This is a story about how my journey and evolution as a parent and how I went from sneaking my child into kindergarten a year early to skipping grade 1 entirely in favor of an extra year of kindergarten. Seems crazy right? Well it was probably the best parenting move I ever made.
My son is a January baby. The 5th to be exact. 5 days off the enrollment cut off for public school in my province – 5 days. He is a tall child, certainly physically and mentally mature for his age and was my youngest. In his earliest years I had to frequently remind myself (and the rest of the world) of how little he was because he appeared a full year (or even two) older than he actually was.
My daughter is 10 this year and in grade 5. I can hardly believe how time has flown by and how far we have come. From very early on she was identified as needing “extra support” in the reading department. Our school had excellent resources and a wonderful reading program where she was given all of the tools, support and resources she needed to build those skills she was lacking. But guess what? None of them worked.
Nothing the school did to support her helped her catch up. She was pulled out of her class twice a week for three years and still just barely kept up to “approach expectations” as prescribed by the Ministry of Educations definition of a normal elementary school child. She struggled, she stressed and she learned that she couldn’t read as well as her peers and thus labelled herself “dumb” and “stupid”.