Young 1st grader struggling. Should I have given him another year? - FamilyEducation
Young 1st grader struggling. Should I have given him another year?
09/11/2011 at 06:51 AM

My son turned six July 12. He is very bright and everyone has always commented on it. He's been building elaborate Geo-Trax and LEGO sets since he was 4. He has been attending a private preschool for the past two years and last year, instead of making him the youngest in Kindergarten, we opted to put him in the Pre-K/K split class with other kids his age (young official kindergartners and old pre-K kids), since that seems to be the trend where we live. He did very well as the oldest in the environment, but at the end of year assessment, I noticed he aced all the tests ... at the beginning of the year. Knew his letters, sounds, began to read (though didn't like it), etc so I thought perhaps he wouldn't be challenged enough and become bored and thus disruptive.

Anyhow, the teacher recommended we send him to Kindergarten (give him the gift of an extra year) where he would be the oldest (actually a couple months older as the cutoff is Sept 10). But she recommended it for everyone in the class and since the school has their own private kindergarten and not higher grades, I felt it to be a bit biased. They feel most kids with summer b-days (esp boys) benefit greatly from an extra year. This is not the norm in a different state where I grew up, but seems to be here. I struggled with it since he's always been the smartest kid in the class and now hold him back?

So i enrolled in their Kindergarten, but my child wasn't excited about going back. I felt perhaps he was ready to move on, but as the public school's kindergarten was only 2.5 hrs and he's been going to school for twice that time (around 4 hrs a day), I figured 1st grade in the public school would be a good fit, even though he's youngest.

Well, it's only been the first week, and I expected adjustments, but he hates it. First off, way too long for him, no friends ... but I expected that. It's how miserable he is, says there is never time to finish work and if they don't finish they miss recess so he's worried about that and says he doesn't understand the teacher. I worry about all the sitting and wonder if I really should have given him that extra year.

I've been distraught. His private kindergarten starts this week and I'm tempted to move him back to give him that extra year to be a child, not have such long days, have friends and still be learning ... maybe learn to love reading more? But others say this is normal and I'm overreacting and he needs time to get used it it. This is how school is. Deal with it. Maybe I just don't agree with the learning environment and I'm a good candidate for home school? Would another year make a difference? Sorry, so lengthy. Thoughts anyone? I'm desperate.

I'd move him. It's okay to say "I made a mistake, and I see that you are not doing well, so I'm going to fix it."

talk to your child he knows what HE wants.My child has been making decissions sence he was 3 months old...which pair of shoes? He would kick which ones he liked & same with clothes. My son is now going on 7 he told me the other day I like school, i don't like THIS school or the teacher.I want to be home-schooled now,oh um,"please" lol anyway, ask him if he likes what he is learning.. What does he like or dislikes ex: the long school day? in-order for you to find out where he is coming from, have HIM tell you what he wants,he might be the type(b/c of him being bright)for home-school. So, that he does not get "HELD BACK" but can progress without getting frustrated. I would not make him retake ......

Kinder I would take him to a charter school or I'd home-school so, that he is still in the 1st grade just not so much time or such a BIG class but, he should be able to tell you what he thinks and wants to do about his education of course, you have final say. but, let him help you. its worked out for me.. i never had to worry that my son would not ware what I bought him .. i still had final o.k. but he choose from what I allowed lol. I am fixing to start homeschooling my son b/c he told me he rather do that and the public schools have already wrote him off b/c of a speech problem so, I agree with my son I CAN'T DO ANY WORST THAN "THEM" just talk to your boy he is 6 he will know what he would like to do after you give him the "what's going on here" kind of talk .....

just ask HIM, do you want to go back to kinder or stay in 1st grade? if you want to stay then what about instead of THIS school maybe you would like to be at a smaller classed school(charter school) or maybe we could look into home-schooling until you feel more confident in the main classroom... THEN go from there he'll be happier b/c he helped with the decission. You'll be happier b/c he is happer home schooling is a little bit of a challenge for the "MOM/teacher" but, knowing your child is progressing far better then public students he age does the heart great trust me I am thrilled to be home-schooling my son.. I determine what he will and will not learn and HE does it at his pace without being "wrote off". b/c a parent will never do that for their child like the school was doing for him. hope this helps

Could it be that your child finds it hard to focus so does his work too slowly? Maybe you could try to improve his concentration by teaching him origami, the art of folding paper into interesting shapes.