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How do I get my DS (just finished Y2) to write at length & with speed?

(28 Posts)
eemum Sat 19-Jul-08 14:35:17

Really in need of help. My son has just finished Y2 & got Level 3s in all his SATs, except for writing where he got 2b. This is no surprise as all year his teacher has constantly had to ask him to write more & he often struggles to finish written pieces in time in class.
His reading is great, his ideas, spelling, punctuation & handwriting are good but he just doesn't write enough - and hates doing it. Am really worried that this will start to impact on his success generally, as he moves up & is expected to write longer pieces in other subjects & later when he will be tested under time constraints. We have tried all sorts of things at home to encourage him - trying to make it fun - but this is a child who has to be cajoled into writing his christmas wish list!! Feel like I've failed him by not finding the right way to develop his enthusiasm when he is otherwise a very capable & keen learner.... Anyone had similar experiences with their own child or one they have taught?

handsomeharrysmum Sat 19-Jul-08 16:32:13

Hello eemum, You could be talking about my son.He has also just done year 2 SATS level 3 in everything apart from writing he got a 2b,(which is still good for end of year 2) WE ALSO ENCOURAGE BUT HE ALSO HATES IT.
I have been advised not to get hung up about it or stressed, it will come and he won't want to fall behind others.
Don't forget that boys sometimes do find writing more difficult/less interesting than girls.

eemum Sun 20-Jul-08 11:56:02

Thanks it's good to know I'm not alone! I have been trying to concentrate on all the positives in his report - he (and your son too!) has done really well. His teacher's comment re writing "and this requires attention" keeps playing on my mind & I feel I should be taking some action to help him. All I can find on the web are books to help you practice handwriting / letter formation which isn't what we need.
He is most definitely a typical boy!

juuule Sun 20-Jul-08 12:08:10

My 8yo dd must be a typical boy too, thenhmm

suzywong Sun 20-Jul-08 12:14:45

are you talking about my son?hmm

I opened a dialogue with his teachers (they jobshare) and we all agreed to do more encouragement and more old fashioned nagging in equal measures. I told him that he had to pull his socks up in the finishing work department, so did the teachers and they put him up for the honour certificate thing they give out at assembly after 3 weeks and he was BEST pleased and MUCH improved after that.

Just keep in touch with his teachers and remember he is a bpyand is probably distracted by shiny objects in his peripheral vision a great deal.

handsomeharrysmum Sun 20-Jul-08 18:01:25

lighten up juuule, knew someone would pass comment on the boy/girl thing.

cat64 Sun 20-Jul-08 18:04:28

Message withdrawn

juuule Sun 20-Jul-08 18:05:08

Did you just put the boy/girl thing in to be provocative then wink to see who'd pick up on it?

The stereotyping does get a bit wearing after a while, though.

Charmander Sun 20-Jul-08 18:09:13

One easy thing (given that is he a good reader) is to make sure he reads a variety of good quality texts- fiction and non fiction.

He does enough at school, don't get him writing loads at home - maybe the odd postcard on holiday.

gagarin Sun 20-Jul-08 18:09:20

Lots of dcs hate writing - and so do lots of adults!

All the encouragement in the world isn't going to change that.

Just focus on what he's good at and make sure he feels good about himself. The writing will come in time and year 2 is far too early for lots of kids.

There's nothing worse than getting a load of good achievments and all anyone concnetrates on is the one "average" result - seriously demoralising/demotivating.

So just chill and don't ruin his summer by trying to give him some "fun" (yeah- right...hmm) practice with those ghastly work books from WHSmiths!

handsomeharrysmum Sun 20-Jul-08 18:15:55

NO Juuule,I have better ways to pass the time, oh and 10 out of 10 for observation. I put it because it's true!:0

MingMingtheWonderPet Sun 20-Jul-08 18:19:06

What about suggesting that he writes a story about something that interests him, you could give him a starter, for example tell him to write about a football match, or wahtever he is in to.
Postcards also good in summer hols.
DS likes making top trumps cards, not much writing, but still good fun.

SqueakyPop Sun 20-Jul-08 18:22:52

I don't think you should put on too much pressure at this stage. I would definitely have him read over the summer, because good reading will lead to good writing.

How about letting him keep a blog on the computer? He might be motivated by the techiness of it, and enjoy taking pictures then describing them.

juuule Sun 20-Jul-08 18:45:52

I'm sure it is true, handsome.

