The Game Changing Question An Educator Asked Me About My Son

Right after my son turned two, I decided to take him to a 'Mommy's Day Out' program at a nearby church. It turned out to be one of the best things, for both of us! While I was out running errands, he was socializing with other children, doing arts and crafts and learning his numbers, letters and shapes.    

About six-months into Ollie going to the program, the director pulled me aside and asked if I would be opposed to having my son moved up into the three year-old room where there is more structured learning. The director told me that she has been in childhood development for 33-years and in that time a few children like Ollie have passed through her care. She told me son was very bright, and while it was still a little early to say whether or not he was truly "gifted", she was fairly certain he was. Or at the very least, a very bright child with a large capacity for memorization and learning.  

Being a first-time parent, I thought my kid was smart, but I didn't know what exactly "gifted" meant.  Sure, at two and a half, Ollie knew his numbers to 10, alphabet and could also recognize upper-case letters and he knew his shapes and colors.  But, I thought all kids did. 

He LOVES this book. Every night before bed we do a few pages.

It turns out, Ollie was ahead of the curve.

In the past year, he has been moved up twice in his program. Thankfully, he is a very tall kid, so he runs and plays with the four-year olds like a BOSS, and enjoys learning, so all-in-all the advancement has worked out!

Well, now we have hit a crossroads.  Ollie is only three and a half, but his classmates are four, and going into pre-k or Kindergarten next year. While Ollie is able to go into pre-k as well, by law he cannot start kindergarten until he is 5. So next year when the rest of his friends go on to Kindergarten, Ollie will have to spend another year in Pre-K. 

With all of this going on, it's been recommended that we have Ollie tested to see where he sits on the "gifted" spectrum. And if it would be best to let him move on to Pre-K.

So, we are doing that. Today. (I'll post an update on the Facebook Page)

I am so torn. I am certainly stoked my kid is smart, and has a high aptitude for learning, BUT!!!! he's still only a little guy. A three year old who loves Thomas, Mickey and playing with his army guys in the mud.  I don't want to take that from him.

I recently had an educator ask me a very profound question.

"Would you prefer your child have an extra year of childhood or adulthood?"

This question came on the heels of starting Ollie in Pre-K in the fall with five days of school. 

Hell yeah, I pick childhood!

Besides, I'm in no hurry to spend three-thousand on the school supply list. I've heard parents talk about those, hell no I don't want to do cover that list one year sooner than I have to!

So, we are off to have the test, and I guess, go from there. But the last thing I want to do is short my kid on one day of childhood...

What about you? For the parents with kids right on the cutoff for starting Kindergarten at four or five, what do you choose? 

"Would you prefer your child have an extra year of childhood or adulthood?"

UPDATE:  The test went very well!  Ollie wowed the tester and was placed well into PRE-K.  Since he can read a little and write his name and most of the alphabet, it was highly recommended that he begin PRE-K next month. The school he would go to will also watch him closely and move him up accordingly. 

In case you are wondering, he was asked the following:

The alphabet--Nailed it
Letter recognition both upper and lower case--Nailed It
Numbers 1-20 both recite and recognize-- could recite to 39 (He couldn't stop I guess!) and recognize all but 13, 16 & 17.  
Shape recognition-- NAILED IT!  We all were impressed by this. I can't believe he knew ALL OF THEM!  Including the octagon, hexagon and 10 others!
Color recognition-- Nailed it
spell his name--nailed it
write his name--nailed it
His vocabulary was tested as well as his ability to recognize and read 1, 2, and 3 letter words. 

I've decided to let him go to Pre-K three days a week.  I just can't do 5.  

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