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Old 03-27-2013, 08:47 AM   #1
JamesMom
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Spinoff: Redshirting

I have been reading the skip a grade thread with interest only because my situation is the opposite.
My youngest has a July birthday (born 3 weeks early, so really should have been an August baby) and because of a speech delay and sensory issues was in county intervention and then special ed preschool. The district pretty much forced my son to enter kindy when he turned 5 despite his deficiences by saying all programs would stop if I redshirted him (no PT, OT, Speech, etc).
My heart said hold him back, but also felt he needed the support so off to Kindy he went. He actually did better than expected socially, but with lots of quirks and a caring teacher, and poorly academically, but they passed him onto 1st with an IEP of Kindy expectations. Same story.
Now he is in second and his academic gap is still about 1-2 years. He is doing solid first grade work, but poor 2nd grade. If I red shirted him he might not need all this "support" and he wouldn't come home crying because "he can't read." At his IEP meeting last week they talked about him doing a modified state test in third grade. If they just waited a year, I think he would be fine! Third grade is a game changer where the training wheels come off and there are higher independent expectations of the kids which my son is not ready for.
We plan on homeschooling him next year. He does best with one on one interaction (as stated by the school's support team) in short bursts and hope to catch him up in a couple of years to renter at 5th when all his peers from several elementary schools are feed into the middle school. But we will see when HE is ready.
Now granted, my son has issues, but for those parents who chose to delay their children's entry to formal schooling, what has been your experience and reasoning?
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:00 AM   #2
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My son is also a July birthday. At the end of first grade when he was still not reading up to level I chose to have him held back. He is now in second grade and doing great!! He is above average in math and right on target in reading. This wasn't an easy decision to make. He already had friends and people knew what grade he was in. But it has been the best thing I have done for him. I didn't want him struggling his entire life.

Btw 3rd is harder than second. If I were you it's not too late to have him held back. He still has a long way to go.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:05 AM   #3
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Just noticed you said you were going to homeschool him. We homeschool too. My son is my 3rd child, my oldest is way advanced and was reading at 4. I only say that for the critics that would say if he were in public he wouldn't have struggled, I do know what I'm doing so lets not go there.

Anyway you could repeat 2nd next year. This is perfect timing for you. And he will feel so encouraged that he can figure things out and take things at his pace. Idk where you live but most places have homeschool support groups. Hope you can find a good one. We love ours. We have park days, field trips, community service days, and even times where other moms teach fun life lessons (sign language, chess, dissecting, cooking etc)
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:17 AM   #4
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I was going suggest that if you don't homeschool, you could consider putting him in a different school but redoing 2nd grade. Our schools are failing our kids by allowing them to be passed along. I only have one son and his birthday is in September(he is 6 months). We live in MO, and before that, we lived in NE and he misses the cutoff in both states. I am glad. I think in most cases, boys are better off if they wait until they are older and more mature to go to Kindy. Boys are falling behind girls because developmentally they are not ready for the heavy verbal learning that is now done in Kindergarten. Most of them are able to catch up by 3rd grade, as many have stated BUT if they are too far behind, or already have a learning deficit of some type, they will just continue to fall behind. It is not about redshirting so your child can be the biggest or oldest. It is about doing what is best for your particular child. My daughter with a May birthday went to Kindergarten this year. She is doing well. My 2 year old has a July birthday, that is going to be a tough decision to make!
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:20 AM   #5
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I noticed that PP said 3rd is harder than second. She is right! It is WAY harder than 2nd. It would be a complete disservice to your son to pass him along.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesMom View Post
I have been reading the skip a grade thread with interest only because my situation is the opposite.
My youngest has a July birthday (born 3 weeks early, so really should have been an August baby) and because of a speech delay and sensory issues was in county intervention and then special ed preschool. The district pretty much forced my son to enter kindy when he turned 5 despite his deficiences by saying all programs would stop if I redshirted him (no PT, OT, Speech, etc).
My heart said hold him back, but also felt he needed the support so off to Kindy he went. He actually did better than expected socially, but with lots of quirks and a caring teacher, and poorly academically, but they passed him onto 1st with an IEP of Kindy expectations. Same story.
Now he is in second and his academic gap is still about 1-2 years. He is doing solid first grade work, but poor 2nd grade. If I red shirted him he might not need all this "support" and he wouldn't come home crying because "he can't read." At his IEP meeting last week they talked about him doing a modified state test in third grade. If they just waited a year, I think he would be fine! Third grade is a game changer where the training wheels come off and there are higher independent expectations of the kids which my son is not ready for.
We plan on homeschooling him next year. He does best with one on one interaction (as stated by the school's support team) in short bursts and hope to catch him up in a couple of years to renter at 5th when all his peers from several elementary schools are feed into the middle school. But we will see when HE is ready.
Now granted, my son has issues, but for those parents who chose to delay their children's entry to formal schooling, what has been your experience and reasoning?
Just an FYI

