Ask an expert
Question

26 Jul 2005

My youngest son - opinions needed
Parents' evening was last night and both my children are settling into their school very well. The only problem is with the youngest. His teacher says that he is very bright (he's in the Grade 0 class, and bigger than most of his classmates), but he is a year younger than most of them. She showed me the work that he did last week, compared to the work that the other children his age, and the children a year older did. His work is close to the best with the older children, and much better than the younger children. She advised that I have his psychologist do a school-readyness assessment to see whether he will be able to cope in Grade 1 next year. But she also said that sometimes children have problems accepting the fact that they need to do sports etc. with their own age-group instead of their classmates.

I remember being put in school at the age of 5. More than school-ready. The sports thing was very frustrating and I consequently didn't do much sport in primary school. This gave me a more time for academics, and by middle grade 2, my teacher wanted to advance me to grade 3 - until she realized that I was already a year younger than most of the other children in our class. I became extremely bored in primary school and simply never recovered. I was lazy, just did the bare minimum for homework but paid attention in class. Never studied for exams (except in Matric) and still made very good grades.

I don't want this to happen with my son. Would it be a good idea to leave him in Grade 0 for another year even if the assessment shows that he is school-ready? His teacher has already said that she will give him some extra work to do and that he'll become a class assistant and help out the other kids that struggle. But will he become bored with that? I also have a feeling that he will become impatient if he has to help children that struggle. He is a bit bossy.

Any opinions?
Answer 409 views
Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Actually, Liza, I had some similar experiences, in being twice advanced a year ahead of my age-group in primary school, and personally I found it beneficial and no problem at all. I had good friends among the other kids without worrying about anyone's exact ages, which only became obvious at birthday parties. I think the problems that may be possible on advancement, are usually far, far, smaller than those caused by becoming bored at being kept back with work much less challenging and interesting than one needs. Get the assessment and discuss this with the psychologist. If the advice is for him to advance, go ahead

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.