What to Do If Your Child Is Repeating a School Grade

If your child is one of the more than two million kids who will be retained this year (mostly in grades K-3), you need to use the remainder of the school year and the summer months as a time to heal his sadness and hurt, in addition to bolstering his sense of self-worth and optimism. Regardless of your attempts to downplay its significance, retention causes a child to feel that he is stupid, that he has failed.

In a child's mind, if he has failed at first grade, his first attempt at "real school," he may reason that he.she will never succeed in school.

Here are steps to get a handle on everything.

1- Identify the reason why your child is slated to repeat the grade. Circumstances sometimes dictate that a student should repeat a grade: frequent relocation, excessive absences or long-term illness, for example, may have kept your kindergartener out of the instructional loop for a year. Exams may be a stresser for your child. Does your child have a learning disability? It can be a pretty simple thing as getting a test done. You need to find out why your child does not have the skills to pass to the next grade. If he actually has a learning disability, the school will work closely with you to develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP) to meet his/her needs.

2- Get a good grasp on the material your child did not understand or just wasn't "getting". Some subjects can be confusing. Yeas ago, I had one parent tell me that the "new" math was like building a road to an asylum. The answers you got were right but the method was wrong. Find out about different learning programs offered in your area that can help your child. Your local university, library, museum, and a learning center are some good places to help you begin your search

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Oretha Winston
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