How to help a bright child with writing?

(4 Posts)
rabbitsgalore Wed 24-Jun-15 11:36:00

DD is in year 4 with end of year levels 4A/5C maths, 4B reading, 3B/A writing. She had an excellent teacher this year and attends a typical state primary. DD loves maths and reading, but does not enjoy writing. DD believes she's not good at writing and thinks she lacks imagination (teacher disagrees). Her teacher cannot decide which came first - DD's belief that she's not a good writer (relative to some of her friends, who can be quite competitive), or her dislike of the subject and her teacher suspects one is fuelling the other. I wouldn't be too worried, but we're hoping for a selective secondary school and it's starting to look like DD's writing could be a potential road block to this. On the bright side DD's spelling is pretty good. I was wondering if anyone has had a similar experience and how it turned out; it's combining all the elements of good writing simultaneously that DD finds most tricky.

redskybynight Wed 24-Jun-15 12:59:28

Yes, DS had virtually the same levels in Year 4. He struggled mostly with creative writing. It's worth asking your teacher if your DD has particular areas of writing that she struggles more with as at least it will give you an area to target.

TBH the thing that got DS's levels improving (and you'll notice I deliberately don't say "writing") was greater maturity (in year 6) plus giving him a checklist of things he should include in his work e.g mixture of punctuation, adjective, adverbs, different connectives, interesting vocabulary etc. We then tediously sat and made him go through every bit of writing he did at home to ensure he did this. Teacher similarly made him focus on particular areas at school.

His levels have gone up, and at least he has an idea of the sort of things that make his writing more interesting. It feels very stilted and cynical though smile

Ferguson Wed 24-Jun-15 20:17:36

I assume you mean her imagination and creativity in writing a story or essay, rather than her handwriting.

If you have a tape recorder, or a phone she can use to record, I used to encourage reluctant writers to DICTATE their ideas to me, and I would type on the computer. Once dictated, it can be reviewed, amended if necessary, and finally written up or typed.

Encourage her to scrutinize books and stories she reads and enjoys, to see if she can gain ideas and style from them.

Make sure her punctuation and technical aspects are secure, as they can be used creatively to enhance writing. Conversely, poor punctuation may draw down an otherwise good piece of writing.

Books by Lynne Truss are entertaining and draw attention to technical aspects, as do books by David Crystal.

mrz Wed 24-Jun-15 20:36:08

A 3A in writing at the end of Y4 is on target and probably reflects the (age appropriate) level of maturity of the writer. As redsky suggests it's a a good idea to speak to the teacher to see if there are particular aspects or types of writing that require work. The teacher obviously doesn't think creativity is a problem and it seems as if she's comparing herself to others rather than focusing on her own achievements.

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