Moving Up A Grade

When Reina was in kindergarten in Hawaii, her school recommended that we move her up a grade and send her to 1st grade when the first semester was over. Reina was reading at a 3rd grade level and writing in full paragraphs. But both Andrew and I were against this because she was enjoying her kindergarten class and to move her to a different grade level and a class in the middle of the school year didn’t sound right for us. We wanted her to have fun in school and make friends instead of worrying about academics. Fortunately, her wonderful teacher gave Reina extra work that was more appropriate to her level.

Then, about 2 weeks into school here in Cambodia, I get an email from Reina’s 1st grade teacher asking if we’d consider moving Reina up to 2nd grade because she was so advanced. I explained to her that I’d rather she stay with her age group and have fun in school. Then one day, Reina asked, “Mommy, can I just read a book instead of doing homework because it’s just reading some baby words.” This was when I contacted the teacher again.

I asked the teacher if Reina could be tested so that we can have some numbers to measure her level instead of going by our observations and instincts. She took the test and passed it with flying colors so that the 2nd grade teacher had no problem accepting her into her class.

Reina is perhaps the most anxious one in our family. There are times when she has hard time going to sleep because she’s worried about things that she doesn’t feel prepared for. Like the time she couldn’t remember her substitute’s name who was going to come the next day. Or the time when she couldn’t finish her art project at school and was worried that she won’t have enough time to finish it the next day too. I always keep my eyes on her anxiety level and she has gotten so much better at calming herself and saying, “Well, I’m sure it’s going to be okay.”

Fortunately, I’ve been prepping Reina about the possibility of this transition from 1st grade to 2nd grade and we visited the teacher and the classroom this past Friday (this coming Monday, Sept. 4, is her first day as a 2nd grader).  She seems quite at ease about it and I think I’m the one who’s more anxious for her. This is kind of like the first day of school syndrome… the kids are fine but the parents leave with teary eyes…

Please pray for Reina as she adjusts to a new grade level and as she makes new friends in a class who have been together for a month.


은서가 하와이에서 킨더가든을 다닐때 1학기가 끝나고 학교에서 연락이 왔다. 은서를 1학년으로 월반하는게 좋을것 같다고. 하지만 은서는 지금 선생님과 아이들을 좋아하고 학교에서 심심해하지도 않았다. 그래서 우리는 반대하고 그냥 킨더가든에 다니게했다. 다행히 선생님이 은서만 따로 공부를 시켜주셔서 너무 감사했다.

캄보디아에서 학교 다닌지 2주만에 은서 선생님한테 이메일이 왔다. 은서를 2학년으로 올리는게 어떻겠냐고. 나는 은서가 같은 또래랑 공부하는것이 좋을것 같다고 다시 반대를 했다. 근데 어느날 은서가 “엄마, 은서 숙제 안하고 그냥 책 읽어도 되요? 숙제가 너무 애기것 같아요,” 라고 하는 말을 듣고 선생님께 다시 연락을 했다.

선생님께 은서의 수준을 정확히 알기위한 시험을 달라고 부탁했고 은서는 시험을 너무 잘 봐서 2학년 담당 선생님또 아무 문제없이 은서를 받아주겠다고 했다. 은서가 너무 당황하고 놀라지 않게 앞으로 생길 변화에 대해서 계속 얘기했고 돌아오는 월요일 (9/4)이 2학년으로 가는 첫날이라 지난 금요일에 선생님도 만나고 교실 구경도 했다.

은서가 변화에 잘 적응하고 또 한달 늦게 들어가는 반에서 친구들도 잘 사귈수 있도록 기도한다.

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