Tuesday, July 8, 2008
The Spelling Boy
Apparently, I have raised myself a little nerd. No shock there since his parents are both total geeks (nose-in-book, computer dork, mechanically inclined, analyst genes are all the rage in our house). But seriously, I have done some research (like I always do) and I cannot seem to find any articles about four year olds who want to spend their free time spelling. I'm pretty much of the "unschool" belief system and have decided to let my children lead the way in their own education. This means that we don't sit down for letter lessons, etc. When we do "lessons" around here, it's a color sheet and a few library books, songs, dramatic play activities all related to some theme that He-Man usually picks out himself (he shows interest in caterpillars, let's learn about caterpillars). When it comes to numbers, letters, and reading, I'm not structuring lessons. Ironically, this whole "child-led learning" seems to be pointing its finger and laughing at me. Instead of playing catch or chase or pretending to be a pirate or whatever it is that normal little boys do, mine is spelling. The child cannot hold a writing utensil correctly to save his life (he gets that from me. I'm 30 years old and you would cringe if you had to watch me write a paragraph). So, he's not spelling on paper. He's using his blocks to spell. I'll be cooking dinner, fully expecting him to be engaged in something mindless like learning to say "I hate you" from Squidward, and the next thing I know, he's spelled Wet with the blocks. "Come see what I've spelled, Mama". Okay then. I can't help but wonder if I should somehow nurture this desire to spell. Like should I buy him a phonics kit? Should I start doing flash cards? Because honestly, I'm at a loss. I don't really know whether or not he's ahead of the game or if all four year olds take up spelling as a hobby. Advice and suggestions are welcome!