To be totally honest---sometimes when I wake up in the morning I already feel defeated. I look ahead at how far we have to go and it seems so very far away.
I kicked and screamed my way into that decision. Ok, not really. I sighed and cried my way. This kid is brilliant. He’s amazing. But some things just come hard for him and math is one of them.
It’s all about how developmentally ready he is. He’s on the edge age-wise. In our state, if he were in public school, he would be in 2nd grade because his birthdate happens to come a few weeks after the cut off. He’d be in 2nd grade and the tallest kid in the class because he’s off the charts in terms of height.
As homeschoolers, the age thing is a little different---if your kid turns 5 before the end of the calendar year, you have to file for a waiver if you aren’t going to start kindy that year. So, the year Peter turned 5, we prayed and decided we’d just start, figuring that he would catch up developmentally.
In many areas, he has. He just finished reading The Wizard of Oz to himself the other day. Scholastic puts it at a 6th grade reading level. I’m not sure that I agree with Scholastic’s assessment, but I would definitely put it above a “beginning 3rd grade” level.
He is recreating the Emerald City in Minecraft, including 4 throne rooms with different manifestations of Oz (as Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman, and the Lion each saw him).
Yesterday he said to his Daddy (of his sister whose fossil print had been accidentally broken by the 4-year-old): “I think she’s still in mourning over the destruction of her fossil print. She’s a sorrowful lady.”
He’s 2 months away from his 8th birthday.
In other ways, he’s behind his 4-year-old sister, but still miles ahead of where he was just a year ago.
A year ago, if someone splashed him in the pool, he would scream, jump out of the water, and frantically wipe his face on his towel. He might venture back into the pool. Maybe.
This year, this same kid is jumping into the pool (with an inflatable ring), purposely putting his face into the water, and working at trying to swim.
The other day, we spent the evening with some friends and the mom told me how impressed she was that he was making eye contact and managing his emotions so well.
Sometimes it helps to have someone outside of your immediate life circle to notice these things and point them out to you. He’s growing up. He’s developing.
He’s an amazing kid.
He just isn’t quite ready for 3rd grade math, yet. He’ll get there. There’s no value in pushing him beyond where he’s at---there is value in letting him thrive in 2nd grade math and helping him to develop the firm foundation he needs to move on.
It’s a careful balance: giving him the support he needs, yet challenging him to keep moving forward…I find that often he challenges himself more than I ever could, because there’s so much that he wants to achieve for himself.
What successes have your kids been able to count lately?