Sunday, December 02, 2007

Hoping for my children

Our school district has a strongly held policy against moving kids up a grade. Instead they attempt to find some other accommodation or work-around. That finally failed with Rachel and she was moved, in spite of her objections. She is finding it easy, and as she makes friends it isn't so bad. The real test will come when they have to decide what to do about skipping fourth grade (she is already working into the fourth grade material and beyond). She already looks so short with the third graders. I'm grateful Girl Scouts gives her a chance to hold on to her friends.

Some parents have asked me for what kind of drills or special training Rachel gets. The stronger a policy gets, the more someone notices when it isn't followed, and this is a competitive school district. Sigh. Mostly benign neglect I have to admit. Some edutainment, lots of books in the house. We bought some flash cards, I've always meant to use them. We found an ADD medication that didn't cause seizures or other bad side effects. Some social psych help really helped her adjust (but had nothing to do with school work).

Socialization is what we have worked on. It can be so hard when you do not connect with those around you. If you do not think the same way, at the same speed, if you disconnect, it can be so hard. There isn't any trick to Rachel moving up. The big trick would have been to find a way to keep Rachel in second grade, which is what was her heart's desire.

I worry about my children. It is not easy to be beautiful or to be brilliant. If you do not embrace the world, beauty only draws attention you would like to avoid. I'll have to write about my oldest some time. She is beautiful, and aside from the amusement at discovering it, it is as much of a problem as Rachel's brilliance, especially as she has no malice and has been slowly understanding the dynamics. It was easier when she hid it.

I guess every father worries for his children. It is easy to think that brilliance, beauty or talent are answers. If only it were so. A good heart and the ability to relate to others, since I was very young, that is what I believed in.

Love doesn't come on flash cards and it isn't easy to quantify or explain as a goal. Little things are easy (always trying to remember to have money to give to the Salvation Army, small kindnesses here and there), but trying to focus on this as important is why in raising my children it so often seems that everything else gets left to benign neglect. Charity is the core of what I hope for my children, the one gift that I have faith never fails. Everything else pales in comparison.


Lisa M. said...

I have certainly wished, on many occasion, that my children came with specifically written documents, to guide me and provide direction for them.

I don't want to take every pain away, or remove their freedoms or choices, I just want to know that the big things, I'm doing, are the right things.

It's such a struggle.

Your concern, shows love- and at the end of the day, that is cornerstone.

It's hard to remember that- but it's true.

Anonymous said...

Rachel is at the age when girls often have a very "best friend." I just heard about a book that I think that you may find of interest. The title is "Some of my Best Friends are Books and Guiding Gifted Rearders From Pre-School to High School(2nd Edition) by Judith Wynn Halsted. Some people assume that because a child has high intelligence that they can just work everything out on their own. They need direction just as everybody else does in life. -Barb