Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,215 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My DS is 6 (turned 6 in May), we just started 1st grade. We use Handwriting without tears. He is doing really well in terms of proper grip, proper letter formation, etc. We are nearly done with the HWT first grade book so we are definitely not behind. But he just does not like to write. He will come up with every excuse in the book to delay his writing assignment.

He is really talented in math and if I let him answer questions verbally, we can get through a day's work in 10-15 minutes. If he did not have to write his answers, we would probably cover a grade worth of math curriculum in 3 months. But if I make him write his answers, the same amount of work takes 60-90 minutes because he just does not like to write. I mix it up, sometimes I write answers for him, sometimes I make him write it.

Does anyone have any tips on getting him excited about writing? Or is it just one of those things "teach the skill" and the motivation will come when he needs to write?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,839 Posts
If you figure out some brilliant way to convince him hand-writing is lots of fun, PM me your secret! I have a 6 year old boy (May birthday!) as well and experience the same thing (though he's in public school presently but not for much longer, he's a special needs kid so I get a daily breakdown of each subject, describing the effort he has put forth and his behavior during that period..every day hand-writing says something along the lines of refused to do..hid under insert-anything-he-will-fit-under-or-in). It's not that he's bad at hand-writing, but I think that fine motor skills don't come easy to him and therefore he dislikes doing it, plus it's tedious for him as it slows down the rate he gets the work done despite his brain being able to finish thinking the whole page through before he gets done writing down the first answer.

We do occasionally use a little number rubber stamp set for math. It helps to keep from killing the joy of the thing he does well being marred by something he has a hard time with.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,623 Posts
You could try giving him stuff to read that's printed in a variety of typefaces, like Comic, and including an antique typeface, like Gothic. Just set it there, no comment. Next up, same thing, but with a connected script, like handwriting. Then another couple of different typeface connected scripts. Expose him to Japanese (or maybe Chinese) calligraphic art (accompanied with trees, bamboo, birds, fish, tiger, dragons, and warriors), and just comment in passing that they do fancy flowing versions of their writing as a form of art. Then buy him a calligraphy set - special pen and all. Let him start with a feather quill and pounce or sand, so he'll appreciate how much better steel nib and blotting paper are. Make sure doing a single letter as art and end it right there with success is fun.

Then patiently sit back and wait. Pushing at this stage could lose you everything.

Later, you could do a calligraphic card for invitations or thank-you's, with a blank name to be filled-in, and run off several empty copies. Let him fill in the blank in calligraphy (again, small amount, so tossing a failure doesn't hurt or waste much). If it would help, print an ideographic plant or animal or bird, and let him do a single slash of water-colour across it - he can't fail here, as there's no keeping-inside-the-lines - just the opposite - the aim is to slash or wash across the lines.
 

·
Trainer of kids, dogs and horses...fears nothing
Joined
·
8,598 Posts
And maybe try mixing it up.
Let him type his answers and put them on the iPad or something different… Also, I'm not sure that I would recommend holding his math work back just because his handwriting is so slow.

(PS: My almost-15 year old STILL hates to (hand)write.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,215 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thank you, everyone, for your input. My son does have some special needs and his motor skills are affected to a degree. The only thing he actually enjoys to do that involves a pen/pencil are mazes. He does not like to color or paint. Maybe I should just let him be, encourage him to develop his fine motor skills doing mazes and see what happens.

He reads pretty well (well, I am not sure what grade level he reads at, but he can read books that *I* think are age appropriate) and he can read many different fonts. So the letter knowledge is definitely there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
512 Posts
I often give my girls the dry-erase board (about 24 x 36") and a marker and have them practice their writing on that. It's easier to form the letters and numbers when you can write them bigger, and their results are much more pleasing to them. Plus, it's more fun to them to use the marker. They are 6 and 8. They spend a lot of their free time drawing and coloring, so I figure the writing will come in time.

I wouldn't let the writing trouble slow down his math learning. There are lots of times in real life when we don't have a pencil handy to figure out a math problem.
 
  • Like
Reactions: brody

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,202 Posts
Depends on what your target is. Is it the handwriting or is it the composition (sentence structure, sequencing, grammar)?

If your goal is the handwriting -- I've found pudding or whipped cream on a cookie sheet to be fairly motivational for boys. He can write whatever you want in the whipped cream and then if it is an acceptable job, lick his finger.


If the composition is your goal, there are some story building programs that are free online (can't remember the names off hand because I'm not at my work computer) but you could Google them. You could also let him try typing his stories. Writing everything with paper/pencil can be tiring for the little ones and he may not have developed the stamina yet so typing can help with that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
307 Posts
I feel your pain... Try spraying shaving cream on the table and having him use his finger to write words in it. My son loved this. We practiced spelling this way too. This at least got him interested in some sort of writing. Keep in mind that he is still very young. Don't push him or drag lessons out too long or he will really grow to hate it. It will all come together in time. :)
 

·
Original recipe!
Joined
·
14,044 Posts
They say that boys don't really have the hand-eye/brain connections to write well until they are nine.
I can attest to this.
DS's handwriting was atrocious.. and then he hit nine and it smoothed out. Like magic.

And you have to figure what is more important..
learning what he needs to learn or being frustrated by writing.

