Monday, October 06, 2008
Help, Oh, Help
As I'm sure most of you have gathered, there's lots of stuff going on around here right now. I'm behind on absolutely everything, and I apologize to everyone who's affected. I'll update on some of that later.
Right now, I'm wrestling with a dilemma that many of my friends and family have been telling me is coming, and of course, I'm bringing it to you, Internets, for your input, advice, opinions, and anything else you've got.
Bella will be six years old this month, and she's in kindergarten. She's also been reading for over a year, and has a couple other areas in which she demonstrates certain acedemic aptitude that is advanced beyond kindergarten level.
Today, when I picked her up from school, her teacher asked if I could come in for a moment and speak to her about Bella. The teacher and I were joined by the school's principal, the Gifted and Talented coordinator, and someone called curriculum specialist or academic coach or something like that. Long story short, they've ascertained that the kid is bright. Quelle surprise.
Now, the question being put to her father and I is, "What do you want to do about it?" And frankly, we don't know. The option of skipping her on up into first grade was offered right off the bat, and to be honest, the notion is a little jolting to me. The other option was keeping her where she is, and providing some special attention three times a week (provided that she "officially" tests into the G&T program) or so.
I have been hearing complaints from my daughter about school being "boring," and that she's "not learning anything." I've been telling her to be patient, and we'd see if we could do something about that. But what? Her teacher says that she does not complain at school, and has an attitude of polite patience in the classroom. Yeah. "Polite patience" pretty much sums up her attitude at home, too. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
So, here I am, in full information-gathering mode. If you have a story or some experience relating to this issue, AND I KNOW YOU DO, I'd like to hear it. In favor of grade-skipping, or against grade-skipping, or any experience with any solutions in between.
My sister and I were both October babies, and both fairly bright, and early readers. I started school early, while my sister started at the same age Bella did. I feel like my sister did better than I did at school, both academically and socially, and that she was better prepared for college at 18 than I was at 17. But how much of that is simply because our personalities were different? I just don't know.
Personally, I'm leaning toward keeping her where she is and trying to work hard to keep her engaged and interested. But how to do that? Is it even possible? By not letting her "skip ahead," am I actually holding her back? And how much of that feeling in me is powered by the overwhelming thought that, if she skips kindergarten, then that's ONE LESS YEAR I have with MY BABY?
Alex and I are already fighting about it, and I definitely don't want THAT. He wants to make a decision RIGHT NOW, and I know that he'd rather go ahead and advance her. I just want more information.
Anyone wanna give me some?