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ds driving me CRAZY!!!!!!!!!

(6 Posts)
ipanemagirl Tue 29-Jul-08 17:18:50

ds (7) has to practice his handwriting and spelling every day of the holidays so he isn't left too far behind in yr 3. His handwriting is pretty messy and his vowells are 'insecure' so we need to work on them every day.
But EVERY time we sit down to do some handwriting we get into the most abominable rows. He won't just DO it. He has to join up or rush it or generally mess it up. Doing it properly only happens after a massive row and I lose my temper!
It is so ridiculous of me I know, everything about it is wrong but he just drives me mad. Why can't he just do it and be done?
The teachers have said if he doesn't master this then he'll have to be assessed for special needs, it just feels like a threat. And he's so so so bloody minded!
I can't believe how angry he makes me!
Every time I plan to be calm and supportive and it's impossible!

juuule Tue 29-Jul-08 17:29:13

Then stop doing it (the writing).
You are risking putting him off for life.
Don't look on it as a chore or he'll pick up on it as a chore. He probably dislikes it enough to begin with if it's been highlighted that he's not so great at it.
If he's not keen, leave it.
Let him enjoy his holiday. He might even decide to do some writing himself if not hassled. And even if not at least he might start the new term with renewed enthusiasm rather than resentment.
If it's making you that angry then you are not really the right person to encourage his writing. Could his dad help or some other adult.
Have you tried Write from the Start which can help some children with writing difficulties. He might find it more fun.

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz Tue 29-Jul-08 17:31:13

Agree with juuule. FWIW, I wouldn't be impressed at the school almost blackmailing you either. Let him enjoy his holidays - they need a break from it all.

ipanemagirl Tue 29-Jul-08 17:36:13

of course you're right, every time I sit down wih him I promise myself I won't get angry but he just drives me up the wall.
I have to stop this though, it really isn't working at all and it's leaving me a total mess.
Thanks for the advice, I'll look at the website.
He's had two years of teachers who are not exactly boy mad. thank god next year he's got a much younger teacher with loads of energy who doesn't see boys as a drag!

yetihed Tue 29-Jul-08 17:38:49

Hi ipanemagirl, I am a teacher and am pretty suprised by your post. Not that you are struggling with your DS in this situation, but that the school has recommended daily practice.

I have taught for 13 years, and IME children who are reluctant to write are that way because they find it extremely difficult and therefore stressful, so go into a flight/ fight response when expected to produce something on paper. It's very difficult to make suggestions without knowing your DS better, but there are a few routes you could follow-

1. Give him a break. At least 1 or 2 weeks, but maybe decide to sod it and give him the whole holiday off so he can start with a more fresh outlook.

2. Restart in VERY SMALL doses- literally one thing to do, maybe twice a day. And then heap praise on him when he does it. You could do a smiley face chart- 10 smiles is a treat (I would suggest a treat of time, rather than money/ gift, eg 10 smiles is a favourite game with you or something similar). When he's doing this no problem, build it up one thing at a time. But this might take ages and you'll have to be patient.

3. Do it differently- don't sit down! Try practising the handwriting with a paintbrush and water on a spare wall, or with huge crayons on an old newspaper. The important thing is building up his motor skills and fluency of movement, so if he's finding it tough to do it small, start huge then decrease gradually. make the handwriting practise also the vowels where possible- then you're killing 2 birds with 1 stone and halving the time needed.

As for the special needs angle, don't see that as a threat see it as a promise! I'd be interested to know what test they mean as there isn't a test you can do for special needs as such. They can assess him to find out exactly what it is he's finding difficult and actually this information might be useful. It may also entitle your DS to extra help at school.

Finally, while keeping learning fresh in the mind over the holidays can help, it is also important for your DS to feel refreshed and confident in September. If he thinks his mum is stressed about his learning he will be too. Better not to do it than argue about it, IMO.

Hope this helps- sorry it's so long!!! smile

ipanemagirl Tue 29-Jul-08 17:47:24

Thanks so so much yetihed, I really appreciate it.
He can write so well when he tries but he looks like he can't be bothered and always wants to rush.
But everything you say makes sense.
I'm surprised by how little patience I have and also wish I'd tackled this sooner and more productively.
I just dread having one of those boys who hate school and just struggle in life! I know, it's a big pressure! I'll keep it light fun and easy and full of praise or I won't do it.
Thanks!

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