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    NowWhat's Avatar
    NowWhat Posts: 1,634, Reputation: 264
    Ultra Member

    Apr 20, 2007, 09:16 AM
    Holding a child back, pros and cons
    Hello. I need some advice from those who have been there - done that or not done that.

    Here is my situation.
    My daughter is 6 years old and is in the first grade. She has a summer birthday and so she is a very young first grader. She made our cut off by 2 weeks when she started kindergarten. The school is now talking about holding her back from moving on to the 2nd grade because her reading skills are not at the appropriate level. They think it is strictly an age thing. They do not think she has a learning disability. They think she is academically immature. They are putting a "team" together that is going to sit down with us and have a talk about what should happen next.
    However, she is excelling at everything else. We do not want her to be held back and have expressed that to her teacher. We do know that whatever decision is made - it will be ours in the end.
    She reads to us every night and then we read to her. We have hired a tutor for her this summer. She is currently in a special reading class at school - but we are pulling her out because she has not improved and some of the things they teach are actually hindering her performance in other areas.

    I believe it will do more harm than good to hold her back - socially and mentally.

    I guess my question is - have you held your kid back? Are you happy you did? Were you faced with the option and chose not to? Are you happy with that decision?
    I am sure our minds are made up - but I would like some feed back from those who have been in our shoes.
    ballengerb1's Avatar
    ballengerb1 Posts: 27,379, Reputation: 2280
    Home Repair & Remodeling Expert

    Apr 20, 2007, 01:28 PM
    What did her kindergarten teacher say about her maturity last year? If the current teacher and Principal think she is academically immature now, what was said last year. "but we are pulling her out because she has not improved and some of the things they teach are actually hindering her performance in other areas." Could you explain this feeling further? I know I have not answered you yet but I'm trying to get a fuller picture. Thanks
    shygrneyzs's Avatar
    shygrneyzs Posts: 5,017, Reputation: 936
    Uber Member

    Apr 20, 2007, 02:14 PM
    I would, based on her age and being so close to the cut off date, hold her back and have her repeat the grade. When she gets to the further grades, you could really start to see problems. I have two homecare clients that are retired teachers and they have often said that when in doubt, have the child repeat the grade, especially in the early grades.

    I do not understand what you mean when you say you are pulling her out of her special reading class because the reading class is hindering her performance in other areas. Can you cite examples? Is the teacher or teachers saying this, or is this your bias coming through?

    I know parents do not want to think their child is behind in any category but it happens. Making the changes now and helping your daughter succeed with her tasks - if it means repeating the grade - will be beneficial to her in the later grades.
    NowWhat's Avatar
    NowWhat Posts: 1,634, Reputation: 264
    Ultra Member

    Apr 20, 2007, 02:18 PM
    Well, our kindergarten is half day. She went for 3 hours a day, they had a special (like gym or art) each day, snack time and recess. It has been said that only an hour a day was spent learning. Her teacher then said she was fine and ready for 1st grade. No problems.
    As far as her reading class - she gets pulled out of regular class time and goes to Title 1 - which is a class for those who need extra help w/reading.
    They spend very little to no time actually reading. They play games and work on "nonsense" words. Which is not words - but letters put together to make a sound.
    My daughter is now trying to use those nonsense words in her writing and having points taken off. SHe is getting confused about what they are teaching in reading and what is expected in regular class time. She has not improved very much - according the test they administer. Her oral fluency is at a 14 and needs to be at a 44 by the end of the year. They have had her ALL year. One of the Title 1 teachers called her regular teacher last week to find out what level reading she is at. He is the reading teacher, he has had her all year and he does not know what level she is at??
    (I am a bit frustrated)
    All they tell us now is that she is young. And I just can't help feeling that - "well, her birthday has not changed - why didn't that come into play at kindergarten registration".
    albear's Avatar
    albear Posts: 1,594, Reputation: 222
    Ultra Member

    Apr 20, 2007, 02:20 PM
    I don't think that long term it will have a huge effect
    NowWhat's Avatar
    NowWhat Posts: 1,634, Reputation: 264
    Ultra Member

    Apr 20, 2007, 02:25 PM
    We know that she is behind in reading - we are not in any sort of denial about that. That is why we are getting a tutor for the summer.
    And, I know that if she was behind in other areas - this would not be an issue. The answer would be clear.
    But... She is excelling in all other areas. She is a little math whiz - gets top grades in social studies and science. Plus good grades in all the extra classes - art, music, computer lab and gym.
    So, if I can get her the help over the summer to get her where she needs to be - should holding her back still be considered?
    Back to asking what 2+2=? I think she would feel dumb and defeated. She takes her grades seriously and is upset when she gets anything other than an "E".
    Watching her friends go on and she is back in 1st grade - what will that do to her? Will she lose her foundness for school and find it boring?
    Squiffy's Avatar
    Squiffy Posts: 499, Reputation: 84
    Full Member

