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If you held a child back a year, or had them repeat a grade, did you ever regret it during the high school or college years? My ds11 is young for his grade. He has an August 30th birthday and started kindergarten when he was not quite 5. He was academically ready at the time, and we were homeschooling, so we didn't see a reason to wait. Now that he is finishing 6th grade, he is still doing okay academically, but is socially immature and physically small for his age. And looking ahead, we are questioning the wisdom of sending him to college at not-quite-18. We feel he could benefit from an additional year at home, both academically and in terms of social/emotional development, and believe we should add that year in during middle school, not high school.

 

So, if you did something similar with your child, did you regret it during the high school or college years? Right now I can't see a downside to giving him one more year at home.

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We did this with my oldest, but we did not call in holding him back. He has a late September birthday. He is bright and was working above his level in many academic areas, but my dh was reluctant to let him attend college at 17. So after his first fifth grade year, we did another fifth grade year. This was facilitated by a change in our church the same summer. Since this was our biggest social thing that involved folks with a more traditional academic outlook this made it easy for us.

 

I would not have said he was socially immature, but awkward maybe. In the new setting he instantly made friends and didn't come home telling me how two other boys controlled all events like he did previously. It might have been the previous setting, but he did get on better. The next year when he went up to the Middle School program I saw leadership and strength of will to go against the flow when he thought it correct. So this was a huge area of improvement or blossoming.

 

I regret that I did not do the same with my younger. He, like yours, is an August birthday. Although bright he is my foot dragger on academics. He is more socially adept than his brother, and just as willing to cut his own unique path (more unique than his straight-arrow brother). However, when he reaches the high school group next year we are going to have to have some talks about small groups which in our church run for the full four years of high school. And he is going to have an odd year after his friends go to college and he has one more year of high school. I don't like it, and although he is well aware of the deal and says he is okay with it, he won't either.

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First keep in mind that a 17yo is radically different from a 11yo or a 12yo and sometimes kids just need time. I wouldn't slow down his academics if he is doing fine, however, what is wrong with taking a gap year after high school? It is common in many developed nations for kids to take a block of time off from school after high school and before college. That way he can finish high school as scheduled but still not be forced into college right away if he isn't ready...

 

How would you handle him being held back now in middle school?

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And he is going to have an odd year after his friends go to college and he has one more year of high school. I don't like it, and although he is well aware of the deal and says he is okay with it, he won't either.

Again, why the assumption that college must begin the summer after high school? Have you considered a gap year? Having that time off from school to do something else can be very beneficial. Americans are sometimes a little too bent on school, school, school.

 

Have you considered a gap year for your son? There are many opportunities to fill one constructively. Working full time and having a social life around that, traveling, volunteering, maybe taking a vocational program at a technical school to get a job skill that can be used during college. Creating a program within the community (tutoring, theater, gardening, etc...)

 

There are tons of things to do. Why force every year to be full of school? Give the kids the option to graduate on track and on time if they deserve too, you can accomplish a lot in CC also if you both feel that they just must be in school, but I would discourage holding them back artificially.

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First keep in mind that a 17yo is radically different from a 11yo or a 12yo and sometimes kids just need time. I wouldn't slow down his academics if he is doing fine, however, what is wrong with taking a gap year after high school? It is common in many developed nations for kids to take a block of time off from school after high school and before college. That way he can finish high school as scheduled but still not be forced into college right away if he isn't ready...

 

How would you handle him being held back now in middle school?

 

He would continue to move forward with academics, but it would give him more time to work on writing skills and to really master math. What we would probably do is call next year 6th/7th, the year after 7th/8th, and the following year just plain 8th.

 

He could take a gap year after high school, which would allow time for social/emotional maturity, but would not have the benefit of giving him another year to work on academic skills.

 

Most of his friends are a year or two younger, so he will not have the issue of having his friends all graduate a year before he does.

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Our middle one repeated public kindergarten (never for an instant regretted that). Youngest had an even later birthday, so we waited a year to send him. He taught himself to read while we were waiting (part of how we wound up homeschooling him), but I don't regret waiting. If I could do it again, I would wait a year before sending the oldest, too. This just works better for our family. My youngest (18 now and in 12th grade) is the most academic-minded of the three and is headed for engineering. We knew he probably was when he was five. We wondered if we'd made a mistake when he taught himself to read, but I still couldn't imagine sending him to kindergarten that year. There is much more to going to school than just learning to read. He went to public kindergarten when he was six, and then when he was seven, we started formal school at home. I would have waited until seven to start formal school with formal written work anyway. He was learning plenty of academic stuff on his own, reading lots of library books and asking lots of questions about math. In the case of an engineering student, a gap year is hard because your math skills get rusty. The bottom line is that it didn't make any difference in our case because of the way we homeschooled high school. My son traveled by himself, so he wasn't anxious to prove his independence by going off to college and the academics weren't a problem because our local community college has pretty good science and math and he began taking classes there in 10th grade, when he was 16. This year he is 18, in 12th grade, and is only doing history at home. He's doing the rest at the cc. I'm glad we didn't worry over it. It turned out that the line between college and high school (academically) is so blurry that when he began kindergarten didn't make any difference at all. His pack of friends is multi-aged so even that didn't matter, although he's the youngest of the batch and it might have been hard when everyone else went off to college without him if he hadn't been at the community college himself.

