I'm not a home schooling or unschooling mama. My kids are in public school, however, I'm fairly sure you wise moms can help me out. I'm looking for a writing curriculum to help my child out. According to my son's school he really struggles with writing. These issues are affecting his other classes as his school is really big on written projects in all subjects including reading, social studies, etc.
The areas that it seems to me my son struggles with are 1. Just getting started. He really struggles to get the initial ideas generated, and simply get pencil to paper and get started. 2. Organization. Not just how to organize the paper, but also how to keep track of all the pieces and parts while he works on it.
I think I can work with him on the first one. My feeling is that it's a bit of perfectionism, and confidence.
I really need help teaching him the second part. I'd love a good curriculum to help him organize his thoughts and keep track of it all while putting it together.
I think the two issues you identified are probably very strongly linked. I would suggest trying an approach called "concept mapping" which is useful for kids who tend not to naturally approach complex tasks and ideas in a linear fashion. Basically it's a visual approach to generating and organizing one's ideas, linking them, forming connections and such. You could try googling "mind mapping" or "concept mapping." There is a software package called Kidspiration which uses this approach. Their video will show you how it works. We've never used it, and I think it may be fairly pricey (as it's intended for the schools market); I suggest their video just because it shows you nicely how the concept mapping approach works. You don't need software of any sort to use the approach: in fact, a hands-on learner might love using index cards, push-pins, bits of string and a bulletin board more. Or a couple of pieces of paper would suffice.
Anyway, it's an approach that is used successfully in schools for kids who struggle with the sorts of issues you're describing in your ds. Might be worth a look-see.
Mountain mama to one great kid and three great grown-ups
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