If you choose to homeschool him. You may still be able to get his services through the school district. I have a friend who homeschooled her child and was able to get speech & OT through the district. She also pays for extra from a private provider but gets 30 minutes weekly from the district.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:11 AM   #7
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I just wanted to give my experience. My daughter has a late August birthday. She had Speech delay and fine motor skills issues. We had her in a fabulous pre K school for speech and she progressed from needing any help for that.

On to Kindergarten she went..we felt she was not ready for 1st grade even though she passed, so we signed papers to hold her back. We switched schools so she would not notice her friends going forward.

1st, 2nd, 3rd, and now 4th, she has struggled. Academically and socially. Something just doesn't click with her and she doesn't "get things". We had her tested by the school but she did not qualify for help because she was borderline. She makes good grades A, B and occasionally a C with ALOT of help. She struggles mostly in Math and reading.

I don't know if she will ever "get it", I know it probably won't ever come easy for her. But my husband and I say in time, when she is ready, hopefully it will come easier.

We do have a tutor and are involved in school to make sure she doesn't fall completely through the cracks.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesMom View Post
I have been reading the skip a grade thread with interest only because my situation is the opposite.
My youngest has a July birthday (born 3 weeks early, so really should have been an August baby) and because of a speech delay and sensory issues was in county intervention and then special ed preschool. The district pretty much forced my son to enter kindy when he turned 5 despite his deficiences by saying all programs would stop if I redshirted him (no PT, OT, Speech, etc).
My heart said hold him back, but also felt he needed the support so off to Kindy he went. He actually did better than expected socially, but with lots of quirks and a caring teacher, and poorly academically, but they passed him onto 1st with an IEP of Kindy expectations. Same story.
Now he is in second and his academic gap is still about 1-2 years. He is doing solid first grade work, but poor 2nd grade. If I red shirted him he might not need all this "support" and he wouldn't come home crying because "he can't read." At his IEP meeting last week they talked about him doing a modified state test in third grade. If they just waited a year, I think he would be fine! Third grade is a game changer where the training wheels come off and there are higher independent expectations of the kids which my son is not ready for.
We plan on homeschooling him next year. He does best with one on one interaction (as stated by the school's support team) in short bursts and hope to catch him up in a couple of years to renter at 5th when all his peers from several elementary schools are feed into the middle school. But we will see when HE is ready.
Now granted, my son has issues, but for those parents who chose to delay their children's entry to formal schooling, what has been your experience and reasoning?
Did they do testing when the IEP was written to determine exactly where he is having trouble? I think I would look into some testing for him to find out exactly where the disconnect is. If I am 100% honest, it sounds to me as if holding him back may not be the answer to fixing what is going on. It might be that it will be the answer, but as much as he seems to be struggling there may be other issues at play here and repeating a grade may not be a long term fix. If there is a leraning disability it WILL catch back up to him at some point, and repeating a grade will only help in the short term. If it were my kid, I would feel better knowing WHAT the problem is and how to address it, be that through traditinoal classroom schooling or homeschooling.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:32 AM   #9
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Holding him back would be a good choice if possible. I teach 3rd grade, and it is much harder than 2nd. I have also taught 2nd grade. The reason is that children are transitioning between concrete thinking and abstract thinking. All children do it at their own pace, some earlier than others. If you do decided to homeschool, make sure your child has plenty of interactions with others his age, scouts, sports, swim lessons, and such. You don't want him to not gain social skills his peers are especially if you plan to reenter him in a few years. Good Luck!
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLmomof2 View Post
I just wanted to give my experience. My daughter has a late August birthday. She had Speech delay and fine motor skills issues. We had her in a fabulous pre K school for speech and she progressed from needing any help for that.

