In thinking about it I came to the realization that the change was more in expectations than in S. He just was not getting the guidance and attention that he did when he did better in school - he excelled academically through all the lower grades in spite of his ADHD-related behavior issues. Obviously in 4th grade you do not get as much hand holding and the class size is much bigger. And I started to feel like he was just not ready for that transition. He has an August birthday and as early as kindergarten I had concerns about his readiness, but I hesitated to make him wait, because he is so big for his age.
I was leaning toward having him repeat 4th grade. Well, Dr. G. was very much against that and ultimately I think he is right - the stigma is just too great at this age. Plus, S does know the 4th grade material; he just refused to do the work to show it. So repeating would just make him bored and embarrassed and not do much good.
At the same time I really did not believe he was ready for 5th grade in the public schools. I mean, that is almost middle school! He does not have the skills to meet those expectations!
So there was one alternative ... something I never thought I could do ... We are going to homeschool S this year. I can hardly believe I have decided this but with much prayer I know it is the right thing to do.
The great thing is, in California, there are charter schools that give you funding and guidance and help you a lot. So we just scheduled our intake interview for a school in the Modesto area. I think this will be a great way to help him get up to speed before middle school. We are on our way!