Friday, October 26, 2007

I'm very worried about my son

He is bright. Bright enough that he can already graduate from kindergarten, perhaps even the first grade. He reads as vorasciously as I did as a child. Right now, he’s in the other room, going through all of the educational parts on the PBSKids page. The other day he wanted to do flash cards.

He’s growing faster in that gray matter between his ears. I’ve been charting his progress, and it’s fast. Faster than his big sister at the same age. If my estimates are right, he might pass her up in a year. She’s 8. He’s 5. Do the math.

He’s bright, generally positive (like his father, he can suffer dark moods, but they’re brief). He’s incredibly flexible. We signed him up for a young gymnastics thing, and the other 5 year olds are flexible as kids are. He’s practically rubber - can do just about the splits already.

And I’m utterly terrified for him. I know he’s going to have issues as he grows older. I’ve been looking for ways to keep him challenged. I don’t want him to be like me and have an easy time, only to leave high school and never have learned how to work hard to learn.

So, I’m working to keep him occupied. I’ve let his teacher know I want the graduation requirements for the first grade. I don’t want to move him up - I think that his maturity level isn’t at pace with his mental abilities.

My plan so far is this: keep him in regular classes, but get him extra advanced ones that will challenge him. Perhaps as he goes up the grade levels I can keep him taking the advance classes, so by the time he’s in high school a couple of his regular classes are at a local college. (OK, I’m thinking way in advance, but you get the idea.)

He gets the “best of both worlds” to quote my daughter’s favorite singer “Hannah Montana”. He gets to go to “regular school” and have all of those experiences - being on a sports team if he wants, going to prom, whatever.

Let him play his games (he is a Mario and Zelda fanatic), but he’s got to solve them himself. He doesn’t get to go “Daddy, I need help” and then I do it. He’s got to struggle, and read all of the words himself.

And, if he turns out “normal” later on, well, I’ll be a little disappointed, but it happens. But at least he won’t be in some school where he misses out on all the good stuff.

Of course, I have to worry about his little brother. He’s telling my wife how to play Solitaire right now, that that “Mom! Mom! You need the Red Two for the Black Three!”

He’s three.

I’m doomed.

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