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Old 04-18-2018, 09:46 AM
 
Location: D.C.
1,593 posts, read 1,372,628 times
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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!
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Dfw
325 posts, read 71,052 times
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I was held back and had to repeat 3rd grade. I had anxiety and ADD. My mom was actually the one who wanted me held back, then the teachers agreed.
In terms of the social aspect, it did bother me. I mean, those kids I grew up with all went ahead, I didn't. That's when I started feeling like a loner and depressed.
But I really wasn't catching up with the other students in terms of learning, and I barely graduated high school.

But if you believe its necessary for your child to be successful, do it. Yes it might frustrate him socially, but learning is more important.
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:09 AM
 
9,983 posts, read 6,054,423 times
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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.
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:17 AM
Status: "The list doesn’t destroy culture; it creates it" (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Denver CO
16,978 posts, read 8,839,271 times
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Rather than "breaking it to him" why not have a conversation to discuss the idea and see how he responds? I do not mean he gets to make the decision, because of course he doesn't. But he may have input that helps you make the decision on his behalf that you might not have considered. And he could surprise you and feel mostly relief that he won't have to struggle quite so hard to keep up.

As far as things to say, I would focus on how hard he works, and it's not about that, but that you and the teachers (and his tutors, if they also have input) think that he would be better off being able to take a little more time to make sure he's really understanding everything and one way to do that is to repeat the 4th grade work again.

Does he know any kids in the 3rd grade class that he's friendly with? Maybe through a non-school activity like soccer or scouts? That would also be a positive to mention, that while he may not be in the class with Bobby and Joe any more, he'll get to be with Liam and Tommy.

fwiw, my son has a July birthday, so he's always been one of the younger kids. Unlike your son, his issues have been more social but academically he's advanced. In his case, the teachers were always consistent in saying that he was better off being in the most appropriate grade academically even when it meant he sometimes had some social issues. That would be consistent with the choice you are making for your son, recognizing that while the social aspects of school are important, the main focus of school is the academics and long term, he's better off being at the best level match for him academically.
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Old 04-18-2018, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
6,167 posts, read 4,618,651 times
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Quote:
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.
...And it usually seems like Kindergarten is where its done. Although, the fact that it seems to happen so rarely now, makes one wonder how behind OP's kid might be.
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Old 04-18-2018, 03:12 PM
 
3,574 posts, read 9,003,491 times
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Have you considered sending him to a charter school (or whatever they might call it in your area if they are there) to hold him back but with a totally different group of kids and teachers? I live in the big city and have a wide variety of schooling available and don't know if you do.

That could help a little to offset the social aspects of staying behind all the others.
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Old 04-18-2018, 04:09 PM
 
1,433 posts, read 540,709 times
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Yes, if he were my son I would talk to him. See what he thinks. He may be pushed by social pressure to continue - Not be called 'a dummy' because you had to repeat a grade.

You might sit down with him and help with his homework. I know parents helping means a lot more than tutors, especially for elementary school. You'll also get a feel for where he is instead of where the school thinks he is. And he may be one to freeze up on tests. He may be extremely smart but can't translate that to grades.

One of my sons was younger than his class age. He got his drivers license first. Other than that it really didn't matter. I thought it would.
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Old 04-18-2018, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Saint John, IN
9,897 posts, read 2,785,566 times
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What has the school recommended?


We used to live in Illinois (Western Chicago suburbs). No one held their kids back due to age. The cut off for Kindergarten was August 31st. My daughter turned 5 on June 22nd and had going to preschool for 2 years up to that point. Also, Kindergarten there was only half day, 2.5 hours to be exact. She had gone to preschool for 4 hours, so she went to Kindergarten and she did just fine until we moved to Indiana when she entered 3rd grade.


At her new school she was behind and it was a struggle all year. The school repeated multiple times how she was young for her grade as cut off in Indiana was an entire month earlier than Illinois and it was VERY common for people her to hold their kids back if they had summer birthdays. Middle school also starts at 5th grade here, a year earlier. They were worried she would not be ready for middle school. We are now nearing the end of 4th grade and she has made big strides! She is now getting all A's and B's. It was not easy and she has had a lot of help! She has tutoring 2 days a week and works with a specialist at school in Math and Reading every day, plus I work with her myself EVERY DAY! I do feel she is ready for 5th at middle school next year!


All kids are different and learn at a different pace. OP, you need to talk with the school and see what they recommend for your child. I don't think it's very common to hold a child back anymore. Instead they give the child more help at school. Not to mention, holding him back will definitely hurt him emotionally. Talk with your child about this and talk with his teachers! Bring up your concerns at the next IEP meeting!
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Old 04-18-2018, 05:47 PM
Status: "John 16:33" (set 26 days ago)
 
3,295 posts, read 2,670,197 times
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Could he be homeschooled for a year to "catch him up" and then reassess after that? (We had to do that with our dyslexic son.). Or as PP suggested, can he go to a charter school? An inexpensive private school?

Also what is your son's IEP for?
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Old 04-18-2018, 07:55 PM
 
Location: North
787 posts, read 1,212,180 times
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My daughter is one of the youngest in her class. Her birthday is close to the cutoff day (September 30th). But since school attendance is compulsory once the child reach the cut off date, you can't hold back kids. If your birthday is before/on the cutoff day, you're starting school. Some of her classmates are a full year older than her. My older son has the same issue (same month birthday). I was worried, but it's been OK for both. Some adjustment issues, but with help they were fixed. She's in 4th grade too. She would turn 10 when she's in 5th grade.

I wouldn't hold him back.
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