Suggestion for helping my son with writing skills?

Hello everyone! My 4th grader has a very difficult time writing. He hates it with a passion. He is able to talk and say what he wants to say - but writing it down on the other hand… not so much - it is bad!

Right now, he is still in a K12 online school and I am counting down to when I pull him from the school for next year. The pressure is very intense - because even if you do everything you are supposed to do - that is only a “c” grade. You only “meet expectation” and not “exceed expectation.” Also the things they make you write, I think to myself… I didn’t have to write these kinds of things till high school? Seriously??

What might make writing these on demand topics and papers easier? Also, do you think having more fun writing assignments for next year help? Any other writing suggestions for anything would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

My son was the same way. He did not like writing at all. Then I found IEW (Institute for Excellence in Writing). His writing changed drastically…for the better. The program teaches students how to write. At first if gives them topics to write about and it teaches them how to expand their writing. It gives you the flexibility to apply the writing to any topic you choose.

Here is a link to IEW.

They are at most home-school conventions if you plan on going to one this spring. I find that the people in the booth are always very knowledgeable about the products and are very helpful.

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Thanks so much! I’m going to check it out! :smile:

Take these suggestions as just that–suggestions. My son also hates to write and has trouble putting his thoughts on paper. Here are some things I’ve tried or am going to try:

Lego Writing prompts from Homegrown Learners

Story Steps from Meet Bonnie Rose

Being his “scribe” and gradually having him take over more of the writing

Teach him to type/keyboard

Those are great suggestions too, thank you so much!

I was just curious and wondering what you thought kathleennj, and nerakr - (thank you both for replying!) about this idea that I came up with yesterday. Homeschooling is about going at the pace that is right for your child, right? I mean, I have been in a K12 online school for 5 years, and they just force you to push your child through regardless if they know the information or not because you are not allowed to get behind. (They claim different, but it is just lies.) Anyways, since I am pulling them out next year and doing it on my own, I thought I should go back several grades and sort of reset his writing and start over? Maybe let him do easier writing tasks to try and get him interested in writing again? Do you think that is a good idea?

Look into Diane Craft brain training. It could be a simple glitch that makes the actual writing hard.

@sgrrrbear I wanted to offer you my support:) you really gave me encourgment for a question I posted! When we took our son out of public school, we actually had him repeat his current grade. We quickly saw that the public school wasn’t taking time to make sure he was where he was suppose to be. We aren’t upset with the public school, with 30 kids in a class we knew he couldn’t get one to one attention. I think re teaching is a fabulous idea! If you don’t have a good foundation for writing it won’t matter what program you choose. There are excellent programs, but spend time reviewing/re teaching. I have my son journal daily, I do not correct it in any way. It is just a way for him to get his thoughts on paper and to get comfortable with writing. We slowing have been doing more formal composition. I also give him fun topics to choose from sometimes. I find fun writing prompts on! You can sign up for a free account and just print the free stuff:) Once you are on your own homeschooling him, you may just find the pressure is off and he may surprise you😀

Yes sgrrbear, I do think that you should start off with easier writing tasks. Don’t be concerned with what level he is at. You want him to enjoy writing (or at least be O.K. with it). By starting him off with easier writing assignments he will learn to write without the pressure of writing a lot. You can then build up to more writing when you see that he is ready. Most writing curriculum’s will start off at a basic level and then incrementally add more in.

Yes, I think backing up, not just in writing but in any area he struggles with, is a good idea. Depending on your state requirements, you don’t have to call it repeating a grade, though. My son just turned eleven (was ten at the beginning of the school year) and in fifth grade according to the paperwork I filled out for the state. But he is not doing fifth grade math or writing. Were he to go to public school or if I were to use Time4Learning, he would have to “repeat a grade.” But I don’t look at it like that. His pace isn’t the same as what the state wants, but I am sure that by high school he will be ready for algebra at the “right time.” As for his writing skills, I wish I knew. but we’ll get there.

The book Talking, Drawing, Writing byMartha Horn and Mary Ellen Giacobbe has some good strategies for improving writing skills in children. Talking Drawing Writing

I have used some of their strategies with my son who is behind in writing skills and hates the physical act of writing. Some things are as others mentioned, scribing for your child but they also place emphasis on drawing as a gateway to writing and a means of communication. I find it helps with reading comprehension as well because we start with things like 3 panel comic strips for beginning, middle, and end of a story and then expand from them and add a line or two of text describing the comic as a story builder. Hope this helps.

Hi @sgrrrbear! I wanted to echo the praises for IEW that kathleennj mentioned! This is has been my go to writing curriculum for 5 or 6 years. It completely takes the guess work out of what to write and their are videos available in which Andrew Pudewa teaches the lesson to your child (it’s taped with him teaching the content to a group of students, so you get to see some student teacher interaction).

He’s incredibly funny and with the videos you can learn right along with your child. Here’s the link to what I’m talking about.IEW level A I admit the price is high, but it’s a worthy investment and you can also find them used on eBay.

I also want to testify to the benefit of being your child’s scribe. I type it up on our iPad then have my children copy it on their own paper. It’s okay if that takes a few days

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Thank you @ohmyhat for your post!

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Thank you @Luvmyboys - I truly appreciate your support! I love your suggestions about a daily journal - and I am going to start doing that right away! Also I love your suggestions about fun topics as well, and slowly adding in more formal composition. I want him to enjoy writing. Thanks so much - I really enjoyed your post. :slight_smile:

Thank you so much for your reply @kathleennj - I feel like I am making the right decision now. Thank you! :smile:

Thank you @nerakr - I appreciate your thoughts! I think I forgot that going through K12 - not all kids are at the same place at the same time. I think it is the educational systems biggest downfall. Thank you for reminding me that it is OK to work at their own pace! :slight_smile:

Thank you @beaniemom - I will look into those programs - and my son LOVES to draw! It is his favorite thing to do - so that just might be perfect. Thanks so much for your reply! :smile:

Thank you @MotherofMany - I appreciate your reply! That is good to know that IEW works so well. And thank you for the idea of using an iPad, and then having them copy it as well. That is a great idea. He is great at voicing ideas, but just not putting them on paper. Thanks for taking the time to reply! :smile: