Should My Son Repeat Grade 2 at a New School?

My son is 7 years old and currently in year 2, he is the youngest in his class and it has always bothered him ! He is always trying to keep up with his peers academically and socially. I feel he has struggled, and I’m thinking to repeat this year in a new school! His teach says he has caught up this term and should not repeat, I feel like the school is trying to keep us there because it is not a public school but Catholic. I have enrolled him in a new school for next year and he will be repeating, he will not be the oldest in his year because many of the kids repeat kindergarten these days and start school at 5/6 whereas my son started at 4.5 .

I feel this may help him to catch up socially and academically not struggle like he has to keep up with his peers. He’s always been on the immature side and plays well with kids more his age rather than 1-2 years older than him which he is currently with. I’m starting to get cold feet especially because my husband doesn’t agree with me and thinks that it will cause self esteem issues to him.

He’s happy to do it mainly because he wants to be with kids his age. He had his first orientation day and enjoyed it. He’s never really enjoyed school previously. I wish I had repeated kinder for him but I cannot turn back time. Please help at I making the right decision, has anyone else seen this happen or experience this?

Thank you

Comments

  • +9 votes

    Sounds like a good plan to me.

    If you are both happy with the decision then run with it.

  • +2 votes

    He'll have an advantage in some ways, but won't he be a year behind where he could be developmentally or whatever if he's a grade behind his whole life? Maybe accepting being the youngest would be the sensible thing to do, unless you have any reason to think he'd otherwise benefit from repeating a year? If he needs a bit of extra support then an extra year of schooling could be better than being a year behind your whole life.

    • +1 vote

      An extra year of schooling may give him more time to understand the work and not struggle, while settling into a new school as well ….. my thoughts anyway, others say to just keep moving forward and seek support groups and tuition

    •  

      An extra year of schooling may give him more time to understand the work and not struggle, while settling into a new school as well ….. my thoughts anyway, others say to just keep moving forward and seek support groups and tuition

      • +2 votes

        Could he do with ex extra year of “being a kid”? Some older people would pay a lot of money for an extra year of being a kid again.

  • +3 votes

    I feel like the earlier you do this the better.
    So sounds like a good time and going to a new school means he’s of similar age and can make new friends. Hopefully it gives him more confidence with the work and making friends etc.
    My only concern would be how he felt in having to repeat, but if he’s excited to be with kids his own age then that’s great!

    Not exactly the same situation but we just finished a repeat year of 4yr old kinder. Best thing we did for him.

    •  

      Yes , I hear this from so many parents, that extra year to repeat kinder was the best thing they did! Many kids born January February March and April at his current school did thus , hence why my son is up against older kids and struggling . I’m trying to catch up for him this way but research isn’t on my side! I think this could help but there is this negative social stigma about it !
      I told him his class mates repeated kinder and that’s why some will be turning 9 and him turn 8

  • +2 votes

    It sounds like you’re all keen for this to happen, so then it’s the right choice for your family.

    And just think, when he gets to year 12, he will turn 18, not 17, and be able to go to birthdays etc. Back when I was in year 12, a lot of my younger friends felt left out by this. Not that they wanted to go drinking and be wild, but that they weren’t even allowed in.

    There’s also been a lot of studies done that show starting later is better for children, and typically boys develop a bit later both academically and socially - as you’ve already indicated you’ve noticed.

    Some kids will thrive starting early and that is great, but you know your son better than anyone else.

    •  

      Yes I think also for how he will go when he is in high school too , being older is more mature

      •  

        And it’s much harder to repeat when your older if you need to

  • +1 vote

    If you can talk the school into repeating, do it.

    I'm surprised schools allowed this to happen - have seen plenty of similar requests being knocked back over the years at public schools. Some people I know who were trying to OzBargain their way out of childcare got their kids into school as soon as it's practical to do so then later regretted the decision.

  • +2 votes

    Suggest you and husband to have a chat with the principal and have a constructive conversation together. Then you two sit down with your son and talk to him.

