Thursday, August 11, 2005

It's a blistering August day with worse in sight. We all picked up mild colds while recovering from our last illness which have left us more cranky and tired than actually sick. The girls didn't have the attention span for formal lessons today but were too active to just go back to sleep, so we went with the flow.

Sunshine has been working on her basic reading and writing. She can read a couple dozen words, but add more and she stalls. Unfortunately most of the readers I have move quickly on from that point. She also doesn't mind tracing her letters but hesitates to write them out. So I made up some traceable pages with her name and simple sentences on them for her to trace.

Brighteyes had curled up with a dinosaur book, but she wanted traceable sheets too. I printed her out a couple of cursive practice sheets, and she managed one line of cursive on each page. I'm not surprised Even though she's almost through a first grade manuscript workbook she's nowhere near ready for cursive.

Then the girls wanted to draw dinosaurs. We turned the traceable sheets over and they drew on the back of them while I held Sue the T-Rex Puppet, which we picked up at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, up as a model. That is to say, Brighteyes made and colored drawings. Sunshine, who had suggested this activity, looked at the puppet, looked at her sisters' drawings and fiddled with her pencil for an hour. Then when her sister and I were elsewhere she shredded her own papers.

I don't know what to do about Sunshine's reticence to draw. It's relatively recent, but it's been growing as she realizes how much better her sister is at things than she is. Pointing out that her sister is 2 1/4 years older than she is hasn't helped, nor has it helped to tell her that everyone does things badly at first and the only way anyone gets better is with practice. I always tell the girls that your second attempt is always better than your first, but you have to get through your first attempt before you can get to your second. It's finally sunk in to Brighteyes, but Sunshine doesn't believe me yet. This is a real shame because it seems like she actually has more artistic talent than her older sister, but she's much more hesitant to bring it forward where she can practice it in any way. Making things fascinates her, but she's frustrated.

After a throat-soothing lunch, the girls watched The Panda Baby and Panda, Go Panda Sunshine kept running back and forth between the TV up front and me in the back during the second half in PGP crying, "It's scary again!" She was grinning while she did it, so I let her get her cardio-vascular workout.

1 comment:

ziviya said...

hello from ziviya, over on the lmb list!

can i suggest that, if sunshine is comparing and finding herself lacking, that you give her (or both) paper and drawing stuff, and let her (them) draw in private? then she can practice without comparing. i used to have (lo these many years ago) a drawing pad no one was allowed to look at, and it did help.
of course, you have to decide who is old enough to work alone :)