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#1 of 5 Old 08-26-2011, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What encouraged your unschooler to write?  I mean write anything.  If they were reluctant at first, what really inspired them?  Or are they still struggling?  Or don't care?  The physical act of writing can be tiring.  My 6.5yo regularly quits after one word.  I realized, I don't write much anymore, either!

 

Please share stories or advice.


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#2 of 5 Old 08-26-2011, 10:42 AM
 
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When my 9yo was 6-7, she wrote a long story about unicorns, in print letters. She worked on it a little bit every day for several weeks, if not months. Then she stopped, and haven't showed any interest until very recently. The ideas that I hear all the time, would be writing lists, writing notes to each other, writing letters, and so on. DD was never interested in any of it.

 

I think for her the issue was perfectionism. She wanted the process of writing to become more fluent. The whole penmanship journey started when she was 8, it was a long one for us, and lasted for months. She wanted to, but wouldn't practice. She would reject my suggestions, and wouldn't come up with her own, and yet she was upset about not being able to write.

 

I showed her dozens of fonts, bought half a dozen of various work books, until she finally found a style that she liked. Then she practiced--still very little, and wasn't impressed with the lack of immediate results. Eventually she wanted me to make up a handwriting game for her, and after a few false starts, she finally was into what I created. It was related to horse breeds, involved some magic, some geography, and very little writing. Then seemingly all of a sudden (well, it did seem that way lol.gif) her handwring was lovely, and she was writing. Still, not much. But she wrote a letter, many notes, and many opening paragraphs to her stories, but she is not inspired or motivated to work further on them right now.

 

I also modelled writing to her, by writing to do lists and posting them on the wall each day. I do this anyway, but I made them visible to her so she could see the process and the need for them. She is not very into lists, but she did see me writing.

 

So from my perspective, if she's writing a word, that's plenty.

 

My DS (6.5) writes when he draws comics, it is a much more natural and organic process for him. He is very good at copying, so he can copy any font / style he sees, and at times comes up with very mature handwriting, but when he writes on his own, it is all uneven print. He is so engaged with his art, crafts, drawing, that I don't worry about encouraging him to write--it seems like it will come, when the need arises. DD has never been so engaged, and she is often lost or 'bored', so I tend to over suggest to her and over worry about her skills.


My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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#3 of 5 Old 08-27-2011, 06:58 AM
 
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I think perfectionism also is a problem for ds and writing.  He never liked to draw, either.  I lump them together since they use the same physical dexterity.  Chalkboards and whiteboards were helpful so he could just rub out any lines he didn't like.  I'd encourage him to print his name on birthday cards if he was going to a party.  That was the one thing that made sense to him as being somewhat worth doing.  I bought him maze books because he liked mazes and I thought that would be a fun way to develop pen skills.  But he'd just trace through with his eyes or fingers.

 

To develop creative writing skills, I'd take dictation.  That way he could write a story using the full extent of his language skills without getting bogged down in the physical aspect.

 

Now, he has become interested in typing to communicate in in-game chats of online games.  It is just like how he learned to read at age 8, building up a list of words that he knows.  


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#4 of 5 Old 08-27-2011, 09:15 AM
 
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I've never worried about my sons' handwriting. DS1 (17) wrote a lot when he was younger, creating comic books, then he stopped doing that. Most of his writing is online or on the computer now - as is mine!

 

DS2 (12) copies things when he needs to, has never had an inclination to do much writing as in stories, but he writes when he creates board games and trading card games.

 

I loooooved to write when I was younger. I wrote stories and poems, and kept a journal for most of my adult life. I don't have a need for my sons to do those things - if and when they want or need to, I trust implicitly that they'll be able to, and find the resources they need to be able to in a way that works for them.

 

I hardly handwrite anything now. There's just not a need for it in my life. I'll jot down a shopping list, or take down someone's contact info, but other than that, it's not needed. Even the contact info now, I'll most often put in my phone.

 

For me, part of unschooling is trusting that as the boys have a need or desire to do something, that's when they will do it. If there's not a need, there's not a need. There's absolutely no need for lessons, or worrying.

 

I, too, used to "take dictation" for my oldest. I had a friend who was convinced he would NEVER learn to type, because I would sit at the computer and type out what he wanted to say. But it naturally shifted over time. For a long time, I sat and typed. Then, he'd type most everything, but ask me to type if his thoughts were coming too fast to get down, or if there were a lot of words he didn't know how to spell. Then, he typed nearly all, but asked me how to spell certain words. Now, he just types.

 

Playing online MMP games helped a LOT with that - they had the desire to communicate in a way that could be understood by others. That's about typing, not handwriting - but it is writing!

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#5 of 5 Old 08-27-2011, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4evermom View Post

I think perfectionism also is a problem for ds and writing.  He never liked to draw, either.  I lump them together since they use the same physical dexterity.  Chalkboards and whiteboards were helpful so he could just rub out any lines he didn't like.  I'd encourage him to print his name on birthday cards if he was going to a party.  That was the one thing that made sense to him as being somewhat worth doing.  I bought him maze books because he liked mazes and I thought that would be a fun way to develop pen skills.  But he'd just trace through with his eyes or fingers.

 


This is my daughter, too!

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dharmamamaof2 View Post

 

Playing online MMP games helped a LOT with that - they had the desire to communicate in a way that could be understood by others. That's about typing, not handwriting - but it is writing!

Yes, there's writing and there's writing.  Both I think hinge a little on reading skills.  But that doesn't stop my 4.5yo.  Somehow, she'll write anything, signs, nonsense, the alphabet over and over and over.  She can read words here and there, but her writing habits predate her reading by at least a year or more.  We do have a typewriter, but I guess it's been put away for a while from (temporary) disinterest.

 

 

I did just have a bit of a thought--dd1 likes to read whole words and speeds through unfamiliar words.  She'll pronounce the first 2 or 3 letters then try to guess.  a bit like the old game show "Name that Tune".  I imagine she will become one of those readers who tuck in a whole sentence at a glance!  

     Writing requires a one-letter-at-a-time patience, hand coordination and strength, none of which she has yet.  Hopefully her interest will grow as her reading skills gain confidence.
 

 


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