Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it. ~Author Unknown
I'm finding out that gardening parallels alot of things in life. Baking yields the same glorious results from the combination of sewing ingredients and patience you get wonderful results that you can take pride in because of your hard work. You may not necessarily enjoy every aspect, cleaning the kitchen afterwards... weeding... but the end result is what gets you thru it and makes it worthwhile.
Now even school work too can be better enjoyed when the subject matter excites you and the end result is something you'll have longer than any flower or baked goodie; a life skill.
School work too can be like the hard work of pulling the weeds, especially in middle/high school with such large work loads, but only if you focus on the task at hand and not at the end result. Hopefully instilling fun into the work when they are young will help a little in the long run :)
Thus, my dear Gavin enters the age of needing focused learning instead of just associated learning. His teacher says he needs to work on his hand strength for writing and cutting skills. I've noticed he needs help with fine motor skills, since the age of 2 really, and I guess instead of always saying 'It'll come in time' and working on things here and there, there's no time like the present to help speed the process a little more :)
*Starting with a layed back approach is best and let them cut scrap paper to their little hearts content. Learning finger placement and how to open and close the scissors is key in this process.
*Next, move on to cutting lines. You can draw out simple lines on paper to start but, to give them the desire and 'want' it may help to add pictures to the paper they are cutting.
You can draw things or use a Word document page with dashes as I did and add some clipart, very simple! You can even make it themed; animals to their habitat, foliage to the correct season, etc.
The best part is that these cutting line pages can be used for tracing excercises too! You can also switch it up and make it a matching game. The possibilites are endless!
*Then you can help further this skill by having them create a photo collage by cutting out their favorite photos from a magazine. Again, this can be themed by cutting out certian colors, animals, or foods. They will be so proud to see the masterpiece that they cut out themselves and look forward to it everytime until the skill is mastered!