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Choosing to Repeat a Grade

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: I have a very sensitive, smart, serious, seven-year-old daughter. She is the youngest and smallest in her grade. She says she doesn't like to be the youngest in her class. She is an A student -- I wonder if holding her back will help her fit in. My daughter said she would like to stay in second grade again. What should I do?

A: Talk with your daughter's teacher and school counselor. They know your daughter, the school staff, and the other children well enough to tell you if another year in second grade would be in her best interest.

A child who made As her first time through second grade may well be bored going through the same curriculum again. If you decide to let her stay in second grade, ask if it could be worked out for her to go to the teacher for gifted students or to a third-grade class for part of the day. You will probably want to have her assigned to a different teacher if she stays in second grade for another year.

Also find out if there is some other reason why your daughter doesn't want to move on with her classmates. Has someone been teasing or bullying her? Is she afraid of something? Has she heard that third grade is really hard or that the teachers are mean? If any of these are issues, they can be addressed by the staff at the school.

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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.


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