Ladies, I need your help. We are in the process of converting to a more CM approach and I am thinking about what I want for each of the kids to learn. Of course we want to do the basics, but in particular I have a 12yo ds who not only despises writing, he really and truly stinks at it. His pencil grip is wrong, his letter formation and spacing is all over the place and in general he can’t process his thoughts and write them at the same time. He quickly gets frustrated and angry, and unfortunately so do I.
Any suggestions for ways to encourage him without frustrating him??? Like I said, I am in the process of ditching pretty much everything we have done for the last three years so we are willing to try anything.
I would work on oral narration and copywork first. Typing skills can also help a reluctant writer. One other thought would be, once the mechanics of writing are in place, to offer some sort of art curriculum like calligraphy. That can encourage the penmanship part.
Oh, I forgot to mention that you may want to center the copywork around something he is interested in, whether a good literature/history book, or science, whatever. As long as it is well-written, that can also help with the reluctance part.Sonya ShaferModerator
Yep, great counsel, CindyS. Back off on the “write your thoughts” for now and emphasize oral narration until he’s comfortable and good with it. Oral narration will help him organize and express his thoughts, which is foundational.
And with the copywork, remember Charlotte’s instruction to start with short lessons: 5-10 minutes to begin with. The short lessons will help relieve the “pressure” on him, and you can also use that time to get the habits of attention and doing your best in place. I love the idea of centering the copywork around something he’s interested in!creed001Member
Thanks so much, the outside pressure to push him to improve his writing has really been worrying me. That maybe somehow I’m letting him down by not forcing the issue. I just really wanted reassurance that it’s okay for him to only work for a few minutes a day on this, and then get onto the good stuff. My dh is scared that people will judge that we are falling down on the job, essentially his penmanship has not progressed beyond printing and even that looks very remedial and messy. He actually even experiences cramping in his hand and arm while writing, he’s gripping the pencil so hard. He loves pretty much everything to do with animals, the zoo, nature, so I will take ya’lls advice and get him started on a nature journal. Drawing and illustrating as it pleases him might help take the pressure off.
Thanks for the advice,
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