Awhile back, I mentioned that I was gearing up for a fight with the online charter school that we use because Wyatt is technically 13 days to young to start kindergarten next year. You see, when the federal government pays your bills, an arbitrary date on the calendar becomes the most important factor in determining a child’s ability to learn.
When I spoke to the principal of the online school, he informed me that my only hope would be to have Wyatt tested for early admission into our public school system. But, he told me, that usually meant scoring very high on an IQ test. He told me that only a few kids had done it since they started the school.
I told him that I would set up the testing with the local school.
I called our local elementary school. Folks, it would appear that people question the system so infrequently that even the school principal didn’t know who the heck was supposed to administer the testing. It took a few more calls before I finally spoke to the school psychologist. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: I would like to have my son evaluated for early entrance to kindergarten since he misses the cut-off date by less than two weeks.
Her: Okaaaaaay…We can do that, but he’ll have to be evaluated for readiness.
Me: That’s fine.
Her: That involves an IQ test. (Said slowly–I’m assuming in case my own wasn’t high enough to understand that it might show that my kid is some dolt.)
Me: That’s fine.
Her: He’d have to score in at least the 95th percentile, which is really high.
Her: Do you have any reason to believe that he might be able to do that?
I resisted the urge to ask her if she would prefer a portfolio of his professional accomplishments to date, or if it would be better to go straight to the nature side of the discussion and provide her with the academic transcripts of mine and Sean’s families. Instead, I just talked about reading and math and my confidence that he is intelligent enough for kindergarten.
Thursday, I took him to be tested.
The counselor told me the testing would only take 1 1/2 to 2 hours. THREE AND A HALF HOURS LATER, she came out to let me know that they were finished.
I kid you not, the first thing she said to me was, “Whatever you are doing, keep doing it. It is working.”
Of course, I told her (honestly) that he deserved way more of the credit than I did. I mean, as she and I were discussing the things she did with him, he was sitting there lining up little blocks and counting them (Look, mom, I have 53!). That is just the way this kid is. She told me that it would take a few days for her to put together the evaluation. I left there feeling that he had done well.
Yesterday afternoon, I went by the school to pick the evaluation up.
I can now officially say that I’m not just another parent who thinks that little Slack Jawed Johnny is “gifted” because he can get so far in Grand Theft Auto. Wyatt’s verbal IQ was in the 97th percentile. His performance IQ was in the 99th percentile. That means his overall IQ was in the 98th percentile.
Of course, that and 50 cents will get you a can of Coke.
OK, ok, it gets you a little more than that. It will also get you accepted into kindergarten even if you are 13 days too young. Which, from what all these school administrators would have me believe, is a nigh unto impossible feat.
Honestly, yes, I am very impressed with my little guy. Not really surprised—after all I’ve seen the things that can happen when he gets bored and those little wheels start turning (lunch in the ceiling, anyone?). I believe that the term is a “dangerous mind.” But it is nice to have official confirmation of what I basically already knew. He’s a bright kid.
Of course, here’s the thing. I’ve known equally bright people who didn’t graduate from high school or otherwise take full advantage of the gift they had been given. And I’ve known “average” people who have done extraordinary things. A high IQ is a great starting point but, honestly, it’s only worth what you do with it. What really counts is how hard you work.
Now, thanks to that test, the work can officially begin.