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Year 4 DS age 9 - absolutely hates writing, school insist it has to be joined up

(9 Posts)
hulahoopsilove Tue 01-Apr-14 10:08:49

He has the most fantastic vocabulary, imagination and can write it all down but his writing is sometimes - not all the time - untidy. It just doesnt come naturally to him

I think its the joined up bit he hates, he can write (print) but school/curriculum say it must be joined./curved etc..

This has been going on for years - can help would be much appreciated sad

housemad Tue 01-Apr-14 10:36:19

Just wonder if joined writing is essential for secondary? As many adults don't write joined up at all don't they?

A while ago I bought for dd1 a very cheap calligraphy pen set and practice book from The Works. She really loves copying the writing and drawing from the book. Dd1's writing has improved a lot since. I think I might only have paid about £2-3.

proudmama72 Tue 01-Apr-14 10:51:29

My daughters school started joined up in reception. She has horrible handwriting - like her mother - and I think it has held her back in her progress now in year 3.

But for most children its better for creating higher volumes of writings by hand.

I would skip the penmanship and get him typewriting software. My older daughter wrote a 10 page story when she was 9 in MS word. Penmanship is overrated.

And if you makes you feel any better, doctors have horrible handwriting. When I would lament over my handwriting, my dad used to tell me it was a sign of intelligencegrin I took typing as teenage and it has served me well - except for maybe droning on too long in a blogsmile

DeWe Tue 01-Apr-14 11:15:54

Has the school actually done handwriting with them, or have they expected them to pick it up by osmosis?

For my dc, I can see the difference handwriting lessons have made. (all at the same school)

Dd1 had lots of handwriting lessons-homework (1x a week) was often to do with handwriting, they did it in class 1-2x a week too. At the time I thought it was a waste of time-but now she has the most beautiful handwriting that is often commented on.

Dd2 they sort of mentioned they'd like them to start joining up in year 2, and showed them how to. No handwriting practice or anything like that. Her handwriting is like a spider crawling through the ink even when she's trying really hard to make it neat.

Ds has gone the cursive handwriting route. They started it at the end of year 1, and have done a certain amount of practicing it in school. He hates writing, and would choose not to do any, but he is developing (he's year 2 now) a beautiful style. I think give him a year or two and it will look as good as dd1's.

I also see how it effects dd2's work, she gets things wrong because she misreads something she's already written, or because the answer isn't clear (especially in maths). It also means if she goes to look up something she's written earlier it's so much more effort because she has to decode it first. Looking back, I wish they had continued the effort they made for dd1's class on handwriting. Difficult to unlearn now.

I wouldn't go the typing route. Because, at present, he will have to do tests/school work/exams by hand. Our local secondary had provided all pupils with a laptop in years 7-11 which they did all their work on. They've now reverted as they found they were getting to exams and finding their pupils were struggling with producing it by hand.

Parliamo Tue 01-Apr-14 11:24:00

I would also say until they change the exam system, he still needs to write by hand. The most important is that it is legible, and then that he can write fast enough. Joined up cursive writing is supposed to help with this. I'm sure I've heard many times that writing by hand helps with spelling and reading.

Does he hold his pen correctly ie with three fingers? If he has a poor grip that will slow him down and be uncomfortable. Could you motivate him by fancy pens etc? How about tracing pictures as well as practising handwriting?

housemad Tue 01-Apr-14 12:40:16

I wouldn't encourage him to using keyboard too much. I think hand writing helps to improve spelling. As more you have to hand write the better and more confident you become with spelling. My spelling with pen and paper went down a lot since I became overly dependent on keyboard.

Drawing and colouring help improve movement of hands and fingers thus can help improve hand writing too.

capsium Tue 01-Apr-14 12:51:12

The one thing I would say about getting to use the keyboard is that it actually shows what his writing can be like, that is without the hindrance of having to handwrite.

Does he get much opportunity to do this at school? If they actually see the keyboard making a big difference to the quality of writing it might spur them on to tackle his handwriting issues. It would prove the handwriting is a hindrance. At the same time they would be able to progress his writing on, teaching him to his actual writing composition ability, not his handwriting ability, which is slowing him down.

capsium Tue 01-Apr-14 12:51:48

Incidentally spell check is what helped improve my spelling!

PastSellByDate Tue 01-Apr-14 13:38:29

Two ideas:

Collins handwriting workbooks helped my DD2 (Y3) with this - she went the spidery route and had a similar experience as DeWe described for her DD2. Link: & there are two 7-9 workbooks as well.

The other thing we oddly stumbled on was that geometric or fine scale drawing books using ink pens also really helped with motor control. Things like:


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