We're nearing the end of the school year. Sort of. Due to two hour delays and lots of days off, the school year ends on June 22nd (which is my birthday; happy birthday to me). Next year Meg will be in 3rd grade, and at a new school. In our district, our town has an elementary K-2 school, the other town also has a K-2 school, and then in 3rd grade they all go to the same school. Our rec program is for both towns, so the kids already know each other, somewhat. These kids will go all the way through high school together. I think it's pretty neat, since the city Doug and I grew up in had 6 elementary school, two middle schools and then a single high school. He and I didn't even MEET until our senior year, in Calculus.
This school year has gone really well for Meg. She had the new teacher on the block, which was worrisome at first since we knew nothing about her, but she is fabulous. Unfortunately she didn't make the budget cuts and won't be back next year and we're sad about that. Last year's issues with the GT (Gifted and Talented) teacher are gone; the new teacher has been really great for her to work with (go here if you want to know what I'm talking about). We were notified last week that actual testing for the Gifted and Talented program will be done with a recommendation from a teacher or parent, and today got a notice that Meg has been recommended for testing. We're very proud of her, and not totally surprised. She reads voraciously and I think her reading level is around fifth grade. However, we don't care one way or the other whether she actually gets into the program, as long as she continues to do well in school and still loves going.
But it's a balancing act, a tightrope walk. We want her to excel; what parent doesn't want to see their child succeed. On the other hand, she's eight years old, and we don't want to push her beyond her capabilities. We're waiting for that moment that she is willing to push herself, and we're seeing glimmers of that this year. We want her to be challenged, but not so much that school becomes a place she doesn't enjoy. She already thinks we want her to be perfect, no matter how hard we try to tell her that we just want her to to her best. That really is all we're asking for~that she does her best. We know she can do it because we've seen it.
I feel for her at times. She's the oldest, as I am, so the rules we make and the decisions we make must seem so arbitrary to her; I know I sometimes thought that my parents were flying by the seat of their pants. She's our guinea pig if you will, our test subject. Sometimes we're walking blind, throwing things out there that we hope stick because it's all we have at that moment. We do everything we do in hopes that she'll grow up happy and healthy, but that doesn't always mean we're doing it right. We're just doing our best and we hope it sticks.