what to do, what to do

i just got back from picking ian up at school. and i feel like i'm in a bit of a pickle.

when i saw the teacher, she said, "we need to talk" in the most serious of voices. i was like, uh oh, what happened? but it turns out mrs. R feels like she's not servicing ian well enough. apparently, this week they're learning about the letter F and they were talking about fingers. but then ian had to go and say that you could also call them phalanges (although, the definition really refers to the bone of a finger or toe). he is just like his mama -- always spewing out facts and being a smarty-pants. she also heard him telling the other students about fencing.

to be honest, i know my son is smart and i didn't actually expect him to learn too much in kindergarten. i told mrs. R that i felt the socialization process was more important in kindergarten (at least for ian), but she said he already knows how to follow directions and be a good student. so then i had to open my big mouth and say that lately i haven't been able to spend too much time doing enrichment with him but he can open up a book and read a lot of it on his own. she said that it was all him and nothing she's done. (but she does assign a lot of writing for homework, which i think is great, and ian has benefited greatly from it.)

anyway, to make a long story short, we're going to discuss this during parent-teacher conferences later in december. i had been thinking about bringing up the subject of extra enrichment for ian, but i didn't want to sound like the over-zealous parent who thinks her child is gifted when he's not. however, since mrs. R brought it up i feel safe broaching the subject about giving him differentiated work, even if it's just for homework.

but what kind of enrichment should you give a kindergartener, and how much should you expect from a 5 year old? i don't want ian to get too far ahead so that we have this problem again in first grade, but i don't want to hold him back if he's clearly ready to learn more. what to do? what to do?

[i'm sorry -- i didn't mean for this post to sound like i'm bragging about ian. it's just that i know ian has tons of potential to do so much more than what a standard kindergarten curriculum requires. i just don't know what to do.]


New Teach said...

Ian is obviously really smart - it's OK to say so! I think extra enrichment is a great idea - it was my favorite part of elementary school. It doesn't mean he'll be bored in first grade. The material could just be totally different.

I personally think JSC is also gifted and talented, but I have little evidence for this yet.

yucaree said...

i'm sure JSC is gifted; after all, she has parents like you and hobokener! and you're already reading to her so she'll be a reader in no time.

i'm not so sure about maya, though. the poor second child ... i'm totally neglecting her intellect and i can't say that i've been stimulating her very much. i guess i should get to work!

hobokener said...

It's not only ok to brag about your children - I think it's expected! You're supposed to be proud of them. and anyway it's not bragging if it's true.

Although it's rather obvious that New Teach was a big dork in elementary school, I must admit that I enjoyed some extra enrichment stuff I did too - learning early spanish and those cool logic puzzels (Mrs. Wilson is a teacher and lives in the white house next to the yellow house, etc etc) in 2nd grade, a) because they were interesting and b) because they made me feel smarter than the other kids and there's nothing wrong with feeling good about your intellect.

grudge girl said...

Man, I don't know either, except that I'd err on the side of encouraging his potential. They're not thinking about skipping him up into first grade, are they?

I know back in my day, I was the only one in my "reading group" in first grade, and then there were about 3 of us in 2nd. That seemed ok. The work was appropriate, and yet I stayed in the same grade. Do they still do that sort of differentiation within grades?

The second child makes up for your lessened intellect-stimulation time by catching up to older sibling on their own. They're resourceful. Don't worry about her.

You should be very proud. Teachers' children have such an advantage. Ian is fabulous!

I'm sure you'll make all the right decisions. Just trust your gut.

hellomelissa said...

my kid's never been happier in school since he started enrichment this year (1st grade). you're very lucky to have a kid who is so interested in the world around him. do whatever you can to expand those horizons!