    Apr 20, 2007, 02:30 PM
    I have never had that problem with my kids, they are both winter babies so are the some of the oldest in their years. However, if it were my child, I would not have her repeat the grade, but I would keep that summer tutor until she had caught up with her peers at school.
    albear's Avatar
    albear Posts: 1,594, Reputation: 222
    Ultra Member

    Apr 20, 2007, 02:32 PM
    Yes I think that they should reconsider if you will be getting tuition
    richcali's Avatar
    richcali Posts: 22, Reputation: 5
    New Member

    Apr 20, 2007, 03:52 PM
    I know of several family and friends children in this situation and I have seen the results years later. One child who repeated 2nd grade because of reading skills is doing OK now it was good for her but she had no reading skills and was doing poorly in all subjects. However two others who both repeated first grade did not turn out as good as they both are now at the top of the class and it seems that they would have caught up to the rest of the class. If it were my child I would not hold her back I would have a private tutor (actually I would do this myself) after school or weekends, but would not have anything to do with anything that takes her out of her normal class or break time. I was a teacherís assistant for four year with a third grade class and notice that at this age those who were behind in their skills really pushed harder to catch up. I think some times it takes a little longer for some kids to really get reading skills but by third grade they all seem to even out for the most part. I also found that some of the third graders that were held back were having problems with the fact that all of their first class were now a grade ahead and it seem to bother them a lot. I talked with a couple of them and it was very obvious that it caused them some grief that they were left behind. Since the only problem she has is the reading and all other skills are normal or above I believe she will catch up in the next grade. The only children who I think should be held back are those who are behind in more than half of their skills or those with social problems.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,250, Reputation: 5641

    Apr 20, 2007, 04:58 PM
    I have been in that position with my daughter, and yes, I did hold her back. She was well advanced in everything but reading, as yours is. The only difference though was that mine was in kindergarten, and kindergarten was all day.

    Holding her back was by far the BEST thing I have ever done. She is now 13 and in 7th grade, top of her class and a straight A student and excels in many sports.

    We held her back with the assurance from her school that she would not be put back with the same teacher. We wanted her to have experience from another teacher also. She did, needless to say, mature to the level far above her classmates.

    My daughter also was around 2 weeks from the cutoff date.
    We placed her in kindergarten with the knowledge that she may repeat. She spent her early years in daycare and preschool as I HAD to work, but was not ready for the demands of elementary school.

    Understand that if your little one is immature right now, not saying that is a bad thing mind you, she surely will not mature in second grade as it is more demanding, and third grade is the hardest grade in elementary school.

    If your daughter was not in full time daycare or kindergarten, then the best thing you can do is hold her back. Let her get to know what the structure of elementary school is like. She will have an easier time next year.

    Oh, yeah, I know the stigma of a child that is held back... failed... flunked... etc. Well, believe me that is all BUNK!! They barely remember first grade. She will thank you in the future and you will be rewarded by having an honor roll student. Believe me, I have been there, done that, about to be there again and get another t-shirt.

    My 5 year old son is in pre-k right now, full day, we are having a problem with his maturity level also. If this continues in kindergarten, I will hold him back then also.

    Better to let her be prepared for the next grade than to have her fight for her grades.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,267, Reputation: 7689

    Apr 20, 2007, 07:04 PM
    I would also look into a reading program or tutor for her. During the summer and as school starts.

    I believe if you have your ducks in a row, and explain this to them, your team will most liekly agree. ( the team is normal procedures
    NowWhat's Avatar
    NowWhat Posts: 1,634, Reputation: 264
    Ultra Member