 

Nan

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I have one with an August birthday. We are currently stretching his high school years. It made more sense for us to give him an extra year in the middle instead of graduating him at 17 and having a gap year after that. For one thing, he'll be able to take dual credit classes as a high school student and wouldn't be able to as a graduate. He's not ready for dual enrollment this year (if we were considering this his JR year), I've seen a lot of progress this year and think he will be ready start with one class next year. There's one chapter in "Outliers" that talks about birthmonths and how it affects things like - hockey and reading abilities. That chapter really resounded with me as I looked at my one with a Nov bday and my one with an Aug bday.

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We never bothered with a grade level, just worked on what was appropriate. My oldest ending up taking 5 years in high school, though, so she was sort of "held back" -- doing an extra year in high school. But she didn't repeat material, she just did other stuff. This included some college courses, but also some other things she wanted to do.

 

Now that she's in college, no one knows the difference -- except that she looks smart because she had a bunch of credits already.

 

There are also a number of other kids she knows who aren't the "right" age in college. Many took a year off to earn money for college, or just to figure out what they wanted to do. Some are taking gap years in between college years.

 

When your student is the age to graduate, he'll have some input on how he wants to handle it. If he's eager to get out and do something besides school, and if he's completed enough to call it a diploma, then just go ahead and graduate him. If he has this in mind when he starts high school, he might work through things faster so he can graduate at the "right" time.

 

We found it was all pretty loose -- the only sort of firm deadline is that college admissions only occur once a year. But even this isn't true if a student decided to start at a cc.

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Why force every year to be full of school? Give the kids the option to graduate on track and on time if they deserve too, you can accomplish a lot in CC also if you both feel that they just must be in school, but I would discourage holding them back artificially.

 

Well, we do spend a fair amount of time traveling and doing community service, so our years aren't just "full of school". We strive for balance in our lives. I don't feel that I am taking something away from my son that he deserves when I consider post-poning graduation by a year. I am simply questioning the wisdom of a decision my husband and I made years ago to begin formal academics at a younger age. In hindsight I don't feel it was the best decision for this particular child, and we have the opportunity to correct it now, before we move into the high school years.

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If you held a child back a year, or had them repeat a grade, did you ever regret it during the high school or college years? My ds11 is young for his grade. He has an August 30th birthday and started kindergarten when he was not quite 5. He was academically ready at the time, and we were homeschooling, so we didn't see a reason to wait. Now that he is finishing 6th grade, he is still doing okay academically, but is socially immature and physically small for his age. And looking ahead, we are questioning the wisdom of sending him to college at not-quite-18. We feel he could benefit from an additional year at home, both academically and in terms of social/emotional development, and believe we should add that year in during middle school, not high school.

 

So, if you did something similar with your child, did you regret it during the high school or college years? Right now I can't see a downside to giving him one more year at home.

 

 

Many years ago, we "right shifted" (LOL) our older DS from kinder to pre-school. He has an April birthday, so that means he was 18 going into high school, and turned 19 a month before graduation. For him, it was absolutely the right decision. All through the school years he was physically small and emotionally young. It allowed him to do very well academically each year, and to emotionally be a bit older so that by high school when he was doing a lot more social things, he had more confidence and was more able to be a leader and a confident participator in a lot of activities, rather than to feel crushed to the side of things and wanting to avoid involvement in extracurriculars. This DS is also very introverted and warms up VERY slowly to new things and situations. By giving him that extra year, he actually initiated leadership and participation a lot in high school that he *never* would have done otherwise.

 

As far as college: DS did dual enrollment at the community college (CC) in his senior year which gave him the opportunity to dip a toe in the water early, which gave him a lot of confidence to moving into the CC full time after high school. He choose to pursue Honors English and got an A! He is carrying a high GPA, and has earned a partial scholarship both years. I am SO glad we moved him into the grade level that truly allowed him to blossom at his own pace.

 

 

The area of potential problem I see for shifting an 11yo is the grade-level of most friends, and if DS is involved in grade-dependent activities (sports, Sunday School, clubs, etc.), where all his friends would advance a grade and he would not. BUT... since most of his friends are younger, this doesn't look to be much of a problem.

