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Yr2: reading well but can't put thought onto paper

(8 Posts)
lechatnoir Wed 03-Oct-12 19:52:01

DS is 6 & just gone into yr2 and seems to be doing fine with his reading (doing RWI but roughly ORT LEVEL 8/9) and can do basic sums & spellings out loud but seems to have a complete mental block when he picks up a pencil!!
He writes very slowly, some letters (b, d, z, p, j & q) are often back-to-front as are quite a few numbers (2,3,5,7) but the main problem is putting his thoughts down into paper. Homework tonight was putting his spellings into sentences. He spelt out loud correctly 5 of the 6 words (would, queen, house, might & playing but because was spelt becawse) and again out loud formed 2 good sentences (The queen might live in a house. I would like to be playing but can't because it is dark). I asked him to write each one down but I could barely read the words let alone understand what he'd written which bore little resemblance to what he said moments earlier.
We do 10-15 minutes each week night plus reading 5 days out of 7 which I though would be enough at this age. Teacher hasn't expressed concerns but then I haven't actually met her yet!
Am I right to be concerned & if so any thought or advise?

lechatnoir Wed 03-Oct-12 20:13:29

Or rather ..."any thoughts or advice?"

posadas Thu 04-Oct-12 09:46:32

My son was the same -- excellent reader but not such a good writer. He would say quite complex sentences and story ideas aloud but then would edit to the minimum before writing so he could write as little as possible. I think it was due to slow development of fine motor skills -- he just found it difficult to write. The key thing, in my non-expert opinion, is to encourage him to create sentences out loud. With continued practice, the writing will catch up. My son is now in Y4 and all of a sudden his handwriting and his fluidity have improved significantly. If his teacher isn't concerned, I think you should relax and just continue to encourage him to articulate his ideas and do the best he can when he writes them down.

CecilyP Thu 04-Oct-12 10:18:50

DS was the same in that he picked up reading very easily but writing trailed way behind. Fortunately, his school was using a scheme, popular in Scottish primary schools at the time, called 'Foundations of Writing' which had a lot of resources for developing fine motor skills before letter formation was taught, then correct letter formation came before the expectation to write sentences. If it's at all reassuring, DS did get there in the end, but I do not know what to advise.

I think writing 6 sentences is quite demanding homework for a DC who cannot write very well. It's all very well for the teacher not to be concerned but, if she sets this sort of homework, I can understand that you want your DS to do it as well as possible.

septemberpie Thu 04-Oct-12 10:45:55

We've had the same experience as posadas - DS was reading far ahead of his ability to put anything down on paper. School were worried about him in Yr 2 but now in Yr 4, the writing is starting to click along with the spelling etc and he is making much better progress.

With boys, this is fairly common according to DS's current teacher. Apparently lots of boys remain behind until Yr 5/6 and then make a lot of progress during these years. But there is no harm in supporting his fine motor skills and discussing with your DS's school what they are doing to help etc.

posadas Thu 04-Oct-12 22:19:24

I agree with septemberpie that it would be helpful for you to try to support fine motor skills. I wish I had done more with my son (though, as I said, it all seems to be coming together for him now). In retrospect, it might have ben helpful for him to do things such as lots of cutting and drawing and play dough/clay modelling, etc. One of his friends went to a German school and her "homework" when she was 5 and 6 often consisted of cutting out shapes. I didn't understand the rationale at the time, but now I realize that such activities can help develop fine motor skills which are useful in handwriting.

lechatnoir Fri 05-Oct-12 11:44:05

Thanks all that's really helpful and it would be great to get him involved in activities that help his writing without actually having to write!!

AMumGoingMad Fri 05-Oct-12 19:05:55

We have similar with ds. School suggest he "puts the sentence on his fingers". This basically involves him repeating his great spoken sentence one word at a time to each finger (we stop at connectives as you run out of fingers and start again once the bit on the fingers has been written down). So he doesn't write until he is confident about what word goes with each finger. Then he writes. Its made a massive difference to his writing because he starts with talking and "putting" his talking somewhere tangible which can then be transfered to paper.

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