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Help! How to "repeat 7th grade"


RHmama
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Hello, I'm new to this website. My son recently finished 7th grade and did very well academically, in advanced classes. However, he has an early summer birthday and is younger, physically smaller, and emotionally not as developed as his classmates, especially those on his basketball and football teams. We are considering having him "repeat" 7th grade via home school or online, and have him re-enter public school as an 8th grader in 2016. Looking back, of course, we would have started him in kindergarten later, but now here we are. Because his grades have been As, I'm having a hard time finding a school that will enroll him as a 7th grader. I only want him to repeat a couple of classes to keep his brain fresh (ie, Algebra 1), so that he stays on track when he eventually goes back to PS. I'd like him to take art, writing courses, etc. How do I do this?! Thank you!!!

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What are the regulations in your state for home education?  Does he have to take particular classes, or pass exams at the end of the year?

 

Another thing to think about: puberty.  I have two sons, one of whom went into puberty early and one late.  The later one has a May birthday.  There was a period there when he seemed to be completely out of synch with the other boys.  Now things are evening out a bit.

 

You also need to think about your plan for holding a bright kid back academically: that can create problems.  It sounds as if he is ready to go into 8th grade now, academically, so he may well be bored doing the same in a year's time.

 

Just some things to think about....

 

L

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I wouldn't have him repeat any classes he did well in and understood the material.  Just move on to the next thing.  Call it 7th grade for your purposes, but go ahead and advance his academics.  You can deal with his specific placement in ps when the time comes.

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Thank you for your response! I truly have no idea what the home school regulations are (California), or even where to start!! I'm completely brand new to this. My son has a late May birthday as well...and is very active in sports. But most of the kids he plays with in his current grade are 9-12 months older and the difference is really apparent. That is a big part of our decision (no judgement out there, please!). Not "just" for sports, but for everything (other than grades). Socially, emotionally, and physically. I'd probably want to have him repeat math to keep his brain fresh but also take courses not currently offered in his public school to challenge him as well.

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The California Homeschool laws are described on this page.  That would probably be a good place to start before making other decisions:

 

https://www.hslda.org/laws/default.asp?State=CA

 

If the laws allow, I think you could go with a framework of English and Maths (using different curricula to those used in school, but which will keep those subjects fresh) whilst having a lot of fun with going deeply into the areas that he is interested in.  I'd follow your child for the year.

 

A good place to start would be by getting hold of a copy of The Well Trained Mind.  Look up ideas for 7th and 8th grade, pick an English and Maths course that appeals to you, then have a look at all the other ideas that are on offer there.

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How does he feel about this plan?

 

It sounds like this is more about emotional maturity and sports than academics. I wouldn't do an online school. That would just waste his year if you have him repeat 7th grade materials all over again. If you can homeschool and have the will to do it, I'd do that. And since you know it's temporary, other than maybe keeping up his math, I'd try to make it a really outside the box year. He's bright, you know he's capable so a year doing some different thinking might be really good for him. What creative projects might you do together? What experiences might be have volunteering? What would he like to learn about that he won't have the chance or time to learn in school? 

 

Or... you might consider just letting him go back to school and finishing middle school with his peers. Maybe having a "gap year" would be better before high school? Or maybe he really isn't going to need it. You don't want to plan as if he's going to be a sports star. Very few kids can really have that path. And if he's decent, he'll continue to be able to play, which is really the main thing, right?

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I'm in CA.

 

One of the things to know about this state is that kids enter high school with a tremendous range of math, science, and foreign language levels.  So I wouldn't worry too much about grade level.  I would just teach the next level up, and then reenter school with the achievement level in place rather than the grade level.  Also, I would suggest not going back at 8th grade, but at 9th grade (high school.)  That's when the differences in achievement really pan out.

 

Also, color me confused as to whether holding him back because he is 'young' is really a good idea at all.  It sounds like his academic achievements support staying at the grade level he is at right now.  You could really mess him up by boring him to death or demotivating him by making him repeat material that he has clearly already mastered--and for what?  Honestly, I suggest that you teach the next level next year, and then at the end of the year reevaluate whether to send him on to high school or not.  Leave yourself the option of doing so.

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Hello, I'm new to this website. My son recently finished 7th grade and did very well academically, in advanced classes. However, he has an early summer birthday and is younger, physically smaller, and emotionally not as developed as his classmates, especially those on his basketball and football teams. We are considering having him "repeat" 7th grade via home school or online, and have him re-enter public school as an 8th grader in 2016. Looking back, of course, we would have started him in kindergarten later, but now here we are. Because his grades have been As, I'm having a hard time finding a school that will enroll him as a 7th grader. I only want him to repeat a couple of classes to keep his brain fresh (ie, Algebra 1), so that he stays on track when he eventually goes back to PS. I'd like him to take art, writing courses, etc. How do I do this?! Thank you!!!

