What do you do for writing for 6 year old/ 1st grader? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 09-29-2008, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Especially when you don't use a curriculum? What do you have your dc write? Do you do writing everyday?
My 6 year old son doesn't like writing so it is a battle everytime when we sit down to do it.
TIA

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#2 of 17 Old 09-29-2008, 02:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by naturallyspeaking View Post
Especially when you don't use a curriculum? What do you have your dc write? Do you do writing everyday?
My 6 year old son doesn't like writing so it is a battle everytime when we sit down to do it.
TIA
Some are still struggling at age 8 and later - readiness varies an awful lot. He may very well just not be developmentally ready for writing - and as long as he's not in a school classroom setting, there's no need to push it. If you do include some writing every day, I'd keep it extremely brief and positive, incorporating it into something that's useful - like addressing a postcard or letter to a grandparent or writing a caption under a photo. And using some beautiful colored pencils like the bright, waxy, Lyra pencils can be a huge enhancement of the whole thing - and their Ferby line uses a triangular shape to assist the grip. - Lillian
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#3 of 17 Old 09-29-2008, 02:19 PM
 
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My middle guy is 5 and we don't do any writing work at all. IF he is interested we do form drawing or just coloring, cutting and pasting. If he's not interested, what's the point?

My eldest guy is now 9 and JUST getting to the point where writing is becoming enjoyable. I try to give him ideas/inspirations for writing everyday...whether it's a letter to a friend or a grandparent, labeling planets in the universe that he has created in his imagination, shopping lists, parts lists....whatever works.

When he was 6-ish sometimes we'd play a game to do a bit of writing. His favorite was 'restaurant' wherein he wrote up the menu and played the part of the waiter. It was fun for all of us.

What else? Making a calendar, writing the days of the week, months of the year, holidays, family birthdays...etc.

If you feel that your child should be practicing writing more often, I've always found it much easier to blend it into daily life.

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#4 of 17 Old 09-29-2008, 03:11 PM
 
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My DD can't stand to write. We use a pre-packaged curriculum. She has opportunities to write in spelling, math, science and history. Some things will ask her to write sentences and she is no where near ready for that so I will ask her questions and then write the ones that require long answers myself. Then at times she will write very short sentences, just depends. She does well on lessons that ask her to put math answers, one letter of the alphabet, or something like that. I'm more concerned with her reading than I am with her writing at this age.

My DD truly hates to write and gets bored easily. I have to make sure I spread out her lessons so there aren't many that require writing on each day of the week. After three kids I thought I'd finally have one that loves to write just like dear ole mom, but nope (not yet anyway).

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#5 of 17 Old 09-29-2008, 03:55 PM
 
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We use Handwriting without Tears (which is a handwriting curriculum, but the workbook and teachers manual are only $13 together) and we do one page daily and love it. My 4.5 year old is in the K book and my 7 year old is just beginning the 2nd grade book.

I write about it some on my blog.

I can say that the method they use has been a life saver for my son with fine motor delays and it saved my dd who had developed poor handwriting habits from too much writing without proper instruction. I swear by it.
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#6 of 17 Old 09-29-2008, 05:22 PM
 
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We also use HWT. My newly 6yo is using the 1st grade book right now. We use the K book last year. My 4yo is using the pre-K book. They seem to really enjoy it.

Carrie, mom to Johnathan (7-02), Brodie (2-04), Kate (12-06), Jordan (9-08), (4-09) & Maggie (3-10)
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#7 of 17 Old 09-29-2008, 05:22 PM
 
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nothing
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#8 of 17 Old 09-29-2008, 06:19 PM
 
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Writing encompasses so much. For new writers I think it is helpful to think of the tasks as separate.

a)Imagining the story, or forumlating what needs to be communicated through the written word

b)Spelling

c)sentence structure, punctuation, grammar, vocabulary

d)Handwriting

We don't use a curriculum. What my 6 y.o. has done in the past week to practice these skills (some of these activities were designed/suggested by me, others completely her own ideas):

a)Created a little spiral bound book, The Culture of Unicorns and More,'which she illustrated with scrap paper and unicorn stickers she purchased as a vacation souvenior. She dictated the words to me as I typed them. Once printed she glued the passages into place. It is an extremely cool little book!


