my work is usually flexible and i often pick parks and pax up at 1pm and work from home while they both nap (until 4pm this week!). parker's sweet teachers commented both days about how smart he is and how they are impressed he already knows his colors and can count. of course i smiled with glee and a little pride in myself for diligently working on these things with him.
last year parker's teachers never commented about him being smart. he was still learning to talk (did not turn 2 until the last month of kdo) and was 5-8 months younger than all of the other kids (he was in the older 1 yr old class). i even heard one teacher tell the other "you can really tell whose parents read to their kid" and i wanted to tell her to shut up--parker is a boy and he is by far the youngest kid in the class!
so hearing parker's teachers comment on his intellect this year makes me excited. he is now in the younger 2's class (the 2nd half of the school year birthdays) and so all of the kids are within a month or two of his age and i've realized it is all about who you compare him to. the same thing happened at church--one day his teachers raved about how he knew all of his animals, sounds, etc., and it was because he was in a class with kids younger than him.
so what does this social observation want to do? redshirt him for kindergarten! after reading this ny times article and malcolm gladwell's book, outliers, this summer, i was seriously contemplating trying to give parker a competitive advantage by not putting him in kindergarten until he turned 6. i still haven't completely made up my mind, but i'm leaning toward not doing it because he is in the 95% for height and weight and would just troll above the other kids if he was a year older than most, even with a late birthday.
through observing his school and social interactions, i know parks can hang with other kids who are a little older. his pediatrician said she thought he would be just fine, but i don't want him to be just fine or hang in there--i want him to excel and be at the top. maybe i just need to give that up...or i can use those desires for him to be the best and brightest to motivate me to work with him every day when we are home.
even though it is so easy to turn on the tv or get on the computer to "relax" when i come home from work, i am doing everything i can to keep both of them off until the kids are in bed. when i give parker direct attention through playing together on the floor or reading cuddled up with him, he is much better behaved. so for now i will keep watching and working with him on developing new skills and knowledge. we will press on with shapes, numbers, letters, etc. and hopefully he will be more than ready for kindergarten in 3 more years!