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Writing... all things considered... how long?

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March 17th, 2011, 11:26 AM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Lonestar State
Posts: 50,214
If your child is 5-6 years old, or think back for older kids when they were 5-6 years old, how long did they spend writing each day? That includes, handwriting, math, drawing pictures, coloring, etc. Anytime they had a pencil or color in hand using it. Because Ben has delayed motor skills, I don't know how much is normal. I don't know if I'm not pushing him enough, or if he's lazy, or what. He really doesn't write very much, but I don't know. Maybe I'm looking at him through the wrong perspective again. I would say, all things considered, he spends about 10 minutes per day doing writing, coloring, etc. I think he needs more, but I want your opinions first. His handwriting has gotten sloppy lately (more than usual), and I think that's directly related to his "spring is in the air" attention span. I get that. There are days when I don't feel like doing anything constructive, either. I'm ok with that. I just wonder in the grand scheme of things if he's ready to bump the level up to 15 or 20 minutes (or more).

Last edited by BensMom; March 17th, 2011 at 11:28 AM.
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March 17th, 2011, 11:36 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: San Antonio TX
Posts: 28,853
Fritz is 4 and in kindergarten. In school he probably spends 5 minutes writing. On his own he spends 45-60 minutes a day writing. He loves writing. My older two probably did about 30-45 minutes a day on their own back when they were 5 or 6.

~Heather, wife to Jamie (15 years; June 5, 1998) and mom to
Ani - 14 (February 15, 2000), Cameron - 12 (October 3, 2001),
Fritz - 7 (July 11, 2006), and Adrian - 5 (June 19, 2008)
Smaller on the Outside

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March 17th, 2011, 12:15 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Lonestar State
Posts: 50,214
That's what I thought. I think maybe I'm a pushover. He needs to spend more time writing and less time whining.
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March 17th, 2011, 01:15 PM
Frackel's Avatar DOh!
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: In my house :p
Posts: 1,288
Best way to get kids, especially with delays but really any kid(we've been through this with both Alyssia and Leo, lol) to begin writing more, or using their hands more is to sneak it in
These are some of the things we've done and been told to do(this was to help with PT and OT). Some kids simply don't LIKE to write, or really use their hands, they get tired, they get bored and if they're used to not doing it, you have to find creative ways to work it in until they get used to it. They may not like it still, but at least you know they can and their bodies/brains are getting used to being *able to.
You could always ask him to do "one more paper" than usual, or write "one more word" than normal, you know, start really small.
Give them a new surface(obviously one you can clean) or even a new medium you wouldn't normally allow(dry erase markers wipe off more surfaces than you'd normally think too, they wipe right off all of our appliances, lol). Chalk is a really great one, because it can be washed off most surfaces easily, and doesn't harm others to allow nature to wash it off(plus the texture of it, as long as the child can stand it, is different). We've used trees, outdoor furniture, sidewalks, rocks, the living room table, different textured papers, cardboard all sorts of things.
You can even do finger writing in just about any kind of medium. I know it's not the same as actually holding a utensil, but it helps tremendously to get the child *interested in doing more-and some of the physical aspects too.
We did a lot of "write me an A, or draw me a(insert object) in your (insert food item) with your fork/spoon" too. Sounds weird, but, it helps a lot too.
We've had to take breaks from writing, and other skills, before too.

Of course sometimes we come to the point of "am I pushing you hard enough, or am I being a bit too relaxed with this" too. I think when you're dealing with children in general it's easy to hit that, but children with different delays(or even advanced areas) it's super easy to fall into that rut. You can always *try and push a little harder, but be prepared for resistance, lol. If it works, you've pretty much answered your question, lol. If it doesn't, kiddo may just not be ready yet.

There are very few times, especially with Alyssia that I would ever *truly push a skill. I had all clear indicators that she was simply fighting me, fighting the skill, fighting the thought, simply because she could. It wasn't that she didn't grasp the skill, or truly couldn't do it yet, or I was asking for too much. She was just being stubborn, lol. Most times, I am extremely relaxed. She still has food issues, oral aversions and times when it's darn near impossible to get food into her. Sometimes it's pure stubbornness, sometimes it's just a regression, sometimes she's sick. Those are areas I don't push at ALL. But when her fine motor skills are doing a bit of sliding back-I tend to be a bit tougher. Only because I KNOW she can, she knows she can, shes just testing limits. She never truly regresses with her fine motor skills-it's her gross motor skills that she regresses in. Those we take in stride, but not the skills I know she can do.

Not sure that really helps any at all.