    I can read you use the words "feel" and "think" a number of times, reflecting the conflicts in your emotions. You have responsibility, that's true. However it is his life, so see it as a way to help him to make a decision, or at the very least involve him in this choice.

    I’m starting to get cold feet especially because my husband doesn’t agree with me and thinks that it will cause self esteem issues to him.

    Please don't use "the forum people say we should let Bobby repeat a grade" as a reason. We are not here to convince your husband to think otherwise. That said, be confident about your instincts and get proper advice to make informed decisions.

    Afterwards, you check with your GP and explore some mental health support if needed. Your son is in year 2, and he has 8-10 more years in the school system. You don't want to burn out at such an early stage of parenthood.

    Good luck

    • +1 vote

      This is a considered response. Go and have the chat with the principal. The research out there does not support repeating a year for a child. Check out John Hattie’s research on effect sizes of teaching strategies and different interventions. There may be an initial benefit but the benefit is not always retained and can have a negative long term effect.
      It is not an easy decision. Good luck.

    • +1 vote

      Thank you, it’s true , it has burnt me out ! I’m hoping it would be easier for him and that he’s be happier, especially because he plays better with kids his age!
      His current school tells me not to do it , his new schools principal says that he would do it if it were his son !

  • +5 votes

    As I read your post it looks like you have already made a considered decision.
    Everything you have said makes sense.

    So go with it. Every child is different, and you know your child, and it looks like your son is also happy for a new environment with new friends more his own age.

    For me the more important consideration is how is the new school. Will it be a good environment and peer group for him.

    Do it now, it's much harder.to repeat later years emotionally for a child.

    •  

      Thank you

  • +2 votes

    Oh, and remember boys as a rule mature later than girls. Relevant now and for the rest of his school life.

  • +5 votes

    Kids could be cruel laughing at him for repeating class.

    But since its only grade 2 and a new school it should be fine .

  •  

    Let your teachers be your guide. They know more about kids than you do. We had similar feelings about our youngest, but went with the teachers thoughts and it's been good.

    •  

      What year was he in?

      •  

        SHE was 7 years old.

  • +2 votes

    I can't tell you what to do - each situation is different. I can tell you about our experience.

    Our younger son was 28 April born and in VIC, the cutover date is 30 April - so he was the youngest boy in his grade when he started. He is also a shy boy; and unable to tell anyone what he wants. Prep was terribly difficult for us. He would end up crying and we had numerous incidents where the Principal called us in to take him home cause they couldn't settle him down at school. We had discussions with the Principal and the child psychologist. The psychologist even spent a few hours in class observing him - but was not of much help to us. The Principal recommended taking him out of Prep and having him repeat kinder for another year. We seriously considered it; but by that stage; we could not find space in any kinder near by - so were stuck with letting him continue going to school.

    The teachers were amazing and tried their best. They learnt how to predict when he was about to have one of his incidents and had figured out ways of stopping them from happening. It also helped that he made two close friends who helped him. Another thing that helped is that his Prep teacher moved to become his Grade 1 teacher and the two close friends were kept in the same class as him.

    Our best day was in Term 4 in Grade 1 when his teacher called us. We were dreading the worst that he had another incident; but his teacher said she was so happy - he finally said good morning to her. The first time he spoke to her without being prompted.

    Grade 2 was better; but Grade 3 onwards he has been fine. He is still shy and does not have many friends; but is more confident around people he knows and academically; he is ahead of his Grade by atleast one level. He is taken up team sports (or we gave him no choice) and having that camaderie with team mates has also helped him immensely. Now in Grade 4; we have no concerns about him anymore.

    Edit: My son always loved going to school. He never troubled us getting up in the morning and getting ready and would be all smiling and happy going to school. Just when he crossed that line to enter the classroom; anxiety would take over. So, the situation is different from your son and if you son is happier in the other school; that should be a big factor in your decision making.

