I just discovered and signed up for the NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). It’s perfect timing for me since I’m really digging this whole blogging thing right now – and I like to write – so I’m pretty pumped!
I’ve been a writer since elementary school. Since the skill has always come naturally for me, I just figured my kids would be likely enthusiasts too – right? The process of teaching the beginning mechanics never crossed my mind – until now. My 4 y.o. hit preschool with the challenge of writing his name and, well, it’s a little more involved than I imagined …
- The pencils. The school required ‘fat’ pencils. Do you know that Walmart nor the Dollar Store carried this pencil? Rows of scissors, paper, glue, notebooks, book bags, but no elementary, fat yellow pencils! Thus, we had to make a journey across town to The School Box store and, thankfully, they sold them.
- Wrong sized pencil. Once we got the fat pencils, my son decided he felt more accustomed to the no. 2 sized pencil – even if his control was shoddy. The teacher recommended we purchase the rubber thingys that go on the pencil to help with his control. We got a version of these (not the preferred ones) – at Walmart and they are not bad.
- Speedy Gonzalez. My child wants to play – not write – so he started off scribbling and rushing through. We had to coach him into slowing down.
- Templates. There are templates online that I can manipulate and print out for free! These proved to be invaluable as he could trace his name and practice on the same kind of lines he did in school. Of course, there are also workbooks that can serve the same purpose.
- Consistency. We wanted to tread lightly without making ‘school work’ or writing a punishment. So we call it his ‘fun work’ and we try to practice almost every day or at least every other day (some weeks – it’s every other, other day).
But, this is not just about writing, this is a transition from daycare to preschool. And I’m feeling it just as much (if not more) as he is. When I come home from work, I have to add this ‘fun work’ to my to-do list of feeding, playing, cleaning, and putting both children to bed.
After 4 years of changing diapers, clothing, doctoring, disciplining, sheltering, feeding, I feel like the important part of parenting has just begun. The formative, molding part where we are beginning his education experience, and forming habits that he will carry with him for the rest of his life. In other words, the hard part! And, I know that learning to write is just a chip off of a huge block.
He writes his name now and he’s so proud of himself. To witness his mile-wide grin that could only come with increased confidence and mastery is heartwarming and priceless.
With bigger challenges come bigger victories. I think I’m ready!
And it all started with a pencil and the write challenge.