Or maybe it's Penmanship.
But probably it's both, as they each lead to the other, to my way of thinking.
Since these pages are reserved for my family's moments and discoveries and my children's daily stories, I'll try to keep from philosophizing too much.
(And I send this with Trev's permission.)
Trevelyn doesn't write. He doesn't draw, either. He never has. (I don't mean that he never, ever has, just that it isn't an everyday occurrence.)
A year or two ago (he would be six or seven then) I panicked about it for a minute, but then soon came to my senses.
A month ago I handed him a piece of chalk and challenged him to write the alphabet around the perimeter of the trampoline... I just wanted to know if he could. Because, you know... he doesn't.
He could and did.
Around here we operate within a boundary of what I deem as Unschooling. Which to me means learning and growing naturally. That doesn't mean that every little thing is hidden from an individual so that they may discover it in their own time, independently and rapturously themselves (for example, I was buying children's books long before I ever had children), because I'm really comfortable saying "check this out!" and "Guys! Let's create!". But that does mean that I don't assert my supposed greater wisdom to school them.
So Trev doesn't write. Because he just wasn't interested.
And then something happened... the last two times he's gone to write something down, he's gotten frustrated with his inability to do it.
Angry, almost. He's felt thwarted.
The first time I helped him, and it didn't go so hot, and soon after we let it go.
He knows what the letters are supposed to look like - he reads very well - he just isn't able to make them come out of his hand the way he knows they are supposed to look. (Perfect, to him.)
A few days later I was reading a review of some book, and came across Peggy Kaye's Games for Writing. We have Reading, and I've been a fan of Games for Math for a few years, so I ordered it from the library, just to see.
When he made his next attempt for writing a few days later, he of course again got very frustrated after two, I think, letters.
The great thing about Questioning Everything - meaning not operating in a space of "we do it this way because this is the way it has always been done" is that it leads to really great discoveries like the honest power of Communication.
Instead of having this be a matter of Teaching, which I see as manipulative and "let's help you do this because other people say you Should", I took it to Trev.
And we had a conversation about it.
I asked him if he wanted to be able to write, I told him my thoughts and observations, I let him know that everyone learns to write by doing it - that no one was perfect at it the first time they tried it, and I told him about the book.
"I got it because I thought it might have some cool games in it for us to play while learning to write (with ease). Want me to check it out, and find some games I think you'd enjoy?"
So we are.
Not because I feel like he should be writing. And not even because he has a burning desire to write all day.
But because it is something he now sees as useful to him.
Which means, of course,
He's ready to learn it.