In the past week we have had parent-teacher conferences for both kids.
Hannah's was on Friday, the last her teacher did before Thanksgiving break. It felt ever so slightly rushed. Hannah attended the conference with us (the idea behind this being to help the kids take more responsibility for their work/behavior at school). She read to us and showed us what they have been working on in math. Her teacher went over her little report card with us, talked about how hard Hannah works and how much she enjoys having her in class. You know, the usual.
While Hannah was showing John some of their art projects and little succulent gardens they planted in abalone shells, the teacher and I talked about the only real concern with Hannah: she is a leetle bit bored at school. Mrs C pointed out that Hannah is nearly always the first one to finish her work and that while there is plenty of stuff for her to do while she waits for everyone else to finish (she can use a computer or look at books or get out blocks or paint or pretty much do whatever she wants), what she really wants to do is keep working (now, fancy that, John's and my daughter wanting to learn). So the teacher's going to be setting up some extra things for the kids who need a bit more of a challenge to work on when they want to. "All I can do is try things out", she said, "and at some point, we'll think about moving her up a grade for certain subjects." (For Hannah, right now, that would be math--though she's "ahead" in just about every area.) It was a relief to have the teacher agreeing with us that being bored at school, even if it is only kindergarten, even if there are opportunities for keeping busy, is not a good thing. So, we will see how that goes. We can work with her at home, and we do, but I want for her to be reaching her full potential and that does not happen unless she is being pushed beyond what she already knows and towards things that she will have to work at understanding--and it is clear that she wants that too.
Jonah's already "skipped" the first preschool class at the Children's Center. He's the youngest and smallest in the class and by all accounts, including his own, he is doing very well. We had originally signed him up in the lower classroom, with nearly all of his buddies form the year before, but they needed a space in that classroom and in discussing who would be a good candidate to move up, the teachers all agreed on sweet, little Jonah. The first week was hard and John and I worried that we had, gulp, done the wrong thing and the poor fellow was going to spend his preschool career being trampled by bigger kids. He loves it now, he's eager to go every day. He gives us better accounts of his day than Hannah ever has. He is making friends, connecting with the teachers, knows the routines and rules, gets so deeply involved in what he's doing that he has to be reminded to go to the bathroom. Things are good for Jonah.