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Keeping a 5 year old boy back a year - would you / should I ?

(24 Posts)
lisalisa Mon 14-Feb-05 11:50:34

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binkie Mon 14-Feb-05 12:12:08

I'm a bit confused!

Are you saying you would like to take him out of year 1 at current school and put him back into reception in old school asap? Meaning eg that back at old school he'd repeat last term of reception, and then continue there, including repeating the two terms of year one he's just done?

Would that mean he'd be rejoining his old school a year behind his friends from last year? Or does it not matter as he's got other friends now in reception there?

OK, anyway: I think it sounds as if repeating might be the right thing for him. The staff at my ds's school (he's also yr 1) are starting to get a bit heavy about it being SATS next year and how yr 2 really is a different challenge. So if you want to let your son have a breathing space now is the time to do it.

coppertop Mon 14-Feb-05 12:15:21

I always find the levels business to be a bit misleading. So much depends on the system the teacher uses for changing books. In some schools the children are given a few different books each week and so will of course get through the levels more quickly. In ds1's class they get one new book a week. It means that their progress through the levels is very slow but IMHO this way allows the words/spellings etc to sink in much better. When ds1 gets a new book he can often read most of the words straightaway and could probably blag his way through the rest by using the pictures to give clues. By the end of the week not only does he know all the words but he is also able to sound them out to me phonetically. It may be that your old school did something similar whereas the current school moves them up more quickly. My guess is that even though he is on a lower level it is likely that he has a better grasp of the basics.

My instinct would be to keep him with his current class. If he's already changed schools once then he is already getting used to a 2nd set of classmates. If he stays behind he'll be on his 3rd set. As he seems so aware of his progress in relation to others he may also realise pretty quickly that the rest of his next class (if he stays down a year) are a lot younger than he is.

Is there any chance of him being able to move back to his old school if that's where you think he did best? If not I would say to keep him with his current classmates. That's only my opinion though and obviously you know him 1,000 times better than I ever could.

lisalisa Mon 14-Feb-05 12:24:04

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binkie Mon 14-Feb-05 12:48:38

It does just sound to me as if repeating might be the right thing for your ds. I can't explain exactly why, and I realise I'm saying the opposite to Coppertop, who I think is usually a dispenser of good advice ... I don't know, I think it's a feeling about confidence & how crucial it is to catch it if it slips.

(A sort of parallel: my ds has always loved his swimming lessons, so I was going to arrange a swimming party for his 6th (April) - told him about it, he said no, he didn't want that. I said oh why, he said, I have to only whisper it - then confessed he's coming last or second-last in all their races - he can swim, he just can't propel himself somehow. Admitting this made him quite wobbly, & me too, and I'm now organising some extra help asap. I hope you see the relevance!)

lisalisa Mon 14-Feb-05 12:53:42

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binkie Mon 14-Feb-05 13:09:47

yes, he's year one - but I think he may not be a good benchmark to be honest - academically he's at top end, so not on reading levels at all any more & school sums are "easy peasy lemonsqueezy"; but we have quite a few articulation & social difficulties - which also means I don't really have a sense of where the rest of his class are at.

How about doing a separate thread in education just on that, for a wider picture?

coppertop Mon 14-Feb-05 13:22:02

It sounds as though Binkie has far more knowledge about this than me. My ds1 is a summer baby but still only 4 so we haven't needed to think about staying back a year.

The one thing I would say is that if I felt it was what he needed then I would keep him back a year.

This will all seem like a long way away but do you know what policies your local secondary schools have about children who have been held back a year? I don't know if they would want him to start with his classmates or with the children who are the same age. The teachers on mumsnet should be able to give you a better idea on this.

meea Mon 14-Feb-05 13:31:13

That's a good point coppertop I am sure that at some point they have to go back with there peer group.
I have 4 children the oldest is 11 and they can suddenly progress almost over night.What does his teacher think about how he is coping have they suggested keeping him down a year.
We are lucky at our school as they have a split y1 rec classs so the children who are struggling at the end of their reception year are kept with the new intake into reception.

