Thursday, February 3, 2011

I am THAT mom… and I need your thoughts…

You know the kind. The one some teachers love to hate. The one they call the pushy mom. I wasn’t always THAT mom. In fact, I never wanted to be THAT mom. So how did this happen?

Well, the short of it is this: I did what I thought was best for my child and it’s not working. And there’s at least one teacher involved, who thinks I am the pushy mom. And it’s been bothering me for a month now. And I need to get it off my chest. And I need advice, so please, please let me know your thoughts in the comments, please!

But let me back up and explain (this is going to be a long post).

I guess it all started the year our daughter Nia was in kindergarten. We were still living in Florida. Nia was going to a magnet program with a marine science focus, which she loved. A few weeks after the beginning of the school year, Nia’s kindergarten teacher told us Nia was ahead of the class and she wanted to start sending her to a first grade classroom (next door) and see how she does. We were happy to hear that and encouraged it. Shortly after that the kindergarten teacher told us that she’s doing very well and they wanted her to spend more time in first grade.

Eventually, we had a parent-teacher conference with both the kindergarten and the first grade teacher, at which they told us that Nia was progressing very well and they were going to continue to work with her in the first grade classroom as much as possible. They informed us that in Florida, kids cannot skip kindergarten but that  if Nia continued doing well, she could skip first grade and go straight to second. We wanted to know what we can do to help and the teachers gave us some advice on exercises as well as websites with materials we could use. At this point, Nia was spending most of her time in first grade, doing first grade homework every day and though she sometimes found it hard, she was handling it well and was very happy. She felt special. We were very proud of her. 

Then my husband got the offer to join the Foreign Service. He was supposed to start training at the end of March 2010. I wanted Nia to finish the school year but we didn’t want to split the family, so we all moved to Falls Church in late March and transferred Nia to the local public school, where she started right after spring break. We had her report cards from Florida and her teachers there said they would be more than happy to answer any questions and help in the transition.

I gave Nia’s new teacher a couple of weeks before I emailed her to see how Nia was doing. I got no response. I tried a couple of more times via email and phone. Again no response. Finally, I went to the school one morning in an attempt to talk to the teacher. I was stopped at the door and told that the teacher was busy and couldn’t talk to me then. I was not happy. Five weeks after my first attempt to contact the teacher, she answered my original email and said Nia was fine. I needed more than fine. I wanted to know how she was adjusting to the new environment, how she was doing academically, whether she was getting along with the other kids, the usual stuff. But I also wanted to talk to the teacher about all the work she had been doing in first grade and that in Florida we were working towards skipping first grade. In the process I found out that Nia’s actual teacher was on maternity and the teacher I was talking to was a substitute. The substitute said she didn’t know about skipping grades but that she was going to research it and get back to me. Another couple of weeks went by and nothing happened.

In the meantime, Nia’s teacher came back from maternity. We had to give her time to meet Nia and get to know her. By then it was late May and I was concerned that if we were going to skip first grade, we needed to make arrangements and we were running out of time. So, I reached out to the principal. The principal responded fairly quickly and set up a meeting to discuss the situation with Nia’s teacher, the substitute, a gifted program teacher and me. At the meeting, they told me that Nia was doing well but that in Falls Church they didn’t skip grades. Plus, they said they had assessed Nia and her scores were not progressing as fast as in Florida. I was not happy with that because I didn’t want Nia to be bored but then I thought she may be overwhelmed by all the changes with the move (new place to live, new school, new friends). They told me that she did make it into the gifted program though and said that was terrific. They were the professionals, so I decided to trust their advice and not push the issue even though my original plan was to spend the summer helping fill any gaps she may have because of curriculum differences between Florida and Virginia, so she can be ready to start second grade in the fall. Never mind!

In September, Nia started first grade. She had a new teacher, who was fantastic. Everything was going swimmingly. We had a parent-teacher conference in November, at which the teacher had nothing but wonderful things to say about Nia. We were delighted. Then we got some test/assessment results according to which Nia was doing awesome (top 10 percentile in the school). We wanted to make sure we understood the test results, so we attended an information session about them. Then I went back to the teacher and asked more probing questions. I was wondering if Nia was challenged. The teacher said that Nia knew most of the material and that 99% of the things they did in class were too easy for her. She said it was hard to keep Nia challenged. There was a group of high achieving kids in the class but Nia was performing at an even higher level. That’s when I started getting concerned about her being bored and not challenged enough again. I shared with the teacher that Nia had spent most of the previous year doing first grade work and that there was a plan for her to skip first grade but that it didn’t work after the move because the principal told me they didn’t do that in Falls Church.