 

Would DS see this as a trauma -- "I'm being held back!" Or, would he even notice? If it would not be a big emotional stressor to your DS, then it seems to me that it would be all to the good. More time to allow emotional growth in his time table. More time to enjoy him! ;) More time to allow him to explore his interests, both with coursework and in extracurriculars. Let's him have the maturity to be able to be a leader rather than always feeling anxious and not ready to participate.

 

Definitely have DS work at his academic level. Keep good records of grade 8 especially, as you may find down the line that circumstances and DS all work out for the best to graduate at that younger age, and you would then count grade 8 as grade 9 on the transcripts. Or, you can do what some friends of ours are doing with their son who is actually finishing his high school classes this year at age 16yo, but they will have him go next year full time at the community college as dual enrollment to take advantage of the coursework that is free for dual enrollment, plus get a jump on some of his college while still living at home and having the emotional support for being so young.

 

Just my 2 cents worth! BEST of luck, whatever you decide! Warmest regards, Lori D.

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I gave each of my boys an extra year. Like the others, I haven't regretted it for a moment. In fact, over the years, I haven't met one person who regretted giving an extra year. But I have met plenty who wished they had. And usually they don't question it until the middle school years when academic and emotional immaturity catch up. It's a tough world out there; I would like my child to have the best opportunity to face it. Really - does it really matter whether the kid is one year older than most? I just recently asked my college-age son what he thought of our decision. He said he was glad we did it. And I had a chance to be with him for an extra year! Yay!

 

There are plenty of people who will question your decision. Do what is best for your family. And don't look back!

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I gave each of my boys an extra year. Like the others, I haven't regretted it for a moment. In fact, over the years, I haven't met one person who regretted giving an extra year. But I have met plenty who wished they had. And usually they don't question it until the middle school years when academic and emotional immaturity catch up. It's a tough world out there; I would like my child to have the best opportunity to face it. Really - does it really matter whether the kid is one year older than most? I just recently asked my college-age son what he thought of our decision. He said he was glad we did it. And I had a chance to be with him for an extra year! Yay!

 

There are plenty of people who will question your decision. Do what is best for your family. And don't look back!

 

 

Beautiful, lisabees! Wish I'd said it that way! :)

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Greta, you know my boy has a b-day close to your boy's, and I've pre-emptively decided to call him by the lower grade. He's K3 this year doing the MFW K5, haha. (shrug) I know, like you're saying, that people need time to mature. If your gut is saying put him back, do it. I'm assuming since you posted here it's on your mind, as in your gut is saying it. It's not like you have to, but I think it's always good to listen to your gut.

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Honestly, I would just continue on with the academics and not worry about grade assignments. Then every year reassess the situation...there are lots of ways to work around high school grade assignments which can lead to an older graduate. One of the things I've found with my boys is that a summer during the years of about 14-17 makes a HUGE difference in maturity. I often thought that my boys were not ready for the next level when we would finish up a school year. But I was shocked about their abilities the next fall.

 

The lovely thing about homeschooling is that we can tailor that transcript in the way we need. And if you find that in high school he just needs more time, go for it. There is nothing wise or necessary about starting college when one isn't ready. We are having ds#3 take a year off between high school and college because he needs more time. He will be spending a year in England at a Bible college.

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I sorta did for all three. My thoughts are that you should do what is right for your child.

 

I do not base descisions like that on the PS system; that's the whole point of homeschooling for us - an individualized path. If anyone had wanted to accelerate or had needed to, I would have also done that in a heartbeat.

 

No outside activities we ever do care about grade, only age but of course your mileage may vary, so I would consider this in your decision.

 

My oldest (summer b-day) did "readiness" in the PS, instead of 1st grade; best decision we ever made. When I pulled him out to homeschool the next year I considered him first grade. He had made the cutoff by less than 2 weeks and the schools where we were encouraged K or Readiness for younger students or late bloomers.

 

Because the cutoff age here was a month and a half later where we used to live, my dd17 would have had to redshirt herself when she decided to go the PS charter for 9th grade. She would have happily done it, but in our former home the cutoff was ONE day before her b-day so she has always one year "behind" since we came here. Not a problem, TONS of people here redshirt or get retained in K. Plus the area where she swims (an hour away) has the same cutoff as where we came from so for her swim team she is in the right grade, lol. She could easily have accelerated at any point but wants to swim hs for all 4 years.

 

My youngest has asked us to consider her a 9th grade this year rather than a 10th grader. She is not sure she can get her portfolio and her overall academics to where she wants to be in only 3 years. If she changes her mind, dual enrollment will allow her to "catch up" to where she needs to be. This is a little more awkward than it was for the other two but she believes she needs the time, so she can have it.

 

jmho,

Georgia

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Again, why the assumption that college must begin the summer after high school? Have you considered a gap year? Having that time off from school to do something else can be very beneficial. Americans are sometimes a little too bent on school, school, school.