 

As someone who has an "early" summer birthday, married to someone who has a September birthday and grew up in a state with a December cut-off, I would encourage you not to try to make him repeat anything. We are both thankful that it never occurred to anyone to hold us back or make us repeat just because of our birthdays.

 

The primary reason to NOT make him repeat, of course, is that he is old enough to know that you are making him repeat a grade for no reason other than the fact that at 12yo, he is, well, 12. You cannot know how he will be when he is 14 and officially high school age. He is doing well academically; don't punish him by making him repeat anything.

 

Kudos to the schools who refuse to make him repeat a grade.

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Random thoughts from someone who would also not have him repeat an academic grade for physical and emotional reasons...

 

If you keep him on his current path (in homeschooling or public school), and you find that he is emotionally not ready for college when he graduates, he can take a gap year or live at home and attend community college.

 

Also, many boys have a huge growth spurt in middle school ages.   The size will equal out soon enough over time.  And looking at your family, how tall are you and dh?  Genetics will determine his eventual height, of course.  Or he could be a late-bloomer and not get his height until mid high school or later, in which case holding him back in 7th grade would be pretty fruitless.  My dh grew several inches in college.  I have two boys, ages 12 and 14, and their friends/peers have a very wide range height and size depending on where they are in the puberty journey and what their genetics are.  My guys are also basketball players, and size is much less relevant if a kid has skill.  Height is a great equalizer for a kid who lacks skills or natural abilities, but a short kid with basketball skills will not be significantly disadvantaged at the middle school stage of the game.  (or really any stage)  We follow the Dallas Mavericks, and some of their players through the years have been my height or shorter (I'm 5'10".)  If he can shoot, he can be a great point guard without any height.

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I won't bore you with the details, but in our school system, children canNOT be retained if they are academically on track, full stop.  I went through this twice and was at the point where I would've had to hire an attorney in order to get them to hold back a child who was OK academically but struggling socially, was immature, and could expect a 2-3 year delay in puberty due to hormonal issues.

 

In the end, we opted to move away from PS entirely, but I know that's not an option for everyone.

 

I would just be sure that what you're planning to do is actually a workable plan in the framework of your school system, and if you're told that this won't be an issue, I would get it all in writing.

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I am also in California. The cutoff was Dec 2nd when your son entered K. My district would go hard on the actual grade your child would be in when he returns to the same PS district (assuming you are not moving house). Retaining required at least one teacher recommendation and parent consent and kid failing the state tests (below basic or whatever the new state tests calls it).

 

Private high schools won't be an issue. When I asked, all the high schools we toured want a transcript just for information and the child to take placement tests or start at the beginning.

 

The homeschooling PSA is easy to fill up and no annual testing required. If my kids go back at middle school age, my district won't ask for anything and just put them back by birthdate.

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I had a struggling kiddo that we were homeschooling through a charter program in CA. It was practically impossible to hold him back, even thought he was having a really hard time keeping up with the work. You may have trouble having him re-enter school a grade behind, without substantial documented proof that he was failing. Since he wasn't, they may not allow it. 

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As someone who has an "early" summer birthday, married to someone who has a September birthday and grew up in a state with a December cut-off, I would encourage you not to try to make him repeat anything. We are both thankful that it never occurred to anyone to hold us back or make us repeat just because of our birthdays.

 

I totally agree with this. My three older kids all have summer/fall birthdays, and I would not have held them back academically so they'd be physically larger for their sports teams. Academics are more important than sports. My middle two children both play sports for the local public high school, because I live in a state that allows homeschoolers to participate in public high school sports. My son has an August birthday. There was a time when I was worried about him being smaller and less socially mature, but he made huge leaps over the last year (and grew 7 inches) and I'm now very glad that I didn't bother holding him back.

 

Consider also that If your son leaves public school, then goes back a year later and is a grade lower than his former classmates, that may cause more psychological and social damage as kids would know that he repeated a grade. He might also be academically frustrated and bored by having to mark time for a year.

 

Unless there are academic reasons to hold back a middle school or high school student, I personally wouldn't do it.

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Practically speaking, if she does the private school option, calls this 8th grade and then says he failed, then shouldn't they have to take her word and readmit him as an 8th grader the following year? Of course, I'm not in California so I could be wrong. And I would lean against having him repeat anyway.

