Monday, August 11, 2008

Fun Fine Motor Skills

One of our summer projects was to work on TS’s fine motor skills. He does not like to color and has some difficulty cutting. This all can be traced back to an over critical and zealous Montessori teacher. Most of last year I incorporated clay, finger-paints, clothes pins and tweezers into our weekly schedule. This summer the goal was to focus on these skills daily. However, after attending the HOTM conference session entitled Teaching Boys and Other Children Who Would Rather be Making Forts All Day by Andrew Pudewa, those plans have been put on the shelf.

I learned that:
  • Typical boys develop fine motor skills later than girls do. Most of the experienced homeschoolers in that session shared stories of young boys who were seven, eight and even nine before their fine motor skills matched that of girls their same age.If a boy is criticized about these skills, it takes years to build that confidence back.
  • The only way to build that skill is to make it fun and not focus on the outcome but on the adventure of the process.
  • As a homeschooler of a tactile learner, I need to embrace TS’s need for movement while learning. I have always fought this because I thought, “He needs to learn how to sit still, because all children sit still in school.” Yet again, I was reminded he is not “in school” and we have the freedom to educate him our way. Sure, he has limits but if he needs a break every 15 minutes to move, we break. If he needs to do math using a Twister mat, we use a Twister mat.

To that end, we have learned so much in the last ten days.

We found these great bumpy seat cushions at IKEA. He uses it at the dinner table and says it makes him feel "planted".

Then he learned how to snap his fingers. We are so excited because that is a fine motor skill and motor planning milestone for a six year old. He was so happy he snapped his way to his first blister on his thumb.

In honor of the Olympics and his love of everything Kung Fu Panda, we learned how to eat with chopsticks. YEAH! We got this little starter kit from a local Chinese restaurant and he has eaten almost all of his meals as well as snacks with chopsticks.

Nothing says "Yum-Oh" like cranraisins, pretzels and grapes.

Oh, we also made our first lapbook. Yippy! I will have to share that later I have to run and finish organizing our office for homeschooling fun.


Daniele said...

great wisdom! very glad you have some ideas that are the chopsticks. :o)

SingingMamaDee said...

I'm an Andrew Pudewa fan, and I thought you might enjoy hearing my interview with Andrew especially since you just started homeschooling, and he chats about his progression over the years from sending his kids to a formal classical school to a leadership-type education.

Abundant blessings!