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is there any point in pushing for them? My 5yo just started K at a local public school. He's only been going for a couple of days, so who knows what will happen, but we haven't said anything to the teacher or school about his abilities. (He's not hugely gifted, but he's reading on a 3rd-4th grade level, and understands some pretty sophisticated math concepts without really having been taught them.) So far he's happy there, and honestly I could see him just rocking along day to day coloring the little worksheets with the capital 'A's and apples, and continuing to be perfectly happy. He's smart, but he's not hugely driven, ykwim?

So with a kid like this, at this age level, should I push for him to be evaluated or placed in some kind of enrichment classes? Or just let it go as long as he's content, and let him get what he'll get out of the experience? I know that he could stand to learn other lessons (getting along with other kids, working as a group, taking turns, etc) that he will get in K. But some part of me is worried that he'll start to think that school is a place where they teach you academic stuff that you already know, and he'll just tune out.

WWYD?
 

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My daughter sounds a lot like your son; she enjoyed Kindergarten and made some good friends there. We decided to take her out of public school for first grade--she's just so far beyond the first grade standards that there's not much for her to do there. So even if kindergarten is low key and successful, you don't have to decide not to do anything for the next year. You can just take each decision as it comes.
 

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This is exactly where my daughter was. At their assessment before kindergarten started, they tested her reading level and said it was between a 3rd and 4th grade level. She's also ahead in math but I'm not sure just how far, and probably even more ahead in science than in reading.

She was bored to some extent, especially during reading, but overall she said she liked kindergarten and she's looking forward to next year. They have some extra things for kids who are ahead and the kindergarten teacher said she'd be pulled out for those, so I'm hoping first grade will be more of a challenge. She was happy but sometimes bored and I don't think she learned very much, I'm afraid to say.

So that's our experience. I have some of the same fears you have but I'm taking it as it goes. If there are problems, I'm not opposed to homeschooling and will try that, but she's a very social only child and really likes being around the other kids so that's where she wants to be right now.
 

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I'm in a similar position. I'm just wondering, what do you do when your child comes home and asks,"Mummy, am I very clever? Everyone says I'm very clever." (After reading some earlier posts, I affirmed it, but added a qualifier that effort is more important - since he's a perfectionist who fears failure.) Along with that, Ds1 is becoming a little big-headed, and I noticed also that he is more content and egoistically balanced (for want of better description) when we spend more time doing things that are appropriate for his level at home. So it's not just about academic/social match...kwim? Anyway, I'm just as clueless right now.
 

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So much of this is going to depend on the child and the primary teacher. Our eldest is going into 2nd grade. In K they didn't really do too much academics (for our DD, she was ahead), we view K mostly as an introduction to any given institutionalized setting. For us what she learned was not academic or social, but more about what was expected of her and getting her comfortable with the environment.

Our DD1 is a people pleasing rules follower (with adults). She is a perfectionist and not one to make waves. In K she would not advocate for herself at all (something we've been working on and she's getting much better). With her personality we saw this as a problem. In the wrong environment we can imagine how she would fall right into the label of the "easy" kid who doesn't need much attention. She won't be disruptive if she finishes something, she's content to sit and wait quietly and patiently. She needs an advocate (in mom and dad and in herself). In K she had one teacher advocating for her (not her primary teacher), in 1st grade her primary teacher was such a wonderful advocate, that was an amazing year and she grew in so many ways. In the end K bored her, but 1st was awesome.

It's a little early to tell with DD2, but so far she's different from her big sis in many ways. It's possible that she may be the child who is bit more disruptive when bored. She may be the squeaky wheel. This could be good or bad depending on the teacher. Either she could simply be seen as disruptive or an aware teacher could see it as boredom. Because she is familiar with the school through her big sis we've opted to HS for K and just start her in 1st when she's 5.

There are so many variables. My general thinking is that the primary education years are important because they lay the foundation. If kids coast through with everything being easy it can lead to so many more challenges when they are older and actually have to work (something I dealt with). I would give it a little bit of time each year. At DD's school they do a P/T conference the 2nd month of school and we waited in 1st till this to bring up any issues. I suggest giving the teachers a chance: hear them out and give them the opportunity to bring up anything they noted. In our case with 1st we didn't have to bring up anything, the teacher did on her own with a plan in place. In K the teacher just ranted on how "great" and "easy" she was. I do think the expectations of children change a bit from K to 1.

While we don't push our kids, we do want them to be challenged and to build on their natural love of learning foundation. Boredom, whether disruptive or not is counter-productive to this goal. If by the 3rd month of school it was still happening I would definitely advocate!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by xaloxe View Post
My general thinking is that the primary education years are important because they lay the foundation. If kids coast through with everything being easy it can lead to so many more challenges when they are older and actually have to work (something I dealt with).
This is it, exactly - my sister was the classic under-acheiving gifted kid, with straight As for the first 5 years, and straight Ds for the next 4. But you make a good point about the difference between K & 1st, as far as expectations in the classroom go. I guess that will be the make-or-break year, more than this one.

Also, his teacher has been teaching for 18 years in K, so I'm hoping she'll have run into an early reader before, and have some strategies for keeping him interested. I guess we'll just see how things go, until problems do arise...

Thank you, everyone, for sharing your experience & advice!
 

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I was just like your son. I was happy in school with kids at my age level. I found other ways to learn to satisfy my natural curiosity but I wasn't frustrated by the easy lessons in school. I just always figured that you get what you get from them.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by obiandelismom View Post

Also, his teacher has been teaching for 18 years in K, so I'm hoping she'll have run into an early reader before, and have some strategies for keeping him interested.
My son's K teacher was a 25-year veteran and we really liked her. But although she identified my son as highly gifted from day-1, she didn't really help him learn much last year. My son started K reading 1st or 2nd grade level and ended at about 6th through virtually no support from her. She had a big class and she tried sending him to 2nd grade for reading, but it wasn't advanced enough for him. My son is small and she didn't want to send him up to 4th, because she felt the big kids might intimidate him and make reading less fun. So it turns out she would give him books to take home and we would read them at home. His math wasn't differentiated at all, even though he's doing 3rd grade workbooks now. She did encourage us to get him tested for the HG program, which he easily sailed into (and which gave us a shock at how gifted he really is). At the end of the year she admitted she had no idea what to do with him because she'd never taught a kid like him before (and our school is an HGT magnet school). So the moral of my story (IMHO) is to think of K as a way for him to get oriented to school. My son made a good buddy who lives nearby. He liked going and is looking forward to starting 1st. And although he won't be going to school with those kids next year, he's still "connected" to the neighborhood kids.
 
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