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Practically speaking, if she does the private school option, calls this 8th grade and then says he failed, then shouldn't they have to take her word and readmit him as an 8th grader the following year?

 

Nope. They will test the child. Besides the district has his 6th & 7th grade records.

 

If he was on medical leave for a year due to serious illness, then it is different but the district might still test to see how behind the child really is.

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If I homeschool him in 7th grade courses and designate him as a 7th grader, doesn't the school have to admit him as an 8th grader the following year since he hadn't taken any 8th grade classes? I should state that I am not totally on board with this. But I promised my husband that I'd remain open minded and thoroughly explore all options. Many people in our area have held their boys back specifically for sports, but they may not have had the grades my son has. I didn't realize how common it was until we got closer and closer to high school and realized that the kids in his grade were so much bigger than him. Then we found out many of them are almost a full year older than him. Many of them started kindergarten at age 6, but several repeated 7th by going to a private Christian school for one year and then going back to public school. I'm looking for a secular option. He's also been under a tremendous amount of pressure the past couple of years and it has taken a toll on him. So I'm just trying to figure out how people do it. Thanks for all the help here. I know many of you don't agree with this and I don't want to go into our whole life story, but we do have reasons other than "just for sports." Thank you all -- keep the suggestions coming!

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Nope. They will test the child. Besides the district has his 6th & 7th grade records.

 

If he was on medical leave for a year due to serious illness, then it is different but the district might still test to see how behind the child really is.

 

Really? I was hoping to retain my younger boy with a fall birthday. He entered school as an extremely immature 4 year old. We were stupid. We thought just because he could read, he was ready. If he were starting K now, he would not have qualified to enter with new cut offs. 

 

I am still hoping to somehow retain him. 

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Nope. They will test the child. Besides the district has his 6th & 7th grade records.

 

If he was on medical leave for a year due to serious illness, then it is different but the district might still test to see how behind the child really is.

 

In many states they would let a student who was homeschooled start over high school though, which is why I thought post 8th grade might make more sense anyway for a "gap year." That's certainly the case in Virginia - even if you're a homeschooled senior, they kick you back to freshman if you start public school. But, again, not saying that's what the OP should do... if she feels school isn't serving him or he could get something out of homeschooling, she should homeschool him for that reason primarily. The grade issue shouldn't be the driving force, especially not if sports is the main reason for it.

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Even if you were to homeschool and declare this to be 7th grade again, if he passed Algebra I well enough the first time, I would move on to Algebra II or Geometry, depending on the sequence your district follows.  Math is the most common thing to accelerate, so while he'd be young in his math class the following year, it would be far better than repeating Algebra I...unless he's really weak in Algebra, re-doing a year will likely cause him to tune out due to boredom, and that could defeat your idea of keeping it fresh. 

 

If he is really weak in Algebra specifically, I would look for a curriculum that teaches in a significantly different manner, so that it's still at least partially a new approach.

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Really? I was hoping to retain my younger boy with a fall birthday.

Your son has never been to public school right? OP's son was in school so they have a history of his test scores from 2nd grade STAR testing and end of year testing onwards to end of 7th grade. Assuming her son has always done very well, it is harder for the district to believe he fail 8th grade horribly or that there is an academic reason to repeat 7th.

 

My district has my kids transcripts from K until 4th. I can "fake" a little about what he did after 4th grade but the fact that my DS10 did algebra 1 and earth science in 4th is in his records.

 

It's really YMMV per district. Also my district superintendent has changed twice in 4 years. No policy changes though so far.

 

ETA:

Entering high school late a year would be easy. It's the k-8 portion that my district is rigid about.

 

Which year are you thinking of your child entering public school?

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I'm in CA and from my understanding of your goals and how things work here, I think you would need to commit to 2 years of homeschooling and then let him start at 14 in 9th grade. Here private school students transferring to public schools(and homeschooled kids are looked at as private school kids, unless you do a charter school) are put in by age. Some districts will look at a private school record to consider placement, some won't. Many districts will put a kid back in 9th grade even if they already completed 9th as far as I have heard. So lots of parents here make the decision after 8th whether to continue HSing or go to public school.

So file this fall (Oct 1st) with state of CA as having 1 7th grader, then next year, do 8th grade. Then he could return to public in fall of 2017. This would also eliminate the issue with prior classmates being a year ahead as it would be a new school, most likely with more than one junior high feeding into it.

Do not use a charter as in CA that is the same as public school and they would go by the school records he already has.

