You might remember that our son was in first grade last year and at the end of the year we decided to retain him for a "bonus" year of first grade. You might not, because, really, who keeps track of other people's kids and their schooling issues? Anyway, retain him we did, not without a little trepidation.
While Tyler has struggled a bit in academics, he has always been ahead of his peers emotionally and socially. He makes friends easily, is kind and compassionate beyond his years (but occasionally mean and obnoxious beyond his years), which led us to worry about what retention would mean for him. Our team of first grade teachers assured me that the bonus year usually doesn't register in the kids minds, they just make new friends, have a new teacher and call it a day.
Which, naturally, wasn't the case for our boy.
Going to school was a bundle of nerves for him, he knew he would be the oldest in his grade and thought that the entire school was laughing at him (no really, for about two weeks he would come home saying that kids laughed in the halls when he walked by or kids at the next table were laughing at lunch, any laughter in his earshot that he could be positive wasn't about him, in his mind, was about him). No amount of assuring him that all 600 kids in his could not possibly a) know who he was b) know who he was and CARE or c) know who he was, care and be bothered with what grade he was in.
I'm not sure what changed, but eventually it did change. I think he realized his friends from last year are still his friends, he made new friends and his amazing teacher established him as a leader in the classroom (every kid's dream). If anything needs to go to the office or a kid needs to go to a part of the school they are unfamiliar with, the old pro gets to take them.
We went from whining about how boring school is and how dumb homework is to "Well, school is totally boring and homework will always be dumb, but it's not all lame."
And this week someone has discovered that he likes reading. We have Junie B Jones, Stink (Judy Moody's little brother) and the Magic Treehouse to thank for that.