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refusing to write

(24 Posts)
catrachmattben Mon 30-May-11 11:48:01

Please can someone help me out there.My son 6years old very able reading since 3years.Has a reading age of 10years.Loves maths and is way ahead of peers. Totally refuses to write, yet his spelling is fantastic has no problems with fine motor skills, but want accept that he is good at writing also.School see is refusal as he can't do it rather than want.

squidgy12 Mon 30-May-11 12:42:08

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ScrotalPantomime Mon 30-May-11 12:45:04

Good that his fine motor skills are good - what about gross motor though? Things like general coordination, kicking a ball, posture? That's more important than you'd think - you need strong core muscles to sit comfortably enough to write, as opposed to reading which can be done in any position.

catrachmattben Mon 30-May-11 13:13:11

Thanks for help. Have been doing exactly that encourging writing in a fun way at home for a few months and is doing well when in the mood! School still say he is refusing to write though.Teacher has suggested not doing any writing at all at home. Not sure this is a good idea. Gross motor skill seem good enjoys sports trampoline rode his bike early and walked at 9 months. Just seems to not want to do it as he perceives he is not good at it and hates it when the spellings are wrong which he immediately knows they are himself, choices simpliest option of words so they are spelt correctly.

IndigoBell Mon 30-May-11 13:23:28

There's obviously lots going on here. And my advice is going to sound simplistic. Which it's not meant to be......

But if you read books like mindset you will read that some people act like you have described when praised for achievement rather than effort.....

So, firstly make a huge point of only ever praising for effort and not achievement. Never tell him he is clever. Because that could be what he's scared of. He doesn't want to let anyone see him as not clever so he doesn't want to do anything he is not immediately brilliant it.

efeslight Mon 30-May-11 13:40:41

agree with indigo, some children don't particularly like being praised for something they find a little difficult, perhaps it embarrasses them?
he sounds like a bit of a perfectionist, who would rather not try than get something wrong, which is part of his personality...
you could try a 'magic line', eg if he is trying to spell a word like 'shopping' he might know the first few letters and the -ing at the end.
If unsure of the middle part he could use a magic line so it would look like this 'shop---ing'. this might take away some of his anxiety about spelling the whole word right. then as an option he could fill in the rest of the spelling later.
Does he like writing on the computer? this often inspires boys to write. print it, he can draw a picture, make it into a book about some of his interests.
or you could take off the pressure and not do any writing at home for a while, but appreciate this is not ideal, but sounds like he's feeling quite worried.
Could he dictate a story and you write it for him, then he illustrates it? or take turns, you write a sentence, he writes a sentence?

Malaleuca Mon 30-May-11 13:41:44

Some folk simply don't know what to write about. If there is no problem with the handwriting or spelling I more or less tell those children what to write, put the words in the mouth, or provide a very explicit framework.
Maybe your child's spelling is not as fine as he thinks it should be and this might also explain reluctance.

squidgy12 Mon 30-May-11 13:42:22

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catrachmattben Mon 30-May-11 13:52:14

He defiantly is avoiding it because he believes he is not perfect at it and doesn't like failing at anything.I may stop the writing at home for a while and see if it makes a difference at school has i know he has good knowledge.
We will just continue reading lots and see what happen next school year. I do feel he his developing quite a phobia about writing.Thanks for all the advise.

mama09 Mon 30-May-11 20:38:59

Hello. If he is so good at so many things, it's not really surprising that he is worried about failing, especially as I think many children find it fustrating that there is no right or wrong answers. There will always be things that you can improve on, whereas in maths you can instantly see the ticks when you get it right. Also writing is so complex, in that you need to think of so many things at once e.g. spelling, handwriting, content, vocabulary etc, which can seem a lot to tackle. If I were you, if you're going to do anything, I would try some oral story telling with him. Introduce it as a game and maybe play it as a family. You could start off the story yourself and then he could say a sentence and then you etc. You may find that this takes the pressure off him, as he will have less to tackle all at once. I've done this with a group of children and they absolutely loved it, even those who generally don't enjoy writing. A child, scribed everything that was said, so we kept a record. I really loved typing it out, as I remembered who had contributed what and all the children had. At the end they all wrote their own story endings, some were amazing. You could also try telling a story together that he is familiar with like a traditional tale. You could also do a sentence building game, where each person says a word to continue the sentence. The aim of the game is not to be the full stop. Hope this helps.

