18 answers

Repeat 1St Grade at New School

My daughter is academically ready. She has trouble with math concepts, but with some extra help does get it. She is well above on her reading. She is 6.5 and will turn 7 in November of 2011. She is currently in 1st grade. Yes, we started her at 4.5 because we felt she was so bored with preschool we didn't want to "burn her out' on school by having her do preschool another year and do all the same things over. Second guessing that all the time. SO she is having troubles completing her work in school. She says she doesn't like school. She picks the types of friends that lead her around (older ones) She follows.

We're starting her in a new school next year because we moved....... Not really thingking I will, but feel like I need to explore every idea when it comes to making her enjoy school more and be more successful at it.... so what about if I were to have her do 1st grade again. HORRIBLe comes to mind. How cruel.. why comes to mind... but also, maybe she is just too young. Maybe she could concentrate and pay attention and get the work done if she was a little more mature. But probably really, it won't change anything. Is it discipline? I';ll start with that..... suggestions? Thanks girls!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I think it will be a lot better to hold her back in first grade than in 8th or 9th. Sounds like you were ready for her to start school but maybe she wasn't. If she is able to do the work "with a little bit of help" she will be able to do it on her own after redoing all the work. you can always supplement it at home with more advanced stuff.

4 moms found this helpful

Sounds like an ideal time to keep her back. Sounds like she needs it.
I feel, if you are going to hold back, first grade is the time to do it. She will
get a lot out of repeating it. Better she should not have to struggle the rest
of her school career.

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I guess the question to ask yourself is do you want to spend the next 11 years battling your daughter on not liking school, struggling with concepts OR give her a year to catch up, catch her breath and learn to enjoy school because it's not a constant struggle. Considering it's a new school, there won't be any stigma, except what you attach to it. If she shoots ahead in a later grade, you can talk to the school about skipping a grade or having her graduate high school early.

I started school at 4.5 and was always the youngest, shortest and, although I did well, I spent hours more on my work than my older peers. I spent my first quarter at university as a 17 year old arguing with the university about whether or not I could actually sign my own papers, being a minor and all. Ugh.

Good for you for considering it. I know too many parents who would flat out refuse (and then blame the teacher).

Good luck.

5 moms found this helpful

I think it will be a lot better to hold her back in first grade than in 8th or 9th. Sounds like you were ready for her to start school but maybe she wasn't. If she is able to do the work "with a little bit of help" she will be able to do it on her own after redoing all the work. you can always supplement it at home with more advanced stuff.

4 moms found this helpful

I don't know your daughter but I can tell you my experience. I was born 3 days before the cutoff date to start school. I started K as the youngest, smallest and shyest kid in the class. I went through K and first as the youngest and then we moved. The new school pushed my parents to have me repeat first grade. So I ended up doing first grade twice at 2 different schools. It is so much easier to be the oldest kid in the class rather than the youngest. I did occasionally get bored and tune out but I still got good grades. In 4th they tested me and put me in the gifted program so it worked out well for me. BTW, my mom also moved and ended up repeating first grade. She ended up as valedictorian of her high school class.

4 moms found this helpful

Sounds like an ideal time to keep her back. Sounds like she needs it.
I feel, if you are going to hold back, first grade is the time to do it. She will
get a lot out of repeating it. Better she should not have to struggle the rest
of her school career.

3 moms found this helpful

My feeling is that you know her best- trust your instinct. If your gut is telling you she's not mature enough yet, then it's most likely true.

Really, what is so bad about letting her do 1st grade again?- especially since it's a new school- she won't be seeing her friends go off to 2nd grade while she stays behind. Also, she'll have a different experience in a new school so she won't be doing everything the same all over again. I think maturity is just as important as academic readiness.

My 1st son turned 5 a month and a half before he was supposed to start kindergarten, but I didn't feel he was ready. Academically, he was. He could identify every letter of the alphabet when he was 2, but I didn't feel he had the maturity, so he went to pre-school again that year, and started kindergarten when he was 6. I'm of the "why rush things" mindset- I think it came from having seen the experiences my 2 brothers had. Both, I think would have had much better experiences if they had waited another year.

