Saturday, January 14, 2012
Please Don't Label My Child
I don't want Cate being labelled anything other than 'student.' I feel that if she is told she's gifted she will feel pressure to be smart. If she's told she's talented then she won't try to study because she's 'dumb' or not 'gifted.' I don't want her to have to uphold any expectations at the age of 4 1/2. I just want her to learn to read, write and master the basics of mathematics. I want her to enjoy art, PE, dancing and whatever else she feels like doing.
She's only 4 1/2 and her homework is off the charts. Her attention span is approximately 10 minutes for any given task. Doing homework with her is one of the things I dread completely. I've written about this before. Funny how, when I was childless, dreaming of one day having a darling, beautiful daughter, I had visions of us sitting on a sofa reading a Dick and Jane book with me encouragingly and lovingly coaxing her to sound out words as she bravely, and correctly, worked her way through her books. It was an ideal scene straight out of Leave it to Beaver. The truth is far, far from this. I get frustrated as she loses interest, doesn't pay attention and just guesses at what words are. It's maddening. They don't even have Dick and Jane books here (I just seriously dated myself. Ah well)
I've forced Fen, at gun point, to step in as I need a break for a bit. We're now tag teaming her through the weekends to get through the majority of her workload. I constantly remind myself: SHE'S FOUR! But we received a note saying we needed to step it up as Cate needed more help. Jaysus! I've repeated over and over to myself the mantra: She will eventually read, she will not be living with us as a 30-year-old illiterate. And we press on.
We now have flash cards, we're sounding out letters day in and out, we're spelling signs, magazine headlines, anything at all. How much more can I do?
And now they want to label her. At this rate they are going to give her a big scarlet T for 'talented' which may as well stand for 'thick as a post' or 'tupid arse'. I can't have it. I told the school they can label her for themselves but I do NOT want her knowing her label or being expected to follow that rule. She's got enough on her tiny, little plate to deal with as it is. And if she comes home saying some gifted kid said she was 'talented' I'll have a freakin' cow on them.
Perhaps I'm over thinking it. Whatever the case, I had better go. Fen is helping Cate with her homework now and I can hear he's about to jump off a cliff. Better go tag him out...