Hi there. My ds is a very strong reader and writer, always has been, so now it's come to a point where complacency has set in.
Writing: He has a vivid imagination and a great sense of humour so he's perfectly capable of producing interesting work. However, I feel that perhaps he's lazy about ensuring 'wow' words are included, as well as adjectives and all the bits and pieces he's been learning about that make a piece of writing interesting.
Reading: He can read anything and everything but he can be very lazy about making an effort to follow the plot! This is reflected sometimes in the way he reads questions; quite often his answers are incorrect because he reads the question quickly and doesn't bother stopping to make sure he can fully understand what's being asked of him. He just assumes...
I find that in order to test whether he's following the plot of a book, I need to have read that book myself, and I simply do not have the time to do that. How do you manage to test if your child is following the plot?? How do you encourage them to use good vocabulary without encountering the usual b-o-r-i-n-g.
Encourage him to make up his own stories, using random story elements. This will help him use WOW words in context, get an idea of plot points, and aid understanding of character motives. I use this method with children as young as 4, and with my DCs aged 7 and 10. The stories are invariably funny, and DCs delight in choosing odd characters and settings for stories, such as: a banana, space and Imelda Staunton. Alternatively, get DS to read books you enjoyed as a child, so you know the plot already.