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Retained Child Now Bored in School

Education Expert Advice from Peggy Gisler, Ed.S. and Marge Eberts, Ed.S.

Q: My nine-year-old son is in third grade. I was told to hold him back in first grade since he was not emotionally ready to move up. Now, I am having the problem that he is very bored with school. He calls his work kindergarten work. I can't get him to study, and he makes mistakes due to rushing through. He gets all A's and B's without even trying. My worst fear is he is beginning to not like school. He reads all of the time way beyond his level, but his teacher said that until he brings his grades to all A's, they can't give him any extra work or test him. Please help.

A: It's rather late now to do too much about getting your son more challenging work as the school year is winding down.

Next year, your son will have a different teacher who may make the work more interesting and better appreciate his abilities. Plus, fourth grade is far more challenging than third grade. The emphasis moves away from mastering the basics, which your son has probably accomplished, to working more with science, social studies, and literature, which he should appreciate since he loves to read.

Keep in mind that opportunities for your son to learn should not be limited to school. You definitely need to plan a stimulating, challenging, and academic summer for him. Look into library, museum, and college programs as well as summer camps that offer both fun and academic challenges.

Since your son is an avid reader, encourage this activity by taking him to the library. Also, he might enjoy a subscription to a magazine. Reading is definitely the key to academic success. If you don't already read to your son, read to him every evening. It will further expand his vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Since the school is not willing to test your child, you may wish to have him privately tested to find out if he is academically gifted. Take the results to the school during the summer so that arrangements can be made to make next year more academically challenging for him.

Learn more: Choosing the right books for your kids.

More on: Expert Advice

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.


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