Model of unconventional learning

Reid(5, turning 6 next week…crap!   I need to be planning a party) has always been Nirvana’s island of quiet in the middle of chaos.   He has a quiet, laid back spirit.   He is always thinking, creating and then thinking some more.

Reid looking at camera

My little surfer dude.

He is the one happily living in a surf shack between his skyscraper brothers.

He has a June birthday so last year we made the decision to wait on Kindergarten until he was 6.   I really felt like he wasn’t mature enough and was concerned about his ability to hold his own.

So this year we played.

A few months ago he had the obligatory Kindergarten entrance testing.   When the School Director went over the results with me I was a bit shocked.   Reid doesn’t talk much so I had no idea that he had grasped so much information.   She strongly encouraged placing him in first grade next year and after discussions at home, we agreed.

One problem…the Kindergarten that he missed last year covers the first year of math and phonics.   I got online and ordered the curriculum and we have been working on it since that time.   The last thing I want to do is feel like I am pushing him into 1st grade unprepared.

While working with him on math and phonics it became apparent that his handwriting was atrocious.   Hours of coloring, painting and Lego building haven’t helped his penmanship.

I got back online and purchased a handwriting curriculum.

Each morning he does a page in each subject.   It doesn’t take him very long.   He usually finishes it before I can get the kitchen breakfast mess cleaned completely with a few prompts from me.

He is a daydreamer.

He never interprets the instructions quite like others do.

The papers are really messy and usually have extra doodles in the margins it is all part of his charm.

Yesterday, he called me over to see what he had accomplished.

He was beaming.

Look mom!   I did this whole page with my eyes closed.

handwriting sheet

May God bless his first grade teacher.


  1. That’s waayyyy more legible than Mr. Weasel’s penmanship. Boy must be a genius.

  2. No tears though, right??

    I recognize Handwriting Without Tears when I see it.

    I don’t know about boys. My Stink’s penmanship is horrid. HORRID.

    But any “encouragement” to improve it produces tears.

    HWOT. phhht.

  3. Wait, he did that with his eyes shut? That’s pretty impressive!!

  4. oh! that’s awesome! See, Hal’s birthday was Monday, so she’s a June bday too… and I am SO worried about what I will do with her year after next. I KNOW she will be academically ready, because I taught kindergarten for years–that isn’t my concern. I am way more worried that she will graduate from high school at seventeen and then GO GO COLLEGE having only been eighteen for like two months!

    Why is this such a frustrating decision???

    Whoa… sorry for the comment freak out there…

    …backs slowly out of blog…

  5. Impressive for his eyes being closed!

    And boys and penmanship? Yeah, they got together about as well as doctors and penmanship. Maybe he has a future in medicine. Or perhaps as a pharmacist…maybe he’ll be the one interpreting the chicken scratches on the Rx slip!

  6. HRH was by far the oldest in his class this year and it came with its own unique set of challenges – like being challenged. With older and (let’s face it; smarter) kids, there needs to be other smart kids in the classroom getting the answers right, too. I’m glad Reid will be among peers.

    And his blindfolded Y’s are terrific!

  7. My son just completed Kindergarten and his handwriting is TERRIBLE. Maybe he’s been doing it with his eyes closed the whole time!

    I think I might need to look into this handwriting curriculum.

  8. Oooh! Interpretive handwriting! Us teachers LOVE that! ;-D

    He’ll get it!

  9. I am sure that he will knock-em-dead in 1st grade!

  10. If that was with his eyes closed, imagine how he’d do with his eyes open! Lucky teacher…

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