Being Held Back in Second Grade

Being held back in second grade, or being held back in any grade for that matter, can be either a tremendous benefit to a child, or it can be a disaster. Making the decision to hold a child back should be approached cautiously and the decision should not be made lightly. You need to consider all of the available information, and to know what the specific benefits and risks of either holding the child back or allowing them to progress will be.

On the one hand, being held back in second grade can set an unfortunate precedent for the child. Being held back may make the child feel as though they just aren’t as smart, deep down, as their peers. They may feel like a failure, or that they will never be able to master the material in second grade. Having said that, most teachers are very conscious of this potential problem, and will work with the student as well as with the family to make it so that being held back in second grade doesn’t have to impact them so forcefully.

On the other hand, being held back in second grade can sometimes be exactly what a child needs academically. It could be that the child started school early, or that the child is pretty close to keeping up with the rest of the class, but just can’t seem to get there. It could be that the child is, socially, not quite ready for the third grade. In these cases, being held back in second grade gives the child the opportunity to catch up in whatever area it is that she was deficient it, whether it is socially or academics.

It is important that, when you are considering holding your child back in second grade, that you thoroughly discuss the question with everyone involved, including the child. The child’s teacher, the school special education worker or social worker or psychologist may have some input, as well. Ultimately, however, whether or not your child is going to be held back in second grade will, largely, be up to you.


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