6 year old reluctant writer(7 Posts)
My son brings home his exercise books once a month. The school has a policy whereby homework once a month involves children bringing their school books home to share with their parents. I think it's a great idea and my son is very proud of his work.
I am a teacher so I have some idea of what is expected of children at year one and so forth and I never thought I would be like this. I can see that my son is a reluctant writer who is struggling. He is articulate and has great oral language skills but I can see that he will take the easy route if possible. so instead of expressing himself in some detail he will cut sentences short or use a word which is easier to have a go at spelling. How can I get him to see the fun of writing and to develop more of a desire to write? He loves listening to stories and our house is filled with books. I get him to write short shopping lists and little notes etc but even this is a trial.
Is he reluctant or is he struggling?
Surely reluctant means he can do it and chooses not to, whereas struggling means he can't.
You need to find out why he doesn't like writing.
Does it hurt?
Is he scared of making a mistake?
Does he hate sitting still?
Until you unpick what's going on it'll be hard to help him.
If he struggles, if he can't do it, then it's not a motivational problem and so you won't solve it that way.
My sympathies. He sounds very similar to my DS but he isn't 6 for a while yet. In year 1 and definitely not reluctant, but unable.
My DS has some motor delay. He can't actually grip a pencil properly, can't sit up straight and I am currently pushing (they appear to be on my side but time will tell) school to get him further motor skills interventions before I will push for an OT assessment. I have managed to get him a writing slope in class although they first off gave him an A4 size which his book and arm didn't fit on. Now he has a proper one. The difference is vast. So his writing in school has improved but I don't have a slope at home and he simply can't write at our oversize dining table. so we don't particularly practise.
It drives me bonkers if anyone mentions summer born, boy, and don't worry he's not ready.
Why should the fact he is a boy prevent him from writing well. The fact it hurts him and he physically can't achieve what's in his head saddens me.
He reads gold level books and doesn't stop talking.
I've done lots of research, but in the main these are the things that help
Can you try pencil grips or the posh stabilo pencil?
Work on gross motor skills such as wheelbarrow walking and pushing the wall to make the room bigger
Fine motor such as scissors and Hama beads
Swimming and martial arts for core strength.
A writing slope which allows the arm to rest and work less hard meaning the hand can form writing more easily (easy to google the benefits of this)
What year do you teach? I can only compare to DD and family members when realising how difficult this is for DS. Being able to compare to hundreds of other children must be tough
"How can I get him to see the fun of writing and to develop more of a desire to write?"
For purely this objective, we started using this site. My ds is a very reluctant writer.
It gives you very interesting picture everyday. But my ds just chooses any ones he likes and write the story inspired by the picture. At least he finds it fun, and he enjoys it. I don't know his contents are good enough or not for his age, but I am happy that he actually finds writing fun things to do.
DS will write when he's motivated. I make sure he has the opportunity, but don't make him write otherwise. E.g. at one point he enjoyed writing postcards from holiday. Sometimes he likes writing stories. Mostly not. But at one time he did, and illustrated it, and I let him take a copy to school to show his teacher, and later we made it into a 'book' complete with title page and blurb on the back, that he gave as a birthday present to his grandmother.
Sometimes I let him dictate to me. Then he will make up a long, interesting story, and I am amazed at the vocabulary he uses, and the structure etc. and he then asks to have the story printed and enjoys re-reading it to himself. I think that helps to give him an idea of the 'point' of writing. He would never be able to get that story on paper that well if he had to write it himself, because, well, he's not even 6. He'd get distracted long before being finished. But this way he knows why he is learning to write - so that eventually he can write down stories like that all by himself.
Thanks for the ideas. I will see how I get on. I like the website with all the pictures.
If you want to get him to write random stories, you could try story cubes too.
What DS does often is to take a story he knows (e.g. latest bedtime story: James and the Giant Peach) and change it. So new main character name, make it about a giant apricot, and adapting the storyline, usually by incorporating bits and pieces from other stories he knows.
But I think the story cubes, the pobble website, and the 'adapting stories' are all strategies to promote imagination, story telling, becoming elaborate and detailed etc. but less about writing per se.
And I think it is only natural that many children (and grown ups!) can't get everything they imagine/think onto paper very well. Writing can then feel very frustrating, your writing speed often can't keep up with your thinking/imagination speed.
So if you think he has a great imagination and comes up with good stories and is articulate, but just doesn't bother to WRITE carefully, and that is what is bothering you, then I agree with PP that it would be worth checking if he can't or won't. If it is that he won't, and all you are looking for is 'how to get him to see the fun of writing' and 'develop a desire to write', then I think it is important to acknowledge that for the time being, whereas inventing stories may be fun, writing itself may NOT be. In fact, do YOU write for fun? Most people will write for purpose. Writing is often a chore. If writing is fun to you, what makes it thus? Can you share this with your child?
To see the fun in writing:
Perhaps look at poetry with him? How to convey big ideas/feelings/atmosphere with only a few words?
Perhaps teach him a simple cipher and let him write coded messages to his friends?
Or similarly, make some invisible ink for him to write messages to his friends?
Have him and you both write a 'diary' of a particular day/event and then compare. Did the same things stand out?
Writing can be fun (to me anyway) because you get to play with words. You could make up silly Dr. Seuss style rhymes with him and write them down?
How about writing a 'joke per day' and giving the resulting joke collecting as a gift to a family member?
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