The writing may come in time and to have him feel success and love learning is a 'now' kind of thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,839 Posts
I'd definitely work on other activities that help his fine motor skills (building with small legos, play-doh, kinetic sand are favorites for my little dude as 'arty' type projects just don't tend to grab his attention much better than the hand writing) and don't stress too much about the hand writing. Ask that he write for one activity a day or something like that. You're a homeschooling momma and have the flexibility that comes with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
My son was exactly the same way, even preferring mazes to coloring. He never has liked to color, but will do a full book of mazes in one sitting. He also excelled at math, but did not like to write at all. I just let him dictate his work at that age and I wrote everything for him and moved through the lesson. For me, a math lesson was learning about math, not the writing, so I was happy that he understood the lesson and could do the work and we could move on.

When he was around 7 though, he saw me writing cursive one day and asked what I was doing. I told him I was writing and he said he liked the "pretty" writing and wanted his writing to look like that. So we started learning cursive. He actually did much better with cursive and had less struggles with writing after we switched. He still is not a big writer, but he doesn't fuss as much now when he has to write something out. He is 9 now and, in general, it is getting much easier to get him to do his work without fussing too much. Of course, that could also be that he now gets Xbox time once it is all done. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,215 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
My son was exactly the same way, even preferring mazes to coloring. He never has liked to color, but will do a full book of mazes in one sitting. He also excelled at math, but did not like to write at all. I just let him dictate his work at that age and I wrote everything for him and moved through the lesson. For me, a math lesson was learning about math, not the writing, so I was happy that he understood the lesson and could do the work and we could move on.

When he was around 7 though, he saw me writing cursive one day and asked what I was doing. I told him I was writing and he said he liked the "pretty" writing and wanted his writing to look like that. So we started learning cursive. He actually did much better with cursive and had less struggles with writing after we switched. He still is not a big writer, but he doesn't fuss as much now when he has to write something out. He is 9 now and, in general, it is getting much easier to get him to do his work without fussing too much. Of course, that could also be that he now gets Xbox time once it is all done. ;)
Thank you for your perspective. The bolded part could have been about my son. That is exactly like him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
953 Posts
My DS is 6 (turned 6 in May), we just started 1st grade. We use Handwriting without tears. He is doing really well in terms of proper grip, proper letter formation, etc. We are nearly done with the HWT first grade book so we are definitely not behind. But he just does not like to write. He will come up with every excuse in the book to delay his writing assignment.

He is really talented in math and if I let him answer questions verbally, we can get through a day's work in 10-15 minutes. If he did not have to write his answers, we would probably cover a grade worth of math curriculum in 3 months. But if I make him write his answers, the same amount of work takes 60-90 minutes because he just does not like to write. I mix it up, sometimes I write answers for him, sometimes I make him write it.

Does anyone have any tips on getting him excited about writing? Or is it just one of those things "teach the skill" and the motivation will come when he needs to write?
I would say - definitely do not kill his love of math by making him write the answers. Separate those two tasks for now - he will be able to do it eventually, and no need to hold him back in understanding to match his writing skills.

At 6...he's young and not very disciplined. You can't make him *like* to do something that is hard right now...not "just because". Definitely work on fine motor skills with other tasks, and help him by being willing to let him dictate things like math and sentence writing/composition. Lack of motor skills is one of the reasons many kids hate to write stories, etc. -- they can't keep up with their imagination, so they write smaller, simpler sentences than they would actually like to use. But if you let him dictate, even young kids can have complex sentences, paragraphs, story plots, etc.

For things like grammar/spelling - you can let him correct your mistakes, circle wrong answers etc. And then do some basic "copy work" etc. that is just for writing practice.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
392 Posts
Although I have a daughter, what got her to enjoy the idea of writing was finding her a pen pal. We've moved a few times and I Facebook old friends but for her the idea of writing them letters is motivating her to try writing tiny and tidy. I told her that as soon as she writes a letter someone else can read I will help her mail it.
Perhaps if your son had a older cousin that he thinks is cool he might want to learn the art of communication through printed word. After all isn't that the original point of writing?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
i would not push the writing hard at age six. work on other things that he is interested in. don't, don't worry about what other kids his age are doing. let him progress at his own pace.

we have a ten yr old boy. we home school. he didn't start reading until around age 7. we read to him a lot. he asked questions all the time. he learned all the presidents of the U.S. before he could read. how old they were when they died, how many were generals, dolly madisons favorite flavor of ice cream was oyster, and on and on, and on.

now, at 10 he is learning how to write cursive. he is writing things from the bible, his choice, and golf. he is crazy nuts about golf. he gets word spelling, and
he also is getting some typing lessons. at age six, my son just wasn't ready to learn writing. now he gets it. when he is ready to learn something, he learns it fast. thats the beauty of home schooling. you don't have to learn a certain thing at a certain time, at a certain age.


keith
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
I'm a middle school teacher, but I recommend having him draw and color a picture on plain copy paper. Anything he wants to draw. Then have him write down the story about what is happening in his picture. Ask him questions like "what is the character doing" "how did such and such happen". These are great probing questions that will activate his imagination. Writing is all about imagination! Try and make this a daily activity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
If he needs help building the muscles in his hands, which helps with holding and using a pencil, you might try marble mazes. I make and sell these mazes (I found the idea in the internet and if you are crafty you can make your own) I sandwich a marble between two squares of fabric and sew it up. Then I draw a maze if some sort on the fabric and sew on the lines forming chambers for the marble to pass through.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
566 Posts
I've found that comic book templates (that offer the empty spaces or even the images and thought balloons) gave my kids a jumping off point.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top