b and d)She likes to play a spelling game I adapted from some games in Peggy Kaye's Writing Games. I write 1 *spelling* word at the top of a sheet of paper. (For example, pig - she was having trouble identifying short i sounds when we were reading, and more practice turning p and g the right directions!) She then has 60 seconds to copy that word as many times as she can. She gets 1 penny for each time the copied it, as long as it is legible and spelled correctly. Then, and this is the fun part for her, I give her more words to spell orally. She pays me back 1 penny each time she makes a mistake. So I say, okay, now write "wig." "Oh, shoot, I didnt stump you that time. Try this one then: "wag." She gets it wrong, so I give her a hint, then fuss when I don't get another penny, etc. She LOVES this silliness.

c) We have been enjoying another Peggy Kaye game with sentences. Take a long random list of fun words, heavy on adverbs and adjectives to encourage more complex sentences. Roll a die and try to make a sentence with the next 2, 5, whatever number you roll, words on the list. (We actually use a die on which I have changed the 5 to 2 and the 6 to 3.) I write the sentences down and will say, "that's not one sentence, try again." So she gets sentence structure and sees punctuation.


Like other posters, we find there are many little tasks throughout the week that encourage writing - making a birthday card for a friend, writing a shopping list for a favorite recipe, etc.
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#9 of 17 Old 09-29-2008, 06:20 PM
 
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My 6yr old is pretty good at writing, not so much at reading. He likes to write compared to "read" or try to learn, anyway.

I have dp print worksheets here and there and he writes w/ those sometimes. But he learned by just drawing and creating...turned into writing things. Like Star Wars is written on everything he makes

My 5 yr old hates to write. I'll ask (just to offer when ds2 is writing) and sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn't. We focus on creating, drawing, etc w/ him. He seems so frustrated w/ writing so we don't.

My 4 yr old writes his name and other things on his own. He really likes to do this, I imagine b/c he sees the older 2 doing this. He was doing this since 3 yrs old...not something the other 2 did. Each babe is just so different!
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#10 of 17 Old 09-29-2008, 06:40 PM
 
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We did very little for writing at 6. Ds#1's fine motor skills were still just developing. What we did do was either Handwriting Without Tears or some small copywork (I would give him a very short sentence and he'd copy it). This year at 7, his skills and control have improved drastically and we continue with copywork and HWT. As a reference, we use Writing With Ease by Susan Wise Bauer.

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#11 of 17 Old 09-29-2008, 09:09 PM
 
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My son is in a virtual academy this year, but he absolutely loathes handwriting and I've quite honestly decided not to fight him on it right now. I requested an evaluation for dysgraphia for him (because they won't just let a child not write) and have been taking dictation & writing hand-over-hand with him in the meantime. The discrepancy between his abilities to write and just about everything else is great enough that he actually throws tantrums when forced to write, because it's so slow and painful compared to the way that he thinks. He's learning to type now, and if he does get a diagnosis of dysgraphia he'll be eligible for OT services through his school to work on his fine motor skills (which are, in general, sorely lacking... not to mention being about 3.5 years behind his weakest academic skills).

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#12 of 17 Old 09-29-2008, 09:46 PM
 
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Nothing. Mine is 7 and would be in "second grade" if he were in school. Like a pp said, his drawings started including words and then sentences. Now, he makes little story-books for fun.
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#13 of 17 Old 09-29-2008, 10:37 PM
 
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My first-grader writes on her own a lot -- making up lists or stories, making cards, writing letters so she can teach her brother, etc. Plus sometimes she feels like doing workbooks, and sometimes those have writing practice. So I don't do a lot of formal writing practice with her. A couple of times a week, I ask her to copy a couple of lines, but that's it. She doesn't really care for being made to write, but she doesn't mind doing a couple of lines -- it doesn't take long, and it's few enough letters that she can really focus on doing them well and correctly, and then she's very proud of herself.

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#14 of 17 Old 09-29-2008, 10:54 PM
 
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So, for sake of conversation...those of you who don't do formal handwriting teaching, are you not concerned about bad letter forming habits or penmanship problems in the future?

