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Question
Posted by: J''s mom | 2010/10/04

Parenting Q - son repeating a year

It looks like my 8yr old son will be repeating Gr2 next year. How do I prepare him for this? I don’ t want him to think that just because he has failed the year that “ he”  is a failure. He has tried really hard and been for extra lessons but unfortunately his literacy skills are still very weak and he has not met the minimum criteria required. His numeracy skills are strong enough to pass him to Gr3, but he will not cope with the literacy tasks next year and his teacher wants to keep him back. How to I put this across with a positive spin?
Thx

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Much depends on why and how he has failed, and it'd be useful to discuss this with his teacher - and of course you also need to know how he was informed of this, and what the teacher and perhaps other kids may have said about it. You need to know the facts. Perhaps an assessment by an educational psychologist ( the school should be able to recommend one ) could shed useful light on the nature of his problems and the extent to which they could be remediated.
If his main problems are in literacy ( and one needs to know what aspects of it are problematic ) it may be helpful to encourage him to read more books at home of whatever sort he most enjoys and on his favourite topics. If he resists reading exercises prescribed by teachers, he may respond to more practice with self-selected materials.
Then, of course, one needs to chat with him, to see what he already understands and thinks about what has been happening at school, and what he thinks this extra year means for him. His main focus might be on missing his current school-pals as they move on to a different class, but he may be able to keep contact with them while making new friends in the new class

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: Liza | 2010/10/04

Everyone has something that they''re good at. Something a parent can be proud of and can praise. If a child receives many compliments on things that he/she is good at, the higher their self-esteem and then holding them back a year will not affect them as negatively.

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: Maria | 2010/10/04

Try posting on the Parenting Forum as well.

Is there something else that he is really good at, like music or sports? You could point out that people are good at different things, and while some kids can read better than he can, he can run faster than them. Also tell him how proud you are of him that he tried his best. Unfortunately kids are cruel and he is bound to be confronted with teasing and unhelpful attitudes. You could perhaps also make things easier for him socially by arranging playdates with some new classmates early in the new year.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/10/04

Much depends on why and how he has failed, and it'd be useful to discuss this with his teacher - and of course you also need to know how he was informed of this, and what the teacher and perhaps other kids may have said about it. You need to know the facts. Perhaps an assessment by an educational psychologist ( the school should be able to recommend one ) could shed useful light on the nature of his problems and the extent to which they could be remediated.
If his main problems are in literacy ( and one needs to know what aspects of it are problematic ) it may be helpful to encourage him to read more books at home of whatever sort he most enjoys and on his favourite topics. If he resists reading exercises prescribed by teachers, he may respond to more practice with self-selected materials.
Then, of course, one needs to chat with him, to see what he already understands and thinks about what has been happening at school, and what he thinks this extra year means for him. His main focus might be on missing his current school-pals as they move on to a different class, but he may be able to keep contact with them while making new friends in the new class

Reply to cybershrink

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