My son is the youngest in his class he is failing 1st grade is this normal

I would like to see if there are other parents out there with a 6 year old child in the 1st grade, who is struggling. Could it be he is too young? He barely made it through Kindergarton. Should I prepare that he may have a learning disabilitly or he is just not mature enough yet? I spend so much time with him on homework. I just would like to see what other 6 year olds are doing… is anyone else dealing with this same issue?

Comments for
My son is the youngest in his class he is failing 1st grade is this normal?

Nov 18, 2011 He’s fine
by: Belamby

This boy has such an advantage over many with a caring mum like you. What’s normal for one kid is not normal for another. So relax, he sounds like he will make the grade with some encouragements. Naturally there will be some that mock him for repeating. Then again some of the world’s best people repeated and survived to become greats.

Nov 09, 2011 6 year old in kindergarten
by: Anonymous

My six year old is in Kindergarten which I felt was a good thing since he’s adopted and only spoke bulgarian when he came home at age 4. I think he has made lots of progress. The teacher, in kindergarten, though seems like she thinks he should know more just because he his 6. In the kindergarten readiness test she said ‘he is average in all areas but he is six’. Like it was some sort of putdown ‘but he is six’ and just average. His overall score though was 21/24 points? (and 1 point was due to his not having good pencil grip —he only has 1 finger–total–1 pinky on left hand and no right hand). He is not redshirted but has a late birthdate for our school district’s cut off which is Sept 6th. His birthday was Sept. 31st. Anyway point is she is putting him down for problems even though he is doing well just because he his older and should she thinks know more. trust yourself and you will make right decision.

Oct 05, 2011 my son youngest in his grd1
by: tej

My son who is now 6yr 3mths,is in term4 of yr1.He is good with his spelling,sight words,reading nmaths,but not in writing,social skills,making friends or leaderships tesks.Half of classmates have turned 7 already,he looks upto them.recently we attented a seminar about boys maturity which takes longer than girls maturity.We son comes home n complains about not having friends,he doesn’t want to do his writing. There is no point talking to teacher,she just blames the age or immaturity.Its his first year of education which i thought whould be enjoable,not stressed,not feeling upto the mark.he is going to repeat next year in different school.

Sep 16, 2011 6 year old in second grade
by: Anonymous

Interesting posts. I have 3 sons with late birthdays. The two oldest ones we redshirting and the youngest we didn’t. He is now 6 years old and in second grade. He is the youngest in the grade of over 130 kids The kids in his class are turning 8. I have read numerous studies. This is what I found studies indicate that the first 2-3 years after retention they do well then there is not an advantage. In addition the children have a “stigma” that they have failed if they are retained. However boys in general will try to be labeled with attention problems if they are the youngest in the class. So the best is to start them in school when they are older what is called “red shirting” however if they have already started in school and they are not seriously suffering academically then let them stay. By the way my two oldest are in college and they did well “redshirting” or waiting until they were older to start school. My 6 year is doing well academically, however I have worried about whether I should have retained him, but then again he is doing well academically and socially and in the end I decided based on the studies that it would do more harm then good to hold him back just because he is young.

Jan 08, 2011 Mom of a 6 yr old in 1st grade
by: Concerned Mom

Heather I Have a 6 year old.Inface he just Turned 6 Dec 10th.He is also in first grade and I Knew he wasn’t ready.I Really wanted him back in Kindergarten and asked 3 times and was told 3 times no.Now being the youngest in his 1st grade class he is struggling somewhat..He so far knows all his site words and does well in math and on spelling test.But he hates to write and is behind in reading still.I Know my son he is lazy and sturbborn..At home he does all his work writing included with no problems at all..He loves school and I Have no homework problems with him..Its just in school he will make excuses why he cant write and after a while will get Antsy in his seat.He is a good kid and honestlt only had 3 months of Kindergarten from April -June b/c he was sick so much last year with Asthma ans a bad hearing problem that I Knew nothing of and that is finally fixed.I Have had meetings with his teacher and she agrees he is young and still immature for 1st grade.Most kids in his class are starting to turn 7 now its a big difference.It effects them big time.I Am a very involved Parent at my son’s school and I Also work very hard with him at home to make sure he doesnt fall behind that much but i can only do so much he still has to be a kid.I’m tired of the school physocologist telling me maybe I Should have him tested for ADD/ADHD now I Just ignore him after speaking with my son’s Ped i was told they dont test for ADD/ADHD till age 8 b/c the kids are still immature and young they need time to grow..I Wss feeling so much pressure and would cry alot now I Just take a deep breath and ignore the physocologist and do what i have to for my son..Every child is different and will klearn at their own pace..Altho there are children who are 6 in 1st grade doing great good for them right now my child is still growing and needs that extra time.

