Sunday, January 6, 2008
Many of you know that we've been worried about Katherine going to Kindergarten next year. She will be the oldest in her class and, on top of that, she is ahead of most kids her age in regards to her language skills (reading, etc). Right after Christmas, we ran across a small private school in town called the ECAP Academy. It is a school for "gifted" children. We weren't really sure if Katherine would be considered gifted, but decided to take her to be tested. We ended up learning a lot about her that explains a lot of things. We've also done some research on what it means to be "gifted".
We made the decision to put her in this school for just 2 days a week for this semester. If it goes well, she will also go there for Kindergarten in the fall. There are only about 15 kids in the school. It is one class room where each child follows their own curriculum, so that they are right at the level they should be. This provides them the challenges they need that they wouldn't get in most schools. They also have gym class, field trips, art, etc, just like a regular school.
After learning more about these types of children, I think I understand Katherine a little bit better. A gifted child is almost like a special needs child because they need some specialized treatment. They can really excel and be great in school (and life) or they can be so miserable that they go the other direction. All too many go the wrong direction. The challenge that faces Jon and I is to try to give her the best environment possible.
I've worried a lot the last week or so about where this leads in the future. She'll have to go to a regular school someday, and I'm not sure how the transition will go. I want her to have a "normal" school life. We've been assured by her teacher that many children have had very successful transitions. As parents, it's hard to know which decisions are the right ones. For now, we feel this is where God wants her to be, and we trust that he'll guide our future decisions as well.
Also... if I knew a different term to use to describe her (other than "gifted"), I would use it. We know that we can be viewed as egotistical by telling people that she is going to a school for gifted children. Please know that we don't see Katherine as "better" than others. God made her the way she is, and we have come to terms with the fact that we face additional challenges with her.
Here she is on her first day of school. (They are required to wear uniform-type clothes.)
Here is an interesting link regarding gifted children.
Posted by The Bacon Family at 4:08 PM