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Tips on getting year 1 boy to write...

(17 Posts)
verybusyspider Sun 25-Sep-11 23:09:58

ds's class teacher has asked if we can try and get him writting at home. Tried this weekend with getting him to complete some sentences ie
Today I...
For lunch I had....

wouldn't do any of them, refused, said he didn't know how. His physical writting ability is very good, he's very neat and knows all his letter sounds and can copy no problem but his reading is low because he struggles to put them all together to make to word. I guess this is why he won't write as he doesn't know how to start the word. Any advice? Do we just leave the writting and concentrate on the reading??

stomping Sun 25-Sep-11 23:21:52

He could write shopping lists which you might be able to trick him into thinking are helpful tasks rather than work.
You could get illustrated books on something that interests him (from a charity shop/boot sale) and cut out the pictures, stick them in an exercise book and write a sentence about each to make his own special book with only his especially favourite diggers/dinosaurs/famous people or whatever in it.

blueemerald Sun 25-Sep-11 23:33:28

My mum used to print out pictures of my brother's favourite TV characters and draw speech bubbles and he would write things in them. This progressed into little cartoon strips.

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 25-Sep-11 23:39:19

Make it interesting for him. I love Stomping and Blueemerald have great ideas. Ask him what he thinks the characters are saying, write it, and get him to copy it beside the pictures. Also, try getting him to write using join the dots in things like his name and the names of his favourite people.

LeoTheLateBloomer Mon 26-Sep-11 06:14:50

Good ideas ^

Maybe also try scribing for him. Talk about what he wants to write and write it down for him while he tells you the sounds that he can hear in each word.

(BTW I teach Y1 and I personally wouldn't be asking you to push it too much at home. Boys are often reluctant to write at that age and very often you just need to let them do it in their own time rather than risk putting them off by forcing them to do it.)

Good luck.

snailoon Mon 26-Sep-11 06:51:03

We got our year one boy to write. We took him abroad during term time and told him he had to keep a journal. We bought a nice hard covered blank book, and let him use a camera. He took photos, we made prints, and he "wrote" about what he had seen.The school took no notice of what we had done, but a few weeks later couldn't believe what amazing progress he had suddenly made after refusing to write all year.
Maybe he could write a book as a Christmas present for someone, or you could bribe him to complete a short book. Make it REALLY easy for him in a way that he will enjoy.
Lots of gook ideas above.

mankyscotslass Mon 26-Sep-11 07:12:21

Youngest Manky is in YR1, his reading is very good, but he is a reluctant writer.

I went through something similar with my eldest a few years ago.

I have just been encouraging him to use scissors/draw/ play with lego & his Meccano set. And he loves playing "school" in the garden with the older two and a tub of patio chalk, so I encourage that.

Oh, and on dry days he takes a squishy water bottle out and "writes" on the pavement!

He has started to sometimes asking to write notes to his best friend, so I encourage that whenever he wants to, and make a fuss when he does it. grin

My eldest (9) now has really lovely handwriting - he is still not overly impressed with having to write, but he got there eventually.

So I am sure the youngest will - eventually, grin

verybusyspider Mon 26-Sep-11 07:45:03

Thanks everyone

leo I would love to just leave it but he had glue ear throughout reception which really compromised his hearing, we knew that it was bad but school didn't really take it on board, he spend 7 months unable to clearly distinguish the letter sounds (th, ch and sh were impossible for him) so he's coped by memorising a lot of words and not sounding them out, his character is that he's afraid to fail, whether its riding his bike or reading, and he just has a tantrum if he gets to a word he can't do, runs behind sofa, crys that he can't do it etc - what he needs to do is try, I'm at a loss as to how to do it, his self esteem is quite low, this weekend it was tears about being in bottom group, I said no you're in red group, ds ' I'm not silly mummy its bottom group, we have the easiest books and we only get one a week' sad I need to do something but I'm not a teacher, I have no idea, his class teacher is less concerned at the moment but has said his refusal to do the work means he won't progress at the rate he needs to to catch up (I should say now he has grommits his hearing is excellent)

snailoon its definitely too hard for him at the moment, I'm trying to make it easy but he likes copying words, he does it without thinking, what we've been told is he needs to be trying to write some words independantly, he hasn't made the link between phonic sounds and writing

gosh I've re read that and I am really worrying about this! best to stress about it here than to ds!! I'm trying not to make an issue of it but its hard (more than happy for everyone to tell me to man up and leave him be grin I just need to vent somewhere)

stomping I did the picture thing last week and we got one word for each picture which was great bluee the shopping list hasn't worked so far, I even said what ever he put on it I'll buy no questions - I thought he'd learn coco pops and chocolate really quickly smile

manky its lovely to hear that it can work itself out, I'm just worried it won't (ahh to have that crystal ball smile), if he feels he's being 'set' already I'm worried he'll not try (I never did and once you are in bottom set as I was most of the time its not about teaching its about controlling the behaviour maybe not this early on but it definitely was in my juniors...)

IndigoBell Mon 26-Sep-11 07:58:01

He might be scared of making a mistake.

