Today was not a "school day." We spent much of the morning outside, enjoying the weather. However, when we don't go into the school room it doesn't mean no school work was done. I follow the practice of "strewing" items around the house, particularly if it is something I want to see more action. This buffet in the kitchen just happens to be the most logical place for our metal insets. We had to move the boys' little table out of the school room for a while because our house is on the market (which makes "strewing" a little more dangerous by the way). Also, I have trained the boys to only use "art things" in the kitchen and the colored pencils used with this task certainly qualify.
Last night I left Kal-El's baseball diamond out in the family room so he might enjoy it during the couple hours early in the morning before Me Too wakes up. I left his baseball three-part cards in his bedroom where they might get some use while he tries to avoid sleeping during his naptime. He was eager to start on the metal insets right after breakfast today. It was his first presentation.
I certainly could use some tips. I have to correct his pencil grip every single time he picks it up right now which is not very fun for either of us (and kept me from getting a picture of the insets in action). He has trouble holding the inset or frame down firmly enough while he traces and it often drifts (I demonstrated that correctly a few times and then figured from there trial and error will teach him how to correct that). He also is not very meticulous when he snakes the lines through the inside of the shape to fill it in. He does the first couple okay, and then becomes impatient and scribbles the rest in. It is still a little bit of a problem when the hand holding the inset or frame in place gets in the way of the tracing hand, but I demonstrated the transfer motion for him and this improved. He also traces the frame better than he does the inset. He tends to drift away from the inset when he comes around the left side (he's right-handed)...particularly if he has just transferred his left hand.
So, those of you who present insets year after year...is this typical for the first day?
I did not expect Kal-El to have so much trouble with his grip after all the prep in the various Montessori activities. The boys have always used Stockmar wax blocks or (starting around age two) those little rock crayons that require the tripod grip so they haven't been using bad grips in their art activities. I guess I hoped that all of this would magically prepare them for a seamless transition to pencils when the time came. Unrealistic expectations or have I missed something important? We are using Galt, short, triangular pencils.