I would still challenge him a bit. Did he complete Alg I? If you don't want to go on to Alg 2 or Geo, try a more challenging math program, maybe AOPS (just check here on the board, lots of info on it).

Come up with a list of lit books he would like to read. This year my son and I are going to read through some classic sci-fi for lit. There are lots of interesting topics he could study that usually don't get a lot of time in PS. We are doing an intense geography year (DS is using this text along with some fiction, mapping , notebooking and tagging along with the littles for crafts/read alouds).

Maybe he would like to spend some time on programming? Java? 

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He's also been under a tremendous amount of pressure the past couple of years and it has taken a toll on him.

Do you have a psych report that recommends retaining assuming that it is bad enough to see a psych. The fact that your son's academic grades in advanced classes are good makes it hard to justify retaining other than on medical grounds.

 

My local district assigns each child a student ID that follows them until 12th grade. If yours doesn't than you might be able to use CAVA for a year of relaxed 7th grade schooling then go back to PS in 8th with only CAVA's transcript.

 

It really might be easier to take a gap year after 8th and enter back in 9th grade a year late.

 

ETA:

CAVA didn't look at my boy's records when we put him in CAVA in 2nd grade. He was in the local public school for K and 1st. My district on the other hand did scrutinise the transcripts from CAVA when we applied for open enrollment last year.

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If I really felt concerned about him despite the good grades, I'd pull him to homeschool now (filing as private), do the next level up in everything, and then decide next spring whether to re-enroll him with his peers or homeschool for one more year and put him in as a freshman for a clean start. I would also consider whether I had specific plans to help him develop maturity.

 

While I'm happy to have graduated at 17, I do think there should be some flexibility on the part of the school district to retain at the parents' discretion, especially if you have reason to believe the grading at the school is too easy and an extra year will actually help him catch up in maturity (i.e., he is already as mature as age-mates a grade below and it's not a personality thing). But remember that it costs them $$$$ to keep a kid for an extra year, so it's prudent for them to decline to retain anyone who doesn't obviously need it for academics.

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Your son has never been to public school right? OP's son was in school so they have a history of his test scores from 2nd grade STAR testing and end of year testing onwards to end of 7th grade. Assuming her son has always done very well, it is harder for the district to believe he fail 8th grade horribly or that there is an academic reason to repeat 7th.

 

My district has my kids transcripts from K until 4th. I can "fake" a little about what he did after 4th grade but the fact that my DS10 did algebra 1 and earth science in 4th is in his records.

 

It's really YMMV per district. Also my district superintendent has changed twice in 4 years. No policy changes though so far.

 

ETA:

Entering high school late a year would be easy. It's the k-8 portion that my district is rigid about.

 

Which year are you thinking of your child entering public school?

 

He has been in K and 1st grade. Now he is with a public charter. Maybe I should take him out of the charter and retain at home? 

 

Waiting for HS is a good option also.

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He has been in K and 1st grade. Now he is with a public charter. Maybe I should take him out of the charter and retain at home? 

 

Waiting for HS is a good option also.

 

That's the homeschool way, right? Just chill and let it sort itself out in high school. :D (I say this with great appreciation for this approach.)

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I'm hearing everything you are all saying. He doesn't have a "psych test." He has always been in public school, and he has "advanced" test scores, including GATE, going back to 2nd grade. And he completed Algebra 1 in 7th grade with an A. But how could the public school NOT admit him as an 8th grader, if he hasn't had 8th grade classes yet?! (Outside of the Algebra 1, which is 7/8 at our school). I'd want him to follow his current math trajectory and go into Geometry in 8th grade. This is the year we have to do it - from what I understand, he can't do this after 8th grade due to CIF regulations for sports. And yes, he is a good athlete - and has always been fine until this past year, when all the kids who started kindergarten at age 6 hit puberty and grew, and it's simply not a level playing field anymore. That one year makes a huge difference in their athleticism, whereas my kid is still growing into his body. I really want to have to explain our personal situation further and trust me, I am seeing all sides of this situation. We are currently a house divided, with my son unsure. I'm mainly looking for where to get official answers - who to call, etc. I'm not sure we can do homeschool for 2 years as there is a strong possibility I may have to go back to work after this coming school year. I don't want him to strictly repeat his 7th grade courses - I want him to focus more on creative writing, art, and sciences. Thanks again.

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He has been in K and 1st grade. Now he is with a public charter. Maybe I should take him out of the charter and retain at home?

 

Waiting for HS is a good option also.

