In between dropping Caitlin off for her first day of school and picking her up at the end of the day there was another story. (Yes, I'm going to post the end of day pics here, too.)
We got a chance to meet with the "experienced moms" for a Q&A period. I wanted to know if they had a gifted and talented program, how soon they test for it and what were they going to do with my kid in the meantime (to keep her from being bored) since Caitlin is very advanced on reading. Now, when I say very advanced, I mean that she's really good at reading. She loves to read. She loves books. She gets in trouble in order to continue reading when she's supposed to be sleeping! She sneaks out of her room, goes into the bathroom, locks the door and reads with the night light. She sneaks out into the hallway to read by the living room light. She reads while we're driving. She wants to read instead of eating and is now trying to read while walking. My kid, she is a reader! Yes, it is genetic!
So, in our estimation, she appeared to be reading anywhere from the 3rd to the 5th grade level. This, in a 5 year old, is undeniably advanced. I didn't want her to be bored hanging with the kids that were still working on sounding out letters or working on "See Spot run." She will be disruptive. I know it. I know my child. I didn't expect the school officials to tell me that of course they were going to put her into the G&T program as soon as possible. I expected to be told that she'd need to be tested and that they would look after her. You know, be reassuring. I didn't expect to be blown off and essentially told "All of the children here are special!", meaning that none of the children are. I expected to be taken seriously. I was pissed when I wasn't and tried hard to not eviscerate the school official. I pointed out, as calmly as I could, that I appreciate that they probably hear this song all the time. However, this is me the individual telling you what I am concerned about and I expect an appropriate response. I left angry, but determined that I would work the issue out somehow.
Fortunately, later that day, the school official apologized to Eric (note: not to me) and said they would take care of Caitlin.
The new news is this: the school official came to me today and told me they did a little preliminary testing of Caitlin.
Oh, really? How interesting.
Would it be possible to switch her to the morning kindergarden class and the afternoon Kindercare class?
Absolutely, says I. Why?
Well, says the official with a funny tone in his voice, it looks like Caitlin is reading at the 3rd or 4th grade level and is "decoding" at the 5th to 6th grade level.
Ah hah, says I. What does this "decoding" mean?
This means she breaks down words into their component parts to understand and/or pronounce the word like a 5th or 6th grader.
Ahhh, says I. That's very interesting. We would be glad to switch to the morning classes. What, exactly, is the difference?
Well, the morning classes have access to the advanced reading circles/materials.
Sounds lovely. Sign us up!
Caitlin starts tomorrow.
And that feeling inside? That feeling tickling the cockles of my heart? That would be smug vindication. Ayup. Don't mess with me on the topic of my kid! How could I possibly be mistaken about how well my kid reads? See this picture?
This was taken last August (I think there are six in the bed with her). She loves books. A lot. Now we just need to see where that love takes us!