    Apr 21, 2007, 05:19 AM
    I guess I am just getting nervous. I knew what I wanted to do and why. Now that we are going to have to go in and face this team - I am asking myself "am I doing the right thing?" When it comes to her education - I get crazy - I worry A lot. You wouldn't want to know me in August before the teacher list comes out. I worry if she has gotten the right teacher, is she to young, is she going to make friends - every possible thing you can think of - I worry!
    We are planning a move to warmer weather - our house as been on the market for over a year now. Hopefully we will be gone before the next school year. If so, she will be held back. She would not have made the cut off down there - so she will be two years younger than her class mates. They have all day kindergarten where they are learning what she is now in 1st grade. We have the added "plus" that it will be easier for her to understand going to a new school why she has to stay in 1st grade. She will know that it is not because she is "stupid". There are about 4 kids in her class now that were held back last year. She is friends with one of them and just found out. She came home and asked me if this girl was stupid and if that is why she was held back. Of course I said No, that she just needed a little extra time getting ready for 2nd grade.
    As a parent - I question everything I do. Am I doing the right thing? Am I feeding her the healthest meal? Have I chosen the best doctor? Etc. I don't want to make a mistake with my child's life. I have to get this right because I only get one chance.
    Do I sound crazy? 'Cause I feel like that sometimes! :)
    shygrneyzs's Avatar
    shygrneyzs Posts: 5,017, Reputation: 936
    Uber Member

    Apr 21, 2007, 05:40 AM
    No, you do not sound crazy. You sound like a normal parent. We could get medals for worrying! You are trying to do the best possible for your daughter so that she will have success and feel good about her academics. What is more natural than that?

    Your daughter is clearly not "stupid". She needs a boost, many children do. Many adults do! Wishing you the very best in the move and for your daughter and the new school system.
    bikerguy's Avatar
    bikerguy Posts: 87, Reputation: 13
    Junior Member

    Apr 21, 2007, 06:11 AM
    I was held back in the second grade myself for the same reasons. I felt much better being in a group that I was more evenly paired with! I still think about it now. It wasn't nice being the one bring up the rear, as opposed to leading the pack. It was life altering. It was a Great plan that Im sooooo glad my parents did. Otherwise it would have had me struggling every year in my studies. Also a grade at that age is not a problem but imagine if they decided to do it in my teen years! I officially say Lived it, LOVED IT!
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,250, Reputation: 5641

    Apr 21, 2007, 06:23 AM
    I am with Frank here. I am now almost 43 and in college. I was one of the young ones in my class. My mother and I have discussed this over the years and she said she wished she had held me back in the early grades. I was too immature, too young, and struggled. Now I wish she had held me back. I never learned the proper study skills because I was too busy struggling just to make a C or D grade. I barely graduated and decided college was not for me because I thought I was too stupid then. Had I been given the chance at a young age (1st or 2nd grade) I may have gone to college at a8 rather than 38.

    Your daughter is not stupid, and I am sure you know that. She just needs a little more time to adjust to school.

    I notice that she is friends with one that was held back last year, does she think that girl is stupid? Probably not.

    I wish you all the best Mom.
    NowWhat's Avatar
    NowWhat Posts: 1,634, Reputation: 264
    Ultra Member

    Apr 21, 2007, 06:58 AM
    I know she isn't stupid - just the opposite - I think she is exteremly bright.
    When she asked me about her friend - she used the word stupid. So, I am afraid that she will consider herself stupid. I mean, that is the term she associated with being held back.

    Also, my husband is so confident that it would not be the right thing holding her back. And that is kind of how things go - he is 100% on what he feels and I am on the fence.
    And like I said, I question EVERYTHING - where he is more relaxed and sure.
    He will not entertain the thought of holding her back. He is sure it will do more damage than good - and that is a fear of mine.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,250, Reputation: 5641

    Apr 21, 2007, 07:15 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by NowWhat
    He is sure it will do more damage than good - and that is a fear of mine.
    What kind of damage? It can only do her good. Now holding her back in high school would be damaging, but not first grade.

    Tell your daughter that stupid is a BAD word. Sheesh, I really hate that word and don't even allow it in my home or out of my children's mouths. Stupid is a bad and damaging word. Oh, I just shudder every time I hear it because NO ONE NO MATTER WHAT is stupid.

    Back to the subject:p

    What kind of damage will it cause when she is 30? None. She will barely even remember first grade. I know I don't, do you?

    If she is too immature to go on, it is best to hold her back now rather than in the hardest of the elementary grades (which is grade 3).

    Understand that the teacher know what is best for her. They have their Masters Degrees in early elementary education and have had to take tons of hours in dealing with children her age. Seeing as many children as they see on a daily basis and over their years of experience, they know what to look for.

    They are not suggesting this because they think she is not smart or just don't like her. They have a REASON.

    My mother-in-law is a 4th grade teacher. She can tell the ones who have been held back (they are much brighter, get better grades, and are more mature and socialize better. She can also tell who has not been held back, but should have been. Then she has to discuss holding these children back. You don't want to hold her back in 4th grade, do you?

