Monday, November 21, 2011

NaBloPoMo 21/30: Writing. Or not writing, rather.

I wrote a few days ago that I was concerned about Carter's reluctance to write letters. I tried a few things in the last few days to encourage him to write, including giving him a maze to draw a line through and making a connect-the-dots picture. In both cases he preferred to use his finger to trace the lines instead of a crayon or pencil. When he did use a crayon, he held it awkwardly and the lines were shaky.

He doesn't really draw pictures or anything recognizable yet. He has been able to identify the alphabet, numerals, and a dozen geometric shapes since he was 18 months old, but he can't write any of them. I haven't done enough research to know if this is out of the realm of the ordinary, but I suppose I had assumed these skills would develop more in tandem than they have. Most kids I know his age can write some letters now and most draw pictures, but not him. I guess I'll mention it to his pediatrician in January, and in the meantime I'll keep working on it.

One thing I want to try is to find an iphone app that will let him "write" letters with his finger. That may help him get used to the motion of writing. The other thing I decided to do was to open a word doc on the computer, change the font to something huge and colorful, and just let him type. (I figured that in his lifetime being able to write by typing will probably be a more valuable skill than writing by hand anyway.) This turned out to be a lot of fun.

I asked him to write some words he knew, but what he really wanted to do was type random letters in long strings and make up his own words. We had a lot of fun trying to read them, and I realized that we were actually working on reading in a unique way through that activity. He would type a letter and we would pronounce it, and then he would add another and we would pronounce those together, and then he would add another, and we kept going, trying to pronounce more and more crazy-sounding nonsense words. It was a really cool way to see what the impact of a single letter could be on a word. Occasionally I would go backwards and add in a vowel to make the word more pronounceable (giving us a chance to talk about consonants and vowels and how they affect words).

This one was a keeper, and I'm definitely adding it to our list of reading activities. My hope is that he'll at least be able to type his name soon!

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