Nia’s first grade teacher was new to the school (though not new to teaching). She said that she wasn’t sure how those things worked in Falls Church but that she could see Nia benefitting from moving up. She encouraged me to talk to the principal and told me that both she and the second room teacher would be happy to back me up. I went back to the principal, this time with test results in hand. Surprisingly, now she didn’t say moving Nia up was out of the question but set up a meeting with me, both room teachers and the gifted program teacher. She asked the three teachers what they thought was the best thing to do with Nia and they told her they thought Nia was mature enough and ready emotionally as well as academically to move up. (Nia was born in November, so she was older and taller than most of the kids in her class). I was a little concerned about the timing. If we were to move her up in the middle of the year, she would have missed 4 months of second grade material. How hard  would it be to fill the gap? Also, in Falls Church, moving from first to second grade meant going to a different school, which was not as simple as going to the classroom next door. But the teachers were encouraging and the principal agreed to discuss it with the principal of the school where Nia would be going to second grade. Then she encouraged me to contact him myself.

So I did. I explained the situation. I voiced my concerns and he said he needed to think about it. The following day he called me back and told me that he had found a classroom for Nia and that we would do it. He said they’d never moved a kid up in the middle of the year and thus couldn’t guarantee it would work but that we’d try it. I asked if we could meet Nia’s teacher and get a tour of the school. He set up a time on the day before Christmas break started. At that point I told Nia she was moving up to second grade, which totally made her day.

I took Nia to visit the school and meet her new teacher. Nia was beyond excited. She wanted to meet her new friends and start right away. I wanted to know what she had missed to see if there’s anything we could do to fill gaps during the Christmas break. The teacher said she could give me some ideas but in the end didn’t. I had gotten a Brain Quest book for second grade and we worked with it during the break.

On day three after Nia started second grade, I got a call from the teacher. The call started with an admin matter that she was trying to help me resolve. There was no problem there but I could sense there was something going on, so I asked how Nia was doing. Boy, was I in for a surprise!

The teacher started going on and on about how Nia didn’t know the material, she was using her fingers for math, she was not nice to her friends, she didn’t want to do her work and why were we pushing her into second grade when she was clearly not ready. She had nothing constructive or encouraging to say about the situation. The closest she came to saying anything positive was calling Nia a “delightful child” and “very sweet” but after everything else she had said, that sounded like what you say when you have nothing good to say about someone.

I had never had such an awful experience talking with a teacher. I was stunned and basically said “But wait a second, it’s only been three days!” I tried to be constructive. I said I fully expected Nia to be behind but I really wanted to focus on how we can help her make up what she had missed. The teacher said that it was very difficult to work with a child like Nia. It wasn’t impossible but it was very difficult and she wasn’t sure it could be done. She said she had worked with kids from the gifted program and that Nia wasn’t gifted. Not sure what she was implying with that but this was something she could have easily verified with the first grade gifted teacher.

That’s when I started to get upset and defensive (not good but then, if I don’t stand up for my child, who will?). Nia happened to be in the room. She overheard what I was saying and got very anxious. Paul took her to her room and tried to diffuse the situation. I tried to explain to the teacher that I knew with the right approach, Nia could close the gap. She had done it the year before when she was in kindergarten doing first grade work. The teacher was having none of it. She told me there were many kids in first grade in Falls Church that had test results as high as Nia’s or higher but their parents were not pushing them in second grade (literally!!!). 

I explained to her we didn’t push Nia in second grade -  we had discussed the matter with three teachers (and two principals) and made a joint decision based on their input. She said she didn’t know Nia’s first grade teachers and that she hadn’t talked to them. I encouraged her to call them and see why they thought moving Nia up was a good idea. (She did not – I am in touch with Nia’s first grade teachers and they told me she hadn’t.)

I also told the teacher that the easiest thing would be to put Nia back in first grade but that I didn’t think we’d given her a fair chance and that it was not a good idea because she’d be doing first grade a second time and she wouldn’t be challenged. She countered with “Aren’t you concerned about stressing your child out so much to learn all this material she’s missed?” I was more concerned about her being bored and held back if we went back to first grade and I said so. Clearly, we were not on the same page but in the end we agreed that day three is a little early to give up and that we need to give Nia more time. We also agreed to stay in touch and that she would send me information on what I can help with.

