Moving House, Should My 3Rd Grader Repeat 3Rd Grade?

Updated on March 31, 2014
A.C. asks from Wellesley Hills, MA
15 answers

We are moving in the Summer. My 8 yr old daughter has a late July Birthday and has always been the youngest in her class and also struggles to keep up at math, (I have to spend a lot of time doing homework with her to keep her up to speed with her class). Her reading is fine (after a lot of effort it has taken off). She has had a tough 3rd grade year so far (there are some kids in her class that are very disruptive, she is quiet and subdued in class because of these kids, I believe) we are wondering if it would be good for her to start 3rd grade in her new school in September instead of going on to 4th grade. It would be an oppurtunity as everyone would be new… I plan to discuss this with her teacher (in present school), but wanted to see if any moms out there had anything to share to help me in this decision. She is not enthusiatic about this idea, but likes the thought of not struggling with math or other homework…. Im not sure if it is the right thing to do. She does after school activities that involve 2nd graders and I notice she gets on fine with them…… (she is not noticably older, seems to have similar play interests etc.) Thanks in advance for your input

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So What Happened?

Thanks to everyone who responded to my question. I am meeting with her 3rd grade teacher next week, then I will be discussing it with her new school, I will be factoring in the school opinion…. My husband thinks it is a no brainer, I am undecided as her grades are fine, the last thing I want is for her to be bored repeating the same stuff. Socially I think she would be happier if i kept her back as she is prone to being bossed around and I think it would help her confidence… I want to make the right decision…. Thanks again!

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answers from New York on

I usually recommend against having kids repeat a grade, but this is an exception. It sounds like a really good idea.

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answers from Boston on

I think this sounds like a great idea, it will be so much easier socially for her being in a new school- and not seeing her friends who are moving on.
JB did have a good point about checking into the rigor of your new school system. The school's in the town we live in have a much more challenging workload than our previous town.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

To where are you moving? The rigor of your new school system might also be a factor to consider, so I would reach out to your new school district as well for their input based on her current work. If you're really in Massachusetts, some districts have well-earned reputations for being harder or more advanced than others...if you're going from a tough district to a more relaxed on or vice-versa, that's something to consider. My SD moved from a lousy school district in MA (Plymouth) to our school district (middle class suburb, competitive but not elite) in 7th grade and went from easy As in her old school to struggling to earn Bs in her new school because it was just a more rigorous system. Even in the same level of math, her new class was 4 months ahead of her old class by the middle of the year. So I would consider the rigor of the schools she is coming from and going to in this decision.

Best of luck with your move!

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answers from Colorado Springs on

If your daughter is going to need to repeat a grade, this sounds like the most painless way to do it! But talk to the staff at the new school first.

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answers from Columbia on

I think it's an excellent idea. She doesn't need to mention it to anyone at her new school, and she can get to the point where she feels confident in her studies in a new environment.

Before you make this decision, I would take her grade card to the new school and talk with the counselor about this idea. See what they think about it before you make that final choice. And ensure that your daughter is in on the discussion so that she knows that you have her best interest at heart, both academically and socially.

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answers from Des Moines on

I would also want to know if this is a different district? Are the schools 'better' or 'worse' where you are headed to? If you are moving to a better school district and you think that the new school is more advanced then the current schools, then I would for sure repeat third grade. If not, it still may be a good idea. Just don't forget to take in consideration the level of teaching at your new school.

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answers from Albany on

It sounds like a good idea from a developmental point of view, if she's having trouble keeping up and grasping the material. Starting her fresh in a new district would be a good idea and she wouldn't be too much older than her classmates. Check with the school about the curriculum and bring your child's grades to the meeting with a guidance counselor. My son is a July baby as well, but he's always been in the highest reading group and is kind of an accelerated learner -- someone a couple years ago suggested I move him up a class, but that wouldn't be in his best interest because of the socialization.

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answers from Honolulu on

This sounds like a plan.
Because also, know that in 4th grade... things really ramps up. Per school work, pacing, complexity, homework, what is taught and in 4th grade students are expected to be a ton more independent.
5th grade, is even more so.
4th grade, is the grade that markedly changes. Per academics and what a student is expected to do. And there is much less hand holding by the Teacher.
So to repeat 3rd grade, if you do so, would be a good time.
And because you are moving.
I assume, to a different district?
That would be best.

