My youngest daughter London is in Senior Kindergarten (SK), which is a full day program. I am not a big fan of the program she is in but that is for another discussion. For awhile now London has proved to be very precious smarts wise and is currently reading at a level 21. I have been heavily influenced by Penelope Trunk’s thoughts on learning these past few months and can honestly say I no longer push London on the academic front. If she doesn’t feel like reading the one reader she brings home then that is fine. We do make a point though to read to the girls almost every night but rarely prompt or suggest London to read a section unless she volunteers. Nor do we do any additional exercises or workbooks.
There are two other girls in London’s class along with London that get to go to the Grade 1 class to pick out their readers. The SK room only has readers up to 14, most kids in the class are between levels 3 and 6. London is determined by the end of the year if not well before to advance to the final level of 24. She thinks that once she hits 24 that is it, that is the highest level you can go to. I have tried to tell her differently but she won’t listen. I wonder where she got that from? Apparently there are not many level 21 books in the Grade 1 class so London is wanting to jump to level 22.
I told her that at this point it is more important to select a reader she hasn’t read before from a previous level just for the enjoyment of the story. She didn’t get it and you can tell she was wondering why you would want to go backwards. Oh boy. How do you explain to a very smart, logical, stubborn 5 year old that at a certain point it is not about the destination but the journey. If she focuses on just the reader level she will miss out on so many interesting and/or entertaining stories.
I have had numerous talks with her in the last couple of months that everyone learns at their own pace and just because she is ahead by all of her peers, except one class-mate, it doesn’t make her a better person. I don’t think she understood what I was trying to relay. London is certainly not a bad kid and has a great reputation in the classroom but I am pretty confident if I don’t try to work on this now, I might be in for a nightmare down the road. Either she will alienate herself from her peers for her ‘smarts’ or might be in for a rude awakening should she eventually be given the option to participate in a more enriched environment where her smarts no longer stand out but rather are the norm in a different crowd.
Here is to trying!