Last year around this time, my husband and I were faced with a dilemma. Do we send our daughter to a highly-regarded gifted magnet that she was accepted into? As I type this sentence, the answer appears to be ridiculously obvious. Yet it really wasn't at the time. We loved the school my daughter was in. She had a lot of friends and was doing well academically. Yet, I was concerned that over time, her friends would not have much in common with her and would notice some differences. The gifted magnet seemed to offer a better environment for my daughter to be around other kids who like quirky things too.
The decision still seems obvious, right? Well, it's hard to pull your child out of a school she likes. It's also hard to bring her to a school that has concerns about accepting her. The magnet coordinator and resource teacher both thought my daughter wouldn't be able to handle the curriculum, which was advanced. It also required the students to oftentimes work outside their comfort zone. They were concerned my daughter wouldn't be able to handle the creative approaches and wouldn't thrive there.
The decision was SO difficult for us to make! Thanks to a bloggy friend of mine, Dani over at I'm Just that Way and That's Just Me, the decision became easier to make! While Dani lives halfway across the country now, she grew up in my 'hood. Her former mother-in-law used to teach at the gifted magnet school. She very generously gave her time to meet my daughter and provide her feedback, which was to go for it!
So, my daughter entered the second grade at a new school. She was sad about leaving her friends at her old school, but she loved her new school from the moment she entered it! She did well socially and academically. Among her triumphs was that she received an award for her masterful story writing. This is especially cool since the officials were doubtful that my daughter would be able to keep up with the other kids creatively. (hah!). She was one of the top readers in her class. Also, she scored at the highest level on a standardized test that measures cognitive abilities.
So, I just had to boast to say that not only is she able to handle the curriculum, but she is absolutely thriving at this school!
It's really nice to know when the road you choose to travel is the right one!