(Closed) Holding a child back a year in school?

posted 6 years ago in Parenting
Post # 3
365 posts
Helper bee

I was pushed ahead a year, I wasn’t held back… but I think the hardest thing about it for me was suddenly being placed with an entirely new set of classmates, and not knowing a single one. She may be socially behind on some levels, but if you hold her back, she may not know any of her new classmates at the beginning of the year. Just one more thing to consider. :/

I think if I were you, I’d leave it up to the professionals’ opinions. They’ll understand the pros and cons very well, and will be able to suggest the best course of action. I wonder if she’d benefit from some private tutoring to help her get caught up? She might even be able to work at it over the summer and get kind of caught up before next year.

Post # 4
6823 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

My SIL has held back her youngest several times now, he is very immature for his age and feels he is not ready to move on. While the teachers feel like his ready, mom is not. 

If you feel she is not ready then by all means let her repeat, it may help in the long run. 

Post # 6
1190 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

As a teacher, I think it is a good thing to hold her back if she is truly struggling. I see far too many students struggle and get frustrated and then give up or act out because they do not understand the material.

I’m not sure if she has her own education plan? I know here that students can be in the same grade but the material that they are learning is at their actual learning level. For example if they are in grade 4 but are at a grade 2 level their requirements would be the grade 2 standards not the grade 4.

That is great that you are so proactive!! Many parents are in denial about their students abilities and in the end just hinders their development.

Post # 7
746 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

My fiance was pushed ahead a year in school, and he says it was the worst thing that could have happened to him: as a result of being a year younger, he was physically smaller and went from being the best at sports to the worst at sports. He also said it was hard when he got to high school and he was further behind (puberty-wise) than the rest of the boys. I know your daughter is small/young for her grade, so do you think she would experience any problems with developing earlier than her other classmates if you hold her back?

I am a teacher (high school, though) and I’ve read a lot about holding kids back. My readings have focused on teachers retaining students, though – the decision was not the parents’. Students who are retained by teachers are much more likely to drop out later in schooling (but that’s just a correlation and doesn’t mean that retention causes dropping out). 

What is your daughter’s opinion on the matter? Does she have many friends? If she’s doing all right socially, then holding her back might do more harm than good. 

Post # 8
10288 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

I don’t have any experience with this but my co-worker does. Her son never excelled in school but they kept pushing him along. He was diagnosed with ADD but the school district has done very little for him. I guess since it’s not “that serious” they never saw the point in holding him back. His grades have always been poor but they were just good enough to where he technically didn’t fail and didn’t have to be held back. He’s now in Jr. High and still struggling. His mother (my co-worker) wishes she would have pushed to have him held back earlier in life when it wouldn’t have been that big of a deal socially. Now that’s he’s older and approaching high school, holding him back if he didn’t actually fail isn’t an option. He already has social issues and my co-worker is afraid that holding him back and forcing him to remain in jr. high when all of his friends are moving up to high school would be even more detrimental. In her opinion, it would have been better to deal with it when it first became an issue than later on in life.

Being held back a year in the 3rd grade will allow your daughter to catch up without too much negativity whereas pushing her along when she’ll probably continue to struggle year after year won’t do her any favors. I’m sure she wants to do better in school but for whatever reason she can’t. You never know, repeating the 3rd grade could be the best possible thing for her and pave the way for her to excel academically going forward. 

Post # 9
146 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

One of the little girls in my Girl Guiding unit was held back by decision of her parents. The school board did not want to hold her back, the parents had to fight tooth+nail and transfer school boards to get their way. 

Where her birthday fell, she ended up being the youngest in the class by almost the full school year.  She was struggling academically and socially.   The mom, who talked to me in depth about this, made the decision to hold her back and have her repeat grade 1. 

Little girl repeated the grade in another school.  Parents were worried the stigma she would feel with her peers moving on and her being left behind would affect her self esteem.

Overall she is happier at her new school, she has a group of girl friends and has playdates.  Before, she was being excluded by the girls in her class.  Her grades have improved although she had to get a tutor to help her “catch up” the year.

Some kids are just young (age and maturity).  They need the extra year to have anything in common with their peers and be able to understand the curriculum.   

Post # 11
3618 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I was always the smallest in size and age in my class due to the age cut off as well. I too didn’t excell in school, but I got by. My aunt and uncle held back my cousin because they didn’t want him to be the youngest in his class so he repeated kindergarten and they HIGHLY recommended my parents do the same. My dad talked to my teacher several times, but the teacher said I didn’t need to be held back. I am so grateful my parents asked me for my opinion. I didn’t want to be “left behind” by my friends and wanted to move on to 1st grade with the rest of them so my parents allowed it. I always just got by until one day the light bulb clicked and I started getting straight A’s in middle school. I got tested into the honor classes for high school. I stll did alright, but I was definitely above average. To this day, I am still so grateful that my parents did not hold me back. There really was no need. I ended graduating from college a whole year early with an excellent career path.

So if the teachers don’t recommend holding your daughter back, don’t do it. She is still young and kids learn at all different paces.

Post # 12
5296 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 1993

@eeniebeans:  I am one of four kids, and the three behind me were all held back one year. My brother went to kindergarten and my mom was pretty worried about some of the older boys being a lot to handle as the years went on. A family friend who taught elementary school recommended holding back especially since he was a boy, and in his experience, boys developed slower.

We ended up starting homeschooling that next year, so the younger two never went to public school. So it’s hard for me to say how it helped them since they aren’t in the same situation as your daughter. I do think it helped my brother a lot – he was able to grow a bit more and is actually now pretty good friends with those boys my mom was worried about all those years ago!

If she’s the youngest both chronologically, and physically, AND you’ve had people tell you it might help, I would do it. At that age, it’s still pretty easy to reacclimate socially, and I think the pros outweigh the cons.

Post # 13
1629 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

My baby sister got held back a year really early on, I think preschool. She was born in February. She is taller and older looking than everyone else in her year and would have probably been anyway if she had been pushed forward rather than back… that’s just a “burden” some people live with. She does really well in school now and gets along with her peers. She’s going to be starting HS in the fall and is so excited about it.

ETA her issue was not listening to teachers. I guess that’s slow development in its own way.

Post # 14
964 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

@eeniebeans:  We are considering this for my soon-to-be stepson. He’s doing 1/2 day pre-k and 1/2 kindergarten right now. He has some special ed services, like speech, and that is helping but not 100% sure he can go from that to 1st grade. FH will be meeting with the teachers in May to help decide what’s best for them

I had a friend old her son back a year and it was the best thing they could have done. He was more confident with the material and more mature the second time around. You have to do what’s best for the child now to give them a chance to excel in the future. It’s a hard decision to make, but sometimes you have to do it

Post # 16
964 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Also want to mention that FH is an 8th grade teacher and deals with many kids that SHOULD have been held back, but weren’t. They can’t really even read, but are being passed along. He swears his boys will NEVER be like that. You have to keep that in mind.

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