It's probably equally true that there are girls who sometimes find writing more difficult/less interesting than boys, though.hmm

Eemum. Your ds sounds as though he's doing well all round. Given time, the writing will probably catch up. Speak with the teacher when school starts again and see what she suggests. In the meantime, I'd let him enjoy his summer break.

nell12 Sun 20-Jul-08 21:01:09

Hi eemum, a random question, but does your ds sit properly and hold his pencil correctly? The children I have taught who do not write much are generally hindered by discomfort; their wrist starts to ache early on and this slows them down.

Make sure ds is sitting comfortably (preferably with both feet on the floor and his back not too bent over). Does he hold his pencil correctly? He may benefit from pencil grippers. Finally, does he join up his writing? Make sure his pencil stays on the paper when he writes each word (although he may not yet have been taught to loop his g's, j's, y's etc). If he is printing some or all of his writing still, then his hand needs to work harder than if he is using cursive script.

Hope this helps

eemum Sun 20-Jul-08 21:24:38

Great to know this not uncommon & some good advice I won't ruin his summer with loads of boring homework & will try to chill a bit - as he's my eldest he does tend to bear the brunt of my angst, as we both experience all this school stuff for the first time.

One suggestion from a friend that I might try is to get him a scrap book to record his "summer adventures", so he can draw pics, stick in bits & pieces and maybe write (!!??) about what he's done. To date; gone camping with his dad, fallen over & got a horrendous cut & found crabs (5 dead, 3 alive I am told) on the beach! And he only broke up 2 days ago - so sure there will be plenty of material!

ShrinkingViolet Sun 20-Jul-08 21:27:19

DD1 refused to put pencil to paper for the best part of three years (Y2-Y4) despite being incredibly well read, and generally otherwise a "good girl". She got glasses in Y4 which helped (so if you haven't already, take your DS to an optician, then it's worht trying), but it was generally growing up and beginning to appreciate why she needed to do writing whcih helped. Then by Y7 at secondary when they were allowed to word process their work, her "writing" took a massive leap forward.

I'm in a similar position with DD3 (who is home ed for another year) who finds writing physically difficult - I'm encouraging lots and lots of drawing and colouring in, figuring it's all pencil skills.


eemum Sun 20-Jul-08 21:37:08

Not such a random question nell12, he has complained about his hand "getting tired" occasionally in the past. I will get some grippers - it's worth a try & I'll check his posture etc. He's been using cursive script all year & his writing is much neater than when he was printing. Thanks for the suggstions smile.

WilfSell Sun 20-Jul-08 21:38:53

We've found things like painting by numbers and those foil scraping art kits have helped: very naff but very good for pencil/pen skills...

fourlittlefeet Sun 20-Jul-08 21:42:30

you could do what my sis did with her DS and reading; he doesn't have to go to sleep if he is reading grin. thought that was a classic. not sure what he'd write in bed though; would have to be a diary /story or something.

eemum Sun 20-Jul-08 22:02:14

grin He would definitely choose sleep!

gagarin Mon 21-Jul-08 09:03:57

I would veto the holiday scrap book idea!

How to ruin every wonderful memory....imagine if every time you had fun you had to go home and do something you hated!

tortoiseSHELL Mon 21-Jul-08 09:07:10

It is true about boys though - my ds1 got level 3 for reading, speaking/listening and 2a for writing. With him, it's just the fine motor skills which need a bit more time to develop. And it is recognised that in general boys take longer to develop fine motor skills, and also co-ordination in gross motor skills.

The statistics speak for themselves - in ds1's school, about 25% of the boys got level 3 in reading. For writing it was 4%. The girls were much more equal across the board.

tortoiseSHELL Mon 21-Jul-08 09:08:17

Things that have helped ds1 are doing lots of colouring in of printables from the internet, stapling pieces of paper together so he can write his own books, complete with illustrations (he loved this - it was his idea).

singersgirl Mon 21-Jul-08 13:28:23

I'll probably kill the thread with this, but writing is statistically a weakness for boys - and there is lots of work going on to remedy this. DS1 (now in Y5) also got 2A for Writing and 3 for Reading in KS1 and in Y5 his writing is still a relative weakness (Level 4B as opposed to 5 for Reading and Maths).

I've looked up the national statistics for the higher level in KS1 for 2007 and they're interesting:

Level 3
Reading: 26% (30% girls, 22% boys)
Writing: 13% (17% girls, 9% boys)
Speaking etc: 22% (26% girls, 18% boys)
Maths: 22% (20% girls, 24% boys)
Science: 23% (22% girls, 24% boys)

So while boys are doing slightly better in Maths and Science, the difference is much less marked than in the literacy area, where girls are substantially outperforming boys.

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