No school today - teacher's are grading. I took the opportunity to meet with Miss E's teacher this morning to discuss moving her forward in math. And my concerns about it. And the questions, oh the questions.
We talked through all the choices, all the way up through college and scholarship offers. At the end I felt pretty good about our choice. And that choice is to not advance her. Yes, I'm the parent fighting the school to hold my kid back.
What did it for me was talking about the next few years. Our school does blended classrooms so next year would be no probem. She'll be in a 3/4 class, all the kids have math at the same time and she'll just go with the 4th graders. Easy. She can handle the work and the schedule is fine. But the following year, when she is in 4th, she'll have to leave her classroom to go to 5th grade math which may not be at the same time. As in, she will be the only kid leaving her class and missing out on something EVERY DAY and finding another activity to do while the other kids in her class do math. Ehh.... not feeling great about that. Here's the kicker - in 5th grade, she'll have to take a bus to the middle school for math. Because there is only one other kid in her grade who is skipping a year up, they aren't going to make an advance math class for just 2 kids. Even if a few more advance up in the next few years it won't be enough for a class and I really don't want her riding a bus everyday up to the middle school to take math.
On top of all this is my understanding of her. Math is not her love (you know those kids that see everything in numbers and have memorized the first 20 digits of pi? Yeah, that's not her). What I want her to work on in elementary school is confidence and managing anxiety and dealing with social stuff and friends. Once she has that base I want her to get to middle school and high school and jump confidently with both feet into advanced classes and immerse herself in AP English and Calculous and all the other stuff that I KNOW she will be able to do if we don't apply too much pressure when she's little. Her teacher, while she was willing to talk through the pros of each side with me, ended up agreeing (so thankful again for the amazing teachers that we have!).
As confident as I am in our decision though, it feels a little odd to be declining moving her forward. I know math is too easy for her (and will continue to be) and our school does not offer the TAG program or advancement in grade lightly. I am thankful and also a little dreading the e-mail I need to send declining to move her forward. Hopefully, it's the right decision.