The conversation had gone badly. It made me feel like my child was somehow deficient and that I was a lousy parent. I had the feeling the teacher had already made up her mind. I wasn’t sure what to do but decided to just keep working with Nia, hoping the teacher will see her for the smart kid that she is.

A couple of days later the teacher sent me some information on math facts (addition and subtraction) up to 20 and said Nia really needed to know these by heart and stop using her fingers. We worked with Nia until she memorized them and stopped using her fingers. The following week I emailed the teacher about some passwords Nia needed and briefly inquired whether Nia was starting to close the gap. All the teacher said was that she had the same concerns she can expressed on the phone the prior week. And we didn’t hear again from her for three weeks.

We did get some class work and tests back from which it was obvious Nia was learning but she was still behind. You could see that some of the assignments she was given, she just didn’t understand. It seemed like there wasn’t much explanation. She got some things she had never been exposed to wrong and she got some right. She had a fair number of incomplete assignments. There were also things that seemed correct to us but were marked as incorrect. We went over everything with Nia trying to explain what she got wrong and teaching her concepts that it was obvious she didn’t know but was expected to. We were very frustrated but had said on several occasions that we are always available to help and discuss how Nia is doing, so we decided to wait for the teacher/principal to contact us.

Last week the principal of the new school finally requested a meeting. Paul wanted to come but couldn’t make it because of his schedule. He did however tell the principal in an email how we felt. The two of them ended up talking on the phone. The principal said they hadn’t made a final decision but wanted to talk to us. We ended up rescheduling for yesterday, so Paul could be there.

We were afraid the meeting wasn’t going to go well but hadn’t lost all hope. In the meeting, the second grade teacher basically repeated all the things she had told me on the phone plus a few new tidbits, though she softened the tone. We tried to tell them how we felt without sounding confrontational but it was obvious the teacher felt Nia wasn’t ready and there was no need to stress her out unnecessarily. We realized that nothing we could say would change their minds. They said they wanted us to decide whether we want to put Nia back in first grade or leave her in second, warning us that she may not close the gap by the end of the year and may need to be in second grade again next year. We told them that neither option was optimal but thanked them for their time and said we would get back to them.

Both options suck but we are now leaning toward sending Nia back to first grade because we feel the second grade teacher does not believe in her and there’s not much we can do to change the teacher’s mind at this point. The teacher simply does not seem interested in helping Nia succeed. She seems to see us as pushy parents and Nia as a problem. It will be very hard for Nia to do well in a situation like that. We don’t like the idea of putting Nia back in first grade but if we do that, at least she will be in a loving, nurturing and productive environment.

This could have worked. It should have worked but it didn’t and I feel horrible to have put our child in this situation. After all, she did nothing but her best. Perhaps I was naïve to think the teacher here would embrace Nia and encourage like her other teachers had done both here and in Florida. If I had known this would happen, I wouldn’t have even broached the subject. But it’s too late for that now…

So, if you are still with me, my question to you is: what would you do if you were us?


  1. Daniela,

    This does not make you at pushy parent, it makes you an involved parent. Coming from a family of educators, it sounds to me that, the second grader teacher wasn't involved in the process and its making it known to you, Nia and the school. I wouldn't put Nia back in first grade, too much of a further disruption. You, with information from both schools made an informed decision to move Nia in the first place, I would see if the current teacher will work more closely with you, or ask the current principal if there is a different room to move Nia into. Also, the year is almost over, what can Nia do to close the gap by the end of 2nd grade, is there an after school tutor you can hire, work you can do with her to help her out and the teacher out. There are so many more options to move forward instead of throwing her back into first grade. Hang in there. Stay involved.

  2. I was a similar learner to Nia, and when I was in Kindergarten, I went to 1st grade for half the day for reading and writing. This continued for two additional years. (Skipping grades wasn't done at the school.) While this challenged me academically, it was difficult socially. I was neither totally in K or in 1st grade and had a hard time bonding with either peer group. So even though it sounds like Nia is emotionally mature enough for 2nd, I think the better solution is to go back to 1st grade so that the nurturing teachers and administrators can challenge her as much as possible. You're right, the 2nd grade teacher isn't a positive influence. So let her be a little bored but have a positive social experience. They'll eventually get her where she should be academically. I know it's frustrating, but you can only do so much with the situation. My two cents! Good luck...

