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sangtarah

3rd or 4th?

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We called dd8 a third grader at the beginning of the year. She rocked second grade. She hasn’t been doing 3rd grade work because of a vision problem and behavior problems. She is in therapy for her vision. Lately her behavior has been calming down and leveling out. But I can’t push her too hard academically or she’ll break down. Her vision causes daily headaches, also limiting her ability to focus on school.

 

I’ve accepted that she needs to go through the vision therapy before we can push hard on “catching upâ€. But she really wants to be a 4th grader next year. There is a very small chance she could go to public school, and she would not be ready for 4th. I have no problem with her staying with her peers for social things.

 

Would you gently tell her she’s a third grader a bit longer or let her be a fourth grader? I think it’s arbitrary in some ways, but she feels it keenly. And, tbh, grandma doesn’t help - she taught elementary and is very focused on grade levels.

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You can be in fourth grade and working at a 3rd grade level. It's remedial 4th grade. If this is primarily for your daughter to speak to grandma, I'd go for fourth, but perhaps use this as an incentive to gently push a few key math skills over the summer. 'Remember we need to be ready for fourth...'

 

Ultimately grades are meaningless and as they are used in PS, refer mostly to age and curriculum of the average kid, not the curricula used for special needs kids, catch-up kids, or accelerated kids. You can be an accelerated fourth grader reading Schopenhauer or you can say "my nine year old is homeschooling AP Philosophy". Up to you. I personally believe making nana happy is almost always worth it provided I can have my moments at home, lol.

 

 

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Here's your problem. You can *wish* you had more time, but if she's developmentally pretty typical, intellectually pretty typical, socially pretty typical, she's going to buck being held back. Even if your "behavioral" stuff turns out to have a label like ADHD, you're still not going to hold her back for that, even if your Mama heart wants to. Her own drive to mature will make her want to leave the nest anyway. 

 

So no, VT is not a good reason to hold someone back. 3rd grade doesn't matter and there is no worry about catching up. She's continuing to mature. Give her an enriched environment in other ways. Lots of people lose time to VT and it pans out in the wash. We lost time like that with my dd, and it turned out fine. After her VT, she had surges. 

 

I did go through some of that, wishing I could give dd another year just to bloom. There was no holding her back. And for your dc, I guess you have to put a finger on what you're seeing. That's how I would look at it, looking for WHY. For my ds, now that's totally different. He has ASD and he's just plain behind with maturity and development. If I don't grade adjust him at some point, it won't even be safe. He just needs the extra time to develop. And he's already somewhat adjusted because he has a fall b-day, making him at the older end of his grade. For him, it's not a question of whether but just when. We'll adjust him, continue his IEP, continue access to services, because he'll need that bloom time.

 

What do you think is causing the behavior issues? Are you considering psych evals? It's not necessarily a wrong answer, but it might not work out even if you try. You'd need a compelling reason. And really, the nicest time to do that grade adjustment is during periods of transition, like before or at the end of junior high. At that point the writing is on the wall and it's a really clear thing to say hey let's tread water here, adjust a year, and we see what it gets us. But what does it get you NOW if you grade adjust now? Nothing. 

 

The world has not ended because she's doing VT. Watch movies, read to her, talk with her. When is she supposed to finish? If the therapy is taking too long, do more homework or look for retained reflexes.

Edited by PeterPan

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So I need to say this right...

 

â€Dear Grandma, thanks for helping teach dd8 on occasion, but please don’t tell her she can’t be a fourth grader next year because she isn’t doing third grade work very well. Please stop using shame to motivate her to work up to your standards. We are working where she’s at and moving forward as she does.â€

 

What do you think?

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I don't know, if my MIL (bless her soul, rest in peace, no longer with us) were doing something like that, I would have told her straight up *I* decide grade levels and to lay off that talk completely. 

 

That work dynamic doesn't sound very healthy. Does your dd LIKE working with her? Maybe you should just cut it off entirely or limit her to areas that are not your dd's disability since she's being so unsupportive and unkind. 

 

Logical consequences, boundaries. You are the parent, not grandma.

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So you are homeschooling now? I have told both Grandmas to calm down about their talk. I have a grandma who is unsupportive of my kiddos music instruments and so I tell her gently to stay out and focus on other things. She can be a 4th grader if you homeschool. If that is what you called her then that is what it is. There was a girl in my daughter's class who got in a car accident and missed half the year. They didnt hold.her back but her parents had her do summer school to catch up eapecially with writing and math. If behavior and headaches are an issue I would just commit to homeschool for one more year.

 

You have to find a way to work with the behavior. Diane Craft might be a good resource for that but if she goes to school and gets in trouble then that is going to be very detrimental for her self esteem. At this point you probably need some real answers and diagnosis. Don't get hung up on labels about her grade or a diagnosis if you get it. When is her birthday anyway? It most likely the grade thing is only a problem because of grandma. My son had a time where he was writing below grade level. I didn't make a big deal about it I certainly still told him he was still in the grade he was in.

 

For now audio books, oral reports, learning to type, might be good as well if her eyes will allow it. Keep working on math white boards are wonderful for this. Jumping jacks things like that for learning multiplication facts. Rods and tactile models for math also help. Also if she reads ebooks you can magnify them and keep the reading shorter that should help with her vision. Make sure this is not a true reading disablity like dyslexia that can be hidden. Also have her throw darts, basketballs, beanbags at targets, nerf guns, wall ball, teather ball, hopscotch. All those things will strengthen and go along with vision therapy. The best exercise is to put a sticker on the window and have her focus on the sticker and then look and focus at a target far away (over 20 feet) like the neighbors mailbox. Have her do that 10 times 2 times a day. For tracking and convergence you can also have her color in the O's in a newspaper article or go over and under text over if it is a vowel under the rest of the word. The headaches sound concerning make sure the vision therapist knows what that is. Keep track of when it happens. Time her work around her peak performance.

 

Do look up retained reflexes also throw in some balance ball and balance beam work as well as some jumprope. All of those things are developmentally helpful at that age.

Edited by exercise_guru
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