At the end of the first day of school, Big M told me that kindergarten is so much fun. As a mom whose oldest just stepped into public school, I find myself having fun also. I don't really know whether it would be this fun once the twins start kindergarten, at which point I'd have 3 children in elementary school. But for now, I'm having fun trying to be involved.
I eagerly joined the PTA and have already attended one general meeting. The meeting flew over my head, but that's alright. I figure I have plenty of time to figure things out. I signed up to be an "at home" helper and have already done my first job - Big M brought the work home, which was to cut out left-over laminates from each of the students' art work to be made into a book. I had fun doing it, I admit. I got to be the first of the parents to see what the kids have done. There is an opportunity to volunteer in the class' home center. As much as that sounded to me, and a great opportunity to see how Big M socializes with his classmates, I didn't sign up. A few hours at school with a baby by my side and playing/monitoring several kindergarteners at the same time is much too unpredictable for my liking. Perhaps when Little M goes to preschool.
By the way, I didn't sign Daddy up for the PTA, but he is now part of the PTA for dads. He said he got suckered into it, but I know he doesn't mind. He is a Watch D.O.G.S (Dads of Great Students). Father figures are encouraged to volunteer 1 day out of the year. He has already signed up for a day, and Big M can't wait for it. Daddy gets to wear Watch D.O.G.S. shirt, and Big M has planned to wear his "My Dad is a Watch D.O.G.S" shirt.
Last week was the first parent-teacher conference. I signed up bright and early at 7am. That day, it was cold and dark and by the time I arrived at school, I was the 3rd car in the parking lot. What was I thinking signing up for 7 am, right? The whole event had to be coordinated. Daddy went to work late in order to drive the girls to school and stay with Big M until I got back home. Big M didn't have school that day. I was very pleased to learn that Big M has really been a great student overall. For an active, alert, strong-willed kid, it's pretty amazing. The teacher pointed out what he needs to work on (minor things about confusing some letter sounds) and that was it. I mentioned to her that Daddy and I are planning on recommending Big M to the gifted program to what hear what she had to say. I breached the subject by starting out with, "Ms. Shane, you probably haven't noticed anything special about him because it may not be a sort of thing you see on a day to day school work, but we think he's gifted." To that Ms. Shane interrupted, "Well, that's actually something we do see here. Things like different perspective on art work, etc."
My mind started churning silently of course. What kind of different perspective could a kid have when asked to draw a giraffe, a cat, etc. I mean, come on. In preschool when they get done with the lessons, the kids get to draw whatever they want. And Big M draws pretty cool stuff like this. Is that enough of a different perspective? Of course I didn't say any of this aloud. But she did say that not a lot of kindergarten pass the test because they are simply not mature enough to sit and take tests. She also said that it doesn't hurt to try since we could try year after year if we wanted to.
Anyway, we plan on recommending him to the gifted program. The application is an in-depth one in which we need to provide evidence of the way he thinks, process information and any other things in order to provide "preponderance of information". I've been scouring my blogs in order to do so. I'm so glad I have blogs, because if I had to rely on memory... well. Daddy and I will do our best to provide plenty of examples of giftedness and should he be chosen to proceed to assessment, we would be happy. If he doesn't pass the assessment, we would be happy to try again the next year. No expectations. I think the important thing here is that we know Big M is smart and that we would keep looking for opportunities to provide him challenges. Our only wish is that we don't influence him to be too much of a perfectionist. Perfectionism leads to under achievement. No one knows that better that Daddy and I.
Kindergarten is hard, but it also could be so fun for parents. :)