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Reading/writing reluctance

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August 17th, 2006, 02:09 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 37
My 8 yr. old 3rd grade boy absolutely HATES to do his reading and writing work. I'm so frustrated with it! This year we went with curriculum that includes a spelling workbook (includes writing words every day but in response to different things), language arts workbook (requires two sentences daily using correct form of whatever we learned that day), and vocabulary workbook (synonyms, antonyms...requires copying answers from potential word list). Then we have cursive writing practice, journaling (sometimes copywork, sometimes creative) and reading (currently The Whipping Boy). Sometimes this routine takes us from 8:30 a.m. to noon!! That seems like too much time (and too much whining). I don't know what to do!
I have discovered that he understands most of these concepts and can give me corrects answers orally but when he has to write things down, not only does he take forever but his answers are often incorrect. I feel like I'm going to give him "I'm just not good enough" syndrome. He still confuses b's and d's and writes 3's and 5's backwards half the time, his hand-writing is not in any way neat (sometimes can't tell what letters are or whether they're capital or not). I've also discovered that he never learned, in his *wonderful* K and 1st grade education, how to form letters correctly. I think half his b and d confusion is in writing the stick-part first for both instead of the circle first for the d- am I making sense?
Trying to wrap this post up.... I don't want to torture him into doing all this work just to make him hate trying to write at all but I also don't want him to never learn to do it well. DH insists it's just a boy thing to hate writing (his 4 yr. old sister is currently begging to learn to read and write) and I should just force him to do it all. This also creates conflict because I'm trying to do K with DD and caring for 2 mo. old son- I just can't spend all morning with him on reading/writing! We still have math, history, and our specials for the day to do!! Does anyone else have a 3rd grader? How much writing are they doing in a day? How well do they spell? Can you read what they write? Am I expecting too much from him? Should I go back to the basics and teach him to form letters correctly? If so, do I still make him write his 3rd grade work or let him do it orally?
I know this is a lot of questions but I'm really at the end of my rope! Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated! The emotional/mental health and education of a sweet little boy are riding on me figuring this out!!
TIA!!! Mindy Lee
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August 17th, 2006, 03:45 PM
joandsarah77's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 5,547
{{{hugs}}} to you, that must be so frustrating. It sounds like he is still having trouble with the macanics of writing. I think if it was me, I'de be cutting that way way back. This is my take on it, boys can be a lot slower to develop the hand skills to write neatly. Given time his hand writing will improve weather he is made to do 2 lines or all kinds of diffrent writting excersises. That time can pass relativly painlessly (dosn't mean there wont be some complaints lol) or be 'torture' filled. lol I know what I would go for. I would do as much oraly as possible, then I would require maybe 2 lines of copy work depending on how long I knew it would take him. If I knew this to take say 1/2 an hour I would probably change that requirement to 10 minutes. I think for him, after awhile, knowing the time has an end it will help him relax a bit. I would try keybordeing on the computer for creative writting and scrap the rest. If it is a nature journal and he enjoys drawing I would continue with that but not require any writing. I would scrap the rest of the writing asignments. I think instead I would add in some work with clay (great for excersising the hand) and a little wood work.
Hope things get better soon.

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August 17th, 2006, 09:08 PM
KarateMom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2004
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I don't really have many answers for your questions because I don't have a 3rd grader yet and I don't really know what is too much to expect from them. However, I do think that it might be a good idea to find some way to trim down the work so that you're not going through so much drama each day. It's got to be draining on both of you.
As for the d and b thing - I tell Reilly that "b" has a belly (circle in front) and that "d" has a derierre (circle in back). She thinks this is very amusing, so if you can get him to slow down and think about it while he's writing, the funny little visual of a letter with either a belly or a butt might help him...does that make sense? I hope any of this helped!
-- Lisa --
Wife to my best friend Troy, mom to Reilly and Declan

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August 17th, 2006, 10:01 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: ohio
Posts: 3,657
I only have a kindergadener but I'd bring him back to just writing his letters and numbers. Until you can understand the letters. If you can teaching him to type while he gets the writing macanics down may be easier for him and more fun to do his spelling and vocabulary lessons or use magnats on the refrige. Typing may get him to realize he is a great writer. I would keep doing your other work just modify writeing. You could do spelling jumbles or word searches.

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August 18th, 2006, 06:35 AM
Jenneve's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 2,933
You have gotten some great advice so far. I think if it were me, I'd do as much orally as possible. I don't think all the writting is going to get it in his head any faster. Especially if he hates it so much. You could still use the journaling and copy work time as handwritting practice. My ds (7) is not a very neat writter either although he does seem to enjoy writting.
I've also discovered that he never learned, in his *wonderful* K and 1st grade education, how to form letters correctly.[/b]
I think this is also alot of my ds's problem with handwritting. I think we're going to have to go back to basics and teach him the correct way to form letters. Good luck in whatever you choose to do.
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