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DS Yr1 writing is "boring" - how to encourage?

(15 Posts)
MyAngels Tue 24-Nov-15 11:03:00

Ds Yr1 teacher is having difficulty with him not doing his writing at school. He will completely refuse to do it for 40 minutes, just sitting at his desk, ignoring the teacher's encouragements and then will be kept in at playtime to do it on his own (which he will, with no real complaint). He tells me writing is "boring".

His reading and maths are at Yr2 level, and his handwriting (when he does it) is perfectly fine - so I'm not worried about any developmental problem, just his stubborn refusal.

I presume the teacher can't offer him a topic to write about which might enthuse him more (is obsessed by trains at the moment), but he must learn to do as he is asked, the same as everyone else? He does his writing homework fine with me, but it wouldn't take 40 minutes, just about 15.

He has had some difficulty settling into Yr1, but things have improved lately, except in writing. He is not a boy that easily responds to rewards - he would rather do the punishment and win the argument!

Any suggestions from teachers or parents with similar experiences would be very welcome (by me and his teacher - she is struggling to get him to show how able he is and understand what triggers him into being so stubborn).
Thanks.

Autumnsky Tue 24-Nov-15 11:15:02

I think Y1 is too early to push for writing. He may find handwriting is tiring. I would leave it at the moment if he doesn't like it, as long as he progress in reading and math nicely. Maybe at the same time, you can ask him to tell you a story rather than write it down. Or you can let him use computer to write to make it fun. Or have a diary, just write one sentence per day to build up.

irvine101 Tue 24-Nov-15 11:31:39

My ds used to love writing, but started to hate it in year1. I know why.
My ds is very logical, and what he writes wasn't very imaginative. He follows instruction, so use of grammar etc. was good.

I think the teacher was trying to challenge him to make the quality of work better, but said contents of his writing was "boring" in front of him, that he needed to make it more interesting, etc.
He hates writing at school or homework since. He says he doesn't know what's wrong with his work. I accepted that he doesn't have talent in writing. But school is still trying to improve it.(they have to, I know.)

He still writes at home on computer, quite a lot, because we don't say anything about its contents.

strawberryandaflake Tue 24-Nov-15 12:11:06

Ask him to write about trains at home?

Letustryagain Tue 24-Nov-15 12:28:49

I have a similar problem with DD who is in Year 2. Her reading age is 3 years ahead and academically in school she's in the top sets (yes, another school who splits children this young through ability sad), but she hates writing.

Although I have the opposite problem in that she writes quite happily at school but refuses to do any writing at home. She doesn't enjoy writing and even though she's way ahead with her reading, she actually doesn't enjoy it.

So no advice really, just saying that you're not alone... sad

MyAngels Tue 24-Nov-15 12:59:36

Thanks all.

He did tell me writing makes his hand hurt - so he may find it tiring (or has in the past, so is reluctant to try again).

To be honest, I suppose I was asking on behalf of the teacher - or at least in preparation for when she asks me to speak to her at the end of the day about it again. She told me yesterday that she almost phoned me at lunchtime to tell me (about how awkward he was being, I suppose) but was too busy in the end. But what can I do, apart from encourage him to write at home (a little, about trains, as you suggest)?

Maybe she just had a frustrating morning with him and wanted to vent at me! He can try the patience of a saint, sometimes....

smearedinfood Tue 24-Nov-15 13:12:25

MyAngels you are not alone. Year 1 boy who just doesn't want to apply himself with writing. I heard in New Zealand they are learning about bush craft while in the UK its all phonic's pushing.

Autumnsky Tue 24-Nov-15 13:12:14

I am wondering how much writing they would do at Y1. It wouldn't be much long for each piece. Maybe you can ask the teacher just leave it , let DS do whatever he want for the moment. Maybe teacher can give you some work that needed to be done, And you will do it at home with him. So you can try to get DS write something in a relax way. I think the current situation which DS insisit not to do it, and the teacher is trying to force him to do it, this is not very good.

HelloItsMeAgain Tue 24-Nov-15 22:27:45

Have you tried a pencil grip - he may find holding the pencil uncomfortable to anything longer than a few minutes. Amazon do a mixed set so he could try various ones out.

HelloItsMeAgain Tue 24-Nov-15 22:29:51

www.amazon.co.uk/Mixed-Pencil-Grips--Handwriting-Aid-/dp/B007IVC3O0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1448404107&sr=8-1&keywords=pencil+grips+mixed Here you go. Not cheap. Or ask his teacher if he could try various sorts to see if any suit.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Tue 24-Nov-15 22:32:15

Id be more concerned at his defience.
He is given a task, teacher is asking him to get on, and he refuses.

kesstrel Wed 25-Nov-15 06:38:47

It sounds like he maybe prefers to be kept in at playtime to do the writing "on his own"? Could there be a reason for that?

mrz Wed 25-Nov-15 07:09:20

I think you and the school need to investigate if there is a reason why he doesn't write in lessons.
The fact that he can do it at playtime suggests he's capable of writing but it still might be worth asking him if there anything he finds difficult.
Poor motor development can lead to duscomfirt/pain and tiredness so suggests watching how he writes. Is he using whole upper body? Poor shoulder girdle and/or wrist strength make writing a physical effort.
Autumn children in Y1 will be doing quite a lot of writing my Y1 pupils are more than capable of a side of A4 (or more) in a 20 min session (multiply day by 5 lessons)

MyAngels Wed 25-Nov-15 10:17:01

Thanks again.

I do wonder if 40 minutes sitting still and writing about something isn't rather a long time for this stage of Yr1, but hey, I'm his mum, not an education professional.

The pencil thingys look good, thanks, I'll try some (and for DD who at 8 struggles to hold a pencil properly).

We have been working on his defiance, believe me, its better than it was! I wonder sometimes if children have those "I really can't be bothered with this today" feelings like we adults all do (especially on a Monday morning (and his birthday to boot)), but we have learned to just get on with it, because we know we have to, and he still has to grasp that...I'm not excusing his defiance, just trying to empathise with his feelings (before I remind him that he should do as his teacher asks).

Staying in at playtime was hardly a punishment this time as he was supervised by his old reception teacher who he adores (and who has a soft spot for him, too), so he got one-on-one attention from his favourite teacher. Hmmm....

Witchend Wed 25-Nov-15 11:42:53

My ds hated writing, and really still does in year 4, although he's getting better.

But his way of objecting was to rush through it all doing minimum effort, and say it was boring.

I'd be looking further if he refuses to do anything for 40 minutes-surely sitting doing nothing is more boring? And then does it no problem at playtime.

Does he hate playtime and has found it a good way of getting out of it?
Or is he enjoying the attention he gets? I don't think it can be explained by just saying he doesn't want to do it in this case.

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