An experiment:

Reblog if, at some point in your educational life, you have gotten in trouble for reading a book that ‘wasn’t assigned to you’ or reading ahead in a book you were given in class or reading under your desk

Ahahah!  Yeah, the year I had to repeat 5th grade!  Not the actual year I repeated it, the first time through!  We’d moved (never move your kid after 4th grade if you can help it!)  Hated the new town, hated the school, hated the snooty not-working-class kids in the neighborhood.  Just wanted to go home.

Read the whole damn integrated reading series from 2nd to 6th.  Got busted when I said “well, but later they…” which was not ok.  Read all the science books, which was also not ok.  Once they gave up trying to “straighten me out” I ended up with a sort of detente with the teacher and principle: I’d just read quietly and they’d leave me alone.  

Ended up reading the whole 5th-grade encyclopedia and 5th-grade dictionary too.  Got basically zeros on spelling, arithmetic, grammar, and writing.  (I never was good at arithmetic or English grammar even though I studied abstract math, number theory, mathematical logic, and parsing theory my senior year in college!)

In retrospect the new town was a better town. The teachers and curriculum were definitely better, more sophisticated, and more progressive than my old school.  And while all I wanted to do was go back, I think i’d been waaayyy messed up by the hickory-stick hicks who ran my old school.  My new teachers (and, god knows, my very good parents) did their best.  And based on my understanding of child development I can tell they tried all the right things.  I just wasn’t having it.

So I repeated 5th grade.  And passed, if somewhat unenthusiastically.

But I learned one hell of a lot that year!