My 7 year old, Jerry, has been struggling with not wanting to write or spell at home or at school. This is fairly new this year in first grade. It looks to me like the expectations of the first graders are significantly higher than those of kindergarteners.
One afternoon, we had a playdate at a park with one of his best friends and the friend’s mother and younger sister. The mother watched my youngest and her daughter so I was able to go exploring in the woods with the two older boys. I rarely get to have time with Jerry without his younger brother, so this was a treat for both of us. We got to climb some really high challenging rock cliffs with me being able to give him undivided, supportive attention as he pushed himself to do some hard stuff. At the top of the cliff we chunked rocks at cactuses and had some imaginative play.
Later we went out for his favorite dinner and he got some more good, physical play time. Then, I was able to run around and wrestle with him some. You could see that he felt really filled up, happy, confident, bright eyed, and connected. As we started getting ready for bed, he spontaneously started spelling hard words out loud to me. “Hey, Mom! I can spell ‘because’… and ‘sometimes’…”
He came up with this whole list of challenging words that he could spell! This is something we had never done before and he just came up with it on his own. It was as if his mind was just really clear and all of these words that had previously been blocked by (whatever) could come forward and he wanted to share that with me.
—a mother in Austin, TX