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'Reluctant Writer' at 4.9?

(9 Posts)
YummyMummy21 Thu 22-Oct-09 22:01:49

Hi there,

Had DD parents evening last night. She has just started Reception and is attending a different school to her nursery. So was many about how she is settling in.
Everything is fine. She know how to behave, is confident and has lots of friends. Helps others to remember how to behave etc. No problems at all. Is very knowledgeable in a variety of subject, and has advanced phonic and number knowledge. Is a pleasure to have in the class!

All is fine I think, doing my proud mummy bit. Then the teacher mentioned that she is reluctant to write! At first I was like well actually its funny you should say that as DD has actually mentioned that she doesn't have to write at school because Mrs X will do it! They said well because it child led then we cant make then sit and write we can only offer for them to do it. I was not worried,as was made as a passing comment and I know that DD can write all letters and is starting to write using phonetic sounds at home.

However, as the day has gone on today I am beginning to think that I should have perhaps taken it more seriously!

I basically said that its probably due to her not being sure and not wanting to get it wrong, knowing that she doesn't have to do it, and also that she would rather be with her friends.

She isn't 5 until Jan and is progressing well with writing at home. Do you think that I should arrange to discuss with teachers further. I don't want them thinking that I'm not bothered about her writing, but at the time was sleep deprived as DD been unwell, and just didn't read into the comment. But now I'm thinking well maybe it is a problem and thats why it was brought up.

Thanks in advance x

ampere Thu 22-Oct-09 22:21:21

If it were ME, I'd make a show of concern to the teachers ('engaged parent') but not worry about it at home esp as she is beginning to write at home! She's smart if she recognises she doesn't 'have' to write at school cos someone will do it for her!

It doesn't sound like a problem at all to me! IF you think there MIGHT be 'perfection or nothing' issues, some encouraged scribbling perhaps? 'Write a nice word...now SCRIBBLE OVER IT! Lots of colours! Go on! Get stuck in!' 'Ha ha, that looks funny doesn't it? And it doesn't matter that we can't see your word any more does it?!' etc

You could perhaps get the teachers to apply a tiny bit of pressure on your DD to -ahem 'encourage' her write. I used to get my DSs' teachers to tell them they 'HAD' to keep a diary when we were away on term time hols so as to get them to do it. They absolutely wouldn't have for me (and before anyone picks me up on Cruella Mummy, enforcing nasty old school work on holiday, BOTH mine really needed the continuity. Little and often worked!- AND they were supposed to BE at school).

lalaa Fri 23-Oct-09 19:36:39

My dd was still a reluctant writer at 5.4. Now 6.11 and although it isn't her favourite activity, she writes if she's motivated to do so (for example, about an exciting trip in her journal). She is behind others, but I'm not concerned. I think if I'd pushed her to write when she really didn't want to, I'd have a much bigger problem now. I was really worried at the time, and quite cross with the school for not telling me until April in YR. When quizzed at the time, my dd said that she didn't want to write because the boys were always at the writing table...food for thought! My dd also didn't like to get things wrong, so we went through a stage of her wanting people to spell each word for her, to eventually building up confidence to having a go herself, and now she's got lots of high frequency words sorted and she'll have a go at those she's not sure about.

Just keep an eye, I reckon.

lalaa Fri 23-Oct-09 19:39:38

also, I asked for advice from family members (who are teachers) and we started doing things like writing lists of food she wanted from the supermarket, writing a postcard to granny, drawing a picture and writing something about it, and posting it to a relative. We came up with ways of incorporating writing into our every day lives, which has worked (writing by stealth). Sometimes she was more keen than others, and I just went with that and tried not to show any frustration or concern.

mrz Fri 23-Oct-09 20:59:24

Actually it sounds as if your daughter's teacher doesn't understand EYFS. There should be a balance of child led and adult led activities (work) and yes the teacher can tell your daughter to come and write.

YummyMummy21 Fri 23-Oct-09 21:58:32

Thanks for comments everyone.

I am not particually worried as DD will write at home. Infact she spends most of her time writing and drawing. It was more that I didnt want the teachers to think I wasnt bothered in general. Was'nt until after I thought hmm I wonder if they wanted to go into abit more detail about it. We only had about 8 mins and was on my 3rd sleepless night.

I think that it is more to do with DD feeling that she doesnt have to write, and also that her teacher will do it if they 'cant'.

She is very confident although I suspect that prehaps at school, she may feel like she doesnt want to get it wrong, where as at home we will do things as I know she can do them etc.

TBH she is abit of a tom-boy and I would place my bets on it being more to do with wanting to be outside looking for insects or staging the latest jurassic park film.

Was more the term 'reluctant writer' which worried me, as shes only little still and it more to do with effort than ability, and I didnt want the teachers thinking I hadnt taken it seriously.

Really I just thought well shes only 4.9, she is advanced in other areas, she will write at home, and it will come at school when shes ready/ encouraged as DD had mentioned that she doesnt have to read and write at school as MRS X does it for you.

Prehaps I'll give it a week after half term and then pop in after school one day, and see if they want to chat about it further

Thanks again x

Merle Sat 24-Oct-09 10:09:34

I think this is a really delicate issue, which schools/the current education system can get wrong. I think that very early on children are asked to include punctuation, grammar, interesting ideas, 'Wow' words etc, in their writing. A lot is asked of them at a very young age. This is of course in contrast to other countries where formal ed starts at 6 etc......

We had a difficult time in Yr 1/2 with my son. He is/was someone who became very anxious if he got things wrong and he was constantly being told that he had got things wrong in his writing. I think that there is a danger with some children that they just give up- it is all too much.

At the end of Yr 2 we seriously considered putting him under a hypnotist (honestly) because he had got to the stage that even the mention of the word 'writing' threw him into a state.

It took him until Yr 5 to re-engage with writing. He is now Yr 6 and will (hopefully) pass the 11+.

You need to monitor this very carefully.

smee Sat 24-Oct-09 12:18:43

Merle is wise I think. Don't push too early as it could put her off. All that matters is she's happy. The rest will obviously follow as she sounds like she's doing brilliantly.
+ I wonder if the teacher was saying it to see if you were worried. I know last year when DS was in reception his teacher had a similar chat with me about writing, but she was doing it to see if I was concerned. As soon as I said I really don't care as it's blindingly obvious he'll get there, she looked hugely relieved and said she agreed. Her take on it was that some kids are ready in reception, and others aren't. So maybe your DD's teacher's the same. It must be very hard for teachers as parents are understandably anxious that their children can read, etc. Must be a complete nightmare for them to manage us all.

madamearcati Sat 24-Oct-09 14:11:06

LOL at 'helps others to remember how to behave 'grin

QWriting is much more difficult than reading and early numberwork.As You have to think about so many things at once.Is she a perfctionist and doesn't like to get anything wrong ?
TBH I think its bonkers for you or teacher to be worried about it at 4.9.Many kids wouldn't even have started school at that age.Once at a parents evening I was told my 4 yr old's 'stories' weren't long enough .he should be doing more than 3 or 4 sentences.I felt like shouting 'he's 4 FGS'

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