A parenting dilemma…

My 11 year old son is hoping/expecting to get a letter from the US version of Hogwarts this summer. I think part of him is hoping that the reason he has such trouble in school is because he doesn’t really belong there (he’s severely dyslexic and it’s only with intense tutoring that he’s been able to read at all). He’s still at that age when fiction is real. All movies are documentaries and the things in books really happen, just to other people.
I love that he has this bubble to live in. We do so much to take away childhood from our children. True, childhood is only a recent 20th century invention occurring after the advent of child labor laws (and the rise of the upper and middle classes to a point where a family didn’t need a child’s income to survive), but I would like him to hold on to those dreams for as long as he can.
To complicate the situation, his older brother is being recruited by a charter school. He should hear by mid-March whether he’s been accepted to the Academy of Math, Engineering and Science.

So now my parenting dilemma – do I wait until July to let my younger son know that it’s just fiction and there won’t be any Hogwarts or similar academy letter? Do I tell him now in the hopes that it spurs him to work harder in school since there isn’t any magical solution to make it easier to read?

Part of me wants to point out that he hasn’t exhibited any magical traits like Harry did or explain that because of the Salem witch trials there aren’t any magical boarding schools in the US. I’m just afraid that those tactics would damage his self-respect.

How would you handle this one?

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2 Comments

  1. Jenn

     /  February 21, 2007

    Yikes…. is there any chance that DS2 might be able to go to that charter school in the future? If so, maybe tell him that he isn’t quite ready for “Hogwarts” yet but that if he keeps at his studies, he’ll get his chance?

    Reply
  2. Stasha

     /  February 21, 2007

    If DS#1 gets into AMES, then DS#2 gets in automatically as a Legacy.

    Reply

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