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spelling tests

(10 Posts)
suntanlotion Wed 13-Jul-11 20:27:49

My son is still really struggling to write at the end of year one and reverses many of his letters and forms most of them wrongly ie starting in the wrong place or doing 3 loops to do an a for example!

Unsurprisingly he is becoming increasingly disengaged and frustrated with school. His spellings are marked as incorrect in his weekly spelling test purely because the letters are mirror images although in the correct order. Same for maths.

Surely this is only going to demotivate further as he will feel a failure not only at writing but at spelling and maths too? He is already hiding his written work so that it is not displayed on the wall with everyone elses as he thinks it is the worst!

mrz Wed 13-Jul-11 21:36:05

It sounds as if he hasn't been taught how to form letters correctly ... where to start each letter, which direction to move his pencil, where to end

suntanlotion Wed 13-Jul-11 22:09:51

He has been shown outside of school with professional help each weekend but no idea if he has been shown at school but every other child in his year in his so called outstanding school appears to be able to form them correctly from the work on display.

I think he may need daily intervention to undo the bad habits but in the meantime is it reasonable to have his spelling and maths etc marked as wrong and confidence further damaged?

mrz Wed 13-Jul-11 22:13:06

How old is he?

suntanlotion Thu 14-Jul-11 08:22:52

End of January birthday so is 6 and a half so he is fairly average age for the year, neither oldest or youngest.

I think his confidence is most affected because the other children are all managing to write. I presume his writing would not be the worst in the class in some other schools. It is a state school with class of 30 but from very pushy catchment where most people have researched league tables and then moved or lied to get in.

Graded outstanding by ofsted with less than 1 per cent SEN I believe. Great SATS. Unlikely to be any English as a 2nd language or free school meals in the school and no social housing within catchment.

KATTT Thu 14-Jul-11 08:40:17

Don't be too hard on him - he may have a genuine problem like dyslexia, as long as he's trying, praise him to the skies for trying. The danger is getting in a downward spiral where he hates doing the work so will avoid it.

Talk to the teacher about ways to improve his confidence, they should be able to differentiate the tests so he can get some 'right' and can improve over time.

suntanlotion Thu 14-Jul-11 21:00:04

KATT - I am very aware of this as dyslexia is very prevelant in our family and the fact he struggles to choose a dominant hand and reverses all letters and numerals shows he had traits but he is unlikely to be diagnosed easily and certainly not unless he gets much further behind as he reads several years ahead of his age and reads non stop every spare moment.

I cant praise him for trying with writing as he refuses to try and even at school he will often refuse. Am hoping next years teacher may have more idea how to motivate but am now thinking I should get a programme for the holiday. He will not pick up a pen at home and I have tried many of the tricks suggested on these forums like bath crayons etc which will work on first attempt only. I fear if I dont he may have fallen even further behind by Sept as many of the others write at home

Any thoughts about my following a programme with him, perhaps 10 minutes every day. I thought maybe first thing after breakfast every day before we go out or any fun starts every day for whole holiday?? Any suggestion for any good handwriting programmes that we could follow. It obviously doesnt need to cover reading or phonics but needs to go back to absolute basics on formation of each letter and numeral.

blackeyedsusan Thu 14-Jul-11 21:32:07

this is all i know about

hmm has school only got 1% sen because they are rubbish at picking up sen?

blackeyedsusan Thu 14-Jul-11 21:39:33

try practising letter formation in ways that don't need recording. eg in shaving foam. let him play with shaving foam first then do 2 minutes of letter formation and more playing. writing with finger on the carpet is another way.also try writing with big arm movements. write on his back and he writes on yours. reward any effort. (make the reward harder to get later)

practise letters in families, eg coadgq all start the same way

(lit) (rnmphbk {cursive}) (vw) (uy)

KATTT Fri 15-Jul-11 08:40:31

suntanlotion

Sorry I can't help with programmes and such, I just know it from my point of view. My daughter can't and won't read or write and, while we haven't given up on her, we realised that trying to do this and that programme at home just caused stress and made everyone miserable.

But it sounds like there's more hope with yours, so maybe worth pursuing?

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