Oct 24, 2010 Straight A third grader wants to flunk so he can be oldest in class!
by: Anonymous

Boy is good in school, straight a’s, is good at sports,is tall for his age, but dosen’t want to pass this year so that he will be the oldest kid in class. He is only eight and because of red shirting he has ten year olds in his class! He is accademically exactly where he should be. His complaint is that the other kids say they don’t want to be his friend because he is too young!

May 25, 2010 Be easy with him, he must enjoy school stage
by: Makusa

Your son has another 15 or so years of schooling and should have a positive attitude towards his work. If he is struggling then it will probably help for him to redo year one. My son is six in year two and he is coping quite fine but the teacher does not expect too much from him so he underperforms. He glows whenever he gets everything right. We are considering having him redo year two so that he can have a strong ego and get used to being the best rather than to be content to be average. If your son was the oldest, I would encourage you to work harder but if he is the youngest, go easy on him, really…for your own and his good

May 25, 2010 Your son will be fine
by: Misty

Don’t be so hasty in thinking your son has a learning disability. He’s the youngest in his class, it is more than likely a maturity issue. Do not allow the school to push him on to the next grade. Now would be the best time for him to repeat the grade and catch up. Children make new friends easily at that age. It will be easier for him to adjust now, rather in middle or high school.

Mar 18, 2010 My son is the youngest in his class.
by: JT Makusa

My son too is the youngest in his class with upto two year differences with other kids!! He came from Africa from a school that applies Montesouri system of education and takes each kid at his/her level. By the time most kids turn four, they can read very well. Fast forward to Australia when my son turned five and all the prep stuff was too easy even to consider putting him there. By the time he turned five he was doing additions and subtraction for numbers to ten, which is stuff that is covered in term 4 of year 1 in his current school. So at five we took him to year one. All went well until the teacher was shell-shocked that he had just turned five before first term started! He was the best reader in class and had to get year two English homework because year one homework was “easy peassy” as he puts it.
His handwriting and artwork however were the sloppiest in the whole class. The teacher at first
let him get away with malpractices on the basis of his age but we persuaded her otherwise. After expecting him to perform well, my son rose to the occasion and did his year one very well. I think the problem is with the teachers being fixated on age and ignoring other things. I originally come from a country where some of the brightest kids in the class are the youngest. Age is not as big an issue as it is made to appear here in the west. Now my son is in year two and we have to convince the teacher once again to expect excellence from our son. She is happy to give it a try; thank God!!

Mar 04, 2010 Anxious
by: Anonymous

My 6 year old daughter is the youngest in her 1st grade class. I am well-read on the subject of red-shirting and know that England has been trying to correct a massive difference in the academic performance gap (in the teen years!) between summer borns and fall/winter borns. England has decided to start their summer borns a little earlier and we in the U.S. that can afford it hold them back. I think that the scientific community cannot agree on solutions and/or causes…it is crazy. I feel 50/50 all the time…50% she could have been red-shirted and 50% glad that she was not red-shirted. She keeps up well enough in school but I work w/ her every night. There is a big difference between her and the older kids in class from a social standpoint…but she has several friends close to her age. It seems to me a lot of the parents of the older kids worry that their kids aren’t being challenged enough…I am not sure there is any winning here… I might change my mind next year when I see how second grade goes but part of me is secretly glad that the bar has been set high…I am much more focused on process rather than end-results so a B that she works hard for is more interesting to me than an A that came easily to her. This topic haunts me constantly. One study I read suggested that it wasn’t so much being the oldest or youngest that benefited a child (being the oldest has its negatives too) but being in a group that is close to your age and/or skill level. At the end of the day we must do what it right for our kids well-being. Good luck all and I hope you sleep better than I do!

Mar 03, 2010 Holding back in K.
by: Worrymommy

I’m dealing with the same thing right now.
My son is in K. and he’s doing well- very well academically.
But ever since day one- the teacher (who I like) has said that she worried he was too young.
In comparison to the other boys in the class he is.
It seems like everyone is holding back there kids or putting them in late.
There are some really BIG kids in his class.
And I think that it creates a difficult dynamic.
I am an educator, but since this is my first child in school I’m coming at this whole thing from the opposite side.
I am going to agree to his redoing K.
I think that it will help his self esteem. He’s a little shy and silly.
My biggest worry is that my husband is going to freak!!!
I just don’t want him coming down to hard on our son.
He’s not a bad boy at all- he’s just a little too immature.
Any advice on dealing with dads????

