This is not the first time I have posted about my precious little boy and school, nor will it be the last.
The school year started out great in August. He loved school and was almost overnight totally into writing and drawing and reading. For the first half of the year he totally blossomed.
January then became what seemed to be the end of that. We struggled through several weeks where he was having a tough time getting motivated to get his work done. Unfinished work came home on a few weekends and there were emails and a conference or two with his teacher. Wen the class celebrated 100 days of learning he truly thought that it was the end of the school year. Cried and cried when we told him there was still school till May. Among a few other issues I think we were all just about done with kindergarten and school!
Most of the time I felt like I made a bad decision starting my 5yo boy in kindergarten and not waiting till he was 6yo to start. A big decision that was not made out of incompetence, I am a school psychologist and know a fair amount about schools and child development. But when it was my son having problems in school … I started over analyzing everything and worrying and thinking worst-case-scenario … Not a good combination. Didn’t help that someone I respect who also knows a lot about children and schools strongly suggested whatever you do with regard to school don’t start your boys ‘early’. He was obviously supportive of redshirting kids, especially boys. As my hubby says, kindergarten is the new first grade. We knew that our son was very bright (confirmed by strong scores on the district gifted testing, especially in the nonverbal department) and not only worked to get him into a great school, but thought it best to start him as a 5yo, despite his July birthday. Especially when he was accepted into the school where we really wanted him to go.
There were several weeks in there where I doubted my choice to start him when we did. Concerns that some of his struggle was related fine motor skills and there’s not much to be done about that. Just time. Sure we can practice writing and do a few exercises (if we remember), but time is what he really needs.
All this to preface that I was worried about the trimester’s parent-teacher conference. Worried that his teacher would bring up retention and we might have some tough decisions ahead. Sure I’ve thought about it, but I wanted some really good reasons. Not just ‘he sometimes refuses to do his work’ and ‘he needs to develop stronger fine motor skills’. And selfishly, I did not want to have to pay for kindergarten. Again.
What a shock I was in for.
His teacher starts reviewing his scores on reading and math assessments and he’s well above the average in both areas. She brings up the gifted testing and his Advanced Learning Plan to focus on his super awesome nonverbal learning skills. She asks me if we were thinking about putting him in the HGT class in 1st grade.
Did I hear that right?
When I said that we had talked about it and with some of the concerns this year we want him to stay in the general ed class she breathed a sigh of relief. Said that she didn’t think the boy would be a good fit with the HGT teacher. Told me some about the process for placing kids in the next grade and asked my input about kids he gets along with or doesn’t. I know his report cards are always fine (minus the work completion and work done neatly categories) but hearing this from his teacher was such a HUGE RELIEF.
Oh, and she likes my boy and called him sweet.
That warmed my mother’s heart big time.