Ike is a very smart kid. He is at/above grade level in his math and science.
Reading and writing? Not so good.
But I know this, this is not news. I recognize that Ike is one of those kids who is going to take longer to "get" reading and words. He has an amazing memory and re-tell/re-call ability that is above grade level. He loves stories...but (to sum up) he's just not making the connection between the words coming out of his mouth, and the words on the page (example, he knows his alphabet verbally...but has a hard time recognizing the written letters).
In a perfect world, I'd be content to let him continue for a few years. I am absolutely confident that the switch will get flipped, and he'll figure it out.
Unfortunately, today's educational atmosphere is not conducive to being patient. If he falls behind now, and takes a couple of years to catch up...he may never catch up. He's already starting to internalize that he isn't good at reading and writing and seems to dread the task.
The meeting was very good and I'm glad it took place. I've got a few more ideas to help him figure this out without "drill and kill" which he will not tolerate at all. Its just not part of his nature.
However, I did bring up the concept of "What about next year?" I don't think its too early to be thinking ahead. His current teacher agreed with me. He is not temperamentally suited for the first grade classroom at his current school. It is expected that the kids will sit at their desk, be quiet, and do their work. This will kill Ike...its setting him up to fail. His teacher did recommend that we attempt to get him into the Districts Charter School again, but I'm afraid that his chances of getting in are quite slim. (The classrooms are set up quite differently there...more movement, more set his pace-ish). If he doesn't get in there...I'm not sure what to do.
I know there's the option of homeschooling, but I don't think I have the best personality for it. I am much too likely to let it slide and not get the work done. However, I may have a (slight) option. My friend D sends her little boy to a part time academy. He goes to school 2 days a week and is homeschooled the other 3. I think a situation like this would be good for us. I'd have the structure and some time away from him. (Hey, I love my kid, but he drives me crazy...we've been getting along much better since he started school) (And I agree with D, 3 days at school would be much better =))
I see two problems with the school.
- Cost. Although cheaper than Catholic Parochial scool, $4000.00 is nothting to sneeze at. (Although I do recognize that this might be a temporary situation) Its a lot of money.
- Its a Christian School. Bible study is part of the curriculum (so is Latin* starting in 4th grade. Cool!). I'm somewhat reluctant to expose my child to consertative beliefs. I am a very liberal religious person. One thing that makes me feel slightly better is that they seem (based on the website) to be (somewhat) tolerant to all Christians. They use the Nicene Creed as their philosophy and statement of faith. I still hesitate to call myself a Christian of any flavor, I do, however, feel accepting to the Creed...its part of my Roman Catholic upbringing.
So, Joe and I have a few things to think about in the next few months. I will head down to the Charter School next week and fill out the paperwork to attempt the transfer....I'll also be looking to see if there are any other Academys like the one D sends her child to. Maybe I'll luck out and find a secular one (that still teaches Latin in the 4th grade!)
*Side note: I looked at the Latin curriculum and was amused by the Textbook they use. Its called Christian Latin. That made me laugh...c'mon folks its Eccleastical Latin...and even then, one shouldn't be using that particular dialect to help improve SAT scores. Classical is a much better choice for that.