Notes from the schoolroom
With a very busy start to the year, and then Chinese New Year approaching really soon as well, we have had little time to focus on our art and craft activities, but I really hope to get this back on track.
However, whilst alphabet craft has taken a backseat in the last two weeks, the maternal grandparents should now be relieved upon reading this post that their daughter has finally decided to get off the lazy seat started initiating some kind of training on stringing letters into words, phonics and writing! 😀
I am very keenly cognizant of the fact that our decision to not put our daughter into a formal preschool program until next year, has implications on DD’s childhood development journey especially when compared to her age-peers. Having said that, everyone has their own needs and circumstances that drive the decisions they make, and this is not meant to be a statement blog about when is the right age to start a child in a formal preschool.
Our decision is based on a personal conviction that at the tender age of not quite yet three, she should be allowed to develop at her own pace and use the 12 months to discover her own strengths and talents along the way. There will be a time and place to buckle down to serious work, but for now a child should be allowed to enjoy childhood and all its inherent benefits.
The itsy-bitsy spider – entirely drawn and coloured by DD herself one morning while I was clearing up after bathtime.
Part of the reason why I have not started earlier on this is also because I subscribe to the belief that for any kind of skills development, a child should begin when she shows clear signs of having an interest or being ready. I think this calls for some wisdom on the parent’s part.
Certainly, we shouldn’t allow a child to walk all over us in the decision over when is a right age to start training a particular skill, but the truth of the matter is that if he or she is clearly not mentally or emotionally inclined toward applying themselves to learning the skill in question, but the parent chooses to persist, it then turns into a battle of wills and a showdown of whose patience can stretch further, or whose persistence can last it out. And we have to ask ourselves, is it absolutely unremittingly crucial that we start this now, or can we revisit it in a few months’ time?
So anyway here we are, at a point in time, when DD has recently started pointing to certain words on cereal boxes or signages and asking us, “What word is this?”
This is an activity sheet I drew up using the memory verse DD’s Sunday School class have been working on (Deuteronomy 6:5). At first, I thought I would just let her colour the hearts, and read the verse to her, using the phonic sounds of the letters. But she decided to turn it into a “find and colour the letters with the designated marker colour” activity, which I happily went along with. And then it further developed into a “trace the letter” activity. It is very early days yet but I was very pleasantly surprised at how it turned out. 🙂