Behind the Book

"Jude holding 5's"

“Jude holding 5’s”

When my son, Jude, was in KG1, he was introduced to writing numbers. It was found that he had a difficulty with reversing the numbers, such that they would face the wrong direction when handwritten. In one of my regular conferences with his teacher, I expressed concern over this issue, however she explained that this is a “common challenge” for children when introduced to writing and almost all the kids in her class were experiencing the same problem at different severity levels. She elaborated further that in this case, the KG program measures the success of the learning outcome by the children’s grasp of the numbers’ shapes and not directions and that correcting the direction will happen eventually.

Of course learning that reversed writing is a common pattern in children eased my concern with Jude, but somehow his teacher’s explanation did not sit completely well with me. I just thought that something should/can be done to help these children with correcting their reversed writing.

I came home, wrote the numbers down, and just starred at them from a different angle; out of the blue an unorthodox idea glistened in my mind, based on which I derived an approach to teaching Jude how to write the numbers. While I was working with him on this approach, I came up with the lyrics to the book’s song for the numbers chapter unintentionally. Immediately, Jude was writing his numbers without reversing. However, to ensure that he was solid on the numbers’ directions, I made him write the numbers 0 to 9 daily, while we enjoyed singing the song together. In less than a week he had mastered the numbers and overcame reversing totally; I was thrilled!

In KG2, Jude was introduced to writing the alphabets, and reversing was a big issue once more. I recalled my approach to writing the numbers and was able to extend it to the capital and small letters. I tried it on Jude, once again the results were remarkable and I was very pleased for a second time!

When I received Jude’s grade report, his teacher commented on the report that surprisingly Jude writes without reversing. Now I was more than pleased!

When I shared Jude’s teacher’s comment with my daughter Julia, she immediately said, “Mom you have to share your methodology and benefit others, why don’t you write a book about it.”

…And I listened to my bright little girl who ended up doing a mind-boggling job when she teamed up with me on illustrating the book.

Of course Julia and I could not leave Jude behind! at the end, he inspired both of us to make this book. So Jude took part in coauthoring a chapter of the book with me and flavoring Julia’s performance of the book’s song.