I'm not writing this post to brag. I'm far, far from the world's best teacher and I don't presume to know more than Abi's teachers.
I'm writing this because as homeschool moms, sometimes we notice something about our kids that the "experts" might miss, and I want to encourage other parents. The TVIs know a lot, and I'm very thankful for them, but they don't know everything, and as moms, we ought to trust our instincts, even if they differ from the "experts."
Our TVI (Teacher of the Visually Impaired) is wonderful, and I love that he comes to our house each week. He is a great help teaching Abi to read and write Braille. Still, something happened this week that illustrates how important it is for parents of blind children to be on the lookout for low expectations, even from someone who ought to know better.
This week, our TVI did a progress report on Abi. He wrote on there that he had not begun teaching the abacus to her, which is true. He started a few lessons a few months ago, and then stopped.
When he went over the report with me, he mentioned that section, and told me that in his opinion Abi wasn't interested when he had introduced it to her, and he decided she wasn't ready. I responded that maybe she was bored. He chuckled dismissively at this, and I wondered how "not ready for math" and almost six-year-old could be.
Today, then, I respectfully asked him if we could demonstrate the work we had done with the abacus together. He chuckled again, as if there could not possibly be anything of note, and said sure, why not.
I asked Abi to count, enter numbers, read numbers up to twenty that I entered, correct mistakes, add and subtract up to five, all of which she did completely easily and accurately. I think he was a little blown away. All of his goals for the year were met, in an area where he had thought she "wasn't ready." Uhm, I think a kindergartner with normal intelligence IS ready to learn math, and I taught her the skills to do it. And there is the difference.