Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Homework Excitement - A Welcome Change!

We had a great night last night!

I went to Scholar's Choice yesterday and picked their brains. In addition to his reading, math and thought organization, Jonas needs to work on his fine motor skills, especially his pencil and scissors skills. His teacher has shown us that he's remained at a kindergaten level in those areas, and it's holding him back on the other fronts. Working on activities designed for younger kids makes him feel like a failure so we needed to try something different.

Amoung other things, I came home with a couple of new books, designed especially for older kids, to help keep their self-esteem high while developing these rudimentary skills. We cracked them open when we got home last night, and he was excited to see that one of the books had a bunch of colouring and cutting crafts for him to make. His Dad and sister got in on the act by being super excited about it too.

Tasha sat down with him and helped him with a randomly choosen project. She did a great job being his assistant, letting him take the lead, and helping him along with encouragement when he needed it. The nice thing about these books is that they leave lots of room for the kids to use their imaginations. Together they designed what was supposed to be an Easter Egg, but turned into a space landscape. They took turns tracing and colouring dirt, grass, sky, the sun, plantets and stars. I'm really not sure who had more fun. Steve and I experienced as much joy watching them as they did doing the project.

The power of play: It just looks like colouring but it's so much more!
I knew I had a winner when he almost cried when it was time for dinner and he had to put it away for a while. After we ate, he immediately when back to the book, and designed a really looking cool snake. This morning he got dressed faster than he ever has, raced downstairs and started cutting it out, anticipating hanging it like a mobile in his room when it's finished.

Next step: Cutting it out to make a mobile!
It feels great knowing that we can find fun ways to help him work on his skills. His weekly spelling lists and writing assignments are great practice, and something he has to master, but they are a struggle. They are more like work to him and he gets discouraged very easily. More often than not, homework time is a battle to not let him give up on himself.

I remember being told that in Grade One that I wrote more like a boy than a girl. That hurt my feelings and I try to remember that when Jonas struggles with his own fingers. There's a long road ahead but seeing him smiling and laughing last night, and not wanting to quit, was wonderful.


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