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  1. #1
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    Unhappy HELP!! I need a program for a reluctant writer

    My DS11 has a passion for hating writing. This is our first year homeschooling and he enjoys it (minus the writing part). He has an issue with his brain working faster than his pencil can write and this leaves him frustrated to the point of tears. Is there a program out there that can help teach him to slow down his thought process so he can get all his words on the page?

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  3. #2

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    Some people will never be able to slow their thoughts down to a pace where their fingers can keep up, I speak from experience, lol.

    If writing is still a bugger for him at 11, I would start teaching him how to type and let him type as much of his work as possible. Another option is a speech to text app on a phone or tablet. Have him say what he wants to write to the app and then copy the words from the screen on paper. I would also scribe for him if writing is preventing him from expressing his thoughts.

    My second oldest son is dysgraphic and these are some of the things we were doing for him at that age. Even once he transitioned from homeschool to public junior high and high school, he had an IEP where he was offered the option to have a scribe for his tests and some class work because when he didn't have to do the writing himself, he would "write" amazing compositions but force him to hand write his work himself and it didn't even seem like the same kid wrote it because of the trouble the act of hand writing causes him.

    It might not hurt to have a OT evaluate your son, if writing is still causing him this much trouble, and see if there is a LD that is causing his tears over writing.

  4. #3

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    Id second the OT evaluation, both to find potential problems, and to give you strategies. I think if you go to his regular doctor, explain that he has trouble writing and want the OT eval, you can get an insurance-friendly referral.
    Typing for sure, if he isnt doing that yet.

    I remember back when I was in high school, having the thinking faster than I could write problem, too. My solution was to slow down my thinking / composition to match the writing. All I can think of to describe it now was a sort of mindfulness of each letter form and watching the ink dry on the paper (I used water-based ink pens not ballpoints). I mean that I dont think its a problem unique to him, and people learn to work around it.

    Would helping him with writing structure, and jotting the key points only first help? If he can learn to abbreviate in note form, he can then fill in with complete sentences later.
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  5. #4

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    Rather than slowing down his thinking, work on speeding up his writing/typing/note-taking. I would teach him brainstorming on paper using key words, diagrams, flow charts and like, and then work on converting his notes into elaborate sentences and paragraphs.
    mom to 3 girls: DD10, DD9, DD6

  6. #5

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    Brave Writer is good for reluctant writers.

    I think the above advice is good - consider if he needs an evaluation (I really don't get that vibe from your post, but there's not enough there to make a guess). Teach him to type for sure and also teach him good outlining and planning skills with his writing.

    Any time there are tears, then it's probably time to stop.
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  7. #6

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    My daughter has an 'average' (not classed as slow) processing speed, and it causes major issues with writing. So many tears and so much frustration when she was in public school. So there are other things than dysgraphia that can cause issues with writing. She has had a full psych cognitive assessment and she definitely does not have dysgraphia. Hers is an issue of her brain (other cognitive abilities range from 97th to 99th percentile) working faster than she can process them to write them down (processing speed is 34th percentile).

    When we started homeschooling (half way through grade 3), we just backed way off the writing. We did Bravewriter Jot it Down, even though she was probably slightly older than the target age. With the Jot it Down projects I was the one doing the writing for her. Some of them might not suit an 11 year old, things like reading a number of different versions of fairy tales and then telling one in your own words. But you could adjust them and use something other than fairy tales.

    Now we are using Partnership Writing, where we work on writing projects together.

    For her touch typing does not work, she still finds it frustrating and slow. I guess you need a minimum wpm to make it effective, and her processing speed seems to get her as much with touch typing as it does with writing.

    We also do the other Bravewriter things like copywork, narration, poetry teatime, free writing, etc. Its always as much as she feels like doing, and slowly over time she has come to enjoy writing and is happy to write more (a page or two rather than a sentence or two).

  8. #7
    Senior Member Arrived lakshmi's Avatar
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  9. #8
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    Sorry for taking forever in getting back to you all, bad flu bug. I will think about having him tested and will also look into brave writer and typing class. You are all so helpful

  10. #9
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    We use Macbeth Academy. Their writing program is very engaging and fun for our older son. He's also in their Writing Club, where they review each other's writing. It's great for his self esteem, and he's developed his writing a lot over the past year. Highly recommend!

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HELP!! I need a program for a reluctant writer