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Old 05-08-2018, 04:56 PM
 
10,090 posts, read 6,464,598 times
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I think its a mistake...but you will see in time if it is
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Old 05-16-2018, 03:31 PM
 
Location: THE D.C.
105 posts, read 47,314 times
Reputation: 253
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 have to say that I'm shocked they would even entertain the notion of keeping him back. Our daughter needed desperately to be held back a year starting in 3rd grade. The school was 100% against it saying that it doubles to chance of them dropping out of school before graduation, behavior problems (she already has them), would embarrass her, etc. It's called social promotion. Now she's in grade 11 and continues to fail every class every year but they promote her anyway. She knows they will so she doesn't do any work she doesn't feel like doing. IEP's are rarely followed - they pretend they are by always saying the child is "meeting their goals" every time, but it's only true at that exact time they are doing the evaluation for the IEP update and they give them a ton of chances. Unless you have a very motivated child who has a strong desire to do well, school is going to be tough because they are not designed for children with any special needs - they just don't have the time. Especially if they get one or more behavioral disordered children in the class - then all of the time and energy goes to managing their behavior and any kids who struggle are left on their own. Our education system is a mess. If there is any alternative school near you, or a private school or even considering home schooling - that would be better in my opinion, than holding him back. He will be teased by the other kids and no matter what you say, he will think he has failed in some way. This requires a creative solution and hard work/sacrifice on your part.
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Old 05-16-2018, 04:07 PM
 
15,716 posts, read 13,130,937 times
Reputation: 19623
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!
Is private school an option? Instead of just retaining him, transferring would take the stigma out of seeing his peers move on without him. If private school is an option, a "open classroom" model might work for him. It is project based, without grades, and groups kids of multiple ages together based on maturity and ability rather than birthday. Might be a good fit.
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Old 05-16-2018, 04:13 PM
 
15,716 posts, read 13,130,937 times
Reputation: 19623
Quote:
Originally Posted by NC211 View Post
Thought I would circle back with our results thus far.


We decided against holding him back. We discussed all of this with him, laid out the pros and cons for both approaches, told him we support whatever decision he makes, but MUST understand that if he continues to the 5th grade and can't keep up without freaking himself out, then that is when we might have to slow this down a year. We thought the 5th would be better because he wouldn't see his classmates the next year (they move on to middle school). We also liked the idea to give him a chance here. Show him that we have faith in him, back him up 100%, and want to work together as a family at his direction on what he says he needs.

I was 70% in favor of not holding him back when I posted last. After talking with him, I heard what I was needed to hear to go 100%. In short, he is afraid of failing. Those are his words exactly. Afraid of failing. Not that he doesn't want to try. Not that he could care less about school and the "whatever" response. But that he is afraid of failing. His honest response.

So, with that now on the table, we met with the school and had a great conversation. All are on board with our plan, and agree with us. At the end of the day, the ONE thing I simply cannot do to him is chip at his confidence. And to hold him back this year, when he's been making good progress but just behind, would risk doing just that. I worried that we would have an easy and solid year next year because he already knew it, but then slide backwards again later on, and have to deal with the double-whammy of the social aspect of being held back. I just could not risk it. I have family members who were true Road Scholars. One has one of the highest IQ's ever registered in her entire state. Another finished college with honors. Both have not had productive and happy adult lives, and it all stems back to their own personal self confidence levels. At some point along their way, something happened that chipped away at that, and they never recovered. One of them hasn't held a job since George W. Bush was President (he turned 50 recently). Me? I was a 2.0 student at best, but not afraid to try and loaded with self confidence. I'm doing pretty well these days as a mid-40's professional.

So anyway, enough about my soapbox. Here is what we've done thus far, and already seeing great progress.

We have hired two math tutors, but not "authority figure" types. They are high school kids. Last night I spied on one of his sessions (division/fractions). He was struggling, and I was getting nervous. But he likes her. Then, I hear her say "want me to show you how I was taught how to do this?" He said "yes please". She showed him one time how she does fractions divisions. And it clicked. I could see the stress melt off of him through the video camera (have one in the basement where they were working). I sat on the sofa upstairs watching. Watching him do the next problem a little more easily, and then the next problem even a little more easily, and so on. By the 5th math problem, he was able to do it completely on his own without having to ask for help. I will admit that I started to cry when he got up and hugged her. My heart just melted. THAT is a kid who is afraid to fail, and I watched him for the first time in two years feel like he wasn't a failure anymore. I balled like a child.

So, we're getting the 5th grade math and reading books in a few weeks. They've agreed to let him take a peak forward over the summer so he won't be shell shocked once he starts. I thought this would be a good idea to help combat against the "freaking yourself out" syndrome. He does that sometimes when he is nervous. He has agreed to three tutor sessions a week for the remainder of this school year. One for reading, and two for math. And then 5 sessions a week during the summer. Basically one hour of intense focus a day. Our goal (and I think we'll get there now) is to get caught up to 4th grade and have a little time to roll into early 5th grade before 5th grade actually starts.

He may not be a Road Scholar. But if he can climb this mountain (and I know he can), the amount of personal self confidence he will feel will be one of his greatest strengths for life. But if he can't, then he will realize that yes, maybe I do need to take a step back and try this again. My hope is that he will come to that decision without too much prompting. But from what I've seen thus far in this short amount of time, switching up tutors from adults to older kids, has seemed to open his mind and calmed his anxiety way down.

"I am afraid to fail." The most magical words I could have ever wanted to hear in this situation. I told him that his dad couldn't be more proud of him, and that I will do whatever he says he needs to get over this mountain, every step of the way. We know we're likely going to be making a few changes along the way, not expecting a silver bullet fix. He liked hearing that. So, we're off to 5th Grade!
That is good to hear. Sounds like he is on the right track.

You may want to put him into some academic but non-school programs where he will fail. Fear of failure is not cured by not failing and only succeeding. Fear of failing is cured by failing, and realizing failure is just a step on the way to success. Maybe a maker space, math club, something where he can put himself out there in a safe non-graded way, fail, and then try again might do far more good than anything else.
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Old 05-18-2018, 09:32 AM
 
1,684 posts, read 2,024,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighFlyingBird View Post
I think its a mistake...but you will see in time if it is
What is the mistake? They aren't holding him back.
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