I’ve written before about how Elli is different from Sammi. She hasn’t been as interested in hours spent at the craft table surrounded by art supplies. I’ve spent the last year getting to know Elli for Elli. We’ve tickled and wrestled, read and snuggled, role played and raced. It’s been a fun year and I really feel like I know who she is and what makes her tick.
As we homeschooled Sammi through Kindergarten, I also had preschool activities for Elli to do. Occasionally she would stay with us long enough to finish a worksheet or glue her pictures down. Often she would hop and skip around the table. Somewhere in all of that she mastered recognizing all her letters and their sounds, counting to 16, holding a pencil correctly and even learned the names of most of the continents. I’m amazed!
We’re approaching Elli’s birthday. She’ll be 4 and she’s very excited about it. She now consistently wants to put her own shoes on. She likes to get dressed and loves to pick our her own outfits. She dances and sings all the time. She’s still the very movement-oriented learner that she’s always been, but in the last couple of weeks she’s taken to writing. She makes lists all day long. No pad of paper is safe from Elli’s list making. Sometimes it’s just squiggles but often it’s letters. Lots and lots of letters.
She’s known how to write her name since last fall. E-L-L-I. Pretty easy and she loved that she could write it. But she wasn’t that interested in learning to write any other letters. She accidentally picked up F and H, O and C, and S for Sammi and Scott. When we did handwriting practice with different letters she usually entertained Scott instead of writing. But now she’s asking me to show her how to write different letters. She mastered R and K at church last week. She’s even asked me to spell out a few words for her to write down.
Development is all about timing. Children progress when they are ready for it. The best we can do is provide them with a rich environment that creates opportunities for and exposure to learning, then keep our eyes open for when they show us they are ready for the next stage. It’s been so fun to see Elli sit for 20+ minutes writing letters and drawing pictures. She tells the best stories to go along with her masterpieces, too.