ImuststopdrinkingBlossomhill Mon 14-Feb-05 13:35:49

DD is 5 and a half and the baby of the year. her dob being 31st August - the cut off date. Dd has a language disorder and is in a unit with access to mainstream. i pushed for dd to be held down but as she is so bright they didn't want to. So it is something that we are holding back just incase she needs it later on when the language becomes harder for her. She has done really well though!

bee3 Mon 14-Feb-05 13:43:31

Another thing to consider is whether either schools would actually allow you to put him in a class 'out of age' group.

Most don't simply let parents choose, but would consider it on definite SEN grounds, and some won't consider it at all, feeling that it is better to meet a child's needs within the correct year group, rather than 'keep them back'. Does either school have mixed aged classes, as that would be a different matter (maybe a mixed Reception/Y1 would suit him better, or a mixed Y1/Y2 for next year?)

Most LEAs won't allow a late transfer to secondary school, so your ds would need to be moved again at some point before Y6 to be in the correct class for transfer.

Have you talked to either schools? What do they think?

maddiemo Mon 14-Feb-05 13:47:32

I have to say I tend to agree with Coppertop.
You do need to check your LEA and individual school policy on holding children back. My friend held her son back at primary but found he joined secondary at year 8 so if anything he had to work harder to catch up on year 7 work. He also wanted to rejoin his correct age group as he felt different for being held back which probably would not bother a five year old but may be an issue at 11.
My sons have attended 3 different primary schools, one which does hold back especially when a child has sn and is socially immature. The school they currently attend does not hold back. My son has sn and is an old year 1, he is not yet on level 3, if you mean ort type books. However he will not be held back.
I used to read at my sons old school with year 1 and there would be quite a few children only in the very early stages of reading, so don't be too concerned about reading levels. My ds1 left year 2 on ort level 4 but is an age apropriate reader at 12. I remember that many children especially girls seemed to be early high fliers in ds1's year but it did seem to level out as they went through school.

If you feel that unhappiness is affecting his work I would discuss it with the teacher but really think about the upheaval of moving back and how easy he would find it to slot back in.

You do know him best and know if he will cope with the change, it really isn't an easy decision. Would you be able to do two school runs, or would dd have to change back as well?

Good luck

lisalisa Mon 14-Feb-05 15:04:12

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Stilltrue Mon 14-Feb-05 19:29:38

Lisalisa, I recollect that you have other children but I don't know if your ds is your only or your eldest boy.
I have 4, the eldest (ds1) being 11 and a late July birthday. His school didn't use ORT but I can safely say that in yr1 he was certainly a very academically immature little boy; enjoyed books but not the most fluent reader etc., poor concentration, messy writing, you name it ! I remember that with the reading, something "clicked" sometime in year 1 and then there was no stopping him. He then progressed really quickly and was enjoying reading proper books in what seemed to be next to no time.
Your ds sounds as if he is bright and curious about the world around him and ime that's more valuable to him long term than his current reading level.
As to keeping him back, when my ds1 started the nursery attached to the school proper, we had similar worries to yours about our summer born boy, having seen just how much more "skilful" some of the other children were. But we were strongly advised to keep him in the correct peer group, and in spite of some early problems like yours (don't even start me on learning the times tables!)we are glad we did. BTW he was at a private non selective school; not really v.pressured.
I do now have a yr1 child - dd - who I have to say is a very accomplished reader (reads level 12 ORT in minutes), but we are just as laid back about her as we were with ds1, albeit for opposite reasons. I'm sure lots in her class (again a non selective school) will make that reading breakthrough soon. In fact I arrived with dd recently to find the teacher praising another little girl to her mum for doing just that!
Otoh I have a friend whose August born son, bright but immature was kept back a year, when he was about 7. He is now 10 and the senior schools cut off problem is now rearing irs ugly head for her.

I don't always believe in throwing money at these issues, but what about an ed psych assessment? Could the school do this or would you have tp pay?

