Monday, November 15, 2010

Some Big Changes

A few weeks ago Dave and I had Emma's Parent Teacher Conference. The night before our meeting Emma's report card for the first nine weeks came home. Emma was acceding at ever level which was awesome, yet I was nervous for her conference.

Last year during Emma's first week of Kindergarten we set a rule with her. She has to tell us at least one thing new she has learned from that day. We don't care if it's a big or little thing just something. For the most part Emma was able to share something with us each day and she was always excited about telling us how her day was and what she learned.

This year has been completely different. I know as children get older they share less about there day with their parents but I'm pretty sure that shouldn't start at the age of 7. Most days when I ask Emma what she learned I get answers like "nothing" and "I don't know", or "we did the same things we did yesterday so I didn't learn anything new". Add to that a little girl who has been more moody and grumpy when first picked up from school and you get an uneasy feeling in your gut.

So going into Emma's Parent Teacher Conference I knew Emma wasn't being challenged enough at school and I was prepared to ask her teacher what she was going to do to improve that. Dave and I can't and shouldn't be the only ones to challenge Emma academically. I was surprised when Emma's teachers only topic to discuss was how to keep Emma interested.

It seems Emma is at the very top of her class in all levels and at the top when compared with the kids in the other First grade classes. Based on where Emma is she is showing at the same level as Second graders. This comment for me was like a dagger and I could have spit fire at that moment. If you remember we had Emma tested for early entrance to Kindergarten when she was four and we were told no because under state law she would have to test as gifted in all three areas (social, academic, and developmental). Emma tested as gifted in social and academics but was not able to dribble a basketball or tie shoes therefore she was not granted permission to start school two years ago. Now here we are being told that are daughter is at the same level as those kids and bored to tears in her own class.

After our conference the school had Emma take a series of Second grade standardized test. In the reading and writing Emma did exceptionally well, in math Emma did very good especially considering most of the concepts have not been taught at her level.

Last Thursday Dave and I met with Emma's teacher and the school principle to go over her test results and discuss our options. We are considering many currently but the one that stands out the most is to move her to Second grade. Dave and I have talked to Emma about the possibility of that and she wants to. She told us she wants to learn new things and make new friends. I shouldn't be surprised by this, yet I am. I'm not sure most kids would want to leave the Friends they have made and enter a new classroom where they don't know anyone, but Emma does and I am so glad she is so open to things like this. Even knowing Emma's feelings about this Dave and I are having a difficult time with this decision. We don't want to screw things up for Emma and this is so important. One minute I think leaving her where she is when she is so bored and already starting to hate school is the wrong thing and it would be best to move her up, not to hold her back. The next I think it will be to hard for Emma to play catch up and she wont make new friends so we should leave her and try and do more at home with her.

Of course we are still waiting to here from the school as to what they think is best and what is allowed to be done. We are expecting to here from the principle tomorrow, but no matter what there will have to be changes made in Emma's life.

Please wish us luck.


Tabi said...

I believe it sounds like a really good idea, she doesn't seem happy where she is at because she is not being challenged and she obviously needs that challenge. On the friend note, because we have had to move several times and switch schools, I promise you she is a bright girl who will make friends fast and just think, it will be friends more on her level.
Good luck with your decision and always go with your Mom intution!

We are dealing with that with my son, he is already on the 3rd grade level and just entered 2nd grade, they won't even give us the option though to up him and I don't know why! It's frustrating because he is so bored in class he's causing trouble by talking and goofing around with others.

Tiffany McCallen said...

How exciting! What a wonderful problem to have. You must be so proud of her! :) Best of luck as you decide what path for Emma to take. I'm sure no matter what you choose, she'll thrive.

Emily said...

Kudos to Emma and to you as a parent! You can see that she is driven and smart just like her mom!
I dont have any good advice, but you said in your post you got a feeling in your gut, thats usually the feeling to follow. Mom instincts are pretty dead on. Cannot wait to hear.
Sorry I have been off the radar, miss you and hope to see you soon.