Graduation from Kindergarten is a big deal. A recording of Pomp and Circumstance played as the Kindergarteners filed into the cafeteria where the ceremony was held. Parents, siblings, and grandparents filled the room. Abby's class was the last one to get to go up on stage to receive their diploma. She fidgetted a bit and at some point started crying, we still aren't sure why, but Daddy went over to comfort her. It may have just been too much stress, a big day, and for her a sad day. Abby likes school. And her teacher. And she's sensitive. But she made it through and one grandma is going to have lunch with her and the other grandma is picking her up from school today for the last time this term.
I suppose I could say Abby is now a first-grader, but I don't know for sure. In a couple of weeks she is taking the excelleration exam. Her dad thought it was a good idea. I am not so certain. Yes, like most parents we think our child is brilliant. Mostly we are concerned that because she is bright she will get less and less attention from teachers as she gets older and it seems many teachers are busy with the children who need more attention or who cause problems. We are afraid she will get bored. I don't know if she is ready for this test. As bright as she is, I don't think she knows what a multiple choice question is yet. We don't constantly drill her, but we do read to her and encourage her to read and we read for pleasure, which I think sets a good example. She will have to pass all four sections of the exam with a 90% in order to be promoted to second grade, bypassing first grade. Teachers have recommended against it. There are social and emotional considerations. Tom thinks that they aren't that important when you are talking about only one grade difference. He also thinks that it's more important for her to be challenged intellectually. A friend asked us to consider when we want her to start dating.
We have not made a big deal out of the exam. We aren't really preparing her for it. Tom thinks if she deserves to be "skipped", then she'll pass on her own and if she doesn't, we haven't lost anything. Her sister was very bright too (okay, she still is), but when she was growing up, I was not a confident advocate for her with teachers and the administration. I was a single parent at the mercy of whatever beaurocracy we landed in. And we moved frequently so she never got to stay in any school for very long. Maybe I am making a bigger deal out of this exam than is needed. Maybe she'll do just fine, passing or not and won't mind that we made her sit for two hours to take a test AFTER school let out.
So, besides the test, Abby will get to do one week at a Nature Summer Camp and a trip to Vermont in late August to see the other grandparents and in between, she'll be going to a summer camp style daycare during the day. So what are you doing this summer?