Repeating a grade

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DownTheRabbitHole, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. DownTheRabbitHole

    DownTheRabbitHole New Member

    Any thoughts on having a child held back a grade level in hopes of maturing and improved behavior?
    My child is socially and emotionally delayed compared to his peers I wonder if an extra year would help him mature enough to gain more self control and improve his impulsivity and behavior.

    I have a hard time seeing past tomorrow especially on troubled days but time is going by so quickly I'm getting worried my child won't be ready for HS.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My own opinion is that it won't help. He won't suddenly get his act together or mature and he'll feel bad and embarassed because he was held back. in my opinion (and I don't know much about your child) it is best to get supports in the school to help your son with whatever issues he is having. You may want to get a neuropsychologist evaluation too. He's the perfect age for one...neuropsychs often find issues that other professionals get. "Emotional disorders" is very vague.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    The research for retaining a child with special needs suggests it is not beneficial. Especially if a child is old enough to know whats going on. It also reduces a year of transition services when they are done with high-school. That said, it's of course individual. For very young kids it often does help and they never know the difference. Early intervention is so different and another year of that is sometimes really helpful but the schools here even resist that in favor of keeping kids with peers. And for kids who miss a year due to illness etc. It often does make it so they need that year of typical experience, not to catch up to others---that may never happen, but to catch up to where they were. I had my son technically repeat third grade but in reality the district we were in from pre-third grade always mainstreamed him a grade lower and said they'd just keep doing that to put him with peers he could keep up with. So he even joined boy scouts and after school activities with the kids a grade younger. My argument was what happens when he goes to midde school and there's no younger grade to put him in? In second grade he never stepped foot in his assigned class, only went to first grade. Same in third ...he only went into the second grade class. So when we moved if they would have put him in a fourth grade class for his mainstream it would have been like skipping third grade! Luckily the new district agreed and he was assigned third grade. So it was not retention in terms of repeating ....he never had that grade. I have been grateful because he actually did some grade level work for a few years with peers. And he was so small he fit in better. I don't regret that we did it.
    But, he had no clue and the goal never was that he'd catch up, just to give him the same sequence of opportunities as everyone else. It was a unique situation.
    I've worked with many kids who from then (year of retention) on say....I should be in X grade when there is any discussion. Self esteem takes a hit and bottom line, if the goal is to catch up when a child has a won't happen. They need accommodations on going so why add the loss of peers and social connections or self esteem to the challenges?
    If a child is typically developing and used drugs, or became ill etc....and missed a year due to that I would maybe feel differently. (And there is separate research in those cases saying they may freeze developmentally during that time) but, if it is a life long disability, I think there is not much payoff. Our districts won't do it.
  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    In France, where I live, repeating a year is common - it seems to be more widely used than in any other country that I know of. However, there have begun to be doubts about the practice and research is sometimes quoted by opponents of the system that shows that it is actually not beneficial at all, but rather counter-productive. Perhaps there is an argument for it if the child is very young for the class and obviously it is a case by case matter but it seems on balance, and from a distance, your son would be better off proceeding to HS with his peers and having better intervention when there.
    On the other hand... I was interested to read a bit about this and found the following, which supports the idea of repeating a year if a child is emotionally behind his or her peers:
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
  5. DownTheRabbitHole

    DownTheRabbitHole New Member

    Thanks for the posts and the article link. He is 12 in 7th grade and very small for his age. Although his academics have taken a nose drive I think we still have time to improve to overall passing for the year. I not sure if school would recommend or the steps necessary to even do this. I was just curious if anyone had experience with and if in any cases the benefits out weighed the negatives.

    It's seems the earlier the better and I fear I've thought of this too late. In our case behavior has always been the issue not academics, although this year we have begun to struggle with grades. I just wonder that if his behavior keeps him out of classes and isolates him from his peers if an extra year to mature emotionally would help him control his behavior.