    •  

      Thank you for your reply, yes I feel that this could be an option for me too, just keep him there and implement strategies to help in move forward, this is what the teachers have said! But he wants to move schools because he thinks he wants to make new friends. The new school is twice a big as his current school , more variety of kids , it could be better to find friends I’m thinking and the fact that he won’t be the youngest by far would help too I’m thinking!
      I’ve made the decision to move and repeat but I still have one week to change if I choose to

  • +5 votes

    Agree that the son should have the final say in the decision. He is a little kid but if he has an opinion that's valid.
    "He had his first orientation day and enjoyed it. He’s never really enjoyed school previously."

    I think this makes your decision for you.

  • -3 votes

    Ah you wont do it.

    As someone that went to public schools, if you can afford private, go private

  • +1 vote

    The book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell goes into the topic of advantages the older kids in a class or group have, statistically at least.

    If he is in a new school, will he even notice much that he is repeating? The other kids shouldn't know. As noted above, at the back in year 12 it would be better to finish school with more maturity for the wider world.

    •  

      This is what I think too , but there has been many conflicting arguments in repeating rather then starting school later
      Which is why it has confused me so much

      •  

        Do what you feel is appropriate for your child, no one knows them as well as you do and keep in mind you're their best advocate.

  • +2 votes

    Every kid is individual, so no one will be able to give you a definitive answer even if they have experienced a similar situation.

    Personally, I'd let him go into Grade 3. Kids are resilient and can grow fast. I remember when I went on my first overseas holidays with my kids. At the parent teacher interview, the teacher noticed how much my son matured and had extra confidence on return.

    But in the end, it's up to you guys. Just ask for more advice from their school principal at the new school or even some sort of child counsellor who can make a better judgement call.

    Ps. My decision is based on what I would do with my kids, (which I'm not in that position)

  • +2 votes

    The decision is obviously a personal one, but I've always followed my gut feel on issues regarding our children.

    The early years are the foundation of education and socialization, avoid a lifetime of struggle and go with what is best for your child. Repeating a year at this early stage will not have a stigma attached to it. Year 2 is a growth year for a lot of schools, he shouldn't feel out of place starting new.

    Reading your post (and looking at the time you posted it) gives me the impression you have made your decision but are reaching for people to agree with you, you don't need it, follow what you feel. He has a lifetime ahead of him to achieve great things, there's no rush, an extra year to get a solid foundation and feel a part of of peer group and have a confident schooling is extremely important.

    The fact your son enjoyed orientation day and has never really enjoyed school previously says it all, I hope he enjoys his new school and makes lots of friends, that's how school should be.

    •  

      Reading your post (and looking at the time you posted it) gives me the impression you have made your decision but are reaching for people to agree with you, you don't need it, follow what you feel. He has a lifetime ahead of him to achieve great things, there's no rush, an extra year to get a solid foundation and feel a part of of peer group and have a confident schooling is extremely important.

      Your right! I have lost so much sleep over this decision and also because research is against repeating…. most of the research says not to do it …. that they would catch up , but it is also based on kids who are at the right age group, which my son is at the cut off and don’t have much support at home either, which also my son has …… so I think my son doesn’t fit the criteria where the research has been conducted! But then I have this conscience where I’m thinking what if it goes wrong and then it’s my fault.
      His current school said that he has caught up and that he’s also ok socially and he doesn’t need to repeat which has also thrown me off guard. I have noticed him change these last couple of months and mature at his school too , but he wants to change schools. The new school is closer to home as well . I just seen it as an opportunity to place him in the same year level so that he’s with kids his age and not 1 year older . Which I also thought would give him more confidence if he sees that he is not always the last one handing in work .
      The current principle says not to do it , whereas the new principal says that he would do it , he gave me an option to place him in grade 3 but said that he would probably still struggle and just be amongst the crowd !! But if I place him in year two I give him an opportunity to thrive and be on top. He said class captains are usually the oldest kids especially in sports.
      Yes I am trying to find someone who has experienced this and been successful rather then not. I have one week to decide which level to go to! He wants to repeat but he is also still only 7. His decision can sway
      So it’s up to me!
      After hearing what the new principal said this morning my husband said to repeat him too , I guess I’m afraid of kids teasing him , mainly the kids in our street if they were to find out ! They’re 2-3 years older then him and he doesn’t get along with them because I think they think he is immature, and are mean to him , but my son wants to fit in and still goes out there sometimes!
      My goodness……. I know this post could be confusing but I guess I am so confused and scared of making the wrong decision! If I listen to his current school and move him forward then I think that I won’t be blamed if it were to go wrong!
      😐

  •  

    I feel the bigger questions for you are:

    Do you feel happy with and supported by your current school?

