In need of writing ideas for 7yo who is not a big fan of writing - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-31-2009, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 7yo son really does not enjoy writing and especially anything in complete sentences or paragraphs. I got him a fun journal to work on this year, but he is really keeping it short and sweet. I am trying to have him write a little something each week about whatever we are working on for Language Arts, but today he just was not happy at all about it. His writing is very good, with the exception that at times he does confuse his d with a b and gets frustrated having to fix it. I never make a big deal about it. He will work doing copywork, but if it is any kind of organized thought on paper he fusses.
He loves to color, draw and read so I thought that this would naturally just fall into place, but it really is a source of frustration most days.
Has anyone else had a child who is not all that into writing?
Any tips to share?

Many thanks
Ann-Marie
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:23 PM
 
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I have the same problem with my 7 yo. This is our first year homeschooling, and my original plan was to get a good piece of writing from him every day. This has proven much easier said than done! I started out giving him writing assignments related to what we are studying (how was life different for prehistoric people? Write a paragraph describing the water cycle, etc). This has not worked very well. I have had better luck giving him writing assignments based on his interests, like, "what do you think the next Star Wars movie will be about?" or "What is your favorite movie and why do you like it so much?" "What would you like to do on our beach vacation next week?" and stuff like this. I have also been letting him do some writing on the word processor instead of on paper, which he seems to enjoy. But we are still having a great deal of trouble and to be honest I am starting to wonder if it would be better to send him back to school!
Good luck to you!

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Old 08-31-2009, 06:58 PM
 
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Have you looked at the Writing with Ease stuff? The assignments are really short- and it separates the writing process out for younger kids. Original thoughts are dictated to mom to write, and kids do copywork to practice the mechanics.

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Old 08-31-2009, 07:17 PM
 
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Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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Old 08-31-2009, 09:37 PM
 
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My son didn't like to write until he was about 12 or 13 then it just took off from there.

How about having him draw comics with dialogue and story line?
Story starters where they are given a sentence or a few sentences and then had to complete the thought.
Get together with a friend and have them write a story. Its so much fun when you aren't doing it alone.
Write postcards.
Get pen or e-mail pals.
Write out grocery lists
Copywork
Start a story by you writing a sentence first, then he write one, then you...
Read a Pick Your Own Ending book and leave off the last bit, have him finish the ending.
Help him write a letter to the editor of a newspaper or his favourite magazine.

In one of my writing classes, the teacher always had something on the board when we came in. A thought, quote, etc. We had 5 minutes to write our thoughts on it. He didn't care if it was one sentence or a page. Five minutes was not a long time and is doable especially if they only want to write one sentence.

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Old 08-31-2009, 10:51 PM
 
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I am a huge fan of writing and language arts in general. The subject actually excites me -- weird, I know. But the truth is -- your son is very young! Seven year olds are not ready to write a lot on their own. At his age, he is more in the "Jot it Down" stage. You will get amazing writing out of him if he talks and you write or type. Kids have a lot to say...it's the physical act of writing and getting those thoughts on paper that is tough in the beginning. I would start out doing the physical act of writing for him while he generates the writing in his mind and tells you. You will then ease into the next phase in the years to come where he starts to write more on his own.

I teach writing in my co op using the Bravewriter approach to writing. You can learn more about this at www.bravewriter.com . I can't recommend the program enough! I absolutely love it! I have taught writing to 4th - 7th graders and seen them grow in their abilities and in their confidence and love for the subject!
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:38 PM
 
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hey ann-marie,

i'm using peggy kaye's "games for writing" with my almost 8 year old. we really LOVE it! i'm also using LLATL (learning language arts through literature). we have tweaked it a little - but i really like it. it is charlotte mason inspired, and covers spelling, grammar, and composition. if interested, email me. i'd be glad to share with you. the ideas in the book are adapted from ruth beechick & would be very easy to use with any literature. you've gotten some other really great advice as well!!

hth.
amy

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Old 08-31-2009, 11:53 PM
 
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I found a journal type composition book that had a space on top for a picture and lines forr writing beneith it. I ask my ds to draw a picture of a topic and then write 5 sentences. It keeps him from getting frustrated because it is a finite number of lines. Might not be the best but it works for us.
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:14 AM
 
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Here are some very good previous threads:

Reluctant writers
Encouraging reading
Need ideas for encouraging 8 year old to write


I think he's pretty young for anything other than something very short and sweet. To sit and think/compose, do the spelling, do the handwriting, do the punctuation - those are lots of things going on at once for a child his age. Many children years older than him are still struggling with this. I'd suggest letting him do and enjoy whatever copy work he likes, and just toss in some writing that comes along for real life reasons. Writing really doesn't need to start quite so young in order to be successful in later years when he has something to write about. - Lillian
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:28 AM
 
