask the teacher what the theory is behind this. Does she think its an immaturity issue or a problem functioning in the classroom or he just doesn't understand the material. There should be attempts made to catch him up, like title 1 or tutoring, and testing for problems before they even suggest holding him back. Don't do anything that doesn't feel right to you. You have options and a lot of schools don't tell you about them until you ask. Take a deep breath, it is very early in his schooling so he will have plenty of time to get it before it really counts. The important thing now is that he doesn't get a bad feeling about school in general. Good luck and keep at it.

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My girl, now in grade 3, I had wanted to repeat a grade, but the school wouldn't let us. I am in favour of it, as the child will have the oppurtunity to be "first" in the class instead of last. My girl is also very shy and does much better when she is the oldest in a group. This might help your guy too. In fact she still wishes she was in grade 1 now. haha! I think the child will only think of it as a negative thing if it is presented as such. Let him know there is nothing wrong with him, and he didn;t do anything wrong. This is not a punishment, but for his good.

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