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Old 04-18-2018, 08:23 PM
 
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My daughter who teaches in elementary (and is an excellent teacher) has son born late in July--
In her state FL he would be in younger kids if he started kindergarten the year he turns 5
So knowing that and seeing that he was a little small for his size when he was 2, and knowing boys are usually less mature than girls by age--she and her husband decided to have him repeat his 2nd yr class at the pre-school/day care he was attending...
He would stay in that school until he went to public kindergarten

I can't say that it has hurt him any but he is very bright--reading on his own about time he turned 5 this July and now can read 2nd grade material
He has good hand-eye coordination and just about exceeds everything on age level requirements...
But he is still small for his age
They worry about him being bullied even though he has very good social skills--is a leader in his class and a favorite on the playground...(we have to stop when we pick him up for kids to hug him and say goodbye for example)...

So they are happy they held him back eventhough based on this evidence he likely could have succeeded in kindergarten if he had started this past August--

She has friend--also a teacher--who lives in Houston TX--Sept 1 is cutoff in TX as well as FL
Her son is 3 yr's older but also born in July same day as our grandson
They let him start kindgergarden when he just turned 5
They both work and having him in school helped with the budget because they had another child then to pay for daycare...
He struggled--for variety of reasons but mainly he was younger in group where some kids HAD been held back--so the school recommended when he started 1st grade that he repeat K
And he did
It was difficult at first but it paid off because he was happier after he got used to it and he was more successful in school...
This is several yr's later and he seems to be doing well academically and socially...
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Old 04-18-2018, 09:26 PM
 
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I would not hold a child at that age back. You're worried about how to tell him because you know it's going to be an issue for him (and for his classmates). The research is solidly against retention- especially at anything after Kindergarten. I'm shocked that shock is in support of holding back a child who has an IEP. If he's struggling, the team needs to reconsider the supports he has in his IEP and adjust appropriately. He also might benefit from additional supports outside of school (tutoring, additional help with assignments, etc).

Has he always been a year behind, or is the gap growing? If it's growing, then holding him back isn't going to solve the problem. If he has an IEP, he's been identified with a disability and requires services. If he simply started school "too early," that's not a disability and he'd likely be getting remedial services instead to "catch him up."

If you are set on holding him back, I'd consider what sweetana3 said and have him attend a different school instead of staying in his same grade and school now. You know the definition of insanity, right? Doing the same thing but expecting different results. That's kind of what retention tends to do- but add to that the social and emotional difficulties that come from repeating the same curriculum (who wants to do that again?) and knowing your peers know you were held back. Research really is against retention. You will find people who might have positive things to say about it from personal experience, but that's an n of 1 and doesn't mean a lot in the big picture. You also have to consider what it means for your child way down the road. Also keep in mind that starting a child late in school ("redshirting") and holding back in preschool and Kindergarten are not even in the same ballpark as retaining a child in 4th grade.

I personally would request a team meeting to talk about his supports. Again, I'm really shocked his teachers are suggesting it. Best of luck as you decide what is best for your son. He sounds like a great kid!
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:54 AM
 
12,236 posts, read 8,633,048 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NC211 View Post
Our 9 year old son is in the 4th grade with a late May birthday. He's a great kid! He is kind, he includes everyone, and is well balanced. We are so proud of him. But, he is falling way behind in school. He has tutors and an IEP. His grades are fine, but they come with a footnote per his IEP.


His performance is at the 3rd grade level. We're worried that we started him a year too soon, as he is one of the youngest in his class, and average size. His teachers are suggesting we hold him back for another year of 4th grade, as they don't think he is ready for the 5th (especially in math).


Homework is a struggle now, and we're starting to hear things that suggest he is just overwhelmed and giving up. Our thinking is that maybe holding him back would be a good idea in that regard.


But we're really worried about the social aspect hit to him, and how to frame the conversation to break this news to him. It's important to us that he understands that this isn't his fault and that his parents are VERY proud of him. We want to frame this as a chance for him to catch his breath and not feel like he is always trying to catch up. We all agree that his maturity level isn't quite there, and it is all pointing to his age. While most in his class are already 10 years old, he turns 10 at the end of the school year.


