|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

When Retention Fails

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: Against the school's wishes, I held my eight-year-old stepdaughter back in second grade because she had a D in reading and math. She has had problems with these subjects since kindergarten, and I have tried relentlessly to get her help. I was finally able to get her tested last year for a learning disability through the school -- she scored exactly average, therefore not qualifying as having a learning disability. She hasn't done well this year in the second grade, either. I have questioned her teacher about my stepdaughter's lack of knowledge and comprehension, but she feels that she is doing fine. What can I do?

A: Since the teacher feels that your stepdaughter is doing well, why is she having problems? Is it lack of motivation? Are there problems with the family situation, such as not seeing enough of her biological mom? Have there been changes in your lives, such as a new baby or a move to a new house? Any of these things could explain the problems that your stepdaughter is having.

Write a letter to the principal suggesting the kind of teacher (caring, supportive, motivating, etc.) that you would like your stepdaughter to have next year. Sit down with that teacher as soon as school begins in the fall and set up a plan to support this girl in the areas she needs help.

Be aware that sometimes, even though teachers and parents know there is something wrong, learning differences don't show up until third, fourth, or even fifth grade. If your stepdaughter's problems continue, you may want to ask that she be re-tested at the end of next year.

More on: Expert Advice

Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Healthy Smile Checklist for Kids
Have better dental check-ups with this free printable checklist that helps keep your child flossing, brushing, and smiling! Brought to you by Philips Sonicare.

Kindergarten Readiness App
It's kindergarten registration time! Use this interactive kindergarten readiness checklist, complete with fun games and activities, to practice the essential skills your child needs for this next big step. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top 10 Earth Day Books for Children
Celebrate the environment by reading some of these great children's books about Earth Day, recycling, planting trees, and all things green!

Prom Dress Trends for 2014
Check out 2014 prom dress trends inspired by celebrities’ red carpet looks, but with a price tag under $100!