I’m always a little bit boggled by Will’s approach to art. He has recently gotten very excited about coloring and drawing. He’s actually usually quite patient and intent in his coloring, making sure he stays in the lines and colors all the important parts in a picture. He went right from not even being interested in coloring to being very particular and talented at it in just one step. Not sure how that happened. But his drawing is what I really find interesting. When he first started drawing, he never knew how things were going to turn out. Drawing for him was like an adventure, an experiment. He’d say, “I’m drawing a picture . . . oh look! A duck!” Finding a meaning in his pictures was like looking for shapes in the clouds.
He still does that sometimes, but he’s also embracing the joy of drawing from a preconceived idea, or copying letters. I’ve been trying to teach him his letters, since he would like to learn to read. Unfortunately, he doesn’t seem to have as good a memory for letters as Elise did, but he’s slowly getting it. He doesn’t yet know how to spell his name, though he can write it. Notice it written on the bottom of his pirate picture. I once heard him telling someone that he knew how to spell his name, and when asked he said: “W, little line with a dot, two long lines.” I suppose he doesn’t really have to know the names of the letters if he at least knows the sounds they make. He actually does seem to have a good ear for the sounds. The last letter we practiced was D. “Will, try to think of a word that starts with d,” I said. Will looked thoughtful, but I could see he was having trouble coming up with something. “Say the d sound d, d, d and see what your mouth wants to say,” I helped. Will touched his tongue to the top of his mouth and said: “Dragon!” Not the word I was expecting, but yes, it definitely starts with D. He’s been good at coming up with words for all the ones we’ve done so far, except for c, which is just confusing since he did think of a couple words that started with k. I helped him change kitten to cat, so he could have a c word, and here is the picture he drew for his paper.
He’s a lot of fun to teach. His enthusiasm makes school time exciting, and his unexpected thought processes make it interesting. He is also learning to recognize and write his numbers. So yesterday, after teaching him how to write a 3, I asked him to draw 3 things on his paper. They could be anything he wanted, there just had to be 3 of them. He started drawing something very elaborate that I couldn’t quite figure out. Finally I asked him what it was. “I don’t know yet,” said Will, and continued adding lines until it formed into a large castle. Knowing he didn’t have room left on his paper to add two more such castles, we settled for adding three doors to the castle to help him remember the letter 3.
He is great fun to talk to as well. Yesterday he discussed his future plans with Aunt Hannah. It started by him showing off his brand new shoes, which sadly did not have lights on them because mom says they’re too expensive and we have to buy them ourselves. “So when I grow up,” he said, “I’m going to buy light up shoes.” Hannah asked him how he was going to make money to buy the shoes, and he explained his whole plan. “I’m going to be a horse rider.” “Oh, you are going to train horses?” she asked. “No, I’m going to ride them.” he replied. “I’ll buy lots of horses and sell them, but keep one for me to ride like Tio” (who buys and sells used cars). “And then, I will go and buy the shoes, except I will buy light up boots, because I will wear boots then.”