If he is happy at the charter, I would leave him be. I would homeschool 9th grade in your scenario then put your child in 9th grade in PS. So doing 9th grade twice.

 

We stop charter last year because it was no longer a good fit for my boys or we would have continued. I was surprised my district looked at their CAVA transcripts which they asked and received direct from CAVA.

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RHMama, it sounds like what everyone is saying is that California has a general policy of keeping kids K-8 on their grade track. I'd talk to your middle school principal and see what s/he says and get it signed in writing. However, I guess we're saying it doesn't look that good.

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And I'll add... I don't know if this is exactly what's going on... but sports cut offs have to be somewhere. If your ds's birthday is in May and the cutoff is September then he ought to be older than between a quarter to a third of the other kids. Yes, that's the younger end, but it's not the youngest. It seems to me that you're trying to use homeschooling to give your kid an athletic edge. But as a homeschooler, when people do things like that it often makes it much harder for the rest of us by bringing down rules on all of us - it makes it harder for us to to form teams for things (for example, Science Olympiad has rules to try and bust up homeschool teams that are so strict that they make it nearly impossible for most homeschoolers to be on a team at all) and harder to come back to school and join athletics. 

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My two cents:  you are talking about graduating him a year later from high school so that he can have a more fruitful(?) middle and early high school athletic experience.  I would take a careful look at effects of such a decision in light of long-term priorities.  Are you hoping he'll play in college?

 

I have a couple of rising 7th grade boys. One is starting to grow and the other one is nowhere near puberty.  The starting to grow one is 60 inches and plays lacrosse - up a year - in the spring season with football players in the mix.  He's definitely one of the smallest kids on his team. It would never occur to me to hold him back for grade level as he is at or ahead of grade level academically and athletics are not a priority for us.  Plus, in any event, the club teams here go by age, not grade level.

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Our competitive homeschool basketball league (and all others that I know of, including state and national tournaments for homeschoolers) have strict birthdate cut offs.  To play in the 14U, for instance, you must be 14 or under on September 1st. You can be 12 or 10, for that matter, but not 15.   Some waivers are possible but generally for small teams who would be at a disadvantage with limited players without having a slightly older player on the team.

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Because of the abuse of people "failing" their kids to allow them to play an additional year of elementary sports, I think you will have a difficult time pulling this off, particularly because of his good grades. If the school allows him to be held back a year, it is likely he will be banned from sports, especially in a competitive district.

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If he is currently in ps and is only pulled for one year won't the ps district just automatically advance him to 9th when he is re-enrolled? We're in a different state - dd was in ps for 6th (only part of the year) came back home for 7,8 and 9 and then decided ps was best for the rest  high school. When we went back to the district there was no question of grade. They automatically put her in 10th based on her previous ps record. I would think with a student who has a strong academic record it will be a hard sell trying to get the ps to go with 8th when they 'know' he should be in 9th. 

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You should probably track down the local people whom you know to have done this and inquire further about where/how.  It may be that their children were actually failing, and this was simply a more socially acceptable reason to spread around.  Or, it may be that you'll have to use the same Christian school they did, and live in the same district, and hope policy hasn't changed.

 

Your son's athletic skills may also suffer from having a year off, depending on whether there's enough of a private/homeschool team for him to keep playing competitively during such a year.  Definitely ask the people who've been there whether they know the eligibility rules for K-8 and for high school, just to make sure this wouldn't mess him up.  You can probably google such rules on an official website somewhere, though I imagine it's very dull reading to plow through.

 

In any case, if you can get confirmation from someone local who has gone before you, and your dh strongly wants to do this, I would run it by your son before proceeding.  The last thing you want is to face resentment and resistance all year from going ahead with a plan he himself doesn't want, if he feels that it would be too boring, too embarrassing, or otherwise detrimental. 

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I don't see how the district could automatically place him in 9th when he hasn't taken any 8th grade classes. As for the sports teams, most of the travel teams are feeder teams into high school programs and are therefore by grade, not age. I'm not "failing" him for sports. Remember at the beginning of this thread when I asked for no judgement?? And how I said sports were only part of the equation?! I'd be enhancing by having him take 7th grade classes that are different than the classes he already took. The district would then get $$$ for 8th and 9th grade. I don't mean to demean or minimize what any of you are doing with your own kids. Most of the people I know who did it went to a Christian school that is partial homeschool and not an option for us for personal reasons. Others held their kids from starting kindergarten at age 5, and started them at age 6. It seems it is a growing trend that we didn't consider when we started him in kinder at 5. Thank you all for your input.