 

Have you considered a gap year for your son? There are many opportunities to fill one constructively. Working full time and having a social life around that, traveling, volunteering, maybe taking a vocational program at a technical school to get a job skill that can be used during college. Creating a program within the community (tutoring, theater, gardening, etc...)

 

There are tons of things to do. Why force every year to be full of school? Give the kids the option to graduate on track and on time if they deserve too, you can accomplish a lot in CC also if you both feel that they just must be in school, but I would discourage holding them back artificially.

 

In this case, he'll still have work to do that last year after his friends leave. If you were talking about my oldest, we could have considered doing a gap year instead of doubling up, but with my younger child, no. He can have a gap year after that I suppose if he wants. To be honest, I see him going to Brazil and living as a fishing bum for a while (he has asked to learn Portuguese for just this purpose).

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The area of potential problem I see for shifting an 11yo is the grade-level of most friends, and if DS is involved in grade-dependent activities (sports, Sunday School, clubs, etc.), where all his friends would advance a grade and he would not. BUT... since most of his friends are younger, this doesn't look to be much of a problem.

 

Would DS see this as a trauma -- "I'm being held back!" Or, would he even notice? If it would not be a big emotional stressor to your DS, then it seems to me that it would be all to the good. More time to allow emotional growth in his time table. More time to enjoy him! ;) More time to allow him to explore his interests, both with coursework and in extracurriculars. Let's him have the maturity to be able to be a leader rather than always feeling anxious and not ready to participate.

 

Definitely have DS work at his academic level. Keep good records of grade 8 especially, as you may find down the line that circumstances and DS all work out for the best to graduate at that younger age, and you would then count grade 8 as grade 9 on the transcripts. Or, you can do what some friends of ours are doing with their son who is actually finishing his high school classes this year at age 16yo, but they will have him go next year full time at the community college as dual enrollment to take advantage of the coursework that is free for dual enrollment, plus get a jump on some of his college while still living at home and having the emotional support for being so young.

 

Just my 2 cents worth! BEST of luck, whatever you decide! Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

Currently my ds's activities are age dependent, not grade dependent, so nothing would change in that regard. I think he would actually gain a year of tennis team eligibility (club sport, not school sport), all though that won't be a factor in our decision.

 

I appreciate the suggestion to keep good records in 8th grade to leave open the possibility of that becoming his 9th grade year later on. I hadn't considered that possibility.

 

The one thing I do worry about is how my ds will react. He could definitely view this as a failing on his part, even though we would explain that really it was a correction of a decision that his father and I made years ago. This is the only potential negative outcome I have gleaned so far from everyone's responses.

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Greta, you know my boy has a b-day close to your boy's, and I've pre-emptively decided to call him by the lower grade. He's K3 this year doing the MFW K5, haha. (shrug) I know, like you're saying, that people need time to mature. If your gut is saying put him back, do it. I'm assuming since you posted here it's on your mind, as in your gut is saying it. It's not like you have to, but I think it's always good to listen to your gut.

 

Thanks Elizabeth! Sometimes it's hard to trust your gut when there is a lot at stake. Thankfully I have all you wise women to "talk" things through with me.

 

On another note - I want to pick your brain about the Cornerstone Co-op. I'll PM you.

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I gave each of my boys an extra year. Like the others, I haven't regretted it for a moment. In fact, over the years, I haven't met one person who regretted giving an extra year. But I have met plenty who wished they had. And usually they don't question it until the middle school years when academic and emotional immaturity catch up. It's a tough world out there; I would like my child to have the best opportunity to face it. Really - does it really matter whether the kid is one year older than most? I just recently asked my college-age son what he thought of our decision. He said he was glad we did it. And I had a chance to be with him for an extra year! Yay!

 

There are plenty of people who will question your decision. Do what is best for your family. And don't look back!

 

This is exactly where we now find ourselves. Thank you for the words of encouragement.

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The one thing I do worry about is how my ds will react. He could definitely view this as a failing on his part, even though we would explain that really it was a correction of a decision that his father and I made years ago. This is the only potential negative outcome I have gleaned so far from everyone's responses.

 

My son has an Aug. 29 birthday and state cutoffs here are Sept. 1. I've vacillated a lot between repeating and not. We had decided to redo 5th this year, but now I'm debating it again and we may repeat 6th instead.

 

The way we've talked about it with our son is that this next year is going to be a mostly unschooling year for him. He gets to pick what he studies and how. He'll get 4 days a week for his studies and I get 1 day for my material choices :) Should be an interesting year!

Regardless of whether we repeat, this next year is now his year.

 

That idea... a year of studying what your son wants... may be a really neat draw for him.

 

Best of luck!

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As someone who was held back... it was very hard on me emotionally and socially, and didn't do me any particular favors academically (I wasn't held back for academic reasons). I don't think it's universally a bad idea, but something to approach with great caution.

