How can I encourage my 6 year old (YR1) to write?

(50 Posts)
Creole Mon 21-May-07 11:13:55

I have written about it here a few times, but we are still having the same problems. He had a lovely teacher up until the end of the spring term. She really motivated him to write, but things seem to have regressed since she went on mat leave.

The new teacher seems to be getting her head around the class, but in the meantime, my son is losing interest in writing. This is also having an effect on his confidence as he keeps saying all the other kids are better than him in writing, they all get to talk about their stories they?ve written and he can?t.

Both Yr R & Yr 1 teachers have said this is the only area that is holding him back. He is very imaginative and can talk for England, but the problem is getting his ideas down on paper.

Should I enlist the help of a tutor or is he too young (YR1)?

Is he having trouble actually writing (ie forming letters, words etc) or is it more that he can write, but just doesn't want to?

Creole Mon 21-May-07 11:33:17

He can write, but not interested in writing.

lexcat Mon 21-May-07 11:42:48

I have the same with dd just turned six. lovely writting just doesn't ever do much.
I think some times she has so many ideas. Then the idea of getting them on paper is all no much. So instead she just sit and does no writing at all.
I have also been told by teacher that the lack of writting is holding her back. As she is ahead in most other things,I try not to worry and hope that it will come with time.

I'm not an expert so will leave it for mumsnetters who are to advise re tutor.
My son was the same, and sorry to say at 14 he still isn't very good at getting his thoughts down on paper (inspite of being very capable). I do find he will write more when something captures his imagination.
Perhaps encourage him at home to draw a picture of something he's enjoyed (a party/day out/tv programme) and just write a few words about it. Then make a big fuss by showing anyone who visits what a good job he's done? And get him to take it into school to show the teacher? They respond so well to praise, it sounds like he needs a confidence booster. Also keep it in perspective, all kids are good at some things and not at others. Make sure you and the school are praising him for the things he does well and take the emphasis away from the writing. He's still young and I'd say too soon to be overly worried about it. But as I said upfront, not an expert and others might have other advice.

ahundredtimes Mon 21-May-07 12:01:23

Also not an expert, but definitely opinionated - much too young for a tutor! What is this tutor going to do with him?
Best, well-intentioned advice, is not to worry so much. Get him to do stuff incidentally. So for instance, tell him you have to go through the cupboards and he's got to write down the shopping list you call out. Or else a letter to grandma. Birthday cards. A notice for his bedroom door. A sign for the kitchen etc.

Also if he hates writing and you want to preserve what's up top, get him on the computer.

sound advice from ahundredtimes, love the suggestions about getting him to write without realising he's doing it (shopping lists etc). Much better than my idea which does put the focus on writing for the sake of it.

MorocconOil Mon 21-May-07 12:41:45

If you go on holiday encourage him to write a postcard each day. He could also make a book of the holiday by drawing pictures, sticking things into it, then writing captions.

My 7 year old kept a diary at home for a week. It didn't last long but it was 7 days of writing he wouldn't normally have done and he enjoyed it.

kittypants Mon 21-May-07 12:45:19

i found with my 6 year old ds that if i force him he hates it,if were playing schools for example he likes it so we try not to make thing of it.his sister loves to read and write and i was very worried as he didnt.hes more arty.infact your ds and mine sound quite similar.

ditto the idea of incidental writing - 'can you help me make a shopping list' also I encouraged my ds in a reluctant phase by gettting him to enter some competitions in his comic.

How about the penpal thing? gettting things in the post is great - they love it, they just have to write a letter first!

kittypants Mon 21-May-07 12:49:16

penpal idea sounds good.if you like i could see if my ds would be interested,could help them both?

Clary Mon 21-May-07 12:50:23

My DD is 6 soon and she loves to write. What has inspired her is little things like a special little notebook, paper with her fave Rainbow Fairies on it, a diary which she writes a sentence in each day.