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Guest CarolinaBlue

In my area, this is an accepted practice, but usually, only when returning to school at a private school. It is called reclassifying. Actually, at the private my oldest DS attends, repeating 8th for a lengthy list of reasons is accepted. There are meeting held to discuss, but many just enroll at the school as a new 8th grader from PS with the school in full knowledge of the reclassification. Obviously, there are many differing opinions on this subject.

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The public district gets new kids every year who have moved in from other states, other countries, other districts, even ex-homeschoolers or private schoolers who had a poor educational experience. 

 

There is a strong body of evidence against holding children back a year for academic reasons once they've begun school.  I believe it even applies to children held back in kindergarten (not starting kindergarten late, mind you, but those asked to repeat K or asked to attend a transitional program between K and 1st, though the transitional programs may be a good compromise to bridge the gap...I haven't read enough of the research on those.)  Mostly, the research has focused on academically struggling children and concluded that retention doesn't effectively remediate most deficits, and most children feel acutely bored and acutely embarrassed by being older.  The low self-esteem that results from having completely failed and being forced to start over can even go so far as to increase the risk of several negative outcomes, such as involvement in the juvenile justice system, cutting class, continuing to fail, dropping out of school entirely, etc.

 

Therefore, most schools will do everything in their power to promote students to the next grade, offering tutoring and summer school and so forth.  At the high school level, that may even include promoting the student on paper, but still requiring the failed classes to be retaken if it's something topical like science or math. This policy against retaining students then leads to the creation of policy to resist placing students below their normal grade level by age.  It is ILLEGAL in many states, for example, to place a brand new ex-homeschooler or ESL immigrant into a grade more than a year below their age peers, even if they have had NO prior schooling at all, because it has been shown to result in such poor outcomes in terms of social/emotional effects which then hamper academics...it has generally been shown to be best to put students in their grade by age and just help them survive catching up.

 

So, I'm not saying this judgmentally at all, but just practically speaking, even though that research might not apply to your son given that he doesn't fit the typical profile of an academically failing student being retained, and even though you feel like it would be illogical for them to insist on 9th grade without your son having taking 8th grade classes, it IS entirely possible for them to insist on re-enrolling him with his age-peers, and just hoping that he will catch up on anything where he might be behind.  They enroll other students with no prior schooling, and they occasionally allow children to accelerate a grade...your argument that he cannot be expected to do 9th grade without having taken 8th grade stands a good chance of falling on deaf ears, because others before him have done just that and survived.  And as you've already illustrated by mentioning that he could simply study different topics for science and history and literature if he were to repeat....nothing in 8th grade is really all that crucial.  He'd still have exposure to a full history cycle and science topics in high school, and they don't assume that anyone has already mastered everything previously. They'd most likely put him in 9th, and just make him switch to the lower math track of taking his next math as a 9th grader instead of 8th grader, and maaaaaybe take 8th grade health if that's the year your school schedules it.

 

If you can commit to homeschooling for the whole year, or can find a secular charter that would accommodate your request, I would advise setting up a meeting with his current guidance counselor and principal to make sure they're okay with this plan to re-enter as an 8th grader.  I'd also try to check with his coaches, if he plays any particular sports, and maybe touch base with the high school coaches/athletic director, in case they know the eligibility rules better.

And this is a lot of work, but, since it's a big decision...I'd try to search for some articles to see whether anyone has studied this trend of red-shirting or granting a gap year in middle school for social or athletic reasons.  Besides google, you could also check the ERIC database if your library has it.  I'd want to know whether outcomes tend to be any more positive than those for academic retention, and I'd want that information in hand before speaking with administrators who may be adamantly opposed.  I have heard positive things, including from guidance counselors, about starting kindergarteners late.  It's just really hard to say whether that still applies at this point.  And beyond discussing that theoretically, most of the specific how-to answers are going to be specific to your district...lining up permission and finding available options...if you decide that it's theoretically best.

 

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Even if he hasn't taken official 8th grade classes, they might still "socially promote" him in order to keep him with his previous peers. I've heard rumors of it being done here (I'm not in CA). Also, since he's already taken algebra and (I assume) other advanced courses, they might decide to simply put him in regular 9th grade classes instead of advanced/GT 8th when he goes back because he wouldn't technically be behind. It's just something to consider, since you said you wanted to know all your options. I'd check with the district and see what they'd do. 

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My son has a late summer birthday and also plays sports.  Ninety-five percent of the kids in the grade he is supposed to be in are older than he is.

