I would just like to say a few sentences to all parents who have forced their child to go to the next grade level when he/she wasn’t at all ready or well prepared. I mostly am talking about Kindergarten retention and moving on to first grade when you shouldn’t, but what I have to say goes for any early elementary grade level. When an elementary school teacher recommends retention there are usually many, many reasons that she/he has said given that advice. Among the most frequent reasons are:
- Developmentally not ready
- Academically not ready
- Emotionally not ready
I have recommended retention for many children through the years and more often than not, the parents refuse. When your child is not ready for the next school year, he/she walks into the new classroom already behind. Yes, I know that some children pick up skills over the summer months, but let me tell you, so do the children who grasped all of the skills the previous school year. Your child will give up before he/she even begins because the feeling of not knowing what is going on is overwhelming. I see this every year! I always try to talk to these parents to see if I can understand the reason behind their decision to send their ill prepared child to the next grade, but there is never a concrete answer. Then, what I usually say to the parents is to be prepared for 12 long school years ahead while their child tries to catch up with his/her peers, but more often than not, is unable to do so.