But however, make sure that if your daughter still struggles in 3rd grade, again, you need to find out why.
And well there will always be disruptive kids in a classroom. No matter what grade or age or school.
Both my kids are late born, but was never the only youngest in the grade or class and they did fine.

But yes, discuss it with her present Teacher.

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answers from Amarillo on

IF you are moving out of the district and area, I would probably have her repeat third grade. Let her know up front that she is not being punished that she needs time to get what is being taught so that she can go forward. It was second grade that we did this to our daughter and it helped her greatly.

She won't know anyone in the new school so she can make new friends that will not know anything different.

Do what is right and best for your child and not get locked into the peer social pressure. There are always going to be kids that have stayed back for one reason or another in her classes throughout school and throughout life.

the other S.

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answers from Rochester on

First, I'll address the math directly. Math really ramps up in 4th grade. Does she have all the mult. facts memorized? The division facts? Can she easily do long division, change fractions to common denominators and add/subtract them, do multi-step word problems, etc? If not, and you don't feel she's ready to expound more on those skills, then you need to do her the SERVICE of holding her back.

And don't look at it as holding her back - it's helping her from falling behind. What would hold her back would be moving her to the next grade when she's not prepared to do so. You make it sound like she's not loving reading, either - it sounds like a GREAT situation where having her repeat a grade might be the best thing you could do for her.

Don't look at it as she's going to be an adult in her junior year. Who cares? Most children aren't the type to rebel so awfully that you'd regret holding her back just for that reason.

I'm so sorry you're dealing with the Common Core, btw. You don't even want to get me started on the absurdity. This is one reason why I homeschool. I feel like I am qualified to give you these answers because I also have a third grade girl, who does online schooling with the K12 program, and she's IN 4th grade math, so I have kind of a bubble of experience around what you're trying to address. I know what's past, and know what's coming - at least in my experience, and I absolutely encourage you to do what you feel is BEST for your child. YOU know best.


answers from Norfolk on

This sounds like a wonderful plan!



answers from Cleveland on

I think it's a good idea too. My daughter is even younger for her grade than your daughter and like yours, she plays fine with kids in the grade behind her or even two sometimes. They're not actually 1 or 2 years younger bc of how their bdays fell and some red shirting... And she's not immature but also not one who's growing up so fast... Interestingly, after struggling in 2nd grade, she's straight A's in 4th. So now I'm not sure I'd be allowed to hold her back if we move but i still think how nice it would be to give her that extra year. Let her have it easy for a year, really review concepts, do a bit of work ahead of time etc. So unless the new school system is notably behind your current one, I'd do it and be thrilled it could work out this way. Holding back in the same school is way tougher on the kid.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I wouldn't. She'll be 18 as a junior in high school. Do you really want an adult with adult choices going to high school and telling you she doesn't have to obey kid rules anymore? I don't think I'd like that.

3rd grade is the HARDEST grade. My super smart kiddo nearly failed 3rd grade. One of my friends teaches 3rd grade and she basically says it's harder now because everything is introduced to them during that year. It's confusing and doesn't click with a lot of them until they get into 4th grade and suddenly all the chaos they got in 3rd grade makes sense.

If she doesn't have really low grades where she is flunking please don't put her through this. She will remember and always have the "flunked" memory.

There are always other summer birthday kids, that should have no bearing on her school career. She went to school when she was supposed to go. She is in class with her peers.

When she plays sports the kids she'll be on teams with will be the kids in her actual grade. If she's playing with the kids in 4th grade they'll know she flunked.



answers from Boston on

What do her teachers think? Would she have been held back in her current school? If not, I wouldn't do it. Talk to her teacher....

Good luck



answers from Miami on

Massachusetts is a Common Core Curriculum state. I am surprised that no one else mentioned this - but perhaps I thought of it because Florida is also common core. As such, we use the same curriculum as you do - meaning that most of the textbooks are exactly the same. If you move to another area of MA - and stay with a common core school - than she will do exactly the same thing again!! If you move to a common core state, she will do mostly the same thing again. The differences will be things like learning state history, flowers, birds, etc. Not very much difference!

I would have a talk with the current teacher - would she be held back at her current school? Then take her report card as well as samples of her work to the new school and discuss with the guidance counselor there.

If she would have gone on to 4th grade than I think I would put her in 4th grade. You also may not be given a choice depending upon the start date for the new school (if they have a September 30 cut off or later she will not be considered "young" for her grade).

Good luck to all of you!

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