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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had posted a while ago about my friend whose son is going to Sylvan at the advice of his teacher. He is in 1st grade, and has a problem with reading and math. Now since he's in Sylvan they said there is an improvement and by the end of the summer he would be at the beginning of 2nd grade level, putting him where he should be, but the school still wants to hold him back. My friend is kind of torn as to what to do. The school still recommends retaining him, but they really don't want to. Any advice?
 

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If I were the child's mama- I would put the child in the grade he should be, especially if they anticipate him being at the level that he should be. Being held back can be really traumatic for a child-they can get teased by their peers, called a "retard", ext. Often times they are so upset about the teasing that they simply do not want to try anymore and their school work slips even more. If her child is in a comfortable spot socially and is willing to do the work to get himself back on grade level then I'd defenitely keep him with his peers, put him in second grade, and just see how it goes. A lot of times the school will say do this, do that, but I wouldn't listen to them. A mama knows her kids best.
 

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We are going through a similar situation with my dd. I am leaning against retention for my daughter, but I'm wondering how much say we have in the situation? Will the school go with Sylvan's recommendation? We are thinking of sending our dd there over the summer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Actually, the school was the one that recommended Sylvan, so I would hope they take their recommendation.<br><br>
I think they have decided to go ahead and send him to 2nd grade and see what happens. The school agreed they will "re-test" him at the beginning of the year.
 

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I would avoid retention (barring an extreamly close cut-off birthday) at almost all costs.<br><br>
Generally, parents have final say as to their child progressing or repeating, so I'd go with that.
 

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Yes parents always have the final say as to whether their child stays back a grade or moves ahead. The school only has as much say and power as you give them.
 

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Unless I was putting my child in a completely different environment, I wouldn't retain. Usually, doing the year over taught the same with with the same matierials doesn't help much.
 

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I would like to add my 2 cents worth on this issue. I am an educator so I am hoping that I can provide insight into what may be happening in the school's end. I do not necessarily advocate for retention but I have also taught students who were doing wonderfully in school and it wasn't until I looked at their birthdate and realized that they should have been a grade ahead. I never noticed nor did the other students. Also the students who were kept back did not seem to harbour any ill feelings towards it- it was just a fact of life, something they needed to help them to learn. When it is done early enough and handled well it can be successful. But- not all students would necessarily benefit from retention. At this early an age the student could not be ready developmentally to learn the concepts. Nothing will change that. Now I have also seen the students who probably would have benefitted from retention earlier in their school careers and were not. Some continued to fall further behind. Some ended up going into special education classes. Their difficulties were more noticable to themselves and their peers as they get older. The issue then becomes trying to make sure that their self-esteem doesn't suffer.<br><br>
I am not necessarily advocating retention. I just think that the friend needs to discuss openly with the school why they feel that retention is best. What are they hoping to see that would not come from moving him on? The mama also knows her child so she can best evaluate how retention would affect him. At least for myself and the school I am at- retention is not an easy or snap decision to make. We discuss the pros and cons of all the scenarios plus we discuss with the parents their wishes. We only retain the child when we feel that it is in the best interest for the child. I have seen it work.<br><br>
Also I am not saying anything against Sylvan because I know many people use it. My question I would be asking myself as a teacher would be- does the parent pay them to tutor their child? If yes- would they truly be saying that your child is not going to progress under us and be at grade level? Also I believe that Sylvan is able to give one-on-one attention- which will be difficult to achieve in the classroom. The question will be if the child is at grade level will he be able to maintain it in the classroom?<br><br>
Sorry for the length- I didn't realize that it was this long. Also I really am not trying to offend anyone and I am sure that Sylvan does do good work. These are just thoughts- in the end mama knows what is best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">The question will be if the child is at grade level will he be able to maintain it in the classroom?</td>
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Good point. I'll have to ask her.<br><br>
Apparently when she talked to the principal, the principal said he started declining some in kindergarten. He did go to summer school last year and will probably go again this year as well as do the Sylvan.<br><br>
thanks for all the responses.
 

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I am an educator as well and I am not in favor of retaining a child unless the child's maturity is closely looked at. I also want to let you know that the school should be able to offer some extra support in the area of eading. The reading specialist should be working with any child that is reading anymore that one half grade level behind, I used to teach in MD. I just want you to know this because I know Sylvan can be expensive and IMHO I really do not believe that they are that big a help. You can do what they do with your child. If you want any help in this area I would be happy to help, just pm me. I won't go into antthing lengthy about Sylvan but just be cautious. Look at credentials and how much 1 on 1 time is your child really getting. Sorry don't want to bash sylvan I'm just not a fan. If I can help please let me know.
 

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My husband is an education major and has done quite a bit of research regarding student success. Retention is not a way to reach success. In fact, in the studies he has reasearched, retention leads to a greater chance of dropping out of school altogether and this includes retention done early, as in kindergarten.<br><br>
IME, I have only met adults who resented and felt badly(like losers) that they were held back.<br><br>
I would also look into alternatives for this child as some posters have mentioned earlier.
 

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I am against holding children back unless circumstances are extreme. My brother was held back, and it really hurt him emotionally and damaged his self-worth. Kids tease, esteem is broken, all thier friends are "smart" and in the next grade - but not them, and a child can feel discouraged or very much like a failure when held back.<br><br>
His future teacher may have to spend a bit of one-on-one time with him, or he may need special assistance classes. I may be wrong here, but I would find it easy to believe that a public school would hold back a student (or suggest the parents do so) to make things easy for the school and teachers. They are understaffed and under-budgeted, and it would be so simple for them just to toss your child back a grade and have him retake the year.<br><br>
I would continue with tutoring... and a side suggestion... we LOVE homeschooling!<br><br><br><a href="http://www.pdkintl.org/edres/resbul15.htm" target="_blank">http://www.pdkintl.org/edres/resbul15.htm</a> - research study reflecting long-term issues with retention, the resutls were very negative. Please read this.
 
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