Help please - How to help 7yr old boy in KS1 English?(12 Posts)
Would really appreciate some advice please. DS is in Y2, in an academic independent school. He's behind in English. He's always find it a bit hard to express his thoughts, while I observe some of his friends are much more articulate. He LOVES reading and is quite advanced (going through the Roald Dahl books) and reads very quickly, retaining and understanding everything. Spelling is fine, and I don't think he's dyslexic or anything. But writing is the complete opposite. He finds it boring and hates it. We've tried Bond/ Letts etc exercise books, getting him to write out sentences as practices but it's becoming a real chore. English homework is the low point of the week when hubby & I take turn sitting with him for 45 min to write a page of story using key words. We practically have to formulate the sentences for him. Is this normal? For boys this age? Thanks so much!
My ds(8) hates writing, and we use this site for inspiration. They give you a different picture every day with a bit of guidance. We use one picture a week, of his choice, and he writes whatever he wants to, story, drawings, answer some question etc.
Some children don't like writing stories. Would he be happier taking a more factual approach? Is he allowed to write in the first person?
Oh that looks like a really fab website. Will definitely try it. Thanks for your recommendation!
Hi kesstrel - Yes he's allowed to write whatever he wants. In fact when asked to write a simple sentence using a key word, he simply can't come up with anything "normal". It's crazy poo-poo/ toilet humour /non-sensical stuff he comes up with (I guess that's why he loves Roald Dahl) and laughs his head off. Then we settle down to write something normal and he gets sooo bored.
Is there something he would enjoy writing about? DS (6) loves cooking, so he invents new recipes and writes them down.
Would your DS enjoy writing a joke book, or a sports report or a wildlife guide? Or even a set of instructions for unblocking a toilet?
He is interested in many subjects. But I think the ultimate problem is he finds writing difficult. He never writes for fun, as I hear many children do, making up stories or writing recipes as your DS does. How can I help him with that? I figure once he finds it easier, he will enjoy doing it, but I don't know HOW to achieve that.
Is it the physical act of writing that he finds difficult? If you were acting as his scribe, would he still find it a problem?
The physical act of writing is fine. He very happily writes out pages when we do spelling test - in fact he enjoys spelling test, and does very well in those. It is having to think of something to write. I've tried being his scribe - first writing out the story with him brain storming, but it's me who constructs the sentences in full. That he finds difficult. Back to him not being very articulate.
My ds is not very creative writer, but now he actually enjoys using pobble to create his own story.
One day he chose a picture of small boat floating in the vast ocean. He first said he will create a world under water.(picture was nothing to do with under water...) He drew in details. I asked some question, and he added more details. Once he finished his drawing, I asked him to write about what is his picture is all about. He hasn't actually created any stories, but he has written detailed explanation of what's happening under water. He really enjoyed it, and it sort of became his writing style. Now he asks to do more writing.
Some children just find it very hard to think of things to write. For some it's anxiety about getting it 'wrong' - there is no clear right or wrong like in spellings or maths, and they find it hard to just have a go and write whatever comes into their heads. If he's into toilet humour, is there any way you could take his 'silly' suggestions and guide him into adapting them to make them suitable for school? Eg, if he says 'I flew in the air when I did a massive fart!', ask him to think of alternatives for doing a fart like 'jet pack' or 'rocket boots'. He still gets to have fun with it and use his ideas that way.
There's nothing wrong with you doing a bit of scaffolding and prompting until he develops the skills and confidence to use his own ideas. Just keep reminding him to have a go and try to enjoy it.
My daughter has had great fun using this book.
Have you tried Rorys Story Cubes? Good for firing up the imagination. He might enjoy writing the stories he produces with them.
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