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-   -   Are these valid reasons to have my child repeat 1st? (https://www.justmommies.com/forums/f36-moms-gradeschoolers/2725805-these-valid-reasons-to-have-my-child-repeat-1st.html)

psychmommy July 9th, 2014 09:14 AM

Are these valid reasons to have my child repeat 1st?
Hello everyone, I am in need of some serious advice!
My 6 year old (turning 7 in the Fall) just completed 1st grade and was promoted to 2nd grade by her teacher. She is essentially though, one grade ahead then she should be and should just be entering 1st this new coming school year. Long story short, she started K at 4 at a private school and just continued into the public school. However, she is always the youngest and all other kids her age (turning 7 in the fall) are in a grade below her. Our cut off here in florida is 9/1, so she misses the cut off and should have been one of the oldest, vs the youngest. However, being that the age difference was not major for her b-day being so close to the cutoff (most 6 year olds are in 1st grade) I made my choice of moving her on to 1st because I thought she was academically ready. And with reading she definitely was ready! She is reading on grade level and there are no struggles at all! But with math, there have been several struggles for most of the school year. Many of the math concepts, she just did not get! And she would be going into 2nd grade IMO without a solid foundation in math! And I can't help but feel that a lot of these math struggles may be developmental and due to her young age (just not clicking yet). My gut feeling tells me that if she just had another year to make these skills more solid, that she would be so much better off in the long run. Whereas if I choose to move her on, I could be risking her always being behind and struggling in math.
I already asked my daughter what she thought about repeating 1st (explaining it to her in terms of her age and that all other kids her age were just going to 1st) and she thought it was a great thing because she would get to stay with her same teacher. And yes, I have already discussed this at length with her teacher and principal and they would allow me to retain her, even though she technically passed.

But I am not sure if being retained will affect her negatively when she sees all her friends moving on? Honestly, she seems to be okay with it though and she actually told me that she would just make new friends. So, would you keep plugging along and move her up to 2nd just to avoid the stigma or have her repeat 1st and just tell her she's in the right grade now without making a big deal of it?

I feel so guilty already as it is for pushing her on to begin with that I don't know if I can handle her going on to 2nd and really struggling or even worse having to have a MANDATORY retention in 5th (where it is mandatory if you do not pass the states end of year test). Her teacher gave her an end of year test at the end of 1st, which assesses all the math skills taught throughout the year and she scored a 65% percent (not percentile). The teacher said she was the lowest score in the class. :(

I know I can't predict the future, and that's why I'm so torn!

Spottts July 14th, 2014 10:51 AM

Re: Are these valid reasons to have my child repeat 1st?
I'd have her go on as the problem is math and not reading. Worry about the testing later because things are changing with that.

If you're in Florida, the grade level where the state test must be passed is 3rd grade not 5th. The reading portion must be passed but not the math. (I'm a 3rd grade teacher.) However, the state test of FCAT 2.0 will not be administered any longer. There will be a new test with the new state standards (FL's version of common core) although I can't recall the name of it off the top of my head. It's never been administered before so who knows how students will score? The sample questions were just released earlier this month.

I'd work with her on math concepts at home. See if there are any computer programs the school recommends.

joanncrohn October 5th, 2014 11:49 AM

Re: Are these valid reasons to have my child repeat 1st?
Hi! It is so hard to see your child struggle in something. I so often want to see my children succeed and not have to go through the tears or disappointment - especially if they are being compared with their peers. It is awesome that your daughter is doing well in reading! That is a huge sign that she is in the appropriate grade level. Celebrate that success!

So many kids struggle in math. As a fifth grade teacher, I would frequently have students who excelled in one subject and struggled in another. It is a completely normal. Some things you can do are:

Talk to her teacher and find out how you can improve her math skills. This may be doing extra practice at home or possibly seeking out outside tutoring. If tutoring is not an option, your child's school may offer help from older students or possibly there are after school clubs offered.

Check out online sites and apps. There are some wonderful fun game based learning apps for the ipad such as Math Dojo and Slate Math.