 

I do think a gap/unschooling year sounds like a reasonable plan, especially if he can possibly attend a high school where he won't be a year behind his former classmates.

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Held back both DS in K. Oldest has summer birthday and needed it for maturity reasons and some academic concerns. He is now 16 and he still tends to be a bit immature for his age in my mind. 2nd son has May b-day and he could have gone either way but we were encouraged to give him the extra year of K because he was having so much fun. He is 12 and he still brings it up sometimes but I tell him we just wanted him to have more fun. I really have no regrets but I am glad we did it when they were little. It would be harder to do it at your son's age. Since you are homeschooling I wouldn't worry about the grade level now. Those boys grow up a lot between 11 and 18:) If academics aren't the problem, just wait and see.

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The one thing I do worry about is how my ds will react. He could definitely view this as a failing on his part, even though we would explain that really it was a correction of a decision that his father and I made years ago. This is the only potential negative outcome I have gleaned so far from everyone's responses.

 

 

 

It's all in the way you phrase it. :) I wish I could find this great past post in which someone was having their DD do a second year of 8th grade, and they had a great name for the second year, that really had the DD excited about it rather than feeling like she had failed, or was being "held back". In fact, you may be better off not saying much at all -- just do the next thing, and if grade levels come up just be very matter-of-fact about taking an extra year so he can have extra high test scores on his high school testing (SAT and ACT), have more advanced coursework on his transcript, and have the possible opportunity to earn some college credit while in high school (dual enrollment, CLEP tests, or AP coursework and tests).

 

Maybe make this next year a special focus year of DS's choice? You could call it Adventure Year. Or Middle School Exploration and Prep. Or call it "part 2" if you are continuing a study of a History or Science topic he is esp. enjoying. Or call the next three years Middle School part 1, part 2, part 3. Whatever you decide, call it something creative and positive to get away from the idea of "holding back" or failing. Because the reality is he WILL be working academically at 7th grade level. DS is NOT a failure NOR is he repeating a grade! It is *YOU,* the parents, who are just choosing to hold off on what you ultimately call this grade until later down the road when you see where he is emotionally and maturity-wise for graduating. :)

 

One last thing to note: you WILL have to make a determination as to what will be 11th grade if you decide to have your DS take the PSAT test with the hope of him scoring high and earning National Merit Scholarship $$. That can ONLY happen in when the PSAT is taken in grade 11 (or rather, grade 11 is the year the test score counts for NMS $$), and once you've declared a year as grade 11 through taking the PSAT, there's no mind-changing. However, you can easily choose to NOT do the PSAT, in which case, you still have your flexibility.

 

BEST of luck! Warmly, Lori D.

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As someone who was held back... it was very hard on me emotionally and socially, and didn't do me any particular favors academically (I wasn't held back for academic reasons). I don't think it's universally a bad idea, but something to approach with great caution.

 

I do think a gap/unschooling year sounds like a reasonable plan, especially if he can possibly attend a high school where he won't be a year behind his former classmates.

 

 

I'm sorry you had such a negative experience. I think being held back can be a difficult thing if you attend school. However, we intend to homeschool all the way through high school.

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Maybe make this next year a special focus year of DS's choice? You could call it Adventure Year. Or Middle School Exploration and Prep. Or call it "part 2" if you are continuing a study of a History or Science topic he is esp. enjoying. Or call the next three years Middle School part 1, part 2, part 3. Whatever you decide, call it something creative and positive to get away from the idea of "holding back" or failing. Because the reality is he WILL be working academically at 7th grade level. DS is NOT a failure NOR is he repeating a grade! It is *YOU,* the parents, who are just choosing to hold off on what you ultimately call this grade until later down the road when you see where he is emotionally and maturity-wise for graduating. :)

 

One last thing to note: you WILL have to make a determination as to what will be 11th grade if you decide to have your DS take the PSAT test with the hope of him scoring high and earning National Merit Scholarship $$. That can ONLY happen in when the PSAT is taken in grade 11 (or rather, grade 11 is the year the test score counts for NMS $$), and once you've declared a year as grade 11 through taking the PSAT, there's no mind-changing. However, you can easily choose to NOT do the PSAT, in which case, you still have your flexibility.

 

BEST of luck! Warmly, Lori D.

 

 

Thank you Lori D. I appreciate your words of wisdom. I especially like the idea of calling the next three years "middle school part 1, 2, and 3".

 

My older ds is a 10th grader, so I am familiar with the PSAT and National Merit Scholarships. That is a reason that we are considering adding the extra year in middle school versus trying to add a year in high school.

