How long has he been in school and what kind of issues? Have you visited his class?
This is really an awesome question that many people have as they are faced with this!
I found first grade to be challenging because for my kids it was their first 'all day' experience and the first time real expectations of the academic sort were fully placed on them. My older son has sensory integration disorder. He'd had issues in maintaining himself in school since preschool. We worked hard and did occupational therapy with him so by the time he was in first grade, he had strategies to control his impulses. He was very aware. And he'd been an 'issue' to teachers and other kids for a while and didn't like it. We worked really hard on training him . . . if he acts up (or in your case is entertaining kids, being a clown, making them laugh). . . It is actually DISRUPTIVE and eventually kids don't like it. they get in trouble being with the class clown, they get in trouble by association and it eventually leads to being kind of kept at arms length by other kids. My older son realized this!
Then let's go to my next son who has NO developmental issues or delays. HE spent almost his entire second grade year and third grade year in trouble. Grrr. He was super social and saw school as a time to have fun with friends! I kept telling his teachers that while I was not happy about this, to see his joy at school and how he had fun with other kids was so much better than my other son that was more socially isolated and struggled to make friends and was sad. :>)) Teacher really didn't care but it was true for me. I will tell you that he is now 13 and very well behaved at school and has high grades in a rigorous course structure. He also STILL has a gaggle of friends and looks for any opportunity to have fun with them at school. He just picks and chooses now and knows how to get down to business.
So, I share this with you because you have some things to think about. First, would holding him back cause him to be bored academically? When is his birthday? How much younger is he? For some kids holding back is he absolute best option. They then are the more 'mature' kid in class, often larger which also seems to be good for some kids especially later on, etc. And if you hold him back in first grade (putting him back in kindergarten), people will forget very quickly. NOW would be the time to do it. My son was 6 starting kindergarten and turned 7 in April. So, don't know where your son falls. How much older he will be. But repeating kindergarten is easily forgotten by most kids. So, if you feel you need to, you can now.
But maybe your son is just like mine? Does he have friendships? Or is he getting attention because he has social skills issues and that's the only way he can? Does he struggle with the work in some way and this is the way to get out of it (common in elementary school)? Does he respond well to reward/punishment scenarios for behavior?
Oh yes, that is very young. He would have been a good candidate to start later (in my state, he'd have had to, too young for cut off). See if he will respond to instruction about behavior and boundaries, limits. Set up some one on one play dates so he can build some relationships that don't require so much attention seeking. But he indeed may just be much more immature than the slightly older kids. A good time to evaluate and make a change is now and then start the change if you put him back in kindergarten (and you could send him to a private school different from where he is at so it feels like he's doing that rather than going backwards and then restart him in the same school in first grade next year) AFTER CHRISTMAS break. That's a good time to make a change.
Okay, I looked it up and I misspoke. Here are the two options schools have . . . to use date of August 1st as the cut off date OR to sue September 30 as the cut off. Your child's date of late September is really the last date possible to go to kindergarten and around here, most hold their kids. We have a few but not too many. So, it is really a late birthday to start in my opinion. But I also get how that is a hard decision.
See if you can manipulate behavior to school standards with rewarding good behavior (he gets to do X that he wants to on the weekend if he has a week of good behavior and obviously does not if he doesn't--- in our house it is video games always on the table). Try the one on one because he is trying to get attention which often hides that he is having trouble just 'hanging' out with the kids. talk to the counselor. And in the mean time, look for where you could go the rest of the year after Christmas for back to kindergarten and then back to this school for next year in first grade if you really think that is the right way to go.
Sandman will weigh back in and he has excellent knowledge on this too so wait for his response as well!
Hi, sorry i took so long to get back to you on such an important question. We are on vacation in the High Sierras and my computer time has been a bit limited.
This is a question I had to deal with as an elementary school principal and it always was a difficult question/answer. However the age factor always made it easier. Yes, your son is young...and may be the youngest in his class. The tough thing (for him) is that he will always be the youngest as he moves into middle school and high school. The young kids that seem to do okay are those that are either mentally or physically gifted. If he does not have either of those advantageous it will be more difficult for him then say a child born much later.
So yes, it would be better to hold him back now then later. Now, he will soon forget. It gets much tougher as he moves through the grades and makes more friends. So it kind of depends on what options you have. I think talking with his teacher last year would be helpful. Talking with the Principal is also important if you want to stay at the same school this year. Some times this wish is difficult to achieve due to class sizes and teacher personalities.
So I am really interested in how your meeting on Fri went. Because, you really do need more information. All of the above is based solely on his age, and there are more factors involved. There are a number of things that you/he can do to improve the present situation. If you decide to stay at the same grade, I can give you some good ideas.
I was kind of wondering since a lot of his problems seemed to be later in the day if teacher dynamics were part of the problem? Or if he just is not getting enough sleep at night?.... as that can really screw up his day.
Hopefully, some of this helps. This is not an easy decision to make and it is worth spending your time on. Keep in touch.
If the classes he's misbehaving in have different teachers, it could be because he doesn't like them or because he doesn't like the classes they teach. I'm going to be honest here, these are just guesses. I know kids act differently based on the teacher. When I was in third grade I had a great teacher and I loved to participate in class. However, about a third of the way into the year she had to leave to have a baby and we had a bunch of substitute before they hired a new teacher. This teacher was mean and wasn't afraid to make fun of you for the slightest mistake you made in front of the entire class. I turned quiet, stopped participating, and my grades and openness dropped dramatically. Although I acted the same at home, I was the total opposite at school. That's all I can come up with. Sorry I'm not able to help much. Hope he improves!