    There are some amazing schools in the Government, Religious and Private sectors…along with some pretty mediocre and crap ones, too. It’s finding the right one for your son and your family.

    What programs does the school offer that your son will love?

    Is your son excited about the change? (Most important question)

    Every school is very different. And your attitude/how you explain the change to your son will determine how he views it.

    •  

      Yes he wants a change and also has a female cousin that is only three weeks younger then him and she repeated kinder , she started school one year later then him and will also be at that school in grade 2

  • +2 votes

    Won't he be bored having already learned the content?

    My default is do not repeat unless there is an academic reason.

    •  

      He’s always just made it academically, it’s been a struggle and I’ve had to really push him to do the work ! He’s always had a negative attitude to doing the work.
      We’re in Victoria and had 2 terms at home last year! I think he excelled these two terms because I home schooled him, but I had to force him to go the work otherwise he just wouldn’t do it ! I know it was hard on many parents during COVID but I also seen this as a year to repeat as well , they did miss out on a lot ! His teacher said he improved last term only , after returning to school from COVID

  • +1 vote

    Repeating grade 2? Oh the life I could have had if I had another year of finger painting….

  • +1 vote

    Hi Valmmm, you're doing the exact right thing— for your child. When we migrated to AU in March 2007, my two children were both 1/2 way through their school year in the US.

    In AU, this put my daughter from grd 2 into 3 & my son from grd 7 into 8.

    Both were capable of moving "up" into those grades, however, I had more than that to contend with. We were in a new country and moving from a very isolated, country town. I decided that although both were intellectually capable, the move was stressful enough for my son especially, that I didn't want to drop him into a city high school environment on top of everything else. So, I chose to let my daughter enter 3rd grade & my son to stay back in grd 7. This allowed him some time to acclimate whilst also giving them a year in the same school together to get themselves sorted with all that children go through moving schools/friends.

    When my son went to shift to secondary the following year, his maths teacher had me in for a meeting and strongly suggested he be moved directly into yr 9. This teacher had been giving my son yr 10 extra work as he'd finish the rest so quickly (the US is ahead of AU in many subjects). I then spoke with the high school advisor asking their opinion. They agreed. The downside was that this placed my son into a group of new friends again— but he did retain the small group from primary, though they didn't share classes. My daughter did fine a 1/2 grade ahead.

    Kudos for taking the initiative and becoming involved in your child's educational options. Good on you!

    • -1 vote

      Nice reply except this part

      Kudos for taking the initiative and becoming involved in your child's educational options. Good on you!

      Shouldn't be having children if this isn't a given

      •  

        Grade 7 is usually high school in Australia.
        I also think having him repeat will help him focus more on settling in and making friends, academically I think he would still be good, I wouldn’t let him slack off doing work ! I think it’ll give him another year to really understand the work

      •  

        Who ever negged me, explain why my comment is wrong?