  3. So sorry this is happening. I don't know if I have any advice, but I can share my experience with you. When my oldest was in Kindergarten, we had the teacher tell us the same thing, that he could easily skip first grade. He was already the youngest kid in the class, so I was reluctant. My husband and I spoke to the school counselor, three gifted program educators, and a psychologist. They all said nearly the same thing, that by the end of second grade, most kids will catch up to the kids that enter kindergarten far ahead of the rest, which is in fact why most gifted programs don't begin until second or third grade. It was a relief to hear and he entered first grade. He did test into the gifted program, but the homework load was insane, so we kept him in mainstream school. The advice we had gotten turned out to be excellent, though, as by the time he was in second grade, although he was at the top of the class still, most of the kids had caught up. We do kind of an enrichment program with our kids at home to keep them engaged, and rather than spending all their free time doing projects and homework in the gifted program, they can pick and choose what they want to study, so their particular interests are fed and nurtured. I know that with parents like you to advocate for her, she will do well no matter what you choose. Good luck.

  4. I just wrote you a book and it's probably a good thing that the computer ate it at some point while trying to log in. Now you just get the short version. :)

    Been there. KG bumped to 1st grade. Great teacher. Moved to another school (first overseas post) and the 2nd grade teacher was incompetent. I was THAT mom.

    When kids jump grades it always get tricky because even though they can handle the workload, they are emotionally the same age. We opted to homeschool for 3rd grade. There are so many great options in the States if you want to go this route.

    When we moved to our second post, the school insisted that my daughter enroll in 3rd grade. She was hurt at first but soon realized that the name of the grade didn't matter as she would be doing all new things in new ways. She loved it and thrived! And she thrived in the 3rd post school. And now in HS on our 4th post she is doing beautifully. I am thrilled that she has been with her age peers, rather than pushed into older classrooms. School has enough social stresses without being younger by far on top of it all.

    And don't worry about being THAT MOM. As a teacher myself, the parents and the teacher are a team. Just keep polite and honest in your communication because the teacher should be part of your team and you have a right to advocate for your child.

    In fact, you are the best advocate for your child. So go with your instincts, which seem to be putting her back in with the great team teacher. You can tell your daughter proudly that she gave it a try, but there is too much to have to learn from the beginning of the year that isn't fair to her. She deserves play time too. Enrich her abilities from home, and make sure that in 2nd grade she get the other teacher.

    But no matter what you choose, you know your child, you know your options and she will do well whatever you choose with you on her team. GO MAMA!

  5. Is there another 2nd grade teacher that she could move to? That teacher sounds like she is just there to do the minimal amount of effort required and Nia is a threat to her. Nia just needs a little extra from the teacher for a short time and I am sure she will catch right up. It is none of the teachers concern on moving too fast. The teacher would gain more respect from me as a parent if she put in 100% effort as an educator and supported a child that is ahead of the learning curve rather than giving up because it is easier for her. That just teaches the children that it is ok to not put in 100% and to just throw your hands in the air and say yep I give in. I feel for ya honey, but you are not pushy!

  6. Wow, what a difficult situation. You've already gotten some great advice, and I agree that it doesn't sound at all like you are being pushy--just involved, as you should be. What does Nia want to do? If she wants to go back to first grade, I wouldn't hesitate to go that way. She will be happier and less stressed, and you can always find ways to challenge her outside of school. But if she really wants to stay in second grade and give it a go, it's a tougher call. If she's truly determined, I think that's worth quite a bit. Go with your gut. Whatever you decide, she'll be fine. She's a smart kid and you guys are great parents; you'll make sure that she is challenged and thrives either way!

  7. What a difficult situation. I want my children to succeed but that also means in a good environment. The new school isn't giving that to Nia. I would probably put my child back into first grade in a safe place and at home work on things to keep her challenged. I know that there are tons of homeschool curriculum that you could use. Then when you head off to your new post see about having her in a higher grade there.

