Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Don't look a gift(ed) horse in the mouth.

This whole sending my kid to school thing is really bumming me out. It's not that I miss him and want to hang out with him all the time (although, sometimes I do). It's just that it's NOT WORKING. Sending Liam to school is not working. Ugh. I really don't even know where to begin...

The thing is, he's gifted. Which might sound awesome like I'm bragging about how smart my kid is but I promise you, it's a whole different ball game. Being gifted means he has special needs. And just like any other kid with special needs, he's struggling to get those needs met at school.

Because there are lots of kids with lots of needs and only so many hours in the day. And I get it, I do. Of course they are going to teach in a way that reaches most of the kids. It only makes sense (especially when there are test scores to consider...) But it means my child is one of the kids who isn't getting his needs met at all.

And so all that great gifted potential is just sitting there getting bored and irritated and harder and harder to tap into. Because when you don't have to put forth any effort to "succeed", you may as well stop trying.

Which SUCKS. Because if his fire for learning goes out now? When he's six? What's he going to do with himself after that?

All year last year I told myself that academics are only one part of the puzzle. It was what made me feel better when my chapter book reader brought home worksheets about letter recognition and practiced counting groups of objects instead of working on multiplication and fractions like he'd been doing at home.

"At least he's comfortable there," I'd tell myself. "We get to walk to school with our friends and meet him for lunch whenever we want. He loves PE! He has Spanish every day! Plus, recess! And friends! Who cares if he's not learning anything? At least he's happy!"

Because feeling good is not nothing. It's great and very important to a kid like Liam. But it's not enough. At least, not anymore. Not two years in a row. Especially now that he's not as comfortable as he was last year and recess is only 15 minutes ONCE a day. The pros are slipping away and the cons are freaking me out. I just can't lose him already, you know? I just...what kind of a parent would I be if I let him slip away?

So we've met with the principal and will have an IEP (individualized education program) meeting within the week and will hopefully figure out what the heck to do so I can stop drooling over the Montessori website and Googling "homeschooling gifted children" and having to lay next to Liam until he falls asleep every night (hello, anxiety and sleepless nights!) while my mind races with worst case scenarios and what ifs.

So far, it doesn't look like there's a silver bullet. I don't want to shell out a THOUSAND DOLLARS A MONTH (!) for Montessori. Homeschooling is really hard to wrap my brain around (Liam and I tend to bring out the laziest in each other plus, you know, the two year old). Skipping grades seems like forcing him to grow up even faster than he already has to. But staying where he is is making him hostile (and me depressed). I'm hoping the IEP will have some answers because I'm afraid the only thing I'm bringing to the table, is questions.

Anyone else in a similar boat? I'll take all the advice I can get...

1 comment:

Callie said...

I don't have any advice but fear I may be in a similar position next year when my boy starts 1st grade. He's staying at his Montessori school for Kindergarten. Hoping you get resolution and I'd definitely like to know how it all works out.