Eight year old daughter started kindergarten when she was four(made cut-off by one day). She is now in third grade and struggling with multiplication and division. Teacher said she had to pass these in order to go on to fourth. Also she acts immature for her age. She does ok in her other subjects. What should we do? We really don't want to retain her.
This is a very difficult decision, and I commend you for getting all of the information available to you in order to make the best choice for your daughter.
As you consider grade retention for your daughter, there are a number of issues to keep in mind. First, you should learn all that you can about research examining the short- and long-term effects of grade retention. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) has published a position statement (which means that prominent members of the NASP got together, reviewed the evidence, and determined their official "position" on the issue) on grade retention. Dr. Jimerson at UCSB has also conducted a great deal of research in this area, and he has suggested that more comprehensive interventions should be considered rather than simply retaining a child. Overall, the research indicates that students who are held back/retained have worse outcomes academically and emotionally than their peers who were also candidates for retention, but who were promoted. For more on this, see links below.
Although it is not uncommon for "younger" children in their class to struggle with academics and maturity, I wonder if there is a chance that your daughter could have a learning disability that is getting in her way. Has your daughter ever been tested for special education? Perhaps she may have a unique learning style and/or difference that is getting in her way, prohibiting her from accessing the school curriculum. This situation is not particularly unusual as the public school system is designed for the "typical" learner. Perhaps your daughter could benefit from some accommodations or modifications to curriculum, changing the way in which information is being presented to her. It would be worthwhile to discuss this with her teacher. With the appropriate supports, she could be quite successful in the next grade.
L. Compian, Ph.D.
My daughter is in 3rd grade and is also 8, she has her birthday just weeks before school starts, so she would only be about 2 months older than your daughter.
It doesn't seem to me that your daughter needs to repeat 3rd grade. You mentioned that she is doing well in all except multiplication and division. We still have another quarter of school remaining, which is plenty of time to improve in those areas. Also, division and multiplication doesn't really get that involved until 4th grade, right now they are just learning basics. This means that we will have summer to practice and prepare for the harder math in the upcoming grade by reinforcing their multiplication memory.
We are still working with those two along with fractions, elapsed time, metric units, geometry and long subtraction and addition - regrouping numbers. My daughter is getting good grades and progressing well, but those areas are weak, so we just study more.
I've included some great sites that will help you and your daughter, just hang in there and I think she'll be fine.
The first link is to a site that has printable multiplication fact triangles, we printed these and laminated them for lots of use. It shows the association of multiplication and division. For example: 5 x 10 = 50 , 5/50 = 10, 10/50 = 5