On to Kindergarten she went..we felt she was not ready for 1st grade even though she passed, so we signed papers to hold her back. We switched schools so she would not notice her friends going forward.

1st, 2nd, 3rd, and now 4th, she has struggled. Academically and socially. Something just doesn't click with her and she doesn't "get things". We had her tested by the school but she did not qualify for help because she was borderline. She makes good grades A, B and occasionally a C with ALOT of help. She struggles mostly in Math and reading.

I don't know if she will ever "get it", I know it probably won't ever come easy for her. But my husband and I say in time, when she is ready, hopefully it will come easier.

We do have a tutor and are involved in school to make sure she doesn't fall completely through the cracks.
Just a suggestion - if your school did not specifically evaluate for Auditory Processing Disorder, you might want to look into it. On the standard battery of tests, kids with this issue will often look "good enough" for the schools to say they don't have a problem. But when you do the right, focused testing for APD, the problem becomes very clear.

Not saying that this is your daughter's problem, since there's not nearly enough info in your post, but you might want to read up on it and see if it seems to fit your situation.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:55 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLmomof2 View Post
I just wanted to give my experience. My daughter has a late August birthday. She had Speech delay and fine motor skills issues. We had her in a fabulous pre K school for speech and she progressed from needing any help for that.

On to Kindergarten she went..we felt she was not ready for 1st grade even though she passed, so we signed papers to hold her back. We switched schools so she would not notice her friends going forward.

1st, 2nd, 3rd, and now 4th, she has struggled. Academically and socially. Something just doesn't click with her and she doesn't "get things". We had her tested by the school but she did not qualify for help because she was borderline. She makes good grades A, B and occasionally a C with ALOT of help. She struggles mostly in Math and reading.

I don't know if she will ever "get it", I know it probably won't ever come easy for her. But my husband and I say in time, when she is ready, hopefully it will come easier.

We do have a tutor and are involved in school to make sure she doesn't fall completely through the cracks.
If it helps at all, my DD is in 4th grade. She is an October birthday so I guess is on the older side? She struggled in math and reading. She hated reading books and would cry every time she had to do math. It "clicked" this year. She is now reading on her own a lot (and has started the Kingdom Keepers series) and has really made strides in math as well. It's really amazing to see the progress she has made since September. I'm not sure she'll ever have the highest GPA in class, but to see her confidence level with school and how much happier she is in general is awesome. Hang in there and I'm sure she will get it when she is ready. Everyone develops differently, it's what makes each of us special and our own person. We do have a tutor as well and I do a lot of extra work with her as well. Barnes and Noble has work books for all subjects at each grade level you can get. We were always behind her school level, but learning the basics is the key. Stay on top of it and make sure she gets the help she needs.