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I just wanted to thank everyone for yet another great discussion that helps me so much! My 16 y.o. son was born in late July and I wish I would have given him an extra year during elementary years. I have seen so much improvement in his maturity level and math ability over this past year and I was feeling bad that I felt I needed to push him to "catch up" so he could take the SAT next year -- as a senior... and "behind." After reading this discussion yesterday I spoke to my son, his tutor, his dad and the local HS counselor and all were agreeable with the plan to repeat Junior/11th grade this year. He has not taken PSAT or any other big tests so I am RELIEVED because there is no college tests which record a grade before now. *** I can not tell you how relieved I feel to have made this decision ***

 

My son will still be only 18 when he graduates so I don't see there being any worries on that account. I did present it as "what I should have done years ago because you are younger than most of the kids in your grade." He has been working so hard to finish Algebra (for the 2nd time) and now it is all "clicking." It would have been a shame to attempt to rush him through geometry and then Algebra II unless he was extremely motivated and even then it could have been pretty awful. Now we can take the "normal" amount of time and he has a much greater chance of success without misery. Of course, if he wants to finish early or take more dual-credit courses he always can.

 

Thanks again for all the great discussion!

 

Kristin in Hawaii

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As someone who was held back... it was very hard on me emotionally and socially, and didn't do me any particular favors academically (I wasn't held back for academic reasons). I don't think it's universally a bad idea, but something to approach with great caution.

 

 

 

:grouphug: So sorry it was a negative experience for you. :( Thanks for being willing to share that as a good reminder that there can be "cons" as well as "pros".

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It's something we're already talking about with dd10 - doing 3 years of middle school, before "officially" starting high school, as she is a November birthday, so started K at 4, and is a full year younger than many in her "grade". I threw it out while we were talking about future planning, as a possibility. I framed it as a chance to spend a year following interests before needing to "buckle down" for high school, and worry about transcripts, credits, etc. We've talked about doing the Big History project that year, and completely interest-led literature. And it would give us time for more side-branches in math, Number Theory, Counting & Probability, etc. an extensive Science Fair project, and other things she'd like to do. It's actually something she is excited about, though like I said we won't make a decision till later. Either way, I will keep tight records so that I can retroactively "grade" my years if needed.

 

Just agreeing with pps - it needn't be a negative thing, it can be presented as an opportunity. I would definitely discuss it with the dc and want to have their buy-in for the idea.

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:grouphug: So sorry it was a negative experience for you. :( Thanks for being willing to share that as a good reminder that there can be "cons" as well as "pros".

 

I do think it can be a good option, and I think that a homeschooled child taking an extra year at an age when they have reasonable input into the matter is a whole different thing than my experience (repeating 1st grade), especially since for a homeschooler it can be an expansion, not a repeat. I was young for my grade age-wise (August birthday, in a neighborhood where many people redshirted), but gifted, one of the tallest in my class despite being one of the youngest, and in a small district where I'd be with the same kids for the rest of my time in school - in other words, a lot of reasons for it to be an inappropriate choice.

 

But these discussions where I see people saying it was a wonderful choice for their child always make me wonder how the kid really feels. I suspect my parents would have said the same thing during the first few years, but the emotional impact followed me well into adulthood.

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But these discussions where I see people saying it was a wonderful choice for their child always make me wonder how the kid really feels. I suspect my parents would have said the same thing during the first few years, but the emotional impact followed me well into adulthood.

 

 

 

I am so sorry! :( I can only imagine how that must hurt when it was not your experience.

 

I did ask our older DS (now 20yo) about how he felt about it, and his response was "huh?" (lol) I think that is the combination of being a guy, and being so young; he was only in the kinder class for about 3 weeks when we saw it was not working at all and shifted him. So, again, probably no awareness on his part.

 

What has always been the difficult thing for him is being so small. Even being the oldest for his grade level, he was always among the shortest. And that, as a guy, *IS* emotionally painful, and always will be. You're pretty much stuck with you height. It didn't help anything that his younger brother passed him up when they were about 8yo and 10yo, and has been about 4 inches taller ever since.

 

Perhaps everyone has something they have to wrestle with and learn how to come to terms with.. . :grouphug:

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We decided to have ds repeat 9th grade (he has an end of September birthday). Academically, he is working far above many kids, but he wants to go into computer science/computer engineering. My husband and I felt he would be that much more academically prepared, as well as more mature, if we held him back a year. Our ds was actually fine with it. This will give him the chance to have all AP sciences in high school, as well as a solid math foundation, which will help him be prepared for rigorous studies in college. We made sure when we discussed it with him that we let him know it WAS NOT because he was not doing well with his academics. We also discussed the social temptations at college and felt ds would be better able to handle these if he were a year older. Bottom line is I would follow your "gut instinct". You are his parents and know what the right decision is for your chid.

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We decided to have ds repeat 9th grade (he has an end of September birthday). Academically, he is working far above many kids, but he wants to go into computer science/computer engineering. My husband and I felt he would be that much more academically prepared, as well as more mature, if we held him back a year. Our ds was actually fine with it. This will give him the chance to have all AP sciences in high school, as well as a solid math foundation, which will help him be prepared for rigorous studies in college. We made sure when we discussed it with him that we let him know it WAS NOT because he was not doing well with his academics. We also discussed the social temptations at college and felt ds would be better able to handle these if he were a year older. Bottom line is I would follow your "gut instinct". You are his parents and know what the right decision is for your chid.

