melmen33 asks:

Is it a good idea to hold my son back in kindergarden?

My son turned 6 in december. He did not start kindergarden early like most kids do. His teacher is suggesting we hold him back a year, that will mean he will be 7 1/2 - 8 by the time he's in first grade. I know he is smart, he knows a lot for his age. He does have some difficultis but he's 6 I can not expect him to know everything. I think it's more of a behavior problem then anything, he seams to get bored easly. I am worried he will be the oldest kid in his class and be very bored and not want to concetrate on work that he feels he's already done the year before. Is it still a good idea to hold him back?
In Topics: School and Academics, Motivation and achievement at school, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



May 12, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Holding a child back is always one of the toughest decisions for parents, however, it is usually related to having a child (especially a boy) that is young for his grade. In some cases holding a child back is truly a gift you can give that child because he needs extra time to develop and mature in order to catch up with peers either socially or academically. In other cases, this is not the case. In other words, holding a child back is not the 'cure' for every single struggle that a child may have.

You explain that your son is definitely on the older side. Therefore, if your son's teacher is noticing that he is struggling at this point in the school year, holding him back may not be the answer. Chronologically he is not younger than his peers, so we need to wonder what may be getting in the way of him learning or behaving the way he needs to be at this time. When a child struggles in this way, he sometimes needs support within his chronological age classroom setting, rather than being held back. In fact, holding him back could actually make the situation worse, rather than better.

In order to learn better what your child's specific needs may be, it's is very important to have him academically and psychologically evaluated either by your school district or privately. I'd strongly suggest you do this now, before the school year ends, so you can use the results to inform your placement for next year and get any supports into place that you may need. These supports could include counseling, or academic help.

Good Wishes and Great Parenting,
Dr Susan Bartell
JustAsk Expert
Twitter @drsusanbartell
NEW book "The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask"

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Additional Answers (2)

dgraab , Parent writes:
Hi, I'm sorry to hear that you're faced with this tough decision. There is a lot of research to suggest that holding your son back may not be in his best interest. Here is some more information to help you in considering this option further and discussing it with the teacher more...

The Great Debate Surrounding Grade Retention

Grade Retention (overview article)

Should Struggling Students Repeat a Grade?

Alternatives to Social Promotion and Grade Retention

Below are some additional resources that may also be helpful. All the best to you and your son, and thanks for asking!

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Haseena writes:
It is not good to hold back your son to kindergarden again.since you told that your son gets boared easily,it will be better to send your son to the first grade because there he will be learning new things and that will give him a promotion like feeling and will encourage him to concentrate and learn subjects interestingly.
> 60 days ago

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