Validation and the cutest little American ever

It’s no secret I was hesitant to enroll Bode in kindergarten because of the pressure I felt from my peers to hold him back.

One of the reasons was I felt he was small for his age but at a recent pediatric appointment, I learned he’s actually in the 50th percentile (average) but he only seems smaller because he’s lumped with boys who should be in first grade but were held back.

Go figure.

The New York Times article about how delaying school could be a detriment to your child was definitely a validation for our decision to enroll him but it wasn’t until I volunteered in his class that I was pleased to see he’s in the advanced group with a bunch of girls.

But then I got the biggest validation of all: his teacher called to say he’s the best reader in the class and will join the first graders for their reading time so he can be more challenged.

My reaction was not pride but rather, relief. We had made the correct decision. I’ve fastidiously worked with him daily on his reading for over a year and our efforts have paid off. Lest you think I’ve gone all Tiger Mom on him, that is not the case.

I’m much too lazy for that.

Several of his classmates have made comments about his reading and we found out why at his parent-teacher conference. As an explanation for Bode going with the “bigger kids,” the teacher told the class it wasn’t fair for him to always give them the answers and that they need to work harder to catch up to him. Now, a lot of the kids want to go to the “big-kid class” and Bode has become the benchmark for reading literacy.

In any other class, this strategy could significantly backfire with mean kids bullying him but it’s had the opposite effect and the kids think he’s cool. His buddy Timmie stopped us and admiringly said, “You know how to read, Bode?”

If only brainiacs were always deemed popular.

Now, lest you think Bode is some kind of child prodigy he’s not. But this whole experience has confirmed that as parent, we should regularly work with our kids and in the end, don’t push them too much (but just enough) and always listen to our gut.

The gut that tells you to do the right thing. Not the one that tells you to eat that third chocolate cookie.

There is, however, one problem. His teacher says she sometimes has a difficult time understanding him.

I’m cutting my losses on this one. In his defense, this Canuck can’t pronounce half those words, either.

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