If you child likes workbooks, check out your local bookstore for some grade appropriate books that she can work through. Your child's teacher might be able to suggest a few.

Good luck! I hope that your daughter enjoys second grade :-)

babybaking621 October 13th, 2014 07:01 AM

Re: Are these valid reasons to have my child repeat 1st?
I know school has already started, but I wanted to offer a different perspective. My older son went to private school; his birthday is in December. He was allowed to start school and was always the youngest in class. In 9th grade, we decided to retain him (for a litany of reasons). Thankfully, he was such a leader and trendsetter that he did not have any adverse affects. It was THE BEST decision we could have made and it did wonders for him. It gave him a year to "grow up", become more serious about his studies, really retain the info and get on grade level. He is currently in his second year of college and on the dean's list. His father and I always wished we'd kept him back earlier than what we did.

My SO has daughters who were in the same boat (started at private school and converted to public school). Academically, they did well...until HS (this year). They are doing okay, but struggling with math and managing their "social life" and all that is occurring around them. He really wishes he'd kept them back in their early grades or hadn't allowed them to start school so early.

As for your daughter, it's typical for females to struggle a bit more with math. That has been proven in many studies. What did her teacher say about her math skills? Apparently, she promoted her, so doesn't think there are any developmental issues; however, why did the school not offer her some sort of resource/specialized assistance, with math? If that's the ONLY issue she's having, perhaps you could get her a tutor and come up with a rigorous schedule to bring her up to speed. It would have been nice if you could have done that this summer so that she'd have been ready for the upcoming school year. Maybe that is an option, for next summer? I agree with utilizing some of the online software, to supplement, but I am old school; I believe in having someone right there to explain the concepts in ways children can understand. If it were me, I would opt for the tutor. And really go over whatever math she did in school that day. I would use the weekends to work with her on some of the concepts from last year (be that through a computer program or face-to-face).

TheyGrowLikeWeeds October 26th, 2014 10:19 AM

Re: Are these valid reasons to have my child repeat 1st?
If she wants to stay behind, that's something to consider, but if this is something you are thinking about because of your own worries, then I think you are worrying too much. Being the oldest is NOT better. I know this personally as I was the oldest in my class. I was held back in Kindergarten because I couldn't read yet, didn't know French, and I was not sophisticated enough. Yes, I was going to a private school and a snobby one at that. That is beside the point. I was still bullied in class once I got through 1st grade. I was teased because I was the oldest and should somehow "know" more than anyone else, not to mention like boys more. It was an all girl's school and I just wasn't all boy-crazy like my classmates were. I blossomed earlier than anyone, but my interests were of interesting and beautiful photography found in National Geographic magazines and art magazines. I couldn't care less of the new boy singer that often made his way onto the walls of my classmate's bedrooms. Sure I liked to hear their voices, and I listened often and sang along with the lyrics as often as I could. However, his looks were not something I cared about. I was the awkward one in the class. I made friends, but not many.

With this in mind, this is not likely going to be your child's story. But, just being the oldest in the class does not make it better for her. If she is emotionally ready... If her maturity says she's ready to move on, then let her move on. You can try to get her a tutor for math if you feel she's struggling too much. It sounds like your concern is only one class. If you hold her back, that means she'll start getting restless with her reading as she'd likely be ahead of her classmates and the teachers will have to find ways to keep her busy at her reading level which takes her away from her classmates. You may find it better to encourage her strengths and just help her along with the areas she struggles with. A lot of kids have trouble with math. Heck, a lot of adults STILL struggle with math! Even the simple math is hard for many adults! So don't be discouraged by this one course, she'll be fine!

If I were in your shoes, I'd let her continue and get her a math tutor. You can always look for a college student who is looking to get some extra cash who can help her with her math skills. They are often not as expensive as a private tutor or a tutoring company like Sylvan. Sometimes, you can also get extra help from a teacher in your kid's school. They sometimes are looking to make extra cash. I know where I live, the teachers' pay is low and teachers do want to make a little more. You can always talk to your school and see what they have to offer. Tutoring may be something free they offer to those that request it. It certainly couldn't hurt to ask.

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