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Reading ability causing writing problems?

(7 Posts)
wandymum Mon 10-Mar-14 12:22:13

My DS is 5 and in Yr 1. He is a brilliant reader and his teacher says she tested him and he has a reading age of 12. He just loves reading and always has after suddenly learning to read on his own at about 3.

The problem is that his writing is nowhere near as advanced and the gap between the two seems to confuse him. When asked to write a story or answer comprehension questions he quite often puts nothing down at all. He says this is because he doesn't know how to spell the words he wants to use. His spelling is also advanced but not as much as the reading so he wants to use as wide a vocabulary as he reads but can't. Then he gets frustrated and gives up.

Anyone know how I can help him? His teacher seems nonplussed.

HerGraciousMajTheBeardedPotato Mon 10-Mar-14 12:28:46

Teach him to use a dictionary.

Seriously! Find one aimed at about KS2 level. Usborne and Dorling Kindersley do brilliant reference books for KS2&3.

somedizzywhore1804 Mon 10-Mar-14 12:46:34

I was like this at his age and the best advice came from my year 2 teacher who told my parents at parents evening that I should write the words I wanted to use and that spelling them the right way would come later.

She was right.

Encourage him to write what he wants to say and then maybe work on learning to use a dictionary. Don't let him be hung up on perfection at this stage- encourage him to get his thoughts down using the sophisticated vocabulary he knows from reading. The spelling will follow.

3nationsfamily Mon 10-Mar-14 13:53:07

What worked for my DS was mind mapping the story. He couldn't structure all the thoughts whizzing around in his head so like yours left a blank page although if you asked him to tell you the story verbally he was flying. His handwriting too was terrible as his motor skills were out of sync with his vocabulary and the speed of his brain he found it very frustrating so again produced poor written work. The school worked with us to use a kinesthetic handwriting system of booklets which really helped.
See if the school can help with strategies like these and I'm sure it will work out fine.

HerGraciousMajTheBeardedPotato Mon 10-Mar-14 14:29:53

I agree 100% with somedizzy. But for some perfection is important, and it can be really uncomfortable to knowingly do something 'wrong'.

If he is anything like my family, a dictionary could be a source of pleasure to him. Both reassuring and broadening.

nonicknameseemsavailable Mon 10-Mar-14 20:49:49

I was just saying to someone recently that when we were at school we had little notebooks called our 'word book' and if we wanted to write a word we couldn't spell we would go to the teacher and tell them the word and they would write it on the page for that letter in the book. we could then copy it and in future look to see if it was there if we wanted it again. I certainly remember using these in Yr1 and Yr2 and I think it is a shame they don't do this now.

it sounds like a lot of it is confidence and I agree a dictionary might be the way to go for him.

richmal Tue 11-Mar-14 17:25:07

It probably is not to do with his high reading ability, as it could be he just wants to write words which are in his spoken vocabulary. The good thing is that children tend to learn to spell best by doing lots of reading.

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