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Bborden
Bborden asks:
Q:

Should I have my daughter repeat 2nd grade?

She turned 7 in October.  Her Kindergarten and 1st grade years were great, but something happened this year.  The school has tested her as a beginner reader, and she has yet to pass a math test.  When reading with her, one on one and doing work with her, she does just fine, but as soon as you walk away, she seems to struggle.  Her teacher says that she struggles the minute she walks into the class room, until she leaves for the day.  Again, when we work with her, we don't see a whole lot of issues, but we aren't in the class room with her, so we don't know. Sh does not appear to be behind in maturity or physically from her peers. Please help!
In Topics: Learning issues and special needs, Motivation and achievement at school
> 60 days ago

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Expert

childpsychmom
Mar 18, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

First of all, kudos to you for your efforts in making your child's education a top priority!  I can only imagine your concern with this complex situation.  While having your child repeat second grade is one option, there are others that you should consider before making that decision.  

First, given the difficulties you are describing, you should consider having her evaluated by a child psychologist in your community to determine if she has any attention problems or learning disabilities.  If she does, you'll want to get her the help she needs to address those issues, rather than having her repeat a grade.  

Next, you should consider having a parent-teacher conference to address your concerns.  Given that she seemed to do so well in kindergarten and first grade, there may be some issues going on in her second grade classroom that are impacting her ability to succeed that are not related to her abilities at all.  Her teacher should be able to give you some insight on that, especially if you can coordinate consultation with her kindergarten and first grade teachers where she had prospered.  

Finally, consider if there are any other issues going on in her life this year that have contributed to her struggles.  Some examples include a divorce, a move to a new home, a new sibling, or any other upheaval.  If that's the case, then you should consider addressing those issues before having her repeat an academic grade.

With the summer months approaching, it's also especially important to give her an educational boost when school is out of session. Whether it be summer school, tutoring, academically oriented camps, or just some extra emphasis on reading and math at home, you can use the summer months to improve upon any of her weaknesses from the second grade and enhance her strengths!  

Once you take all of these factors into consideration though, the decision will ultimately be up to you.  I am attaching a link to help you consider your options when making this choice.  Best of luck!

Polly Blake Dunn, Ph.D.
www.ChildPsychMom.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/childpsychmom
Facebook: www.facebook.com/childpsych
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Additional Answers (1)

Karenmom
Karenmom writes:
Hi Bborden,

The first thing I noticed from your question was that your daughter just turned 7 in October and is in the 2nd grade.  This indicates to me that she started school a little earlier than most.  My daughter began Kindergarten when she was 5, but had just turned 5 in June before the school year started.  Most of the her classmates had already been 5 and was turning 6 within the school year, several by October had turned 6. Several had already turned 6 before school began.  Therefore, she was a baby in the class.  She just had turned 6 before entering 1st grade where they were turning 7, she turned 7 before entering 2nd grade, where others were turning 8.  Your daughter would most likely be one of the youngest children in her grade, if not the youngest, by as much as a full year, possibly more. I know how much younger my daughter was and she is still 5 months older than your daughter would be at that time.  Our school district has a cut off date- that if the child had not turned at least 5 by August 31st they would have to wait and begin school (Kindergarten) the following school year, which could be "the issue" that you are really dealing with.  It is in the best interest of the child to be at least 5 when starting school and 5 to 7 is the range of starting in our school district.

You mention that she had been performing well, which indicates to me even more that it could be age related.  Naturally, the work becomes more challenging in the higher grades and you may begin to notice that she struggles to "keep up" with the others.  It seems to me that it may just simply be developmental.  

This would be a very difficult decision as I am sure that you don't want to remove her from the classmates that she has became familiar with even though it may be beneficial to be in a group of her age.  I would not give up yet and it's wonderful that you are working with her so hard, it just may mean even harder work for the both of you and a little patience as she will eventually catch up.  

Some schools offer great programs that bring in professionals that will work with your child individually or within a small group setting that you may find beneficial.  You may want to ask your teacher if there are any programs in place at your school or in your area that your daughter could participate in that would benefit her.

I wish you & your daughter the best!!!
> 60 days ago

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