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Handwriting, messy presentation of work ...

(17 Posts)
roisin Tue 22-Mar-05 14:34:03

Last night had good parent/teacher meeting for both boys - no surprises, Phew!

Both class teachers mentioned that the boys (5 and 7) are fairly reluctant writers, and quite messy: but do 'enough' to get top marks in the class for just about everything! Tbh I'm not really bothered about this at all ... should I be? Will the writing issue resolve itself eventually?

Has anyone had a reluctant writer turn into a keen writer? What did you do?
Or has your messy/untidy writer suddenly started producing immaculately presented work?
.. I know I never did

Are these light up pens of any use?

WigWamBam Tue 22-Mar-05 14:38:47

I did - but not until I was 16, and about to take my O levels! My teachers always said that it was because my brain was working faster than my hands could write, and if your sons are getting top marks, then this could be the same for them too. At 5 and 7, I wouldn't really worry about it too much.

Amsterdad Tue 22-Mar-05 14:40:16

Hi roisin - I received the same comments from teachers up to (and including!)university.. Deep down, like you, I would not really be overly concerned; however I used to get very frustrated being told that I needed to "put more effort" into work when I'd spend hours researching, planning, etc. So "neatness" is actually an easy way to score points IYSWIM. I would encourage your kids to take more time in preparation, but not be too hard on them - effort is more important.

Miaou Tue 22-Mar-05 14:43:05

Ditto, WWB - my handwriting was appalling until I was in my teens, for the same reason - got a lot better as I began to take pride in it, is now appalling again because I type at about twice the speed that I write!

Roisin - as long as it is legible then I really shouldn't worry overmuch - it is good that the school has flagged it up as an issue, but I suspect that it goes with their intelligence. <whisper> and AFAIK boys' handwriting tends to be worse anyway <miaou ducks under parapet before getting shot at>

TheVillageIdiot Tue 22-Mar-05 14:44:21

I have terrible hand-writing, always have. The teachers always picked on me about it. To this day I hate to write things down that I have to give to people. However, I can write perfectly if I try/take my time but general it's just a messy scrawl. To be fair I think it can just be that your head works faster than your hands.

When I was a school I was forced to do handwriting practice day in day out, I was even given these poxy books with tiny intricate patterns that I had to colour in.

I just don't have a particular style either. I think making an issue of it will just make them more self conscious, there's obviously nothing wrong with there learning ability and some of the most intelligent people I know have the most appauling writing. I really wouldn't worry.

QueenEagle Tue 22-Mar-05 14:48:09

My 11 yo son has the most appalling writing, and he is the first to admit he could have/should have taken more effort at his presentation. He is consistently in the top of the class however, I shouldn't worry too much but I do nag him. I'm sure it will get better as he gets older and realises marks are awarded for handwriting too.

Cod Tue 22-Mar-05 15:17:00

Message withdrawn

Stilltrue Tue 22-Mar-05 17:36:54

Roisin they're very young! I wouldn't worry. Perhaps the teachers, having given you good news overall, just wanted to highlight something, however minor, that needed or might need attention in the future.
My dd (6) is very bright, but also messy and somewhat reluctant to write, unless she really wamts to. However the other day we were in the library and saw they were running a children's story writing competition. She is desperate to enter!! I told her it would involve writing for "longer than she usually did" but she remains keen on the idea. Anything similar going on local to you ? My ds1 and 2 (9 and 11) were appallingly messy (11yo still is); I also remember some painful holiday diary experiences with them. Think blood and stone... I wasn't going to write the %&**&^ things for them for an easy life, though some parents clearly did. Now they write great stories, and both do well in English. Not being smug, just wanted to reassure you.

happymerryberries Tue 22-Mar-05 17:50:45

Roisin, yet again our children seem very alike. try not to worry. I'd rather mark good work than neat (in secondary school)

Dds handwriting and spelling are both awful. In no small part because she is in such a rush to get her ideas down on paper. I am also very messy, but have got better with age. It didn't hinder me getting a good university education. It does amuse the kids I teach tho!

roisin Tue 22-Mar-05 17:54:08

Thanks for all the responses. I guess my post must have sounded more worried than I am. I'm not really fussed if they don't write at all at this stage, as long as they think; and I'm rather surprised that their teachers seem to put such an emphasis on it.

When ds1 was little he used to dictate his stories to me, and I typed them out and made them into little books. I haven't done this for a couple of years as I thought it wouldn't encourage him to write for himself. But he has the plots of 4 novels in his head and shows no signs of writing them down. Do you think offering to type them would be a good idea (make him remember the 'point' of extended writing)? or a bad one?

happymerryberries Tue 22-Mar-05 17:55:13

Can he type them on the computer?

That way he will getthe practice and the finshed product will still be up to his high standards IYSWIM.

roisin Tue 22-Mar-05 18:07:05

He's not keen to type Hmb - I've kept thinking that's the answer, but he seems to reluctant. Yet another thing that I know he will get it eventually, but so far he hasn't seen the point. Too few hours in the day!

I type at 100 miles an hour, and I think that has actually put him off, as he sees it as an unachievable challenge.

happymerryberries Tue 22-Mar-05 18:14:26

Mmm, can see what yu mean. How about using pictures, newspaper style. Draw him into presentation that way? Fonts, layout? Would that appeal? The DS Times?

roisin Tue 22-Mar-05 18:22:15

What's the DS Times?

happymerryberries Tue 22-Mar-05 18:23:29

DS for your DS....I don't know his name!

tigi Tue 22-Mar-05 21:17:14

just had parents night too. ds1 in yr5, streets ahead in maths (L5), but writing presentation dreadful! He attends handwriting classes at school, and it has got better. he also crosses out and writes over the top. I do cringe, but think, well if thats all thay have to complain about! Because he does not write effortlessly, he never gets to actually finish his timed essays, although the quality is great. We need to work on that for his 11+. Ds2 is also the same 'it's all up there' but very large loopy untidy writing, like a puppy! I expect he will be same as ds1.

Kibby Wed 23-Mar-05 15:46:31

have you tried those traingle shaped pencils which are supposed to neaten handwriting up, don't know what they're called, they're silver and they have evry small bumps at the bottom for them to grip them better, I think you can buy them in WH Smith

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