Has anyone here ever held their child back a year? How did it go? Wise move or regret doing it? Any advice is welcomed!
I am not a parent, but one thing you might want to think about is if the school might be skimping on offering him the help he needs. IEP's are often subjective and the school, especially if facing budget or other pressures, might not be interpreting things very liberally. For instance, "extended time" might mean extended time only on tests, or on tests and homework, or might mean an extra 5 minutes, or an extra 2 weeks.

Another thing to keep in mind is that, while not passing any judgment either way, it is a fact these days that many if not most parents do homework for their kids at least some of the time, and those who are well-off often hire private tutors. I'm not trying to say what level of assistance is reasonable per se, just that it is something else to keep in mind.

Understanding the root cause of the issue, and addressing it, is far better than simply trying to treat the symptoms. If you only treat the symptoms, the problem will recur or even get worse. It is imperative that the root cause be addressed, so that in the long run the problem will actually go away. This kid still has several years to go before anything goes on his permanent record, so don't worry so much about the immediate issues with grades and focus on the long-term.
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Old 04-19-2018, 09:58 AM
 
Location: D.C.
1,548 posts, read 1,338,739 times
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Thanks all, these are all excellent comments and suggestions. I have read several websites that strongly suggest that statistically speaking, retention is not a good idea, and we keep going back and forth on what to do here. It's like picking the lesser of two evils. (1), we give him another year to catch up (on basically everything) and work to minimize the personal impact to him, or (2) load him up even more with tutors and whatnot that essentially make his life school school school for the next two years. He will absolutely be a large part of this conversation and decision. We're definitely not going to "spring" this on him, as I think that would cause irreversible damage to him. He knows there is a problem coming already.

We live in the suburbs of DC. The school district is not hurting in the funding area, and we are very comfortable financially. He has had an IEP since the 1st grade with suspected minor dyslexia. His scores across the board are reporting a 3rd grade level of performance, with math being the furthest behind. He receives nearly 3 1/2 hours of IEP support per day. As an example, he is struggling with multiplication while the rest of the class is mastering division. He's not even gotten to division yet, which is a bedrock component here to start the 5th grade.

One area that is unique to him against his peers is the fact that his younger sister (7) is autistic. So his home life is a little bit different at times than his peers. I know that has to play some part in this as well. Sometimes when it is homework time, she is having a meltdown and we're trying to manage both. We're working to separate the events better. Admittedly, we as parents have probably done too much to comfort him over this component of his life by showering him with toys. I will openly admit, this is going to be the first time in his life where consequences will matter and will be felt by him. We as parents are recognizing some of our mistakes here now. It is not an impossible situation, but could be better. We're feeling our way through a dark on this aspect, it's really all you can do.

He is losing his focus because he has grown frustrated. I am not putting blame on the teachers here at all, but I am a little upset that we're seeing how far back he is now, at the end of the 4th grade. We knew he was behind, but the reports we've been receiving have been suggesting great progress thus far, until this last report card. But, I am not blaming the teachers here at all, and I am listening to them with open ears and open mind.


I am thinking that, at the end of the day, we have a breakdown in the communication/delivery method of the information to him. I think he is partially frustrated because the information coming to him is coming from an authority figure. I am wondering if we had tutors that were younger, maybe high school kids, if that wouldn't help him to relax and focus more on understanding the material instead of just trying to get the right answer so he could move on to something else. He has been seeing a reading tutor now for 3 years who has switched over to math as well. But she is an older lady, a "mom" figure instead of a "friend" figure. I am wondering if we could find him a "friend" type, if that would not help him a bit more.


There is a boy in his class who's parents elected to hold back this year to repeat the 4th grade. We are going to meet with the parents to get some advice on how this has worked so far. He has flourished this year because of it, both academically and socially. Last year he struggled academically and socially. This year he has made a 100% leap forward in both, and is enjoying school a lot more. But my concern is if it will hold. Will he continue to do well? Or will he slip behind again and have to deal with being held back as well already, a double-whammy of sorts. Temporary gain in one category, permanent loss/issue in another.


I was not a good student myself. We moved around a lot as a kid. Always the "new kid" every 2 to 3 year, with a couple in there of 1 year spans. Transcripts got screwed up, where I was taking algebra without any pre-algebra (even though my transcript said I did). I struggled all the way through to the end. It was not an enjoyable process.


