My daughter is currently in first grade and is struggling with reading. While her reading has improved quite a bit from the beginning of year, she's really not at the level she should be at this point in first grade. I've talked with her teacher and she brought up something I am mulling over as a parent, the possibility of her repeating first grade. It's kind of in my hands--the teacher will promote her if I say promote, but hold her back if I say hold her back. But if I do that, what should I do about CCD? Should I have her repeat first grade CCD too? I am interested in input on both subjects--especially from parents who may have faced the same thing.
I'll be honest, at first I was dead set against holding my daughter back. Then I realized my own pride and fear of "failing as a parent" was overriding what might actually be best for my daughter. So now I am mulling over the decision and giving it serious thought. I plan to see how the rest of the school year shapes up thought before I make the final decision (to see if she suddenly "catches up" for example).
Here's a little background which might help. First off, my daughter barely qualifies age-wise for first grade. She was born right around the cut off age and is the youngest in her class. She is very bright and gets the highest marks in all other subjects (math, social studies, science, music, art, behavior, etc) it's just the reading that is the stumbling block. The problem is, reading is the key thing grades 1-3. And I am afraid if she is promoted too soon she will always struggles with reading and it will start effecting her other subjects as well. But at the same time, she does so well in math social studies, and science, I hate to see her bored repeating those subjects again.
She tries her best; and 7 months ago I signed her up for a special reading program with a reading teacher. Of course, I have been working with her every day and have been increasing reading efforts. We read books daily, play reading and spelling games, have flash cards, etc. But I really believe she's just not developmentally there if that makes any sense. I think it's also worth mentioning that she is also a bit ostracized by her peers since she is the youngest and smallest (she is still 6 and will still be 6 at the end of the year while most of the class was 7 starting first grade and some will be turning 8 by the end of the year). Most of her friends are kindergartners.
My husband left us this year to pursue his own life--so I am pretty much a single parent on my own (he sees her, but I am taking care of her for the most part and helping her with schooling). I am sure that didn't help matters as it was a very stressful time for me and my daughter as we adjusted. Home schooling isn't an option since I am the bread winner. I am also moving out of the area at the end of the school year and my daughter will be in a new school. So my thought was repeating first grade wouldn't have the social stigma for her (you know, being left behind while her class mates move on). She would also be with kids closer to her own age. She would be aware she's repeating first grade though.
My thought on holding back is this. I will continue to work with her, but see where she is at the end of the school year. Then I will decide. I plan on getting her a phonics tutor over the summer as well as continuing to work with her myself regardless of whether I hold her back or not.
But I also wonder if I hold her back, should I do the same in CCD? My thought is, it won't hurt her to have more instruction before First Holy Communion (which she would receive at age 8 instead of 7 if I do this) and it will put her in the same CCD class as her peers from school as well. So in that respect it will be keeping things feeling "normal" for her. But should I hold back on her getting the Sacrament due to academics?