The other day I found myself engaged in that soccer practice chit chat that fills the sidelines. Quite often I feel like being somewhat antisocial, even though I am definitely a talker. I actually enjoy watching Miss C practice and she will occasionally call out to me if she’s made a goal and it’s helpful if I’m actually paying attention to what’s going on, not that I can pay very close attention when I have Miss A with me, who tends to suck every ounce of my being toward her with her very presence. She becomes a mini Tasmanian Devil when exposed to fresh air.
It’s all small talk, really, and nothing too Earth shattering.
“How was your weekend?”
“Are we having practice Spring Break week?”
“When are team pictures again?”
One of the moms asked when Miss C was turning 6 and commented about her being one of the youngest girls on the team.
We started discussing late birthdays and children starting kindergarten.
She of the neighboring county shared that she and her husband were told that their daughter would only need to know how to sound out letters when she started kindergarten, not how to read. “Well when she started school, something like 80 percent of her class were reading chapter books!”
Blah blah blah flash cards.
Blah blah blah tutoring.
Blah blah blah an hour of practice every day.
I started to zone out as I tend to do when it comes to catching the parental clue bus. I was secretly relieved that Miss A decided to run through the park toward the baseball field and a practice in session because it gave me an excuse to literally run away, without being rude. Nothing changes the subject faster than a kid high tailing it toward kids swinging baseball bats.
But really, chapter books for beginning kindergarteners?
Miss C does well on her report cards and her teacher, who I see on Friday mornings that I volunteer, has told us she is right on target. She attends the “best” elementary school in our county as far as testing and scores and other state standards. She is just now really truly starting to read simple books, like Dr. Seuss. It is so exciting to watch Miss C sound out words and really feel comfortable with her ability to read.
I know one of her friends was already reading on a first grade level late last fall (I heard this fact stated from both the mother and the child.) These sideline parenting conversations will just continue. I don’t like measuring myself or my kids up to other parents and their kids. So why do I even care? Obviously I do or I wouldn’t be writing about it.
Tell me that pushing chapter books for children just starting kindergarten is the overachieving parents’ holy grail, lest I crawl back beneath my slacker mommy rock and I’ll admit to you that I checked out some Level I reading books at the library two weeks ago to work on with Miss C and we have yet to open them.