“My Story…” Monday: A – Is it too easy?

(You can catch up on A’s story right here: The Pregnancy, The Birth, The Infancy, The Quiet Toddler, Advocating, What He COULD Do, Just A Boy, The (Hard) Next Step, Making a Friend, The Autism DiagnosisHe Talks, Hyperlexia, Your Baby Can Read, Another Evaluation, A New Kind of Special Need, Linear Algebra, The Triennial, The IQ Results, Bye, Bye Autism Diagnosis, Dr. C’s Plan, Second Grade Math)

 

I waited anxiously for my little guy to get off the bus that Tuesday.  I unbuckled his younger sister (she was– and is– so very light, it’s critical she be strapped in with a 5-point harness, even on the bus) and hurried down to our driveway.

 

I won’t lie to you.  It’s HARD for me sometimes to not get overly eager.   I’d like to say that I’m totally immune to fascination with my little guy’s brain but, well, that’s just not true.  My husband and I were both very curious about his IQ back last December.  Just a few weeks ago, I couldn’t wait for him to get home so I could learn what his reading level was (<– more on that in the future).  It doesn’t change ANYTHING, of course, but, I don’t know, I guess it’s just interesting.

 

And so, on that first day of “higher level” math, I was anxious to hear how it had gone.  But, you know, I had to try to play it cool…

 

“How was your day, buddy?”

“Great!”

“Um, did you have fun!”

“Yes!  Some of my friends and I built a snake out of the blocks during free-play and it stretched all the way across the room!”

(What did I tell you all?  He’s a little boy!  It’s fabulous. :))

“Uh huh– that sounds cool.”  {insert pause, as long as I could stand} “So, how was math?  Did you get to go with the second graders?”

“Yeah!  It was fun.  We did ‘two-digit math’ card games.  I liked it.”

“You did?  Well, that’s great.  Was it hard at all, sweetie?  ‘Cause, you know, you’re coming into it all mid-year…”

“No.  It wasn’t hard at all.  There wasn’t really anything I didn’t know… But it was fun!!”

 

And, with that, I smiled and breathed a sigh of relief.  It was going to be just fine.  He enjoyed it.  They accepted him.  He didn’t feel lost or overly challenged in a way that might be discouraging.

 

I think that, honestly, that was one of my greatest fears.  Even though I knew A. was gifted and had a particular talent with math, I feared that, perhaps, they would do something in the class he hadn’t seen before.  Let’s face it– we had never followed any particular “curriculum” so I didn’t exactly feel confident that he had been “taught” all the necessary background for second grade math.  And, while some people may say, “What’s the big deal?  It’s only two years difference!  It’s not like he was going to the high school!”, the fact remains that there is a HUGE difference between a kindergartener and a second grader.  Far more difference there than, say, between a high school sophomore and senior.  It would have been easy for there to be some little thing that he just didn’t know…

 

And I didn’t want him to feel bad.  I didn’t want him to feel like he had failed in any way, shape, or form.  Here we had decided to let our son participate in a math class that was doing things FAR ahead of anything his peer group was expected to be doing.  It would have broken my heart if that decision had wound up leaving him feeling inadequate.  

But he was all smiles.  And so, holding hands and swinging them high just like we always did, we raced down the driveway, our laughs ringing out behind us.

 

I answered the ringing phone, breathlessly, as we rushed through the door.  “Hello?”

 

“Hi, JessieLeigh, it’s Dr. C.  Have you had a chance to talk to A. yet?”

 

I told her what he had said.

 

“Mmm hmm,” she replied.  “I really think it’s too easy for him.”

 

And she was probably right.  Through the rest of the school year, there was not one type of problem they addressed in second grade math that appeared too tough for our son to solve.

 

But it was a good fit.  He was happy.  He felt encouraged.  He was certainly more challenged than he had been in kindergarten math.  It gave him some time to practice the basics, like number formation, an area where, really, he was behind.  He just hadn’t been WRITING for as many years as the second graders.

 

We carried on and just kept on chugging.  And, that Spring, we sat down with his kindergarten teacher and prepared to talk about first grade.  It was going to be another year of making sure we got the “right team” on board…

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