UPDATE TO Mrs. Flinger October 16, 2015
Because the Universe has a wicked sense of humor, after this delcaration, my blog threw up all over my last upgrade.
So I'm starting over using Craft. Turning 40 and kid entering Jr High next year, sometimes it's just time for a change. These archives will still exist in the way the last child goes off to college and their room is the same for 20 years, but it's just time to move forward.
Gifted and Talented Jun 24, 2009
I have, what is commonly referred to as, “children who are too smart for their own good.” AKA: Gin and Tonic. Or, rather, GIfted and Talented. (Anyone else automatically have visions of limey goodness with the accronym GnT?)
My children have both been very successful academically. That is to say, they have ROCKED the preschool scene over and over. Colors? They got’em! Letter? All 26! Numbers? Counting to 12! Conceptually adding and subtracting before age four!
Shitting themselves? STILL!
I’ve only recently realized the potential my two children hold. Both their teachers are amazed and flabbergasted by their intelligence. “Oh, that’s going to be an issue later” they say. And I know they’re right because my daughter is reading at age 4 and a half (remember the “and a half” people, it’s VERY important) and will go to a private kindergarten in the fall to skirt the date cutoff since she’s an October baby. But after this year, there is still a chance she will have to repeat Kindergarten, not based on her intelligence, academics, or readiness socially, but strictly because the schools are full.
There will be children in Kindergarten learning their letters while my daughter is adding and subtracting and counting by twos. Kids will be entering the system because they are “of age” while my daughter is being held back in a system that is failing her miserably.
I’ve frequently heard that “everyone catches up by fourth grade anyway” and it finally hit me: It’s not that all the other children grow and mature and learn, it’s that we hold the ones too far ahead back and the ones too far behind drop further back a grade. Perhaps, yes, it does even out by fourth grade, but I’m starting to believe this isn’t the best path for my children. I’m not ready to comitt to homeschooling as of yet, because I understand my childrens’ own needs for a space we don’t have and other children and teacher’s I am not. But the argument that “we did fine in a public school” isn’t going to slice it for me. We did go through The System. The Same System that is being “reformed” to “leave no child behind and let no child too far ahead.” I know teachers work hard and do an amazing job. I don’t envy them. I just don’t think The System has the support needed for anyone different. Anyone unique. Anyone not plastic.
Maybe I’m wrong. But it looks like I’ll be working with some pretty amazing kids for the rest of their lives. I’m grateful for this, blown away by their eagerness to learn, and humbled by my inability to keep up.
I sometimes fail as a mom, but in this one tiny area, I’m going to see if I can’t be what they need and find the resources to help them succeed. It’s the best I can do. I expect the best out of them.