 

 

We are leaving open the option as well. It has nothing to do with ability or perhaps even maturity. It has to do with being able to make of this season of life all that Dd wants. She is "finishing 9th grade" now and we have left open for her to choose by next Spring what path to take. For now, she is certain she wants an extra year to do more languages, more theatre, more dance, more music, more math, more history, more writing and more electives generally.

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He has not taken PSAT or any other big tests so I am RELIEVED because there is no college tests which record a grade before now.

 

We adjusted my son's grade level last year and I also worried about the tests he had taken with the College Board. Just in case anyone else is thinking about making a grade adjustment during high school, don't worry about the College Board test records.

 

We were in a similar situation to Kristin last year with my now 16 year old. He was not old enough to apply for a two year academic program and we decided to have him "repeat" his sophomore year this year so he would be eligible to apply to the program. He will now graduate at 18 instead of 17.

 

While the PSAT was not a factor, he had taken an AP exam and two SAT Subject Tests that had a record of his "old" grade level. I called the College Board and explained the situation to them and they went into the test records and simply updated the records to reflect the "new" grade level. It was a very easy process.

 

We are all very happy with the decision to "repeat" 10th grade.

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I have been considering the same with our 12yo ds who is currently labeled a 7th grader. He also has an August birthday. He is quite immature for his age and very small. He is also having a hard time with increased academic expectations. My biggest concern academically for him is reading and writing. He is struggling with WWS and it is like pulling teeth to get him to read. He is doing fine with R&S English and AOPS Pre-Algebra. We have discussed with him about having an extra year before high school and he is all for it. I am hesitant because I would love to see my guys take a gap year and, I know it's silly, but I think our health insurance will drop them once they are 18 and not in school.

 

I would love to know what you decide.

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I am hesitant because I would love to see my guys take a gap year and, I know it's silly, but I think our health insurance will drop them once they are 18 and not in school.

 

I would love to know what you decide.

 

 

I thought with the changes to health care, kids can stay on parent insurance until 26 regardless of educational standings. I could be wrong... and it may change again...

 

Based on a couple of conversations, we're back to continuing to 6th grade next year, then probably repeating 6th.

 

It is nice not to be in this boat alone though! :)

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My brother repeated a grade, and is now an MD/DDS (oral surgeon). He had no difficulties as a result of being held back, though it didn't solve the academic issues and he had to work very, very hard to get where he is now. Overall, it really ended up being the best thing for him.

 

My son also has an August birthday, and is currently an 11 year old 6th grader. We've talked about the possibility that he may not be quite ready for high school when the time comes. He still struggles with writing and spelling, though he's improved a lot this year. If necessary, I'd have no issues with repeating 8th grade before starting him in high school.

 

I wouldn't want to hold him back once he starts high school though. I'd rather do it before that.

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I sort of did this, but I had to pitch it very carefully to my student. Here's what happened:

 

Son is born in early September in VA. Barely makes cut-off if going to PS (we HSed, but this defines who his "age-mates" are). Child is academically ready, so I go ahead and call him K when he is just turning 5. No problemo.

 

Fast-forward about seven years.

 

We have moved to WA. PS cut-off here is in late August (so now, son is one year younger than "age-mates" for corresponding grade, although we are still homeschooling). I realize that this child is engineering-bound, and he will probably also do Running Start. I realize also that this child might possibly be barely turning 16 when starting a very demanding mechanical engineering path in Running Start. Bad idea!

 

So, my son did two "seventh grade" years. Did this affect the level of work he did? Not one iota. It was purely an administrative change, made before I was required to keep a transcript, so it would not appear on his high school record.

 

I stressed to my son that it was not because he was stupid, nor was I actually holding him back in any way other than on paper. His level of schoolwork kept on the same path as before. I explained the difference between the two states, and how it would be much to his advantage to start Running Start when turning 17 instead of 16. We had to have several conversations about it before he was okay with it. But I think it was a good decision. I guess we'll find out in a few years! ; )

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I just wanted to thank everyone for yet another great discussion that helps me so much! My 16 y.o. son was born in late July and I wish I would have given him an extra year during elementary years. I have seen so much improvement in his maturity level and math ability over this past year and I was feeling bad that I felt I needed to push him to "catch up" so he could take the SAT next year -- as a senior... and "behind." After reading this discussion yesterday I spoke to my son, his tutor, his dad and the local HS counselor and all were agreeable with the plan to repeat Junior/11th grade this year. He has not taken PSAT or any other big tests so I am RELIEVED because there is no college tests which record a grade before now. *** I can not tell you how relieved I feel to have made this decision ***

 

 

Thanks again for all the great discussion!

