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#1 of 6 Old 04-11-2010, 10:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have two boys- one is a pretty traditionally gifted sort of kid. He's a bookworm, soaks up information, very sensitive, works hard, skipped a grade, etc. Then there's my youngest- he's playful, very social, athletic, is clearly smart, but doesn't like to put a lot of hard work in- he doesn't really enjoy the learning part of school- he loves recess and pe and being with his friends. He's only 6 (August birthday) and in first grade. He is accelerated for reading and math- he reads at maybe a 4th grade level and is doing third grade math.

I just don't know what to do with him anymore. It seems like he's given up on writing and many of the activities in school. He just plain doesn't seem to care. His handwriting has deteriorated- I look around and it doesn't look drastically different from his handwriting more than a year ago (sometimes it's completely unreadable) and in general it is behind. He used to love to write, but now it seems like he can't be bothered.

I've decided to really work with him on it at home and I think we may homeschool next year- I have noticed that he is much more engaged at home. Sometimes he brings work home that he clearly wasn't into or wasn't 'getting' and I can explain it to him in a couple of minutes and he's fine.

has anyone experienced this sort of thing?
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#2 of 6 Old 04-11-2010, 12:28 PM
 
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The book I'm reading "a parent's guide to gifted children" from the recommended book list sticky on this forum suggested in that case to find something they're crazy about, maybe a gaming magazine. Convince them to write a letter to the magazine asking a couple of quiestions about something they published. Tell them it haa to be in their very best handwriting and the spelling has to be right so the letter isn't dismissed as "just a little kid."
about the reading they suggest something non-academic and relevant like a video game cheat code magazine will get them reading more often and naturally more fluently. Eventually they say this will spill over into their schoolwork. Nobody ever minds doing what they already know how to do well with little effort

oh yeah, ask him to write your shopping list for you
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#3 of 6 Old 04-11-2010, 12:47 PM
 
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I would actually get this check out. It isn't normal for kids to go backward in handwriting. Talk to his ped and try to get a referral to an OT and have his fine motor skills checked. If he is behind, the school can provide OT.

Someone here also suggested a developmental optomotrist. Their child had trouble with handwriting because of vision problems.

Bright kids are great at compensating for problems. SO if you see an issue, I would address it asap.

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#4 of 6 Old 04-11-2010, 05:33 PM
 
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Fine motor skills tend to be in line with age rather than with intellect, so it is quite possible that the amount of writing he is required to do is completly unreasonable for someone his age and development. He just turned 6 in August so he is VERY young to be in first grade, combined with doing accelerated work, he could just be in over his head in the amount of writing that is expected of him. This could explain why it is getting worse, not better.

Could you talk to his teacher about modifying assignments to require less writing?

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#5 of 6 Old 04-11-2010, 09:50 PM
 
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The other thing about writing is that it's really hard for gifted kids, because their hands can't keep up with their minds. It's very very frustrating to have great ideas and not be able to get them all down because you can't write fast enough. And it sounds like his fine motor skills are a bit below average for his age. The combination can be deadly, and lead him to "give up" on writing.

So, in addition to talking to his teacher about his handwriting/ways to help, I'd think hard about separating out the physical act of writing from generating and organizing ideas. Maybe he can dictate. Maybe he can get a little digital recorder and record his ideas and then play them back for writing down later.

Handwriting Without Tears is a great system for learning. Our ds used this in occupational therapy and in K, and it made writing a lot easier. That being said, he didn't really start to write a lot until 3rd grade. This summer we're going to work on cursive at home, as that is faster.

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#6 of 6 Old 04-12-2010, 02:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
The other thing about writing is that it's really hard for gifted kids, because their hands can't keep up with their minds. It's very very frustrating to have great ideas and not be able to get them all down because you can't write fast enough. And it sounds like his fine motor skills are a bit below average for his age. The combination can be deadly, and lead him to "give up" on writing.
This is such a great point! My ds will write just fine on his own, but in a "have to" situation it falls apart. I would look into this a bit more as well.
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