Friday, January 30, 2009


Some news just ends up rocking our world. Even though I had a sneaking suspicion about this, Jacob's teacher and I had a conference yesterday. She suggested thinking about keeping Jacob back. His birthday is in May.

This was one of my fears all along. I knew that he was the youngest in his class of 15 (well, second youngest). He doesn't ever want to go to school and I almost have to drag him there everyday. Once hes there he seems to be fine. But he wants to stay at home with me and the babies.

He also has not been listening when his teacher gives out directions. His mind wanders easily. Even when they are singing or doing an activity he seems to have his head in the clouds.

She suggested making sure he has a proper diet and is getting enough sleep. But otherwise this really is an emotional development that we may not be able to control.

I just hate thinking of holding him back now that hes had two years with the same kids. I don't want Jacob to think that hes done anything wrong or isn't smart enough because that isn't that case. Academically hes doing great. I don't want him socially ostracized because hes not fitting in with the others or hasn't made friends (as is the case now - he really doesn't have any close friends). And maybe he would be better off with the class below him emotionally.

I think I'm rambling...

But the worst feeling is that I haven't done enough to help him succeed. It tears me up. I knew as soon as I found out that I was having triplets that Jacob would get the short end of the stick. And he has. I don't know if I could have helped him be more emotionally mature. I don't know if I can help him like school more. It just sucks because I have this guilt trip that I haven't done enough and I wonder what I can do to change that.

At least its a long way to next August when school starts. I can wait to make a decision until the week before school anyway.

It seems to be the trend to hold your child back if they have a summer birthday. Two of Jacobs classmates are born in July and their parents just delayed sending them to school until they were 5. I think that makes children like Jacob who were born in May look more emotionally and physically immature because they have classmates that are 9 months older then them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

First, try not to beat yourself up. As a teacher, I would recommend that if a teacher thinks it is his best interest, I would hold him back. I've taught 3rd grade for years and always see the youngest struggle. I have NEVER heard a parent wish they hadn't retained, but have heard them say they wish they had when they see the emotional struggles with school because of maturity. I am sure your son would survive if you send him on, but do you want to continue to have school battles his whole career?

Retention isn't the same as when we were younger. Honestly, kids don't think a thing of it and especially at that age. I'd ask the teacher to refer you to the guidance counseler of his school and talk it over with him/her. Ask what will be in place to help with your son's adjustment if he is retained (this year AND next year as follow up).

I have a friend struggling with it now for her twin boys, and she is a middle school teacher. She is retaining because she decided she would rather have an older "leader" than a younger "follower" during those middle school years.

Of course, these are all my own opinions and I recognize this is a HUGE, hard decision as a parent. Good luck!