Most of Noah's brilliant classmates have already learned their letters. And they can write their names. I know because Noah tells me they are practicing this in the "office." Basically, the "office" means the corner of his preschool classroom that became filled with computers, keyboards, calculators, and laptops about two weeks ago. Doesn't sound so different from our house to me. But apparently, its much more interesting when it's in his classroom. Because until this week, he's had zero, zip, zilch interest in learning letters. Of course, I wasn't worried because his parents each have over 7 years of higher education. If Noah has half of that, it should be plenty of time to learn his letters. Maybe even his numbers.
So, when word came home that he needed to make valentines for 16 classmates, I seized the opportunity. Hurray! We'd write his name. Sixteen times. Then I started thinking about buying some Valentine cards. And I thought about how Fritz always complains that Valentines Day was invented for a particular card company (let's not analyze that one, okay?) and I decided, No! We'll MAKE Valentines. Apparently I forgot that Noah HATES crafts and that I had already committed myself to getting him to write his name 16 times with letters he still doesn't know. Even Fritz smiled encouragingly and reminded me that since it was more than 16 days until Valentines Day, we could do One A Day.
That sounded totally reasonable.
And you know what? It has been reasonable. Except for the Valentine that I made him sign "Noah" so that I could post it on the internet. That's not his real name. I made little dots for the letters in his name and then he traced the dots. He figured out halfway through tracing "Noah" that it wasn't his name. Good Boy. We only have 4 more real ones to go. Maybe he can write his name without the dots. We'll see.
I credit our success on this craft project with:
- Lowering my expectations.
- Having some old, red wall paper lying around.
- Using a variety of techniques on the invitations so he didn't get too bored. (painting, cutting, writing, punching) He could always be motivated to finish writing his name - or Noah's - with the promise of another technique.
- Self-made "stickers" using ribbon, paper, and double sided adhesive. I had to make them myself, but Noah was able to apply them himself.
- Plenty of advance warning. We only work on it for about 5-10 minutes a day.
I think they are kind of pretty, in a crazy way. They remind me of our wedding invitations.
And now, do I need to put these in envelopes? I don't quite know how this class-Valentine-thing works...