At 5-6 she was not even doing 10 minutes of real writing, to be honest. She was busy working on other skills. So those took a back seat. She was still on her mic-key at that point and we had more important things to worry about. She used to love coloring when she was younger(spending most of your life in a hosoital bed does that to ya) but she did regress after a bad case of pneumonia in just about all areas. It took a long time to come back from that.
Alexis at that age loved to color, write, draw, whatever have you so she could have easily spent hours a day actually doing it, lol.
Leo probably fell somewhere around the 1-2hour range. Mostly because of OT and PT though, was just kind of part of our process, you know? So it naturally happened. But he's always liked coloring and drawing too, even when he couldn't really write letters and words.
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March 17th, 2011, 02:26 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Lonestar State
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Yeah, that's a problem. He's hated coloring or art or whatever from the moment he was born. I told him we're adding one "color by number" page to each day's list of school activities because (1) he needs to color a lot better than one shade scribbled across the page and (2) color by number means he actually has to follow directions and use normal colors. He likes to grab whatever color is first and make the whole page that color.

I just had him do his first one. It turned out pretty well, which tells me he CAN do it, he just doesn't WANT to do it. Punk.
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March 17th, 2011, 03:07 PM
Frackel's Avatar DOh!
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Haha, Leo does the SAME thing, with the one color thing. Drives me nuts, lol.

I love color by numbers pages though. He's come to like them more and more as well.
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March 17th, 2011, 05:19 PM
TaraJo29's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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My son Isaiah who turned 6 in Sept loves to draw & write. All my kids do. He writes "books" (like comic books) on his own (like 1 every other day lately). Of course it's all spelled wrong and his HW is pretty atrocious, but he is obsessed with it. He also cuts things out all the time and steals my tape and tapes his creations all over his room. DH and I both are pretty artsy, though, so it may be in our kids' genes to create things. I would say he spends at least an hour writing or drawing every day. Sometimes 2-3 hrs as sometimes I wake up an hour after they do and they have been writing, drawing, cutting (i.e. making a big mess ) in the school room for a while before I even come down.
Mom to Titus (12), Isaiah (10), Noelle (8), Joel (6), Hannah (4), Elijah (1), and baby due Nov 4!

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March 18th, 2011, 03:31 PM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 336
Sounds like you've got a lot of great ideas given to you, but something you might like to try is mazes. You could even laminate them and use dry-erase markers.

Secondly, you might like to get the colour-by-numbers that have addition or subtraction sums on them. (eg. if the answer is 6 colour it red).

I think 10 min of formal writing is plenty for a 5 year old boy. Physiologically, sitting still is hard for them still.
but if you can sneak in a few other informal bits through out the day it will be good.
Liz (30), mum to Mia (5) and Aiden (3)

Check out my blog: http://sproutschool.wordpress.com/
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March 19th, 2011, 12:05 PM
mommytutu's Avatar mom to Emma & Jacqueline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Bradenton, Fl
Posts: 13,831
DD spends about 5 minutes a day on structured writing (handwriting without tears) She does some writing in phonics and math too, so probably a total of 15 minutes of writing all together.

She doesn't really like coloring. She says it makes her hands cramp up. She'll only color if it's a picture she really really really likes. She will, however, do mazes for hours (she has gone through a whole maze book in one day before!) She also likes to draw on the white erase board, and she really enjoys making cards to send to her friends and our family. Paintings is also favorite, and I'll use painting with a small paintbrush to encourage her to write letters, words, and draw defined shapes/patterns and detailed pictures. Usually she willl draw stick figures or animals and then write their names underneath it without being prompted.
Kayttie, in love with Shane, mom to Emma Brynn and Jacqueline Noel

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March 19th, 2011, 12:08 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Lonestar State
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He used to love mazes, but since his Lego discovery, he doesn't like anything BUT Legos anymore. I got his maze books back out and told him he should work on them.
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March 20th, 2011, 08:04 PM
in_mommy's Avatar I am just me
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 14,873
They do journal each day where they can write about whatever, usually only a small paragraph sometimes they do more if they want. A bit of handwriting each day, math is writing, and 5-10 minutes of grammar which is not much writing at all. I can't think of much else. Oh I forgot about art on Monday's. Then whatever drawing/writing they want to do on their own each day.
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March 21st, 2011, 12:40 PM
Tofu Bacon
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We really haven't done much seat-work, so any writing has been just random stuff that he does on his own, like writing little notes to me, or signs to hang up around the house.
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March 23rd, 2011, 02:17 PM
JustAKrazymom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Jadziah is in 2nd grade and she does min of 45-60 minutes of writing with her school work. She does probably a good hour plus on her own time.

Taejan is 5.5 and doing kindergarten and does about 20 minutes of writing with his lessons then he is always drawling.writing etc on his own. Declan is doing 4th grade and has a good 2-3 hours of writing a day..

I think to consider your child at a 2ns grade level they must be doing more writing.. but that's just me..
Homeschooling "soccer mom" by day.. crazy bartender by night
Noah 17,Declan 10, Jadziah 8, Taejan 6
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March 26th, 2011, 06:13 PM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 784
Miguel's 8 and doesn't do more then 15 min of writing a day. Three sentences is hard for him to write. We are going to work on typing next year to hopefully help his ideas get out better.
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