Some kids prefer to write on a whiteboard, because it's easy to rub out, and is not permanent, so they don't mind if they make a mistake.

mankyscotslass Mon 26-Sep-11 08:03:28

IndigoBell makes a good point about the whiteboard too - we got one and different coloured pens for it - all 3 enjoyed using it, even if they only drew on it, which still helped with pen control. smile

verybusyspider Mon 26-Sep-11 09:14:04

we have white boards, ds's use them for 'hangman' (although tricky as he can't spell the words so impossible to guess) and noughts and crosses... maybe I stick with hangman - hadn't thought about that smile

snailoon Mon 26-Sep-11 09:30:54

I was talking about things like taking a photo of a cat and writing "cat". I found that the photos and nice book made it more fun for my son, and he progressed to writing things like 'I like cats".
He can also draw and paste things in and get other people to contribute. We have lovely journals from all of our kids beginning with pre-writing.
I think it helps to never comment on spelling, or help with spelling, but to make it fun for him to figure out VERY simple words the way he wants to do them. I would say things like: "That's a great way to spell 'knee',( if he writes 'ne'); it makes perfect sense." When he is more advanced with sounding things out, you can make him laugh at how absurd and nonsensical spelling can be.

If the problem is putting sounds together, is it because he is adding vowel sounds to consonants; some schools actually teach this wrong.
If you teach that the letter "S" sounds "suh" rather than "SSSS" and the letter "N" sounds "Nuh" rather than "NNNN", the word "snow" comes out
"suhnuhohwuh". I had this exact problem with a little girl I was helping in year one who had been taught wrong.

For putting sounds together, I have 2 ideas. 1) It can help to have the letters written on different pieces of paper (we had a nice set of 10 giant dice with different letters and phonemes written on each side of each die, and we also used a boggle set). Let him grab three letters which work, for example, C A R, and put them quite far apart:C A R on a table, say the individual sounds, then move them closer:C A R, and say them closer together, then put them next to each other and say the word. Fridge magnets are good for this. 2) Get him to write (or use fridge magnets to create) a string of letters, and you have to read the nonsense sound he makes. You do the same for him, making it easy. Play silly games like hiding the word "fart", (or whatever rude or silly thing would appeal to him) inside a few extra sounds.

I think it is terrible that he has already been made to feel like writing is "work"; it is fun, certainly at this age, and possibly forever. The school should not have made him feel like he "can't" do this.

verybusyspider Mon 26-Sep-11 10:11:39

your comments are very encouraging, he has been made to feel like its work and I really don't think we helped this weekend sad its going to become a battle if we carry on like this. I've just arranged to speak to the class teacher at the end of school today - I'm concerned he thinks (or knows?!) he's in 'bottom' group, either way he should have the same number of books to read just his should be at the level he can read, he's bright he can see what others can write around him and he's struggling so he's either not starting or giving up when its difficult

snail I have the big letter cards, on Saturday we did go through all the high frequency words (he has memorised all of these and did them no problem - we even did word bingo) I was also able to make up some silly sentences that he would read 'I have a wet dog and a dry cat' but total refusal to try anything difficult with 4 letters in ie king, very, good - I have an old set of letter land cards from the car boot, we've never used them before they've just been around for boys to play with. With a reading book he couldn't do 'jumps' so I found all the individual cards and put them out on table to sound out but it was hard to keep him at table, once he got to the word, he put the book down, said he'd finished and couldn't do it and hid behind sofa - once he actually did it (me holding each card over the sofa) he got it and then wanted to finish the book - at school he does this and they haven't got the time to do the negoiation to get him on task, it has been mentioned he is attention seeking... he has the ability but there is some block there, I guess like you all say it needs to be fun...

SamsungAndDelilah Mon 26-Sep-11 10:15:21

my eldest also has glue ear. unfortunately he has had grommets and cannot have another set so has moderate HI atm. To encourage him to write we bought him a big box with lots of pads of post it notes in, blue tack, pritt stick, scissors, record cards and some nice pencils and we left him to it.

Gradually, we noticed little labels appearing on things around the house. DS1's spelling was appalling at first, but he was just spelling things the way he heard them and he has got much better over time.

snailoon Mon 26-Sep-11 16:18:03

I think recognising words might actually discourage them sometimes, because they start to think they have to "know" a word, and there's some kind of trick to it (maybe something difficult). That's why I thought going back to playing with letter sounds and actually physically sticking them together might be helpful.
I am jealous to be honest. It was so much fun teaching my kids to read, and now my youngest is 10. I would love to have another one to learn to read with.

verybusyspider Mon 26-Sep-11 22:26:30

ooo snail where do you live?? have mine grin we're clueless, tonight I pretented I couldn't read a book, ds helped me sound out the words I was finding hard grin that'll work today but not tomorrow! his teacher was very reassuring and said stop doing anything as he's so anti and leave it with her for couple of weeks, we'll just keep reading to him I think....

snailoon Tue 27-Sep-11 05:54:36

That's a great idea; you don't sound clueless at all. I'm glad the teacher is so helpful, and I'm sure you're absolutely right not to push it if he's not in the mood. He's still very little.
I just think it's so exciting to see them learn at this age, and so much harder and when they are 15, like my oldest.

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