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Question
Posted by: Lin | 2011-11-23

Grade R/1 Dont know what to do!

My son turns 6 middle of December. He was in Grade 1 this year. He never went to a creche because he got sick and his paediatrician suggested that he stay at home with me.
We had him assessed by a educational psycologist and at the meeting she told us she suspected ADHD. She measured him at grade 4 level. We then took him to a child neurologist - had all the tests done and he''s now on Strattera. She also felt that he is extremely bright and that he''d measure at genius level. She wants us to have his IQ tested for this.

We now need to decide whether to send him to Grade 1 or keep him in Grade R: His sister will be born just as school starts. And also he is emotionally a year behind the other children.

I dont know what to do... I dont want him to go to Grade 1 and then battle because he isnt emotionally as mature as the other kids. His teacher says he''s the brightest kid in her class and one of the brightest to have passed through their Grade R.

How do I make the right decision? I dont want to fail my child :( Thanks for your time.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I wouldn't necessarily believe the opinon about the "genius level", though he probably is indeed bright. Unless there are elaborate special enrichment programs available to him ( and I don't know of any such in SA ) there's nothing much to be gained by measuring his IQ for this reason. I don't actually accept that measures of "emotional maturity" are all that accurate or useful at this age, nor that they reliably predict how well he';; do in any particular grade. Its' absurd to assume that all the other kids in any grade in SA are at any particular level of "emotional maturity" and I've never seen any good reseach establishing this.
I really don't see why he should be expected to battle ? And there's loads of lee-way at this stage of schooling. I'd let him go to grade one, and see how he goes. His teacher's recommendation of this sounds convincing. You are not ffailing your child and will not fail him.
There are limits to anyone's ability to predict such futures, and its better to respond to what does and does not happen.

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Our users say:
Posted by: mamma | 2011-11-26

uit die diepte van my hart as ma, as ex-onderwyser: NEVER PUT YOUR CHILD IN GRD 1 BEFORE THE AGE OF 7!!!!!!!
My oudste kind het IK van ''n genie, eers September 7 geword (einde van sy Gr1), 7 onderskeidings in matriek, uitstekend op universiteit MAAR emosionele agterstand kan NIE opgevang word NIE!!! Tweede kind het 7 geword die dag toe hy gr 1 begin, baie beter maar nog steeds emosionele agterstand tot gr12.
Jare terug het ek eers 6 geword na helfte van gr1. Daardie tye is lankal verby!!!! Druk is nou te veel.
Dink ASB wat jul aan jul kinders doen!!!

Reply to mamma
Posted by: Emma | 2011-11-25

My Daughter was assesed before going to grade 1. She was told that she was not emmotionally mature enought for grade 1 but she was doing her work brilliantly. We decided to let her move on to grade 1 with her friends and she is doing brilliantly. Now in grade 3. I believe she would have been bored if I kept her back.

Reply to Emma
Posted by: Maria | 2011-11-23

Lin, in general I''m in favour of keeping kids out of grade 1 for as long as possible, because of the pressure they are under right from the start. However your guy is going to be really bored if he has to do another year in grade R. My understanding is also that you cannot actually hold him back unless the educational psych writes a motivation, as he will already be 6 when the year starts. The start of the year will probably be quite tough with all the changes, but if you can hang in there I think he will settle down quickly. Good luck!

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Obvious | 2011-11-23

Surely the educational phycologist who has assessed your son and knows the family, in consultation with the school, would be the person to assist in making this decision?

Reply to Obvious
Posted by: Charlotte | 2011-11-23

Hi there, from my own experience with my son going to grade 1 when he just turned 6 in January(this was many years back, he is now 27) I would not recommend that, my son really battled emotionally as he was " nog baie vas aan ma se rokspante"  and stayed at home. It is just my opinion, so good luck, it is such a difficult decision to make.

Reply to Charlotte
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-11-23

I wouldn't necessarily believe the opinon about the "genius level", though he probably is indeed bright. Unless there are elaborate special enrichment programs available to him ( and I don't know of any such in SA ) there's nothing much to be gained by measuring his IQ for this reason. I don't actually accept that measures of "emotional maturity" are all that accurate or useful at this age, nor that they reliably predict how well he';; do in any particular grade. Its' absurd to assume that all the other kids in any grade in SA are at any particular level of "emotional maturity" and I've never seen any good reseach establishing this.
I really don't see why he should be expected to battle ? And there's loads of lee-way at this stage of schooling. I'd let him go to grade one, and see how he goes. His teacher's recommendation of this sounds convincing. You are not ffailing your child and will not fail him.
There are limits to anyone's ability to predict such futures, and its better to respond to what does and does not happen.

Reply to cybershrink

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