 

Kristin in Hawaii

 

 

I am so glad this thread has helped you. Best of luck to you and your son. :-)

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Just agreeing with pps - it needn't be a negative thing, it can be presented as an opportunity. I would definitely discuss it with the dc and want to have their buy-in for the idea.

 

 

Yes, we definitely want our ds to be on board with this decision. We don't want him to feel like we are forcing the situation on him.

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We decided to have ds repeat 9th grade (he has an end of September birthday). Academically, he is working far above many kids, but he wants to go into computer science/computer engineering. My husband and I felt he would be that much more academically prepared, as well as more mature, if we held him back a year. Our ds was actually fine with it. This will give him the chance to have all AP sciences in high school, as well as a solid math foundation, which will help him be prepared for rigorous studies in college. We made sure when we discussed it with him that we let him know it WAS NOT because he was not doing well with his academics. We also discussed the social temptations at college and felt ds would be better able to handle these if he were a year older. Bottom line is I would follow your "gut instinct". You are his parents and know what the right decision is for your chid.

 

 

Thank you Michelle. It's encouraging to hear that your son was fine with the idea of repeating 9th grade. So far my gut instinct has been that this child needs another year at home. The social temptations at college are a big concern for us as well with regards to this particular child.

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We are leaving open the option as well. It has nothing to do with ability or perhaps even maturity. It has to do with being able to make of this season of life all that Dd wants.

 

 

I like the idea of making this season of life all that ds wants it to be. I think that approach would appeal to him as well.

 

We adjusted my son's grade level last year and I also worried about the tests he had taken with the College Board. Just in case anyone else is thinking about making a grade adjustment during high school, don't worry about the College Board test records.

 

While the PSAT was not a factor, he had taken an AP exam and two SAT Subject Tests that had a record of his "old" grade level. I called the College Board and explained the situation to them and they went into the test records and simply updated the records to reflect the "new" grade level. It was a very easy process.

 

We are all very happy with the decision to "repeat" 10th grade.

 

 

This is good to know. Thank you for sharing. I had assumed that once a grade level was recorded with an organization like the College Board, it would be set in stone.

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So, my son did two "seventh grade" years. Did this affect the level of work he did? Not one iota. It was purely an administrative change, made before I was required to keep a transcript, so it would not appear on his high school record.

 

I stressed to my son that it was not because he was stupid, nor was I actually holding him back in any way other than on paper. His level of schoolwork kept on the same path as before. I explained the difference between the two states, and how it would be much to his advantage to start Running Start when turning 17 instead of 16. We had to have several conversations about it before he was okay with it. But I think it was a good decision. I guess we'll find out in a few years! ; )

 

 

It sounds like you made a great decision for your son. I'd love to know how this works out for him. Maybe we can all come back to this thread a year from now and post updates our personal situations.

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We did it and it was a good decision in our case.

 

I pulled my dss out of school when he was in 4th grade. We went back to 2nd grade level work because he had a lot of holes (except for his ability to read). During our 5th year of homeschooling a variety of family issues and homeschooling issues came into play -- one of which was that dss wasn't doing any school work that year. As a result of the issues, we sent him to public school and he repeated 8th grade (well not really because his 8th grade year at home was incomplete). He went in with a neighborhood friend who is his same age. DSS, his mom and stepdad and his dad and I all agreed it was the right place for him. It was a team decision.

 

After transferring to a private school he graduated high school and did wonderfully well. At the time he wasn't ready for college so he took a year off, worked at walmart and basically tried to see if he could make his millions (LOL) without going to college. Needless to say he needed a plan.

 

Now he's at college (art school) getting ready to finish his 1st year and he's doing really well and is really happy. Yes, he's a couple years older than some of his classmates but by far not the oldest.

 

So, we did the holding back thing and the gap year and it worked out well.

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I want to say a HUGE thank you to all the moms who have been there, done that, and took the time to share your experiences with me. It is so encouraging to know that other parents have made similar choices for their children and not regretted it.

 

And I appreciate all the helpful suggestions for ways to approach this with our son. It is so important to us that our son not view this as a failing on his part, but as an opportunity to be better prepared for all that college has to offer.

 

When my husband and I make a final decision, I'll come back and let you know what we decided. Best wishes to all of you and your children.

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My dd started school when she was 4 because of her October birthday. At the time, she was more than ready. Now she is 14 and struggles a lot with math. We are opting for 4 to 5 year high school. It allows more time for gymnastics, travel and eventually a part time job. We graduated our oldest on schedule because he started out in public school and was set on a course. He was fine with it, but in hindsight... There really was no reason to rush through it. They will be grown and leave home soon enough. When they are I. College, they will be with lots of different ages, so it doesn't really matter if they are 18 in their first year of college.

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