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I guess an unschool approach to handwriting CAN work!!!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

So, I have a 4 year old ds. He is advanced per every scope and sequence I look into. With the soel exception of reading and writing. Well, originally this bothered me and I came here like I always do, and lurked. I noticed that it's normal for boys to read and write later and that the school timing is completely arbitrary and directly related to needing to grade students. So, I decided to just go with the flow. So to speak lol.

 

Ok, fast forward to today. We were at the library and there is a dry erase board. He asked to write on it, of course lol. He said he wanted to draw an N (first letter of his name) and he drew an almost perfect N. Then he wanted to draw an n but forgot how. So, I showed him. I asked how long he has been able to do this and he said "A while mama." I about fell over. My son had done everything to AVOID writing for me and here he volunteered a beautiful N and went on to the second letter of his name.

 

NOW I believe that unschooling can even work with writing, given the environment is set up for it. We have D'Nealian alphabets EVERYWHERE lol. I found a roll of 40 uppers and 40 lowers for desks and put them on the walls lol

post #2 of 11

Well, it's good you've been reading up on what's "normal" if you were worried that your barely 4 yo wasn't reading or writing! I had to keep talking my dh down about ds not reading because my dh started to read at age 3 and assumed anything after that was "late." rolleyes.gif

post #3 of 11

My daughter didn't really pick up a pencil or anything to write letters until she was 5.  So, at 4yo, it really isn't necessarily a boy/girl thing.  It is good to be aware of these issues to be sure, and I am so glad you were given a chance to see your son's breakthrough before you lost hope!  It's a wonderful thing, being given these moments that fill us with confidence about the paths we are taking.  I just wanted to point out that 4yo is still pretty young for a lot of kids-- boy or girl-- to be interested in writing.  

 

I, too, reap an awful lot of wisdom from this forum.  And I thank all the parents of older kids who still post here.  I just can't tell you how helpful it has been to me.

post #4 of 11

Whoa, yeah, 4 is still very young! My eldest began reading at 3, was fluent with novels by 4.5, but by her 8th birthday was still printing with wobbly upper-case pre-K style handwriting. At 8.5 she developed an urge to start journalling in a secret diary with a lock and key (and close-spaced lines), and her handwriting took off. She had a fluid and legible cursive within 4-6 weeks. My other kids haven't been quite as asynchronous, but we've had our share of weird incongruities due to their "lagging" handwriting skills. Eventually they all found their reasons and ways to develop handwriting. But except for one of my kids, it certainly didn't come as early as 4!

 

Miranda

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by moominmamma View Post

Whoa, yeah, 4 is still very young! My eldest began reading at 3, was fluent with novels by 4.5, but by her 8th birthday was still printing with wobbly upper-case pre-K style handwriting. At 8.5 she developed an urge to start journalling in a secret diary with a lock and key (and close-spaced lines), and her handwriting took off. She had a fluid and legible cursive within 4-6 weeks. My other kids haven't been quite as asynchronous, but we've had our share of weird incongruities due to their "lagging" handwriting skills. Eventually they all found their reasons and ways to develop handwriting. But except for one of my kids, it certainly didn't come as early as 4!

 

Miranda


Yep, 4 is indeed still very young :) this child doesn't seem 4. This isn't just me talking, but everyone who meets him. Talking to him is the same as an adult except he is WAY more animated lol. I love watching his little mind work and so often he gets things right with so little information ~I~ forget he is ONLY 4. I was ONLY worried because all the other similar aged kids are starting to write and he has no interest even in coloring. I guess he's too busy learning more important stuff like what kind of tree that seed comes from lol I love it :)

 

post #6 of 11

Quote:

Originally Posted by Treece View Post

 

Yep, 4 is indeed still very young :) this child doesn't seem 4. 


Yeah, I've had a couple of those kids too, including the kid I mentioned above. Early on with unschooling I had a very easy time. The worst I had to worry about was my kids learning certain things less ahead of schedule than others -- much like you. I had actually felt proud of myself for resisting teaching my three-year-old about letter-sounds and early literacy skills and when she vaulted to fluency with YA-level novels by age four-and-a-half I congratulated myself for trusting her to learn on her own schedule. To my friend down the road, whose very bright daughter didn't learn to read until age 9, my experience wasn't much comfort, nor did it seem a testament to my patience and trust in unschooling, as she had to generate patience and trust for five more long years. 

 

So yes, an unschooling approach to handwriting does work. But there may be things for which unschooling "works" yet still results in tremendous delays in learning relative to school-based learning. You might always have it this easy: my youngest (of 4) has learned absolutely everything early. But don't count on it. You may be called upon to test your unschooling mettle in a much more challenging situation in the future. 

 

Miranda

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm not a radical unschooler at all. But I do believe it should be a big part of my kids' lives. I plan to buy some curricula but use it loosely more to keep them sorta on grade level but to fly ahead too. I guess more to keep them from lagging too far behind than anything. Ahead doesn't bother me but behind does..... A little....
post #8 of 11

Treece, I understand where you're coming from on that last comment.  That's where I started with my oldest, too.  But at some point I realized that, it our case at least, staying "ahead" in all areas would mean preventing him from delving really deeply into a couple of special passions.  I'm glad I let go.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treece View Post
 Ahead doesn't bother me but behind does..... A little....

Behind is harder for me, too.  It tests your faith in unschooling, even if it is fleeting moments of doubt.  And I imagine this intensifies the older a child is.  My girls make unschooling seem easy.  So easy that it's nothing for me to relax about the areas that they are truly behind.  (My oldest struggles with writing.  Everything else is simply because we focus on other interests.)  However, they are just 5 and 7.  I wasn't even planning on introducing academics anyway, and here  they are creating their own.  So, way ahead of the game.  I don't know that it will always seem as easy as it is now, though that would be nice.  Those first experiences of your child building skills through their own motivation and practice are truly marvelous.
 

 

post #10 of 11

Certainly having a child who is far ahead has it's worries but I think everyone is happy and feels they are doing the right thing when their child is a little ahead. Of course, that can be more a reflection of the child than the parent's methods. The thing to remember is that this isn't a race. We don't need to keep our kids abreast of schooled kids in each particular subject that they study. The whole joy of unschooling is that kids can learn to read or write when they are ready (insert standard advice to check for learning disabilities, vision processing problems, etc).

 

When you have bright or gifted kids, two things are good to remember. One, sometimes they develop asynchronously and blow your mind with how advanced they are in some areas while boggling your mind that they can't do other incredibly simple things. And two, it's a good idea to have an idea of what average is so you actually know when your child is doing something late rather than not as early as he did other things or not as early as his older siblings who were advanced.

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

He just takes after his mama :) That's what he tells me anyways lol. Yeah, he's around a lot of older kids, and same age kids, and he is advanced except maybe socially. But we are talking about kids that have been in daycare and school since day 1, for the most part. And my kids have spent a grand total of 2 months in daycare. So, he may not socialize with kids but he gets the adult world, like putting out a wet floor sign up. He just amazes everyone around him with his knowledge. Yeah, I beam like I had something to do with it lol. This writing thing tho had me a little worried.

 

I guess i do need to remember the part about asynchronous learning. Thanks for all the replies :)

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