Before HWT I had done no instruction with dd but she did free writing on her own. She was 5 and some. Her letters were poorly formed, she was forming them in the wrong order (like the top of the T before the stem, or starting her letter at the bottom) and her pencil grasp was horrendous. It got to the point where if she spent more then 15 minutes writing she would complain that it hurt her hand and she wasn't writing as much in that amount of time as she wanted to be (or perhaps even should be. Even one sentence was a battle.) After doing HWT and fixing her errors though that method of instruction she writes now (7.4) freely without discomfort, her letters are formed in the proper order which increases speed and legibility, and she enjoys writing for school and on her own (journal, letters, etc.) much more than previously.

I feel by letting kids discover writing 100% on there own without method teaching you may be setting them up for handwriting problems in the future.

thoughts? (without tomatoes!)
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#15 of 17 Old 09-29-2008, 11:42 PM
 
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I do worry about bad habits forming with respect to handwriting, but I'm far more concerned about bad habits surrounding learning in general. For BeanBean, concentrating on handwriting makes *everything* about school a pain in the neck. I don't want Bean to associate learning with physical pain, or to associate effort with a complete lack of success, and that's what we get when I try to push the handwriting issue right now. It's physically painful, and even when he works as hard as he can and writes as neatly as possible it takes *forever* and it's barely legible (if at all). I'd rather concentrate on developing his fine motor skills as a separate endeavor and allow him to work on academics at his intellectual level, rather than the level his handwriting would dictate.

Rynna, Mama to Bean (8), Boobah (6), Bella (4) and Bear (2)
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#16 of 17 Old 09-29-2008, 11:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahdoula View Post
So, for sake of conversation...those of you who don't do formal handwriting teaching, are you not concerned about bad letter forming habits or penmanship problems in the future?

I feel by letting kids discover writing 100% on there own without method teaching you may be setting them up for handwriting problems in the future.

thoughts? (without tomatoes!)
: or ? LOL.

About 7months ago I was seriously considering HWT or something similar because my 6yo's writing skills were not so great. I decided to give him time and it's improved considerably without a 'formal' program. He will write short notes to family members and we did work a bit on writing his full name, address and phone number (but that was more to help him memorize it in case of emergency and while he still acts like writing more than about 5words at my request is just exhausting, when HE decides he wants to write something.. LOOK OUT! lol Don't get between this boy and his pencils :

I guess I don't see what kind of 'problems' in the future it would really cause? Lucas still makes some of his letters from the wrong direction and his writing isn't perfect of course, but I know that as he gets older he will sort it out.. might take work at that point, but much better imo than the proverbial tooth pulling that trying to make him write when and how I say. One has to choose their battles and that's just not the hill I want to die on

Pagan  lovin'  WOW playing mum to 5 boys in the wonderful land of Oz ... FOR THE HORDE! hehehe
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#17 of 17 Old 09-30-2008, 08:27 AM
 
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Honestly, I'm NOT worried about bad penmanship or letter writing issues because of what happened to me. I hold my pen in a very unconventional way despite lots of teacher intervention. And my handwriting has always been very messy. I loathed cursive because it was almost illegible (even to me) so I went back to printing as soon as school would allow it (jr high?) I don't even remember how to form most of my letters in cursive. I was thoroughly berated for penmanship all through school and it *really* affected my self-esteem.

Guess which assignments I always scored very high on? Yeah, you won't guess due to my online writing style. I was a fabulous essay writer back in my day. I even bluffed my way through an AP English test for a class I never took, in which studying consisted of quickly browsing through a grammar book the night before. I used to be a very good writer. I always received top marks for essays. I've also had an article published in grad school.

What does this have to do with penmanship? NOTHING. That's the point. My messy handwriting had no effect on my success as a writer. The only issue it presented is that my father and my teachers constantly berated me for the way it looked. But really, it didn't affect my grades. It didn't bother me. People actually could read it, even though it didn't look bubbly and pretty like the other girls' handwriting. It didn't stop me from writing quickly. It didn't hurt my hand. What's the big deal with penmanship?

So, no, I'm not concerned with penmanship. I want my kids to enjoy writing and to actually do it. I believe that they will do what is easiest and most comfortable for them and it will all work out. When I think back to how much I was harassed for crappy penmanship, I always felt and still feel that it was such a waste of time. What good did it do? None.

And ultimately, and I know people hate to hear this, we live in a day and age where computer printed correspondence is the norm. I think penmanship is an art of its own but that it's not valued as highly as it was in the days of handwritten memos and such.
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