 

I actually put him ahead a grade several years ago because he was academically ready for it.  (We school year round.)  I know that this puts him at a disadvantage.  However, on his high school team this makes virtually no difference.  The league he is in is for 7-12 grade.  This past year he was in 10th grade academically, although he should have been in 9th.  He still played with the same kids.

 

He will finish high school when his body is only in 11th grade (and one of the youngest, at that.)  Our current plan is for him to go to a community college and get an associate's degree.  The school doesn't have a baseball team, so he will use those two years for strength training and he will probably make good use of a batting cage.  If all goes according to plan, he will finish his associate's degree when he is 18 -- the age of most college freshmen.

 

We hope that he will be able to move on to a 4-year college as a junior, and use his 4 years of NCAA eligibility to finish his bachelor's and get a good start on a Master's.

 

We don't know if that plan will work yet, but it is perhaps another option for you.

 

Best wishes to you as you try to make the best choices for your son.

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I don't see how on earth the middle school would socially promote him to 9th grade - he would then be a year behind academically. My husband is an early fall birthday and he skipped a grade because he was "ready" - and he and his parents regret it. He was 16 when he graduated, and had a late growth spurt and was unable to play the sports he was interested in. So he may be hypersensitive to my son's situation and trying to prevent him from the way he felt in high school, being so young in his school year.

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There are no prerequisites for high school except for math. Your son has done algebra 1 in 7th grade in school.

 

For my local high schools

Faster track: algebra 1 (7th), geometry (8th)

Normal track: algebra 1 (8th), geometry (9th)

 

So if your son do geometry in 2015/16, he would have completed 8th grade math according to the faster track. If your son revise algebra 1 for 2015/16 and did not do geometry, then he would be on track according to the normal track.

 

If every child in your district does geometry by 8th grade and your child did not do geometry this coming school year, he may be allowed to repeat 8th or he may end up doing geometry the following summer (2017) under credit recovery. Only people in your district who has BTDT can tell you your chances of the district going along with your plan.

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You should ask the principal/guidance counselor directly what their policy is.  Even if you can't see them doing that, we're telling you that some districts will.  Better to know for sure before making an irrevocable decision.  Maybe they'll reassure you that of course they'd place him in 8th grade.  Or maybe they'll be firm on 9th grade no matter what your objections.  It REALLY depends on who has the local decision-making power, what the local culture is, etc.

 

Ask beforehand instead of assuming.

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I don't see how on earth the middle school would socially promote him to 9th grade - he would then be a year behind academically. My husband is an early fall birthday and he skipped a grade because he was "ready" - and he and his parents regret it. He was 16 when he graduated, and had a late growth spurt and was unable to play the sports he was interested in. So he may be hypersensitive to my son's situation and trying to prevent him from the way he felt in high school, being so young in his school year.

 

I guess some of this would depend on the sport/position.  My ds plays catcher for his baseball team.  Height is not so much a factor for this as it would be for some other sports.  

 

I'm sorry that your dh had a bad experience with graduating early.

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I don't see how the district could automatically place him in 9th when he hasn't taken any 8th grade classes. As for the sports teams, most of the travel teams are feeder teams into high school programs and are therefore by grade, not age. I'm not "failing" him for sports. Remember at the beginning of this thread when I asked for no judgement?? And how I said sports were only part of the equation?! I'd be enhancing by having him take 7th grade classes that are different than the classes he already took. The district would then get $$$ for 8th and 9th grade. I don't mean to demean or minimize what any of you are doing with your own kids. Most of the people I know who did it went to a Christian school that is partial homeschool and not an option for us for personal reasons. Others held their kids from starting kindergarten at age 5, and started them at age 6. It seems it is a growing trend that we didn't consider when we started him in kinder at 5. Thank you all for your input.

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Because high school is based on credits rather than years attending school. Most 8th grade courses do not count as high school credit unless the student is accelerated. Your son is already advanced in math, so he will not be behind even if you homeschool a year and don't do any math. As long as he can read and write, there is nothing magical about courses that may be called 8th grade Language Arts, social studies, or even science. Think of it this way, a child moving to your state who is in eight grade does not have to go back and retake 7th grade social studies even though what he took was called world history and your state has California history in 7th grade (making that up. I don't know what the real requirements are in your state). If that child was moving to a new state at the beginning of 9th grade, he does not have to go back and retake 8th grade science even if it was different science topic than his previos state or take 8th grade langiuage arts because he didn't read the same books. however, the rules change after 9th grade. If state history is a graduation requirement in California, then he will have. To go back and take that course even if he is in 11th grade and everyone else takes it in 9th grade.

