Year 1 - Writing - Bright child/Poor result

(33 Posts)
MumBoyGirl Tue 05-May-15 23:12:38

I'd really appreciate done advice!
My child (just 6yrs old and in year 1) is bright abc highly articulate (as determined by teachers and others not just me!) but disengaged with writing and so behind relative to his potential. :-( I'm very concerned! I do not want or expect him yuk be writing Shakespeare, but I know he he is capable of better quality and quantity even now.

I am happy (even if he isn't) to put in the effort at home, but he does practically no writing in school, and I'm really dismayed. I want to help but I don't want to be his sole teacher.

Surely he should be writing stories/sentences in school?? He literally has 10 pages of work in his school book since September, abc most of those are full in the blanks worksheets...

I'm so disappointed for him.

I am his thinking of sending him to an independent school...but have no idea how he could compete at entrance with his current lack of writing skill (lovely handwriting though smile

How can I help??
What should I expect from school...?? I have made an appointment with teacher...

AtomicDog Tue 05-May-15 23:17:38

It's probably just not a priority for him! grin
My 6yo is exactly the same- would rather do anything other than write. He's bright, knowledgable, could answer any question you ask him, but getting him to write is like pulling teeth. He just hates it.

We harangue him, and make him do some writing every day, mainly through bribery. (he doesn't get pocket money yet, so writing is how he 'earns' comics)

JemimaPuddled Tue 05-May-15 23:19:19

Many of the teacher people you need are probably asleep just now, perhaps you need a bump early in the morning, or better still tea time? Boys and writing...sigh, the age old issue. I do hope Mrz and infant gurus turn up to advise.

Teacuptravells Tue 05-May-15 23:19:56

I'm not sure I'd push it out of school to be honest as they are still so young and there is time for it to "click".

However in school seems to be a bit more of a problem - my daughter is always writing. I dont think it can all be down to what she does in free choice as they seem to have a lot of written exercises. Have they done it on paper rather than in the workbook? I'd be tempted to just ask the school about your childs writing/development than cram at home.

JemimaPuddled Tue 05-May-15 23:20:50

grin @ Atomic's bribery...and it being more stuff to read. Absolute class!!

AtomicDog Tue 05-May-15 23:27:27

Jemima- he will read anything, honestly, cannot get enough material to read...he's on Y4 reading scheme. It's just writing that is the sticking point.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Tue 05-May-15 23:28:54

FGS he's six. If he's as bright as you say he will get the hang of it.

My 6 year old is the same. I just get him to write things he likes. Namely wish lists of toys, Minecraft plans, ideas for films and video games, etc. also buying him a "secret" journal helped as well.

JemimaPuddled Tue 05-May-15 23:43:11

I've got a purely lazy-writer 11yo ds too, I get it! Will read anything and everything down to the small print on the cereal box. Writes the absolute bare minimum to get by, spelling, grammar and punctuation perfect. But concise in the extreme! Otoh DD never stops writing. Have to bribe/blackmail/persuade ds2 to write.

AtomicDog Wed 06-May-15 08:28:11

Nooo! So it doesn't get any better?
I just hoped it would improve with maturity, especially as unlike OP's DS he does NOT have lovely handwriting!

JugglingLife Wed 06-May-15 08:33:55

Some kids just don't like 'big writing', specifically when they have to use their imagination. Bet he's great at comprehension though? I wouldn't worry at all at this stage.

Lilybensmum1 Wed 06-May-15 08:46:32

I'm so glad you posted this my soon to be 6 ds is just the same. Great with numbers, reading can resite multiple facts about planets, space etc but struggles to write.

I find myself getting so frustrated with him, he has no interest in it he can spell many words but has barely legible writing. How can we help? I was planning to see his teacher for advice. His ks1 report highlighted that he is below target for writing and he knows this.

My dd on the other hand could write when she left nursery and has beautiful cursive writing, is it a Mae thing? Or am I being sexsist?

bronya Wed 06-May-15 08:53:08

How are his fine motor skills?

MumBoyGirl Wed 06-May-15 09:40:32

Thanks so much for your replies. I do appreciate the virtual support.

His fine motor skills are above average, he is good at detail - intricate Lego, drawing etc.

I guess my big concern is actually with the school, and whether it's a good match for my child. They do so little writing (and reading...but that's a different story!) that I'm struggling to see how DS can improve with so little exposure/opportunity to practice. Also, I'm just not sure that expectations are very high...

Oh dear...

