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need help getting my son writing stories!

(47 Posts)
boatinn1206 Mon 11-Nov-13 17:49:03

Hi everyone. My son is in Year 2 and really hates writing. I cannot seem at all to get him to write a story, even coming up with a name seems a task. His teachers say the same. Its not that he isnt able (he does very well in reading and numeracy) but he just seems to find any writing incredibly daunting and will often start crying at the thought of having to do any. I just really need some advice/tips as to what I can do?

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Nov-13 17:52:40


Some children are just like this and if you leave them to it, they usually pick it up when they are ready.
My dd is like this, in fact until recently hasn't wanted to write anything at all.
She now enjoys writing for pleasure in all sorts of forms.
Maybe if the pressure is off for a while he might do it himself.
My dd is nearly 10 and wouldn't have done it at 6/7

bundaberg Mon 11-Nov-13 17:54:39

i would just back off. is there a particular reason he needs to be writing stories?? he's only in his 3rd yr of school after all...

i'm sure he'll get there in his own time

SilverSixpence Mon 11-Nov-13 17:56:44

There are some story cubes on Amazon which are supposed to be very good for developing the imagination and storytelling

MrsExcited Mon 11-Nov-13 17:59:32

I saw the title and also thought story cubes.

But also don't worry too much about always writing them down get him confidant about the thinking of them

jkklpu Mon 11-Nov-13 18:01:00

Get his to listen to/read stories and then talk about imaginative ideas. Don't push the writing until he's happy with the principle of thinking up his own stories in his head.

boatinn1206 Mon 11-Nov-13 18:04:47

It was the teacher who brought it to my attention at parents evening just before half term. She says he will not meet standard in his sats at the end of the year.

DeWe Mon 11-Nov-13 18:06:24

My ds is exactly the same. Year 2, free reader, top maths group... hates picking up a pencil to write a story. It's a pity as he's got a fantastic imagination and would probably write a brilliant story if he did.
The teacher said last year that his writing probably would be excellent if he actually did any. grin

What I've found though is he loves facts, so if he does a non-fiction book about something that interests him, then he's away. Research, long writing and all sorts. And, really, that's the sort of writing will be more useful in future life.

He did once write a story at home out of choice that was really long. It was dinosaurs against Spitfires (2 of his interests). Very Calvin and Hobbes there, and probably a good thing he didn't repeat it at school because it was very surreal. grin That as far as I can tell has exhausted his interest in fiction writing for a very long time.

bundaberg Mon 11-Nov-13 18:09:28

well... does it matter if he doesn't excel in the writing part of his SATS? he's only in year 2!!!

boatinn1206 Mon 11-Nov-13 18:09:51

Thanks to all advice. Its not just stories, its any writing such as short letters etc. His teacher is not letting him do any numeracy because of him refusing to write and Im worried he will get behind in both now.... She is saying its a big problem. I will try the story cubes.

bundaberg Mon 11-Nov-13 18:13:51

she is not letting him do numeracy????

now THAT I would be cross about...

boatinn1206 Mon 11-Nov-13 18:18:18

Thank you DeWe I might have a go at some non-fiction, maybe start off small like a instruction leaflet or set of rules?? My son is not doing any writing at all at the minute unless its copywork. He says he cant.

To the negative replies it is important to me thats why I asked the question. I obviously do not like seeing my son so upset and if people did have tips that could help I would like to give these a go. Not only to improve his writing but his confidence. I dont see what would be wrong with this.

boatinn1206 Mon 11-Nov-13 18:23:06

She says its the only way she can get him to write.. By promising that if he has a go he can then do his numeracy which he loves. They havent even been able to assess a single piece of writing because he just says he cannot do it.

bundaberg Mon 11-Nov-13 18:26:49

there's nothing wrong with wanting him to improve, but i've found from bitter experience that the more you push the less likely you are to get the result you want.

all this teacher is going to do is make him resent writing even more.