 

So if you home schooled your son, in public school eyes that will be his 8th grade year. It does not matter if the public school reads different novels, or studies American history instead on anchient history, or does earth science instead of environmental science. it is all still 8th grade.

It sounds like people get around that by enrolling in the private school. I would guess that is because ths students are actually repeating all the 7th grade curriculum that is required at that school, and records at the end of the year will indicate that the student is to go in to 8th grade the following year.

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I don't see how on earth the middle school would socially promote him to 9th grade - he would then be a year behind academically. My husband is an early fall birthday and he skipped a grade because he was "ready" - and he and his parents regret it. He was 16 when he graduated, and had a late growth spurt and was unable to play the sports he was interested in. So he may be hypersensitive to my son's situation and trying to prevent him from the way he felt in high school, being so young in his school year.

Because middle school classes are not needed to go to high school. They are not pre requisites (except maybe math, but even then you have kids entering high school taking alg 1 as freshmen). Look at what classes your son would be taking in 8th grade at his current middle school. Then ask yourself which of those classes he would absolutely need as pre reqs for high school. The answer is none. You can ask the district, but I suspect they would look at his records, see he completed 7th grade successfully, was homeschooled for 8th grade (regardless of what classes he took) and would pave him in 9th.

 

It would make much more sense to take the gap year after 8th, because you could then enroll him as a freshman if he has no high school credits.

 

As someone who started k at 4 with an oct birthday and went through hell in middle school, he has my sympathies. But I just kept plugging away and had a fantastic jr and sr year of high school and my age didn't matter by then.

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I don't see how on earth the middle school would socially promote him to 9th grade - he would then be a year behind academically.

 

Well, here's the thing.  Whether or not it makes sense to YOU that a child would go into 9th if they've taken no 8th grade classes, regardless of age...you need to make sure that the district's policies will support that.

 

Schools make all kinds of policies, and how logical they seem to parents isn't always their top priority.

In this thread, I see a ton of people saying, "This is unlikely to happen because school policies usually prevent it."  And you keep replying, "But it doesn't make any sense, therefore it must not be so."  Well, the problem is that whether or not it makes sense, it still might be so.  That is why so many people are saying that you must get IN WRITING confirmation from the school that they will put him into the grade you want them to.  Otherwise, you may proceed on the basis of what makes sense to you, and find that the school policies are still rigid next year.  They may well expect your son to just cope without the "pre-requisites", and struggle along in 9th anyway, because that is where the age cut-off falls.

 

So, to repeat: find out the policies.  Because whether they are logical or not, your son will likely be required to abide by them.

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It may not make sense, but little the schools decide to do makes sense. Children here get pushed ahead grade by grade whether they are ready or not. 3 high school teachers I know personally have resigned their positions because they had failing students (one in math, one in science, and one in history) and were told by the principal to give a passing grade. This was between 2 different districts. The science teacher tried to take a stand and refuse to pass, and the principal overrode her grade and passed the student on anyway. My sister is a teacher's aide for a special needs child in a different area. She has been assigned this child since K, next year the child will be a sophmore. The child does not do the school work and does not attend all the days she is supposed to attend. The parents should be reported for truancy since they let the child stay home when she doesn't want to go to school. The school district passes the child from grade to grade year by year no matter how little she learned during the school year.

 

No one is being judgemental, IMO. Please don't take not hearing what you want to hear as criticism. Everyone is just trying to be factual based on their understanding, knowledge, and experiences. I encourage you to the heed the advice to find out from the school authorities what the procedure is for someone who has repeated 7th grade as a homeschooler. I honestly don't remember much new academic material I learned in 8th grade that would have been vital to my high school credits except pre-algebra. It SHOULD be your choice which grade is best for your child given the full picture of all that is going on besides just academics. But the school districts leave little decision power and choices to the parents these days, which is one major reason why we homeschool. I don't like the school deciding where my child should be placed based on age alone.

 

I hope your family is able to come up with the best decision for the long run.

 

ETA, as for the people you know who have worked around the policies by a private school allowing the repeat of a grade even when not academically behind, "Money Talks". Private schools get tuition no matter what grade they place a student. If the student stays in the private school through graduation, that's a win win for the school because they get an extra year of tuition off one student. The school district may get penalized for having students behind a grade based on age cut offs, because it looks like they failed to educate a child. I am not sure a penalty, it's just a hunch and the only sensible explanation for my teacher friends being asked to pass failing students. My guess is it has something to do with "No Child Left Behind." Would be interested to know if my suspicion is correct.

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