    Go to the meeting set up, take a list of questions with you. These people are the ones who know your daughter best, actually they probably know her better than you in an academic sense. Follow their advice. Again, they have their reasons, and they are suggesting what is in the best interest of your daughter and her future education.
    NowWhat's Avatar
    NowWhat Posts: 1,634, Reputation: 264
    Ultra Member

    Apr 21, 2007, 12:52 PM
    We think it would be damaging to her mentally and socially. She works very hard on her studies and gets good grades. Better than a lot of the kids going on to 2nd grade. She wouldn't understand why she was being held back when she has been working hard all year and achieving the grades.

    I agree with you on the word stupid. I have always told her it was a mean - ugly word. She has been introduced to almost a new vocabulary since she started school.

    I just think that with getting the tutoring this summer - the help in the area that is the weakest - we can get her up to speed. She is improving now - she is 100 times better at reading than the 1st of the year.

    I don't know that I agree with the statement that teachers know my child better than I.
    We are very active in the school and take a active roll in her education. We are not the type of parents that sit back and let the teachers do all the work.
    They may know the academic side - but, I know so much more of who my child is.
    There are 23 kids in one classroom with one teacher. - it isn't possible to get that one on one time needed to really find out how a kid learns best.
    I do know they have a wealth of knowledge and I look forward to this meeting and finding out ways to better help her. I am just not convinced that the only option is to hold her back.
    J_9's Avatar
    J_9 Posts: 40,250, Reputation: 5641

    Apr 21, 2007, 01:12 PM
    It is very good that you are very connected to the school. I made that remark about the teachers knowing her better because some parents are just not involved. It is good to know that you are. But remember they do see her interact with her peers on a different level than you do. Children just do not act the same when their parents are around.

    So, I did not mean it in quite the way it sounded. ;)

    Yes, having her involved with tutors is good. But if she is not developmentally ready to move ahead, don't push it because this is what you want or because there is a stigma involved with holding a child back.

    Actually that stigma is beginning to turn the other direction. It is now more admirable to know when it is necessary to do the right thing and hold a child back if necessity indicates, than to move them just because of pure embarrassment.

    I know, I am probably digging myself into a hole on this one, and many of you may disagree. But I held my daughter back because of issues such as this and it was by far the best thing I have ever done. My niece was held back in second grade, after being told in kindergarten and first that she should be held back then, it was the best thing my sister-in-law ever did for Molly. Molly is now in 3rd grade and reading at a 5th grade level.

    Sometimes our babies are just not ready to move up. It does not mean they are failures, it does not mean that we are failures as parents. It just means that they need just a little extra time to adapt. They just need a little more nurturing. There is nothing wrong with that, in fact, of all the children I know who were held back (remember it used to be called failed, but not anymore) they are all flourshing because they were given the extra time to become proficient in EVERYTHING, not just their weaknesses.
    NowWhat's Avatar
    NowWhat Posts: 1,634, Reputation: 264
    Ultra Member

    May 7, 2007, 08:45 PM
    What to do when a compromise isn't possible
    Hi. I don't know if I have a question or just need to vent.
    My husband and I are on the road to recovery after his affair. (if you are familiar with me - then you know the story) We are doing really good. We are talking - communicating better.
    We have a daughter that is in 1st grade. She is a young 1st grader - she made the cut off by 2 weeks. Her teacher/school wants to hold her back and let her repeat the 1st grade. We have a meeting scheduled for this week to talk to the teacher, principal and special ed teacher. (It's a "team" and everyone has to meet with them if retention is an issue) She is very bright and has done well this year but is behind in her reading skills. They think she is just young and is academically immature. Well, up until 3 weeks ago, my husband and I were on the same page about this issue. We were not going to hold her back. We are getting her a tutor this summer to catch her up and all should be fine. Well... her math is starting to slip. They are working on harder things and she just isn't getting it. So, I am worried. I am beginning to wonder if maybe we should hold her back. We are also planning a move down south and decided that she would be held back down there - because their cut off date is a 2 months before ours - so she would be in a class with older kids and be farther behind due to the school system.
    My thoughts were to just take advantage of the opportunity and hold her back.
    My husband says absouletly not. Will not even entertain it. He said that in life - we don't get do overs. Blah Blah Blah.
    I am trying to get my point across and so is he. We can't seem to meet in the middle.
    What do you do when there is no compromise? We either hold her back or not. THere is no middle ground. We got into an argument this evening and nothing was resolved. I want to go into this meeting together on this subject - on way or the other.
    Like I said - I don't know if there is a question here or not. I just don't know what to do. I have pleaded my case and told him all of the reasons I want to hold her back and he just says NO.

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