    Of course it's just as likely that any maturing would be joined by the oh so dreaded puberty and most likely one behavior would be replaced by another. Anyway thanks for the comments.
  6. greenrene

    greenrene Member

    My difficult child repeated 1st grade and is now repeating 8th grade. The first time it wasn't a big deal because she was so young, and this time she's repeating 8th grade at a different school than she was in last year, so the only way people would really know is if she told them (even though she, at age 15, is most likely the oldest kid in her class).

    For us it is has been beneficial but frustrating. She repeated the 8th grade because there was no WAY she was ready for high school this year. It's difficult because she's very, um, physically developed and doesn't look at all like an 8th grader, but she is VERY mentally and emotionally immature - she's more around age 11/12. School is an enormous struggle, and even now she's having trouble getting decent grades (which, as we define for her, is C or above).
  7. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Assuming this is regarding difficult child, at 11 there is a greater risk of harm than good with retaining a child. You may want to go meet with your high school's special education director. At least in our area, because the high school is so much bigger and better funded, there are many more options. Plus he can always stay and extra couple years in high school (many of our schools now have 'transition' programs located at a seperate campus: kids who NEED extra years in high school but would be devestated to not be allowed to graduate, they are allowed to walk the stage, participate in all of the senior activities and then they start attending the transition program and they can stay in that program until they turn 22, ours enrolls them in 1-2 classes at the local college (either for credit or an audit -- one boy is taking piano) so that they can say they go to JUCO and feel 'normal' but still get all the support of the high school district.

    I retained both Eeyore and Piglet after 1st grade and it was the right decision for both of them. Piglet is now in the college prep track, has lots of friends and is pretty typical. Eeyore is still one of the most immature kids in his class so I am glad I did because between how tiny he is and how immature, I think he would drown with kids in the grade he should have been.
  8. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    Depends on the age in my humble opinion. I held Ms Queen back in the 5th grade. I knew she was not ready to enter into the 6th grade/middle school mostly due to social issues/emotional issues. Her grades aren't ever really great and she was already in pull out resource classes. Let me explain that a little bit more first. In resource classes she's actually at the top level and they are easy to her but if she goes into regular classes she ends up failing. It's the class size that matters most of all and the fact that she can be more easily distracted and less ability to get attention and help from the teacher when needed with so many too. There is no in between unfortunately. This new year in High School they do inclusion classes with an aide for the whole class. The classes are still big and she is struggling but they have NO resource class room for her unfortunately. We've been struggling with that.

    So back to why I kept her back in 5th grade. She was not capable of handling situations that would be arising in the middle school. While she is always socially awkward and does not get social cues this was more then just that. It was the issues that come with adolescent kids. I felt she needed another year to perhaps mature a little more to be ready. I had no guarantee she would but I had hoped she would. The school wasn't really happy that I opted to do this as they would have just put her through but I refused.

    I can tell you that it DID help holding her the year. Since it was still in elementary school it didn't really impact her too bad socially or with the kids "knowing" she was held back at all and she is a VERY social girl, well known and makes sure she is known in many ways. The older they are the worst impact it has on them (stigma) is what I was told so I knew I needed to do it then. I'm glad I did.

    I think it's a personal opinion on what you should do as you know your child best and their development stages and rate.
  9. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    A lot depends on the age of the child, as well as the other factors mentioned by previous posters. Given that your child is already Gr. 7-age, the costs may very well outweigh the benefits.

    As someone else suggested, sticking around in high school for an extra year or two might be a better option. In my area it is common for kids to do a "victory lap", in other words, an extra year of high school to accumulate more credits, re-take classes that didn't go so well the first time, etc.
  10. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    I held back my son from kindergarten for a year at the advice of his preschool. Now I wish I hadn't. It didn't help him mature. My son is autistic and naturally immature with poor social skills. That's not gonna change regardless of what grade he's in. He is getting help through the school with a social skills group and he has an IEP. Is your child getting any special resources through the school? I know that with my son, the social skills group has helped him tremendously. Good luck in whatever you decide.
  11. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I know if Kiddo doesn't get it together and pass language arts she might well be repeating 6th grade whether she likes it or not. :(