Back to School at FamilyEducation.com
|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Is Retention the Answer?

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

Q: Help! My son's third-grade teacher wants to retain him this year. She says he is immature and way behind everyone else. I have searched the Internet looking for information on grade retention and have found nothing but negative feedback. I don't know if this is the best thing for him now. I am also having him tested for learning disabilities.

A: Retention does not usually work because it produces far too many negative consequences. Furthermore, it rarely offers ways to improve the skills that caused the child to be retained in the first place.

You need to find out why your son does not have the skills to pass third grade. If he actually has a learning disability, the school will work closely with you to develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP) to meet his needs.

In any case, you need to be working right now on ways to improve your son's academic skills. A good place to start is by having the third-grade teacher identify your child's weakest academic skill. Then focus on working with the teacher to improve that skill. Find out what you personally can do. Tutors are a good source of help. They can monitor your son's progress and share the results with his teacher.

You have almost six months to improve your son's skills so that he can handle fourth grade. Ask your school for this time period before a final decision on retention is made. Find out about different learning programs offered in your area that can help him. Your local university, library, museum, and a learning center are some good places to help you begin your search. Consider summer school. There are even summer camps that incorporate academic learning into their camp programs.

Besides focusing on your son's academic problems, try to help him become more mature through assuming certain responsibilities. He needs to have specific chores that he must complete around the house.

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.


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

Printable Fall Fun To-Do List
Celebrate the cooler weather with this printable checklist of fun fall activities for your whole family.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top 10 Care Package Items for College Students
Show your college student that you love and miss her by mailing a care package full of dorm room essentials and comforting treats. Whether it's her birthday, exam time, or just because, get care package ideas to brighten her day.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!