A little background: My DS (7 years old) is bright. I'm not really sure how bright because our state and district has no testing services and no gifted programs. His birthday is right after the cutoff, so he is slightly older for his grade (1st). Our district does not allow early entrance, and children need to be 6 to enter the first grade. He started reading a little at age 3, and was a true reader by the time he entered kindergarten. He now reads at least at 4th grade level, and probably should be reading 5tth grade books (at his instructional level). I have no problem advocating for him, and his teacher has done what she can for his reading. I've worked with the school library to let him check out books allowed for the older kids, but he really doesn't have time to get through them most weeks. He does not appear to be the most advanced reader in his class, as there is a girl in his class I believe to be PG, but I believe his comprehension is the top in his class. I volunteer in the classroom, so I can see the teacher has made some accommodations for this girl. It's mostly helping out other students, and a bit of extra work. They do not have any books in the classroom above the 3rd grade level, even though my son takes an AR test on these every day and gets 100%. He also never misses a spelling word on his tests. The only problem he ever has with reading/writing work is he can be a bit sloppy...but he tries hard.
The bigger issue is math. I believe my son to be mildly advanced, but he's not quick. He has had a little trouble with the timed tests (simple addition and subtraction). They stress him out. He has also been careless on his in class worksheets, forgetting to fill in spaces or getting simple things wrong. They advanced to the next level of worksheets, and now he's bringing home work that is always correct. I think he was missing the problems on the easy worksheet because he just didn't care...his brain was somewhere else. He sometimes cruises through the work so he can read independently. I believe to engage him he needs harder math work. He asked me about negative numbers a few months back and grasped the concept immediately. He sometimes plays with them a little. He also learned how to carry when adding big numbers, and can do simple multiplication and division. He can have some trouble with money still, but we haven't worked on it much.
Academics come easy to him, but I want him to be challenged..to understand that success comes from hard work. He's starting to show signs of perfectionism, which worry me a bit. He also takes piano lessons and taekwondo. The taekwondo, especially, has been beneficial to him.
So, due to budget cuts, only certain students are getting conferences this spring. Guess what? My DS isn't one of them. He is very obedient and does well in school...the squeaky wheels get the grease, right? I talked to the teacher about this, and she said we can talk before school one day. So before I talk with her, I need to come up with specifics of what to ask for. I'm afraid that she won't see what he is capable of in math since he has trouble with his timed tests...and won't accelerate him. I would love for him to get advanced reading instruction. He is teaching himself at this point. It would be nice if he could write reports or give oral reports or even read to the kindergarten classes or something. Maybe go up to the fourth grade class for reading? They have big buddies from the 4th grade come in every week to "help" the kids, but my son reads better than his big buddy...so she quizzes him on spelling. He is in the top reading group, but they never get together into groups anymore. They read independently and take a test on the computer. I also don't see how the teacher would have any time to do any of this. Do I advocate for harder work, or just try to supplement at home? I would rather he get to do it in school, since I'd rather do something more fun at home (and he has those other activities which are important to him). He does not want to homeschool. I am all for it, but he won't have it. He's an only child and really loves to be around kids all day.