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Another levelling question: can a teacher help, please? (LONG)

(8 Posts)
Oneveryworriedmum Mon 08-Dec-14 20:12:31

I have posted before that both my son's teacher and I have some concerns over my son's writing skills, which are far behind his reading and verbal skills. I'm looking into this and have an appointment with an educational psychologist scheduled anyway, but in the meantime I'm trying to practise writing at home, as his teacher suggested.

It seems to me he has improved a little but the teacher hasn't seen any significant difference so far. This could partly stem from the fact that, at home, he can work in a quieter environment and concentrate more - but the again I am not a teacher so maybe I'm seeing an improvement that's not really there. That's why I'm here to beg for help from some kind teachers!

How would you level the following:

It all happened when I was heading to bonfire night. it was at my brothers school. When we were there we saw big butiful fireworks one of the firework drops fell and hit a small flower. no one notist but sudenlly there was a big real spark, a baby water breathing dragon was in the sky. He started flaping about hiting the fireworks and making their more and more dragons. Soon their were to manny dragons to count. they spat water to and fro. Mum said I was alloud to keep one. All of them came to me. She said I could keep them all. Anyway it was the best bonwater* night ever, and we could have it at home and have a great time and water the flowers.

* I asked him what he meant by bonwater night, as I couldn't understand it and he said it was a play on the word bonfire because the dragons in his story breathed water - hence bonwater. Rather cryptic word play, if you ask me.

For info, my son is in Year 2 and is 6 years and 7 months old.


Wellthen Mon 08-Dec-14 20:41:45

His sentence structure is excellent although his punctuation hasn't caught up yet. His language is good - he uses atmospheric phrases like too many to count and to and fro.

His story structure is lacking - its sounds like he's starting a great story and then he rushes forward to the end. Its also rather nonsensical - why would he keep one? How would he catch it? This prevents him from progressing above a 3 at the moment.

This isn't writing I would be worried about at year 2 but you say he is behind his verbal skills so perhaps he is quite bright?

lougle Mon 08-Dec-14 21:13:25

Will I wanted to know more! DD2 is in year 3 and I'd be cock-a-hoop if she wrote that, but I suspect she's a bit behind the curve (although I'm told she's 'fine').

His imagination is all there. I've heard that sometimes if there's a tendency to have more to say than the stamina to write it, then dictating the story ideas to a voice recorder is a good idea. That way all the ideas are captured which allows time to concentrate on story structure.

Laura0806 Mon 08-Dec-14 21:52:44

cant see why this would be a concern in year 2 to be honest!

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 09-Dec-14 11:47:24

just a parent here - not a teacher

I too can't see why that would be of concern at that age. Both of mine are stronger verbally for 2 different reasons. One is hypermobile and has vision problems so finds writing very hard work so will generally not waste time writing too much more than she needs to but she is hard working and will persevere. the other one is exceptionally good at writing, neat, tidy, good ideas but very lazy! The ideas are there in his work, he is managing to incorporate his own word which is good, presuming handwriting and punctuation are ok then I can't see a problem myself. I suppose perhaps they were looking for him to include some narrative? that is something that is expected at a certain level but I am not sure what level that is, maybe they were looking for that and more punctuation in relation to that?

fantastic you are able to see an Ed Psych - that is hard to get to do.

MrsKCastle Tue 09-Dec-14 14:04:43

I'm not going to try and level it, but I definitely don't see anything to be concerned about at this point in Y2. Certainly not below expectations. I'm assuming that the concern arises from the disparity between his writing and verbal/reading abilities, but children's writing often does lag behind their other skills.

Has the teacher given you/him specific targets to work on?

Oneveryworriedmum Wed 10-Dec-14 11:20:38

Thanks all, this is very reassuring. Wellthen and lougle, one of the issues is that he starts really well, then runs out of time or rushes through - it takes him a loooong time to write relatively little. Mrs KCastle, yes, his reading is far far more advanced than his writing (more than a full level's difference, according to the latest report we got) and he is significantly better at spelling verbally, spelling bee-style, then in writing, which partly triggered the whole thing, alongside with his lack of speed, bad handwriting and unusual posture. His handwriting is a mess and he tilts his body in a really strange way when writing (but not, say, when reading or doing other stuff). Initially, we thought this may be a vision problem, like in the case of nonicknames' son, but these have been ruled out. Teacher's targets are very much what you have all noted: improve handwriting, story structure, punctuation and show more consistency in written spelling. She would like him to practise writing at home some more.

nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 10-Dec-14 16:22:11

have you seen a behavioural optometrist? might be worth looking for one and asking their advice. My daughter's eyes were considered fine (marginally long sighted) by our usual optician who I personally think is excellent but she was struggling with contrasts and light sensitivity so we tried a behavioural optometrist (with the help of the school SENCO and our optician for a recommendation) and she had slightly more in depth tests. turns out her eyes can't adjust from near to far properly (takes over twice as long as a normal person but she should hopefully grow out of this or be able to do some exercises when she is a bit older) and she had a dramatic improvement in comfort and reading/writing ability with coloured lenses. Feel free to PM me if you want me to explain further.

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