M.D. asks from Tulsa, OK on April 08, 2009
Retain a Young 1St Grade?
My daughter has a late August birthday and we had always planned on starting her later. We put her in preschool at 3 and since then we have just pushed her along with her fellow classmates. After the 4 year old program her teacher approached us and suggested we put her in Transitional Kindergarten.. I was very offended by this and fought her all the way. Kindergarten rolled around and very similar experience but without any talk of retaining her... Now here we are with the decision to retain our first grader or not..She is reading and is able to do the math work.. Most of the children are at least a year older than her and the majority of them are reading on a 4th to 5th grade level.. My daughter is not and the teacher has assured me it is a maturity thing. If we put her in 2nd I fear she will continue to struggle but on the other hand I hate to hold her back because she is being compared to older children.. Please give me some positive advice!
So What Happened?™
I would like to take this time to thank all of you for the overwhelming response to my question... After much thought we have decided to put our daughter in 1st grade again next year.. The 2 main factors were that there would be no more tutoring and that the school has very high standards and to give our daughter a fair shot at a bright future at this school we believe retaining her would be best for her... I only feel this way after asking her how she would feel about having a particular teacher (which we have secured a spot for her ) did she say with great excitement (does this mean I am going back to first grade? and followed with a big cheer and said I am going to have like a hundred friends.....) So with that said we are extremely happy and feel very good about it... I would also like to mention one comment in particular that stood out in my mind and it was the question, What is the rush? You are absolutely right there isn't one and I am so happy to have my baby home with us an extra year... I know some might read this and disagree with me on the school being the deciding factor.. Which is fine but we would like our daughter to have this opportunity and if after next year things aren't better well then I might be posting another question on changing schools...(Which in my heart believe will not be the issue) Thanks again for all of the wonderful and kind words...
L.P. answers from Jonesboro on April 11, 2009
I would send her on, but get her a private paid tutor a couple of days a week. This will become less of an issue as she gets older, holding her back might give her a stigma with the other kids.
C.D. answers from Lafayette on April 09, 2009
I have some experience in this area. I am raising 7 grandchildren, of which 6 are in school and 5 of them have repeated at least one year. I think it is easier to repeat kindergarten or 1st grade rather than struggle with the reading. The reading and spelling is what really held them back. They are great in math. Even with holding them back they are not doing as well as they should in reading. My feeling is if you can't read, you can't spell and vise versa. I would definitely hold her back and really try to help her as much as you can to read and spell. I try to help my grandchildren but with so many I run out of time.
R.M. answers from Tulsa on April 09, 2009
I have walked in your shoes every year of my son's school career. His birthday is the 1st of Sept which, when he started Kindergarten was THE cutoff date. I chose to put him in to Kindergarten and at the end of the year was told the exact same thing about the maturity issue. I didn't listen to the teachers and I wish I would have because of his maturity level, compared to the other kids, he was very behind and the other kids made his life miserable. Picked on every day, and the school would do nothing. Then in 6th grade he and I had a talk. He wanted to be held back. He was struggling academically and the kids in his class were getting worse and worse every year. After talking it over with the school counselor everyone agreed this would be a smart move for my son. Let me assure you, this was THE BEST move we have ever made academically for our son. He is now in the 8th grade and is thriving! He is now the oldest in his class and has a 3.7 GPA. I'm so proud of him and I wish I could have put my own feelings aside earlier and realized that holding him back was a positive thing, not a negative one. I hope this helps!
1 mom found this helpful
C.D. answers from Texarkana on April 09, 2009
This something that I had to consider with my Allison(late Aug. b-day) After talking to teachers on several grade levels and mom's who have been there we decided to hold her back. She will start Kindergarten this fall. One of the mom's stated that her daughters did great k-2 but started having problems in the 3-4 grade. One of the teachers mentioned that she can usually pick out the summer babies and she's an 8th grade teacher. Noting that there are behavioral and performance differnces. A friend also pointed out the fact that your daughter will be the youngest in her class, possibly by two years. This could run into trouble when her classmates are hitting puberty and into "big girl" trends and your girl isn't quite there yet.
