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Yr1 DS hates writing

(16 Posts)
AnnaVR Mon 10-Feb-14 14:57:47

I know I'm not the first person to post about this problem, but my 6 year old DS who is in Year 1 is absolutely frank about the fact that he hates writing. His teacher says it's not an issue of motor skills or lack of ideas. She thinks he gets frustrated because the speed of his writing is so much slower than the ideas he wants to express. I'm sure that is true but basically I think he doesn't like it because he finds it hard. So therefore he does anything he can to avoid writing or write the absolute minimum. So therefore he doesn't get the practice he needs to improve. His reading and numeracy are both v good. Has anyone found any fun way of getting a reluctant writer to write, maybe on the DS or ipad? Thanks!

redskyatnight Mon 10-Feb-14 15:15:16

Not the answer you want to hear but "no". My DS hated writing in Y1, and still hates it in Y5. School "forces" him to write to his ability, but I am fairly sure he is never going to like it.

However, if it's mainly creativity you want to work on, why not try telling stories verbally? We play a game in the car where we have to say a sentence, I aim to make mine very OTT with loads of descriptive and joining words, and the DC get the idea and join in. Or their is a game called something like "Rory's Story Cubes" where you make up a story that has to include several objects.

Also, would he react more favourably to typing? My DS is much happier to type than write.

Margetts Mon 10-Feb-14 15:21:24

My DS who is in primary 3 has only just started to like writing. At home we played games such as restaurants, where we would write out menus. At first the only words I could read were beer, fish and chips!! But over time we got better and I would cook some of the menus he would come up with.
He is also obsessed with lego and we have made up lego comics, drawing pictures and writing speech bubbles.
I still have to bite my tongue over his spelling which is slowly getting better!

AnnaVR Mon 10-Feb-14 15:23:08

Thanks for your speedy response redskyatnight even though it isn't what I want to hear! I like the sound of those games. They are trying typing at school and are also going to try a teacher 'scribing' for him. But he still needs the practice of actually writing by hand - I'm convinced it will click for him in the end with enough practice. We had a very similar experience with learning to scoot - he never wanted to do it because it was hard but in the end he got it and it's now effortless. I'm really hoping this will happen with writing!

HumphreyCobbler Mon 10-Feb-14 15:24:26

My ds hated writing despite doing reasonably well with reading. I had his eyes tested and he had eye teaming issues that were making it hard to him to read and write. Glasses improved things immensely and immediately. This condition can also indicate low muscle tone which he may or may not have had slightly.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 10-Feb-14 15:25:45

X post - I would take him to a behavioural optometist or opthamologist just to rule out a problem. My ds passed the school eye test.

AnnaVR Mon 10-Feb-14 15:26:29

Thanks Margetts. Great ideas - he would LOVE Lego comics.

AnnaVR Mon 10-Feb-14 15:29:35

Thanks HumphreyCobbler - he has seen an orthoptist and got the all clear but that was a couple of years ago so it's probably worth going again.

harryhausen Mon 10-Feb-14 16:31:09

This is a very reassuring thread for me. My ds is 6, but he's young in his year so he's in Y2 doing the dreaded SATS. He hates writing. His reading is good, numeracy good, but writing and spelling are awful. The ideas behind his writing are amazing. He is so creative and (I think) has really imaginative ideas.

Every weekend we have comprehension homework where he has to write 2 pages of answers in full sentences. These days are frought with sulking, complaining, sighing and generally doing anything to get out of writing. It doesn't help that his elder dd is a whiz at literacy and writing is 'her thing'. It's almost like he's decided he won't do it/like it to spite her.

I don't know the answer. My ds is really Dr Who and I gave home a notebook to keep near him so he could draw and doodle ideas (I didn't mention writing) but I've found that he doesn't indeed write things - names for monsters he's invented etc. Not a lot of writing, but some.

I'm trying the absolutely no pressure approach, which is hard in Y2!

harryhausen Mon 10-Feb-14 16:32:29

I meant he *does indeed write things.

lalasmum17 Mon 10-Feb-14 22:05:28

Wow harryhausen. We just do a bit of reading, 12 tables and 12 spellings!

Maybe you just need to figure out what the issue might be in a subtle way:

1) Is it lack of understanding/comprehension?
Can they articulate what has happened in a short story (or even a CBeebies cartoon) after they have watched it? I'm thinking if you can't figure out what to say you can't write about it (not matter how badly written).

