I know I've bragged on my kids on this blog a lot. Okay, a real whole lot. I've talked about how they love to read and how great they are and generally said all the nauseating my-kid-is-so-damn-smart stuff.
Both of my girls are smart and I'm not going to be modest and say that it all came from their father's DNA, because I'm intelligent too. Alas, that geek I married is smarter. So much so that, in college, when we would take a class together outside our respective majors, he'd always, always, motherfucking always get a half a grade higher than me.
Here's what would go down: We'd go to class together. I'd pay attention and take diligent notes. He'd sit there, thinking I-don't-rightly-know-what. Occasionally, he'd write something in his notebook. Like a word or maybe a phrase. In between classes, I'd study hard, do the homework, blah blah blah. When it came time for the exam, I'd study for hours, while he'd glance over his crappy notes the evening before. When the grades were posted at the end of the semester, invariably, I'd have an A and he'd have an A+.
But, if you're going to marry someone and have children, you might as well marry someone smart enough to ensure that your children don't have to ride the short yellow bus to school.
(Please tell me someone other than my mother and sister-in-law got that reference.)
So, Pete's DNA and mine combined to make some smart kids.
Graceful is damn smart. So much so that it's scary at times. Here I've got this tall, leggy, blonde-haired, blue-eyed daughter AND she's also got long thick black eyelashes AND she's intelligent.
So Graceful excels academically, which I guess is something of an understatement.
She started kindergarten at almost-age-six reading books with chapters and, by the beginning of first grade was reading at a sixth grade level.
One of her particular strengths is spelling, which she gets from both of us. (Reminder to self: spell check this entry before I post it.)
In our school, the way spelling words work is that at the beginning of the week, the teacher tests everyone on the same words and whomever aces the test gets a higher level of words while the rest of the class studies the easier ones.
In first grade, Graceful had an even higher level of words than the higher level and, after a couple of months, the teacher and I agreed that it was pointless to even bother, so Graceful spent the rest of year working on other projects during spelling time.
In second grade, Graceful again always had the higher level of spelling words. We never suggested to the teacher that Graceful be exempt from spelling time again, because the girl is eventually going to encounter some words she can't spell, she might as learn how to study in the meantime.
Now we're in third grade and I'm a bit perturbed. Graceful is again being given the higher level of words and I'm trying to figure out when the students regressed a couple of years, because the words are ridiculous. Here's a partial list: broken, cousin, gallon, heaven, bargain, cotton, stolen, violin, etc. Graceful had those in kindergarten and aced them then.
I wouldn't care so much except that Graceful's homework every single day involves doing something with these damn words. Sorting them by sound, defining them with an illustration, having me call them out to her, etc. Graceful now hates homework because she's so fucking bored.
(Oh, and the teachers admitted at Back To School Night that they give homework more to get the kids in the habit of doing homework than for any other reason. Great, thanks a lot. Because we parents really have time for this nonsense.)
So I'm trying to decide if I should ask the teacher to bump it up a notch with the spelling words. I don't want to be one of THOSE parents, but I also would like it if my girl were challenged a bit in school.