Friday, January 14, 2011

Motor Skills?

So the Colorado 4-H policy handbook tells us that Cloverbuds (ages 5-7) don't have advanced motor skills required to handle livestock. Basically, it says that those in grades Kindergarten through 2nd just can't grasp the concept of handling any livestock, including poultry or guinea pigs. But, by third grade, just one year later, they're all better now and can lead a 1300-pound steer or guide a 300 pound hog with just a piece of plastic pipe. Amazing how those kids mature in just one year, isn't it? I have a real problem with this policy. It's like telling us that all kids read at the same grade level and we all know that isn't true. Or that all kids have the same maturity level at those ages. I have sons who are 19 and 21 (in two days) who still don't possess the adequate motor skills to handle poultry. Try as I may to teach them differently, they are still determined to carry a chicken by its neck. I'm equally troubled by this because they both read at about fourth or fifth grade level while in kindergarten. While they can't seem to properly carry a chicken, they are quite adept at roping a hen...or a duck...or a cat. Now that, folks, takes some real motor skills! And they've always been able to do this, even as youngsters back in those days when those skills weren't quite developed (by 4-H standards).  As kindergarteners, they not only had motor skills, but they knew what the motor looked like on our feeding truck. They knew how to rev it up, how to spin a tire, and how to throw Dad or Mom off the back while trucking through the pasture. Things haven't changed much! I'm really wondering how both of them managed to get through 12 and 13 years of 4-H without having developed those critical 'motor skills' needed to be successful. Guess I'll never know. Happy trails...

1 comment:

  1. Pretty sure our little go-getter will think she's quite ready to show a steer long before she reaches her 8th birthday!