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Check out http://www.excellenceinwriting.com/ -- this is the program we use. The general premise is to separate out the creative/imagination parts of writing from the structuring parts of writing. I'm oversimplyfing. Pregnancy brain really bad here. Basically, young children are overwhelmed by the idea of coming up with ideas on their own. Even with story starts and stuff it can just be too much. So instead, the IEW program has kids learn structure by doing key word outlines of a simple fable, identify the beginning, middle, and conclusion, then rewrite into three paragraphs using their own words, the keywords they identify, and then gradually build up skills in descriptive language and such. All steps are doable because they are gradual and building on what the child can already do (sort of Saxon or Suzuki method). So rather than generate all the ideas and have to deal with structure and grammar and spelling.... the creative stuff is already there, the structure is there for them to learn from, and by using a guide they produce something they can be proud of and learn the process along the way.
just another perspective
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:57 AM
 
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We have them write letters to their favorite places. ( On of my dd wrote to Dennys and they sent her a huge amount gift card LOL)

Just a short letter stating what they like about the place, or that they had a good time. 99% of the time they get a reply which they love!

*~Kelly~*
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:36 AM
 
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My son was a little younger when found him a penpal.

I actually found someone here on MDC who had a dd who wanted a penpal too and I answered her post. They have been writing, exchanging photo's and other things through the mail for five years now!

This was a practical and tangible way for him to learn to write, and it has real meaning for him. I highly suggest a penpal!

Just to add we live on the west coast of Canada in a big city, his penpal, who also homeschools lives on the east coast of the U.S. on a farm. Their lives are very different and they have formed a lovely friendship. Who doesn't love to get a letter in the mail as well

There's nothing you can know that isn't known. ~ John Lennon
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:08 AM
 
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Design his very own "in the house" mail box and write letters to him and have him reply back.

Play a game where you and him don't speak but only write back and forth on a piece of paper. the only time you are allowed to speak is to ask him what something says. He can answer but then it's back to silence.
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:08 AM
 
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Writing out lists of what they want for Christmas. Or next birthday, or both.
Not sure I should admit this... but mine like to write out lists of best friends, and worst enemies.
Get updated weekly in our house.

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Old 09-01-2009, 08:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by khenn View Post
I am a huge fan of writing and language arts in general. The subject actually excites me -- weird, I know.
I've always loved writing too. The fact that my 7 yr old DD doesn't really baffles me. I figured she's a girl and she'll be like me. but nope!

My DD gets a lot of her writing time in on doing various assignments within her subjects. A word here and there or a sentence here and there. It works for now. She also likes to write on paper when she feels the urge and is playing with her toys and then the problem is her misspelling a lot of words.

Proud *single* mom to 3 amazing kiddos
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Old 09-01-2009, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Fabulous ideas ladies

I am not trying to get him to write novels or anything, I just don't want him to immediately be upset once he realizes he has to write something. Thank you for reinforcing the idea that it is still early to expect much from him this way. He does write and writes well and often, but nothing organized as far as paragraph form. We worked on his writing lesson yesterday together and he wrote two sentences and then I wrote the rest. Really at this age I would be happier if he were able to tell me his thoughts and I could write them for him. I just wanted reassurance that he was not off track, kwim?

Quote:
Design his very own "in the house" mail box and write letters to him and have him reply back.
I do love this idea though : When I was little my Dad and I used to write notes back and forth for years and I still have them and love them dearly!
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:02 PM
 
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He does write and writes well and often, but nothing organized as far as paragraph form. We worked on his writing lesson yesterday together and he wrote two sentences and then I wrote the rest. Really at this age I would be happier if he were able to tell me his thoughts and I could write them for him. I just wanted reassurance that he was not off track, kwim?

I do love this idea though : When I was little my Dad and I used to write notes back and forth for years and I still have them and love them dearly!
Oh, paragraph form - I think that would be a lot for his age. I know that neither my son nor myself, a generation earlier, were writing paragraphs at that age. Although something I learned about being on track is that there really isn't one that everyone needs to be on. It's the big picture - the long term goals - that matter, and those can very often be best met by staying off the main track and letting the child explore his own route.

The idea of personal notes is great. I know of one mom and daughter who used to leave little love notes around the house for one another to find - those were special treats for both of them. I think someone in this forum said she'd been doing something like that too. Lillian
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Old 09-01-2009, 03:23 PM
 
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:49 PM
 
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Look at lap-booking. www.homeschoolshare.com has tons to get you started. DD said she wanted to learn about dolphins. HSS has several topics with "pre-made forms" to help you make a lap-book. We printed off most of the "forms" for her to write her information on. It's fun because it involves cutting, gluing, coloring, finding both web and print sources for information (anything that gets us a trip to the library!) We are starting our first lapbook today, so we will see how it goes. I've already learned a ton about dolphins that I had no idea about!
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:52 PM
 
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another lap-booking site http://www.lapbooklessons.com/
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Old 09-02-2009, 12:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elizawill View Post
hey ann-marie,

i'm using peggy kaye's "games for writing" with my almost 8 year old. we really LOVE it! i'm also using LLATL (learning language arts through literature). we have tweaked it a little - but i really like it. it is charlotte mason inspired, and covers spelling, grammar, and composition. if interested, email me. i'd be glad to share with you. the ideas in the book are adapted from ruth beechick & would be very easy to use with any literature. you've gotten some other really great advice as well!!

hth.
amy
Oooh, ooh! We just got "Games for Writing"! and it looks pretty good---we also got "Games for Reading" which I am super impressed with and will be implementing as soon as I have a chance to go through the book and digest it a little bit more.