SocietyClowns Mon 30-May-11 21:11:38

My dd stopped drawing and writing and by complete chance I realised she did not like things to be on paper. Giving her a whiteboard and whiteboard pens and the pad thing to erase things really quickly got her back into doodling and writing. She just did not like to make mistakes and the chance to wipe things out really helped her.

mama09 Mon 30-May-11 22:58:18

SocietyClowns has a really valid point, most children much prefer writing on whiteboards as they can just rub it out.

catrachmattben Tue 31-May-11 11:02:59

Thanks,these are very helpful suggestions.I will definitly try the story telling game and the sentence building activity. I need to build up his confidence so that he is not afraid to have a go and not feel that he has failed at it. He wants to succeed at every thing but if he doesn't perform to his own high standards he want even have a go.

sarahfreck Tue 31-May-11 11:19:13

In my tutoring experience, lots of young boys hate writing and try to avoid it. I'd second the whiteboard suggestion (or even use whiteboard pens on your formica/melamine surfaces such as kitchen unit doors or kitchen table - children love this as they think it is a bit "naughty". It comes off with ordinary kitchen cleaner (as does soft pencil on a melamine/formica surface) - but do check a small bit first to be sure!

My cousin found one of the highlights of staying at my grandparents as a child was being allowed to write stories on the kitchen table (with soft pencil), then rub them out and start again!!

catrachmattben Tue 31-May-11 12:42:24

Thanks again for these suggestions. I think school are been very unhelpful at the moment they don't encourage or praise his acheivements in reading or maths and are really focusing on the writing which is having a very negitive effect on him. He says he hates school doesn't want to go,because he hates writing. Which I then respond with all the positive things he has acheived.He has a job share combination of teachers and really dislikes the teacher that he has on thurs,friday.Last week she pinned him down and asked him why he wouldn't write has his reading is fantastic and he said I just don't like it I may get spellings wrong.She said he is lazy and needs to try harder.Yes he has a reading and comprehension age of 10 plus but at 6 year should his writing be aquivalant???

squidgy12 Tue 31-May-11 14:38:34

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squidgy12 Tue 31-May-11 14:41:05

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squidgy12 Tue 31-May-11 14:53:15

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catrachmattben Tue 31-May-11 16:21:47

We have three weeks before end of term.So going to ease off until holidays with no writing tasks at home. But will work with all the ideas from everyone over the summer holidays,so hopefully will go back to school feeling better and full of confidence for next school year.Thanks for everyones great ideas

wordsmithsforever Thu 02-Jun-11 15:58:16

Going off to test my formica kitchen top....

skybluepearl Thu 02-Jun-11 18:51:59

my son is a book worm and was the same - except that my son as a toddler had no interest in mark making/painting/drawing/cutting/sticking. even in infant school he hated writing. hes now 8 with a reading age of 14. we didn't put him under any pressure to write at all and only now towards the end of year 3 his writing has started to reflect his reading interest. teachers say because he is so widely read he can really caputure the readers interest. his work is really interesting to read. thankfully he says he likes writing now. my advice to you is not to push the writing at all but to let him read to his hearts content. find books he can't get enough of and doesn't want to put down. it will all come out in his writing in the end. by forcing him to write now, you are making it into a bigger issue and could make him dislike writing.

catrachmattben Fri 03-Jun-11 11:32:43

Thanks that is really great to read that the writing just fitted in eventually. We have ordered some new books of the internet for the summer that he really wants to read and we will follow his lead in what he wants to do and learn. He has self taught himself in all areas. I think I will let school deal with the writing isssue and let him learn and do what he enjoys at home.

23balloons Fri 03-Jun-11 23:23:05

could be my son, also excellent at Maths & reading but won't write at all. When he has to write a sentence for homework it will often take 30 mins or more with lots of screaming & shouting, yet he will complete complex Maths homework in minutes without a problem. I think he too is a perfectionist & he cannot think of anything to write that he thinks is good enough. It is very stressful!! You are not alone.

catrachmattben Mon 06-Jun-11 11:30:21

Hi 23balloons found a writing activity that he loves cross words, obviously children levelled ones. We have also been making up imaginary stories after bedtime story and he loves it.We take it in turns to say a sentence and include wow words.Just hoping this helps him ,still not getting hime to write though.

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