Thursday, November 29, 2012
Tobin at 78 months
The Saturday before Thanksgiving, Tobin went on a bit of a creative tear. Right after our pancake breakfast, he gathered paper, pens, crayons and tape and made a board game, Thanksgiving decorations and a book entitled Designs. It included pictures he and Evan had drawn with accompanying Tobin-penned captions. He worked on these things prettily steadily through the morning and even after lunch. Mid-afternoon, he plopped down next to me on the couch to watch football and said, "I think I'll take a break from inventing things for a while."
Over the last couple months, Tobin has really taken to writing. While he's been writing letters and words for a couple years now, he's seemed hesitant to write anything without asking us how to spell almost every word. His kindergarten teacher last year even noted that he seemed to struggle a bit with writing answers to simple reading comprehension questions; she speculated it might be fine motor issue. With that in the back of our minds, Matt and I gently encouraged Tobin to sound out and spell words he wanted to write down, instead of automatically spelling them for him. But at some point in the last few months, he stopped asking us to spell so many words and just writes down whatever he wants. The result is adorable prose replete with creative misspellings. He takes pride in being able to spell certain words correctly, especially most of his classmates' diverse names. He noted that his friend Lorenzo's name would sound just like Lauren's if you left off the "-zo" but "it would be spelled different."
So it's special to see Tobin enjoying writing in addition to reading these days. He's reading chapter books when he gets a chance and is on volume 3 of The Complete Calvin and Hobbes. Matt and I are trying to figure out what chapter books we can introduce him to. He enjoys The Magic Tree House series at school. I think we're looking forward to him reading things like The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Harry Potter, but figure those might still be a few years down the road.
Tobin received his first public school report card at the end of October. Unsurprisingly, he got especially high marks in reading and math. His teacher also commended him particularly for following directions and participating in class activities. Tobin continues to enjoy working on his reading log each night. A couple weeks ago, he brought home a new reading log form which required him to answer a simple comprehension question each night. He never asks me for help in answering those questions, so I try to remember to sneak a peek every once in a while at his answers. I noticed just tonight he has likes to abbreviate "because" as "'cuz" (yes, with an apostrophe). He told me that he likes to do homework and wishes he had more--especially math! He reports that he even asked his assistant teacher if he could have more but she said that most of the homework was for the second and third graders in his class. I told him that he does a great job reading and keeping his log and that soon enough he would have more homework, but for now maybe he could just enjoy having extra playtime at home? This seemed okay with him.
Tobin's Thanksgiving week started out a little rough as he woke up Monday morning throwing up, with what turned out to be strep throat. Fortunately, we were able to get him to the doctor that afternoon and get some antibiotics. He didn't miss a beat from that point on and was his usual positive traveler self on the road trip to Kentucky. While there he helped Grandma decorate for Thanksgiving with some of the signs he had made at home and wrote the names on our family place cards at the table. He enjoyed playing Monopoly and Yahtzee as well as the game Catch Phrase with a larger group of family. I think the object of the game is to describe a word without using rhyming or parts of the word. I didn't play but I remember hearing Tobin describe "a state that's really, really far south and it was created by volcanoes." Hawaii!
Tobin made a card to send to David Bazan, one of Matt's favorite musicians who Matt saw at a show last week. You'll note above he included a quiz and a pilgrim on the front. He then enclosed a sweet note inside plus drawings of a turkey and Star Wars. I'm going to get him started on our Christmas cards soon! (Well, if we sent Christmas cards . . . but there's at least a possibility I'll post something Christmassy by Tobin on Flickr.)
Posted by allison at 9:31 PM
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He also described "a small brown bird" for Chickadee and "a very small state" for Delaware. He impressed us all! You and Matt have a challenge in years to come to keep him motivated.
Thanks for sharing, Beckie. I know I wouldn't know how to describe a chickadee. :)
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