We have a parent conference for our kindergarten son later today. He attends a high-needs public elementary school in a university town. I used to be a special ed teacher, and ran our Child Study/SST/round table, so i have a lot of experience with working with parents. I often asked that very question during a roundtable, because we often found ourselves locked into two camps, and talking about the parents' hopes sometimes helped us get to a consensus.
Right now, we are satisfied--we have reason to believe our son is profoundly gifted due to some test scores we received last year during a psych work up for ASD/SPD/Anxiety. he went into kindergarten reading at a fourth grade level, but highly reluctant to read anything in public, and refusing to read anything more than simple picture books. He is also doing mental math for all four operations, and understands fractions intuitively.
So, right now, the school has him in a first grade class for 2 hours for language arts--he is reading higher than the kids in that group, but he isn't ready for a second grade placement due to attention issues, fatigue, and handwriting skills. He told us this weekend that right now, his reading group is doing a "character study" and all the kids are reading different books about Arthur (the non-descript PBS animal) and that he is the only one reading a chapter book about Arthur. He receives math instruction one day a week with the gifted specialist who comes to his classroom, and then she provides the teacher with additional ideas for differentiation for the rest of the week.
the school is also working really hard with him on social skills, focus and impulse control--all areas he struggles with daily. for the most part, we're totally satisfied, and all of the differentiation and individualization came at their suggestion.
Do you think we've set our expectations too low? Right now, he is basically happy to go to school, basically meeting expectations for behavior, and seems to be learning a lot about handwriting and focus. he had never learned to consistently form numerals, for example, and didn't know his lower case letters in handwriting. He knows these things now.