Why am I constantly surprised by what Sweet Pea can do? I know that I shouldn't be as I should set my expectations high, but I find myself doing it over and over again. For some reason I can't seem to realize what she can do until it is practically shoved in my face.
The latest example of this is her ability to start writing simple letters. I mean, come on, simple letters are really just simple lines so why shouldn't she be able to do this? Her March 2013 writing goals didn't include any letter writing so I was imagining that she had to master her that goal before progressing onto letters. I told a friend just a few weeks ago that we weren't ready for the Handwriting Without Tears iPad app. Turns out I couldn't have been more wrong...yet again!
I wish I could show you her samples, but as she isn't learning to write Sweet Pea, I can't. Luckily, her real name is a pretty simple name in terms of the lack of complexity of the strokes involved. For some reason I seem to recall Grandma stating in the hospital that besides it just being a great name, it was a great name for her in terms of the simplicity of learning to write it. Writing it in all caps would probably be easiest, but her amazing inclusion specialist is working on teaching her to write it correctly with the first letter capital and the others lowercase. She has her name drawn out with dotted lines on the whiteboard and Sweet Pea has to trace it when she goes into the Learning Center. (Tip - Her teacher said to not let the kids see you write the dotted lines because then they start to mimic that instead of making the solid lines, but if you have it setup before hand then it's a good way to go.)
Her inclusion specialist sent home a writing sample and while it was still very unrefined, the first few letters of her name were written without any hand over hand assistance or tracing involved! I remember seeing my nephews names looking an awful lot like this writing sample and it makes me so darn proud of Sweet Pea! I made up a dotted template today and had her write over it a few times with different color crayons and she is really getting it. It's fascinating to watch her!
Looks like I can add writing activities to my ever growing list of fun things to play around with when I have some time with Sweet Pea. At least this is one activity that I can do when her sister is around as having both girls color at the table is simple enough.
And now a question for all of you...do you have any suggestions for how to work with Sweet Pea on a skill, such as reading, when Angel wants to be right in there doing it as well? I've been told, understandably so, to not allow Angel to do it with Sweet Pea, but there isn't much alone Sweet Pea time in our house (at least not at an hour when the sun is up and my brain is willing to start working). I want to work with Sweet Pea, but how do I keep Angel occupied and not just plopped down in front of the TV, as then Sweet Pea would want to join her? I don't think that they are ready to understand "Sweet Pea time" and "Angel time". Thoughts? Ideas? Please share!!!!