Jan 13, 2010 My Son Is Going Thru The Same Thing!
by: FamousBlondeMom

Hi! My son is in the first grade this year and the first teacher’s meeting we had, the teacher and I both realized that he was the youngest in his class. He just turned 6, while the others just turned 7. He is doing really well academically, but he is very stubborn. He doesn’t want to take his time and still lacks maturity. I was upset at first, because no one let me know anything last year, in kindergarten. I thought, by law, I was required when he turned 5, to put him in school. I had no idea I could wait another year. I’m definitely frustrated, but I have to do what is best for my son. I hate that I’m going to have to hold him back, but I think that is what I’m going to do. His teacher was saying I can’t “believe he is reading as good as he, since he’s that young.” She said he has the potential and that holding him back now would be better than, waiting to see if he fails in 5th grade or something. I’m scared and worried how my son is going to react when all the kids in his class are in the 2nd, while he’s in the 1st.

Nov 06, 2009 Sounds familiar
by: Anonymous

Your son sounds a lot like mine. Youngest in his first grade class, trouble keeping up in kindergarten and first grade. Also he has the same issues with attention and handwriting. We took my son for an Attention Deficit Disorder eval and I think it’s likely to show that he has the disorder. (We haven’t received the results yet) Also, he’s had an Occupational Therapy eval and it shows significant delays in small motor (handwriting, drawing). I really wish we would have held our son back a year in school. Even with help for his learning issues, I worry if he’ll always be at a disadvantage to the rest of his class. In my opinion, being older could only help, but now we have to worry about the negative effects psychologically, of retaining a child. Our school (and lots of studies seem to agree) that it’s not advisable to have a child repeat a grade. They should just receive help for learning disabilities, if they have them.
Good luck with your decision. It’s a tough one.

Sep 23, 2009 Youngest in First Grade
by: Lucita

My son did preschool and moved on to kindergarden.
Since day one he’s told me he doesn’t like school work, but he loves to play at school. Everyday up till this morning it’s a struggle to get him to school…he whines…cries…& asks me if it’s Friday :0/
He did ok in kindergarden except for not paying attention…and saying his hand is tired when asked to do class work.
He knows how to count to 100 +, knows how to add and reads very well. My son entered first grade last month at 5 years old and turned 6 years on the second week of class. He is having trouble because of course he’s not paying attention & “has messy handwriting” The teacher wrote me a note that he acts like he’s still in kinder…and to make an appt. with her to consider putting him back in kindergarden. I don’t know if it’s a good idea. He’s immature for a first grader and writes messy…but not sure if he will be bored of his mind repeating kindergarden? I try to help him with his handwriting…but his hands are soo small and doesn’t grab the pencil tight. He attends private there aren’t any programs available. Any suggestions?

Sep 04, 2009 I also was the youngest in the class
by: Anonymous

Please remember that to kids the years of childhood seem to last a long time. The youngest in the class will be at a disadvantage for what seems like a century. We live life in relation to others. Don’t put your kid at a disadvantage like that for such a long time.

Dec 02, 2008 School resources
by: Terri B

Hi there. I have two sons who were both “young” Kinders. I have had to hold them both back. We did the same thing that you are doing, the homework every night, the wondering, the stressing. What we discovered is that we were not only driving ourselves crazy, but our son’s as well. I always have communicated regularly with the teachers and they agreed. Your teacher should be communicating her thoughts to you. He/she is the best judge of the possibility of a learning disability. Both of my sons have serious health issues so it is so very important for me to know all of the resources that are there and what is proper procedure for teacher’s to follow. Sometimes I have had to get firm in advocating for my boys. If your son’s teacher is not giving you any feedback, then you need to insist, and if that still does not seem to work, then start with the principal. They are sometimes just overworked and simply haven’t realized that there is a problem. So always try the path of least resistance first. If the teacher and you agree on what the issue is, then great. If not, it is your right to request that your child be tested for a learning disability. If he has one, they will give him a special learning plan, called an IEP for all of his teachers to follow. If you need help or resources, is a great site. Probably though he is just “young”. Holding him back now is the best thing that you could do for him and you. And at this point he will adjust in no time. I hope that helped.