To OP, I would have no problem keeping your son back in second grade (or home schooling as you suggest). Do what you feel is best for him. Having a grandmother that taught and a father that recently retired, the public school systems are failing our children on average. Not enough focus is put into each child. Where we are, most of the school time is spent preparing for MCAS testing. What ever happened to just teaching children what they need to succeed in life?
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:25 AM   #12
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We held my son back in Kindergarten (our choice). He was behind in reading and really struggling socially. He wasn't the youngest in the class, but he was close. Turns out he has a learning disability and is dyslexic. It isn't true that they do not give services if you hold back. It is a little harder to get maybe because the testing is grade level, however, my son just qualified after struggling for years. He is in 3rd grade and he reads a 3rd grade level now after help. But he can not spell at all. Right now he goes to speech 2 times a week, a reading specialist 5 times a week, has modified testing, and sees the school therapist once a week. (The last one has been a blessing because his self esteem has always been really low in regards to school. He felt dumb because he was always the first one out on spelling bees, never got good grades, etc.). He is much improved this year.

It is always a little of a fight, I think, to get services but when they finally approved him it has been such an amazing thing to have. He knows he was held back which is the only hard thing. Right now because he doesn't think he is smart and he compares himself to his peers he thinks badly of being held back. BUT it was the best thing for him. He struggles as a third grader and I know the work is going to just get tougher in 4th. He really needed the extra year to catch up. I firmly believe that if we pushed him on he would have had a much larger self esteem hit. The funny thing is that is he is so very smart. I pray some day he will recognize it. His teacher last year did a great job at playing up what he could do. Like he is amazing at memorizing facts. He knows more then I do about architecture and world affairs. Unfortunately, the things he is not the best at (spelling, reading, and writing are at the fore front of things you do in school in 3rd grade!) I know with the support of the school and with us helping him that he will succeed and I know he will come around and see his abilities and strengths and not focus so much on his weaknesses with all of us working together to build him up.

I am also, most likely, holding my twins back. This time it wasn't my idea. It is their kindergarten teacher who is requesting it based not on academics but on social abilities. They were premature and they have a summer birthday, so they are the youngest in the class this year and they act it. Around here everyone seems to wait until they are 6 to go to Kindergarten so they really stuck out being a young 5. I don't disagree with her recommendation. I feel like it is unfortunate that they didn't have as much success as I think they could have if that class was made up of 5 year olds and not 6 year olds but what can you do? This does means I will have held three kids back though and only one went on the normal age/grade schedule.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesMom View Post
I have been reading the skip a grade thread with interest only because my situation is the opposite.
My youngest has a July birthday (born 3 weeks early, so really should have been an August baby) and because of a speech delay and sensory issues was in county intervention and then special ed preschool. The district pretty much forced my son to enter kindy when he turned 5 despite his deficiences by saying all programs would stop if I redshirted him (no PT, OT, Speech, etc).
My heart said hold him back, but also felt he needed the support so off to Kindy he went. He actually did better than expected socially, but with lots of quirks and a caring teacher, and poorly academically, but they passed him onto 1st with an IEP of Kindy expectations. Same story.
Now he is in second and his academic gap is still about 1-2 years. He is doing solid first grade work, but poor 2nd grade. If I red shirted him he might not need all this "support" and he wouldn't come home crying because "he can't read." At his IEP meeting last week they talked about him doing a modified state test in third grade. If they just waited a year, I think he would be fine! Third grade is a game changer where the training wheels come off and there are higher independent expectations of the kids which my son is not ready for.
We plan on homeschooling him next year. He does best with one on one interaction (as stated by the school's support team) in short bursts and hope to catch him up in a couple of years to renter at 5th when all his peers from several elementary schools are feed into the middle school. But we will see when HE is ready.
Now granted, my son has issues, but for those parents who chose to delay their children's entry to formal schooling, what has been your experience and reasoning?
We chose not too , with my dd who was born on the cut-off date. But many people recommended it at the time. I think parents know what is best for their kid in general, but this trend of redshirting without reason is really damaging. When I was a kid and everyone in kindergarten was 5, we learned letters, played and what not. Now the expectation is reading, which used to be mainly in 1st. Following the old timeline your son would probably be right on target. Plus now there is a kickback, trying to discourage the redshirting (while schools still move back their cutoff dates) so kids who really could benefit academically are not getting the time they need.
The nice thing about homeschooling is you can work at your son's level. I find I can easily do about 1.5 years worth of work and we don't work that hard and focus on a lot of fun experiences together as a family, such as outings, arts, games, etc plus you can do whatever grade you feel is appropriate and move him where you want him to go. If your goal was to keep him with his grade you can start schooling in the summer and end it the next summer and he can probably repeat 2nd and do 3rd. We continuelessly homeschool most Saturdays, summer we do SOME work, but it makes our regular day fairly stress free because if the kids aren't working well it doesn't matter. Like most kids he probably has areas he is stronger in and areas he is weaker in so you can adjust his level. You seem fine with holding him back so you know if it doesn't go as well academically as you like, it doesn't really matter.
It is a shame the district didn't work with you. It seems clear that your son would have benefitted from a little more time. Whether you homeschool or not I would stand firm and not let them push him forward anymore. It is a hard world for kids who feel unsuccessful in school from the start.
When I returned my kids to school, the school just asked where I would like them and started them out there. The kid's performance and testing ended up showing they were right where they should be.
I'm sure you are gettting a lot of advice and resources, but for learning to read while taking some of the pressure off, I can't recommend enough Peggy Kaye's Games for Reading. It was our go to book whenever my dd was frustrated or didn't want to read outloud anymore. There are "games" for every level of reader and we still use it now that my girls are great at reading, for language arts, writing and spelling.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:52 AM   #14
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My late husband and I had similar issues with my stepson. He came to lives with us in NY (from TX) when he was 10. It became very apparent very quickly that the grade-level expectations at his new school were beyond where he was at (his birthday was late August, so he was already one of the younger kids in the class). The school district pushed him through, with IEPs, every year stating that (in his case) it would be more detrimental to remove him from kids his age/his friends than to provide him extra assistance. Well, they did that right up until High School when, lo and behold, he didn't have enough credits to graduate and had to repeat his Senior year (and this is after tutoring, reviewing homework, IEPs, teacher meetings etc etc).

