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Handwriting help for lazy 14 year old boys

(18 Posts)
Oddsocks15 Sat 10-Mar-18 13:02:30

DT boys both have handwriting issues. One DT writes really small and other is scruffy, both hard to read.

SENCO has offered use of laptop for English but DT have done nothing about accepting offer

Any practical support, advice as GCSEs are two years away!

MrsLandingham Sat 10-Mar-18 17:17:37

If your DT want to be able to use laptops in their exams, the school has to demonstrate that this is their normal way of working. The evidence has to be submitted to the exam board well in advance of the exams - possibly November of Y11, but don't quote me on that.

It would be to their advantage to start typing now, in order to gain speed. It would also (obviously!) be to their advantage to make sure examiners can read their scripts. Examiners have to mark hundreds of scripts within a short space of time - just a few weeks - so any untidy or tiny writing will slow them down.

mmzz Sat 10-Mar-18 20:32:30

@Oddsocks15 - both of mine use laptops due to SEN. It was a struggle to get DS1 to start, but not DS2. Ds1 was embarrassed to be working differently from everyone else, DS2 was very matter of fact about it, and if anything enjoyed the envy it generated when he was allowed to type in lessons.

They call things like this "accommodations" and as @MrsLandingham says, you can't just decide to do it on exam day. It needs to approved by the exam board and for that to happen the school needs to make an application in which they say its the normal way of working.

I'm tempted to say "just tell 'em to do it"wrt to getting your boys to comply but I know that its never so easy. All you can do is be relentless in saying its a good idea and making sure that they know that if they don't then some of their hard work will be wasted as they won't get the marks they should due to the examiner having to guess what they wrote.

Or you could ask the form tutor /senco / English teacher to have a word if you think they would listen to one of them.

Mainly I'd be getting them on their own, one at a time and insisting that they explain why they aren't typing already?

Oddsocks15 Sat 10-Mar-18 21:37:53

flowers mmzz I tried one of your techniques from the GCSE thread instead. We talked about what they wanted to do for the future, at the moment it is paramedic and computer games designer. We then worked backwards from that to see how they can achieve that. Not sure it went in but I’m trying!!

I know mrslandingham I keep telling them that examiners are going to take the time to read their writing like me!

mmzz Sun 11-Mar-18 06:43:50

Oddsocks,goodness I never meant to put myself up as someone who knows what they are doing! We all just feel our way through. My only thought is that if the Senco suggests typing then there is a problem to be solved, and there are not that many potential solutions to the problem of poor handwriting. So, if your DTs aren't trying to start typing, then you won't be able to move things forward until you find out why.

Oddsocks15 Sun 11-Mar-18 07:59:59

Don’t worry mmzz !! Just willing to try other people’s ideas, accept that some may work and some may not!!

Tbh, the SENCo only raised typing because we asked to see her at parents evening last month. DT have a mild learning difficulty so tend to slip under the radar. This was the first time since they had been at Secondary school we had seen the SENCo. I only got an appointment after months of pushing..

Oddsocks15 Sun 11-Mar-18 08:21:42

Had to go and receive cards, breakfast from monosyllabic DT and grumpy DD !!

I did wonder whether they were embarrassed but they say no. Will keep battling with DT they agreed to some handwriting practice with DH yesterday so we will see how long that lasts!

MrsLandingham Sun 11-Mar-18 13:50:39

One further thought, Oddsocks, and I hope that I won't offend you by suggesting it.

I remember explaining to my Y11s last year about the importance of making their scripts easy for the examiner to read. They were polite, well-mannered kids, but their attitude astonished me. Comments such as, "It's their job" and , "They get paid to do it" were bandied around. I was genuinely astonished that they thought it was the examiner's responsibility to decipher whatever they wrote, rather than for they themselves to make it legible. Might it be worth exploring this with your DTs? Again, I do hope I haven't offended you by mentioning this.

Oddsocks15 Sun 11-Mar-18 15:54:04

Don’t worry mrslandingham you haven’t offended me at all . I have told them a few weeks ago but they don’t seem to grasp the concept that the examiners aren’t their Mum who spends a considerable amount of time and effort trying to decipher their handwriting!!

Yes they have made similar comments themselves about it being the examiners job hmm

mmzz Sun 11-Mar-18 17:10:02

Sometimes handwriting cannot be improved upon, no matter how hard you try , unless you slow down to 5 words per minute (no exaggeration).
I struggled to read DS1's card this morning.
Unfortunately, even if you type in every exam you can, there are still times when you have to hand write and hope the examiner can read it (eg maths, or labelling diagrams in science or Geography).

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Mon 12-Mar-18 16:50:45

What sort of pen are they using? DS1 has dysgraphia so his handwriting can be challenging. He does type quite a lot of work but some is still handwritten.

He sometimes uses a Lamy Safari with a medium nib but gets best results with a Lamy Joy calligraphy pen. Lamy pens are good as they are moulded with a grip guide so they hold the pen properly. It doesn't make his handwriting good but most of the time it is legible.

mmzz Mon 12-Mar-18 18:27:41

A fountain pen for dysgraphia? I'd never have thought of trying that.
What does it do to writing speed?

I'm currently trying to find a suitable pen for Ds1 who is about to take his GCSEs. He has dysgraphia, so the drag on the paper has been a big issue. We thought we'd found the optimal solution with gel pens, as he has been using those for a four years and hand pain has been minimised (less pain = more legibility). However, the exam boards' machine readers cannot read gel ink, so its back to the drawing board.

Oddsocks15 Mon 12-Mar-18 19:24:39

Ooh thanks for the tip chaz are they allowed to use fountain pens though for GCSEs?

DT using a four in one Bic pen, quite old style but large grip

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Mon 12-Mar-18 19:46:41

I also use a Lamy Safari after trying it out. Surprisingly they are easier to write with than some biro and rollerball which can be a bit stiff. They don’t need pressure to be put through the nib. They might be a bit slower but it’s the trade off between speed and legibility. I am also trying to find ways to help DS put his point across more concisely. He is Yr10 so does need to be able to get enough information down on paper.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Mon 12-Mar-18 19:50:14

Sorry posted too soon
I am not aware of any issues with fountain pens in GCSE.

I have hypermobile finger joints and I find a fountain pen easier than most biros or roller balls.

orangeplum Mon 12-Mar-18 20:41:02

If you saw Dragons Den recently there was a lady who was demonstrating her programme. I used it for my son, we mostly did it for ourselves and had 2 or 3 classes with one of the accredited tutors. Not sure where you are based but it's worth a look. It made a huge difference to his writing.

However, more importantly for this thread she guides you to various pens and pencils you can buy in lots of shops that are good to support neat handwriting. They have made a great difference to my DS and the link below shows you the various names of the pens and pencils. They all have ridges which improves your grip and aids neatness. You can choose the type of pen e.g. Gel, biro, pencil etc.

Good luck!

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Mon 12-Mar-18 21:53:27

Thanks that is interesting.
(Luckily she does mention the Lamy Safari or I would have beenblushsmile)

Oddsocks15 Tue 13-Mar-18 08:17:24

orangeplum thanks for the link, really interesting flowers

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