It is amazing how much difference four months in the development of a five-year-old can make. I was going through his backpack after school today, and found his school work all crumpled up in the bottom as usual. He has such reverence for the results of his educational endeavors at the end of each day when he shoves them blindly into the bottom of his backpack. Anyway, I guess they have been working on writing sentences and short paragraphs about whatever subject they are learning. The teacher (at least in Michael’s case) writes each word under the line where they are to copy it in their own writing. I’ve been watching the progression of this for a couple of months now, and naturally his letters have been all different sizes and printed at random intervals, so I felt like I was trying to read the Rosetta Stone.
I have taken to having him write his sight words out in an effort to get him to not only remember them but to practice consistency in the spacing and alignment of his letters so that the words are decipherable. He loves this practice, and I now make him write the word three times or a couple of words three times while I go off to do something else. I’m hoping to cultivate more focus so that he can learn to work on his own in the classroom.
Well! Today I saw evidence of his efforts when I pulled out his school work. Amazing! I was shocked at how legible and consistent his writing was—it was like night and day from just a couple of weeks ago. His biggest difficulty is copying long words, he seems to lose track of what he’s writing, and there are usually several missing letters, but otherwise, I am astounded–and grateful for his progress! He even wanted to work on our exercises some more. So I wrote five words vertically on large lined paper and gave him three quadrants each in which to copy the words. I bet he worked on this for 45 minutes by his own choice. Now this doesn’t mean there weren’t numerous distractions, but he got through twelve words, three times each, before he petered out.
I’ve seen dramatic changes in his attitude toward school in the past several weeks, too. He seems to have adjusted, and even loves PE, finally. It makes life so much easier for all of us—now just in time for 2 ½ weeks of Christmas vacation. I will likely tell a different story on January 9th…