Sunday, October 6, 2013

Day 14: Fine motor skills

Taz has always been challenged with handwriting.  I remember working with him in Kindergarten.  I found this Homeschool program called "Scribble to Scribe."  He HATED it. It linked writing to music, and I was so convinced that it would work.  It did, I suppose, but then we sent him to school...

Alas, when Taz was entrusted to first grade, his teacher...  (who did NOT appreciate his active-ness in any way, but told us at our first Parent Teacher Conference that he clearly was not "the smartest kid in the class" ) ... said that she would NOT be working with him on his handwriting, that it "did not really matter."    When I questioned this, she said there would be laptops and computers and spell check, and he would not need to (hand) write.  I should have gone with my gut feelings and removed him from that school immediately.  But she had been a 1st grade teacher for 16 years, and was an "expert."  This was in a private, Christian School in South Central Arkansas.  They said they were equipped and experienced in dealing with such things.  They also SPANKED Taz in school.  I was horrified. 

On the day after our first grade parent teacher conference, I googled
"improving fine motor skills" and
bought a sewing kit to teach Taz to sew.

I still have nightmares about Taz's First Grade Experience. 
That was the year he was evaluated and diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, Hyperactive Type, at the same teacher's forcing (she sent him home from school, telling the principal that she was "fed up with him."  My heart palpitates even at the thought of those horrid days).  He would come home crying that no one was allowed to be his friend, and that he was not allowed to talk about Crayfish (his latest obsession at the time.  How did we make it through that year? 

We removed Taz from that school at the end of first grade (he earned straight "A's" in everything, except she said he earned a "B" in Conduct.  What a refreshing change when, in 2nd grade, where the teacher at the new (public school) asked us, "Do you know that you have a super bright little son?" at our first Parent Teacher Conference. 

This lady was much younger than the former teacher, and had her Master's Degree in Education.  What a difference.  She asked me to come in frequently to help with the class, allowed me to come in the last half hour of school 4 times to conduct Science Experiments with the whole class, and encouraged me to come to every class party and activity.  I still pray to God to bless her every day!  What a difference a qualified and caring teacher makes!
Taz, Age 9, Playing with a Colonial Toy Puzzle
(He was the only child to solve the metal colonial puzzle in the whole
class!)   He was determined to succeed, and
gave up many of the other stations to solve the puzzle.
The people who brought the colonial stuff to the
school were impressed and surprised that he was able to solve it.


 Age 10
Taz frequently chops up veggies and fruit
for salads, etc. using both hands.
Could he be unbalanced on both sides??  Hmm...

He is permitted to use a butter knife.
In this picture, he is mimicking the Japanese chopper who
makes the food a Benihana Restaurant.
Taz is able to repair an outboard motor with his father's guidance.
There are some fine motor skills involved in this.
Taz really enjoys the mechanical work.

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