Apr 13, 2008

Reading & Writing

During our open house yesterday, we spent a little time at Let's Play, a fun specialty toy shop in downtown Hillsboro. While the boys perused their favorite shelves, I browsed the book section. Happily, the books I bought for Zach and Ty have been big hits! They certainly made two hours of stake conference a bit smoother this morning.

Tyler likes to draw, and we were right in assuming he'd love "How to Draw People." He has quiet determination to copy things and follow directions, so the step-by-step process of drawing human figures was perfect for him. His first project was an artist and easel. It's so cute! (As always, you can click on the picture to enlarge it for more detail...)

Zachary has loved his new book of word searches. I figured it would be one he'd have to grow into, since some of the puzzles require unscrambling words, but he jumped right in and figured out what to do! We're impressed with his critical thinking skills. This afternoon Zach and Garry put together the "bonus pull-out" game that came inside the book. Even Tyler was able to participate in the reading, unscrambling, and word finding activities.

Because of their skills in these areas, one of the time-out alternatives I have been using lately involves writing. Inspired by 1-2-3 Magic, which recommends having older children write essays as consequences for poor behavior, I decided to have Tyler trace sentences and Zachary copy them. The length and subject of the writing depends on the nature of the offense, but I have been very pleased at the effectiveness of this consequence. It's so much more meaningful than time-out!

Zachary has copied several scriptures about charity, contention, service, and honoring parents. Tyler has traced many sentences about responsibility and respectfulness. When the boys finish writing their lines, we read them together and talk about how those scriptures or sentences relate to their poor choices, and we end the consequence period on a happy note. As a bonus, the boys are both getting good handwriting practice!
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