So how do I get him to write?
In the five months that I’ve been home-educating I can count the number of times that my son, Kai , has picked up a pen. He has no interest in colouring books, and I rarely see him express any desire to draw. I understand that there is no rush, but I have wondered if I have been doing enough to support him. I began to suspect that the real issue has been his sensitivity towards his drawing: Kai often makes negative comments about his drawing and will often avoid such activities. I struggled with drawing as a child ( despite being very creative), and received very little support. So it’s important me that my son does not grow up with the same hang-ups.
When Kai was at nursery he frequently drew pictures. But I remember not always responding as enthusiastically as I should have, perhaps I expected more from him. This is awful just thinking about it, but at least I can see where the root of the problem lies. I feel the ability to draw is of huge significance. Humans generally think in terms of images; therefore, being able to express yourself visually is a great asset. In mathematics for example, a diagram is often a vital tool in problem solving.
I have racked my brain to try and find a way to encourage Kai to write or draw. Of course I initially approached this in entirely the wrong way: getting out the handwriting book and telling him he needs to practice. I then find myself justifying this further by pointing out that his handwriting has got worse over the last few months(terrible, I know). Then I endure the moaning and protesting, until he finally concedes with “I’m only doing 3 lines!”
There just has to be another way
Some time ago I took Kai to the Natural History Museum in London. In the museum shop there was a beautiful, but overpriced calligraphy set (£60). I didn’t get the set as I didn’t have the cash, but I did look online for some videos which I thought might support him. And while on YouTube I struck gold with an amazing series of videos which Kai loves: calligraphy for beginners( Julie Turrie), see below . Kai will happily spend over an hour or so following a video. This involves tracing a word in pencil and then going over it with a fountain/calligraphy pen.
A few days ago I watched with admiration as he worked meticulously, trying to make sure his work matched the artwork in the video. He then made me wait until he was completely finished before he said with pride “What do you think, mummy?”
I love you too, baby!
More of his artistic genius