"You are so creative!" I have heard that phrase constantly since I was little. DIY, Refashioning, Crafting, Sewing, Woodworking. I love it all! Now I have a place to keep my favorite projects or ideas organized and share them with you!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Now I WRITE my ABC's

My son is 4 and is a bit behind where his sister was for fine motor skills when she was 4. This worried me a bit but I figured he is a boy and just needs to go though the stages of scribbling and such. He had not done much exploring with writing or drawing. He enjoys running and jumping much better.
I compared his name writing project to some of his peers in his preschool class and decided he needed a little extra time in this area at home. One of the confidence blocks we found for him is that he is doing awesome reading and making up stories. He can read three letter words fine and is starting to sound out 4 letter words. This is great for his age. He is confident in reading and feels proud and smart. But when it comes to writing he doesn't feel so smart. He feels behind others he watches, one main person he watches is his sister who is two years his older and is obviously going to be better than he is, but of course she has made comments to him too about scribbling. Little brothers listen to the words of their big sisters, and his confidence shows it. He is starting to spell words out loud just fine but is frustrated by the fact he is physically unable to write the words he knows.
We have spent lots of time scribbling on the Magna Doodle the last few weeks. He has not played with this toy much since he was 2. Showed little to no interest in it. I am so glad I didn't decide to get rid of it earlier this year, I honestly had considered it. The Magna Doodle has been a SUPER valuable tool for him to learn writing skills over the past month.
There I taught him how to form letters. They don't bother showing kids in Kindergarten these days. I found this out last year when my daughter was in Kindergarten. The days of Zan Bloser writing are gone from our school district. They just want kids to do it whatever way they want to form them, however they figure it out to. They tell them just to keep trying. This just was not working for my son, he couldn't figure out the physical process, and he wanted to. It couldn't be self taught for him. This was beginning to be super frustrating for him.

It is amazing how excited he got when I simply showed him what place to start at and what direction to move. He would then copy me. We wrote very large to fill the entire Magna Doodle screen and we started with the large shape magnets to form the letters, not the pen. This is easier for him to control. He is pretty good at large motor skills, so making writing on a larger scale was super helpful for him, also starting with a large magnet, cut out the awkward pencil hold and just let him concentrate on one thing. How the lines fit together to form a letter.

I really recommend the Magna Doodle because if we did all that practicing on paper, we would have a huge mess and tons of waste. Erasing is simple and easy on the Magna Doodle so do-overs become no big deal instead of SUPER frustrating and time consuming. He has been writing on the Magna Doodle for around 3 weeks now. He transferred to the pen when he felt ready, although he did find it harder to control at first. We had a few scribbles of frustration. He likes to switch to scribbling when he thinks the letters don't look good. He just pretends that he was not really trying only scribbling, but I know better, it is also how he shows his frustration when it doesn't turn out right. It is all practice in a safe positive environment. We don't practice when big sister is around to toss "6 year old" comments his way. She is not quite able to understand how much that hurts his confidence.

This week we got a bunch of old desk calendars from Grandma W. The main use for them was to be for my daughter to do some larger scale drawing since she spends lots of time gluing printer paper together to make larger canvas' for herself.

Today when the boys were coloring on the back side of a couple pieces of desk calendar I tuned it over and challenged my son to write one letter of the alphabet in each box. This was the first time he had written the entire alphabet on one page. The boxes were just the right size for him to be confident in writing each letter. Yet they gave him a size restriction to work inside. He still had to ask to remember how to write a few of them, but I was super impressed that he did them all!
 He even went back and started writing some of the lower case next to the capital letters in each box.

Since there is a number in each box it was a fun way for him to discover on his own how many letters there are in the alphabet.

Next I will have to get out a regular sized calendar and see if we can keep getting smaller and smaller with our writing.

1 comment:

  1. I understand your frustration with your son and his skills. I don't have more than one child but know (from growing up) how siblings can be. I, too, found the Magna Doodle a great tool!