To the OP--
Are you okay with letting him dictate stories/poems/etc. to you? I know my DD would be overwhelmed by physically writing out the letters, but will practice her story-telling skills by letting me write down her words. I think that's okay if you feel like his handwriting is fine and just want to help him grow in the creative writing skills.

Happy and in love with my family!
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Old 09-02-2009, 06:45 PM
 
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My 9yo DS hates writing. Seriously. Imagine both of us sitting at the desk in tears during writing assignments, thats the level of "hates writing" I'm talking about.

I've been beyond my wits end, to the point that we actually walked away from writing assignments for about 6 months.

We're slowly creeping back into it right now. One of the biggest things we've done it separate composition and penmanship.

Work is created on the computer because typing comes so much easier to DS. Penmanship is all copy work at this point.

By breaking writing into two part it seems much less overwhelming. Still not an easy subject for us, but going so much more smoothly.

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Old 09-02-2009, 06:49 PM
 
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I was not a big fan of writing so my mom would make a game out of it. she would have me make up a pet (or some of the like), an out of this world pet! She would have me write down what it looked like, the fun things it did, where it lived and other things. It was a great way for me to use my imagination and learn/write and not even know it!

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Old 09-03-2009, 04:17 AM
 
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Annapooh, thanks for the lapbook links. They are exactly the kind of thing my 7 year old dd will enjoy for this racoon project she was wanting to start tomorrow. I was looking at the template pages. How exactly does the lapbook work? Do you read the suggested books and then fill in the blanks?

:SaHM to 3 *DD* DD2 * DS
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Old 09-03-2009, 12:58 PM
 
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I just got my son to start a blog and weekly I want him to write about what he liked most learning about that week and we will post a picture we are just starting this week though- he is excited about it and it gets him writing and practice using the keyboard. I also just bought a writing program from RR i will post link later although its geared for 3-5 I defintaly feel it more 2-3 grade level the info is very short and sweet and the stories are REALLY REALLY interesting I LOVED reading through them. heres link http://www.rainbowresource.com/produ...1989981-710146 THere is one story that talks about how GOD made plants or somthing like that so we will just skip over that but everything elese looks secular

WE also tried yeserday doing the actiity someone else posted about the writing a story dice game were you choose a topic the each take turn rolling the die to add words to the story, my son got so into it he wanted to keep writing MORE than the die said. WE used a silly Topic like ICE CREAM DREAM and we came up with a very silly story about an Ice cream Island

Penpals are always good to but we have never had any luck keeping one that will continue to write back now DS is discouraged about penpals

Betsy, Mommy to DS (10) DD (4) DS (2) and DS (1)
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:13 PM
 
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Annapooh, thanks for the lapbook links. They are exactly the kind of thing my 7 year old dd will enjoy for this racoon project she was wanting to start tomorrow. I was looking at the template pages. How exactly does the lapbook work? Do you read the suggested books and then fill in the blanks?

Sorry this is so late in posting... I have not taken time to log on in a while. We just started our lapbook about dolphins last week. We looked at the library for suggested and similar books. We also looked for information online. You can include anything you like that fits in your dd age-ranage. Facts about racoons; habitat, food, sleep patterns, defenses, etc. You can mini "books" or pictures that coorelate to the topic. If racoons eat berries, you can even do a math book with berries and adding/subtracting etc. You read books and webpages and then can list what you read in your lapbook.

I also you-tubed a video on making one because I am slow like that!
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Old 09-16-2009, 03:14 PM
 
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Here's a link to a story-starters site. We are going to try the sample and see what we think.
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:20 AM
 
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My 9 yo ds loves writing fan mail letter to whatever actors he's into at the moment. We send a sase, my ds writes a short letter and asks for a picture or 2, so it's a great incentive to write when they get a picture, sometimes autographed, in return.

~Karen, mom to a super 10 year old and a sweet little guy (12-15-08)
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Old 09-17-2009, 05:04 PM
 
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Here's a link to a story-starters site. We are going to try the sample and see what we think.

Maybe I should post the link part?!

http://www.jjmdesigns.com/storystarter2.htm
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Old 09-17-2009, 05:06 PM
 
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My 9 yo ds loves writing fan mail letter to whatever actors he's into at the moment. We send a sase, my ds writes a short letter and asks for a picture or 2, so it's a great incentive to write when they get a picture, sometimes autographed, in return.
DD 14 doesn't like to write so much either. He is writing a letter to the makers of World of Warcraft to tell them how much he likes the game, and ask for a poster for the new update coming out. Hope it works!
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