Very best wishes!! :)

3 moms found this helpful

I wouldn't hesitate to hold her back. New school makes it so easy. 1st grade shouldn't be a struggle if it doesn't have to be. Do you ever volunteer In class? It's a good way to see how your daughter is vs peers. I find it helpful when figuring out how my first grader is doing. But I know 2 people who held their girls back. Maybe one in K and the other in 1st. Both are incredibly glad they did. They said it made all the differnce in the world Why make things an uphill battle already? Tell her the new school is different and she'd be too young for 2nd there.

3 moms found this helpful

It isn't cruel if you look at it this way...will you be giving her the chance to succeed? Yes. Will you be giving her the chance to truly be at the top of her grade level...age wise, with her peers? Yes.

Much better to excel at your own age level in school than to struggle along with older children.

I dealt with the same thing as you, as far as the boredom with pre-k, k stuff...but when they jump into 1st grade, they really take off these days. I started her on K a year early, homeschooling...then, when I went to enroll her in online school this past year, because of her age, they made her repeat K. I ended up being happy about it, because they covered SO MUCH I had never thought to cover (learning countries and cultures, advanced phonics and reading skills, history, all sorts of crazy things I would've never guessed they teach and K...and truthfully, the public schools don't teach those thing to K students where I live.) She did finish the K curriculum in about 4 months, so I knew I had given her a leg up by allowing her to repeat. She's now halfway through the 1st grade curriculum and will pick it up at the beginning of next year, when she's technically in first grade.

So, to the point...yes, I'd have her repeat. She'll do much better with children her own age, really setting into concrete what she should know, and it will give her a chance to be a leader instead of a follower. Also, once they fall behind, it's very hard to catch up. It only gets worse. It's not cruel or horrible, it's the best thing you can do for her.

3 moms found this helpful

I would repeat at the new school. I read your other posts. No one will know. It won't harm her. It is what grade she should be in anyways.
If she qualifies for summer school, her grades have to be suffering. Here, only kids with a 70 or below qualify unless they have a disability.

1 mom found this helpful

After reading both your questions, my first question is...what do her teachers say in terms of what they think on both the work issue and the retention issue. I would start with them. Ask them some hard questions and get a feel for what they're thinking, as long as you trust them, and it seems you do, I think they will give you a fair assessment in their eyes. Secondly, what is she like at home? Do you have to ask her a bunch of times to do stuff, are you constantly on her about doing said task, does she show a lot of initiative at home? If you find her actions to be similar then I'd probably say it's a personality thing. Yes, maybe you started her too early, maybe you should retain her, but I wouldn't beat yourself up about it. Deal with it now, you're asking the right questions, but part of this could just be her personality and you might be fighting these battles her whole life, regardless of whether or not she repeats 1st grade! Good luck, this is a tough spot to be in for all of you!

1 mom found this helpful

I didn't read the other responses. I can just tell you my sister had the same problem with my niece and it only got worse as she progressed into another year. She struggled so much and my sister regretted putting her into school when she was 4 turning 5. Each year was a struggle to get school work completed and homework done. When my niece was in 4th or 5th grade, they moved and my sister found this to be the perfect time to have her repeat a grade. It was the best decision she could have made. It made all the difference in the world with my niece. She was finally where she should be in regards to her grade vs. age. She's now in 7th grade and doing so much better. Good luck!

Have you told her that if she doens't pull up on her scores then she will be doing 1st grade over. Don't make it sound like a punishment , just a matter of fact - this would be best for you if you aren't to the point to do this work yet. What does the teacher say? Is she distracted, lack of focus? Or is the work really too challenging for her? Lack of focus can mature, but grasping these important early concepts needs to be taken seriously and if she's not getting it, then yes, I think she would need to redo 1st grade. My DD is not as young as yours - she is in 1st and will be 7 and July. Alot of important learning concepts are covered in the early years and if she does not master them or is not able to keep up with class work, it will only hurt her more later on. If she is just being stubborn or lazy ( like a discipline thing) maybe it will wake her up knowing that it is possible that she repeat 1st grade???

Having taught kiddos from preschool all the way to 4th grade, I can tell you that it sounds like the perfect time to do it! Better now than wait until 3rd or 4th when things take off like crazy in school and it really hits her confidence. Always better to be a little older than younger, in my opinion. Good luck!

