While I was growing up I realised my life was a movie in itself and the almighty was the director. My family and friends played the role of supporting actors. There were elements of humour, romance, horror, thrill and adventure. There were some days when I think I would have won the critic award too for playing the most intense role.
Then there are days when I consider life and its daily happenings to be the biggest teacher. As a parent there are always new challenges you have to face every day. My latest challenge was to how to get my child to enjoy writing. When I say writing, it’s the writing in school that I was referring too.
The current education system is a little confusing to understand sometimes. While the kids are in playgroup, they involve them in activities that help them improve their gross nerve and motor skills. They indulge them in play skills mostly. Kids definitely learn through play without a doubt. However, the challenge arises when they are expected to trace and write letters. The tracing and writing happens repeatedly making the child loose interest in what they are doing. The techniques and methods are innovative no doubt but are formed to suit a group of children and not cater to an individual child.
So, when my ardent footballer child started throwing massive tantrums for not wanting to go to school just because they were making him write, I knew I had to come with a solution as soon as possible. Here are few things I followed to help him like writing.
- Give them a pencil and a paper.
- I did not start by making him practice what they did in school. Instead I gave him a pencil and paper, asked him to scribble, draw patterns and do what he liked with it. Yes, I did not allow eating any of them.
- Start with drawing shapes.
- I started with drawing patterns and shapes and asked him to recognise what it resembled. I helped him do the same. We gave lines and curves funny names like monkey’s tail. Standing line was referred as standing tall. We drew a lot of smiley faces too
- Used football as a Bait.
- He loves football. So, I started with writing him favorite football player’s names. He knew the spellings because of his obsession with the game, I just wrote it out for him. Soon he wanted to write them too. I held his hand a few times when he struggled and gradually let him do it.
- Draw and Colour
- I began with drawing his favorite cartoon characters, football logos, favorite food and asked him to color. That helped him improve his grip on the pencil. Soon he wanted to draw them too. There is no hard and fast rule which says you have to draw, you can take print outs and let your child color them.
- Fun competitions and small awards.
- We would have a weekly competition where I would involve his dad and family members to have a writing competition. I would say letters he was learning at school and they would get them wrong on purpose. Then I would have my son teach them. We also had occasional rewards being given to him to appreciate his hard work.
You will need patience as your biggest quality when dealing with a child. Being a parent means being innovative all the time. You can get them magic slates or the standard blackboard slates to write on. You can have shape cut outs, or letter cut outs to help them trace. As working parents or stay home parents our day is equally busy but like they say, you gotta do what you gotta do. Make time for your children and be a part of their journey.