We're having some trouble right now with my son's school. He is in kindergarten, just turned 5 (early entrance). When we had a conference in October, we expressed concern that he wasn't being challenged, and his teacher said, "We'll know when we need to do more." She also said she had only tested his reading level up to 2nd grade but it was obviously higher than that, and she "hadn't put anything in front of him that he couldn't read." She said she would test him more between then and December. My guess is that his reading level is about 4th grade; he's currently reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.
Well, we think it's time to do more. He's been telling me, every day, that school is "so easy" and he wants harder books, "real math" and so on. I assume his complaints mean that it is, indeed, time to do more. He seemed pretty content for the first few months of school, but doesn't anymore. However, his teacher *doesn't* think it's time to do more and is stubbornly resisting any changes. She suggested pull-out reading at our October conference; that happened twice and then stopped. There are a few advanced readers in his class but they are all at a 1st or 2nd grade level from what I can tell.
They just started bringing home leveled readers for homework and the ones he is bringing home are way too easy; 2nd grade level; she has not tested him any higher. He does enjoy music, art, and science at school but I don't think that he is being challenged in any area. At home he bugs us to give him math and spelling problems. He's really into spelling but when I asked if he could participate in the school spelling bee (for 1st grade and up) his teacher said he wouldn't like being in front of people or the competition. He would have loved it. I feel like she's either seeing a totally different kid at school than we are at home, or she just doesn't know him at all. He begged to do the spelling bee as soon as he heard of it (they sent something home in the mail) and was so disappointed that he didn't get to do it.
This is a really respected private school, and I want to love it. I thought they would encourage every child to do their personal best and feel really disappointed that it's not happening for my son. I remember being bored in school and I hate that he feels that way already. My oldest is in a public Montessori and I am considering switching him there next year, because I think a 1-3 grade classroom would be good for him, but I worry about what he would do in 2nd and 3rd grade in the same class.
What should I do? We requested a conference with his teacher but she suggested we meet with the head instead "to discuss early childhood development" which sounds, frankly, really patronizing. We're college-educated (my husband's a PhD candidate), but much younger and poorer than all the other parents at this school which makes me feel, perhaps unfairly, that the teacher and others look down on us. I'm pretty sure she thinks we're hothousers which couldn't be further from the truth; we had planned to unschool until he begged to go to preschool (my oldest had no formal schooling until 1st grade and didn't read a word until 6). At times like this I wish we *were* unschooling because I really hate conflict.