In terms of social acceptability for him during his schooling years, I am afraid we are looking at two real scenarios here, and one hopeful outcome. (1) the potential stigma of being held back (even though his age would still be appropriate for each grade going forward), (2) the potential stigma of not being held back but not being a good student who struggles to keep up, (3) he can get there with a lot more tutor help and a few changes made in this approach both in school, outside of school, and admittedly at home with us. I am leaning more towards #3, with the real threat that if he can't get up to speed in the 5th grade then he has to repeat it and not move on to middle school, basically delay the retention one more year and throw everything we've got at getting him where he needs to be.


I have faith in him, and we are both dedicated to do the right thing here for him. I recognize the real potential for the life-long impact of retaining him very well might have. At 9/10 years old, he would feel as though he wasn't good enough. That is such a dangerous feeling, especially at such an influential age. I really hope we can find a way to not have to do that.
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Old 04-19-2018, 10:57 AM
 
9,851 posts, read 5,923,868 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NC211 View Post
Thanks all, these are all excellent comments and suggestions. I have read several websites that strongly suggest that statistically speaking, retention is not a good idea, and we keep going back and forth on what to do here. It's like picking the lesser of two evils. (1), we give him another year to catch up (on basically everything) and work to minimize the personal impact to him, or (2) load him up even more with tutors and whatnot that essentially make his life school school school for the next two years. He will absolutely be a large part of this conversation and decision. We're definitely not going to "spring" this on him, as I think that would cause irreversible damage to him. He knows there is a problem coming already.

We live in the suburbs of DC. The school district is not hurting in the funding area, and we are very comfortable financially. He has had an IEP since the 1st grade with suspected minor dyslexia. His scores across the board are reporting a 3rd grade level of performance, with math being the furthest behind. He receives nearly 3 1/2 hours of IEP support per day. As an example, he is struggling with multiplication while the rest of the class is mastering division. He's not even gotten to division yet, which is a bedrock component here to start the 5th grade.

One area that is unique to him against his peers is the fact that his younger sister (7) is autistic. So his home life is a little bit different at times than his peers. I know that has to play some part in this as well. Sometimes when it is homework time, she is having a meltdown and we're trying to manage both. We're working to separate the events better. Admittedly, we as parents have probably done too much to comfort him over this component of his life by showering him with toys. I will openly admit, this is going to be the first time in his life where consequences will matter and will be felt by him. We as parents are recognizing some of our mistakes here now. It is not an impossible situation, but could be better. We're feeling our way through a dark on this aspect, it's really all you can do.

He is losing his focus because he has grown frustrated. I am not putting blame on the teachers here at all, but I am a little upset that we're seeing how far back he is now, at the end of the 4th grade. We knew he was behind, but the reports we've been receiving have been suggesting great progress thus far, until this last report card. But, I am not blaming the teachers here at all, and I am listening to them with open ears and open mind.


I am thinking that, at the end of the day, we have a breakdown in the communication/delivery method of the information to him. I think he is partially frustrated because the information coming to him is coming from an authority figure. I am wondering if we had tutors that were younger, maybe high school kids, if that wouldn't help him to relax and focus more on understanding the material instead of just trying to get the right answer so he could move on to something else. He has been seeing a reading tutor now for 3 years who has switched over to math as well. But she is an older lady, a "mom" figure instead of a "friend" figure. I am wondering if we could find him a "friend" type, if that would not help him a bit more.


There is a boy in his class who's parents elected to hold back this year to repeat the 4th grade. We are going to meet with the parents to get some advice on how this has worked so far. He has flourished this year because of it, both academically and socially. Last year he struggled academically and socially. This year he has made a 100% leap forward in both, and is enjoying school a lot more. But my concern is if it will hold. Will he continue to do well? Or will he slip behind again and have to deal with being held back as well already, a double-whammy of sorts. Temporary gain in one category, permanent loss/issue in another.


I was not a good student myself. We moved around a lot as a kid. Always the "new kid" every 2 to 3 year, with a couple in there of 1 year spans. Transcripts got screwed up, where I was taking algebra without any pre-algebra (even though my transcript said I did). I struggled all the way through to the end. It was not an enjoyable process.


In terms of social acceptability for him during his schooling years, I am afraid we are looking at two real scenarios here, and one hopeful outcome. (1) the potential stigma of being held back (even though his age would still be appropriate for each grade going forward), (2) the potential stigma of not being held back but not being a good student who struggles to keep up, (3) he can get there with a lot more tutor help and a few changes made in this approach both in school, outside of school, and admittedly at home with us. I am leaning more towards #3, with the real threat that if he can't get up to speed in the 5th grade then he has to repeat it and not move on to middle school, basically delay the retention one more year and throw everything we've got at getting him where he needs to be.


