Thursday, July 16, 2009

the serious business of learning

Jabber got an activity book about dinosaurs from the dollar bin at Target, and tonight he worked on a couple pages. He designed his own dino, and we talked about why we don’t know what color dinos are. This led us to have a pretty good discussion about rotting, about what is organic material and what happens to it when it decomposes. The whole discussion came into play a while later when we were hauling the compost bucket to the hardware store. We opened the compost bucket and experienced rotting with all our senses. Talk about hands-on science.

We've been pretending that we're at school lately, having "lessons" in each subject, since Jabber is pretty hesitant about the whole idea of going to school. He thinks (probably correctly) that he will have a hard time sitting still and paying attention. I worry that his perfectionism will make him anxious and unable to move forward on things, so we're working on having a "practice sheet" to make him feel like the stakes aren't quite as high the first time around (he gets sort of a little bit terrified at the thought of messing up a workbook page or a drawing or what have you...), and having a place to practice helps out a lot. Good thing to know, to be able to mention to his teacher.

We also got a little dry-erase board from the dollar bin at Target that has handwriting lines on it. You know, with the red line on the bottom, and dotted lines in the middle, and a blue line at the top? Jabber LOVES it. We're working pretty hard on learning the right way to form his lowercase letters and how to keep them in the lines. He loves it because he knows if he screws up, he can just wipe it off easily and start over. Then, once he has mastered it on the white board, he has no problem writing it on his real page.

Tonight we had "Phys Ed Class" by going for a walk/gallop/sashay with the compost bucket down past the road construction to the bin behind the hardware store. On the way back, Jabber spontaneously pulled all of his limbs and brain into concert and LEARNED TO SKIP. It was terrific, and we skipped hand-in-hand until he said, "Mom. I'm out with my breath!" But he was so happy and felt so important and grown up to have finally found his body coordinated enough to do what his brain was telling him to do. A very big day around here, indeed.

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