This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

My son’s handwriting is not a reflection on either of us…

I wrote this quite a while ago, but am reminding myself that I believe this today.

Growing up in a parochial school meant handwriting was drilled into our heads & hands at an early age. We continued practice for a long time. There is a certain style of handwriting that can mark one as a graduate of Catholic school penmanship. I still can reproduce that style if I want to. But years of working with doctors changed my handwriting to a functional legibility. There also lingers the calligraphy classes’ influence.

Which is why I am not stressing about Boo’s handwriting so much. Roo I may have pushed too hard I think. But he has beautiful handwriting for an 2nd grade boy. He has better handwriting than a lot of young ladies I know. (Why do people judge handwriting based on gender?) But he is like me too and those things are important to him. He likes lines and rules and boundaries. We have a deal that if his writing reflects time and effort we will do a calligraphy book this summer. I better start looking for one. He is very excited.

Boo on the other hand is just trying to communicate. He wants to learn to read because he wants to know things and doesn’t like to ask for help. He wants to write things and wants to be understood. He doesn’t care if the small “b” is floating above or below the line. He doesn’t care that his capital “B” is emaciated and looks a little disoriented. The look on his face when corrected says, “Well I did it well enough so you knew what it was. What’s the problem?”

I am finding that over-correcting Boo will only make him become discouraged and disappointed. He would rather walk away than struggle with something. He will go away and seem to go off a different direction. That’s what I thought. Apparently he goes off, ponders it and comes back when he can do it better.

But I like to have him write at least a few times a week. So I’ve lightened up the corrections. Lightened up my attitude and enjoyed the process a little more. So has he. Other people are surprised, “But my four y/o can do that.” “We practice until we get it right.” “We do at least four pages a day and little Johnny is younger than Boo. Don’t you think…” Well no I don’t and I am glad that it works for them. I am assuming they are taking their children’s personalities and needs in consideration. But I know now that Boo’s handwriting doesn’t reflect on his intelligence or my teaching unless it says that we have found more useful things to do with our time right now than argue.

For today's path...
Psalm 30

1 I will exalt you, O LORD,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.

2 O LORD my God, I called to you for help
and you healed me.

3 O LORD, you brought me up from the grave;
you spared me from going down into the pit.

4 Sing to the LORD, you saints of his;
praise his holy name.

5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.

6 When I felt secure, I said,
"I will never be shaken."

7 O LORD, when you favored me,
you made my mountain stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.

8 To you, O LORD, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:

9 "What gain is there in my destruction,
in my going down into the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?

10 Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me;
O LORD, be my help."

11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.

1 comment:

Mother Hen said...

You are right on! I love how you put handwriting in perspective. He can communicate. So there. If he wants to improve his handwriting later, he can.
I also remember my penmanship instruction. Although mine was not Catholic, it left it's mark. I can still SEE the paper with the perfect model and my shabby attempt, in my mind's eye. And when I do, I can literally FEEL the teacher hovering behind my right shoulder, with her words of discouragement.
I never want my children to have memories like that of our times together.
So, I say RightOn! Bravo! You have learned something valuable about teaching your children, AND you had the guts to help other moms by sharing it. Thanks