        I would love to know your thought process

  •  

    I have lost so much sleep over this decision and also because research is against repeating…. most of the research says not to do it …. that they would catch up , but it is also based on kids who are at the right age group, which my son is at the cut off and don’t have much support at home either, which also my son has …… so I think my son doesn’t fit the criteria where the research has been conducted! But then I have this conscience where I’m thinking what if it goes wrong and then it’s my fault.
    His current school said that he has caught up and that he’s also ok socially and he doesn’t need to repeat which has also thrown me off guard. I have noticed him change these last couple of months and mature at his school too , but he wants to change schools. The new school is closer to home as well . I just seen it as an opportunity to place him in the same year level so that he’s with kids his age and not 1 year older . Which I also thought would give him more confidence if he sees that he is not always the last one handing in work .
    The current principle says not to do it , whereas the new principal says that he would do it , he gave me an option to place him in grade 3 but said that he would probably still struggle and just be amongst the crowd !! But if I place him in year two I give him an opportunity to thrive and be on top. He said class captains are usually the oldest kids especially in sports.
    Yes I am trying to find someone who has experienced this and been successful rather then not. I have one week to decide which level to go to! He wants to repeat but he is also still only 7. His decision can sway
    So it’s up to me!
    After hearing what the new principal said this morning my husband said to repeat him too , I guess I’m afraid of kids teasing him , mainly the kids in our street if they were to find out ! They’re 2-3 years older then him and he doesn’t get along with them because I think they think he is immature, and are mean to him , but my son wants to fit in and still goes out there sometimes!
    My goodness……. I know this post could be confusing but I guess I am so confused and scared of making the wrong decision! If I listen to his current school and move him forward then I think that I won’t be blamed if it were to go wrong!
    😐

    •  

      I can't speak for your individual circumstances but speaking from experience as i myself was in a similar situation.

      My parents had the opportunity to have me repeat a year or let me continue as i was quite young.
      For me, i actually liked being the youngest in the class, i don't know why.

      In Summary:
      - Started my pre-school and kindergarten in AUS at a young age.
      - We moved to another country where i started Year 1.
      - Based on their observations (what i had learnt here in pre-school and kindergarten) i was moved from Year 1 into Year 2 after one week.
      - Returned to Australia in Year 7 and the school wanted to push me back a year as i was far too young and they did not believe i would be able to cope with the standards here.
      - My parents held their ground and the school came to an agreement to let me continue, but would make me repeat if they felt necessary.
      - The school pushed me into their ESL class and basic math class as they did not believe i would be able to cope in the advanced classes. I was moved out of these basic classes within a few weeks.

      Fast forward a few years:
      - I finished my year 12 (4 Unit Maths, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Advanced English) at 15 years of age with an ATAR of 95.
      - Turned 16 in my first year of uni.
      - By the time i was 19 i had finished my masters and entered in the workforce.

      To be honest, i really enjoyed it, It definitely had its downsides (depends if you consider the below as a disadvantage)
      - Kids in year 12, some were able to drive to school. I couldn't even get an L permit.
      - Social functions weren't too much of an issue but the 18 year olds could go to clubs, i don't think i missed out on much.

      I made some really good life long friends along the way.

      Would i change anything?
      - No, i am so grateful for my parents, who allowed me to push on. As you've pointed out, it seems that your son is coping okay. Ultimately it is your call, although i personally would let him continue and see how he goes.

  •  

    Studying is not a race.
    Repeating grade 2 now would probably help him a lot more than moving to grade 3 and forever feel behind (emotionally and intellectually)
    Maturity is so important when it comes to school that I personally kept my 5 years old an extra year in Kindy (COVID hit so that was 100% the best decision anyways)
    She will be 6 next year in Prep, but I know now that she's absolutely ready for it.

  • +1 vote

    Should repeat, especially for boys. My son did two years in preschool when he already read simple readers at 4. He wasn't tall or mature enough and he was born in July, so he was the only one repeated. One year is enough for a kid to achieve a lot if parents spent time to help their kids reading, writing (basically tracing with crayons) and having that social interactions with other kids. My son went to the same composite class this year (year 1/2) with his old friends from preschool and guess what, he reads, writes better than the year 2 kids in the composite class and really enjoy the time in school. If you are changing school, you are doing the right thing. You just want your kid with confidence and you don't need to consider that much. You have absolutely nothing to lose. You rather let him repeat now then wait until year 5 or 6 or high school. Besides, younger boys are more of a target for bullying, especially in high school. I don't want my son to be a target I have seen these in many schools.

  •  

    Every child will enjoy their first time at anything.

    Btw, I vote for moving forward. He's still got a good 10 years to catch up.

    I would rather repeat a later year than an earlier one.