|Image from here|
It was quite overwhelming at the beginning of the year to look at Doo Dah and imagine he would be ready for school by 2012. He was so little and dependent and...well, little. I remember thinking the same thing about Nugget, but Doo Dah has had a lot less one on one time than Nugget got. He is the middle child. The wedge.
I vowed to spend some of this year getting him ready for school. Don't panic! This hasn't been about daily flashcards, I promise. His language skills and letter recognition are more than adequate for him to learn to read when he gets to school. But it did include trying to sort out the 'tonsillectomy or no tonsillectomy' question and seeing a paediatrician for his clumsiness and knock knees.
The paediatrician said he was fine, above average in most areas. A bit knocked kneed*, yes, but there is still time for that, with some hyper-extension thrown in for good measure (runs in the family). She suggested the clumsiness was due to lack of attention, but was a little concerned that he could spell his name aloud but not write it or draw anything. I mean *anything*. She asked him to draw a person and he did a squiggle. To be honest, I was a little shocked myself.
The paediatrician's input lead to a stint at the occupational therapist and a visit to the physiotherapist. The physio confirmed that his gross motor skills were normal, and his clumsiness is due to inattention rather than lack of skill. He might look a bit odd while running and climbing, but he is doing as well as his peers. She discharged us after the assessment.
The occupational therapist had a few more things to work on, so he joined in a little group. He went for five sessions and graduated from his 'school readiness' class today. He can now hold his pencil correctly (those OTs are Nazis about pencil grips!), write his own name correctly using proper letter formation, draw people and basic animals, cut out stuff, stick, colour-in and fold bits of paper to a satisfactory level to be considered ready for school.
He was so excited to receive his Certificate (the only boy in the class who has got the stamp of approval thus far I might add). He beamed in the back of the car all the way home. I was amazed at how far he has come in such a short period of time. He responded so well to the structure and breaking the tasks down into smaller steps (handy to have learnt so much about his preferred learning style before starting school too!).
So after nine months
Have you got a child starting school next year? Have you been doing anything to get him/her ready?
*Not sure if that is an official verb