Which bring me to this: you know your child. If you feel he needs to stay back, fight for it. If you feel you need to home school him, do it. The repercussions are too great to just go riding along with what the school district says you should do. All the years of tutors and summer school and hard, hard work to just barely make a decent grade (and the resulting personal and personality issues) could have been at least partially eliminated if we'd insisted he be held back either to repeat 5th grade or even moved into 4th when it became clear that 5th grade was a big challenge for him.

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Old 03-27-2013, 12:18 PM   #15
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I like that you'll be schooling him next year. That way you can blend the work. That's what we are doing. DS and I got sick SO many times last year that we got behind on 2nd, and we're still behind on 3rd. So we're doing both, really. Reviewing 2nd grade work and starting 3rd.

It makes me so angry that schools are SO focused on earlier reading that they cannot see that SOME children just naturally read later. If they can accept the fact that I was reading at 2 years old without ANYONE teaching me (my mom walked in and I was reading a newspaper out loud...and in 1971 there was icky stuff in the paper so she had to cancel the paper's delivery), then they should accept that there will be a few outliers on the other side, too. And that's one of the things we're doing with DS; he (just like his dad) is on the later side of reading, and there hasn't been a single thing to do about it, other than just make him feel safe and unjudged and unstressed. (DH was "forced" to read, and with all the pressure they missed that he has some sort of dyslexia that was not helped by the pressure...not to mention the fact that his mom didn't read English and his dad was only around half the time and when he was around he didn't read out loud, so NO ONE ever read to DH when he was little...talk about challenges)

So I think the next year will be really good for him. It will allow him to catch up to himself with much less pressure. And then you can really evaluate where he stands, and see what to do about the following year, assuming you choose to send him back to a school.
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