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Dau going into 9th grade but technically should be going to 8th


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tlvalls June 21, 2012


My daughter skipped kindergarten. The original intention was to place her in 1-3 montessori classroom & she'd stay within that class for 4 rather than 3 years. Life happened and she is getting ready to enter 9th grade when according to her age she should be going into 8th grade. Last summer my 13 year old daughter (12 at the time) told me that she'd repeat a grade if she could change schools. She's struggled with academics (made average grades) and really struggled with relationships - primarily with girl friends. At the time of her request we decided to move her back to her old school and hoped that things would improve. She is now supposed to be going to a completely different district and has been approved to repeat 8th grade - this news (believe it or not) comes as a great relief to her. Her father doesn't agree. I'm trying to make the best possible choice for her. I feel like retaining her the added social pressures may be somewhat alleviated and academically she may be better prepared so when she enters high school she will be more self confident and better academically prepared. Any help and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated~

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Lagunaticmom July 1, 2012


Hi. I have a boy of similar age (Aug birthday-will be 13 going into 8th grade). He is an excellent student but struggles socially & as a result, emotionally. So much anxiety, in fact, that he missed many days of school last year. I also know many parents who have not started their summer-birthday children in Kindergarten til they were 6. So in response, i wish I had waited so my son would have been more emotionally mature & confident. It would not have mattered much as far as his age at HS graduation. also, if your daughter is saying she doesn't mind repeating, I say to let her do it. Instead of being a small fish fish in a big pond, I think she will feel like a Big fish in a small pond. Meaning that because of her ensuing confidence, she will excel even more in all the areas you mentioned. (It is not a race, after all, although we can feel that way when we compare ourselves & our children to others.). Lastly, I have a Sept birthday myself, & was a 17-yo HS graduate. I waited one year before entering any kind of college-level study (mainly so I could work & save $$). I think that made me a more mature, serious student, when other kids were partying, I didn't feel quite the need to partake. I then entered a 4-year degree program when I was 21. That too, allowed me more maturity & time to work & travel a little first. Point being... I took my time, I followed my individual path, I have two B.S degrees & a Masters. There are many discussions about HIgh Schoolers being pressured, and it seems to me that giving hour daughter that extra year will better prepare her for HS. I recently enjoyed a lecture by Wendy Mogul, author of : The Blessings of a B Minus, and Blessings of a Skinned Knee. A lot of her points seemed to aimed at lessening the stress we parents sometimes feel about raising kids, teens, education, etc. though I haven't read the books, they come highly recommended & may help serve as a discussion point for you and your husband. All the best.
P.S. My nephew in Germany is just starting university at age 21, which I think is the norm for them...and the Germans are high-achievers!

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Mommas4 July 1, 2012


My husband and I have been struggling with the same issue now for years. Our son, my stepson whom we have had full custody since he was four, (mom not in picture) has been pushed forward every year. End of July birthday. Teachers say the same thing each year " Hopefully he will mature more over the summer". He is now 14 and very immature for his age. This concerns me as he has already been influenced by older piers. We are now at the end of his first year in high school and he finish with all F's and 2 incomplets. So for the first time after years of failing and continuous meetings about grades, spending the summer in summer school for three classes at $140.00 per class. Unfortunately he cant make-up all his class so English and Algebra was there choice and he will now play make-up class over the next three years in place of study halls. Assuming he passes each year from now and forward. He has flunked out since fourth grade and along with behavioral and maturity problems he has been passed on to the next year. I actually fought with his Jr. High school for 2weeks before he started high school as they told us last year he would NOT be going into high school and he would indeed be repeating the eigth grade because he also fail the after school classes he was to attend to avoid failing the eighth grade. Well, come school time the teachers and principal decided that they didn't want to create an angry 14 year old by keeping him back. One more time "let's all hope he matures and works hard". It was so frustrating knowing he was just being pushed through the system. I have always known he should have never been passed over the years. He just wasn't ready. I truly believe he needs that extra year behind. Now he is paying the price and struggling as well as we are out of our pockets. Go with your gut! If you feel she isn't ready to move forward, don't push her. High school is a struggle enough just to fit in. But passing classes you are not ready for may be more costly for both you and your child. If she isn't comfortable or feels like a failure she may rebel and quit if she feels she isn't worthy or smart enough to move forward. An extra year of maturing and gaining the confidence may be just what she needs. As Langunaticmom said, "after all this isn't a race" and if she is all for it then I say go for it. Discuss your reasons with her guidance counselor or maybe an outside counselor. They may agree and help get your ex to climb on board. Good luck to you and to your daughter.

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mrsbriano July 2, 2012


Trust me I think that you should have her go to 8th grade. When I was young I skipped 8th grade. It was not a good idea even if your child is academically ready socially they will not be. I found that even it was just one grade I felt that I had to deal with issues sooner than I had to. I was going from playing with friends outside to kids talking about sex and hanging out in such a different way. Talk to the father about that I don't think any dad wants to rush their daughter into issues like that. If we can keep our children young for as long as you can go for it. I found myself having to seek out younger friends because I felt that I did not belong to the HS crowd especially the 9th grade year. I personally know and understand what losing one year can do. High school is SO different from middle school. Give her that extra year to grow academically and emotionally. She is also open to that and that is wonderful. Good luck :)

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Lillandbill July 15, 2012


If your daugether is o.k I really suggest having her repeat 8th grade. The other posters are correct. Maturity and academic success are issues, Also the issue of going from the playground to discussions about sex. Those conversations will happen, but its best if your daughter is ready especially ready and able to say "no" Your husband might be concerned about other issues so talk to him, but I am with the other posters. And besides 8th grade ROCKS!! :-)

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KarlaRN July 22, 2012


I was in a position to skip a grade in elementary school...and I am so grateful to my parents for NOT allowing me to skip. School leaders and teachers ought to do a better job of explaining to parents that skipping grades or starting early might be great in elementary years, but can have unforeseen consequences later on. Better for these bright kids to enrich their learning through more challenging activities and work within the grade appropriate to their age.

It sounds like you have tried to be the best parents possible for your daughter, and it does not make sense to push her to a place where she feels uncomfortable. I don't know why her father wants to advance her...does he see it as a failure of parenting? I think you should be commended as parents for having a daughter who is at least comfortable enough to let you know how she feels and mature enough to accept that repeating a grade could be the best thing all around.

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realmummy July 25, 2012


Hi. I have read a lot of replies supporting the holding back of your daughter and thought I would throw in my two cents. I have a son in similar situation and we are keeping him there. Mind you, if this were elementary ed I might consider otherwise. At this stage of emotional development, I would keep her there and cautiously start her in 9th. Your support is crucial and it sounds like your husband's will be a no-brainer as this is what he prefers.
I
If she has done well in her studies and achieved good grades, she will feel a sense of accomplishment in this. She might be able to articulate this at her age. Self-esteem is a biggie during these years and keeping her back not only denigrates this but also sends her the message to take the easier route when things get hard. Resiliency is such a vital concept and pushing our kids, in schools, is one way to help them develop this. You cannot "grow" a hard worker if you constantly tweak things to make it easier.

Life isn't customized for you unless you are home-schooled. When you are forced to adapt and tackle hard issues, you are better equipped to flourish as an adult. That is our goal, as parents, after all. We are arming them with the tools that they will need to succeed in life. Dealing with hard things is one of them. There will be much harder things in her 20s, 30s and so on.

- Good luck!

Mom of a young 8th grader and older 2nd grader and the perfectly aged March baby.

PS - As a July child who entered the college scene at 17, I wasn't particularly immature and was the only child of 6 to finish her bachelor's in 4 years.



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