The problem with boys is it's soooo hard to find boy-friendly stationery (grrr! no wonder they don't want to write!!!) but I have seen Dr Who/Pirates of Caribbean/Bart Simpson notebopok sets if these appeal to yr DS.
Then get him to write a little bit every day if you can - maybe a story, maybe just something like what he had for tea or what he liked doing that day. Or get him to keep a log of something eg birds seen in garden, TV programmes watched, anything he might be interested in.

Get him some special notepaper and encourage him to write notes to friends, rellies, you, anyone. A holiday diary with pictures. shopping lists
A diary is a great idea for Christmas - less-willign writer DS1 had one the last 2 years and the improvement over the year was amazing.

ahundredtimes Mon 21-May-07 12:51:00

Yes, and my absolutely top tip for letter writing is to write to the Queen, because they always reply AND it comes on Buckingham Palace paper. Pick your subject, can be anything and the Lady in Waiting says how pleased the queen was to hear from you.
He could write on anything he's interested in - annoying spellings, football, gerbils.

Soo much fun.

PandaG Mon 21-May-07 12:53:04

If yo want him to write at length, be prepared to be a scribe for him. Suggest he tells you a story, and you write it down, or type it up (or he could do that) - could be a story for a younger sibling or friend, and he could do the illustrations. I found this really encouraged a reluctant writer who had lots of ideas in his head but had physical difficulty getting it down on paper.

Creole Mon 21-May-07 13:14:15

PandaG, I did exactly that and the stuff he came out with was fantastic. It was word for word and really it was brilliant, if I don't say so myself. But getting him to do that himself, its like drawing blood out of a stone.
He's very interested in non-fiction stuff, like the planets, horrible histories/science, animals, etc.

I have also encouraged him to keep a diary but that lasted a week. Although, I will try it again.

The shopping list sounds like a great idea.

Penpal - we tried this with a friends' daugther, but we didn't get a reply. So kittypants I will take you up on your offer. If your DS is interested, you can email me Lilian_1 at hotmail dot co dot uk.

Thanks for your ideas and please keep them coming if you have anymore.

Much appreciated.

creole - i know kitty got in first but my ds 7yr will send him a letter too if youlike - he is inot animals and stuff. You too kitty if you want

Email me at dimpledthighs at hotmail dot co dot uk

ahundredtimes Mon 21-May-07 13:25:07

Pleeease also write to the Queen!

kittypants Mon 21-May-07 13:26:23

ok will speak to ds later,see if hed like that.

kittypants Mon 21-May-07 13:27:02

and write to queen!
actually id like letter from queen,i might do one too!

Creole Mon 21-May-07 13:34:29

Great, the more the merrier.

Writing to the queen, I think I'll be a bit nervous about that. What would you write about anyway? Also, it's a one off thing right?

ahundredtimes Mon 21-May-07 13:34:54

Hurrah Kittypants. We wrote one on why do you have to practise the piano, why can't you just be good at it? Was hilarious.

ahundredtimes Mon 21-May-07 13:36:16

Yes Creole, I think it might be a one-off otherwise people might come knocking on the door in the dead of night. But well worth it for the letter and also you get sent stuff from the Palace.
Give it a go. He'll love it.

foxinsocks Mon 21-May-07 13:37:19

some of them just don't like writing

dd is like that (she's 6, in yr2). She doesn't like doing it and doesn't want to.

you can't make them do it!

does he like football or any other sport? you can get him to write team sheets, scores, that sort of thing.

kittypants Mon 21-May-07 13:39:12

oooh cant think what to write about?someone on mumsnet told me to mam.when will my ds sleep.how do i get rid of bags under the eyes.i love those shoes you wore with blue dress where did you you get it.

Speccy Mon 21-May-07 13:39:15

Get him one of these .

Writes in normal or invisible ink which shows up using the built-in ultraviolet light.

Maybe not a long-term solution but he'll love writing for a little while at least.

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