2) Do the children actually write things if they feel empowered?
Okay I am lazy and forgetful - i'd like to say it was deliberate - so we have an ongoing shopping list my 6 year old can add to if she wants favourite foods as well as post-its by the front door we write to remind us what kit to take when. If she doesn't write there is a fighting chance she won't get her favourite fruit/cereal/snacks.

Alternatively do you have cards/counters and dice etc? Inventing games and writing down the rules that parents have to follow seem to feature big at the moment

3) Can they correct their own mistakes?
Maybe this is a girl thing, but my child frets if she has to cross out, not erase.
I think we now own 1/2 kg of erasers and soft pencils and a chalkboard

4) Is it a physical writing thing?
We had problems in Reception because I hadn't really clicked that my daughter was being energetic, articulate and creative outside, but nowhere near a sheet of paper in her last year at nursery.
We bought Stabilo Easy pencils (they do pens too - left and right handed that encourage a grip).
Absent an interest in writing, we downloaded mazes (thousands on the internet) and praised her for doing a few. It helped her to strengthen her pen pressure.
If letter formation is an issue (b's & d's juxtaposed) there are some good apps (but maybe they would feel too babyish).

cornflakegirl Mon 10-Feb-14 22:17:31

DS1 is 8 and doesn't like writing. Although I discovered last year that, when he wants to, he has immaculate handwriting. He's also very good at numeracy and reading, and I think mainly doesn't like writing because it's harder. He's happy to copy / summarise, and to do reading comprehension questions. Book reviews are still much harder work, although his ideas are good if we just talk about the book. But in general, as he gets older, it gets a bit easier.

Minime85 Mon 10-Feb-14 22:35:36

sorry to say but its a cultural thing in some ways I think its seen as more difficult than maths etc. my eldest, bright yr 4 dd hates writing and pretty much has felt that way since yr1 and comprehension, despite being good at both and I'm an English teacher, so that's not ideal! I have tried to be more relaxed about it all and she loves to read which in turn informs writing.
try making it fun and be very impressed if DC makes anything to do with writing like menus in a cafe etc.

CecilyP Tue 11-Feb-14 10:32:41

I am going to agree with redsky; he may never actually like it, but he will get better at it. It is nothing like learning to scoot or ride a bike which, the minute you have got it, it is an effortless pleasure. It doesn't really suddenly click, but is rather a process where they improve and it gets easier little by little. And, I know it's a clich�, but in much of Europe, he wouldn't be starting starting school till next September.

DS was the same; good at reading and maths but not writing at all at this stage in P2. He was writing a little in P3 and gradually built up over the years. It obviously helps if they are doing it for a purpose that they might enjoy, and the comic of something that interests him sounds a great idea.

Harry, that homework sounds beyond tedious; enough to put someone off writing even if they started out fairly keen. Having to write a full sentence when a word or phrase would give the correct answer must be really off-putting when writing is still such an effort.

PastSellByDate Tue 11-Feb-14 10:40:34


Friend with similar issue with her son went down the road of cartoons:

All the drawing improved motor skills and she started to ask for more detail (so bubbles explaining where the characters were - The planet WASCHOM - a wasteland of school homework - my personal favourite!).

He started off with just drawings and a speech bubble - so maybe a drawing of his teacher (who he didn't really like) with a speech bubble saying something mean to him. [The drawing 'I don't care if you worked on this for 2 hours, you're handwriting is awful' - actually was shown to his teacher and did result in the teacher being more positive after that].

He now does pages and pages of pages with characters he's been developing since Y2 and frankly I kind of hope he goes on to do comic books or movie mock-ups. He's fantastic.

Solved the writing thing - but worked towards his own interests in fantasy.

Should add that another friend (in US and very computer savvy) has his son put in captions/ speech bubbles to his stop motion films of his lego sets. He gets his son to write - by insisting the text to type in (his son can't type yet) is written out for him. Because it's something the son wants to do - there's never been a complaint about all the writing he's been doing.


AnnaVR Tue 11-Feb-14 12:02:37

Thanks all for your thoughtful responses. PastSellbyDate - some great ideas there, thank you. Just to clarify DS's teacher is lovely and kind and positive. At the moment I'm exploring the bribery, I mean incentive route and am awarding him minutes on the ipad for trying hard at writing - he's off sick so we've been writing a story for 'Tuesday', which is almost entirely pictures. He sustained his enthusiasm long enough to earn 35 mins of ipad and then hit a wall but he wrote way more than he has in ages so it's good progress. I'll be looking very carefully at the comic idea and have also ordered some Rory's story cubes (thanks redskyatnight).

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