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Ready to Move Up? Or Not?

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: How do I determine if my child is ready for second grade?

A: There are many ways to determine readiness. Most states now use some sort of academic checklist to measure achievement of grade-level curriculum; a child could be deemed ready for second grade if he mastered the first-grade curriculum successfully.

Many states and school systems also set levels of expected achievement, which must be met before promotion. A certain reading, writing, or math level must be attained before a child can be promoted. Children who don't meet the expected levels may receive remediation during summer school before being promoted to the next grade.

It's also helpful to look at social and developmental skills. Does your child get along well with other children who are going to second grade? Are her fine-motor skills as well-developed as those of other children? Your child can be scheduled for a developmental screening, such as the Gesell School Readiness Test to determine her developmental readiness if you're not sure.

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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.


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