Talk to Teachers at different grade levels.
Probably not much help but something to consider.
Utlimately its what's best for her. Good luck.
S.C. answers from Texarkana on April 14, 2009
I wish I knew the answer. We are having the same problem. We decided that the teacher didnt know our son like we did and he went onto the 2nd grade. He has ADHD and is on medication, so we thot that was the problem..not his maturity level. So, here we are again in a different school and his teacher brings up the maturity level again. But my son is passing all of his classes. A's and B's only. Yes, some of the kids in his class are a year older but half of them are "summer babies". So, what do we do! We spoke with our son about it, and his response was "I will show them that I can do even better, and I will get my work completed before anyone else." And he has! His teacher reports that he has a new attitude on school. No does that sound like an immature little boy to you. If my son continues and finishes the third grade with his new attitude, he will go on to the fourth grade. So, M....I think you know your child better than anyone. The answer is different for everyone. I do think its best to hold them back early. Good luck and hang in there the answer will come.
S.Q. answers from Jackson on April 10, 2009
If you're gonna hold her back, now is the best time. The teachers wouldn't suggest it if they didn't think it was the best thing for her. My mom worked in 1st grade for 11 years and always talked about the late summer birthdays being the most immature kids (boys worse than girls). I question the majority of her class reading on such a high level too. It all depends on the child. It might be fine for her to go on to second and just work harder this summer trying to get her to stay on tasks and such.
C.P. answers from Tulsa on April 09, 2009
I am going to say, it's up to you! Our oldest daughter is going on 16 yrs old. She will only be 17 when she is a senior and only 17 when she starts college (only for a week). She hasn't had any problems in school at all. Children will learn at their own level. My 4th grader reads at a 12th grade level and my 10th grader reads at a 12th grade level too. What does that say? Nothing, they read well. We have a 4yrs and 2 months, son that is not reading and I am not worried, it will come in time.
K.B. answers from Lake Charles on April 09, 2009
My son has a friend (girl) who was held back in first grade. She was worried that her friends would be mean, but instead she has wound up having her old friends that have gone on to 2nd grade, and made new ones being in 1st again! She also makes banner roll now, so she has the benefit of feeling accomplished instead of feeling as though she can't keep up.
Pray over it - your heart will tell you what's best.
D.B. answers from Little Rock on April 09, 2009
I worked with 3-5 year old children for over 30 years. They all develop differently, but at their own pace. I would encourage you to take a good look at your daughter and think about how she will accept this. Would she need to change teachers, I would think so. If she would not be upset by staying back, and it is being recommended by the teacher who works with her everyday, then I would probably hold her back. Each child should be evaluated individually. Would it help her be more self confident and capable? If she repeats 1st grade, I would recommend that you not remind her of that unless she brings it up. "Leo the Late Bloomer" is an excellent childrens book that might help.
J.F. answers from Fayetteville on April 09, 2009
I started school at four and all my friends were able to do things I could not do because of the one year difference and this continued my entire school career. First grade is the best time to hold a child back and another year in first grade is better than being held back later in a higher grade.
My youngest daughter needed to be held back in Kindergarten but my husband refused to even consider it and I wish that I had fought him harder on the issue and kept her back. She struggled all the way through high school, part was due to maturity and partly due to a learning disability they finally diagnosed in ninth grade.
Following your instincts you know what is best for your child and the teacher will send her up due to numbers and money that the school gets for each child. Be strong on this and don't listen to what the naysayers are telling you about holding her back. In the end your daughter will thank you for helping her meet her potential. My daughter is now 22 and has finished college but it was a huge struggle for her. She would put in a 150% effort and still get C's and remembering her frustration all during school I really regret not fighting for her to spend another year in first grade.