When Bud started Kindergarten in August, he could write his name in block letters. With direction and effort he could make assorted other letters, but he avoided the process whenever he could.
Throughout the school year, Bud has developed an increasing interest in letters, reading, and making words. In March, he started clicking letters into the TiVo to record his favorite shows. That quickly progressed into typing favorite words into the computer. But this week I was astounded to see it evolve even further into handwriting.
We've been playing a game recently in which I write out three-letter words and Bud sounds them out. He and I have both been thrilled with his success. This weekend we put a new spin on it when, after he sounded out the words, he copied them in chalk on the driveway. Later, he wanted to add another step. When I wrote a three-letter word, he took the pen from me and added a fourth letter:
Then he read his new words loud and strong:
That gave me an idea. I tried writing the first two letters of a word to see what Bud would do. That experiment yielded:
"Bib" (which was a surprise. I'd expected to see "Big," as in "Jack's Big Music Show.")
The next night, I thought we'd try to play the game again and I thought it would be wise to start with a word he'd already done, so I wrote "ca" expecting him to write a "t" or possibly an "n."
To my surprise, he wrote an "i" and then two lines that looked like the makings of a capital H. He's not interested in playing tonight, I thought. But he kept writing. When he stopped, I looked at what he'd written:
Caillou. The children's cartoon on PBS. Of course.
He asked if he could do another. I wrote a "t", and he added:
Then to my "b" he added:
Boohbah. (Also on PBS, and by the creators of Teletubbies.)
He got so excited by this new-found ability that he ran to get his prized Teletubbies CD so he could copy down some of the track listings:
Teletubbies Say Eh-Oh.
And he continued transcribing, song after song, diligently consulting the track listing and copying each letter on to his page:
Dipsy's Fancy Hat.
All penned by Bud's own hand.
The finished products are remarkable, of course, but they weren't the highlights of this project. The highlights were Bud's enthusiasm, his confidence, his sense of competence, his pride; these were the things that showed me that this year in Kindergarten has been an unqualified success. He's come so far so quickly. And he knows it.
Way to go, Bud.
And thanks, Mrs. H.