Thursday, January 13, 2011

We had a parent teacher conference last night that has me…I don’t know. Questioning.

I think I’ve mentioned that Sweet Pea seems to be struggling with her reading. This was first addressed in Kindergarten, and continues to be something we are working on in 1st grade. I am feeling really good about the teachers we have on our team. I think everyone is on board with helping out my girl, with the number one goal being building her confidence and keeping her a bright, smiling, happy student. Which, thankfully, is exactly what she is right now.

So, here’s the part that is tough for me to sort through. Sweet Pea is probably only registering as a below average reader because she’s in a very above average school. We have been told by 2 reading specialists who are very close to our situation that in an average school she would be an average kid.

So. Um. Are we in the wrong school? Is that a crazy thought to have? Here we are, lucky enough to have a public neighborhood school that is AMAZING. AMAZING I tell you. So awesome. But is it too awesome?

It’s not like we cheated on an entrance exam. This is just a public school. It’s in a part of town that draws from some pretty upscale neighborhoods. (Uh, yes. I live in what we call the South East End Ghetto. No gate on my culdesac.) But rich kids are not automatically smart kids. So how that factors in, I’m not sure. But you know it does. I mean, duh. Lots of kids with very fancy preschool pedigrees. Tutors. And parents who have IQ’s that support their 6 figure incomes. (Mostly in technology, I’m guessing. Given the area employers.)

So there you go. Smart kids who have parents with a lot of resources. And voila, we have a really high functioning school. So my very normally functioning kid is coming across as low.

NOT THAT HER TEACHER HAS LABELED HER AS SUCH. That’s an important point to make. Her teacher gets all this, she’s the one explaining it to me. Again, her big concern is helping Sweet Pea feel more comfortable with her reading skills before she gets frustrated at being less adept at this than her peers. It’s not like she doesn’t notice either. We’re stumbling through the equivalent of Cat in the Hat and there are kids in her class reading Harry Potter.

You think I’m joking. Don’t you? Well. I’m not.

So what is a mom who has recently added “full time job” to her to-do list supposed to do? We have been armed with an arsenal of reading activities that are so fun my kids will be tricked into thinking they are playing. (Shhh…) I can’t wait to get started. But when the H-E-double hockey sticks am I gonna do that?? And let’s not forget that my girl is at school until 4:00 as it is. (And now afterschool care until 5:30.) She is so tired when we get home at night I can barely get dinner in her.

If someone has the magic answer, I’m listening.


P.S. Parenting is hard on your heart.


Mendy said...

I am oh so opinionated about this. The school is fine as long as she is happy. I am really opposed to making children into over-achievers, I have seen it and the end result is an anxiety ridden child who was never allowed to dream. Makes for very dull adults, I imagine, and something Sweet Pea will never be is a dull adult.

Clover said...

I totally agree. I go through these phases where I am freaked out. And then I chill for a while. And then I kinda freak again. I guess that's what being a mom is about. But she is a really incredible little person, and that's what I care most about.

I think I'm the anti Tiger Mom.