MadAboutMathsMum Wed 06-May-15 09:45:54

I wonder if it is a maturity thing? DS2 was 6 in September so one of the oldest in year 1. He would write simple (4 sentence) stories before he went to school off his own back, but at school produced very little when he had to write a story. Maybe a sentence or two. Possibly because he didn't want to write about whatever he had been told to write, as opposed to him choosing what he wanted.
Then at Christmas of year 1 literally overnight it seemed to click for him. He started writing pages, and is now writing at an 'old' level 3. Sorry I know that you don't use levels in England any more but we are in South Wales and I don't know how our outcomes now relate to your new criteria. It probably helped that the first day that he wrote a lot his teacher sent him off to the headteacher for a reward.

Teacuptravells Wed 06-May-15 09:47:20

Do they have the children's writing on the walls? Are other children writing? (Sometimes there is an element of choice as to the activity.) When you go have you asked to see writing?

It is still only Yr1 so early days but I'd find out a bit more before ruling the school out. There's a whole range of writing styles in my daughter's class (from looking at the work on the wall) as they develop at different rates.

DeeWe Wed 06-May-15 09:48:05

Ds in year 1 was avidly reading Biggles (and any factual books you could get about aircraft/WWII including adult ones) Ask him to write a story and you got a "humph" and if you were lucky two brief sentences "Once there was a man who didn't do anything. The end." was one of his. grin
His imagination verbally is great you wouldn't believe what they sometimes got up to at school according to him.

His year 2 teacher said she wasn't at all worried about this, and her experience was that he'd probably pick up around year 4/5 and his writing would catch up. He's year 3 and still not keen on writing, but he writes much more and finds grammar/punctuation quite interesting so I can see it possibly coming.
She also said that he was a typical bright boy.

ReallyTired Wed 06-May-15 10:20:48

I think you are right to be concerned. My daughter has just turned six and she does a lot of writing at her state school. Most the children in her class can write a page unaided. (Ie. about six short sentences.) Infact the majority of children can write a simple sentence, even if they haven't got the idea of captical letters of finger spaces. In your position I would be more concerned about a lack of willingness to try.

Does your son enjoy drawing or any craft activites at home? What is he like at reading and maths?

MadAboutMathsMum Wed 06-May-15 10:47:58

Cross posted with your reply. I would be concerned if the school aren't giving him the opportunity to write. DS has opportunities to write poetry, stories, information text, prayers etc on a regular basis. They have been taught how to plan a story and both his literacy book and topic books are absolutely crammed full of writing opportunities.

QuiteQuietly Wed 06-May-15 12:06:30

Is it the physical writing that he is reluctant to do? When DS was in Yr1 he was a v reluctant writer, but he learnt to touchtype at home and I encouraged to type stories, letters etc. etc. which at least exercised the sentence formation/punctuation and thinking of stuff to write side of things. Handwriting is still not his favourite thing and he is extremely concise when he can get away with it, but at least the composition is no longer a struggle so the whole thing is less of a battle IYSWIM.

Ferguson Wed 06-May-15 13:36:09

As a TA when I had very reluctant Yr2 writers, I used to let them DICTATE their ideas to me, and I would type it on the computer; much better ideas and greater quantity was produced that way.

So if you have a tape recorder, or a phone that can record, let him dictate his essays in the first instance. He can then amend as necessary, and try to write them another time.

We didn't expect or get very much writing from Yr1 children, but modern expectations do seem to be a lot higher than they used to be. Whether the average child can cope with it, is another matter.

mrz Wed 06-May-15 18:44:58

It's difficult from your post to work out why he doesn't like writing.
Obviously it isn't a physical problem if his handwriting is good. How is his spelling? Could he write / retell a story he has just read?

mrz Wed 06-May-15 19:24:54

I would be very concerned if he wasn't writing every day at school ... you become a better writer by writing!

mrz Wed 06-May-15 19:50:24

Ive just finished marking Y1 writing and it ranges in quantity from 5 or 6 sentences to a side of A4 narrow ruled paper

Cedar03 Thu 07-May-15 11:24:49

I think when my daughter was in year one a lot of time there was a choice between being able to draw a picture or write a sentence in some activities.

However we had lots of examples of her writing throughout the year and there was clear progression on the formation of letters, development of sentences, etc.

itsveryyou Thu 07-May-15 14:28:52

My DS2 is nearly 9 and a very reluctant writer, always has been. He is GT, reading, maths and spelling levels off the scale for his age, brilliant imagination, reasoning and recall excellent, very happy in school.

It's just his handwriting is pretty poor, despite all the work we and the school have put in. Currently we're in the USA school system and his grade recently learnt how to write in a cursive style, which is all well and good, but not if they haven't mastered normal writing first. This year has been mostly spent working towards their standardized tests, which require little or no writing.

I think we have a lot of work to do with him before going back to UK this summer, when he will be in Yr 5 and expected to be able to write quickly and at length.

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