You Might Want to Consider Your Kid Repeating the Same Grade Next Year

Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis told parents they could choose for their child to either repeat the same grade next year or promote them to the next grade.

DeSantis also announced all testing is cancelled for K-12 grades through the rest of the school year.

Whether or not other states decide to follow suit remains to be seen. For the sake of argument, let's assume you wind up with this choice as a parent.

What option should you pick?

Let's look at the impact of holding a child back or promoting them:

A lot depends on what grade your child is in. Repeating a grade earlier in your school career may not impact you as much. As a December baby, I wound up repeating kindergarten after my parents realized I lagged too far behind my peers. At that age, a few months maturity can make a big difference in academic performance and emotional stability.

photo: Getty Images

What about kids in high school?

As a parent, it may be beneficial for tax reasons to hold back a senior in high school. Then you can still claim them as a dependent for another year (assuming they were going to move out after their senior year.)

If your high school senior isn't prepared for either secondary education or the job market, you may want to bolster their scores and take advantage of school programs for another year before making the leap.

What if your child already secured scholarships and/or a job as a senior in high school? Let's look at this on a case by case basis:

  • Colleges and universities probably won't suffer much uncertainty when it comes to enrolling new students. If your child already has scholarships secured, the road ahead should be pretty smooth. If your child only secured acceptance but no scholarships, you may want them to hold off attending to see how your financial situation evolves. If your income decreases, they may be eligible for aid they wouldn't have otherwise.
  • If your child wants to go into a trade considered a necessity (plumbers, electricians, etc), it may still be a good idea to move forward regardless. Jobs that deal with necessary infrastructure are almost always in demand.
  • If your high school senior wants to graduate and enter the job market, they may want to rethink traditional jobs just out of high school in the service or retail industry. It may be good to repeat 12th grade to buy time to increase skill sets in high demand areas that reveal themselves in the next eighteen months. IT and tech support skills come to mind right now.

The employment landscape always changes. Right now it's evolving very rapidly because of COVID-19. It just means you may need to find different ways to apply your skill set. The same goes for school age kids. If repeating a grade makes you better prepared to face what comes after graduation, repeat a grade. I may have repeated kindergarten, but I then wound up skipping 11th grade.

Things work out in the end.

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