Doddle Mon 14-Feb-05 19:39:34

lisalisa, i would check with your LEA about their policy on keeping children with their peer group eventually, as at the school where I teach we have a child who has been held back a year and the LEA are making him go straight from year 5 to year 7. So although everyone other than the LEA thinks he should stay with us he has to move on.

jabberwocky Mon 14-Feb-05 19:45:30

lisalisa, haven't had time to read the entire thread so apologize if I'm repeating anything.
Your story so reminds me of dh's experience in school. He was eventually diagnosed with dyslexia (in college!!!) but suffered tremendously in school. He is extremely bright and did finish college, but has such painful memories of school. It sounds like your secret dream idea is what your mother's gut instinct is telling you what is right for your child. DH was very bitter that his mother did not take him out of the school he went to and put him in the smaller village school near where they lived. He was the victim of an American technicality which sent him to the larger school when all of his neighborhood friends went to the smaller one. You say he has a lot of friends that he has known since babyhood at the other school, that means a lot at any age but especially when one is young and not confident of a new environment like school.

charlie95 Mon 14-Feb-05 19:47:17

sorry to but in, without offenidgn you lisalisa, what about dyspraxia - thats something to do with not being able to understand things/work and be able to put down an answer etc...? iyswim.
just a thought when you said he cant understand school work yet theres no behavioural probs.

lisalisa Tue 15-Feb-05 11:08:42

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jabberwocky Tue 15-Feb-05 16:10:30

I think you have absolutely the correct idea about this. At 5 the main point of school IMO should be just getting used to going, socializing, etc. I really disagree with how hard they are pushing children now at such a young age. We will probably homeschool ds for a year or two because of this. I want him to have plenty of coloring and play-dough time!

foxinsocks Tue 15-Feb-05 16:29:59

lisalisa, I don't really know what to advise but I too have a summer (August) child (who is 4 and in reception) and I am constantly amazed at the difference between the elder and younger children in her class. Dd can hardly write her name (will get the letters in the right order but often the wrong way round and cannot copy letters) yet some children are practically writing sentences.

I know many many children (especially the youngest in the class) find that jump to year one very difficult. I would be guided by the teacher if you think it's a good school. He's obviously a bright child but hasn't yet mastered the reading/writing thing which after all, isn't a sign of intelligence but more a sign of good motor control and phonetic awareness. I'm just worried that if you held him back now, he might find that once he's mastered reading/writing that he's bored of the topics he's covering in his class as he's obviously bright but just being held back/frustrated by the reading/writing issue.

I don't know what else you can do - it must be frustrating for him to feel like he cannot do as much as his friends but is there any way the teacher could be a bit more encouraging? Perhaps this would make him feel a bit better. Does he have any other interests (like model building etc.) that he thinks he does well? Maybe it's worth praising these activities until his reading/writing develops so that he feels a bit better about himself. Sorry you find yourself in this position - it's awful to think our children feel pressure to do these things well at such a young age. I hope you find a solution.

jabberwocky Tue 15-Feb-05 16:39:49

Just noticed the bit about him being a summer child. Our ds was born in August just after my nephew's birthday (dn is now 27). THe first thing dn said was "Don't make him be the youngest in his class! I hated it." So I have thought about that comment when dh and I talk about when to start ds in school.

lisalisa Wed 16-Feb-05 10:12:30

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pepsi Wed 16-Feb-05 22:03:57

My ds nearly 5 is on an IEP at school and his school are also asking for him to see an EP over various issues such as concentration, pencil grip, being a big of a loner, odd noises he makes when he should be listening and so on. Anyway, at home his eye contact is not brilliant, not interested in drawing or colouring really but he can concentrate, ie. play a board game for about 20 minutes, watching and pay complete attention to a film on TV,play a game on the computer, ie. Postman Pat, Pippin, Thomas the Tank Engine, can sit and pay attention to stories, doesnt make the odd noises. My question is, if a child has special needs and has a "condition" of some sort do they behave differently at home and at school. I would have thought that if you suffer from |ADHD or similar that you would have no control of whhen you paid attention, well not totally. I cant understand how he can concentrate and and pay attention and ask questions and be really socialable at home and not and school if he has "something". I hope that its just him and his way of dealing with school and is perhaps just being difficult. He has been to two differeent schools annd they both say the same thing to I cant see how they are wrong either.

pepsi Wed 16-Feb-05 22:04:43

Sorry I was just readintg your thread and have managed to post here by mistake.

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