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Help with writing - Year 2 - long

(6 Posts)
noramum Thu 07-Nov-13 13:38:28

My DD is in Year 2 and struggles with writing. Not so much the spelling, it is the actual task of writing more than a couple of words.

We discovered over the summer holidays that her pencil grip was totally wrong and caused her pain when she wrote. She kept a diary over the holiday and things improved.

Now in Year 2 she has to write quite a lot in school. Each Monday they are to write a piece about their weekend activities and during the last weeks they re-told stories they listened to.

I saw her workbook and was shocked. She has not only a sloppy handwriting, she misses letters and often whole words. When I questioned her she admitted that she is quite slow and always the last one to finish her work. So she hurries and it gets worse.

It comes to a point where she says she hates school because of the writing and is extremely reluctant to write at all at home.

We thought how to help her at home, the school is a bit "oh, she will manage, she needs to concentrate more" but still don't help with pencil grip which got worse again.

Most workbooks we found are more grammar practise or spelling but we need an idea to get her to write 1/2 page in one go. Does anybody has an idea? She isn't able to write every day so a diary is a bit out, we thought about getting her to write a story book but she needs input. Does anybody come across something like a book with pictures there the child tells a story?

PastSellByDate Thu 07-Nov-13 14:06:11

Hi noramum:

You can get your DD writing by cunning...

Thank you letters
Birthday invitations
Letter to Father Christmas
Letters to competitions (don't just e-mail)
Christmas cards/ other holiday cards
Letters to friends

When you have homework at home (even maths) really stress penmanship.

In the meantime - it may actually help to do some old fashioned handwriting practice. Collins does a lovely series of 3 workbooks to help teach 'joined up writing'/ cursive:

available from amazon but also large newsagents/ book stores

We found this old fashioned practice on letter formation really helped with DD2 who struggled to learn 'joined up writing'.

DD1 was left handed and had huge issues with an awkward grip and sore/ tired hands whilst writing (much like your DD's situation) - we tried the stabilo handwriting pens (available big newsagents/ office supply shops/ amazon - amazon link here:

They do both left & right handed models - but you can only hold the pen one way.

it was awkward at first and DD1 didn't like it - but eventually she could see that her handwriting was improving. The school were happy (and still are) for her to use the pen and in fact have supplied ink cartridges in school for her.

We also bought a soft neoprine pencil grip for all pencils and went over to mechanical pencils with this grip for homework. (it was like this:

For us, it took about a year of gently working through this all. Maybe a page a day in Collins books for DD2 (didn't know about these in time for DD1) - and trying to ensure handwriting of about 10 minutes a day was practiced. I think part of this is building up strength/ endurance to then go on to do well during 'big writing' tasks at school.


Biscuitsneeded Thu 07-Nov-13 14:45:44

Ds2 (same age) has a special chunky pencil for exactly these issues. he seems to be getting on better with it. I asked the Senco about them and she gave me a few!

noramum Thu 07-Nov-13 14:58:27

Phew, PastSellByDate, thanks. We have the pen you describe and it makes a difference. I will check if the school is happy for her to take it into school as I find the typical pencils actually harming more than doing good.

I ordered the book and hope she will go through them. A gentle bribe of a Kinder Egg per week may help.

sittinginthesun Thu 07-Nov-13 20:53:29

Hi - my year 2 DS2 had a similar problem. He was holding his pencil in a very awkward way, and was getting cramp. He absolutely hated writing.

Luckily, he has an amazing teacher this year. We discussed it at parents evening and she's also spotted the problem.

She's given his entire table special pencil grips, so he doesn't feel different, and is doing extra handwriting practice with this group. She has also given me a grip to use at home.

The difference in only three weeks is amazing. He won a prize for some work a few days ago, and he's suddenly decided that he is good at writing, which is amazing.

The pencil grip made all the difference.

incywincyspideragain Thu 07-Nov-13 22:54:43

my ds is now in year 3 and goes to a lunch time handwriting club now.

He has a chunky handwriting pencil for the club but didn't for class writting hmm obviously we asked at parents evening that he uses it in class and suprise suprise the amount he writes is slowly improving

We use these books, mostly because the age on them is older but they have a similar content in each book - ds was encouraged that he was doing the same writing practise that a 9 year old would be doing smile he does a little bit each week as well as the other activities he gets set.

We also do activities to increase hand strength (ds is hypermobile so we know thats why he struggles) play dough is good, clay and making dough. ds also plays the violin (has from yr 1).

Finally for homework sometimes he dictates and I write it, he then copies it out so he can concentrate on the presentation. It also helps him get all his ideas out and not put off my the huge task

hope that helps

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