Sophia (my youngest) is different than Audrey (my oldest) in many ways. If she doesn't want to do something, she will not do it! For example, one day she wanted to work on writing her letters. To be honest, she is not really ready for some intense handwriting practice. She is only 3 and most 3 year olds don't have the dexterity to properly form their letters.
Anyhow, I go along with it and try to help her. She is busy writing the letter A, only she is starting her lines on the wrong side. She starts her letter A with a stroke on the right and then on the left. She is very proud of her handwriting skills and is eager to do more "school". The teacher in me gently takes her hand and shows her how to correctly trace the letter A onto her paper. Suddenly she screams a little, cries a lot and gets really mad. She desperately tries to erase the "mess" that I made on her paper. She is so upset and has tears in her eyes. I quickly try to ease the situation and erase the letter for her, but she doesn't calm down until I give her a new piece of paper. It made my heart a little sad. I didn't mean to make her cry. I was only trying to help her, just like I have helped Audrey.
The Moffatt Man and I talk about it the next day. I am bit confused. I mean really, what is the big deal? So much crying and screaming over that? I just tried to show her how to correctly write the letter A. I am a teacher and this style of learning really goes against the grain of my teaching style! In my mind I am just trying to do what I have been trained to do, teach. In her mind she was doing great and I totally messed it up. I violated her space by taking her hand and writing the letter for her. She wanted to do it all by herself.
Day 2: (Same situation, different approach)
This time I change my teaching style and tried to meet her learning style. Sophia got busy writing her letters on her paper, just like the other day. Today she decided she needed to practice the letter H. At this point, her H's look more like A's. She is really focused and proud of her work. Instead of taking her hand and helping her trace the letter, I try something different. I pull out our mini whiteboard. I show her how I write the letter H. She looked at me, she looked at her paper and started to write the letter H... PERFECTLY!
I think the moral of the story is pretty obvious. We need to respect the different learning styles of our children, whether in the home or in the classroom. They may come from the same womb, but they are totally different children, perfect in their own way. I love every bit of my sweet Sophia! She doesn't need to change at all. I need to change my approach.
This little girl is very intense about her school:) She gets excited to do school and LOVES it! I wouldn't change a single thing about this little honey!
I remember being in the classroom and I had a boy who couldn't sit down when he did his work. He would stick his little bum in the air, wiggle it around and work away. If I would have made him sit down and hold still, it wouldn't have worked for him. Really, at the end of the day...who cares? Let him stand when he works. It worked for him, so it worked for me.
As teachers and parents, we are constantly needing to adjust and adapt to the situation so our kids are successful and happy learners!
Hey..we have been known to do some school work snuggled up on Mommy's bed! I love it, they love it and we are all happy:)