Just yesterday I wrote that I wasn’t sure if my three-year-old was ready to try handwriting yet this summer. He’s been loving with the Ron Paul Curriculum this summer, but mainly focusing on phonics, not handwriting.

Then today he went outside, grabbed a piece of sidewalk chalk, and wrote an absolutely perfect capital A.

This is the first letter he has ever written.

I was so hesitant to have him spend any time on handwriting at all. We hear a lot about not pushing kids into academics before they’re ready. There’s a whole — very legitimate — school of thought that says kids shouldn’t have any formal reading instruction until they’re six or seven. Honestly, the first time we went through a handwriting lesson, instead of even attempting to print A’s, he started drawing light sabers.

I didn’t push it. I just let him draw what he wanted to draw, but I also let him keep watching the handwriting lessons because he wanted to do that, too. He didn’t seem that interested, but he actually was paying attention and absorbing the instruction. For me, this seems to be the key to following the child: just keep giving them access to materials, activities, and ideas that they can grow on, and then let them grow at their own pace.

I guess since he likes writing with the chalk, I’ll make sure he has plenty of opportunities for that.

Have your kids ever surprised you by learning something you didn’t know they were working on?

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