Sunday, February 14, 2010

A little chat

The kids have been back at school for a week. Marcus is now in Grade 3, and Michael in Grade 1. They both have new teachers and new classrooms, and seem to have settled in OK. Marcus is now upstairs - it's serious primary school up there. We've heard he'll get homework this year. We have just started getting him to sit down and do some handwriting practice each evening. He's not keen but it is really making a difference to his writing. We hope having a habit of daily desk time will help when the homework kicks in.

Michael's teacher beckoned me aside the other day to ask "what we want from this year for Michael". She's had gifted kids before and was a bit wary that we were expecting her to just smooth the way for Michael's inevitable progress into international law, or brain surgery.

We've had this little chat with teachers a few times now, so I recited the usual things,
  1. we want Michael to enjoy school, so he still has an appetite for more at the end of Grade 10.
  2. we expect him to complete the work everyone else is doing
  3. he is enormously interested in a wide range of things, so anything you throw at him with energy and passion behind it, he will probably love.
The same goes for Marcus, but his new teacher has known him for a few years and is pretty much aware of what he needs. The main difference between the boys is that Marcus excels strongly in maths, while Michael seems a bit more of an all-rounder.

Michael's teacher went on to ask what Elf and I do. When I said that I'm a graphic designer and Elf's an office manager, the teacher said "Was it a big surprise when he turned out like this?" I pointed out that no, we'd already had one gifted child so another didn't surprise us, and in fact our families are quite high achievers academically - ourselves and our parents and siblings between us could make quite a pile of degrees. Perhaps the fact that when I drop the boys off I am attired in shorts and sandals has given her some idea that I am no mental giant.

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