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Teaching the Wiggle Worm

I have one particular child who doesn’t sit very well. Oh she CAN sit. I can make her. But it isn’t her preferred stance while doing school work. Lately, she walks to the dining room table where we work, pushes both chairs out of the way on her side of the table, and stands there, ready to learn.

Many days we just work in the living room. She wants school to be fast and dirty. She’s not a careful writer who erases over and over again until her work looks just so. She’s not a take-your-time kind of kid at all. Her schoolwork is pretty easy for her, and she just wants to be done so she can do other things. So...I have had to throw out the rule book and come up with other ways to get her school pages done.

If her language arts book has spelling words, she spells them out loud to me. Or, she might write them on the window in erasable marker. No sitting down writing with pencil and paper here. (Don’t worry, I make her write when writing is the point of the assignment.) Most of the time, she does jumping jacks for each letter as she spells aloud. Is this too chaotic for you? It doesn’t bother me too much. She got her spelling done. Moving on.

If she’s supposed to choose the correct homophone, I write two choices on post it notes and stick them to her feet or hands. Then she just raises the correct hand or kicks up the correct foot as her answer. Why have her write each homophone out in the workbook? I do sometimes, when I need her to practice writing neatly, or as a handwriting assignment. But if the point is to choose the correct homophone, this will get the job done.

You might be surprised how many things can be done orally instead of in writing. There is a time and a place for writing, but every subject in school does not have to result in the child sitting and writing. Answers can be given other ways. If I were not available to help her, she could just record herself on a device telling the correct answers. I can watch it later and grade her work. Think outside the box. Sometimes you just have to “get ‘er done”!


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