There have been so many times that I've wanted to write this post, but have stopped. Why? Because it feels like a taboo topic to me.
It feels like if I write about it, my concerns, our struggles as parents to guide Jena in this area, that I will offend someone, just for sharing this part of our journey.
I've read other blogs & message boards where just sharing your child's current progress, or even your struggles, in this are, is viewed as "bragging", when the other moms were really just trying to share what's going on in their lives.
And that's it, isn't it? The fact is that it is part of our life, part of our journey. The older Jena gets, the more frequently this topic dominates mine & Jason's conversations about how to parent Jena, how to progress, what the next step is.
The older she gets, the more worried I am that we will fail her somehow in this area, that we will make the wrong decision, that we will hold her back instead of guiding her forward.
And so I've decided to share this part of our parenting journey, because it's there, staring me in the face on a near-daily basis. And hopefully my dear readers will get that I'm not bragging, I'm worried. That Jason & I are doing our best to do right by our child, and this is just one part of that effort.
So, here goes.
My daughter is smart.
Seriously. She is incrediblyintelligent. Freakin' crazy over-the-moon smart.
So smart we don't know what to do with it.
Her preschool utilizes DECA assessments to rate how they are progressing. While in motor skills & social development she has solidly maintained scores at her age level or slightly below, in academic areas she regularly tests at years above her age.
Her school is finishing up the latest round of assessments, so we should know her most recent progress in the next few weeks.
Last year (at age 3 1/2) her preschool teachers contended that she was 90% ready for Kindergarten. The 10% that she needed to develop being her social skills.
She will start Kindergarten thiscoming Autumn, two months shy of her 5th birthday, at her preschool. This is technically starting her early. Here in Kentucky she misses the deadline by less than 10 days (ie. she "should" wait another year to start Kindergarten). But we are blessed in that her incredible, private, Montessori preschool continues thru Kindergarten and will progress her based on her abilities, not an arbitrary number.
When it comes to looking ahead to the days she will enter the traditional public school system (as that is still currently the plan), Jason & I have seriously discussed things like:
- skipping a(nother) grade,
- the school's gifted program,
- supplementing her instruction with homeschool activities, and yes, even
- pulling her out altogether and homeschooling her.
I don't know how to navigate this area. I feel woefully unable to make the "right" decision. What do you do, what decisions do you make when your child appears to be progressing years ahead of her peers academically, but lags behind them socially? How do you continue to encourage her intellectual development without pushing her into social situations that she's not ready to handle?
I don't have the answers. I so wish I did. Some times I think maybe this is one of those areas in which there is no "right" answer, that whatever we decide will have it's good points and it's struggles, and she'll just turn out fine in the end no matter what we do.
But as a parent, no matter what the topic, that's not always a strong comfort. Because we all want to do what is best for our child, we want to make the right decisions, give our children the best opportunities to succeed in this little game we call Life. We all stress and worry and contemplate outcomes for one thing or another.
Well, right now, this is our thing.
So that's where we are in a nutshell. As always, thanks for checking in.