Some preschool kids amaze their parents with their scholastic abilities. They seem to exhibit some exceptional skills and abilities when it comes to learning. But as soon as they start ‘big school’, the wheels come off. So what do you do in the event that your child’s teacher suggests he or she repeats Grade R? Should your kid repeat grade R?
A lot of kids that were born late in the year face this problem. But it also rings true for kids that were born during the early days of January. Should you, as the parent, push your kid through to grade 1. Or should you keep them back? How can you be sure you’re making the right decision?
It’s not uncommon for kids that don’t excel academically or socially to be held back, and this isn’t only applicable in South Africa. In fact, in Australia, an estimated eight to ten percent of learners repeat a school grade during one stage or another of their school life.
Why should your kid repeat Grade R?
One of the biggest reasons to have your kid repeat Grade R is because it allows him or her the opportunity of catching up with other children on social, physical, behavioural, and emotional levels. The idea of keeping up with the demanding curriculum doesn’t even come into play here. Most kids that repeat grades struggle to keep up with the grade requirements, which can have a negative effect on their behaviour, social skills, and level of maturity.
How to decide if your child needs to repeat Grade R
If you’re struggling with deciding whether or not your child should repeat Grade R, here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- Does my child struggle with one or more of the following subjects: reading, writing, math, social skills.
- Is there anything that the school or I have done this year to promote my child’s skills?
- What kind of help will my kid receive in school if he has to repeat Grade R? Will the teachers be repeating the same lessons or will a new method be used?
- Do I think that my child will be able to meet the required standards to advance to Grade 1 next year?
- Is my child’s social and emotional skills a concern when compared to other kids in Grade R?
- How will my child feel about having to repeat Grade R? Will he or she be embarrassed and withdraw, or will they be more motivated to learn and excel?
Who decides whether or not kids should repeat Grade R?
Retaining your child in Grade R (or any grade for that matter) is a decision that’s ultimately up to the parents of the child. Although the school will provide parents will all the information they’ll need to make a sound decision, they are there as a support system for the learner as well as the parents.