  8. Hi- Nia's Florida boyfriend had essentially the same story this year- including teachers and admin. who had maternity leave and immediate family death- so because we were dealing with temporary admins and substitute teachers- he didn't get moved up. AND trust me I AM SOOOO THAT MOM- It sucks all around, he is bored and he is a September b'day so - like Nia he had the 6th birthday already. Big brother skipped 2nd- went from 1st to 3rd at the same school in Florida where Nia went. I have tried everything including trying to pull him out of the current magnet school. Older brother is doing great and I know little one would be as well if they would move him- everyone agrees it should happen, except the top administrator. As a caveat...when older brother moved up I read A LOT of books, articles and studies on what happens long term if they are not successful after the move- socially and/or academically and the bottom line of everything I read is that there was no real difference in kids who moved up and stayed versus those who moved up and then didn't succeed. What that meant for me was that it was worth trying. You call if you want to talk more.

  9. I don't know which is better - go back or keep plugging on. My girls are still too small so I hesitate to offer any advice. I do know that you're the parent and whatever you do will be the right decision for Nia - don't second guess yourself. Let me know if you need anything, need to vent, etc. You're doing a great job!

  10. (urg.. blogger ate my post.. try again..)
    Brian is ahead one grade. We didn't intend to push him, but he was bored and disrupting class. This jump in grade happened when he was 3yo/prek. Every report card, every year, we talk carefully with the teachers and see if he should continue as is, and even with two moves to new schools that 'do not like to skip grades', he is now in 5th grade, still one year up.
    Honor is in the grade she's 'supposed' to be according to her birthday, however, she could skip a grade easily. She has been blessed with great teachers though. She is given higher level books, etc. by teachers who are involved with the kids, so why push?
    You know Nia best, you will know what to do. If we thought Brian needed to repeat a grade, he would. We've even talked about it. He knows he has a 'free' year for a do-over just in case. If Honor was in a situation where she was not challenged and bored, we'd push to move her up. I've also considered homeschool, but we haven't needed it.
    It's good that you are involved. That's great. I would ask Nia what she wanted to do, although I'd nudge toward staying in 2nd, unless she hates it completely. Perhaps her teacher will get with the program.

  11. For what its worth, I'd go back to the good teacher. Good teachers make lasting impressions on kids and a supportive environment is a big deal.

  12. Warning: family comment. We know all Swiders are brilliant-that is a given! I think you need to think about what you want from school for your children. Learning academic material is certainly key-but in a way that stimulates their desire to learn. You also want (IMHO) for them to learn social skills-playground activity, making and maintaining friendships, learning to get along with people you don't like, learning rules and fair play, learning about similarities and differences between themselves and other kids. And you want them to be exposed to new ideas-things they hear and see at home and things they don't-so they can be encouraged to try new things, and see their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as recognizing that others have both strengths and weaknesses. That is alot to expect from the school experience, and (again IMHO) the academic part is probably the least critical for Nia. She has smart parents who talk to her and expose her to alot of learning and thinking as part of life. She is benefitting greatly from that. What she needs from school that she cannot get at home is the social aspects, and learning about differences and tolerance and fair play and justice. So my thought would be not to get stressed out about skipping grades or being bored-from what you described, she was happy in school and not exhibiting signs of boredom. Work with teachers to find new material for her, or to have her help others in subjects where she is doing well. Our emphasis on "gifted" doesn't always serve the kids well-there is very little data to suggest that "gifted children" in elementary school do any better in college or in life-in terms of career trajectory and personal happiness and satisfaction. My kids were both in gifted schools here, and we spent alot of time reading and thinking about this issue. If I had it to do over again, I would not have enrolled them in the programs-perhaps not even had them test for them.
    All that said, whatever you and Paul decide, do not hesitate to push on the teachers in a respectful and polite manner about what is good in a classroom for Nia and for the other kids. Yes, they have to consider the whole class, while we focus on our individual kids. But, just as in any other profession, there are mediocre teachers-in terms of intelligence, creativity and work ethic. It is ok to push on them-they can improve or leave, but you don't have to sit back and allow them to be mediocre. And you are modelling assertiveness for Nia-just pick your battles or you will be disagreeing all the time, and probably less effective overall. If all schools had concerened and involved parents, willing to work for the welfare of their child and the class/school as a whole, we would have a better educationl system.
    Whew-clearly I have a few opinions here:) Just my 2 cents worth. Love to you all. Sue

  13. You are NOT that mom. You simply want what is best for your child.

    I have a unique perspective. I used to be a teacher, I was a child that was skipped a grade, and of course I am a FS mom.

