Monday, April 23, 2007

Balancing Act

As a momma of three children between the ages of 2 and 12, I occasionally must check myself lest I push my oldest child, Lizzie, too hard and too fast. I've been known to be a bit controlling and overbearing so keeping myself in line is a very difficult task.

Recently, Lizzie had the opportunity to test into a very high level math class for next year (6th grade). Her standardized test scores place her in the 98th percentile for math and she has always been in the advanced math group at school but math is not her favorite subject. She'd rather hunt for bugs or explore Boulder Creek for marine life any day.

Still, as her parent, I was compelled to make her take the advanced placement test because taking the advanced class now frees up her high school schedule so she can take some additional fun science classes; she will have completed Advanced Geometry by the end of 8th grade leaving her only two math classes to take in high school. I really struggled with whether forcing her to take the test was the best thing for her but eventually decided it was.

As children, I don't think we see the bigger picture. As parents, we have a responsibility to help our children make the best decisions, which sometimes means choosing a path for them. Also, it helped that Lizzie saw a good friend from her old school while testing. The two girls were giddy thinking they might be in at least one class together.

Of course, I can be a "Love & Logic" parent when I need to be. Like last night. Lizzie waited until the very last minute to complete her science fair project. She had over a month to get her work done but she was up late last night completing it. Since she worked all this weekend on it, she didn't practice piano at all. So, she has to practice for ninety minutes today. It's a bummer for her but she realizes it's her own fault. So, why do I feel so terrible this morning?


Zuska said...

My 5th grader also tests well for math, but doesn't like it so much. I think if I were in your position, I'd do the same thing you did. She should take every opportunity that comes her way right now -- as she gets older, she can sort out what her priorities are and such. For now, she shouldn't close ANY doors.

Next year is the first year that my E gets "real grades" and the honor roll is available to her. I have a feeling I'll be pushing -- hopefully not too hard. I just know she's capable of 1) doing great; and 2) being lazy. So a push (or two) seems necessary.

LawSchoolMom said...

Doing great and being lazy must be a ten-year old ailment because that is EXACTLY what goes on in my house. Although, it's quite likely she got both parts from me. :-(

Zuska said...

Yeah, here too.