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Planning Too Early for Next School Year
Q: My daughter is six years old and in the second grade. She has been telling her teacher that the work is too much for her. She is to the point that she will not do her classwork. I found out that she has been crying in class because she cannot keep up with the rest of the class. I am wondering if I should keep her in second grade because of her age and immaturity or should I let her go to the third grade?
A: You are worrying about what to do next year when you need to be concerned about what should be done right now. The school year isn't even half over. Do you really think that it is a good idea to let your daughter be upset and struggle for the rest of this year? Her problems could even become worse -- seriously affecting her attitude toward school. Consider the facts:
- Your daughter is six which is very young for a second grader.
- She says the work is too difficult, indicating that she probably did not learn all that she should have in first grade.
- She cries in class demonstrating frustration and immaturity.
- She is unable to keep up with the other children, which makes it essential to find out why she is having learning problems.
When problems are as serious as your daughter's, it usually helps to ask for an intervention. This means having a team of professionals investigate the cause and recommend solutions. A team can be more effective at helping a child than a single teacher. Call your child's teacher or the principal to set up an intervention as soon as possible. The sooner your daughter is helped, the easier it will be to help her.
We can't help wondering how your daughter did in first grade. Was it easy for her, or did she struggle? Did the teacher recommend that she be promoted? Her problems probably started last year.
Having your daughter repeat second grade is not necessarily the best solution to her problems. Any learning problems that she has might not be addressed again next year.
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Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts are experienced teachers who have more than 60 educational publications to their credit. They began writing books together in 1979. Careers for Bookworms was a Book-of-the-Month Club paperback selection, and Pancakes, Crackers, and Pizza received recognition from the Children's Reading Roundtable. Gisler and Eberts taught in classrooms from kindergarten through graduate school. Both have been supervisors at the Butler University Reading Center.