I would be fuming at her not allowing him to do something he is good at simply because she wants to use it as bribery... that's really not on.

boatinn1206 Mon 11-Nov-13 18:34:10

I wasnt very happy but she was adamant it was only way as everything else has been tried. So im super keen to get him to progress.

bundaberg Mon 11-Nov-13 18:43:12


have they involved the senco or anyone else? to make sure there is not any underlying reason for it? maybe he genuinely can't do it?

maybe the school my son was at was a bit shit, I don';t know, but I am sure they weren't doing story writing in yr 2 i mean they've only just learnt to write in R/yr1 surely?

for some children it's also just really intimidating seeing a vast sheet of paper and knowing they're expected to fill it. not only that, they have to decide exactly what to fill it with and how to get that into words... it's a big thing!

i am sure she can get enough evidence of his writing in other ways... using a whiteboard to write on, writing that he does in other areas of his work?

morethanpotatoprints Mon 11-Nov-13 18:50:37

OMG, you need to report this teacher.
Your child should be doing the numeracy he is supposed to, not missing out because of SATS practice, which lets face it is her main concern.
I agree, if the teacher isn't careful your ds will be put off story writing for good.
Please don't pressure him any more than she is doing OP, your poor child.
It really isn't that important if he is good at reading and Maths. It will come in good time.

boatinn1206 Mon 11-Nov-13 18:55:01

How would I report a teacher though because when i have questioned methods in past it hasnt gone down well. They have never mentioned Senco, seem to think he can do it as he excels in reading, spelling and numeracy ;(

MrsCakesPremonition Mon 11-Nov-13 18:55:13

I used to play a game with my DCs - telling a story by taking it turns to say the next word/sentence. I don't see why you couldn't do a written version. The joy is not knowing quite where it will end up.
Distract him by getting him focused on the story telling and make the writing secondary. Make it silly and fun.

Or get him his own little notebook to write stories in. If need be start off with him dictating a story while you write it down. Then you can enjoy reading it back together or sharing it with other people. If he enjoys it he may start writing his own stories himself.

Or make a little blank booklet by folding a stapling a couple of sheets of paper together. Encourage him to draw an picture on each page and then add a sentence. Do a cover picture, author etc. you could even add a cover blurb to the back. Make him proud of his little book and let him share it with people who know to join in appropriately.

None of these will result in him writing reams - but that might adda bit of fun back into an activity that sounds like it has become quite stressful for him.

boatinn1206 Mon 11-Nov-13 19:03:27

Some really good ideas. I will try all. He is proper upset over it all and its not fun for him at all.

RenterNomad Mon 11-Nov-13 19:14:00

At this age, stories can be extremely derivative, which can give a patterm to get started, confidence, and practice. I wrote some very unoriginal stuff (and ended up writing for a living), and was very moved recently to see my DS (Y1) "writing a book" which he had actually read.

RenterNomad Mon 11-Nov-13 19:16:41

Oh, dear, missed the later stuff about the teacher's cutti g him off from numeracy. apart from anything else, cutting him off from something he is confident in is just wrong

Periwinkle007 Mon 11-Nov-13 19:34:09

no he has to be allowed to do numeracy - that is ridiculous.

I think you need to try and find out WHY he doesn't like writing. I would be starting to wonder if it is due to problems writing, either fingers being sore, inability to write legibly, dysgraphia - is that what is it called when children find actually writing difficult, they have the ideas but can't get them onto paper etc. If he is that desperate to avoid it then there is something wrong IMO rather than him just not enjoying it. otherwise he would just scrawl out some rubbish and be done with it but he isn't.

bundaberg Mon 11-Nov-13 19:54:47

periwinkle, yes I was going to mention dysgraphia. there are slightly different types of it, but in one case children are able to read and spell absolutely fine, but literally cannot ge tthe words down on paper. writing also tends to be messy and hard to read.

they may have fine motor skills when doing other things...

this is why the teacher needs to be looking into it further. It is, in all honestly, fairly unlikely to be dysgraphia imo, i think a LOT of boys in particular just take longer to flourish in their writing, but the teacher certainly should not be assuming that he can do it and is just refusing to.

I would maybe request a meeting with the class teacher and head in a kind of "how do we go forward with this" sort of a way, rather than a "you're not handling this right" way... see what they can suggest

mydaftlass Mon 11-Nov-13 20:11:14

Will he draw? Could you do some cartoons together and add speech bubbles? Do mind maps rather than structured long writing?

(Not sure if these are pants suggestions - Y2 dc here who refuses to read but churns out their own books obsessively!)

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