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Holding back my 8th grader


1confusedmom August 28, 2012

My husband is wanting to hold back our son next year. He is a young 8th grader, he turned 13 in June. Grade wise he makes A's and B's but his maturity level is not there. He is also one of the smallest kids in his grade and on all his sports team. My husband also thinks this will help him out in sports, apparrently "late-bloomers" are looked over. Is this enough to hold him back???

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MagnetMom August 29, 2012

Hi 1confusedmom,

Please talk to someone at the school to even see if this is an option. Very few districts would even consider allowing an A-B student to be withheld.

My daughter is one of the smallest in her entire grade (it took until third grade until the kindergarteners were finally smaller than her), and she's a March baby, and I can assure you it would never cross my mind to hold her back, since she'd still be small next year.

You might want to enroll him in an organization class, and as for sports, there are plenty that do not rely on size alone--golf comes to mind. And sports like wrestling go by weight class.

Good luck.


reacastle August 30, 2012

Held both my daughter and son back a year, best decision for both children. My daughter and son are both involved in sports and it has really helped. However, the more important reason is social and academic. Both handle tests and social pressure better than their younger peers. My daughter is friends with students up to two grades ahead of her as well as in her grade.

However, if socially your son is doing well and has many friends in his grade, you may not want to hold him back only for sports. Both children are summer birthdays so holding them back a year was not a big deal. Good luck.


c_csimpson September 2, 2012

First, ask your 8th grader how he feels about the situation. If he doesn't want to repeat the grade, then it is a bad idea. We held our May baby back in 3rd grade. She was tall but had some difficulties with reading and socially she was less mature than her classmates. Sometimes she feels bad about the decision, like she wasn't as smart as her other classmates, even though we have tried to dispel this idea many times. But all in all this has been a great decision. My son has a June birthday and we held him back before he started Kindergarten, mostly because of social reasons, even though he was reading at a 3rd grade level already. He gets a little bored sometimes, but socially, it is for the best. And it has allowed him to develop those organizational skills needed. My Junior daughter, who was born in June, should have been held back. She still struggles with organizational skills and is finally catching up socially.


yoli72 September 2, 2012

Are you serious? What if he does not grow much next year? Do you keep holding him back? My 9th grade son is 5 feet 1 inch and 97 lbs. He is very smart and I would not even dream about holding him back because of his size! Everybody is not going to be big and husky. Sounds like your husband needs to realize that.


Carl22 September 3, 2012

Interesting. I (a boy) turned 13 in April in 8th grade. The advantage is that the bar was higher for me. I wound up graduating in 9th grade (in those days there was a junior hi) withthe highest GPA. This one year advantage ran through all my life. including retirement. The disadvantage was that all the girls were too old (socially).I just was too immature for all those 15,16 17, etc year old girls.
Anyhow, holding him back is lowering the bar. As a matter of fact, if he is smart enough, he ought to be advanced to a higher grade.


Carl22 September 3, 2012

to continue. On further thought, much depends on why you send your child to school in the first place. Advancing skills and academics as fast as one can is , to me , the prime reason for going to school so that one can partake in their life endeavour. Social development is also very important. BUT, is it so important that it it should constrain skills and academics? Personally, I would treat social development as a separate issue...probably after school . ...I believe we are heading that way anyhow, with home shooling and on-line classes. Remember, that which you learn in your formative years stays with you in your ending years. Knowledge tends to peel off with old age, and it usually peals off from the things you learned later rather than sooner.


fattyman September 4, 2012

Since he is a teenager, your son really should be in on the decision. Is he having reservations about starting high school the next year? If you hold him back, will this be in the same school he has already been attending? That could cause him some embarrassment and separate him from the friends he has, all unneccessarily. I would never hold my older child back unless the grades warranted it. Kids don't really notice in the younger grades but by 8th grade this is a different story.


thndrbill September 5, 2012

I would really think at least twice before doing something like that. As others have mentioned, it could be a real social weight on your son.

He's young, but not that young and given that his grades are good he obviously can handle the academics. The social aspect is often even more challenging than the school work for this age group and being held back could create a stigma that would be hard to shake.

So far as the sports goes, my eight-grade son plays on a couple of baseball teams and there are plenty of smaller kids out there. Some of them are really good!

Sports can be challenging to kids for a number of reasons. He should practice and work at whichever sport he likes, if he shows the coaches he is dedicated and can play a little bit, no one will care how old he is or how small he is.


cwjmayer September 5, 2012

I held back 2 of my children for that same purpose, a boy and a girl. It was the best thing I ever did. They excelled in their classes, did well with friends and sports for the boy. We did it when we made a move. I dont know if I would do it in a school where all of his friends know what grade he is in. I wish I would have done it to one of my older boys...he struggled all through school because he was so small, and maturity. He had friends in both ages. The pros far out weigh the cons.


Bayles September 8, 2012

To be perfectly honest, I think that is a horrible idea! I held my daughter back in kindergarten when she wasn't doing well in reading and my line of thinking was better to hold her back now than later, surely it will be less painful for her, but I wrong! In my case it didn't help at all academically because she had an underlying learning disability I wasn't yet aware of. But even in elementary school, other students noticed and constantly asked why she didn't go to first grade with everyone else, she got teased for it until I pulled her out of that school and put her into a better one where students didn't know she "failed". I've also read that students who are held back have a higher drop-out rate, especially those who are held back twice who have a 97% drop-out rate. What if he *needs* to be held back later? Being held back a second time almost guarantees a drop-out.

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