I have faith in him, and we are both dedicated to do the right thing here for him. I recognize the real potential for the life-long impact of retaining him very well might have. At 9/10 years old, he would feel as though he wasn't good enough. That is such a dangerous feeling, especially at such an influential age. I really hope we can find a way to not have to do that.
You seem like a very dedicated parent and I have been in your shoes. Something that stood out to me was the comment of doubling up on tutors and work to help him catch up. I tried that. But then I found out that it isn't the amount of tutors or school work, its how well the teaching methods work for the kid. And that isn't always easy to find out. But if he isn't making his IEP goals, then its time to go back to that and make some changes.

My daughter, as an example, struggles greatly in reading. We had her in tutoring 5 days a week, plus reading at home and of course school. She started sped with a fantastic teacher who some how is making more progress with her for 30 minutes a day then she made when we were really "doubling up" on everything.

Its a huge relief, esp for her. She is actually getting excited about reading now and her progress is picking up from that.

So I guess I wanted to share, for us, quality, not quantity is working.

P.S. Have you considered or done a neuro-pysch/educational eval outside of school? Or did they do one in school?
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Old 04-19-2018, 11:00 AM
 
823 posts, read 493,417 times
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I’m not sure if some posters actually read your entire post.
Your son is struggling in school. You and his teachers have figured out why. You have a solution.

I’m confused by why this is debatable. Push ahead to do academic work he’s not going to handle because of what ‘some’ kids might think? This would be a great time to teach your son a lesson he will need his whole life. People are GOING to talk. You learn to do you and not care about gossip. In (a short) time, they will find something else to talk about. His true friends will remain his friends regardless of what grade he’s in. Those that talk will probably talk about him struggling in their grade as well.

You aren’t holding him back; you're placing him where he should be. If he was old for his class and was advanced compared to his classmates and you moved him ahead, would you care what his classmates thought of it?

School is for learning. If learning is not occurring; fixing that should take precedence over everything else.

ETA: People are often quick to point out research studies when answering such posts. Studies are not one size fits all. You have to look at your son’s situation individually even if that means your final decision goes against the ‘studies’.

Last edited by BLDSoon; 04-19-2018 at 11:58 AM..
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Old 04-19-2018, 11:18 AM
 
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Since it sounds like more can be done in terms of effort from your son and enforcement of better performance, I would be inclined to give that a try FIRST.

Perhaps even discuss it with him that if he doesn't do better in school then next year you're probably going to hold him back.

I had to get tough with one of my kids around junior high in a similar fashion.
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Old 04-19-2018, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Denver CO
16,560 posts, read 8,586,322 times
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Originally Posted by Mathguy View Post
Since it sounds like more can be done in terms of effort from your son and enforcement of better performance, I would be inclined to give that a try FIRST.

Perhaps even discuss it with him that if he doesn't do better in school then next year you're probably going to hold him back.

I had to get tough with one of my kids around junior high in a similar fashion.
Really? What exactly is is that you think this 9 year old child isn't doing that the parents should be enforcing?
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Old 04-19-2018, 11:37 AM
 
2,242 posts, read 1,128,217 times
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Originally Posted by HighFlyingBird View Post
In general, experts are strongly pushing against holding back children. I would look into the research on it and then balance it with your child's needs.

It isn't likely that holding him back will take away his need for sped or an IEP.

I would put no homework in his IEP until at least middle school or jr. high. It has no proven benefit.

P.S. We did re-do kinder for one kid and 3rd for another and it didn't help. It slowed down the rate at which they got their special needs addressed.
I agree with your comments except recommending that there be NO homework until middle school. Absolutely silly to broad brush stroke that when you don't know the individual kid in question. As you know, IEPs vary and the kids are all over the map. Those kids could have plenty to gain with even just a little homework, contrary to what other pedigreed research you cite to prove otherwise.
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Old 04-19-2018, 12:02 PM
 
1,737 posts, read 1,482,065 times
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All I can tell you is my parents were advised to hold me back in first grade after my teacher forgot me when she stated reading groups. That staying back ruined my childhood life, and colored my feelings about school, to a huge extent
If there is any way not to keep him back I would do it. Tutors, extra school or work over the summer.
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