I think she'll be very grown up by next school year. Give her more responsibility at home-get her swimming lessons-ballet-tennis-whatever-build her up in other ways and she will rise, like cream.

I understand your situation. First, I think it's important to discuss with your daughter's teachers and see what they think about her development. You need to weigh that against what you feel in your heart. Moving to a new school offers a great opportunity for her either way.

I have raised four children and they are all different. One of my kids was slow developing the muscles in his mouth causing his speach to be slow developing. Because of this his teacher initially thought he may need to be held back. It didn't make sense to me so I made several drop in visits to school and sat with him during various subjects. I decided the problem wasn't his ability to learn but that he was really bored. By the end of his first grade year, his teacher agreed with me. He was later in the Talented and Gifted program and is doing very well in life.

Another of my children started K as a young five year old. He had difficulty sitting still and focusing. We decided to allow him to take K again the following year. School was always somewhat difficult for him, particularly math. He brought his papers home and would go over them. I would suggest that maybe he should just go out and play but he would say, "Oh no, Mom. I need to know this so I can go to college! Don't you know, Mom, everyone needs a college education these days!" He was in First Grade at the time. He has since completed his associates degree.

Follow your heart, and you'll make the right decision.

It sounds like it is not the difficulty of the work, it's just that she doesn't want to do it. I agree, I do not like the idea of holding kids back unless it is absolutely necessary. My son is the same age, but he is in Kindergarten, we did not test him in early, although he was a bit delayed to begine with so it was never a thought to stick him in early. Anyway, I would just work with her over the summer, give her a number of worksheets and have her complete them in a certain amount of time. Maybe teach her that if she finishes within 30 minutes everyday for a week then you will get to go to a movie as a reward on the weekend - or whatever she likes to do. I think if you keep working on time management throughout the summer, hopefully she will get the hang of it by 2nd grade. Also, my son gets a certain number of assignments in class and if they finish them, then they get free choice for the remaining time. If he didn't finish, then he brought them home to finish on top of homework. It took a few weeks of bringing the stuff home before he figured out he didn't want to do it at home. Also when he got home it was always the first thing he did.

you are not alone. My son turned 5 in January but I had him start kindergarten at a private school. He will do 1st grade at the same school but if I decide to move him to the public school for 2nd grade I will have to see if he is ready for 2nd or should repeat 1st. There were only 8 kids inthe private K so more personalizedalso it is a Manderine /Spanish Emersion school so this school challenges him on a different level.
I need to make sure he is mature enough to handle a classroom of 25. He is reading and doing all the other activities and has passed K so I did not want him to repeat K. But at a different school they will teach the same but in different style so it shouldn't be 100% the same.
My oldest made the cut off by 2 days so I started in K but he had a problem focusing. he was even kicked out of another charter school because they said he wasn't ready for kindergarten. I disagreed and put him in the public school right away. This year he finally had a school year where I didn't want to pull my hair out every day he came home because he was in trouble because he started to "get it" he also just got accepted to the gifted program for 3rd grade. every child is different good luck on your decision and know that whatever it is you made a good choice.

Since you have moved, I would have her repeat the grade. She will be in a new school and make new friends. Besides it is better to have them repeat a class early in life than later when they have "set" friends.

When the decision was made to hold back my daughter, I explained to her that she was not being punished it is that she just needed more time to learn the topics better. I said it with positive sounds in my voice even if I did feel bad it was for her not me.

My daughter thanks me for holding her back that year later in life.

Good luck.

The other S.

A, I wouldn't do it. She will be bored and upset about being in the same grade. The academics aren't what is hurting her - it's something else.

You seem to suggest that being in school early is why she has trouble completing her work. I would suggest that you have her tested to see if she has a learning disability of some kind. You say she picks older kids who lead her around. She possibly doesn't want to lead, but would rather follow, and putting her with younger children won't necessarily make her decide to lead.

If she can get help with what troubles her, perhaps she would like school better. I don't believe repeating a grade is going to help what is wrong. Please get her tested. The school counselor can help you with this.

All my best,
D.

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