Saturday, December 3, 2011

From 2 to 100.

Two months ago, I started pulling out puzzles to do with the younger kids.  I started both Lizzie and Seth on two-piece puzzles (large, colourful animals divided into two parts), and on wooden 'peg' puzzles where they learned to fit shapes into holes.  Lizzie isn't terribly interested in trying any puzzles beyond these ones yet, but Seth has been a little bit different.

The progress Seth has made has been incredible.  When we first started doing puzzles, he could not do even a two-piece puzzle!  It confounded him, and he just couldn't figure out how to make the two pieces make a whole...even when I showed him.  He liked the end product; he just couldn't think in abstract enough terms to figure out how to get it.

At some point, of course, he mastered these two piecers and 'graduated' to puzzles with 10-15 pieces.  My help was needed extensively for the first several times that he did these puzzles...but again, he was ultimately able to do them on his own.

Gradually, he has been working his way up to harder and harder puzzles.

Two days ago, to my utter shock, Seth completed - entirely on his own - a 100 piece puzzle!!

I had planned a h/school agenda for Wednesday morning, but just before we headed down to the classroom, Seth indicated that he wanted to try to make the puzzles that I had purchased on our weekend south of the border.  I made a quick decision that this would be a better use of our time that morning than our h/school agenda and so Seth started with the two 24 piece puzzles.  It took him about twenty minutes to do each of them, but he did it.  He then looked at the 60 piece puzzle but discarded it because the pieces were so tiny - he thought that might be a bit too hard.  And then he took a long look at the 100 piece puzzle I'd purchased, and said that he wanted to try it.  I bit my tongue to stop myself from saying that I didn't think he was ready for it; thankfully my brain stopped my mouth just in time, and I said instead that he should "give it a shot" and ask me for help if he needed it.

Seth:  "Mommy, mother, I do not want help!"

Me:  "OK, I'm just offering it in case you get's a hard puzzle."

Seth:  "Two times I am telling you Mommy:  I. do. not. want. help.  Maybe you not even look at me doing puzzle. can sit with me."

(gee thanks)

For one hour and twenty minutes, Seth worked on that puzzle: doggedly; utterly focused; not getting up even once.  He applied the same grit and determination that I've come to expect from Seth.  At some point, maybe half way through the puzzle, it was clear from his expression that he knew he was going to finish it, and he grew increasingly pumped.  When he finally finished, the rest of us shouted "YAAAAAAAYYYYYY" to him about ten times, at the top of our lungs.  He was thrilled.

(Excuse his hair - I hadn't done anything with it yet that morning, and the purple clip he loves to wear in his hair is a restaurant giveaway that appears in his curls a little too often...but oh well, he doesn't care, and he's terribly cute!)

About half-way through, I could tell by the look in his eye and the set of his mouth that he just knew he was going to nail this thing! 
Almost done...

And finally, after so much stick-to-it-ness, he finished the whole 100 pieces!!  He was so's not that often that I get this big and genuine a smile from Seth (he prefers to hide his pleasure at accomplishing something), so I particularly love this picture!!

I'd say that was well worth relinquishing our homeschool agenda for the morning, wouldn't you??!!


  1. That's awesome! Great job Seth!

  2. Definitely worth it! Good decision Ruth and great work Seth!!

  3. Natty has also recently started doing bigger and bigger puzzles all by himself. He too, can focus for 90 minutes when he's in his puzzle zone. It is so cool to watch and to see his joy and confidence each time he finishes one! Way to go Seth!! A

  4. that is amazing! what a smart guy..and I love his independence! He will be a strong man. :) The smile lights up the it! (and the purple clip, lol!)

  5. Darci, you're right that Seth's going to be a strong we just have to make sure it's 'channelled' in the right direction.