21 May 2013

So Glad This is My Biggest Problem Right Now

As Kindergarten draws to a close I find myself in an odd position with Charlotte and her reading.  Without sounding like "that mom" she is kicking buns at reading (and by extension writing) and this leaves me with a choice to make.  Do I pursue the idea that she is "advanced" in this topic or do I just let her and her teachers work it out?

The back story is that she brings home a "book bag" ever week with the goal being to read, and log, the books every night then turn them back in for a fresh set at the start of the next week.  Her bag currently contains the highest Kindergarten level books, which she reads with ease.  So far my response has been to have her read those once, then have her read other books of her choice on the other nights noting those on her log sheet.  This seems reasonable to me, keeps Charlie interested in reading, gets her "homework" done and subtly lets the teacher know what level of book Charlie will tackle on her own.  Bbbuuuuttttt, I do kind of wonder if I need to be doing more to encourage the school to keep her chugging along.  I am torn between my understanding that as long as she is progressing, and I have the luxury of augmenting her schoolwork as needed to keep her engaged, then why rock the boat and the nagging voice in the back of my head saying "You are the only person who can advocate for your child, blah, blah, blah."

Fundamentally I find myself  unsure if this "advanced" reading is even worth worrying about.  Early reading isn't a guarantee of being "gifted" (whatever that even means anymore) and frankly, there is no way to tell at this age is she is actually "gifted" in any way or if she is merely a "bright child" who does well with the academic format. 
I don't have an original citation for this one, so if anyone knows the original source, please let me know.
Odds are that by 3rd grade everyone will have evened out with the reading and all this will prove to just be the folly of a bored millennial mom.  Add in that I have really mixed feelings about getting kids labeled, one way or the other, this early in the game and this is an avenue that I may not even want to explore.  Frankly getting your kid into a G&T program often has very little to do with kids actually being that gifted and more to do with just getting your kid in a track of classes that tends to include the option of honors/AP study. 

So yeah, with a mere three weeks of school left and an entire summer of doing whatever we want ahead of us, I think I will just let sleeping dogs lie on this one.  I am going to put my faith in the system that her teachers are well aware of her strengths and weaknesses and will help her along accordingly.  In the meantime we will do what we have always done: read what she wants to read and let her guide the experience. Frankly, I was often bored to tears by what we were reading in class, and it didn't really seem to do me any harm re: loving to read so perhaps I need to just let this go.  The funny thing about first world problems is that they are rarely actually problems worth whining about.

On a lighter note we are doing a shared-reading/read-aloud of the book Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George.  This book is very cute, features a female protagonist who is a princess, but not in the Disney-Princess sense and has a healthy dose of action, adventure and intrigue.  Both of my girls are loving the story.  Liz (3.5) seems to be following along well and Charlie (6) takes turns reading with me.  This book is a bit above her current mastery level, but she is determined to read it, so we shall see how that end develops.  Right now the hardest part is not secreting it out of her room so I can read ahead!  Highly recommend this one and look forward to reading the other book in the series and the other book series written by the author.