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Maine68
Maine68 asks:
Q:

Should my child repeat first grade?

My son is in 1st grade (in a multi-age classroom) and his teacher has suggested he repeat due to being "young" in his behavior. She says he "does fine" in all subjects one-on-one, but has trouble buckling down in the 28-student classroom setting of first and second graders. We are hesitant to see him be retained, and have secured a tutor. His kindergarten teacher says he showed no indication of not being ready for first grade. He is an early May birthday and the youngest boy in his class. What to do?
In Topics: Motivation and achievement at school
> 60 days ago

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bob
bob , Parent writes:
If your school is like mine, this is not unusual and should not be met with undue concern.  That he is the youngest in the class makes it even less of a concern.  Being in a multi-age class (as most of my children were at that age) in fact makes this easier as he will be with many of the same kids next year that he was with this year.  I faced this same thing a few years ago, with second grade in a multi-age class, and today, a few years later, my child is doing very well in her class.

So. from a social and developmental standpoint, I would not see this as a concern.

Academically, keeping a close eye on his progress next year is a good idea, making sure he is tracking the first-grade full-classroom work.  My sense (based on not much information!) is that the kind of academics that a tutor could help with might not be an issue, as the teacher says he is handling the subjects, albeit one-on-one.  But it does seem important that he be able to keep on top of what is going on at the class level, or he could run the risk of (later) falling behind academically.

Just one parent's opinion!
> 60 days ago

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vbaadh
vbaadh writes:
Children whose behavior and development are young can benefit from moving to a class where they might be among the oldest in the class.  In my teaching years, I have seen it time and again, especially with boys, who tend to mature more slowly than girls.  Boys who are older in the class get many chances to be leaders, helpers, good examples, and grow self-esteem.  While being older offers other challenges in adolescence, the benefits are huge.  My own son turned 7 in December of first grade, was 18 as a high school senior, and really bloomed in his college, and now adult, years.  I recommend it.
> 60 days ago

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Sylvia HS
Sylvia HS , Child Professional, Teacher writes:
Dear Maine68,

You're asking a very difficult question because we won't really be able to know the "right" answer until years from now.

I'm really concerned that your son's teacher has said he knows his subjects already.  If you have your son repeat grade one, he may start to get bored because he already knows what's being taught.  Children learn so much in grade one.  Is your son already reading at a grade one level?  Does he know his math facts and concepts for grade one?  If he does, I would be really hesitant to have him repeat all of those things.

Having a young child in a multi-age/multi-grade classroom presents many challenges for concentration.  Much of the day, the child is having to ignore the instruction to the other groups.

As well, having 28 children in a classroom is another challenge.  That's a lot of little bodies and minds in one place all day.

Instead of having him repeat all of grade one, you could consider some other options.

Does he need to stay in a multi-age/multi-grade classroom?  In any typical one- grade classroom, there's a tremendous range of abilities and skills.  If your son goes to a straight grade two classroom, he might be the youngest, but he won't be the lowest academically from what you suggest.

Can your son be placed in a classroom with fewer students?

Can your son work in a quiet space in the school library, for instance, when he has to really concentrate and finish some work?

Can your son have a work/study space in his classroom?  This would be like having his own office to work in.  When he finishes his work, then he can return to his desk or table.

Have you tried a reinforcement system where your son, you, and his teacher work out a point and reward system for work completed.

Could you talk to your school principal about the grade two teachers in your son's school?  Some teachers are better at working with active youngsters.

If your son has an inquiring mind, then I would be really concerned about what he'll think if he's asked to stay another year in grade one.

Could you and his tutor teach him how to work with other noises around him?  I know that this suggestion might sound odd.  However, when I was young, my mother always made certain that it was completely quiet in the house when I was studying or doing my homework.  It has taken me years to learn how to work in an environment with any noise.  In the real world, there are very few totally quiet places!!!  When my own girls were doing their schoolwork, I always made sure that there were background noises, or other activitives, going on at the same time.  This is more like a real classroom setting.

The best to you in your decision.

Sylvia HS
Reading Specialist, Author
> 60 days ago

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mamakafie
mamakafie writes:
Hi Maine68. My son's birthday is in April and he is the youngest boy in his class. There is one boy who just turned 8 in May and 2 who will this summer. I think you should let him repeat the 1st grade. It sounds like in his multi-age classroom it would not cause him any distress and since he is the youngest boy, he could be really happy and successful as one of the older children in the lower grade. Why not give our kids adequate time to just be kids? I understand the part about his being "young" in his behavior and also how his K teacher said he was ready. We had the same thing, still do. I have tutored my son 2x a week for nearly all of 1st grade. Therefore, he makes A and Bs.  My advice: don't do it. It takes up the free time they could have to do fun things with their friends or a hobby in something they might grow to love like a sport or musical instrument. When they are always trying to keep up it is exhausting. I am struggling now with if I should hold my son back. We have traditional classrooms here so I would have to changed schools to avoid this hurting his self-esteem. I may do just that, but I wish I could find someone to give me some advice.....
> 60 days ago

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homeschooled
homeschooled writes:
That has happend to me so I homeschooled him. It's been 3 years now and I can't get myself to stop. It's fun to see him mature when he is ready. Rather have a happy child whom loves himself.
> 60 days ago

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kansas6373
kansas6373 writes:
No you should have your child move forward.  He will learn to be social later.  I can tell you this if you hold him back for year he will be mad at you for a life time.  My mother did the same thing to me and now i am 24. I graduated high school at 18 and turned 19 in 2 months. Its not a good  thing it cost me a years salary a year worth of working experience and now i am just starting to work in the office for 8 months it should be 20 months. Just saying your child will always behind a years time will blame you and stay mad at you for that forever.
> 60 days ago

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mowhui
mowhui , Parent writes:
I would say Yes and No depending your child's performance.  

If he is like my son who is academically exceptional, but just have difficulties socially and focusing, then let him move forward.  But request to put him in regular 2nd grade classroom.  If he still fall behind, then that's the time that you hold him back.

If he's academically short and has a lot more things to learn, holding back won't hurt. It will help him for more years to come.  What's a year of salary loss when he can work better as a person.  Rather than see him struggle all his life.

You would just have to do a lot of explaining to him before that happens. Make the conversation positive and never blame him for repeating.  Just stress the benefits so he'd foresee it in a positive way.

Regards.
> 60 days ago

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nhatkute
nhatkute writes:
I attempt to raise my son when he was 18 years old and facilitate better education for my children, creating the best conditions for child bearing wheels and fun for children to help children learn better, helping to balance school and work entertainment such as playing the correct game time.

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aloxinh
aloxinh writes:
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20 days ago

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lucyone
lucyone writes:
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16 hours ago

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