    I was skipped in early elementary and all was fine until around 5th grade when everyone was started shooting up, getting training bras, and looking at boys and I still looked like and acted like a 4th grader. I came in for a lot of bullying and was relieved when my parents held me back a grade when we moved to a new house and school. That sort of social problem is one reason why a lot of schools no longer support skipping grades. As Kate pointed out another reason is that most kids level off/catch up somewhere around 3rd.

    However you and I are both part of the FS world. I think if you you persist and work hard to keep to keep her in 2nd grade this year (assuming she is happy and you can work with the teacher) it will be fine in the long run, remember that virtually all overseas school do placement testing upon arrival so there is no guarantee that she will be placed in the same grade when you go to an overseas post.

    My experience with International Schools overseas is that there is a generally greater range of ages in the classroom than in a typical American public school due to frequent moves, English as a second language kids, varying academic requirements, dealing with different school years at some S. hemisphere schools, and entry testing at each new school. I think your daughter would likely fit right in at in International school regardless of the outcome of this decision. Put her emotional and social happiness first now and the academic will all work out in the long run.

  14. Thank you all so much! My husband and I so appreciate hearing from all of you. It's comforting to know we are not the only ones going through a situation like this and it's also really good to hear different perspectives. We have not yet made our final decision but I am going to call the new school principal today to check if we could put Nia in a different room and see if she does better there. It may well be a bad teacher-student match. I was hesitant to ask about that earlier because I didn't want to be demanding and there's no guarantee that the teacher in the new room will embrace Nia and be more supportive but I guess it's worth asking.

    Incidentally, Nia came home yesterday with a spelling test and it was all correct!

    Some of you asked how Nia feels. We've talked to her about it but unfortunately her feedback has not been very helpful. About 10 days ago she said she didn't want to go back to first grade because she'd be bored. Then two days later she said she wanted to go back because second grade was a lot of work and she wasn't ready. Then just yesterday she said she wanted to stay in second grade because she liked learning new things even though it was hard. She also said she liked it because she was taking risks with new things and she liked that. I had to laugh when she said that because she obviously doesn't understand what risk is. I think she meant challenge but you never know. We are not sure how much of what she says is what she hears us or her teacher say or what she thinks we want to hear vs. how she really feels.

    In a way we wish she'd just say "I want to go back to first grade." It will make our decision simpler.

    Either way, I will keep you all posted. Thanks once again for your timely responses and support!!!

  15. Hello there,
    I received your post from my daughter who thought I would have something to say about your situation seeing that I have been a public school teacher for over 30+ years. My bottom line philosophy is no child should skip a grade...the teachers and school system that encourage you and your family to do this was wrong. Yes, a child can be doing well, be in the top 10% of her class and be socially and emotionally mature, but that doesn't mean that putting her ahead 12 months in school is the right thing to do. I am in Fairfax County Schools, not sure if your Falls Church school falls in FCPS or in the Falls Church district, but we don't double promote either. Study after study after study show that it never really benefits the child and that IS what this is all about. What is best for the child. Children need time to grow and bond with their classmates and teachers, and it sounds that between substitute teachers, new teachers, old teachers, principals, etc, that your child did not have this opportunity. I can definitely see where your daughter would have gaps in what had been understood to have been taught in first grade and when she got to 2nd, the gaps became evident. Finger counting, not knowing addition and subtraction facts by heart etc., are obvious expectations in Falls Church. Now,what is your daughter saying about all of this? READ her body vote is to stay in first grade, have her be one of the oldest if not the oldest in the class and be the leader of the group not just in first grade, but for middle, high school, college and beyond. I have seen children who were double promoted fall way behind in high school when friends started to date, drive, etc and they were not chronologically or emotionally old enough to keep up with their peers. I have written an extensive blog for parents of Kindergarten students and although your daughter is older you might want to check it out. Please feel free to contact me again if you have any particular questions as I live her in the Northern Virginia area. Please do not feel that you have been a smother mother as you were doing what you thought was best for your child given the 'professional' guidance that you had received.

  16. p.s. I also taught overseas for the Department of Defense for 13 years and given all of the moving that your family will be doing (how lucky are you! and how wonderful for your daughter!) you want her to be in an age appropriate class when you move and relocate so that she adapt easily and make a smooth transition to her new environment.


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