Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hanging with the Cousins in NJ Post Christmas

We're in NJ visiting family, yay!  Even before I had kids, I've always loved our family get-togethers, but now there's an added dimension of joy since my cousin also has kids and Joey likes bonding with them.  Even though her children are now 6 & 4, Joey still gets along well with them and watching all the kids have so much fun together is quite rewarding.  Plus, I love to see him play with older children because they inspire him to try new things. 

Joey successfully attempted to draw his first 'C', 'A' & 'P'.  This morning Joey saw markers and asked me for paper to draw.  I couldn't find printer paper, but I had a crumpled paper shopping bag and ripped it open so that he could use the inside to practice.  So while he and his 6 year old cousin had their way with the markers on the paper, Joey proudly stated, "Look, a P!".  Although it wasn't a perfect P, it easily resembled a P, and he received plenty of positive encouragement for the effort!  Shortly thereafter he produced his attempt at both an uppercase A and a great lowercase a, followed by a series of perfect 'C's - yay!  I love seeing his desire to try things grow and to watch his creativity unfold - it's so exciting!

Lately, he's been fascinated with 'drawing' shapes and letters, and I must admit, his accuracy has been impressing me more and more.  Since this blog is new and a purpose of it is to help others who are curious about the process I've taken to increase my kids' potential by teaching them at the pace that they're capable of learning instead of at the pace dictated by our society, then I'll attempt now to explain how his wanting to draw shapes and letters came to this point. 

Joey's been practicing circles since before Kaelie was born 7 months ago.  Well before he was a year old I encouraged his writing by allowing him to squiggle and scribble on a set of dry erase boards that I had in our living room for writing notes.  We have a set of 12 assorted color magnetic dry erase markers that are on the boards and Joey quickly learned to move chairs to reach them.  Last Black Friday we bought him his own magnetic easel, so he's been going to town every since. 

Because of 'life' getting in the way, his guided encouragement slowed down drastically, until sometime last month when he emphatically called out, "Mami, a 2!  Look, Mami, a two!"  Three times he had to tell me before I looked down and sure enough, there was a beautifully accurate number two!  It's been hanging on our refrigerator ever since and I was so excited by it that I went to the parent/teacher store that week and started buying him anything I could think of that would help him fine-tune his shapes, numbers and letters.  Of course, when I came home, I had much more than I anticipated getting, so J suggested to keep a lot of it for Christmas.  I took out one set of shape stencils and had them available for Joey to play with while he doodled away during free play.  It only took a couple sessions before he exclaimed, "Look, Mami, a triangle!"  Sure enough, there was a triangle, and while he doesn't get it perfect everytime, he sure is excited, confident and motivated to keep going.  Last week I re-introduced squares to him while playing in the bath (we have bath markers).  I'm proud to report that a couple days ago he started doing squares on his own! 

For Christmas Joey was able to unwrap what I bought him that day at the parent/teacher store.  Among them a playdough set that came with letter/number cards. I'll post a pic later.  Joey only played with it for a few minutes before his father, my mother and grandparents grew anxious for him to open everything else and we had to distract him, but he practiced a few strokes at the lowercase letter d, which seems to have been all he needed to produce his p and a today.

I feel like there's so much to mention ... he is 29 months!  I suppose my first few posts will be filled with a lot of catch-up, but I'm excited that I'm finally sharing with you and I can't wait to document the rest of my journey guiding Joey and Kaelie UP the Gifted Path :-)

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